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Most Interesting RPG Battles


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What are the most interesting battles you can think of from a CRPG? I'm not looking for battles with eye candy, or battles of epic proportions; I'm looking for battles that are unusual, deeply dynamic, and that demand scintillating tactics. I'm not looking for battles with unusual twists or "tricks" -- minddueling Garzahd doesn't count, and neither does using Pray over and over until the holder of the SNES controller defeats Giygas. On the other hand, I'm sure there are some BoX scenarios that qualify here -- enlighten me, please!

 

What AM I looking for? Here are some of the battles that came to mind for me.

 

1) Malroth -- Dragon Warrior II. The last battle. Malroth, unlike most final bosses, has about the same HP total as the most physically robust PC. However, he gets two attacks per turn and he can cast the Healall spell -- and he has unlimited MP. So the player has to survive his attacks while dealing 250 damage before he restores his HP, not an easy task. In fact, pretty much the only way to accomplish it is to lay down a thick cloud of buffs and debuffs. The player's healing resources are limited, so the choice of when to heal and when to progress with the buffs is a critical one. Unorthodox equipment choices (two Falcon Swords and two Water Flying Clothes) are an asset. Even at the maximum levels achievable, this fight is challenging.

 

2) Level 99 Slime -- Lufia II. The slime does nothing, but you only have 3 rounds to kill it, and its HP total is massive -- requiring nothing less than utmost efficiency in resource use.

 

3) Matala -- Geneforge 4. I think the number of threads concerning this fight speak for themselves.

 

I'm not sure my examples are perfect examples. Certainly some of you may have different opinions. What CRPG battles did you find most interesting -- most dynamic and most tactically demanding?

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If I understand what you are asking properly, the Pairbond Constructs in the G5 challenge area would be my choice. I found them the hardest enemy in the game.

 

 

I haven't played many BoA scenarios, but I found the battles in DwtD interesting, particularly the eighteen fights against Vakhos, and the Lich secret boss in the SE corner of the Spectral Warrens.

 

For resource management, try playing Nethack of Rogue- they will teach you to scrimp and save like no other.

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I find Abbadon from Guild Wars: Nightfal, to be an interesting fight.

 

You have to destroy the monoliths around his two arms to lock him back in place, which is the only way to get a chance to defeat him. And the whole time, Abbadon himself is attacking you with a variety of skills, including one that knocks everyone in your party down inflicking a nice chunk of your life and inflicting the daze condition (which sucks).

 

Also, if everyone dances in front of him, he'll do a little dance and then insta kill you all with a message saying "You got served".

 

Yes, it's an MMO, but it's completely unlike most of the other MMO's.

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Originally Posted By: Master1
I'm not familiar with the Matala fight, and I can't remember any reference to it in the Geneforge forums. Is it from Avernum? Can you post a link to a thread?

The default search options suck. You have to mess with them a bit to get good results. That said, here's one thread.

Dikiyoba.
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Originally Posted By: Dikiyoba
Originally Posted By: Master1
I'm not familiar with the Matala fight, and I can't remember any reference to it in the Geneforge forums. Is it from Avernum? Can you post a link to a thread?

The default search options suck. You have to mess with them a bit to get good results. That said, here's one thread.

Dikiyoba.


More evidence of my need to go back and replay the series.
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In E3, refusing to pay the troglos that guard that pass by Emergence was pretty fun back in the day...took a lot of thought if you were a low-level party.

 

Also, the Ruined Tower dungeon was fun too. I remember keeping a dedicated party saved at day 190 (or whatever it was, it's been awhile) because the demo editor couldn't change the day.

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Originally Posted By: ΛΞΨ
In E3, refusing to pay the troglos that guard that pass by Emergence was pretty fun back in the day...took a lot of thought if you were a low-level party.

Also, the Ruined Tower dungeon was fun too. I remember keeping a dedicated party saved at day 190 (or whatever it was, it's been awhile) because the demo editor couldn't change the day.


The trogol battle in front of their fortress in E3 was cool too. It seemed to me that the whole screen was filled with them. I don't remember it being particularly challenging, but it was an extremely large battle.
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The barrier tunnel between the troglos and giants would be interesting if it were harder. I think the idea is that you have to flee from vastly superior forces and possibly a doomguard. In actuality you can crush everyone there.

 

—Alorael, who is now realizing that most fun boss fights are not RPG boss fights. He'll also go ahead and plug Cave Story, which manages to make just about every boss fun and interesting.

