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Ranking the Metroid Fusion Bosses

The 20 year anniversary for Metroid Fusion came and went last year – it’s been interesting revisiting it after so long. Fusion took a big chance by offering a more linear-styled experience, but overall that chance paid off. From Fusion, we got a fantastic story and antagonist that moved the overall narrative forward quite a bit. It would be some time before we saw how that story unfolds, but in the meantime, Fusion stood out on its own as the game to bring Samus and the Metroid series into a more story-based experience.

And so, as we move on from its 20 year celebration, here’s my in-depth look and ranking of the Fusion bosses inspired by our recent episode of the Omega Metroid Podcast.


12. Cores (Human and Elephant Bird)

Kicking off the list at number 12, we have the Human and Elephant Bird cores. I’m putting them together because, let’s be real, they’re basically the same. In fact, they’re pretty much identical to some of the cores that emerge from the boss fights later on.

There’s really not much to say with these fights. They float around like typical cores, however, to damage them, you have to wait for an eye to appear where you can then strike. They do shoot back with the beam you’re soon to acquire respectively, but overall there’s not much going on in these fights.


11. SA-X

Of all the boss encounters, the SA-X was no doubt the most disappointing for me. Considering that it’s the main antagonist throughout the story, I was expecting more from it in its final fight. In its first phase, you face off against the Samus looking SA-X that you’ve become familiar with. It simply runs after you and shoots. In return, you jump over it and shoot back with a charge shot. It’s incredibly lackluster. Eventually, you’ll do enough damage to reveal its more monstrous form. Here it simply lunges at you. Again, you give it a few charge shots, and that’s it. 

As I said, it’s incredibly disappointing. There are a number of bosses on this list that manage to be simple yet fun. Here, we just get lacking. Sadly, the SA-X stands at number 11 for me.


10. Barrier Core

Like the SA-X, the Barrier Core doesn’t do much in its fight. It is, however, slightly more engaging. It appears as a giant X core surrounded by smaller cores. You blast away some of the smaller cores to make an opening for the larger one. It’s nothing complicated, but you do have to dodge its constant floating around much like you do the standard core fights. The room you fight in is what helps keep the fight engaging. Three main platforms stand above some water. So if you’re knocked off or simply land poorly, you’ll likely be swimming with the fishes. You’ll have to climb back into the fight before it tackles you for some damage.

There’s nothing too special about the Barrier Core, but it’s not the worst on this list which is why I placed it at number 10.


9. Omega Metroid

It’s hard to judge the Omega Metroid fight. This was clearly meant to be more of a cinematic moment than it is a fight, but nevertheless, it has to sit somewhere on this list. The one thing this fight does have going for it though, is its surprise appearance. After defeating the SA-X and making my way to the ship, I certainly wasn’t expecting it. And it does offer a nice moment. The SA-X realizes in its final moment of defeat, the necessity of joining with Samus as a means of self-preservation. And together, they defeat the Omega. It’s not at all a complicated or even challenging fight, but what it lacks in action, it makes up for in cinematics. With that, I’m putting Omega at number 9.


8. Security Robot

I’ll be honest, I hate this thing. First, you have an incredibly tight hit box at its core. That by itself isn’t a bad thing; it’s often an expected challenge with a boss fight. The primary method for getting at the core is to hang from the monkey bars above and shoot down at it. Unfortunately, the bot likes to jump around which if you’re too close knocks you off the bars. There is a sweet spot just off to either side where you can angle down to hit the core while avoiding its jump, but there’s one more nuisance still in this fight. The robot’s weapon launcher will occasionally pop up completely blocking its core. In the first fight, it’s a grenade that spawns flame walls; in the second, it’s a barrage of missiles.

The missiles are thankfully easier to deal with. By the time I hit the 2nd fight, I was ready to turn that darn thing into a toaster. Overall, when you put everything together: the tight hit box that gets occasionally blocked and the random jump moves, I find this boss mostly frustrating. For me, this one sits at number 8.


7. Ridley

Here we have what I’d say is your traditional Ridley fight. He’ll strike with his tail, shoot some fireballs, and try his best to get you within his grasp. You, on the other hand, blast away with as many missiles as you can fathom. 

The one thing I’ve never been fond of with these Ridley fights is the amount of space. It’s such a cramped room for a flying enemy. I do get that it also means there’s little room for you to run, but I’d rather have more space and a faster Ridley than what we usually get. I understand it’s a small screen being on the GBA, but even Serris manages a solid fight coming and going at fast speeds.

Overall, it’s an OK fight. There’s nothing really new here except for that god-awful scream of his, but it’s still enough for me to put this at 7.


