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The full term is "SNK boss syndrome"; boss characters who disregard competitive balance are said to suffer from it, as seen here, a comparatively mild case.

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    The King of Fighters series 
  • The SNK boss by which all others are defined is Rugal Bernstein from The King of Fighters '94. His first form is cake, but once round 2 starts and that tux comes off, pray. He uses a variation of Geese Howard's Reppuken and Wolfgang Krauser's Kaiser Wave that go through all other projectiles and have priority over everything. Also, he has his own move called Genocide Cutter which he uses with reckless abandon. (Nowadays it's more his standard "dragon punch" style move, but it still had a huge hitbox). It can shave off anywhere from 40 to 80 percent of your lifebar, depending on whether the computer wills it to be so since all damage in older SNK games is completely randomized. He's easily-hit with most Jump Kicks, but they do so little damage that even this go-to attack won't win easily.
  • The series upped the ante considerably in '95 with Saisyu Kusanagi followed by Omega Rugal.note :
    • Saisyu's moveset is essentially Kyo's own moveset in turbo, but his strength wasn't up to the par for an SNK Boss. However, his AI actively reads your button inputs and counters you instantly. Thanks to that, he's harder than Omega Rugal, and that's saying something.
    • Omega Rugal is... the same Rugal from '94, but with white hair, no shirt, dark skin (or pale and zombie-like in 2002), a large Omega symbol branded into his back, hence the name, and A SUPER MOVE called Gigantic Pressure, which is like his God Press with a Pillar of Light with a skull inside, for more damage.
  • '96 had two bosses in a row with Chizuru Kagura and Goenitz,note  and there's also a Boss Team.
    • Chizuru is pretty dangerous if you don't time well. Her anti-air attack is insanely powerful and can wipe out 40% of your life in just one combo. Attacking her directly doesn't work as she can counter with the aforementioned anti-air move. Thankfully there's a consistent strategy for defeating her— simply jump her before she can even use the attack and then lay into her her with everything you've got. As a result, this fight is a living hell for characters who aren't particularly agile (except Chang and his handheld wrecking ball).
    • Goenitz is difficult to hit, let alone beat. If the computer felt like it, Goenitz could be completely unbeatable by any means. He has a wind barrier, the Yonokaze (or, more infamously, "Koko desu ka?"), which can come out directly in front of your character, can't be rolled through and blocks all projectiles. It could also appear anywhere between you and Goenitz, meaning that rushing towards him or approaching him just increases the chance of you running straight into a tornado and looking like an idiot. The only thing capable of breaking it was Leona's rushing slash kick. Also, if somehow Yonokaze spawns exactly in front of Goenitz, you will get blown away. Oh, and if the AI goes into a loop and does it repeatedly, you cannot approach him in any way whatsoever because its recovery is too fast. Yes, Goenitz can potentially chip you to death via a blockstun infinite. Also, his super meter is infinite, and his super grab will catch you even if you're a full character length away.
  • '97 had Orochi Iori (or Leona), the Orochi Team, and then Orochi himself, all in a row.
    • To start, Orochi Iori is roughly twice as fast and twice as strong. With him moving around so quickly it's easy to confuse players. When you play as him, his defense is severely weakened, and you'll be horribly surprised at exactly how hard it is to control him since he's so fast that you need to input everything you do just as fast.
    • Similarly, Orochi Leona's speed and strength is just as big and has new animations that give her priority over several moves (such as her new run animation, which now lets her go underneath fireballs).
    • Next, there's the Orochi Team. Orochi Chris and Orochi Shermie aren't that hard, but when you face Orochi Yashiro, you'll realize that he's a block whore, meaning that most of the time you will find him blocking almost all of your attacks. And then he'll toss you around since his new movelist includes several throws. Ew.
    • And then there's Orochi. He has a super called Marukare (Rounding Reaper), a screen-filler attack: it basically turns him into an open Ark of the Covenant. Block it, and you will take unusually high damage for a blocked attack. Don't block it, and you're gone. However, unlike the other bosses on the list, Orochi's AI was poor; had it been at the level of the previous bosses, combined with vicious priority attacks, Orochi would have been near unbeatable. Then again, by the time the player reached for Orochi, s/he had faced several SNK minibosses already; so it'd be just cruel to have Orochi as one too.
  • Then came '98, which had Omega Rugal once again.
    • This time, he has a whole slew of new moves, such as the fusion of Kaiser Wave and Reppuken called the Gravity Smash (with nasty priority, and covering his body when he charged it, making it hard to hit him out of it) a replacement for God Press called Vanishing Rush (which is what it sounds like, complete with being fast enough that you barely have a moment to react to it), his Destruction Omega super move (a grab that does ridiculous amounts of damage), a devastating super called the Rugal Execution (which drains your health at a very rapid rate) and an update of the Genocide Cutter, the Dark Genocide, which is a 3-hit version of the original.
    • The Updated Re-release of '98, Ultimate Match, has Orochi, Goenitz, AND Omega Rugal as bosses. Which one you encounter depends on how many super finishes you get on your opponents. All 3 of them have increased stamina and increased damage, with a simple combo easily doing over 60% of your health!
