History Main / PuzzleBoss

7th Dec '17 11:35:17 AM SeptimusHeap
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* The first boss battle in ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}: Wolverine's Revenge'' was against a mutant who healed faster than you could kill him using normal attacks (and if you did get his LifeMeter down to near zero, [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard the computer would cheat]] to buy him healing time); you had to throw him against a fuel tank at one end of the room, which on the third iteration would explode, stunning him and letting you finish him off.

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* The first boss battle in ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}: ''Comicbook/XMen: Wolverine's Revenge'' was against a mutant who healed faster than you could kill him using normal attacks (and if you did get his LifeMeter down to near zero, [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard the computer would cheat]] to buy him healing time); you had to throw him against a fuel tank at one end of the room, which on the third iteration would explode, stunning him and letting you finish him off.
29th Nov '17 7:34:01 AM mario0987
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** Even in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG'', where almost all other bosses and enemies are battled in traditional turn-based RPG style, Bowser is defeated by attacking a chain and dropping the chandelier he's standing on.
** And in a separate Mario example, in ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'', you faced the Iron Adonis Twins -- two Clefts made out of a metal that's literally impervious to all but an equally hard substance. You beat them by getting a Yoshi to spit one at the other until they're both KO'd.
** Nearly ''every'' boss in ''VideoGame/PaperMarioStickerStar'', although most of them could also be beaten the normal way. Most of them are {{Logical Weakness}}es. The Megasparkle Goomba is comprised of numerous smaller Goombas and can be blown apart with the Fan; Tower Power Pokey's individual segments can be knocked away with the Baseball Bat (the boss arena kind of looks like a baseball stadium, providing a hint to this); your multi-hit stickers don't lose their multi-hit abilities in the later battles with Kamek where he turns everything into Sandals; Gooper Blooper's poison attack can be deflected back at him with the Sponge; the Big Cheep Cheep has to be reeled in with the Giant Fishhook (this one's absolutely necessary); Bowser Jr. in his second boss battle carries Bob-ombs over his head which can be knocked down into him with Hurlhammers; Big Boo [[VideoGame/LuigisMansion can be vacuumed up]]; Mizzter Blizzard is extremely weak to fire and healed by ice; Bowser Jr. in his final battle has a dome shield that reduces almost all damage, but can be destroyed by batting his own missiles back at it with a Tail; Bowser's first form summons enemies from a hole in the wall that can be patched up with Tape; Bowser's second form uses a Whomp that can be sliced apart with Scissors; Bowser's third form attacks with Podoboos that can be frozen with Shaved Ice; Bowser's fourth form attacks with a Chain Chomp that can be batted back at him with the Tail; and Bowser's final form is NighInvulnerable until plot-related stuff happens.
** A rather frustrating one was the Shroob-omb Battle in ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time]]'', where the order you defeat the Support Shroobs is vital to winning, but with no indication of such, it became a real GuideDangIt moment.
*** To elaborate, you have to fight a [[AlienInvasion General Shroob]], who commands Shroob grunts to attack you (without ever attacking on his own). Occasionally, he will call in a three-Shroob squad to carry a giant bomb into the arena, after which he scurries off the screen, unable to be targeted. In order to bring him out again, the player must eliminate the Shroob farthest to the back, causing the other two to lose their balance and drop the bomb[[note]]Most players would probably use power-ups like Trampolines or Copy Flowers in order to kill them all at once, but this will cause the bomb to roll towards ''you'' instead[[/note]], sending it rolling off the screen and launching the General back onto the stage in the ensuing detonation. However, [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard he doesn't take any damage (at least, there is no indication) from the explosion, while Mario and Luigi get hit so hard they fly to the top screen and back down, taking quite a number out of their health.]]
** Another Partners In Time example: Sunnycide has (probably) the highest defense yet in the game, until you free the Yoshis to make them push a boulder and knock him over.
*** And the Swiggler from the Vim Factory. If you didn't get rid of the mushrooms that the doctor shroobs had, they would feed them to the Swiggler and fully heal him. Unless they were grey mushrooms, in which case they made it ill.
** Most Mario hacks generally stick to the regular bosses. But the main feature of ''VideoGame/BrutalMario'' is facing off against bosses from a host of different games, many of them Puzzle Bosses.
** ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story]]'' has three bosses which generally follow this. The first is Alpha Kretin, who you have to defeat by turning all the segments of him blue (and they can only be attacked by the brother whose colour matches said segment) and then defeating in his next form. Dark Star is invincible, but has its defense lowered after you damage its two flunkies and then hammer them back at it. Dark Bowser/Fawful Bug requires you to hurt Dark Bowser (1000 HP), then hit his stomach when he becomes giant, then eat the Dark Fawful Bug/Star Core, then as Mario and Luigi kill the legs and glasses, then attack the core of that. Oh, and you get to finish off Dark Bowser with five more massive punches to the face after all this.
** The [[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi Mario & Luigi]] series in general has quite a few Puzzle Bosses. The FinalBoss of each game tends to have CognizantLimbs which need to be attacked in a certain order.
*** Heck, even the rank-and-file Mooks have puzzle elements to them. Sure, you could just attack them, and they attack you back. But almost every enemy attack can be blocked or dodged in some way, many even letting you counterattack!


