[[caption-width-right:350:It won't be your last fight, but you'll be fighting like it is.[[note]]Clockwise from top-left: [[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI Riku]], [[VideoGame/SonicCD Metal Sonic]], [[VideoGame/{{Doom}} Cyberdemon]], [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast Agahnim]].[[/note]]]]

Boss fight usually occurring after a major revelation in the plot (e.g., about 2/3 into the game). Usually notable for being a long and difficult battle... that is, if it's not a HopelessBossFight.

In a game which has only one battle music for normal battles and one for most bosses, a climax boss may have its own unique battle music, a distinction otherwise reserved for a FinalBoss.

Note that to qualify for this trope, the boss must be at least somewhat of a challenge; if they're a complete pushover, that's AntiClimaxBoss. However, the boss fight does not have to be overly difficult, and a [[ThatOneBoss particularly difficult boss fight]] does not qualify as a ClimaxBoss unless it comes at a climactic point in the plot. {{Final Boss}}es also do not qualify, nor do bosses fought very close to the FinalBoss; ideally a ClimaxBoss would take place somewhere around the two-thirds or three-quarters mark, not nine-tenths.

Not to be confused with PivotalBoss, which is literally so. Contrast AntiClimaxBoss, ThatOneBoss, FinalBoss. Inversion is TheUnfought, where this kind of battle is set up, but never happens. [[AccidentalInnuendo It isn't usually required to beat them in]] OrgasmicCombat.


[[folder: Action Adventure Game]]
* Nightmare in ''VideoGame/MetroidFusion'', who was foreshadowed throughout most of the game. [[spoiler: ''Other M'' retroactively makes it even more of a Climax Boss, as it's revealed Samus encountered it before.]]
* ''VideoGame/CaveStory'':
** The battle with [[spoiler:Frenzied Toroko]] mixes this with a heaping helping of PlayerPunch for even more of a dramatic effect.
** The Core fight, which comes after a minor plot revelation and is followed by a more important one. Plus, it's got its own BGM track, loads of creepy atmospheric build-up, and is followed by both a PlayerPunch and a fork in the road.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** The wizard Agahnim, in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast''. Link [[HijackedByGanon only]] ''[[HijackedByGanon thought]]'' [[HijackedByGanon he was the]] BigBad.
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames Oracle of Ages]]'', you fight Veran-possessed Nayru 3/4 of the way through the game. [[spoiler:Veran then possesses Queen Ambi and continues her EvilPlan to build the Black Tower to the heavens.]]
** Helmaroc King in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker''. It being the kidnapper of Link's sister, Aryll, as well as having kidnapped other girls and overall terrorizing the Great Sea. But it's only [[BigBad Ganondorf's]] seccond-in-command.
** Zant from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'' fills much the same role, complete with a BossRush in his battle before a crazed and desperate finale.
** Byrne fulfills this role in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks'', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aytSMb0xVo unique theme]] and all.
** The last of three fights against Ghirahim in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword''. He was active in impeding Link's progress and trying to kidnap Zelda, and his final, [[VillainousBreakdown desperate]] fight is the last thing you need to do before facing off once and for all against the real BigBad.
** Yuga is this in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds'', appearing in Hyrule Castle as a boss with a very similar backstory and battle to Agahnim in ''A Link to the Past''. It's after he's defeated that Link actually learns about Lorule and the captured sages.
* The "White Assassin" in ''VideoGame/MirrorsEdge'' is actually the only actual boss fight in the game. The after-fight cutscene also makes it the [[WhamEpisode Wham Level]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'' has two Climax Bosses: {{Orochi}} and [[EvilCounterpart Ninetails]]. Both brings a new revelation: [[spoiler:Orochi's death causes all the other bosses to be let loose upon the world, and Ninetails reveals the existence of [[UltimateEvil Yami.]]]]
%%* [[spoiler:Barlowe]] in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaOrderOfEcclesia''.
* ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamKnight'' has the Arkham Knight fighting you in an [[ThisIsADrill excavator]] and then the stealth duel with him immediately after. It's also the only classic "hit their weakpoint three times" boss in the game.

[[folder: Action Game]]
* The final battle with the Blood Ark in ''VideoGame/AnotherCenturysEpisode 3'', at the end of the middle stage of the game. While it is a battle against the FinalBoss pilot, and it has the first use of a specific boss battle theme, it is almost laughably easy, since your forces have been getting upgraded, and the villain is using the same mech he had at the beginning. The climax comes from the removal of his unusually obscuring mask which averts PaperThinDisguise.
* Darth Vader in ''VideoGame/TheForceUnleashed''. In the Wii/[=PS2=] version, the second duel with [[spoiler:Kento Marek, aka., Galen's father]] may count as well. And for the DLC, [[spoiler:OBI-WAN KENOBI AND LUKE SKYWALKER!]]
* Several in ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath''. Each of them is an episode all on their own, or at least have a fight that lasts most of the episode. The fights against Yasha, Augus, Olga's fleet, and [[spoiler:Wrath Asura]] are probably the best examples.
* The fourth and final battle with [[MirrorBoss Prince Vorkken]] in ''VideoGame/TheWonderful101''. He turns out to be the one at the last Super Reactor, [[spoiler:and he even killed the Geathjerk officer that ''would'' have attacked the Super Reactor offscreen, showing that he's no longer fully loyal to anyone anymore.]] He is fought right after Immorta gives his backstory, and right before TheDragon Gimme is introduced, two major turning points in the game that mark its CerebusSyndrome.


[[folder: Beat 'em Up]]
* The first Shredder fight in ''[[VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesTurtlesInTime Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time]]''. Once he's defeated, the actual time-travel part of the game begins.
* ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden II'' (the original NES version) has a climax boss in Ashtar, who we initially believe is the BigBad behind the game. Ryu defeats him about halfway through the game, but the threat posed by the Dark Sword of Chaos isn't over yet, and the true BigBad turns out to be Jacquio, who you defeated in the very first game, and who has revived himself using the Power of Evil. The same FinalBoss music is used for both major battles.
* ''VideoGame/GodOfWarSeries'':
** Subverted in [[VideoGame/GodOfWar the original game]]. Not only were there not a lot of actual boss fights (plenty of [[KingMook big mooks]] though), but [[strike:most of them]] every last one of them except [[FinalBoss Ares]] [[GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere seemed to just randomly appear out of nowhere]].
** In ''VideoGame/GodOfWarII'', Lakhesis and/or Atrophos, two of the Sisters of Fate. (Clotho, the third sister, is more of a PuzzleBoss.)
** Subverted in ''VideoGame/GodOfWarIII'', where the real turning point of the game's plot ([[spoiler:finding and freeing Pandora]]) isn't done with a boss fight at all, but a puzzle. [[BizarrePuzzleGame Seems to be a common theme in this series.]] (Though some might suggest the rock scorpion would qualify as this trope.)

