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That One Boss / Atlus

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"We get off on your tears."
Aram Jabbari (AtlusAram), Official Blog Post about Demon's Souls at the Atlus USA forums, confirming what we've always suspected.

Yes, one company has enough examples for its own page. This is especially noticeable as typing 'Atlus' into the search bar actually generated this subpage instead of the main Creator page at the top of the list at one point. Now, why is it not called Atlus Hard?


Note: Bonus Bosses are not allowed; they're optional and have no standards for difficulty. (Yes, even the Demi-Fiend.)

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Shin Megami Tensei

As a general rule, this only applies to the first playthrough. On a New Game+, it's easy to completely cream these bosses once you gain access to the Demonic Compendium/Persona Compendium, depending on what game you are playing.

    Shin Megami Tensei 
  • Shin Megami Tensei I:
    • Gabriel. He will destroy you. He is immune to sword attacks and demon's physical attacks (and most Chaos demons are only good at physical attacks). Oh, and if you're on the chaos path, you probably got the Bullets of Darkness, which he is immune to. And since your main character can't cast spells, he can't do anything in this fight. This fight can last as long as an hour. Unless you are taking the law path (in which case he joins you - only for you to have to fuse him to make an item necessary to finish the game).
    • The police station's computer defense. Which is pretty much immune to just about every element. AND has an attack that can send your entire party into shock, which means your turn won't happen. And this is only about halfway through the game!
    • There's Kongokai, which is really early in the game and has decent enemies. Then there are 2 okay bosses, not too bad. Oh, and when you go to leave, you have to fight two enemies that can't be attacked at the same time by multi-hit attacks, one of whom will boost his physical power and do massive damage.
    • All of the Demon Summoner fights. They send waves of demons at you, with either 8 in each wave as one solid block of 8 or two groups of 4, and you can't talk your way out of them not only because they're required, but if they weren't, they're all unrecruitable species. Add in that each of your demons gets only 3 abilities, and you will quickly realize that your main character will spend most of these fights shelling out the macca to summon your other demons for the next round. On rare occasion, the first Yuriko fight will glitch so that after two turns of the first wave, her speech will start again and the first wave will regenerate.
  • Shin Megami Tensei II has the fight with Satan around the end of the Chaos and Neutral paths, which primarily consists of "Satan pointed at [Name]! [Name] has died!". YHVH can also spam this attack if he so desires, but Satan seems to love using it the most.
  • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne has several, and not because of the Nintendo Hard difficulty of the game. In order of appearances:
    • The second boss in the game, the Specter, can be quite difficult, as part of the Early Game Hell. He will always summon 5 other specters (always outnumbering you) and attack you over and over, until they decide to all fuse into a huge ghost, an action that is exclusive to this fight. The large Specter's power, along with its "Foul Union" signature skill is determined by how many smaller ones were alive right before they fused; if 4 to 5 of them, or worse, all of them, managed to stay alive, the fusion will be able to kill anyone in your party in one hit. It also notably has no weaknesses (even resisting magic) for such an early boss.
    • The Matador defines the trope. The first Fiend to be encountered, he comes out of nowhere early in the game and is far more difficult than any boss you've fought before. His main move, which he starts the battle with, is Red Capote, which buffs his evasion to the maximum level so he'll dodge many of your attacks. In conjunction with the Press Turn system, missing attacks is very, very bad, as it causes you to burn two turns instead of one, so you need to find a way to bring his ridiculous speed down to tameable levels or you will never see damage numbers on him. You can't just remove his buffs either; he'll just use Red Capote again, forcing you to leave him with at least one level of buff. Debuffing his attacks and defense will only work temporarily because he has Dekunda to cancel debuffs. Even if you manage to land some hits, you also need a way to heal the entire party, and increase your defense, because he'll use Taunt to lower your defense and follow it up with Focus to double the damage of his multi-hit Andalucia. If you don't find that balance, the next dialogue you'll see will most certainly be "The comfort of death will come, for man and demons alike..."
    • Dante, just Dante. His arsenal consists of nothing but That One Attacks. Brutal physical attacks? Check. Multi-hit attacks? Of course. Absurd critical rate? Absurdly so. Always Accurate Attack? His main move along with Bullet Time. Practical Taunt? He does it with style and it regenerates his MP. Instant kill effect? On his signature move of all things. Almighty attacks? Two with one being his signature move. Now you understand why he's here. To make matters worse, he also resists everything but Almighty. No gimmicks or tricks, just a straightforward battle a la Devil May Cry, which makes preparing for him all the more difficult.
      • He becomes tediously nightmarish during his game at the Third Kalpa. The Player is forced to navigate a labyrinth with a series of switches that must be activated to proceed, all while avoiding encountering him. The problem is Dante will pursue you across the whole Kalpa and when you encounter him (and he will, if you are not careful) you will get kicked back to the beginning, and Dante will score a free hit on you while reseting all the switches. Fitting, considering he basically went through some similar puzzle levels in his own game, but still unpleasant.
    • Daisoujou. Much like all Fiends holding the Candelabra after the Matador, Daisoujou is optional, but necessary for the sixth ending, so they still qualify for this trope. His main attack drains both health and mana from its target, he can cast instant death spells of both Death and Expel elements that hit the entire party, and an utterly annoying skill that grants him 3 extra press turns. Oh, and when he gets close to death he starts using his other Signature Move Preach, which spams status ailments on the entire party in addition to dealing some Mind damage. Bonus points to mention that Daisoujou's instant death spells are the -On series (Mahamaon and Mamudoon), as in the higher ratio of death spells, and like Dante, he also resists everything but Almighty.
    • The Hell Biker, the next fiend you fight. The guy has two unique elemental skills called Hell Burner and Hell Exhaust; Hell Burner is his own version of Maragidyne, while Hell Exhaust is a Force-elemental Dekaja. By this point in the game, it's impossible for your Main Character to be immune to Force or Fire without being weak to the other one, while it's merely very difficult for your demons to not have that problem.
    • All of the Rider Fiends, initially found in the Third Kalpa before scurrying off to random places, starting with the White Rider. All Horsemen Fiends share something in common, that is, they have two supporters at all times. They all do different things for each horseman; in White Rider's case, they heal their master, use Mahama and Thunderclap (Both of which are Expel skills, the former is instant death that targets everyone in your party while the latter halves one person's HP), cast Makarakarn to repel all non-almighty magic attacks, and debuff your party's defenses. Don't try to destroy them, though, since if any supporters die, the Riders will reply with Dragon Eye, a skill to gain four extra turns, which they will use to summon new supporters and spend extra time to smack you around. Back to the topic of White Rider, he has God's Bow, a 100% instant death for anyone not immune to expel, and Prominence, which deals ridiculous fire damage at random targets on your party. Have fun.
      • And to further rub salt in the wound, once you reach Asakusa, the White Rider will pursue you to every large terminal that you can access except for the one in the medical center, the one at the Manikin holy ground, and the terminal inside the Labyrinth of Amala.
    • Red Rider, the second Horseman. Even if he didn't have his angel supporters powering him up every turn, he'd still be pretty difficult. He uses spells like Bolt Storm (which is basically Prominence, but electric-based), Wind Cutter, which deals a tremendous amount of Force damage to one person, and Terrorblade, which does a ton of physical damage to everyone, can hit twice, and can make your party Panic, meaning your party members will randomly run from battle. You can call them back, sure, but if the Demi-Fiend is panicking, you can't. As for the angels, they can either use Expel-based instant-kill spells, or Tarukaja, a buff that boosts the power of physical attacks (and thus, Terrorblade). And it can be used twice per turn.
    • Black Rider, considered to be the easiest Horseman, can easily qualify if you put off fighting Red Rider until after a certain dungeon is cleared. This guy is the first boss to use Megidolaon (the strongest, party-wide, Almighty attack in the game), has Glacial Blast (ice version of Prominence and Bolt Storm above), and every now and then he busts out his Signature Move Soul Divide, which halves the HP of any party member that is not immune to Curse, and can inflict Mute to prevent you from using any spell. He also absorbs Ice attacks so you need to pay attention to what skills you're using. His Legion supporters know Mamudoon and Hell Gaze (very strong Death-based instant-kill spells), Tetrakarn (repels physical attacks for one turn), and Makakaja (a buff that boosts the power of magic attacks and thusly increases the damage dealt by both Megidolaon and Glacial Blast).
    • The Specter, during your second fight against him, has upgraded its resistances and now voids non-Almighty Magic attacks, forcing the player to use physical skills. He also packs Mana Drain, which he will utilize incessantly and then cast Megido to make up for the fact that the small Specters don't fuse into a big one. They also pack Dekunda so that you WILL have to use buffs.
    • Pale Rider, the last and the hardest of the Four Horsemen. Pale Rider's gimmick is One-Hit Kill via status effects. He can instantly kill you if you have these status: Sleep (using his Eternal Rest), Poison (through his signature Pestilence, which also deals Almighty damage if you are not poisoned, by the way) and Stone (with normal physical attack). His Loas supporters know Debilitate, which is the equivalent of debuffing your attack, defense, and agility all at once by one level, and they'll use it every turn they can. These supporters are also able to inflict every single status mentioned above. And they can self-destruct, which does Almighty damage to you, HEALS the Rider, and will force the Rider to use Dragon Eye. Compounding it all is that you can't equip the Demi-Fiend with magatama to resist everything.
    • The Mother Harlot, another Fiend. She repels physical attacks and her normal attack hits seven times. She has powerful electric-based spells that hit the entire party, and if she manages to shock someone, she will inevitably hit them hard with criticals. She also has two unique skills, one of which is an Almighty-attack that also heals her for about a tenth of her maximum HP, while the other skill, Deathlust, can inflict Charm (the most annoying status ailment, period) on everyone in addition to dealing Mind damage.
    • The three bosses of the Amala Temple, perhaps some of the few examples here that aren't Fiends. And for good reason. They can be fought in any order, but all three of them have to be beaten in order to move on:
      • Aciel, the boss of the Black Temple. He has the annoying habit of stealing your MP with Mana Drain and then attacking someone after using a skill that reduces every party member's HP to 1 called Sol Niger. If Aciel targets the Main Character, Game Over. If you're smart, you'll have an Attack Mirror and use that on the turn before Aciel uses Sol Niger, but you'll probably forget about them until now. Aciel also boasts some nasty physical skills.
      • Skadi, the boss of the Red Temple. She absorbs physical attacks and has a nasty physical skill called Earthquake. Thankfully it can't critical, but this move has a high chance of killing the party if you don't see it coming.
      • Albion, the boss of the White Temple. This guy is a Flunky Boss who will revive his minions if you destroy them before taking him out and if there are two minions alive when Albion dies, they will resurrect him to full health. You need to pay attention to the status of the flunkies and Albion so that when you eliminate them, they won't come back.
    • Trumpeter, the last Fiend. How bad can it be when the boss himself explains how his attacks work and he STILL manages to be a pain in the ass? Trumpeter explains that, after every eight turns, he will sound his horn, at which point either Holy Melody or Evil Melody is cast upon the party member (or Trumpeter himself) with the lowest amount of health, which either fully heals them, or kills them right then and there, respectively. The death ability of Evil Melody is completely unblockable, even if it's you and you're protected against Death and Expel. It should be also noted that Evil Melody will not hit him (which, in the event of this happening, will have him aim Evil Melody at the Main Character), but Holy Melody can, resulting in Trumpeter fully healing himself right before you can land the killing blow. Endure will save you, but it works once per battle, so you can still die if the Main Character gets hit by Evil Melody twice. And since the boss spams Megidolaon every now and then, trying to control your party's health is not going to be easy, either.
    • Beelzebub in the Fourth Kalpa is a nightmare. He resists everything that isn't either Fire or Almighty and when he Turns Red he starts using Death Flies, which will kill you instantly if you're not immune to Death and deals damage equal to Megidolaon if you're immune to Death. He is also fond of using Focus and ensuring that there are no debuffs on him and that there are no buffs on you when his health drops to around 70% which is before he turns red. He also has the normal Megidolaon if he can't use his Electric or Force spells for whatever reason.
    • Mada is the annoying variety of That One Boss. Mada absorbs physical attacks, is not weak to ice (though his appearance suggests otherwise), is easily able to inflict panic on everyone with his Intoxicate skill, and can summon two Pazuzu demons who heal him. His main attack also deals huge physical damage to the party and he can lower your party's combat performance with Debilitate.
    • Then there's Mot. He stands out for a few reasons; first, he is one of the three bosses in the game who have a weakness, and has basically 3 attacks. The actual reasons he is so hard are the fact that he is immune to everything except his weakness and physical attacks, and said 3 attacks: one is Megidolaon; one is the previously-mentioned Makakaja; and the last one is Beast Eye, a skill that gives him 2 extra turns. For only 1 MP. So far, not so bad. However, there is a chance he will use that last skill twice in a row or even more, effectively giving him the chance to wipe out your party without you being able to do anything about it (seen here). He also has a healing spell that gives him back around 10% of his health, a powerful counterattack that activates if he's hit by physical, and a physical skill that hits the entire party— but at this point, mentioning them is just overkill.
