Thursday, August 18, 2011

Retro Sonic Week! Day Four: Bonus Bosses (And Some Boners)

Yesterday I gave you Eggman's eight most dangerous works; today, I want to share with you a few bosses that weren't necessarily difficult or well-designed, but were still interesting.  These are the 'honorable mentions' of the games that made for an entertaining fight.  The second half of this list is devoted to Eggman's most ridiculous blunders, the kind of idea that makes you say "what the hell was he thinking!?"  Pictures are once again found on Sonic News Network.

Honorable Mentions

4) The Wrecking Ball
I feel entirely obligated to include this boss on the list, not because it was the most interesting, but because of its significance to the series.  The first of anything  is usually remembered, and Eggman's wrecking ball is no exception.  The most well-known and continuously-referenced boss in the whole series, this simple adaptation remains immortal in Sonic's history.

3) Vortexer
The villainous Dr. Eggman hovers well above our heroes in this water-stirring appearance.  While a simple design, this boss fight is certainly entertaining.  Swirling the water to create a large tornado-like column of water, Eggman attempts to suck Sonic into his propeller.  Failing that, the evil genius drops depth charges into the water to blow Sonic away.  Staying high in the air, Eggman is not accessible at all times: Sonic's only chances come by using the water column as a platform or riding the explosions of the charges high into the sky.  The only time Eggman physically exposes himself to danger is when he necessarily dips to prepare the vortex.

2) Mines & the Catapults
As you may recall, I'm a big fan of the underrated Star Light Zone and this is the climax: a puzzling boss fight where Sonic teaches us applied physics.  Dropping mines onto see-saws, Eggman hopes to blow up the hedgehog (or at least send him flying away,) however, Sonic is prepared to either launch the mines back at his nemesis or use their momentum to launch himself directly at the doctor.  This is a fun fight that (like the Zone itself) is too-often ignored.

1) Gravity Armor
This gem of a boss fight comes at the conclusion of Act 2 from Sonic & Knuckles' Death Egg Zone.  After a long level running and floating through gravity-bending nonsense, Eggman tries to finish our hero off from a distance.  He lures Sonic into an arena to fight his armored mine-dropping robot.  This time, Eggman has wised up, putting a shield on his creation that Sonic can't penetrate.  The only hope?  Sonic must reverse gravity to make this robot's mines fall upwards to damage it themselves.  Another puzzle-type boss that requires patience and timing: this is a big hit and one of these most interesting ones that Sonic Team ever put together.

The Boners

4) Runaway!
In Mushroom Hill Zone, Eggman takes flight...backwards.  Running away from Sonic, Eggman attempts to have Sonic hurt himself on dangerous spikes placed between the trees.  However, his plans prove futile, as Sonic's strongest traits are running and jumping.  Sealing this forever on the boner list is the fact that Eggman equips no weapons with which to foil the hedgehog.  Just some rocket-boosters that may incidentally damage Sonic.  Observant fans will recall that Eggman did the same thing in Labyrinth Zone.  I assure you that his original plan was much better: he left Sonic in a tall pit filled with traps and surging water.  He took away Sonic's biggest strength in running and replaced it with his greatest weakness: being underwater.  What takes the cake in Mushroom Hill Zone is the fact that Eggman drives backwards, a sure sign of his ultimate fate: crashing into a giant tree.

3) Drill-Car
Let's say your opponent is blessed with extreme speed and generally great athletic ability.  You have a million ideas on how to stop him, but driving a slowly moving  car with a drill on the end is not one of them.  Sonic must have run all the way through Emerald Hill Zone, possibly gaining all 7 Chaos Emeralds (it's possible!) got to this machine and shook his head.  But wait!  Eggman has one more trick up his sleeve.  When critically damaged, the car shoots its drill out as a projectile.  But, unlike other inventions (like the Eggbot's arms,) this projectile does not return, leaving our villain completely defenseless in his time of need.

2) Lasertrap II
"Now wait," I hear you saying.  "Didn't the other Lasertrap score high on the 'most dangerous' list?"  Yes, it did.  While this version has lost the spiked platforms, it's got an improvement: the walls slowly close in on Sonic, leaving him less and less space to avoid the giant laser.  Not too shabby, right?  This version of the Lasertrap is so powerful, it shoots straight into the ship, destroying a large section of Eggman's flying fortress!  It's almost literally shooting himself in the foot.  D'oh!

1) Chemical Dumper
Another visualization exercise.  Let's say you have an enemy.  Any enemy, not even Sonic.  Just some guy.  When you prepare for a battle, you would grab about anything to make into a weapon: gun, sword, stick, club, etc.  What you wouldn't pour chemicals slowly into a mason jar and attempt to dump them on your foe.  Not even throw them at him, dump them onto his head.  There's really not much else to say.  Some people have trouble with this boss, but it's most assuredly due to the disappearing floor--you can die even after destroying this pathetic excuse for a strategy!

No comments:

Post a Comment