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That One Boss / RuneScape

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RuneScape has quite a long list of difficult bosses, and they're becoming more and more common as Serial Escalation keeps leading to harder and harder new bosses with no apparent limit in sight.

  • The original That One Boss of RuneScape is the TzTok-Jad, the boss of the Fight Cave minigame. The TzTok-Jad does not have any special attacks, but he doesn't need any, because his normal attacks deal thousands of points of damage with every hit. His attacks can be completely blocked with prayer and his magic and ranged attacks have a delay so you can switch prayers before they hit, but failing to block as little as two attacks will likely result in your death and having to start the Fight Cave all over. And when he is at half health, he summons four Yt-HurKots to restore his health, and if you fail to stop them from healing him back to full health, they will appear again the next time he gets to half health. Plus, you must fight him alone, without the help of familiars or other players. TzTok-Jad was the most powerful enemy in the game before the Corporeal Beast, which was designed to not be beatable by a single player until more powerful items were later added. And if the Fight Cave and TzTok-Jad are not hard enough for the player, the Fight Cave now has a sequel called the Fight Kiln where the player has to fight through waves of even harder enemies, including a total of seven stronger versions of the TzTok-Jad called TokHaar-Jads, which do not summon healers but have even more ridiculously high damaging attacks, enough to possibly kill you in one hit, and the last two TokHaar-Jads appear at the same time, which probably would be impossible to beat if the arena didn't have a safe spot where you can hide from one of them while fighting the other (as well as consumable items that can fully heal the player or make them briefly invulnerable that can be picked up over the course of the minigame). After beating all those TokHaar-Jads, the actual boss of the Fight Kiln, Har-Aken, doesn't seam so bad.
  • Nomad is generally agreed to be one of the hardest fights in the game. The highest amount of health you can have, not including boosts from armour, is 9900. He has 45,000, and his normal attack can hit in the 1000s. He has quite a few special attacks, but two stand out. The first must has to be ran from, or you get hit with 7500 damage. The other sees you teleported in front of him, and frozen, meaning you can only stand there and cram food into your mouth as he charges up a vicious HP to 1 attack. It does your maximum health minus one. So if you have a max of 9900, it does 9899. You didn't have full health? "Oh dear, you're dead." Plus, if you hide from him for too long, he can instantly heal himself to full health.
    • With the release of Dominion Tower, there is a challenge that you will have to fight him twice in a row without using the bank or taking a break. Good luck!
    • Although he was made much easier after the release of ganodermic armour. The Evolution of Combat made also temporarily made him easier still as players could block the HP to 1 attack by using a shield ability at just the right moment. Unfortunately, this was later patched and he now prevents you from using any abilities at all while you are frozen, meaning the only way you can survive is, once again, by eating to full health.
  • Designed by players at Runefest, Sunfreet has appeared at the Dominion Tower. Statistically he's weaker than Nomad, however his match prohibits prayer, power-ups, special attacks, or familiars from being used. Not only that but he hits hard, his specials hit hard and has incredible defense. Also, he regularly covers the arena in flames that deal a huge amount of damage if you touch them so you must memorize the pattern that the flames appear in.
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  • Another thing about the Dominion Tower. Several of the bosses that can be refought in the Dominion Tower are fought as a group instead of separately like they were in the quests they came from, which turns many of them into very challenging Wolf Pack Bosses. Many of the bosses also have higher stats than they originally did. The hardest ones include fighting the three bosses from Do No Evil at the same time, and fighting the four bosses from Desert Treasure all at once.
  • Vanstrom Klause isn't quite Nomad-caliber, but he's still pretty damn aggravating. His normal attacks hit quite hard and can even hit through prayer, although praying will take the edge off. He also has a bevy of special attacks. While most of these are nasty if you don't know how to avoid them, his darkness attack stands out. He yells 'Stare into the darkness!' and you are told to look away from him to avoid being damaged. You'd think this means 'position your character facing away from him' but it actually means you're supposed to angle the camera away from him. Not knowing how to reliably dodge this attack makes the fight almost impossible to beat.