      • The boss who was changed the most was Goenitz, who is even CHEAPER than in 96. A majority of his normal moves have been updated, while also adding a new command attack, a new special move, and vastly upgraded super attacks.
        His Yonokaze has been updated to have shorter recovery times determined by how close it is to him, with the light punch version's recovery being almost nonexistent, making it even more spam happy than it was in 96. It can also hit you while you're knocked down, which the CPU usually does after landing any of his other specials. His nasty updated Arms: Ice Shelter Alms/Defacement move where he slices you with air can now trap you similar to Ryo's Zanretsuken, dealing a ridiculous amount of damage. His new special is an extremely fast but blockable command grab, which is difficult to react to when dealing with his other moves. Oh, and his updated SDM moves can easily do about 60% of your health in damage.
      • Orochi has been revamped from his original incarnation and now has a crouching animation, along with updated normals and several of his original moves switched around. He possesses some of the fastest and longest normals in the game such as his sweep, and his former Genocide Cutter-esque normal is now a special move, which shares a ridiculous amount of startup invincibility with the hard kick version. His light pillar move has similar properties to Goenitz's Yonokaze, such as the ability to hit you on the ground.
        Due to the buff in damage for all bosses, his projectile can easily do damage equivalent to a super and can be followed by another projectile, making only rolls the only viable way to get through. And even that's not reliable, because he follows up with his Marukare screen filler super right after your roll ends which still does ridiculous damage. Oh, and if you're positioned exactly in the middle of the screen and don't block when he uses it, it does double the amount of hits and damage. 50% plus 50% equals 100%. Yes, it instantly kills you if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time.
      • Omega Rugal is roughly the same as before, except slightly faster. Oh, but his hard punch version of his Vanishing Rush got a nasty upgrade: it can now set up the opponent in a juggle state, which can be followed up with any of his specials or one of his hard-hitting supers.
  • Krizalid was the boss in '99. He had a pansy first form like Rugal, with a 2-hit projectile that would win over your projectiles. In round 2, he burns off the coat, and starts spamming a tornado kick attack, the Typhoon Rage, which has priority over everything, and Lethal Impact, which looks like an axe kick, but can hit high, overhead, low, as a command throw, OR counterthrow! In short, projectiles and throws are the only things that one move could not counter... and he sometimes spammed it if you closed in on him. His supers, at max level, do 90 percent of your health bar!
  • Clone Zero in '00 had a screen-filling super that did 60+ percent damage and could easily Guard Break your characters with his Cutter Arts, which did multiple hits whether it was the special or super version. Also, his Shadow Arts are fully invincible during their long startups. Gladly, his AI was relatively bad, so he remained relatively easy.
  • '01 brought two SNK bosses.
    • Original Zero is the same as his clone, except for the fact that he already has 3 strikers to make up for the lack of moves that Clone Zero had: Ron, (a "Guard Breaking Striker") Krizalid, and a huge black lion named Glaugan, mainly to differentiate him from his clone. Again, he suffers from the same Achilles' Heel as Krizalid and Clone Zero.
    • And, finally, we come to Igniz. Fireballs with absolute priority, cheap whip attacks which have ridiculously long range and could lead to infinites which he will use if he ever feels like it, can cancel ALL of his moves (except DMs) into EVERYTHING (including a DM) and has a super called Brutal God Project where he rushes you, pins you in the corner, whips you, hits you with the edges of his cape, does one of his own supers within this super, and finally engulfs you in a ball of energy, the whole combo doing roughly 80 percent damage!. The AI also uses the Sagittarius Blade infinite for cheap wins. If a player selects him, Igniz can infinite from everything. (The player in the video used cheats to decrease 1P Igniz's damage, and Igniz naturally has more defense than a normal character.) He also earns one point for Overkill: most multi-hit attacks are interrupted when the target is knocked out (or they continue, but the victim falls) but for Igniz, if you are with only 1 HP and are struck with his Brutal God Project... you will take the whole attack until he allows you to give your KO scream. It's possible to defeat him, but you have to play his own game for that. Whatever the case, Lord have mercy if you attempt to beat him at Level 8 difficulty.
  • To conclude the NESTS saga, we have 2002, which has, by far, the cheapest version of Rugal to date: One-Hit Kill combos by the dozen, the return of Reppuken, 3 Kaiser Wave variants (the last of which is unblockable and the first of which comes out faster than the speed of light), a new 4-hit Genocide Cutter...To make up for it, his MAX2 is a series of Kaiser Waves which are horribly inaccurate. Unfortunately, it STILL does a sickening amount of damage. And in the unlikely event you Dodge Roll in front of Rugal when he's charging a Kaiser Wave, it'll STILL hit you while he's charging! And if that wasn't enough, there's a Game-Breaking Bug with the Kaiser Wave. If he happens to release it at just the right moment that you come out of the Dodge Roll, it hovers. FOREVER. So basically he would have this one ball of energy floating behind his ass (or in front of his crotch, if you managed to switch sides) until he launches another Kaiser Wave (HSDM included), or grabs you (supers included, but check out what happens when you do his Gigantic Pressure) It's like Benimaru's hovering lightning ball HSDM, but evil, never ending and guaranteed OHKO.
