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Mario Tennis Aces isn’t just a party game — there’s a short adventure mode that’ll help you master the many mechanics of the game. Some of the toughest challenges are the boss fights, and some of these guys are seriously tough. It takes more than a quick whack with your racket to defeat this titanic foes. I was able to beat them all, so now I’m going to share some of the tips (and tricks) I learned that just might help you defeat all six bosses.
There is a boss in every “world” in Adventure Mode. After beating a boss, you’ll usually earn a new court stage you can play with your friends. It’s a pretty good reward, but I imagine there’s probably a handful of players that just can’t beat these bosses. They don’t mess around. For a Mario game designed for children, you need serious reflexes to win before the time limit hits zero.
More Mario Tennis Aces guides on Gameranx:
- Mario Tennis Aces: 10 Tips You Need To Know Before Your First Serve | Beginner’s Guide
- Mario Tennis Aces: How To Get New Characters & Maps | Unlockables Guide
How To Beat Every Boss | All 6 Tennis Battles Guide
The bosses in Mario Tennis Aces all follow a similar pattern. You have a set time limit (300 seconds, or 5 minutes) to defeat them. They have three hearts, and three phases — you wear down the purple meter by returning the ball to the boss, then damage them with a Zone Shot.
The trick is defeating them before the time limit is up. Various factors will remove time from your total score. Here’s a quick list of everything that does (and doesn’t) give you a time penalty.
- Time Penalties in Boss Fights:
- Miss a ball. (-5 secs)
- Body shot. (-5 secs)
- Damaged by boss attacks. (-10 secs)
- You DO NOT lose time for breaking a racket.
- You will instantly fail a boss fight if all of your rackets are broken.
Between phases, you’ll have to dodge boss attacks. You can use Trick Shot to dodge attacks, and earn a little meter back with every successful dodge. Taking damage from a boss attack is the fastest way to lose time. The goal of every boss is to avoid taking damage or missing shots so you don’t lose too much time.
I seriously recommend getting extra rackets as early as possible. You don’t need them for the first boss battle, but once you reach Boss #3, extra rackets will help a lot. Bosses will use Zone Shot / Star Shot far more often, so you need to be prepared. Don’t be afraid to lose a racket in a fight.
Boss #1: Petey Piranha
- Location: Piranha Plant Forest – Ancient Altar
The first boss can be challenging when you’re still learning the ropes. You don’t need to learn specific shot types yet, and you don’t need extra rackets to win. This fight sets up the basics of boss fights — hit the ball into the boss, and the boss will return the ball. Keep hitting it back until the boss’ meter is empty. When a Zone Shot star appears, use it to knock the ball into the Piranha Plant’s weak spot.
After hitting it with a Zone Shot, the boss will summons walls of tornado winds. Use Trick Shot to jump over them — or just run to the gap. He’ll launch five waves of wind. If you dodge them all, you’re likely to charge your meter.
Charging your meter is very, very useful. In the second phase, Petey will start to use Star Shot. This powerful shot type slows down time slightly before it launches. Any shot will send it back, but you need to time your shot precisely. To make it easier, slow down time [R] and then line up the ball directly next to Mario. Shoot and you’ll block, instantly returning the ball to sender.
Rinse and repeat. The last wave has more tornadoes and more Star Shots. Use Zone Speed to precisely time your shot every single time. If you block properly, you’ll earn back the meter you spent. If you have extra meter, use Special Shot to deal more damage to the boss’ purple meter. For almost any boss, you’ll want more than 90 seconds on the clock when the final phase begins.
Boss #2: Mirror Queen
- Location: Mirage Mansion – Royal Chamber
The devious Mirror Queen uses Lob Shots and Spin Shots to bamboozle Mario. Stand in the center, and be prepared for some wild bounces. Don’t worry, for this fight, you can miss the ball a few times and still win in the end. After returning the lobs, use Zone Shot and avoid the turned mirrors.
Between phases, the Mirror Queen summons floating furniture. Stand in the center and Trick Shot over when they sweep, or just avoid them. You don’t necessarily near a full meter for this fight. You just need enough for Zone Speed in Phase 2. Once again, keep using Zone Speed — it does extra damage when you return Star Shots to the boss.
For the Zone Shot, knock out the mirror with a Zone Shot, then use a second Zone Shot to hit the mirror itself. During the dodge sequence, beware the final phase! The furniture will actually aim at you, so keep moving.
For the final phase, keep use Zone Speed. The boss will constantly use Star Shots, so Zone Speed is your best defense. You’ll need to use Zone Shot 3-4 times to get through the shield of junk in the final phase. If you have enough meter, you can do it.
Boss #3: Snow Ogre
- Location: Snowfall Mountain – Snowfall Mountain Summit
Here’s a tough boss. This guy consists of two ice hands with eyes in the center. He’ll actually attack you during the Tennis phase of the fight. One hand will volley the ball while the other attempts to crush Mario. These hands will also immediately start using Star Shot. It’s tricky this early on when you don’t have much meter.
For this fight, I recommend unlocking at least one or two extra rackets. To save time, you need to stop those Star Shots from getting past you. If you have more rackets, you can swing and hit too early / late. It damages your racket, but saves you time. It’s better to attempt to block and hurt your racket. The Ice Racket is pretty tough, it helps a lot for this fight.
