Yeah yeah, I know... lists are everywhere and they're stupid, but morons seem to love them, and I'm one of those morons. Plus it gives me more to blog about while I'm practically vegetative with a lack of drive and passion. It also takes my mind off how depressing it is that I don't have the energy to even do what I love doing while I die. (Ok, that's a little hyperbolic, I'm not in a terminal condition right now, but if I keep deteriorating like this, it will kill me.)
So of course, I need to set some rules. If I don't define the rules, for a list such as this, it can spiral out of control quickly.
First: Only one track per game. It would be too easy for many games to just dominate this list. Especially the ones with different tracks for each boss. (Like Donkey Kong 64.)
Second: I'm permitting myself to use multiple games out of the same franchise. (Example: Zelda 64 and Twilight Princess are both Zelda games, but they're still different.)
Third: No remake-stacking allowed. If I choose a game, I have to go with one or the other, because it would be too tempting to include a theme and then game the system with its remade version.
Fourth: All genres are fair game, even though RPGs tend to dominate lists when it comes to boss music.
Fifth: Final bosses are in their own upcoming list, so they are therefore excluded from this one. Contrary to popular belief, final bosses are different from normal bosses, and as such, the rules for the music are somewhat different.
Sixth: I have to give an explanation for each one. Top 10 lists are stupid, but they're even worse if you don't give any reason/context for your choices.
Seventh: I actually have to like it for it to count. Sorry, I don't care how many people love the final boss to Kirby 64, or The Perfect Chaos theme, I just don't care for them.
Let's begin in descending order, because it feels more dramatic with a count down rather than a count up. 1 always seems the most important, so it's better to get the others out of the way first. (Warning, there may be spoilers ahead. Also, all "Listen Here" links will link directly to YouTube ost uploads. It's already going to take me a lot of time to put this list together, I'm not putting in the time to find crap-connection-safe versions of the songs, too.)
10. Dragon Ball Z Sagas: Track 10
Ok, not a great game, but I love two of the boss themes in this game, and since the other one I love is the final boss and therefor not allowed, this one will have to do. Just listen to that guitar. It goes well with the exploding going on all the time during the fights. It gets even better when you gain the ability to go super saiyan, because then the guitar really suits how fast you move, and how badass super saiyans are in general.
9. Donkey Kong 64: Angry Aztec Boss
This one was a tossup between Angry Aztec, Frantic Factory, and Creepy Castle. Sadly, the Mad Jack boss theme is hurt by the fact that any time I hear it, I can't get Tiny Kong's "Hup, whee!" out of my head long enough to enjoy the actual music. And where I do love King Kutout's theme, Dogadon's is just so much better. The energy is so much more lively, and I love the VG orchestra blaring away all the while. This is one of the few themes that simply personify battling a boss. You can feel the fight in your eardrums.
8. Sonic Spinball
One does not usually expect boss fights while playing a game of pinball, but any Sonic game that doesn't have you fighting a contraption made by the doctor is not a Sonic game I'd consider playing.
This song is surprisingly perfect for the game. Each boss is relatively unnerving, each one is mechanical, and seems to have a mind of its own. (Or no one controlling it, at least.) The way the song is composed perfectly suits the "disturbing mechanical boss" vibe that each of the bosses give off. The first one is a huge, terrifying scorpion machine that watches your every move. Keep in mind that the first two bosses are distinctly Robotnik-themed, so it's a giant, metal scorpion with Robotnick's grinning head, and it also makes eerily human noises when you hit it. (And yes, I mean Robotnik, not Eggman. There is a difference.)
7. Banjo-Tooie: Mayahem Temple Boss
Two Aztec themed bosses on the same list. Huh. I can honestly say I wasn't expecting that when I started this.
The theme for Targitzan (I like to call him Targitizan, because it sounds better with the extra syllable) is one of those themes that does it's job flawlessly. It really does make you feel like you're fighting a giant totem pole, as well as managing to stay Aztec themed. Let's face it, though, most of Grant Kirkhope's music is brilliant. The guy is the VG music god.
6. Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire: Reshiram/Zekrom Theme
Technically, even though this is a legendary pokemon battle, I don't classify them as final bosses, because all it takes is literally a single master ball and the fight's over. The pokemon league champion is what I consider the final boss, unless you play one of the pokemon games where there are other, more powerful trainers, like Red, afterwards.
This isn't one of those pounding, energetic themes like from Banjo-Kazooie, or Donkey Kong, but the heavy drum beat in the background is what makes this entire track so great. Also the electricity sounds thrown in there is a nice touch. The part that comes right after the electricity is my favorite part. It really does sound like it's an important battle, and a powerful pokemon.
5. Phantasy Star 4 - Defeat At A Blow
There are some great mid-boss themes in this game, like Laughter and Dark Force (or Dark Falz, if you're a faggot). But I have to go with the regular boss theme in this game, for this list.
For starters, I love the thumping kick drum sound it has going on. I also love the windup at the start, and the nice little dramatic escalation is has just before it loops at the end. But the thing that made me pick this one for the list rather than one of the mid-boss themes is because of the feel of the track itself. It feels like you're fighting something bigger and badder than you and it feels like you're in real danger, but at the same time, it also lets you feel like a total badass fighting it. And when it comes to boss tracks, I want to feel like I'm up against something dangerous, but I also love feeling like a badass doing so, and this is one of the few songs that lets me feel both weaker than my enemy, but so cool while fighting it.
