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Final Fantasy I
- The Marsh Cave has a party of Wizards (aka Mind Flayers) which guard an important item. This boss fight cannot be run from, but the random number generator will determine whether you have to fight 2, 3, or 4 of them. Naturally, any of these guys can one-shot anyone except for a fighter.
- The boss of Northwest Castle is Astos. Granted, he doesn't cast his RUB (Death) spell that will instantly kill a party member all the time, but gamers should be expected to assume that he will cast it on anyone immediately, even in a situation where you get through the fight without anyone instantly being killed (which is possible). What's worse, Astos can expect to use RUB on as many as three of your party members. To make matters worse, on the earlier versions, your only hope of reviving the party member who is killed is to wait until after the battle and head back to the nearest sanctuary, which is a very long walk away in Elfheim, and you don't have access to Life spells until after you defeat That One Boss or Phoenix Downs that can revive a fallen member which are obtainable in the GBA and PSP versions.
- The EYE of the Ice Cave can be a relatively easy boss with great EXP rewards, but only if you have the proper equipment. However, the first time you traverse this cave, you have no death-saving equipment and must bear a lot of Demonic Spiders with instant-death effects. The final showdown with this boss will likely be with a barely-living party, but he will show no mercy. Instant death spells are his specialty. Even if you do arrive with full health, his spells will wipe you out one-by-one unless you can score an amazing physical critical attack.
- LICH in the final dungeon has a spell no enemy should ever have: NUKE. If you don't kill him on your first turn, he can smite your party for such horrible unblockable damage that even if you win, you can't possibly be in good enough shape to tackle all the rest of the fiends and Chaos.
Final Fantasy II
- The Lamia Queen. Most of the theoretically difficult bosses in this game can be killed in just one or two turns once you get your hands on insta-death spells and/or the Blood Sword, but the Lamia Queen shows up before you can get any of these. Moreover, it'd be a horribly annoying boss even if you did have them, because it has powerful attacks that also make your characters go to sleep, can charm your party members and make them attack each other, and is nearly invulnerable to physical attacks. If you're one of those players who chose to make a party focused purely around physical attacks due to the game's rather esoteric magic system, then you can pretty much kiss your ass goodbye.
- To a lesser extent, the Behemoth, who also appears before you can get your hands on any boss-smiting items. This one doesn't have any nasty tricks like the Lamia Queen... just high defense stats, tons of HP, and brutally powerful attacks. Making matters worse, while you faced the Lamia Queen with the fairly competent Leila as your fourth party member, you end up having Gordon in that slot during the fight with the Behemoth. Being that Gordon starts the game as the weakest PC, guest or non, and players can choose to just fight with him dead in the earlier segment where he's available if they don't want the hassle of dealing with him...it can effectively mean that unwise (or just inexperienced) players are a man down in this battle.
Final Fantasy III
- The DS version has Garuda. He's weak to Dragoon abilities, but you've just gotten access to dragoon gear, so there's a lot of level-grinding involved. He has the Lightning attack; a ridiculously strong attack that hits your entire party for high damage. When you fight him, it's very much a luck based fight; even if you come prepared, he might still just go first and wipe your party with Lightning. The only real strategy is just trying to rush down his health with jump attacks before he kills someone.
- There is also Doga and Unei, who are faced in immediate succession, and Doga likes using hard-hitting elemental spells while Unei can turn you to stone, requiring the party to be quite strong to last long enough to defeat both of them.
- For added fun, the latter can also hit the whole party with the Tornado spell, which has a chance of dropping each party member's HP to single digits. If the boss does this to your healer and then chooses to attack said healer...well, sucks to be you.
- The fight against Salamander comes right before getting the second jobs, just when your first jobs are obsolete; and he's happy to remind you why they're obsolete, particularly when he spams a party-wide fire breath attack that'll knock every character down nearly half their HP. He also comes after a brutal dungeon requiring you to wade through lava, which chops off huge amounts of health.
- Hein, who comes after getting the second jobs. For starters, Hein requires you to have a Scholar in your party to scan for his weakness; without a Scholar, you'll just be chipping away. Entering Hein's Castle locks you in until he's been defeated, so you can't do any grinding. Working your way through will quickly cut down your supplies. There is a trick that makes Hein easy, but it's a hell of a Guide Dang It. The Scholar class can use items for double effectiveness; this includes attack items. However, this little tidbit is only mentioned by the old NPC in the inns, who you'll probably talk to once and then never go near again. It's also in the manual, but if you've lost your copy... or, if you have a Geomancer or two (and they have been a Geomancer since you got the job), you don't really need to bring a Scholar at all. Possibly only in the DS version, but a good Geomancer can do quite a bit of damage to him.
- Any boss requiring you to be miniaturized. Physical attacks hit you for ridiculously high damage, and your physical attacks do single points of damage. Again, this reduces strategy to just trying to rush down the boss' health before he kills anyone.
Final Fantasy IV and The After Years
- The battle with Golbez in the dwarven castle; at first it's a Hopeless Boss Fight, and one by one he picks off your party members, leaving only Cecil. Then, after a cutscene leaves you with two people (or potentially three, in the earlier versions, if you get Kain to jump at the beginning—this was "fixed" for the DS version), one of whom is the Glass Cannon, he starts throwing every unfair trick in the book at you: shifting his elemental weakness constantly, becoming immune to everything else, cramming third-level magic down your throat with a status effect chaser... And if Cecil is still dead after exorcising the dolls from hell, you only have a brief moment to throw a Phoenix Down at him before Hold Gas (Freezing Cold in the DS version) guarantees a Total Party Kill.
- The Demon Wall. Capping the irritating Sealed Cave, it has no tricks. It simply pummels you into the floor, then begins to nail you with unavoidable One-Hit Kill attacks once enough time has passed. It's a massive stumbling block in normal gameplay; many a Solo-Character Run has come to an untimely end on meeting the Wall. In the DS version, he has much more HP than the other versions, the whopping quantity of 99.999 HP.
- The Boss fight against the CPU in the DS version. The Attack Node spams Laser Barrage, which causes a lot of damage to all your party members. If you don't do the opposite of the thing that Fusoya said to you (attacking the Attack Node instead of the Defense Node), then he will kill you quickly, by spamming said move. Note that the Attack Node only needs to use Laser Barrage twice to kill off 80% of the party, and a third casting will handily remove the remaining straggler. And that's with overleveling. But if you can survive that, you then have to not do the logical thing and kill the other small node that heals the big node. If you do that, said big node will start nailing you with One Hit Kills...and if you somehow survive that, it resurrects the Attack and Defense nodes, essentially restarting the fight.
- The DS version makes Scarmiglione one. During the second battle he uses a Gas counter attack that causes several status effects, his attack takes a considerable amount of HP and his other counter slows you down, making it harder to defeat him. Not to mention that three out of four members of your team have rather low HP and Cecil, the only member of your team that can take more hits, can't do him much damage since he is strong against dark attacks.
- Also in the DS version, Dr. Lugae got some new tricks. Specifically, Reversal Gas. It's pretty simple, yet brutal - damage heals, healing damages. Considering he's got both powerful healing and attacking abilities, this may seem bad. Now, remember that every action in FF IV takes a while and Lugae can get a turn JUST before you finish your spell casting. ...Yeah, you can end up literally killing your team or healing Lugae to full HP. Sure, there are some ways to help you, though it can easily backfire with another use of Reversal Gas.
- From Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, there's the Mysterious Girl and Asura. Notable in that this is one of the only fights with the Mysterious Girl that must be won, as most others are Hopeless Boss Fights. In this fight, the Girl stays in the back row and blasts the party with -aga magic while Asura heals and buffs her as well as attacking you. So take out Asura first, right? Nope, Asura can't be damaged or debuffed, including the normally-useful Slow spell which drastically weakens every other boss. So instead your party has to focus on the Girl, whose position in the back row means physical attacks will barely scratch her, and who is constantly being healed and Shelled by Asura all the while. And your party is made up of just two members: Fusoya, a Squishy Wizard whose MP pool is extremely limited, and Golbez, a slightly less Squishy Wizard who can't use white magic. It's highly likely that your party will run out of MP and MP-restoring items before they can stop the Girl, at which point you may as well reset.
