When the Last Boss Prevents You From Beating the Effin' Game


In yesterday’s Open Thread, Austin talked about the number of games—good games!—he’s bounced off in 2017, often because there wasn’t time to finish them. While it’s true I’ve been forced to put down games I was enjoying (hello, Persona 5), I’m pretty strict about finishing what I’ve started. It’s a habit. It’s why I, despite reservations, I saw South Park: The Fractured But Whole all the way to the end. It helped The Fractured But Whole was pretty easy, of course; it’s easy to imagine I’d have walked away if the difficulty suddenly ramped up. Right now, sadly, I’m running into a situation with a game I love.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/vb3x48/when-the-last-boss-prevents-you-from-beating-the-effin-game


I had the exact same issue with Golf Story. Ended up with low flight wedge and used that to chip in wherever possible as it negates the find pretty much (and the putting greens are super hard on the final course). The ramp up really came out of nowhere and it was in danger of tainting my experience with it. Thankfully I did it the day before Odyssey came out with three chip-ins.

I did try to complete any game I start in the past but this year i have found games really quite tricky for me. Whole bunch I quit out on. Setsuna was another where I found the end boss tough going but got there in the end.


I ran into this problem with Final Fantasy III. Not Final Fantasy VI (III SNES-US), but Final Fantasy III (FC/DS/PC) - specifically the DS version. The game doesn’t give you an opportunity to save once you hit the final dungeon, which means that if you slog through the last dungeon, hit the final boss, and discover that you need to grind some more to build up your resources, the process becomes much more tedious than if you were to (say) have a save point in front of the final boss, so you could go and grind and then come back to that save point, use a tent (or similar item), and then go into the boss from that point.

In particular, that last dungeon has several major sub-boss fights, a boss rush, and several involved cutscenes. Now, the game restores your health and magic after each of those mini-boss fights, which actually makes things kind of worse - because the logical thing to do would be to provide an opportunity to either save before, or after each of those sub-boss fights, but the game doesn’t.

Ultimately, since I completed everything else in the game up to that last boss fight, and I had gotten to the bosses’s final form, I decided to watch the game’s ending cutscene on YouTube, and mark the game up in the “beaten” column anyway.


I was really interested in picking up Golf Story once I got done with Mario Odyssey and Wolfenstein II, but hearing about this difficulty spike near the end has all but extinguished any desire to play it. I mean, logically it shouldn’t matter, as 20 hours (by Patrick’s estimation) of really good gameplay for $20 is a great deal no matter how you slice it. But knowing that I’ll be smashing my head against the wall in order to complete the game is something that will vex my completionist tendency to no end. Oh well, I guess I’ll spend my money elsewhere.


I never beat Dragon Age: Origins because I could never beat the stupid dragon. I must have specced my team wrong because after a dozen attempts I never got more than 2/3 down. My options were either give up or revert to an older save hours earlier and grind experience.


Not the final boss but the secret boss. I was on my way to the Platinum Trophy on Nier: Automata but I just can’t beat Emil (first form). His AoE attack is an instakill for me even if I buff all the defense and HP chips possible.

I was only missing three trophies: Defeat Emil, All weapons maxed (he drops the final one) and getting all the endings (Only missing the last one I get losing to Emil second form).

It’s frustrating but, what you gonna do?


i was coming into this thread to say this exact thing, haha. i beat 99% of the game with no healer in my party because i didn’t need one, and then the last boss was impossible to beat without a healer so i just quit playing.

i don’t feel bad about it, it’s obnoxious design though.


metal gear rising… just scraped/stumbled through the last boss’ first phase first time & used all my healing up. checkpointed at the start of the second phase with nothing & gave up in the end. not the best of times, my friends. but actually, with time, i don’t think it’s really had any impact on how i feel about the game. so that’s nice. you know, you can just think about jetstream sam any time you like.


I found the last boss of MGR similarly frustrating, but managed to scrape through. The final-boss quit that stands out in my mind was when the original God of War just locked up on me during the last phase of the fight. I’d kind of stopped enjoying the game by that point, so I just sighed and walked away.


A pain in the ass final boss that makes you want to quit? Let me tell you about Drakengard 3…


I haven’t finished Fire Emblem Echoes Shadows of Valentia because… the final fight kind of sucks…
This one guy, is completely immune, except for every fifth attack?, and is really strong, and can counterattack at any range, and he’s not even the MAIN boss here?
And I used up all but one of my turnwheels getting here, and some of Celica’s army haven’t classed up and I probably have messed up and should have prepared better but if I do have a previous save it’s from like the start of this entire huge dungeon and I…

(Edit to add: tangentially related to Dragon Age Origins, the only reason I forgave Anders at the end of DA2 is because I entirely relied on his healing and didn’t fancy my chances doing the final fights without it.)


There’s that moment in Golf Story, where you have a final match against your love interest/nemesis, who up until now has been a terrible to middling golfer, and she gets a hole in one in the first hole! Plunk! Talk about a psyche out. I had the most trouble with that course, I think. Her mind games, those pumpkins that bounce you around like pinball bumpers, and the wind factor.
One general tip: try and chip the ball in instead of putting, always. The putting is pretty terrible unless you are right next to the hole.


Like most people (according to the analytics I’ve read) I don’t finish most of the games I start, but it’s much more often because I feel like I’ve got a good idea what the rest of the game is going to be like and would rather try something new.

The game that most recently stopped me with its difficulty while I still wanted to see where the story and mechanics would go was Brutal Legend. I obviously came to it very late so there’s a bunch of walk throughs out there to help. The second last fight still ground my enthusiasm out after the fifth time the enemy turned it around moments before I was about to win. I think Patrick’s complaints about not being able to practice specific parts of the challenge without having to repeat the parts you got basically right over and over is spot on. It’s one of the best ways to make a grueling experience. Still, a lot of people seem to enjoy Soulslike boss runs so it’s obviously not something games should never do.

I’m still thinking of giving Golf Story a shot (pun intended), but I’m glad to have the forewarning that there’s a good chance I won’t be able to finish.


The second I saw this headline, my immediate thought was FTL.

I love 95% of FTL so much, but that final boss is awful. To this day, I’ve never beaten it even on easy and I feel like my inability to make so much as a dent in it is the main reason why I bounced off that game.


This was me with Mother 3 for a few months. The last chapter is very extensive with few opportunities to save and I petered out towards the end. I did go back and finish at the encouragement of a friend but definitely the last bit is not friendly.


I think that’s actually the closest I’ve come to this topic being applicable to me. I had to cheat that fight in order to finish the D path.


It took me 2 days and many quiet reminders to my wife that when I yell “come on” or “you gotta be kidding me” I am referring to the game.


Not the last boss, but Ornstein & Smaugh ended my Dark Souls journey for me.

There’s only so many times I’m willing to re-play the same section before I turn to other games.


For some reason, the first game that came to mind was American McGee’s Alice. It wasn’t the last boss but I remember being unable to beat the 2nd Jabberwock fight - he fills the platform you fight him on with fire and I never figured out the trick to it. I probably haven’t thought about that game since then so it’s weird that it sprung to mind.

Another game I got pretty far into, then got stuck on a boss, was Axiom Verge. There’s a big bug that shoots smaller bugs at you and while that’s where I gave up, I don’t think it was the boss that defeated me. It was the incessant beeping of the “you’re low on health” sound. It became so infuriating that I had to shut the game off, and that was that!


I also tend to try and finish games, but 100% same boat on Dark Souls. I also dropped Divinity: Original Sin at Bracchus Rex.