It is common knowledge that in video games, players must face off against a series of bosses to reach the next level. However, even after defeating the final boss, the game does not necessarily stop there.
In the majority of video games, there are secret bosses that players can challenge outside of regular gameplay. Some of these bosses are well hidden and only the most dedicated of players are willing to seek them out. Most of the time, these optional bosses, or super bosses, are even more of a challenge than the game’s final boss.
Here are ten hidden video game bosses that are extremely difficult to beat.
10 Night Terror - Soulcalibur III
The Night Terror is the ultimate form of Soulcalibur III's antagonist Nightmare. In order to fight him, players must play the "Tale of Souls" story mode quest. Players must follow a specific path, which varies for each character, without losing a single match.
Once this is done, Night Terror will appear as the final boss. Compared to other opponents, Night Terror is the strongest character in the game. Not only is it impossible to interrupt his attacks, but he is also immune to defeat by ring out. His attacks include an eye beam that can’t be blocked, as well as an attack that can cut a player’s health in half.
9 Emil - NieR: Automata
As a disembodied head, Emil from NieR: Automata does not appear all that threatening. In reality, he is the game's optional super boss. After beating the game, the player must complete the "Emil's Memories" side quest to unlock his house. After performing a series of tasks, Emil will enter into a fight with the player.
As a level 99 boss, Emil overwhelms players with both swarms of small Emil heads, along with giant heads that fire powerful lasers. It is recommended that players should be at least level 50 or higher with maxed out weapons and stats, to even have a hope of damaging him.
8 Rodin – Bayonetta franchise
Rodin is the barkeep and merchant that sells items to titular character Bayonetta. In both games, he is an optional boss that players can fight after collecting 10 million halos to purchase a platinum ticket. In Bayonetta, he appears as the angelic Father Rodin. In this form, he is far more powerful than the game’s final boss Father Baldur. He appears as a boss again in Bayonetta 2, but with a demonic form known as Rodin the Infinite One. Furthermore, in both games, he can use an attack that drains Bayonetta of almost all her health. To make matters worse, healing items cannot be used while fighting Rodin.
7 Caroline and Justine - Persona 5
Caroline and Justine appear as wardens in Persona 5 and are tasked with overseeing the protagonist’s “rehabilitation”. They also serve as an optional boss after beating the game in New Game+.
Just like the protagonist, Caroline and Justine can summon a variety of personas to use during battle. As the fight drags on and they take more damage, their attacks grow more powerful. Adding to the difficulty is that they must be defeated at the same time. If the player defeats only one, the other will simply revive them on their next turn. Furthermore, if they are not defeated within 50 turns the player is automatically defeated.
6 Karstaag – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Despite already being dead, players have the option of fighting the spirit of the frost giant Karstaag in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. In order to summon him, players must first find his skull and take it back to his throne. The moment he appears, Karstaag will begin hunting the player down.
It is next to impossible to confront him directly. Not only does his stomping attack cause immense damage, but his frost cloak slowly chips away at the player's health. Furthermore, he summons powerful Ice Wraiths to assist him in battle. Players that manage to defeat him will receive the power to summon his spirit in battle, but only three-times.
5 Dullahan – Golden Sun: The Lost Age
The Dullahan is a super boss from Golden Sun: The Lost Age. Players can only fight it after collecting all 72 Djinns from both games. As the strongest boss, it has the highest overall stats in the game. In addition to having 16,000 HP, it can move three times per turn, as well as regenerate both its health and magic power.
In the game's hard mode, it's base stats do not benefit from a 1.5x increase like other enemies. This is because it is impossible for the game to make it any stronger. As a reward for successfully defeating it, players receive the Iris Summon, which is the strongest in the game.
4 Lingering Will – Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix
The Lingering Will is a secret boss that appears in Kingdom Hearts II – Final Mix. It is incredibly powerful, and even surpasses Sephiroth in terms of difficulty. To unlock it, players must beat the entire game and unlock all worlds. After going to the Hall of Cornerstone, a portal will appear to the Keyblade Graveyard, where the Lingering Will awaits.
Defeating it requires patience and above all accurate timing to dodge its powerful attacks. Placing among the highest tier of bosses, its attack power and exceptional mobility make it a dangerous threat. It can easily defeat the player with a single blow.
3 Nameless King – Dark Souls 3
Out of all the bosses in the Dark Souls series, the Nameless King is one of the most powerful. To fight this boss, players must travel to Archdragon Peak, where they must ring a bell to summon him.
One of the reasons why he is so difficult is because he is two bosses in one. Before facing him, players must first defeat his mount, the King of the Storms. However, even without his mount, defeating the Nameless King is no easy task. Just one of his attacks is enough to inflict major damage. Thus, it is vital for players to constantly keep their health above a certain level when facing him.
2 Penance – Final Fantasy X
Penance is widely considered as the most powerful boss in Final Fantasy X. Players cannot fight Penance until after they've defeated eight other powerful optional bosses known as the Dark Aeons. It has over 12 million HP, high stats, devastating attack power and can also absorb elemental attacks.
The most dangerous abilities in its arsenal include the power to petrify characters, remove 75 per cent of their full health, drain all their MP, recover large amounts of HP each turn, as well as shatter party members. Its strongest attack is Judgment Day which robs every party member of 99,999 HP and 999 MP.
1 C’Thun – World of Warcraft
Inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, C’Thun is one of the most powerful bosses in World of Warcraft. When it was first released in 2006, it was virtually unbeatable and was the source of frustration for even the most experienced players.
It can fire eyebeams that can one-shot players with a direct hit, spawn an army of tentacles to wipe out entire raid parties, as well as swallow players into its stomach where every second drains players of their health. Eventually, the developers released a patch that decreased its difficulty level. However, even after the patch, C'Thun is still a very powerful boss.