Out of the many RPGs with bosses many a player deems overly difficult, even the Epic Battle Fantasy series isn't immune to this trope. All of these examples can be especially frustrating on Epic difficulty if you don't have a solid strategy for them.
Epic Battle Fantasy 2:
- The Guardian is a Wake-Up Call Boss designed to teach you that you won't win this game without status effects, since he gets three vicious attacks per round unless you destroy his arms. However, he has a move to restore and heal them unless you stick him with syphon or repeated stuns... except you have to break the arms first. In other words, several rounds of full-fledged attacking while getting pummeled before using a status ability which doesn't always work.
- The Sandworm. It can regenerate its tail, hit both players, poison both players, and its tail can stun. It is entirely possible to get poisoned, stunned, then attacked two turns in a row with poison doing additional damage, leading up to six attacks in a row. Your best hope is to use lots of healing items and/or the Slime Bunny summon. Even better, get Black Fang out before the fight begins, then poison it with Unleash and Toxic and hold out until it dies. This gets lampshaded in the third game, in which an NPC notes how much trouble they were having against the Sandworm; semi-ironically, the same game downgrades it to a (relatively) normal enemy.
- The Zombie Hydra is technically two enemies, so it gets two attacks per round, both of which could be a One-Hit Kill move. And if you don't kill both heads on the same turn, the surviving head will heal the dead head. If you had them both nearly dead but accidentally killed one (say with a counter attack), you're likely to accidentally kill the other the same way before bringing it back down.
Epic Battle Fantasy 3:
- The Tundra Mammoth deals an assload of damage, has a Status-Buff Dispel move, has friends that can heal him back to full health at will, AND a random ally walks in around the fourth round. Just run away if it's a Viking Monolith. Thank goodness it's weak to Poison.
- Protector. It's a weapons platform that starts off with four minions: one uses fire, one electricity (this one can buff), one earth (including poison), and one holy (including healing and Regen). It has 150,000-odd HP, when you're not even likely to be able to do 15,000 in a turn. Its attacks include a charged beam (that also debuffs you), which it likes to use if you buff yourself, and a gun that shoots a character twice, each shot dealing around 3000 damage (you're not likely to have over 6,000 HP yet), and multiple attacks which hit the entire party. If you have regen active, it'll use the particle beam to get rid of it. Not fun.
- The Pyrohydra. You can't use any poisoning, holy, or dark all-targeted attacks because the healing head absorbs holy, and the dark/poison head absorbs dark and poison. Not only that, but the dark head starts the battle with level 3 poison status, which you can't remove. It's the only opponent in the entire game that also uses Regen, and it has an attack which damages you for about 1500 and heals each head by about 20,000. One top of that, each surviving head is buffed massively when one is killed. Chances are you're gonna die the first few times due to their massive HP and attack. At least it gets easier once you manage to defeat two of the heads, right? Nooooope. It turns into a Flunky Boss by frequently summoning four of the resident Demonic Spiders (or a Cosmic Monolith if the game really hates you). Save the holy head for last, and nothing dies. Save the dark/poison or blaze head for last, and you die.
- Even for the Final Boss, Akron is very hard to beat. A Flunky Boss that can summon Cosmic Monoliths and Skull Ghosts, the latter of which can pretty much cast whatever spell it wants. That includes an instant death spell. And two claws which can heal his already staggering seven hundred thousand HP, as well as giving every enemy on his side powerful status buffs and giving you debuffs and status effects. And a bunch of "Evil Worms" and "Evil Tails" that can give you all sorts of nasty status effects. He also switches his weaknesses and resistances around every couple turns, and as you damage him, he will occasionally go into his second form, where his attacks are even more powerful as well as gaining new ones, such as an area of effect chance of instant death attack, and he takes less damage until you knock him out of it. While Godcat is arguably harder than Akron, it's possible to grind levels for the former while the latter can only be fought at level 30 at most on a first playthrough.
Epic Battle Fantasy 4:
- Even when considering its Wake-Up Call Boss status, the Praetorian has some horrid tendencies. Namely, its summons include all three of the Demonic Spider turrets, it has a charge attack that does some heavy damage to everyone, with a decent chance of an instant kill, and when it charges up, it gets to slam you with the ion cannon, which hurts like hell, and has a big chance of stunning you for two turns. Oh, and it buffs itself to the 50% cap often, so you'll need to dispel it regularly. Thankfully, you get a powerful summon for defeating it.
- Rafflesia. First, it starts the fight out with one of each of the four vine monsters as minions, including the healer vine and the water vine (plants, Rafflesia included, absorb water), and once you kill them, Rafflesia replaces them one at a time at the start of every turn. Its most common attack is a leaf blade that has a good chance of inflicting Instant Death, and its second most common attack is a belch that cuts your attack and magic attack as low as it can go. In general, it's difficult simply because it can quickly become an endurance match, and your resources may be limited depending on how many healing items you have.