    • Ahriman, the first of the three Reason bosses, who you must face before being able to reach Kagutsuchi, who, fortunately, is a joke; Unfortunately, the Reason bosses more than compensate for that. During the first half of the battle, Ahriman forbids certain actions and if you break that restriction, he kills you instantly with Hell's Call. And it's not Expel or Death elemental either, so there's no way to block it except for possibly Endure. The second half of the fight doesn't have any arbitrary restrictions on your actions, but Ahriman replaces Hell's Call with Apocalypse, basically his version of Megidolaon. That and he also has the normal Megidolaon, which will allow him to wipe out your party in one turn.
    • Noah, the second Reason boss. He only has ONE element that can affect him (not a weakness) at a time, which he changes every turn, and you can't cheat with physical skills either because Noah repels those. And no, you can't get around this with Almighty attacks, either, because he resists 90% Almighty damage. And while he uses single-character spells for the first half, he hits the whole party and starts draining one of your characters' HP and MP for the second half.
      • You can get around resist Almighty if you have both Freikugel and Pierce on the Main Character, but getting the latter note  automatically locks the player into the sixth ending, so if one tries to go for the five other endings (other than the one where you don't fight Noah), this trope still applies.
    • Baal Avatar, the last Reason boss. She summons two healers, both of whom debuff you and buff their party. Both of the healers possess full heal. Which they will happily abuse. Oh, and Baal Avatar possesses Bael's Bane, which will turn one of your party members into a fly. This is incurable, renders them utterly useless, and leaves them with large weakness to Expel. You can be immune to this, but doing so leaves you vulnerable to her Instant-kill spells unless you prepare very far in advance for this fight.
    • The game's True Final Boss, Lucifer, is the epitome of this trope. You can't even fight him unless you're on the sixth ending and for good reason: You absolutely need Pierce on the main characternote  because he resists 75% physical, elemental magic, and Almighty damage, has standard boss immunities, and has the most HP out of any boss in the game. He also has a ton of nasty attacks such as Evil Gleam (Charms your party), High King (very high Almighty damage on your party with some chance of Bind) and Root of Evil (either takes 1/2, 3/4, or 9/10 of your party's health, with the added bonus of having a chance to inflict stun, poison, or worse, mute and in the Nocturne Maniax Chronicle Edition will remove all your buffs regardless of what happens) at his disposal and if you die, you have to fight through Kagutsuchi just to fight him again. To rub salt in the wound, his normal attack is Almighty-Elemental and has a stupidly high crit chance.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey:
    • The first one is Asura. He can be very unpleasant because all the parasites you fought previously were annoying but not especially difficult, lulling the player into a false sense of security. While he carries a weakness to Ice, he has a very annoying skill by the name of Asura Roga. Remember earlier in the sector where much of the Strike Team was affected by the Delphinus Parasite? Well now, it's your turn to experience it firsthand! Asura Roga can affect the entire party with the Rage ailment barely seen anywhere else in the game; Rage boosts afflicted party members Attack, but it also causes them to attack anyone randomly. Very often the player will find their own party wiping each other out, or at least get injured enough for Asura to finish them off. Nothing in the original game can prevent Rage either. It can be cured, but Asura may just spam it and you'll be overwhelmed. While he also carries two more powerful attacks; Asura (powerful random target Physical attack that can hit multiple times) and Black Flame (basically Maragidyne except—again—hitting random targets), both of those tend to be much more bearable than Asura Roga.
    • Ouroboros, the final boss of the fifth block. She heals about 160 damage per round. Her attacks include Wild Thunder, a powerful group lightning spell, and Disaster Cycle, a spell that hits for moderate physical damage and inflicts random status ailments. That last one is really nasty because sometimes she gets really lucky with it and manages to either leave you with a dead weight party or petrify the main character (instant game over). All this is just her first form, however. Her second form no longer regenerates every turn, but she now uses Disaster Cycle almost every turn, and whenever she's not using Disaster Cycle, she's using Wave of Death which hits the whole party for nearly 300+ physical damage per hit! Her liberal use of Disaster Cycle almost makes the fight a Luck-Based Mission.
    • Captain Jack, fought in sector six. He shouldn't be that hard, theoretically, since he only has three attacks. Except the two he uses with any real frequency are: 1) an incredibly powerful gun-type attack that randomly hits your party members (thus it has a chance that it'll hit your MC four times), and 2) a spell that heals him for over 1000 HP and removes all debuffs from him. He's not immune to getting charmed, but good luck making that stick to him. To make matters worse, his third attack deals "light" damage to the entire party, but it's Almighty element. This means you literally cannot resist it in any way, and just to add insult to injury it lowers your attack. This makes it even harder to heal with his gigantic Healing Factor. And if that wasn't enough, he starts the battle with two Pisaca demons who can inflict the Bomb status on your characters. It basically means that if you get hit, you die and take the rest of the party with you.
    • Remember Asura? Well, he comes back in Fornax as Asherah and she is hard. She still has Asura Roga and thus can still wreck your party. The parasite you encounter beforehand can also qualify since its only skills are Maragion and Asura Roga.
    • Tiamat, the boss of sector six. Remember Captain Jack and his healing skill? Well, Tiamat has that same skill and additionally packs Captain Jack's almighty attack with nasty skills such as Mabufudyne (the strongest party-wide Ice spell in the game), Mother Earth (same as Mabufudyne, but healing Tiamat for half of the damage it deals), and Glacial Blast. Fortunately, Tiamat does provide a way to avoid her using the healing spell (do not reduce any of her stats to -4).
    • Maya, the boss of sector seven. You know you're in for a hell of a time when using magic on her is answered with a 100% ACCURATE INSTANT KILL. This also extends to your elemental gun skills, even though they technically aren't magic, as those too are grounds for getting killed instantly, although the basic gun attack or your non-elemental Gun skills are allowed. Not to mention she knows Illusory Ritual, which is basically this game's version of Red Capote (Read: maxes out accuracy and evasion) and all the -Dyne spells, which are boosted through using her different Gate spells.
    • One of the hardest bosses in the game is Ubergestalt Gore, fought in the Law and Chaos Paths. He has more HP than any boss in the game, even the two Final Bosses below (and the only boss that has even more HP is Demiurge), and it's made even worse by the fact the first time you deplete his 7500 HP, he will always get back up at full health, meaning, yes, that's 15,000 HP you have to deal with. He also hits like a damn tank, doing obscene amounts of physical and gun damage and the occasional status effects. His signature attack, Adaptation, will only be used on the main character, and it does enough damage to kill him if he isn't defending and resistant to physical damage, and that's if it is not buffed. His absurd HP alone makes this one huge endurance test. Did we mention he reflects any physical and gun attacks?
    • The Final Boss of the Law and Neutral Paths is hands-down the hardest boss in the game. She can cast the strongest forms of every single elemental spell in the game, including both instant kill elements, which means her Light and Dark spells will 100% kill you unless you are immune to both. There are only two ways to be immune to both Light and Dark, and one of them exposes you to her signature attack, Mother's Kiss, a multi-hit physical attack capable of killing a guarding protagonist at full health and level cap. She's also very aggressive with Reason's Start, which equates to Silent Prayer with healing on top, in case you try and debuff her more than once. Her second form is somehow worse, as she has an unblockable single target instant kill attack that also heals her equal to the amount of HP the killed character has, but that doesn't mean much if said target happens to be the main character; the attack can miss but very rarely. That's not even getting into her namesake attack: Mem Aleph, which will return any demons you have of a random alignment to the Demonica. While her second form does have a weakness, she also reflects two elements, and this changes each time she casts Mem Aleph. You may weep now.
    • The final boss of the Chaos path also qualifies. Like Mem Aleph above, the fight with Pillar Zelenin is also a Luck-Based Mission, since if the boss plays her unblockable one-hit kill move, Requiem, pray that it doesn't hit you. If it does, well...
    • The Redux rerelease reins the above bosses (except Commander Gore and Mem Aleph) in thanks to the ability to get rid of We Cannot Go On Without You and the higher levels you will gain from the Womb of Grief, but gives us a few new pains in the ass to compensate.
      • Ishtar, the boss of the Second Sphere of the Womb of Grief. She opens up using Berserker God and Garudyne, the third-tier single target Physical and Wind moves, at a point where you'll only consistently have access to second tier. She uses Silent Prayer to nullify your stat boosts if you reach +3, and when that's the move you want to see, you know you're in deep trouble. When she gets low on health, she starts adding Magarudyne to the mix, which does Garudyne level damage to your whole party. She also gets a Physical move that lowers your attack by one stage. The most brutal move in her arsenal, however, is her Alluring Squall/Soul Steal combo. Alluring Squall does 1-3 hits of Wind damage and charms whoever it hits. Soul Steal deals a One-Hit Kill to anyone who is charmed and heals Ishtar by the amount of damage it deals. You have our express permission to weep Tears of Fear.
      • Zeus, the boss of the Fifth Sphere. He has Keraunos (Electric damage and four Rakundas to one target), Adamant Sickle (Physical damage to one target and two Tarukajas to himself), and enough raw power to put you down in one shot. Bring Luster Candy, War Cry, and the Reaper Colt (which gives you Storm Shot, a heavy Wind attack that hits his weak spot) or die horribly. When his health falls low, he can also choose to be completely obnoxious by using Sol Canus, which actively prevents buffing and debuffing for a few turns.
      • The True Final Boss exchanges the one-hit-kill cheapness of the original final boss for being an extremely long fight. Already opening with very hard-hitting moves for any kind of element, she also has the ability to assume the elemental affinities of the previous Womb of Grief bosses and their signature attacks. Yes, this means you can die to Alluring Squal + Soul Steal again if you're not careful. Deplete her HP, and the second half of the fight commences, as she heals herself to full health and gains enormous resistance to everything but Co-Op attacks, forcing you to go back to striking elemental weaknesses again as opposed to nuking everything with Almighty damage. She also begins using some of the bosses' unique field skills like the buff-blocking Sol Canus, and can even throw up a long-lasting barrier that reflects all attacks coming from combatants of a single alignment, which will force you to spend turns changing your team around. If you don't have a good mixture of combatants from various alignments, you can easily become a sitting duck for many turns.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV is regarded by series veterans as the easiest game in the mainline series, but it still has its share of troublemakers that stand out from other bosses:
    • Minotaur is the first boss you'll face, and he WILL end you. He is VERY fond of War Cry (decreasing attack/defense of all of your party), Charge (more than doubling the power of his next attack) and following up either of those two (or maybe even both) with Labrys Strike or Oni-Kagura, which in Oni-Kagura's case can instantly KO one of your party members or in Labrys Strike's case ALL of your party. He has a weakness to ice, and that's really your only hope. You get asked two main response choices and if you chose incorrectly, you can make him stronger or even allow you to be even weaker, the last thing you want in this fight.
      • This is all worsened if the AI party member you get stuck with is Walter, of all people. He can and WILL use Agi. Minotaur nulls Agi. Minotaur then smirks and continues to KO everybody.
    • Very quickly after Minotaur comes Medusa, who is nothing but a nightmare. She doesn't have anything like Minotaur's Charge or War Cry, but she doesn't need either of those: all of her attacks do medium damage, which at that point in the game is very, very dangerous. She has Zionga, which will downright end anybody in your party weak to electricity, and alongside that are three gun attacks that are all equally dangerous: Tathlum Shot hits one person, Rapid Needle hits the whole party, and Snake's Fangs is a good 1-3 hits on everybody alongside putting bind on one of them. Don't even think about using that fancy new gun you just found on her; she resists gun. She also drains electricity, and the last thing you want is for her to get some health back. Thankfully, she's weak to force; like with Minotaur, that's your only hope. And also just like the Minotaur fight you get two response choices and if you get the second one incorrect, you get petrified (to be fair, that one IS pretty easy to avoid). If you over level slightly and fuse or evolve a Raiju the fight can be cheesed however.
    • Pluto, the boss of Blasted Tokyo is pretty annoying if you don't have the correct team. It loves to spam either a physical attack or a fire attack, both of which hits the entire party and can inflict nasty status conditions that can cripple them. It also has a hefty amount of HP with no obvious weaknesses.
    • King Kenji in Infernal Tokyo. He likes to spam physical attacks like Conqueror's Spirit followed by auto death spell Mamudoon. Toward the end of the battle, he becomes fond of Almighty spells and Ancient Curse which causes Sleep, Paralyze, Confusion, Sick and Poison. And, for YHVH's sake, don't pick up the remote... Justified in that he's not only the ruler of a society where Might Makes Right, but King Kenji is also considered to be the Final Boss of the Nothingness Ending since the Yamato Control Device doesn't do anything when you fight it.
    • Issachar White, the last White you have to battle during the endgame. While Hugo, K and Isabeau White can be debuffed into oblivion, Issachar White uses Luster Candy with enough frequency that it's a waste of time. He has no weaknesses, but thankfully no resistances that aren't a part of his Contractual Boss Immunity. During the first portion of the fight, he uses physical attacks and Charge, and his critical rate is ridiculously high. But the worst part is when he's down to less than a third of his health, which is when he starts using all three of the previous Whites' Signature Moves; Blank Bullet is a gun attack that hits everyone twice, Impossible Slice is a physical attack that reduces your defense, and Nought Wave, the worst of the three attacks, is an Almighty (read: unblockable) attack that hits for a lot of damage and has a very high chance of instant death. And it's neither Death nor Expel, so you have no way to resist it. Finally, he has two points where he will talk to you and prompt for responses. For his second set of Boss Banter, picking the wrong answer reduces your HP to 1 and your MP to 0.

  • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse picks up the slack with several difficult bosses:
    • Sukuna-Hikona is a piece of work, having in his arsenal Needlestorm (Medium Wind damage with chance of Daze) and Infernal Hail (Medium Ice damage + Sukunda). You would be lucky to have access to medium-damage attacks yourself at this point in the game. He also carries Makajam which can shut down any party member. He also starts the battle by casting Rakunda, lowering your defense, and he will recast it during the fight as well.
    • Titan has a large pool of HP, no elemental weaknesses, and he's your introduction to Critical Eye, a buff that makes his next attack a Critical Hit. He's thankfully weak to ailments, but you're at the mercy of the Random Number God that they don't wear off at the worst possible time.
    • Maitreya of the Divine Powers is a nasty boss, by virtue of being the third boss in a series of boss battles. He surprisingly has two (not so obvious) weaknesses, but he carries an ability that allows him to turn his weaknesses into drains until the end of his turn. If his turn was skipped by an Assist Attack, his shield is still up until his next turn. He also possesses an extremely powerful almighty attack when Smirking. You have to redo the Boss Rush from the start if you die, by the way. Your saving grace is that shortly before you engage Maitreya, you'd have completed a storyline quest which should give enough experience for a Level Up Fill Up. If that didn't happen, you didn't purchase the app that grants you Level Up Fill Up, or if your vital demons died in the previous fights, well...
    • Krishna of the Divine Powers is quite frustrating to fight against, due to how effective status ailments are in this game. He possesses two unique skills called Venomous Raga and Dream Raga (he also has Combat Tara, but it's just a glorified Luster Candy); these moves debuff you while inflicting you with Nerve (Poison, Sick, Bind) or Mind (Charm, Confused, Sleep) ailments respectively. You can quickly find yourself inflicted with every ailments in the game at once bar Mute, Daze, and Brand. You can use Hallelujah's Warding Shout to protect yourself, but Krishna will still pummel you with his powerful attacks in the meantime, and Hallelujah has a chance at using the wrong move on occasion, potentially costing you the fight.
    • Baal in the Cosmic Egg is the first and hardest of the guard bosses summoned by Inanna. He has multiple ways to hit very hard, possesses his own electric attack that can bind you, he Retaliates physical attacks and uses Silent Prayer very often, making sure buffs and debuffs can only help so much.
    • The final Divine Powers boss is Vishnu-Flynn, and he hits like a truck. While he doesn't get the first move, he'll generally ensure that his first move is Antichthon and that there are no buffs on you or debuffs on him. Survive that, and he unleashes Shine More, a multi hit multi target Almighty attack that inflicts Daze, while still occasionally using Dekaja, Dekunda, and Antichthon. He also has a second form in which he shifts weaknesses between Light and Dark while attacking you with the opposite element. Thought of bringing demons that null light/dark to stop this? His Light/Dark Nandaka attacks pierce resistances.
    • Even by Final Boss standards, YHVH is a menace. He starts out the fight with two Luster Candies and he also resists everything, which means you need Awakened Power or a Pierce move to deal damage initially. The fight's gimmick is that there are two parties: Nanashi's and Flynn's. Flynn has the ability to remove resistances and create weaknesses with his unique move, and he has Energy Drain to keep him using it. YHVH himself has a few unique moves, most notably God's Mouth, which is a repeat of his One Hit Kill from II, and Divine Harmony, which removes all status effects on the party - buffs, Doping, Charge/Concentrate, etc. He also has Authoritative Stance, similar to Imposing Stance in that it cuts your Press Turn icons on your next turn, except instead of one icon he takes off three, leaving you with up to two turns at best if you exploit his weaknesses and outright giving him free turns if you have so much as one empty party slot. To make matters worse, he's a Sequential Boss, and in his second form, he has the ability to buff himself fully and Smirk with Infinite Power, or debuff the whole party fully with Unending Curse. He also comes with Supernova in this form, a devastating Almighty attack.
    • And this is already hard enough on the Bonds Route, where Flynn has a full party (himself, Jonathan, Walter, and Isabeau). On Massacre, Satan is his only teammate and the game will not make an exception to the "number of party members = number of Press Turn icons available" rule for these two. That aforementioned Authoritative Stance? Pray (heh) that YHVH doesn't use it on Flynn's party.

    Digital Devil Saga 
  • Camazotz from the first game. He's not too bad the first two times you fight him, but the third time, he's a nightmare, mainly because of extra-turn spells and Zotzilaha Bane, which can't be defended against and turns you into a bat, which has hideously low stats and a large Force weakness. Three guesses what all of Camazotz's damage-dealing attacks's element is (Spiral Edge doesn't count since it's Physical and it's used in the previous fights). Don't even try debuffing him, as he is guaranteed to use Rage (this game's name for Nocturne's notorious Beast Eye) to give himself an extra turn solely to Dekunda himself and continue like you've never debuffed him at all. It seems appropriate for a boss which is named after a Mayan god of death.
  • For series veterans, Vasuki. He uses ice and electricity, both of which are elements that can freeze or shock characters respectively, allowing him to critical hit them to death. The player can only shield against one of them at a time without crazy preparation, and Vasuki's AI is smart enough to attack with whichever isn't blocked, meaning he won't lose turn icons that way. To top that off, he's capable of using two unblock-able Megidolas in the same turn.
  • Cerberus, who has to be fought before entering the Brutes' base. Cerberus has three heads, each of which do different things: the right head buffs, debuffs and uses a shield spell to protect Cerberus from Ice attacks, the left head heals and occasionally busts out Mahama, and the center head uses powerful physical and magical attacks. Should you leave the center head for last, it will use Psycho Rage and then go completely nuts with fun attacks like Gate of Hell, which deals heavy physical damage and can petrify your party members. There's also two combos you have to watch out for, both of which are fire-elemental, but they are easily blocked. No weakness either.
  • Kartikeya in the sequel, which pounds on you with an assortment of powerful party-wide attacks and raises a wind barrier that makes it nigh-impossible to hit the boss, pretty much whenever the boss feels like it. Repelling its own spells or using electric magic is guaranteed to hit it and break the barrier, but that's easier said than done. And as what seems to be a giant middle finger to magic users, Kartikeya is actually weak to Guns, which require you to be in human form to use, and he has Taunt, which drops defense like nobody's business.
  • Vritra is often cited as That One Boss of DDS2. Especially if you go into battle expecting him to be weak against ice attacks, the weakness of Heat's previous demon form. Many gamers has burst a blood vessel to see their Ice attack repelled onto their party and watch their whole battle plan fall apart at their feet as the very same magic from their precious strategy is flung back at them. Twice as hard. And then Vritra calls you an idiot for thinking it would have worked. He also has a pair of tentacles that protect him from damage and must be destroyed before you can actually do damage to him. (These naturally regenerate after a couple of turns.) To top it off, he has a skill that has an extremely high chance of freezing your characters. In DDS2's battle system a physical attack against a frozen target is an automatic critical, (Which not only causes extra damage but gives the attacker an extra turn) which Vritra is more than happy to exploit. Also, he can also use a strong, unblockable almighty attack after you take out his arms and attempt to throw party members into a panic immediately afterwards.
  • Abaddon. The thing changes weakness and swallows a random party member, leaving you with two characters for most of the fight. Good luck not getting Argilla swallowed when he's weak to earth, because if you can't exploit his weakness and gain extra turns you will be spending ALL of the turns you have healing/reviving (even worse since a press turn is immediately lost if the party member who was supposed to go next is currently inside Abaddon's stomach), and outhealing the damage he deals is complicated by the fact that Abaddon gets three press turns per round instead of the typical two for bosses that fight alone. If you don't damage him enough in 4-5 turns (which forces him to eject the swallowed party member unscathed) the swallowed party member will be spat out with only one HP left. Also, if the other two party members die while the third one is being digested, it's a game over right then and there. If you thought that's bad enough, the game forces Cielo into the active party for this fight as an extra 'screw you' to the player. Of course, he starts out weak to force and that's really your only time to get ANY reasonable damage in plus he only swallows someone once he takes a bit of damage.
  • Meganada is also notable despite the fact that he is the penultimate boss in the storyline because he alternates what doesn't work on him and no matter what attacks can hurt, Electricity will be absorbed. Meganada starts the battle being immune to Physical and when he uses Moksha, he suddenly nulls all magic except Electricity, which he absorbs. When immune to Physical, he uses normal attacks and the occasional Mad Rush but once he loses a bit of health regardless of form, he starts using Black Bhakti, which has the boss charge up for one of two possible attacks: Viraj Blade and Meru Thunder. Viraj Blade is used when the boss is immune to Physical and you can't make the skill not hit like a truck since it's an Almighty attack that bases its power off of the boss's high Strength. Meru Thunder is, you guessed it, Electric-based and will shred your party if you didn't bother to cover Gale's weakness to Elec if you have him around. The boss can also use Fatal Charm and Tentarafoo if you're using Cielo as well as the Ma-Dyne level elemental skills, so this guy can thrash you no matter what skills you have.