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*** Also, the PostFinalBoss of ''X'', Yu Yuvon. He regenerates health if attacked but he only uses percentage based attacks that also hurt him until his HP gets low. You can hit him with attacks more damaging than he can heal, or hit the two pylons in the battle as well (which revive automatically) until Yuvon's Health starts getting low from his own attacks. Or cast Zombie on him and let him take himself out with his healing.


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* In ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG'', where almost all other bosses and enemies are battled in traditional turn-based RPG style, Bowser is defeated by attacking a chain and dropping the chandelier he's standing on.
* ''VideoGamr/PaperMario
** ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'', pits you against the Iron Adonis Twins -- two Clefts made out of a metal that's literally impervious to all but an equally hard substance. You beat them by getting a Yoshi to spit one at the other until they're both KO'd.
** Nearly ''every'' boss in ''VideoGame/PaperMarioStickerStar'', although most of them could also be beaten the normal way. Most of them are {{Logical Weakness}}es. The Megasparkle Goomba is comprised of numerous smaller Goombas and can be blown apart with the Fan; Tower Power Pokey's individual segments can be knocked away with the Baseball Bat (the boss arena kind of looks like a baseball stadium, providing a hint to this); your multi-hit stickers don't lose their multi-hit abilities in the later battles with Kamek where he turns everything into Sandals; Gooper Blooper's poison attack can be deflected back at him with the Sponge; the Big Cheep Cheep has to be reeled in with the Giant Fishhook (this one's absolutely necessary); Bowser Jr. in his second boss battle carries Bob-ombs over his head which can be knocked down into him with Hurlhammers; Big Boo [[VideoGame/LuigisMansion can be vacuumed up]]; Mizzter Blizzard is extremely weak to fire and healed by ice; Bowser Jr. in his final battle has a dome shield that reduces almost all damage, but can be destroyed by batting his own missiles back at it with a Tail; Bowser's first form summons enemies from a hole in the wall that can be patched up with Tape; Bowser's second form uses a Whomp that can be sliced apart with Scissors; Bowser's third form attacks with Podoboos that can be frozen with Shaved Ice; Bowser's fourth form attacks with a Chain Chomp that can be batted back at him with the Tail; and Bowser's final form is NighInvulnerable until plot-related stuff happens.
** ''VideoGame/PaperMarioColorSplash'' does the same thing as ''Sticker Star'', though there is at least a hint system the correct Thing can be used and only the Koopalings follow this format. Morton needs a Fire Extinguisher to put out his flaming hammer, Iggy rides chariots that can be taken out by the Chomp summoned by the Bone. Ludwig is made vulnerable with the Balloons while using a Camera as Wendy charges up an attack to immobilise Mario will make a photo of Mario get immobilised instead. When Larry uses the smoke of the train the battle takes place on, sticking a cork in the smokestack stops him, Lemmy's giant spiked ball can be popped with an Ice Pick after he is distracted with the Disco Ball and the battle screen can be cleaned up by the Washing Machine when Roy decides to throw paint everywhere. Outside the Thing Weakness system, Petea Piranha can counter jump attacks if standing and knocking him over makes him vulnerable if a certain attack is blocked and Bowser will regenerate health if his attacks are not blocked, which get more dangerous the more he was hit in one turn (and you can only block 11 attacks).
* ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi''
** A rather frustrating one is the Shroob-omb Battle in ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time]]'', where the order you defeat the Support Shroobs is vital to winning, but with no indication of such, it became a real GuideDangIt moment.
*** To elaborate, you have to fight a [[AlienInvasion General Shroob]], who commands Shroob grunts to attack you (without ever attacking on his own). Occasionally, he will call in a three-Shroob squad to carry a giant bomb into the arena, after which he scurries off the screen, unable to be targeted. In order to bring him out again, the player must eliminate the Shroob farthest to the back, causing the other two to lose their balance and drop the bomb[[note]]Most players would probably use power-ups like Trampolines or Copy Flowers in order to kill them all at once, but this will cause the bomb to roll towards ''you'' instead[[/note]], sending it rolling off the screen and launching the General back onto the stage in the ensuing detonation. However, [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard he doesn't take any damage (at least, there is no indication) from the explosion, while Mario and Luigi get hit so hard they fly to the top screen and back down, taking quite a number out of their health.]]
** Another Partners In Time example: Sunnycide has (probably) the highest defense yet in the game, until you free the Yoshis to make them push a boulder and knock him over.
*** And the Swiggler from the Vim Factory. If you didn't get rid of the mushrooms that the doctor shroobs had, they would feed them to the Swiggler and fully heal him. Unless they were grey mushrooms, in which case they made it ill.
** Most Mario hacks generally stick to the regular bosses. But the main feature of ''VideoGame/BrutalMario'' is facing off against bosses from a host of different games, many of them Puzzle Bosses.
** ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story]]'' has three bosses which generally follow this. The first is Alpha Kretin, who you have to defeat by turning all the segments of him blue (and they can only be attacked by the brother whose colour matches said segment) and then defeating in his next form. Dark Star is invincible, but has its defense lowered after you damage its two flunkies and then hammer them back at it. Dark Bowser/Fawful Bug requires you to hurt Dark Bowser (1000 HP), then hit his stomach when he becomes giant, then eat the Dark Fawful Bug/Star Core, then as Mario and Luigi kill the legs and glasses, then attack the core of that. Oh, and you get to finish off Dark Bowser with five more massive punches to the face after all this.
** The [[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi Mario & Luigi]] series in general has quite a few Puzzle Bosses. The FinalBoss of each game tends to have CognizantLimbs which need to be attacked in a certain order.
*** Heck, even the rank-and-file Mooks have puzzle elements to them. Sure, you could just attack them, and they attack you back. But almost every enemy attack can be blocked or dodged in some way, many even letting you counterattack!
14th Nov '17 2:14:51 PM FRizer
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When the solution to the puzzle is to not actively fight the boss at all, see SheatheYourSword. The inversion to Puzzle Boss is DamageSpongeBoss, which has no trickery at all and simply ''is'' worn down through brute force.

