Ys 1 and luck-based missions

Should games be completable with Ys?

I finished Ys 1 yesterday. You know, Ys Chronicle. Ancient Ys Vanished Omen. Y's, as the Master System version deemed it. Whatever it's  bloody called, I don't know. Falcom have remade it, like, four times or something. I played the one on Steam. I finished it. Hooray, right? Mostly, yes. Mostly. Because the final boss of Ys 1, the oddly-named Dark Fact, is a bit of a holy terror. I don't want to explain the whole "bump system", for those who haven't played it, but what it ultimately boils down to is that all enemies are "fought" by running into them at an askew angle. Walking into them head-on damages you, walking into them sideways or slightly off damages them. With Dark Fact, he'll basically pinball around the small battle arena, spamming fireballs ridiculously quickly and destroying part of the ground every time you hit him. And if you're standing on said ground, you'll die instantly. To a point, the boss battle - unlike every single other one in the game - is largely luck-based.

That's bad, right? Pretty much all conventional wisdom would say that it is. At the time, I certainly found it deeply frustrating. I'd die over and over again, the challenge seeming insurmountable until I Googled it and saw that it was actually bugged at 144hz and quite literally impossible. Switching it down too 60hz moved the needle from Impossible to Ludicrously Difficult, and I was able to conquer the game. And it was satisfying to do so, sure, but the luck element continued to rankle.

I'm slightly misrepresenting the boss, because in truth it isn't completely luck-based - he moves the same way every time and where you hit him determines how the floor is destroyed, so you can learn his patterns and beat him. But the fireballs are so unpredictable and fast that luck does become a major factor. And I've been thinking about that a lot, and honestly? I've ended up kinda liking it.

Unfairness is something I've always been an advocate for; the tried-and-true supposed Nintendo method of game design in which concepts are introduced in a safe context before escalating the challenge is certainly a valid approach, but it's also staid. There is nothing wrong with screwing the player over once in a while. I play Sierra games. I don't expect nor want the computer to play fair. I will never, ever forget Dark Fact. I can't. It's the total unfairness that makes it so desperate, so memorable. You're never more than a few seconds from a retry when you're killed, and the battle lasts about thirty seconds whichever way it goes.

Don't you think it's better to get in a player's head than it is to just let them cruise past yet another boss? Yes, you can be tough but fair, as the saying goes, but when your enemy doesn't play by the rules, it's different. It's personal. And it's that kind of connection to a game that I'd like to see more of. It's all artifice, so why not work within that artifice? Why not be a dick, just once? You all remember the Carnival Night Barrel, don't you?

Right, tell me which is the second boss in Sonic Advance. Yeah. Exactly.