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  • The final boss of "Hero's Welcome", Tarshak, aka "Abomination", is obnoxious. The first phase of the fight is easy, if annoying, as while most of his attacks are obviously telegraphed, the player needs to guide a inexplicably homing fireball towards pillars after weakening them with a pickaxe, with the catch that the projectile has to hit the player (instead relying on Splash Damage to bring the pillar down), requiring the player to eat a powerful unblockable attack per pillar that does a considerable amount of fast-attacking damage-over-time until they run into a fountain to put out the flame. The sting in the tail comes in the form of the fight's second and final phase, where the player has to bait the now limping Abomination under randomly spawning area-of-effect falling rocks to whittle down his health (as he's invulnerable to direct attacks until he's near death), usually requiring the player to take rapid damage as the rocks often spawn too close to the walls of the arena to simply stand on the other side. Making matters worse, the Abomination continues spewing homing fireballs, with the damage over time replaced with leaving behind a lingering area-of-effect trap at the point of impact. This wouldn't be a major problem, if not for the fact that the Abomination also has a dash attack that is poorly telegraphed, does considerable damage and stuns the player on hit for a prolonged period while putting him within range to use his fast, accurate, and powerful melee attacks. If the player happens to be under either one, or worse, both types of area of effect traps when the stun takes effect (which can happen with no warning, as rock locations spawn randomly without warning and the Abomination can launch fireballs while in the middle of the dash attack), they're pretty much screwed unless they've got lots of health.
  • Dungeoneering has the following:
    • Yk'Lagor the Thunderous wouldn't be that difficult, if not for the fact that his earthquake attack (which is effectively a One-Hit Kill) isn't clear in how you're supposed to avoid it; you're supposed to figure out that you can hide behind the seemingly decorative statues.
    • Runebound Behemoth. Especially if you are not familiar. He uses all three protection prayers at once, making him invulnerable. You could only disable them one by one but they go back up in a few seconds. Did we mention he has a powerful area-of-effect special attack that hits everyone by almost as much as the max health?
    • Shadow-forger Ihlakhizan. Hits up to over 80% of maximum health with his special attack, which also drains all your stats to half. Even if you tanked it, you probably won't stand a chance after that. This is devastating to free players, who have no method of recovering lost stats (members can at least make a potion to recover them). Although this special attack is very easy to dodge if you know how to. Just like the fight with Yk'Lagor, you have to get behind the pillars in the room when he preparing to use the attack.
    • Blink. He runs through portals in the room and cannot be attacked while he is running. In order damage him, you have to raise a pillar in the room for him to run into, which temporarily stops him from running. Only one pillar can be raised at a time, and it must be raised well before he gets to it. Sounds annoying, but not hard, right? The other problem is that while running, he constantly expels harmful magical gas that will hit you for very high (2000+) damage if you are anywhere near him when he runs past, and the room the fight takes place in is very small so there is only a brief moment to raise the right pillar once you know where he is coming from. And when he isn't running, he occasionally performs an even stronger attack that is impossible to avoid except by teleporting out of the room before he uses it and deals close to your maximum hit points in damage. This is made worse in hard mode, where you cannot teleport out of the boss room, forcing you to tank a huge amount of damage and have a lot of food prepared to heal yourself if you want to beat him without dying.
    • World-Gorger Shukarhazh is the last and by far the hardest of the Stalker bosses. Shukarhazh is found in a room with three eyes on the walls that are also able to attack you. Normally, all three eyes are open, and when they are all open, Shukarhazh will not take more than 200 points of damage per attack. The player can close the eyes by attacking them and they each only stay closed for 30 seconds. What the game doesn't tell you is that closing all three eyes actually makes him immune to all damage, and even if you realize this, which you might not since it takes several seconds to close each eye. To do normal damage you have to close two of the eyes. However, closing any of the eyes also has the drawback of increasing his defenses against the combat style of that eye and improves his normal attacks. He also occasionally uses a high damage special attack that is difficult to see coming. Together all these elements make Shukarhazh a pretty frustrating boss to fight.
