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The final boss is such a classic paradigm of gaming that we now accept nothing less than perfection. A decent challenge, fair AI and some form of huge dynamic crescendo are required these days to really make us feel like we’re conquering the final hurdle of game. It’s a lot to ask for sometimes, and there are many instances of other sub-bosses and standard enemies being more exciting and memorable than their larger counterparts. Here are the top ten instances of normal enemies eclipsing the final boss of their respective games. Some spoilers may ensue.
10. Metal Slime – Dragon Quest series
The Metal Slime is the tease of the Dragon Quest universe. Appearing at random intervals throughout the game, the Metal Slime offers huge XP rewards if slain. The catch, then, is that they run away the moment they get the chance and are able to effortlessly dodge most of your attacks regardless of your character’s agility. The slime is already a necessary component of the Dragon Quest canon, and this metal variant is an even more memorable recurring element of the series due to its odd behaviour and desirability.
9. Vyers – Disagea: Afternoon of Darkness
Any game that is properly self aware deserves respect, and few games get this kind of kudos quite as much as Disgaea. Nippon-Ichi’s now legendary cult SRPG started with a bang, forcing players to start their journey to Netherworld triumph by taking out the aptly named “mid-boss.” Though his real name of Vyers is disclosed, the jokes about his lowly beginning boss status never get old.
8. Birdo – Super Mario Bros. 2
As classic a villain as Bowser is, how can he possibly trump a transsexual dodo? If Super Mario Bros. 2’s manual is anything to go by, Birdo is far too confused and disturbing to be a part of the Mario universe, and it is this paradox that makes him/her so compelling. Even s/he looks pretty weird, making it a memorable first impression for all. Taking on a gender confused prehistoric oddity really puts those fights with Bowser in perspective.