Never, ever judge a book by its cover.
There are some bosses in video games who just look threatening, who give off an aura of danger the moment you lay your eyes on them. But then there are some that you look at and go, “eh, this’ll be easy”. Maybe the character you’re playing as is just too powerful, or has become too powerful, and you find it hard to believe that they’ll lose to this “boss”. Maybe the boss standing in front of you has been built up in context of the narrative as someone you’re not supposed to think much of. Or maybe, you just judge a book by its cover, and the boss simply looks unassuming. Sometimes, these assumptions are correct- but sometimes, they aren’t. In this feature, we’re going to take a look at fifteen bosses in video games that, for some reason or another, we thought would be absolute cakewalks, but turned out to be truly formidable foes.
Note: There are spoilers ahead for every game we talk about. If you see us beginning to talk about a game you don’t want spoiled, skip ahead to the next entry.
THE STRANGER (GOD OF WAR)
Kratos is a man who’s killed everything that can be killed. He’s killed hydras and krakens and gigantic minotaurs, he’s killed the Colossus of Rhodes and the mythical Medusa. He’s killed the likes of Zeus, Ares, and Poseidon in their ethereal forms. Flipping hell, he even killed Cronos, a character so big, the screen could literally not fit his entire body, and Kratos looked like little more than a pixel in comparison. There isn’t much – or anything – that you look at and think to yourself, “maybe Kratos will have trouble killing this thing/person”. Especially not when, at the beginning of God of War (2018), this lanky dude with tattoos walks up to Kratos’ front door, and then proceeds to hurl insults at him, provoke him, hit him, threaten him and his son. All the while, you’re thinking, “this dude is asking for trouble. Kratos is going to turn him inside out and wear him like a coat”. And then the Stranger goes full Super Saiyan, and turns out to be more than just a thorn in Kratos’ side.