The Inanities of Video Game Bosses (Created by Square, I Mean)

Image from Flickr User: lites_in_thee_skyy
Image from Flickr User: lites_in_thee_skyy

Some time ago, I replayed “Kingdom Hearts”, a game I had gone through two times prior, and yet, for some reason, this was the first time that something struck me. Video game bosses are weird. Not just the concept (why are they even called “bosses” to begin with?), but…you know what, have you ever beaten “Kingdom Hearts”? Or really, any Square Enix game for that matter. Because, sometimes, they have the absolute strangest abominations you’ve ever seen. It almost seems to be a requirement in such games that the final boss is the most distorted and ridiculous creature they can possibly come up with.

And so, when I was battling the final boss of “Kingdom Hearts” during my third playthrough, it was only now that it hit me just how goofy the end of the game is (goofy, not Goofy). Honestly. I mean, okay, I can accept the earlier fight against Ansem, when he has that funky Heartless thing hovering behind him all throughout the entire battle (which would bother me, personally, as I don’t do well with anyone breathing down my neck, monster or not-monster alike). But, then, once you beat him, you have another fight that is so much more absurd, where Ansem and his funky minion thing have somehow merged with a…I don’t know…a psychotic cruise ship of death that is floating out in nothingness, with faces all over it (including one face with a chin that could poke your eye out…nay, to be more accurate, it could poke your entire face out). And I don’t know why I never thought that much about it before, but the last time I saw this thing…

It’s just that…

I mean, you know, because…

Okay, someone please tell me, what were they thinking? What could Square Enix possibly have had running through their minds to believe that a freakish, possibly sentient, version of Meta Knight’s Halberd made a completely fitting grand finale to this wonderful game? Seriously, honestly, goodness me! I can’t even comprehend how they thought this up! I certainly couldn’t. Maybe I’m just not creative…or maybe I’m simply not completely bonkers.

And if you want to see this thing for yourself, here it is, in the video below, for your viewing, well, usually I’d say “for your viewing pleasure, but you will likely be feeling quite the opposite once you get a load of this beast. More than likely, you’ll instead be feeling a nightmare brewing…. (And beware, as this video contains major spoilers for the game’s ending. And you’ll need to skip the first 7 minutes to find the enemy I’m talking about.)

Video from Youtube user: Joshua Orro

Honestly, I can’t even comprehend why it is that all Square Enix final bosses seem to be just plain ridiculous. (And what in the world is Bizarro Sephiroth? And please explain the meaning behind Safer Sephiroth while you’re at it.) I know they want the ending of their games to be just as epic as the games themselves, but come on! Do they really need to go that overboard? Shouldn’t it, at least, perhaps, make a little bit of sense? No? Because…okay…how did Ansem even turn into that giant monstrosity to begin with? Did he plan it out from the start? Like, did he decide ahead of time that he was going to try turning into a cruise ship if Sora managed to defeat him in their earlier battle? Because, otherwise, you’d think turning into a freakish ship that could significantly raise the level of the ocean would come as quite a shock to someone. If it was me, I’d be so surprised and baffled at my transformation, I don’t know how well I’d be in my battle against whoever it is I’m apparently fighting, as I would be in dire need of a doctor…if I could even find a hospital that could contain me. (Help, I’ve merged with a monstrous space ship! Please refer me to a specialist that deals in this sort of thing immediately!)

And let’s return to the absurdities of the Sephiroth example again, shall we? What gets me about this one is that he actually returns to normal during the final boss battle, instead of the other way around! You have Bizarro Sephiroth (the monstrosity in the image at the top of the post), which I don’t even know what that could possibly be, and then afterward, he turns back into his regular self, except with a copious amount of wings that would, frankly, hinder his efforts to fly more than they would help, I would think.

And in addition to their apparent love of creating insane creatures, they seem to love merging things together, as well, which they did several times in “Final Fantasy VIII” when one sorceress merged with one of your characters (which looked really creepy…) and when the final boss merges with…a lion…? But, if I remember correctly, it was more like a lion…crab, actually, which is not a type of crab I would ever endeavor to eat, thank you very much. (And let’s not forget, of course, the example of Ansem merging with a cruise ship.) And maybe it’s just me, but I don’t personally find things merging together in unholy ways to be all that epic. It’s more just silly. Unless it’s a bunch of Legos, merging together with more Legos. Because Legos are awesome, and they are actually made to do such things. But, if it’s cruise ships and lion-crabs and people, it’s just weird.