Bullet Heaven 2
- Even for the standards of the final boss, Akron is a huge leap in difficulty from everything before him. On Normal, nearly all of his waves are fast-moving pain that need lightning reflexes to dodge. His last three waves are the worst by far. Wave 8 is an extremely dense cluster of bullets where the slowdown option becomes all-but mandatory. In Wave 9, his tentacles fire out in all directions at an alarming speed, barely giving any breathing room. In Wave 10, he fires bullets that explode in to more bullets, and shoots more volleys of these exploding bullets before the previous ones go away.
Epic Battle Fantasy 5:
- Lance is back as a boss. Though the first fight with him is easy, the second one he fights you with Neon Valkyrie, an upgrade to his tank from previous entries of the series. It has about 3 times more health than anything before which will take a lot of time to reduce even when exploiting weaknesses, it has a ram attack that at this moment will take half of your party's health if you didn't level grind, can lower your evasion and defense and raises its accuracy, and of course has its gatling gun that hurts a lot. Like before, it has a turret that has not that much health but is replaced after few turns once the first is destroyed, and Laser Turret can apply Weaken to whole your party and Confusion on your members. If you wondered, yes, it can summon the Nuke like in EBF2, which is the exactly same deal. Even if you manage to destroy the turrets at a regular pace, it can then fly in the air and crush you, dealing MASSIVE damage. Then Lance himself has his skills back, notably Unload which he'll use when low on health.
- You thought the Neon Valkyrie was bad? Try the Neon Valhalla on for size. It has over twice the amount of health that the Neon Valkyrie had and constantly regenerates (without even using the regen status - its healing cannot be dispelled). To make matters worse, it can summon three turrets at once, which will usually be super lethal nukes, forcing you to focus some of your fire on them. Basically, the battle boils down to dealing as much damage as possible as fast as possible, though good luck with that when it starts debuffing your entire party's physical and magical attacks once it gets to about half health, or if a Giga Harpoon decides to unleash Recycle onto you.
- Laurelin is a mutant tree full of cats. While its individual attacks don't hurt too bad, it can, and always will attack twice every turn, an as-of-yet unseen mechanic for bosses. This fight gets especially nightmarish if you're trying to catch it for several reasons. First, you fight it in the midst of breezy weather, meaning it's impossible to inflict it with status effects (even discounting the fact that the bless status lowers a foe's capture chance even further). Second, even after you change the weather, it's immune or resistant to many status effects and debuffs, and even then, it can get rid of its debilitation with purify and dispel (the latter of which can also be used against you to remove your buffs).
- Telperion is extremely difficult, for the exact opposite reason that Laurelin was. While Laurelin liked boosting its defenses and keeping itself in good health, while bombarding you with attacks that poisons, inflicts tired and dispels your stats, Telperion will instead constantly lower your defenses and assault you with a variety of status effects (such as Doom, Curse, Death, Poison, and Bad Luck on hard/epic difficulty), with some powerful moves thrown in to finish your party off (including Lance's MOAB skill).
- Zombie Hydra is back and combines the reviving gimmick from EBF2 with raised evasion when hit by a powerful move from 4, not exactly a great combo if you keep missing while you're trying to kill the second head before it revives the first. While now you have 3 party members in battle, Zombie Hydra does more damage and to complement its one hit kill moves, it also has a move that inflicts doom and lowers maximum HP and it also knows Fire Spin that lowers your defense as well. Then there is a Blaze Hydra, which lacks a convenient weakness to Holy, so Judgment does not help that much. Oh, and both appear twice, all must be killed to advance and the second time they have three heads, so have fun to kill all of them in one round.
- If you were scared of the Zombie Hydra, you'll be terrified of the Crystal Hydra as well. It has a ridiculous health pool for three foes and it bombards you with a great variety of spells AND powerful physical attacks. If you manage to decapitate them, not only they get a massive evasion boost (as hydras tend to do), but it completely changes its resistances and starts bombarding your party with single-target holy skills as well, being Seiken and Judgement. If you want an effective setup against this boss, you'll need to manage your damage so that you never deal too much damage in one hit, or get a REALLY powerful hit in right at the start. The saving grace is that they're susceptible to weaken, curse and tired, and aren't immune to Stun, but inflicting three statuses consistently on three different targets while ensuring that your party doesn't get wiped out is one hell of a trial.
- The Evil Players, aKa Matteus, Natalia, Lancelot, Annabelle and God, belong on this list by design thanks to their specific status gimmicks, respectively being Stoned, Undead, Repulsion, Brimstone and Epic. Each one of them inflicts everyone in your party with their unique status, and it cannot be removed by any means necessary until the battle ends, even if they're killed.
