''Wearing a bucket on your head will not increase your chances of beating this song, or maybe it will."
If it helps, these infamous boss songs
also tend to be Awesome Music
. Often times though you'll play them so many times that they'll echo in your head for life
Due to how a majority of these Rhythm Games
work (mainly in that the player typically gets to pick their songs), looser definitions of Bonus Boss
are being applied for this section. Songs that can be expected to be played in any given session are perfectly fair game. Final Bosses should be compared to where the difficulty curve would put them before being listed, and bonus songs and Downloadable Content
should be added sparingly. Wake Up Call Bosses
should be fair game unless there is a particular reason why they must be done at/by a specific point (e.g. Career Mode in older Guitar Hero
games), in which case they should be strongly considered before addition to this page.
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Guitar Hero series
- The Original Guitar Hero
- Worth noting that it suffers from a very bad case of Early-Installment Weirdness; most notably, it features the absolute worst HO/PO system ever seen in a fake plastic guitar game, and multiple songs are downright impossible to FC without strumming every note
- Songs that are considered That One Boss by tier order include:
- Guitar Hero II
- Guitar Hero Encore: Rock The 80s
- Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
- Guitar Hero: Aerosmith
- Guitar Hero: World Tour
- Guitar Hero: On Tour Series
- Guitar Hero: Metallica
- "No Leaf Clover", "All Nightmare Long", "Frantic" and "King Nothing" by Metallica
- "War Ensemble" by Slayer
- "Blood and Thunder" by Mastodon
- "Nothing Else Matters", "Fuel", and "King Nothing" by Metallica
- "Toxicity" by System of a Down
- "Stone Cold Crazy" by Queen
- "War Ensemble" by Slayer
- Guitar Hero: Smash Hits
- Guitar Hero 5
- Band Hero
- Guitar Hero: Van Halen
- "Eruption", "Little Guitars", "Hot For Teacher", "Spanish Fly" and "I'm The One" by Van Halen
- "Painkiller" by Judas Priest
- DJ Hero Series
- Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock
Rock Band Series
- Similar to "Free Bird" in Guitar Hero II is "Green Grass and High Tides" from Rock Band. It isn't so much that it's boringly easy for any period of time. No, it's the fact that the song itself is long and mostly moderate in difficulty, then after nearly eight minutes, it throws 15 seconds of extremely fast zig-zag (an eternity for all but the most skilled), shortly follows it up with ANOTHER 12 seconds of zig-zag (not Overdrive bluffing your way through that one), and ends the song with 20 seconds of extremely fast three fret rolls. It's one thing to lose because you lack the skill required; it's another to lose after eight minutes because they throw in the music game equivalent of a cheap shot.
- That's not the problem, in fact, mainly because hammer-ons and, more importantly, pull-offs still apply to solos. The REAL difficulty is that the strummy part (in the second solo) is SO FAST it fits just under the strum limit of notes per second (the NPS is about 0.20 below the limit there, get over the limit and you'll accrue a crapton of misses). It has reached the point that it's less about FC'ing the song, and more about doing a perfect run BESIDES that part.
- Of course, there is the crowning king of difficult guitar segments...Through the Fire and the Flames on DLC.
- Rock Band also has a good number of these on drums. One particularly notable example is "Foreplay/Long Time", where the instrumental "Foreplay" section features a fast, repeated triplet pattern of two reds and a green or blue and bass hit; the main difficulty is that there is no way to hit this pattern with the standard alternating left and right hand hits. And it comes up a lot during those first two minutes. Comparatively, the remaining "Long Time" section of the song is incredibly easy, but the main difficulty is getting there...
- Ironically, even the original drummer may not have been able to pull this off. The song is considerably easier on a real drum set, since the bounciness of the drum head helps you do the snare double-hits without killing your arm.
- While that part is definitely easier on a real drum set for the aforementioned reasons, a relatively decent drummer should be able to compensate for the lack of bounciness. It is quite possible to hit that pattern without alternate sticking, you just need a good left wrist.
- The Cover for Run to the Hills is especially crazy on the Hard difficulty (on drums), compared to the songs leading up to it, and indeed the finale after it. The developers themselves even said that some of them have more issues on Hard difficulty than on Expert. The DLC version remedies this by NOT switching snare and hi-hat and using an eighth-note run for the hi-hat instead of a "The Hand That Feeds" pattern.
- It has to be said that, being much closer to how real drums are played, this is less of a game example and more of a Truth in Television case of That One Boss.
