Wandering up against Tiamat in FF8 before I had unlocked anything other than Magic and Draw was a huge, huge mistake. The first Dark Flare took out Squall, did only about eight hundred damage to Selphie and made Quistis lose half of her ginormous 8k health reservoir. With the ability to revive characters still locked by Ultimecia’s magic[ref]?[/ref], it was either lose the albeit little progress I had made or tough it out. Pulling it off was a reminder of why Final Fantasy boss fights are so great. Winning was fairly simple at this point. Quistis and Selphie would draw Flare and toss it back at Tiamat while he was charging up Dark Flare. When Dark Flare was ready they be ready to cast Cura[ref]Did not want to use up my Curaga, as it was junctioned.[/ref] after it. The trick was that Quistis had to cast on Selphie and vice versa, as Quistis’s magic was not powerful enough to have Cura take care of the done damage.
Now that does not sound intense. However, up until that point my entire damage formula was Haste Squall, attack with Squall, buff and heal as necessary with Quistis and Selphie. Tiamat took that away from me in an instant and I had less than a minute to figure out my new course of action. I did, and I was rewarded with victory and unlocked the ability to revive my dead Squall.
Lots of the boss fights in RPGs, particularly FF games, get into these loops. It is discovering these loops and dealing with the wrenches that the bosses throw in that positions my buttocks forty-five degrees off of my chair. A while later, Gargantua knocked down everyone but Quistis. I readied a Mega Phoenix as it berserked her. Knowing that she could not survive more than two attacks, I was moving my finger to reset when she ran up and killed the boss with a weak physical attack.
These little moments are what define the joys of games like Final Fantasy 8.