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Awesome Bosses / Shin Megami Tensei

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With a rich tapestry of gods and monsters from many different mythologies around the world and throughout history, it's no surprise that the various series under the Shin Megami Tensei umbrella have plenty of awesome boss fights to offer.

We can almost forgive Atlus for making them so hard almost all of them are in the That One Boss page. (And the Nightmare Fuel one, for that matter.)

Shin Megami Tensei series

  • Shin Megami Tensei II had one of these for everyone who has ever wanted to take Rage Against the Heavens to its logical conclusion by making the final boss... GOD HIMSELF!
  • The main series of games in Shin Megami Tensei is full of these, but none come close to Matador from Nocturne. In a game full of hard bosses, he manages to be the hardest overall and that only serves to make the fight much more awesome.
    • There is also Lucifer, True Final Boss of Nocturne... He has a 75% resistance to every attack (even the almighty ones). He can be rationally defeated ONLY if you have the right skill (Pierce, which you can only get after beating the bonus level)... SMT has plenty of these bosses.
    • Kagutsuchi, the regular Final Boss, is also pretty awesome. A pure Damage-Sponge Boss with a total of 60,000 HP between his two forms, the first form has you monitor the Kagutsuchi phase as he charges up his ultimate attack, and the second form has him used a buffed up version of said ultimate attack. Oh, and he's another form of the final boss of Shin Megami Tensei II, AKA God.
  • Babel, in Devil Survivor, summoning EVERY SINGLE MAJOR BOSS YOU'VE FOUGHT, and then having to face it as it opens to reveal the demon world... with awesome music to match.
    • And at least in one, once you've trashed the Bels, one after another, you command Babel to shunt away all demons in the area. Babel complies... including your own demons, so you have to pound an Eldritch Abomination into dust with what amounts to your fists.
    • Lucifer also makes a comeback. Calling the fight a feast and calling itself your father, summoning some of the most powerful Demonic Spiders of the game, reflecting any and all physical attacks, and viciously, gleefully abusing the evil that is Megidoladyne. Oh, yes. You're goin' down, pal. And his speech when you finally destroy him. Lucifer himself trash-talking Belberith is a thing of beauty.
      Lucifer: Haha... Belzaboul was doomed. No soul should possess your wisdom, strength and beauty... Go, Abel. Belberith will fall before you. The scarlet snake is at your side...
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    • The duel between Gin and Azuma. Particularly if you have the party dispatch his goons, then just sit back and watch Gin kick Azuma's ass. Yes, it is possible for Azuma to be defeated without you intervening—Gin has a very excellent skill and demon setup that allows him to survive on his own—unlike many other NPCs, friend and foe, who don't bother to revive allies most of the time, he makes the smart choice of using the Revive auto-skill!
  • Devil Survivor 2:
    • You eventually square off against the Big Bad, Polaris. She starts off Nigh Invulnerable, and you break through this by dismantling her defenses. And depending on the route you've chosen, the pace of the fight will differ afterwards. On Daichi's Restorer route, you face off against Shadow versions of your party members!
    • The Record Breaker version has its own Big Bad, Canopus. Like its predecessor, it's Nigh Invulnerable, so your party develops a way to bypass that — Skill Crack the Factors that make up the universe. You automatically do so as you beat the sub-bosses on the way to the Big Bad, and you have the undeniable sensation of sheer power as you face it.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey has great bosses. Alilat has Diarahan, fully healing herself at whim, and being capable of firing off Mind Charged Megidolaons for complete wipeouts, and bounces off physical and Gun attacks. Mother Maya insta-kills anybody who dares use magic against her. Ouroboros uses an attack to randomly slap you with any ailment it wants and heals itself constantly in its first phase, then uses a very strong physical attack on the second. Morax, the very first boss, can be a nightmare if it begins using Tyranny, as can be Asura with Asura Roga. Mother Mem Aleph uses intensely destructive magic of all alignments and random physical attacks that are very capable of killing entire parties. Demiurge loves spamming Big Bang (Almighty-type attack, stronger than Megidolaon) and equally vicious offensive magic. And they're all awesome.
