×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Video game bosses that never saw the light of day

A lot can change during the course of a game's development. Levels can be designed and then dropped or modified. Sometimes a character's abilities can be tweaked during production to add or reduce challenge. There have even been cases where entire storylines have been scrapped to focus on strengthening another aspect of the game.

Another common sacrifice made during development is the removal of certain characters from games. This can be done in an effort to save time or as a way of changing the game's storyline. Some games have particularly long development cycles, so the creators are constantly experimenting and finding new angles for their product as they go along.

With that in mind, it should be no surprise that there have been quite a few boss characters cut from games over the years. Let's take a look at some of these forgotten baddies and wonder about what might have been. One thing is for sure, the world of gaming feels an awful lot safer without them in it.

Loran Cleric - Bloodborne

In today's most recent example, we have a boss that was found thanks to some curious modders. 

Fans of third-person action-horror title Bloodborne are no doubt familiar with the Loran Clerics. These mages with the ability to cast fire-based spells are some of the toughest enemy encounters in the game. However, a video posted to YouTube from a hacker called Foxy Hooligans shows that there was originally an even tougher version of the Loran Cleric in the game.

By rooting around in Bloodborne's code, Foxy Hooligans was able to challenge this powered-up boss version of the Cleric. Although the character's animations aren't complete — it stays put in one spot while the player runs around it — its offensive abilities are much stronger and more aggressive. The creature lobs fire attacks with a huge blast radius left and right. It's clear that this particular fight would have been quite a challenge, even by Bloodborne standards.

Why this version of the Loran Cleric was cut from the final game is unclear. One thing is for certain, though: Bloodborne players weren't left wanting for challenges in the version they got.

Meta-Kraid - Metroid Prime

Poor Samus Aran can't seem to catch a break. Not only does she constantly have to save the galaxy from Space Pirates and life-draining parasites, but her greatest enemies have a nasty habit of coming back from the dead. 

Metroid Prime already sees Samus going up against a reborn version of her arch-nemesis Ridley. However, we nearly got to see another old foe of hers, Kraid, make a return in a new form. This was just one of many elements dropped from the final game.

Dubbed "Meta-Kraid" by fans, this version of the monsters appeared rather similar to his gargantuan Super Metroid appearance. He would have taken up an entire stage and would have worn a fancy new metallic helmet. Not much is known about when or where the battle would have fit into the game's story. All that we know is the battle itself would have involved Samus blowing up sections of the ceiling to land on Kraid's head and damage him, making it a more strategic fight than usual.

It would be great to see a spin on this battle pop up in Metroid Prime 4, whenever that finally arrives.

Undead King Ja-Yearl/Jar-Eel

Dark Souls is a game that's already rife with intimidating enemies and boss battles. However, we nearly got another baddie to add to that list. Alternatively referred to as Undead King Jar-Eel or Ja-Yearl by fans, this is another incomplete boss who was found lurking deep within the game's files.

Thanks to some hackers who found his character model, we know that it was possible at some point in development to obtain the villain's armor. Interestingly, the developers gave the Undead King a moveset similar to Old King Allant, a boss from Demon's Souls. Whether this implies a connection between the two characters or if the moveset was a placeholder is unclear. 

What we do know is that ol' Ja-Yearl would have meant business. He carries a curved sword that would have made his rapid attacks harder to dodge. He cannot be challenged by normal means, but it is possible to mod the game in order to battle him for yourself. In this case, Ja-Yearl would take the place of one of the game's other bosses. Now all you have to decide is whether or not you want to let this beast lie dormant.