Starting off, one of the most gimmicky bosses in Final Fantasy history. Jumbo Cactuar is one of the weirdest encounters you’ll come across in the FF universe.
As a history lesson, the Cactuar (a small strange cactus with a face) appeared in Final Fantasy VI originally. They’ve been a welcome inclusion since. Their signature move is 1,000 needles, which does 1,000 damage (surprise surprise) they typically don’t stick around long enough to finish a fight, and they are notoriously hard to hit. If you manage to kill them all however, you will typically get a very a large reward of experience points, ability point, gold, or in most cases a summon.
Jumbo Cactuar is the first appearance of an oversized Cactuar, and he comes with an upgrade of the signature move, 10,000 needles. This move does 10,000 damage which is precisely one more point of damage than the HP max in Final Fantasy VIII. As you can guess, this is distressing, fortunately, except for its large HP pool, Jumbo Cactuar does little else. When you beat him you get the Cactuar summon.
This boss was gimmicky enough and inspired memories in my head from when I fought him over and over again at the age of eight, when I didn’t know anything about good RPG management. Still this boss is special to many people and therefore it goes on the list.
Tantarian is an optional boss in Final Fantasy IX. He is located in the Alexandrian library. Why is he in the library? Tantarian is actually a book. He is reminiscent of enemies in earlier games, and is presented as a very tough boss in IX.
As for the fight, Tantarian is located in between the pages of his book. Problem is the book doesn’t take very much damage (from most moves), and he attacks with powerful party hitting attacks that can do lots of damage. When you open him you can breathe, the little monster inside the book can’t do much but poison the party when it’s exposed. Now that he’s exposed you can do something to him right? WRONG.
If you attack Tantarian physically he reverts back to closed book form, if you attack him magically he’s only willing to take a few attacks before he closes again taking you through the tedious rounds of getting him open again while taking extreme punishment at the same time. Its all a person can do to keep the party alive during this fight. The rewards are very well worth the time to do this optional side boss though.
Tantarian is very tough and takes a seat as one of the best challenges in FFIX, and maybe even FF history. Unfortunatly, his tedious battle makes it more of a headache even when you are doing it right, and FFIX’s steal system adds to some of the tediousness by having a really powerful piece of armor available that you have a 1/256 chance of getting. Insanity at its greatest level.
The original fiend of Earth, the first real boss of the first Final Fantasy game takes its spot on this list. As the warriors of light its your job to go around the world and fight the four elemental fiends (talk about themes that would forever repeat themselves ad infinitum… and be brilliant each time) in order to save the world from an unknown Chaos (haha I crack myself up).
What’s so unique about Lich? Lich is the elemental fiend of earth, an undead spellcaster, and the first challenging boss in Final Fantasy. For a typical party even, Lich proves to be one of the toughest challenges readily available. Lich can barrage the party with its magical attack of Blizzara which does large amounts of damage and can put them all too sleep as well. Not only that but Lich can Haste itself, which doubles the amount of physical attacks it performs when it does attack.
If that weren’t bad enough, in the final dungeon you’ll be facing Lich again, and this time he’s stronger. Unfortunately for Lich, its HP isn’t much higher than the original, and even though it can blast your party with Flare and its single kill Death, it just doesn’t stand up to its old self. Your battle hardened warriors of light make quick work of this old menace.
Lich was a good brick wall boss for the original Final Fantasy, and while Lich is a recurring enemy in the series, he is typically shafted into the normal enemy role, with the exception of Final Fantasy IX were he arguably makes an appearance as two different bosses including reprising his role as Earth Guardian.
I tell you what, this boss makes me want to commit violent acts to cranes. In Final Fantasy VII, Carry Armor is what I like to call a thrown in boss, just a boss when you need a boss to wrap up a dungeon, he has no special meaning to the plot, he’s not a character, hell you don’t even see it before you fight it. So why does he get to be on this list?
