Best Boss Battle Theme Contest - Nominations


It’s time to see what sort of tastes in video game music everyone has, so here’s the first (of possibly many) user-built VG Music contests! I’m gonna build a bracket from user nominations and see which song gets voted to the top.

Rules for nominations:

  1. Each nomination must be music from a boss fight. It can be unique to that boss, or standard across several different bosses
  2. Each user gets 5 nominations, with a maximum of 2 nominations from the same game
  3. No remixes, only original versions of the song from the game in question.
  4. Provide the name of the song, game it’s from, and youtube links for each nomination
  5. Bracket size/seeding will be determined by number of nominations
  6. You can change your nominations at any time before they close
  7. If you have any sort of gray-area nominations, ask and we’ll figure out whether or not it’s eligible
  8. Please be careful if you use a SilvaGunner link.

My nominations:

Hoist the Sword with Pride in the Heart (Etrian Odyssey 3):
Boss Fight 1 (Kid Icarus: Uprising):
You Will Know Our Names (Xenoblade Chronicles):
Rockin’ On (Mega Man ZX):
Frontier Brain Battle (Pokemon Platinum/HeartGold/SoulSilver):

I knew most of my nominations would be obscure, but I didn’t realize 4/5s of them would be on DS/3DS


Heh, as I was reading this thread I started humming ASGORE so that, for sure, from Undertale. I love to run to this song.

The Liberation Song, Never to Return, from Pyre

The Final Battle from FTL

King Conga :


Bloodborne- Gehrman, The First Hunter

Shadow of the Colossus- Final Battle

Transistor- Impossible


THIS IS VERY HARD TO DO. I tried to pick tracks that I routinely enjoy outside of the context of the boss fights themselves, which helped narrow down the field a bit. For example, Gwyn’s theme from Dark Souls is an amazing concept and implementation, but lord do I hate how dinky it sounds out of context. Other runners up include most Undertale boss themes, illusionary dance from Castlevania, Marx from Kirby Superstar (my first truly beloved boss theme), Guzma’s theme from Pokemon Sun and Moon… and the 20 others I’ll probably regret forgetting later.

My nominations:

  1. Lady Maria of the Astral Clocktower (Bloodborne): - this track almost perfectly encapsulates my platonic ideal of a Bossfight just in how it’s structured. It helps that the actual fight IS my platonic ideal of a bossfight, and I shudder to think how much more it would have been if they had dynamically implemented this track toward the stages of Maria’s fight…

  2. Possessed by a Disease (NieR: Automata, which really has 5 other amazing boss themes to nominate but this one is my favorite dammit): - Probably not the NieR: Automata track that most deserves the recognition, but it comes on the tail of a crucial moment and FOR SURE is my favorite boss theme on the album to listen to/workout to/think deeply on the nature of humanity to. In-game it has a bit of help from dynamic scoring and plot context, although its implementation is far less memorable than, say, Birth of a Wish.

  3. Never to Return (Pyre - probably the same one Mo nominated): - I still can’t get over how cool the moment in the game when this track plays is. It’s hard to discuss without spoilers, but suffice to say it’s one of the best tracks that Supergiant has ever had and that’s saying A LOT.

  4. The Venerable Ancient Battlefield ~ Suwa Foughten Field (Touhou Mountain of Faith IT IS HARD TO PICK JUST ONE TOUHOU BOSS THEME THOUGH UGH): - picked mostly because it breathes more than a lot of Touhou boss themes and has more gravitas than the rest of the tracks in its game (but other good picks include Solar Sect of Mystic Wisdom, Love-Colored Master Spark, Emotional Skyscraper, etc etc etc)

  5. Unite, Descent (Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles): - I love the Crystal Chronicles OST more than almost any other, and this track is such a great example of why. The only boss tracks with recorders that even come close are from the same soundtrack.

EDIT: if I had actually played Reveangance, Rules of Nature would be my only nomination, probably… also I forgot that the Johto Gym Leader/Elite 4 theme from Pokemon Gold/Silver was my other “first love” boss theme. That track is bangin’


Let’s see
Ys 8 - Crimson Fighter:
Nier - Shadowlord:
Bravely Default - That Person’s Name Is:
Bayonetta - Battle for the Umbran Throne:
Splatoon 2 - Spicy Calamari Inkantation:


Bloodborne - Ludwig the Accursed & The Holy Blade - I would have nominated Lady Maria as that is my favourite song from Bloodborne, but this is no slouch either.