    • Kal'Ger The Warmonger, the last boss of Daemonheim, only found on the last three floors, is also a huge challenge. Kal'Ger is a Marathon Boss who goes through six phases as his hit points are worn down, starting unarmed and then switching between 5 weapons. He is able to drain prayer and if the player uses protections prayers for too long he will do a special attack that can deal over 8000 damage. During the bow phase, he drains your defense with every attack, and during the final phase where he wields a maul, his attacks get faster and if the player uses the turmoil prayer he will copy it to greatly boost his own stats. And if you try hiding from him during any of the phases where he uses melee weapons he will send you into a lava pit. He also has a lethal Kaizo Trap, creating a shockwave similar to the Wrath prayer, which comes without warning.
  • TokHaar-Hok from the Elder Kiln was a big one. Hok is essentially a lava monster who acts as a prophet for an Elder God of fire, and he lives up to that big time. Hok himself isn't terribly tough, but once his health hits halfway, he'll try to heal. To prevent this, you must stun him before he steps into the lava waterfall. Easy enough. Did we mention that this is in a tiny arena, he spawns heavy hitting minions, and the floor of the arena also erupts lava from time to time, forcing you to be on the move? To make matters worse, The Elder Kiln quest was the first major combat quest released after the overhaul to combat, so many players had not yet mastered the new system.
  • Hreidmar from the dwarf quest series. The minions by themselves aren't too bad, until Hreidmar has them suicide bomb you, uses a spell that makes them inflict heavy damage on you, or heals. When he prepares to heal, you must damage him with an ultimate ability, or he will regain a huge chunk of health. If your ultimate attack fails, and it often does, you will not be able to recharge in time.
  • Enakhra from the World Wakes. Once you figure out how to stop her healing ability she's not too bad. If you don't, though, she'll siphon your health by a certain percentage. Many players tried to stop this by staying at low health, which is an obvious disadvantage. She'll also occasionally teleport on top of you, hold you to the ground, and stun you.
  • The championship fight with General Graardor in The Mighty Fall, where he picks up a weapon. The match bans prayer and requires you to fight with a kyzaj, which is a sluggish (albeit fairly decent) two-handed weapon. Graardor's basic attacks are fairly manageable, but he has a bunch of special attacks that he spams nonstop.
    • For starters, he creates unblockable, undodgeable shockwaves that take off up to 17% of your max HP, and can only be reduced by staying at the edge of the platform.
    • He also sweeps the kyzaj horizontally, doing 40% of your max HP in damage if you get hit by it. You get next to no time to dodge it, too; if your internet hiccups, or you heal at a bad time, you get a kyzaj to the face.
    • Finally, every time you take off 20% of his mountain of HP, he smashes the platform, causing one of the edges to crumble, hitting you for another 40% of your HP if you get hit by it, and reducing the area to stand in.
  • Araxxor is one of the hardest and most complicated bosses in the game that can be fought by a single player. The battle takes place in 4 phases.
    • In the first phase, all you have to do is burn down a spider web to allow you to enter one of three paths, which takes about a minute, but it is best to damage him as much as possible before entering one of the paths because any left over lifepoints he has in this phase will heal him in phase 2 or 3. During this he will use several different special attacks, including one attack where he suddenly pulls you toward him and then hits you with thousands of points of damage if you don't get out of the way immediately.
    • In the second phase, his behavior is determined by which of the three paths you took, although one of the paths will be inaccessible, and which one it is changes every few days.
      • In the darkness path, you have to stay in a narrow beam of light that moves every few seconds to avoid taking rapid damage while Araxxor attacks you from above, and occasionally uses a special attack where you take a huge amount of damage if you are not standing on an egg which may be placed far away from the light beam and every once in a while he will charges at you for massive damages if you don't hit the right button to dodge in a Quick Time Event, and failing to dodge makes this path last longer because dodging him is the only way to break the wall to the next phase.