  • Persona 2
    • While he IS a Final Boss, Great Father Nyarlathotep in Persona 2: Innocent Sin is VICIOUS. He gets five attacks on his turn, and can easily bring a prepared party to their knees. This includes an attack called Master of 18, which, as its name says, strikes one party member eighteen times. He does have a trick in which he occasionally switches to damaging your SP for awhile, but that still means that while you won't have to worry about a party wipe for a bit, you have little SP to cast with. How pleasant.
    • Persona 2: Eternal Punishment has Captain Shimazu as a That One Boss of the annoying variety. Shimazu and his flunkies aren't too tough aside from the insta-kill Aimed-shot with all of their attacks being single-target, the problem comes with dealing damage as they will constantly spam Hypnotic wave, a party-spanning sleep-inducing spell over and over, screwing up your Fusion-spells.
    • Kandori must've been working out between games as his Weaksauce Weakness is now gone and replaced with resistance to everyhing. Expect the battle to last a long time. And he is flanked by four mechas that can seal your party's Personas for three turns at least. And if that weren't enough, he also has some other special attacks that are only shared by the Final Boss.
    • "The Metal Trio"—golden statues of Jun, Eikichi, and Lisa, who were born out of Tatsuya's guilt, just before Was Sugawara. This is a team battle, your party against them. While each character doesn't have a huge amount of HP, each enemy is immune to physical attacks, and possess unique high damage spells that target all party members, and to further twist the knife, "Eikichi"'s Bloody Divorce has a high percentage of causing instant death. "Jun"'s Terror of Fortune special can inflict almost every single freaking status ailment on everyone with next to no fail, often leaving you utterly helpless, and "Lisa's" Lover of Darkness has a chance of inflicting Charm, just to make matters worse.
    • Was Sugawara heals over 700 HP at the end of each turn. The only way to deal with that is to deal him more damage than that, which is only accompliced with Fusion Spells. However, he also spams War Cry which inflicts the Fury status to the whole party and makes the infected characters use their physical attack and nothing else.
    • The Final Boss of Eternal Punishment is just as vicious as he was back in Innocent Sin. He has two forms this time around. The first form varies its strength, depending on whether or not you restore Lisa's and/or Eikichi's memories. If you restore both, his first form, Moon Howler, will randomly reduces your team's remaining HP to half, and has an attack that deals large unblockable damage, which doubles for guarding characters. The second form is harder no matter what you did, now he has an unblockable attack that gets stronger with each use, an unblockable attack that deals random damage between 100 to 800, and ability to prevent you from changing Persona for 8 turns, and another skill to negate your buffs, shields, and healing. Don't bother crying. It's simply what Nyarlathotep does.
  • Persona 3 has the Sleeping Table, the infamous boss from the fourth block, floor 135 of Tartarus. It was deemed difficult enough for most players that it earned a spot as a late-game boss in Persona 4. Its physical attacks are nothing special, but it comes armed with Maragidyne (highest-tier, party-wide fire attack), Hamaon (light-based instant kill) and Megidola (second-tier, unblockable, all-party Almighty attack,) has no weaknesses, and has such exceedingly high defenses that anything you throw at it deals pitiful damage. In addition to that, it is immune to status changes. In other words, it will rain destruction on you and you cannot prevent it. When getting hit with Maragidyne is considered a breather, you know you're in for a lot of pain.
  • Persona 4:
    • Shadow Yukiko. While Shadow Yosuke and Shadow Chie were meant to show the player the ins-and-outs of combat, this boss is the first real challenge in the game up to this point. She has access to a very powerful Area-of-Effect Fire Attack called "Burn to Ashes," which will get a One More as Chie is weak to Fire. As if that isn't enough, she has access to Terror Voice and Shivering Rondo, the former skill capable of instilling the Fear status in one party member, while the latter deals massive Almighty damage to anyone afflicted with fear. Then you have to contend with her Charming Prince flunky, who can also inflict Fear on you, and can heal Shadow Yukiko if left alone. Best part is? She has no weaknesses, despite seeming weak to Ice. Thankfully, Golden adds a weakness to Ice spells that mitigates the difficulty somewhat... but now she has White Wall and now Charming Prince has Makajam, which can silence any of your ice-casters. Have fun!
    • Shadow Kanji. Shadow Yukiko set the bar for bosses in this game, and Shadow Kanji proves that Shadow Yukiko was not a one-time thing. On top of having access to some very powerful physical attacks and an Area-of-Effect electric spell (which, again, is gonna get a One More since Yosuke is weak to it), as well as two other shadows who give him buffs and free heals. This alone makes a fight with him a major test of endurance, but then he ups the ante with Forbidden Murmur and Roar of Wrath: the former poisons both you and Yosuke with 100% success, which is bad enough given the amount of hurt he can deal. Roar of Wrath is even worse, as it inflicts both Yukiko and Chie with Rage — both flunkies either take negligible physical damage or drain it, which minimizes the attack boost from the status ailment. Meanwhile, having Yukiko under the effects of Rage means you've lost control of your main healer, and she's taking additional damage when she's already quite fragile on her own. Thankfully, Golden once-again numbs down the difficulty somewhat, by giving the flunky shadows weaknesses and making them lose their physical immunity... but also making Shadow Kanji drain electricity (which admittedly makes sense, since how can a thunder-user not be immune to electricity?), giving Red Wall and White Wall to cover the flunky shadow's weaknesses, and Revolution, which boosts the critical rate of all party members, putting you at risk of being wiped out due to a chain of crits. Good luck!
    • Shadow Teddie specializes in Ice attacks and by extension is immune to them, AND he has Mind Charge (which can power up his Ice attacks even more) plus Ice Break (removes Ice resistance) and Marakunda (lowers party defense). As if this wasn't bad enough, you have the Nihil Hand move to deal with, which does nasty damage and inflicts the Dizzy status on the whole party — and if one or more of your party are already Dizzy, it's an instakill for them. To top it all off, Shadow Teddie likes to throw out both Foolish Whisper (a Silence spell, aka prevents use of your Persona) and Nullity Guidance, a move that will ALWAYS give Shadow Teddie a Once More (leaving you with even less time to prepare for Nihil Hand) and inflicts Dizziness. Your only saving grace is that Nihil Hand takes a couple turns to charge, giving you barely enough time to guard against it if your party members are still recovering from Dizziness. Best wishes!
    • Shadow Mitsuo will make you cry. He takes way too long and constantly gives himself a shield of 1400 additional hit points every few turns. He has a ton of attacks: he'll attempt to put the Fear condition on the whole party and then use Ghastly Wail, which instantly kills fearful foes. Sometimes, he will precede Fear with Stagnant Air, which raises the susceptibility to status ailments. Worse, it will consistently attack with a randomly-chosen, multi-target elemental spell corresponding to the elemental wall spell it casts while its barrier is down; if at least one character is weak to the element and is knocked down, it will immediately follow up with the party-wide Megidola that will almost certainly kill at least the weakened character, if not everyone else. And in barrier mode, aside from a powerful normal attack (that deals Almighty damage), it can also use the party-wide Gigadyne and a "Bomb" attack that delivers medium damage and inflicts Exhaustion status (SP drops with every action, like Poison does for HP) with 100% success rate if the attack hits. It's almost a relief when he uses the barrier form's ordinary attack, which hits between 170-240 HP when you're likely in the mid-300s. Of course, Shadow Mitsuo only uses Gigadyne if his barrier form is resurrected (and it likely will be), plus the barrier form's normal attack also gets more powerful after a resurrection. Go get 'em, champ!
  • Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
    • The Old Doll FOE in the Evil Spirit Club labyrinth will likely be the first major stumbling block for players when the game forces you to fight one as part of a request. While it has a number of weaknesses to exploit for boosts, it has a moderately-high evasion rate, resists all ailments (including the ability-sealing Binds), almost ten-thousand HP points (over twice that of the labyrinth's boss), and a massive pool of skills such as AOE 2nd-tier magic, nasty ailment inflicters like Evil Smile, Diarahan to fully restore its aforementioned enormous HP pool whenever it wants, and worst of all Mamudoon, which can easily instantly-kill two-thirds of the party; especially deadly for anyone who's playing the Persona 3 side on Risky mode, as the Persona 3 Hero is weak to Dark. The only saving grace the fight has is that this is one of the few FOEs who is only "resistant" rather than outright immune to light instakill attacks — you'll still need to be incredibly lucky to kill it this way, though. Ken or Naoto earn their pay this fight, not that hadn't been the whole game anyways.
    • The Festival Dudes FOE found in the Inaba Pride Exhibit. While they do have strong Physical moves capable of dealing heavy damage (which can be easily evaded with the right moves), their real pain is the fact that they, like the above-mentioned Old Doll, have Diarahan, a magic move that fully restores one's health. This means you'll have to try using a magic bind on them, right? Well, good luck on doing that, as that thing is highly resistant to binds and ailments, so you'll need to be incredibly lucky to land anything that prevents that move. They are something of a Puzzle Boss: if you use a party consisting of 4 guys, they won't use Diarahan. Elizabeth does hint at this when you first accept the request to defeat them, but its wording is a bit vague: she fails to mention that the party has to consist of only 4 guys (so you're down one member), but that they have to be human. (So Koromaru, Teddie and Zen don't count, and neither does Ken because he's too young.) The problem here is it's a trade-off: you prevent them from healing this way, but your main healers (Yukari and Yukiko) both happen to be female, so you have to do the fight without decent healing of your own, barring usage of Sub-Personas with healing skills.
  • Persona 5
    • Shadow Madarame is where many players encounter their first real obstacle in the game. To even get to his main body the player needs to defeat four different paintings, each with their own turn and access to all of the main four elements (at this point in the game all of your party members are weak to one of said elements), a powerful physical attack, and stat buffs/debuffs. To make it worse, the four paintings together drains every element in the game, meaning every available Herd-Hitting Attack will heal at least one of the paintings. Even when the paintings are defeated and the main boss appears, the party only has 3 turns to damage him before he re-enters his painting form. From the second time onward, the paintings begin to use his signature move, The Artist's Grace, which renders one party member weak to all elements (including physical). This is always followed by a defense debuff on the same party member, forcing them to waste their turn blocking or risk being killed instantly. The paintings also gain the ability to revive one another, which given their elemental resistances will invariably happen at some point in the fight.
    • Shadow Shido is a brutal Marathon Boss, with a grand total of five different forms the player has to fight through without a chance to save or heal up. All this totals to about 19,800 HP to work through, over twice the amount that the previous major boss had!
      • His first form reflects physical and gun damage, but also has access to Makarakarn making it immune to every element except Almighty. His favorite tactic is to use Wage War to inflict Rage on the entire party so that they kill themselves via reflected attacks. He also has access to powerful physical attacks that can rapidly deplete the party's health.
      • His second form loses his reflection abilities but gains resistance to all magic except Almighty. He also has access to every single target dyne-level spell, so he can always hit your weaknesses no matter what.
      • His third form is a damage race for the party to finish him off before he can unleash colossal Almighty damage on your party.
      • His fourth form packs an attack called Tyrant's Fist that deals enough damage to kill weaker party members in one blow and inflicts fear to any that survive. Mercifully, there is a checkpoint at the start of this fight — dying to this form or the next will let the player resume the battle from here rather than from the very beginning.
      • His fifth and final form is utterly merciless, gaining access to every top-tier elemental spell as well as the instant kill Curse and Bless skills. As well as Tyrant's Fist he also gains Tyrant's Glare, granting himself three consecutive actions, and Tyrant's Wave, an Almighty variant of Tyrant's Fist that hits the entire party. If that wasn't bad enough, he often casts Tarukaja beforehand so it hits harder, and with Tyrant's Glare there's no chance to use Dekaja on him beforehand.
    • The Traitor isn't too noteworthy out of context, with no special mechanics beyond hitting like a truck and deliberately focusing on the protagonist, but in context, it's a three-phase fight with only extremely vague hints that it might be coming, comes almost immediately after a damage-heavy miniboss fight with no opportunity to save between the two fights, and you can't rely on your memory of the Traitor's weaknesses, resistances, and abilities while they were traveling with you. If you know the fight's on the way, it's not difficult, but if you didn't see it coming, you're in for a nasty last surprise.
  • Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth
    • This game goes for the throat early on with Super Kamoshidaman, the first main boss of the game. Not only does he have excellent offense (his two main attacks deal either heavy damage to a single character - potentially one-shotting the squishier ones, or weaker hits to multiple ones) but excellent defense as well thanks to possessing an Affinity Barrier that lets him resist all damage thrown his way until you manage to deal enough damage to break it - which is not an easy task when he's resisting all of it! And then once it is broken he can cast Fire Screen to cover his weakness to stop you from spamming All-Out Attacks. Depending on your party's level and the difficulty mode it is borderline mandatory to both have someone tanking hits at all times with Line Guard and have someone poisoning Super Kamoshidaman at all times as otherwise you'll run out of SP long before he'll be taken down.
    • Yosukesaurus, the second main boss, isn't all that hard at the start of the battle, although he does have some damaging Wind attacks, but the fight gets really difficult later on when the other herbivores come to back him up. Each of them can give Yosukesaurus a buff or attack the party members, and since they're in the back, it's difficult for the party members in the back row to hit them. Worse, still, Yosukesaurus doesn't die as long as the other herbivores are still alive, and Turns Red toward the end of the fight, hitting hard with Mow Down and using Tentafaroo to inflict Panic on your party members.