Final Fantasy V
- Archaeoaevis, who has multiple forms, each with various resistances to the elements (the only notable weakness is Aero, which you can get from the local wildlife if you choose). Despite its relatively low HP at that point, its high defenses make attacks mostly futile; however, Lv5 Death works on him: the problem is learning the skill.
- Far worse than Archaeoaevis was Atomos. If all of your party members were alive, he would spam the defense-ignoring, high-damage Comet spell until someone was dead, then gradually suck all your dead allies into his mouth. Anyone sucked in was removed from the party for the rest of the battle. He also had permanent Haste, and would periodically cast Graviga and Slowga on your party, and apply the Old status effect, further crippling your damage. Beating him was pretty much a race against time with the deck stacked thoroughly against you. Unless, of course, you had a Blue Mage cast Dark Spark to halve his level, followed by the aforementioned Lv 5 Death.
Final Fantasy VI
- The Advance version has the reborn Holy Dragon from the Dragon's Den. All the Eight Dragons have a gimmick. Holy Dragon asks for "Aid from Heaven". What this means is that he constantly casts Curaga on himself, for devastating high amounts of healing. He has a widespread Holy attack called Saintly Beam, in addition to Holy; Holy being the hardest element to defend against. Oh, and he can counter attacks with Heartless Angel, which he will often dualcast with Saintly Beam, which is an OHKO for the entire team.
- From the original, there's the Storm Dragon in Mt. Zozo. He has tons of HP, a brutal physical, and spells that both hit the entire party and are of the hard-to-defend-against Wind element. Oh, and because of in-game nudging, you're most definitely going to be hitting up his dungeon right near the beginning of the World of Ruin.
- Atma/Ultima Weapon on the Floating Continent is usually very challenging for first-time players. The boss uses powerful magic, like Flare Star and Quake, that can deal significant damage to the entire party; it likes to follow this up by finishing off a weakened target with Flare for 700 (when generally most people won't break over 1300 by this time).
- Wrexsoul, for being a Guide Dang It Puzzle Boss. During most of the fight, Wrexsoul will "possess" one of your party members. To make him reveal himself so you can damage him, you have to kill your own party members until you happen to kill the one he's hiding in. You can kill him with Banish/X-Zone, but then you don't get the item drop.
- Number 128 at the end of the Magitek Research Facility may qualify due to his placement. He immediately follows five waves of forced encounters between which you cannot heal, you have to fight him with 3 characters because you just lost your fourth (the only one who naturally learns Cure). And while the preceding events gave you a lot of new magicite, you don't have time to learn their spells because you're locked in and can't grind. On top of all of that, he's a difficult boss in his own right, with three targets that attack independently while also carrying an extremely rare, and powerful, item that may take many tries to successfully steal, prolonging the battle.
- The Magic Master/MagiMaster atop the Cultists'/Fanatics' Tower. He constantly nails your party with powerful spells and swaps his elemental weaknesses around every couple of turns. He also casts Ultima when he dies, which is a guaranteed Total Party Kill unless you stop him from casting it, can revive yourself after the spell, or have enough HP to survive it.
- Deathgaze / Doom Gaze. The thing about Doom Gaze is that he's the one and only enemy that attacks you while you're in your airship. And although he's not overpowered for his level, he's level 55, and you get your airship in the World of Ruin about level 25-30. So if you have the bad luck to run into him early on, he can wipe the floor with you in seconds. To say nothing of the couple times the game can put you with a party of just Setzer (possibly unequipped) piloting the airship. Once you're leveled up enough to have a fair shot at him, he has yet another way to be obnoxious - he runs away all the time, and you have to relocate him. Thankfully, he can't restore his HP during battles.
- Ultros, the first time you fight him. His tentacles mean business. Plus, whenever you hit him with fire, your one attack magic spell, he automatically counters. This can take Terra out of commission fast, leaving you to spend a turn reviving her. Oh, Banon has Pray/Health so I should just have him spam it, right? True, until Ultros decides you no longer need to live and tentacles the whole group. Then, without giving you time to get a word in edgewise, he will throw a tentacle at Banon and, without power-leveling Banon, it's game over. However, Ultros' tentacle impact is significantly lessened if you put Terra and Banon in the back row, as Fire's damage isn't affected by Row position, nor is Banon's Health/Pray HP recovery amount. In fact, since Edgar's Tools and Sabin's Blitz aren't affected by row, you should just put your entire party in the back for the battle if not the whole section.
- The tentacles in Figaro Castle, also a Goddamned Boss, simply from one single attack: Grab/Seize. If Grab/Seize is used on a character afflicted with Slow, the character is grabbed by the monster and cannot act while getting his HP sucked away, AND healing the boss for every point it drains! To add to it, the tentacles have two attacks that cause Slow: Grab/Seize and Entwine (which hits one whole side). And at that point in the game, you can have three characters max, if you didn't miss one, which first-time players might. It gets worse; these critters have a nasty habit of poisoning you too, meaning that when your characters are being leeched off of by the boss, the poison is draining them even further. The fight can be made much easier by equipping Celes (and Sabin, assuming you have him) with Hermes Sandals/RunningShoes. This makes them immune to slow and thus, Grab/Seize can't hit them. They can still grab poor Edgar though, so keep an eye on him.
- Chadarnook, the demon in Owzer's house in Jidoor. Aside from his 30,000-some HP and powerful lightning attacks, he also has one nasty gimmick up his sleeve; he can take the form of the goddess in the picture he's possessing. The lady has close to 60,000 HP, and can inflict nasty status ailments on your party: Whole-party sleep, Doom, the ever-popular Entice/Charm, and one that cannot be removed and slowly whittles away at your HP. And as you chip him down, it gets harder and harder to hit him; he'll stay in goddess form for several turns, then switch back to his original form just long enough to Bolt 3 your entire party, then back to goddess. Even worse, every time he changes form, the screen blinks obnoxiously all during the transformation. Considering how often he switches, and how damn long the fight can drag on, good luck not ending up with a terrible headache.
- The Tunnel Armor. Ok, so you've got two characters - Locke and Celes. It knows magic and Celes has to stand by and use her Runic ability to draw away the magic. This leaves you with Locke. You've got no magic at this point in the game, and Locke doesn't have any super-special abilities like Blitz or Throw to do tons of damage without magic skills. This means you've got to do all your healing and attacking with one character - if you decide to have Celes skip a turn of Runic, this allows the boss to use its magic on you, which means you're going to be going down very quickly - if it single-targets, a magic spell can put down a character at full strength; if it multi-targets, it's still gonna royally hurt. All in all, it's a Luck-Based Mission.
- Goddess. Not only can Goddess use decently powerful spells, she has one particularly dangerous attack that is nigh impossible to block called Overcast/Cloudy Heaven. What it does is it sets a Doom timer on the whole party, but instead of killing afflicted characters, it turns them into Zombies. If an afflicted character dies by other means, they still become a Zombie, who attacks the party. If all of your characters are Zombies, you lose. The worst part is that it ignores Ribbons, which block status ailments (normally including Zombie), but Ribbons work both ways: your status is unable to be altered, meaning the Zombie status is incurable.
Final Fantasy VII
- Carry Armor. Not only is Lapis Laser horrifyingly powerful (to the extent of taking off half your normally-leveled party's health per cast), but his arms can grab party members and remove them from combat, smashing them against the floor and only returning them once they're dead. And as you wear Carry Armor down, he uses Lapis Laser more and more, often using Arm Grab to kill off two members and Lapis Laser-ing the last one. Thankfully, taking out the arms will neutralize the threat of Arm Grab.
- In addition, the game counts it as a loss if you have all your living party members Arm Grabbed. This occurs even if you roll Cait Sith's Transform spell on his slots, which causes him to grow giant in return for becoming your sole party member.
- Also the Demon Wall from the Temple of the Ancients. It has some powerful magic and some nasty status effects, along with staggering magical defense and a mountain of health. This wouldn't be a problem, but you have to bring Aeris along to this dungeon, whose primary role is to use support magic most of the time. Hopefully you found her last Limit Break by this time, because it makes this fight significantly easier, although finding it is a challenge in itself. This is actually the last battle you use Aeris in, as she departs to the City of the Ancients afterward, not to be seen until her death...
- Schizo at Gaea's Cliff. It has two heads that you need to attack separately, and when you kill one, it will unleash a nasty attack that can wipe out your entire party if you're behind with your healing. It gets even worse if you kill both of the heads at the same time.
