A Video Game trope.
Indexes: Boss Battle
, anything else?
So, the player is near the end of the game. You really want to make this feel climactic: The player needs to be pushed to their limit to make the conclusion that much more exciting. Well, what's more challenging and exciting than a good old-fashioned Boss Fight
? The answer, apparently, is "a whole lot
of good old-fashioned Boss Fights."
This trope generally comes into play during the final stage, dungeon, or chapter of the game (though it can rarely show up during another climactic part of the story, such as the Disc One Final Dungeon
). In these areas, the boss density is much higher than in the rest of the game, perhaps to test the player's skills or to make it seem like the Big Bad
is finally pulling out all the stops
. Note that it is the contrast of this area with the rest of the game that is important: A final dungeon with four Mini Bosses
would qualify if every other dungeon only had one boss, but not if that many bosses was the norm.
Likely to involve a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere
or two, if only because the sheer number of bosses makes each individual boss less significant. On the other extreme, you could end up cutting down well-established villains en masse, which may evoke the feeling of a Cosmic Deadline
. May also involve a mandatory Boss Rush
(most Boss Rushes
tend to fall into this trope anyway): to fall into this trope and not Boss Rush
, there has to be new bosses.
As this trope is mostly found near the end of a given game, spoilers will be unmarked. You have been warned.
- Odin Sphere's final book consists entirely of five boss battles. You can at least stock up and/or Level Grind between battles, but the battles themselves are no picnic.
- Kingdom Hearts II has The World That Never Was. Most worlds thus far have one final boss of moderate-high difficulty right at the end, maybe with an easy mini boss. Not so here. Here, you face every surviving member of Organization XIII, all of which are incredibly powerful, with distinct strategies required for each. All in all, you fight four (five, if you playing the Final Mix) incredibly powerful bosses before you even get to the Point of No Return.
- Ōkami has the final area were you end up fighting five bosses you faced (Ninetails, Blight, True Orochi, Crimson Helm and Spider Queen) before facing Yami, the final boss.
- Pretty much common in Final Fantasy games as a rule for the series. Perhaps the only semi-aversion is Final Fantasy II because all of the bosses in the Final Dungeon save for the Emperor himself were sealed in chests. OTOH Final Fantasy VII only has the Sequential Boss fight with Sephiroth.
- Final Fantasy I. In every other part of the game, each dungeon gets one boss encounter, although the Earth cave gives you a second boss when you return after unlocking more area. The final dungeon, though, has you fight all four MiniBosses over again, in stronger form, plus the main boss.
- Final Fantasy III has the Crystal Palace and Dark World dungeon crawl. After the battle with Xande, you then have a Hopeless Boss Fight with the Cloud of Darkness, followed by four battles in the Dark World and then the rematch battle with the Cloud. As this is Final Fantasy III, you have to beat all these bosses with no opportunities to save between them.
- The final dungeon of Final Fantasy IV: The After Years has 34 bosses in it. Needless to say this large number is found nowhere else in the game. It includes three Bonus Bosses guarding powerful weapons.
- For Final Fantasy V, there are numerous bosses for the final dungeon. You got Calofisteri in the forest area, optional boss Omega in the waterfalls, Apanda in the library, Azulmagia, Catastrophe, Halicarnassus, Twintania, and as well as six Alte Roite mini bosses in the castle area, then Necrophobe and final boss Exdeath in the last area.
- In Final Fantasy VI you have in Kefka's Tower Ultima Buster, Inferno, two of the Eight Dragons, Guardian, the Warring Triad, then the Final Boss.
- Final Fantasy VIII had a last dungeon full of semi-optional bosses who need to be defeated to unlock abilities for the final battles.
- Final Fantasy IX has this, too. Let me count the penultimate bosses of this game: that dragon guy, Kary, Tiamat, Kraken, Lich, Deathgaze, and finally Trance Kuja and Necron... Did I forget someone?
- Final Fantasy XIII ends with Orphan's Cradle. Travel to successive areas of the Cradle requires teleportation, which drops you in a room with a powerful monster and no explanation before taking you to your destination. You end up fighting three bosses because of these teleports (including a Dual Boss), in addition to the Final Boss.
