Since over the past few weeks, I’ve covered some of the most epic, difficult, and unexpected boss fights in video game history, I figured why not switch things up a little bit this time and cover a list of boss fights that don’t require any extensive training, skill, or insight to take down?
This week, I’m going to highlight my top 5 picks for boss fights that, one way or another, posed almost no challenge at all to players, leaving them scratching their heads and wondering, “wait, that’s really all there is to it,” as the video game they were playing resumed.
Keep reading to see which fights were picked for this week’s list!
1. King Bob-omb — Super Mario 64
Ah, Super Mario 64: my five-year-old self’s introduction into what would inevitably become a lifelong hobby (read: “obsession”) with video games. Kicking off this week’s list is King Bob-omb, the self-proclaimed king of the bomb-omb enemies frequently encountered throughout Nintendo’s legendary Mario series.
Appearing at the literal peak of Super Mario 64’s first level, Bob-omb Battlefield, King Bob-omb is an initially imposing figure gazing out over the polygonic lands of his kingdom as our favorite red plumber reaches him. After a brief dialogue with the King, the fight begins with the oversized explosive monarch struggling to match Mario step-for-step, while players controlling Mario simply have to run behind the King, press the “A” button to pick him up, and then press the button again to chuck the boss bomb a few feet into the ground.
And…that’s about it. Do this two more times, and the fight is won! Though King Bob-omb does step his game up in the final round, becoming more difficult to get behind, this is easily overcome by running literal circles around him and quickly switching directions to distract him.
2. Old King Coal — Banjo-Tooie
Following the success of Rareware’s hit Nintendo 64 hit platformer Banjo-Kazooie, its follow-up sequel (aptly named Banjo-Tooie) hit shelves on Thanksgiving weekend of 2000 and followed almost exactly the same formula that led its predecessor to receive international acclaim and renown that persists to this day.
Those who pick up either title, but especially “Tooie,” will almost immediately notice the plethora of puns and pop culture references ripe within the game’s content. The boss of Tooie’s second level, Glitter Gulch Mine, was no exception. Upon entering the final area of the level within the Mine’s train engine, players are met with an animated personified pile of coal who, despite his name, is not a merry old soul.
OKC wastes no time taunting the player about how many times he plans to squash them under the “merry old sole” of his feet, but so long as players don’t move off of the platform they’re placed on at the fight’s start, they never have to worry about being stepped on. Or hit. Or, really, damaged in any conceivable way. Instead, they simply have to arm themselves with Kazooie’s egg cannon and start blasting away like they’re Danny DeVito. After taking enough damage, OKC’s appendages start breaking away one by one until he’s reduced to nothing more than a useless pile of ash.
3. King Dodongo — The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Ok, I promise that this is the last entry on this list with an enemy who has the title “King” in their name.
Like the previous entry in this list, King Dodongo is the boss of the second level in its game. Unlike our previous entry, however, this one doesn’t possess the capacity for language in order to proclaim itself king, nor is the game it’s found in routinely hailed as the best game of all time.
After delving through the mountainous halls of the Dodongo Caverns in Ocarina of Time, players will find themselves plunged into a subterranean hovel filled with lava and one King Dodongo. Link’s sword and slingshot have no power over him. In fact, none of your weapons will do any damage to his exterior. But KD does have one unique weakness: his mouth.
Despite being nearly as wide as the path that players will find themselves stranded on for the fight, KD’s attacks are easy to dodge. When the big baddie rears his head up and starts drawing in a huge breath, that’s when players have an opening to chuck one of Link’s bombs (or a nearby bomb flower) into the dinosaur’s mouth, leaving him open to attack from Link’s sword. Do this a handful of times and the fight will be won in your favor, cementing KD as perhaps the least intimidating dinosaur enemy in video game history.
4. Pinwheel — Dark Souls
“But, Sam,” I can hear you say, “I thought this list was on the easiest boss fights in games? Why is there an entry from Dark Souls on here?”
Well, dear anonymous reader, that’s because if you haven’t played through Dark Souls to the point where you reach the dreaded Tomb of Giants, then you also haven’t experienced the expert-level trolling that came immediately before it in the form of the three-headed necromancer Pinwheel, the final boss of the game’s Catacombs section.
Yes, Dark Souls is a game that has received international acclaim and criticism alike for its brutal, soul-crushing difficulty. But Pinwheel? Well…not so much. In stark contrast to quite literally—and I cannot stress this enough—every other enemy in the game, calling this boss and the fight against him a “pushover” is a gross understatement. By the time most players reach Pinwheel, their in-game character is at a high enough level where most attacks made to him won’t just chip away part of his health bar, they’ll completely obliterate it.
The only catch is that Pinwheel will regularly create clone copies of himself that vanish when hit. Get him to 30% health and he’ll summon 8 copies simultaneously, but with enough points put into your in-game character’s primary stat (STR, DEX, INT, or FTH), 30% of his health can be taken out in 1 or 2 strikes. If that isn’t enough to convince you, virtually every piece of writing about Pinwheel found online will include a moniker similar to “easiest fight in the game.”
5. Mysterio — Spider-Man 2
For those who weren’t able to play Treyarch’s 2004 hit Spider-Man 2 video game (based on the movie of the same title starring Toby Maguire), you missed out—I mean, really missed out. At its time, this game was a marvel (pun fully intended) of the potentials for what the superhero gaming franchise could become, allowing players to web swing around a fully-mapped New York City as our favorite wall-crawler to chase down bad guys, fight off famous villains, and even deliver pizzas in timed mini-games.
Upon the menagerie of evil-doers encountered in the game is master illusionist Mysterio, who plagues Spider-Man at various points throughout the game’s story. While most of these encounters boil down to little more than solving a series of puzzles and overcoming his illusions, the final fight against Mysterio takes place when the dome-headed madman decides to do something he’s never done before: rob a convenience store in person.
When the “fight” begins, Mysterio laughs maniacally as he swells his health bar several times over, causing players to expect an all-out epic brawl against him. But when players regain control of Spider-Man and initiate combat, they’ll find that all it takes is one single punch to knock the insane illusionist out before the boys in blue show up to arrest him.