[[folder:First Person Shooter]]
%%* ''[[VideoGame/Wolfenstein3D Return to Castle Wolfenstein]]'':
%%** The Über-Soldat.
%%** Olaric.
%%* The Uber Lava Golem in ''VideoGame/SeriousSam - The First Encounter''.
%%* In ''VideoGame/SeriousSam - Second Encounter'', that horrid larva mech thing.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'':
*** The Prophet of Regret, unless you just jump on his chair and punch him in the face, then he's a textbook Anti-Climax Boss.
*** The Heretic Leader is another example, although he's only the first boss, he's the hardest of the three, at least on Legendary.
*** Legendary co-op turns all the boss fights into {{That One Boss}} instead. The Heretic leader becomes the easiest because if you get lucky, you can assassinate him in one hit. The Prophet of Regret is a absolute nightmare (you have to watch out for his teleporting chair. If his giant laser (one shot kill) doesn't get you, the grenade spamming grunts will. If they don't, then the elites (both dual wielding plasma pistols AND using swords) sure will. On top of that, if you are skilled/fast/lucky enough to survive all three, your partner had better damn well be too. The final boss almost seems EASY after that.
** In ''VideoGame/Halo3'', the DualBoss against two Scarabs and the assault on the Citadel can count. On the other hand, Truth is hyped up to be this, [[spoiler:[[TheUnfought but he just gets killed by the Arbiter in a cutscene.]]]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Strife}}'' has The Programmer. Most of the game to this point had been preparing to [[DiscOneFinalDungeon storm his castle]]. During his fight, you are introduced to [[SwordOfPlotAdvancement The Sigil]] and spend the rest of the game collecting its components from his colleagues.
%%* Vaas in ''VideoGame/FarCry3''.
* Yuma in ''VideoGame/FarCry4'' provides the game's only proper boss fight.
* The Cyberdemon in ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}''. It was even featured on the sequel's cover!
* Lazarus Malkoth in ''VideoGame/DarkWatch'' is a rare example where the BigBad qualifies as this trope instead of being the final confrontation. He is fought at the start of the story's final act when the main protagonist's lover Tala turned traitor and allowed his forces to invade the Darkwatch citadel.

[[folder: Platform Game]]
* [[spoiler:X vs. Zero]] in ''VideoGame/MegaManX5''. This battle is built up by four games' worth of storyline (even included in a ''prophecy'', or something close to one for a sci-fi series), gives genuine conflict to the characters involved, and one of their deaths brings about the ''end of the series'' ([[ExecutiveMeddling supposedly]]). The [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome awesome]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eFI0UFfAJE battle theme]] cements its status as one of the best battles in the ''X series'' (some say even the ''entire Mega Man'' continuity).
* The Egg Viper in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure''. To a degree, the Egg Walker too, but it's pretty easy.
** E-101 Mark II qualifies as well, and possibly Alpha/ZERO. They each get their own unique themes and act as the final bosses to their side-stories. E-101 Beta Mk II also comes straight after a WhamLine clarifying the playable character E-102 Gamma's ForegoneConclusion [[spoiler: (after destroying Beta, [[HeroicSacrifice he himself is his remaining target]]).]].
** To a degree, the Sonic and Tails vs Gamma character battle. While it's a pathetically easy boss on any side, it occurs just after [[spoiler: Gamma's PetTheDog moment rescuing Amy, leading her to stand up for him and break the fight up, finalising his HeelFaceTurn.]]
* The 3D Mario games have Bowser or Bowser Jr. fights throughout, unlocking new levels after each one.
** While ''Sunshine'' followed a somewhat different formula, the ClimaxBoss was Mecha-Bowser, which is followed by the reveal of Shadow Mario's identity. [[spoiler:It's Bowser Jr.]]
* In a way, Ludwig von Koopa serves as one for ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'': he's the fourth of the seven Koopalings and the only one whose attack pattern isn't recycled, and he guards the bridge that connects Dinosaur Land's two major continents.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperMarioOdyssey'', this honor falls to [[spoiler:the Lord of Lightning]] encountered between the Luncheon Kingdom and Bowser's Castle. It's [[GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere barely foreshadowed or explained]] but makes up for it by being a truly memorable boss: [[spoiler:a massive, realistic-looking dragon that looks like something out of ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'', fought in a crumbling ruin with a similarly dark fantasy style]].
* ''VideoGame/KirbysReturnToDreamland'' gives us [[FeatheredFiend Grand Doomer]], whose defeat triggers the completion of the Lor Starcutter and the group arriving at Halcandra.
* ''VideoGame/SpyroYearOfTheDragon'' gives us Scorch, the boss of the penultimate world, Evening Lake. The cutscene before the fight gives a major plot revelation: [[spoiler:[[BigBad The Sorceress]] is NOT a WellIntentionedExtremist, which she reveals to [[TheDragon Bianca]]. Bianca, this [[NotWhatISignedUpFor Not Being What She Signed Up For]], finally performs her HeelFaceTurn.]] Anyway, the Sorceress needs a "Monster to End All Monsters" so she takes one of her minions, as she and Bianca have done twice already, but this one is unique. Unlike previous times, this minion is frightened and needs to be pushed over by his partner. Also, you don't see the boss in the cutscene this time. Then, we get to the actual fight, in which Bentley tells Spyro that the Sorceress is going to use Scorch to crush her enemies, starting with them. The fight is fairly challenging, though many cite it as easy. The reason is that the previous boss is considered by many to be one of the hardest fights in the game, and an optional mini-boss in a recent level is considered to be one of the most annoying.
* Despite being the penultimate boss, Metal Sonic serves this role in ''VideoGame/SonicCD''. Prior to this point, Metal kidnapped Amy Rose and changed the past to help Dr. Robotnik rule the future, leaving Sonic to spend the entire game undoing his actions. When Sonic finally confronts him, they duke it out in a style of BossBattle previously unseen in this series, racing, along with [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTl3h39abxc appropriate]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRcR0v6I_w8 music]].[[note]]The former plays in the PAL region, the latter in the NTSC region.[[/note]] This race concludes with Sonic finally rescuing Amy and defeating Metal, with only Robotnik left to oppose him. It's arguably the most [[SignatureScene memorable]] moment of the game, as well as the most [[ThatOneBoss challenging]].
* Metal Sonic serves this role again in ''VideoGame/SonicMania''. Though he's still the boss of Stardust Speedway, this time it's halfway through the game (Zone six out of twelve) and he heralds the point where ''Mania'' stops playing around and starts getting serious. His battle is much longer than the previous bosses, has four phases, and Metal himself is only vulnerable at specific times during the fourth phase while you're [[AdvancingWallOfDoom being chased by a wall of spikes]]. And like in ''CD'' this climax is accompanied by an [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZVSqQaRJfQ&t= amazing remix of the Japanese theme]] from ''CD''.
* Tiamat in ''VideoGame/LaMulana'' is the guardian of the Dimensional Corridor, the highest-"numbered" front-side area in the game, and is known for [[spoiler:having life-creation powers second only to [[FinalBoss the Mother]]]]. It is likely the player will fight her last out of the area guardians or at least close to last (there's no rigid order in which the bosses have to be slain). However, the player still has a few major objectives after defeating her even if all other area bosses are killed, most notably [[spoiler:unlocking [[TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon the True Shrine of the Mother]]]], with the defeats of all eight area guardians being key to that process.

