Hey there fans! It’s time for the second installment of “RGB Questions”. I was asked before what my favorite RPG of all time was and why. I answered with a glowing description of my favorite, Final Fantasy 4. I was recently asked by a good friend what the scariest retro gaming boss I have ever faced was and why. It did not take me long to figure out the answer…

1. Introduction
2. A Little Backstory
3. Why so Scary?
4. Conclusion


In my opinion, the scariest boss I have ever faced in a retro game is none other than Giygas from Earthbound.

Giygas - Earthbound (SNES)

Giygas – Earthbound (SNES)

Now, let me explain something about the way I read this question. Sometimes when someone asks this kind of question, they might be actually asking what boss is the TOUGHEST. If that were the case, it would be a tie between NeoExDeath from FF5 or Raglan from Skyblazer. However, they are NOWHERE near as scary as Giygas. Don’t worry, I will explain to you why… (Top)

A Little Backstory

So who or what is Giygas? Well, therein is a little story. You see, the creator of the the Mother series (Earthbound is technically Mother 2) is a man with amazing talents named Shigesato Itoi. Although Itoi has done a number of things in Japan, the only thing we would know of him in America is Earthbound. When Itoi was a little boy about 5 or 6, he went to a movie theater in Japan with his family to watch a family friendly movie. At some point during the movie, he got up and went to the bathroom and got lost on the way back to his theater. He accidentally walked in on ‘Kenpei to Barabara Shibijin’ (The Military Policeman and the Dismembered Beauty) in a scene where a character is being killed and thrown into the river. However, the young Itoi thought the scene was a rape scene and the sounds and words he heard from the character who was being killed (or raped in his mind) gave him horrible nightmares.

The entire game is extremely eerie in tone despite its rather cartoon like characters and happy-go-lucky music. But the last boss fight requires the characters to enter the “Nightmare” of the main character Ness to destroy the evil that is lurking there. Guess what nightmare that is? The nightmare of Itoi and the woman being killed. You work your way through several odd and scary nightmare scenes until you walk forward and meet the source of all evil… a psychic monstrosity known as Giygas. (Top)

Why so Scary?

He is scary for many reasons…

Well probably the scariest thing about him is that you CAN’T SEE HIM. He’s not invisible… oh no.. you just can’t see something psychic in nature. If you look at the image above, you will see a wavy background with crazy colors. THAT is what Giygas looks like in the game. The more damage you do to him, the more wild and crazy the image in the background becomes. It starts out as this eerie bluish red color with some weird figures waving in and out like they were a mirage from the ground. In the final stages of this battle the colors are dark red, black and orange and the images look more like a twisted demon face. Let’s take a close look. On the left, you will see a picture of a normal background in a battle (This one is the boss “Titan Ant”). Then, look to your left and see a closeup of the face in the background that is ‘Giygas’. Horrified yet?

earthboundbg1 giygascloseup

Secondarily… the music is INSANE! The entire game has a great track list with some awesome music that runs from rock and roll to deep techno music. The music in each section of the game is very organic and it fits the tone of the area you are in. Caves have a deep and hissing music track, some towns have happy music while others have sad music. The area LEADING UP to Giygas has NO music… just this creepy water dripping sound. When you finally face off against him, as you do more damage, the music gets crazier and crazier. It loops this creepy music that sounds like crying mixed with murder if you can imagine it. Sometimes the music will do a spinback (like old DJ’s did when they scratched a record and play a part over). By the time you beat Giygas, the music is dizzying, horrifying and makes you feel alone and sad.

Thirdly… is HOW you beat him. Now, different final bosses have some unique ways you have to fight them. Raglan from Skyblazer requires you to be a ‘firebird’ form or your character will do NO damage. You can actually get to Raglan without this power but he will kill you because you can’t hurt him. Or perhaps you remember Zemus (the first form of Zeromus from FF2), he won’t transform into Zeromus unless you use the “Power of the Crystals” on him. You can hit him all you like but it will do nothing. So what about Giygas? Well, you can have the greatest attack power in the whole game, complete every side quest, get every Psi power that you have and it WON’T TOUCH HIM. The only way that you can beat Giygas is to use the girl character, Paula’s “Pray” ability. That’s right… you can’t kill him, you have to pray until he goes away. Sure, you can strike him with your weapons and the game will act like it did damage but he doesn’t die. I have proven this fact. I actually setup an emulator on one of my computers, loaded the save state fighting Giygas, and set Ness (the main character) to attack on auto. I also used a cheat code to make him invincible. I left it running for THREE DAYS and he was still alive. That’s 72 hours of whacking Giygas and he STILL won’t die. It takes about 5 or 7 prayers for him to finally go away but if Paula ever dies and you can’t bring her back. Too bad… you will lose.

Lastly, Giygas uses more mental things to screw with the player than any other attack. And no, I am not talking about your characters in the game… he messes with YOU! First of all, as you can see from the image above, my HP meter is all whacked out looking. That’s not because of a bug. When you first fight Giygas he uses a weird technique to screw up your HP meter so you have NO IDEA how much damage he is dealing you. Also, he says horrible things to you like “It hurts, Ness.. why does it hurt?” or “why do I dream of my own death?” and the scariest one “Ness… don’t take me.” BLARGGH! You notice how two of the characters on that screen have this little eyeball with a line on it? That’s because these ‘attacks’ by Giygas saying creepy words MAKE YOUR CHARACTERS CRY. Add all of this stuff to the ever changing background and screwed up music and you feel like you need to cry in a corner for hours after you fight this dude. (Top)


So let’s recap… Giygas is EVERYTHING and NOTHING at the same time. He is only able to be killed by praying A LOT. He says horrifying things to you as you fight him and he is based off of the nightmares of a 5 year old boy who walked in on a murder scene in a movie. All of these things together are what make Giygas horrifying. I say MANY times when I face him “Ack! Stop it!” or “No more crazy music!” and I almost always say after I beat him.. “Wow… he is so horrifying.” So that’s why I feel that Giygas is the scariest retro enemy of all time. Not the hardest to beat (if you can deal with being mentally wounded while you fight him)but easily one of the scariest things I have ever faced. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go wash my skin with scalding water to get the evil off of me. RGB Out!(Top)


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