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VOICE OVER: Ricky Tucci
These boss fights were a lot harder than we were expecting. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we're looking at video game bosses that surprised us with their level of challenge, whether it was due to their appearance or their placement in the game's campaign. Our countdown of unexpectedly hard video game bosses includes Morgan Freeman from “South Park: The Fractured But Whole” (2017), Phantamanta from “Super Mario Sunshine” (2002), Whitney from “Pokemon Gold & Silver” (2000), and more!
Script written by Johnny Reynolds Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re looking at video game bosses that surprised us with their level of challenge, whether it was due to their appearance or their placement in the game’s campaign.

#10: Puppet Ganon

“The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker” (2003) When Link heads into “Wind Waker’s” final dungeon, players are right to expect a tough fight with the big bad. What they might not expect is to get bodied by a goofy looking marionette. Before Link can fulfill his destiny, he faces off against Puppet Ganon, which surprisingly puts up a bigger fight than the villain. Players must deal with three animalistic phases, all of which have the same weak spot. However, it only takes damage from light arrows, which cost magic, and landing a hit is deceptively hard since the puppet moves erratically the entire time. No one said becoming a legendary hero was easy, but even the most evil of puppets shouldn’t be this big of a problem.

#9: Goopy Le Grande

“Cuphead” (2017) “Cuphead” deserves its brutal reputation, and its high level of difficulty becomes obvious fairly quickly on a first playthrough. Even still, look at this bouncing puddle! Surely, such a basic design encountered early in the game will be more manageable? Well, no. Not really. Phase One isn’t so bad as Goopy bounces around and turns into a boxing glove to attack. However, Phase Two sees him grow twice his original mass, severely depleting the size of your safe space. Even in death, Goopy is a nuisance; Phase Three has you contend with powerful gravestone slams. Additionally, as he’s fought early, you won’t have many power-ups to choose from.

#8: Tinker Knight

“Shovel Knight” (2014) The retro-inspired “Shovel Knight” has players contend with the Order of No Quarter, a group of strong-willed and differently themed knights. Many of them are strong. But when players make it to the end of Tinker Knight’s stage, they find an unimpressive foe who does little to actually hurt them. After dodging his stream of wrenches and depleting his health, that’s when the real fight begins. Tinker Knight then brings out a mech so massive, it takes up most of the arena’s space. The rest is taken up by the barrage of projectiles the boss constantly hurls your way. He’s by no means the hardest boss in the game, but the clever misdirect made this a memorable fight.

#7: Gruntilda Winkybunion

“Banjo-Kazooie” (1998) While you may come across the occasional hard-to-obtain Jiggy, “Banjo-Kazooie” is a pretty easy platformer. And the same goes for its boss fights…save for the last one. The game spends a lot of time making fun of the evil witch Grunty. So, when we reached the top of her tower, we were only expecting a mild pushback. What we got was a five-phase long ordeal full of powerful attacks. Grunty likes to fire spells from afar, one of which homes in and can only be negated by using Golden Feathers, which grant invincibility but are in short supply. She also eventually gains a force field that requires destroying a bunch of statues to get rid of while still peppering you with damage.

#6: Phantamanta

“Super Mario Sunshine” (2002) “Sunshine” has more deceptively hard moments than most of Mario’s adventures, and the fight against Phantamanta is one of the more annoying ones. After entering the fifth level, Sirena Beach, Mario must play hero against a giant, spectral manta ray that leaves behind a trail of electric goop. By spraying the boss with water, it separates in two, which you must keep doing until they’re all gone. The boss’ design is incredibly simplistic; it doesn’t even seem to have a physical form! And yet, whenever a manta bumps into Mario, he’s hurled backwards, likely into one of the many pools of electric goop. We wouldn’t have expected what is basically a shadow to give Mario such a run for his money.

#5: Spike

“Spyro: Year of the Dragon” (2000) Sometimes, an innovative feature can blow up in your face. Or, in the case of Spike from the third “Spyro the Dragon” game, in your players’ faces. Spike is only the second boss in the game, yet became known for being the hardest. While he uses a gun with a quick fire rate and several ammunition types, it’s really his ferocity rather than his mechanics that make things tough. One of the game’s new features was ‘Auto Challenge Tuning,’ which was meant to adapt to a player’s skill level over the course of the game. Because the opening levels and the first boss were a breeze for most, Spike came in and absolutely wrecked us. Good thing this was fixed for the HD remake.

#4: Whitney

“Pokemon Gold & Silver” (2000) The most challenging boss fights in “Pokemon” are usually due to clever tactics and high-level attacks. However, Whitney, leader of the Goldenrod City Gym, gained her reputation with one cheap, infuriating Miltank. While she’s only the third gym leader, and only has one other Pokemon, Whitney has been ticking players off for years. Her Miltank can heal half its max HP and use Attract to make your male Pokemon less likely to attack. But the most aggravating aspect by a longshot is its Rollout attack. This move hits five times in a row and deals more damage each time. There are ways to ease the pain, like using a fighting type or female Pokemon. But no one was expecting this much of a fight.

#3: Morgan Freeman

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“South Park: The Fractured But Whole” (2017) Not only was it surprising to see Morgan Freeman appear in this “South Park” RPG, but also that the Oscar-winning actor provides the most challenging fight in the game. By visiting Freeman’s Tacos and attacking the thespian, you’ll begin a secret encounter that will make you wish you hadn’t. You may as well wait until the end of the game as you’ll need to be very high level and have a ton of resources stocked to make it through. Freeman has a ton of health, and many of his attacks deal a lot of damage while covering wide areas to catch multiple targets. This could have easily been a joke appearance at the celebrity’s expense, but Morgan Freeman does not mess around.

#2: The End

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“Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater” (2004) Players have fought many elderly antagonists that put up far greater fights than they’d expect. But not many of them can match the disconnect between The End’s decrepitness and how hard his fight is. The sniper uses the dense jungle setting to his advantage, expertly tracking and hitting Snake with tranquilizers should he get too close. Players must use heat vision and sound to hunt him down, but he’ll prove his age doesn’t mean you’ll get the drop on him. The End will not make it easy to track him down, despite literally being 100 years old. In fact, he’s so ancient that an alternate way of winning the fight is setting your console’s date forward eight days so he dies of old age.

#1: Flowey

“Undertale” (2015) Even more deceptive than a fight against someone on death’s door is a fight against an average-sized flower. Flowey comes as an early surprise in “Undertale,” as we’re both entertained and creeped out by his malevolent nature. However, the game’s plot builds up Asgore, the Underground’s King, as the final boss. After you defeat him on a Neutral playthrough, Flowey appears to steal multiple human souls and transforms into an unholy abomination. When he’s not laughing maniacally, Flowey fills the screen with so much damage that your little heart will barely be able to keep up with any kind of avoidance strategy. Never before has a flower been this detrimental to our video game health. Which tough boss caught you off guard? Share your thoughts in the comments and be sure to subscribe for more great gaming videos!