- For some, the Guard Scorpion at the start of the game is this due to a bad translation on how to fight it. The gap between Cloud's lines is at the worst possible place, it makes it sound like he's telling you to attack while the tail's up, which of course gets you a faceful of laser. They really should have stuck a don't in front of the attack.
- Cloud: Barrett! Attack while the tail's up!(beat)Cloud: It's gonna attack with its laser!
Final Fantasy VIII
- Oil Boyles, two slug like bosses fought in Balamb Garden. You can spam fire attacks to kill them quickly, but their high power attacks can also take you out quickly as well. They will do their damage no matter how you tackle the battle.
- Adel. She has a lot of HP, and uses nothing but non-elemental spells like Meteor and they are all fairly high-damaging. Your attack options get limited because you can't use attacks that damage all enemies, because Adel's holding Rinoa hostage and occasionally drains Rinoa's health to restore herself. If Rinoa's HP reaches zero, it's an instant game over. To top it all off, unless you took the time to steal from the boss, defeating her yields no after-battle spoils. Not even AP.
- Basically, defeating Adel means you'd better have spent the preceding three-fourths of the game stocking up on enough decent magic. If you've spent the game relying on your Guardian Forces to do your heavy lifting for you, there's no way in hell you can win this battle unless you knew about it beforehand.
Final Fantasy IX
- In nearly all Final Fantasy games, you have the distinct advantage of outnumbering bosses 4-to-1, occasionally being thrown a 1-on-1 against the main villain. But never a battle where you're outnumbered by bad guys. That is, of course, except for the battle against Black Waltz #1 and the Sealion. The protagonist has to fight them alone. The Black Waltz goes down pretty easy, but the Sealion had a ton of HP, hits hard, and even gets stronger the less HP he has. He can also heal the Sealion at any time, and if you somehow manage to defeat the Sealion before the Black Waltz, he'll just summon another one. Also take into account that you need to waste turns healing yourself with your ever-dwindling supply of potions— turns which could've been spent dealing damage. The best part? This is the second boss battle in the game.
- The other frustrating thing about this boss is that it has great equipment to steal, so it becomes a balance between keeping Zidane alive, stealing what you want, and doing damage. It's still do-able, but succumbing to the temptation of that Mythril Dagger will make the battle that much harder.
- The second-to-last boss of the first disc, Gizmaluke, is no slouch either. He has a Water spell that can hit for huge damage, and an attack that can hit the entire party for equally large amounts of pain. To make matters worse, the boss will also constantly inflict Vivi, your only damage dealing magic user, with Silence, preventing him from using magic at all.
- The worst bit is that due to Gizmaluke having great items to steal (Elixir, Magus Hat and Ice Staff), you have to keep the whole party alive while trying to steal it all.
- If you don't know what you're getting into and aren't well-equipped for the fight, the Earth Guardian can be one hell of a boss. You're stuck with a character most people haven't really worked with (because said character has been gone for about 70% of the story up to this point), and while it's possible to win the fight with Zidane alone, it makes for a long and difficult fight if you can't snag a Trance in a pinch.
- Nearing the end of the game, the party has to fight three bosses in a row, each one harder than the last— Silver Dragon, Garland, and Kuja. Two of those are also the game's main antagonists by the way. Anyway, all of them can do huge damage, and Garland can cast "Stop", which renders an ally motionless, unable to attack, and is basically counted as KO'd (meaning that if they're the last one alive or un-Stopped, you still get a game over). But what makes this battle (or series of battles) so difficult is that you can't even heal in-between them, it's just one right after the other. Throwing salt into the wound, right before you beat him, the now Trance'd Kuja decides to reduce the party's HP to 1 with Ultima and stop the battle.
- The amount of successful steals that Zidane has powers up his Thievery technique, which in turn makes it very profitable to steal all the items from the bosses. However there are several bosses that will make this feat an absolute pain to accomplish:
- The aforementioned Black Waltz and Sea Lion fight, for reasons mentioned above.
- Hilgigars has a weapon that is very useful at that point in the game. Unfortunately, it must be stolen, with a 1/256 success rate. You can use Steal two times per minute at best. This can go on for hours.
- The Tantarian. Yes, it's a Skippable Boss, but it belongs here because while defeating is simple enough when you know what to do, stealing its items and defeating it in the same try is a whole different story. Considering that it has a great piece of armor that it just doesn't want to be stolen can make this fight drag on much longer than it should, which makes the boss fight that much more dangerous.
- The absolute worst fight in this category is without a doubt General Beatrix Round One, hands down, no contest. This is a Hopeless Boss Fight, so you would think all you have to do is heal when she attacks you and refrain from damaging her until you steal the items from her, but this not the case at all. After a certain amount of turns she loses her patience and ends the battle regardless of her overall health. Like Hilgigars, she also has a weapon that has a 1/256 chance of being stolen, and that must be stolen in approximately 8-10 turns, otherwise you have to retry from the last save point and watch a very long cutscene before the battle to try again.
Final Fantasy X and X- 2
Final Fantasy X:
- Seymour Flux. He usually starts using Lance of Atrophy to put a party character in Zombie status. Then the thing Seymour is on, called Mortiorchis, will use Full Life on that character. After a few turns Mortiorchis will use Cross Cleave, dealing about 2,000 damage to the whole party, while Seymour will cast Protect and Shell on himself to halve the damage you do. He'll also cast Reflect and then Flare on himself to make the spell be reflected on you (even if you have Reflect, a spell won't be reflected twice). If that is not enough, if you delay a bit in killing him, he'll start charging Total Annihilation, which will kill you unless your party is properly buffed and at full HP. Did we mention that he also dispels any summon after a turn, making them almost useless? There's a reason some people started dropping the L out of the word "flux".
- On the flip side, Seymour Flux is brutally vulnerable to Poison if you can stick it to him which causes him THOUSANDS of damage every turn for the rest of the battle. Also, since he one-shots aeons, if you charge all your aeons' overdrive bars before the fight and know exactly when Total Annihilation will hit, you can make each of your summons eat one to extend the fight whilst dealing massive damage.
- The Sanctuary Keeper that guards the entrance to Zanarkand definitely counts. It has powerful physical and magical attacks as well as a huge amount of HP, and access to pretty much every status condition in the game. If you thought you could win just by using your overdrives in the beginning of the battle, think again, because it can use the Curse status affect to prevent you from using them (Aeons are not immune to curse as they are to most status conditions), which makes the fight a lot longer. It can also heal itself if you damage it enough (and is smart enough to reflect healing spells off of your team if you try to use reflect on it, so yeah, this fight is to show the player that just attacking over and over again won't be enough to win, and that you actually have to use strategy to win battles from here on out.
- The Spectral Keeper is fought on six floating platforms surrounding it. It has a powerful counterattack which it will use against any party members in front of it, and the fact that one of its attacks will inflict Berserk doesn't help matters. You need to use a Trigger Command to keep moving around and avoid taking counterattack damage, which will slow you down. It also has glyph mines which it may use to instantly kill any party member who is standing on the right platform, but these mines will also instantly kill any summon after only one turn.
- Yunalesca, whom NOBODY likes. She has three phases to get through, and only the first one is even remotely forgiving. In phase one, she counters physical attacks with a blinding spell, special abilities (i.e. Steal and Lancet) makes her put the offending party member to sleep, and black magic gets repayed with a silence effect (and in case you were thinking of getting clever, she's immune to all three, so Reflect's sole use is to save you Echo Screens, Eye Drops and Remedies). Once that's done, she gets a new ability called Hellbiter, which Zombifies the entire party. She then proceeds to cast Cura, Curaga and Regen on you, and fires off Hellbiter every 3-4 turns. In phase three, it gets even better when she casts Mega-Death, a spell that kills everyone in the party who's not a zombie.note Those two abilities alone are frustrating as hell. And it's really too bad, because one of the greatest scenes in the entire game is the setup for this fight. Takes away from it if you're forced to watch it ten times, though.
- Made even more fun because, in a move that can only be considered supremely dickish, her third form's free counterattacks may not do very much damage, but they do strip Haste off your characters. Someone was really proud of that cutscene.
- Her third form also has a very high chance of pulling out a move that damages all party members, and as if that weren't enough, it has a chance of inflicting Confusion on them too.