- Similarly vocals. If you can sing, there's little difficulty to be found at any level (save for very specific songs - I Get By (see below) being one of them). Otherwise, only Easy for you.
- The other infamous career-stopper for Drums on Expert is "(Don't Fear) The Reaper". It's pretty easy up until the guitar solo, which throws rapid-fire bass pedaling and a long sequence of snare rolls at you. And because of how the game engine works, it's all too easy to get off-beat and fail five seconds later.
- Not to mention that after beating this part, there's still a whole lot of tough drumming for your fatigued and overly-excited body to perform.
- Even the vocalist doesn't get away unbruised from Don't Fear the Reaper. The song is easy enough to sing, but during the instrumental parts of the song you need to clap your hand on the microphone (in a very specific manner, may I add) to simulate playing the cowbell. The outro of the song has you doing this 96 times in a row. By the time you're done, the palm of your hand resembles a raw steak, and will be thinking "No more cowbell!" (There are other ways to do this, such as hitting A on the controller, or... taking a spare drumstick and hitting the microphone like a cowbell.)
- You don't even wanna think about Flirtin' With Disaster on drums, do you? The trick is the chorus and opening. But after that, its off beat bass hits.
- It can be stopped, however, by a burst of Maxed Overdrive... It'll last about the entire solo, and as long as you spam, everything will be all right.
- Over half of the bonus songs (which you have to play to complete the "Endless Setlist", so they don't really count as "bonus" per se) are insanely difficult on vocals, but the worst by a long shot is I Get By. Especially the middle bit, with its insanely fast tonal shifts and rapid-fire vocals, most of which still require you to actually be in tune (which is not the case for most other songs this fast).
- That song is nothing compared to Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld (on guitar at least)." This song, on medium, makes "Maps" on Hard and "Run For the Hills" on medium look easier than the tutorial. It has a ridiculously hard note pattern and speed, four seconds in! It repeats this three more times before the vocals start.
- Young Man Blues on drums. It was released as DLC in July 2008. It was not FC'ed on Expert until July 2012.
- Another final tier song: Next To You. A very short, but very painful experience in flailing (and failing), because of the quick tempo, the insane combination of hits and the what seems to be never ending bass pedal hits. If you still, somehow, get past that, you still have Flirtin' With Distaster, Tom Sawyer, Won't Get Fooled Again, and, of course, Run to the Hills (all on the same tier). HAVE FUN!
- Rock Band 2: Battery on Guitar and Bass, almost reasonable compared to
- Visions would like to see your drummer, bassist, and guitarist. Doing that song on Expert makes Panic Attack and Painkiller (other candidates for hardest song) look easy.
- Made all the worse when you step down to Hard guitar or bass and realize it is just as bad, if not worse, because there are practically no hammer-ons in the Hard charts...
- Ace Of Spades '08 on Bass. I hope you like off-beat, asymmetric double strums, cause you're screwed if you can't master that.
- If you really want to embarrass yourself while playing bass, get Rock Band 2 and try "Panic Attack" on expert.
- Bodhisattva deserves special mention due to how Harmonix charts songs for Rock Band. First, the entire song is charted. Including all of the ending. Next, somewhere down the line, someone decides whether or not it will have a Big Rock Ending. Bodhisattva has a 28.3+ Note Per Second run that, fortunately, is taken out due to the Big Rock Ending.
- Rock Band 3 has quite a few. Let's start listing the big ones:
- Full Band: Take your pick between Roundabout (5 on vocals, 6 on everything else) and Llama (6 on everything)
- Drums: Llama again, and in more ways than one - 3-starring the song on Expert is a requirement for the Hall Of Fame Challenge setlist (on Expert) to be completeable. You also need a 250-note streak for another challenge. Expect to clear Guns of Summer before you get either of those two goals, even with judicious use of No-Fail.
- Bass: Roundabout again.
- Guitar: Freebird, for reasons similar to why it's so damn hard in Guitar Hero 2.
- Keyboard: Roundabout yet again
- Vocals: jury's out on this one, though Good Vibrations (LIVE) or Bohemian Rhapsody are generally considered the hardest (the third hardest listed, Llama, is actually extremely easy if you can hum)
- Lets also just note that there are two full Megadeth albums as DLC. You could pick a song at random, and it will probably be bone-crunchingly hard.
- Special mention has to be given to "Take No Prisoners" off of the Rust in Peace album. The intro has some weird hammer-ons and pull-offs on guitar, but Guitar Riff 2 throws all rhyme and reason out the window.
