Just die already: Longest boss fights in video games

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Have you ever encountered a boss and just thought halfway through; "would you die already!?" Surely I'm not the only one.

Boss battles are an integral part of gameplay and video games as a whole. They help push stories along, as well as test your skill level and ability as a gamer,. But even then, there are times where you find yourself asking "why?"

Sometimes boss battles are too easy, and merely an insult to the intellect and skill of seasoned gamers. But other times they're nearly impossible and ridiculously long. Luckily this isn't a habit in games, but when it does happen it is worth mentioning.

Keep reading for 8 of the longest boss battles gamers have faced in the last several years. 

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Yiazmat

Final Fantasy XII

Final Fantasy is known for creative and sometimes ridiculous bosses, so it should come as no surprise that the series features some rather long-winded boss battles. 

Yiazmat from the twelfth game is one of the most recent of these famously long fights. This bad boy has an HP that is over 50 million -- sorry, not even a Vegeta 9000 joke can touch this. Out of all the bosses to grace the franchise, Yiazmat gets honorable mention because he holds the record for the most health out of any of the bosses - now that's serious. 

Thanks to his out-of-this-world HP, the ability to administer sudden death hits and moves that petrify your character, Yiazmat takes gamers and average of 2-4 hours to defeat. 

The End

Metal Gear Solid 3

Less of a battle and more of a test of endurance and skill, some might call facing The End boring. But either way, it is long.

This not-so-real battle requires you to tap into your stealth ability to face off against The Boss's mentor and world's greatest sniper in something of a snipe-off. But be careful - one wrong move can send you right back to the beginning. That's why this fight winds up being so long. It requires precision and patience, and if you don't have it, you're likely to end the fight early via rage quitting. But if you take your time, you're sure to get the job done within an hour or two. 

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Absolute Virtue

Final Fantasy XI

Absolute Virtue? More like Absolute Horror! As I have stated before, Final Fantasy bosses are no joke, especially when they start causing players to vomit and even faint because they're that hard. 

There's only 24 hours in a day, but with a lot of persistence and strategy, a group of 18 people managed to defeat this nightmare in 18 hours. Absolute Virtue holds a video game record for being the single longest enemy that doesn't have any change in form. 

The Caranthir

The Witcher 3

If you haven't got this far in The Witcher 3, I won't spoil it for you but I will say you are in for a long one. 

The Caranthir may not be the longest boss fight in video game history, but it is certainly one of the longest in the latest The Witcher installment. The good news, however, is that once you disband The Caranthir, you are just about done with the game. 

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Melbu Frahma

The Legend of Dragoon

After several - and I mean several - hours of gameplay, you don't know how happy I was to finally get to the fourth disk of The Legend of Dragoon. That is, until Melbu Frahma dashed all my hopes of ever finishing the game. 

I did it though. Granted not before turning the game off several times, because it just wasn't fair. Frahma has to be one of the most staged bosses in gaming history. He warps through the ages of creation specific to the Legend of Dragoon history, each stage having you praying between combos that this is the last one. 

Much like Yiazmat, the fight against Melbu Frahma leaves you susceptible to instant kills and stuns, thanks to the several Virages that you face in various forms throughout the entire game. Still to this day, I shake my fist at this battle.

Penance

Final Fantasy X

Honestly, this whole list could have been Final Fantasy monsters but, to keep interesting and fair to other franchises with despicably long battles, I couldn't possibly have done that. 

If you've never fought Penance, you should be thankful - you have more than likely avoided an aneurysm. Penance is a boss only available in the PAL and International versions of FFX. While he isn't quite up to Yiazmat's ability, he does boast 12 million HP, while his arms have 500,000 HP each.

That might seem like nothing compared to other FF bosses, but Penance has the honor of being the only boss in Final Fantasy X that hasn't been defeated without the use of Yojimbo's Zanmato, which administers an instant kill. 

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The Immortal One

Lost Odyssey 

Lost Odyssey may not be as popular as previously mentioned titles, but when it comes to the hardest battle within the game, The Immortal One is the most popular. 

If you want to have a snow ball's chance in hell with this guy, all your Immortals need to be at least level 75. Even still, just hacking and slashing until the thing's dead isn't going to get you anywhere; it's only going to prolong this already tedious fight. If you're not a tactician, good luck, because you're going to need it. 

Pandemonium Warden

Final Fantasy XI

Don't worry, this is the last Final Fantasy boss that will be gracing the list of ridiculously long boss fights. However, it isn't far from the truth that the other FF bosses don't even touch the Pandemonium Warden. 

The guy is so hard (and such a health hazard) that Square Enix was forced to not only adjust the Warden's difficulty level, but they also had to put a time limit on the battle to prevent players from overexerting themselves. So if you can't defeat the guy in two hours or less, kiss your chance of victory goodbye, as he will grow bored and leave the field of battle.

While that is unfortunate for most competitive of gamers, it is good to know that Square Enix valued the well-being of their customers over the ability of being able to boast about having an impossible-to-beat boss. 

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Time to sound off. What are some of the hardest and longest battles in gaming that you have faced? Which have you beat and which ones still elude you? 

Published Jun. 25th 2015

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Designer, gamer and geek culture writer.

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