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That One Boss / Castlevania

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  • The Castlevania series features Death.
    • The fight in the first game is significantly harder than the previous bosses as well as the final boss; you can only take four hits before you die (assuming you got through the ridiculously hard corridor without taking damage), and after you kill him, his sickles remain active. Many players have beaten Death only to die while trying to exit the stage because of those things.
    • In Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, Death returns with essentially the same attack pattern as he had in the first game. But players will quickly discover that the boss fight isn't over even after you empty his energy meter. He just comes back with a second energy meter as a giant ghoulish skull that moves in a looping pattern that is very hard to dodge.
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    • In Aria of Sorrow, he can summon vertical energy beams that chase you and cannot be avoided if you're close to a corner. Once you knock him out of this phase, he'll pull out a Double Scythe and throw/dash around with it, and all three attacks he performs hit hard and are fast. Insultingly, the sickles that he passively summons in his first phase have a mysterious habit of "randomly" spawning directly in your hurtbox if you're stationary for more than maybe a second or two, such as when you're trying to punish him while he's hovering. If you're moving, they spawn directly in your path instead and force you to work around them. In either of these situations, the hitstun, knockback or time spent evading the sickles can lead to being put directly in the path of harm of one of Death's more powerful, legitimately dangerous attacks! Add this to some serious hitbox dissonance where even the air around the corners of his cloak can hurt you for full contact damage, and Death's status as That One Boss of Aria of Sorrow is firmly cemented.
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    • In Dawn of Sorrow, it's not too bad until phase two. Now he can teleport right in front of you and spam sickles. His best attack is spamming GIANT SKULLS FROM OFFSCREEN that deal huge damage. If you're hit by one, you are likely to recoil into another one.
    • Even in Harmony of Dissonance, which is otherwise pathetically easy, Death's second form can sometimes juggle you into a corner and shred you without a chance to heal.
    • In Portrait of Ruin, he summons these weird floating hands that grab onto you and hold you in place while he hacks you to bits. You're supposed to have the character who isn't trapped free the one who is, but the timing is really hard to pull off. Even better is that Death switches his defenses at random between physical and magical damage. The form that shrugs off physical damage, which is the form that Death begins the fight off with, also completely nullifies sub-weapons. Considering the point in the adventure at which the fight takes place in, that pretty much flips the bird at Jonathan, the arsenal of whom at this point being 99.9% strictly physical damaging weapons.
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    • In Order of Ecclesia, he lives up to the game. That black spiral attack (which can only be dodged, counter-intuitively, by getting close to him) is probably the worst part. He gets even worse in Hard Mode, because his erratic, unpredictably spawning sickles also move faster and the only respite from their relentless onslaught is when he uses another major attack.
    • His Harmony Of Despair incarnation turns invisible, moves outside of his quarters and actively attacks the players with his flying scythes, which become nigh impossible to avoid in certain areas. The only way to stop him from doing this, which is not explained at all in-game, is to align the two spotlights on each side of the map to reveal him and move him back to his room, or to deal enough damage to him, which can be difficult due to all the other enemies you need to avoid at the same time.
    • Death from Rondo of Blood has three phases. In the first phase, Death uses his usual routine of spamming sickles all over the place that are hard to dodge, and he also likes to float up in the air out of your reach. In the second phase, he goes to the background and shoots a wave of huge skulls at you. If you get hit by even one skull, Death will launch another wave. In the third phase, Death comes back to the foreground and stands on the ground to fight you. His attacks now are easier to dodge, but you're probably low on health by this point. Also, you can't throw crosses at him anymore, as he'll just block them and counter with a magic attack.
    • In Castlevania: Dracula X, the fight is the same as in Rondo of Blood, but takes place on the top of the clock tower rather than a ship. This gives you much less room to move around and dodge the sickles in his first form. What makes it worse is that Death himself couldn't hurt Richter in Rondo of Blood by touching him, but in Dracula X, he not only does damage, but curses Richter, making him move much slower. Also, his spinning attack in his second form must be dodged by leaping towards the edge of the clock tower as Death spirals toward you. Which means that 50% of the time, you'll overshoot your jump and fall off.
    • In Super Castlevania IV, Death doesn't really have any special tricks, but his sickles come out so quickly you have to stand in place and whip them, depriving you of chances to attack him. Fortunately, this also makes the battle simpler when you realise you can attack him when he does other attacks, but still.
