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Amazing Games Ruined By A Final Boss That Was Too Difficult

Beating the final boss of a video game is supposed to be challenging, the culmination of all the trials and tribulations overcome by the player along the way. But what if that last fight leaves them so frustrated they don't even want to finish the game? Sometimes an overly difficult final boss fight sours the entire experience.


Infuriating first-boss battles set a negative tone for a title, but final bosses can ruin otherwise amazing games. For example, some gamers felt that "Horizon Forbidden West" had a boss fight that was so easy it made the rest of the entry feel off balance. Those last few moments left players wondering if they'd experienced a fluke, and diminished the shine of the full 20+ hour campaign

While simple bosses can feel like a letdown, end bosses that are too difficult can make people want to rage quit. Many games have infuriating final foes, but the ones on this list were almost enough to ruin otherwise solid titles.

Hollow Knight - Absolute Radiance

Make no mistake, Team Cherry beautifully designed the Absolute Radiance boss fight, but it's so difficult that many players don't feel up to completing this endgame antagonist. Absolute Radiance is a perfect form of The Radiance, the final boss of "Hollow Knight" and a challenge in her own right. Everything that made The Radiance difficult in the base "Hollow Knight" game becomes even more overwhelming in the "Godmaster" content pack, where Absolute Radiance made her debut. Absolute Radiance has six distinct phases, each worse than the last, and the arena players face her in changes accordingly with each phase.


Absolute Radiance mostly has the same move set as The Radiance, but with the difficulty ramped up. Absolute Radiance moves quickly, firing light beams out of her face in rapid succession and sending walls of light. She flings orbs that will fry the Knight in place and shoots nails across the screen vertically and horizontally. Any of these attacks could be mortally wounding, but Absolute Radiance makes it more difficult by teleporting after each one. Add in platforming sections, and this fight is a major pain for most players. Considering that Absolute Radiance is an amplified version of a secret final boss, no one would blame a gamer for rage quitting.

Punch-Out!! - Mike Tyson

From Mr. Sandman to Donkey Kong, the "Punch-Out!!" franchise always includes a memorable final boss, but many gamers – especially those of a certain age – fondly remember feeling foiled by Mike Tyson.


Tyson's sheer power makes him a difficult final boss. Even one hit from the challenger can send Little Mac down for the count. To defeat Tyson, one gamer recommended a trial run to observe the opponent's moves. By memorizing Tyson's tells, it's possible to anticipate his movements and win the fight – but it's not easy.

It turns out that Mike Tyson can't even beat himself in "Punch-Out!!" On "The Tonight Show," Jimmy Fallon challenged Tyson to play against his digital form, which Tyson doubted he could do. Though Tyson gave it his best try, the Mike Tyson of "Punch-Out!!" won in the end.

Drakengard 3 - Flower

Mask-wearing game designer Taro Yoko had a hand in "Drakengard 3," which might account for its eccentric final boss. The game has four separate endings, but the fourth path is the strangest by far. The protagonist, Zero, absorbs her final sister and teleports to an alternate world featuring gigantic statues of the Intoners. Instead of the real-time combat most of the title features, the final battle is a rhythm game that grows increasingly complex as the song goes on, with more and more statues chiming in to create obstacles.


Even though the final boss battle differs from most of the combat in the entry, that's not what makes it so infuriating. As one Redditor pointed out, players aren't allowed even a single mistake during the song. Mess up once, and it's back to the beginning to try again. While the fight feels thematically appropriate and epic, its difficulty sours the rest of the experience. Then again, the fight's reputation kept "Drakengard 3" a hot topic for years after its release.

Undertale - Sans

Many have a soft spot for Sans, the pun-loving skeleton from Toby Fox's "Undertale." His constant jokes and tendency to break the fourth wall made gamers wish he had his own game. That said, Sans has the capacity to wreck those who think that he's just a happy side character.


Fighting Sans is optional, but players that want to 100% "Undertale" have to fight him at some point. On a pacifist run, players never battle Sans, and he remains a fun supporting NPC. However, on a genocide run Sans attacks the player to get revenge for their merciless slaughter of everyone he cares about. To be fair, he does tell them that they'll have a bad time if they choose to fight his brother Papyrus. He just didn't say when.

Sans' boss fight is more difficult than anything else in "Undertale," potentially because it wants players to give up out of frustration. One Redditor made this observation, hailing Sans as the culmination of everything "Undertale" has to offer.

Sans has multiple phases, but the most frustrating aspect of his battle is the sheer speed of his attacks. Sans doesn't let up, and his moves are difficult to dodge. Sans lies. He cheats. He kills the player again and again — and his fight is all the better for it. The only way to really beat the skeleton is to challenge him multiple times, learning more about his moveset with each playthrough. While the advice might sound similar to many other opponents on this list, muscle memory usually solves the problem in tough boss fights. 


