Bosses are powerful enemies central to the plot and level course in Ryse: Son of Rome. Most bosses are unique and fought at the end of a chapter, however, when a new type of enemy is introduced as the game progresses, the first one encountered can be interpreted as a boss or mini-boss.
Chapter 1: The Beginning
The boss of this chapter is a barbarian warlord and is the last enemy encountered in this chapter. Chronologically, he is also the last barbarian Marius ever fights. He uses a torch to ignite pitch spread across the floor in the palace throne room and traps Marius. He is no different from the standard barbarian soldier aside from the fact that he is capable of performing a power attack that cannot be blocked, but can be preempted by a shield bash if executed quickly. His character model, an un-shielded soldier with a hood, is used in proceeding chapters to identify barbarians capable of performing this power attack.
Chapter 2: S.P.Q.R.
There is no official boss for this chapter. Leontius can be interpreted as a mini-boss during the training session at the start of the chapter. A true mini-boss, a large barbarian with a shield, is the first enemy Marius faces after falling behind Leontius and being temporarily separated. He is the first shielded barbarian encountered in the game. His guard can be easily broken by a simple combination of shield bashing and standard attacks, opening him up to being executed. His character model is used by shielded barbarians throughout the game after this point, becoming one of the most common enemies. In Chapter VIII, Vitallion identifies this character type as "shield infantry", and they pose a threat to the Roman formation holding the courtyard and must be killed quickly with the scorpio.
Chapter 3: Trial By Fire
The boss of this chapter is an unnamed barbarian warlord. He appears at the vary end of the chapter in the final skirmish as Marius is defending his men while they ready a catapult to destroy a tower occupied by barbarians. He is similar to the other shielded barbarians, except that he wears a horned helmet to distinguish him. He has a new heavy attack; a charge forward ramming into Marius and it cannot be blocked. It can however be evaded by rolling to either side, or countered with a well timed shield bash right before he makes contact with Marius. Aside from this, he is no different from the standard shield infantry. His character model appears occasionally in later chapters to identify enemies of the same type.
Chapter 4: The King
This is the first chapter to include both a boss and a mini-boss. The mini boss is a barbarian wielding a pair of short blades and faces Marius at a shallow stream in the forest while Marius is attempting to infiltrate King Oswald's fort. He is capable of performing a power attack, a forward leap which cannot be block and must be evaded, and a four strike combination that culminates in a power attack. He will counter power attacks while his guard is up, but his guard can be broken by a power bash, leaving him vulnerable to combinations. His character model is used throughout the game after this point to identify enemies of the same type. A heavier pseudo-type is encountered in later chapters who wears a helmet and uses stone hammers.
The boss of this chapter is Boudica, king Oswald's daughter. After Marius infiltrates Oswald's fort, she orders her men to stay back as she duels him on an aqueduct that is under construction. She also used two swords and is vary similar in combat style to the earlier mini-boss. She uses a forward slashing power attack that cannot be blocked, and a long combination that culminates in a power attack. A perfectly timed counter can successfully block her combination's power attack and break her guard, though this is difficult and dangerous. There are two easy methods to defeat Boudica during this segment:
- She is vulnerable to quick-strike attacks after evading her power attack, and her guard can be broken leaving her open to a combination.
- Alternatively, she can be defeated very quickly by repeatedly quick-throwing Pila at her, though she will evade the first throw and then be vulnerable for a short window allowing for a second throw to hit her.
- Also before the battle begins, when the player is approaching Boudica from up on the aqueduct before the confrontation triggers, it is possible to target Boudica and throw properly aimed Pila at her from this safe distance. She will evade most throws but can be hit, and will retain the damage suffered into the boss battle.
Chapter 5: Edge of the World
There is a mini-boss and official boss in this chapter. The mini-boss is a tall barbarian warrior with a two-handed hammer. He is apart of the minotaur tribe, and thus wears a horned mask. Marius encounters him by a fire after being separated from his cohort. He cannot block, but has a large amount of health and must be worn down. Furthermore, he only uses power attack that cannot be blocked and must be evaded. He is however vulnerable to power attacks of your own and can be staggered by heavy shield bashes, leaving him open to more power attacks. His power attack can also be preempted by a power bash if executed quickly enough. His character model reappears throughout the chapter to identify enemies of the same type. In Chapter 10, Vitallion identifies a pseudo-type of the enemy as "warriors".
