Upcoming Design: Undead Mini-Boss

We had one of our awesome fast food meetings again! And this time we managed to decide on a lot of important stuff, especially things concerning upcoming enemies.

SO! Today I'm gonna share some details about the mini-boss you'll be facing as you enter the time travel temple/village thing~ As some of you have guessed already, this will be the undead woman I painted a portrait of before!

We already knew we wanted her to throw fans at the players, but today we went ahead and designed her attacks in more detail. One of the key parts of the encounter will be that she keeps one or more fans spinning in a circle around her, which deal damage if you touch them. Therefore you'll have to mind your positioning so you don't get hit, and if you use long-range spells you better time them well, or you'll end up hitting the fans instead! As we aim to have her float and dash around the map quite quickly at times, this may be easier said than done.

A couple of sketches

She'll also be able to jump to a player, or teleport players close to her, after which she spawns a ton of fans around herself, trapping the player(s) inside with her. During this time you'll have to move carefully with her, or take damage from the spinning fans!

She'll also have a basic attack, using either her long sleeves or one of the ribbons floating around her. We haven't decided which yet - I guess it'll depend on what her final design looks like.

Finally, we want her to throw her fans across the room in at least one or two different patterns, which means more dodging for the player. Wohoo!

Of course, all of these ideas are subject to change as we start prototyping the battle. Most likely some or all of them will differ somehow, and we might come up with new attacks as well. But, I think we have a nice starting point now, which allows Fred to start designing her appearance once he's done with the remaining Mt Bloom stuff! :3
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  1. Hey there. :)
    That's a nice blog update that I enjoyed reading.
    So I do have a few questions, suggestions and feedback.

    1.) Something more general that I am interested in: What exactly do you define as a "normal" boss and what as a mini-boss? For me this boss sounds like a full boss battle, not just a mini-boss. I consider every single boss with a title card popping up before the fight as a boss. So the crystal thing in the Flying Fortress is not a boss for me as it doesn't have a title card (rightfuly so as it simply spawns enemies from the dungeon without having its own attacks... it's more like a challenge and less a boss). A mini boss would be a pretty strong enemy encountered somewhere without title cards but harder and unique compared to other enemies like the Queen Bee, the Smashy Block in one of the Saesonne caves and the Bossling. Though I do count the end bosses of a dungeon as a major boss.
    I guess you define real, big bosses by having your main boss music playing in the background whereas mini bosses have a different theme.

    2.) Given my definition will the undead woman have a title card? I hope so, especially since I hope she's going to be refought in the boss hall in Collector's HQ-

    3.) I LOVE the idea with carefully moving along with her in order to not get hit by the fans. Maybe as the battle moves on and the more she's injured the closer these fans get and the less room to move you have. She could also throw more fans later on and move a lot faster making her a really fast moving boss, espcially with 1 quarter of HP left. Try to make her more dangerous as the fight goes on.

    4.) What do you mean by fans anyway? I'd suggest to draw them as big Shurikens as these fit the Asian theme of the area and the boss.

    5.) Is this boss considered the first boss of the 3rd dungeon or is it not the first "mini"-boss of that area yet?

    6.) You mentioned in a previous comment on a different blog entry that you definiately have plans for two mini-boss fights for the 3rd dungeon, one which is not a normal fight in the traditional sense. Is this undead woman the first of these mini-bosses or did you talk about two different bosses before the main boss?

    7.) Why not make the flower a proper ("mini"-) boss battle as well along with one or two more attacks or attack phases between spawning dangerous smaller flowers? I like the one beam attack you mentioned before but maybe there could be other special attacks (each one being triggered after a certain amount of life has been reduced of the boss). An example: the big flower spanws small Piranha Plant like enemies that try to bite you and you need to defeat all of them before the flower is vulnerable again. Or it could spew out a gas that reverses your controls for a while and you need to attack a few simple projectile attacks (simple as you need to concentrate on your reversed controls).
    The big flower could receive a title card as well if it would end up being a proper mini-boss like the Black Ferrets, the dungeon mini-bosses or the Toy Machine.

    8.) Finally here's another idea for the Undead Woman's attacks: What about making her spawn some clowns of herself later on in the fight and only one is real. Hitting the wrong one wouldn't decrease her HP bar and the clone would vanish after a few hits. that is of course if you haven't already planned such attack for other bosses later on.

    1. I'm happy to hear it! Thanks for your comment :D

      1) Honestly the way we define the bosses aren't exactly set in stone, but basically we have 3 inofficial variants. First there are the "less-than-mini-bosses" which don't get a portrait and aren't super challenging, and they are the ones that don't get a boss portrait/title card (such as the Sentry). Then we have what we call the mini-bosses, which are bosses that get title cards and are a bit more challenging (Phaseman, Summer & Autumn, Season Hydra etc), and finally we have the bosses, which basically are the most challenging boss battles, typically at the end of a dungeon (GUN-D4M, Winter) :D

      2. Yes, she'll have a title card! :3

      3. That's a nice idea! In my mind she's definitely a more agile type of boss, so it suits that theme :)

      4. I imagine the fans kind of like this, spinning around: http://www.asianpaintingdecor.com/prodimages/bamboo/bamboo006.jpg

      5. I'd say this is the first boss of the 3rd dungeon!

      6. After this undead lady there will be one more normal mini-boss and one unconventional mini-boss before the final boss of the temple :3

      7. Teddy feels the flower is already epic enough to be a mini-boss with a title card and everything. I personally think it's more of a "challenge"/less-than-mini-boss, and that pacing wise, I think it's better if it's not treated as a real mini-boss since you'll have the more epic fight with the undead lady soon after. We'll see what we decide in the end XD

      8. This is a nice mechanic that we definitely are interested in using at some point. Not sure if it'll be in this battle or later on, though!

      Again, thanks for your comment and suggestions! Keep 'em coming :D

  2. Will this one unconventional mini boss still receive a title card? :P And will it be replayable in the boss arena like all mini bosses and big bosses?

    1. It will probably get a title card, but it probably won't be replayable in the memory room.. You'll see why once we get there :D

  3. Thanks for the answer.
    Let me guess: Is it a puzzle boss? :D

    Also one thing I forgot to mention. Even though they are "just" mini-bosses I like how different they are and a lot of them require a certain strategy. For example the season chaning during the Hydra boss is awesome as seems to be the case with the undead woman: moving with her and having a very fast moving boss is nice.
    I hope that the other traditional mini-boss whatever it might be will have an interesting design choice as well. :D

    1. Nope, not a puzzle boss ;)

      Thanks, I'm glad you like our bosses so far :D

  4. No problems. And if the final boss of the game is not mad hard (at least on hard mode) I'll be angry. :P