[[folder: Rhythm Game]]
* [[ThatOneBoss Purge the King]] from ''VideoGame/SpaceChannel5 Part 2''.
* In ''VideoGame/RhythmThiefAndTheEmperorsTreasure'', Raphael starts learning that Napoleon has plans greater than simply unleashing his minions and stealing things. His investigation takes him to the courtyard in Versailles--where Napoleon himself shows up and challenges Raphael to a duel. They both live to see another day, but the game gets [[ShooOutTheClowns considerably darker and more serious from his duel onwards]].

[[folder:Role Playing Game]]
* [[spoiler:Seymour Natus in Bevelle]] and later [[spoiler:Yunalesca in Zanarkand]] in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIVTheAfterYears'' after the revelation that despite [[spoiler: Fusoya and Golbez successfully killing the Mysterious Girl she won't ''stay'' dead]], [[spoiler: the moon's crystals are all shattered]] which results in [[spoiler: the resurrection of Zeromus with only Goblez and Fusoya there to stop him.]] Fans of the first game will immediately know how ''overwhelmingly fucked'' they are.
* ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'':
** Saturos in ''[[VideoGame/GoldenSunTheBrokenSeal The Broken Seal]]'', albeit far earlier than is the norm for this trope (barely a quarter of the way through the game, maybe even less if you accidentally went straight to Imil from Bilibin instead of going to Kolima first).
** Agatio and Karst in ''[[VideoGame/GoldenSunTheLostAge The Lost Age]]'', which incidentally is the only boss fight you're allowed to lose.
** Blados and Chalis in ''[[VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn Dark Dawn]]'' cap off an entire Climax ''Dungeon''. Given that you completed your original goal (obtaining a roc feather) just before entering the dungeon in question, this probably doubles as DiscOneFinalBoss as the only real hint that you're not nearing the end of the game is [[InterfaceSpoiler that you've only just reacquired your sixth party member and there are supposed to be eight of them.]]
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'':
** The fights against Dragon-Maleficent and [[spoiler: Possessed!]]Riku in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI''.
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories'' has ''three'' of these. Vexen serves as the first one in Sora's story, in which he is the first Organization member to be rematched, and right in the middle of a WhamEpisode; he is also the first [[spoiler:[[CharacterDeath to be killed off]]]]. The rematch with Larxene is the second one, as it occurs right after the biggest revelations in the plot. In Reverse/Rebirth, this role is given to Zexion, despite being TheUnfought in the UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance version: he attempts to trap Riku in an illusion, only for this to [[NiceJobFixingItVillain backfire]] when Riku stops fighting with his inner darkness and [[IAmWhatIAm finally embraces it]]; he is also the ''last'' Organization member in the game (but not the series) [[spoiler:[[CharacterDeath to be killed off]]]].
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' doesn't have a traditional Climax Boss, but instead a BossRush through Xigbar, Luxord, Saix and Xemnas in his regular form prior to the FinalBoss.
** [[spoiler: Data-Sora's Heartless]] in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsCoded'', who seems to be the last boss in the last chapter, but there is in fact another chapter and another boss waiting after him.
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2'' has Saix, who had served as the closest thing to a BigBad the story had and is finally fought when Roxas makes his pivotal decision to leave the Organization, and [[spoiler: Xion]], who is the penultimate boss.
** Master Eraqus for Terra's story in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep''. Also, the final bosses of all three story modes might qualify since there is a TrueFinalBoss for the game in the Final Episode unlocked after completing the three story modes.
*** And even THAT boss becomes another Climax Boss in the Final Mix version, which adds one more bonus storyline ending in its own final boss.
** In ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance Kingdom Hearts 3D]]'', Sora has [[spoiler:Xemnas, who appears to drop bombshells about the Organization's purpose and ends Sora's storyline but not the game.]] Riku has [[spoiler:Xehanort's Heartless, and the teenage Xehanort.]] The last one is arguably more challenging than the final boss, who is fought after the villains' main plan is already stopped.
* ''VideoGame/BreathOfFire 3'' had [[spoiler:Garr, the Dragon-slayer]] at the end of [[DiscOneFinalDungeon Angel Tower]], and [[spoiler:the Dragon Elder]] ''much'' later in the game.
* ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi'':
** ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga]]'' has Cackletta's first fight about halfway through. Unusually for this trope, you face the BigBad at her full power and not only soundly defeat her, but also [[YouCantThwartStageOne completely foil]] [[AvertedTrope her plans]] and leave her at death's door. The second half of the game instead has her working to regain her power while devising a new plan.
** ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time]]'' has Petey Piranha, who has considerably more health than the previous bosses and whose defeat signifies the ([[FakeKing apparent]]) rescue of Princess Peach.
** [[DualBoss Bowser Jr. and his paper self]] are this in [[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPaperJam Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam.]]
* Marquess Darin of Laus and Sonia Reed in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBlazingBlade''. The latter is, bizarrely, completely optional.
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones'' has: Tirado, Carlyle (Eirika's route), [[spoiler:Vigarde]] (Ephraim's), Orson, and [[spoiler:Lyon]].
* The Black Knight/[[spoiler:General Zelgius]] from both ''VideoGame/FireEmblemPathOfRadiance'' and ''VideoGame/FireEmblemRadiantDawn''.
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' has three, each accompanied by a common boss battle theme: Gangrel at the end of the first act, [[spoiler:Walhart]] at the end of the second act, and [[spoiler:Validar]] just a few chapters before the end of the game.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'', there's Marcello, which really starts ramping up how bad the BigBad is making things once Marcello is beaten.
* Jenova:LIFE in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' could be seen as one, even though the fight itself isn't too difficult. However, Hojo at the end of Disc 2 would fit the description most accurately, being late in the plot, being an Act Boss, and also giving his own revelation before going into battle.
* Both of the first actual confrontations against Exdeath in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV''. Also unique that both of them have a unique battle theme.
* The battle against Luca Blight in ''VideoGame/SuikodenII'' embodies this trope, especially since you have to beat him ''[[SequentialBoss three times in succession]]'', then duel him with the Hero afterwards.
* Both battles with Edea in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', and later the battle with Adel.
* [[SequentialBoss Garland AND Kuja]] in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX''.
* The first battle with [[spoiler: Primarch Dysley/Barthandelus]] in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' fits this trope perfectly.
* Each boss battle with the BigBad Smithy's weapon based minions in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG: Legend of the Seven Stars''. Also, Punchinello for being a stand-in to the weapon fight.
%%* Hrist Valkyrie and [[spoiler:Odin]] in ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile2Silmeria''.
%%* ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny'' has Lydon.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' loves these. Not only does it have a bunch of them, it likes to spring them on you in groups: three climax bosses in a row, one of whom is [[HopelessBossFight all but unbeatable]]: [[spoiler:Remiel, Kratos, Yggdrasill]]; two in a row: [[spoiler:Pronyma, Yggdrasill]]; two in a row: [[spoiler:Kratos, Origin]].
** Thankfully with the first set, winning to boss 2 is optional (all you miss is a ton of experience) and [[HopelessBossFight you can't beat boss 3]].
*** Unfortunately, battle 3 of the first set can be a case of [[KickThemWhileTheyAreDown kicking you while you're down]] because it occurs regardless of whether or not you win the fight before it, and if you lose the one before it, you start this fight off with only 1 HP.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld'' has Commander Brute, the [[spoiler:apparent]] leader of the Vanguard [[spoiler:and Marta's father]].
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfLegendia'' has Vaclav, after which point the true face of the game starts getting turned on its head, the invasion subplot is dropped, and the story focuses more on an ApocalypseMaiden.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' has [[spoiler:Barbos]] for the end of Part 1 and [[spoiler:Alexei]] for the end of Part 2.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' has [[spoiler:Van. While the party defeats him, it's a fake ending.]]
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfGraces'' continues the tradition with [[spoiler:Emeraude]], who is both this and ThatOneBoss.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia'' ''really'' liked this trope, having not one but ''four'' of these, due to multiple characters competing for the role of the main villain. First is [[spoiler:King Nachtigal]], who turns out to just be the DiscOneFinalBoss. Then comes [[spoiler:Gaius]], who also doubles as an open-ended boss (you can either win or lose). Then comes the battle against [[spoiler:Gilland and Celsius]], which wraps up of the main conflict of the game up to that point. And finally, the battle with [[spoiler:the real Maxwell]], which starts off as a HopelessBossFight but then becomes winnable.
** In ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia2'', it's [[spoiler: Victor]], who's ''definitely'' ThatOneBoss.
* In ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'', there's Miguel. Chronopolis by itself reveals a lot about the nature of [[DeconstructorFleet what happens when you mess around with time too often]]; Miguel is just where the story reaches its apex with it.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger''
** The HopelessBossFight against Lavos. It's actually winnable if you're of a high enough level, but you'll have to go through the NewGamePlus before you get to that point. And go through NewGamePlus ''several times'' before it ceases to be hard.
** Magus. In addition to having intense boss music, it's where the true nature of what Lavos has done to the planet and the timelines starts emerging.
%%* [[spoiler:Asmodeus]] in ''VideoGame/StarOcean1''.
%%* Mother in ''VideoGame/{{Wild ARMS 1}}''.
* Vinsfeld Rhadamanthus, BigBad of the first half of ''VideoGame/WildArms2'', is fought at the transition point between the two halves of the game. Bucks tradition by including major plot points immediately after his boss fight, rather than before.
%%* Ziekfried in ''VideoGame/{{Wild ARMs 3}}''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'':