Shadow of the Colossus - A Despair-filled Farewell - Pretty much captures what the fights in Shadow of the Colossus are all about - it’s big, it’s bombastic but there is a sense of tragedy here that you wouldn’t normally associate with a boss fight.

Furi - Make This Right - Even though I am a huge Carpenter Brut fan and his three boss themes in this game are very good, this one still stands above the rest.

Transistor - In Circles - Just a genuinely great song that’s actually probably more enjoyable when listened to outside of the incredibly depressing context the game puts it in.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance - The Stains of Time - If I’m being honest, I would have nominated the entire MGR soundtrack if I could (and all of Bloodborne’s too, for that matter) but this song is in my opinion, the most memorable of all of them - even if that is in part because of the cutscene introducing this boss.


No order because 'tis only a nomination thread

Shadow of the Colossus - Revived Power

This is a bombastic kick of orchestral energy that never grows old. It is just so grandiose and adventurous.

NieR - The Dark Colossus Destroys All -

I like my boss music bombastic, what can I say. This is a swashbuckling, dramatic track, with NieR’s signiature vocals upping the stakes and intensity to the limit. Shadowlord, my runner up, is more emblematic of NieR’s soundtrack as a whole with its bittersweet melancholy and buildup, but The Dark Colossus Destroys all is such a direct dopamine rush of a track that it ultimately edged out.

Persona 5 - Rivers in the Desert

Every lyric is iconic. That chorus is a banger. It’s just got this drive and swagger to it. When this track first played in the game, I turned my speakers up so high my chair vibrated.

Metal Gear Rising Revengance - A stranger I remain

The Metal Gear Rising soundtrack reminds me of my emo phase. Unlike my emo phase, this song is self-aware, cheesy, fun, and fantastic

Okami - The Sun Rises -

Okami is a work of art that represents an awful lot in terms of gaming history - Kamiya at his peak, the swan song of Clover Studios, the moment where games attempting unique visual styles became a subject of praise rather than scorn, and most of all (alongside Persona 3 and 4 and God of War II) the end of the PS2 era. In that sense, this track is the ultimate summation of this game’s triumph - a track so beautiful and perfect it is nigh-on-indescribable.

NOTE: Only 2 links are included because I am a newcomer and there is the link limit. Sorry about that.

  1. The Pokemon Trading Card Game for GBC is a weird little title but it actually has a really fantastic soundtrack, it’s really uptempo and has more of a swing to it that mainline pokemon games. The normal duel theme, for example, is rad, and the Grand Master duels suitably epic. But I have to pick the rival’s theme from that game, its got this great shuffley beat under it

  2. I knew I had to pick a theme from Golden Sun 1/2, but picking which one was hard. In the end I decided for one that’s especially evocative, the ‘boss’ theme from Golden Sun 2. The music in GS1 is generally optimistic in tone, whereas everything in The Lost Age is way more discordant and frantic. You’ve passed a point of no return, and you’re facing these weird primal monstrosities that have been loosed on the world.

  3. The Mini-Boss theme is probably one of the best pieces of music in the whole of Wind Waker. I used to look forward to the mini-boss fight in each dungeon just to hear this track, which does a good job of making a minor fight really epic.

I’ll also second the nominations for Unite, Descent and Impossible!


This is impossible and I am going to irresponsibly spit out the first 5 that tumble out of my brain at 4 AM. I’ll at least have a head start because somebody already caused one to tumble out.

  • Bloodborne - Lady Maria of the Astral Clocktower (
    Yea, it’s good.

  • Ar tonelico 2 - EXEC_SPHILIA/. ( (
    Good song with some pretty rad in game implications; the lyrics are an “improvised” conversation between a character and a “Heart of the Land” (somebody’s consciousness that’s being used to keep a continent floating through the power of song–it’s a whole thing, these games are weird) that she’s trying to win over. Also like the rest of the hymns in the game, the lyrics are written in a (functional) original language that was created for the series.

  • Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra - Hepatica (
    You don’t hear many sad boss themes.