    Devil Summoner 
  • Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army: Mishaguji. Resistant to physical, immune to bullets. Powerful, with at least two moves capable of knockdown. Knows Cursed Emission— an unblockable attack that leaves you (or your demon) paralyzed for much longer than normal paralysis, and Cursed Bolt— a wide-area attack that takes up a good chunk of the battlefield, and charms whatever it hits. If it charms you BOTH (Raidou is paralyzed by charm, but his demon actively turns against him for the duration), you better pray your demon doesn't kill you, or worse, HEAL MISHAGUJI.
  • Sukuna-Hikona, whose attacks aren't that bad... on the surface. But then it starts sending out attacks that paralyze whatever they hits, following up with a large beam that deals significant damage. As if that wasn't enough, if this beam hits your demon, and doesn't kill it by damage, it will seal the demon in its tube and you cannot use it for the rest of the battle.
  • King Abaddon continues the tradition with Amatsu-Mikaboshi, the Star of Death. He's basically Sukuna-Hikona version 2.0, with even more annoyances. The major one being that 95% of the time he constantly teleports around the combat field, pretty much making him invincible. He also can use screen-covering attacks that do high damage even when blocked (or are just unblockable). And like Sukuna-Hikona, Mikaboshi too can fire "Mute Ray" which is the beam that seals your demons with no way to cure it except ending the fight. Sure he's weak to Ice and Force, but he's only truly vulnerable when he's firing the beam, and it doesn't help that most of the time you can barely hit him.
  • The Soul Hackers game gives us Shemyaza. He hits very hard with all ma-type attacks, tends to move faster than your team and has a move that inflicts Confusion on your team, which stands a very good chance of making them decide to leave the battle. Adding insult to injury, if you lose then you have to go through a several minute long cutscene that you can't skip past before you can fight him again.

    Devil Survivor 
  • In Devil Survivor, if a boss has 'Bel' in its name, you might as well just start screaming in rage and frustration now. Because once the fight starts, you'll be too busy crying to do so effectively:
    • Beldr. He is immune to everything you hit him with except your main character's standard physical attack after you retrieve a plant-shaped cellphone strap. His flunkies not only respawn indefinitely and include such utter nuisances as Vidofnir (Drain, anyone?) and Basilisk (Evil Wave and petrification abilities) but are also fond of the Petra Eyes/Mazan combo, which can kill an entire party in one attack. He also periodically uses Vampiric Mist, a Mystic-element field attack. Which means it hits every team you have on the field. And it HEALS him. Consider that in this particular mission it's Game Over if the Hero falls...
    • Belial. The battle against him is an unholy combination of Escort Mission and That One Boss. The stage is one that makes it difficult to reach him. Like every other Bel boss, he also has minions scattered all over the place. He can attack 3 times in any battle he encountees because of Dragon Eye, and he himself regenerates HP every turn. And once he Turns Red, he periodically unleashes a powerful fire attack that hits every player character on the map, along with the character you are supposed to protect. Keep in mind that you also automatically lose the mission if said character dies... and she can only take a couple hits from Belial's special attack before that happens. To make things worse, this is also your first battle against Rangda demons and these bitches repel Physical attacks like nobody's business.
    • If you manage to brave Belial and go on to Amane or Gin's route, the next day opens up with you taking on Jezebel. The battlefield in front of her is covered in lava that inflicts fire damage to a character's team upon the end of a turn. And like Belial, Jezebel gets three attacks in each skirmish, and one of her spells is Judgement, which is a Mystic spell that takes away 50% of all targets' HP, often cast on her first turn to make her follow-up attacks worse. It doesn't help Jezebel repels the very element you just used against Belial. Ane like Belial, this battle is a combo of That One Boss and Escort Mission, since every time you damage Jezebel, your escortee also gets damaged, and if that character dies, it's game over, forcing you to keep her alive after every big fight. After a certain point, she wakes up and starts acting on her own, but then Jezebel summons Evil Knockoffs and sends them after the original, forcing you to also worry about those. On Naoya's route the day opens with the same fight - only since you made a rather large group of enemies, you have to fight through no less than EIGHT human foes (ALL of which have Evil Wave or Chaos Wave) to even get to Jezebel AND you have to keep Naoya alive through the entire battle.
    • Belzaboul. His attack range is huge, and when you combine that with the small arena the fight takes place in, that means he can attack almost anyone on the field at any time. And it gets better: He's surrounded by lesser demons, which might as well count as a small army of Demonic Spiders, due to how annoying they are. So, you'd want to kill them first, right? Well, do that, and Belzaboul replaces them with his flies. They go down easily, but have an attack called Spawn that inflicts anyone it hits with the Fly status. Anyone with this status will usually die one turn later and spawn more flies. And Belzaboul can use Spawn as well.
    • Belberith. He is able to attack anyone on the field and regularly heals himself roughly 450 HP after each turn. On his own, he would only be somewhat obnoxious, but to even get close enough to attack him you have to either activate two switches to raise a pair of platforms that reach the stage he is sitting on or have a Genma or Flight demon on your team. All the while demons are being summoned from COMPs that were left on the ground, and the demons are capable of using Phantasma to warp around the field, blocking your way when you need to press the switches and cross the platforms to reach the boss. To top it off, Belberith gets two attacks in each fight thanks to Beast Eye, which seems like nothing compared to what Belial and Jezebel have, but Belberith's infinite range and healing makes it a moot point. And he is noticably stronger on Yuzu's 8th day than if you fight him on other routes.
    • At the start of Atsuro's route, you have to fight Naoya, who runs away and sets down an endless number of haywire COMPs. Oh, and he has Devil Speed and Phantasma, and heals the speeder. It gets worse on Amane's route, because instead of him running away, he has stronger attacks and Loki shows up to help him.
    • Devil Survivor Overclocked adds Eighth Day expansions for Yuzu, Amane, and Naoya's routes and the True Final Boss of Amane's 8th day is Okuninushi, who would prefer to destroy Japan and rebuild it anew rather than leave it in the Main Character's hands. On his own he would be not so bad, but he summons a whole bunch of weak demons that have had their levels and stats jacked up to make them very annoying and he is pretty powerful himself, boasting Holy Strike, Deathbound, Maragidyne, and the Pierce passive ability so that he can easily screw you over even if you block or absorb Physical. To further add to this boss's difficulty, Okuninushi will use a field attack that deals Almighty damage to everyone if nobody is in his massive attack range of six spaces whenever he gets a turn, he has Beast Eye, which allows him to attack twice in battle, and in order to defeat Okuninushi you have to kill him three times!
    • Metatron, the final boss of Naoya's aforementioned 8th day, is infamously difficult. His inherent racial skill allows him to hit anyone, no matter where they are on the map, and they cannot do any damage in return. He also restores an insane amount of HP and MP after every attack. To add onto that, every few turns he creates a barrier around himself and prepares an attack that hits the six spaces in front of him. This normally isn't a problem, but during this time, you cannot hit him at all, which amounts to free damage from him and free healing at the end of the attack. He almost always starts with an extra turn that grants him more moves, and on turns where he has the barrier up he gets four attacks (due to having beast eye, which of course he has) on everyone while simultaneously healing at the end, and you can do nothing but sit there and take it. Unless you have a main character with insane magic stats and an elemental dance skill of some kind that does decent damage, and Kaido with Pierce and Deathbound, you have no chance IF you challenge him at his level (80 for the informed).
  • In Devil Survivor 2...
    • On the 3rd day we have Ronaldo. At this point you've fought two of the Septentriones, so you figure, "How hard could some human boss be?" Very hard, as it turns out. A particularly nasty Wake-Up Call Boss, Ronaldo possesses a Baphomet with no weaknesses, a Suparna with only one, and he himself is a tough customer. His Baphomet gives him long range attacks and his Suparna allows him to teleport and make up for the loss of movement. He and his Baphomet both possess Drain, a devastating skill at this point, since it heals them, removes your precious MP, and is an almighty skill. The only good thing is at first he won't do anything, but your demons will drop like flies once he does. You also have to prevent his lackeys from escaping, which means you aren't at liberty to move around as much. Another problem is that at this point, you don't have any kind of way to revive fallen comrades. You fight Phecda, the third Septentrione, afterwards, but Ronaldo joins up with you at this point, and can easily beat the crap out of the Eldritch Abomination.
    • On the 5th day, should you choose to save Otome you will end up in a battle where you cannot allow a single enemy team to reach the escape point and this battle is difficult because of Bifrons. This demon has a Baphomet with no weaknesses and an Asp with only one backing him up, and Bifrons is a Fallen-class demon, meaning his race skill will heal his HP and MP every time he takes out one of your guys, so stalling him out isn't an option. Considering that he has Agidyne and Maragi, both of which are being buffed by Fire Amp, and he can attack twice in a skirmish because of Beast Eye, that can happen quite a bit. Both of Bifrons' demons can give him long-range attacks, but they also cause him to only move about every four turns. His Baphomet possesses Drain, just like the one Ronaldo had when you fought him two days beforehand, and the Asp has Life Drain, which only steals HP but gets stronger if the Asp is close to death when it uses the skill. The one saving grace about the mission is that it is not necessary to defeat Bifrons to clear the battle's victory condition.