And you know what, I also find it strange that it even took me this long to think twice about these freaky enemies in the first place. I guess once you play video games and watch movies and all of that for long enough, such things become commonplace. We’ve come to expect bizarre enemies, haven’t we? If we had a final boss that was more normal, we’d probably end up disappointed. (I certainly thought it was weird when I was fighting seemingly ordinary cats in “FFVI”. Stop attacking me; I am a friend to felines!) Nevertheless, I still wonder about these things. Because they make no sense. If you really think about it, there is no sane explanation for how Ansem turns into a space ship. Or merges with one, or whatever. (And did he think far enough ahead so he could un-merge in the future?) It just comes completely out of nowhere, and we watch the cut scene, and we see what’s in store for us next, and then we get back to pounding away at the next phase of the boss battle as if what just took place before us was the most natural, normal thing in the world. But, it’s not. It’s just not.

So yeah, I don’t know. It’s just strange. And to be honest, there was really no actual purpose to this post other than to ramble about nonsense. So anyway, does anyone else think these bosses are a bit absurd? And was there anyone here that didn’t think much about these abominations until I had the nerve to bring it up? …I’ll go away now.

Don’t Even Think About Merging With the Duck, as I’ll Have no Part in It (That Was Kind of a Pun…)

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Hatm0nster says:

    You know…I’ve never thought about it either. Maybe it’s something we expect, perhaps even demand from our games. Almost everything that is supposedly set in a “real” world is required to have monsters in it. A couple reasons come to mind: 1.) who wants to fight boring old humans when you could be pitting yourself against some crazy monstrosity? 2.) I think its because we enjoy the spectacle from a gameplay perspective.

    One reason why game writing is typically bad, I think, is because it has to somehow justify the existence of these monsters. They’re not there to serve the story, the never have been. It’s always been for the enjoyment to be found in fighting them. Is there a reason for the cruise-ship heartless to exist in regard to the story? Nope. Is there a reason for it to exist in the game? Yep: it’s because it’s just too darn awesome not to be in the game!

    All that aside, one does have to wonder what the creative process needed to dream up these monsters is like. Maybe they have internal contest to see who can come up with the creepiest/most outlandish thing?

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    1. duckofindeed says:

      That’s true, the only good reason these monsters appear in games is for the simple enjoyment of being pitted against something absurd. I couldn’t really imagine these games without freakish monsters, even if it hurts my brain trying to figure out what the heck they are.

      Heh heh, it is bad when they try to justify the existence of monsters. I remember some weird discussion on the “fiends” in FFX, and it was just silly. It’s better to just not say anything, I think. It’s a game; I understand there’s going to be crazy monsters, you don’t need to explain it to me.

      And I could never think up the crazy monsters these people create. They are obviously far more creative than me. Or they have very strange, dark minds….

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  2. tinkergoth says:

    While Square Enix’s bosses are weird, I’d say that Altus’ ones take the cake (admittedly I think that Square Enix publish some of their games, including the Persona ones, but still)… Look at Mara from the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona games. There’s no way to even see that as anything but a gigantic monstrous penis in any of it’s incarnations. In one of the games, it’s a penis on wheels! Not to mention all the other phallic enemies that show up in those games.

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    1. duckofindeed says:

      Oh, my gosh, it does look like…that. Maybe the Square Enix ones aren’t so bad, after all. Why did they make it look that way?

      Like

      1. tinkergoth says:

        It’s pretty intentional I think given that Mara is, to my understanding, a Japanese colliquial term for penis, as well as being an evil being in Buddhist mythology. I’m sure there’s some deep reasoning behind it, since those games seem to be full of hidden messages and subtext, but yeah, for those of us who don’t worry about that, he’s just a monster wang.

        You may also find this worth a read to get an idea of what the series throws at players: http://www.giantbomb.com/profile/eirikr/lists/top-ten-genital-demons-in-shin-megami-tensei/15347/

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      2. duckofindeed says:

        Well, in that case, Square Enix, I take it all back. Psychotic cruise ship is nothing compared to a malevolent and sentient…you-know.

        Like

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