  • Nocturne also gave us Albion. He has a very unique gimmick; his backup are all based on a certain element, and since there are 4 major elements, it's like you're fighting 5 bosses at once. The Zoas will spam -dyne spells while Albion knocks your party around with physical moves. In addition, if you ignore the Zoas and just focus on Albion, he's instantly revived at full health. The reverse is true as well; Albion can revive all 4 of the Zoas at once. He's also a Large Ham in a game with no voice acting.
  • Every Fiend is a major nightmare to battle. None of them, however, come close to Trumpeter. In Nocturne, the brutal combo of Holy Melody/Evil Melody and his overpowered attacks make him already nigh-unbeatable without a well-rehearsed strategy. In Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, however, he manages to top himself - still a major powerhouse, he adds Horn of Fate to his arsenal. This means he can effortlessly kill anyone who is vulnerable to either Light or Dark alignments instantly with virtually no chance of stopping him. And he also has Hostile Terror, meaning he can now slap all enemies with any ailment he wants. And he STILL has Megidolaon.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei IV, pretty much any boss where you can have dialogue choices during the Boss Banter. Such as Minotaur, which allows you to pull off a couple of Badass Boasts, which throw the Minotaur off guard. This is taken Up to Eleven in the Neutral path, with friggin' Lucifer awestruck and Merkabah acknowledging you as his Worthy Opponent at the correct answer.
    • Pluto is also a pretty awesome boss, despite being pretty difficult. It has an exploitable weakness, but also has the opportunity to crit with a long string of Press Turns, which it will use to decimate your party with status effects with Sunny Ray and Vulnera. Not only that but the fact that it sounds like a fanatic Dalek makes it a really unique boss. Its Famous Last Words are particularly hilarious:
    • David shows up right out of nowhere in a sidequest, but his appearance is very memorable. In addition to providing a really challenging fight, he comes with a remix of the Nocturne Fiend theme while ominously foreshadowing how the other Fiends are in the game too.
    • Fiends as a whole tend to be this...if you put up with the 1/255 chance to find them upon entering an area. Particular mention goes to Red Rider, who is the strongest of them all.
    • King Kenji in Infernal Tokyo, whose Schmuck Bait is a stroke of Fridge Brilliance: Near the end of the battle, Kenji claims to admit defeat, and then the game offers you the chance to pick up the remote. If you do pick it up, he sucker-punches you with a physical attack that also inflicts Sick status on the entire party. Yes, he's fighting dirty. But considering that Infernal Tokyo is a society where, as Akira puts it, "you can do anything you want, as long as you have the power to back it up," it makes sense for Kenji to pull such a cheap tactic on you.
    • The two-part boss quest "Rebirth of the Great Overlord". First, the Red Knight, who you saw attempting to summon Baal in the "Mysterious Story of Tennozu" quest, reveals himself to be your former king, and attempts to make a sacrifice out of you. He uses the same moves he did before, so it's not too terrible of a fight. Then comes the true challenge of the quest: Baal reveals himself to be Beelzebub, who is level 90 and has several attacks true to Beelzebub's association with pestilence such as Pandemic Bomb (Sick status to all enemies) and Death's Door (1 HP of Almighty damage, HP to 1 if the target is Sick). To drive home the point that you're up against the hardest Challenge Quest boss in the game, the music for this fight is not the quest boss music or even the Domain boss music, but the Main Quest boss theme.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse:
    • Merkabah and Lucifer, the Final Bosses of the Chaos and Law endings, respectively. This time, you fight them in the big chamber of the Yamato Perpetual Reactor, with a big crowd of Hunters of all alignments looking on.
    • The final boss, none other than the big G himself, YHVH. On Bonds, each of your partners steps up to call him out on His hypocrisy and lies, denying His divinity and wearing Him down until He loses His Top God status. In addition, there is the ultimate boss Stephen, who is fought with not only Nanashi and Flynn, but also the Hero, Aleph, and the Demi-fiend.
    • Before the final boss, there's Vishnuflynn, which is the result of Krishna emerging from the war's ashes and merging with a brainwashed Flynn for one last fight, ultimately ending with either Flynn or Nanashi killing Krishna for good.
    • The final DLC fight with Stephen, who is so powerful that the Hero, Aleph, and the Demi-fiend have to help in the fight.
    • En No Ozuno in the DLC that unlocks him as the final part of the Fiends dungeon, where defeating him causes all the Fiends to revive stronger than before with each respawn of the group.

