Sure, Animal Crossing’s Tom Nook might drive you mad. But, he wasn’t as dreadful as some of the video game bosses we encountered back in the 90s.
The infamous Lavos in Chrono Trigger. The never-ending pursuit of Nemesis in Resident Evil. The oversized axe-throwing, jumping turtle and his weird obsession with Princess Peach in Super Mario. To help you relive those memories, we’ve put together a list of the most ridiculous bosses from 90s video games.
The Most Ridiculous Bosses from 90s Video Games
1. The Wily Capsule, Mega Man VII (1995)
This boss is like a game of hide-and-seek on steroids, with the Wily Capsule disappearing and reappearing at will, making it impossible to predict its next move. And when it decides to grace us with its presence, it unleashes a barrage of elemental energy spheres.
To make matters worse, the spheres will track your every move, making it impossible to run away. Just when you think you’re in the clear, think again. Oh, and did we mention that using your trusty ol’ buster to hit Dr. Wily is going to require a Masters’s degree in sharpshooting?
2. The Cycloid Emperor, Duke Nukem 3D (1996)
The Cycloid Emperor in Duke Nukem 3D is the ultimate video game boss, with a little bit of everything thrown in to make your life miserable. The express shipment of missile barrages that it occasionally mails you are strong enough to level a city at a distance. It has huge tripod claw arms that it uses as barrels for firing missiles.
It’s like a missile party and honestly, we’re surprised that the missiles themselves don’t shoot off more missiles. Did we say missiles too many times? Probably. Missiles.
3. Neo Cortex, Crash Bandicoot (1996)
The final boss Neo Cortex in Crash Bandicoot has a blaster and this mad scientist is not afraid to use it.
When you’ve hacked away all his HP save for one, he’ll fire a pitiful single green bolt, making you question if he’s even trying anymore. Do not, we repeat, do not take pity on this craven old lunatic. He won’t think twice before kidnapping Crash’s girlfriend, Tawna, again.
4. Shao Kahn, Mortal Kombat II (1993)
Battling Shao Kahn in Mortal Kombat 2 is like trying to defeat a god with a toothpick. He has a shadow charge that makes you question your existence and a light spear that makes you question your mortality.
The annoying part? It’s not about how much damage you can deal him, it’s about how long can you bear him.
5. MewTwo, Pokemon: Red, Blue, and Yellow (1996)
Ever tried catching a unicorn with a lasso made of spaghetti? That’s exactly how ridiculous catching a Mewtwo in Pokemon: Red, Yellow, and Blue is.
This weird boss is located at the end of the Unknown Dungeon and you only get one shot at it. It’s got high HP, great attack and speed, and the most powerful psychic attacks in the game. Plus, it can heal itself with Recover and boost its defense with Barrier. So good luck trying to defeat it, let alone catch it.
6. Psycho Mantis, Metal Gear Solid (1998)
Going up against Psycho Mantis in Metal Gear Solid is like trying to beat a psychic who’s also a chronic TV channel changer. This levitating loon not only made our controllers rumble with his psychic powers, but also made us question our TV signal by turning the screen black and displaying “HIDEO” in the corner.
7. Shub-Niggurath, Quake (1996)
Quake had an army of demons at her disposal to make your life a living hell. She was also apparently made of adamantium or something because nothing we threw at her seemed to make a dent. To top it off, the only way to defeat her is by playing a twisted game of fetch with a Spiked Sphere. While dodging hordes of enemies stronger than the Hulk on steroids.
Quake proves that anyone who says that video games are for kids clearly wants their children to suffer in the most diabolical way possible.
8. Bowser, Super Mario 64 (1997)
To see the credits in Super Mario 64 you’ll have to face Super Mario’s forever enemy Bowser, the giant turtle dragon with a bad attitude and a breath that could melt steel three times over.