- All this is further insulting when you realize that Yunalesca is one of the most unique and interesting fights in the series. Her patterns and AI require a strategy much different than veterans are used to, and beating her is a test of strategy and tactics instead of luck. When (not if) you beat her, give yourself a pat on the back. You earned it.
- The problem here is that defeating Yunalesca requires veteran players to disregard everything they know about role-playing game strategy in order to win. Most players have been trained by years of playing RPGs to heal status effects like Zombie whenever possible, not least since Zombified characters take damage from healing items and spells. But, of course, winning the fight requires a character to be a Zombie at a specific point, making it a severe case of Trial-and-Error Gameplay and Fake Difficulty. It is highly unlikely that anyone has ever won this fight on the first attempt without consulting a guide through any method other than sheer luck (in just happening to deal enough damage to get to the third phase before getting a chance to de-Zombify a character). And even then, the fight probably wouldn't be nearly as hated if the player didn't have to sit through the whole cutscene again after losing. In short, the fight could have been a nice idea, but the execution was horribly annoying.
- Overdrive Sin. You only have 16 turns to kill Sin before he uses his Limit Break Giga-Graviton, which destroys the airship for an instant Game Over. The fact that he has 140,000 HP doesn't help at all. Plus, you have to use magic - only Wakka can hit it with melee. This unfortunately can leave you in an unwinnable situation if you haven't trained Lulu or Wakka, as Kimahri, Tidus and even Yuna don't come in very handy here.
Final Fantasy X-2:
- Azi Dahaka, which is a powerful optional boss that only appears if you try to pass through the barrier rings in The Farplane without hitting the right notes on the various pianos interspersed throughout the final stretch of it all. When you get to the end of the Farplane, it's difficult to stay away from an encounter as there is no piano for the notes. Instead, you have to climb on certain platforms in the right order, and the game does NOT make it easy, although you can reset the sequence at any time. He boasts the most HP of any boss in the main storyline (146,200), his normal attack drains the same amount of damage from your own HP (if it does 3000 damage, he's healed by that), he'll cast Curaga on himself occasionally and has a high damage attack called Bated Breath. But the most annoying thing is an attack called Damocles Photon which hits all the characters and knocks 50% off their HP. That's max HP, not current, meaning if the characters are below half their HP then it's bye bye. This boss has a tendency to recover its HP faster than you can damage it.
- Should you be able to defeat the Azi Dahaka, you can also encounter it in the Via Infinito, as a random encounter. Sadly, he's still quite dangerous, even for a party that can manage to make it down to floors 70-74, where he appears.
- Fittingly enough, it's named after the mythical dragon king from Persian mythology.
- Angra Mainyu fought in the Cactuar Nation on Chapter 5 which has over 333,000 HP. It is flanked by two Mooks, one immune to physical damage and the other to magic damage. The Perdition's Flame attack hits everyone and is not very nice if your levels are low. It also inflicts a lot of status effects and casts spells that lower your characters' stats. It can literally take hours to beat if you come unprepared. There are a few tricks to beating him, such as draining all on his MP or careful application of a pair of Dark Knights using Darkness. He prioritizes using Full-Life to revive his mooks above any other action, so if you kill the mooks and/or wipe out his mp supply he's basically helpless.
- The Dark Magus Sisters, the second-last set of Aeons the player has to fight. You of course have to fight them all together at the same time and put up with Cindy casting buffing spells to give her sisters positive status effects. Mindy may have the least HP but her Passado attack is a real pain since she can hit all characters with it and it hits about twelve times which means plenty of Chain damage. Not even mentioning that they're so fast than an average leveled party will get like one turn to their five gajillion. Their Delta Attack takes the cake by reducing everyone's HP to 1 and their MP to 0. The good news is that they can only do it if they're all alive.
- The Guardian Beast in Chapter 1 can either be this or a nasty wake up call. He has the highest HP of any enemy in the game at that point, and his defense is pretty high. So high that you'll barely be chipping away his high HP if you aren't of an adequate level. He also possesses an attack that not only deals heavy damage, but inflicts Curse. Curse means you can't change job classes. Didn't stock up on Holy Waters? Sucks to be you. Fittingly enough, the Azi Dahaka above is a Palette Swap of this boss.
Final Fantasy XI
- Three dungeons in the expansion called Promyvion have bosses that like to use all the worst status ailments such as sleep, curse or just plain high damage are required to even start that particular storyline. While, with the right party set-up, strategy and preparation, all three can be beaten in one evening, assembling a party willing and able to follow a strategy is a feat in itself, especially if everyone in your linkshell has already beaten the story and is too lazy to help out and you are dependant on pick-up parties more often than not consisting of people who just started playing.
- The four magic pots right before the final battle of the main storyline.
Final Fantasy XII
- Tiamat is considerably more powerful than the last boss that the party fought, making her very difficult for a normally-leveled party. It's arguable whether she or the Elder Wyrm (which comes up a short time later) is That One Boss of this game, but because the Elder Wyrm is skippable, Tiamat gets the credit.
- Not quite. Tiamat's big gimmick is Disablega, which is frustrating but avoidable if you spread your characters out enough. The Elder Wyrm, by contrast, has Sporefall, which inflicts a multitude of status effects. They can get Poisoned, Sapped, and Confused in one turn, meaning they'll happily kill off other party members while slowly dying themselves. And this attack might hit everyone. Sure, all of these effects are curable with Esuna - provided one of your characters survived Sporefall without Confuse - all of them except Oil, that is, which will allow the Elder Wyrm to one-hit kill you with Fireball. It can cast a few other status effects, hits pretty hard, comes flanked by two Treant lackies and has half again the HP of Tiamat. If Larsa hadn't been in your party this fight would have been impossible. Oh, and the route that allows you to skip this boss takes you through a good portion of the Feywood, a region where the monsters are easily twice your level and will kill you in a few hits. It's impossible to have the Feywood map at this point, and the Mist jams your map for a good portion of it anyway. It's only a viable option if you've had a lot of practice at the art of fleeing in FFXII.
- Never a stranger to this list, the two Demon Walls can spell trouble for players. The optional one is pure murder, but offers a nice blade that counts as a Disc One Nuke. The mandatory one isn't as hard, but is still a nightmare unless you've done some serious Level Grinding. Though if you return at a higher level later in the game, the optional Demon Wall is much easier.
- Not quite to the extent of the bosses above, but the mandragoras in Sochen Cave Palace are pretty obnoxious. There's five of them. They can run faster than your characters. Most of them can cast annoying status effects, and two of them can cure the others. It becomes a game of keeping track of the damn things, chasing them down and beating them about the head a few times before they hit you with status effects, heal and run away. You're not likely to lose this fight unless you royally screw up - and unlike the above fights, you have no Larsa or Vossler to help you - but you will be controller-chewingly frustrated the first time you face them. (And that's nothing compared to the second group of mandragoras that you can encounter in the Feywood, which double their level multiple times and hit VERY hard. Thankfully, you can easily avoid those ones, since the method of spawning them requires killing every enemy in the rather large zone.)
- Rafflesia in the Feywoods is also a massive pain. For starters, your MP is being drained at an incredible rate for the entire battle. That means all healing will be limited to potions, but Hi-Potions will be wearing out their usefulness by now and X-Potions are pretty expensive. It also loves inflicting multiple status conditions on you, such as Sap, Sleep, Confuse, Disable, and Poison. If all that wasn't enough, it'll also start summoning Malboros once it loses enough HP, who will all spam Bad Breath to really stack up the status conditions on you. Killing them isn't worth it, because it will always summon more to replace fallen ones (though this can be prevented by casting Silence on Rafflesia). If you weren't carrying enough Remedies on you to counter the statuses, it's a long road back to town to get more.
Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy
Final Fantasy XIII:
- The Shiva Sisters don't count, as Snow's by himself and the tutorial tells you how to win. However, their sole purpose is to get you to understand how Eidolon battles work - the Eidolon slaps the character they're associated with (always rotated into the role of party leader) with the Doom debuff, giving you three minutes (five and change on Slow) to fill the Gestalt meter or else you die, resulting in an instant Game Over. Get used to these rules; there's five more where they came from, and they pull no punches. Vent all your frustrations before facing one; you may build them back up in short order. Here are the rest of the Eidolons:
- Odin serves the purpose of making sure the mechanics of Eidolon battles have been thoroughly hammered into your head. For starters, your party at this point consists of only Lightning and Hope, and Odin attacks Hope exclusively. Keep in mind that Hope has the lowest max HP and some seriously weak defense at this stage in the game, which means it'll be all you can do just to keep him alive. If you Libra Odin, it'll reveal that he "yields to those who amass chain bonuses" and "yields to those who heal the wounded". Okay, so you just heal Hope the entire battle and ride it out, right? Guess again; doing this alone doesn't raise the Gestalt meter quickly enough to outpace the Doom countdown. This means that you have to be able to switch quickly between going on the offensive and healing Hope in order to have any hope, and if you still haven't figured out how to raise the Chain meter quickly and keep it raised, prepare to die over and over and over again. Attempts going into the double digits in a single playthrough are not unheard of. And remember, this is only the second Eidolon out of six.
