A Superboss is a term referring to an optional boss in the Final Fantasy series that is very powerful, normally even more so than the game's final boss, and generally give either large amounts of experience, rare items, or both. They usually are found deep at the end of optional dungeons, or can only be found after a long series of sidequests. They usually have no bearing on the storyline, and their existence is rarely explained.
Likewise, the rewards gained from defeating a superboss are often not particularly useful; sometimes they give a key item as a proof of defeating the boss; as the player must already be extraordinarily skilled to defeat the boss in the first place, they thus have no need for further battle enhancements afterwards. Superbosses exist to challenge the player and give them something to do once the main storyline is finished.
Though actually only a very-rare random encounter, Warmech in the NES version can be considered a superboss, as his attacks are more powerful than the Four Fiends' combined. His power has been toned down in remakes since Dawn of Souls.
Shinryu and Omega in the Lifespring Grotto, and Death Gaze in the Whisperwind Cove, are the superbosses that appear in the Dawn of Souls, the 20th Anniversary edition and mobile platform remakes based on the latter.
In the 20th Anniversary edition and remakes based on this version, Chronodia is an even stronger superboss, fought at the end of a new bonus dungeon.
In the 20th Anniversary edition and later versions of the game based on the 20th Anniversary edition, Phrekyos is a superboss fought to gain each character's ultimate weapon. He can be fought an unlimited number of times, provided the player first clears each Arcane Labyrinth and does not kill Deumion. Deumion is also a superboss, and is the one who summons Phrekyos to test the player's skill. He is capable of using the Starfall attack the Emperor uses in the final battle.
Prior to later remakes that added additional enemies, some random encounters could be considered superbosses in the same sense as Final Fantasy's Warmech. The Iron Giant is a rare random encounter found in Pandemonium, and marks the creature's first appearance in the series overall. A number of optional bosses (such as Astaroth and Beelzebub) guard chests that contain powerful items.
In the Game Boy Advance and PlayStation Portable ports, the new Lunar Ruins dungeon is unlocked after beating the main game. "Lunar" versions of Rydia's summons inhabit these caves. The actual superboss, Zeromus EG, lies at the end of the ruins. Another superboss, Brachioraidos, can be found on one of the ruins' lowest floors.
In the DS version, Geryon and Proto-Babil are the superbosses. They can be faced in New Game Plus after stealing the Dark Matter from Zeromus during the first playthrough. Proto-Babil can be fought on the Moon's Surface, while Geryon can be fought either at the Giant of Babil or at Mount Ordeals.
The After Years has a total of three optional superbosses located in the Depths including Omega and Lord Dragon (otherwise known as Shinryu) from Final Fantasy V, and the Ultima Weapon from Final Fantasy VI. They have some different attack patterns and abilities and the player obtains powerful equipment after defeating them.
In The Complete Collection for the PlayStation Portable, a new post-game boss called Lost Babil was added. The player must talk with Challengingway at the secret location on the True Moon to fight it. They must assemble three parties to fight three separate bosses, which consist of Lost Babil's torso, head and CPU. This could be seen as a reference or reappearance of previous superboss Proto-Babil.
The original game included the first two superbosses to appear in the series, Omega and Shinryu. The Advance version adds stronger versions of these bosses, Omega Mk.II and Neo Shinryu, in the optional Sealed Temple dungeon. The final boss of the dungeon is also the final superboss, Enuo.
Originally, CzarDragon was stated to be the superboss in Final Fantasy VI, but was dropped for unconfirmed reasons prior to the game's SNES release. Deathgaze acts as a sort of superboss, due to its end-game level of power, but its difficulty is diminished since the player is not intended to defeat it in a single encounter and to weaken it over time.
Exclusive to the game's Game Boy Advance port, the Kaiser Dragon, a finished version of the dummied boss CzarDragon, awaits the player in the heart of the Dragons' Den after the player has defeated the eight dragons found within. Once Kaiser Dragon has been defeated, the true superboss of this game, Omega Weapon, will appear in its place.