      • In the acid path, you have to lure him into an acid pool while dodging spiders that deal enormous damage if they touch you. Failing to drain the acid pool makes the 4th phase harder.
      • And in the minion path, which is the hardest path, he summons a large number of spider minions with several different powers, including the very dangerous mirrorback spider which causes you to take any damage you cause to Araxxor as long as it is alive.
    • In phase 3, he uses the special attacks from phase one again but now also uses some of the mechanics from the two paths that were not blocked.
      • If the darkness path is open he sometimes darkens the area except for a beam you must stand in.
      • If the acid path is open, you must lure Highly Acidic Spiders into him if you didn't finish draining the acid pool or didn't take the acid path and he will sometimes summon an Acidic Spider that can do enough damage to One-Hit Kill if it catches you.
      • If the minion path is open, he can summoning any spider minions you didn't kill from the minion path, or all of them if you didn't take the minion path.
    • In phase 4, Araxxor is replaced by Araxxi, whose normal attacks are stronger than Araxxor's and she is able to switch rapidly between magic and ranged attacks depending on which one you are praying against, so to take less damage you have to flip between prayers. She can use several of Araxxor's special attacks too, and when she is is down to 1/4 of her health she stops using special attacks and launches a projectile that bounces around the arena for the rest of the fight and homes in on you every few bounces, dealing a huge amount of damage very fast until you move and it continues bouncing. And you have to kill Araxxi as quickly as possible because her enrage meter increases with every attack, increasing her damage. And on top of all those complicated mechanics, you are only allowed to fight Araxxor alone or with a single other player and you cannot teleport out of Araxxor's lair, so once you start the battle the only way out is to die or to win. Because of how crazy complicated Araxxor's fight is, you really should spend a long time studying a guide on how to fight him before you attempt it.
  • Another extremely complicated boss that is possible but extremely hard to beat alone is Nex, and even with a group of players she can be a huge challenge. Nex was originally designed to require a group to beat but due to better equipment being added to the game she is now beatable by a single player. Nex has five phases that she goes through as you battle her and has powerful special attacks.
    • In phase one she can spread a virus between the player that rapidly drains stats and she will also sometimes rush across the area and do huge damage to any player she runs into and her magic attacks have a chance of stunning players and disabling their prayers.
    • In phase two she can place shadow traps on the ground and spread darkness that rapidly damages any player too close her and her ranged attacks drain prayer.
    • In phase three she can temporarily make any damage she receives heal her while also summoning blood reavers that can also heal her if they aren't killed quickly and she can mark a player as a sacrifice to deal 10% of their max hitpoints in damage while healing herself 100% of the targets max hitpoint and draining half of all other players prayer if the marked player doesn't quickly get far enough away from her and her regular attacks can hit multiple players at once while also healing her and draining prayer and any ability that cause bleeding damage heals her instead.
    • In phase four she can trap a player in an ice prison that stuns them and deals an emormous amount of damage if they don't either block it or are freed by another player and she can create an ice barrier around herself that deals huge damage to any players close to her and her regular attack drain prayer even more quickly than before and can stun players.
    • During the final phase she doesn't use any special attacks, but she starts by healing 1/6 of her health and her normal attacks become far more powerful and can hit many players at once and she can only be hit with up to 2000 points of damage at a time, and when she finally dies she uses Wrath to inflict damage to any player too close to her.
  • One boss who is particularly challenging because she breaks all of the rules is Char. She only uses melee attacks, but her attacks completely ignore armour, are very accurate, and do high damage. And on top of that, how much damage your attacks do to her isn't determined by how strong your weapon is, but is instead determined by how many fires you have lit in the arena, and she will put out any fire that she walks over. So throughout the battle you are forced to constantly run away from her while lighting as many fires as you can while also luring her away from your fires. And when her health is low you also have to dodge walls of fire in the arena.