    • The remake of 2002, Unlimited Match, has all of the NESTS Saga bosses: Krizalid, Clone Zero, Original Zero, Igniz, AND Rugal! As per usual, all the bosses do decreased damage when playing as them.
      • Krizalid is, surprisingly, the most broken out of them all: he builds his super meter extremely fast, has horrid infinites, insane juggles and his MAX2 (Lightning Disaster, a full-screen attack that sends a bunch of lasers into the air) can hit you while you're on the ground and he can even juggle into it.
      • Clone Zero, despite having no 0-stock infinites outside of Max Mode unlike the other NESTS bosses, is still very much broken. His cape slashing attacks have insane meter gain even on block, his infamous "farting" attack has ridiculous invincibility frames, and his shadow attack also has ridiculous invincibility frames and is super-cancelable, resulting in absolutely ridiculous damage. His new MAX2 (Anryuuten Hazaki, a Shun Goku Satsu-esque attack) does decent damage as do all his other moves.
      • Original Zero is decently balanced, but can be considered cheap because he's much faster than in 2001, and with some effort he can spam his Krizalid striker to juggle you forever. His MAX2, Kyou Hoshi Mikaijin, is essentially Clone Zero's, but with the addition of assistance from his Strikers, starting with Ron whacking your soul from your body and culminating with all three strikers ganging up to beat the tar out of said soul.
      • Igniz is exactly the same as he was in 2001. Unfortunately, this means he still has his Sagittarius Blade (QCF+ HP) infinite. (While his A step C step infinite is removed.) His new MAX2 (Disintegrational Universe) is undoubtedly the most visually impressive - he traps you in a curse seal, which encases you inside a black orb that Igniz turns into a galaxy/nebula, and Igniz makes said galaxy/nebula explode. This particular move is no exception from the cheap rule. It WILL hit if your character is just touching the ground. And the move is unaffected by damage scaling, meaning it will ALWAYS take off around 40% of your lifebar.
      • And if you did not lose more than 2 teammates after beating the final stage (which consists of one of the first 4 aforementioned bosses), you enter a special battle against Rugal. He's roughly the same as 2002, and that means he has increased stamina for his boss version. But his Beads Destructor now bounces you off the wall, his Kaiser Phoenix is more accurate and hits you while you're on the ground, (though as a trade off, its damage output is pathetic) and his AI is also much smarter: it doesn't spam Kaiser Wave as much, but remember that one glitch from the video above this entry? Yeah, it's still there. Oh, and if you lose the match it's Game Over.
      • Unlimited Match also brought back Nightmare Geese, and gave him all sorts of enhancements to his moveset that made him the pinnacle of overpowered: Lightning fast Reppukens, Shippukens that had no recovery time and could be fired TWICE IN A ROW, a Double Shippuken which much like its Fatal Fury: Real Bout Special version can be used twice, thus FOUR SHIPPUKENS, worse still considering it lacks the slight delay the RBS version had meaning a bombardment of them from a Griefer is likely, a Jaeiken that led into a juggle, the "Claw" Raging Storm that can now OTG, and many other edits that make this version of Geese one of the cheapest SNK bosses out there. He also has a new MAX2 where he takes off his shirt and starts building a huge Reppuken, which he promptly blasts you with after it's reached roughly quadruple size (The activation's reminiscent of his lesser known Raising Dead End super from Fatal Fury Wild Ambition). Couple all of that with the literally psychic AI that predicts every input you do and naturally responds with the correct counter for your offense and you have one of the most unbeatable bosses in SNK's history. Not only that, but you have to BEAT HIM in the last Expert Challenge in Challenge Mode to unlock everything. Good luck. Oh, and to even unlock the challenge to fight Nightmare Geese? You have to pass a challenge that puts you up against ALL the NESTS bosses AND Omega Rugal, all in a row, survival-style. And Nightmare Geese is STILL harder. Thankfully, SNK decided to have at least a small amount of mercy for people who want to unlock everything but don't have super powers at fighting games: If you fail enough challenges, the game will still gradually unlock things for you.
    • Neowave was only released in Japan and Europe on PS2 and on Xbox in the US, and is essentially a tech demo for the Atomiswave hardware. There're no post-match quotes or endings and everything is pretty much recycled from KOF 2002... except for the unique-to-this-game version of Young Geese: Priority over everything and with more tricks than a clown's pocket; he's capable of finishing you off even if you have 3/4 of your health. To make matters worse, the CPU version's Deadly Rave super is completely unblockable. Makes the Art of Fighting 2 version look like Karnov.
  • 2003 brings not one, not two, but three of them.
    • The "bad" ending (read:if you didn't finish Mid Boss Kusanagi with at least a DM), leads you straight to Rugal's son Adel. Adel not only inherited his father's moves and essence of badass (Sans villainy, he's more of an honorable chap), but also his SNK Boss Syndrome. He lacks his father's Kaiser Wave until XI, but his Reppukyaku comes out very fast, his God Press is unblockable (including the Gigantic Pressure) and hits even if only his back touches you, and the Genocide Cutter is now a super which does a ridiculous amount of damage.
