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The following blog is set for One Fall! Introducing first, he is the Hylian Champion! Winner of the Seven-Year Slam, making the Hylian Ring safer, one Powerbomb of Courage at a time!

AboveUp!





Started gaming on an Atari 2600, grew into the gamer I am now with Nintendo, playing on an NES and SNES. Became more aware of the wider scope of gaming through the Playstation and Xbox. Now I'm loving the PC gaming life.

My favorite games include A Link to the Past, Terranigma, Guilty Gear X2, Viewtiful Joe, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and DotA 2.

Huge comic book reader, and currently keeping up with Saga and Hawkeye.

My favorites are The Sandman Vol 4, Batman - Court of Owls, and V for Vendetta.

Lover of wrestling, although not so much of the infamous Attitude Era. Much of more a CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and Dolph Ziggler kinda guy.

Life-long reader of books of the fictional and non-fictional variety. Love Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Robin Hobb, Kurt Vonnegut, Chuck Wendig and Haruki Murakami.

My biggest dream is that one day Quintet returns and makes a current generation Terranigma.

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AboveUp
9:59 AM on 06.26.2013



Last night I finished Torchlight. I'm ashamed to admit I only picked it up because it was free during GoG's promotion, because it was an incredibly fun game and I enjoyed almost every minute I spent on it. From upgrading my equipment, to mixing gems, and learning new abilities, the entire game was a joy to play. It gave me the same feeling Diablo 2 did so many years ago... Until I met the final boss.

The final boss in Torchlight has an incredibly inflated HP bar. By the time I got to him, regular enemies were oneshot fodder for my Vanquisher. The boss could barely scratch me thanks to both my armor class and the little damage he did was nullified thanks to the extra health draining stats I had. I was lucky when it came to item drops; it didn't take long for me to be overpowered. But the first time I hit the boss, I wasn't sure I actually damaged him.



The damage numbers were floating above his head as normal, but it didn't look like his health bar was moving at all until I'd hit him a dozen more times. That's when he started summoning an endless horde of extra monsters, padding up even further what was a cushion fortress to begin with.

Nothing about the fight was challenging or involving. Not only was I healing up from damaging him, but all the monsters he was summoning were also dropping health potions. I actually walked out of the fight with more healing items than I had with me when I started.

This wouldn't have been so bad if it wouldn't have had to take so long to beat him. It's one thing for a final boss to be disappointing just by being a push-over, but it's another to get bored during the fight as your slowly chipping away a ridiculously high health bar during a fight that never gives any reason to stay fully aware of it.

Most of the fight I was thinking of other boss fights. I tried to remember any boss fights from Torchlight itself, but quickly realized there weren't any that stood out. Most of the boss fights were pretty much the same as the special monsters you'd encounter every now and again. None of those were really challenging or memorable.



The first thing I thought of was The Butcher from the original Diablo. How that voice clip of him saying "Ah! Fresh meat!" terrified me as a kid. It scared me so much I restarted with a fresh character after he mutilated my previous one. Forget about reloading my save, this old one was tainted. Then when I'd come back to him again, I just left him locked up in his chambers. Too afraid to initiate him again. I hadn't been that scared of a video game character since I watched my mom play Maniac Mansion while I was a toddler.

Whenever I think of videogame bosses, Viewtiful Joe is always one of the first games to come to mind. You could sell a boss fight only Viewtiful Joe game and I'd get excited about it. The boss fights in those two games got me just as worked up as the first time I'd fight a new opponent in Super Punch-Out, a game that's essentially just a boss rush mode in itself.


(Chrono Trigger fanart by Eiffelart)


Chrono Trigger had some of the most memorable JRPG boss fights. Not so much because of the fights or the game mechanics themselves, but because of the way the fights were set up beforehand. I mean, how could you forget having fought a robotic dragon on top of a bridge while breaking out of prison?

Metal Gear Solid. Everything that happens from the moment you fight Metal Gear Rex. Just wow. I remember having watched two friends play through those parts seperately before I got the game myself and played through it. Still felt amazing to play it myself.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we also have Metal Gear Solid 2, which pretty much fell to pieces right before the final boss fights came in to play. To this day, my main reason for disliking Raiden was because of how easily he gave up on a fight that barely proved a challenge to me in a forced cutscene.

After a while I started wishing that this Torchlight boss fight would have been more like the bosses at the end of Final Fantasy X, when I made the mistake of being able to do the max amount of damage per hit. Then I was faced with a final boss who was casting revive spells on my party and couldn't take one hit, let alone survive a perfect Attack Reels with 12 successive max damage hits.

Or heck, Battlefield: Bad Company. I figured I'd shoot down that pesky helicopter before exploring the scenery. Oh wait, shit. That helicopter was the final boss. The credits are rolling.

I honestly wish I could tell you that I even remember what the final boss in Red Faction: Guerilla looked like. While I was firing away some of my best weapons into the scenery to clean up all the other enemies before homing in on the final boss, I accidentally killed him. Never even knew what hit him. Unfortunately, I'll never know either.



Then there's games like Shenmue 2, where after a boss fight that has had major build up sort of continued for several hours to build up to a sequel that we never got. To this day, Shenmue 2 has one of the coldest shower endings I can think of.

What's unfortunate about the lesser boss fights, especially the final boss ones, is that they define the feeling you leave the experience with. If Torchlight ended the game as strongly as the rest of it had been, I'd have been much more likely to reroll the game as one of the other classes and played through it again. Now, I was considering it for a moment. Then just went "eh." and decided to focus on the other games in my backlog.



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