What are your least to most favorite bosses in Kero Blaster?

Jun 21, 2022 at 6:01 AM
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I don't think it's a stretch to say that the bosses help define Kero Blaster as the quirky game that it is. Since apparently there doesn't seem to be a post like this before now, what are your thoughts on all the bosses, from worst to best? To avoid any arguments about which bosses are actually bosses, I'll set out some criteria:
  • They are not usually standard enemies (Shield Plant is one exception, it appears as a regular enemy in Stage 7 but I'll obviously still count its boss appearances)
  • They have a health bar when you fight them
These might seem obvious, but I just want to point out that this includes creatures like the Jetpack Mole in White Laboratories and the invisible Shield Plant in Omake mode. Also, if a boss's Zangyou fight is too similar to its normal fight, I'm fine with just lumping them together. Anyway, here's my list from worst to best:


21. Dark 2 (Zangyou)
ACTUAL TORTURE. This boss's Zangyou mode rematch took everything that made the original fight unique and dialed it up to 11. Now, normally uniqueness is a good thing, especially in a Studio Pixel game, but one of Dark 2's main draws is its unpredictability, which certainly did not need to be made worse. His blobs that he shoots in random directions now home in on you, and the branches seem like they're purposefully trying to block you off from his weak point. And before you know it, you're stuck in the corner and have to instantly die.

20. Giant Mole 2
This boss performs the herculean feat of being easier than the first Giant Mole. The bombs it throws are all fine and dandy, but the arena is just not structured to support them. They cannot explode on the hanging platform, but on the ground they are blocked by the slopes. At least with the first Giant Mole you had to worry about being able to hit him in the first place. This guy is so slow, he must be suicidal.

19. Shield Plant
Your simple first boss, not much to talk about here. The main reason it's not higher is the projectiles that randomly fall from the sky during the second phase. If you were innocent enough to buy a health upgrade before the Repeater, you're screwed.

18. Jetpack Mole
A tutorial "boss" to teach players how to use the jetpack. He's good for nothing, sure, but he's just too darn cute to put any lower. And hey, it doesn't hurt that he's basically a free 50 coins for smart players.

17. Puddie (Normal)
Imagine if Dark 2 was underwater. Yeeeaaaahhh, you're starting to feel a little grateful for those ladders at the sides, aren't you? Shame, because this boss feels perfect for the Dark 2 arena. But the boss isn't the only thing you have to desperately flail to escape from; there are also those annoying worm enemies, which are made even worse by the fact that the boss's huge figure can actually hide them.

16. Giant Mole
Nothing to say, just a bland mid-boss. I like how there's a strategy of leaving as many enemies on-screen as possible to make them all drop 10-coins upon beating the boss, but that just makes Giant Mole a good money machine, not a good boss.

15. Invisible Shield Plant (Omake)
What a brilliant idea! A variation of the first boss, but almost completely invisible, forcing you to rely on your memory to take it on. Too bad it's exclusive to Omake mode, where you already have the weapons to completely shred it.

14. Gorgon
Less a boss and more of an enemy gauntlet. It's simple, but it works! The Gorgon himself isn't even half bad, and I like how the enemies jump out to help him. However, I feel like the Zangyou fight overdid the latter part, with enemies jumping from right underneath where you're standing.

13. Clock Man (Normal)
This fight has a lot of ideas going on at once. Did you know that to the right of Clock Man there are penguins powering a trolley? The game at no point makes this apparent, meaning that most players will only be using the bubble weapon, and if you happened not to power it up because you thought it was useless, well screw you! The other 2 phases are a bit better. I don't like how Clock Man's saws completely block the player's shots, meaning that it's quite difficult to hit him without using the Lazer or Burner.

12. Dark 1
A welcome change of pace from the previously easy mid-bosses, the battle against Dark 1 requires you to dodge projectiles in a cramped room. It's a bit annoying having to get rid of the frost in order to start the fight, but once it begins you're in for a hectic ride. The less health it has, the faster it goes, until it becomes impossibly quick. The fact that which grate it emerges from is random makes the fight interesting, but also dooms the fight in the second half where the ideal strategy becomes firing aimlessly with the Quad to get rid of projectiles until it uses its ground sweeping attack.

11. Clock Man (Zangyou)
Clock Man's Zangyou fight solves the first fight's issues by cutting the middleman and jumping straight to the second phase. Now that the only platform is the previously obscure trolley, his saw-throwing attack is a lot more stressful (then again, isn't this hard mode?). His second phase's attack is interesting to dodge, but I dislike how it scrolls Clock Man himself offscreen, so you don't even realize this is when you should be dealing damage to him.

