So I thought we could kill some time together with a quick little top ten article. Today I’m going to cover ten of my favorite boss fight themes. Now, I’m pretty close to saying “in no particular order” cuz it’s hard to rate these honestly, but I’ll try. And, I know there’s a billion killer boss fight songs out there, these are just the ones I could come up with while functioning off of a handful of hours of sleep and severe jet lag (and allergies). So, where we go!
10. Battle with Magus (Chrono Trigger, Magus Boss Fight… Duh…)
Magus was my absolute favorite character in Chrono Trigger. He had the awesome cape, the tragic back story, the eternal struggle, the killer scythe, that sweet white hair and that friggin’ awesome mastery of magic! When you go to duel with Magus after dispatching Flea and…that other lieutenant that no one remembers…the one that looks like Guldo… Anyways, Magus has this killer introduction where he’s just standing there with his back to you, cape billowing in the breeze like he don’t even care.
Dude is just chillin’ there like whatever, and when you show up about all that was missing was him hurling a crystal chalice into a fire pit while discussing how mankind is a miserable pile of secrets.
From the cold wind’s blow to the slow symphonic intro, this is to this day one of my favorite boss fight themes. Even if Magus sucks when you *spoilers* later.
9. The Sword of Doubt (Final Fantasy 9 – Duel with Beatrix)
Also known as the part where Beatrix spanks you and makes you cry like a small disobedient puppy that just made a mess on the Persian.
Now, it’s been some time since I’ve done this fight because I hate Final Fantasy 9 (actually it’s one of my favorites, but someone deleted my save right before the fight with Kuja when I was a kid and I still can’t quite make myself sit down to try and beat the game again), but I do clearly remember one thing:
After a lot of great foreshadowing and decent misdirection, Beatrix shows up out of nowhere and freaking spanks your entire party like they’re nothing. This was a great example of making it clear that you’re not supposed to win a boss fight, something many modern RPG’s, or well, RPG’s in general just don’t really get right.
Beatrix shows up scary as you please, there’s a terrible lightning storm going on and you’re dueling in a ruined city. You try to fight her, and then bam! Stockbreak! And then BAM! CLIMHAZZARD! And then you die. Well, you don’t die, but, you know what I mean. And then she just looks at you like “Gutter trash.” and flies off like whatever.
Killer. So killer.
8. Purification of Darkness ~ Battle With the Parts (Grandia 2, Valmar Parts and *Spoilers* Boss Theme)
This theme plays any time you fight one of the parts of Valmar, true, but the fight that really made this song for me was *spoilers*. That moment where you two throw down was just so freaking epic, and there was so much emotion and tension leading up to that inevitable duel. And, the quotes from that fight, while kinda cheesy, were voice in such an epic fashion that it really brought it all home!
“Roll on the ground, human!“
“Hmph! This is why you are no good!!!!”
Yup, one of the most epic boss fights ever, and so bloody hard. It’s just a shame how insane, anti-religion and polygamist the story became towards the end…
Still, killer boss fight theme.
7. Supporting Me (Sonic Adventure 2 – Biolizard Fight)
Honestly from start to finish the entire Sonic Adventure 2 soundtrack was pretty dang baller. This particular moment though, the fact that you’d been fighting to know the truth for all of this time and it finally comes to light, well, it does and then it doesn’t and then it does and then it got retconned and then it got put back and then two games came up with their own excuse and then it got retconned and then it came back and then Shadow the Hedgehog happened and now no one knows what the crap Shadow’s backstory is anymore because apparently it’s that bloody hard to write a decent plot……
But…ya know…the song is amazing and the fight was pretty great too. But, you know what’s really baller about this song? The fact that Shadow’s theme song tells you exactly what’s going to happen at the beginning of the game, and the two songs confirm each other, and it’s like twelve years later and I only just realized that. Kinda like how every Silent Hill song that has lyrics tells you exactly what the game is going to be about but you don’t know it until you finish the game. Also Persona titles.
Anywho, check this out:
Throw it All Away (Theme of Shadow) / Supporting Me (Biolizard Fight)
Everybody tries to be straight, but things are still unchanged. It’s useless, to resist, their efforts will be wasted. / I’m gonna be desperate. Never lose, hurry. I believe in my future, farewell to the shadows. It was my place to live, but now I need your hand.
