In celebration of The Simpsons Arcade Game’s 25th anniversary, we’ve ranked all ten of the bosses the Simpsons clan had to take down in the groundbreaking beat-em-up!
Ready to feel old? March of 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the wide release of The Simpsons Arcade Game (two test units were released in December of 1990 and January of 1991 before mass production commenced in February). The quarter-century of multiple arcade playthroughs and the 2012 release of Konami’s classic on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network has bred plenty of familiarity with every nook and cranny as we’ve examined every inconsitency and counted every reference.
The highlight of every beat-em-up are the bosses, and we’ve ranked all of the red-flashing baddies that stand between Our Favorite Family and a diamond-suckling Maggie Simpson. While you can listen to our thoughts on classic Simpsons episodes every week via Talking Simpsons, if you want to know our thoughts on the game characters, check out this ranking of the bosses in the first (and best) ever Simpsons video game!
10 – Giant Krusty Balloon
Nothing about the Giant Krusty Balloon makes sense. Why is Krusty the official balloon of the bad guys in the between-level minigames? Why are Burns and Smithers utilizing Krusty Balloons to do their bidding? Why does one in particular have sentient powers? Why can’t it do anything more than just bounce? The GKB is really just in the game to showcase how big and squishy the sprites can get and it’s kind of a one-trick balloon. Imagine how much cooler the second level would have been with a giant Bongo or an even bigger dude in an even bigger teacup!
9 – Robot and Space Mutant
I’ve been wavering back and forth about whether this duo counts as a boss. They don’t end a stage, but then again, neither does Smithers. They don’t flash red before death, but then again, neither does the mobsters. They do stop forward momentum for a long stretch of time, and they mark a break between the news area and the other parts of the Channel 6 lot, so they’re minibosses. Even for minibosses, they’re kind of underwhelming as the robot doesn’t look anything like the various ‘bots that have appeared on the Simpsons since, while the Space Mutant isn’t nearly as lethal as it is in its various movie incarnations or as prevalent as it would be in the next Simpsons video game.
8 – Mobsters
You kill about 592 mobsters throughout a run of Simpsons Arcade, but these two specially designed ones end the cemetery level and guard the door of Moe’s tavern. Firstly, can we discuss how dumb it was to have a cemetery level in a game based off of two months of aired Simpsons episodes? Nobody important had died yet! If anything, the original Snowball *should* have been the boss, as it was the only noteworthy deceased being in the Simpsons universe at that point. Instead, you’ve got these two weirdly dressed mobsters. They don’t fit the mold that Fat Tony’s henchmen would in later years, and I’m still not entirely sure that one of them isn’t a kid. Anywho, they have a piggyback move that’s kind of cool, so that keeps them from the bottom of this list?
7 – Giant Drunk
This one is a real head-scratcher. A giant dude who *kinda* looks like Moe attacks you at the end of a Moe’s Tavern stage that’s far bigger than the bar ever was (even during its Flaming Homer-assisted glory days). Is the Giant Drunk inherently evil? Is he a nice guy made evil by alcohol? Is he a bad guy who messed up by drinking on the job? My theory; this is yet another alternate-reality level like Dreamworld… how else do you explain that there’s Simpsons Arcade units peppered throughout the stage?!
CARTOON VIEW (disputed appearance):
6 – Bowling Ball
Part of the existence of the Bowling Ball boss (or BBB) is another graphical showcase like the Krusty Balloon. In this case, it’s BBB’s Ballz-like limbs. However, the BBB does deserve some kudos for incorporating multiple forms as it changes from regular arms to legs to bowling pin missiles to GIANT OVERSIZED ARMS. It’s a bit dumb for the group dream of the Simpsons family to culminate with a bowling ball when Homer’s the only one who truly enjoys the sport; again, a giant Snowball 1 coming back for revenge would have worked, or what about a giant beer, since alcohol is the biggest scourge on the Simpson family. Those are far better collective nightmares.
Burns, Smithers, and The Simpsons’ strangest boss battle await you on the next page!