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

Video Game Bosses You Can Destroy With Just One Hit

Some people play video games for the stories. Some like challenges. Others enjoy solving puzzles, or exploring new and strange worlds, or using games to pass the time while chatting with friends.

And then there's the group who picks up the controller so that they can feel like unmitigated badasses with the power to destroy anything and everything they come across. For those gamers, the following bosses should be a treat. They're not hard, or interesting, or—in some cases—even that fun. It doesn't matter. There's no better way to feel powerful than taking down some of the biggest, baddest enemies gaming has to offer with one blow—but don't take our word for it. Go on and see for yourself.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - Nightmare

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening was the first Zelda game released after the Super Nintendo's series-defining entry A Link to the Past. Despite the Game Boy's limited computing power and tiny monochrome screen, Link's Awakening sent players on an adventure every bit as epic and compelling as its 16-bit big brother, delivering thrills from the moment Link washed up on the shore of Koholint Island and progressing all the way to his showdown against Nightmare in the Wind Fish's egg.

Nightmare is no pushover, either. Before facing off against Nightmare's true form, Link must battle reincarnated versions of every boss he's faced so far. Once they're defeated—again—Link fights DethI, an ominous blob with two huge muscular arms and a single eye. Players who manage to make it that far must blast Dethl in the eye with 16 arrows, all while dodging Dethl's swinging strikes.

Unless you have the boomerang, of course. Before tackling the final dungeon, Link can trade one of his items—like, say, his shovel—for the boomerang (don't worry, you get it back if you need it by by talking to the Secret Goriya again), which transforms Dethl from a bad dream into a total joke. One strike to the eye with the boomerang, and Dethl goes down, bringing Link's journey to an abrupt end.

Mega Man 2 - Metal Man

Poor Metal Man. According to Mega Man canon, Metal Man is the very first Robot Master that the villainous Dr. Wiley built, and it's clear he hadn't yet worked out all the kinks. See, while all of Mega Man 2's robot masters have specific weaknesses, Metal Man is the only one dumb enough to carry around his own instrument of destruction.

While you can play through Mega Man 2's levels in any order, you rarely want to. See, Mega Man revolves around a very simple gameplay loop: battle your way through a fortress, fight a robot, loot his (or her) metal corpse, and then use what you find against the next boss in the rotation. Most bosses are weak against one of their peers' weapons, and adding to your arsenal in the right order is key if you want to survive Mega Man 2's brutal boss battles.

But Metal Man's weakness is his own weapon, the Metal Blade, which cuts him to shreds with a single hit (maybe two, if you're unlucky). On one hand, that means that you can't exploit Metal Man's biggest weakness until you face him for a second time (although Quick Man's Quick Boomerang can give you a leg up if you need it). On the other, it means that Metal Man gives Mega Man exactly what he needs to end the Robot Master once and for all. Either Metal Man has a deathwish, or he's as dumb as a sack of rocks. We're guessing the latter.

Final Fantasy VI - The Phantom Train

The Phantom Train is one of the weirdest, most memorable sections of a very weird and memorable game. During a trek through the Phantom Forest, rebel sympathizers Sabin, Shadow, and Cyan stumble across the spectral locomotive and climb on board, only to learn that the vehicle is on a one-way trip to the afterlife.

That's not good for our heroes, who would very much like to stay alive. As such, they must battle from the caboose all the way to the engine. Along the way, the party fights angry spirits and a train robber named Siegfried, teams up with unnamed ghosts who end up being used as cannon fodder, and stop for a seemingly harmless meal in the dining car ('cause hey, even the dead gotta eat).

Reaching the front of the train isn't the end of the journey, however. When Sabin and his team try to shut the train down, they learn that the locomotive is alive, and it'd rather put up a fight than stop moving. This leads to one of the most ludicrous and amazing boss fights in Final Fantasy history, culminating—if you play your cards right—with Sabin suplexing a moving train.

Or you can take the easy way out. In the world of Final Fantasy, life-giving items and spells work in reverse on undead creatures, so dropping a Phoenix Down—which usually revives dead party members—on the Phantom Train will knock it out instantly. Sure, it's a faster way to win, but it's ultimately also a lot less fun.

