Created By: varren on February 22, 2012 Last Edited By: morenohijazo on August 22, 2012
Troped

Boss Bonanza

The final dungeon has a disproportionately high number of bosses

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Trope
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.

Examples

Action-Adventure

Action RPG
  • 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.

Eastern RPG
  • 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).

Fighting Game

Platform Game
  • 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.

Roguelike

Strategy RPG
  • 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.)

Non Video Game Examples However Akamatsu plays the thing as a multi mook melee boss fight and then plain boss fights for the genre itself.
Community Feedback Replies: 50
  • February 23, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    The final level of Doom2 had continuously spawning demons of all types. If you didn't finish the level quickly you would soon be faced with hundreds of enemies.

  • February 23, 2012
    pawsplay
    Seems trobable. The title coudl be more self-explanatory, though. Final Dungeon Boss Clubhouse? Something like that, maybe?

    Examples:
    • 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 [1]es over again, in stronger form, plus the main boss.
  • February 23, 2012
    morenohijazo
    Pokemon 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.
  • February 23, 2012
    arromdee
    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.
  • February 24, 2012
    morenohijazo
    FYI, American Gods is a novel, not a comic book.
  • February 24, 2012
    morenohijazo
    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 [1] second form. After that, you fight the Boss Rush Lavos, although technically you don't fight it in the Black Omen.
  • February 24, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    I think Boss Rush already covers this.
  • February 24, 2012
    morenohijazo
    ^ No, Boss Rush is when previous bosses come back for the finale. Here, the bosses can be completely new.
  • February 24, 2012
    pawsplay
    FFI is both this and Boss Rush, but they are distinct tropes.
  • February 24, 2012
    TheChainMan
    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.
  • February 24, 2012
    Stratadrake
    • 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.
  • February 24, 2012
    benjamminsam
    Final Fantasy VIII had a last dungeon full of semi-optional bosses who need to be defeated to unlock abilities for the final battles.
  • February 25, 2012
    aurora369
    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?
  • February 25, 2012
    Speedball
    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.
  • February 25, 2012
    abk0100
  • February 25, 2012
    ZombieAladdin
    More Mario RPG examples:
    • 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 And 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 And Luigi Bowsers Inside Story holds Junker, Blizzard Midbus, Dark Star, Dark Fawful, Dark Bowser, and the Dark Star Core.

    This article may need a spoiler alert as this deals with endings. If you don't want them, I'll say what needs to be spoilered.
  • February 25, 2012
    varren
    On the one hand, I don't want to necessarily tie the trope down to the endgame in particular. On the other hand, this sort of thing almost always happens at the endgame (I don't want to say it never happens elsewhere, but I can't think of any counterexamples). Yeah, I'll add a spoiler warning.
  • February 25, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Bad name. It doesn't provide any qualifier other than it has to do with bosses.
  • February 26, 2012
    Ryuuma
    Too Many Bosses? In Musashi Samurai Legend all the dungeons seen so far have one boss (except the first two who have two bosses): the final level put you against Gandrake's Quirky Miniboss Squad (4 battles, as one is a Dual Boss), your Evil Knockoff and then Gandrake's One Winged Angel form. It's not a Boss Rush because is the very first time you fight these guys.
  • February 26, 2012
    pawsplay
  • February 27, 2012
    Kinkajou
    Pretty much common in Final Fantasy games as a rule for the series. I think 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 VII only has the Sequential Boss fight with Sephiroth.
  • March 23, 2012
    morenohijazo
    Not sure about the Doom example. It's about bosses, not just lots of regular enemies.
  • March 23, 2012
    Delphi
    Final Fantasy V has a final dungeon large enough to warrant it's own world map, and around twelve bosses before you get to Exdeath.
  • March 23, 2012
    Stratadrake
    ^ I do not remember that. Sure, you had that one match with Gilgamesh, there was the Omega roaming around somewhere, and Necrophobe guarding that one Save Point, but beyond that....
  • April 19, 2012
    Ryuuma
    In Kings 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.)
  • April 21, 2012
    Mauri
    Just wondering is it properly only with the final dungeon or does the bonus dungeon challenge to be taken into account. If taken into account we have this:
    • Megaman series: Not only you get a different Boss for each stage but also you get a bossrush with the previous robot masters and also we get the doppleganger boss.
  • April 23, 2012
    NESBoy
    The Great Maze from Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Subspace Emissary is an Unexpected Gameplay Change to Metroidvania. The goal of this area is to find and fight not only the previous seven bosses, but also 31 Mirror Bosses of all the playable characters encountered so far. After you defeated them all, you'll be able to fight Tabuu. Notably, Meta Ridley is no longer a Time Limit Boss.
  • June 10, 2012
    GoldenDarkness
    For Final Fantasy V, it is correct that 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.

    Then in Final Fantasy IV you got a bunch of optional bosses guarding powerful weapons.
  • June 10, 2012
    henke37
    Worth noting is that in the SMRPG factory you also get to fight mook versions of all the previous bosses. One even being a required fight.

    Monster Girl Quest has a few places with a lot of boss battles as well. There is the end of the Insect/Plant arc and the end of the second part (random boss followed by each of the four members of the quirky miniboss squad followed by the mosterlord herself).
  • June 10, 2012
    BearyScary
    ABountyOfBosses?
  • June 15, 2012
    morenohijazo
    What do you think about that Megaman example? Let's make this clear already. Do bonus level count? My opinion is no.
  • June 19, 2012
    StevenT
    In the final level of Street Fighter 2010, you have to beat every previous boss and the final boss all within the same time limit. Not helped by the time limit still counting down through the cutscene before the final boss.
  • June 19, 2012
    Nin3DS
    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.
  • June 19, 2012
    0blivionmobile
    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.
  • June 19, 2012
    CosmicRock
    • 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.
  • June 19, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    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.
  • June 19, 2012
    raven2785
    • Okami 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
  • June 19, 2012
    Mauri
    Mmm recalled but it is a mixture of Boss Rush and this trope.
    • 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 Roster, considering it can still inflict you the Egg status, Ovum spell).
  • June 19, 2012
    rundown
    • The main series Poke Mon 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.
  • July 4, 2012
    morenohijazo
    Rolling Updates have been made, but this probably needs some example cleanup.
  • July 4, 2012
    acrobox
    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.
  • July 4, 2012
    acrobox
    But isn't this Run The Gauntlet just for Video Games Only?

    Do you think we should instead just allow Run The Gauntlet to have videogame examples or does it need to be a separate trope?
  • August 8, 2012
    Jallen
    Surely if you're going to do this then you should omit Boss Rush examples otherwise isn't it just Boss Rush but more?
  • August 9, 2012
    morenohijazo
    ^ No, this is different to Boss Rush. I'll check the examples, however.
  • August 12, 2012
    morenohijazo
    Since the OP hasn't posted since February, unless somebody opposes, I'll launch as soon as we make a decision regarding the name. Also, should Boss Rush be a subtrope?
  • August 12, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
  • August 19, 2012
    morenohijazo
    Examples I'm considering to remove for being Boss Rush: Okami, Final Fantasy I, Street Fighter 2010. Do you agree? Personally I wouldn't mind putting them here too, but since there are so many complains...

    ^ Do you agree with that title suggestion?
  • August 19, 2012
    Mauri
    Also just noticed a mistake on my side on the BOF 3 entry: it isn't Roster but Rooster.
  • August 19, 2012
    morenohijazo
    ^ Corrected.
  • August 19, 2012
    Mauri
    Also seems I have forgotten to mention this one. Manga Example: However Akamatsu plays the thing as a multi mook melee boss fight and then plain boss fights for the genre itself.
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