** [[spoiler:Shadow Mitsuo]], the boss of Void Quest. [[spoiler:Both in gameplay because he tends to be [[ThatOneBoss a brick wall for many players]], and in story because the Investigation Team thinks his arrest will bring the end of the kidnappings. [[YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle It doesn't.]]]]
** Kunino-Sagiri, or as he could also be called, [[spoiler:Shadow Namatame. He has kidnapped your little cousin in an attempt to save her ([[ObliviouslyEvil or so he thinks]]), and at this point in time he is supposed to be considered the true killer. He can end up being the final boss of the game if you go with the bad ending. And on top of all that, [[ThatOneBoss he's another stone wall for players.]]]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona Q Shadow Of The Labyrinth}}'':
** The Old Doll FOE, which counts as this for the third labyrinth. Early on in the dungeon, it's only visible on the map and cannot be actually encountered. Then, it ambushes the player in a cutscene, but you escape. Then comes the last floor before the real boss fight, where it chases you through most of the floor. It ''will'' catch you at least once, and successfully trapping it is very much like a climax for that floor, though neither it nor the dungeon are over.
** Best Friend serves as this for the game as whole. It's fought at the end of what you believe is the last dungeon, it gets its own battle music, is [[spoiler: Rei's Shadow, making it the embodiment of all her issues which you've spent most of the game trying to figure out]] and its defeat leads into a WhamEpisode that finally gives TheReveal of Zen and Rei's true natures.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 5}}'' features the multi-stage boss battle with the traitor. After the traitor is defeated, TheConspiracy goes into high gear, and the BigBadEnsemble is the only real challenge remaining for the Phantom Thieves.
* [[spoiler:Isolde]] in ''VideoGame/ManaKhemiaAlchemistsOfAlrevis''. [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome Combined with the awesome song]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5FMRpDhhko Nefertiti]], it's easily one of the best boss battles in the game. [[spoiler:And you battle her ''twice''!!]]
* Selvaria in ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'', who stands at the top of a fortress and will rain bullets down upon any fool who's in the open long enough with a {{BFG}}. The strategy to defeat her is long and involved and can easily take several retries if you're not careful.
* Selvaria in ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChroniclesIII'', because The Nameless is supposed to assassinate Prince Maximilian. Turns out she's the reason why nobody else tried doing this! [[spoiler:And then things goes downhill from there, with The Nameless branded as traitors and Gusurg missing, only to turn out to have switched sides.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfDragoon'' had roughly one per disc. Disc 1 had [[DualBoss Feyrbrand and Graham]] and Freugal (second time), Disc 2 had Lenus (first time) and Disc 3 had the Divine Dragon. Freugal and Divine Dragon were variations in that a lengthy amount of plot was developed after defeating them that had nothing to do with the bosses themselves. In addition, the final bosses to the first three discs usually had a large plot bomb dropped on the player either before or after the fight.
* Staying true to the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' tradition of making sweet, sweet love with this trope, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' has several of these.
** In the ''Rise of the Zilart'' expansion, [[spoiler:Kam'lanaut]] in the Stellar Fulcrum.
** In the ''Chains of Promathia'' expansion, [[spoiler:Tenzen]] on the airship. [[spoiler:Omega and Ultima Weapons]] may count as well.
** In the ''Treasures of Aht Urhgan '' expansion, [[spoiler:Gessho]] in Talacca Cove.
** Though not yet finished, the Climax Boss of the ''Wings of the Goddess'' expansion seems to be [[spoiler:Cait Sith Ceithir]]. But considering the bombs they love to drop in every set of missions, the final fight of every mission set seems to be a Climax Boss.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' continues the tradition proudly with Barthandelus, [[spoiler:the true fal'Cie form of Primarch Galenth Dysley]].
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
** In the [[VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver second]], [[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire third]], [[VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl fourth]], and [[VideoGame/PokemonXAndY sixth]] generations of Pokémon, the fights against [[BigBad the leader of the local crime syndicate]] typically take place immediately before battling the eighth Gym Leader and put an end to the main conflict of the story. In the third, fourth, and sixth generations, the battle against the game's flagship legendary also takes place in the same scenario. The first generation mixes it up as [[spoiler:Giovanni, the BigBad, ''is'' the eighth Gym Leader.]] The [[VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite fifth]] generation abandons this formula completely; [[spoiler:the leader, Ghetsis, IS the FinalBoss.]]
** The Eighth Gym Leaders in each game usually qualify, especially considering how much time you're going to have to spend LevelGrinding between beating them and tackling the Elite Four. Giovanni is probably the best example from a story perspective, and Claire is probably the best example in terms of [[ThatOneBoss difficulty]].
** ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald]]'' have another ClimaxBoss: Norman, the fifth Gym Leader, and the player's father. Despite the fact that his Gym is closest to home, he refuses to fight you until you beat the other four Gym Leaders. During the entire first half of the game, growing strong enough to challenge Norman is the player's primary goal. Beating him allows the player to use the Surf TM, unlocking the right half of the Hoenn region. Surpassing your father is what really gets you noticed by various [=NPCs=]. And Norman represents a massive spike in difficulty compared to the other Gym Leaders. The [[VideoGameRemake remakes]] makes this even more apparent by adding particular focus on Norman's battle and its aftermath, wherein he sees you off as you and Wally set out for the other half of Hoenn and he even smiles at how proud he is at you surpassing him.
** ''VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon'' has both battles against [[spoiler: Lusamine; the first one at Aether Paradise after learning [[LukeIAmYourFather she's Lillie's mother]] and her idea of "protecting" Pokémon is to cryogenically freeze them, and the second one in Ultra Space after she's [[FusionDance fused with]] [[EldritchAbomination the Ultra-Beast Nihilego]].]]
** ''VideoGame/PokemonUltraSunAndUltraMoon'' has the second battle with [[OlympusMons Necrozma]], [[spoiler:having [[OneWingedAngel transformed into Ultra Necrozma]]]], which occurs before the player's final Trial and takes the place of [[spoiler:Motherbeast Lusamine]] from the original games. Faced at Level 60 at a point when Trainers' Pokémon are in the low 50s, it's easily the strongest Pokémon in the story. And that's ''without'' accounting for a diverse movepool, an Ability that makes super effective moves hit harder, an aura giving it a +1 boost to all its stats from the start, ''and'' stats eclipsing those of [[PhysicalGod Arceus]].
* ''VideoGame/RadiataStories'' features a branching storyline that ultimately sees the main character on one side or the other of a war. Each side has Jack visiting the Fire Dragon's volcano approximately 3/4 of the way through the game, though; in the Human Path Jack attacks and slays the Fire Dragon, while in the Fairy Path Jack tries to ''prevent'' the Fire Dragon's death, fails, and engages in a HopelessBossFight against Cross.
* [[spoiler:Dread Joker]] in ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce 3''. [[spoiler:The fights against Jack Corvus and Queen Virgo inside Meteor G]] could also count, though they're both [[spoiler:directly before the FinalBoss]].
* ''VideoGame/SkiesOfArcadia'' features quite a few. There are two [[HopelessBossFight Hopeless Boss Fights]] against Ramirez, and [[spoiler:the fight against Galcian's fleet and Galcian himself near the end.]] The fights against the Gigas and the other Admirals, whether in their ships or in hand-to-hand combat could count.
* ''VideoGame/AdventureQuestWorlds'' gives us the Lords of Chaos, who are all [[ClimaxBoss Climax Bosses]] save for Discordia (who wasn't really a Chaos Lord) and Kimberly (other than the health bars which players on all servers worked to get their health bars down to 0 during the One-Eyed Doll Live Event, although Kimberly had the ability to heal the health bar a few times). There's also quite a few non-Chaos Lord bosses that have special challenges for fighting them.
** Escherion: While the Staff of Inversion is alive, Escherion does not take any damage.
** Vath: If you attack Vath first, Stalagbite will stomp the whole party to death for massive damage. If you attack Stalagbite first, your damage is significantly reduced when attacking Vath.
** Kitsune: He'll shapeshift into a giant {{Kitsune}} that's immune to your attacks for a while. Wait until he reverts back to normal to continue damaging him.
** Wolfwing: He'll heal himself up to five times per fight, and once his HP drops below 10,000, that's where he starts going berserk.
** French Horned Toadragon: Every once in a while, the toad will use an attack that petrifies as many players as it wants for at least two attacks.
** Ledgermayne: Every once in a while, it will stop to charge up a powerful attack. Enter the glowing safe zones that open up when this happens to avoid damage. The safe zones will heal you when you're in them.
** Tibicenas: He'll steal HP from as much players as possible up to eight times per fight. When his HP hits below 5,500 and he heals for the sixth time, that's where he goes berserk.
** Ultra-Tibicenas: Same as Tibicenas, except he steals HP more often, goes berserk when his HP hits below 20,000, and, worse yet, petrifies you every once in a while.
** Baron Luca: As an {{Expy}} of Dracula from ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'', he, at half-health, turns into his demonic bat form, just like Dracula himself, which deals a bit more damage than his first form.
** Moganth, Udaroth, Cellot, Zellare [[spoiler:, & Desoloth]]: Same as Ledgermayne, except the damage of their charged attacks is lower and only does about 500-700 damage, and you don't have to enter any glowing safe zones to avoid the attack.
** Gruaige Baas: She'll petrify you for a few seconds with a laser attack every once in a while, plus, also every once in a while, except later, she charges powerful attacks and hits for about 500-600 damage.
** Khasaanda: She can sometimes lock your skills for a few minutes when you use them, plus she can forsee all attacks every once in a while and counter them with the same amount of damage you would've dealt to her for a few seconds.
** Iadoa: Can freeze you in time for several seconds, cannot be stunned, and unless you have either the Chaotic Hourglass or the Dragonoid of Hours in your inventory, he can do a powerful Astral Shift attack that does massive amounts of damage.
** Chaos Manticore: He can poison you, which does Damage Over Time that gets worse as the fight goes on unless cleansed with the water of the waterfall in the arena, and once you cleanse the poison, you cannot access the waterfall again for about 60 seconds.
** Lionfang: Has a Damage Over Time effect similar to that of his Beast, only there's no way to cleanse the effect. In addition, his Essence Draining attack puts the stun on you for several seconds and cuts your damage and healing in half.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork 6''. [[spoiler: Colonel, [=MegaMan=]'s former ally in the previous game, who [=MegaMan=] refuses to fight throughout the game until he realizes that words cannot get through to him.]] Among his new attacks is a finishing move that is used once your HP reaches a certain point. If it connects, you are instantly killed unless [=MegaMan=] is equipped with [[LastChanceHitPoint Under Shirt]].
* [[spoiler:The Arishok at the end of Act II]] in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII''. This victory earns Hawke the title of "Champion". This in turn makes Hawke the most important person in Kirkwall, which forces Hawke to take sides in the [[spoiler:Mage-Templar]] conflict in Act III.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' has these at the end (or near the end) of each Act:
