An Effective End Game Boss

For Halo 5, how would a fun, logical, and challenging end game boss be implemented?

Tartarus in Halo 2 was just a bullet sponge and was just a game of dodge his ineffective hammer hits. BORING.

The heretic leader in Halo 2 was interesting but never made any sense because the hologram technology somehow replicates his weapons as well as his physical form. Light cannot produce matter like that. ILLOGICAL.

343 Guilty Spark was incredibly simple and kind of a waste of time for a boss battle. OVERLY-EASY.

So how could they make the Didact, Agent Locke, or whoever the boss is in Halo 5 fun, logical, and challenging to fight?

My idea is to first make the boss A.I. operate like a pro player in Multiplayer would fight. Make the character flank and fake out and make it all cerebral.

Opinions?

I’d rather avoid boss battles in the strictest sense. They don’t tend to work well with things the size of humans (or spartans) in an FPS. They usually end up with either unrealistic amounts of health, or a mechanic like tartarus. They become very immersion breaking I find.

Stuff like the h3 scarab, possibly tuned up a bit, generally works better.

Halo does not lend itself to cinematic gun battles. Even your example with the “pro AI” even if it were do-able, would be extremely short and not terribly satisfying.

I think this is also why we don’t fight the didact in h4. He’d effectively be a player with high amounts of shields and probably a fair chunk more health. Ignoring the fact he could probably just throw you around at-will, you’d have to unload on him with incineration cannons or rocketlaunchers constantly or it’d all just regenerate. Thats not really that fun or skillfull, its just unloading with a power weapon till he dies.

I think there’s a lot of things in Halo you could classify as “boss fights”. For one thing there are scenarios where you get ambushed by a squad of elites or brutes in a specific arena, and the boss is the group and more specifically their leader.

For another, there’s the Wraith and other vehicles, Scarabs and Revenants and such.

But what I’d like to see is a single enemy tuned to be a very close match to the player in terms of abilities. One guy, one arena, weapons dropped around it, both of you are hunting the other down. An elite who doesn’t have super strong shields, but has full player mobility, switches between and picks up weapons when appropriate, and basically approximates fighting a skilled multiplayer opponent in 1v1. This could be difficult to get right, but it could end up being extremely replayable, not to mention really challenging on legendary. A boss that you could be proud to have beaten on heroic or higher.

I personally would like to see more scenarios like the two scarabs dropping down at the end of The Covenant in Halo 3. There was no cutscene to break immersion - it just sort of happened. To me, those are the best boss fights. Nowadays players do not expect an intimidating enemy unless there is some dramatic introduction that halts gameplay for a few moments.

Instead of taking the enclosed area/secluded fight route for boss battles, Halo should introduce strong enemies in more open areas in real time. Have a fierce enemy show up while the player is trying to deal with other enemies. Catch the player off guard and have him/her adapt accordingly. That’s how I would like it to be.

Not the occasional hunter pair or scarab either. Something different. If they can’t get creative, well then throw in 6 hunters at one time or a super scarab.

> I personally would like to see more scenarios like the two scarabs dropping down at the end of The Covenant in Halo 3. There was no cutscene to break immersion - it just sort of happened. To me, those are the best boss fights. Nowadays players do not expect an intimidating enemy unless there is some dramatic introduction that halts gameplay for a few moments.
>
> Instead of taking the enclosed area/secluded fight route for boss battles, Halo should introduce strong enemies in more open areas in real time. Have a fierce enemy show up while the player is trying to deal with other enemies. Catch the player off guard and have him/her adapt accordingly. That’s how I would like it to be.
>
> Not the occasional hunter pair or scarab either. Something different. If they can’t get creative, well then throw in 6 hunters at one time or a super scarab.

I find this is where the Lich really, really failed. It should have been the new scarab, but instead it was pretty much reduced to a larger version of those covenant sniper tower things.

