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Final Bosses, How Different Should They Be?

Final bosses sharing the same traits as bosses throughout the game in question is a done thing, especially in Zelda, but does Zelda have the opportunity above other games to make its final bosses something wholly different?

Zelda has a lot of well known items in its inventory and most of them make appearances with each installment giving Link a heavy arsenal in which to deal out justice, yet it mainly comes down to the sword (and if you're TP, then a horse too). So, with the amount of weapons and tactics open to Link, should Zelda's future final bosses work harder to be something entirely different?
Twilight Princess was a little different to most in that we had a horseback battle which was a new thing for a final boss in the franchise but there is a lot of room to do so much more.

So, you can come at this thread form two ways; either discuss your reasons for an against a boss being a wholly different affair from the other bosses throughout the game and what that would mean overall, and or you could describe how you'd make it different.

Would you give the final boss a lot of weapons to throw at you or have it change your physical status while fighting?
Perhaps you could chase around the map if it had the power to warp?
Would it have control over the scenery? for example taking you to Dearth Mountain and blowing the volcano (provided another boss hadn't done that already)

So... have fun. Should final bosses be something wholly different?


Mad haters lmao
May 26, 2010
Hylian Champion
I would have final bosses simply be ultimate challenges compared to the regular bosses. These last, arduous challenges that bar you from the lovely credits theme of whatever respective game should have at the very least ten different attacks to throw at you, and it absolutely must be a combination of CQC and ranged attacks.

It should fight you with relentless strength. Manipulating the terrain to go against you is imperative; I don't want a final boss that is a joke to fight (Ganon, Demise I'm looking at both of you!). And what's more is that they should have attacks and/or patterns that are completely new to the player, they shouldn't be attacking with the same basic patterns that bosses and even field enemies before them have.

I'd also like for bosses to reconfigure your physical offense, elemental offense and defenses so it can deal stronger damage overtime and all that. It should have a ton of status effects to apply to you! :P


Jan 10, 2011
On the midnight Spirit Train going anywhere
The last five Zelda games have all had fantastic final bosses that require quick thought and precise timing in order to not take damage. But they've all been pretty straightforward. They have different phases, obviously, so it's not like there's no diversity (especially in Spirit Tracks and Skyward Sword), but there are very few ways to go about conquering each phase.

I guess I can understand this for sequences like the Demon Train and Horde Battle, but, at the very least, the last phase should feature a healthy amount of variety. Majora's Wrath executed this very well, even though there could have been a little more. I don't mind the one-on-one sword battles like Ganondorf and Demise from the two latest 3D titles, especially since they're both incredible fights, but the sword shouldn't sole way for them to be defeated. (Using the Fishing Rod and Bug Net do not count.)

In short, give us more freedom of choice.


Darkest of all Dark Links
Oct 28, 2012
Ehhh I'm fine with the route Nintendo has so far...which is basically an easy final boss and mainquest for the casuals who want to beat the game, but a harder optional challenge elsewhere for the hardcore fans like Lightning Round and Cave of Ordeals.
Aug 25, 2012
Indiana, USA
I believe a few things are needed for an ideal final boss:

#1: Length. Demise and The Wind Waker's Ganondorf were very appealing to me because of how aggressive and challenging they generally were. The one thing that really kept either of them from being one of the greatest challenges in the game was how quickly you could dispose of them. When I've built up my feelings of vengeance and justice throughout the whole game, I want time to let them loose in the final battle. I saw one guy on YouTube beat Demise in about thirty seconds. Even for a speed runner, final bosses should not allow that.
#2: Variation. Length is good, but it can still annoy me when the fight is too long and doesn't vary. It's something I have against a lot of JRPGs; the boss has eight million trillion zillion points of health, and nothing about the fight changes to make things more interesting. Then if you die, you have to spend another thirty minutes to an hour fighting this behemoth. (Xenoblade Chronicles, I'm looking at you.) Twilight Princess was indeed a step in the right direction with how there were basically four different fights to Ganondorf, although those individual clashes were probably too short and easy in and of themselves. In summary, a final boss should include frequent variation in addition to decent length to keep players interested and capitalize on their adrenaline.
#3: Challenge. This one should be obvious. If a final boss is not difficult, it is a major letdown. Of course, there's a difference between sheer difficulty (or what I call "artificial difficulty") and actual challenge. "Challenge" puts players to the test in many varied areas of the game, making them use all their skills and experiences to succeed. The mindset should be "How can we make players use all their skills and assets to the fullest?", not "How can we make this as hard as possible?"

