Boss battles can serve a few different purposes in games. They can change up the pace and often the scenery; they can serve as convenient punctuation between a game’s acts; they can work as a skill-gate, ensuring players are ready for the challenges ahead; they can even offer a sort of breather by allowing players to focus on just one enemy.
The many bosses in the DOOM universe are no different – except they also tend to scare the pants off of players, and look cool as Hell doing it.
3. The Maledict
Your journey through DOOM 3’s expansion Resurrection of Evil is almost at an end. You step through a portal and materialize on a floating platform adorned with a simply enormous demon skull. Then in swoops a bone-white, almost skeletal, dragon...thing. Except its head looks disturbingly like a human skull. And when it opens its mouth a human head comes out and starts talking to you.
Also it breathes fire.
That’s the Maledict, the final boss of the DOOM 3 story. A demonic reincarnation of head bad guy Dr. Malcom Betruger, the Maledict is a positively devastating – and disturbing – foe. It’s not just that it can fly all over the place, requiring expert aiming and quick reflexes to even land a shot. And it’s not just that its ability to rain fire upon you. What really makes things challenging is that nothing you do seems to hurt it very much, which is a major problem.
Ultimately, the Marine is able to take down the Maledict by cramming the Artifact – a heart-shaped demonic relic of incredible power – down Betruger’s throat. It’s a fulfilling victory, but no amount of celebration can ever quite wash away the memories of this boss’ horrifying design.