** Act I: Algus. [[spoiler:Ramza figures out that his brothers are dicks.]]
** Act II: Cardinal Draclau[[spoiler:/Queklainn. Oh my Ajora, the Lucavi are real!]]
** Act III has two, back to back.
*** Wiegraf [[spoiler:/Velius. [[TheDarkSideWillMakeYouForget The Dark Side Made Him Forget]] why he's fighting Ramza in the first place.]]
*** Marquis Elmdore and his bodyguards, Celia and Lettie. [[spoiler:Alma is to be the vessel of Ultima.]]
** Act IV: Dycedarg, your elder brother[[spoiler:/Adrammelech. This is the end of Beoulve family.]]
* ''VideoGame/BatenKaitos'' seems to have an affinity for these: the first game has [[spoiler:Geldoblame]], [[spoiler:Kalas]], and the final fight with Giacomo, Ayme, and Folon; the second game has [[spoiler:Guillo]], [[spoiler:Shananth]], and [[spoiler:Wiseman]], though the last of those is actually hidden away in a sidequest.
* Ornstein and Smough from ''VideoGame/DarkSouls''. Epic music, extremely challenging, and takes place in a huge and grand hall. Defeating the pair is the final test before receiving your next major task after ringing the Bells of Awakening.
* ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' main games:
** As a general rule of thumb, bosses immediately before alignment lock or as a consequence of choosing your alignment tend to be this.
** Maia Ouroboros in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiStrangeJourney'' is built up as [[DiscOneFinalBoss the last demon in your way of escape]] and is also the first major boss after the Tyrants. She is also a massive step up in difficulty after the already tough Asura and must be fought twice. If you follow the Law or Chaos routes, there is also [[spoiler:Commander Gore]]. He is regarded as one of the hardest bosses in the entire game, and will [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard restore half of his full HP when you first get it down to 0]]. Luckily, if you go Neutral, then this fight is avoided, as you are fighting for the good of humankind. On Neutral, the ClimaxBoss is [[spoiler: Zelenin]], your brainwashed former ally who guards two of the {{Mac Guffin}}s necessary to save the world.
** Uriel and Raphael, Michael, and the fake YHVH in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiII''. They're all fought sequentially, mark the game's first major climax (these are the ones [[BigBadDuumvirate responsible for everything wrong up to this point]], and even get new boss music. After beating them, however, more plot twists emerge and new villains (namely Lucifer, Satan, and the real YHVH) are revealed.
** The Moirae Sisters take this role in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiNocturne'' as the guards of Yuko Takao, who the Demi-Fiend has been looking for since the Conception started. Later, [[TheDragon Girimehkala]] and [[BigBadWannabe Sakahagi]] act as the second Climax Boss fight, with Sakahagi being built up as a great evil power that has to be stopped.
** In ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIV'', depending on if you sided with Jonathan or Walter, the ClimaxBoss is either Lilith or Yamato-Takeru. Lilith has been dogging you since near the beginning of the game, while Yamato-Takeru works for Tayama, the [[HateSink most loathsome character in the setting]]; the two of them had been the [[BigBadEnsemble main villains of the game]] up to this point, and winning this battle resolves their arcs and makes way for the ''real'' bad guys, namely [[spoiler: [[OmnicidalManiac the White]], [[KnightTemplar Merkabah]], and [[SocialDarwinist Lucifer]]]].
** ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIVApocalypse'':
*** Krishna, leader of the Divine Powers, serves this role, as the threat that the Divine Powers pose is [[TheDreaded enough]] to make humans, angels, and demons [[EnemyMine cease their three-way war]] [[TeethClenchedTeamwork as much as they need to]] in order to stop them. He is fought in Tsukiji Konganji, which he's set up as HQ for himself and his fellow polytheistic gods, and once he's downed, the first three factions go back to being at each other's throats. [[spoiler:Then it turns out the Powers all faked their defeats and they proceed with the next step of their plan for humanity's [[DeadlyEuphemism "salvation"]].]]
*** After the second of two alignment locks, you either fight [[spoiler:Dagda]] on Bonds as [[spoiler:he takes your powers away in revenge for betraying him while Danu tries to make a new Dagda to keep you alive]], or [[spoiler:all of your partners (except Asahi, who's already dead by this point)]] on Massacre as [[spoiler:they try to stop you and by extension Dagda from carrying out your omnicidal plans to remake the universe]].
* ''Videogame/ShiningTheHolyArk'' has you fight Rilix after you learn that the King is nothing but a [[PuppetKing puppet]] and that she plans to revive the thousand year kingdom. Oh, and she plans to kill you.
* ''VideoGame/ShiningForce'' has the fight against Kane, the Runefaustian general [[DoomedHometown that destroyed the main character's hometown]] and is given the greatest build-up of all the bosses in the game. He's also one of the [[ThatOneBoss toughest]], with an extremely high attack proportional to that of the playable characters'.
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}} Chronicles'': The rematch with Metal Face at Prison Island, approximately halfway through the game. Shulk's [[CoolSword Monado]] is finally upgraded to be able to hurt Metal Face, [[WhamEpisode a number of important characters are either killed off or revealed to still be alive]], and the aftermath of the fight completely changes Shulk's motivations going into the second half.
* In ''VideoGame/{{EarthBound}}'', most of the problems in the Eagleland section (Onett to Fourside) was caused by the Mani Mani Statue sent by Giygas. The statue manipulated six people directly and large crowds though them and is finally confronted by Ness and Jeff in an illusion world it created. It's not a defenseless statue, though, and fights back. Destroying it lets everyone in Fourside manipulated by it go back to normal. [[spoiler:Except for Pokey/Porky.]]
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
** [[VideoGame/MassEffect1 The first game]] allows you to come face-to-face with [[BigBad Saren]] on Virmire, right after you learn the [[EldritchAbomination true nature]] of Sovereign, the [[SapientShip starship]] he's been using to wreak havoc around the galaxy and brainwash people to his will, along with [[AbusivePrecursors its goals]]. He possesses powers from all three of the [[ClassAndLevelSystem skill trees]] available in the game and is an example of HeadsIWinTailsYouLose, considering that no matter how much damage you do him he gets away scot-free, leaving you to make a SadisticChoice on whether to save [[spoiler:Kaidan or Ashley]] when you destroy his base.
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' has the mission on the abandoned Collector ship featuring ''that'' game's BigBad, Harbinger, whom you never directly confront but rather have to defeat his multiple drones which he can VillainOverride. This isn't your first time confronting such an avatar, but that occasion falls under WakeUpCallBoss. This is right after you learn that his plan for an AlienAbduction is considerably larger in scale than believed, and that the Collectors are all that's left of [[spoiler:the [[BenevolentPrecursors Protheans]].]]
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'''s closest equivalent is the fight on Thessia, where the underpinnings of the Asari culture are totally undermined, [[TheDragon Kai Leng]] steals the secret of the McGuffin that you've been trying to construct in order to have any chance of winning or surviving the war with [[AbusivePrecursors the Reapers]], and like in ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'', is another HeadsIWinTailsYouLose.
* [[spoiler:Templar Octienne]], [[spoiler:the Balor]], and Gadflow in ''VideoGame/KingdomsOfAmalurReckoning''.
* Cordelia's dragon form in ''VideoGame/ChildOfLight'', which happens shortly after a huge revelation ([[spoiler: Nox's betrayal]]) in the game. Her battle music is also different from the normal boss music.
* All of the trophy bouts in ''VisualNovel/FleuretBlanc''. They always occur at the end of a day and are thus usually in the proximity of an important plot event, and it's (usually) the first time you're able to bout a member. (In the case of Masque, it's also their first appearance.) Gameplay-wise, both Florentine and her opponent have twice as many HitPoints as they do in normal bouts, making the fight longer and more intense.
* ''VideoGame/AVeryLongRopeToTheTopOfTheSky'' has multiple. [[DualBoss Archbishop Gebhart and the Judgment]] are particularly notable, as they mark the end of the childhood arc. The [[RecurringBoss third]] fight against Rutger also counts, as it involves taking down a long-term villain who presents a major threat to the world. [[spoiler:Oliver]], fought during [[spoiler:the liberation of Avishun]], may also count. He isn't a major villain and the battle doesn't coincide with as important a plot event as the other two examples, but it is fairly important ([[ThatOneBoss and difficult]]). All of these get special BattleThemeMusic, too.
* Archos in the single-player campaign of ''VideoGame/TelepathTactics''. Unlike previous bosses, he is an established character, and one of the major players in the central conflict: this is the first time you're fighting someone directly affiliated with the mining company, rather than one of their patsies.
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'': Darth Malak, who's also the final boss, is first fought inconclusively right after the huge revelation about what his interest in the PlayerCharacter is.
* ''VideoGame/UncommonTime'' has three, one for each chapter.
** Though it's a GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere, the Winterspirit, fought at the end of Movement 1 immediately after [[spoiler:the World Tuning fails]], definitely fulfills the role.
** [[spoiler:Teagan]], fought at the end of Movement 2.
** The Herald of Winter, fought at the end of Alto's VisionQuest. It represents [[spoiler:Alto's subconscious hatred and desire to destroy the world]]. If you lose, you're treated to a NonstandardGameOver where [[spoiler:the Herald dominates Alto's personality and ushers in an ice age that will destroy civilization]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'', Undyne is fought at the end of Waterfall, a backstory-dense level which reveals much about the Underground and its history. She will also make explicit the consequences of your chosen playstyle in her pre-battle speech; on a Pacifist route, she mentions her surprise that a human would be so non-violent and mock you for it, on the Neutral route, she'll remember the names of all the monsters you've killed (changing her speech entirely if you've killed [[spoiler:Papyrus]]), and on a No-Mercy route, [[spoiler: after being mortally wounded, she'll realize that you're out to kill humans and monsters alike, transforms herself into Undyne the Undying, and give you your first real challenge of the run.]]
* [[spoiler:Dark Lord]] in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyAdventure'' and its remakes. After StormingTheCastle, you finally confront the BigBad. [[spoiler: Only to realize TheDragon, Julius has played you and Dark Lord for fools and completed Dark Lord's plans without him.]]
* The Knave of Hearts in ''VideoGame/NieR'' attacks the main characters' hometown just as you finish collecting the sealed verses to cure Yonah. [[spoiler: You can't defeat it yet, only seal it away. And while you're busy with that, the Shadowlord kidnaps Yonah.]]
* The first ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'' has Varin Omega and his demon form, Ravana...[[AnticlimaxBoss story-wise, anyway]]. In the second game, it's [[spoiler:Heat's new demon form]] Vritra, the last real boss fight before [[spoiler:Gale and Cielo's sacrifices and Serph and Sera's fusion]] leading up to the VeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon.
* Enoch in ''VideoGame/{{OFF}}'', the largest and most powerful Guardian in the game's world that is faced right before the Room and shortly after the reveal of what, exactly, the "sugar" the Elsen are so obsessed with is really made of. He is also the first character in the game who explicitly points out that [[spoiler:"purifying" a Zone kills almost all life in it and fills it with monsters called "Secretaries." The player ''does'' have the option to go back and see this as soon as Dedan is killed, but it is always optional; Enoch finally mentions that ''something'' happens to a Zone in his last words.]]

