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Don't Battle That Boss! (18 Hour Boss Edition)
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on August 29, 2008   |   Episode 84 (Show Archive)  


The 18 hour boss in Final Fantasy XI is not shown in this picture ... that I know of!
These days it seems like Final Fantasy XI is all the rage, getting both mainstream and enthusiast game press coverage. All I hear these days is Final Fantasy XI this and Final Fantasy XI that, it's enough to make me wonder if anybody is actually playing World of WarCraft anymore. Unfortunately none of this Final Fantasy XI news is particularly good for Square Enix. It seems as though somebody at the Tokyo-based game publisher decided that what their popular MMO needed was a really long boss fight. But not a boss fight that only took two or three hours, I'm talking about a boss battle that required you to put in more than 18 hours of non-stop combat.

I know this sounds foolish. Who in their right mind would program an 18 hour boss battle? Surely nobody is going to do that, after all, that would require you to not only stay up for 18 hours straight, but also forgo eating, drinking and, most importantly, going to the bathroom. What kind of sadistic company would allow this to happen? Sadly this is not some really late April Fool's Joke, because news stories everywhere are popping up around the internet.

While the idea of an 18 hour boss battle sounds preposterous, it got me thinking about what else I could be doing with my time. 18 hours is a long time, you can really do a lot of important (and frivolous) things in that amount of time. You could really watch a lot of movies and listen to a lot of music. You can play a lot of games and get a lot of reading done. You can do a lot of traveling or just sleep the whole day away. Over the next few pages we are offering a full list of 18 things you can do when you AREN'T battling an 18 hour boss in Final Fantasy XI. Like what? Well, here's an example of something you can do with that extra time, you can ...

Watch Every Quentin Tarantino Movie
Do What? So you say you have an extra 18 hours to just sit around and do nothing? Then why not head to your local Blockbuster and rent every one of the movies that Quentin Tarantino has unleashed on the public. I'm talking about movies like Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Four Rooms, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill Vol. 1, Kill Bill Vol. 2 and, of course,

It's not Quentin's best movie, but there's no denying how amazing the Grindhouse posters were!
Death Proof. That's seven different movies (assuming you count the Kill Bill films as two separate titles) in 15 years. Think you'll run out of time? Think again, because all of those movies add up to a mere 14 hours! And that's including the lengthier version of Death Proof and the three non-Tarantino directed portions of Four Rooms. With four hours left over you would still have time to watch all of Tarantino's TV projects (including ER, CSI and an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live), or check out films he had a hand in making (including From Dusk Till Dawn, True Romance and Natural Born Killers). Get the popcorn ready, because you're in for a solid 18 hours of bad men, ultra violence and more profanity than you can shake a four-letter word at.

Is It An Upgrade? Are you kidding me? When it comes to comparing the works of Quentin Tarantino to 18 hours of Final Fantasy XI, Quentin Tarantino is going to win every time ... even if you're not stuck in a never ending boss battle. At least half of the movies on that list are genuine film classics, the kind of titles that every critic in the world recommends you watch at least once in your life. There's a reason that Pulp Fiction is constantly near the top of the AFI's Top Movies of All Time list and Final Fantasy XI isn't. And it's not just that Final Fantasy XI isn't a movie. There's no doubt about it, the complete works of Quentin Tarantino is better than 18 hours of Final Fantasy XI.

Play Through Every Song in Rock Band (Including DLC)
Do What? It's hard not to love Rock Band, the game that singlehandedly inspired every other video game company to make some sort of drum game/peripheral (I'm looking at you Nintendo, Disney, Activision and Konami). But the best reason to play Rock Band has very little to do with what is on the disc. Instead it's the amazing downloadable content that we're getting week after week. Harmonix promises that by the end of the year there will be more than 500 songs available, which is a staggering amount of music by anybody's standards. But let's not

It's only a matter of time before all of these fake plastic guitars invade landfills and Goodwill's around the country!
get too far ahead of ourselves, because we're not quite at that point yet. At the moment if you include the 54 tracks available on the disc and add up all of the downloadable content (204 songs), you get a whopping 258 songs. Think you can't play 258 songs in 18 hours? Think again. Because after crunching some figures I've realized that you can play every single song in just over 17 hours. Keep in mind, I'm not factoring in load times, however I'm sure they won't change the number too substantially. Either way, that's a lot of guitar playing, drumming or singing (depending on what you're best at). And did I mention that it's expensive? 204 downloadable songs costs you roughly $400. Better start saving those Microsoft Points.

Is It An Upgrade? As much as I love Rock Band, part of me feels that playing 258 songs is really going to suck. It's not just that some of the songs aren't fun to play (seriously, we don't need any more Faith No More), it's that no matter what instrument you choose; playing 258 songs in a row is going to start to hurt. Want to play 258 songs on the guitar? Let's hope you don't need to use your fingers any time soon. And the drums? Hopefully you won't need to lift anything heavy after drumming that long. And don't think you're safe just because you chose vocals, by the end of your 18 hour day you won't even be able to whisper, let alone sing. The game may be fun, but I don't think anybody is going to recommend you play it for 18 hours straight. Then again, would you rather be the crazy MMO guy that dies playing games, or the crazy Rock Band guy who dies while drumming? No matter what instrument you pick, I'll take playing 258 songs over being bored to tears in Final Fantasy XI.

Prepare a Thanksgiving Meal
Do What? Let's face it, making a successful Thanksgiving dinner is a real pain in the butt. Not only do you have to spend time preparing a dozen different kinds of foods (turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, vegetables, rolls, etc.),

This scene has never happened in real life!
but you also have to spend a lot of time thawing various meats and making your house look good. Not that you would know anything about that, chances are if you're reading this website then you've probably never prepared a Thanksgiving meal in your life. But trust me on this one, a lot of hard work (and time) goes into making a Thanksgiving meal. If you know what you're doing and have the thawing skills down, then you should be able to complete a full Thanksgiving meal in under 18 hours ... if you're lucky and don't get side tracked by needless drama. Whether or not you want to do that is another issue entirely, but at least we know that it can be done.

