Gaming

The 9 most terrifying boss battles ever

These new and classic game bosses will make your controller quake.

Halloween is here, which means a lot of things for a lot of people. Some are getting their spooky fix by sacrificing mental stability to the horror movie gods, others are slathering on the fake blood up and scaring the daylights out of some young ones. In that spirit (no pun intended), we've compiled a list of game bosses that made your pupils dilate and your controllers quake.

9. Great Serpent (Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice)

Even if you're one of those people who's inclined to accept the more spineless, slippery creatures among us, we can almost guarantee that this giant albino snake from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, will make your skin crawl. Spoiler alert: as if one giant serpent wasn't enough, escaping or killing the first just gives way to another (unkillable) counterpart.

8. Dead Hand (Zelda: Ocarina of Time)

Turns out games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill aren't the only franchises capable of dreaming up nightmare worthy boss battles. In Zelda: Ocarina of Time Link encounters an amorphous nightmare blob that goes by the name of Dead Hand when attempting to retrieve the TKTK. Dead Hand accosts you with its blob-like body, replete with some pretty serious chompers. To prevent Link from escaping it also uses one of several grabby hands that sprout from the ground. Needless to say, these are not hands we feel comfortable shaking.

7. Cagney Carnation (Cuphead)

There are plenty of things to love about Cuphead , like how vein-poppingly frustrating the game can be, or its meticulously crafted levels. Another thing to love is how memorable its boss battles can be especially with inordinately difficult adversaries like... Cagney Carnation. It may seem odd to include a flower among the ranks of monsters like Resident Evil's nemesis, but we'll let the official Cuphead Wiki do the talking for us here...

"At first, Cagney seems like an innocent-looking flower... However, shortly after, Cagney reveals his true colors, and his stem grows small yellow spikes, his petals gets a pointed tip in the middle of each of them, his cheeks completely disappear, his nose gets longer, and his leaves turn into long arms with actual hands."

6. Andross (Star Fox)

Star Fox isn't the franchise you might expect to rattle the ol' boots, but in some ways that's exactly why a villain like Andross, a mad scientist with a disconcerting penchant for experimenting with dangerous bio technology. Andross may be nothing more than a floating head in practice, but with a mug like this it doesn't take much to instill the fear of evil apes.

I've been waiting for you, Star Fox. With my mighty intellect, the universe shall soon be mine to command as I see fit. Opposing me is truly a death sentence... Just ask your father.

5. Orphan of Kos (Bloodborne)

Bloorborne is yet another franchise brimming with some pretty gnarly monsters, and while its got plenty of options to pick from, the Orphan of Kos is a pretty perfect example of just how creepy the game's bosses can be. In Bloorborne, a game from the creators of Dark Souls, the Orphan is a God whose mother, Kos, was killed during a research expedition and is discovered near a small fishing town that reveres and worships it as a God. Instead of describing the Orphan of Kos, it may be more effective to just list off a few things it does during the battle...

Spew flesh bits; attack you with a placenta; fly around with disgusting membrane wings; screech and yell like a beached animal; crawl out of its dead mother covered in guts, etc...

4. Emerald Weapon

There are lots of big baddies in Final Fantasy VII. You've got giant snakes, mechs with guns bigger than a car, a psychopathic long-haired supervillains with a giants sword, but the game's optional uber boss, Emerald Weapon, always stands out even among this PlayStation classic's array of foes. Emerald Weapon, who is found lurking in the ocean (only accessible by submarine) is not only gigantic, but formidable. What makes the boss scary, however, is a time limit that forces you to beat your foe in 20 minutes. It's not always jump scares and gore when it comes to big scares.

3. Master Hand (Super Smash Bros.)

I know what you're thinking... OK, maybe I don't know what you're thinking, but Master Hand might. I mean, after all, Master Hand is psychic, or could be, who the hell knows. In fact, we don't even know if Master Hand is an actual hand, since all we get to see is violent pair of Mickey Mouse gloves. It's precisely that mix of ambiguity and simple-minded violence (Master Hand has but one goal: to smash you into oblivion) which makes Super Smash Bros.' final boss so bone-chilling. That is, assuming you have any bones left to chill after getting smacked around by a pair of giant, sentient gloves.

2. Nemesis (Resident Evil)

In a franchise like Resident Evil, which is teeming with some of the most iconic character designs in both game and zombie history, it's damn near impossible to choose a "scariest" monster. When it comes to boss battles, however, there's one (very large) and obvious choice: Nemesis. He's big, he's strong, he's got whatever the opposite of lips are, and he's as scary to fight as he is to look at. Lest we not forget he can operate a flame thrower? In a rebooted Resident Evil 3, Nemesis gets an HD makeover that manages to make his lipless visage come alive (at least technically speaking).

1. Pyramid Head (Silent Hill 2)

For both headwear-related and non-headwear reasons, Pyramid Head ranks at the top of this list of terrifying game bosses. We can thank the Silent Hill franchise for bringing this lumbering monster into the world, though it's hard to "thank" the game for scaring the living daylights out of you as a child (and an adult). Symbolically speaking, Pyramid Head represents a couple things within the franchise, including the titular town's past history as a place for executions and the game's protagonist, James Sunderland's, desire to be punished for his wife's death. We don't need symbolism to be scared of Pyramid Head in real life, however. Its giant sword and headgear are plenty.

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