It all comes down to this (no, not Zork III ;): the Big Showdown, the Grand Finale, the Foozle Fight. The moment when we finally get to face off against whoever has been causing the trouble.

There have been games without such confrontations – for instance, Ultima III, Ultima IV, Might & Magic I, Magic Candle I – but for the most part, we expect to engage in a tough, big combat at the end. After all, we’ve been preparing for this the entire game.

How satisfactory are these fights? Often, it’s a matter of staying alive while you wear down Foozle, and any friends he (she, it) may have hanging around. Often, that means trying several times until you work out the right combination of tactics, with maybe a little luck thrown in.

Occasionally, designers add in an extra layer of difficulty with the annoying “Teleporting Foozle”. Minax in Ultima II was one of those. She’d jump between two rooms and you had to go running after her. No sooner had you gotten in a few good shots when whoosh! off she went again.

There’s also “Morphing Foozle”, who “dies” only to show up immediately in another – and nastier – form. And we can’t forget “Soul Object Foozle”, whose life force is contained in some item that must be broken before Foozle can really be killed. SOF is rather popular, and often some smaller boss enemies have that feature, too.

Do any of those add some interest to the fight, or are they just irritating features that prolong the inevitable? If you manage to take out Foozle on the first attempt, do you feel satisfaction, or do you have a sense of being cheated, because it wasn’t as hard as you thought?

For that matter, do you expect to win first time out, or do you anticipate multiple attempts before you’re victorious? And what do you think makes for a really good, rousing Foozle Fight to conclude the game?