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What’s your favourite final stage/level/boss?


Bushtopher
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The first thing that popped into my head - and I don’t think it’s wrong - is the giant Robotnik boss from the end of Sonic & Knuckles. It’s a great combination of skill (jumping over the beam weapon at the precise moment) and pattern recognition, which is what ultimately makes a great boss. 

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Definitely a tie. As Popo mentioned S3&K's finale could be said to start a zone earlier, but Doomsday even by itself is amazing, and so is what followed as the credits.

 

Other worthy mentions:

 

 

 

 

 

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Fishing Hamlet with Orphan of Koss as boss in Bloodborne's Old Hunters DLC. Hard as nails, awesome lore; just a spectacular fight. The location itself is great too. Very Lovecraftian but without the racism.

 

Wind Waker. The rain and Ganondorf's amazing monologue make for the best finale of any Zelda.

 

Metal Gear Rising. "Nanomachines, son."

Awesome music as well.

 

Astro Bot has a superb final boss as well, though the penultimate boss is even better and the best boss fight of 2018.

 

2019 is gonna be a great year for boss fights with Sekiro, DMC 5, the Cuphead DLC and Doom Eternal.

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The last boss in Super Castlevania 4.

When the music changes to Simon's Theme near the end of the Dracula fight it's such a powerful moment. 

Dracula knows his time is up and it makes you feel like a badass to hear the amazing theme from the first stage play again as you achieve your goal.

It's one of my favourite gaming moments, because it's done just by changing the music during the fight but it was far more powerful/effective than any cutscene/dialogue/qte laden final boss battle I've seen.

 It shows the power of a game to make the player feel something in a natural way and fill in blanks with their imagination, instead of resorting to shoehorning in movies or barely interactive scenes that spell everything out and interrupt the flow of the gameplay.

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It's not quite a final level but it is a section of a game where everything comes together and makes my hair stand on end: Stage 5 of MUSHA Aleste on the Mega Drive.

 

What happens on this level is magic.

 

You start out flying at speed over a forest, taking out various flying enemies to one of the game's signature, tightly arranged, muscular speed metal songs. 

 

You quickly encounter a midboss - the menacing geisha-esque headed, quad-rocketed fist-wielding demon aircraft from the cover artwork.

 

However it's a short battle, and as she backs off from your firepower she momentarily covers her face - failing to hide the blood now streaming from her eyes as she glides off screen.

 

As the scene above is occurring, the music track - with uncannily perfect cinematic synchronization - ramps the energy and tension right up before exploding into its final section; a release of rhythm and lead interplay as the first of three cannon-laden flying battleships that you've been chasing reveals itself.

 

Decades after I first experienced this game this section is still one of the most visceral and exhilarating that comes to mind. It's magnificent. 

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I don’t know if it’s my favourite, but a memorable one is P3 - Nyx Avatar. A 14-phase marathon where the boss switches through several of the arcana you’ve been seeing throughout the game, commenting on the journey of man as told through the arcana with each completed phase. As the fight goes on you’re treated to a sweet variation of “Aria of the Soul”: a song you’ve heard throughout the game as you’ve visited the Velvet Room, but the most thematically appropriate song to play. With each phase, the boss specialises in different skill sets and tactics, until it reveals the Death arcana and the real final battle begins...

 

 

P5 tried a similar thing with the arms of Yaldabaoth, but Nyx Avatar is the definitive take on this boss. :) 

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The final section of The Last Guardian is pretty damn epic. A brilliant end to a brilliant game.

 

Inside's ending is another good one. I didn't see that one coming!

 

And I was really touched my God of War's ending, too. See also, The Last of Us.

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Bark at the Moon in Guitar Hero.

 

The plastic instrument genre has moved on now, favouring fully open track selections and no fail modes, and it's pretty much a change for the better, but back in 2006 you had to progress through the tiers to reach the hardest tracks, and it all culminated in this. Beating this on Expert was a proud moment of mine.

 

(although it was actually Cowboys from Hell that I beat last).

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14 minutes ago, Fry Crayola said:

Bark at the Moon in Guitar Hero.

 

The plastic instrument genre has moved on now, favouring fully open track selections and no fail modes, and it's pretty much a change for the better, but back in 2006 you had to progress through the tiers to reach the hardest tracks, and it all culminated in this. Beating this on Expert was a proud moment of mine.

 

(although it was actually Cowboys from Hell that I beat last).

 

I also completed Cowboys from Hell last. Bark at the Moon was great though.

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On 06/01/2019 at 02:57, Vemsie said:

 

Metal Gear Rising. "Nanomachines, son."

Awesome music as well.

 

 

This, because of the bonkers reasons you mention, but also because it takes you on a hour (for me) long journey from "this is literally impossible" to "I can do this every time". Incredible. Frustration somehow alchemised into exhilaration.

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