    • On Day 6, we have Mizar. First of all, you're on a shockingly short time limit. Then there's the fact that defeating its tentacles requires you to run back and forth along the stage, and the narrow structure of the stage bottlenecks you right into the attack range of Mizar's tentacles. The boss fight can quickly devolve into a harrowing gauntlet as Mizar shoves your guys further and further back on the timeline, attacking relentlessly from a distance while you watch helplessly.
    • On Day 7, we have the Septentrione Benetnasch. First off, you can't summon any demons mid-fight because Trumpeter is using his jamming song to keep Benetnasch from dispelling the demons you already have. Second, Benetnasch is completely immune to all human attacks, so you'll have to rely on demons to do any damage. It reflects Physicals. It has two forms, the second of which gets high level physical/force attacks and is the first boss to use Dragon Eye (giving it three attacks every turn). There are Megrez buds sitting around doing their usual full-map earthquake damage, and after you get so close Benetnasch fires four of them straight into the vicinity of Trumpeter (you get a Game Over if they kill him, by the way). And even if you do beat Benetnasch, all it does is break into four segments, each with their own high-level magic and special abilities that correlate to the seven Septentriones.
    • The battle against the Osaka faction in Ronaldo's route can be an absolute sheer wall thanks in large part to Keita. The kid's got a downright vicious combination of Rage Soul and Attack-All, allowing him to level entire parties with a single attack. And if for some reason you survived? He can initiate battle twice thanks to Zouchouten! What's more, the battle's on a time limit. May as well pray to the stars for salvation, because Atlus sure isn't showing any!
    • The Anguished One's route starts with only you and The Anguished One against all three factions, leaving you with two teams to start with (The Anguished One is, fortunately, extremely hard to kill, but doesn't quite have the same offensive specializations as your previous teammates). First up: A match against Hinako, Jungo, six-seven backup squads and a level 76 Shiva. Hinako's skillset isn't optimized, but Jungo has a nasty habit of killing team leaders with Assassinate backed by his sky-high Strength, Phys Amp and Ares Aid. And if you didn't talk to Hinako or Jungo enough, they won't join you. That makes your next stop your two teams against Daichi, Io and about eight other teams with an assortment of high-level demons, and Io has the stats of a boss on her own and boosts all her allies with extra attack power and turn speed. Good luck with that.
    • On the Neutral route, the Law-aligned bosses aren't all that bad, but the Chaos-aligned boss, Yamato, whose battle is appropriately named "Strong Breaker"... may YHVH help you, because this bastard is tough. In fact, not only does Yamato blatantly cheat by buffing his turn ratio out the ceiling, but the battlefield is set up so he can be surrounded by mooks. His possession of a Vile Arioch allows him to beat on you from afar, his Divine Remiel allows him to replenish his MP pool (which he abuses to spam Megido at least twice), and he himself can revive his minions with an auto ability. There is also at least one demon on the battlefield always nearby that can throw on more healing, and most of the others have Evil Wave and Chaos Wave, so they can attack you from a distance where you cannot retaliate. And if you do try to clean out his surrounding teams before challenging him yourself, his turn speed shoots through the roof as he gets fast enough to destroy your parties singlehandedly.
      • This battle is made even harder on the Anguished One's route; Imagine, instead of him getting his turn absurdly quickly, he instead summons a magic field that damages your HP and MP. If you kill any of the demons, the Norn just revives them with full health. As for Yamato himself... He has Prayer (Full HP and status restoration, so no Curse to prevent it), MEGIDOLAON (strongest hit-all attack in the game), and Drain (HP and MP steal). He halves all damage excluding Almighty, and has the Ghost Purple Mirror and Kishin Zouchouten. They can use Possession (Inflicts Curse, which prevents you from healing unless you cure it with Amrita or the Grace auto ability that casts Prayer at the start of a skirmish), Judgement (Halves HP), and allows him to attack twice. Yamato also has Magic Yin, which increases magic by 50%, but doubles cost. However, Drain offsets the cost while still doing massive damage. End result? Good luck trying to go for the Unkillable title.
    • On every route except his own, the last fight before Polaris is against none other than the Anguished One himself while he uses his other identity, Alcor, the twin star of Mizar. This battle is utterly annoying because of a skill he uses called Ominous Star. This inflicts the Ill-Starred ailment that is never seen in any other battle on one team that makes that team take additional damage whenever they are hit by attacks. It wears off on the affected team's next turn, but Alcor has a bunch of demons supporting him and they can potentially kill the Ill-Starred team before their next turn. Take those demons out or drag out the battle and Alcor plays the Barrier Change Boss card by switching to a form that is weak to Physical and Force attacks while repelling everything else and resisting Almighty (his normal form is healed by Force and nulls Physical). This second form also packs a passive ability that lets him counter your attacks with twice as much power.
    • Finally, Polaris' final form depending on the route you take. Even if you had little to no trouble fighting every other boss in the game, including her previous two forms, if you don't have good enough skills and resistances, you'll likely be utterly demolished by Polaris B, which specializes in doing insane amounts of physical damage, has infinite attack range, Ares Aid, and for certain routes, it adds Beast Eye and Double Extra to the mix. Do the math. And before you can even reach Polaris B you have to fight several teams of demons, which are periodically resurrected in full by Polaris Ab. And if you do manage to kill Polaris B? Polaris A will resurrect it after a few turns, so you have keep someone near it to take it out again before it can do too much damage while the rest of your team goes after Polaris Ab (which can also be resurrected by Polaris A). Polaris A isn't a pushover either; it periodically fires a Wave Motion Gun-style attack that deals Almighty damage to anyone who is on the only path to attack Polaris A close up, although it does telegraph when this specific attack's about to be used on its turn beforehand.
    • Record Breaker's Triangulum Arc gives us Arcturus, who is basically Beldr 2.0 and a worthy successor in frustration. Like Beldr, it's completely invincible except for one character's normal attack (Yamato with the Dragon Stream). Like Beldr, you're finished if that character dies. Unlike Beldr, it hits your whole party with a status effect that makes them weak to all four basic elements before pelting them with a powerful Fire-Elemental field attack called Plough of Death. The only way to survive this is to use the main character's "Soul Bind" to draw all the curses into himself — which also means he'll be taking all the damage from the attacks. Better load everyone else up with Fire resistances if you want to make it through a turn! After all that, even once you get Yamato to Arcturus, you'll find his control over the Dragon Stream has weakened, leaving you to spend several turns barely scratching the damn thing until Miyako shows up to save the day. And that's when it stops holding back... If that's not bad enough, you fail if the Main Character dies, even if you have revival spells on other team leaders or demons.
    • The final showdown with Miyako Hotsuin on Day 4 of Triangulum makes her "brother" Yamato look like a fluffy Angora rabbit by comparison. To start with, she resists everything, except Physical which she reflects, just in case you were thinking of cheesing her with Pierced Multi-strikes or Deathbounds, and is backed up by a Zouchoten that allows her to attack twice per turn, Dual Shadow EX, letting her attack twice per skirmish (meaning, in short, you'll likely eat four attacks per round from her), and an Osiris that can buff her magic through the roof and heal her to full at any time. If that wasn't bad enough, she's supported by a large group of human agents with powerful Auto Skills, healing moves, and the ability to give her random buffs. While she's technically optional, as instead of fighting her you can send her brother behind her to deactivate her machine and free Alcor, doing so takes three turns and will result in not just her but all her henchmen converging on Yamato's position. Oh, and he can't move during that time. And to top it all off, just when you thought you were out of the woods...
    • In the subsequent fight with Cor Caroli, like Benetnasch from the Septentrione Arc, you can't summon any demons mid-fight because Alcor is preventing her from interfering with the demons you already have out. Every time Alcor gets a turn, he'll take damage and it's Game Over if he dies so you have to keep an eye on him. Cor Caroli has two arms assisting her in battle, and they can act twice while she's boosting her defense with Asterion and can attack anyone on the field, including Alcor.
    • Once again from Record Breaker comes the game's insane quintet of final bosses. First the prime factors of Heat, Gravity, Time and Space. Heat can deliver unholy degrees of Ao E fire damage in addition to having both Agidyne and Inferno, but is mercifully faced alone. The other three Factors interact with each other, though: Gravity slows your party, is immune to everything but force damage and rains Hassohappa like there's no tomorrow, Space grants itself and the other two Factors infinite attack range while tormenting your party with Drain and Dream Eater, and Time gives the Factors the ability to engage in skirmishes twice per turn, while it spams both Megido and Prayer while also periodically inflicting Stone, on top of having a good all-round resistance profile to make it harder to kill. Canopus itself is protected by three walls with an absurd amount of life and Vitality, while regenerating with Life Lift and Life Aid, and while you're bashing away at them, there are eight "Genes" scattered around the field - one each for the four elements, and two for curse and almighty - that have a bad habit of OHK-ing teams that don't kill them first... and then the big boss itself has two unique attacks that do absurd altitudes of damage, Megidolaon for good measure, and the Universal Law racial skill that may stop your allies from healing. Not to mention it and its walls have high HP and Vitality to ensure they can take a lot of punishment. Throughout the whole battle, you can only choose the party members you're fielding and the skills they're using at the start of the very first battle, so choose wisely. The whole process is mitigated by the fact that your party greatly empowers themselves for each Factor defeated, and Canopus is designed such that you're going to need their power.