- Brynhildr. Her attacks aren't powerful enough to one-shot you, but they can be incredibly annoying, as they take off a good chunk of your health. Your party, as with the Odin fight, has only two people. This fight hammers home the importance of those buff and debuff spells that you've largely ignored up to this point, since without your party being appropriately buffed and Brynhildr being weakened sufficiently, you simply can't deal enough damage to make any progress. If Brynhildr doesn't finish you off, the Doom countdown is almost certain to finish the job.
- Then comes Bahamut. He has a three-hit combo of doom, which knocks whoever it hits into the air, making them unable to act for the entire duration of the combo. The combo can hit everyone in its radius, and if it hits Fang twice in a row before you can heal (which is very possible if your healers get flung skyward from the first attack), you're dead.
- The very next boss fight (literally) is Alexander. Your party consists of Hope, Lightning, and Fang. Hope's HP is the lowest of the three. Alexander's first attack has a wide enough radius that it will probably hit all three of your party members, knocking them down in the process. His second attack comes fast enough that your party will barely be standing up again, meaning you haven't had a chance to heal, so it will very likely kill Hope. Recover the instant this attack is done, or you will sorely regret it.
- Finally, there's Hecatoncheir, who not only hits crazily hard, but has a very difficult-to-fill gauge, almost requiring Haste to be able to get enough attacks in. However, neither Fang nor Vanille will have access to Haste at this point without an absolutely ridiculous amount of CP grinding, meaning if you want to beat the fight sometime this century, you'll have to rely on the extremely rare Aegisol. Having to fight him with only two party members way after the point when the game lets you pick your own party doesn't help much. If you haven't gotten used to Vanille much after all this time, prepare to be creamed.
- Cid Raines teaches you that bosses can Paradigm Shift the same as you, and will do so to great effect. Cid will almost always match your Paradigm with a strategy perfectly tailored to counter it, which means either your attacks will barely scratch him, or he'll be kicking your ass while you're buffing and healing. Even worse, once his HP gets below half, he'll whip out Seraphic Ray, which hits your entire party for around half their max HP and erases any active buffs, meaning that once you recover, you'll be pretty much defenseless for the remaining ass-kicking. If you somehow manage to get back on your feet after that, he'll just keep roasting you with Seraphic Ray again and again and again until you're dead. Staggering him before he reaches that point is the only safe way to beat him, but because he'll just keep blocking your attacks, pulling this off is much easier said than done, basically requiring you to constantly Paradigm Shift faster than he can react and praying you can get enough damage in. Outmatched and outclassed doesn't even begin to describe this fight
- Dahaka. At first, he doesn't seem so bad, but then he breaks out his powerful elemental attacks, which will absolutely trash you if you're a bit underleveled. If you can tank through these, then eventually he breaks out the big guns in the form of Aeroga and Diluvian Plague. Aeroga hurts like holy hell, and Diluvian Plague dispels all your buffs and inflicts every status ailment on your party.
- Enlil and Enki. You fight them with only Sazh and Vanille in your party. One at a time, they wouldn't be bad at all, but together, they're infuriating.
- The second form of Barthandelus. He has a grand total of three attacks: first is the laser attack, which has a chance of inflicting Fog or Pain (disabling magical and physical abilities respectively) that he spams CONSTANTLY. There is no point during the battle where he isn't spamming that attack unless he's using one of the others. Next is Apoptosis, which does a fair amount of damage to everyone, removes all your buffs and all his debuffs. Then there's Thanatosian Laughter, which hits the entire party for for MASSIVE DAMAGE. Did we mention he has around 3.3 million HP? Good luck five-starring that, even with Level 8 Crystarium maxed out for all party members. And finally, if you take too long in beating him, he casts something nasty (read Doom, AKA instant, unavoidable death once the time counter that appears runs out) on your party leader.
- Showing up around a third of the way into the game, Aster Protoflorian will find out if you've really got this game's battle system figured out. He finds out by wrecking you if you haven't. His regular attacks are powerful enough, then he starts swapping out his elemental weakness and following up with Efforescence, which will most likely hit both your party members with a powerful physical attack. Oh, and your party members for this fight are Lightning and Hope, the two characters with the lowest max HP in the game. Have fun trying to juggle healing, buffing, and attacking between two characters.
- Lampshaded in Lightning Returns; when asked to deal with a "Protoflorian" in a sidequest, Lightning recalls the fight from XIII.
- Lightning: I knew it as the Aster Protoflorian. It was one of the toughest battles Hope and I fought.
- Lampshaded in Lightning Returns; when asked to deal with a "Protoflorian" in a sidequest, Lightning recalls the fight from XIII.
Final Fantasy XIII-2:
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 has its share of really annoying and difficult bosses, most of them named Caius.
- The first fight with Caius, in Oerba 200 AF. He's not too bad at first, but if you can't take him down during his first stagger period, then he'll inevitably cast Brave, Faith, and Regen on himself. Brave and Faith can be dispelled, but Regen can't, and if you're underleveled, you won't be able to outdamage the health regeneration. And you probably won't know that Poison overrides Regen, either.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII:
- Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII also sees the return of Caius, and he’s probably the most soul-crushingly difficult boss in the entire game. His attacks are fiendishly powerful and relentless, plus the camera tends to focus on him, making them very hard to block. Caius can also restore a huge chunk of his HP and is incredibly difficult to stagger. Perhaps worst of all, you can’t simply wait until you get stronger to face him, since he’s literally the only boss who grows in power as Lightning does.
Final Fantasy XIV
- For quite a few, the primal  Titan counts. The major problem is his arena is over a fatal fall and many of his attacks involve pushing you off the edge, well outside of the range of any resurrection spells. The arena also shrinks significantly throughout the fight. Hard Mode is particular notorious for Landslide's Ao E flat out lying. Two blue lines signify where the animation will trigger, but not the attack itself. Many a players are subsequently punted off the arena despite seemingly have dodged. Basically, Titan will not allow you to cut it close.
- Garuda deserves a mention. Her attacks are absolutely brutal for melee DPS, and to make matters worse, she has a particularly large cleave. About a third into the fight, she will begin summoning feathers that explode for considerable damage. A short while thereafter, two adds will spawn, each with their own scaled down versions of all her attacks. If both aren't killed quickly, Garuda will wipe the party. Ironically, her Hard Mode counterpart is painfully easy by comparison.
- Coming right before Titan in terms of dungeons and trials is the last boss of Brayflox's Longstop, Aiatar. In addition to using poison debuffs liberally throughout the fight, it also spams a poisons AOE pool that will quickly overtake the battleground. Leaving the boss on the pools will have its HP regenerate.
- Siren is absolute hell for anyone playing the role of a healer. Siren herself doesn't deal too much damage, but the zombies that she summons can quickly mess up anyone if they're not healed fast enough. Siren also has the ability to inflict the Charm status on a random person that can't be cured with Esuna; the only way to get rid of Charm is to have the target's HP completely filled, which means spamming Cure spells. If you fail to remove Charm, then the effect changes where the target loses control over themselves and they attack the party for a few seconds. It's not bad if a magic user is affected since they have weak physical attack power, but god help you if a high damage dealing player gets affected by Charm. To make matters worse, Siren can also cause Reduced Immunity, which makes healing magic less powerful for the affected players. And yes Siren WILL cause Reduced Immunity on top of Charm as well.
- Captain Madison for Satasha Hard can be hell for even parties that are prepared. Madison will sometimes pick a random party member and shoot them until they die, then switching to another target. Rinse and repeat. Madison will get a damage boost for his gun spam, which makes healing though it impossible. Only by having the party damage him enough until he stops will work, but if your party isn't properly geared or aware, then it's a guaranteed wipe.