  • The Creature:
    • In Castlevania, he's an irritatingly large target to avoid. The real issue here is Igor, an invincible Fleaman that shoots fireballs. Dodging the huge monster, the unpredictably moving Igor, and the fireballs at once is notoriously difficult. You also die in four hits, and if you do, you have to fight two dangerous White Dragons to get back to him, and you'll only get the useless knife subweapon, making the fight even harder.
    • Castlevania 64 ramps up The Creature to ridiculous levels by making him invincible and giving him a CHAINSAW. And he's is accompanied by two demonic dogs who stun you so The Creature can catch up. They're fast and invincible too.
  • Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse:
    • The Doppleganger is armed with your characters' most powerful special attacks and can take a quarter of your health whenever you get hit. Not helped by the fact that the level to get to the boss is just as annoying, so unless you've memorized the level quite well, you're more than likely to be battered and bruised by the time the fight starts. If you have Sypha, her lightning spell from a high area works wonders. For everyone else? You're gonna have to constantly switch characters in order to force the Doppleganger to do the same. If you're going Trevor alone... good luck.
    • The two dragons that shoot fire. They're not that hard to kill, but it's incredibly easy to get knocked off the platforms into the Bottomless Pit, and sometimes one will appear at ground level and shoot fire at your feet, which is impossible to avoid unless you're right at the very edge on the other side.
    • The Bone Dragon King floats around the screen in a really erratic pattern doing Collision Damage to you in a room with lots of pits. He gets smaller as you hit him, but you don't even get to beat him straight away. After 3/4 of his health is gone, he just floats away, and you're required to do an incredibly nerve-wracking platforming section filled with bats and mermen where the water from below starts rising up. After that, the boss returns at the same health you got him down to, only much easier. The catch is the water is still rising, even after you defeat him.
    • Both pathways end their respective Block 7s with a spirit that summons three bosses in a row: a fight against the Mummies (two of them, irritatingly hard to hit because they fire bandages in a wave pattern), a Cyclops (can dash without warning which you have few safe spots in order to avoid, and a dangerous hammer attack), and a Lesser Demon (probably the easiest, but can corner you). Sypha's lightning spell can make short work of these from a safe spot, but on the other path you don't get that, and you're likely beat up before the fights even start due to the stingy checkpoints. Individually, each boss is fine, but sequentially it hurts.
  • Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge has Soleil Belmont. He has a ton of health, his whip has the same range as yours and does a lot of damage, and he can throw homing swords which are difficult to dodge. Exploiting his AI is practically required to defeat him.
  • Slogra from Super Castlevania IV. Besides having a lot of health, he jumps into the air when hit, and starts to land above where you're standing. When he does, he may attack by lunging with his spear, which is very hard to dodge, and there's no way to tell whether or not he'll do it until he does. After he loses half his health, his spear will break, but he'll start doing a similar attack with his beak, which is even harder to dodge due to it having a bullshit hitbox that can hit you even though you're clearly not touching the beak and he can even hit you in midair if you try jumping over him.
  • The Werewolf from Castlevania Chronicles is easily one of the toughest bosses in the game, rivaling Death in terms of frustration. Reaching her with full life is a problem in and of itself, since her stage requires lots of memorization. She herself moves extremely quickly, and likes to hang onto places where the slow axe is the only weapon that can reach her. While she's bounding around like a maniac, she's also tearing off pieces of rock and the clock tower's numerals to throw at you. Though they can be destroyed by whipping them, most of the time the angle they're at makes it nigh impossible to react and whip them. Finally, at that point in the game, a mere 4 (5 on Arrange mode) hits will send Simon to the grave, meaning you have to fight your way to her again.
  • Symphony of the Night:
    • The Doppelgangers can be quite tough if you don't know about the Red Rust trick or have a Stopwatch. Particularly the first one on Luck mode where you have barely any stats.
    • Beelzebub can put up a tough fight, especially when he's almost dead. He's just a head and part of a shoulder, near the ceiling, surrounded by giant flies. The axe makes it somewhat easier, but it still takes a while.
    • Galamoth is a tedious damage sponge with huge HP (9,999, as much as Dracula has). He has a large sprite that is hard to avoid, and thunder magic that is also hard to avoid. Said thunder magic hits harder than most of the other bosses' attacks in the game (there is a hidden item that nullifies most of his attacks and turns him into a cakewalk, but its location is practically undiscoverable without a strategy guide).
