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5 final boss fights that were ultimately disappointing

Links faces Calamity Ganon (image via Nintendo)
Links faces Calamity Ganon (image via Nintendo)

Final bosses are supposed to deliver a boss fight that gives the players a sense of satisfaction and achievement, for completing an arduous and complicated task at the end of the game. These boss fights need to be challenging and ideally give the players their own agency to go about the battle as they would, depending on their skills.

Yet, that is not always the case, as sometimes a hard-earned boss fight, which might have been hyped up over the course of the game, just fails to deliver. Many games fall into this trap by setting up an enjoyable experience, but only stumbling when it should have ended in a bang.

Whether it was because it took away the player’s influence, or because the boss itself didn’t live up to expectations or simply because the fight was too easy, here are five boss fights in video games that didn’t deliver.

Note: This article reflects the writer's opinions


5 disappointing final boss fights in video games

1) Human Reaper - Mass Effect 2

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Mass Effect 2 made a lot of improvements to the series, with a better refined HUD, responsive shooting and aiming as well as less clunky movement by the characters. It also introduced the now-famous Suicide Mission, which had the potential to kill off a lot of important characters.

One of the things it didn't improve upon, however, was boss fights. More specifically, the final boss fight. In ME1 players were treated to Saren as the main antagonist, and despite the clunky gameplay, it was still a fun final confrontation. In the game, however, players were tasked with defeating a giant metal space terminator.

Complete with glowing red eyes and a metallic skull for a face, this was supposed to be an incomplete human reaper. However, what it actually looked like was Big Fuzz from the Contra video games.

This boss fight requires players to stay behind cover and shoot at glowing weak points at intervals, which is basically all of the encounter. It felt less like a climactic boss battle and more like a semi-scripted event, with minimal player interaction.


2) Hoyt Volker - Far Cry 3

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Hoyt Volker from Far Cry 3 suffers from many problems. Appearing about two-thirds of the way in, as the real villain behind the entire plot, he succeeds the more likeable Vaas as the primary antagonist of the game. And things only go downhill from there.

Comparisons arise due to the fact that Hoyt never really comes close to the personality and dedication displayed by Vaas. None of this is improved by the completely lacklustre boss fight that follows once players finally catch up to the villain.

This final boss fight in the game takes place in the form of a knife fight with quick-time events. As established earlier, when a boss fight takes away the gameplay element from the hands of the players, it becomes nearly meaningless.

Still, it was not like this character deserved any better. Vaas would definitely have put up a better fight as evidenced by the Vaas: Insanity DLC for Far Cry 6.


3) The Harbinger - Halo: Infinite

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Halo: Infinite brought a lot of things around for Halo, with Master Chief looking more green than black once again, as well as fun little quips by the enemies seen in the open-world.

With great gunplay, an excellent array of legacy weapons and the ability to drive a warthog anytime, this was seen as a return to form for Halo by the fans.

The game also delivers on some great boss fights with high value targets across the map and in the campaign, letting players take their own approach and using the scenery and environment to their advantage. The game probably had some of the best boss battles in Halo. Yet because of that very fact, the final boss feels underwhelming.

The Harbinger, a new antagonist introduced in this game, serves as the final boss. A boss fight with her was hyped throughout the story, yet when it finally arrives it's pretty dull.

This villain has literally only one offensive attack, which can be easily dodged. Dealing damage to her is easy enough as well, only she goes into an invincibility phase which the players can do nothing about. Oh, and she also calls in reinforcements.


4) Soul of Cinder - Dark Souls III

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For a boss that heralds the end of the series, the Soul of Cinder from Dark Souls III is probably FromSoftware’s flimsiest final boss. Simply comparing it to Gwynn from the first game is enough to cement that fact.

While many would claim that Gwyn is an easy boss due to his weakness to parrying, for players who have not mastered that technique, Gwyn is hard. Aside from that, he has been mentioned and foreshadowed countless times in the game, which granted him a larger than life status.

Then there is the Soul of Cinder, who is basically a nameless entity at the end of the game, set to symbolise the final moments of the series, yet it hardly comes up as a topic of conversation. It is meant to embody the countless lords who have linked the fire after Gwyn, in a way representing all the different players.

This is shown in its moveset, constantly changing to incorporate various builds. Yet, this fight and eventual victory feel a bit hollow, as there wasn’t much set up to this fight, but mostly a necessary hurdle to cross.


5) Calamity Ganon - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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Ganon is the mainstay villain in the Legend of Zelda series for years now, embodying all that is evil and wrong in the land, and standing as the ever present shadow over protagonist Link and his friends.

In Breath of the Wild, Ganon takes on a different form, fused with Malice, appearing as a mass of inky dark matter known as Calamity Ganon.

This is the final boss of the open-world game, accessible from the very start. However, getting to him is made problematic by the fact that four Blight Ganons that can shoot at Link from a distance if he approaches the Calamity Ganon.

The objective is to level up, attain more powerful weapons, destroy each of the four Blight Ganons and then take on Calamity Ganon.

However, there is no certain determining point when players must try this final boss fight, which more often than not resulted in them being too overpowered when finally taking on this dreaded foe.

With a decent amount of equipment, players could reflect, attack, rinse and repeat for most of the fight. Many lamented that this final boss fight was underwhelming, compared to others in the game.


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Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul
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