Top Five Hardest RPG Bosses of All Time

RPG Bosses can be notoriously difficult, so coming up with five of the hardest was a bit of a task. I have no doubts whatsoever that you'll all have your own opinions about who the toughest RPG bosses of all time are and you may well disagree with my choices, that being said, we welcome all constructive feedback and your own suggestions of badd-ass RPG bosses in the comments section below.

5) Maximilian from Valkyria Chronicles

The final fight at the end of Valkyria Chronicles caused me more frustration than any other battle in any tactics RPG. It's almost impossible to beat Maximilian on the first attempt because you aren't sure what to expect (unless you've read a guide or something). Most people have a certain crew of characters and soldier types they used in every battle throughout the game. Relying on your usual squad and tactics will lead to you getting obliterated by Maximilian.

Maximilian can not only one-hit any of your soldiers, his beam weapon can actually go through them and damage other characters behind them. He's very dangerous, and also very hard to damage.

When the battle begins, Maximilian is being protected by several energy towers empowering him which you first have to disable in order to damage him at all. There are two towers close to where your party begins which are easy enough to take out, but there are also two towers on the complete opposite side of the map. Unless you have some snipers in your group it can be extremely difficult to move past Maximilian to hit those towers. Worse yet, there's also two armored towers in the middle that you need explosives to take town, such as using Lancers or the Edelweiss. Then, once the towers are disabled you need to be able to maneuver units behind Maximilian, empower them with some orders, and unload all the damage you can.

The energy towers reactivate so they have to be constantly taken down and to make matters worse Maximilian heals, too. There's a certain strategy you need to follow with a certain composition of soldiers you need to have. What makes this battle so hard is that it's completely different from everything else you've done in the game thus far. Even knowing what you have to do, it's still tough to accomplish. Maximilian was definitely a worthy final boss but also one that was more frustrating than fun to fight.

4) Faust from The Legend of Dragoon

Faust is an optional boss from The Legend of Dragoon. In order to actually engage him, you have to find every single Stardust hidden in the game which is quite the task in of itself since many are fairly easy to miss. Just unlocking this fight is hard enough but Faust is no pushover when it comes to fighting either.

Faust is an ancient Wingly wizard that relies on powerful magic. He uses all element types so you won't be able to rely on any one type of stone accessory or DG armor to save you. He can also hit the entire party with maxed out magic spells and the damage can start adding up surprisingly quickly. A lot of RPG players tend to go all-out attack mode on bosses but this strategy will not work on Faust. You need to defend and keep your party healed up or you risk simply losing everybody to one of his “ultimate” spells that he automatically casts when he falls below certain levels of health. In fact, Faust starts the battle off by casting his ultimate fire spell which will deal thousands of damage to everybody, even characters in guard. He usually follows this up with another maxed out magic spell that hits everybody so right off the bat all your characters will be almost dead. What a great way to start things off, eh?

To make matters worse, you have to rely on physical attacks only because Faust also has a technique called “Elemental Counter” where he will counter attack any magic damage dealt to him with a spell of the same element. Faust already deals enough damage as it is so you don't want to give him extra spell casts by trigger this counter.

The key to winning this fight is to survive his ultimate attacks and also have a little luck in hoping he will mistakenly cast elemental spells on characters whose armor or equipped accessory will negate or reduce that damage. Having Meru is also pretty much a must in this battle since her Rainbow Breath healing spell is invaluable for fully healing your party.

3) Ruby / Emerald Weapon from Final Fantasy VII

I couldn't decide on which battle was tougher and I wanted to restrict entries on this list to one per title so Ruby and Emerald will both have to share the third spot. Ruby and Emerald Weapon are both optional bosses in Final Fantasy VII and easily the hardest battles from that game. These bosses have massive amounts of hit points and can dish out punishment like nobody else. Both bosses also require unique strategies to overcome.

First, let's discuss the battle with Ruby Weapon. Ruby has the ability to literally sweep characters completely out of the fight called Whirlsand. Ruby is also immune to damage unless its tentacles are exposed but it will only expose said tentacles when you have one just character alive. Unless you somehow already knew this going in, you're going to be in for quite the surprise when your damage keeps coming up zeroes and people start getting swept away!

There are a few tricks needed to beat Ruby Weapon such as intentionally entering the battle with only one character alive and then reviving the others once Ruby's tentacles come out to play. Another method is utilizing the Lucky 7's trick to repeatedly deal 7,777 defense-ignoring damage. Whichever strategy you decide to use, it will quickly become clear that your regular battle strategy will never work in beating Ruby. Like many other bosses on this list, being out of your element is what makes this fight so difficult. Ruby also counters Knights of the Round by casting Ultima and has 800,000 HP so prepare yourself for a long battle.

Emerald Weapon also requires a great deal of adaptability. Emerald has a technique called Aire Tam which will deal 1,111 damage multiplied by the number of materia equipped to each character. This means you need to unequip all non-essential materia to reduce this damage otherwise you risk simply having 9,999 dealt to everybody and having your party killed off in one attack. Considering Emerald has one million HP, it's also advisable to have the Underwater materia to remove the 20 minute time limit on the battle. 20 minutes may seem like awhile but you'll need more time than that, especially with all the time each Knights of the Round summon takes up.