- Feridad, the final boss of Adampor Keep (Hard) will give shit to first timers. At first the fight is simple, but soon you find out the main gimmick of the fight, that he summons adds tethered to him that expands the range of his AOE attack which pretty much kills everyone except the Tank. While the first time is pretty easy to avoid, you are not out of the woods yet, he then spawns a slime add on a player that prevents them from moving and needs to be killed before he can do a One-Hit Kill attack to that party member. Then while attacking he uses several line AO Es at the same time as summoning a couple of energy scythes that track party members and can easily kill them. And if that wasn't painful enough he does his expanding AOE again, this time with a single very bulky add, and also a couple of the slime adds pinning half the party in place. It gets so bad that most DPS just use their limit break on the bulky add.
- Angra Mainyu in the World of Darkness is a pain in the ass to fight due to how the battle throws a ton of unavoidable mechanics at you, the effects of which range from a severe debuff to near-instant death. The only way to negate these is to move to very specific areas within seconds of the attack landing, and said areas are sometimes covered by yet another area-of-effect attack.
- The boss of The Keeper Of The Lake, while not incredibly difficult, is simply a pain in the ass due to the massive AOE spam coming from the boss and the dragons he revives. Casters will have a very rough time trying to cast anything without having to stop their casting to move out of the way of yet another AOE attack. It's also possible to have multiple AOE attacks cover large portions of the arena, making it much more difficult to dodge them.
- Vishap in The Steps of Faith forces the player to forget everything they’ve learned about how the game’s boss battles work by making the boss move inexorably along a bridge towards Ishgard, requiring precise activation of cannons while holding off a horde of smaller dragons instead of the usual tank-and-spank approach. The entire fight is timed (based on the boss' progression down the bridge), so if the giant dragon reaches the end of the bridge and destroys the final barrier, Isghard is doomed to the dragon horde and you'll have to redo the entire sequence again. To top it all off, dragon's advancement from beginning to end can take about 10 to 20 minutes and you only have 60 minutes to complete the duty, so each failure puts you at a greater risk for the duty to become Unwinnable. Unlike other duties, a total party wipe doesn't restart the battle, so even if your group knows that you can't salvage the fight, you're forced to wait for the dragon to destroy the last barrier before you can try again.
- While all of the Extreme versions of Primal fights are this to an extent, there are some standouts:
- Titan Extreme. Along with the things listed above, he now has an arena about the quarter of the size of Normal or Hard, Titan's Ring Out attack splits into 3, then 5 lines, he summons additional enemies which do their own Landslide attacks, and he gains a new Shockwave attack that is an Area-of-Effect Ring Out.
- Thornmarch (Extreme) can be absoloute carnage if even one person doesn't know every last aspect of the fight. Hard mode is relatively simple so the difficulty spike is particularly brutal because not many people expect it to be that difficult. Every single member of the group will have their role to play, be it interrupting massive AO Es, tanking enemies, nullifying curses and so on, and even a single mistake can cause the entire run to collapse in on itself.
- Ramuh Extreme requires near-perfect coordination, with very little room for error. About 2/3rds of the battlefield is flooded with shin-deep water, which shocks everything inside it whenever a lightning bolt drops (frequently). Ramuh also gains a One-Hit Kill attack against tanks, and a Taunt attack against everyone else, and the second phase of his fight requires you to kill six additional enemies in a circle in just under two minutes tops, otherwise you wipe instantly. Towards the end of the fight, these Arbiters spawn again to charge up Ramuh's One-Hit Kill to the raid, but are untargetable, giving you a very small window to chunk off the last third of his health, all while dealing with prior mechanics.
- Ifrit Extreme, in addition to several other attack and damage buffs, upgrades his Infernal Nail / Hellfire wipe mechanic from the 4 nails you had to break in Hard Mode (already a difficult task) to THIRTEEN. It is almost mandatory for a Black Mage or Summoner to use their Limit Breaks to destroy the nails before the timer runs out and Ifrit wipes the party.
- Leviathan Extreme, primarily due to the Spinning Dive and Body Slam attacks. These attacks cause knockback, which isn't such a big deal on Hard mode due to the railings around the boat. On Extreme difficulty, however, the railings are torn off by the first tidal wave attack, making it fiendishly easy to get pulled off the boat and permanently removed from the fight. This is only made worse by how short the spout of water (which indicates from which direction Leviathan will attack next) is. Oh, and Spinning Dive slaps anyone hit with it with Water Resistance Down. Mix that in with Briny Veil (forcing healer swaps and requiring the tank holding the tail to run on very little healing) and Grand Fall (a massive, hard-hitting Water-damage AOE that inflicts Heavy), and you have a teeth grinding experience.
- The Binding Coil of Bahamut was designed for this, but a few stand out in particular.
- Turn 5 of the first Binding Coil features Twintania. More than just being a hard fight with several Instant Kill attacks, she is also a Marathon Boss. The two mechanics that stand out though are her Divebombs, which basically require abusing a pit in the corner of the arena to even clear, and her Twisters, which are invisible tornadoes that kill you instantly if you retrace your steps taken during the cast period, or cross paths with someone else's path.
- Turn 2 of the Second Coil of Bahamut, also known as Turn 7, is another nightmare. Melusine will inflict random members of your party with Cursed Voice, which petrifies everyone in a cone in front of them after the debuff wears off, and casts her own Cursed Shriek, which One Hit Kills anyone who doesn't line-of-sight behind a Cyclops add, who also one-hit kill anyone who gets in range.
- Turn 4 of the Second Coil of Bahamut, also known as Turn 9, is considered to be the biggest learning curve boss in the game. In fact, even the last Coil fight against Bahamut is considered to be easier to learn. There's several phases, all of which can be summarized as "Do the thing perfectly or Nael kills you in one hit". Oh, and Twintania makes a reappearance to do her signature Divebombs.
- Cuchulainn, the third boss of the Void Ark, is already shaping up as being this. On top of inflicting an uncurable debuff that will slowly but surely sap away at the players' health, he possesses a very wide, lingering AOE that will kill any player caught in it in a manner of seconds (God help you if he accidentally drops one of these on the platforms you need to stand on to avoid his instant-kill attack !), will spawn adds that he can absorb for a significant damage boost, orbs that will need to be exploded before they can explode on their own, often wiping out the raid, or towers that will worsen the constant damage taken by everyone and need to be taken out fast. On top of all this, he boasts a high amount of health and can make himself invincible in certain phases, making him a very grueling Marathon Boss. Compared to him, the actual last boss of the raid is a cakewalk.
- Flame General Aldynn (Raubahn). Story event bosses aren't usually that difficult, but when Raubahn engages you in the Grand Melee in 3.2, his mechanics wouldn't be too out of place as a dungeon boss or even a raid boss, which is a very nasty surprise for a single-player fight. He routinely rams you into his ring of fire with an unavoidable knockback move, has several crazy AOE patterns, mimics Ifrit's One-Hit Kill nail attack, and you're on a time limit. Your one respite in the fight is that your NPC allies are still healing you from outside the fire, but you can still die very easily from all the attacks Raubahn rapidly fires off.
- Quickthinx Allthoughts, leader of the Goblin Illuminati, engages you personally in Alexander: The Arm of the Son (Midas' third floor). The fight's difficulty comes from the sheer number of mechanics everyone needs to know. First off, he has four cages around the arena that Quickthinx drops players into, each with their own gimmick that has to be followed, or someone/everyone will die. Healers can't target people blocked off by the cages, and anyone too close to the abductee gets taken with them, which almost always ends in a wipe. Self-destructing adds also spawn during this and have to be burned down before the go off. Secondly, Quickthinx will constantly fire off party-wide damage moves, one of which is as laser with no AOE marker. Third, Quickthinx's pet cat will periodically waltz into the arena and spawn a "True Heart" which, if not destroyed before it reaches Quickthinx, will severely boost his AOE power to lethal levels, forcing the Tank to drag him around the arena so the Heart doesn't reach him. He also drops giant iron balls during this phase that do a painful 9999 damage to anyone they touch, forcing constant dodging. Fourth and finally, his "Uplander Doom" attack stacks vulnerability on the current main Tank, forcing frequent tank-swapping — not normally an issue, but he has a bad habit of doing this when the cat and iron balls are out, which can lead to keyboard/controller/whathaveyou-breaking moments if the iron balls happen to get between the off-tank and Quickthinx before he can take aggro. The whole party has to be on its toes for the whole fight, or Quickthinx can cause a wipe with little warning. Lots of players quickly called it the hardest fight of Midas, and some are just dreading what the Savage version will be like...
