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5 early video game bosses that are tougher than the final boss (& 5 that are a cakewalk)

Are you ready to take on the challenge? (Images via Remedy Entertainment/Nintendo)
Are you ready to take on the challenge? (Images via Remedy Entertainment/Nintendo)
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Siddharth Patil

Video games have been testing gamers' skills since their inception, whether as a battle of wits or a literal one with physical hits and gore. These emerge in the form of boss fights, often spectacular skirmishes against powerful foes. They demand implementing all that a player has learned so far, including mastery over the game's mechanics and systems.

However, it may often feel like some games can introduce challenges far too early, especially when some fights can be even more daunting than the final boss. Regardless of whether they were play-tested enough, these bosses are truly intimidating fights that make the finale seem easy in comparison.


These initial bosses are pretty punishing for how early they appear in their games

5) Tommasi (Control)

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The very first boss in Remedy Entertainment's excellent 2019 supernatural horror is Mr. Tommasi. Considering that the player would still be getting accustomed to the controls and systems, the Hiss-corrupted fellow can be tricky as he floats around being a menace.

However, things get tougher the second time players face the boss. As a side mission, there is little to no cover to hide behind and the exploding mob spawns raise the stakes further. Monitoring your surroundings at all times and moving on is the name of the game.


4) Evil Brick and Mordecai (Borderlands 3: Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck DLC)

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The last story expansion for 2019's Borderlands 3 sucked players into the mind of Borderlands 2's playable psycho Krieg. One of the first bosses encountered within this crazy realm are evil manifestations of Krieg's fellow Vault Hunters: Brick and Mordecai.

These two deal good damage, move fast, and are tanky at the same time. It is kind of reminiscent of Ornstein and Smough from Dak Souls in terms of design as well, with the bulkier fellow closing in while the "skinny idiot" sniping from far away.


3) Minotaur (Shin Megami Tensei IV)

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ATLUS Megami Tensei games are often known for their challenges, but fans did not expect a roadblock as annoying as the Minotaur in SMT IV. Besides hitting hard with Phys skills, players will also have to make dialogue choices throughout the encounter. The consequences may either temporarily buff or debuff your party and the Minotaur.

NPC character Walter may make the mistake of firing an Agi shot, which will cause the Minotaur to gain extra turns as he can block fire magic, so be wary.


2) The Toad Prince (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Hearts of Stone DLC)

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The Witcher 3 base game was never really a challenging experience, but CDPR upped the ante with the first expansion, Hearts of Stone. It introduces challenging bosses right at the start, with one of them being the Toad Prince encountered in the sewers.

The massive amphibian can push away Geralt with his stomp and attack from a range, using his sticky tongue. Truly a pain given how agile he can be despite his weight. Play defensively and create Yrden Sign traps for the best results.

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1) Lawrence Barrett (Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut)

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Eidos Montreal's 2011 revival of the Cyberpunk Deus Ex series was a successful one, despite its glaring issues. The bosses were tedious, given they threw away the stealth for forced encounters.

The Director's Cut rectifies some of these issues by providing various ways to kill him. Barrett is an absolute unit who can one-shot Adam Jensen within melee range or throw deadly grenades from a distance, so utilizing the environment to your advantage is important.


On the other hand, some of these bosses are far too trivial

5) Fizzie (Sunset Overdrive)

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Certainly one of the most underrated games of the past decade, Sunset Overdrive from Insomniac Games has a lot of fun moments to offer. Too bad the bosses are fairly easy, especially the Fizzie fight.

The fight takes place in the air, with the player spending most of the time grinding on rails and jumping on pads while shooting at a large target. The occasional homing rocket barrage is easy to avoid as well.


4) Knuckledragger (Borderlands 2)

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The first showdown occurs pretty early into the 2012 FPS/RPG game as the Vault Hunters must track down a giant Bullymong that has stolen Claptrap's eye.

Cue the Kuckledragger, a primate monster who goes down easily. The mob spawns are the only thing that adds a semblance of challenge to this short fight. At least Knuckledragger has a chance to drop the legendary Hornet pistol, so it is not all bad.


3) Queen Gohma (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)

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The first major dungeon in Nintendo's revolutionary N64 action-adventure Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is inside the Deku Tree. This introduces the parasitic Queen Gohma residing within.

The one-eyed arachnid can deal damage with her pincers, but she is easy to read and avoid. She can relocate to the ceiling to drop mob enemies, but overall, it is a simple affair, especially when armed with the slingshot.


2) Gruz Mother (Hollow Knight)

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The iconic 2017 Metroidvania from Team Cherry is known for brutal boss fights, but one of the initial ones are fairly easy. Gruz Mother is by far the least challenging, but she is an optional mini-boss.

Her attacks largely comprise bashing her body around the room and slamming into the knight, both of which are super easy to avoid. A slew of upwards and downwards slashes later, players will have made quick work of her.


1) Priestess (Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable)

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One of the main story bosses in Persona 3, the Priestess arcana shadow is arguably the easiest one in the game as it is the first. That is on top of the countdown timer tickling down even while the fight is active.

While she can summon minions and occasionally attack, her HP is fairly low. Even standard attacks can take her down easily. Take down a decent chunk of foes that appear before her fight and the fight is a cakewalk.


Edited by Saman
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