The North American, European, and International versions of Final Fantasy VII feature two powerful superbosses:
- The Emerald Weapon appears at the Bottom of the Sea at random locations, grants the player a key item that can be traded into (some of) the most powerful Materia in the game.
- The Ruby Weapon, found by making contact with its head as it is sticking out of the sand on the world map in the Corel Desert near the Gold Saucer, grants the player a key item that can be traded into the most useful mount Chocobo in the game.
Minerva is an optional superboss and the final mission of the Great Cavern of Wonders group, Mission 9-6-6. She has the highest HP of any opponent and uses some of the strongest attacks in the game. As the player can battle her repeatedly, the boss can be used for item and gil farming.
The Omega Weapon is fought at Ultimecia Castle, and Ultima Weapon is found at the bottom of the Deep Sea Research Center. Ultima Weapon is based on Ultimate Weapon from Final Fantasy VII, and even wields Cloud Strife's best sword, which was a drop from its counterpart in Final Fantasy VII.
Omega Weapon lies hidden in Ultimecia Castle, and to reveal it the player must ring the bell in the Art Gallery to have it appear out of the purple cloud in the chapel. Defeating Omega Weapon grants the player the Proof of Omega.
Ozma is found in the Chocobo's Air Garden after completing most of the Chocobo Hot and Cold side quest. To hit it with physical attacks, the Friendly Enemies must have been given their requested gem. Ozma is a large spherical entity that is released from an eidolon grave, giving credit to the idea it may be a forgotten eidolon that has thus lost its form. Ozma's unique attack pattern makes it especially difficult.
In Final Fantasy X-2, the girls can gain access to Via Infinito through Bevelle. Many unsent characters became powerful fiends in the dungeon, with the strongest being Trema, a former denizen of Yevon. Angra Mainyu in Bikanel Desert can be fought multiple times during routine dig sessions, and can be fought and finally defeated after completing a certain quest.
The game's International version includes the boss Major Numerus, a four-headed snake on par with other superbosses. Although not quite as powerful, a fiend-version of Shinra titled Strongest Shinra is also a superboss.
Due to the nature of Final Fantasy XI being an MMORPG, virtually all in-game encounters are optional, including the main storyline and the final boss. There still exist a few event bosses and High Notorious Monsters that have been regarded as the most challenging encounters in the game. This list has changed over the years, as the game constantly evolves and new content will influence the difficulty of older ones.
Of the High Notorious Monsters (HNMs) in Vana'diel, the current reigning superboss would be Absolute Virtue from Chains of Promathia. It was notorious for being undefeatable without using some form of exploit as all prior successful methods of defeating it were patched out because it had not been killed the "proper way". Although it remained undefeated for years, within two months after the Level 80 cap raise, Absolute Virtue was finally defeated legitimately, but still poses a considerable challenge without the right alliance set-up.
Notable former HNM superbosses are Kirin, the first HNM that initially took nearly two hours to defeat, and Pandemonium Warden, which had its difficulty reduced due to it taking far too long to kill (a linkshell fighting for eighteen hours could not defeat it), an incident which generated a wave of bad press in gaming media circles.
Dynamis Lord, the final boss of Dynamis, was formerly the greatest event superboss in Final Fantasy XI. It initially required a minimum of forty players to defeat under a specific strategy (Red Mages using Chainspell Stun) which is still the main viable strategy used to defeat him to this day. Without this, the Dynamis Lord can annihilate entire alliances of players with a single use of its many special attacks, the most damaging of which is Oblivion Smash. Since the recent updates to the Dynamis system when the level cap was increased to 90, a revamped version known as Arch Dynamis Lord has been introduced.
Other battlefields known for their difficulty include "Divine Might", a battlefield that pits an alliance against the Ark Angels, "Waking the Beast", where one must face off against Carbuncle Prime and the six celestial avatars, as well as "The Wyrmking Descends", which is a battlefield against the Wyrmking Bahamut and his wyrm minions.
