Fromsoftware has a much longer track record than most fans realize in 2021. As a studio, they’ve been producing popular games since the 90s, long before the concept for Demon’s Souls even reached the studio. Some series’ from the studio are still getting current support with new games, and fans appreciate the callbacks to old games in their new franchises.
These lesser-known series include King’s Field and Armored Core, which are more popular in Japan due to smaller localization efforts in the west. If Fromsoftware is known for anything besides the difficulty of their games, it’s their attention to detail in their lore building and enemies. The bosses of Fromsoftware’s games have been fantastic since their earliest games.
10 Seath From King’s Field
Seath is a dragon from the King’s Field series’ third installment (second in the US) whose name is also used in the Dark Souls series for Seath The Scaleless. Seath is a dragon with immense physical power that imposes himself over the battlefield and the player. He marches back and forth, swiping at the player, and unleashes magic blasts that can be hard to avoid.
The inclusion of Seath as an Easter Egg in later games just goes to show the amount of detail and love for the character FromSoftware put into realizing him in their 1996 game. He’s one of the more unique bosses and memorable for fans, even though the gameplay of King’s Field didn’t make for many creative boss fights.
9 N-WGIX/v From Armored Core
This is a fight from Armored Core: Verdict Day that fans couldn’t forget if they tried. The fight sports flashy phase shifts, a deserted battle arena, and captures the true atmosphere of a dual between men putting everything on the line. The Armored Core series deals with the relationships between man and war, and the ethics of it all when making hard decisions, and this fight is the culmination of all of those things.
The first phase involves avoiding projectiles and staying out of range of large energy blasts, which isn’t what’s immediately expected from the N-WGIX/v’s appearance. Once the energy shields are depleted, the player can swoop in with physical blade attacks. After clearing the first phase, it’s all about maintaining distance and using projectiles to damage the enemy.
8 Michizane From Otogi: Myth Of Demon
Michizane is the final boss of the obscure FromSoftware game Otogi: Myth of Demon. He’s a standard humanoid boss with 3 separate forms, and Michizane is the final form. The boss mainly floats high above the player, making him hard to reach and land solid combos on with a standard sword. It’s recommended to change equipment around to make the character more mobile and able to hit airborne enemies.
As a final boss, Michizane can be sort of underwhelming but his difficulty is what sets him apart. He’s very difficult to track and take down, making for a satisfying finish once he’s defeated. The game seems to take a lot from Ninja Gaiden games that work similarly and it truly shows during this godly final battle.
7 The Fight House From Metal Wolf Chaos
Metal Wolf Chaos is a hilarious experience of a video game that plays on the grandiosity of America’s patriotism and does it well. Toward the end of the game, the player takes on the White House which is covered in battle armor and cannons and nicknamed the Fight House. Unlike the Armored Core series, most of the boss fights in this game are not giant fighting robots, but rather large military vehicles like tanks and helicopters.
This fight is iconic for how outlandish it is, coupled with its surprising difficulty. The Fight House has two stages, one with armor, and one without, as the player tries to do what’s right for democracy. There’s not much else to say about how ridiculous this fight is without trying it for oneself.
6 Mobile Armor Hawk Unit From Metal Wolf Chaos
Another boss from Metal Wolf Chaos, the Mobile Armor Hawk Unit is the only boss fight against another combat robot in the game. This fight is extra special because the pilot of the Hawk Unit is actually the Vice President of the United States. The Vice President is the main antagonist who foils the main character again and again throughout the game, so this fight has emotional weight to it.
The fight is more standard than others in the game since there’re fewer gimmicks, but what makes it memorable is the setting. The player fights the Vice President in a casino filled with slot machines to obscure the battleground, kind of like the gravestones in the fight against Gascoigne in Bloodborne. The music and ambiance of it all contrast the climactic fight itself, giving the player a conflicted feeling, probably similar to what the main character is feeling.
5 Valkyrie From Lost Kingdoms 2
Valkyrie is an optional boss from Lost Kingdoms 2, an action-based RPG from FromSoftware made in 2003 for the Gamecube. The game had an interesting combat system based on a card deck that decided what skills and attacks were available to the player.
Many players don’t get this fight on their first playthrough because it requires certain decisions to be made that seem detrimental to the player, so it’s usually avoided. As an optional boss, Valkyrie is one of the more dynamic fights of the game since she moves around a lot and has a bunch of different abilities.
4 Disguise From Shadow Tower
Disguise is a boss from Shadow Tower, a game that’s widely considered the precursor to Dark Souls. The mechanics, action, and even characters from Shadow Tower make appearances in a lot of future FromSoftware titles. Disguise is definitely a good example of a boss that makes a later appearance.
The connection isn’t direct but it’s noticeable when players realized that the fight with Disguise is similar to the fight with Pinwheel. Disguise hides in darkness and shoots projectiles at the player, obscuring its location and making it hard to find. The boss can teleport around the map and has a mask as well. All these factors are implemented in the fight with Pinwheel. It’s interesting to see the difference in how fans accepted these fights since Pinwheel is considered one of the most annoying fights in the franchise.
3 Shadow Tower Abyss Final Boss
The final boss of Shadow Tower Abyss is the most souls-like boss in any of the games produced before Demon’s Souls. The boss is a humanoid in dark knight’s armor who wields a sword, and reflects a mirror image of what the player character would look like if they were evil. This concept had early beginnings in FromSoftware and showed its merit in this fight.
The fight itself is somewhat easy for a final boss, but it was groundbreaking for its time. The enemy moves with precision, dodges attacks with a hop step, and swings its sword with accurate hit detection. In an action RPG, things like this were pretty unheard of at the time and it’s a shame the game wasn’t more popular in the west.
2 Lady Butterfly From Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the latest release from FromSoftware that isn’t a souls game and it’s a favorite for a lot of fans. The boss fights of Sekiro seem like fights from series’ more like Ninja Gaiden than Dark Souls and have that classic FromSoftware charm to them. A perfect example of this is Lady Butterfly.
Lady Butterfly forces players to utilize game mechanics other than just dodge and striking as they would in Dark Souls, and has them use techniques exclusive to Sekiro, such as aerial attacks and deflects. The fight is also one of the more difficult ones in the early game so it’s extremely satisfying once she’s defeated.
1 Guardian Ape From Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
An issue a lot of fans complained about with FromSoftware’s games like Dark Souls 2 is that there were too many humanoid bosses, which took away from the rest of the boss’ overall design since they felt too similar. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice made sure to remedy that by including humanoid bosses, gimmick fights, and ample fights with non-human enemies. The most memorable of these and possibly the most memorable FromSoftware boss fight ever is with the Guardian Ape.
The ape begins the fight in its regular form, slamming the ground, flinging poop, and jumping all around the stage, making for a unique fight that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Upon beheading the ape, it actually starts its second phase as a giant host to a parasite that is still intent on killing the player. The fight is accompanied by amazing music and a beautiful stage in the background, so it’s not something fans will forget any time soon.