    • If you manage to fulfill the condition to the true ending though, you'll get to fight Chizuru and Maki Kagura as the penultimate boss. While Chizuru uses Doppleganger Attack, Maki spams it. You'll start the fight against Chizuru, but if she ever switches to Maki, good luck. She has the strongest command grab in KOF Boss history: she grabs you, then knocks you down, and then calls Chizuru to hit you with her move that seals all your special moves. That One Attack also cuts out 35% of your health. Of course, this is not even a super. It's a special move. She is considered harder than Mukai because of the AI and the ridiculous invincibility frames on her illusion attacks. That is saying something.
    • Mukai, the True Final Boss from the same game, has a full screen LDM that turns you to stone for a free hit, which activates in 2 frames (second fastest full screen LDM in KOF Series with activation time of 1/30 second). His stone throwing move literally plows through any other projectile except a sunglasses throw LDM of K`. His stone pillar moves break your guard if you block two of them, and he has a command grab that grabs you and turns you to stone as well. To make it more frustrating, he has auto-guard in any normal move he uses with strong punch or strong kick. Fortunately, the AI never exploits his infinite that is ridiculously easy to do.
  • Magaki from XI seems to be SNK's way of saying "we gave up trying to think of ways to mess with you, so here's a boss that throws more projectiles than a bleeding Touhou character... while you have no grazing option". He loves abusing his fireballs, to the point where there will be lots of them flying everywhere including ones that disappear halfway and reappear behind you. Then there are also the large, semi-invisible ones that move in an arc towards you. Said fireballs also happen to be 100% invincible, moving nonstop and crushing all projectiles, even super ones. Then his psychedelic pink full screen-filler attack that will hurt your eyes the first few times (you'll get used to it). It's hard as hell to even get close to him, and if you do, he'll probably just throw you right back with his little invincible frontal explosion whenever he feels like it.
  • XII had no proper boss character, despite rumors, but XIII gives us two: Saiki and Evil Ash.
    • Saiki is the leader of Those From The Past. Before the fight begins, he changes into a naked red demon with a blacked out face. He is an amazing block whore (except against some projectiles) and counters any and everything thrown at him by abusing projectiles that freeze you solid. He also has a command grab where he freezes time and stabs you in the chest several times, which still lets the timer run down. He also has a super version of this move that sucks you in if you're too close and instantly stuns you. And of course, he wouldn't be a proper SNK boss without a screen-filling attack, which just so happens to be his NeoMAX. A Neo MAX that disregards the rules and lets him do it with only 1 meter. He's also got some moves involving dark flames, too, which is a grab in ranged form. And just after you beat him, and you think it can't get any worse...
    • Then you fight Evil Ash, the True Final Boss. The fight takes place in a completely white void and Ash is completely covered in black flames. If you think this is only a powered-up Ash, you're wrong. This is Ash fused with Saiki with the projectile spam of Goenitz, the AI of Rugal, and a screen filling super that makes Orochi proud. It's the second strongest screen-filler move SNK ever made, and it that fills the screen instantly. SNK pretty much lost their minds when it came down to the difficulty of Evil Ash. Unlike Saiki, who at least lets up on the fireballs, Evil Ash's fireballs have no recovery, and according to a movelist found out by hacking him in the PC leak of the Arcade version, they do not require charging either. That's right, all the CPU inputs is Back, Forward+Punch at super fast speeds. His AI is also psychic and he counters everything you do with a Flash Kick. Then he walks away and goes right back to spamming. By far the most infuriating part about him is that he has not one, but TWO NeoMAXes. One of them is the aforementioned screen-filler, and the other is Ash's normal command grab NeoMAX...followed up by Germinal. You heard right - he adds on damage to an already damaging NeoMAX, AND disables your specials in the process. He has some weaknesses, though: the screen filler doesn't do too much damage to guard and, in spite of his supers, he cannot Max Cancel like a normal player... which is a blessing. Also, for some reason, neither Evil Ash nor Saiki seem to properly counter Mr. Karate's Shoran Kyaku rushing command grab - even at the hardest level, they always fall for it and take the damage to the face, which makes them disarmingly easy to beat for anyone maining Mr. Karate, especially since Shoran Kyaku can be spammed due to Mr. Karate always landing exactly within range to do it again immediately. The same is true for Vice's Splash command grab, and Goro Daimon's light Jiraishin, which are slightly less accurate and more unsafe... but neither boss punishes a miss unless they feel like it, which is (thankfully) very rarely. Have fun!
  • Subverted in XIV as both Antonov and Verse have no overpowered special moves or super moves. Even when fought against as a computer controlled opponent, they have no extra traits aside from having more health than normal, being a single character taking on a full team. Though Verse has a fist stomp move that has ridiculous priority that will take down any jumping approach and it comes pretty quick, and if he has a meter filled, bet your ass he WILL follow up with a rain of fire that will take down a good chunk of HP.
  • SNK bosses crept their way into the Maximum Impact games, as well, with Duke and Jivatma. As playable characters, both lose their special tricks with their super meters, but retain their Super Moves. (Though these require full bars to use).
    • Duke had an unlimited Super Meter and a nigh-unblockable super move that instantly breaks your guard meter if you're lucky enough to block it.
    • Jivatma had insane reach and a super move that damages you for 1/2 of your life bar (and he loves to use it just as you come down from a jump, so that you can't block). Oddly enough, he's actually easier to beat, because his super bar isn't at maximum all the time. (It just regenerates.)