I personally think that bosses in halo should be avoided, I think having enemies that are only used in a single part of the game and test a particular ability of the player would be pointless for halo, it would be best to create an enemy that was incredibly powerful but still dynamic enough to where it can be used throughout the entire game in many different situations, think hunters but more powerful basically.

Bring back scarabs, nuff said

> Bring back scarabs, nuff said

Scarabs were kind of meh really, they would be better off going with the mini scarabs from halo wars that way they would be better at actually hitting you with their beams and also that way you could maybe blow them up without going through the obnoxious process of somehow jumping on the platform (seriously, it can be incredibly frustrating getting on a scarab without an air vehicle)

> > Bring back scarabs, nuff said
>
> Scarabs were kind of meh really, they would be better off going with the mini scarabs from halo wars that way they would be better at actually hitting you with their beams and also that way you could maybe blow them up without going through the obnoxious process of somehow jumping on the platform (seriously, it can be incredibly frustrating getting on a scarab without an air vehicle)

I am sure you already know that you did not really have to jump on the platform just to destroy its weak spot.

As for the topic of this thread, I am unsure.

The only FPS games I’ve ever played that really pulled off boss fights were the Metroid Prime games, and that was largely down to all the different mechanics that series features. I’m not convinced that boss fights work particularly well for the FPS genre but I prefer them over QTE sequences like we saw in Halo 4. Using the mechanics that are in place now, I personally think character boarding should be implemented on larger unique enemies such as the Didact.

> > > Bring back scarabs, nuff said
> >
> > Scarabs were kind of meh really, they would be better off going with the mini scarabs from halo wars that way they would be better at actually hitting you with their beams and also that way you could maybe blow them up without going through the obnoxious process of somehow jumping on the platform (seriously, it can be incredibly frustrating getting on a scarab without an air vehicle)
>
> I am sure you already know that you did not really have to jump on the platform just to destroy its weak spot.
>
> As for the topic of this thread, I am unsure.

yeah you could destroy them from the back, it just requires far more ammunition and such and usually its a far more effective (albeit time consuming) process to just board them and blow them up from the inside, I usually play on legendary so usually I wouldn’t have the goods to destroy it from the back even if I wanted to, but still having miniature scarabs would still be an improvement over the big and bulky ones I think.

they would be far smaller maybe twice as big as a hunter, they would move slightly faster, their lasers would be less powerful but still enough to pop your shields in about 2 or 3 seconds, they would be in small numbers of maybe 5 at most, and they wouldn’t have some of the physics issues that the large suckers do, I think they would work a lot better but I guess that’s just me.

In a game where you can only hold two weapons at a time, boss fights don’t really work well. It simply makes it so there’s not a lot of options to choose from mid-battle, thus reducing the emphasis on strategy for the boss encounter. I mean, since the game is gonna have to literally hand you the weapon that works best right before the encounter, it’s going to take all the strategic fun out of the battle (since you can only hold two weapons at a time usually you will not have the right weapon before you reach the boss entrance, and thus the game will have to compensate for this by giving you the right weapon to use). They could counter this by making all weapons equally effective against the boss, but what fun is that? Point is, one thing that usually makes boss fights is experimentation. You have to figure out what works against the target. A mechanic like this is not really possible in Halo, so the entire boss battle becomes a borefest of mindless shooting.

Another problem is how would they make an interesting boss fight? The reason boss fights fail in Halo is because the bosses themselves are so ordinary. In order to make a boss fight intriguing, you have to make it a massively sized one-time enemy that physically intimidates the player and is fairly different from the rest of the foes in the game. An overpowered Brute with a mohawk or an Elite with a jetpack and holograms isn’t really anything new, they’re still ordinary same-old same-old creatures we’ve seen time and time again. 343i would have to be creative and take some risks, something I cannot see happening.

A spartan boss fight would be even worse. It would be the time it takes to get one kill in multiplayer. Or it would be a very horrible scripted sequence.