10. Boss Plate
When you think of a final boss, you probably don't imagine a giant square that hobbles around, spitting letters that spell "ERROR" at you. Though thinking about it now, it makes sense, this boss's fight is an "ERROR". Pixel had to rush this boss to meet the release date, and it really shows. Any intrigue that its buildup throughout the story provided is immediately dashed upon seeing its simple behavior. It walks back and forth, shooting random platforms and randomly aimed projectiles, as slugs inconveniently squelch across the floor. The slugs aren't invincible, but you have literally no reason to kill them with the absurd amount of health they have. Even the second phase doesn't change much, and if any at all, it's for the worse: it just fires more projectiles and there are more slugs, leaving you somewhat at the mercy of the random platforms.

9. N577
The idea of battling a huge construction truck is one that ought to raise a few eyebrows. How will this game make a fight against a plain ol' truck interesting? The short answer for Kero Blaster is, it barely doesn't. This boss desperately needed a few more attacks. As is, you spend most of the fight running back and forth, switching places with N577 over and over again until you shoot it enough. The spectacle and first phase do give the boss extra points in my eyes, and I like how the boss's tires instantly kill the player, just like any other tire would. A boss that uses a jetpack like the player... a boss with tires that kill you... Kero Blaster is great at reusing concepts in a way that is interesting.

8. Dark 2 (Normal)
I did not expect to enjoy what is basically Whack-a-Mole on a planet that is slowly hurtling towards you, but here we are. The boss constantly rotating sounds like it would be miserable, but the arena's vertical design alleviates this concern. In the second phase, you do have to deal with mild RNG, but the boss spins for the same length each time, giving you plenty of time to position yourself.

7. Puddie (Zangyou)
Looks like Pixel heard my complaint -7 years before I made this list, because Puddie in Zangyou mode solves most of my complaints. The platforms in the background falling every time the boss lands is kind of an arbitrary solution to the height problem, but I can't complain too much. I'm a bit irritated at how the second phase's projectile attack is nearly impossible to avoid without the Fire weapon, but as long as you're using that you'll have a good time.

6. Titan
A mid-boss carried entirely by its weird premise: a boss variation of the fake safe enemy. This enemy is really mechanically solid for a boss; by that I mean, it does what it sets out to do near-flawlessly. It makes sense that it slamming the player against the wall would kill them, and it is a boon to the boss as well, providing some tension that the Giant Moles sorely needed. It does have a mild case of random-projectiles-from-sky-itus, but unless you're still using the Level 1 Peashooter at this point there is nothing to worry about.

5. Printer / Work Producing Machine
Each phase is a simple boss fight all on its own, but all together they make for an exciting showdown. The only phase that is "weird" per se is the last one. I think the projectiles are just a little too accurate to be fair, but the rest of the fight is pure fun; the broken claws that hurt you after you break them that clearly look like spikes, pure genius! I'm not sure what else to say, you'll see how good it is for yourself when you fight it.

4. Dekaigyo
This is how you design an underwater boss: by splitting the arena into halves, one with water and one without. The player has multiple ways to tackle this boss, all of them entertaining. You can camp on the surface and wait for it to emerge, or you can get up close and personal with the fish inside the lake. The boss's second phase naturally ramps up the difficulty, and I just love the lightning bolt projectile in general. The Zangyou fight does muddy the fight up a bit with the propeller fish that spawn offscreen directly underneath you. Still, look at it! A giant fish! If you're telling someone about Kero Blaster's great bosses, show them this thing.

3. Kurono-san
(Yes, I'm going to count all three forms as the same boss. sue me Cave Story Tribute Site you cowards)
I really like this boss's premise. He's just a crooked salesman, who happens to have godlike powers, and this fight really gives off that vibe. The first phase is a set of mini challenges, with scarce opportunities to hit Kurono. While I normally dislike bosses like this (hint hint Dark 2 Zangyou), this particular fight was actually pulled off excellently. The second phase is also clever, managing to form an interesting arena out of only a few floating platforms. It's the third phase where I begin to have problems. I appreciate the effort to make a more climatic boss that you're forced to beat slowly over time, but it's not clear at all at first that you need to pick up the blue telephones to destroy Kurono's shield. I'm also a bit ticked off that if you happen to end the fight at the wrong spot, you have to wait a while before you can reach the final ending cutscene, but it's fun nonetheless.

2. Shacho / Nanao
A surprisingly dynamic fight, especially when considering that Nanao was, you know, brutally inflated. I enjoy shooting all of the Negativus Legatia slime off of her and destroying the flies in the first phase, but where this boss truly shines is in phase two. She pulls out a freaking slime scooter and commands an air raid of flies onto the player, and its exhilarating.

1. Ooshima
It's a close call, and Nanao is arguably more fair in her battle, but I don't care. Ooshima has her beat in terms of pure action. In this battle, it truly feels like both Kaeru and Ooshima are on equal ground, and are doling it out with their most overpowered weapons. Despite how much health he has, the fight never gets old. And just when you finish dodging his fireballs, BAM! He hits you with a surprise stomp attack! You have to always be on your toes, always make sure to manipulate his attacks in a way that you can avoid.

So, what do you all think?
 
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