    • Regulation A, the update of Maximum Impact 2, has Duke, Jivatma, and Nightmare Geese as the final opponents. They subvert this trope entirely, having no extra traits whatsoever.
  • The King of Fighters R2, for the Neo Geo Pocket Color, has Rugal as its final SNK Boss. His moveset and AI are almost the same as in 98.
  • Speaking of portable KOF games, we mustn't forget The King of Fighters EX2: Howling Blood, whose end boss is a Brainwashed and Crazy kid named Shinobu Amou, who was part of an experiment by Gustav Munchausen to transplant Goenitz's soul for reincarnation. His AI isn't that hard, until Round 2 when he suddenly Turns Gold, becomes faster and more powerful, and starts hurling attacks from every single direction with absolute priority. Oh, and he changes elements from wind to lightning. You will HATE Shinobu, guaranteed. His winquote puts it perfectly into perspective:
    • It should be noted that for several KOF games, if the player opts to use a continue, the player can choose from several power boosts, including reducing your enemy to 1/3 of his health. The maddening side effect of choosing this option is that your enemy recovers a little bit of health after every win. Combine this with the chance you may not be able to inflict more than a few pixels of damage on these bosses, and voila: Your enemy starts each round with more health than the previous round.
      Also, bear in mind that most SNK bosses (Starting from Geese Howard in Fatal Fury) are, in some degree, susceptible to trips, throws or certain fancy attacks. (Leona and Goenitz, Lucky Glauber and Rugal, to name a few).

    Fatal Fury series 
  • The Fatal Fury games predate all of SNK's previous games with Geese Howard.
    • In the first game, he was armed with a projectile that could cut off a third of your health, has incredible priority, and a counter-throw he could use against any attack he chose (even when you were simply jumping at him he could grab you out of the air with said counter-throw), setting the boundaries to be later broken by Rugal. Fortunately for the player, he suffered from the same bug as all other players: he's vulnerable for the first frame of standing up.
    • In Real Bout Special, Geese returns as the game's True Final Boss only if you have a high enough score after beating Krauser. This incarnation, commonly known as Nightmare Geese to fans (And later officially christened that), really IS a nightmare (Figuratively and literally, since the battle is hinted to be one big nightmare). Not only do his Reppukens have absolute priority, but he can fire 2 Shippukens and 2 Double Shippukens (that's 4 Shippukens!) in the air! He's so broken that most of his Combos do 100% damage! This version introduced the claw version of his Raising/Raging Storm, which did a ridiculous amount of block damage, and he also has a newly super-powered version of his Thunder Break super from Real Bout...which is now unblockable while jumping and hits at random places across the arena, even hitting the extra lanes! Worse still, lose to him once and it's Game Over.
  • Geese's half-brother, Wolfgang Krauser, shares some SNK Boss Syndrome, but only in his debut game: Fatal Fury 2. His AI is infuriating as all hell, and his moves hit incredibly hard. Oh, and the restriction about being at low health to use your super doesn't apply to him, meaning that he can Kaiser Wave you at any time.
  • Garou: Mark of the Wolves inverts this, with the sub-boss being the SNK Boss and the Final Boss being somewhat balanced.
    • The sub-boss, Grant, has several powerful attacks at his disposal which can decimate your health bar in mere seconds. Be especially wary if his T.O.P meter kicks in, because his moves will do extra damage, and you may end up getting killed by last-minute damage scaling.
    • The final boss, Kain, is surprisingly easy...until Round 2 where he gets a full T.O.P meter for the rest of the match.
  • The boss of the PlayStation version of Real Bout Special, White, is a parody of Alex from A Clockwork Orange, but instead of just being a mere sociopath he's a CRAZY motherfucker who can brainwash people with his rod. To start off, he doesn't crouch, backdash, run, or even jump, meaning you will never be able to predict what he's going to do next. Also, he has poison skull projectiles that go through everything (even Nightmare Geese's Reppukens!) and instantly dizzy you. His normal moves also cause a massive amount of hitstun, leading to infinites. Hell, even his poison skulls can lead to infinites. And if you deplete his health to the point where he can use his P-Power attack, better not jump because his P-Power move is a huge force field that takes off 3/4 of your life. He also has an S-Power super that slows you down. Oh, and if you do manage to beat him for good, he uses a secret P-Power move where he fires an unblockable explosive laser at you from his rod that instantly kills you unless you jump over it. His winpose through either all that cheap douchebaggery or that secret P-Power, in his winning round? He falls to the floor, laughing like a hyena. He tries to control himself, but can't, and just continues laughing at you while rolling on the ground like a little kid. White, you ASSHOLE!

    Art of Fighting series 
  • In Art of Fighting Mr. Big and Mr. Karate were hard enough. Geese Howard in Art of Fighting 2 made things worse.
    • Mr. Karate is extremely susceptible to jump kicks, and can be beaten pretty easily by just repeatedly doing these off the wall. The problem is getting to him in the first place - even at the lowest difficulty, Mr. Big is ridiculously hard.