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When the solution to the puzzle is to not actively fight the boss at all, see SheatheYourSword. The inversion to Puzzle Boss is DamageSpongeBoss, which has no trickery at all and simply ''is'' worn down through brute force. Compare KungfuProofMook, aka Puzzle Mook.
7th Oct '17 1:36:59 PM DoubleU
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***This can be Justified, since the Mechakoopas can hurt him, and Bowser loses his patience after a while of Mario surviving.
6th Oct '17 1:37:23 AM VelvetAndroid
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* ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersia1'' has a battle against a ghostly copy of the Prince, which was earlier created by a magic mirror. It would mimic your actions, so attacking would cause it to strike you as well -- additionally, there was a red herring 'pit trap' nearby; luring the boss into it caused you to die as well. The only solution was to SheatheYourSword, with the copy doing the same.

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* The original ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersia1'' has two, the first a battle against a single [[DemBones skeleton that springs to life]] when the Prince goes near it (all other skeletons seen in the game are merely 'decorative'), which cannot be injured by your sword in the conventional fashion. The only way to dispatch it is to batter it back towards the nearest ledge and knock it off into a BottomlessPit. Later in the game you encounter the ghostly copy of the Prince, which was earlier created by a magic mirror. It would mimic mimics your actions, so attacking would cause causes it to strike you as well -- additionally, there was a red herring 'pit trap' nearby; luring the boss into it caused (à la the skeleton) causes you to die as well. The only solution was is to SheatheYourSword, with the copy doing the same.
10th Sep '17 5:33:20 AM BigKlingy
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* Almost every boss in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'' is one of these, though one of the most notable examples is Trumpeter. Every few turns, he'll alternate between either using Holy Melody to fully heal whoever has the least HP (''including himself''), or use Evil Melody to instantly kill whoever has the most HP ([[MyRulesAreNotYourRules not including himself]]). You need to carefully balance the HP of him and your Demons to win the fight.
* ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'' has its BonusBoss the Demi-Fiend. After one of his Demons is killed, he uses Gaea Rage, which deals so much damage it's nearly impossible to survive. But one of his other Demons will always cast a full-party [[StandardStatusEffects Sleep]] spell beforehand. This seems meaningless, until you realize there's a skill in the game that causes a character to always dodge attacks while they're asleep... The "puzzle" aspect of the fight is used to highlight how one seemingly weak member of the party, Cielo, is NotCompletelyUseless: his weakness to status ailments is actually a ''strength'' here, as you ''want'' to get his with Sleep.