Fable II - Lucien

Fable II's final boss, Lucien, is one bad dude. In order to revive his dead wife and daughter, the aristocrat decides to rebuild the Tattered Sprie, which will give him the power to destroy and recreate the world as he sees fit. When Lucien decides paying skilled workers is too expensive, he starts kidnapping villagers and forcing them to work as slaves. He kills the player's sister (and shoots the player's character, too) when she was just a child. He shocks his guards to keep them obedient. Near the end of the game, he tracks down and murders all of the player characters' spouses and children (and, in Fable II, that can be quite a few people). He shoots your damn dog.

In short, Fable II does a really, really good job of making you want to beat Lucien to a pulp and make him suffer for his misdeeds. You won't get to. During Fable II's final scene, Lucien embarks on a lengthy monologue (we're not sure exactly what he's talking about, because we were too blinded by rage to pay much attention). As he talks, you can stab him. Or shoot him. Or hit him with magic. It doesn't matter—no matter what you do, Lucien dies with a single hit. It saves the world, but it's also incredibly unsatisfying.

Still, if you're not careful, it can be even worse. If you wait too long while Lucien prattles on, one of the Fable II's side characters, Reaver, regains consciousness and shoots him for you. Oh, sure, that shuts Lucien up, but it also robs the player of his or her long-awaited revenge—which is an absolutely maddening way to end a long and arduous quest.

Fallout 3 - President John Henry Eden

Sometimes, words can be weapons too. In Fallout 3, the Enclave—the twisted remains of the former United States government—is ruled by President John Henry Eden. Throughout the game, the President gives inspirational speeches over the radio, championing the Enclave's superiority and railing against enemy factions like the Brotherhood of Steel, or the infected and mutated remnants of humanity who roam across Fallout 3's irradiated wasteland.

But there's a catch: after the player's character, known as the Lone Wanderer, winds up in Raven Rock, Eden's home base, he or she learns that the President isn't a person at all, but is instead an artificial intelligence built out of fragments of past Presidents' personalities. That's pretty weird, but it does give the Lone Wanderer an easy way to stop Eden's reign of terror. You can choose to help the Enclave further its xenophobic goals by poisoning any wasteland native, of course, but if you choose to fight back, you can beat Eden with a single button press.

When Eden leaves you free to take the poison, you can walk up to the console and restart the conversation. At that point, if you have Science rating over 60—which is not very high—you can convince Eden that he's a logical fallacy. That sparks a conversation tree in which Eden talks himself into suicide (in order to keep the scene going, you have to press a button to continue, but at that point the damage is done), and he'll destroy both himself and the Raven Rock facility, proving that a single verbal shot can be just as effective as a bullet to the head.

Punch Out!! - Glass Joe

Punch Out!! has a roster full of strong, tricky fighters. Glass Joe is not one of them. When Punch Out!! made its arcade debut, Glass Joe was literally designed to make Nintendo as much money as possible—while later fighters require players to carefully observe patterns and execute strikes with pitch-perfect timing, Glass Joe was just there to give players a quick ego boost and a false sense of promise, encouraging them to pump more quarters into the machine. Defeating Glass Joe is as easy as mashing the punch button. Unless you're incredibly unlucky, you'll beat him in no time.

But don't give yourself carpal tunnel syndrome trying to beat ol' Joe. He's not worth it. While flailing away on the world's worst boxer will earn more points, all you need to do to get a quick KO is wait for Joe to start his patented Taunt Punch, and counter before he connects. It won't matter how much energy Joe has. One blow, and the fight is over.

Titan Souls - Every boss

In Titan Souls, one-hit kills aren't just a cool bonus, they're the entire fight. If you can't tell from the name, Titan Souls takes a lot of inspiration from both Shadow of Colossus and Dark Souls. Like Shadow of the Colossus, Titan Souls is a series of one-on-one boss fights, in which the player must defeat massive foes by finding weak points and exploiting them. Like Dark Souls, Titan Souls' combat requires fast reflexes and unforgiving precision: one hit from an enemy, and you're dead.

Thankfully, that's true the other way around, too. Titan Souls' challenging bosses don't have any health, and a single strike from your bow and arrow will put them in the ground. Figuring out how to deliver that fatal blow, however, isn't easy, and that's where the game's real challenge comes from. First, you'll need to observe the enemy, committing its attack patterns to memory and figuring out how to expose its weak spot (for example, one early boss is trapped in ice, which you need to melt before you can strike). Next, you have to charge your bow, and finally, you'll need to have perfect timing and aim. In Titan Souls, you only have one arrow, and if you miss you'll need to retrieve it, leaving you vulnerable to incoming attacks.

