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.
- Both of the above bosses are bad in their own right, but then Battle Mountain came along and made them even tougher. Keep in mind that while this level as a whole is completely optional, these boss fights are still mandatory if you wish to reach the peak and get the bonus equipment for the endgame and New Game+!
- The Praetorian Mk II takes a page out of Akron's book and summons Razor Claws that can charge up very dangerous lasers (essentially laser turrets, but with very high evasion and a buffing move) and can use his jumpscare move to siphon your whole party. On top of that, he can buff either his defensive or offensive stats obscenely, fire the equivalent of two of the Razor Claws' charged attacks without charging, and has devastatingly powerful physical attacks that have little to no counters. And yes, he keeps that one move that has the potential to instantly kill your entire party (except for backup).
- Rainbow Rafflesia is only weak to wind, severely limiting effective attack options. Meanwhile, it uses multi-target magic spells of every element except for holy and dark. It gets worse past half health. It starts using a healing move every few turns that buffs its magic attack and magic defense, while giving it Bless status for nine turns while also dispelling any negative effects it already has. This limits your attack options even further, as the only wind skills in the game (disregarding weapon elements) are magic elemental, and because dispelling is no longer an option, its magic attack buffs stack really fast, pitting you against a veritable monster of a boss that, for once, does its very best to outlast you, rather than overwhelm you.
- Speaking of battle mountain, we have the dark players. Every single one of them can be a nightmare to deal with. On top of having their own Limit Breaks, which you would be lucky to survive, they each have their own gimmicks based on their respective player characters:
- Dark Anna loves status effects. She inflicts heavy poison with half of her moves, and likes to freeze and stun with the other half. Even her summoned minions can curse and poison you, among other things. Best get your status resistances up.
- Dark Matt can be a royal pain. He may only use physical attacks, but he summons up to two monoliths at a time to make up for it. The battle begins with two Viking Monoliths which, remember, can buff the physical attack of every enemy. This means that, if you're not careful, you can end up with a boss with scarily high base physical attack power plus a scarily high physical attack buff. What does not help is that he can inflict dispel with a good chunk of his attacks and lower your defense with the rest. The scary part is that, late in the fight, he swaps his sword, which buffs his stats, and begins using Giga Drill, Revenge, and Legend. At this point in the fight, you're lucky if any of these moves don't instantly kill you. To top it all off, he shares a unique mechanic with another Dark Player: His base physical defense stat is obscenely high, making physical attacks effectively useless against him.
- Dark Natalie is the polar opposite of Dark Matt. She like spreading all sorts of elemental magic over the party (unlike Dark Matt, who rarely uses his elemental skills in favor of his predictably dark elemental sword), and has obscenely high magic defense, negating most magical attacks. She also summons Godcat's red and blue crystals, which specialize in very annoying status effects and party buffs. She can even Berserk herself as both a defensive buff, and a creative way of setting up a shockingly powerful physical attack that can instantly kill for each of the 3 times that it hits (giving it the very high probability to wipe the party).
- Dark Lance is arguably the most difficult one. Fitting, since he was formerly a villain. He can buff his attack, magic attack, accuracy and evasion to 50% right from the get-go, has insanely strong physical attacks that can instantly kill (and remember that a couple of them hit multiple times) and he can dispel you for good measure. The best part is that he summons a defender to fight alongside him.
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.
- The bonus version of this boss is considered one of the game's most brutal if you take it on without a firm knowledge of what you're doing. Neon Valhalla has most of the frustrations of Neon Valkyrie like tons of hitpoints and massive amounts of defense but it also has three turrets, which can either be Harpoon Turrets that mess with your party order or variant nukes that can one-shot your whole party if not killed in three turns. It also has permanent Regen, so any round you spend attacking the turrets results in it healing. It will also recover all three turrets at the same time with a move that also gives it significant buffs. While it does have weaknesses they're not readily apparent to the average player at that stage of the game, and it even puts up a good fight against endgame-capable parties who know what it's vulnerable to.
- 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).
- 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 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.