This is more the "ideal" final boss, not a "different" final boss, but I feel Zelda hasn't really done a lot with these three categories in recent memory. Actually, one Zelda final boss that fits all three categories is DethI, the final hurdle of Link's Awakening. The only real gripe I have with DethI is that you need at least one of the two completely optional weapons in the game to beat him, weapons the game never bothers to tell you you'll need. Aside from that, he was long, he was varied, and he put just about all the player's skills to the test. We need another final boss like that, something that forces you to move quickly, think on your feet, and stay active, not hang around and wait for the obligatory tennis match or button prompt.


Nov 21, 2012
I like big monsters with many phases to fight them in like for example ganondorf in OoT or Majora in MM. they both have different sections of fight and it feel ike many fights in one :)


Apr 22, 2011
I'm with Scoby here, except I'd implement such mechanics for every boss in the game while making the final boss just longer with even more phases and multiple outcomes of the fight.

Not Take Mirror

Sage of Ice
Dec 8, 2012
Minneapolis, MN
I like bosses that are more than just a swordfight. Different is good. Preferably different phases of the battle with each phase being distinctly different. Something like what TP did.


Keep it strong
Mar 17, 2012
Liverpool, England
The final boss should make you use all the skills, abilities and weapons you have acquired over your journey. It should be a test, in a sense. The game spent hours teaching you a range of actions and techniques and the final boss should make you use them all (or, at least, most of them) to see how much you have mastered the game. Twilight Princess's final boss was more about reactions, I felt, and Skyward Sword's was just about using the Skyward Strike. These, and most other final boss fights in Zelda, didn't challenge me in the way I hoped they would.

While the idea of 'duels' at the end of the game is an interesting and dramatic one, it can often lead to a lacklustre final confrontation and make it seem as if the game's final obstacle is a bit too easy to overcome. The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword all tested our sword skills and nothing more. They were over all too quickly as well. A final boss fight should wear you out, it should exhaust you in some way. I don't mean that one fight should be, like, three hours long, I mean you should be kept on your toes at every moment, constantly having to dodge attacks, plan strategies and fight. A final boss should not let up for anything and it should up to the player to make openings for attack and exploiting weaknesses, not having them painted orange and lit up like Blackpool Illuminations for us.

I guess what I'm saying boils down to this: a final boss should be a relentless force that makes you adapt and use every skill and item you have available. They shouldn't be simple yet dramatic duels because they lack the challenge a final boss should present. So yes, final bosses should be different to other bosses in a game and to what they have been like in recent years.


Jul 1, 2012
I have posted about this before so I'll just copy and paste it...

' Considering most Boss fights occur at the end of that specific dungeon, I think that it's supposed to be the ultimate final test, as the boss will symbolise the theme of the dungeon whether it be a water temple, fire temple Ect. Also you will use the dungeon item to defeated the boss. This gives us a pretty good idea on how the boss fight will go, for me this defeats the objective of a good boss fight as the whole figuring out that to do is gone as you know that the dungeon item will prob be the main point of attack.

Skyward Sword went in the right direction as The boss fights were very diverse and not all boss fights required the sole use of the dungeon item.....For me the fun in boss fights is thinking how the hell do I defeate this giant beast, so one point I think is that bosses should be more like puzzles and there should definitely be more strategy involved. Another point would be that boss fights usually require little skill, it's most of the time find out what to do and repeat, to counter this I think that there should be multiple ways to hurt the boss, my last point would be to make boss fights less one dimensional and give the boss more attacks and variety of movement patterns in order to confuse the player.

Overall I think that Zelda's weak point is boss fights so there are multiple improvements to be made. SS was a step inthe right direction so I hope the next installment will improve on this:)'

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