BECAUSE IT’S A PAIN IN THE ASS! Carry armor is like a late brick wall boss to tell you, “Okay now the game’s just going to cheat and kill you cause it can.” Carry Armor can pick up two party members, removing them from the fight until you break the arms carrying them. Not only that, but Carry Armor has a laser… A FREAKING LASER! And this laser ain’t a pushed pony. It can do nearly 3000 HP of damage if you aren’t behind a Wall spell. Not only that but it hits the whole party. This thing is the Optimus Prime of dock cranes, what crazy guy at Shin-Ra offered up the idea, we need a dock crane with a LASER!!, and then which even crazier guy said, “That sounds like a good idea?”
Anyways, for beating the Carry Armor you get to carry on and get your submarine which you need to get one of the Huge Materia. Carry Armor seems to have the community split on whether or not its actually a hard boss, and to me there’s no question. Carry Armor is probably the hardest non-story related boss I’ve ever fought. Just at a point in the game when you thought you’d gotten over losing, Carry Armor comes in and messes your day up.
Anyways, for being frustrating as hell, and meticulously designed, Carry Armor earns number 7. If he’d been an evil character chasing you throughout the storyline and finally cornering you there… well he wouldn’t have even made it on this list, his randomness is part of his charm.
Starting off the list is the ancient summoner, Lady Yunalesca. Lady Yunalesca was the first summoner to defeat the immortal serpent Sin who has continually plagued the world of Spira. After doing the Final Summoning Lady Yunalesca became an unsent (essentially a dead person whose soul has not been sent to the afterlife) and is the keeper of the final fayth for summoners who reach the end of the pilgrimage. She is the holder of a secret about the Final Summoning. As it happens, your party doesn’t like what they’re hearing. They refuse to go along with the summoning and Yunalesca decides to attack them for their refusal to participate.
Yunalesca is one hell of a boss. It’s also unexpected given that the game throws a very tough boss at you just before Yunalesca so you feel taken off your guard when Yunalesca fights you. Yunalesca has three forms and the first begins by countering ANY attack with the correct status effect to stop it. This form doesn’t last long however.
Yunalesca’s second form starts in and begins to use her signature move, Hellbiter. Hellbiter is a nasty little thing that does some damage and makes the entire party zombies. Zombification isn’t anything special, you’ve had to deal with it before and most likely you have several solutions to the problem. Yunalesca throws healing spells (which are like poison to zombies) and begins to wittle down the party.
Yunalesca’s third form is what earns her a spot on the list. As soon as she goes into the third form she casts the spell Mega Death. It’s a one hundred percent always hit move that causes instant death to all non-zombies. In other words, all that healing you just did to keep from dying in the second form earns you an instant death in the third form. If you can get past this cheap shot, you still have to worry about an occasional Hellbiter and more Mega Death. Very Cheap.
Still, Yunalesca isn’t anywhere near the greatest fight in FF history. She’s a late game tough boss, but she isn’t spectacular. Still due to her involvement in plot twists and cheap shot instant deaths she earns her spot on the list.
Seymour is one sick twisted fellow. He serves as the psychotic and unrelenting antagonist for most of Final Fantasy X. Seymour is essentially the equivalent of a very high ranked priest, his views of the world are regarded as guiding light and he is thought of highly. Hiding behind this act is a sinister character waiting for his chance. Seymour’s ultimate goal is to become Sin (a giant serpent mentioned in Yunalesca’s article). In order for this to happen he must get Yuna to use him as the Final Summoning so that he can destroy Spira and free people from existence.
The first fight comes during Yuna’s pilgrimage. Seymour has asked for Yuna’s hand in marriage in order to move his plans along. He takes Yuna into Macalania temple so that she can pray and receive her next Aeon. Tidus meanwhile (none of the party is invited to go with Yuna and Seymour) stumbles across a sphere from Seymour’s Father saying that Seymour killed him. This leads the party to quickly go into Macalania and stop Seymour from marrying Yuna.
The fight that proceeds is unexpectedly tough. Seymour appears with two Guado Guards. None of them look particularly tough. In fact that only thing that keeps you from completely slaughtering them is the fact that on the first turn the Guado Guards use protect on themselves, and Seymour uses Shell on himself. Whenever someone tries to physically attack Seymour the Guado Guards will jump in the way, and their protect status keeps them from taking any considerable damage. NOT ONLY THAT but they counter automatically by healing themselves for 1000 HP (out of a max of 2000).