    • Mr. Big can be easily crushed by jump kicks as well, just keep hitting upward and kick at the same time, you will jump kick him to death easily. In contrast, Mr. Big in Art of Fighting 2 is a complete joke.

    Samurai Shodown series 
  • Amakusa in Samurai Shodown likes to bitchslap you into a corner and keep you there for an easy infinite. He also has 2 fireballs (one being unblockable), and he teleports like crazy and throws you as soon as he gets out of it. He also has a wall jump move where he flies off-screen, surrounds himself in energy, and crashes down on top of you like a meteor. If you beat him in Round 1, a cutscene occurs where he powers up and unleashes the powers of his dark god to make him stronger and also harder.
  • Then came Mizuki in Samurai Shodown II, who had several moves that caused Interface Screw, or transformed you into a vulnerable PIG, in addition to using several of Amakusa's previous tactics.
    • There is also the secret mid-boss, Kuroko the referee, who will either interrupt your playthrough randomly or challenge you if you kill your 6th, 8th, or 10th opponent in the match winning round with a super while there are 20 seconds or less on the clock. Not only can his weapon not be broken whatsoever, but he uses an assortment of moves from other SNK fighting games, but in turbo and on steroids. His damage output is beyond ridiculous and he will spam Ryo's Haou Shoukoken until the cows come home. And that's not even his super. His super is the Ryuko Ranbu mixed with Kim Kaphwan's Hou'ou Kyaku, and it takes away up to 70% of your lifebar! And if you lose to him, you cannot fight him again. He vanishes and you have to start the process over again to get him to challenge you.
  • Zankuro in Samurai Shodown III could literally kill you in 3 hits. And you need to win 3 rounds to defeat him while he only needs to win 2 to defeat you. Bust Zankuro's Super Move unleashed a screen-height wave that WILL KILL YOU IF IT HITS YOU WHILE YOU ARE IN THE AIR.
  • Samurai Shodown IV has you fight not one, nor two, but three bosses in sequence. The first is a CPU-only version of Amakusa with purple skin who is always in Bust mode (except if you also use a character who's in Bust Mode when fighting him). This version of Amakusa, sometimes called Aku-Amakusa, is NOT the SNK boss of the game, however, as he's the same as the player version. Upon beating him, you fight the real SNK boss, Zankuro, for the 2nd time in the series. He's more intelligent this time around, and his Heavy Slash cuts off half of your health bar. Afterwards, it's a cakewalk when you fight your rival in one final battle.
    • ...Unless you didn't get to Amakusa within a certain time window. You don't fight him or Zankuro, instead you fight your rival with the AI of an SNK Boss. Depending on who your character has as a rival, this can be very irritating. Making matters worse is that this particular fight leads to the bad ending of the game, in which both your character and their rival are presumed dead after Amakusa's castle explodes with the both of them still inside, so it's best not to waste too much time from within the main arcade mode of the game.
  • Samurai Shodown 64: Yuga uses levitation, has own slashes and unblockable grabs teleporting directly on opponent from any distance, has access to time stop, healing, teleportation, and few annoying projectiles. Before Yuga, you fight Deku; the catch is that the Deku-Yuga team needs to win 2 rounds to defeat you, while you have to win a total of 3 rounds to defeat them (Sound familiar? You should, however, have to defeat Deku once to face Yuga). If you are defeated by Yuga and continue, you are going back to fighting Deku.
  • Samurai Shodown 64 2 (Asura Zanmaden): In this game, Yuga's first form again has levitation, teleporting slashes, projectiles, the ability to snag the opponent's soul out of his body, and an energy shield. Her second form has the ability to turn her arms into weapons and stretch them across the entire screen, has access to all kinds of projectiles, beams and fire waves, the ability to slow the opponent's movement, and her super involves dropping an energy sphere which results in a nuke-comparable unblockable explosion, the shockwave from which covers almost the entire screen for major damage.
  • Samurai Shodown: Warriors Rage (PSX): Main boss Oboro has no body you can attack, since you fight his giant levitating weapons instead. Those weapons are the only "character" in game which takes full advantage of 3D space flying here and there and attacking from various directions - while their own hitboxes (which you should attack to damage Oboro) are almost nonexistent.
  • Samurai Shodown V and its mid boss Sankuro carry on the proud tradition of SNK Boss cheapness: First off his takes way less damage from attacks, plus his special attacks involve calling in annoying helpers (the sliding girl isn't so bad, but the guy coming down from the sky does a sick amount of damage, and the grabbing guy from behind is usually coupled with a healing move that restores almost a quarter of Sankuro's life bar). Add to it that his super is apparently an instant kill. Add to it the fact that Sankuro is only the MID-BOSS... yeah, Samurai Shodown V has a bunch of SNK bosses.
    • Once you damage the Final Boss, Gaoh enough to a certain point, he goes into an invincible demon armor mode and will charge at you constantly like a rhino, and you have to wait until the mode ends.
    • And then, rounding out the previous two examples is Yumeji, Gaoh's Dragon. They are essentially Bust Mode Ukyo on steroids. They have a nodachi that can take off 3/4ths of his/her opponent's health bar in a single strike and an inescapable multi-hitting trap move that is almost as damaging, but much harder to avoid. And if that's not enough... they have the ability to transform into the other fighters and use their signature moves.
  • Samurai Shodown V Special has you fight Amakusa, Zankuro, Gaoh, and Mizuki in sequence, but the only ones who really qualify as SNK Bosses are Zankuro and Mizuki because Amakusa's AI was rather retarded and Gaoh was heavily nerfed. Zankuro is even more intelligent than in 4, despite being balanced somewhat, and he has a new counter move that he uses all the time. Mizuki lost her Interface Screw moves, but got a whole lot of new non-screwy moves that still make her a cheap bitch.
  • And in Samurai Shodown VI? Demon Gaoh, who's a bit of a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere, is the unplayable final boss you fight AFTER beating one of the above. He has several of Gaoh's more annoying moves, a fire explosion sweep that's really hard to get around, can bounce you off a wall and combo from it, has a Super move that all-out destroys your weapon and is invulnerable, a ridiculously fast charging super meter, and will not drop/break his own weapon no matter what you hit him with.
  • Samurai Shodown SEN has Sub Boss Draco, whose weapon is a rifle. This game goes for a slightly more realistic level of swordplay than the rest of the series (no wind fireballs here) so this is significant. His fighting style basically consists of backflipping out of your range, then raining destruction upon you for a crazy amount of time before he finally has to stop and reload.
    • Subverted by Golba, the Final Boss, who fights with generic rapier attacks and an apparent lack of special moves.
  • If you thought Verse was a disappointing blemish on SNK's track record, then the boss of Samurai Shodown 2019 will be more than happy to quash any doubts regarding them having lost their touch. Enter Shizuka Gozen. SNK was very clearly inspired by Bloody Marie when designing her gameplay, as she is immune to hitstun and tanks your most damaging attacks as if they were mere bee stings. Oh, and you cannot hit her normally with Super Special Moves or Issens, as she is immune to cutscene-based attacks. You have to damage her enough in order to remove her Powered Armor robe and reveal her true spiritual form in order to do those, and even if you do, those attacks deal significantly less damage than they would normally. Meanwhile, she floats above the ground making her immune to lows and spams telekinetic fan attacks at you from all ranges. She even has a command grab that tracks your position and can hit you from both sides.
    • And if you think that's bad, she gets even worse in Round 2. Now she has PERMANENT Rage Explosion, which enhances her existing special moves and grants her access to not only more of them, but also TWO Weapon Flipping Techniques (whereas you only get one), a Super Special Move, and an Issen of her own. One of her WFTs is a FULL SCREEN LASER that cannot be dodged, deals insane chip damage, and that she uses at the start of the round. The other is a reversal that she uses mid-transformation which takes away 60% of your life and leaves your weapon right next to her while you get knocked all the way to the edge of the screen. The thing that takes the cake, however, is her Super Special Move. Not only does it start up instantly, but it crosses you up and utterly destroys your life bar, up to around 80% of it.

  • Don't be fooled by how cute and lighthearted SNK Gals Fighters, a.k.a. "The Queen Of Fighters", looks, this is one of the toughest SNK fighters to date. Aside from the final boss Miss X (Iori dressed as a woman), there are two sub-bosses that need mentioning: Whip and Yuki.
    • Whip has most of her moves from The King of Fighters '99, but also has a move that lets her swing up and stomp you to the ground. She'll even go as far as shooting you while you're down.
    • Yuki, Kyo's girlfriend, looks harmless, and has no knowledge of martial arts whatsoever. But she's insanely fast and even uses a Big "NO!" for both offense and defense. One of her desperation attacks delivers 33 hits, the highest in the game. And another desperation has her eating a hamburger that replenishes her health! It seems that she went the Yuri way and took several levels in badass.
  • And then came SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos. If SNK Bosses in general are considered to be The Syndrome, then this game is to be considered The SNK Boss Epidemic. Starring, but not limited to: Serious Mr. Karate, Shin Akuma, Athena and Red Arremer.
    • Zero, Goenitz and Geese Howard are SNK Sub Bosses. Run into the first one, you'll be shredded like a Maverick. Run into the second one and you'll be spinning round like a record. Run into the third one and prepare to be cheesed to death by his Deadly Rave.
    • The SNK side final boss is a powered-up version of Mr. Karate, called "Serious Mr. Karate", which furthered his shenanigans. His health and damage are higher than pretty much all other characters, his moves have insane priority and most are invincible on startup, and pretty much all of them knock you back across the screen, nullifying all that hard work you had to do to even get close to him. Oh, and you know those huge fireballs (the Haoh-Sho-Koh-ken) the Kyokugen practitioners characters are fond of throwing? Yeah, he can do three of those. In a row. Normal Mr. Karate at least had it as an Exceed. Serious Mr. Karate has it as a special move that he can do at any time without losing a power stock. Also, his Ko'oh Ken functions much like his 2002 counterpart (He is Takuma after all)... but now they have huge range and come out very fast. And they nullify whatever comes across them. Most of his moves do take off quite a bit of guard meter and he can easily guard crush you although you can't do the same when you get to play as him in the console version. To finish, his supers count as special moves and his Exceed is completely unblockable, yet it has pretty poor priority and can be reversed by Iori and Kasumi's Exceeds.