- To add on to that, near the beginning of the song you're thrown a bunch of fast descending scales which lasts for eight measures. Even worse, if you're playing Rock Band 2, you won't be able to overdrive, as they only give you 1/4 a bar for it. Because of that, some people struggle to even pass the song. Rock Band 3 was a little more generous to us with that, putting a unison bonus in that spot so you can overdrive for half of it, but it's still unforgiving.
- By the way, remember breaking your fingers over "Hangar 18" from Guitar Hero 2? Guess what: it got harder.
- Afterlife has some lightning fast guitar riffs at the start, but at least they're simple. Then it throws away all reason during the solo. It's not even rated at the highest difficulty, though it is still rated "nightmare" ("Challenging" in Rock Band 2 due to cutoff changes), which is a good description for the quickly advancing army of gems set out to destroy any guitarist foolish enough to challenge them.
- Good Mourning/Black Friday plays the same treachery as Battery, making you complacent in the first minute or so, then kicking the crap out of you...on ANY instrument.
- Painkiller, the last song in Endless Setlist II, is the hardest song on disc (As of Rock Band 2's release), but it's currently the second-hardest full-band song (Including all Pre-Rock Band 3 DLC to date) just behind Satch Boogie. Take everything that's hard about it from GHWT and add a smaller timing window. You have a decent chance of failure at the surf solo on Guitar Hero. You have an almost guaranteed chance of failure at the same section on Rock Band if the Guitarist is on expert.
- It should be noted that Fake Difficulty comes into play here, which is part of the reason the surf solo (Guitar Solo 2A and 2B) is so easy to fail at. If you tap above the fret the next note is on, it counts as a miss, which is to be expected. if you tap BELOW the fret the next note is on, it also counts as a miss. Believe it or not, it is actually easier to do if you ignore the green fret altogether and just worry about the four high frets.
- But realy Painkiller is the hardest song on disc.
- Full band, maybe, but Panic Attack's bass track makes Painkiller look like a warm-up in comparison. The song opens with the bass playing essentially the exact same riff as the guitar, only without the benefit of any sort of lead-in or percussion to help you keep track of the 5/4 timing, and just keeps getting worse from there.
- Soundgarden's Jesus Christ Pose. For the vocalist, good luck figuring out the pitches on your first or fifth attempt on Expert, especially if you don't sing falsetto. For the drummer... well, good luck and hope you can handle the same rhythm for about half the song. For the Guitarist... well, you get off relatively easy. for the Bassist, hope you have good stamina.
- Guns of Summer by Coheed and Cambria. May God have mercy on your guitarist and drummer's soul.
- Elaborating on this: Remember Through The Fire And Flames back on Guitar Hero III and how the difficulties roughly were on that for Lead Guitar? Remember failing out at 5 percent into the song on Expert going "What the Fuck?!?!?"? Remember when you first hit Visions? That's more or less what Drums are, only more so since you can 5-star it on Drums-Hard and only reach 8% on Drums-Expert. The Guitarist has it easy in comparison (with an easy-to-figure out hard-to-fc riff for the most part), but still needs to be good at sliding.
- Green Day: Rock Band isn't very hard, but one MAY qualify for this trope. We Are The Waiting/St. Jimmy. It starts of with We Are The Waiting, an easy song with a damn catchy chorus. The only hard part in this song is after the first chorus, where it throws 3 button chords at you inbetween an easy riff. Then it stops and St. Jimmy begins. It is basically an alt. strumming discord with an incredibly fast beat.
- While we're on the subject of Green Day and in turn Green Day Rock Band, the DLC song East Jesus Nowhere deserves special mention. Why you ask? Well the song for the most part is quite easy on guitar, but then comes the bridge...oh dear lord. The bridge is comprised of rapid alt-strumming to the extreme up and down the fretboard that barely scrapes through the notes per second limit and is the only reason why very few people have fc'ed it. Have fun.
- Also, while Green Day Rock Band is a cakewalk on guitar and bass, drums are a different story. The drum solos on offer in Emenius Sleepus and Burnout are insane, not to mention Chump's outro, and then comes Homecoming. The rolls in the middle last for a good minute or so and are very, very fast. These rolls are a key reason why no one has fc'ed the song in it's entirety yet. Have fun drummers.
- Just new (as in, today): Avenged Sevenfold track pack. One is a song that has the drummer from Dream Theater in it, one has a flailfest solo, and the one that made me fail out is one with a solo that makes Surfing With the Alien's intense Clusterfuck of notes look easy by throwing in about a minute's worth. Have fun.
