The most powerful videogame bosses you'll find in real life

(Image credit: Arcadia Spectacular)

Turning off a videogame sucks. You instantly stop being a legendary, fearless warrior capable of slaying dragons and defeating giants, and go back to being a common dope who can't win an argument with your neighbor over who overfilled the communal recycling bin. You're the only one who drinks Coors, Todd!

Plus, most of us don't even have the opportunity for heroics in our day-to-day lives. It's not like we step outside and encounter trolls and giant robots left and right. These things just don't happen in real life.

Except sometimes they do! There are powerful videogame-style bosses in the real world, if you know where to look. Here are the biggest and baddest videogame bosses we found in real life.

Traddino, the robot dragon

While MIT is busy cranking out videos of its jogging, stair-climbing, back-flipping cheetah robots, there's a much bigger and far more dangerous robotic creature out there. The largest walking robot in the world is, in fact, a dragon.

Does it breathe fire? Hell yes. Does it fly? Well, uh, no. It gets around mostly on the flatbed of a truck, to be honest. But Traddino the robotic dragon does really walk, impressive for a robot 50 feet long and 25 feet high. It's playing nice for the cameras in the video above, but I have no doubt that if it wanted to, it could easily roast and devour those LARPers. Come back when you've leveled up, nerd.

Traddino lives in Germany and was built by Zollner Elektronik, so they're the ones to blame if your village gets burned to cinders some night. I'd link to Traddino's website but it's currently down—probably going dark in preparation of world domination.

Oscar Under The Bridge

By Thomas Dambo (Image credit: Thomas Dambo)

Crossing a bridge in a video game can be a dicey proposition. Like waterfalls, there's almost always something hiding under bridges. And this bridge near Copenhagen is certainly hiding a surprise: Oscar.

Oscar Under The Bridge is an enormous wooden troll lying on his back beside the bridge and reaching up as if to snatch any careless travelers with his mighty wooden hand. To eat them, I'd imagine. That's kind of what trolls do.

Oscar was created by sculptor Thomas Dambo. You can see more photos of Oscar here, and Dambo has created lots of different boss monsters (as well as plenty of gentle giants) that are on display all around the world.

The four-story Minotaur

The Greeks imagined the Minotaur had the head of a bull and the body of a man, but this boss is way better than that. He's got bull head and man torso but a four-legged horse body and wings, making him sort of half-Minotaur, half-Pegasus. That's way better than just having a stupid man-body. 

Also, this Minotaurgasus is 45 damn feet tall, weighs over 70 tons, and can carry 50 people on his back. He can blow steam from his nostrils and, as you can see above, carries an enormous torch at night, so you can't escape by hiding in the shadows. He even hangs around with a giant mechanical spider. That's a boss you don't want to mess with.

The Minotaur was created by French production company La Machine.

Kuratas and Eagle Prime

Kuratas, from Japan, and Eagle Prime, from the US, are two massive, hulking real-life mechs. Heavily armored and bearing weapons like miniguns and even a giant frickin' chainsaw, they went toe-to-toe in a (perhaps slightly over-dramatized) duel. Due to the fact that there were human pilots inside, the kid gloves had to stay on, but these mechs are still pretty darn scary and pack a wallop.

What's scarier is imagining these mechs without pilots and having their guns loaded with something besides paintballs. And if they're someday able to stomp around without humans inside, it's only a matter of time before these bots start wondering why they're fighting each other instead of us.

Until that day comes, you can actually book a session to pilot a giant Megabots mech for yourself. Do it before it's too late.

Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel

(Image credit: Voice of America (cropped))

There were rumors flying around a while back about billionaire venture capitalist, PayPal co-founder, and Gawker-shutter-downer Peter Thiel consuming the blood of teenagers through transfusions so that he might live forever. Thiel laid these rumors to rest by stating "On the record, I am not a vampire." Which, I need to point out, is exactly what a vampire would say.

But vampirism isn't what makes Thiel a video game boss, it's the nearly $2 million in funding he's given to the Seasteading Institute, an organization that wants to make cities that float on the ocean in international waters to avoid the governments of the world. Free from pesky building codes, drug laws, and weapon restrictions, these libertarian utopias would quickly go from floating on top of the ocean to resting at the bottom of it, and what do you call a city at the bottom of the ocean? Rapture. Who runs Rapture? A boss.

Thiel has resigned from the board of the Seasteading Institute, saying in 2008 that the concept "is not quite feasible." But that could be a bluff. Maybe he's still secretly overseeing it. Remember, this is a guy who says he's not a vampire.

The Spider

Ignore the rave taking place at The Spider's feet—these partygoers have no idea they're celebrating in the shadow of a megaboss. The Spider shoots gouts of fire from its head, launches flares, and stares at the crowd with penetrating beams of light. The people came to party but The Spider came to feast.

Just so you understand how bad-ass The Spider is, its legs are made from logging cranes and military helicopters, and its eyes are afterburners from a goddamn spy plane. That's a hardcore giant metal spider.

The Spider was created by Arcadia, whose Twitter bio states they "fuse recycled military hardware, sculpture, architecture, performance, engineering, immersion and bass into a primal unity." The Spider is definitely primal.

Higher Education, the school bus monster truck

There's a big yellow monster that swallows kids whole every morning and then vomits them back up into a building filled with bullies, short-tempered teachers, and harsh fluorescent lighting. But the school bus is the mini-boss of education. The main boss is this school bus monster truck, named Higher Education.

There's no escape, kids. Run away and it'll crush cars and fences and walls as it chases you. You think it's bumpy on the regular ride to school? Try riding Higher Education over all the cars in the faculty lot without getting thrown from your seat. You can study math with a concussion, right?

Higher Education is owned by Vaters Motorsports.

This crab that is far too big for my liking

There are giant crabs in games, and I knew there were some fairly large crabs in real life, but this sucker you see above is a little too big for me to be comfortable with. Should they get this big? I really don't think they should get this big. If a crab is too big to fit on a plate next to a baked potato and some untouched broccoli, I think it's just too big.

It's a Japanese Spider Crab, and it's got the largest leg span of any arthropod. Those legs go all the way up, and I really wish they didn't. In fact, I think I'll leave the real world now and get back to gaming. Skyrim's mudcrabs are more my speed—they're the complete opposite of a boss.

Christopher Livingston
Staff Writer

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.