- Matteus' status is Stoned, causing everyone to instantly die after 15 turns, and denying the ability to use limit breaks. A frustratingly contradicting statement in and of itself, since he can use them, but what makes the matter worse, is that Matteus is able to inflict Doom, Dispel (on Hard/Epic), Tired, and even heals himself and buff his team's defenses occasionally (which can range to Rock Sprites, Leaf Wraith, Thorny Creeps, Boulders, or if foe remix is active, Golems and Ores). Not helping the matter, is that not only Matteus is immune to Stagger and Curse, but he's able to perform Ragnarok and gain Brave status (and increased attack on epic), becoming more difficult. Damage combos are practically mandatory to win this fight.
- Natalia's status is Undead, which nullifies healing by magic (forcing you to use items) and lowers everyone's holy and fire resistances by a 100%. Guess what elements she uses. She also has MUCH more magic defense than any other foe and an immunity to Syphon, making magic attacks and attempts to negate her own magic attacks all but useless against her. She can even dispel your buffs or her own debuffs at any given moment, so don't expect your stat modifiers to last for too long. What's more worse is that Natalia is able to inflict Scorch and Weaken as well, and her Genesis and Supernova will inflict respectively Curse and Scorch as well. And even if you use the Angel Mirror to protect yourself from Natalia's magic, she has a chance to pull Seiken and Volcano, two physical attacks that can be tricky. And to add insult to injury, Mage Dogs, Gold Fishes, Angel Mirrors and Roasted Gloops (or player dolls) will aid Natalia, and receive the buff she provides, one of which is Evade at Epic difficulty.
- Lancelot's status is Repulsion, which negates the ability to summon monsters. To make sure that this rule stays in effect, skills that are randomly cast in between turns no longer do so, since some equips randomly cast summons between turns. Lancelot also has absurdly high physical defense, making physical attacks very ineffectual against him. As for his actual moveset, he gives you a ton of debuffs and status effects, from stun to confuse to scorch to virus, and they typically hit the entire party at once. Better bring some garlic or Purify with you for this one. He also happens to have by far the widest elemental coverage of any of the Evil Players, so good luck effectively resisting his moveset. And the summoning enemies Lancelot gets are Turrets, or if Remix Foe is enabled, straight up bombs and giga harpoons, with the normal turrets being able to buff Lancelot's accuracy and confuse your team (Laser and Harpoon ones, Giga Harpoon included, also using Recycle to screw your buffs), and the bombs being able to inflict massive damage.
- Annabelle's status is Brimstone, which causes buffs to be reversed, except the Turtle Gi's ones. Debuffs are still bad. And no, the Flybot summons aren't exceptions to this rule. They simply do nothing. Annabelle peppers your party with all sorts of debuffs and status effects before slaughtering them with absurdly powerful attacks. Annabelle can also summon Mutant Chompers and Topaz Golems, or if you happen to have Foe Remix enabled, one of the three Hydra you fight (Zombie Hydra, Blaze Hydra, or the aforementioned Crystal Hydra), the Zombie Hydra being the enemy that starts with her. And to top it of all, Annabelle is straight up immune to Syphon, Curse, Bad Luck, Weaken and Tired statuses, turning attempts to debuffing her stats (except HP) useless.
- God is the final "evil" player. His status, Epic, makes it so that everyone's buffs (HP, Attack, Defense, Magic Attack, Magic Defense, Accuracy and Evade) are increased by 25% every turn. Sounds pretty overpowered, right? Well, God has frankly ridiculous stats to balance it out, and your buffs can most certainly be lost at any given moment. To clarify: If a player dies without Auto-Revive, they'll be woefully unprepared for whatever attacks God's about to throw at them since they need a few turns for their buffs to climb back up to the limit, and God even has a move where he can dispel the party. Speaking of buffs, he can buff himself either to cancel out certain status effects if they stack too high, or whenever he feels like it. This gives him either an maxed out attack buff or a maxed out defense buff in the process, so not only you have to be careful when using Syphon, Curse, Weaken, Tired, Poison and Virus (as they trigger God's buffs if they stack to 6 or more), but you have to ready your Red/Yellow Flybot and skills that deals Dispel in case God decides to buff himself up (or Giga Drill, if its defenses are affected). However, the worst part comes with his limit break. While he spends a whole turn charging it, it is an absurdly powerful magic attack that deals damage over and over and over again for such a long period of time that not even auto-revive will save you from it. And THEN he launches an attack right after that, which can make the choice to use Angel Mirror to escape the Spirit Bomb a sort of gamble. Oh, did I mention that he attacks twice every turn? And that his attacks has a chance to deal weaken? And that he will summon Cat Warriors, Cat Bombers, Cat Wizards, Cat Snipers, Cat Ninjas, or if Foe Remix is active, Skeleton Cats to aid him?