5 brutal bosses who wrecked us in FINAL FANTASY games

We live in fear of these beastly baddies
By Duncan Heaney

There are few feelings quite as satisfying as laying the smackdown on a boss (notices employer looking nervous) …in video games I mean!

But every so often, we come across a foe that likes to hit back. Hard. The FINAL FANTASY series is famous for these savage superbosses - amazingly tough battles that test your skill, strategy and understanding of the battle system.

Today we want to celebrate just a few of these big buff bad boys - if you’ve defeated any of these, all we can say is… bravo!


I’ve always felt that Warmech is a little underappreciated among FINAL FANTASY enemies. This mechanical monstrosity was one of the first superbosses in the series, and quite a rare fight - it’s possible that many players of the game have missed out on it entirely.

But if you are lucky (or unlucky) enough to run into Warmech you won’t soon forget it, because hoo boy - are you in for a humbling experience!

The problems start because, more often than not, the clanking combatant gets a preemptive strike. That alone can be enough to take out part of your party and put you on the back foot right from the start.

As if that’s not enough, you then have to deal with some of the most devastating attacks in the game, such as Atomize - you’ll need a well-prepared party and active White Mage to come back from that.

But if you somehow scrape your way through the fight, you’ll get a satisfying pile of gil and experience… and a palpable sense of relief.

Emerald Weapon - FINAL FANTASY VII

When I first played FINAL FANTASY VII, back in the long-long-ago of the 90s, defeating Emerald Weapon became something of an obsession.

This optional boss swims around underwater, so you’d need a submarine to even encounter it. The first time you do, you’ll realize… you’re not even nearly prepared enough.

Emerald Weapon has an obscene amount of HP and uses unbelievably powerful moves, including Emerald Beam, Emerald Laser and Emerald Shoot. It may be jerk, but at least it understands the power of a consistent personal brand.

As if that’s not bad enough, you also have to contend with the environment itself. You’re down in the depths of the sea, so you only have 20 minutes to win this battle.

I fought this moist menace time and time again… and every time my party would fall to his relentless assault of stomps and shots. Each time I failed, my desperate desire to beat the boss only increased.

It was - to use a Moby Dick reference - my white whale (except, y’know, green. And more of a biological robot thing).

Months went by. I watched my party get wiped out over and over - victory remained far out of reach. Until suddenly it wasn’t.

There are a couple of key tricks you can use to help with the fight - they don’t make it easy, but they do make it survivable. Learning these was the key to success, and with perseverance I was finally able to put Emerald Weapon out of my misery.

And oh man, it felt gooooooood.

Cut to 2019. The release of FINAL FANTASY VII on Switch, and its boosters, handed me an opportunity I’ve wanted for years: a way to turn the tables on my tormentor. Three words: unlimited limit breaks.


Ahem. Anyway, Emerald Weapon is great.

Absolute Virtue - FINAL FANTASY XI

I have never beaten Absolute Virtue. I will never beat Absolute Virtue… and I’ve made my peace with that.

This Notorious Monster is legendary among the FINAL FANTASY XI community - an almost ‘unbeatable’ boss. It’s strong, it’s tough, and it can disrupt a party’s best-laid plans with disturbing ease. Oh - and it can heal itself too. Whoopee.

Despite multiple attempts, no players managed to truly defeat this ultimate challenge for quite a while. Eventually, following… let’s say ‘strong’ feedback from players, Absolute Virtue was weakened to make victory a bit more achievable.

Well, relatively. It’s still an utterly savage fight. If you feel the urge to head back to Vana'diel, you’d better bring an experienced party with you. And your A-game.


Now here’s a boss that asks more of a player than most. Yiazmat tests your mastery of FINAL FANTASY XII’s Gambit system, your ability to strategize on the fly, and - perhaps most of all - your endurance.

This powerful dragon has an absurdly high HP count - more than 50 million! Even with your most powerful attacks in play, you’ll need a long time to take it down.

You’ll also have to contend with the fact that it’s highly resistant to attacks, aggressive and armed with distressingly powerful attacks.

But in a way, that’s all as it should be - Yiazmat is meant to be the ultimate test for players. To even attempt it, you’ll have had to vanquish most of the other hunts in the game - and some of them are no slouches either!

I’ve heard that people can defeat Yiazmat in an hour. I’ve seen it done in under two. But as far as I’m concerned you’re a true hero if you’ve defeated it at all.

Ultimate Ultima Weapon - FINAL FANTASY XIV Online

As if Ultima Weapon’s powerful attacks, debilitating debuffs, and hearty health pool weren’t terrifying enough, then it has to go bring its friends along.

The Minstrel’s Ballad: The Weapon’s Refrain - the raid that houses this battle - was introduced in FINAL FANTASY XIV: Stormblood, and it’s a challenge that pushes even the most experienced group of players to the limit. The goal is to take down Ultima Weapon - but it doesn’t make come easy.

The fight takes place in phases - first you have to contend with three powerful Primals - Garuda, Titan and Ifrit - all of which are distressingly capable of causing serious trauma.

Survive those phases, and you still have to take down Ultima itself - a vicious brute of a boss whose powerful attacks can chew through your HP in mere seconds.

It all makes for a battle that’s both grueling… and intensely gratifying. If you prevail, not only will you have beaten one of the hardest challenges FINAL FANTASY XIV Online has to offer, but you’ll also get a special title to show off your achievement: <The Ultimate Legend>.

That said… the Ultimate difficulty raid, The Epic of Alexander, introduced in Shadowbringers Patch 5.1 might be an even greater challenge…

Those are just a few of the beastly bosses who have brutalized us brilliantly - but what about you? Which FINAL FANTASY foes stand out for you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments and on social media: