Back in the late 80’s there was no such thing as a casual gamer and there were no fluffy little titles that gave forgiveness at every turn to entice people who occasional play games. Even the fluffy looking titles like Mario and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were as hardcore as the titles with demons and machine guns!! But a the heart of any challenge is the epic boss battles we all encountered at the end of each level. Here is my list of the top 5 I had the most trouble with.
#5 Mr Big at the end of Narc
The game was awesome, as a narcotics patrol officer you had to blast your way with machine guns and rocket launchers through hordes of junkies protecting their suppliers. The levels included a Marijuana grow house, a LSD production lab and the bad guys aside from shooting you would stab you with their dirty needles! There was a sweet car level on the bridge and you had to take down helicopters along the way. But even using the two player cheat, where you would start the game with player 1 and when you lost all of his lives, jump in with player two for a fresh set, the end was near impossible. Mr Big as he was known would first appear in a wheel chair, so your thinking, dude in a wheelchair, no problem, but it was a big problem as his normally innocent device for mobility was fully equipped with machine guns, rocket launchers and a jet pack system of sorts that propelled him all around the damn screen! Once you destroyed his wheel chair form, he revealed his true self, A giant floating head, that hovered on a device that resembled Krang from TMNT! All the while he was puking huge projectiles larger than you! Needless to say this boss battle was an epic end to a highly enjoyable game!
#4 The Final Room Double Dragon
This entire game was tough, you had to try to accumulate those points as fast as possible to gain your special moves or else you were in trouble. the game had some tough platforming nonsense, but when you finally reached the red carpet room at the end the real trouble began. Basically you had to fight the entire regime of bad guys one last time, including your brother as the final battle. Also if you accidentally moved your character to close to the bottom of the screen, it was an instant death in the spikes! Many who got here never succeeded in surviving, a tough battle to say the least!
#3 Mother Brain from Metroid
The entire game was epic, one of the first games I had to pull out pen and paper and map out, but nothing compared to the final room of the game. Mother brain was first protected by five or so barriers that had to be destroyed by rockets, the whole room was filled with canons and those damn ring throwing sum bitches! You had better have rockets stock piled because you were going to need them, once you blasted through the protective barriers you had then destroy the Brain herself. Avoiding not just all the projectiles but you had to be very mindful of the lava and one wrong jump landed you in the pit in front of the brain which was a certain death! After countless missiles into the brain the level then began a count down timer and made you traverse a very challenging platforming section to survive to see t he final credits, which now remains one of the greatest and rewarding moments in gaming history- Seamus is a chick!
#2 Top Gun Landing the damn plane!
OK so its technically not a boss battle, but you had to land the jet at the end of each level, which for my money qualifies it as a boss. Nothing was more frustrating than flying a perfect mission and then being forced into the landing sequence, which almost assured ones death was imminent. Speed down, left left, right right, speed up, left left, speed up, up and then the little animation of your jet right into the damn drink! This part of each mission almost always claimed one of you three lives, I recall barely even playing past level two and it was mainly the landings fault! F U landing sequence! Then to top it all off they reprised the same scheme to refuel in later levels, that just crushed my spirit completely!
#1 Mike Tyson, from Punch Out
I loved the game, loved the graphics, the characters, and of course love the challenge. Before internet and before the code to go right to Tyson was made available to me, no game ending eluded me more than Mike Tysons Punch Out. First came lightning upper cuts, one hit knockdown wonders! Then came his blinking hooks, which were devastating, the sheer speed at which Tyson moved was ridiculous, add to that the knowledge that if I lose I am going to have to go back and face Super Macho Man again! He was relentless and if you got hit once recover was almost impossible. Timing was everything and like every other character in this game, Tyson was a puzzle that had to be cracked, but unlike all the other characters, one false move and you were done! UUGGHH! I had more trouble with this guy than any boss ever on the NES.
Thanks for reading!