10 Powerful Video Game Bosses That Became Weak Playable Characters

Why aren't they as powerful as they seemed when you fought them?

Shadow Mewtwo

When approaching a boss battle in a video game, players tend to have certain expectations. These fights might not all be comparable in terms of difficulty (a Super Mario title isn’t going to feature a spirit-crushing boss of Dark Souls-esque unbeatability), but they’re going to be a cut above the standard foes you’ll find in any given game.

Bosses are gatekeepers, after all. They’ll stand sentinel at the end of a level, or they’ll guard a new ability or weapon. Sometimes, they will even pop up as optional superbosses, more formidable foes than any the main campaign can muster (think the notorious Emerald Weapon and Ruby Weapon of Final Fantasy 7).

It’s always a bit of a thrill when one of these formidable foes later joins the player’s party, or is otherwise unlocked as a playable character. The trouble is, though, boss battles are often about spectacle, drama and challenge, which means that certain villains could break a game outright if they had all the same absurd attacks and powers they do in said battles.

A bit of a nerf is often in order, though sometimes these characters are weak enough to be outright disappointing. Here are some examples.

10. Adder - Advance Wars 2

Shadow Mewtwo

Adder is a Black Hole Army CO who appears in Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising. In the first sequel to Nintendo’s beloved Game Boy Advance turn-based strategy title (the long-running Famicom Wars in Japan), the Black Hole Army returns to wreck havoc on Wars World. Adder serves as an officer in this invading force, charged with the attack on Yellow Comet.

Encounters with Adders are marked by his rudeness, his arrogance, his lack of respect for anybody but those who outrank him. Like many antagonists, he is quick to disregard his opponents and will belittle them at every turn, but the battles against him are challenging more as a result of the scenarios and the nature of the game (it’s certainly a difficult one) than because of any special abilities he possesses. Indeed, when he’s unlocked, he may prove to be very disappointing.

Adder’s CO Power is Sideslip, and his Super CO Power is Sidewinder. They’re very quick to charge, at just two stars and a further three stars respectively, but they also only grant +1 movement (Sideslip) and +2 movement (Sidewinder) to all Adder’s units. Without any attack or defense bonus (though a 10% boost to both stats was added to these powers in Advance Wars: Dual Strike), this has very limited use, and with his completely standard units, Adder will often be overlooked for a CO more specialized for the task at hand.


Chris Littlechild hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.