  • Circle of the Moon:
    • The two Zombie Dragons are bulky and move their heads (AKA, their weak points) around constantly. With two of them fighting at once, your attention has to be split between them. Perhaps their biggest frustration, however, comes from the fact that, when one of them dies, the other dragon will eat its corpse and regain 300 HP, making for a VERY drawn out battle.
    • Adramelech, the game's Wake-Up Call Boss. The three bosses before-hand were all pretty easy, so you might feel confident about your chances as you head for the boss chamber. Then, the room before you face Adramelech, you see Hugh got his ass beat by this thing and thrown into the room with you. When you go in to face Adramelech, you're greeted to a giant, chained up goat-man that's constantly creating harmful bubbles, fireballs, and giant waves of skulls.
    • Carmilla can slaughter the unprepared as it takes a hell of a Guide Dang It! to counter her never-ending stream of projectiles. If you don't have the necessary shields and cannot dodge her beam attack, prepare to die.
    • Hugh is painful. Have you enjoyed using your wonderful DSS system to obliterate your enemies? Prepare to feel empathy for the Mooks you have slaughtered as Hugh effortlessly replicates your DSS attacks to a devastating effect.
  • Aria of Sorrow:
    • Julius Belmont. If you don't know about his resistance to holy damage, and you try to use your Infinity +1 Sword against him (or don't have a choice), he can easily be That One Boss. He's also far faster than every other boss in the game and moves so erratically that you have to have to constantly use Black Panther to get away from him. Hilariously he's surprisingly vulnerable to Soma just shooting him: the Handgun is weak (so the fight will take a while) but its range allows you to safely stay outside the reach of the boss's attacks.
    • Balore's punching attacks are very hard to avoid and their pattern changes constantly, and you can only target him by aiming for his eye; attacking his arms does nothing. His second form is easier, but only because his attack pattern doesn't change.
  • Dawn of Sorrow:
    • Gergoth is huge (in a one-screen room), shoots a frickin laser beam that sweeps across most of the room, and the only "safe place" you can attack from is directly under his head, even though he walks back and forth and has a tendency to release poisonous and petrifying gases from that spot. And then he gets faster. To top it off, he does way more damage than previous bosses; if you haven't been power-leveling, he'll only need a few hits to kill you.
    • Abaddon, while potentially very easy with the right souls, is an absolute bitch without them. The locust swarms that he continually summons take up most of the room (which is tiny), are often very difficult to avoid, and do hilarious amounts of damage if they so much as brush up against you, and given how small the room is, you're likely to run into him just trying to avoid the damn things.
    • Paranoia is located far from save points so it's possible to get bruised even getting to him. At first he's a little demon thing which can be stun locked no problem. The second phase is a giant harlequin thing flying around a one-screen room in a very erratic pattern, and when he goes inside the mirror, he'll summon rebounding lasers which are incredibly damaging and difficult to avoid.
  • Portrait of Ruin has the vampire sisters Stella and Loretta. The vampires' attacks deal enormous damage, especially their ice sword technique, and you have to keep them off of Charlotte for about fifteen seconds so she can cast a particular spell. You only need to hit one of them with it, but there's very little you can do to ensure that they're in place when Charlotte completes it.
  • Order of Ecclesia:
    • Eligor is a Colossus Climb boss whose weak spot is only exposed after the player performs a series of procedures. Firstly, Shanoa must destroy the red knee blocks on his front legs while avoiding the monster's sword; then she has to slide under him and repeat the process with his back legs. Once that's done, he'll buck down and you can climb up to his back in order to attack his head. However, if you forgot to destroy the crossbows on his sides, he will repeatedly shoot Shanoa with arrows. Eligor will also try to knock you off with his sword, and not only are his attacks hard to predict, but a single hit will reset the fight so you have to destroy the knee blocks at his back again (albeit this time they have less health).
    • Gravedorcus, the land shark boss in Oblivion Ridge. Not only does he spend half the fight underground, but that attack where he jumps out of the ground is a nightmare to dodge.
