Video games have changed dramatically since their arcade inception, yet, some things remain the same. Boss fights, for example, are always expected to be at the end of a level. Sure, not every boss fight will have you swinging your sword until the big baddie is no more, but boss fights essentially share the same purpose: putting your skills to the test.
With this being video games, nothing is ever at it seems. It may turn out that super-duper hard boss you've died million times on could have been easily killed if you only attacked him here or used that gimmicky weapon hidden in plain sight. Perhaps that boss fight could be skipped entirely, if you only did this, instead of that. Or maybe you never knew this boss fight existed until you did some backreading of Nintendo Power.
Boss fights provide the perfect opportunity for game developers to sneak in some brilliant easter eggs for gamers to go hunting for. In the past, we highlighted 15 secrets in video games that developers never wanted us to find, but in this installment, we'll be talking about all the boss-themed related secrets lurking in video games new and old. Some of these secrets include hidden death animation, new cutscenes, fourth-wall breaking dialogue, and a giant space slot machine. Of course, there will be ways to skip those difficult boss fights that haunt your dreams at night.
Without further ado, here are 15 Video Game Boss Secrets You Never Knew.
15 Dark Souls 2: Sir Alonne Commits Seppuku
We’ve all died once, twice, five times during a Dark Souls boss fight. There’s no shame in that. Even the most iron-willed of gamers have had their spirits broken by the series’ intimidating and unforgiving bosses. And yet, we keep playing, because of immense satisfaction received when achieving victory by the skin of our teeth. Not to mention the engaging combat and creepy scenery these games provide.
For Sir Alonne, the boss from Dark Souls 2’s Crown of the Old Iron King DLC, defeat is not something he can forgive. To say he’s a sore loser would be an understatement, as Sir Alonne will plunge his sword straight into his iron-clad chest, if you shame him in battle by retaining 100% health. Defeating Sir Alonne without taking damage will trigger a special death animation of the Eastern warrior committing seppuku - the suicidal act performed by samurais as a way of restoring honor to their name.
Poor Sir Alonne. He just couldn’t live with the thought of being a Dark Souls boss that had his ass easily handed to him.
14 Metal Gear Solid 3: The End Dies From Old Age
Out of all the boss fights in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, The End may be the game’s most memorable battle. To defeat this aging sniper, you’ll have to flush him out of the forest he’s brilliantly camouflaging himself in, over and over, until his number is finally up. It’s a battle that requires patience and excellent use of all the hunting skills you’ve developed throughout the game.
But who has time for that? To make The End kick the bucket instantly, just save your game mid-battle, set your game console’s internal clock a year ahead and presto, he’s dead. The cause of death? Old age. Quite cruel of Snake to keep an old man waiting to the point where he actually dies, but it gets the job done.
There’s another fun easter egg hidden in The End’s boss fight. If you save mid-battle and wait a few days, a cutscene of The End ambushing you as you sleep will trigger. Never nap on the job. It will literally kill you.
13 Star Fox SNES: Slot Machine Boss Fight
The original Star Fox game for the Super Nintendo is remembered for a lot of things: it’s exhilarating space battles; state of the art - for 1993, anyway - polygonal graphics, and multiple branching routes that guarantee a new experience with every playthrough. One route you may have missed as a child had the Star Fox crew take to space to fight a ... giant slot machine?
Yes, by meeting the right requirements to access the Out of this Dimension level, you too can partake in this Las Vegas tradition of gambling. Only instead of money, you’ll be gambling your life. As you may expect, defeating the slot machine boss requires you to line up three 7s in a row, so it may self-destruct. Earning one Andross, however, will result in missiles being fired at your airship. Other combinations may heal your health, or do nothing at all.
Defeating the comically out-of-place boss will unlock a mini-game involving the ending credits. The player can shoot at “The End” over and over; blasting each character away out of simple amusement. Consider it a precursor to the Super Smash Bros. shooting end credits minigame.
12 The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker: Watering Kalle Demos To Death
As kids, our simple perspective of plants needing water to grow can lead to our beloved flower being overwatered to death. This hidden trick in The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker harkens back to our naive childhood, while also raising an eyebrow at the results. Kalle Demos, the plant-based boss in the Forbidden Forest dungeon, can be killed instantly if watered with magic forest water.
The Wind Waker speedrunning community have discovered numerous ways to dispose of troublesome plant monster in dungeon two, however, the forest water method was only discovered 14 years after the game’s initial release on the Nintendo GameCube. By dumping the magic forest water - originally intended for a heart piece side quest - onto Kalle Demos after cutting him off the ceiling with his boomerang, the boss will die instantly without a swing of the sword.
