Boss Attack: Ristar

I haven’t brought it up much (not that I’ve had a chance) but I love Ristar. It’s a criminally under-looked game, in my opinion and one of the very best Sega has produced from that generation of gaming. The gameplay is fun and the visuals are bright and a treat to look at until your eyes bleed.

But that isn’t what I’m here to talk about now. No I’m here to talk about what I consider is one of the best parts of this game. And that’s its numerous boss battles. So hit the jump to read about the weirdest and most wonderful villains this overlooked classic can throw at you!

Let’s start with the first boss (why wouldn’t I?). The first boss of Ristar is some wizard guy who floats above you like he thinks he owns the fucking place. He’s insanely easy to beat of course and once you’ve hit his little side kick (which resides cowering on his back) enough times, it turns into a ball from World of Goo, which for some reason makes the first boss a friendly old man again. Hooray. Nothing really to comment on, just an easy intro boss to get you settled into the main gameplay. I like this as the bosses actually feel like they challenge what you’ve learnt in the level, apart from being a nice diversion (which let’s face it, was pretty much all bosses back then).

The second boss is an incredibly irritating ordeal as it takes place underwater. Is it me or do all underwater levels in any game, just automatically suck? Either way this boss is a hammerhead shark who you have to grab towards you like you really want a mouthful of shark tongue. After each time you hit it the water level goes down which is parts infuriating and helpful. On one hand, the shark will probably run into you directly, on the other hand you might actually get a hold of him in a confined space. It’s not a good boss fight but it is an underwater level stage so what did you really expect?

Like this but less real.

The next boss is kind of forgettable, it does have a neat free falling section but apart from that there isn’t a lot to say. However the boss of the musical stage is quite memorable. The boss takes place on a stage where two birds are singing. One of them sings good and gives you lives the more you let it sing. When the other one sings it looks like Ristar shoved a bunch of LSD into his eyelids and blinked himself into a bad trip. The fight itself is standard. Just dodge the musical notes and hit the bird. And no ‘hit the bird’ is not a euphemism for masturbation.

Now you may be thinking that all the boss fights sound similar. That being that all you do is grab the boss enough times and it dies. Well there are actually a few diverse bosses that mix things up. For example of one of these is a snowball fight with a creature. You hold down to make the snowballs and dodge his while finding your opportunity to hit him and go in for the kill. After this fight the alien even helps you out in the next fight by giving you a spicy curry to throw into the next bosses mouth.

For some reason the boss I just mentioned (the main boss of the snow level, not the snowball fight) was changed in the US version. In the Japanese version it was a snow creature with cat ears. However cats are obviously too extreme for the West so they covered the cat ears up by putting a fez on him. Fezzes are cool.

There are a few more bosses, one including a giant robot worm thing controlled by Dreamworks Megamind. It’s quite fun. However I will start to wrap things up by telling you about the last epic boss. The last boss of Ristar, suffice to say is really epic. The boss starts off sitting on a throne, throwing some obstacles which you have to fling off the screen. After this however the final boss decides to get off his arse and do something. he has a range of attacks, to try and stop you from grabbing him, including a one hit kill which sucks you into a vortex of death. After you hit him 1000 times he escapes with the other main baddies of the game and flees, never to be seen again. Literally because they never made a sequel.

So that was the ‘best of’ bosses of Ristar. Hopefully if you hacen’t played this game I have compelled you to. If you have then I’m sorry for wasting your time, but at least you can go play it again. I hope you enjoyed it and I’ll see you next time when I’ll talk about bosses in an old Sega game! What a surprise!

  • FatBeezus

    Nothing will ever be better than 16-bit bosses
    ever
    including a cure for AIDS

  • sarahtonin

    Such a shame this game didn’t get the recognition it deserved in the 16 bit days.

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