Mot, the King of Boss Fight Bullshittery

Boss fights. Gotta love ’em, that old staple trope of video games. You get to the end (or middle!) of a section of whatever game you are playing, and you’re faced with the end boss (or mid boss!). Some bosses are simple, others… less so.

Whether you’re facing off against a 100 year-old sniper capable of photosynthesising in a massive map with several sections that he of course can shoot you through, or the lone knight your main character fights mano a mano, or the robot that flat-out removes characters from the fight one by one, there are some bosses that are frustrating to fight.

And then there’s Mot.

MOT!

If you have played Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne on the PS2 way back in 2004, you’d know that this is a game where the bosses do NOT fuck around. Just about every boss in the game could conceivably be That One Boss in any other game, but ol’ Coffin Boy here takes the biscuit. Why so? Well, here’s a video showing you.

Well what the hell was going on there?! To explain why this boss is so stupidly broken, we need to go over Nocturne’s battle system.

Press Turn Battle System

See those little icons in the top right of the screen? Next to the word Player? These are your Turn Icons. Generally, you get one icon per member of your party, and when a party member does an action, it spends a Turn Icon. Depending on how the enemy is affected by said action, more icons or fewer icons can be used. An enemy dodges the attack or nullifies it? It actually uses TWO icons, not one. You hit an enemy with a critical hit or an elemental weakness, or pass to the next character? You use HALF an icon!

This also applies to your enemies, as you can see in the above gif. He has two turn icons at the start of his turn, he launches an attack, the attack is dodged, so both turn icons are spent!

In this gif, Titania hits Mot with his weakness, electricity, causing one of the Turn Icons not to be consumed, but to flash! This means it has been half consumed, so the next attack will use the rest of it. Targeting your opponents weaknesses is the key to maximising your turns; the more you make half icons, the more actions you can take before it’s your opponent’s turn.

While you get one Turn Icon per character on your team, bosses generally get 2 or more, by virtue of the fight being 1v4 so as to balance it, but some bosses (hello Mot) have an attack called Beast Eye. This takes a Turn Icon (or a Half Turn Icon!) and turns it into TWO Half Turn Icons. Now, generally this ability has rather a low priority in a boss’s moveset, because wouldn’t it be ever so frustrating if a boss were to just spam it constantly, giving them potentially near-infinite turns?

Hello Mot.

Back To Mot!

Here’s a short video of how the Mot fight can go if you’re relatively unlucky. I’ll give you a blow-by-blow!

  • Mot’s turn starts. 2 PT icons.
  • Mot uses Beast Eye. 3 PT icons.
  • Mot uses Beast Eye. 4 PT icons.
  • Mot uses Makakaja (buffs his magic stat). 3 PT icons.
  • Mot uses Beast Eye. 4 PT icons.
  • Mot uses Makakaja. 3 PT icons.
  • Mot uses Makakaja. 2 PT icons.
  • Mot uses Beast Eye. 3 PT icons.
  • Mot uses Makakaja. 2 PT icons.
  • Mot uses Makakaja. 1 PT icon.
  • Mot uses Megadolaon. Kills the main character, thus triggering a Game Over.

Oh yes, even if you have other party members, if your main character falls in battle, it’s an instant game over. It makes sense with the mechanics of the game I guess; the other members of your party are demons you have summoned, so if you die, the demons would theoretically be dismissed, so they really cannot go on without you.

Mot seems to be programmed to use three attacks with absolute priority over his others. He has a physical attack and a Force-based magic, as well as a heal spell, but he tends to escew these in favour of increasing his Turn Icons, buffing his magic stat, then nuking you with Megidolaon, a magic attack of the Almighty element, an element that is treated as non-elemental, but also ignores repelling or absorbing abilities. Basically, these types of spell will always do damage unless it actively misses you.

So yes, we have a boss that can basically take an infinite number of actions per turn, or at least as many as it needs to outright kill you, without letting your party get an action in. In a game full of really difficult bosses (Matador, Trumpeter, Beelzebub, Baal, Noah, Lucifer), Mot is the boss that takes the game’s mechanics and happily abuses them, almost as much as the player does in any other game!

Truly, this coffin-monster is a reflection of humanity itself.

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