- Remember Ozma, the murderous marble Bonus Boss from Final Fantasy IX? 3.3 brings it back as the penultimate boss of the Weeping City of Mhach, and it is every bit as brutal now as it was then. It rains AOEs on the party like they're going out of style, it occasionally sticks players with a bomb debuff that is a One-Hit Kill if they do anything while they have it, adds will drop in as AOE meteors that need to be carefully place and killed before they self-destruct for raid-wide damage, one of Ozma's forms has exploding energy balls that need to be soaked up by the tanks before they self-destruct for raid-wide damage, and it's possible to fall off of the arena (thankfully Ozma itself can't kick you off, but you can walk off yourself. Though if a Dragoon isn't paying attention, they can fall off when trying to use Jump on one of the adds who can float above the gaps.). A single mistake is enough to wipe a whole party, which quickly snowballs into wiping the whole alliance. Its signature Doomsday attack is ironically the easiest mechanic to deal with since it's only used for a DPS check.
- The boss who immediately follows Ozma. While her pattern and mechanics are much easier to read and predict than Ozma's, she offsets this with her massive range (the entire arena to whichever side of her that her blade is on), her extremely fast casting times (giving players little time to avoid it), and the huge amount of damage she causes. Now add in the fact that she is constantly planting traps around the arena which can end up forcing unlucky players to get hit by her powerful Haircut attack and you have a boss who ends up getting a higher kill record than Ozma in many cases.
- Nidhogg's Shade from The Final Steps of Fate. In an unusual move for Main Story Quest bosses, Nidhogg's Shade is an ENORMOUS spike in difficulty due to the massively damaging aoe attacks which cover large chunks of the arena, smaller aoes which are powerful enough to kill most players in one hit (often using both of these at the same time, trapping players who try to dodge one into getting hit by the other), and a near constant party wide attack which is likely to kill resurrected players due to how much damage it does stacked with the resurrection weakness debuff. In other words, if you die once, you're pretty much out of the fight for good. And Halone help you if you happen to fall before the DPS check halfway through the fight.
Final Fantasy Tactics
- The battle against Marquis Elmdor and the Assassins (read: Ninja class on steroids) on top of Riovanes Castle is an exercise in restraining the urge to snap the controller in two. First, Rafa has a tendency to blindly charge into the Assassins' range and get herself instantly killed by Stop Breath — which has an abnormally high accuracy rate for a no-cost, no-strings-attached ability that causes instant DEATH. But it's Rafa - who cares? Well, the game does; and if she goes down on this particular level (not as in crystal, as in HP reaching 0), then it's GAME OVER. And there are TWO assassins - both of whom are ungodly fast and will likely move before anyone in your party. Their abilities: the aforementioned Stop Breath, a spell that can inflict Charm, Shadowbind (which causes your character to be unable to move, attack, or defend, and is nearly 100% accurate), and Ultima. You put this battle anywhere in the story, and it's a challenge. But this fight is the last of a series of three with only save points in between (which you will do in a separate slot if you're smart), and directly after— you guessed it— the infamous Wiegraf, thereby turning Riovanes Castle into FFT's That One Level.
- Unless you know what you're getting into, the solo fight between the aforementioned Wiegraf and Ramza is a good way to force you to restart the game. Wiegraf's got an at-will blast attack that deals just under half your HP if you're a tank class, the ability to heal, height advantage, and the "generosity" to fight you in a small, cramped arena where you can't run from him to heal up and swing back. And no, you can't go back and grind or even shop because you're locked into the next mission. Oh, and if you win, you get to fight a powered up version who has a gigantic, area-affect summon and minions who can use one of the strongest spells in the game at will.
- It says a lot about how maddeningly difficult the Duel Boss part of the battle is that most people consider the second portion a touch easier.
- The fight at the Golgorand Execution Site fits here nicely as well. You get to fight Gafgarion, tough by himself as he damages you and gets HP back with his signature attack that doesn't cost any MP, and other enemies, specifically two Time Mages which will happily status effect your people. You also start out divided into two groups, the second group popping up right in range of said Time Mages. At least there is one (one) random encounter map open because that fight blocks your access to the rest of Ivalice. If you are not prepared, be ready to get to know that map very well.
- The subsequent battle with Gafgarion is no fun either because it can quickly turn into a Duel Boss situation. The enemy on the outside isn't that strong, but because of that annoying HP-absorbing ability, you'd need quite a bit of luck to win going one-on-one against Gafgarion with just the main character. This is worsened by the fact that, if the hero dies in the wrong place, it's very tough to try to revive him, which leads to him turning into a crystal and then game over.
- The second battle against Balk/Barich isn't quite Wiegraf, but it still really SUCKS. Why? Because some of your staple melee tank classes are almost useless due in large part to the gargantuan chasm that's right in the middle of the stage. He, on the other hand, has a gun (one that turns your characters to stone), not to mention dragons and other terrible beasties, all of which can hand your ass to you from right where they're standing. A certain monster good at transporting can save you some trouble, but due to their overall lack of abilities, most players don't think to have one in the party.
- Given a basic grasp of game mechanics and making things easier on yourself with certain choices like prioritizing beating the Corpse Brigade in the level where Argath shows up, the first few fights shouldn't give you that much trouble. But if you know what's good for you, you'll swallow your pride and do some Level Grinding before setting foot in Dorter. This level pops up very early on (it's the fourth storyline battle), and it's the first map that you deal with enemy Archers and Black Mages. There are a couple of each, all conveniently placed just far enough away for it to take more than one turn for you to reach them, but just close enough for them to move forward and attack you. The worst are the two archers sniping your party from the tallest building on the map. You have a couple of guest characters that usually default to going up there and taking care of them first, but the building's tiles are laid out so that they take about 2-3 turns to navigate into attack range, during which the Black Mages and Archers can riddle them (and the rest of your hapless party) full of holes. And to add to the whole mess, there's a well-outfitted Knight guarding the Black Mages, and he will slap the ever-loving shit out of any unit that tries to beat up the Mages in melee. This battle is Final Fantasy Tactics' way of telling you it won't pull any punches; not now, not ever.
- Taking on the Marquis inside Limberry Castle isn't much fun, either. You don't have the ridiculous conditions of the last battle, but Celia and Lettie are still...well, Celia and Lettie, except at a higher level. Not to mention Elmdore himself, who's basically a higher-leveled version of himself (i.e. a samurai on steroids) that makes use of Master Teleportation - basically, the Teleport skill that may or may not be available to some of your characters at this point - minus any sort of failure rate. note Oh Crap!. If there's an upside to this battle, it's the fact that: 1: You only have to bring him down to 20% to win the battle, and 2: he's got a full set of really badass armor that you can rip from him - provided you've got a skilled pilferer and the Zodiac Stones to try it.note
- On a parenthetical note, the Marquis and his two assassins go One-Winged Angel after this fight.
- Less dramatic, but the Bariaus Hill battle from chapter 2 is no fun at all, and that's mainly because of the two summoners that are off the edge of the hill (and yet still horizontally close enough to cast spells at your own team, who are more than likely still bunched together. It's a good thing the BGM for this level is pretty good; you may be hearing it more than once.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced series
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance:
- Adrammelech has a powerful attack hits anything in a line between him and the edge of the arena, which is especially bad given that the arena is a long, narrow one, with your party and his group on opposite ends. He also comes with three dragons who are quite powerful, and it's difficult to kill him without killing them first. A few levels, the right Law card, the right party setup, and a moogle with full JP will take this fight from "outright impossible" to "ludicrously hard". However, the big problem is finding out how to block that line attack, and to learn that spells that are one square attacks elsewhere are multiple square attacks there.
- Fighting Llednar the second time you meet him. His fight comes after a somewhat tough fight inside the Bervenia Palace and is made worse due to the fact that it is a Duel Boss fight between himself and Marche. Unless Marche was raised as a melee fighter for high HP and Defense (and assuming you are not purposely using one of the many game breakers the game has) the fight will become a nightmare. You cannot damage him at all due to plot reasons and you have to stall for several turns until another character shows up to end the fight. Llednar has one ability that can put you under Doom status, inflicting KO on Marche in a few turns. Another ability can damage and Poison you so you get worn down. Llednar's signature move, Omega, can instantly defeat you with its massive damage unless you seriously level grinded. If you lose this fight, you'll have to do the previous battle again just to get back to this part.