> The only FPS games I’ve ever played that really pulled off boss fights were the Metroid Prime games, and that was largely down to all the different mechanics that series features. I’m not convinced that boss fights work particularly well for the FPS genre but I prefer them over QTE sequences like we saw in Halo 4. Using the mechanics that are in place now, I personally think character boarding should be implemented on larger unique enemies such as the Didact.

Play Turok 1 and 2, as well as the Cyberdemon fight in DOOM. Boss fights work in FPS, just not with Halo’s 2 weapon system and the fact that Halo bosses themselves tend to be boring. A Brute reskin with a Hammer? An Elite with a jetpack? A Prophet in a chair who has guards stronger than he is? A floating metal orb? None of these are things you crap your pants over. They’re boring, they’re bland, and they’re the same-old enemies we’ve seen time and time again across the entire game. We fought Brutes and Elites for the entire game, it’s not really that jaw-dropping to fight another one for the ten thousandth time.

Hate to say this OP, but almost all bosses in FPS games are bullet sponges. There’s no other real way to do it. Granted something more than the didact of course, but bosses in FPS are typically very weak in that it is basically find a place where they won’t hit you pop out, hose them down, go back into cover, rinse and repeat.

> > The only FPS games I’ve ever played that really pulled off boss fights were the Metroid Prime games, and that was largely down to all the different mechanics that series features. I’m not convinced that boss fights work particularly well for the FPS genre but I prefer them over QTE sequences like we saw in Halo 4. Using the mechanics that are in place now, I personally think character boarding should be implemented on larger unique enemies such as the Didact.
>
> Play Turok 1 and 2, as well as the Cyberdemon fight in DOOM. Boss fights work in FPS, just not with Halo’s 2 weapon system and the fact that Halo bosses themselves tend to be boring. A Brute reskin with a Hammer? An Elite with a jetpack? A Prophet in a chair who has guards stronger than he is? A floating metal orb? None of these are things you crap your pants over. They’re boring, they’re bland, and they’re the same-old enemies we’ve seen time and time again across the entire game. We fought Brutes and Elites for the entire game, it’s not really that jaw-dropping to fight another one for the ten thousandth time.

Well we don’t fight dinosaurs or demons from hell who can one shot you in Halo. The most I could really think for a boss in Halo would be a war sphinx or something that blatantly tries to shoot you and hit you physically. The problem is that Halo has interesting enemies that don’t really make for interesting bosses. I think the didact would’ve been cool if you fought him on a platform and he lifted up your cover and shot at you and threw things at you. That at least would have been SOMETHING instead of, you know, press LT to win…

I’ll take a bullet sponge over a 1-button boss any day of the week.

In Halo, the only benefit of the 1-button boss is the cool cut scene, and that’s not really a mutually exclusive arrangement. You can spend plenty of time fighting a boss and still get a great and exciting cut scene for the finishing move.

As for what the bosses might be, there’s plenty of options out there. They don’t have to be huge. Augmented Elites, full sized Prometheans (not Knights-- real honest Prometheans), Brute Chieftains.

Or they can be XL sized. Mostly I picture huge vehicles, but the Mgalekgolo have the most potential for enemies that can take on practically any shape or size.

> I’d rather avoid boss battles in the strictest sense. They don’t tend to work well with things the size of humans (or spartans) in an FPS. They usually end up with either unrealistic amounts of health, or a mechanic like tartarus. They become very immersion breaking I find.
>
> Stuff like the h3 scarab, possibly tuned up a bit, generally works better.
>
> Halo does not lend itself to cinematic gun battles. Even your example with the “pro AI” even if it were do-able, would be extremely short and not terribly satisfying.
>
> I think this is also why we don’t fight the didact in h4. He’d effectively be a player with high amounts of shields and probably a fair chunk more health. Ignoring the fact he could probably just throw you around at-will, you’d have to unload on him with incineration cannons or rocketlaunchers constantly or it’d all just regenerate. Thats not really that fun or skillfull, its just unloading with a power weapon till he dies.

