6 Ways To Beat Game Bosses That The Designers Didn’t Intend
The truly great video game bosses are ridiculously unkillable monstrosities that exist only to laugh at your clumsy blows. They shrug off all manner of attack until you find the exact right weak spot to poke with the exact right sacred weapon, often requiring hours of practice and dozens of continues. Yet it turns out a lot of these tough bastards can be easily defeated by tricks so stupidly unthinkable that they often remained hidden for years. Like ...
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater -- Shove A Torch Up A Guy's Ass
In Metal Gear Solid 3, you go up against a group of legendary World War II soldiers known as the Cobra Unit. They're tough-as-nails superhumans with codenames that vaguely describe their special powers and emotional states. The Fury is a cosmonaut who was incinerated decades ago, and still very pissed off about it. The Fear is a spidery man who hisses "FEAAAAR!!!" from the trees. The End is an elderly sniper who's, get this, at the end of his life. And The Pain is a shrieking man covered in bees. If you haven't picked up on it yet, in the Metal Gear universe, most names, things, and events are unfathomably stupid.
Let's talk more about The Fear, who's like Predator meets Spider-Man, with a whimsical touch of musical theater. He camouflages himself and scurries up trees while shooting poison darts at Snake, howling and singing his own name the entire time. It's a frustrating fight that will probably end in Snake's death on your first visit. Unfortunately, The Fear's compulsive need to hiss about everything he's doing hints at an easy way to beat him.
Leaping through trees and turning invisible apparently burns a lot of calories, so The Fear takes breaks to snack. You'll know this because The Fear never does anything without a histrionic announcement. So clever players can anticipate his snack breaks, drop poisoned food around the woods, and sit back and listen for his overenthusiastic voice actor to enunciate, "WHAT'S THIS!? LOOKS DELICIOUS! ACK! POOIIIIIISON!" It's almost exactly what it would sound like if a suicide cult and a Disney Channel casting call mixed up their caterers. And despite being a pretty clever way to kill a dramatic spider boss, there's an even easier, even sillier way to beat him.
You are given an item in the game called a Fake Death Pill, which is what it sounds like. You take it and the Game Over screen shows up. Normally, this does nothing, but The Fear is profoundly stupid. As soon as you fall over, he says, "Dead, already? And just when the real fear was about to begin ..."
Obviously, while he's distracted with his own monologue, you can throw everything you have at him and kill him. But the fastest, most surefire way to do the job is with an item most players ignore: the torch. It's nothing but a simple torch Snake used earlier to find his way out of a cave, but if you jam it up The Fear's ass, he goes up like a 1977 Ford Pinto.
Technically, the torch can burn any of Snake's enemies, but most of them are smart enough to go somewhere else when you start poking them with flaming sticks. The programmers either forgot or didn't bother to teach this trick to The Fear. He has no idea how to react to a colon-first fireball attack, so he will stand there and let the fire devour him. Because what maniac game developer could have foreseen players doing anything this strange?
Any player who spent an hour pumping bullets into The Fear in a straight gunfight knows he's absurdly tough, so it takes forever for the fire to finish him off. Luckily, he will never figure out what's going on, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the smell of roasting butthole.
Just Cause 3 -- Kill A Helicopter With A Rope
Just Cause 3 doesn't quite have a storyline so much as it does dozens of thin excuses to massacre people. There are weapons and exploding barrels everywhere, and you travel by way of grappling hook and parachute. It's a car-surfing murder-fest culminating in a showdown against an evil general's invincible attack chopper.
As you'd imagine, it's a tough battle. Most players will spend several minutes diving for cover and filling it with bullets to finally shoot it down. But there's a better solution, which will almost sound obvious in a game about attaching your grappling hook to things: Attach your grappling hook to it.
You can see the idiocy in action in this video. Using perfectly ordinary video game logic and physics, if you hook one side of your grapple to a rock and the other to the chopper, it's instantly destroyed in an explosion so anticlimactic that it's almost sad.
If you're thinking that's too easy a death for a final boss, we agree. Here's a way you can kill him just as quickly, but with the drama deserved by a final confrontation. Call for your base to deliver you a jetliner, and lure the helicopter into its path. That's right, this game lets you throw a goddamned airplane at your enemies.
The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker -- Kill The World's Most Badass Plant By Watering It
Kalle Demos from The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker is as fearful as any plant monster can be. It has tentacles and spikes that fill your entire field of vision, and like all things in life, beating it requires a perfectly timed combination of sword and boomerang strikes.
To be more precise, you need to hit it with your boomerang to get it to let go of the ceiling. A perfect boomerang strike causes the boss to open up its flower and reveal its vulnerable ovule. You then need to swing your sword with expert timing or get unceremoniously spat out while losing half of a heart. We're not sure if this is a mere coincidence, but go back two sentences after reading "Here is how sex works." Uncanny, right?
It will take a few tries to get the sword and boomerang timing perfect in order to kill the boss. Or it would, if someone hadn't discovered the dumbest video game boss strategy of all time. You can walk up to the boss and casually dump a jar of water onto it, and it will instantly explode and die.
It's an ironic solution, since water is not normally a natural enemy of plants. But still, anyone who plays video games knows your first encounter with a boss involves attacking with every nonsensical item and ability to see which one is its weakness. Which is why it's crazy that this trick took more than 14 years to be discovered. Then again, going almost a decade and a half without remembering to water a plant is a very gamer thing to do.
