Cutscene Boss


(permanent link) added: 2010-01-08 16:59:59 sponsor: TriggerLoaded (last reply: 2010-01-09 08:20:42)

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No Launching Please.

After cleaining out Anticlimax Boss like I've been meaning to for over a month now, I see several examples could fit in a nice subtrope. I've got tons of examples, all I'm looking for is a good name, and maybe some ideas for the write-up.

I will admit these examples were lifted directly from Anticlimax Boss, and such they'll need to be edited a bit. Also some may not be as suited to this trope as I thought. Please let me know if I should remove them.


The Final Boss is meant to be the biggest challenge of the game, the toughest individual who is responsible for everything bad that has motivated you to this point. So it's disappointing when they're killed with little effort. It's insulting if they're killed without presenting a challenge. It's appalling if they're killed in a cutscene with NO input required from you.

It's also equally as aggravating if the cutscene does require input of the Press X to Not Die variety. This is a boss battle, not Simon Says!

Yes, the Cutscene Boss. That boss that's killed in a pre-scripted event, either with no input, or quick-time events. Both are almost always incredibly disappointing, especially if the other bosses were big armoured bastards armed with a BFG in each hand that required tactics, planning, and all your ammo to take out.

Examples:

  • The final leg of the Next-Gen Bionic Commando builds up to two dramatic confrontations -- Groeder and Super Joe. Groeder lives up to the build-up... but You beat Super Joe in a cutscene after a neat Press X to Not Die sequence to get to him.
  • After going through the final stage in Ghostbusters II four times (one for each Ghostbuster), you are in front of Vigo... and automatically shoot him repeatedly until he goes down.
  • Wet's final boss battle with Tarantula and Pelham turns out to be just a series of quick-time events. A sad departure from the intense gameplay of the rest of the game, and a serious letdown considering the Roaring Rampage of Revenge that Rubi was pretty much on for much of it.
  • For two thirds of Bioshock, you're hunting down Andrew Ryan, the leader of the underwater city in which you're trapped and perpetrator of many crimes against you and your Mission Control. When you finally meet him, he uses the Arc Words on you in order to demonstrate how you've been brainwashed, demonstrates their chilling effect on you in a Hannibal Lecture, and effectively commits Suicide By Brainwashed Son while screaming his mantra in your face, all in a non-interactive cutscene to show how hopeless and out of your own control you really are. It's extremely effective.
    • This is arguably more climactic than the final boss, however, because it carries far more emotional weight. The real final boss being pathetically easy doesn't help its case much.
    • The game also deliberately prepares you for a boss battle by leaving ammo and med kits lying around before you find him.
  • The Ventrue Prince, if he's your final battle, is such an anticlimax that the curb-stomp takes place in a Scripted Sequence.
  • The final boss in Trine gets a lot of show, screaming at you and flying around as you try to climb a tower while lava advances, and various obstacles are summoned in your way. Then once you get to the top... the heroes separate, and The Knight hits the boss in the head with the hammer in a cutscene. Cue "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
  • The ultimate Cutscene Boss has to be "the Great Devil" of the puzzle game The Adventures of Lolo. You only get to see him during the ending cutscene, in which he is seen standing completely still and grinning like an idiot. Lolo shoots a projectile at him, encasing him in an eggshell. Lolo then shoots another projectile, and the egg goes flying off into the distance. Thus, the Great Devil is revealed to be a One-Hit-Point Wonder, and the day is saved. (The sequels avoided this by including actual boss battles with bosses that, you know, fight back.)
  • The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion: Mehrunes Dagon, and immortal demon-king has arrived to destroy the world. What do you do? Just get the Emperor to kill him for you.
  • At the end of Lunar: Dragon Song, you've gone three rounds with The Dragon and finally killed him, avenging a party member he killed earlier. It's time to fight the powerful Big Bad and save Lucia. And after a dramatic cutscene with him... earthquake! Ignatius falls down a pit and that's all she wrote. The Dragon was the final boss, which is why he was so persistent.
  • Poor Ephidel, the apparent Dragon, from Fire Emblem 7 lived just long enough for you to meet his bosss, Big Bad Nergal, before getting offed in a cutscene. Every other high-ranking Fang gets faced at least once (except for the one that does a Heel-Face Turn), but Ephidel, who canonically is probably Nergal's second-most powerful morph, gets killed by a cutscene, pathetically screaming for Nergal to help him.
  • Sheffield from Scarface: The World Is Yours seems to be a tough opponent when he is introduced from a distance, armed with a bazooka whose power players probably are well-acquainted with. However, when Tony confronts him proper, he gives in without resisting.
  • Mercenaries 2 has the main bad guy of the story, Ramon Solano, military dictator of Venezuela, who betrayed and attempted to kill you after you helped him by staging a coup that puts him in power, hide in a heavily fortified bunker that requires a tactical nuclear weapon to pierce, after which you go straight to an ultra lame boss battle that requires a bunch of Quick Time Events that destroy the helicopter he's in and that's it. Considering how the first game had you take on the best of the best of the North Korean Army, fighting massive waves of tanks and helicopters before defeating the top North Korean General, the boss battle in Mercenaries 2 is a major disappointment.
  • In Tony Hawk's Underground, if you play through Sick difficulty after beating the story mode on Normal, the cutscene leading up to your ultimate showdown with archrival Eric Sparrow is itself the entire battle. No, seriously. You smash his face in and take the tape, you did it, you won, no skate-off. Admittedly, this is kind of a fitting way for a guy like Eric to go down.
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