Created By: TyeDyeWildebeest on April 29, 2017 Last Edited By: TyeDyeWildebeest on May 23, 2017
Troped

Enemy Posturing

The boss is mocking you! Now's your chance to attack!

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It's not uncommon for video game bosses to grab hold of the Villain Ball, just to make things easier for the player. Sometimes they'll use attacks that either tire them out or leave them open to counterattacks, sometimes they'll stock their battle arenas with weapons that can be used against them...

...and sometimes they'll completely let their guard down just to taunt you.

Enemy Posturing refers to any boss who takes time out of the battle to taunt you, laugh at you, strike a pose or wave to the crowd, leaving themselves defenseless in the process. In some cases, this will be the only time the boss is vulnerable, and the taunting is used to let the player know that it's time to attack. Otherwise, it's just to make the battle easier, and reward the player if they can react quickly enough.

Subtrope of Boss Vulnerability. See also Braggart Boss. Compare The Computer Shall Taunt You, Evil Gloating and Suicidal Overconfidence. Compare and Contrast I Shall Taunt You, when the enemy uses taunts to goad you into letting your guard down.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Action-Adventure 
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum
    • You fight Poison Ivy while she's encased in a protective glass pod, but occasionally she'll open it just to laugh at you. You can hit her with a batarang when she does this.
    • During the final battle with Titan-infused Joker on the roof, he'll sometimes climb up one of the towers to taunt one of the police helicopters flying overhead. When he does this, you have to use the batclaw to pull him down.
  • During the fight against Hercules in God of War III, he will use an attack which stuns Kratos, then turn his back on him and start bragging towards Hera, who's watching the fight from a nearby balcony. Kratos recovers from the stun, takes the opportunity to sneak attack Hercules and steals his Nemean Cestus.
  • Luigi's Mansion: During the first boss fight against Chauncey the baby, after he completes his attack pattern, he'll just giggle at you and wave his rattle around. That's when you vacuum up one of his bouncy balls, launch it at his face, stun him and begin the capture process.

     Beat 'Em Ups 
  • Project Altered Beast: the Weretiger boss would occasionally stop to Finger Wag you or cross his arms and tap the ground in boredom if you get knocked down. You can quickly attack him during this.

    Fighting Games 

    Party Games 
  • Crash Bash: After you beat his flunkies, Papu Papu will have a time to laugh and be open to the player's attacks. Especially since he was protected by a shield that dissipates when he starts gloating.

    Platformers 

    RPG 
  • In Kingdom Hearts, during your sparring match with Hercules, he'll sometimes taunt you by saying, "Hey, give up yet?" while posing and flexing, leaving himself open to attack.

    Sports Games 
  • Several of the boxers from the Wii version of Punch-Out!! will engage in enemy posturing, essentially giving you a free hit. You can also fill up your star meter if you hit them right when they're blinking yellow.
    • Disco Kid is a particularly shameless example, in that he strikes a pose at you right at the beginning of the first round. And then, when you rematch him in the Title Defense mode, he starts the first round the exact same way.
    • Donkey Kong, the True Final Boss, is a less straightforward example. During the fight, he spends a lot of time making faces at you, dancing, scratching himself, etc. You can try to attack him while he's taunting, but you have to get the timing just right, or else he'll dodge and counter-punch.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Dead Rising:
    • Subverted with Brock Mason, the final boss from the first game. He starts the fight by laughing at you, but you're not actually supposed to attack him when he does; if you try, he'll preempt your attack with a shoulder block. Instead, you have to wait for him to come at you, sidestep him, and then attack him.
    • In Dead Rising 2, if Randy Tugman manages to hit you, sometimes he'll celebrate by doing a victory dance. You can counterattack him while he's doing this.
    • In Dead Rising 3, the bodybuilding psychopath Jherii will sometimes stop to admire herself in the mirror, giving you plenty of time to get some licks in.

    Other 
  • Warhammer Fantasy: Sigvald the Magnificent is a Fighting Narcissist whose men carry mirror-polished shields so he can admire himself at a moment's notice. This explains why he has the Stupidity rule, usually reserved for large, slow-thinking beasts of battle to make them waste a turn.

Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • April 29, 2017
    Astaroth
    • During the fight against Hercules in God Of War III, he will use an attack which stuns Kratos, then turn his back on him and start bragging towards Hera, who's watching the fight from a nearby balcony. Kratos recovers from the stun, takes the opportunity to sneak attack Hercules and steals his Nemean Cestus.

    • Bleak the snowman from Donkey Kong Country 3 will sometimes stop launching snowballs from his hat cannon to laugh at you, providing a brief window to throw a snowball at the flashing weakspot on his chest.
  • April 29, 2017
    erforce
    In Shovel Knight, the first fight against the Black Knight has him occasionally pausing to laugh at you.
  • April 29, 2017
    Getta
    • Project Altered Beast: the Weretiger boss would occasionally stop to Finger Wag you or crosses his arms and tapping the ground in boredom if you get knocked down. You can quickly attack him during this.

    • Crash Bash: After you beat his flunkies, Papu Papu will have a time to laugh and be open to the player's attacks. Especially since he was protected by a shield that dissipates when he starts gloating.
  • April 29, 2017
    Getta
    See also Evil Gloating.
  • April 30, 2017
    CactusFace
  • April 30, 2017
    Getta
  • Platformers
  • May 1, 2017
    Chabal2
    Warhammer Fantasy: Sigvald the Magnificent is a Combat Narcissist whose men carry mirror-polished shields so he can admire himself at a moment's notice. This explains why he has the Stupidity rule, usually reserved for large, slow-thinking beasts of battle to make them waste a turn.
  • May 1, 2017
    Twoeyesshort
    Is this a subtrope of Tactical Suicide Boss? Because it honestly sounds like it fits in there really well...
  • May 1, 2017
    sarysa
    Contrast Noble Demon, who simply has a code of honor and ensures the protagonist, aside from differences in skill level, is on a level playing field.
  • May 1, 2017
    TyeDyeWildebeest
    @Twoeyesshort: Not quite. The two tropes are similar, but not the same. Tactical Suicide Boss refers to bosses with attack patterns and offensive maneuvers that can be exploited by the player. Enemy Posturing just refers to, you know, gloating and taunting: more of a display of arrogance than an actual "tactic".

    @sarysa: Hmm... I think Noble Demon is too broad to merit mentioning here. Lowering their guard to give the protagonist a fighting chance is something a Noble Demon could do, but it's not their defining trait.
  • May 1, 2017
    sarysa
    Fair enough. It does adequately contrast bosses who heal the party simply to emphasize how futile their attempts are, or who leave weapons around the room for the same reason...but you have to draw a line somewhere I suppose.
  • May 4, 2017
    TyeDyeWildebeest
    So... it's been a few days and I'm still achin' for hats, it seems.

    What's the issue? Does it need a better description? More examples? Does it still sound too similar to Tactical Suicide Boss?
  • May 13, 2017
    Getta
    This sounds distinct for a subtrope.
  • May 20, 2017
    TyeDyeWildebeest
    ^ I'm not sure what you mean. I don't recall calling this a subtrope (though I guess you could consider it a subtrope of Boss Vulnerability), but even so, aren't subtropes supposed to be distinct?
  • May 20, 2017
    Getta
    ^ Subtrope of Boss Vulnerability this is, then.
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