What's Happening

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.


Tanto: Hmm...I tend to think of this kind of thing as any boss that is defeated with any sort of unconventional technique (as opposed to just slugging it out). Is that too broad a definition? As is, the entry seems to imply that the boss must be invincible to any of the player's own attacks.

Zelda bosses go in under my definition, but I don't know if they count under this one. Also, would bosses that have to be tricked into attacking themselves (the Reactor in Kirby Super Star, Eggman's first form in "The Doomsday" level of Sonic the Hedgehog 3, etc.) go in here?

Ununnilium: I think the latter would. Which Zelda bosses?

Tanto: There are quite a few. Phantom Ganon, in most of his recent appearances, has to have his attacks reflected back on him before you can attack with the sword (same deal with Agahnim in Zelda 3 and Twinrova in Zelda 64). Dodongo King has to swallow a bomb. You have to remove the Helmasaur King's mask with the hammer. You have to use the grappling hook to bring down the ceiling on one boss in Wind Waker (Gohma? Can't remember). You have to remove Morpha's core from his body with the hookshot...

Often Link uses his normal tools and weapons, but in an unorthodox/unique way. That's why I'm wondering if they count, or if the definition is intended to be narrower (just arena/context-based damage). The common thread is that the challenge is in how to defeat the boss, not the execution. That's the distinguishing characteristic of a Puzzle Boss, to me.

Ununnilium: I'd agree that they count. Although you have to be careful with the corner cases.

fleb: [2008/04/16; aka. much later, after Tangent128's comment ] I expanded the description to include cases like this, based on the YKTTW.

Paul A: The scope of this page seems to have shifted in discussion, from

(1) a boss battle where you can't attack the boss directly, but rather have to use some feature of the arena to hurt them


(2) a boss that is beaten by trickery and solving a developer's puzzle rather than force

That being so, the example I gave from Wolverine's Revenge no longer fits, because it's not a puzzle: the game explicitly tells you what you have to do to win. (Scratch that: I just replayed the battle to check what the explodey thing was, and the game doesn't explicitly tell you what to do, it just gives hints. Very blatant hints, I might add, but it still counts as a puzzle.)

And, on the other hand, I didn't mention the final boss battle in Escape From Monkey Island because it doesn't involve attacking the boss using a feature of the arena, but you do have to solve the developer's puzzle to win the battle.

Seth: I thought it covered both variety's, the bosses that are defeated by trickery alone (Like reflecting attacks, killing minions it is linked to, solving puzzles that stun and damage it) to the sort of When All You Have Is a Hammer bosses that you have to weaken using the environment and some form of trick/puzzle then attack normally.

Tangent128: I was pretty much thinking about any boss that you couldn't harm with your own attacks. So, reflecting attacks counts, as does luring a boss's missiles, as well as utilizing electrified stuff or a Collapsing Lair.

TJ Devil 02: King Hippo from Punch-Out, yay or nay? You have to have a punch blocked, then dodge his punch, then it's a shot to the face, and ONLY THEN can you start waylaying on his weak point.

Fly: I would personally say nay. Looks more like Fake Difficulty to me.

I notice that several examples listed simply say "you have to survive until the boss kills himself". to me, that doesn't count as a puzzle boss, since you don't actually have to do anything other than dodge attacks. I think bosses like that should go under a new trope, something like "survival boss". (when I say this, I don't mean bosses where you have to trick the boss into attacking himself, I just mean bosses where you just have to find some way to survive until the boss dies because his robot batteries run out or his attacks involve breaking off his own armor or whatever)

L Guardinal: Took out the Sly Cooper quote, as it's not an obvious example of this trope.

Crash: Un-spoilered Giygas's name as the final boss of Earthbound, since the screen right before the title screen explicitly says "The War Against Giygas!"