The main boss of this chapter is Glott, also known as The Horned King by Oswald. He is a tall and muscular brute, with a horrific appearance as he wears armor made of bones and a skull helmet. He wields a curved two-handed axe, and uses only power attacks that cannot be blocked. His guard cannot be broken either. However, he is only able to block from the front, and is temporarily vulnerable to either a quick-strike or a power attack after his hew is evaded. After his health is half-empty, he adopts a charge power attack that will ram Marius and knock him down, doing a fair amount of damage in the process. This charge, however, can be countered by a shield bash during a quick-time event just before Glott makes contact with Marius. Executing the bash too soon will fail the QTE.
Chapter 6: Pax Romana
There is no official boss of this chapter. The only mini-boss is a variant of the minotaur warrior, this one wearing a bear pelt hood in place of the minotaur hood. He is encountered as Marius is making his way to the courthouse to regroup with Vittalion, and halts Marius just shy of Vitallion ad his men. He uses a stone hammer and has a higher damage output than the minotaur warrior, and can sustain more damage before being killed. Aside from that, he functions in the same way. After this, his character model reappears throughout later chapters to identify enemies of the same type. During chapter 10, this is the pseudo-type that Vittalion identifies as "warriors", and is a grave threat to the Roman formation holding the courtyard at the beginning of the chapter, attacking in pairs and must be quickly killed with the scorpio before they break through the formation.
Chapter 7: The Wrath of Nemesis
There are 3 mini-bosses and an official boss in this chapter. The first mini-boss is a gladiator named Iustinius of Batavia, a champion shield infantry no different from the barbarian variant, and must be executed to advance. The other 2 mini-bosses are a gladiator team named Romulus and Remus, and dubbed the Killers of Carthage. They are both duel-wielders like Boudica and her arch-type.
The official boss of this chapter is General Commodus, one of the main antagonists of the game. He wears golden armor and falsely claims to be a great warrior, however his combat style is fairly well balanced considering. Commodus uses a simple light attack with a slow swing that can be easily blocked, opening him up for a combination. His guard is otherwise impossible to break unless broken by countering him. He also uses a power attack; a 360 degree low slash that cannot be blocked or preempted. He uses 2 different variants of a shield bash, and although he flashes to signify a power attack, both variants can actually be blocked, opening him up. After being bested, a short intermission sequence plays and Commodus' many body doubles appear, surrounding Marius. They all have the same type and style as Commodus, but only the real Commodus can power attack. The real Commodus is in fact tagged as essential during this part of the battle and cannot be executed, and all of his body doubles must be killed first. If an enemy appears to not be taking damage, than this is the real Commodus and the player should focus on killing the others. Commodus must be defeated again, triggering another intermission, and then afterwards defeated for the final time. Overall, he is relatively easy to defeat, but the player can be overwhelmed while fighting all of his body doubles.
Chapter 8: Son of Rome
This is the final chapter, it has no notable mini-bosses and does not actually introduce a new boss, instead reprising the earlier duel with Boudica. In this final confrontation, Boudica fields several new attacks and combinations, and is difficult to defeat in a straight fight. She uses an area-of-effect power attack similar to the one that can be used upon using focus, and it cannot be blocked or preempted and must be evaded. She also uses a leaping/spinning forward thrust power attack, and a long combination that culminates in a power attack and must be evaded. Evading sideways will not help, as Boudica will stay locked on during her combination at all times, and you will be hit before you can counter the next blow. The best way to defeat her is to evade backwards as she launches her attacks, and quick-strike her as she finishes her power attack as it is the only clear time where she is vulnerable. This method will effectively whittle her down with "bug bites". Note that it must be a perfectly timed quick-strike immediately after the roll or Boudica will regain her guard and counter the attack. She is also invulnerable to power attacks and power bashes. After being defeated, the battle actually continues as Boudica falls over a railing and Marius engages her again in a new location. This time Boudica has another much longer combination attack that covers alot of ground, and evading backwards several consecutive times is the only way to avoid being hit. The final boss of both the chapter and the game is Emperor Nero or rather his Praetorian guards. This is not so much a battle that requires skill as the player is not actually in control. The entire fight is a chain of quick-time events, alternating between attacking and bashing but never blocking or evading, and is vary easy.