  • NieR: Automata - Weight of the World (
    Wait, I lied, now there are two sad boss themes on my list.
    …Play NieR: Automata.
    …This song should win.

  • Drakengard 3 - The Final Song (
    I’m not gonna say “Play Drakengard 3.” But if you do! this song will never, ever leave your memory–for better or worse. The tempo shifts occur because the song technically has six “singers” in the game. I love this song, but also fuck this song. Here’s the boss for those of you who don’t care about (end game!) spoilers and who want to witness the pain vicariously. If you miss a note you die. This includes the note at 7:15.


Alright, here we go I guess:

We’ll start off with the good old Gym Leader Battle theme from Pokemon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow. Probably my first ever boss theme now that I think about it.

Here we have the Dragon Battle theme from Dragon’s Dogma. When does this one play? You guessed it. It plays when you fight the titular dragon. I just finished this game for the first time and liked it a lot so I wanted to include something from it.

Seeing as it’s my favorite Final Fantasy game, I would by remiss if I didn’t include Battle 2 from FF9, which is just the general boss battle theme for the game.

So, I never actually finished Baten Kaitos, but one thing that stuck with me from the game was the music. So here is Vitriolic a Stroke which is the general boss battle theme for this game as well.

And I guess I’ll give my last nomination to the Rawk Hawk Battle music from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, because that’s some #goodshit even if the loop is a little short.


question on the no remixes rule: would this disqualify a remix of a theme from an earlier game that is the only version that appears in the later game I’m nominating it from?
(IE can I nominate the red/blue champion battle theme from sun/moon)


In-game remixes are ok, as long as it’s from a non-compilation game (IE remixes from Smash Bros, like the Golden Sun one, wouldn’t count).

For another example, the boss fight theme from Crisis Core would be eligible, despite it essentially being a remix of the boss fight theme from FFVII.


Unfortunately, the Turks Theme and Spark Mandrill’s theme aren’t eligible, as they’re not from the boss fights.

  1. I love this boss theme, you can easily recognize Yasunori Mitsuda’s style, especially with the bassline, but it’s quite unique with a calmer feel.
  1. Deep Fear is a terrible game, but it has a soundtrack made by Kenji Kawai that is absolute fire. Worth playing just to listen to it. This one is the final boss theme, but it has everything you could expect to hear from him in one of his movie soundtracks.
  1. I can’t talk about boss theme without mentioning SMT Nocturne. It was Shoji Meguro at his very best, still one of the most unique boss theme ever created.
  1. Yakuza Kenzan’s use of different music genres in a game set in the Edo period is incredible. This boss theme makes everything so much better.
  1. Somewhat in the same style, Kenji Ito managed to put himself as one of the better composers at Square with this piece of music. He’ll always be the man who manages to hold up SaGa games to cult status.


Wow, okay this is tough. I’m sure as soon as I’m done I’ll think of five other songs that should have been on here. Ah well. Here’s five great nominations, at least!

Pokémon Red/Blue - Final Rival Battle
It feels like it would be wrong not to nominate this. It practically single-handedly is my childhood. It’s also just fantastic.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance - It Has To Be This Way
It’s tough to pick between this and Rules of Nature, but RoN might not really qualify as a “Boss fight” depending on how you look at it and also I think this song still edges it out. Someone should also nominate RoN, though.

Dark Souls - Gwyn, Lord of Cinder
A perfect tonal piece. Gwyn is just about the perfect final fight for Dark Souls - emblematic of everything that game represents. This track absolutely nails it, from its beautiful melancholy through to the way you start to hear the cracks towards the end as it struggles to appear glorious. I’ve spent at least as long trying to learn to play this myself as I did fighting him first time.

Undertale - Megalovania
This entire thread could be Undertale nominations, honestly. They’re great standalone, but once you’ve seen them in context you’ll probably never forget them and the connection you have to them. Megalovania is hands-down the dopest of them all and such a good song that it makes up for everything you have to do to get to this point.

Demon’s Souls - Adjudicator
The Soulsborne series is awash with incredible music, but I hold a special place in my heart for the bizarre, discordant orchestration of Demon’s Souls. There’s really not a whole lot quite like it, and Adjudicator is probably the track that stands out to me the most. Just go listen to it, because there’s not a great way to explain why it works.