- You want real action? We Are the Nightmare on Expert Drums. Watch and weep. I don't think I need to say anything else.
- While around 40% of the Rock Band Network tracks qualify, anything by Chaotrope will definitely push the limits of anyone who tries it. Oh, you full-combo'd Guns of Summer on Drums? You've Gold-Starred the entire Rock Band 3 on-disc setlist without ever touching the shredboard? Expect to fail out repeatedly. Especially on Baptized By Fire.
- With DLC, you also get hit with one of these in the absolute LAST place you'd expect, the Miley Cyrus DLC pack. A cakewalk for the most part as you'd anticipate, then you get to "Can't Be Tamed" on Expert guitar, and you're effortlessly gliding through until a little over the 2 minute mark, and then the game throws you a curveball in the form of a really nasty 40 second long zig-zag solo that one section can single-handedly cause you to fail the song. To add insult to injury, the song itself has no actual guitar, Harmonix charted that solo just for the game, and most players weren't expecting such a difficult solo section in a song that has no guitars.
- Another one on the DLC front, "Pulse of the Maggots" by Slipknot. The verses are relatively simple, and there are two fast strumming parts in the song that end with a sweep and repeat four times (not strum limit approaching, but still), but that's nothing compared to the two monstrous solos full of random strums and very fast sweeps. One of them is the very end of the song. It was released as DLC in September 2011 and still remains un-FC'd. In fact, it took a while before solo 1 was hit on its own, and the ending solo is arguably even worse.
Dance Dance Revolution Series
- Early "Paranoia" or "Trip Machine" songs could qualify, but thanks to Sequel Escalation in the difficulty department however, these songs aren't really as hard today's DDR bosses. But factor in the engine differences in early mixes (including a lack of speed modifiers), and they were in fact quite hard.
- The song Hero, from 2nd Mix, featured mini-gallops after the chorus. It was a tricky pattern at the time.
- 3rd Mix featured In The Navy. This song, especially on the Maniac difficulty, taught many players to master the gallop steps.
- And when you think you have them down, Rhythm and Police throws more at you, but they are timed such that the first arrow is on the beat instead of the second, which really messes with you after learning the other way.
- Any song that has a mislabeled difficulty rating can make things worse. Flashdance (What A Feeling) and End of the Century from 3rd Mix (both Maniac) were introduced as 8 footers out of 9 at the time. They might seem easy on a controller, but when one actually steps to the notes, these songs will brutally murder one's stamina, even if some time was spent practicing them.
- "End of the Century" was so notorious it actually got re-rated later to a 9.
- Supernova had this issue with Sunkiss Drop. This was rated a 7, but did not feel like it.
- Crazy Control from the later home consoles was rated as both a 6 and a 10 at different points. Its true rating is more in the middle.
- DDR MAX had the secret boss song MAX 300, the first ever extra stage. It was the fastest chart at the time (at 300.1 BPM), a speed mod of 1.5x was applied for you, the arrows scrolled down instead of up, and any mistakes could not be fixed due to the lifebar not going up on successful combos.
- When DDR Supernova came out, Fascination MaxX was the new hardest canon DDR song. Some consider it to still be the hardest. That is just on Expert. Challenge has Hard Mode Filler in use, with the worst bits right at the beginning and end.
- DDR Supernova 2 brings two of the currently three Pluto boss songs. Pluto does not use as many stops as Chaos, but it does not have a consistent BPM. It also does not make it easy for the player to tell when the song stops during the fast part. Pluto Relinquish has been critically acclaimed as one of the hardest songs to date. Observe.
- It also brings us Paranoia ~Hades~. It is quite possibly one of the hardest, if not the currently hardest Paranoia remix. On Heavy it's bad enough with 8th note crossover patterns that sound like 16th notes, lots of jumps, and a BPM shift that throws in triplet steps before coming back to full speed with mini 8th runs...but on Challenge it's turned up to eleven. Constant 8th runs that end with jumps, jackhammer triplets at the slowdown section followed by Iron Maiden-esque gallops, and then ending in a long 8th run that will make you beg for mercy. Observe.
- It also brought back songs from previous games with a gimmick that maxes out one of the aspects of the groove radar. But there was one that maxed out everything: Dead End (Groove Radar Special).