4. Final Fantasy 7 - Fight On
As much as I hate this game (I died in the beginning of the game, the part where you're climbing those stupid ladders, and when I found out I had to sit through the unskippable opening a second time just to try again, I quit playing and haven't touched it since) I can't deny that this is one of the single, solitary most influential boss themes ever. My biased 2 minutes total with the game won't color my opinion of it's music.
The organ and guitar combine in so many good ways in this song. And how can I talk about this and not talk about the windup? The guitar windup is really what makes this theme. If it weren't for that, I don't think I'd like this theme anywhere near as much. Orchestral in an RPG is par for the course, but rock/organ duets is where it's at.
3. Chrono Trigger: Generic Boss
I really wanted to follow 4 up with Final Fantasy 8, but then I remembered "Oh yeah. The actual boss theme sucks." Why the hell is the standard battle so much cooler? Hell, even The Man With The Machine Gun shows up the game's boss battle theme. What kind of crap is that?
Anyway, Chrono Trigger is on here for the same reasons that Fight On is on here: Guitar/organ combo, great music.
2. Kirby Super Star: Computer Virus
Though I do like this one, I specifically went with the RPG boss from the game, and put it up so high simply because of how clever the whole thing is. The track itself is no different from every other standard boss theme in the game, except with an RPG remix. I can't help but love it.
Before I reveal #1, here are some honorable mentions.
A. Vectorman 2: Shadow Boss Listen (Headphones warning: For some reason this one is louder than the rest)
Good god. Whoever cooked up this theme, fuck you. Here's what the boss looks like. Shadow Boss And that's the song that plays when you battle it. For the most part, the damn thing's invulnerable, too. How it attacks you is even worse. It's scary-ass face comes off and tries to bite you. I'm a grown-ass man, and that shit still freaks me the hell out, even though I know how to beat it without suffering any damage.
Why It Missed The List: This one would have been perfect for the list if not for one problem: The theme is playing through the entire level. Which is equally as unnerving as the boss. (The background's entirely black. The game itself is usually dark with subtle coloring, but in this level, the background is an empty black void.) Since it's the entire level, it's been disqualified.
B. Vectorman 2: Lava Boss Listen
This is a great theme. I love that it actually feels hot. When a level/boss theme helps you feel the heat, it's brilliant. Part of the reason I love Volcano Valley from Sonic 3D Blast.
Why It Missed The List: The part in the beginning that makes it so good kind of dies off leaving the rest a little boring before it loops.
C. Sonic 3D Blast: Boss 2 Listen
I love this theme. It's the one Robotnik always deserved. This is a really overlooked boss track. The thumping, pulse-pounding drums, the melody, and that chord at the beginning, it works so well. He isn't easy to beat, either. This game has some of the hardest Sonic boss fights ever. To this day, I've still never managed to beat the Volcano Valley boss. I always used to use the level select cheat to get by him. The game made it fairly easy to do this, simply by having the game kick you straight to the secret level select screen if anything goes wrong with the game's normal running process. All I had to do was tilt the cartridge while the game was running and hit reset. Instant bypass of one of the most difficult bosses in the game. The second to final boss is even harder, but I managed to beat that one fair and square after hours of trying. Oh, oops... tangent...
Why It Missed The List: I didn't want to overcrowd the list with Sonic games. It would have been far too easy to just fill the entire list with boss themes from Sonic.
D. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Listen
Do I really have to justify this? It's one of Robotnik's most memorable themes.
Why It Missed The List: Same as above.
E. Sonic The Hedgehog 3: Major Boss Listen
Much improved over Sonic 2's theme. I must admit, it suits him, especially the Marble Garden boss. (I'm aware that the image on that video says Sonic and Knuckles. It's wrong.)
Why It Missed The List: Same as C.
F. Sonic 3: Minor Boss Listen
I really like this theme because it's subtle, and you can really hear Micheal Jackson's influence in there. But what I like most about this one is that it fuses Kuckles' theme in there too. (The one from Sonic 3, not the one from Sonic and Knuckles.)
Why It Missed The List: I decided to not go with minibosses.
I think that about covers the "What about Sonic 2? What about Sonic 3? Why are they not on this list!?" crowd. I'll move on from Sonic titles.
G. Super Mario Bros 3: Koopa Kids Listen
I love how this theme starts. Dun dun dun dun!
The beat in the background is pretty rad, too. I don't think fighting the Koopa Kids would be anywhere near as fun if it weren't for the fact that this song is so cool.
Why It Missed The List: It's charming, but short. The battles aren't meant to be dragged out.
H. Super Mario Land 2 Listen
I love the way it opens to reveal the boss. The song fits the nature of a lot of the bosses in the game: Quick, active, dangerous.
Why It Missed The List: Once you get past how awesome the opening is, it's kind of boring.
1. Undertale: Megalovania
I'm sorry! I can't help it! There is nothing about this song I don't like! Now, before I explain it, let me explain how it made the list. The fight this song goes to is a hidden boss fight. I don't see hidden bosses that you have to do super specific things to unlock is a final boss, even when they're more powerful than the game's actual final fight.
Now, this one came down to a neck and neck tie between the original for originality, or the Undertale version.
The Original Version has it charms, and it's the original one. Even though it's the final boss, it's fair because it's recycled for Undertale, and used on a hidden boss.
The Undertale Version however, has a guitar and makes it sound so much better.
I don't give a shit if you don't like Undertale, neither do I, but Megalovania is so damn good.
And that's that... as far as I can remember... I've played so many games, it's hard to recall them all off the top of my head. Remember that this list is just my opinion. My completely objective, totally correct opinion. And if you disagree with it, you're inferior to me....