When the boss is vulnerable, hit your Zone Shot and slam through the guarding hand. One hit and you’ll be able to hit the exposed eye on the fallen hand. The dodging sequence for this boss isn’t too hard — you just need to jump over ice cubes. They don’t move too fast, but you absolutely have to Trick Shot. You can’t just dodge this time.
- TIP: If you’re running out of time, this is when you’ll want to use Special Shot. Stand back in the court and charge your shots to increase your meter. In the last phase, your meter will charge a lot faster. Use it to unleash Special Shots — these will dramatically lower the boss meter if you successfully aim and hit one of the hands.
For the last phases, you’ll need to block constant Star Shots. It gets annoying, but you don’t have to master the timing just yet. You can still use Zone Speed to block those shots and have enough meter to damage the Ice Ogre when it is stunned.
Boss #4: Gooper Blooper
- Location: Savage Sea – Savage Sea Bay
This guy works a little different than other bosses. The giant sea squid plants a huge tentacle on the court. Don’t touch it, or you’ll lose time! It shoots balls of ink — if they miss, they don’t give you a time penalty. Instead, the ink partially covers your screen. The ink is only temporary, so a single hit won’t block too much. Multiple hits in a row will block almost the entire screen.
To get over the tentacle, use Trick Shot. The tough part is when the giant Blooper uses Star Shot, too — if you have to use Trick Shot to stop a Star Shot, just don’t even both. Let the Star Shot sail by and ink you up. You don’t lose time, so it isn’t that bad. You just want to volley back as many ink balls as you can, and use Zone Speed to knock the Star Shot ink back when you can.
There’s no trick to hitting the weak spot with Zone Shot this time around. The dodging sequence is very simple too — just avoid the spots covered in bubbles, and then stand in the center and Trick Shot left or right to avoid the swinging tentacles.
Boss #5: Treasure Guardian
- Location: Inferno Island – Bowser’s Castle
Now here’s a tough battle. The giant statue of Bowser guards his castle, and it’s just like those little fire-shooting statues from the original Mario on NES! Bowser shoots giant fireballs — three at a time — and you won’t get a time penalty for missing. Instead, if the fireball hits the court, a spot of lava will stay on the court. Touch the lava, and you get a -10 second penalty.
The fireballs are very high, so stand back on the court to return them. Usually, you’ll need to hit one, run to the second, then use a Trick Shot on the third. Sometimes, you’ll need to use a Trick Shot to hit the second fireball — no matter what, you’ll almost always need to use Trick Shots, so practice your timing. It helps to hit back as many fire balls as you can. If too many appear on the court, you won’t be able to get around.
During the standard Tennis phase, you’ll also have to dodge the statue’s laser beam. It will shoot a laser that leaves a trail of fire. Run away, sticking to the edges of the court then move inward until the laser stops and you can continue.
This Bowser Statue doesn’t use Star Shot as often as other bosses, and his Star Shots are absolutely massive, making them easier to counter. Just to be safe, I still recommend using Zone Speed. Just don’t stand too close to the statue or you’ll whiff.
This is another fight where I’ll recommend building your meter and using Special Shot multiple times in the final round to rapidly remove his shield. You’re bound to get hit with lava or fire, so the more damage you can do, the better.
Boss #6: Bowcien (Bowser + Lucien)
- Location: Temple of Bask’s Shrine
The final battle forces you to know how to play Mario Tennis Aces. There are two things you absolutely must learn before you can win this fight — you must learn to block Star Shots without using Zone Speed, and you must learn how to aim shots with Topspin, Flat, and Lob Shots.
To damage Bowcien’s meter, you need to hit the purple orbs that generate balls. The orbs randomly attack. Be prepared for regular or Star Shots.
- The orbs appear in three tiers. If you miss the orbs and hit the shield, you won’t get a time penalty, but after a few misses, the orbs will move to new positions.
- To hit the orbs, you need to aim your shots.
- Flat Shots hit the bottom row.
- Topspin Shots hit the center row.
- Lob Shots hit the top row.
Before you can win, I recommend just practicing your block. Fight the boss, and don’t plan on winning — just try to counter Star Shots with a well-timed Block without using Zone Speed. You won’t be able to win if you use Zone Speed to time every Block.
The center row is the hardest row to hit with Topspin shots. I always try to hit the bottom row first, then top row. For whatever reason, Topspin shots have a tendency to miss. If you block a Star Shot, you’ll also send the ball back to the orb, knocking it out instantly.
When all the orbs are knocked out, you’ll have to volley a Star Shot ball back to Bowser. You’ll have to block the Star Shot four times in a row without missing — if you miss once, you’ll have to restart. After hitting it back four times, you’ll be able to Zone Shot the evil racket.
Between each phase, you’ll need to dodge blast waves and wind attacks. This is when you can lose most of your time. It’s very difficult dodging these attacks — it just take practice.
The final phase is the toughest. If you’ve been practicing your Star Shot blocks, you’ll build your Special Meter very, very quickly. Use Special Shot as often as you can and aim for the largest cluster of orbs. If you can hit them, you’ll do a lot more damage to Bowcien’s meter.
You’ll want as much time as possible for the final volley. Bowcien’s Star Shots are incredibly fast in the final volley — hit your shot button slightly before the Star Shot reaches Mario. The more time you have, the more you can practice the timing of this brutal sequence. Think of it as a rhythm game. If you get the Block once, follow the rhythm and hit it back four times in a row.
That’s one final boss that’ll make your palms sweaty. If you’ve got your own tips and tricks, let us know in the comments!