A strange death for a plant, all things considering. I guess Kalle Demos couldn’t handle a little H20.
11 Dead Rising 2: Overcoming Bosses With Armed Survivors
What made the original Dead Rising game for the Xbox 360 difficult wasn't surviving the horde of zombies chasing after you during your morning mall walk, it was making sure your idiotic A.I. partner didn't get left behind. Trying to rescue all the innocent bystanders inconveniently placed in Willamette Parkview Mall was no easy task, nor was it any fun, yet, it had to be done in order to unlock a few meaningless achievements.
For Dead Rising 2, the survivors in the game are actually useful for helping you survive through Fortune City and its psychopath residents. It's possible to take up to eight survivors with you on your way to a boss fight - and by arming these formerly peaceful civilians with the weapons you find throughout the game - they'll make any dangerous encounter seem like a breeze.
Quite the turnaround from the original game, where trying to lead any survivor to the bathroom to save could be considered a suicide mission.
10 Halo 5: Skip the Three Warden Boss Fight
The best things in life come in threes, said the person who never had to fight three Warden Eternal in Halo 5. Any Halo 5 player is well aware of the deep pain caused by micro-managing three boss fights at once, while turrets are gunning you down, at the end of Mission 14. What the average player may not know is that there are two clever ways of skipping the boss fight entirely; turning a former headache of a boss fight into a piece of cake.
Trick number one involves immediately running to the left or right of the arena and boost jumping towards the floating platform, then boost jumping again towards the exit; continuing on with your journey. The second method is similar to the first one, but requires you to ground pound various objects, in order to reach your desired destination.
It goes without saying that these cheats are necessary for anyone playing Halo 5 on Legendary difficulty mode. Good luck, achievement hunters.
9 DOOM 2: Blast Away At John Romero's Head
There are not a lot of games in today's market that let you shoot away at the severed head of one of its lead game designers, yet, the 1994 release of DOOM II doest just that. The bloody head of the famed game programmer can be found in the final boss fight in the game. Inside the boss commonly referred to as the Icon of Sin is Romero's head impaled on a stick and the only way to deal damage to it is to use the splash damage that originates from the rocket launcher.
When the monster awakens, it makes a disturbingly sinister noise, as one would expect from a demon spawned from Hell. Observant players, however, have discovered the noise is actually a recorded message from Romero being played backwards. When rewind, you can hear Romero say, "To win the game you must kill me, John Romero." Consider it done, Romero. Consider it done.
8 Dark Souls: Sif The Great Grey Wolf Will Remember You
The Dark Souls games are among the best when it comes to hiding content that significantly changes your experience of the game. When the Artorias of the AbyssDLC launched back in 2012, fans discovered it brought about new changes to the game's fearsome wolf boss.
Sif, the Great Grey Wolf, is one of the original bosses in Dark Souls, found in the Darkroot Garden. When you initially approach the boss area, a cutscene of him grabbing a greatsword with his mouth will activate, signaling the beginning of the fight. However, if you decide not to trigger the encounter and tackle the DLC first, you can protect a younger Sif from danger; rewarding you with the Cleansing Greatshield. Afterward, when you go fight Sif in the Darkroot Garden, a new cutscene will trigger, showing the giant wolf recognizing you as its savior, but forced to fight you regardless.
That short-lived cutscene adds a new dimension of tragedy to Sif's boss fight. As if you didn't feel bad enough about putting him down, when he starts limping at low health.
7 The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Defeat Ganon With The Fishing Rod
It's safe to assume that a new installment of The Legend of Zelda series will inevitably end with a final bout between Ganon and Link. That assumption proved correct in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, as you face against Ganon in four different phases. His final phase, a one-on-one sword match, features a peculiar easter egg most people wouldn't think twice about doing.
Your fishing rod has an odd effect on Ganon. By casting the fishing rod during phase four of the final battle, Ganon will be mesmerized by the lure, leaving him wide open for attacks. There's no in-game explanation as to why this works; it just does and it's hilarious.
Who could have guessed that a powerful incarnation of evil like Ganon could be so easily distracted by something as simple as a fishing rod? In fairness, who wouldn't be puzzled by someone bringing a fishing rod into a swordfight?
6 Undertale: "Too Stupid To Make A Save File"
The indie game darling known as Undertale has a funny easter egg hidden within its Neutral Route playthrough. Photoshop Flowey, the route's final boss, will constantly taunt the player. The boss's favorite form of torture is decrying he'll delete the player's save file. There's a moment before the fight where you reach a save point and try to save, but discover it's a faux save point to make it looks like you just erased your game. Flowey states he'll "SAVE over [the protagonist's] own death," so you can't escape to an earlier part of the game. If you somehow managed to avoid saving your game throughout this journey, Photoshop Flowey will insult you further by saying you were "too stupid to make one."
Ouch. In the era of auto-save, this boss is every modern gamer's nightmare.
5 Dark Souls 3: Break The Stray Demon's Legs
The Stray Demon miniboss in Dark Souls 3 is extremely intimidating to low-level players when discovered for the first time in Farron Keep. Like most bosses in the game, he's not that hard to fight, once you pick up his weakness and form a strategy. In this case, it's his legs.
If you continuously hack away at the Stray Demon's legs, they will eventually crumble into tiny pieces, leaving the gigantic rock monster in a vulnerable position. Following the loss of his legs, the Stray Demon will crawl along the ground swinging his hammer and unleashing his boulder breath at the player.
For Bloodborne players, this new phase for the Stray Demon will be reminiscent of the final phase of the Laurence the First Vicar boss battle in The Old Hunters DLC. The bigger the are, the harder they fall, as the old saying goes. Defeat him and collect the sweet boss soul to enrich your character.
4 Assassin's Creed Unity: Mysterious Cake Boss
There's more to Assassin's Creed Unity than those freaky glitchy faces during the game's unfortunate launch. Hidden throughout France are these five pink-frosted cakes waiting to be devoured. Finding and gulping down these delicious cakes will trigger a mysterious boss fight with a face that will be familiar to those that followed the game's initial press.
Marquis de Bullion, previously seen in the game's E3 2014 co-op trailer, will appear standing on top of a cake in the courtyard of Palais de Luxembourg. The boss fight is pretty difficult, but once Bullion is defeated, the player is rewarded with a firework celebration. Considering it took two years after launch for gamers to discover the cakes' hidden purpose, a firework display is definitely earned here.
This cool-looking easter egg almost went on undiscovered, if not for Ubisoft Toronto helping YouTuber Brett discover the locations of the previous undocumented cakes.
3 The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Deflecting Demise's Attacks With A Bug Net
If you thought defeating Ganon with a fishing rod in Twilight Princess was the oddest easter egg in a Legend of Zelda game, you haven't seen anything yet. In the motion-sensor based game, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, you can deflect Demise's deadly energy attacks with a swing of your good ol' bug net.
During the second phase of the final boss fight, Demise will rise up and begin shooting waves of energy with his sword. Originally, you're meant to deflect those attacks with your Master Sword in a style reminiscent of the phase one Ganon boss fight in Ocarina of Time, however, you can actually substitute your sword with the bug net and deflect those attacks like they were nothing.
Nintendo really loves humiliating Ganon and his various forms, don't they? Unlike the fishing rod easter egg in Twilight Princess, the bug net trick in Skyward Sword actually has some history to it, as the bug net in A Link to the Past for the SNES performs the same function. What kind of bugs do they have in Hyrule, anyway?
2 Final Fantasy X: Heal Evrae Altana To Death
There's nothing worse that a turned-based RPG battle going on longer that normally expected. You can't help but worry that you're doing something wrong and wasting your time (and precious items) in the process.
In Final Fantasy X, the Evrae Altana boss fight in Via Purifico cannot be seriously harmed by normal methods. The game actually gives you two choices in dealing with this underwater monstrosity: fight Evrae Altana head on, or high tail and run by breaking the locks near the underwater gate. As tempting as it may be to flee for your life, Evrae Altana is actually easier to beat than you would think. You see, Evrae Altana is a zombie-type boss, meaning he can be put down easy with the use of common health items, such as health potions and revives.
Using two Phoenix Downs or two X-Potions on Evrae Altana will bring about a quick end to this troublesome sea beast.
1 Fallout: Convince The Master To Kill Himself
Never let anyone put you down for investing your experience points in intelligence and charisma. The original Fallout game for PC proved that if you have the right conversation skills, you too can convince an evil mutant overlord to kill himself for all of his wrongdoings.
The Master is the final boss of the main storyline in Fallout 1. Normally, you would think the only way of beating him and winning the game is to assault him full force, however, you can actually engage him conversation-wise and persuade him to take his own life. By having the right stats for intelligence and speech, as well as accomplishing certain tasks within the game and wearing the proper attire, you can talk to The Master and tell him why his plan of reviving his race was always doomed from the start. When The Master realizes everything he has done has been for nothing, he gives up the fight and prepares to kill himself with nukes, meaning you need to vamoose as soon as possible.
Mom and dad were right. It's better to use your words than fists to win a fight, at least in video games.