Dark Souls 3 - Pontiff Sulyvahn

For most of us, Dark Souls is tough. For some of you, it's not. You don't have to go out of your way to beat the game blindfolded, or with a plastic guitar, or a dance pad. You're better players than the rest of us, and therefore a superior person. Enough. We get it.

And yet, there's still something mesmerizing about watching a player walk up to Pontiff Sulyvahn, arguably the most difficult boss in Dark Souls 3, and decimate him with one hit. No second phase. No phantom sidekicks. One strike, and it's over.

Oh, and did we mention that the player, who uses the YouTube handle neptunusequester, pulls off the feat practically naked, with only a pair of trousers and a tiny shield (and a giant cleaver) to protect himself? And that he made sure he had only a small sliver of health left, making sure there wasn't any room for error? Because he did, just to rub it in.

Of course, the one-hit KO isn't something you'll be able to pull off on your first try. While neptunusequester doesn't provide details, he's very likely used special items to buff his stats, and the leading theory is that he's playing on a New Game Plus round, which means he's already leveled up his character quite a bit, and earned a number of items that help him dominate the poor Pontiff.

Still, though. One hit. One hit.

The Incredible Hulk - The Leader

There are many, many good reasons why you wouldn't want to get in a fistfight with the Hulk, but after spending an entire game siccing villains on the Green Goliath, you'd think the Leader would try. At the very least, one would expect the villain to defend himself, or do something other than stand there and look pretty (if, y'know, green dudes with giant foreheads are your thing).

He doesn't. After battling through seven levels of gamma-irradiated platforming action and conquering longtime foes like the Abomination, Rhino, the Absorbing Man, and Tyrannus, the Hulk finally tracks down the Leader, who stands perfectly still, mocking the Hulk with his hands on his hips. And that is, quite literally, all that the Leader does. While there's a pill lying nearby that'll boost the Hulk's strength and restore some of his life, he doesn't need it. He just walks up to the super villain, smacks him, and knocks the Leader off of a cliff. Roll credits.

In a way, it makes sense. After all, the Hulk is the strongest one there is, and nobody should be able to beat him in a one-on-one fight. But in The Incredible Hulk, you can transform into Bruce Banner any time you want as long as you've got a "tranquility pill" handy, and guess what? Puny Banner is just as good at defeating the Leader as his angry alter-ego. A single blast from Bruce's laser gun has the same effect as the Hulk's uppercut, resulting in a hilariously anticlimactic ending to an otherwise fun game.

Metroid Prime 3 - The Metroid Hatcher

Most Metroid games follow the same basic structure: Samus starts the game as a power-suited weakling, and by exploring and defeating enemies, slowly accumulates the gear she needs to transform into an unstoppable badass—and to progress to more difficult sections of the game.

Given that most video games are power fantasies anyway, the Metroid formula is a great way to make players feel like they're getting stronger and stronger while introducing new challenges and keeping the game fresh and exciting. It's hard to balance, however, and sometimes, Samus ends up getting a little bit too powerful. For example, in Metroid Prime 3, Nintendo's favorite bounty hunter must face off against three Metroid Hatcher bosses, which are scattered throughout the game. The first time the player faces one, it's a challenge: the Metroid Hatcher is protected by a hard shell, and defeating it takes a number of steps.

First, Samus needs to shoot the Hatcher's unshielded tentacles, which will eventually withdraw into the shell. At that point, the Hatcher retaliates by opening its mouth and spawning some life-sucking Metroids. If Samus hits the Hatcher in the mouth before the Metroids spew forth, the Hatcher will be stunned, and Samus can rip its tentacles off with her Grapple Beam.

That's a lot of work. Thankfully, there's an easier way. Eventually Samus gets an X-Ray visor that lets her see through some objects, and a Nova Beam, which penetrates the Hatcher's shell. With that combo, Samus can target the Metroid Hatcher's heart and blow it apart instantly. No muss, no fuss, and only a few minutes wasted. What can we say? Samus is a pro.