The Hell Wyrm can be fought in the Sochen Cave Palace after the conclusion of the Wyrm Philosopher side quest. However, the Hell Wyrm is considered a mere prelude to the game's hardest superboss, Yiazmat. Yiazmat is an Elite Mark accessed after every other Mark in the game has been completed (except the Shadowseer). It is found at the Ridorana Cataract coliseum, and has the most HP of any enemy in the series to date, weighing in at just over fifty million (50,112,254). Yiazmat takes several hours for the average player to kill.
Omega Mark XII is a less time-consuming superboss that can only be accessed once the Mark for Yiazmat has been accepted.
Also, there are the light and dark Espers, Ultima - who is found at the top of the Great Crystal - and Zodiark - who is found at the end of the sealed area of the Henne Mines. Both are difficult due to high defense and devastating attacks.
Yiazmat returns sheltered within the dark confines of Midlight's Deep. Though not as powerful as its Final Fantasy XII incarnation, Yiazmat has gained the elemental affinity of Lightning and has retained most of its devastating attacks. It is a Ranged unit.
Vercingetorix is the final Cie'th Stone mission. For his mission to become available, the player must have defeated Missions 27 to 51. Vercingetorix is a flying Undying with 15,840,000 HP. Defeating Vercingetorix, and as such completing all missions, earns the player the Galuf's Grail Achievement/Trophy and the Exorcist Achievement/Trophy for defeating the final Undying Cie'th.
Another superboss is Long Gui, a massive Adamantortoise who becomes available once the player has completed all of the fal'Cie Titan's trials as well as missions 56-62, at which point every oretoise on the Archylte Steppe except one will become a Long Gui or a Shaolong Gui. Long Gui has 16,200,000 HP, while its two front legs have 1,080,000 HP each.
Disabling its legs is recommended, as doing so renders it defenseless, but they eventually recover. Defeating Long Gui typically requires disabling its legs at least twice. Defeating Long Gui earns the player the Adamant Will Achievement/Trophy.
The two most powerful enemies in the Archylte Steppe could be considered superbosses: The Long Gui from Final Fantasy XIII returns with the highest HP in the game. Another enemy, Yomi, is similar in appearance to, and uses the same battle tactics as Vercingetorix from the original game. One of the Undying, it's a one-of-a-kind Cie'th. Defeating it along with the Long Gui, Ochu, and Immortal will award the player the Big Game Hunter Achievement/Trophy.
Raspatil is a superboss found on the Ashensand of Oerba in 400 AF. The Cie'th boasts 3,666,000 HP and can call other powerful Cie'th into battle, and defeating her awards the player 25,000 CP (the most of any enemy in the game) and the Fair Fighter Achievement/Trophy.
Square Enix also released several boss fights of relative difficulty as downloadable content of which the recurring bosses: Omega and Gilgamesh are two examples. The most powerful superboss is Valfodr who has the highest maximum HP in Final Fantasy XIII-2, totaling 15,500,000 in his level 99 fight.
Currently, Final Fantasy XIV has two battles that have been designed to be extremely difficult and intended to be a major challenge. The first one is the fight against Ifrit (Extreme), a required step for the Relic Weapons quest, where Ifrit gains the ability to use Hellfire multiple times during the battle, and all of his skills are reworked to affect bigger areas of the battlefield (some being completely unavoidable unless his horns are incapacitated).
The other fight is the hard version of the Seventh Umbral Era final boss, Nael Deus Darnus, an optional battle unlocked by completing the storyline, rewarding victorious players with the White Ravens earrings. The battle begins with Nael immediately charging Megaflare (which now deals around 7000 damage), requiring players to employ extreme damage mitigation tactics to survive the initial minutes of the fight.
Elidibus is a mysterious character similar to the Lucavi fought in the final level of the optional dungeon, Midlight's Deep, but he is not significantly more difficult than the final boss, Ultima. The challenge comes from winning the battle while learning Zodiark and/or obtaining the Byblos.