- Hottest Party for the Wii is mostly not bad, but Super Samurai often becomes a stumbling block, especially to unlock the song. No speed mods in the game means one is forced to use 1x. The song does not flash its receptors to the beat at all times: this makes the quarter notes blue during the early and later stages of the song. This song can make one want to use a controller to unlock the song.
- Any song that contains the word Evolved in it. Not only are the songs hard to figure out, but one gets a different chart every playthrough.
- L.A. Evolved is one exception to the rule. While it is still insanely fast, there are no variations and no speed changes.
- Tohoku EVOLVED, a remix of the London version exclusive to X3 vs. 2nd Mix, only changes the final jump ... which comes at you at over 1000 BPM. Out of nowhere.
- Trigger from DDR X. A lot of the speed changes in it are pretty unnecessary, and it features 8ths at 400 BPM. That might not be as bad as the shit 888 throws at you, but it's still not far behind.
- 888's Challenge chart from Universe 3 and DDR X2. It has just over 750 steps (a normal boss song has about 500), of which most are 16th notes at 222 BPM.
- Valkyrie dimension, the final boss of the Replicant D-Action area on DDR X2. Just getting a chance to play it as a secret Encore Extra Stage was enough of a pain (unlock and AA all six songs in the Replicant D-Action area - once played you had to repeat the whole process over again to get at it again until it was unlocked for regular play), but many players had issue with its Last Note Nightmare of ending trills. Someone finally◊ passed it in September 2010, though.
- And then, they let its Challenge chart out of the bag. As the first 19 on the expanded rating scale, the jaws of the world collectively dropped.
- New Decade, another Replicant song, is considered to be the second hardest after Valkyrie Dimension. Here's the Challenge chart. Taken a step further in DDR II, which gives it a long version. That's right, one of the hardest songs in history was extended!
- Pluto the First, perhaps the only DDR song that is universally That one boss to be, sometimes for its erratic music, sometimes for its chaotic steps, and often for both. It originally debuted on the Japanese version of Hottest Party (no speed mods!), then crossed over to America on the 2009 PS2 and Wii versions (played on the X engine in X2 CS, and on Hottest Party 3 - which thankfully has speed mods now!), and finally made it on DDR X2 AC.
- DDR X3 brought, in addition to 2nd Mix Mode (Flat forced, No Holds, No Modifiers allowed), PARANOiA Revolution, the SECOND song to have a rank 19 chart. Its Expert chart (a 18 - listed as 10 [REVOLUTIONARY] in 2nd Mix Mode as a throwback) is composed entirely of parts from other boss songs, see for yourself
- The Final Boss of the Private BEMANI Academy event in DanceDanceRevolution (2013), Elemental Creation. This being a collaboration between dj TAKA and DJ YOSHITAKA, who are known for producing boss songs in beatmania IIDX, you can expect a serious challenge. Its Single Challenge chart holds the current record for the most number of notes in a single DDR chart, at 860 notes. This by itself isn't why this song is here; rather, while other BEMANI games featuring the song label its BPM at a constant 212, Elemental Creation's DDR charts feature DDR's signature form of Fake Difficulty: tempo changes. The charts run at 424 BPM for most of the song, but have a long section in the middle that drops to 212 and then 106 BPM in order to trip up players.
- DDR 2013 brings us two of the hardest 18's in the game, IX Challenge and Blew My Mind Challenge. IX is a relentless onslaught of quick streams and crossovers, while Blew My Mind has several RIDICULOUS slowdowns that far exceed the Pluto series.
Other Game Series
- Guitar Hero's less famous predecessors Frequency and Amplitude had several songs, usually near the end of the game, all composed by members of Harmonix's in-house music team, which become this. Furious finger-work and judicious use of the Auto-Blaster power-up are almost mandatory for survival.
- The Blink182 song's rightmost drum track was mostly not all that hard, except for the occasional drum fills. Hitting the same shoulder button three or four times in a row in time to 16th notes at 193-odd BPM? Yeah, good luck with that... Even Spaztik, the Bonus Boss, wasn't quite that sadistic.
- Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan has two: "Koi No Dance Site," infamously tough on the Insane difficulty, and "Ready Steady Go," the last song, where hit markers are everywhere at the end. The American spiritual sequel, Elite Beat Agents, is considered by most to be a touch easier... aside from the syncopated "off-beats" on "Canned Heat." Then you get to the final song, "Jumpin' Jack Flash," and its near-impossible final verse. Similarily, Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2 has the final stage on Insane difficulty.
