Emotionally satisfying final boss battle

Tamina

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
68
Reaction score
24
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Hello,

I am looking for some advice on designing memoriable final boss battle.

It seems that it's easy to fall into the trap of "just give it the highest stat with the strongest attack possible in game". Are there any better way to create an emotional satisfying final battle? Any good ideas from other games?

Thank you :)
 
Last edited:

Ami

World Maker
Veteran
Joined
Jul 12, 2019
Messages
36
Reaction score
326
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
for me,make a dialogue about their goal and the actor must stop it. when battle is ended,make their final words. it happen inside the battle
 

AbstractMan

Forever lost in the Tea Room of Despair
Veteran
Joined
Jun 22, 2019
Messages
48
Reaction score
17
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Yes, as Ami said, the reason the boss exists in the first place is important! That said, having the player care about stoping said boss should be built up throughout the game! I am also a glutton for punishment so a boss I had to really plot and struggle to overcome is definitely helpful.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ami

Shikamon

The Dragonslayer
Veteran
Joined
Feb 4, 2017
Messages
57
Reaction score
73
First Language
Indonesia
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
I think whatever your build-up story should be intergrated with final boss fight, all your learned skills, all your informations about the boss or your characters growth related to what they will face on boss gimmick. maybe you forced to learn some useless skill through the game and will be very useful at the end.
Like maybe, If the boss and the hero have their own personal feud, we could create 1 on 1 battle and some dialog each turns.
 

gstv87

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2015
Messages
2,221
Reaction score
1,198
First Language
Spanish
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
*the* most memorable trope, for me, is when the bad guy has a very legitimate reason for doing what he's doing, and by forcing your way over him, you end up being no different than him.
but that requires careful planning of the entire narrative, and not simply answer "what makes a memorable ending?"
 

CraneSoft

Filthy Degenerate
Veteran
Joined
Apr 16, 2016
Messages
248
Reaction score
371
First Language
Not English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
To me the most memorable kind of final battle is not about the difficulty itself, but ones where you have to fight and kill a loved one, with everything you and the final boss experienced together before comes back to haunt you as a final test.
 

estriole

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jun 27, 2012
Messages
1,198
Reaction score
425
First Language
indonesian
two of memorable boss fight for me is FFVII sepiroth final battle and Suikoden II Luca Blight Battle.
Sepiroth => after defeat him as party... do One on One with Cloud... then cloud use Omnislash
Luca Blight => set 3 team... fight and defeat him... then in the end some epic scene and one on one duel.

how about combining them :D...

ex: after defeating the final boss as party... the boss split to several smaller 'form'... then try to escape in different direction... then the party split up to finish the bosses... each 'miniboss' will do One on One battle vs the party member... and each party member unlocked a new SUPER SKILL each to finish each boss... after defeating all of them then do the final touching cutscene...... etc...

you could also set the 'bad ending' if there's someone who failed to defeat the minibosses...
 

kirbwarrior

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Nov 13, 2014
Messages
731
Reaction score
417
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
Probably two big things;

1) The whys of the battle. You can make the most technically exciting battle but if there is no reason for it, it will range from forgettable to non-sequitur to annoyance.
2) It has to be a battle where the player has to think. No matter how well they know the game up to this point, you're putting them in front of the final test.

I feel like FF6 does both really well;

You've spent literally half the game having a GIANT reason for defeating Kefka and you have to work to even get to a point where you are allowed to. And the fight is a gauntlet of your entire party against an unknown amount of battles all testing your different capabilities and namely the ability to adapt with a final fight against a boss that continually gets harder and will game over you if you take too long.

You can lean on one of them more than the other. Sky Tower Arena* has a very fun final boss that literally cheats in a way the game warns about ahead of time even if the reason for fighting him is fairly shallow. And the final fight of Dragon Quest Builders 2 is insanely memorable because it's been slowly building up the whole game, even if it is pretty easy even for a fairly easy game.

*rm2k game that has a more memorable final fight than most AAA games I've played.
 

Dororo

Gespenst MKII pilot
Veteran
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
258
Reaction score
904
First Language
Italian
Primarily Uses
RMMV
How to make a legendary boss battle.

A - An outstanding boss
The shape of the boss is meaningfull. Some DragonQuest game missed this chance, some FinalFantasy do it right, Phantasy Star excel.
Profound_Darkness_1_Phantasy_Star_IV.gif

B - Multistage boss
Having the boss change shape/routine after a number of lost HP give you nice feedbacks.
Profounddarkness2.gif
(That was the previous form of the boss above)

C - Superepic music and background
You should save some energy to deliver the best in the end.
Now, a good idea is to have an eroic music instead of that usual darkness/metal/goth music that's more celebrating boss strenght than your - it's time for the heroes to shine instead! They will use their best epic moves! A good example is OKAMI

D - Plot twist, reset of resources and restart
When everything seems lost, cutscene, something happen and the battle start again with refreshed resources (or even more of them).
Saint Seiya battles are exciting 'cause of that: everything is actually lost, then a new tech/unexpected help come from nowhere and the battle restart with more fair odds. Hype

E - Vegeta fanboys should be satisfied
While the hero is the focus of the overall plot, probably some player got his own best character - each one should have some weight in the final battle.
The final battle should naturally be the plot solution of every character. If the hero is fated to defeat evil, another could have a personal grudge, for example.