6. Nettori

On the surface, Nettori is a pretty basic fight. The main enemy itself doesn’t actually move, but you do have to overcome your surroundings. The plants above drop floaty projectiles with movement patterns that are enough to throw you off your game. And when they hit you, you’re invariably knocked off the platform and into the plants below for a feeding frenzy. You do your best to dodge or simply vaporize the harmful pollen, all the while blasting away at the possessed Chozo statue. It’s reminiscent of Spore Spawn from Super Metroid, however, the deadly plants beneath you up the stakes. 

Once you’ve done enough damage, the front half crumbles away. From here, you need to dodge the onslaught of the plasma beam. It’s not complicated, but once you get into the groove of jump, duck, shoot, or whatever the pattern calls for at the moment, it’s satisfying.

Overall, I found the first phase a bit frustrating at times because of the plants below, but considering not much else is going on here, it’s forgivable. So, this one sits at 6 for me.


5. Yakuza

Yakuza isn’t a bad fight, but it does suffer from what many of the bosses in Fusion suffer from, and that’s waiting. You will spend most of your time here waiting for the spider to crawl down and crawl back up. Crawl down again, and back up. And so forth. It’ll spit some lingering fireballs your way here and there, but they’re pretty easy to avoid.

What makes Yakuza stand out amongst the others is the 2nd phase. The legs fly off, and you’re left with a spider head bouncing around. You have to avoid the bouncing head and the occasional projectiles it drops from its mouth. And then, in those brief moments where it’s mouth is agape, you blast away with a missile. What’s really fun though, is you can juggle Yakuza’s head if you time it just right. It’s a blast–no pun intended.

Yes, the first phase is a bit of a bore, but the 2nd phase has enough going on for me to put this at number 5.


4. Serris

Unlike many of the bosses in Fusion, there’s only a single phase with Serris. It’ll come at you from the left or right or swirling in between the platforms. And just as its head comes into view, you give it a well placed missile. From there Serris goes into a speed frenzy where you do your best to avoid his charge attacks. You can hang from the monkey bars above to help stay out of danger’s way, but overall that’s it. It eventually returns to its normal speed and you once again get the timing right for another missile; rinse and repeat.

There isn’t a whole lot to this fight, but what’s nice about it is that it’s a test of your reflexes. I find many Metroid bosses to be exercises in your platforming abilities or occasionally some puzzle solving skills. But here, it’s your reflexes, and it’s a nice change of pace. With that, I put it at number 4.


3. Zazabi

With all of the bosses on this list, here we have the silly, one-eyed, purple people eater, Zazabi. This is by no means a challenging fight, but it’s absolutely a fun one. You wait around (as you do many bosses in Fusion) for it to jump over your head and charge down in hopes of gobbling you up. It’s a brief moment, but you throw some missile up it’s, uh, weak spot and get out of the way. Each successful hit whittles away at its length, until it finally succumbs to its X form.

And that’s really all there is to it. It’s simple, silly, and fun. So, I’m putting it at number 3.


2. Arachnus

Arachnus is absolutely a standout on this list, which is interesting considering it’s the first boss you encounter. First you have the attack variety. You have the wave attack, the flame spread, and the follow up roll attack. The wave is your typical projectile. You can jump over or hang on to the wall to avoid it. It’s not challenging, but it’s variety and I’ve gotten hit once or twice by it. The flame spread covers the ground, so your only hope here is to hang on the wall.

But then Arachnus will follow that up with its roll attack. If you’re still hanging on by the time it smashes into the wall, you’ll fall taking some damage.

It’s a nice combination of attacks that make this a simple, yet fun fight. And it’s a great way to put the player to the test on their mobility and ledge grab ability early on. All in all, I have to put Arachnus at number 2.


1. Nightmare

And here we are at #1: Nightmare. I imagine this doesn’t come as a surprise to most of you. Nightmare is an excellent fight. The first phase brings something very different. You need to strike at its core with missiles, but the gravitational effects it exerts causes them to drop almost immediately after being shot. Your only hope is to get in as close as you can and unload the missiles before they have a chance to fall away. It’s a tight fit trying to stay within its central area, but it’s manageable. And as you blast away, Nightmare’s face oozes in green goop until you finally reach phase 2.

Here, the gravitational effects are gone. You have to hop onto the ladder and throw out a barrage of missiles into Nightmare’s now exposed face. You still have to dodge its occasional floating around, but you keep plugging away until it finally reaches its demise.

There’s not much to dislike with Nightmare. It looks amazing, has a fantastic ability in exerting gravity, and your means for fighting it are solid. I don’t play Fusion often, but when I do, this is absolutely a fight I look forward to.

And there you have it. My official ranking of the Metroid Fusion bosses. How would you rank them? Did you give Fusion another playthrough as part of the 20 year celebration? Share your thoughts and your own ranking in the comments below.