- There are also several Mario RPG examples:
- Super Mario RPG has the Factory stage. Just getting in requires that you defeat an evil alarm clock, followed by Domino & Cloaker, a Dual Sequential Boss (whose second stage is another Dual Boss). Inside the Factory proper, Mario has to fight through four levels of factory management, the first three of which have bodyguards while the Factory Chief has his own autonomous secret weapon.
- Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door's Palace of Shadow contains boss fights against Red Bones, Gloomtail, Bowser and Kammy together, Grodus, and The Shadow Queen.
- Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga has a separate boss fight for each of the seven Koopalings in Bowser's Castle, followed by Fawful, Bowletta, the Essence of Cackletta, and Bowser.
- Castle Bleck in Super Paper Mario is divided into four sub-chapters, each of which ends in boss fight: O'Chunks, Mimi, Dimentio, and Count Bleck, respectively. After Bleck's defeat is the Super Dimentio fight.
- The repurposed Peach's Castle in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story holds Junker, Blizzard Midbus, Dark Star, Dark Fawful, Dark Bowser, and the Dark Star Core.
- Eternal Sonata generally only pits you against one or two bosses per chapter. The final chapter requires you to defeat a Dual Boss to earn the right to enter the Double Reed Tower of Sand, which is actually two towers, each of which must be ascended twice with a boss fight on each ascent. This lets you fight the apparent final boss (another Dual Boss in the PS3 version). The real Final Boss shows up shortly thereafter.
- Pokémon Black and White probably falls into this. You have the Elite Four battle, then immediately afterward, catch the version mascot and then, the battles with N and Ghetsis. Fortunately, there's phlebotinum to heal your Pokemon before pushing onto those last two, so you aren't going in depleted.
- The main series Pokemon games in general are applicable to this trope, as the Elite Four and the Champion are five bosses in one location while the rest of the game has Gym Leaders as one boss per location.
- The Black Omen in Chrono Trigger, where you fight: Mega Mutant, Giga Mutant, Tera Mutant, Elder Lavos Spawn, Queen Zeal first form, Mammon Machine, and Queen Zeal second form. After that, you fight the Boss Rush Lavos, although technically you don't fight it in the Black Omen.
- Shin Megami Tensei games are fond of pulling out multiple bosses in large, climactic dungeons.
- The final dungeons of both Digital Devil Saga games had five to ten bosses and/or sub-bosses within them.
- Breath of Fire 3 In the Myria station. There are plenty of new bosses. But given how some of the bosses are inside some segments of the station itself... it might not qualify specially in the end where you get to the inner laboratory where you face the Experiments which are mostly a Boss Rush per Capcom's tradition but they included a few new ones (including a Dodo bird, still the crowning moment of funny is when you have to face Rocky X 5 Giant Rooster, considering it can still inflict you the Egg status, Ovum spell).
- The currently final levels of Brutal Mario have this, Bowser's Castle having 8 different bosses in it including the end one. Then again, so do a lot of Super Mario World game mods, A Super Mario Thing has a significant amount of bosses in the void level as well. And Super Mario Infinity has more than a few, one of the last levels has about SIXTEEN boss fights in it, albeit with them all being with one of exactly two different characters.
- Platformer/Rail shooter genre blending "Sin and Punishment: Star Successor" has multiple stage bosses or a series of boss battles in every stage, but they go for broke on the final stage. This stage features an enhanced Boss Rush (previous bosses in completely new forms) along with new bosses and an ultimate multi stage final boss.
Non Video Game Examples
- Fire Emblem: Rekka No Ken pits you in the final chapter against NINE bosses, though not all at once, thankfully. And when you're done, you fight the Final Boss, though that's technically another stage. Otherwise, you face one or maybe two bosses per chapter, tops.
- Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn had this in its 4 consecutive endgame chapters. Each of which was themed around a particular named and plot relevant boss, some chapters even had two.
- In King's Bounty The Legend near the end of the game you have to venture forth into the Dragon Labyrinth and fight the seven incarnations of Haas, the Big Bad dragon. Each of them is an optional boss fight, but killing all seven of them will grant you an easier passage across the maze. After that there are the Orclands, which are full of bosses (as in: hostile armies led by a leader, hence more dangerous and capable of spells.)
However Akamatsu plays the thing as a multi mook melee
boss fight and then plain boss fights for the genre itself.