[[folder: Shoot 'em Up]]
* ALLTYNEX OS from ''VideoGame/{{Kamui}}'' is probably the game's most important boss fight, but there's still the Adjudicator to fight after it.
* ZODIAC Virgo from ''VideoGame/RefleX''. Ever since this mechanical terror destroyed the Human-Type Cancer, it's inevitable that the player has to fight it later on, resulting in one of the [[SequentialBoss longest boss fights in the game]] besides [[FinalBoss ZODIAC Libra]].
* Dread Bomber in ''VideoGame/{{Raiden}} II'' is the last boss before you go into space, has [[SequentialBoss four forms]], and is considerably harder than previous bosses.
* The penultimate boss of ''VideoGame/{{Einhander}}'', Schwarzgeist. Defeating this boss leads right into the game's WhamEpisode.
* ''VideoGame/ThunderForce'' has the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLJkCwHw5Wo Vasteel Original]] from V, which happens to be [[PreviousPlayerCharacterCameo the resurrected Rynex]] from the previous game. The boss theme, [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome "Duel On Top"]] is a [[DarkReprise remix]] of IV's intro theme.
* ''VideoGame/BattleGaregga'' has Black Heart at the end of Stage 5 (of 7), which comes at the end of a stage with [[BossRush a couple revived bosses in between]] and is by far the hardest boss at this point due to a combination of tricky attacks and [[DamageSpongeBoss having only one part with a ton of hit points]] rather than a "core" and individually-destructible components like all previous bosses, ensuring that the player can't weaken its attacks before going in for the kill. After Black Heart is defeated, the player then proceeds into the enemy base.