Is It An Upgrade? I won't lie to you, preparing a Thanksgiving meal is a long, boring process. The good news is that for a lot of that time you can be doing other things, like watching Quentin Tarantino movies or listening to The Beatles. But there's no getting around it, it's going to take you the better part of the day to make a meal that is devoured in under an hour. I suppose that's not the point, though. Most people would argue that doing all that is worth it because it brings the family together and everybody seems to enjoy the food. Still, that's a lot of needless work for what amounts to just another meal. On the plus side, at least you bring everybody together and eat a lot of good food ... that's more than I can say about playing Final Fantasy XI.

Two Words: Tantric Sex
Do What? More like, "Do Who?" It's easy to make fun of tantric sex, but for the millions of people that have mastered it, it's hardly a laughing matter. In case you aren't enlightened enough, tantric sex, or Neotantra, is a spiritual practice that is best known in this part of the world as a technique that allows you (and your partner) to perform the sacred act

What, you expected us to use real nudity? Get away you pervert, we're trying to bring a level of maturity to tantric sex!
of coitus for hours on end. And not just a few hours, but half a day if you have the energy and will. Oddly enough this sexual technique is often attributed to ex-Police man Sting, who ironically enough is not somebody who is into the tantric sex scene. Either way, that hasn't stopped millions of adventurous sex fans from trying their hardest to go for ten, twelve, maybe fifteen hours at a pop. I suppose it's true that if you're really well versed in the Neotantra ways you could go for an almost unlimited amount of time, however after the 15 hour mark it's easy to get a little burned out and there's the danger of rashes and sores. And really, is there a difference between having sex for 15 hours and 18 hours? Most people are impressed when you can go for more than a half hour, everything over 15 is just bragging.

Is It An Upgrade? Is this even a question? If you ask people if they would rather have sex for 15 hours straight or play Final Fantasy XI, I'm pretty sure a huge majority are going to choose sex. Just call it a hunch. Then again, tantric sex isn't everything it's cracked up to be. Let's face it, around the eight hour mark it starts to feel more like a job than an act of love (or lust, depending on who you're doing it to). Fifteen straight hours of sex isn't easy, you have to be fit, it's really a lot of exercise you have to put up with. No that doesn't sound sexy, but there just aren't enough different sex positions to fill up 15 hours. But maybe the most important thing is that Sting doesn't do it, so neither should you. And by that air-tight rationale, Sting doesn't play Final Fantasy XI and neither should you!

Listen to the Complete Beatles Discography
Do What? There are very few (if any) musical groups more influential than The Beatles. And not just in the 1960s and 70s, to this day bands around the world are still trying to top Paul, John, George and Ringo. So if you have 18 hours to waste, why not

It's only a matter of time before we get Guitar Hero: The Beatles (the celebrities in the background will not be included)!
do something productive like go through the entire back catalog of Beatles albums? Between 1963 and 1970 the quartet released 13 studio albums (in order: Please Please Me, With The Beatles, A Hard Days Night, Beatles for Sale, Help!, Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Magical Mystery Tour, The White Album, Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road and Let It Be), most of which were no more than 40 minutes long. That means that you're only taking up 8 or 9 hours of that time, which certainly leaves you enough time to listen to most of their Best-Of albums, live albums, B-sides and solo efforts. Just don't listen to Paul McCartney's stuff in the Wings era, you'll never make it to 18 hours before you feel the need to kill yourself.

Is It An Upgrade? Even if The Beatles are not your cup of tea, there are a lot of worse bands you could be listening to in that 18 hour timeframe. Just try listening to the complete works of Limp Bizkit or Nickelback. Sure this wouldn't be a visual experience (unless you throw in one of The Beatles' movies), but at least you would have the chance to listen to some great tunes. Oh, and did I mention that you would be able to chart out how many drugs the band were taking based on the era and album? From bubblegum to experimental, there's a lot of variety in The Beatles back catalog, which is why listening to these 40 year old albums is better than playing 18 hours of Final Fantasy XI.

Complete Shadow of the Colossus
Do What? In the amount of time it will take you to beat an 18 hour boss in Final Fantasy XI, you can go through Shadow of the Colossus, a game that is nothing but boss battles. In all there are 16 bosses, exactly 15 more than you would

Now this is how you design a cool looking boss!
be fighting in Final Fantasy XI. Square could take a note or two from Team ICO's stunning accomplishment. And why wouldn't you want to fight off all 16 bosses? Guillermo del Toro recently called Shadow of the Colossus a masterpiece, and game critics around the world still regard it as one of the best games on the PlayStation 2. And did I mention that it looks a lot better than Final Fantasy XI? It may be old hardware, but Shadow of the Colossus can still impress ... especially when you put it up against an 18 hour boss fight in Final Fantasy XI.

Is It An Upgrade? As far as I can tell there is no downside to this. Shadow of the Colossus is a fantastic game, and it begs to be played in one sitting. Even with 16 different bosses this offline adventure game is still shorter than one boss battle in the online Final Fantasy XI. I think you could also successfully argue that Shadow of the Colossus has a better set of bosses, especially since they range in all shapes and sizes. Shadow of the Colossus is the type of game more people need to play, especially if it's at the expense of playing one of Square's MMOs. It may not have its own online currency, but I think everybody can agree that battling 16 bosses in 18 hours is a lot more appealing than battling just one.



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