The Corrupt Judges await as a post-final boss challenge. Though they are technically classified as superbosses, they exist in a gray area of this term, as this classification is based on them being encountered after defeating the game's final boss, Li-Grim. Li-Grim, however, remains the game's most difficult boss.
The Upsilon class of enemy, one being the red Smoldering Incubus, a rather weak superboss, can be fought in the optional Heritor ability quest tackled before the final ability quest. It is only a prelude to the game's true superboss, Magick Weapon, a possible incarnation of the Omega Weapon (it was built on the same model, like Smoldering Incubus, a possible incarnation of Ultima Weapon). It can be fought after defeating the Neukhia, the final boss.
Clan Cinquleur members also are superbosses, as the second and third time the player encounters them, they are level 99 and are very difficult to defeat (albeit not as difficult as Magick Weapon). Other superbosses are the bosses of Brightmoon Tor sidequest, and the clans of "The Final Mission", which encounter the party at level 99, and ban the summoning of Scions (they can still be summoned, but if the player uses one, they lose the judge's protection).
Asura appears as the superboss found at B3 of the Iron Maiden Dungeon. She is difficult to deal damage to and has the highest HP in the Game at 999. Story-wise she is the reason for the filling of the Iron Maiden with The Dark (and is also the namesake of the dungeon) after being imprisoned and experimented on by Müllenkamp.
Omega appears as the 50th floor boss in the optional DLC dungeon Infinity Spire. He is far more powerful than regular Infinity Spire floor bosses and uses an attack called Wave Cannon that will hit every Adventurer inside Infinity Spire for 1,000 damage, even if they are not fighting him (although any Adventurer not in battle at the time cannot be knocked out by it). Defeating Omega rewards one of the Adventurers who survived the battle with the Omega Symbol, a level 50 necklace that adds +27 to all stats, as well as a regular medal for completing the floor.
A Wyrm appears as the 99th floor boss of the same dungeon. It is by far the most powerful opponent in the game and is similar to Omega except even more powerful. It has an attack called Tidal Wave that will hit every adventurer in the dungeon for 3,000 damage. On defeat, one surviving Adventurer in the battle will get the Ragnarok Prime, a sword that gives +52 to all stats, as well as a regular medal for completing the floor.
These two superbosses are the only ones in the entire series the player does not get to fight directly.
Great Galdes, the final boss from Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates returns as a superboss in Echoes of Time. The battle is identical to the Ring of Fates encounter, although the difficulty is ramped up significantly.
Inward Chaos is the final storyline and pits the player against all twenty-two playable characters of escalating level, ending with a battle with Chaos at Level 110. Opponents ranging from Level 100 to Level 150 can be fought in the Blackjack Course in the Duel Colosseum, including a Level 130 Chaos. At these levels opponents have much higher stats than the player's character, and due to being at a higher level gain a bonus to their base Bravery.
A Level 130 Feral Chaos with over a hundred thousand HP is fought as the final boss of the bonus storyline Confessions of the Creator. A Level 95 Feral Chaos can be fought earlier in the same storyline as a manikin of the true boss.
The Haniwa functions as a superboss similar to Warmech from the original Final Fantasy, in that it appears rarely randomly in a certain area, which in this case happens to be the final area of the game. It's a very dangerous enemy, but is arguably not as powerful as the final boss.
The game has six optional bosses that could be consider superbosses. Each boss is located at the 100th floor of each bonus tower.
- Krinjh: Located at the top floor of the Moonsand Ruins.
- Torte: Located at the top floor of the Holy Tree Tower.
- Rolan and Rekoteh: Both located at the top floor of the Mysterious Tower.
- The Adventurer and the Faithful Fox: Both located at the top floor of the Trial Tower.
Final Fantasy Dimensions has three post-game superbosses all accessible through Gladiators' Hall:
Each superboss can gain levels, up to a maximum level of 6. Adamantoise and Omega Weapon gain 1 level every 2 times they are defeated, while Gigantuar gains 1 level every 3 defeats.