[[folder: Stealth Based Game]]
* The Hind-D gunship, piloted by the BigBad, in the original ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid''.
** Colonel Volgin and the Shagohod in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater''.
** The fight against Metal Gear Ray in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots''.
** Cunningham in ''VideoGame/MetalGearPortableOps''.
* ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'' has the first fight with Rodrigo Borgia. Especially once [[spoiler:the other Assassins arrive]].
* ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII'' has Connor against [[spoiler:his father Haytham]], mainly since he's a far more effective swordsman than any other enemy in the game and requires a [[PuzzleBoss specific move to beat him]]. He actually feels more like a final boss than the [[AntiClimaxBoss actual]] [[CutsceneBoss final boss.]]
%%* Father Dagon from ''VideoGame/CallOfCthulhuDarkCornersOfTheEarth''.
* ''VideoGame/FossilFighters'' does this twice, first with a showdown of OlympusMons, then [[spoiler:against the leader of an alien race of dinosaur people before even learning about the FinalBoss.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Dishonoured}}'' has [[spoiler: Daud]] only halfway through the flooded district who serves as a Trope/MirrorBoss and is far more difficult and personal than any other target in the game. He's not the final target, nor even the last boss in his level, but facing off against him and his assassins (and proving you're better than any of them) is certainly a high point.