    Other Megami Tensei 
  • From Last Bible, we have Minotaur, who is effectively the third boss in the game. He has a lot of HP, can hit the entire party with Flare 1 for decent fire damage, and his regular attacks hit like a truck. If you haven't been keeping your equipment up to date, Minotaur will punish you badly.
    • While Zodia isn't too difficult, he serves to wear you down for the fight against Mephist, whom you fight immediately afterward. He is very fast and hits even harder than Minotaur earlier; he swings for at least 200 damage per hit when your characters might be just pushing 300.
    • Vaerial. Hits hard, resists all magic (except the Holy series, but those are risky to use due to their chance of failure) and loves throwing out Standard Status Effects and instant death spells. In addition, he has just shy of 5000 HP, so the battle takes a while.


Not Megami Tensei

    Etrian Odyssey 
  • The original Etrian Odyssey had Iwaoplen, the boss of the fourth stratum. While it's hard enough on its own (unless you have Immunize, your strategy is hoping that it doesn't use a certain attack, regardless of your level), the challenge comes from the requirements of permanently killing it. In order to do that, you need to take out every F.O.E.note  on the floor, which is simply flooded with them, and if you take too long to kill all of them, they just respawn. While you can kill Iwaoplen without clearing the floor of F.O.E.s, all it does is have the bird respawn and act like you didn't even fight it.
    • It got a reincarnation in Untold (this time called "Iwaoropenelep"): while you don't HAVE to kill all the F.O.Es in order to put it down for good, it's still highly advised you kill all of the ones in the room he starts in, as they can ambush you during your fight and dealing with them on top of the big bird is a very, VERY bad idea. Unfortunately, if the boss or any of the F.O.E.s spot you, every single one of the sixteen F.O.E.s respawns. It ultimately boils down to either an unholy race against time or a Stealth-Based Mission where you warp out of the Labyrinth whenever you're seen until you find a path that lets you sneak up on each enemy without the other ones seeing you while you fight it. Thankfully, just leaving the Labyrinth doesn't make beaten F.O.E.s respawn and Floor Jump lets you get from Etria to the 20th floor almost instantly, letting you save right before fighting the boss itself.
  • Etrian Odyssey II made the first game look easy by taking out all of the cheap moves you'd use to actually survive well. Even the fact that some bosses cause mass confusion is nothing compared to the terror of Colossus. It was a hard enough fight as is due to massive damage output, resistance to every element, massive Damage magic counterattacks, and the occasional defense debuff, but those poor people trying to use Buff-centric parties had no idea that having buffs active triggered Mad Rush, That One Attack that does about 40-80% of a max-level character's HP (depending on class) and simultaneously will multi-bind your party, likely preventing your healer from even being able to do anything...
  • The Fafnir Knight has its fair share of bosses that can qualify, mainly due to the habit of dramatically inflating the HP of a lot of them on top of making them Flunky Bosses. Some even verge on Puzzle Boss with a fixed pattern and an obscenely high damage to punish the player for choosing the wrong kind of defense.
    • Arteline and Wilhelm, fought at the midpoint of the 15th floor, can do what your party members of the same class can do and more, but the biggest difficulty stems from the fact that they can also use Force skills at low health. Their Force Break will knock them out after they are executed, but possess enough power to level the entire party, and it's still a Game Over if both sides are knocked out. Ideally, the party has to do a quick burst of damage once they unleash their Force Boost in order to knock them out before the Force Break happens. You can No-Sell those attacks with the correct class' Force Break, but a Force Break can be used once per battle and there are two enemy Force Breaks to block.
    • Scylla in The Fafnir Knight has massive HP reserves, but while this amount can be reduced to about half before you even engage her, the fight will still be a long one. Her main attack, Cry Soul, can easily destroy the entire party if not for its terrible accuracy, but she is capable of attacks that put your party to sleep so they won't be able to dodge that attack anyway. The problem is that during the course of battle, tentacles will appear to assist her, and if they are not killed promptly they will bind and stun the party (rendering them unable to dodge) just before Cry Soul is used again. You will need skills that hit all enemies to keep the fight bearable, because the longer the battle goes on, the faster these tentacles appear.
    • Harpuia can be seen as Artelinde and Der Freischutz on steroids. She spams more and more severe status effects than Artelinde does, though at least you can mitigate that somewhat with the Wind Guard ability, which you can get as a grimoire from enemies on this stratum. She also hits your entire party like Der Freischutz, but for far more damage a hit. However, she also has FEAST. At first this move doesn't seem so bad... it hits your entire party at random and causes random binds, but it only hits 2-3 times, right? Wrong. It deals more hits each time Harupia uses it, and in a protracted battle, she can easily reach 18 hits with it! Why is it worse? Unlike those two, who telegraph when their attack is coming and K.O. themselves in the process of using it, Harpuia can use Feast without warning and as often as she wants. It does at least do less damage than the other boss's Force Break so you are likely to survive with at least one or two of your party members still alive, but you're still going to lose momentum, and in a game like this that means you'll probably only survive one or two more turns at best.
    • The Colossus is back in The Fafnir Knight with the new name of Juggernaut. While his attack and defense have gone down slightly and he doesn't call in allies mid-battle, this is made irrelevant by his HP, which is 72000, which is almost triple that of the final boss. This time around you have to dispel his attack buffs and your defense debuffs before he uses Mad Rush, now called King's Rush. If you haven't, you're done for. You can get some good damage in with the attack buff he gives you at the start of his attack cycle, but don't let it stay for too long, before he uses King's Rush anyway. Basically, consult a guide. You can cut his health down on the field with some bombs, but he'll still be left with 45000 or so when the bombs stop spawning. Any way you cut it, it'll be a long fight.
  • Etrian Odyssey IV has some pretty hard bosses already, but ramps up the difficulty to unfair levels with the second boss, the Hollow Queen, an unholy fusion of Flunky Boss, Wake-Up Call Boss, and the good old-fashioned Atlus experience we've all come to know and love. She summons 4 powered-up versions of her Hollow minions, while hammering entire lines with her Darkness Wing and Dimensional Cut attacks, and swamping the entire party with mass confusion and the dreadful Icy Aria. And, both her and her minions are borderline impossible to hit without first binding their legs. And unlike the Berserker King, bindings do end on her, and even binding her head won't stop the infernal Lover's Breath ability from removing every binding and ailment you can inflict on her in one fell swoop. Not even Wufan's involvement can abate the holy terror of this boss fight.
    • It's even worse if you want her conditional drop, the Cursed Eye. She needs to die by Curse damage, which works as an ailment that flings back at her half the damage she inflicts. You need to gauge the exact moment to start trying to Curse her; once she's cursed, you need to pray your damndest that she'll neither heal herself with Lover's Breath or just heal naturally of the ailment, leave yourself open enough that she will jump at the chance to try to murder you, and finally, pray to kismet you can survive her wrath.
      • Or use a Formaldehyde to guarantee the conditional drop. Now, you "only" need to carefully watch her HP so that you use it on the exact same turn you finish her off (fail, and the item effect expires). Be careful not to flub up the timing, since you are only given enough Formaldehydes in the entire game (much less at this point) to count on one hand, and the only option to create more is a dropped item from an F.O.E. in a post-game dungeon.
    • This fight could have been handled so it was less difficult; while binds can be dissipated by the boss at any time, Lover's Breath only comes out rarely, typically when multiple binds and/or a status is on her, and so having a single bind on her is relatively simple, such as arm bind to stop Dimensional Cut or leg bind to prevent dodging. The increased resistance enemies have against repeat binds and ailments doesn't apply to Hollows, which would help call for a leg bind, but this is never actually mentioned. Wufan has all the tools she needs to shut down the boss with the help of a team that knows how to exploit it, and the Ice Charm helps stop Icy Aria, but neither of these are indicated in any way to the player, preventing them from fighting the boss effectively.
  • The Final Boss in Etrian Odyssey V can certainly count, even if you are careful. The Eternal Tyrant has a terrible ability called Grudge Miasma, which while in effect calculates how much damage the boss took, and then delivers it evenly to the party and the boss again. Playing too aggressively and dealing, for instance, 5000 damage in one turn (Which is not hard, despite the games Nintendo Hard difficulty) can easily lead to your party getting wiped out. Holding off on attacking only helps so much, because after two turns, it absorbs the Miasma to use Burning Miasma on the next turn, which is strong enough to wipe out a fully leveled party without defenses, on top of applying a defense debuff that leaves survivors very vulnerable to the boss's other attacks. Speaking of which, nearly every one of its other attacks hits multiple party members at once while also slapping ailments or binds on them. This is one fight where higher levels can get the player killed faster.
  • Blót, being the Climax Boss of Nexus, serves as a sharp difficulty spike. As a Hero himself, he can generate afterimages which repeat his previous attacks, and those must be destroyed before they begin piling on more damage than the party can keep up with. However, he can't generate an afterimage if he can't even act, so a good arm bind or paralysis should keep him locked down for a while, right? He purges that with Clear Mind EX, which also heals him for 1750 HP. This move can't be stopped, and pretty much takes away a lot of momentum from a disable-focused party. And when he's at low health, he triggers his Force Boost, increasing the rate at which he generates afterimages and making him use Miracle Edge EX to level the party every third turn. And, yes, every - his Force Boost lasts indefinitely, and his Force Break doesn't terminate the Force Boost.

  • Prince Tail in the original game. His Draco is one of the strongest Robopon in the game and knows Dragon moves, which do major damage at the cost of losing a turn.
    • Dr. Zero was no pushover, either, with his Brute knowing the ultra-powerful Alpha moves, which are normally only known by Golden Sunny.
    • Of all people, Bisco can give you a good thrashing with his Hexbot. It uses a super strong Evil-type attack, and at this point in the game there's not much that can resist it.
    • Kamat's army; since the minigames you're required to play at this point were not required earlier, there is a strong chance that you will be entirely unfamiliar with how they work.
    • Mr. Wild, the Legend5, has strong Robopon that can cause status effects as well as deal heavy damage. And he stole your Robopon, Dosbot, for the fight.
  • In the second game, Circe counts, with her Robopon being fast and powerful. And unlike in the previous game, when you die you don't continue. You get Game Over. Cue hours of level-grinding rage.
    • Insector can be particularly troublesome as well, due to the fact that he comes right after Circe and most players will not find the only healing Robopon within the labyrinthine Pond Garden. In fact, most bosses after Mr. Gait have a tendency to have obscenely strong Robopon that use Standard Status Effects and software to decimate the player's team in a rough, aggressive blitz, much like Circe.
    • Give Maskman enough uses of Shield, and all attacks on his Robopon do 0 damage.
    • Dr. Zero Senior, the final boss of the game, is harder than the Bonus Bosses. His entire team is strong, fast, and very bulky, and if they get good hits on your healer, you're done.

    Summon Night 
  • The first game shows up a good example: Inferno Kirin who is exactly the same as before but with a VERY large amount of HP that is sure to break one or two weapons if you don't have Weapon Shield on. Also it deals extremely high damage with ANY attack even if you have high def values.
    • Bonus if you use the strongest weapons in-game which have the lowest DUR.
    • Actually, Inferno Kirin has very obvious (and unique) movements preceding all his attacks, which serve as hints as to which attack he'll use next, allowing you to dodge as necessary. Granted, you'll probably get killed repeatedly the first few times as you try to figure him out, but the massive EXP you get for killing him justifies learning his attack patterns; it's a given that you WILL level up more than once per battle, at least till you're nearing the maximum level.
  • In the third game V.E, Jade and Tier will just make you cry with their overpowered multi-hit attacks. ESPECIALLY V.E and her Axe's skill Aqua Burst that can sweep your HP to almost nothing if fully hits you.

