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Who is Giygas?[]

Until the final battle of EarthBound, you'll never see Giygas. You'll hear about him quite a bit, but you won't see him until the fateful final battle of EarthBound.

And before asking, yes, the wait is worth it.

In the beginning of EarthBound, a meteor falls upon the peaceful little town of Onett. A boy from the town goes to investigate, and a being from the future comes to Ness to tell him that Giygas, the embodiment of all evil and the universal cosmic destroyer, is planning on destroying the world and will succeed unless Ness and friends do something to stop him. Ness isn't exactly head over heels for such a daunting task, but he goes forth with his quest anyway because he knows that he is the only one who has the psychic powers necessary to do anything about Giygas's plans.

EarthBound's quirky nature and Dragon Warrior-esque gameplay (likely a tribute to the legendary RPG series) don't leave much room for serious story-telling, but this doesn't stop Giygas from unleashing holy hell upon Ness's world from the future. With his army of minions and UFOs, Giygas throws everything he has at Ness's feet through Ness's entire journey -- not to mention the fact that Giygas has the ability to mind control any being with even a speck of evil in its soul. Given that most people aren't pure of heart, Giygas is never without his fair share of minions, and many an EarthBound fan note that Giygas's ability to mind control makes him the most powerful villain in gaming. How can another villain stand against Giygas if they aren't pure of heart?

As Ness goes through EarthBound, the game becomes less about humor and more about how badly Giygas wants to destroy Ness and his world. Giygas grows desperate, throwing more and more at Ness until Ness nearly reaches his breaking point at the 7th "Your Sanctuary" location. But Ness marches further on, even though Ness (and more specifically, the player playing EarthBound) begins to realize that there is likely much more to Giygas than he'd ever dreamed.

It all culimates in Giygas going berserk at the end of the game. Rather than attacking Ness's world from the future, Giygas transports both he and everything around him into the distant past and begins to tear-ass into Ness's world in such a way that attacks leading up to the near-destruction of Onett seemed meaningless. Ness's only choice is to go into the past to face Giygas once and for all, but it comes at a massive price. Ness and friends discover that they'll be unable to transport their bodies into the past, and they'll have to be satisfied with simply transporting their souls. This essentially means that Ness and his friends sacrifice their bodies (they agree to kill themselves and send their souls through time, to be blunt about it) so that their souls may have the chance to face Giygas. The only ammunition they get when going into the past is for their souls to be placed into robots.

For Ness's party to go to such great lengths to face Giygas, Giygas himself would have had to be one of the best villains in the history of gaming for the effort to be worthwhile. Thankfully, a player who hasn't had Giygas spoiled in advance cannot possibly be prepared for what awaits him.

When the party finally sees Giygas, they see a giant machine with Ness's face on it, as well as Ness's nemesis Pokey operating the entire thing in an effort to assist Giygas. The party is able to defeat Pokey and this machine, but doing so allows a face to face battle with the real Giygas, and arguably the creepiest and most intimidating boss fight in the history of gaming begins.

By the time Ness finally battles Giygas, Giygas's power has consumed him. Giygas was no longer a universal cosmic destroyer who wanted to rule the universe, but a near-formless being who had become evil itself. And this was Ness's worst nightmare come true. It's very difficult to put into words how intimidating this experience with Giygas truly is to someone who hasn't played the game; you just have to play EarthBound and see for yourself.

The main issue is that Giygas is simply unbeatable. Ness's party has zero chance of defeating a formless entity who embodies an emotion, and as such it doesn't take long for Giygas to overwhelm them all with his psychic powers. Ness's party soon becomes overcome with desperation and despair. Here they were, trapped in an infinite darkness with only their souls and themselves for company. They knew going in that their odds of success were next to zero and that their odds of getting back to their right times and bodies were next to zero even if they managed to pull off the miraculous and succeed, but RPG parties aren't exactly used to facing the final boss and having no chance to win.

Facing a certain death and the destruction of their world, the only ammunition the party had left was... hope.

Giygas is unique is that he is far from the prototype for RPG villains. You don't see him until the very end of the game, and until then you only hear about actions that are fairly routine for RPG villains. He attacks people and wants to destroy the universe. Woohoo, right?

But even then, you don't get what Giygas is all about until you actually see him. Again, it's nearly impossible to put into words how intense the experience is and you'll just have to play EarthBound and see it all for yourself -- and even when you do, it takes a long time to soak all of it in. Giygas is one powerful SOB, both in battle and in the impact he has on a player that is really into the game while playing. Giygas is a large reason why we EarthBound fans tend to be insane, because his story and impact are that awesome.

Giygas is a once in a lifetime gaming experience and hands down the best final boss battle in video games, and you've really missed out if you haven't seen it yet.

"YOU CANNOT GRASP THE TRUE FORM OF GIYGAS' ATTACK!" - EarthBound

"It's not right... not right... not right... I'm h...a...p...p...y....." - Giygas

(giygas.ytmnd.com)

Giygas's Contest History[]

Win-Loss Record: 0-1

Spring 2005 Contest - Triforce Division - 8 Seed

  • Triforce Round 1 --- Lost to (1) Ganondorf, 11966 [15.02%] - 67715 [84.98%]
  • Extrapolated Strength --- 31st Place [12.56%]

As awesome a character as Giygas is, EarthBound is the very definition of cult classic. It has a very loyal, but very small fanbase that can't do much when one of its own reaches a contest. Ness has won matches, yes, but you'd be crazy to think that most of Ness's popularity comes from anything other than the SSBM series. When EarthBound is on its own, it usually doesn't fare very well.

Giygas was able to make the field, but he was stuck facing Ganondorf in the very first round and was going to do nothing more than get blown out. But to most of the EarthBound faithful, seeing Giygas make the field was good enough. The downside is that Giygas suffered the biggest percentage blowout of the contest and second worst vote blowout. And considering that Tenpenny is likely stuck behind SFF in the stats for this contest (Sephiroth's blowing out Liquid Snake is very odd), Giygas could very well be the weakest character of the Villain Contest field.

Though like I said before, we EarthBound fans don't exactly care. Seeing Giygas in a match kicked ass, even if it's likely to never happen again :)

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