F - Avoid too much dialogue "inside" the battle
I'm hyped, excited and immersed in the action, to the point I'M the one delivering blows. Break the pace with too much dialogue lines after and before single actions and everything break apart - you can have a nice introduction and an inspired aftermath to chill down, but please let me play this moment my way (that's why I think MOTHER 3 final battle is atrociously annoying).

G - Avoid Z-Sword
The magical power appearing that very last battle, is the only power that can defeat the evil and you have a very easy time by using it - why I'm playing that final battle?!? Why I have played the entire game?! Some Last Bible game suffer of this (best summons gifted near the end totally free T_T After all that effort to come with my own demons...).

H - Final boss moment
Give the boss some moment to tell last lines, die epically and fade into nothing. I do believe too there's need for the whole "location" to shatter, crumble to dust, explode, change, whatever, to hint that defeat was indeed epic to a large scale.
 

Tamina

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
68
Reaction score
24
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Thanks for all the ideas. Some of the ideas like motivations are more writing/story based, I'm looking for more game design mechanic based ideas.

The FF6 example is similar to mechanic based idea that I'm looking for: boss has different stages and the party move up as they get closer to the final form. The player also get to use all the characters that they collected on their way. Which kinda merged with the overall story theme well.

Too bad FF6 mechanic won't work in my game so I still need some other ideas :(

Some ideas that I have:

- boss summons(or transforms into) all the bosses that appears previously so it serves as some kind of flashback for the entire journey. Then the player may feel their character really grow stronger.

- Boss has all the main characters ability, but stronger version of it. So if player has firega boss uses ultra firega or something. Then the boss mimics player movement(but do it better) so player feel this boss is really better than the main character in every way.

- Multistage boss
Having the boss change shape/routine after a number of lost HP give you nice feedbacks.
View attachment 162107
(That was the previous form of the boss above)
I intend to use multi stage boss, but I feel it's being used WAY too many times, to the point that it's pretty much expected and not surprising at all. I feel if boss only looks different and hits harder but without some super unique mechanics it'd just fall into the "just another boss with stronger stats" trap... :(
 

Dororo

Gespenst MKII pilot
Veteran
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
258
Reaction score
904
First Language
Italian
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Progressive multistage is just a way to make a LONG fight dynamical again.
In DQ3 the last dragon stand still bombing you with his own arsenal. At the first attempt you'll spend something like 50 turns, most cycling thru Debuff it/ Buff yourself/ cure the party/ deliver a Tordain. Rinse and repeat.
Multistage avoid this kind of grindiness. It's not a matter of increasing stats, but to have different strategies and savvy distribute your resources.
So yes, you're correct to tell multistage should avoid just beefing up the boss, but actual multistage isn't that since FF2.
 

Milennin

"With a bang and a boom!"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
2,487
Reaction score
1,621
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
For me, the best final bosses are characters you've been wanting to put in their place for a long time and finally get the chance to do so once and for all (Blue, from the first Pokémon games), or plain spectacle bosses that just look awesome and have awesome skills (Doom Dragon from Golden Sun). But most importantly, to me, is that the fight feels fun, challenging and tests you on everything you've learned.
 

kirbwarrior

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Nov 13, 2014
Messages
731
Reaction score
417
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
- Boss has all the main characters ability, but stronger version of it. So if player has firega boss uses ultra firega or something. Then the boss mimics player movement(but do it better) so player feel this boss is really better than the main character in every way.
That's an expansion on how Sky Tower Arena did things. Everything the boss did you could technically do (if I remember right he's just a wizard with carefully chosen spells), but he hits vastly harder and his states last longer, plus his team knows this and is constantly supporting him. But a final boss that can do everything you can do on an extreme scale definitely makes the player feel small and has a pivotal underdog moment.
 

Basileus

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Oct 18, 2013
Messages
308
Reaction score
445
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
I think a final boss can be made satisfying and memorable if they serve as a sort of capstone for the gameplay/story. Ideally both.

The "final exam boss" is the ultimate test of the player's skills, that makes sure the player mastered all of the core mechanics. This is the kind of boss that makes the player use everything in their arsenal. Maybe remind the player of every boss fight before by having the boss use the same tricks so the player can feel like the previous bosses trained them for this one.

The "story boss" is the ultimate resolution of the story, the final obstacle that must be overcome to get the party's happily ever after. This requires that the player have a rock solid understanding of why this boss needs to be fought. When the player knows what's at stake, is invested emotionally in the characters and knows what this all means for them, is what makes it special.

The best would be to do both, but focusing on one over the other is still good. I personally loved the final boss of Tales of Berseria just for what it meant to the party, especially the protagonist. It was plenty tough, but didn't really test my use of the mechanics more than all the previous bosses. So you can definitely focus on one or the other and still have a great, satisfying final boss.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

I get scam calls all the time so today I gave them a piece of my mind. They hung up on me. Sweet revenge.
There’s a beehive in my wall
Just finished my midterms! Freedom! Alright, back to gamedev!
I confirmed my train ticket yesterday. I'll be heading to Orlando on the 29th... last time I went, I found this little treasure!

Forum statistics

Threads
104,316
Messages
1,005,498
Members
135,839
Latest member
Infusa
Top