Octopath Traveler - Galdera

Galdera, the big bad of "Octopath Traveler," requires a serious amount of level grinding to face. The monstrous creature, with bulging eyes and a beastly second form, strikes fear into the hearts of the eight party members, and with good reason. Even with a party full of level 50+ characters, Galdera can almost kill with one hit. That is if you can even make it there. 


To face Galdera, players have to battle through eight other bosses first. This gauntlet of baddies revisits the key themes from each character's storyline, making it a narratively interesting path, but it's also a slog. Failing to beat Galdera just sends the player back to the beginning of the eight foes before it. 

One gamer told the story of prepping for hours to fight Galdera, only to fall when they finally reached the battlefield. The tale illustrates what makes Galdera so frustrating – and what often makes JRPG final bosses challenging.

Galdera unfair AF from

Even after hours of grinding, one bad fight with Galdera could clue players into the fact that there are still hours more left to farm XP and level up their party. That sort of time commitment needs to feel rewarding, and many players didn't see the appeal of defeating Galdera and saving the world.


Elden Ring - The Elden Beast

The Elden Beast on its own isn't the worst boss on this list, but the path to get to it means that failing requires a lengthy retread through another grueling boss fight. The Radagon/Elden Beast sequence tests players' endurance, and while most people who made it that far really want to beat the game, the final battle might make some gamers second-guess themselves.


In addition to schlepping all your gear and flasks back through the Radagon fight, you'll also have to deal with the story implications of the Elden Beast, which aren't clear at first. One gamer pointed out that it's jarring to fight Radagon – who players hear about throughout the game and recognize as a central figure in the Lands Between's lore – and then face an amorphous blob of translucent goo with a sword.

Any boss fight in a Soulsborne game can prove a challenge, but the added insult of having to complete two back-to-back in order to beat "Elden Ring" goes beyond the FromSoftware fans' cry of "git gud." The Elden Beast's moves hone in on the Tarnished, making them nearly impossible to avoid, and the marathon of combat proves to be too much for many players.


Quantum Break - Paul Serene

Before "Control," Remedy Entertainment made "Quantum Break," a similarly mind-bending title that focuses on strange powers. In "Quantum Break" the antagonist is much less eldrich, though, and players eventually find themselves battling protagonist Jack's former friend, Paul Serene. While fighting a man named Paul might seem like a normal, easy time, the encounter is anything but, and many players have said that it was irritating enough to make them quit the game.


At one point in the fight, Serene unleashes a blast of red energy that will almost instantly kill Jack. The blast is so powerful, and so far-reaching, that some players reported relying on sheer luck to win the fight.

Even on an easier difficulty setting, avoiding Serene's attacks and surviving long enough to defeat him proves a challenge. Some players argued that the boss fight is poorly designed. The inescapability of Serene's attacks, and the swiftness with which they kill Jack, make this boss battle taint the overall experience of "Quantum Break."

Deus Ex: Human Revolution - The Hyron Project

At a talk about "Deus Ex: Human Revolution," designer Francois Lapikas apologized to fans, saying, "[The boss fights] were a big part of the game, and we should have put more effort into them. I'm truly sorry about that. Next time we're gonna think about it more" (via Game Informer).


Perhaps one of the most annoying boss fights in question comes at the very end of the title, when Adam Jensen has to take down the Hyron Project once and for all, defeating Zhao Yun Ru. If players know what to do, this boss battle isn't terribly difficult, but it's almost impossible to completely understand the mechanics of the fight without looking them up. Do you get the computer codes, and if so, where do you input them? Do you defend Zhao or let her get shot? Does it matter?

Some players felt like the game offered the illusion of choice, forcing them into one ending regardless of their decisions. Others found the fight confusing, abandoning all thought of a pacifist run and gunning down everything in sight.


There's an important reason that the final boss battle – and all of the bosses in "Deus Ex: Human Revolution" – feel disconnected from the rest of the game. Eidos Montreal didn't handle the bosses, and instead outsourced the task to Grip Entertainment. In a behind-the-scenes clip, the president of Grip admitted that he wasn't familiar with "Deus Ex" as a franchise. While the company researched the series and felt excited to help create "Human Revolution," the disconnect felt apparent.

Kingdom Hearts - Ansem, Seeker of Darkness

The plot of the "Kingdom Hearts" series is endearingly convoluted, and the final boss fight of the first installment highlights what makes the games such a drag for some players. The big showdown with Ansem at the end of the first "Kingdom Hearts" is just as grand as one would expect a final boss to be, but at some point, that extravagance turns into annoyance as players endure round after round of battle phases with the scientist.


