Ever since our acquaintance over at VGJunk wrote about Crossed Swords and mentioned a boss from that game named Satan Goat, it seems like the video games we’ve been playing have taken that amazing name as a challenge and now they keep trying to out-great Satan Goat. We would feel bad that the other Deadly Villains are ganging up on Satan Goat, but he can handle himself. He is sin spawn, after all.
We’re going to take the time to make a little tribute to all of these guys and their fantastic names. There is a caveat…we’re only going to list bosses we’ve actually faced. An important part of having an awesome name is matching your awesome name, and we can’t pass judgment on enemies we haven’t met yet. We have bosses to list from two games: Dark Souls and Deathsmiles. We’ll save Deathsmiles for next time and start with Dark Souls:
Having seen the success that Satan Goat was met with, the From Software team decided to appropriate the character. After carefully changing the character’s name using the power of a thesaurus, they ended up with the Capra Demon. He’s the first really difficult boss encounter of the game. The Capra Demon is not so bad by himself, but he’s accompanied by two dogs that are not afraid to nip your heels a bit and put you in a state of stunlock that that allows the Demon to beat your head in a leisurely manner. It’s an excellent early example of relatively easy enemies who become much more difficult in groups.
If the developers of Dark Souls were to change anything about the game, I would ask that they have Darkthrone start playing at the start of this fight. Maybe some Watain? Really, any entertainer who has refused to go on stage due to a venue’s refusal to provide adequate sticks and animal blood would do. There’s nothing more black metal than a demon in raggedy clothes, two big knives and a goat skull for a head EXCEPT for all of those things accompanied by some men in corpse paint.
This monster was used in a lot of press materials because it looks really scary with all of its sharp bits, but it may be the easiest boss in the game. You just stand by it’s tail and hit it with your weapon, adjusting position every now and again to stay out of the way of its stomping and grabbing. However, that’s not what is important just now.
Follow us down the twisted road that our mind constructed around this name and the monster’s appearance. If you’re a normal person, you might think of a gaping wound or a gaping sore, which is appropriate. If you’re a denizen of the Internet, the word “gaping” may immediately make you think of a very specific niche in the world of pornography. Either way, upon seeing the monster’s appearance, one can’t help but think of vagina dentata. You know, that myth about the ability of a lady’s nether regions to spring to life during intercourse, grow teeth and chew the organ off of an unsuspecting male. There was an excellent movie about it! Anyways, that’s what we think of every time we reach this boss. Take from that what you will.
Another interesting thing this boss brings up with its distinctly representing a vagina is gender issues! We could probably write a whole blog on the gender things that run through Dark Souls, but we’ll stay our hand for now. However, you might that dragons are representations of traditional masculinity: serpentine, intimidating, majestic and difficult to kill in most mythologies. Indeed, the other dragons we’ve met in the game have been dragons in this more classical sense. The Gaping Dragon happens to more closely resemble traditional feminine traits: a vagina-like creature that, while intimidating at first, lives in the bottom of a sewer, spews toxins, and is absurdly easy to kill. We’re just saying.
Quelaag is half sexy lady, half lava-spewing spider. These characteristics make her great. It pleases us that they didn’t call her “Black Widow” or some crap like that. They could have too! She is a sexy lady who lured us into her web or something. She’s fairly difficult if you’re not resistant to fire damage. She’ll box you in with lava puddles and then hack you to death with her Furysword in no time.
The cutscene that plays when you reach her area is hilarious, creepy and awesome:
We don’t really know what we can say about her that isn’t said by that cutscene. She is a fallen Witch of Izalith whose bottom half got melded to a spider during a spell that went horribly wrong. She feels contempt for her sister who, also having been melded to a spider, has devoted herself to easing the suffering of the people that live in the Great Swamp by sucking all of the poison out of them at the cost of her health. Quelaag doesn’t want to suck the poison out of them, and thinks her sister is ridiculous for helping the humans. It’s all very sad if you start getting her backstory. That’s why we’ve decided think of her solely in these terms: Half Sexy Lady, Half Lava Spewing Spider, All Uproarious Cutscene.
This is, without doubt, the best name for a boss we’ve come across in all of our years of video games. CEASELESS DISCHARGE. He’s so cool with all his tentacles and lava. The Internet postulates that he is another one of the fallen Witches of Izalith, which would make him a she, but I don’t think so based on some item description text in the game. We’re not going to get into that though…he’s plenty awesome just as a monster.
He is difficult to kill with legitimate melee or ranged attacks, but he does have a special “cheap” environmental kill where you can coerce him into leaping off of the cliff that he walks along. We killed him with regular melee the first time we faced him and, resigning to never do that again, have moved on to making him jump off his cliff. It’s a little more sad for him that way if you’re an empathetic sort, but trying to kill him the regular way for a little while will quickly turn that sympathy to contempt. Wine into vinegar. Bread into moldy bread. You don’t want that.
“I’ll cease your discharge.”
“Cease and desist, motherfucker.”
See? And that’s just off the top of our head! Plus, he’s an AI so he can’t talk back.
Finally, we have these two German gentlemen. This boss fight is where a lot of people stop playing. It’s certainly where WE stopped playing 9 months ago. You really need a strategy going in to kill them. They wouldn’t be hard apart, but Ornstein’s fast attacks and Smough’s slow ones compliment each other perfectly and can drain your stamina really quickly if you’re not patient. Once you kill one, the other acquires his defining characteristic and the fight gets harder. Ugh. You’ll be pleased to read that on this most recent playthrough, we were able to kill them on our first attempt! Bully for us.
Tactics and armor aside, this manages to be kind of a creepy fight due to its atmosphere. The names invoke majesty, almost to the point of reverence, but the music that plays during the cutscene and the boss fight is so depressing! See below:
These two men have just been waiting around in their gilded armor for us to come and kill them. The beautiful destructible environment doesn’t help either. They’re destroying their sanctuary! It’s very church-like, and the whole thing feels like you’re bringing down the façade that some farce of a religion has been hiding behind. You are, but that doesn’t stop it being a little morose. The armor’s a little creepy too if you consider it for a bit. Once again, Dark Souls is depressing if you spend too much time thinking about it.
So those are the cool boss names we’ve happened upon in our time with Dark Souls. If you’re not convinced that a name is awesome, just say it aloud in that monster truck advertisement voice and you’ll hear it.
We chipped away at it just a little bit when we got off topic in this post, but you can imagine that there’s a lot of Business going on in Dark Souls beneath the surface. It’s a rare sort of video game that incorporates the gameplay, lore, and allegory into some cohesive themes, and we’ll try to go into some of that later.