In the final showdown with the big bad Koopa king, he uses shockwaves and fire breath that follows you and destroys the arena after two hits. He’s not just a big turtle this time around, he’s a big problem.
9. Galamoth, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997)
Galamoth, the giant demon from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, may look majestic, but don’t let that fool you. He’s got eight black orbs, lightning bolts, a thundering stream, and even a kick move in his arsenal. It’s like he’s trying to cover all the elements in one fight. (Oh, you didn’t know one of the four elements was kicking? Well, now you do.)
And let’s not forget, this giant’s head is way up there, making it hard to even land a hit. Have fun playing dodgeball with the demon, let alone destroying it.
10. Diablo, Diablo (1996)
Diablo, the self-proclaimed “Dark Lord,” is the ultimate boss in the original Diablo game. He’s like that bad boy you just can’t resist. Or in this case, defeat. This isn’t the Tom Ellis version of Lucifer, after all, who is mostly distracted by hedonism.
This devil’s got it all: strong melee attacks, a spell that automatically hits you from any distance, and even a weakness to Holy Bolt (in vanilla Diablo I, at least). But don’t get too excited, because in Hellfire, that weakness is gone and you’re left with a demon that’s harder to beat than your ex’s stubbornness.
But hey, at least he’s got a cool title. “The Dark Lord” sounds way cooler than “Bob the Demon.”
11. Nihilanth, Half-Life 1 (1998)
The Nihilanth in Half-Life is like the ultimate evil mastermind of the dimensional rift, telepathically taunting you as you approach its lair.
It’s got a force field made of golden energy spheres orbiting its head, making it invulnerable to any and all attacks. And just when you think you’ve destroyed enough crystals to bring that shield down, it replenishes them. And once you finally break through its defenses, it’s got a mini-brain that needs to be targeted.
It’s almost like trying to take down a fortified castle with a peashooter. Best of luck with that.
12. Death Egg Robot, Sonic 2 (1992)
Fresh from the fight with Metal Sonic, players are faced with the daunting task of taking down Eggman’s giant robot. It starts by walking towards you with its spiky hands, ready to impale you. It then takes flight and tries to stomp on you like a giant mechanical elephant.
Jim Carrey might have made him look cool, but the real Death Egg Robot was a pain in the hedgehog.
13. Lavos, Chrono Trigger (1995)
Chrono Trigger‘s final boss, Lavos, was a buffet of pain and suffering.
First, you had to chow down on some appetizers in the form of imitations of previous bosses you’ve fought. Followed by the main course: the shell of Lavos. And once you chipped away at the shell’s HP, it was time for dessert — his true form.
The Lavos Pod, Center Pod, and Lavos Core each brought their own unique flavors of destruction. Who invited us to this crazy feast?
14. Scar, The Lion King (1994)
Scar, the ultimate villainous uncle, is the final boss in the 1994 Lion King game. This three-part fight is a true test of your platformer skills and your ability to withstand the constant smell of hyenas.
While we do admit Scar had some moves, including a barrage of strikes and jumps — we can’t help but think he had low self-esteem and deep-rooted daddy issues. And falling off the pride rock? Well, that was just embarrassing.
15. Spiderdemon, Doom (1993)
Doom‘s Spiderdemon was basically a giant, mechanical arachnid with a chain gun for a face and a love for destruction.
This bad boy didn’t mess around. It fired off a ridiculous amount of bullets per minute and showed absolutely no mercy. Let’s not even get started on the deafening mechanical roar it lets out before unleashing hell. Oh, and did we mention its brain explodes upon death? Yeah, it was that kind of video game boss.
16. Nemesis, Resident Evil 3 (1999)
Nemesis from Resident Evil 3 is still the stuff of nightmares and not just because he’s missing his lips. This relentless creature stalked you throughout the game and appeared when you least expected.
He punched, grabbed, and threw you around like a ragdoll. If that wasn’t enough, he even skewered you with his tentacle if you weren’t careful.