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* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsInTheSky'' has the Abyss Worms, the boss of SC's Chapter 2. [[WolfpackBoss They attack in a group of 5]], so you'd think area-of-effect attacks would be the way to go. Try this, and you'll have all the worms unleash Earth Shaker, a full-party hitting attack, at once, which will almost certainly result in a TotalPartyKill. The trick to the fight is realizing that Earth Shaker is a ''counterattack''. If you don't attack a Worm, it will only use very weak, single-target moves. You're supposed to focus down the Abyss Worms one-by-one rather than attack them all at once, that way you only have to deal with one Earth Shaker at a time.
31st Aug '17 5:37:28 PM AnotherGamer
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** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'' has most of the DLC bosses, but Snow takes the cake. Go at him normally, and he'll cause a TotalPartyWipe due to getting stronger the longer he goes without being provoked. Either have him jump between two Sentinels or let him ko the Sentinel, revive them, and have it re-aggro Snow.

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** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'' has most of the DLC bosses, but Snow takes the cake. Go at him normally, and he'll cause constantly focus on a TotalPartyWipe due to getting single character which makes him stronger the longer he goes without being provoked. he's allowed to pound on the same target, eventually allowing him to use his LimitBreak which causes a TotalPartyWipe. Either have him jump between two Sentinels Provoke him repeatedly, causing him to switch targets constantly or let him ko KO the Sentinel, revive them, and have it re-aggro Snow.
26th Aug '17 3:04:36 PM QuizzicalPieridine
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** ''VideoGame/SonicMania'' features one of the most literal examples of this trope in the series: the boss fight of [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2 Chemical Plant Zone]] Act 2 involves [[spoiler: challenging Eggman to a round of ''VideoGame/DrRobotniksMeanBeanMachine''.]]
6th Aug '17 7:30:33 AM Berrenta
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** ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'' also has the Pig King Statue, a ludicrously powerful BonusBoss who also has an HP count of ''99,999,999'' (that's one HP short of ''one-hundred million'', folks!) in a game where dealing 200 damage with a physical attack is doing really well for yourself. With the brute-force option out of the question[[note]][[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything Even if you did manage to do enough damage with brute force to deplete a lot of his HP, the game would crash, as if deliberately, to prevent you from using brute force to win the fight]][[/note]], there's only two ways to really hurt the thing: [[spoiler:Hit it with a New Year's Eve bomb, which brings its HPToOne, and then hit it once, or attack it with PK Flash a few times, and watch as the attack causes instant death. The Statue is the only boss in the entire game vulnerable to those moves.]]

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** ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'' also has the Pig King Statue, a ludicrously powerful BonusBoss who also has an HP count of ''99,999,999'' (that's one HP short of ''one-hundred million'', folks!) in a game where dealing 200 damage with a physical attack is doing really well for yourself. With the brute-force option out of the question[[note]][[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything question[[note]][[DevelopersForesight Even if you did manage to do enough damage with brute force to deplete a lot of his HP, the game would crash, as if deliberately, to prevent you from using brute force to win the fight]][[/note]], there's only two ways to really hurt the thing: [[spoiler:Hit it with a New Year's Eve bomb, which brings its HPToOne, and then hit it once, or attack it with PK Flash a few times, and watch as the attack causes instant death. The Statue is the only boss in the entire game vulnerable to those moves.]]
20th Jul '17 4:04:23 PM Malady
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* In ''OperatorsSide'', aka ''Lifeline'', the first boss is ImmuneToBullets; to defeat it, you have to tell Rio ''exactly'' when to throw a homemade Molotov Cocktail. Waiting too long causes the flame to burn itself out; if that happens, or if you have her throw it at the wrong time... [[TheManyDeathsOfYou sorry, Rio]].

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* In ''OperatorsSide'', ''VideoGame/OperatorsSide'', aka ''Lifeline'', the ''Lifeline'': The first boss is ImmuneToBullets; to defeat it, you have to tell Rio ''exactly'' when to throw a homemade Molotov Cocktail.MolotovCocktail. Waiting too long causes the flame to burn itself out; if that happens, or if you have her throw it at the wrong time... [[TheManyDeathsOfYou sorry, Rio]].
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.PuzzleBoss