Page 1 of 2

Who's the boss?

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 9:30 am
by RetroENZO
This month's complete guide to shmups shows us the very first "boss" in Galaxians.

However... they weren't called bosses back then (were they?) I remember the term "boss" only starting to come about for the end of level bad guys in games like Renegade, when they were literally the boss of the gang you'd just spent the last few minutes duffing in.

However... was the term "boss" used earlier?

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:08 am
by GarryG
I thought they showed the 'first boss' as being the space-ship/flying saucer level of Phoenix...

maybe I read it wrong!

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:17 am
by RetroENZO
Sorry you're right. Phoenix, not Galaxians. Must admit I never liked either game so mixed them up. But were they called bosses when they were made? I thought that the word "boss" when referring to a bigger bad guy was a more recent phenomenon.

I defintely remember magazines just calling them end-of-level bad guys.

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:40 am
by GarryG
Well at the time I think it was more or less just seen as ‘the last level’ of Phoenix. (before it looped back and got harder) .
I don’t recall anyone calling it a ‘boss’ at the time.

I think that what they were saying is that this was the first notable appearance or beginnings of the type of enemy that would later be coined the ‘boss’ type.

I know people were already freely using the term ‘end-of-level-boss’ by the time things like R-Type were in the arcades.

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:05 am
by RetroENZO
That's what I mean. So was R-Type the start of it? Or were they called bosses earlier?

When did we first start calling bosses bosses?

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:16 am
by Sureshot
Wikipedia saves the day:
The first arcade video game with a boss-like attacker was the 1979 game Galaxian.[citation needed] In Galaxian, waves of ships would attack the player. Each wave included a few "flagships". Destroying the flagships resulted in significant bonuses. The flagships appeared at the top of the screen, implying that they were directing the attack. The flagships were thus referred to as "bosses" in the games. Although the flagships were usually defeated before advancing to the next level, it was not a requirement.

The first known game to explicitly list an end-level, stronger opponent as a "boss" is the arcade game Renegade (which was ported to several other platforms) in 1986.[citation needed]

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:57 am
by Mootown
If you REALLY think about it, 'boss' is such a crap word to use as well :)
There must be a better word than 'boss' surely..

Re: Who's the boss?

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:01 pm
by Rev. Stuart Campbell
RetroENZO wrote:Galaxians.
I WILL STAB YOU IN THE EYES AND MURDER YOUR PARENTS.

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:08 pm
by Duddyroar
A simple 'I think you are mistaken' probably would have done, Stu.

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:17 pm
by mikeb
lol :lol:

I suspect the term derived from old Kung Fu movies, not sure who applied it to gaming first though.

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:16 pm
by Sureshot
Duddyroar wrote:A simple 'I think you are mistaken' probably would have done, Stu.
That would hardly be Stu's style :P

Re: Who's the boss?

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:30 pm
by RetroENZO
Rev. Stuart Campbell wrote:
RetroENZO wrote:Galaxians.
I WILL STAB YOU IN THE EYES AND MURDER YOUR PARENTS.
Hmm poor choice of words considering recent events for me.

However I apologise because as I said earlier in the thread, I didn't like the games. (Never been an old-school shmup fan, preferring modern games of that ilk). And oops... yes it's Galaxian, not Galaxians. Kind of as bad as calling it Space Invader.

But... glad to see that my original guess of Renegade is bang on the money!

(Sorry I've gone back to edit this older post but felt the tone of my original message wasn't suitable).

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:32 pm
by woody.cool
Please! I don't think there's any need for hostilities.

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:39 pm
by RetroENZO
Oh I don't want hostilities. I love reading Stuart's columns in the mag. Love his sense of humour - so similar to mine. But this comment was a bit uncomfortable.

Back on track though.

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 2:11 pm
by Rev. Stuart Campbell
Apologies if my trademark hyperbolic style coincided unfortunately with any real-life events. No offence meant, obv.