  • A few of the more recent quest bosses, especially if they are Marathon Bosses with multiple phases, are designed to avoid being That One Boss by having checkpoints at each phase of the fight so that you don't need to restart the whole battle after coming back from dying. These battles are so hard that they are a challenge to beat even with the checkpoints making them easier.
    • Lord Drakan the boss of the quest that is the sequel to the one where you fight Vanstrom Klause. He is a whole lot more powerful than Vanstrom, having a lot of extremely damaging special attacks that he uses frequently.
    • Nomad in his sequel quest. In the sequel, his attacks are even more powerful than they were before and he now has an artificial god under his control that you have to occasionally dodge attacks from. Thankfully, he no longer uses his HP to 1 attack in this fight.
    • The Dark Lord, the final boss of the elf quest series. The Dark Lord has an area of effect special attack that damaged you by 10% of you max health with each hit and is able to summon much more powerful versions of the infamous shadow monsters from the Temple of Light, summoning more of them in the later phases of the battle.
    • The Pharaoh, the Final Boss of the Menaphos arc, is an absolutely miserable fight. Not only is he tankier than many raid bosses despite being a Duel Boss, not only is he a massive Difficulty Spike as most of the arc has very little combat, but all but one of his special attacks (which he uses after every third-auto attack) do fixed damage and never missnote , and every single one of them (including the aforementioned non-fixed damage attack) qualifies as a That One Attack:
      • His Corrupted Fire attack is an area-of-effect trap that does a fixed 1000 damage per tick, making him capable of wiping out even the highest level characters in seconds.
      • His stun attack does large amounts of damage per tick which increases rapidly (starting at 100 damage and increasing by an additional 100 per tick, maxing out at a maximum hit of 1000 for a total of 5500 damage) that can only be countered with specific moves in Evolution of Combat/Revolution mode (which have a lengthy cooldown) and has virtually no counter in Legacy mode (making the fight effectively Unwinnable in Legacy).
      • His "wrath of the gods" attack does massive amounts of instantaneous nuke damage, dealing anywhere from 3000-6000 damage at a moment's notice. While this is the only attack that doesn't deal fixed damage (and as such can be reduced by the Protect from/Deflect Magic prayers and curses), it's also the only attack that can't be mitigated by fast reflexes.
      • Last, but by no means least, he Turns Red once he's reduced to half health, giving him a permanent area-of-effect wall of Corrupted Fire around him to dissuade melee users and cranking up his damage even further, making it incredibly likely that his "wrath of the gods" attack will be a One-Hit Kill regardless of health.
  • True to their name, the Elite Dungeons have some very difficult boss encounters to complement the already tough mobs.
    • The second boss of the Temple of Aminishi, Masuta the Ascended, is without doubt a nightmare.
      • His first phase has him launching incredibly powerful attacks with all 3 styles, and sometimes summoning clones to deal extra hits. His special attacks are no joke either. He will do a melee spinning attack that lasts 15 seconds and will inflict massive damage on anyone in range not using defensive abilities. His other special is a powerful magic barrage that can be dodged, but it is rather difficult to tell where the blasts are going to land.
      • In the second phase, he becomes invincible and summons a multitude of water monsters to attack you. These monsters attack very fast, have incredibly long range, and if you do not kill them from close range, you miss out on a defensive buff that is vital to the final phase.
      • After he has summoned enough, he enters the third phase, where he alternates between ranged and a power magic attack that can easily kill you if you didn't get enough buff stacks in the second phase. Oh, and any of the water monsters that you didn't reach in phase 2 will still be shooting at you, pressuring your limited supplies even more.
    • The final boss, Seiryuu the Azure Serpent, is an unholy combination of Marathon Boss and DPS race in draconic form. All of these factors make Seiryuu a horribly protracted boss fight where even one slip-up can result in a failed battle and broken keyboards.
      • His normal magic attacks deal little damage, and his breath can be easily predicted and defended against; those are not the main difficulty factor. The real threat are the waves of shadow hands he constantly summons throughout the battle. If you get caught in them, they inflict so much rapid typless damage that it's more or less instant death, meaning even a single mistake in your movement will end the attempt.