As expected, I ran out of space faaaaaaar too soon. But I feel pretty good about all of these nominations, and I don’t think any of them have come up yet. I’m sad I didn’t get Bloodborne in, or Mega Man II, or Destiny, or Yakuza 0, or Splatoon, or Dark Souls III, or… you get the picture.


Cracks knuckles All right here we go

Nier: Automata - Weight of the World
Just utterly beautiful is all I can say. I always have to skip this song while I’m on my commute or else I’m going to ball my eyes out in the middle of the street.

Undertale - Megalovania
So originally I was going to put the Earthbound version but have come to learn in my quick research to see which version was the best that that one is from a hack so I imagine it does not count even though I think it’s better. Regardless this song is quite good.

Ace Combat Zero - Zero
I never played this game but have loved this song ever since I heard it. The mix of Ace Combat techno & orchestral accompanied by flamenco music is just choice.

Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War - The Unsung War
This song basically is the perfect sendoff for the game as it is basically the game saying “this is it” while simultaneously conveying the overall theme of demons becoming saviors that the game had been pushing. In the end it’s just you, your three companions you have been with basically the entire time with & a monster of a machine that is so powerful it doesn’t even try to defend itself against you. You are just a fly to human on a suicide mission & the song portrays that in spades.

.Hotline Miami - Turf
In a game with great music this one just makes my insides feel like they are going to jump out of me. The song is able to put me in the mind set of having a panic attack without actually creating one. This might not make any sense but there is an intensity to it that resides deep inside that doesn’t really go away at the end of the song but there is still a sort of release that at least alleviates it, kind of like a pressure cooker & I find that really comforting in a way.

Honorable mention:
Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies - Megalith Agnus Dei
This was probably the first time a song in a game made me feel something about a boss encounter. The music makes the entire sequence feel a tier above the rest of the game, taking a boss battle against an immovable object feel much more grandiose due to the fact that you the player have risen to the top & basically are now leading a brand new squadron named after you into battle against a massive uncaring & destructive beast, protected by an equally vicious squadron of fighters.



Champion Red & Blue Battle Music - Pokémon Sun/Moon. I know at least some of this is two decades of nostalgia and it’s not 100% on the music’s pure merit, but, whatever, it’s still good, in my opinion.

Steinway to Heaven (Frankensteinway’s battle music), and Vamplified (The Conductor’s battle music) - Crypt of the Necrodancer. Honestly all the boss music in this game is incredible but the DLC stuff is my favourite.

Death by Glamour (Mettaton EX’s battle music) - Undertale. Sorry, sorry, I know you probably don’t want Every Boss Theme From Undertale but listen: they’re all really good. (It’s a shame Song That Might Play When You Fight Sans isn’t actually in the game because it’s a banger.)

The Clash of Light and Shadow (Dark Gaia’s battle music) - Illusion of Gaia/Time. Eh you know this is like 90% because I just recently replayed this game but what the heck.


The Azure Arbitrator, the final boss theme from Ao no Kiseki/Trails of Azure. In a lot of ways, it’s my personal ideal of a final boss theme (rock arrangement with orchestral vocals and a synth organ in the mix is always my jam).


I’m blanking on themes right now so I’m just gonna submit the Great Mighty Poo boss music five times.

Conker’s Bad Fur Day - Great Mighty Poo
Conker’s Bad Fur Day - Great Mighty Poo
Conker’s Bad Fur Day - Great Mighty Poo
Conker’s Bad Fur Day - Great Mighty Poo
Conker’s Bad Fur Day - Great Mighty Poo

EDIT: okay but really:
Nier; Automata - This Cannot Continue
Conker’s Bad Fur Day - Great Mighty Poo (all joking aside I really do love this)
REZ Area 4 Boss
MGS2: The Music For Like Every Boss
Guitar Hero II - Freebird (does this count? I say it counts. Nothing to me felt more like a final boss than this piece of garbage song that I normally hate. But beating it on expert was so immensely satisfying that I can’t help but have a soft spot for it).


Final Fantasy VII: J-E-N-O-V-A

Dark Souls: Moonlight Butterfly/Dark Sun Gwyndolin

Chrono Trigger: Magus

Final Fantasy Adventure: Final Battle

Persona 4: I’ll Face Myself