- On the highest difficulty, Jumpin' Jack Flash has a health bar that drains very fast, so not only are there a lot of notes to hit, but you have to hit them with good timing. It's possible to lose without breaking your combo, and conversely hard to pass without getting an A.
- Honestly? The ice-skater level on Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2 is possibly the most difficult level on the hardest difficulty, if only because combos don't come up fast enough to keep you alive if you don't get PERFECT 300s for almost every beat combo. The bar drains ridiculously fast.
- The VERY LAST PART of Countdown on Insane difficulty. Can you say "YOU WA SHOCK!!!"?
- "Aurora no Kaze ni Notte" in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch: Pichi Pichitto Live Start. The song is one of the more difficult ones on its own, but what really drives you to insanity is that you can only play as Caren, whose singing voice is beyond Hollywood Tone-Deaf and genuinely terrible. Bound to distract anyone that doesn't play with the music off, which defeats the whole point of playing the game.
- Bathroom Rap in the first Parappa The Rapper game where you rap against all the masters to get ahead in line for the bathroom was pure evil. Of course rapping to get to the bathroom is not made up.
- The game's painfully small timing window certainly doesn't make this any easier. Of course, on subsequent replays this can become a lot easier if you get a Cool rank right at the start and improvise your way through the whole level.
- Taste of Teriyaki from Um Jammer Lammy. Complicated offbeat rhythms combined with the small timing window? Forget it.
- Daigasso! Band Brothers for DS has "Recording Ticket Gold", which randomly picks 3 songs from the main 38 tracks and a random instrument from each, and requires you to get total score of 297%. Yeah, you get a 3% margin of error on 3 random songs on the hardest mode. You can't pause either.
- In the Daigasso! Band Brothers games, pretty much anything on Pro (Master in DBBDX) Drums is essentially impossible.
- Its hard to pin a single song down as "That One Boss" in DBB/DBBDX, since most of it is user created content, but some songs like Necrofantasia, Battle on the Big Bridge and FF7's Boss theme are commonly referred to as "Totally freaking impossible".
- Taiko no Tatsujin for DS. Go Go Kitchen (written in Katakana) WILL make you punch a hole in your DS.
- Correction:Aside from 1-4 star songs, ANY song on Oni mode in Taiko no Tatsujin will make you destroy your DS. Also, any song from the 2000 series.
- Remix 8 of Rhythm Heaven. Due to its fast pace, this song requires precise timing to succeed at, especially if you're aiming for a Superb rating. It doesn't help that it cycles through several different games in quick succession.
- Likewise, Remix 5 in its No Export for You predecessor, Rhythm Tengoku for the GBA. It's not QUITE as fast, but still goes at a speedy clip, requires precise timing to get right, and what makes it worse is that, like Remix 8 from Rhythm Heaven/Tengoku Gold, it doubles as Crowning Music of Awesome.
- Lockstep is a very interesting case. It consists of you constantly switching between the beat and the off-beat. It is absolutely impossible to beat by trying to muscle your way through, but once it clicks, you'll get perfect every time afterwards. It's really just about getting that one skill instead of practicing/grinding.
- Rhythm Heaven Fever for the Wii gives us the Tap Troupe, where you not only have to keep a constant beat, but the beat is shifting into time signatures you've probably never heard of along the way.
- That god damn "The Final Fight" level in HarmoKnight. So, I have 8 hearts. I don't lose any through the majority of the fight. At the very last segment of the fight, I think I'll finally beat the game, but just then, when I push the A button, the game doesn't read it, and since it is a critical point, basically the last blow, I die because the fucking game did not read when I PUSHED A! I was pissed.
- The final boss of Bit.Trip Beat completely drops the rhythm aspect of the game and forces you to play a full game of pong against a computer player, complete with the oldschool physics that make the ball go absolutely haywire if hit the right way. If you perfected the incredibly difficult song up until this point... getting a perfect score has just become a Luck-Based Mission. Oh... and if you start winning, the computer paddle starts splitting into two... then four...
- And again in Bit.Trip Core, the second boss is notoriously difficult. You have to play a game of Missile Command against falling beats, and starting in the second wave, the beats start erratically changing directions and faking you out. You die if you miss about four of them. (Thankfully, the rhythm aspect of the game is retained this time.)
- I can think of some really difficult selections from beatmania IIDX. AA and Scorpion Fire in RED (11), Mei in Happy Sky (12).... there are a ton more, but I can't think of any.
- Himiko, Nageki no Ki, D, Mendes, Waltz Of The Big Dogs [A]...the list goes on and on.
