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What's Kraken? A Look At One Of Gaming's Dependable Bosses

When man sailed the seas, the almighty kraken was enough to keep a crew awake at night. With long tentacles that could ensnare an entire ship and a gaping beak tough enough to crack a hull clean through, it made sense that the mythical beast was feared for so long. As seafaring types have become more sophisticated over the centuries, the kraken has become little more than a slightly amusing legend. One population, however, has never completely freed itself from the beast’s terrifying grasp: game developers.

For some reason, kraken—as well as giant squid and other assorted enormous octopi—are one of the go-to beasts in the boss-battle designer’s repertoire. If you’re playing a game that takes place anywhere near a large pool of water, it’s a safe bet that sooner or later a tentacle is going to spring forth and attack. No less than three games released within the past few months have relied on the old standby, to varying degrees of success.

With that in mind, we’ve consulted a veteran monster hunter (no relation) and he was kind enough to share his field notes culled from a lifetime of discovering and vanquishing the multlimbed beasts. If anything’s certain, more will come in their wake…

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