ALRIGHT SO! No More Heroes 1 and 2 both released on the Switch a couple months ago and I just spent the last 48 hours (in reality more like 9-10 hours in the last 48 hours) speeding through both games to let you know what my favorite bosses of the series are. The rules are simple:
- My opinion is just that: an opinion
- These bosses were experienced on a new game plus file played on Mild difficulty so your experience with them might vary on a fresh file or on bitter mode.
- Bosses won’t just be ranked on the fight but also the context and pre fight dialogue.
- Sometimes I have Bad Opinions, alright?
Please note there will be spoilers so please if you haven’t played these games go do that.
11. Helter Skelter
You Tried. No seriously he really did, unfortunately he was taken down before the game even released having been the first assassin Travis kills in the trailer. So I’m gonna throw the man a bone and give him the unofficial number 11 spot.
10. Kimmy Howell
So don’t get me wrong, I like Kimmy Howell as a concept and character. A fangirl of the MC ready to prove her skill to her beloved superstar? HELL YEAH! It’s just that Kimmys fight while fun, isn’t really anything special and the same goes for the context and pre-fight dialogue. Yeah her letter to Travis is fun and it’s really neat that her fight is entirely optional but I wouldn’t say anything in particular stands out compared to the others on this list. But hey number 10 out of what like 25 bosses isn’t too shabby I’d say.
9. Dr. Peace
Now Dr Peace is a boss I had to contemplate putting on this list because his fight is just way too simple since he remains stationary for pretty much all of it. However, I thought about his pre fight dialogue with Travis and how we can hear the regret he holds in becoming an assassin in the words he says. In particular the line that stood out to me was “The food? Tasted like blood.” which took me a minute to get my first time around but when I finally got it, it remained a line that stood out to me. Unfortunately for as much as I do like his character the bosses above him stand out a lot more by having more spectacle and challenge, at least that quick draw section at the end of his fight is cool.
8. Death Metal
Death Metal as a boss isn’t really anything special considering he’s the tutorial boss for the first game. That doesn’t stop him from being a bit of a tough nut to crack with his cloning technique and constant use of blocking. But what brings him into the top 10 is his exchange with Travis before the fight begins. He immediately challenges Travis’s ideals and clues Travis in on how cruel the world of assassination is, words that Travis ignores at the time but soon learns to regret not listening to. It’s that clash of ideologies that gives Death Metal an edge over Dr. Peace and Kimmy Howell.
Everyone’s favorite caped psychopath and for good reason. Destroyman has one hell of a memorable pre-fight dialogue with Travis that is not only legitimately unsettling with the way it’s shot but also absolutely hilarious with how much abuse Travis takes during it. The boss itself is pretty straight forward but the way it leans super heavily on the super hero aspect is awesome and adds a lot of character to the fight. The sheer amount of charm that oozes off paired with the superhero movie theme of his fight is what nets him the number 7 spot.
6. Bad Girl
Bad Girl Makes it so high because of the sheer insanity of her fight and just how challenging the fight was. Seriously this girl is a fucking tank, she takes damage like its nothing and will absolutely throttle you if your careless. Actually not only will she throttle you she will straight up instant kill you in some cases (remember watch the hands not the mouth!). While character wise she isn’t much as she just kills indiscriminately and has no qualms with it, it’s that fact that actually disgusts Travis and leads to an interesting exchange between their philosophies. Hell she’s the only boss to make Travis surrender which is quite impressive even though she dies shortly after.
Ryuji is what I consider to be this list’s exception to the rules I established. We know absolutely nothing about him, his only lines of spoken dialogue are boss grunts and the words “Come out dragon!” and the context behind the fight is simply that he’s the next one you need to fight. What we do know is that Ryuji is the dragon to Travis’ tiger and when a dragon and a tiger meet they must fight. God damn his fight awesome as it starts with an (admittedly janky) MOTORCYCLE SUMO MATCH. Not just that but his fight is fair, fun and challenging. Which makes it all the more tragic he gets gunned down by Sylvia, because you too will be feeling like he was one hell of a worthy opponent.
4. Skelter Helter
Skelter Helter while a tutorial boss is still one hell of a way to start off No More Heroes 2. His exchanges with Travis are memorable, the context of the fight is great because he’s taking revenge for his brother the late Helter Skelter on the same place where he died, and his fight is really fun for how simple it is. It helps that Skelter Helter gets more characterization because he’s a key part of No More Heroes 2 and got a bonus comic that came with the special edition of the game… which is unfortunately exclusive to japan but translations of which do exist online. Sad to see a would-be college graduate get wrapped up in the world of assassins but hey he gave us one hell of a memorable opening.
Alright so for this one i’m not gonna take into account Shinobu’s post boss characterization because well she isn’t a boss anymore at that point. Just letting you all know now. Shinobu still makes it to number 3 because her boss is one of my favorites. Shinobu is the first actual challenge in No More Heroes and it shows. If you dont have a good understanding of things like Dark-step and just rush in then she will absolutely fuck you up. Even me, who has done plenty of runs of No More Heroes, still has trouble with her. As for her character, Her stoicness and serious nature really pair well with her samurai motif and the mixup of assuming Travis killed her dad gives her more motivation to face Travis than just doing it for the sake of the ranking.
2. Alice Twilight
Hoooo boi Alice is fucking fantastic. She serves as Travis’s bitter wake up call in No More Heroes 2 making him realize just how many people he’s hurt and killed on his quest for revenge and making him come to regret his actions. While ultimately this gets a little undermined due to Travis still finishing his path to revenge, her interactions with Travis serve as the catalyst to Travis taking his first steps to actually becoming somewhat of a heroic figure rather than just some murder happy horndog. As for her fight, I think Alice might be one of the very few fights that I would classify as being on equal footing, since there’s not much she does that you can’t (well save for throwing beams) but thats what makes the fight so satisfying since you know that when you win you’ve earned it.
Alright who didn’t see this coming, raise your hand. YOU THERE PUT IT DOWN WE BOTH KNOW YOU’RE LYING! Look there’s not too much to say about this fight. Travis is fighting his cooler older brother in the middle of a parking lot after they saved him from being killed on the shitter. Did the fight have a reason to happen? Not really, but hey Mr Sir Henry Motherfucker stole your kill and it’s time for payback. Unlike the fight with Alice, Henry does not stand on equal footing with you having a bevy of attacks ranging from: Lazer balls, long range stabs, counters, and an instant kill. While these are easy to avoid, dodging and punishing the whiff are pretty much the only way you’ll be able to get damage off on Henry unless you’re good at pulling off dark steps on his normal combos. He also deals a lot of damage meaning you really can’t be careless because before you know it you’ll be on the ropes while Henrys at half health since the man is also a damage sponge. Henry is a marathon that asks you to put together everything you’ve learned in the game to beat him because otherwise you’re going to be ripped apart like tissue paper. Even 2 hours after beating him at the time of writing I was still riding the rush of adrenaline his boss fight gave me and honestly if that doesn’t qualify Henry as number one then I don’t know what does.
That has been my personal Top 10 bosses from No More Heroes 1 and 2, if you disagree with me feel free to let me know as I’m always down to talk No More Heroes. Now off I go to save up for a Switch and wait for No More Heroes 3. When you next see me however, expect to see a return to the wonderful world of Hololive where I’ll rank 30+ of my favorite Hololive songs from the past 4 months. Until then see ya and remember “Punks Not Dead”.