First, Sora fights Ansem with his friends, then alone. Then Ansem transforms into a giant monster, and Sora has to fight that, too. Then there are multiple phases – some with Goofy and Donald, some without – that challenge both the player's patience and resources. Without a chance to look through one's inventory or heal up between phases, the fight feels excruciating. Each small victory only elicits false hope that the fight is over, only for another phase to begin. Later versions of "Kingdom Hearts" didn't correct this issue, and some people say that Square Enix only made the game more difficult.

Even if gamers find all of that reasonable, the flying mechanic might push the fight with Ansem into the game-ruining territory. While fighting solo, Sora must fly around the map (similar to the way swimming works in underwater levels) to do battle. While it isn't the first time players move in this way, making a mistake while getting reacquainted with the controls and getting sent back to the beginning of the fight would make many rage quit.


Plague Tale Innocence - Vitalis

"Plague Tale: Innocence" wowed critics and fans alike with its dark depiction of 1300s France, complete with its titular plague. The final fight finds protagonist Amicia facing the evil Grand Inquisitor Vitalis, a decrepit religious ruler willing to do anything to rise to power. The final battle with Vitalis sounds like it should be simple. After all, how hard can it be to outrun a corpse-like baddie? Unfortunately for Amicia and Hugo, Vitalis has a horde of rats at his side, making the final boss fight difficult enough to sour the whole game.


First, players have to accurately extinguish fire while being pelted with white rats. Then Vitalis hurls rats at Amicia – alternating between attacks above and below ground – while Hugo attempts to attack. The waves of rats seem neverending, and if Hugo gets hit at any point during the battle, his actions cancel out, leaving players to start their attack all over again.

Certain tips or tricks, like listening for Hugo's audio cues, can help make the fight with Vitalis easier, but that doesn't stop it from nearly ruining the game.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Isshin the Sword Saint

No one expects FromSoftware games to be easy, but "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" can make players question how much they love Souls games. Sword Saint Isshin presents a narrative shock for "Sekiro" players, but it also acts as a technical challenge. Sword Saint Isshin throws lightning-fast moves at Sekiro, managing to block most attacks. Additionally, his counter meter inches up slowly, making Isshin's posture impenetrable for most of the fight.


Discussing the challenging boss fight on Reddit, one gamer said that Sword Saint Isshin is the reason that they haven't played "Sekiro" more, arguing that he's such a difficult boss that he makes the rest of the title unenjoyable. Fighting through New Game + – which is more difficult than the first round – knowing Isshin waits at the end might make some players rethink it all.

As with many Souls games, players sometimes believe that repeating the same fight again and again, trying their best to overcome an impossible foe, is its own sort of enlightenment. However, for many gamers, their mileage may vary when it comes to training to fight Sword Saint Isshin. The pain and pleasure combine in this infuriating final fight.


Bloodborne - Orphan of Kos

Another Souls game, another impossible boss. Orphan of Kos both appears disgusting and invokes dread in players looking to finish "The Old Hunters" DLC in "Bloodborne." There's nothing quite like getting beaten to death with a placenta, and the Orphan of Kos is more than happy to oblige wandering Hunters.


While hardcore "Bloodborne" fans generally agree that the Orphan of Kos is the most difficult fight in the game, one player made a solid case for it ruining the entire experience. They wrote that "it's just completely demoralizing going into the fight, seeing where I made a mistake, or thinking of a strategy for the next fight, and having those be mostly not applicable ... I really love this game but at this point I'm quickly losing motivation to finish it."

The Orphan defeats hunters with a varied set of fast-paced moves. All of the individual attacks have specific animation or audio tells that clue players into what's coming, but many of these cues are nearly identical, making the beast's movements hard to predict. Preparing to block one attack and being hit with another inevitably knocks Hunters off their game and sends them back to their last save point. Eventually, with enough leveling up and practice, players can defeat the Orphan, but some might give up before they succeed.


Metroid Dread - Raven Beak

Critics and fans adored "Metroid Dread," the first side-scrolling "Metroid" game in years, but the already-challenging title's final boss fight tests players' resolve to finish it. Raven Beak's moves mirror the abilities Samus earns throughout the narrative, making him a powerful foe, but familiarity doesn't mean that Samus can easily win the encounter.


Raven Beak has three distinct phases, each building upon the last to create an increasingly difficult battle. Some fans reported feeling disheartened after trying and failing to beat the final boss repeatedly, while others argued that the only useful technique against Raven Beak is pattern recognition. Like so many bosses on this list, practicing the fight enables players to memorize each cue the enemy gives before attacking, allowing them to improve their strategy against it.

One person argued that the problem isn't avoiding Raven Beak's attacks, but breaking through his defenses to injure him. Sometimes, taking risks in fights that seem hopeless pays off, and the gamer eventually discovered a way to win. Though defeating Raven Beak may be possible with practice and hard work, giving up is always an option.