    • The Capcom side final boss is Shin Akuma, who's just as cheap. In this game, his supers that he used to have normally are considered special moves and take 0 super stocks to perform, with the exception of the Raging Demon (which is his regular form's Exceed). Worse still is that he has all the perks that Shin Akuma normally has (a full-screen Raging Demon and double air fireballs, insanely fast teleport with no recovery time). But the worst part is definitely his Exceed, the Misogi, which homes in on your character's position, comes out lightning fast, and is UNBLOCKABLE. You have to be really lucky or skilled to avoid/counter that move.
    • Depending on how you did throughout the entire game prior to fighting either of the above, if you managed to beat Serious Mr. Karate, you go to Heaven to fight Athena. She's not the Athena you all know and love from Psycho Soldier and The King of Fighters. No, this is goddess Athena from Athena, and she lives up to that old game's Nintendo Hard difficulty. All of her attacks count as supers but are actually special moves, much like Shin Akuma & Serious Mr. Karate. What makes her worse than both of them combined? All of them have absolute priority and do RIDICULOUS damage for special moves. Her Exceed is blockable, yes, but if she's already got you down to almost half of your first lifebar (which she will, guaranteed) and you don't block, it's an INSTANT KILL. To add insult to injury, when she wins she turns you into an animal.
    • If you, instead, had to beat Shin Akuma, you go to Hell to fight the Red Arremer. At first it seems like he's balanced, but then he starts summoning strikers that paralyze you. Then he starts flying. Then he rams into you. Then he chews on you and then throws you. Then you die. Then you get turned into a lowly demon.
    • The absolute worst part of both Athena and Red Arremer is that if you lose, you won't be able to try again and have to start over completely, much like Final Bison in the arcade version of Street Fighter Alpha 3. However, it's somewhat logical here, seeing as your character would never be able to fight again as an animal or small demon.
  • What, you didn't think SNK would skimp on boss difficulty for their big Mascot Fighter, did you? All four bosses of NeoGeo Battle Coliseum (Neo-Dio, Mizuchi, (a clone of Orochi) King Leo and Goodman) have regenerating health, annoying attacks, and do an insane amount of damage.note 
    • King Leo abuses Nightmare, a counter where he goes black and any move that hit is countered with a small combo, like a motherfuck. Additionally, his Dynamite Punch is also unblockable by normal means (Despite charging forward and then followed with a standing punch, it is actually a LOW attack and must be crouch-blocked. Damn You, Muscle Memory!). As King Lionnote , he loses his flaming kick special and King Upper.
    • Mizuchi is basically Orochi with an added touch of Goenitz, meaning that he will abuse an energy pillar special which, while Orochi possessed it before, does not abuse it as much. As playable, he loses his ability to create 5-6 energy pillars at once.
    • Neo-Dio teleports a lot and is an incredible block-whore. As playable, he loses his feather projectile and another move that held you in place.
    • Goodman is basically Igniz mixed with Magaki from The King of Fighters XI, and uses a whip to control a weird flaming monkey spirit. He can control it for as long as he wants, in any direction. And his super move actually makes it stronger. You will hate Goodman. As playable, he remains the same, but cannot jump or crouch and you can't partner him up with anybody.

    Other games 
  • Johann, in Rage of the Dragons, has fireballs that throw him backwards out of the way of almost anything coming over them. He also has absolute priority, takes no block damage, does ridiculous amounts of damage, and a prescient AI. Johann can also throw you (while inflicting a lot of damage) out of anything. Including a roll, a Super Move, and even another throw.
  • King Lion and King Leo are this in the Fu'un Series.
    • King Leo served as the final boss, basically possessing faster, stronger versions of Lion's specials; his stage, unlike all the others, had only one platform of sorts so you couldn't exactly jaunt all over the place to avoid his attacks. Furthermore, he gains a super that King Lion does not: the aforementioned King Upper which is sure to knock you into a worse situation than before. Couple that with a faster weapon throw (Both normal and the God Breath variant) and King Leo is a VERY fearsome bastard. Take him lightly? How silly you are!
    • King Leo was downgraded to sub-boss for Kizuna Encounter but STILL possessed all the deadly power he had in Savage Reign. the only difference being he swapped King Lion's God Breath for a stronger, faster variant called Thunder. His place as final boss is taken by Jyazu. While he at first appears to merely be a Gozu/Mezu headswap that uses their moveset, they're faster than normal, he has a deadly whirling dervish-like attack with his blades that sort of resembles Sonic the Hedgehog, he has a very Hundred Crack Fist-style SPECIAL attack, meaning he can abuse it and it takes off a lot of health and hits a lot, and a kick variant of said special, and his Desperation Attack summons an array of large fire pillars. And just to serve as a warning of how deadly he is, he appears to easily slay King Leo while still in bird form! Using the latter's own sword, no less!
  • The final boss, Lieu, in Metal Slug 3D is this. You can count it as a Final-Exam Boss because there are no powerups to collect, and you need all of fully-loaded weapons in order to defeat it. Harder Than Hard, indeed.
  • The final boss of NAM-1975 is not only what you expect of a typical SNK Boss, but continues are disabled and also joining of second player at the time the final boss are ready to fight.


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