- 5.1.1. [Another], particularly before the new Hyper chart was released. Okay, 5.1.1. [Normal] and [Hyper] (again, pre-redesigned Hyper), great beginner's charts. So the Another shouldn't be too bad, right? Wrong. Constant scratching combined with difficult scales turn 5.1.1. from a a simple newcomer-level song into complete hell.
- The PS2 release of DJ Troopers introduces the Black Another charts. If a song has one, then it's bound to be That One. But the worst is Do It Do It, which has to be seen to be believed.
- Mendes [Kuro] and Flowers [Kuro]. That is all.
- The series features Dan courses, designed to measure your abilities and give you a rank corresponding to your skill level. Several Dan courses are particularly notorious:
- 5th Dan as of tricoro has snow storm [Hyper], a level 9 chart that has no right to be in a 5th Dan course, which is supposed to consist of level 8 songs and low-tier level 9 songs. It has 1173 notes when many level 10 songs of comparable length have as many or even slightly less notes, and the second half of the song features a very fast scale pattern followed by more waves of scales until the end.
- 7th Dan simply prevents a lot of players from graduating from 6th Dan. Ever since the dan system was implemented in 7th Style, every single 7th Dan course ends in THE SAFARI [Hyper], which features fast "mashing" sections. It's so infamously hard that there are video tutorials on how to "cheat" the chart, and there are players who simply Ragequit 7th Dan and complete 8th Dan instead because they find it to be EASIER; players in Japan who do this are known as Safari nanmin (Safari Refugees).
- All these examples are single player. That's not saying Doubles players are let off easy; there's Mei (again), Almagest, Quasar (which has been the final Kaiden song since the course's creation), Quantum Teleportation and Quell -The Seventh Slave-. Quell in particular is so hard that, as of August 2011, it has a clear rate of 1%.
- And then there's charts that clearly weren't designed with a single player in mind, such as Cheer Train [Another], which has the nerve to group turntable and key notes together on one side!
- "CONTRACT" on SP Normal is notorious for the final two measures of its chart, which is a horrendous Difficulty Spike compared to the rest of the chart. It is a sudden surge of partial sixteenth-note scales at 180 BPM mixed with scratches, and has caused many players to fail an otherwise solid run. The chart would qualify as only a level-7 chart, but because of those two measures, it was initially rated an 8 and later a 9, the highest difficulty ever given to a Normal chart. It's a fine example of the Fake Difficulty caused by a combination of the Groove Gauge and sudden-difficulty endings.
- DJMAX Technika's Popular Mode has some paricularly challenging songs on its 3rd stage. Sweet Shining Shooting Star is a somewhat easy song up until the chorus section, at which point you're presented with a charlie foxtrot of notes, while Blythe, Sin, and Son Of Sun get their difficulty from having double-speed wipes combined with lots of eighth notes, some of which are of the "chain" variety to make things worse.
- The Heartbeat Set's normal last stage, Colours of Sorrow TP. If you're only good enough to play the easiest songs in the set (typically Divine Service TP, Remember TP, and either Play the Future TP or Stop TP), CoS TP's difficulty will likely come off as a shock to you. It doesn't help that the sections with repeat notes will be a source of many misses unless you hit the touchscreen in a rather specific way.
- And ditto for Customizer Set, which has Son of Sun TP as its normal last stage. If you're only good enough to clear Shoreline PP, Y TP, and Sweet Shining Shooting Star PP, SoS will give you a mental SOS.
- Customizer's '>95% MAX' boss, SIN TP, is no slouch, either, with the main killer being the middle section that features repeat note/regular note combinations. For many, this is likely their first encounter of this type of note layout...and often times get killed.
- The normal boss for the Challenger Set is End of the Moonlight TP, which is regarded by everyone to be harder than the SP chart. Its biggest challenge and stumbling block for many players is the jackhammer sequence during the Nana nana intro, and in the chorus. The easiest way to handle this is by spamming through them with one hand, but playing them the proper way takes plenty of practice. This is the sole reason the SP and TP charts became HD and MX respectively during the transition to the second game.
- Technika 2 has D2 (Hard). It would actually be easier than its Normal chart, but there's one particularly harsh condition that makes it otherwise. The timeline in the Normal chart is scrolling at double speed, which for some makes the chart fast enough. On Hard? It scrolls at quadruple speed—it takes the timeline about a second to completely scroll to one direction and back. To make matters more difficult, the timing windows are much stricter than on any other chart. Many players find that even if they watch videos of the chart many times and think they can do the chart, it's when they try the chart for real that they realize that it is MUCH harder than it looks.
