Thanks to Scott Baird of ScreentRants.com for the inspiration!
Final Fantasy VII has some of the best boss battles in the series. The fights against Safer Sephiroth, Demon’s Gate, and the Weapon monsters will forever be etched into the memories of fans, due to their greatness.
Not all boss monsters are created equal, however, and even the best games have a few crappy fights at the end of a level. In Final Fantasy VII, the worst boss monster in terms of laziness has to be Schizo the dragon, which awaits you at the end of Gaea’s Cliff.
Schizo is a two-headed dragon that comes out nowhere. One can only guess that it was just hanging out in Gaea’s Cliff for no particular reason, waiting for adventurers to fight. Schizo has no relation to any of the factions in the game and is never referred to after it is beaten. It only exists because the developers wanted to put a boss at the end of Gaea’s Cliff.
If you don’t remember, or know about, this boss battle:
Schizo is a boss fought in Final Fantasy VII, atop Gaea’s Cliff. It is a two-headed dragon-like monster. There is a healing spring in the screen before the encounter to heal before the battle. The inescapable battles glitch, which prevents the player from escaping random encounters, occurs in the area after Schizo is defeated until the player exits the screen.
The boss battle begins after a healing spring, so that’s not too bad. Getting to replenish your health before facing off against a boss battle is always a plus. Even still, it might give players a hard time, due to its attack patterns:
The left head uses powerful Ice attacks, while the right head uses powerful Fire attacks. Together the boss can inflict a stronger Double Breath attack if both heads are alive. The right head uses Right Breath instead of Double Breath against all party members if the left head is dead, and the left head uses Left Breath instead of Double Breath against all party members if the right head is dead.
The right head counterattacks with Tremor every 5th hit while the left head with every 6th hit, which hits the entire party and is the same as Quake2 spell.
Both heads must be destroyed to kill Schizo. When a head dies, it unleashes a powerful Lightning-elemental group attack upon the party as a Final Attack. Without Lightning protection, it will do roughly 1,500 damage to the entire party, and it is cast twice in succession if both heads are killed at once.
At the time, I had no idea how to beat Schzoid. His Ice and Fire attacks completely drained my health because I neglected my Materia and accessories.
This boss battle actually forced me to pay attention to use my Materia. I found that putting an accessory that nulls the magic. Rather than just using my Materia to hack, slash and heal, I used accessories in a strategic way. I don’t know how I got that far by just equipping what I needed to heal and raise my HP. Once I realized I could gain HP by equipping an elemental Materia to my armor, Schzoid became easier. Sure, I had to deal with Quake and Tremor attacks. But with a high enough HP, Schizo was sure to heal me afterward. Plus, we have many opportunities to heal. We get healing spring before the battle. Our characters can end the battle with full health after figuring out how to beat it. A pretty good deal I think.
And this is how Final Fantasy VII is, a puzzle the players need to solve in order to progress. Taking away a boss battle like this only robs the players of a challenge in solving problems.
But Scott isn’t making a statement about its difficulty or the inability to escape from random encounters. He has an issue with Schizo’s timing and placement, as in why does it need to be there at all. I’m not sure why that’s a concern; why do enemies appear where they are in the first place?
Usually, though it’s like a tip-off to the players that we’re reaching the end of an area. Once you fight this boss, you’re on to the next section. So then, why not put what you’ve learned in that section to good use by fighting a boss battle? If the point is for the developers to give the players a challenge, then give the players a challenge.
Who does Scott want to cut next? Carry Armor?