McGinnis: The waiting is the hardest part: The curious existence of a video game bossWritten by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Grothar the Malevolent was bored. He slumped down on the stone slab in the middle of the room, planted his implausibly gigantic sword in the ground next to him, and sighed. He leaned his forearm on the hilt and stared, mildly annoyed, at the door in front of him. The battle would be soon. Very soon. He just needed to be patient.
The Hero was coming. He had to be. It was as if their destinies had led them both to this moment, where the Hero would come face-to-face with a being the likes of which he had never seen before. Grothar was that being. An imposing brute standing every inch of eight feet tall, his mammoth upper body covered in armor that barely held together above the sheer mountains of muscle beneath it, Grothar was a being seemingly designed to make the most stalwart of adventurers wet their britches. When the Hero arrived, he would be in for the fight of his life.
But the Hero wasn’t here yet. He had to overcome many trials to get to this room, for certain, but it surely shouldn’t have taken him this long. Maybe he had gotten caught up with that gratuitous puzzle room a few hundred feet away. Why do we even HAVE a puzzle room?, Grothar sighed to himself. Was it really necessary to solve a giant jigsaw made of boulders to get from one part of the complex to another? His next evil headquarters would be considerably less cluttered.
Trying to keep his mind occupied, Grothar ran through a mental checklist of his equipment for the thirty-seventh time. Implausibly giant sword, check. Remote control for the grenades falling from the ceiling, check. Laser beams that shoot out in a slow, consistent pattern, check. He even reached down and felt for his boot laces, making sure they were knotted just so. No doubt, he was ready. What a glorious battle this would be.
He had been preparing for this day for weeks. Grothar’s reign of terror as an evil overlord had been nice and all — making children weep, crushing the will of peasants under his mighty boot, the usual — but this is what he really had wanted all along: An opponent worthy of his fighting prowess. Ever since he had become aware of this Hero fighting his way through the ranks of Grothar’s endless supply of curiously identical minions, the villain knew he would one day come face-to-face with the Hero in mortal combat. It just had to be that way, you know?
Grothar would be ready. He’d had his personal trainer double his regiment, with an emphasis on upper body strength — the better to swing that ludicrously huge sword with. His combat instructor taught him all the latest techniques. Well, not all of them. More like three of them, really. But that was okay, Grothar thought. If he just did those three attacks over and over again, he would be fine. There’s no way the Hero would be able to time and avoid his patterns. He had three of them, after all!
Most crucially, Grothar had chosen the specific location in his cavernous, elaborate headquarters for this epic battle. Wide and round, with more than enough room to evade sweeping attacks. The architect had scoffed when he’d insisted on including lava pits and an electrified moat in the family room. Well, who was laughing now, Mr. Architect? (Then again, the architect was in no position to laugh, after an on-site work accident caused him to fall in one of the aforementioned lava pits.)
And so here Grothar waited, breathlessly anticipating the Hero’s imminent (he hoped) arrival. Oh, sure, Grothar could take the fight to him — sneaking up on the Hero as he cleaved his way through the faceless hordes that fell like blades of grass before his mighty attacks. Maybe he could engage the Hero during a moment of weakness, getting the jump on him as he attempted to recover from battle and drink a health potion or two or ten before facing off with this ultimate opponent. But think of all the preparation that would go to waste! All the hours spent planning this glorious final battle! The dramatic sight of Grothar standing in defiance! The incredible evil speech he had written! All in vein.
No, he would wait. This battle would test every skill he had finely honed — indeed, it was as if this upcoming fight were his raison d’etre, his whole purpose for living. Until then, he would be patient. Grothar the Malevolent eyed the door. His muscles tensed at every sound he heard from outside. Any second, it would be time. Then — and only then — would the Hero learn the inevitability of his fate. It would truly be game over.
Wait, why did that phrase sound so familiar?