Friends Help Friends Kill Shadows: Warlocks

I'll never tell. -The phantom alt-texter

A good boss theme sells a game more than all the marketing, CGI trailers and press conferences in the world. This is a Game Fact, with which there can be no disagreeing. Final Fantasy VII, one of the most popular and well-known games in history: great boss theme. Advance Wars, the best game on the GBA: godlike boss theme. Warlocks, a co-op wave defense action-platformer which you can play in the demo right now? Excellent boss theme. The demo was released as part of Polish studio One More Level’s attempt to secure $25k (~£15k) in crowdfunding on Kickstarter.

Having had a little solo play, it’s definitely designed with multiple players and a couch in mind. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not boring on your own, but it lacks a certain chaotic charm. There’s a LoL-like synergy between a character’s skills, applying debuffs or marks to targets that other abilities trigger off or use up. Each clearly improves in a party: slowing down enemies so they will sit in another player’s AoEs or healing the glass cannon damage-dealers when they’re swamped by foes.

The characters themselves are caricatured coolness, a giant angel wielding a sword twice their size or a pyromanic small boy with a pet phoenix. They’re only a little undermined by having some of the worst voiceovers in history–both the dialogue and performance–though part of the Kickstarter money would go to hiring professional voice actors.

If the demo’s to your taste, pledging at least $12 (£7.39) will get you Warlocks when it arrives on Steam Early Access in November. One More Level are looking to finish the game for April. As a homework assignment, what’s your favourite boss theme ever?

20 Comments

  1. padger says:

    It’s worth watching that pitch video. I mean, that’s something.

  2. Tinarg says:

    I love how neither the video nor the article mention in any way that the main programmer is using his feet to get his job done. Like it’s the most normal thing in the world.

  3. Dare_Wreck says:

    Favorite boss theme? While I’ve played pretty much solely PC games for years now, my favorite game of all time is still Super Metroid for the SNES, and I’d have a hard time picking a specific boss theme that I like best in it – they’re all terrific. In fact, why not crunch them all together in a single melody a la Metroid Metal?

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      As noted above and below, the FF series has rarely, if ever, done a bad boss theme, whatever other faults you might find with it. For me though, the greatest boss theme is probably Doll Judgement from Touhou: Perfect Cherry Blossom.
      Don’t you judge me.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    The Decisive Battle, Final Fantasy VI

    That one always made me feel like I fought an epic battle that would become legend.

    • Ejia says:

      It is taking all of my willpower not to bash my head on the keyboard in a fit of nerd rage about how much better Clash on the Big Bridge, Decisive Battle, and Force Your Way are than Those Who Fight Further.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        Sure, let’s get some really provocation going here.
        I don’t like Force Your Way much. At all, really.

        I’d rank it
        1. Clash on the Big Bridge
        2. Those Who Fight Further
        3. Decisive Battle

  5. EPICTHEFAIL says:

    Any of the boss songs from Metal Gear Rising Revengeance could qualify as the best, though I am partial to Jetstream Sam`s.

  6. durns says:

    I see you, phantom.

  7. Blinky343 says:

    Reminds me of the boss music from Iji

  8. Spacewalk says:

    Sagat’s from Super Street Fighter II Turbo is my favourite theme. Actually all the bosses have my favourite themes but if I had to settle one one it would have to be his.

  9. Johnny Go-Time says:

    “The Twins” from River City Ransom :)

  10. Haborym says:

    My favorite boss theme will always be Rebirth the Edge.

  11. Styxu says:

    Hmm. The best boss theme was probably the guitar music in the ‘Nightmare Creatures’ :D It was trully awesome.
    Still, the music from Warlocks sound solid and ther r more tracks on their KS campaign.

  12. Pemptus says:

    Well, the demo lacks any sort of impact or satisfying collision detection. The characters just seem to be sliding along. I really hope they tighten up the mechanics.

  13. Premium User Badge

    DantronLesotho says:

    Looks pretty good; I’m curious how their ideas have changed after borrowing Risk of Rain’s design (which is/was a brilliant design IMO).