Once you are able to work around Aire Tam and the battle's time limit, Emerald is a little easier to beat than Ruby Weapon and you can spam Knights of the Round with W-Summon and Mime. Then just keep your party healed up and you'll eventually win.

Admittedly, Ruby and Emerald Weapon were a lot harder back in the day when strategy guides giving a step-by-step walkthrough of exactly how to beat them weren't so readily accessible online as they are today. You actually had to figure out the stuff mentioned above on your own or else you'd never beat them. Ruby and Emerald Weapon are some of the most notorious RPG bosses of all time.

One has to wonder, if these bosses were harder than the Sephiroth fight at the end of the game then that would seem to imply they are more powerful than Sephiroth. So why didn't they just go destroy him if they were legendary protectors of the planet he was going to destroy? Fail.

2) Killalon from Lost Odyssey

Killalon is found at the bottom of the “Seeker of the Deep!” DLC dungeon in Lost Odyssey. Killalon is a giant mech driven by a Kelolon mad scientist named Professor K. Unlike the Faust battle in The Legend of Dragoon where you need to play smart and defensively, you the only way to beat Killalon is by swinging for the fences Barry Bonds style. If you try to draw out the battle, you'll always lose.

First of all, Killalon has over 100,000 HP which is a lot in Lost Odyssey. He also casts Regenerus in his first turn which heals him for a whopping 20,400 for every turn after that. Like all of the superbosses on this list, Killalon has several spells that can end your party in the blink of an eye like Kelo-timate Hit and Annihilation. Unless you go all-out on him from the get-go, he will eventually wear you down until there's no way to come back.

The strategy for defeating Killalon is kind of like the strategy for beating Ruby Weapon in Final Fantasy VII. Against Ruby, you can enter the battle with two characters already dead in order to get Ruby to expose his tentacles and become vulnerable to damage. Against Killalon, you can enter the battle with your characters already near death then spam double-casted Reversa's. Since the spell inflicts damage based on your missing HP it gets around his high defense. This allows you to get in some massive damage before Killalon casts Reflect. Once Reflect goes up, which he always casts on his second turn, your Reversa's and Divides (which deals damage based on your opponent's HP and also ignores defense) will just get shot back at you, killing a party member. Reflect wears off after three spells but that's three characters going down. Having techniques like Lucky 0 Magic Damage can help you live through it with minimal casualties.

The point here is that the strategy you used throughout the game to beat other bosses will not work against the mighty Killalon. Fighting Killalon may initially seem hopeless but that makes it all the more satisfying when you do beat him. Not only do you have to go into battle with a strategy in your head, you also need a little bit of luck on your side as well to bring this guy down. Unlike many other epic boss battles, the fight against Killalon will typically be either won or lost within the first three turns or so.

1) Ozma from Final Fantasy IX

Ozma is an optional boss in Final Fantasy IX that can be encountered in the Chocobo's Air Garden of all places. Often referred to as a small spinning planet of pure evil, Ozma is by far the hardest boss in the game and, in my opinion, the hardest boss to beat in any RPG. This is one battle where even if you know exactly what to do and even if you make no mistakes, you can still lose.

Ozma has a variety of devastating attacks at its disposal such as Meteor and Curse. Curse will deal non-elemental damage to all party members while also inflicting Confuse, Poison, Slow, Mini, and Darkness on them all. This can totally screw up all of your battle plans as you scramble to recover from this concoction of status ailments. Meteor is even worse since it inflicts a random amount of damage to all party members with the potential of dealing 9,999 to everybody. That means game over. Simply put, you don't want Ozma to cast Meteor.

One helpful strategy to fighting Ozma to entice it to cast its weaker abilities like Level 5 Death and Level 4 Holy. It will only cast these if you have a character whose level is a multiple of 5 or 4 respectively. It's also possible to blind Ozma which will get it to cast Esuna on itself – basically wasting a turn that otherwise could have been spent wrecking you.

Like the other bosses on this list, Ozma represents a unique challenge compared to other bosses found in Final Fantasy IX. According to the Final Fantasy Wikia:

“Ozma has a unique battle script; when Ozma's ATB bar is filling up, i.e. when it is not in the middle of casting an ability, any command the party targets at Ozma will cause its ATB bar to immediately fill up, and Ozma will execute its turn before the player's commands.”

Ozma is also smart enough that it will not waste a turn by casting spells your characters will absorb or status ailments that your characters are immune to (though if your characters merely can nullify damage and not absorb it – Ozma will still cast those elemental spells). As mentioned above you want to try to entice Ozma into using as many spells other than Meteor as possible because Meteor has the possibility of giving you an auto-game over. Level 5 Death may sound pretty scary but it is way better to have one character auto-killed than everybody at once!

Ozma is incredibly tough and happens to have one of the highest hit point stats of any boss in the game with over 55,000. He also sometimes casts Curaga as a counterattack to taking damage which can make his health seem even higher.

If you are able to defeat Ozma, do not hesitate to brag about it. You are truly a Final Fantasy master.
Posted: 14th Apr 2015 by Alexander Hinkley