10 Best Skill-Check Bosses In Gaming History

9. The Mantis Lords (Hollow Knight)

final fantasy 16 Benedikta Harman boss fight
Team Cherry

Hollow Knight's reputation for masochist-level difficulty is well earned, but if you only played through the game's opening hours you'd be forgiven for wondering what the fuss is about.

Like a dominatrix easing a first-time client into their role, Hollow Knight takes things gently at first with a handful of easily-dispatched bosses - the digital equivalent of a gentle nipple tweak. The Mantis Lords, however, are when Hollow Knight slaps the player in the face, puts on its stilettos and starts digging its heels into their chest.

Hollow Knight's combat is all about leaping, dodging and finding the space and time to heal yourself. And while previous bosses gave you enough time to undergo a full spa service during their fights, the Mantis Lords are the first bosses whose relentless attacks make finding the time to heal a challenge in and of itself.

This dilemma only gets worse throughout the game - to the point where it becomes routine for a split-second to decide the difference between successfully healing yourself or getting smeared across the floor - but it's the Mantis Lords who offer the first real introduction to Hollow Knight's sadistic tendencies.


Hello! My name's Iain Tayor. I write about video games, wrestling and comic books, and I apparently can't figure out how to set my profile picture correctly.