This topic should've been specific to "your first time". Unless that's just assumed?
Well, for my first time playing when I was a kid, I found Carock to be the hardest. I'm surprised he hasn't gotten more votes. The randomness of it always killed me so I had to win by luck! >.< And to make it worse, if you died, you had to travel soooo far to get back to the boss room.
Also, Riding Blue Iron Knuckle was incrediably hard too. Since it was my first experience fighting the Blue kind, I had a hard time dodging all of those swords. The Blue Iron Knuckle is the room before doesn't count since I usually just avoided fighting it. Getting to the boss was hard enough in the 3rd palace.
Maybe I should rank Barba first. This was definitely the most nerve-wrecking boss fight in the game, because it's the only boss fight with lava. And because you have to travel so far to get to him, through some of the hardest areas, I was always more nervous! I fell into the lava here, more than any other area in the game. (except maybe the Lava Path to the Great Palace)
For me, it goes like this. (hardest to easiest without exploiting glitches)
Carock Blue Iron Knuckle Barba Gooma Helmethead Horsehead
If you don't fight fair, none of the bosses are challenging, though. That's the reason I tried to make them harder in my hacks. ;) --- Don't get so caught in your ways that you can't change..
Carock is the hardest but only on the first life. Once one figures out nothing damages him, stabbing anywhere, upthrust, downthrust, Fire, it eventually falls to the Reflect spell.
I too was surprised by so many Gooma votes. While he's not easy, he didn't seem that hard. I found the Blue Ironknuckle boss to be the hardest. Even taking the hiding offscreen out of consideration (and it taking forever of standing back and luring him out far enough to actually fight him for more than like 2 seconds, which takes *a lot* of knife blocking), he has high offensive power and casting Life is rather limited with that level of MP.
I do agree, Barba is the most nerve-wracking because open lava makes it seem so much more dangerous. Wasn't the hardest, but did seem to be the one you had to be the most careful with.
I'm sure that some people entered the palace without Reflect (or even finding the little kid), skipped the "invincible" wizzrobes, and only realized that they needed Reflect when they entered Carock's room without it. --- Nagas on a plane! ^_^
I'm sure that some people entered the palace without Reflect (or even finding the little kid), skipped the "invincible" wizzrobes, and only realized that they needed Reflect when they entered Carock's room without it.
Yep, I remembered hearing this at school and doing it myself back in early 1989. The first instinct was to avoid them once we realized we couldn't damage them with the sword. Consider that many of us had memories of Zelda 1 Wizzrobes, where there was no reflect; you stab them or use another item to attack them. It's not unheard of to just skip them (it's not that hard to dodge their spells and get past them).
I'd put Carock in the same category as Mega Man 2's false floors in Wily's Castle Stage 4. Everyone only learns from that first death.