8. Boss Fight – Psycho Mantis (Metal Gear Solid)
If it were not for the trick that can be used to defeat Psycho Mantis, then this would probably be in at number one. However, once that trick is discovered, then it makes this boss battle go from pretty much impossible to rather straightforward, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
Metal Gear Solid, first released on the PlayStation under the Konami banner in 1998, is considered one of the greatest and most important games of all time. Think of any game that exists under the banner of stealth or espionage in modern times – none of them would have been possible had it not been for this groundbreaking release. At the time, Metal Gear Solid was an overwhelming success, shipping six million copies worldwide as well as becoming one of the most rented games ever. In the UK, it topped the sales charts at a time when PlayStation was the king of the home console.
Metal Gear Solid was the ultimate thinking man’s game. It tested the player on so many different levels, and no matter how challenging it was it was equally as rewarding on the other side. The reviews were glowing: The review in PlayStation Magazine declared it “the best game ever made. Unputdownable and unforgettable.” The review by IGN proposed that Metal Gear Solid came “closer to perfection than any other game in PlayStation’s action genre” and called it “beautiful, engrossing, and innovative…in every conceivable category.” NGamer compared it to “playing a big budget action blockbuster, only better.”
Nothing I can really say can do this game justice. Chances are that if you’re reading this list, then you’ve probably played Metal Gear Solid. And if you’re reading this list, then the chances are that you have come up against Psycho Mantis at some point or another. Psycho Mantis was a boss unlike any other. If you suffered from paranoia, then it was not going to make things any better for you. Psycho Mantis was able to read your memory card, and if you had other games released by Konami saved on your card, then Psycho Mantis would comment on them. That…is mind blowing. Psycho Mantis could read your mind and predict every move you were about to make against him, rendering any combat strategy you employed practically redundant, and making Psycho Mantis practically impossible to defeat.
However, some players found the chink in the boss’ armour. It was discovered that if you connected a second controller into your PlayStation, then Psycho Mantis’ mind-reading ability would become confused, meaning that he could no longer effectively predict your every move. Once you did this, the battle was actually not too difficult at all, and for that, this boss battle is placed at number 9. They had to give you some sort of trick, because otherwise I don’t know how they ever expected anyone to defeat Psycho Mantis.