Head straight for your goal by any means, there is a door you have never opened, there is a window through which you’ve never seen, get there no matter how long it takes. / to the pressure, everything’s just like, an illusion, I’ll be losing you, before long.
Oh dark the darkness that dozes in the dusk, throw it all away! No one can break you nobody can tear you, you live an endless life forever. Oh dark the darkness that dozes in the dusk, throw it all away, you’ll see a light wherever you go, you’ll have to face it again and again / Lead me out with your light, I have breathed in, the disgusting air of darkness but I’ll never lose out.
You have to rearrange the last two lines out of order in Supporting Me, but there’s a lot of parallels. Also one of the lines from each song pretty much tells you the ending.
6. (True) Final Destination (Super Smash Bro. Brawl)
I’m actually not sure if this counts since you can fight here whenever, but it is the last boss arena and I’m pretty sure it plays sometimes when you fight Crazy Hand, Master Hand or some manner of epic boss type fight in Brawl. The point is, it’s a great song, so sue me!
5. Taste the Blood / Divine Hate (Devil May Cry 3 – Vergil Boss Fight)
Ah yes, back before Devil May Cry was misquoting scripture and confusing what in God’s Holy name a Nephilim is even though it is literally in the first handful of pages in the Bible (spoiler alert: Nephilim were the specific group of Angels that mated with the daughters of man, not the fusion of an Angel and Demon, or technically an Angel and a Fallen Angel. A Nephilim born would be a half-breed Human and Angel at best, with a Nophiilim born being a half demon and half human).
Remixing some of the best music the franchise has ever seen, the duel between brothers comes at last. Dante, believing there has to be some righteousness in them, with Vergil believing humanity ought to be subverted and is equally to blame for the murder of their mother and the evils in the world, Cane and Abel throw down except this time Abel pretty much kicks Cane’s teeth in.
4. Suffer (Devil May Cry 3 – Cerberus Battle)
Frustrating freaking boss fight, epic freaking boss fight theme. Like, seriously, I think I hate the Cerberus boss more than any other boss in that game, but oh em gee Suffer was on repeat on my zen mp3 player for months after I beat DMC3 in High School.
Yes I was pretty gothy in case you were wondering, but shoot, it’s just an epic freaking song that aside. And, Dante’s banter with Cerberus at the beginning is just so freaking priceless!
3. Sky Sanctuary Zone – Hyper Metal Sonic (Sonic the Hedgehog 3)
This song is so bloody ahead of its time. All of the instruments that Sega was able to string together are just bananas! BANANAS I SAY!
This fight was insanely hard when I was a kid, the boss was insanely cool, the intro built up the tension, and then BAM! It was just freaking go time!
I want to hear this song redone by Crush 40 now…
2. The Requiem Hidden in the Heart (Soul Sacrifice – Sortiara Battle)
I would like to just go on record and say thanks Obama!!! I mean, thanks Keiji Inafune!!! Seriously, Soul Sacrifice is a hideously depressing game anyways (one that Delta will likely allow me to review favorably-ish), but I mean COME THE FREAK ON! She starts out as an insufferable jerk, she starts taking care of you, there’s that heartbreaking scene with her by the fire, there’s her realizing she’s in love with you, and then YOU HAVE TO FREAKING *spoilers*?!?!?!
And then you get to listen to the whispers of her heart afterwards and find out she was *spoilers* when she was a baby and all this other horrible crap that happened to her. Yeah… thanks Inafune…
1. ‘Idola’ – The Strange Fruits (Phantasy Star Online EP 3 – Pollux: Caster)
Ending on less of a downer (or, depending on how you look at the story just as much of a downer), this is one of my favorite boss fight themes. Sure, it doesn’t have the same kick or whatever that some of the other mentions does, but, I like it. I like it a lot. Especially when the build up and drop at 1:12.
So that’s my top ten list for now. Honorable mentions go to “Cry for Idola, The Holy” from PSO EP1, “Idola: Have the Immortal Feather” from the Phantasy Star Online Premium Arrange soundtrack (I tried not to do remixes or this might have been number one), “With Me” from Sonic and the Black Knight, “What I’m Made Of” from Sonic Heroes, and the entire freaking Shadow of the Colossus soundtrack.
So what are some of your favorite boss fight themes? Comment below and if you’re at the 2014 Gamestop Expo tomorrow and you happen to see a head full of dreadlocks rocking a sweet green and black hat, say hello!