- For levity's sake, here's Sdrawkcab Name having his paycheck stolen: http://lparchive.org/Final-Fantasy-Tactics-Advance/Update%2034/
Final Fantasy Tactics A2:
- Flowsand Lord: It shows up early in the game out of the blue- the mission you take to fight it is about foraging for pearls, for goodness' sake- and will completely pulverize anyone who hasn't level grinded. First is its ludicrous stats- low speed and low magic, and an inability to move, but these don't matter at all because it has no magic attacks and has nearly 800 HP with the offense and defense of something double your level. It has 3 attacks straight off the bat- Gravity Flux, which deals roughly 75% of your current HP to all your party members, Stun Crush, which heavily damages all units next to it and inflicts Immobilize (and without being adjacent to it your melee attackers can't do anything) and, in an ultimate show of AI cheapness, Consume, which has a range of 10 tiles (read: most of the arena), deals damage enough to push you into HP Critical, moves you right next to it for a Stun Crush finisher, and restores its HP by the amount it deals, leaving one round's permanent damage at about 40 HP. The arena itself is inverse conical, meaning some routes are inaccessible to units with low Jump stats, and at that point in the game you can't camp in the corner and spam illusion spells because you don't have the Illusionist class yet. The Law itself is a nightmare, forbidding special actions by Nou Mu- your main damage dealers and spell casters- and while it would seem that you could just ignore it and spam the odd level 2 spell, the Squishy Wizards will get hammered by Consume, and, as the Law is invalidated, you can't resurrect your dead. Even worse, the boss has two tough Antlion lackeys that infinitely spawn, and, because you'll be facing the Lord, can spam paralytic attacks on your back for massive damage and debuffs. And the worst bit? After defeating it, you don't get any special rewards like you would from the optional bosses like Cerayn and Magick Weapon Mk 2, and you have to beat it as it is a story mission. On another note, as a story mission you cannot quit it once you start it, and when you lose (which you will) you get a game over instead of a simple "oh well, try again". Flowsand Lord's only weakness is to Air spells, but at this point in the game the only access to an Air attack is a Bishop with Aero. Given that Bangaa have pretty low magic and the Bishop is a Bangaa only class, it's not even strikingly effective. It also casts 14 MP, so unless you manage to boost your Bishop's MP before his turn, you get to cast it once every 2 or 3 turns, thanks to the MP system of the game.
- This fight is made significantly easier if you have a White Monk or two - the Air Render skill is also Air elemental and can do a fair amount of damage at a distance. But it's still not fun thanks to the healing factor of Consume.
Other games in the series:
- The most absurd fights in the Game Boy game Final Fantasy Legend II/SaGa 2, are with the "Tian Lung" and "Fenrir" mini-bosses you encounter in the dungeon between Apollo and Arsenal. Winning either of these fights is essentially a Luck-Based Mission, because depending on the whim of the Random Number God, the battle may be against as many as eight copies of the monster. They almost always act before your characters, and their "Tornado" attack hits every member of your party for more than 600 damage in a game where the Max HP cap is 999. An encounter with two or more is basically impossible to win.
- Final Fantasy Legend III/SaGa 3 is possibly even more brutal with its content than its predecessor's sudden difficulty spikes. Agron takes the role of That One Boss fair and square. You think several other bosses like Chaos and Ashura are rather large difficulty spikes? Agron not only comes very late in the game, but for the past five or so hours of the game (Depending on how much you spent leveling in the Purelands), you had a Guest Star Party Member with you, either Faye or Dion. Without powerleveling, this boss turns into a luck-based battle. He begins with an "Unexpected Attack" (??) which is basically "Agron casts White" (around 600 damage, or 2/3rds your health) followed up (in his next turn) with a non-elemental hit-all that does even MORE damage. Or he'll just Petrify one of your characters and make you waste a turn healing them instead of healing your party or attacking him.
- Final Fantasy Mystic Quest:
- Medusa can paralyze and petrify the party. Now, there is an item that cures all status ailments... but this is counterbalanced by how your party is two people. If she's faster than you are and hits you with petrification, you're done.
- Pazuzu can uses Psychshield to reflect magic. If he goes first after you order a spell, or if you just plain don't know what it does yet, Psychshield will reflect the spell. And odds are you're casting Aero to hit his weakness, so the reflected attack will do over 1000 damage to you resulting in an instant kill. A small mercy is that he can occasionally attack with the Psychshield, removing it from himself. Later on Pazuzu's reincarnation, Zuh, also has Psychshield, along with an Instant Death attack. Goodie.
- The very first Behemoth can kill you if one of your attacks misses, or one of its attacks critically hit. Keep in mind that this is the first fight of the game.
- Being a Genre Throwback, most of the bosses Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light.
- Admittedly, this has a lot to do with the fact that many enemies in general in 4HoL are rather gimmicky, and bosses often require a very specific set of skills or equipments that are completely not obvious at all until you're wiped out, forcing you to claw your way back through an entire dungeon (which gets very frustrating later in the game) after grabbing the one thing that you needed to take out the boss efficiently. This happens a lot outside of battle as well....
- Doppelganger. An evil version of your party, except they get twice as many turns as you, have between two to four times the max hp of your tankiest character, and are in a 2 rank formation, so you can't kill the casters easily. Oh, and they heal. Frequently. And that properly equipped black mage you've been using to obliterate every boss in the way? Now his Doppelganger turns that power on you. Cue Angrish in response to (multiple) TotalPartyKills. Hope you weren't planning on using those gems to upgrade any crowns that might have helped you beat the boss.
- Asmodeus inflicts widespread status effects. You could have 4 ribbons by this point, but probably won't. Added annoyance is that the game's auto-target system doesn't prioritize petrified or paralyzed characters over less debilitating status effects such as poison. You lose to auto-target as often as you lose to him, unless you invest in certain classes or spells which can remove ailments from everyone.
- To elaborate further, Asmodeus has four main attacks, and can use two in each round. Firaga hits everyone, but it's Fire-element and it's not hard at that stage to have fire resistance shields. His basic attacks are low-damage Earth-element, and earth-resistant cloaks aren't too hard to get. That's the good part. As for the bad: the big one would be Sidewinder, which inflicts virtually every status effect in the game except Petrify. Confusion? Sleep? Poison? Blindness? Yes to all of the above. And it hits everyone for quite substantial amounts of damage. Oh, and it's spammable. And the fourth? Break. Which inflicts, you guessed it, Petrify. It's somehow appropriate that he's named after a demon, given the extended list of profanities and shouts of "Jesus Christ stop using Sidewinder twice a round" he induces.
- Belphegor is a rather difficult fight, given his annoying ability to continually change elemental resistances. Oh you thought his weakness was water? Now its wind. Or is it fire? Guess wrong and you'll end up healing him. Not to mention, unlike other bosses, he has three cronies to back him up, each of which shares his resistances and can all pack quite a punch. Hope you brought an Elementalist.
- When you challenge him again in the star chamber, he's significantly easier though, since you now possess the Desolater spell (and if you still use the Black Mage, Magic Might as well) which is a powerful non-elemental spell that'll bust through him and his cubes in no time. You'll still need that Elementalist though.
- Heck, most of the bosses in the second half of the game could potentially qualify.
- The first fight with the Coelacanth in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates. To start with, most of the stage is underwater and everyone has Super Drowning Skills. The only places to stand are a narrow ledge that only covers two walls and some platforms that the fishy can dunk while you're standing on them. For the ledge, it can use vacuum breath to drag you into the water, which deals damage. When it's out of the water, it has its pick of a tracking bubble attack (damages and stuns, immobilizing your character for a few critical seconds), a wide-range breath attack, or a very powerful energy blast. Otherwise, it's underwater and out of reach. Its Achilles' Heel is positioned so that it's very hard to reach when emerged, and of course since it's at the edge of the water, it's easy to fall in by mistake. And since this is theoretically supposed to be Meeth's battle, the game gives you some element vents on the ledges—you know, in case you want to take an extended break to mix up some magicite while the fishy is doing any of the above things to everyone.