  • Horrza, the Area 9 boss from XEXYZ. He is quite possibly the closest thing to a Bullet Hell boss that the NES can actually produce. He also has much more health than previous bosses would indicate he SHOULD have, and kills the player in 4 hits. Very few players have killed him without emulator tricks. Owning him on a console is practically a Bragging Rights Reward in its own right.
  • Dragon from 3D Dot Game Heroes. He does good damage and takes a ton of hits to kill, even with the most powerful sword available to the player, even IF it's fully upgraded. Also blocking his fireballs sometimes causes the player to take damage anyway. Later in the fight, it randomly starts flying and smashing down, creating a giant shockwave that's difficult to dodge.
    • Kraken's not too bad of a fight normally, but trying to book it in the Bestiary is an exercise in patience. It takes a whopping 70 hits with the Bestiary to book it, but this is relieved by the fact that its tentacles count for the total... Except they have terrible Hitbox Dissonance and randomly deal damage for no reason at all. And the head only pops up in a few spaces, and the arena is composed of islands with Wire Rod posts, making it an endurance match for booking.
  • The Red Sage and Blue Fool from Riviera: The Promised Land. One Overdrive can easily one-hit-kill a party member.
  • There's a lot of this in Yggdra Union. But the worst one of all is definitely Gulcasa. Dear lord, Gulcasa. He has very high stats, he isn't weak to any element, he has almost exclusive access to a weapon type that is effective against the most common weapon types and weak against none, and worst of all, his personal skill, Genocide. It sacrifices his team, then he gains a HUGE boost, breaks your charge bar and then proceeds to violently destroy you. A lot of the strategy against him boils down to killing him before he can use Genocide. And he's a Recurring Boss, so you get to relieve the nightmare multiple times.
    • Even though he's only encountered twice, and the first one is optional, Nessiah is also a truly unfair foe. His stats are through the roof, he has troublesome helpers and a TON of Morale to last a while. What makes him hard is his Resurrection skill, which allows him to revive his entire team, and switches their weapon type to one that is strong against yours. Thus, you either beat him before he can do it, or outfit yourself for an uphill battle. This is one fight where Crusade may prove useful yet...
  • Knights in the Nightmare takes this Up to Eleven. It's considerably easier to list which bosses don't qualify for this trope than mention ones that do on the Normal difficulty alone, in which case they're almost certainly a Goddamned Boss instead. Every enemy class has its own skill in this game, and Bosses each have a unique ability of some kind on top of the usual two bullet patterns and a special attack, and it's often the reason why they are so tough.
    • The Cursed Knight, Gunther, is highly mobile (a common trend for Boss Units), his bullets reduce your timer by quite a bit for this early in the game, and his special skill lets him instantly kill any Knight in his direct line of vision, in a game with Final Death. This unfortunately includes Maria/Mellia. He's also invincible during its execution. This means that you need to blindside him when you attack if you actually want to do damage.
    • Fights with your archangel rival (Melissa/Marietta) are always hectic do to them having much stronger Bullet Hell abilities than most enemies in the game, as well as the game making you compensate for them being relatively squishy by giving you a fairly short turn limit to beat them. It doesn't help they later get the ability to temporarily No-Sell anything, and that all their attacks will shred your timer in seconds, so you better get used to their patterns fast.
    • The Dotaurus fight is annoying due to its Dual Boss nature. For the first part, you can't actually harm Dotaurus as he's out of reach (but he can hit you). Instead, you're fighting his pet dog Garm, as well as whatever hound enemies he summons. All of these (especially Garm) will continuously drain your Knights of their Vit if they're spotted while charging up, which is almost as bad as Gunther's special abilitynote . Taking out Garm prompts Dotaurus to take to the field, at which point the fight is more straightforward.
    • Scoppio is not a mandatory boss, unless you want to find the Ancardia, in which case he's here to drive you insane with anxiety. Before even talking about this fight, to even get to the secret level where Scoppio is the player first needs to fulfill an extremely obtuse condition to open the path to the bonus Scene.Explanation . Now, as for the boss itself: Scoppio has the dubious distinction of having the second-highest HP count in the whole damn game, second only to the Final Boss, nearing the million benchmark on Normal alone, when he's found around halfway through the game! This means he's here to stay for a while, which is bad news, because if you want to find the Ancardia, you need to start opening chests (the bonus stage is filled with them) and pray that it pops out. The problem is that Scoppio: 1) Hits like a damn truck; even if his patterns are uncomplicated, the damage is brutal. 2) His special ability lets him destroy breakable items in the room. Which means the chests. Which may mean the one with the Ancardia. Scoppio's battle isn't harrowing because of the boss itself (despite his massive pool of health, he's slow and a large target, so it's a matter of time to beat him), but because you're on a Luck-Based Mission to find the chest holding the Ancardia (which may not even spawn in the first round of treasures) before Scoppio destroys it. And because you have no way at all to figure out if Scoppio did get the one with Ancardia, most players will be paranoid enough by this point that they will reset the very moment he breaks one if the staff hasn't been found yet. It's possible to stop Scoppio as he winds up for the chest-destroying swing, but it takes more damage the longer the fight drags on and the higher the difficulty goes. The one mercy is that once you do find Ancardia, the staff will be completely safe from Scoppio's rampage despite still being on the map. Insultingly however, players of the Blue route who clear this stage and find Ancardia did so for nothing, as Mellia breaks Ancardia herself as one giant middle finger to Marietta, which locks you into the bad ending not even halfway through the game!
    • If you're fighting Pische, be prepared for Rocket-Tag Gameplay. Basically, the Boss is a small and fast-moving Glass Cannon whose bullets do huge damage and cover a lot of the screen, but has little health in comparison and thus dies quickly. The problem is that Pische's special skill lets them heal themselves for most of their health if the player doesn't interrupt this action, which is made harrowing when they're too busy dodging bullets to focus on what the Boss is doing. While it's not that hard to win quickly on easier difficulties, as soon as you hit Hard you'll find that this encounter becomes exponentially more frustrating as the Boss takes less damage, has more health and faster cycles, meaning that to effectively counter this boss, the player absolutely cannot let up on the offensive.
    • Sacchito's very squishy, and that's basically the only consolation, because the bullets are strong and you will find yourself severely limited during this fight. Yous see, the area you fight the boss in is a huge abyss with some lone footholds here and there. Only Lance Knights can move between the spaces, and only on one layer (there's two layers of footholds, one on each side of the stage, that can be accessed by your Knights), and that's basically the only thing they're good for here because they can only attack one square at any time in this stage and the boss constantly teleports between them. Expect your attacks to miss a lot, as well as spend a long time doing nothing but holding a skill on charge, waiting for the boss to get into position. You may find you sometimes used turns just for positioning your Knights so a different class (a Wizard or an Archer, likely) can cover more ground in a future turn.
    • No surprises here, really, but Zolgonark is nasty. First off, he's got three heads, each acting independently from one another (and each having its own lifebar and attack cycles, meaning he's essentially three bosses in one!) with their own attacks and abilities, so much like the fight with Leonil earlier in the game, the player has to get used to dealing with three different patterns from the same boss, only at the same time. His attacks are powerful and the player can find themselves cornered at times, but that isn't what really makes this boss a struggle. Every enemy in the game has a Healing Factor that lets them regenerate some of the damage you deal, but Zolgonark's is especially strong, which means that if you can't deal substantial damage continuously, it's very possible that over the course of the battle, Zolgonark may end up healing for more health than any enemy in the game! The key is taking out a specific head which boosts his Healing Factor, but that does not diminish his threat in the least, only speed up the process.
    • The Final Boss Melad Margus is easily the worst one of the lot, which is saying something. Aside from having the highest HP in the game, bar none (over a million in Normal difficulty, which is represented as ?????? in-game), it's very fast, moving constantly over a restrictive battlefield where the boss is normally vulnerable only on certain spaces, its bullets are incredibly deadly (so strong, in fact, that getting hit just a couple of times pretty much ends your turn if you didn't Guard in time) not to mention unpredictable and hard to dodge. This needs to be repeated, actually—the boss's attacks cover basically the entire screen and their natures make dodging them pretty much come down to reflex and sheer luck. One of its most dangerous characteristics is that the boss has very short attack cycles, to the point that you can end up having to dodge several attacks in a row with no respite as the boss unleashes attacks while other attacks are still going on. Coupled with a stronger-than-usual Healing Factor, this boss can be quite unforgiving and leaves very little room for error. The one saving grace is that if the player is on the Red Path and has found Ancardia, then Maria has the ability to severely speed up the battle by shredding through huge portions of Melad Margus's lifebar with her Limit Breaks, if the player can dodge well enough to charge Maria up for it.
  • Radiant Historia
    • The Thaumachine fought in the Alternate Timeline's third chapter is one of the first bosses in the game to bring out the good old-fashioned pleasant Atlus experience. By itself, it has three attacks: a normal physical attack, Bull Claw, a multi-hitting physical attack that targets one character, and All Crash, a Wave Motion Gun that hits the whole party for roughly a third of their health bar. The real pain are the bombs that it constantly summons, which do nothing except blow themselves up, dealing severe damage to whoever's targeted. Trying to chip away at the boss's health while destroying the bombs before they blow up is quite a painful experience, because if you can't keep up with your healing for even a second, the pain will pile up alarmingly fast and it's time to say hello to the game over screen. The biggest problem is that the game expects you to use Rosch, as he has attacks that can hit all bombs at once, but due to being absent from your party for large portions of the game, he will be severely underleveled when you fight the Thaumachine, unless you grind up his experience to make up for the time he was gone.
    • Any time you see a Giant Spider, it is a sign that you're in for a ridiculous amount of pain. All of them have very high attack stats and an area-of-effect skill that inflicts status problems, and worse, they take up the entire grid, making Aht's extremely powerful traps completely useless. The worst of the bunch is the Mist Spider Bonus Boss, which you have to fight with only Aht and Stocke in your party. Since the traps are Aht's main source of damage, she's basically useless except for healing and buffing.
  • Catherine
    • Arguably a lot of them can be this, but the fifth night's Doom's Bride is the worst. First of all, you fight her on an Ice Level, where if you slip on ice off the edge, you die. Second of all, she is very fast at climbing compared to other bosses before her. Third, she has a move that causes an avalanche - if you are caught by this you are swept down to a lower level until it stops, which is potentially lethal. And lastly, she brings Fake Difficulty on with her cyclone attack. Removing random blocks from the level to hit you with and making it difficult to see what's going on.
    • The Child With A Chainsaw is the boss after the above Doom's Bride. Players who think that this boss is merely a pumped-up version of its previous, third night appearance are in for a very painful awakening. The chainsaw-child is fast and has two deadly attacks. The first throws flaming rocks onto a row of blocks, which is generally the currently highest block which you tend to be on, and those all end up as cracked blocks that crumble after stepping on them once or twice. The arguably worse attack has the baby add block-sized miniature, round chainsaws onto certain blocks, which then travel either horizontally along the row or vertically up its other axis. And they continue this for quite some time. Touching one of them spells instant death, though they are extra dangerous because the level has several spring blocks - jumping on this block throws Vincent up several rows, convenient for proceeding in the level. Not convenient when you use one and, due to lack of seeing above very well, immediately throwing Vincent into one of the chainsaws and killing him.
    • Catherine herself is frustratingly difficult, seeing as you're forced to both climb as Vincent, and do your damnedest to guide Katherine, who is much slower than Vincent, can't cliff hang, can't use power ups, and cannot be directly controlled by the player. Instead, you have to scream at her to stay put or move to you while Catherine is chasing you up the stairs. You're forced to stand still several times over in the boss fight, and if Katherine dies it's game over. Often times you'll find yourself having to provide multiple climbing paths in the hopes that even ONE of them will be usable.
  • The Final Boss of Master of the Monster Lair isn't particularly hard... providing that you spend nearly as much time you've already spent on the game to get to him farming for items to increase your strength. The Devil Lord has such ridiculously high defense compared to every other monster in the game, in fact multiple times more than any other boss before him, that without copious amounts of grinding you'll be hard pressed to deal more than one damage at a time outside of weapon specials... and he has an attack that he deploys when he's down to his last third or so of health that WILL heal more than you'll deal in a single turn (in fact, try upwards of five). Oh, and did we mention that he has over 1000 health? All told, he's a difficult boss and he can take around an hour to bring down. Thankfully, with all of the post-game equipment unlocked after beating him, fighting him when he shows up as one of the random bosses on the 20th floor is significantly easier.
  • Triti in the earlier Trauma Center games. Getting rid of it without using the Healing Touch or having extremely fast hands is like trying to punch out a brick wall. It's even worse in Under the Knife, since you need to cut it out before extracting it, and using the Healing Touch absolutely destroys your rank.
    • Whenever Kyriaki is involved, you can expect a spike in difficulty, especially once the Queen Kyriaki starts showing up in Under the Knife 2. If regular Kyriaki's "Get Back Here!" Boss tendencies weren't annoying enough, have fun dealing with the Queen who not only keeps diving into the organ to hide and giving you lots of wounds to treat, but regularly lays eggs (hidden as well, of course) which hatch into more Kyriaki after a few seconds or if you attack her, the latter also provoking all other Kyriaki on screen to immediately open another wound. Better master the use of the ultrasound if you ever want to beat, let alone S-Rank, any of those stages.
    • Pempti is less well-known than Triti, but worse. You start by injecting nanomachines into its core, which causes it to withdraw its tissue and then expose itself in self-defense. Now you just blast it with the laser, which is infinite-use during this treatment. Simple, right? Of course not, this is an Atlus game. While you're attacking it, Pempti generates mini-cores that can cause lacerations, send up a wave of fluid that creates small tumors, or just drain the vitals directly. It's relatively simple to fight them off, but once you start taking hits, it's easy to get caught in a downward spiral, especially since taking any time to fix wounds or restore vitals means taking the laser off of Pempti and its mini-cores, which causes you to lose more ground. Is it any surprise an entire chapter was devoted to finding a way to kill this thing?
      • Under the Knife 2 mixes it up by making Pempti split into two, forcing you to split your attention across two corners of the operating field. When one Pempti dies, the other Turns Red and attacks much more aggressively until it's destroyed, potentially dooming a player who was focusing all their firepower into one Pempti core at a time.
    • Paraskevi is a straightforward, if potentially tedious, Asteroids Monster of a GUILT. But the pain comes when trying to S-rank its first mission in Under the Knife. The conditions include not letting any Paraskevi fragments escape to other organs, along with a completion time of under 1 minute and 30 seconds. Considering how fast the Paraskevi move and begin to escape, the fact that they are temporarily invincible after cutting (so you can't stun them immediately), and with the vital damage from the lacerations forcing you to waste time to raise vitals, achieving the S-rank here is notoriously difficult. The other Paraskevi missions at least are more lenient on your time, and it's been made less unfair in Second Opinion.
  • The eagle boss at the end of Level 4 of New York Nyankies/Rockin' Kats. Even when you have the twin shot equipped, it can be tough to get a hit in thanks to the fact that it has a pitiful range, and the big bird loves to fly JUST out of your range. On top of all this the foul fowl hits like a Mack truck, it drops boulders on you, and you have to duck at JUST the right time to avoid it when it's swooping. Unless you know the heart-refilling trick, you're probably going to die a lot.
  • Kamikaze from Choro Q (HG 4) is by far your most difficult opponent to race. No matter what type of track you're racing on he is guaranteed to catch up and steal your win. He's at his absolute worst in Trans Trip SL where once he passes you, your hope of ever winning that race is demolished. Even if you have the Devil or Angel parts, he'll be a total pain in your ass from start to finish.
  • Power Instinct series, prominently the Series Mascot and Mascot Villain characters, the Goketsuji sisters, Oume and Otane. They are mostly the Big Bad in the series, but even as normal characters they are very difficult to beat, like Otane in Power Instinct 1 and Oume in Power Instinct 2. Basically the sisters are the Trope Namer of Never Mess with Granny.

Charon: Oh, it's you again. You died so carelessly...

Alternative Title(s): That One Company


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