- The most unintentionally fun challenges in the Souls series
- Mergo’s Wet Nurse (Bloodborne)
- Covetous Demon (Dark Souls 2)
- Prowling Magus And Congregation (Dark Souls 2)
- Ceaseless Discharge (Dark Souls)
- Moonlight Butterfly (Dark Souls)
- Dragon Rider (Dark Souls 2)
- Dragon God (Demon’s Souls)
- Ancient Dragon (Dark Souls 2)
The most unintentionally fun challenges in the Souls series
With the original Demon’s Souls, FromSoftware reinvigorated the notion that good boss battles elevate games as a whole. They haven’t, however, always perfectly nailed every single boss encounter they designed for the Souls series, so let’s talk about the most interestingly dumb ones.
Mergo’s Wet Nurse (Bloodborne)
Bloodborne features some of the best boss battles in the entire series. Sadly, it also hosts one of its weakest. Mergo’s Wet Nurse’s biggest problem isn’t even one of design, but rather one of timing.
This lackluster and predictable enemy could’ve made for an interesting boss in the early part of the game, but it does little more than slow down the player a bit as an endgame boss. It still looks great, though.
Covetous Demon (Dark Souls 2)
The most common criticism people throw at the bosses in Dark Souls 2 is that they’re all just “one guy in a suit of armor.” Fair point, but not entirely correct. While DS2 tends to feature bosses that act and dress in a knightly manner, most of the worst boss encounters in the game don’t put players up against “dudes in armor”.
One could argue that Covetous Demon, a Jabba The Hutt-like creature, is both as far as it gets to a “dude in armor”, and also one of the worst bosses in the series. He doesn’t know the meaning of the word speed, he features no remarkable moves whatsoever, and he barely even seems to know the player is in the arena with it.
We only know he’s a boss because he has a boss-sized health bar.
Prowling Magus And Congregation (Dark Souls 2)
Nothing about this enemy should make it a boss. It’s just a regular enemy with some goons and a large health bar. Did they scrap the real boss at the last minute and had it replaced with this? Hardly, since not even its room looks like a proper boss arena.
Easily the most baffling excuse for a boss in the entire Souls Series.
Ceaseless Discharge (Dark Souls)
Though many call Dark Souls the best game in the Souls series, they can’t deny it features a few questionable boss fights. Ceaseless Discharge’s name seems to point at a literally crappy encounter, but luckily it’s just a figurative thing.
Ceaseless Discharge requires players to bait it into an area where it will fall to its death, though nothing prior to this encounter points out what players should be doing. Hell, chances are many players won’t really know what it is that they did right even after having killed the beast.
Moonlight Butterfly (Dark Souls)
Even though playing as a mage arguably makes most of the games in the Souls series easier, the vast majority of players prefer a hand-to-hand approach. The developers of Dark Souls either didn’t know or just wanted to piss players off, so they came up with a boss you could only damage from afar. Luckily, players can summon a helper that will make short work of this enemy, but most players may not even enter this fight aware of that fact.
This one isn’t even hard, it’s just not fun.
*It was only when proofreading this piece that the writer realized that his headcanon isn’t correct and that this boss is called Moonlight Butterfly and not “Moonlight Moth.” That’s how much he cares about this thign.
Dragon Rider (Dark Souls 2)
Ok, some of the “dude in armor” bosses from Dark Souls 2 really do suck. We have no better example than the first Dragon Rider.
The first bosses in the Souls series always leave an impression. The Dragon Rider does that, yes, too bad it’s probably not the impression the developers had wanted. Players can — and should — defeat this guy not via combat, but via a simple dodge. Yes, simply waiting for his first attack and dodging to the right will cause the Dragon Rider to plunge to his death.
FromSoft has never patched this: probably because it’s too funny to remove.
Dragon God (Demon’s Souls)
FromSoft could have failed at designing many of Demon’s Souls’ bosses since they were going for a very experimental attempt at an unproven genre. Still, the game that started it all only ever falters when it comes to the Dragon God boss.
Designing gigantic bosses sucks because you can’t just expect everyone to buy that the tiny playable character could deal lethal damage to a colossus. Most boss battles against gigantic enemies either go down the ridiculous route of showing a David-esque figure killing Goliath-Zilla by cutting off its toe, or they go for silly gimmicks to make things look a bit more credible. The Dragon God has us play a game of hide and seek with a god while we try to take him down with stationary ballistas. It doesn’t make sense that the wise Dragon would decide to live in an arena filled with contraptions that could kill it, but the worst part is how the whole affair just isn’t fun.
The strangest thing of all is that this very game had a better idea for dealing with huge and distant enemies all along! Just look at the Storm King (the flying manta rays) battle. The player gets to strike them down with a sword magically imbued with long-range abilities. Does that make sense? Is it realistic? We don’t know! But it makes for some highly satisfying gameplay.
Sekiro also got dragon-slaying right by just telling players that the hero has become empowered by super-lightning, or something. That’s how we want to kill every dragon from now on.
Just kidding, please keep on innovating — even when you take risks that ultimately don’t pay off.
Ancient Dragon (Dark Souls 2)
The only thing worse than gimmicky fights against giants are the aforementioned fights against giant enemies no one seems to have put any thought into. That seems to be the case with the battle against the Ancient Dragon in Dark Souls 2. It seems like the devs were entirely aware that this battle would be no fun for anyone as this boss stays friendly and talkative up until players hit it just way too many times.
Even though the Ancient Dragon barely moves, most players will have a hard time dodging its attacks courtesy of whack hitboxes. At his most athletic, lifts off to spit a fire barrage that’ll hit a large surface of the play area and kill players in an unfair manner. The best strategy to deal with this creature is to really just stay near his foot and hit it until the huge living thing attached to it somehow perishes.
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