You can stop their healing easily however, and once you do, it is easy to defeat them. Once their gone the battle seems like gold, Seymour is a soft target seeing as how he’s a simple mage. Unfortunately, when Seymour gets to half health he summons an Aeon far more powerful than any you’ve encountered. Anima can quickly make mince meat of your party, your only bet is by using Yuna’s Aeons. After Anima is dealt with, the battle proceeds smoothly. Unfortunatly upon beating Seymour he is quickly rushed away before a proper sending can take place, and the guado smash the sphere containing the evidence against him, making your efforts meaningless and your party is branded as traitors.
Due his dastardly deeds, and the fact that this was the first of three more very difficult battles against Seymour (this guy does not die for anything) he earns a memorable place in many players’ hearts.
Gilgamesh originally appeared as the right hand man of Exdeath the primary antagonist of Final Fantasy V. He has since appeared for a variety of reasons in several Final Fantasy games. Gilgamesh is the best mix of a serious swordsman and comic relief, his appearances in Final Fantasy V can leave you wondering just how powerful he can be. He is powerful.
In many appearances since, Gilgamesh has appeared as a summon, optional boss, and elite mark. He is typically an enemy that causes mild to severe distress and can be tough and funny all at the same time.
The only time I’ve had the good grace to challenge Gilgamesh is in his implementation of Final Fantasy I & II for the Game Boy Advance. In that title however he wasn’t very challenging, he was the first of several challenges in the Lifespring Grotto extra dungeon.
You can hardly take a foot in the Final Fantasy world without knowing of Gilgamesh though and he will always be remembered for humorous lines such as, “Enough expository banter! Now we fight like men, women, and women who dress like men! For Gilgamesh, its morphin’ time!”
Kuja, the evil genome from the planet Terra, primary antagonist throughout the game and brother to Zidane is the… wait… HE’S NOT EVEN THE FINAL BOSS??!! That’s right at the last second FFIX shafts the antagonist of the entire game out of the final boss spot. However, this second to last boss fight is a memorable one. Though it’s the second time you’ve exchanged blows with Kuja, this is the one where he really shines.
After destroying Terra with a single blast of Ultima, Kuja uses the Iifa Tree (a giant soul collecting machine) to create Memoria, the last dungeon of the game. Memoria serves as a reference mostly though, its very atmospheric and at the end of this memorable (lol) dungeon stands the most awesome of almost last bosses ever.
Trance Kuja has tons of HP, more than any boss you’ve fought so far (well, so long as you didn’t fight any optional bosses before fight Kuja), and he has a nasty array of tricks. Trance Kuja is one of the few monsters that use the move Flare Star, a move that damages the party based on their level, easily doing around 2000 damage at this point in the game. Kuja casts reflect on himself. He can heal himself with Curaga. Meanwhile he tosses Flare and Holy spells at the party, which both do lots of damage. After all this, when you do manage to defeat Kuja, he ends the battle by casting Ultima.
Through plot intervention, the game isn’t over luckily and you move on to the final boss of FF IX. Essentially though, Trance Kuja actually kills the main characters and you move on to some dues ex machine type god of death and destruction stuff ultimate antithesis… who cares.
Kuja was the bad guy, and he succeeds in his mission. He causes chaos and war and death throughout the game, he’s the cause of most of the main characters’ personal issues, and he single handedly kills them all. He is probably the most successful bad guy since Kefka.
If you hear an entire orchestra suddenly being playing the dark tune of “One-Winged Angel” in your head, then you know who I’m talking about. If you don’t have it playing in your head right now, you still know who I’m talking about. While most people are probably trying to puzzle over how Sephiroth ends up at number 3 on the list, it’s important to go through the background of the character’s.