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Originally Posted By: mMessenger mMangler
The barrier tunnel between the troglos and giants would be interesting if it were harder. I think the idea is that you have to flee from vastly superior forces and possibly a doomguard. In actuality you can crush everyone there.

—Alorael, who is now realizing that most fun boss fights are not RPG boss fights. He'll also go ahead and plug Cave Story, which manages to make just about every boss fun and interesting.


This. I agree with all of this.
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Fighting the Doomguards or Unstable Mass in A5 with a low-level singleton was fun. There would be literally hundreds of them on scree, but only nine could attack, with a low chance to hit, and they kept splitting so fast that they only had one health. I really liked that, it was difficult.

 

In other A5 singleton news, Master of the Pit is the hardest boss in the game by a long shot, just because you can't have your priest run the circumference of the arena, purging your party, and have to keep leaving the fight, giving him time to regenerate. I burned through about four Invulnerability elixirs before I beat him.

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Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor is more of a strategy-RPG than a traditional RPG, but I'm going to talk about it anyway. It's actually a hybrid of the two, a bit like Bahamut Lagoon: there's a battle map that you move around on, but you move in squads consisting of one human character and two summoned monsters, and engaging an enemy results in one or two rounds of RPG-style combat before you return to the battle map. Anyway, the reason I'm going to talk about it is because its optional superboss is a doozy, and it very specifically fits all of your requirements. This is going to be a long post because explaining why this is such a good boss requires explaining how the game mechanics work, since beating the boss requires a thorough understanding of pretty much all of them.

 

The first form is simple enough: it has a 50% resistance to all physical and elemental attacks, and uses physical, fire and ice attacks. The game has an equippable-skill mechanic: each skill you learn can be equipped on one, and only one, of your human characters at any given time, and there are various ways to get skills onto your monstrous allies, although they can only have a limited number of them. Skills include active skills that do damage or heal, and passive skills that boost your resistances or give you other bonuses in combat, allowing you to customise your party members' abilities. So if you use a squad that resists most of the boss's attacks, and everyone either has good non-elemental magic or a skill that makes physical attacks ignore resistances, the first form isn't too much trouble (at least, it shouldn't be if you're at a high enough level to stand a chance against this boss in the first place).

 

However, when you attack the first form, it summons powerful enemies on the other side of the battle map which start coming toward you, so it's a good idea to dispatch it quickly even though it's not a huge threat. The trouble is, if you pull out all the stops and burn too many of your resources on beating the first form quickly, you're going to get in big trouble on the next two forms. Having a squad set up with high-level physical attack skills is the best way to do a lot of damage quickly without using up too many resources, but as we'll see, that has its own drawbacks later on.

 

Anyway, once the first form's HP gets low enough, it changes to the second form. Not only does it summon a bunch more monsters on the other side of the battle map, it's now started a timer that will mean your inevitable death if the battle drags on too long. Every round, the boss uses a spell that hits every character on the map for heavy non-elemental damage, and the damage increases every time it uses it. Eventually it becomes impossible to survive.

 

When attacked, the second form will retaliate with devastatingly powerful physical attacks and occasionally with non-elemental magic. The best strategy is probably to use a squad with skills that reflect physical attacks back onto the user, and hope that it doesn't use magic.

 

Once the second form is defeated, the third form appears, and it's the worst by far. It still keeps spamming that attack that hits the whole map for increasing damage, and it now reflects all physical attacks, so if you set up a physical squad for the first two forms, they're now almost useless except as healers for your other squads. It's also gained some other new skills: if attacked, it can retaliate with a powerful multi-target lightning attack, or an attack that drains HP and MP from one target -- which is a problem, since running out of MP means you can't really do anything to hurt it any more.

 

Defeating the third form requires that you have at least one or two squads of characters with access to heavy-duty non-elemental magic, immunity to electrical damage (and preferably the ability to absorb it), and some way of restoring MP during the battle (there are a few skills that can do this, but most of them are tied to specific allies who have their own benefits and drawbacks). By the time you get to the third form, some of the enemies summoned by earlier forms will be starting to reach you, so you also have to decide between ignoring them and letting them attack you, or taking a turn to kill them and letting the boss ramp up its damage further.

 

Getting through the entire battle requires not only that you select powerful squads with appropriate offensive and defensive skills for every stage of the battle, but that you make excellent tactical and strategic decisions to manage a variety of resources. Time, HP and MP are all in short supply, and nearly everything you do involves tradeoffs between them.