Dead Rising -- Mangle Bosses With An Army Of Bystanders
All of the Dead Rising bosses are regular Joes who snapped and went on heavily themed murder sprees a few hours into a zombie outbreak. They go from plausible ones like survivalist gun nuts, escaped convicts, and clowns to the ridiculously absurd like a cowboy stripper, a fat lady on a mobility scooter, and an actual tiger.
Somewhat fittingly, the battles don't make any sense. The bosses are seemingly unkillable, shrugging off bullets, grenades, and chainsaws for far longer than even their limited supply of scripted lines could have predicted. They are capable of turning you into a puddle within moments, and you are often surprised by their arrival. The game may send you to "investigate the crying teenager," only to find that she was crying because an invincible mailman was smashing her into a carrier bag. And now your unprepared ass has to fight this unspeakable force of postal death with nothing but two lawn darts and a carton of non-dairy creamer.
There's a solution to this problem that will seem obvious when you hear it. One of the main goals in Dead Rising is to rescue idiot survivors and bring them back to safety. However, you can turn their idiocy into a weapon. If you plan it properly, you can show up to a boss fight with up to eight confused assholes on your tail. And if you give each of those confused assholes knives, they become more like a tornado of stab than a helpless conga line.
The bosses seem designed to be a reasonable challenge for one well-thumbed player, not something that can stand up to nine guns spraying bullets from every angle. You can see here how a handgun can turn a fussy middle-aged woman into a maniac-killing murder machine. In a sentence you almost certainly won't read outside a discussion of Dead Rising, you can relax in your Mega Man costume while your friends gun down all the mentally ill dwarf clowns.
When there are eight people throwing bullets into a fight, it is a bloodbath. Here, you can see the game's penultimate boss, Sgt. Boykin, lose three quarters of his health in a few seconds against some cocktail waitresses and a pharmacist. Somehow, combining the worst two things in the game -- the overpowered bosses and the obnoxious escort missions -- creates the most fun.
Two Worlds -- Let Pissed-Off Villagers Take Care Of The Final Boss for You
During its development, Two Worlds was hyped as the game that could dethrone Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Since you probably haven't heard of Two Worlds, you can guess how accurate that was. Two Thrones is like Elder Scrolls after some kind of children's cartoon villain hit it with a ray that erased all joy. Well, almost -- it is home to one of the most hilarious boss-killing tricks in all of gaming.
You see, the game bragged of its hours and hours of gameplay, but it turns out that nearly anyone can finish its epic main quest in about three minutes. That's not a typo -- here's a speedrunner doing it.
First you, avoid the tutorial by not going anywhere near the villager who wants to teach you how to play. Then you walk across a small lawn to see the game's final boss. This next step involves doing something the game developers should have predicted we'd try: You shoot him.
You can't really kill him with your baby fire bolts, so the next step is to run back to the starting village. He'll chase after you and obliterate your frail beginner body with his own much, much better fire bolt.
He'll instantly kill you, as he should, but the explosion will also superficially harm the village's impossibly sturdy shopkeepers and roofers. And you do not mess around with a Two Worlds village roofer. As soon as you respawn, you'll see that the entire village has surrounded him, and the people are slowly battering him to death with sticks.
To be fair, the boss is incredibly strong, and it takes some effort to finish him off with gardening tools. But the villagers never get tired and never die, and they will eventually chew through his super boss skull. All you need to do is stand back for a couple minutes and wait for the realm to be saved.
As soon as he dies, the ending cutscene will play. This is the video game equivalent of Darth Vader getting ripped apart by Tantive IV janitors.
The Legend Of Zelda Kill The Ultimate Evil With Random Junk
Most Zelda games follow the same plot. Link is a nobody again, spends the first act acquiring the Master Sword again, then defeats Ganondorf and rescues Zelda again. There are small differences in each game, and sometimes the implied mass suicide of an entire race, but for the most part, it's the same every time: Link, Master Sword, Ganondorf.
Well, we hate to break it to Link, but he's been wasting your whole life. He never needed the Master Sword. In virtually every Zelda game, you can beat Ganondorf with the very first thing you got your hands on. The Master Sword is a scam perpetrated by the quest industry, because almost anything from Link's backpack will destroy the ultimate evil -- nets, bottle, and even fishing rods can kill Ganondorf.
There are all kinds of examples of this. For instance, in Skyward Sword, Link can deflect the boss' lightning attacks by holding up his bug-catching net. That it's probably obvious that butterfly collecting beats electro bolts to anyone familiar with the classic game Electromancy-Scissors-Lepidoptery.
If that seems like a uniquely insane glitch, here is Link's grandkid/grandfather (the Zelda timeline is a mess) Link doing the exact same thing years prior:
Twilight Princess culminates in a showdown between Link and Ganondorf for the fate of two worlds. It's a brutal boss encounter that tests your skills to the limit, with any missed block or counter spelling your certain doom! Or you can simply cast a fishing lure. He'll stupidly stare it at long enough for you to put your fishing rod away, get your sword out, and stick it into his face a few times.
In Ocarina Of Time (and A Link To The Past, and Skyward Sword, and Wind Waker, and ... you get the idea) Ganondorf will fight you by throwing balls of energy at you. Luckily, the Master Sword can deflect these balls right back at him. But you know what? An empty bottle works just as well as the majestic, legendary sword only the chosen one can wield. Did no one in Hyrule try hitting the bad guy with household objects before asking Link for help?
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