Persona series

  • Persona 2: Innocent Sin's Final Boss: Great Father Nyarlathotep. The chaos of Humanity's heart incarnate. Extremely vicious attacks, pummeling both HP and SP. Unforgettable boss. Nazi warmechs created from rumors. Doppelgangers created by the avatar of madness in your image, wielding your powers. Adolf Hitler. Let Nyarlathotep see what it can come up with; it's going to get junked anyway.
  • Persona 3. Nyx Avatar. 13 forms, no stopping. That's where it gets epic. Where it becomes a Crowning Moment is the battle after that, wherein the main character unlocks their true Arcana, that of the Universe, representing ascension/enlightenment, stands up to a monster which is single handedly destroying the world, takes said world-destroying blast to the face — repeatedly, ignores it, raises one finger and blasts him out of the sky. "It's Useless," indeed!
    • It's even better when you beat the first 12 forms with (relatively) little difficulty, and then, when you think it's all over... "I sense... Death! Nyx's true Arcana is Death!" This is when the fight actually gets HARD, with the last form having a lot more HP than any of the others, specifically, 4x, and the boss uses its most powerful attacks, such as Night Queen, which can screw you over if you don't know what's coming. Plus, the running dialogue during the fight is awesome, especially if you realise that what Nyx Avatar says before turning into a certain form describes what that Arcana represents in the Tarot.
    • Any battle against Strega. Fighting Jin and Takaya particularly, though there's something of an emotional level involved too when fighting Chidori. Not only are the battles epic on their own, but they have the added value of being set to "Unavoidable Battle", possibly one of the most hard-rocking and epic boss battle tunes EVER. Plus, they are the only bosses (apart from Nyx Avatar) who have running dialogue as you wear down their HP.
    • For Arcana bosses, the fight against Strength and Fortune stands out. Not because of its difficulty, but more because of the fact that it's easy to manipulate the Wheel Of Fortune attack, causing damage and bad status effects to the boss while you laugh about how it constantly gets hoisted by its own petard.
    • Also, Bonus Boss Elizabeth. The only enemy in the entire game (without multiple forms at least) that can SURVIVE Armageddon, and if you pull it on her, SHE KILLS YOU INSTANTLY. And she can also SWITCH PERSONAS just like you, making it essentially like you're fighting yourself. It adds challenge by basically making it impossible for you to cheap your way out of it, since you are not allowed to use a Persona that nulls/absorbs more than one element, so no Nul-All Abaddon for you. Easily one of the hardest battles in the game, even if you manage to get Orpheus Telos. For an added epic feel, you have to fight her alone, making it essentially a Duel Mirror Boss.
  • Persona 4 has quite a few examples, too. In order of appearance, there's...
    • Shadow Mitsuo, who starts the battle by summoning a barrier that looks like an 8-bit video game hero.
    • The Reaper has dual wielding revolvers the size of thighbones! How is that NOT awesome?
    • Kunino-sagiri, who can best be described as a New-Age Retro Hippie angel.
    • Magatsu Izanagi, who looks like your own first Persona... if you were not such a nice person. And after him comes...
    • Adachi. Just like Strega before him, he has a Persona, which is an alternate form of the protagonist's starting Persona. Sure, the battle is easy, but managing to hunt down the killer and fight the guy that's caused so much trouble is just so satisfying.
    • Ameno-sagiri, which boasts one of the best battle themes in the game.
    • Izanami, whose second form contains an amazing Theme Music Power-Up.
    • And last but not least, the secret boss, Margaret, who has an arsenal of Personas with which to take you on. That's a lot!
  • The boss fights in Persona 5 are a lot more dynamic than in previous games, but there are a few that stand out.
    • The first boss fight against Suguru Kamoshida's Shadow, Asmodeus, sets up the majority of the fights perfectly. To start off, they really set this guy up as a major scumbag so you don't feel any remorse when you steal his heart. On top of that, each of the founding members of the Phantom Thieves has a different reason for taking him downnote , so you just know bringing him to justice is going to be satisfying. And boy, is it ever! During the fight proper, you have to make sure his national trophy full of disembodied female legs is destroyed so he can't heal himself. After you do so, you get to call your first Special Order and have one of your party members steal his treasure, the crown on his head. All the while, Kamoshida won't make it easy for you, going so far as to spike a volleyball that causes a freakin' explosion to try and kill you. Defeating this bastard and watching him confess every sin he's ever made is simply the most gratifying of joys, and the boss fight preceding the event wasn't half bad to boot.
    • Kaneshiro's boss form, Baal, is at first much easier than the previous two bosses, only throwing out weak attacks and status effects. The midboss theme even plays instead of the boss theme to drive home how easy the fight is. However, then the boss reveals that his vault is actually a giant robot piggy bank and the actual boss theme kicks in.
    • Cognitive Wakaba Isshiki makes for an impressive Climax Boss for a number of reasons. For once, you're not fighting the Shadow of the Palace you're in; rather, you're fighting a giant sphinx version of Futaba's mother. After what appears to be a Hopeless Boss Fight as it resists all of your party's attacks, Futaba arrives on the scene and accepts the truth of her mother's death before awakening her Persona and summoning an effing ballista so the Phantom Thieves can shoot the cognition out of the sky and beat her down! At the end of the fight, Futaba tells the cognition off and lets Joker deal the finishing blow, causing her to tumble down the pyramid to her doom. And the cherry on top? This is one of few boss fights in the game where "Will Power" is playing throughout.
    • The confrontation with the Traitor, Goro. Like Strega and Adachi before him, he's a Persona-user which makes the fight unique. Unlike the previous Persona-user bosses however, Goro can actually pose a threat, especially after he starts using his other Persona, Loki.
    • The confrontation with the Big Bad. Four forms, the last of which is a hulking monstrosity not unlike Senator Armstrong, a dynamic and often dangerous fight to the finish, and a whole lot of catharsis for all of the suffering he's put everyone through. Part of what makes the bosses of Persona 5 incredible is how good the song "Blooming Villain" is, but Shadow Shido one-ups even that with "Rivers in the Desert", which many players name as the best song in the game's already high-grade soundtrack. It also plays during battle with the Holy Grail and the Bonus Boss, but it debuts with and is seemingly tailor made for Shido to make his fight that much more incredible.
    • The Final Boss fight against Yaldaboath, God of Control. Not only is the boss by far the largest boss in the Persona series but the concept of the fight alone is amazing, essentially fighting the Demiurge, the antithesis to Igor, and Persona's answer to YHVH. The fight itself is a massive war of attrition as the boss summons weapons throughout the fight that have their own healthbars and movesets based off of the Seven Deadly Sins requiring the player to constantly change party and tactics on the fly. Following the fight is an awesome scripted moment where Joker takes the belief of everyone to summon his ultimate persona Satanael, who is just as large as the boss and finishes it off with a Boom, Headshot! from a revolver.
    • The Bonus Boss, the Velvet Twins. Like the previous Bonus Bosses, they have an arsenal of Personas to take you on with and will switch between them throughout the battle, and they will take advantage of any weakness they find. Unlike the previous fights however, the Twins fight together as a Dual Boss, sharing their Persona arsenal between them, and since the fight as a team, that means they can also use Baton Pass to further exploit weaknesses, and even use All Out Attack.