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Try a modded Oni level. I don;t know if you;re familiar with Oni, it's just about the only third person martial arts rpg I've ever found fun.

The game in itself is fairly easy, but the mods you can get off the internet... like five times more enemies - thus five bosses instead of one - spice things up a bit.

The final fight is highly tactical, you are fighting a mutant twice your height, who could kill you in two hits, but some of his attacks miss you because he's so tall. Avoiding the blows is easy with one enemy, but bring it up to five and you;re in the one of the most intense gaming experiences of your life wink

 

Also, The Butcher and Diablo on hardest difficulty in Diablo 1 were pretty amusing.

 

 

edit: Not actually sure if you could classify Oni as an RPG, actually...

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Fun, yes. Interesting? It didn't seem like an especially different fight. You can use a few nifty tricks, which isn't the point of the thread, or you can just pour damage on him and heal yourself judiciously.

 

—Alorael, who has one more interesting fight, this time one that would be more interesting in a more challenging game. The last fight of Chrono Trigger involves a rather minor enemy you must kill and a more dangerous central one you can happily ignore as long as you don't get overwhelmed by its attacks. CT lets you either kill the deadly enemy repeatedly and still have damage left over for your real target or just soak up the damage from the deadly enemy as you concentrate on the other one. With more difficult balance, though, it could another interesting time management fight.

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In the Game Boy Advance game Golden Sun: The Lost Age there were a few optional bosses that had interesting abilities. One was immune to Psynergy (basically magic) which made several strategies useless, but he was still rather easy to defeat. Another could use Djinn Summon spells (your most powerful attacks) against you which made preparing for those summons useless because he would use them first, but he was not to difficult either.

 

This last boss is arguably the hardest boss in the game. the star magician. It has a large amount of hit points, can use powerful spells, and can summon allies called balls. It can have four on the field at a time, and they come in four types. Anger Balls, which use normal attacks, weak magic, and a powerful self-destruct attack; Guardian Balls, which cast a protective aura which reduces all damage done that round to 10% (frustrating when a 1000 damage attack only does 100 damage and you won't be able to use it again for 4 or 5 turns); Thunder Balls, which attack with medium strength electric attacks; and Recovery balls, which can restore 1000 hit points (no easy feat to deal that much damage) to the Star Magician. You basically had to balance out to whom and how you inflicted damage. Sometimes it was more beneficial to allow the Thunder Balls to live because they took up a slot that could be filled with a more obnoxious ball.

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I think Kingdom hearts was my favorite for this. There was an optional boss in the Aladin world after you had completed the game. It starts off by taking your magic away including summons/healing. To get your magic back you need to destroy a glowing ball on each arm. To even attack you must first dodge uncounterable flying spinnig attacks the boss performs. Once the boss has landed you have very little time to run over to it and attack before it starts spinning again.

 

Once you have managed to destroy the glowing balls the boss falls down and you can finally do damage to it. However most of this time is spent healing yourself and casting sheilds. Possible summoning tinkerbell for constant healing during magic downtimes.

 

The the boss will wake up after a set amount of time and will do more attacks. So you have less time to destroy the glowing balls on each arm to render it immobile. This prosses repeats and getting harder and harder as you must fight without magic so all your tactic used in the game beforehand is now usless.

 

This fight is extreamly hard and your Allies are pretty much always taken out by the bosses spinnig attacks so most of the time it is a solo fight. Very time demanding and you must utalise every combo, special and normal hit you have to win.

 

There was a harder boss but it was pretty much a straight foward fight with dodging some unique attacks.

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Fun, yes. Interesting? It didn't seem like an especially different fight. You can use a few nifty tricks, which isn't the point of the thread, or you can just pour damage on him and heal yourself judiciously.

 

The reason I thought it was interesting was the setting and how the game made it feel as though he was this amazingly powerful guy when in fact he wasn't.

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Star Wars Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith. The last fight between Mara Jade and Kyle Katarn was very interesting. You play as Mara Jade, using the force light saber and brain to get through puzzles, traps and bad guys.

 

Most problems in the game can be fixed with a light saber, but when you fight Kyle he just never dies. He is just so good with the light saber that he smokes you and keeps you on the defensive for the fight.

 

This makes for impressive sword play and use of the force to stay alive but in the end he will kill you. The only way to beat him is to turn off your light saber and let him strike you down.

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