Among the most popular genres on the Super Nintendo, platform games occupy a prominent place. And what would a great platformer be without cult boss battles? Thus, the JV editors offer you a small selection of the best bosses in Super NES platform games.
- Castlevania Dracula X
- Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest
- Kirby Super Star
- Mega Man X
- Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
- Super Metroid
Among the gems exclusive to the Super Nintendo, ActRaiser occupies a unique place for its original proposition. Mixing stages of platform action and moments of leadership in top view, the title of Enix had also marked the spirit of its rather impressive graphics for a game released at the beginning of the console’s life. If you’ve never heard of it, you should know that ActRaiser has you embodying a deity who has lost his powers and will have to rely on the help of a little angel to defeat the demon terrorizing the Earth. If all this represents the phases of management seen from above, we are sometimes led to descend from heaven to face the infernal hordes ourselves during sequences of platform action which constitutes the second part of the experience.
It is in these moments that we fight bosses, and the most iconic of the game remains the Gauntlet, simply the final boss. When you reach the final level, you’re greeted by the faces of all the main enemies you’ve defeated before against a dark, torn sky that sets the mood. So before you face the ultimate bosses, you’ll have to re-face all the ones you’ve already beaten. Finally we arrive in front of the Gauntlet, a kind of demon with a strange design that we meet in space through the stars. A fierce and epic battle that makes the victory even more encouraging.
Castlevania Dracula X
If Super Castlevania IV remains the coolest episode of the console, it’s not him we’re talking about today. Instead, we’ll focus on Castlevania Dracula X, the port of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood that was originally released on the PC Engine in 1993. This time we embody Richter Belmont through nine stages with the aim of meeting Dracula as usual. Moreover, it is this battle that we will talk about, because the latter is much more epic than in Super Castlevania IV.
Here we find ourselves in an arena full of holes, in which we have to jump from platforms in the hope of dodging the count’s magical attacks and trying to hit him. But that’s not all, because passing a certain stage, Dracula turns into a kind of giant Lucifer with purple skin and huge red wings that cast even more powerful magic. Suffice it to say, it is not a given to overcome it. It is thus by this metamorphosis and the epic music that this battle is particularly memorable.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest
Very clearly, the first Donkey Kong Country is one of the cult games of the Super NES. However, we must not forget that the title had two sequels, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest and Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble, which are just as good, if not better. Thereby, it is in the second episode that we will devote ourselves as the latter is a particularly nice final boss.
With Diddy and Dixie, we face King K. Rool in his costume of pirates shooting cannonballs with his blunderbuss to be returned to him at the right time. However, the boss has a total of three phases, with different patterns that you have to learn by heart in order to cope. In fact, his shot changes as we progress through the confrontation. A very nice boss fight more technical than it seems, accompanied by great music that makes the release of Donkey Kong even more satisfying.
Kirby Super Star
Kirby’s Fun Pak or Kirby Super Star is a rather atypical game. In reality, it is a collection of seven more or less long minigames, including we find a certain Spring Breeze, which is actually an abridged remake of Kirby’s Dream Land, the very first episode of the saga released in 1992 on the Game Boy. We could have chosen to tell you about the Revenge of Meta Knight mini-game where we face Meta Knight as the name suggests, but of course it is the final battle against King Dedede in Spring Breeze that we will focus on.
It’s clear that Kirby’s games aren’t known for their difficulty, quite the contrary. These are relatively easy games that stick to the sweet in the environments offered. However, the fight against King Dedede remains memorable thanks to several elements. First of all, we face this final boss in a kind of boxing ring, with a cheering crowd around, which increases the pressure. Then the music for the confrontation is very dynamic and punchy, giving a unique atmosphere to the moment. As for the actual course of the battle, the latter is quite simple, as it is sufficient to avoid King Dedede’s attacks and return his attacks to him after swallowing them. Thus, it is not because of its gameplay, but because of its atmosphere that this boss fight is memorable.
Mega Man X
If we talk about the best bosses in Super NES games, it was obvious that the Mega Man X series would appear in this selection. At the same time, the Mega Man formula relies heavily on boss fights that allow you to collect powers and unlock new ways to play. Among the three episodes released on Nintendo, it is on the first that we will focus today with a special cult duel: the one against Sigma. From the introduction we meet this character, who is none other than the game’s great antagonist. After an (inevitable) defeat against him, we are saved in extremis by Zero, the charismatic robot. Throughout the adventure, our goal will be to defeat Sigma’s henchmen to find him at the end of the course.
Once the eight bosses are defeated, we can finally face Sigma in an epic duel. First we face his robot dog, which is only the first stage of the fight. It’s only after the big bad enters the picture and takes off his cape to finally fight with some kind of lightsaber that looks like it’s straight out of Star Wars. After bouncing off all the walls, making him especially hard to hit, it’s not over. Take effect, in his third form, Sigma fuses with Velguarder, his dog, to transform into some sort of giant robot as you have to climb on your hands to try to touch his head. A fairly technical but satisfying stage when completed. Later, Sigma returns in Mega Man X3, but in a different form.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
With its colorful art direction, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island is already unique in itself. We embody a group of Yoshi who are in charge of taking care of Baby Mario, whom they transform on their backs. Thanks to their long tongues, they can swallow enemies before violently spitting them out. A gameplay with great efficiency accompanied by a beautiful aesthetic, it necessarily makes for a cult game. To pay tribute to him, it is thus on his last boss that we will focus today.
In addition to being the main antagonist of Super Mario Sunshine, Baby Bowser mostly made his first appearance in Yoshi’s Island as the final boss, and what an introduction! Thus, the first phase of the fight is quite simple as you arrive in a room where you have to dodge your attacks before counterattacking. But once they’re defeated, that’s when the real showdown begins. Take effect, we find ourselves outside in the dark as the sun sets and we see Baby Bowser in the distance who has become a giant. Gradually the latter approaches our level until it is defeated. A particularly beautiful panorama for a SNES game and remarkable for anyone who has already done it.
Well. It’s obvious that by doing an article about the bosses of Super NES games, Super Metroid would get a pass. It must be said that in the series the bosses occupy an important place, especially in this episode where they are the most memorable. That’s why we think of Kraid, so big that we can’t see it all on a single screen, or Ridley, the recurring antagonist of the series with his terrifying sound effects. But despite this, it’s once again the final boss that we’re going to focus on for a very specific reason: the narrative. In Super Metroid, there is no text, except at the beginning of the adventure to lay the groundwork. Still, the title manages to tell a story, as easy as it is, thanks to “cutscenes” without dialogues. This is exactly what we saw in his last fight.
Thus, at the beginning we face Mother Brain, the final boss of the first game, in a completely identical context. Although one might at first be disappointed to be faced with something that has already been seen in the past, this is not the case. After completing its first phase, Mother Brain emerges from its jar to transform into a hideous two-legged monster with a giant eye. At the end of this sequence, Samus is defeated by the creature’s beam. It is then that she is rescued in extremis by the Metroid that she had spared earlier who proceeds to drain Mother Brain’s energy to give it to Samus. Unfortunately, the monster still manages to defeat the giant Metroid, dying instantly. Despite everything, Samus now utilizes Hyper Beam and easily defeats the monster. A classic boss fight that goes down in history with its simple yet effective storytelling.