Digital Devil Saga series

  • The Demi-Fiend, secret boss of Digital Devil Saga. You MUST be at level 99 with EACH character (and have maxed out EVERY single stat.), just to have a 50% chance of defeating him. And if you take even one skill that can give you any type of advantage (like the Monotheist mantra skill) he just uses an instant death attack that cannot be avoided (Gaea Rage) and it's game over.
    • And for that matter, the few strategies that can actually beat him are rather complex and still require some luck to work.
    • Fun fact. The developers of the game even had great difficulty fighting this boss, even in debug mode where you can see and edit the game's script.
  • Vritra is one of the most hyped up boss battles in Digital Devil Saga 2, with it being the dramatic rematch against Heat in a mutated deranged form, and it more than lives up to that hype. He cycles between a plethora of different wide-spread attacks while beating you senseless with his tentacles (which each have a dedicated press turn). Should you be frozen, he'll pounce on the opportunity to exploit the battle system à la Vasuki. Even if you take out the tentacles he'll simply regrow them given enough time. He's definitely one of the hardest bosses up to this point and makes stellar use of the second boss theme, "Hunting: Betrayal".
  • Jack Frost. He's not fought often as a boss, but hoo boy is he a damn great boss in Digital Devil Saga 2. Taking a page from the first game's Vasuki and the second game's Vritra, he uses his Signature Move Breath to freeze enemies, then shatters them into oblivion with physical attacks. Say you come protected against Ice attacks. Fine, then. Eat Megidolaon, loser.

Alternative Title(s): Bosses Shin Megami Tensei


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