      • Then comes the issue of actually HURTING him. To win, you have to destroy three crystals on his collar, which are only made vulnerable when you inflict 800k damage on Seiryuu himself. The crystals themselves have between 150k to 250k HP depending on group size, and you need to destroy them fast because not long after Seiryuu is stunned, shadow creatures appear at the other end of the arena, and if they reach Seiryuu, they will heal the crystals for over 30k each, undoing all of your hard work. In a team, one person can stay behind and kill the creatures before they reach, but if you're soloing you will need crazy dps to destroy even one crystal before the healers reach it. And once Seiryuu recovers, you have to DPS him down again to expose the crystals.
    • The first boss of the Dragonkin Laboratory, Astellarn the First Celestial, is easily the worst one. She starts fairly tame with her high damaging breath attack... until her mechanics kick in.
      • Her first special is to summon a pulsar star, which has 20k HP and periodically hits all players in the room with high cannonball-type damage, which cannot be reduced with prayer. Her next move is to summon a black hole under a specific player, which deals very high damage to anyone standing on it, and from this point forward she gains massive damage reduction towards all attacks unless players correctly handle the upcoming mechanic.
      • Said mechanic is when Astellarn summons a neutron star for each player, which slowly follows them and hits them for 5k damage if it reaches them. The objective is to lead a neutron star to the black hole, which turns it into a white hole that you must stand in to deal full damage to Astellarn. If you mess up and get hit by the neutron, you're left without a way to effectively damage the boss until the next mechanic rotation, and even if you do create a white hole, there is another mechanic to deal with.
      • Astellarn periodically summons an energy rain to one quadrant of the arena that moves around throughout the fight. The rain inflicts rapid damage to any players standing in it, and if the rain moves to the quadrant where the white hole is, you have to choose between tanking damage to be able to damage the boss or elongating the fight to save on healing supplies.
  • The six Legiones found in the Monastery of Ascension are also frustrating to fight. Although they have relatively low health and don't take long to kill, their special attacks are absolutely devastating and can kill you in seconds if you don't constantly dodge them. Plus, in order to fight any of them, you have to obtain a keystone, which can only be dropped randomly from the other monsters in the dungeon or purchased from another player, but each keystone only allows you to attempt to fight a Legione exactly once. So if you die while fighting a Legione you will have wasted the keystone and will have to get another. The game actually gives you an Achievement for killing each of the Legiones without moving, forcing you to tank all of the massive damage from their attacks. This can be That One Achievement unless you choose to use the extremely expensive and rare Deathtouched Dart to kill them.
  • "Dream Mentor" has you fight a boss that has everything designed to make it difficult and frustrating. While RS3 has it easier due to adrenaline and power creep, RS2 and OSRS have it be an incredibly painful fight. This boss takes place in an instance (which, in OSRS, means your unprotected gear vanishes permanently if you die) and has the following problems: prayers are disabled (including the protect item prayer, which makes it being in an instance even worse), it can't be safespotted, has stupidly high melee and ranged defence, uses ranged attacks if you're more than one tile away from it, hits very hard and very often, summons mooks that also hit hard and often and respawn if you kill them, doesn't allow you to walk under it, doesn't allow you to teleport out unless you use the altar far away from it in the room, and is the first phase of a four phase fight. The only upsides are that it's so vulnerable to magic that you can reliably hit it even in full melee armour, and that the other three phases are so easy that even when (not if, when) it cleans your entire inventory of most of your food, you won't have much trouble doing the rest. Knowing about the former is also unlikely, as the number of times you can use magic reliably in melee armour can be counted on one hand, and you're probably on the Lunar spellbook because of where the quest takes place on anyway, but it's an option nonetheless. Dream Mentor was initially released as an experienced quest, but was later changed to master because of how hard this one phase is.

Oh dear, you are dead!

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