Boss-Only Level YKTTW Discussion
A level that is just a boss fight (usually for plot reasons).
A level that consists entirely of a Boss Battle. Usually, this is done for plot reasons, even in games which don't have much. Said boss is almost always the penultimate or final boss. This trope has become increasingly more common in recent platformer games. Compare Boss Game, where every level is a Boss-Only Level. Examples:
- The Sonic the Hedgehog series loves this trope. The trend started with The Doomsday Zone, and ever since then the final bosses of most games take up their own level, usually played while in Super Mode.
- The final level of the original Ecco The Dolphin is devoted to the battle with the Vortex Queen.
- In Freedom Force, the last battle against Time Master is just him and his time clones.
- Exaggerated in Gauntlet Dark Legacy: each of the realm bosses gets a level to themselves.
- The only opponent in Level 9 of Wolfenstein 3D Episode 1 was the boss, Hans Grosse.
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl does this in the Adventure Mode, with "The Ruined Hall" and "Battleship Halberd Bridge". "The Canyon" can be considered a variation, since the level only contains a Multi-Mook Melee.
- Bayonetta does this with the Four Cardinal Virtues (similar to the Seven Heavenly Virtues...but as angelic monsters), although one of them has a few enemies before the boss fight.
- In the Playstation Spider-Man game, the chapter "Rhino's Rampage" consisted solely of a boss fight with Rhino.
- The Rank 10 and 7 stages in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle.
- Boss Blitz Galaxy in Super Mario Galaxy 2. Also a case of Boss Rush.
- Dark Cloud does this with most of its boss fights.
- In Mega Man X 4, the duel against Colonel is one of these if you're playing as X. (If you're playing as Zero, you get a cutscene instead.)
- Played With in the first Mario vs. Donkey Kong: while clearing the Mini-Mario Levels always leads players to facing Donkey Kong, after the first battle in any given world the Boss Battle itself is freely accessible afterwards, although not going through the MM levels first "punishes" the player with four Hit Points instead of the "usual" six, as it would be the case if all six Mini Marios are rescued.
- In the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy, bosses have their own separate levels, presumably in order to avoid Boss Dissonance. It worked.
- Famously, the third level of R-Type is essentially one long battle against a giant alien spacecraft.
- The final boss of Wario Land 3 is this.
- Most (if not all) of Bomberman 64's boss fights were in Boss-Only Levels.
- The final level of Kid Icarus: Uprising is a long, multi-stage boss fight.
- Final Fantasy IX features the Hill of Despair, where you fight the final boss, Necron.
- The bosses in Donkey Kong Country Returns, with the exception of the final one, are housed in otherwise empty levels.
- Gundemonium Recollection and Gundeadli Gne do this in their final levels.
- Almost all of the bosses in the first American McGee's Alice are like this. Only the Red King and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum avert this.