- And now that Crew Race, a mode where player-created crews can make their own courses with target scores to beat, you can BECOME That One Boss! Most of the crews like to put high-end songs with high scores and annoying modifiers. Failing that, there's crew courses consisting of easier songs...but many of those will require you to nail a Perfect Play of the entire course to win.
- With the recent release of "Maximum Set" on Technika 2 only a few people had passed its boss songs (Cypher Gate MX and D2 MX) because it's just so HARD to clear, and Club Mixing's not-so-lenient Groove Meter doesn't help too.
- Technika 3 features Black Swan, the first song in the series to be in a non-4/4 signature, AND to have multiple time signatures. Here's a look at its Hard chart, and it isn't pretty.
- Thought that the likes of Thor, Airwave and Landscape were insane with the myriad of notes no average human hand can play without glitch-abuse? Meet Xeus (also from Technika 3), the spiritual successor to Thor (rightfully so, since both songs are by the same composer: Xeo N). Its NM chart is tame, but its HD features the same myriad-of-notes segment from the three aforementioned songs. And the MX chart goes batshit with this by having not one, but TWO of these gauntlets. Good luck.
- The "Fatality" Club Mixing Set is the most difficult of its kind. It features nothing but MX charts (half of which are among the hardest) and contain the following songs: Rain Maker, Chemical Slave, Showdown, Victim of Love, AD 2222 and Angel. The low and high bosses are Supernova and the aforementioned Xeus, respectively. And taken into consideration the formula that Technika follows to calculate what boss you get, you need to play the two most difficult songs in the set just to play the Xeus.
- Any song with an "Insane" level in the Mungyodance series. The Destination series, Reasons To Live, Origin, and Chaos Theory come to mind.
- Gabba Bond (4Skips vs Big Kiss Remix) on Insane, due to the heavy amount of mines in the chart. And after hitting one, avoiding any more becomes a sadistic endeavor due to the added mods.
- The Seven Gates. The steps aren't too hard compared to the likes of the above songs, but it's still very draining, mainly for the fact that it's almost 11 minutes long.
- While Evila is the most-cited That One Boss in Space Channel 5, Giant Evila and Purge the King usually aren't far behind. You need to do the opposite of what they say before shooting, or else you'll hit your allies. Giant Evila sends out a lot of shoot commands, which gets confusing, and while Purge the King has a much shorter segment, he only gives you three chances to fail.
- Bounce (FSG Remix). A low amount of checkpoints, one of the faster songs in the game, and good luck clearing it in Empire mode, because the AI almost never misses a beat. You have to be completely precise in your hits; so much as one screw-up could through the whole mix away for you.
- Pump It Up NX. Chimera, Final Audition episodes 2-1 and 2-2, Gun Rock on Nightmare, and the infamously difficult Boss Remixes that still stand as the most difficult ones even on Fiesta 2: Wi-Ex-Doc-Va and Bemera, the latter being the That One Boss of the entire series.
- Fiesta made it even worse. On a Hell Zone from Quest World, there's a mission consisting of bemera on Double... with its chart being directly the Nightmare charts from both Bee and Chimera, and isn't Chimera Nightmare alone good enough to kill anyone? Hi.
- Any chart released with the 1.30 patch for Pump It Up Fiesta EX. For example; Cleaner, Gargoyle, What Happened, and Superman.
- In The Groove 2 has Bloodrush, which on hard is a 9. Not quite so hard to pass, but a long string of crossover 16ths at during the slow section and more crossovers at full speed later in the song guarantee that unless you've really practiced, you won't get a good score, even if you've done well on 10s and 11s.
- Determinator Expert. 16th-note triplets at ~170BPM for a solid 5 seconds. The song is rated a 12, but if That One Run was extended to the entire song, it would be more like a 15. (For reference, official ITG songs only go up to 13.)
- Music Times has "Hatsune Miku no Shoushitsu [NM]", a Level 9 with patterns not normally seen in most 10s. Done in 8ths. At 240BPM.
- For other examples, try "Let It Go", a level 8 with needless jackhammer hits everywhere, and "Secret", with its signature (hated) 16th chord-sweep pattern.
- 10+s are definitely designed to be hard, but "Oblivion (Rockin' Night Style) [HD]" is just taking the piss. Seemingly random double-note 8th runs and jackhammer chords contribute to a complete mess of a chart. That's saying nothing of "Through the Fire and Flames"...