Sephiroth is the star military man of Shin-Ra electric company’s military unit SOLDIER. At least he used to be until he went bat **** insane and slaughtered a whole village of people. Sephiroth was the idol of Cloud Strife when he went to join SOLDIER and he felt completely betrayed when Sephiroth murdered everyone in Nibelheim. Since then, Sephiroth has been dumped into the Lifestream, essentially the planet’s blood veins, popped up in the Northern Crater, orchestrated the reunion and achieved the Black Materia and summoned Meteor in a mad scheme to cause a wound strong enough to cause the planet to use the Lifestream to heal itself where Sephiroth will happily be waiting to absorb the Lifestream and proceed to fulfill what he believes to be Jenova’s plan to take over all the universe.
When you finally reach Sephiroth in the Northern Crater, you’ve gone through the entire game of Final Fantasy VII. This is the ultimate showdown with the man who killed Aerith, perpetrating the most well known twist in the history of Final Fantasy and gaming.
Sephiroth has the multi part form of Bizarro Sephiroth, and his angelic god like form of Safer Sephiroth. In all reality… Sephiroth isn’t all that hard. Even without the legendary Knights of the Round, all you really need is a party equipped with enemy skills to end the reign of the greatest SOLDIER to ever live. What’s really memorable about Sephiroth is the feeling of the battle. This is the culmination of what is arguably the best masterpiece ever made by Squaresoft, one of the best FFs of all time, one of the best RPGs of all time. The feeling is immense, as a player you are thoroughly sucked in and you want Sephiroth dead. So when you get to strike that final Omnislash against Sephiroth, you have some heart in it.
Sephiroth however, is not the greatest boss in FF history. That title belongs to another. And that other is…
I bet no one guessed this would be my choice. Chaos is the original, the final bad guy of Final Fantasy numero uno and the best Final Fantasy Boss of All Time.
Chaos is actually the very first boss of the game, the kingdom’s rogue knight Garland who kidnapped Princess Sara at the beginning of the game. When the Warriors of Light defeated Garland, he was contacted by the four fiends from two thousand years in the past, and told they would restore him so long as he sent them to the present time, thus causing the crisis that required the Four Warriors of Light to come and therefore be made to attack and kill present time Garland, thus… time loop ad infinitum.
When Garland is restored by the fiends he is given his own powers, and he becomes the ultimate fiend, Chaos. This twist that you get after having played the game to its climax here is well appreciated and one of the reasons Final Fantasy became so popular.
Chaos the boss? Oh yeah, I almost forgot. VERY DIFFICULT. He has the highest HP in the game a whopping 20,000 (the highest before that was 6,000), not only that but he can completely destroy the party very easily. He has access to the Firaga, Blizaga, Thundaga spells, and those are his weakest moves available! He has upgraded party hitting abilities, like Blaze, Tidal Wave, and Tornado which are like the upgraded versions of the –aga spells. He also has the deadly Quake, which is simply party wide instant death when it hits them… and it doesn’t miss often. He can also cast Flare which can easily do over 700 damage (max HP in the first FF is 999). Other than that he can cast Slowra which drops your amount of attacks, he Haste himself to make the most of his super high attack stat, and to top it off he can cast Curaja and heal himself for 9999 HP.
Chaos is easily the hardest enemy in the base version of the game, and even in updated versions with extra super bosses Chaos still remains one of the hardest enemies in the game.
Between his excellent back story, his tough boss fight, his landmark role as the first and last boss of the first of what would eventually be an industry wide phenomenon and one of the greatest game series of all time, Chaos was a welcome reward after Final Fantasy, and still retains that status today as one of the greatest FF bosses of all time.
There have been many memorable encounters in Final Fantasy, I’ve done my best to pick out the best ones that I’ve been through, unfortunately, I haven’t played every Final Fantasy game out there (hell I haven’t even played all of the main series). Inevitably, someone is going to be disappointed that I didn’t pick their favorite boss to put on this list. Perhaps I’m missing out on the greatest FF boss in history.
I’ve written this to the best of my ability and I have tried to pick the highest quality fights that have been made in the FF history. Final Fantasy is a gaming giant, you aren’t a gamer without knowing Final Fantasy, and you don’t know Final Fantasy without at least knowing Final Fantasy 7. It is a wonderful series, and these are the wonderful experiences that have come out of it.
List by Flare_Dragon123 (06/25/2010)
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