For a lot of gamers who came up during the heyday of the NES, most modern boss battles are a breeze. Back in the day, you might have a couple of extra lives, but saving and restarting wasn’t a thing in a lot of games. Eventually, players would reach a point that would grind their game progress to a halt if they couldn’t figure out a way past in a few tries. That usually ended up being a boss battle.
In the litany of thumb-destroying boss battles that occur in numerous NES games, there are still a few that standout as the toughest of the tough. They also still probably cause players to toss and turn at night all these years later.
The most iconic franchise in Nintendo’s history involves a certain Italian plumber named Mario. Over the course of the last few decades, Mario has appeared in dozens of video games in different styles, and Bowser has been his most consistent enemy.
While it seems absurd to say this now, beating Bowser was a huge deal when Super Mario Bros. came out in 1985. It took a lot of practice and finesse to stop him, but, once players had the rythem down, it wasn’t all that difficult. After all, this fight usually lasts all of two or three seconds.
The Mega Man series has proven to be one of the most popular video game franchises in history. That’s due in no small part to the fact that Mega Man is a character who is almost as iconic as Mario. But, those games have often been as difficult as they are popular.
Mega Man 2 continued Mega Man’s battle with Dr. Wily and his super nasty robots. While each one of the boss fights was difficult in its own way, the battle against Wood Man stood out as one of the toughest boss battles of all time.
The first game in the Ninja Gaiden series launched in 1988 and followed the exploits of Ryu Hayabusa. He travelled to America to avenge the murder of his father, which he discovered was committed by the Jaquio.
The Jaquio’s plan was to release demons on Earth that he would control. Naturally, Ryu ended up fighting the Jaquio and ultimately defeating him, but the battle is is incredibly difficult, and the level of difficulty keeps getting upped throughout the fight.