    • Albus has a crapload of attacks, all of which are hard to dodge. His standard gunshot, which gives you no warning whatsoever (not to mention he can fire it while ducking, so ducking yourself too often won't help), his flaming kick, which makes it very hard to jump over him, and his Vertical Shot, which is a pain to dodge, are probably the worst offenders. There's one saving grace, though: he's one of the two bosses you don't take damage from by touching him. So you can just run or slide by behind him to dodge all of his attacks. In Hard Mode, not only does he give you even LESS time to react to gunshots, he gets three new attacks; keep your distance to avoid Fulgur (the lightning ball) in particular, as it can do 5 hits of massive damage, easily turning into instant-kill.
    • Barlowe. Even in normal mode, his Tonitrus attack (where he encases himself in an electric cage, then starts bouncing around) and his multi-punch Desperation Attack can be ridiculously hard to dodge. In Hard Mode, his Glacies (floor-freezing attack that will also freeze you if you're not in mid-air, which he'll follow up with a killing bolt) lasts far longer than your double-jump, so you have to constantly jump-kick on him to avoid it, but after that he will immediately follow up with Globus, bouncing balls of doom which can be a pain to dodge. Then his homing fire books spawn in much greater number, and thus nigh-impossible to dodge without certain tricks. And yes, his killer punches are also harder to dodge as well. Thankfully, he doesn't cause Collision Damage.
    • Rusalka's normal wave attack comes out with little warning, moves fast, and hits HARD; her tendril-whip comes at a weird angle and, while telegraphed, comes out EXTREMELY quickly; and her tsunami is generally a one-hit kill and disrupts the fight while you find a pillar to hide under, and near the end, she will do it a LOT. To add insult to injury, her water cannon attack destroys those pillars, which can completely ruin you if she summons a tsunami right after destroying your closest source of cover.
  • Harmony of Despair:
    • The boss of the downloadable Chapter 7. It's a replica of Astarte from Portrait of Ruin, and she has every attack she had back then, including the ability to Charm male characters, which is nigh impossible to avoid. And you can still be hurt by the boss while you're charmed. There's even an achievement for killing a charmed teammate! The only real way to avoid being charmed outside of precision-timed double jumps is to simply stay out of the battle if you aren't playing as Charlotte or Shanoa (they're immune to charm), or beat the level solo with Charlotte. Or Shanoa. (Or Maria or Yoko.)
    • Puppet Master, the 2nd stage boss. He sends out a series of exploding dolls, moves around the map, and creates puppets which he can place inside the iron maidens scattered around the map which he then proceeds to magically swap with yourself. And the iron maidens can kill you instantly. You CAN destroy the puppets, but chances are you need very good synchronization with your teammates in order to do so, they each take a set number of hits to destroy, and the more players there are, the more hits they take, maxing out somewhere around 30 with the maximum of 6 players. Good luck hitting them enough times in the few seconds it takes him to place one inside an iron maiden without a team of Blender Somas.
    • Stage 10 has 8-bit Dracula, who fills the screen with ridiculously fast fireballs that can only be dodged with precision-timed jumps, and trying to avoid them by jumping over him just causes him to do an extremely fast backdash into a corner followed by the usual fireball spread. If you manage to beat him, he then naturally changes to his second form, which has an extremely quick dash attack that does colossal amounts of damage and a fireball spiral that takes yet some more precision jumping to avoid. If players try to hide outside the boss room, he counters by attacking with an even harder-to-dodge fireball spiral that goes through walls to boot.
    • Stage 11 has Ryukotsuki, the final boss of Getsu Fuuma Den who has 3 forms: the first one isn't particularly hard to kill, but you can easily get hit by his wild leaps if you don't stay grounded. The second one is slow, but he can block attacks high and low and throws poison daggers to wear you down for the third form, which can summon the 3 minibosses from the stage that you need to kill to be able to fight him, possesses a hard-to-reach weak point that's only vulnerable for a few seconds at a time, and loves spamming fireballs that bounce all over the screen, split into smaller fireballs, and petrify you upon hit.
  • From the Lords of Shadow DLC Resurrection, we have The Forgotten One. Easily harder than any other boss in the game, and for mostly all the wrong reasons.
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate: The Daemon Lord is a Lightning Bruiser whose attacks are undodgeable without the fight's gimmick, a zipline-like rail. He also heals off his damage unless you destroy the machines giving him health, which can take a few tries because of the lasers.

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