Polaris Core [Control]
The end of Control ramps up the difficulty by introducing swarms of high-level bad guys and very little cover. In Control, you don’t regenerate health on your own. You have to go and collect the little orbs that enemies drop. There’s just one problem — if you’re stuck behind a piece of cover and exchanging fire, you’ll constantly lose health and you won’t be able to reach those precious HP orbs without getting slaughtered.
And in the Polaris Core there are so many enemies that can kill you easily. Wizards with walls of rocks and chaingunners and rocket launchers and swarms of those flying guys that suicide bomb you. There’s just a barrage of difficult bad guys, and this part is brutal with the checkpoints. You’ll have to restart from the beginning every time. It’s a brutal slog, and easily the hardest part of the game. The final battles don’t even compare! Well — except for the optional bosses. Those things are extremely, annoyingly tough too. But beating them is so, so satisfying. There’s no reward waiting for you at the end of the Polaris Core, just another step on your pretty-lengthy journey.
Yunalesca’s Zombie Spells [Final Fantasy 10]
Yunalesca is a turning point in the story of Final Fantasy 10 — and for unsuspecting players. This weird witchy-woman has three forms that become increasingly monstrous, and by the end she can wipe out your party depending on her mood. Yunalesca uses Zombie; a mechanic most players aren’t going to bother preparing for, or even understand at this point in the game.
When Zombified, healing will now harm your party members. Yunalesca takes full advantage too. She immediately uses Curage or Regen on Zombified characters, doing extreme damage and setting your team up for a complete party wipe. She’s a dirty trick slinging she-devil that presents one of the biggest challenges in an otherwise simple JRPG. Why is this boss so hard? And getting through the extra-long cutscene in the original version was straight up annoying.
Relive the toughest parts of some classic games. Find them on the next page.