Not only that, fighting the Didact like a normal person after beating John around like he owes him money would kill off any seriousness he had built up through the game: he was (mostly) no nonsense. If he could kill an opponent by throwing him away, he’d do it.

But in all the same sense, boss fights in FPSs tend to not rub off well to me. Either it makes sense, or it doesn’t. Making them, “smarter” would not do the job well on its own.

> > > The only FPS games I’ve ever played that really pulled off boss fights were the Metroid Prime games, and that was largely down to all the different mechanics that series features. I’m not convinced that boss fights work particularly well for the FPS genre but I prefer them over QTE sequences like we saw in Halo 4. Using the mechanics that are in place now, I personally think character boarding should be implemented on larger unique enemies such as the Didact.
> >
> > Play Turok 1 and 2, as well as the Cyberdemon fight in DOOM. Boss fights work in FPS, just not with Halo’s 2 weapon system and the fact that Halo bosses themselves tend to be boring. A Brute reskin with a Hammer? An Elite with a jetpack? A Prophet in a chair who has guards stronger than he is? A floating metal orb? None of these are things you crap your pants over. They’re boring, they’re bland, and they’re the same-old enemies we’ve seen time and time again across the entire game. We fought Brutes and Elites for the entire game, it’s not really that jaw-dropping to fight another one for the ten thousandth time.
>
> Well we don’t fight dinosaurs or demons from hell who can one shot you in Halo. The most I could really think for a boss in Halo would be a war sphinx or something that blatantly tries to shoot you and hit you physically. The problem is that Halo has interesting enemies that don’t really make for interesting bosses. I think the didact would’ve been cool if you fought him on a platform and he lifted up your cover and shot at you and threw things at you. That at least would have been SOMETHING instead of, you know, press LT to win…

Yes but we fight aliens. They can add another alien in Halo as easy as they can add another demon in Doom or another dinosaur in Turok, it just takes creative effort. Even then though, we still have the problem of the 2-weapon system, which I explained in a previous post. The 2-weapon system just doesn’t work well with boss battles.

For the Didact I imagine him riding on his platform (the one he’s riding when he emerges from the cryptum), armed with heavy weapons and flying about in a circular arena. It’d essentially be a dodging fest as you constantly fire your assault rifle back at him.

> Hate to say this OP, but almost all bosses in FPS games are bullet sponges. There’s no other real way to do it. Granted something more than the didact of course, but bosses in FPS are typically very weak in that it is basically find a place where they won’t hit you pop out, hose them down, go back into cover, rinse and repeat.

Bullet sponges aren’t really a bad thing for bosses, I think the problem comes from the fact that Halo is slower-paced compared to other FPS (when we’re not counting crappy modern military shooters like COD). The fun thing with bosses in FPS is that there’s typically a large emphasis in dodging projectiles, but you can’t really do that efficiently in Halo, especially if the target enemy has way more health than you. So what do you do to compensate for the lack of dodging ability? You either lower the target enemy’s health to your level (which would make it as entertaining as a match of slayer with only 1 kill needed to win), or you add tons of cover, which isn’t fun at all because you’re simply hiding behind a rock, peaking out to fire, recharging your shields, rinse and repeat.

That and the 2-weapon system isn’t really well designed for boss fights, the bosses themselves aren’t that interesting, and the shield system lets you easily wait behind a rock to heal from all the damage you already took (no offense people, but the shield system kind of sucks for campaign because your enemies don’t know how to go on the offensive when you’re hiding in cover, I love it for multiplayer but it isn’t really well designed for single player).

I wonder if a boss-fight like in the Metroid Prime Trilogy would work?

Well, actually I think it would, but maybe that’s only because I’m starving for new Metroid Prime games :frowning:

Metroid Prime Boss Fight

Another Metroid Prime Boss Battle

A Big Metroid Prime Boss

Note: Just click around in the vidoes to get some impressions

I know there is no lock-on feature in Halo, but I think the already existing aim assist is enough to make battles like these possible. And the Halo also has the epic music, so yeah :stuck_out_tongue: