You gotta love SNK for doing giving the fans what they want. Omega Rugal has returned to the King of Fighters XV and they made him totally free! Not only that, in order to celebrate his homecoming, SNK is acknowledging how much of a badass of a boss he was by adding a new mode to the game: Boss Challenge mode. In Boss Challenge Mode, your team faces against a souped up version of the “normal” Omega Rugal.
I honestly half dreaded and welcomed this version of Omega Rugal as, even though I’m not well-versed in the King of Fighters franchise, I am familiar with SNK Boss Syndrome. As this was a more powerful version of Omega Rugal, I felt I was going to get a taste of what it was like during the golden days of the franchise where you had to face against him as the final boss. Besides, who doesn’t want to get a bunch of cool stuff like an additional costume, a new stage and new background music? That’s what you get if you beat the Boss Challenge! Sign me up!
Now, I’ve seen a lot of videos wherein more skilled players have been able to take down the Boss Challenge version of Omega Rugal on their first try. That’s very impressive for someone like me who, like I said, am a newbie to the series. I also would classify myself as a “filthy casual” as I am definitely not up to their caliber and I don’t think I ever will be. Kudos to them for beating Boss Challenge lickedysplit, but I’m just unable to get to the point where I can do super damaging combos at will. I’m just a normal scrub level who did take a beating for around 15 minutes taking on this version of Omega Rugal.
However, after those 15 minutes of hardship and pain, I figured out an almost surefire strategy to beat Boss Challenge Omega Rugal, which is amazing especially when you consider I am not as skilled as the pro players out there. In fact, I would say the method I discovered is extremely cheesy and actually exploits both the SNK Boss Syndrome AI as well as a specific powerful move this powered up version of Omega Rugal can do. This strategy is kind of specific but so potent I can beat him with a single character without using any meter most of the time.
Before I do get to the actual gameplan, let’s talk about Omega Rugal in Boss Challenge mode to get a handle of what you’re up against. Boss Challenge Omega Rugal has all of the moves the regular Omega Rugal has. He has the Reppu Ken projectile which rolls on the ground and the Violent Ray which has him fire an optic blast from his eye. Basically, he’s like Sagat as he has both a high and low projectile. He also can reflect projectiles back with his Dark Barrier so there’s no way you can with the fireball wars against him. He also has the Vanishing Rush, which has Omega Rugal dash forward so fast he becomes invisible with a flurry of attacks. This is a very scary move as he cannot be hit while he’s invisible and has a huge hitbox making it possible for him to hit you even if you’re jumping at a distance.
Besides, you shouldn’t be jumping at Boss Challenge Omega Rugal anyways because of his Genocide Cutter. Even before I knew about Rugal Bernstein, I was already familiar with the Genocide Cutter as it’s an iconic move in fighting games. This is Omega Rugal’s signature move with all of the invincibility frames in the world to make it not only an amazing anti-air but an almost perfect counter for any attack.
All of these moves are amazing by themselves but Boss Challenge Omega Rugal amps things up by reducing the startup and recovery times for all his moves. There have been more than just a few times when he hit me with a Reppu Ken from up close, linked into the first hit of the command normal, connect with another Reppu Ken, linked into another first hit of his command normal and then complete the combo with a Vanishing Rush. It’s crazy!
That’s not all as Boss Challenge Omega Rugal also has the same couple of Super Combos regular Omega Rugal has. He has the Gigantic Pressure, a blockable dashing grab which will drag your sorry ass across the screen and into the corner as well as his new Desperate Ray, which he normally uses to hit you off the ground when you’re knocked down. The scariest Super Combo he has is his Menacing Walk. I’m not sure what its official name is but it’s a frame 1 command grab! If you’re too far away when he does it, Omega Rugal starts glowing and walking menacing towards you, all the while having super armor and will reflect projectiles back at you! If this hits you, you can say goodbye to around 50-60% of your life!
There are a couple of things which SNK did do to make Boss Challenge Omega Rugal moderately fair. He only has normal health and he doesn’t recover any life in-between rounds, so you can whittle away at his life bar slowly. You won’t need to because, as I said, you can actually do it with a single character if you do it my way. He also doesn’t seem to be reading inputs so it does look like the CPU is mostly reacting to what’s happening, which is something we do exploit a bit in this guide.
Now, to actually beat the Boss Challenge, all you need is a character with a 1-frame command grab with some range. Characters like King of Dinosaurs, Shermie and Clark fit the bill nicely but Athena, Heidern, Benimaru and the rest do have poor range on their command throws. Now, all you need to do is have one of the characters I mentioned, namely King of Dinosaurs, Shermie and Clark, block every single attack! Try to stay around mid-screen from Omega Rugal but don’t try to attack or counter his attacks. Don’t even try to short hop over the Reppu Ken because you’ll be rewarded with a Genocide Cutter. Again, block everything!
Play super defensive. You’re only fishing for one specific move of his: the heavy version of the Vanishing Rush. You’ll know it when Omega Rugal does the move and then appears behind you. Once this happens, perform a reversal with your character’s 1-frame command throw. For King of Dinosaurs, it’s the light version of his half-circle back with punch. With Clark, it’s the heavy version of his half-circle forward with kick. Shermie’s would be her any of her half-circle forward with punch moves. If you’re using Clark or Shermie, perform the follow up. After you do this, return to mid-screen and repeat. If you’re comfortable using combos after the command throw, do it. This does make this method faster with Shermie or Clark as King of Dinosaurs doesn’t have any follow ups. That doesn’t mean you can’t use his EX command throw or his Super Combo command throw for more damage, though.
Don’t believe it’s that simple? Well, I have the video to prove it!
You can see I didn’t do much to beat the Boss Challenge using just King of Dinosaurs. I just hung back most of the time and waited for my opportunity to strike. Threw in a few jabs when necessary and a jump kick after the Dark Barrier. I even made a lucky input error when King of Dinosaurs did the Super Combo grab! Even if you lose the first character, you should have taken off a hefty chunk of Omega Rugal’s health so the next characters can mop up the rest. If you use King of Dinosaurs, Shermie and Clark, well, it should be easy to rinse and repeat anyways.
This isn’t a brainless strategy, though. There is some judgement to be made as you have to determine if you’re in range for the throw. Most of the time you will be but there are times when the pushback will be weird and you’ll be put just outside of the grab. You also need to calculate when would you need to do an EX throw or a Super Combo throw as this depends on how confident you are at pulling off the motions. Oh, and while the Menacing Walk is, well, menacing and seemingly invincible, all you need to do to beat it is jump over him! Once you do that, Omega Rugal will be defenseless for a brief moment, allowing you to do a combo if you can or just another command throw.
If you’re really a pro at King of Fighters XV and you don’t need to cheap out the AI, well, congratulations! You didn’t need my help! However, like I said, this is more of a guide for all the fellow scrubs like myself. Yes, I could get good, nail all my combos consistently and all that. However, if you just want to get Omega Rugal to wear some weird shoulder pads before you get good, well, this would work just as well.
Have you beat Omega Rugal from the Boss Challenge? How long did it take you to do it? Let me know in the comments section below!