[[folder: Survival Horror]]
* So you've rang the bell tower in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil3Nemesis'' and Jill declares "[[TemptingFate it's finally over]]" as the rescue helicopter descends. [[RecurringBoss Nemesis]] has other plans: he shoots down the helicopter, infects Jill with TheVirus, and it's the first time in the game you're actually forced to stand your ground and fight (either as the sick and dying Jill or [[BigDamnHeroes as Carlos]]). Cue a two day time skip, the game is far from over, and now Jill and Carlos are stuck in their DarkestHour.

[[folder: Strategy Game]]
* ''[[VideoGame/GalaxyAngel Galaxy Angel]]'' -- the first fight with Noa in the Black Moon's core.
* The [[Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann Grand Zamboa]] in ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsZ Third Super Robot Wars Z: Jigoku-hen]]'' because the Anti-Spiral was pretty much the General in charge of this "battalion" of the Ba'al with something like half the villainous series used under his authority. The entire original story practically surrounded what he was doing in the background.In a lot of ways, he was kind of like what the Aerogators were to the entire Balmar Empire in the Alpha series. Everything in the story was leading up to the encounter with the Anti-Spiral.

[[folder: Third Person Shooter]]
* The Lupino Showdown from the original ''VideoGame/MaxPayne'', which has Max fighting roughly thirteen mooks that swarm in one after another after him before Jack Lupino himself makes his entrance with two of his personal guard and a sawed-off shotgun. He's also hopped up on drugs and completely insane.
* ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'': Right between [[spoiler: Lugo's]] death and [[spoiler: Adam]] staying behind for a LastStand near the end of the game, Captain Walker has to fight [[spoiler: a hallucination of Lugo, who is programmed as a [[EliteMook Heavy]] with far more health.]]
* ''VideoGame/SinAndPunishment'':
** The battle against Kachua, which actually shares its battle theme with the final boss, and where Saki first transforms into a monster.
** The fight at the end of Stage 6, a lengthy, 3-stage ordeal, ending in a hand-to-hand fight, and ultimately resulting in one of the characters being knocked out, and the other transforming into a monster in order to storm the final level.
* [[TheDragon Skorge]] in ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar2.''
* ''VideoGame/StarFox64'' has the Star Wolf fight on Fortuna/Fichina. The other two fights are fought too late to be considered this.

!!Non-video game examples:

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/HollowFields'', [[TheRival Summer]] [[AlphaBitch Polanski]] serves this role [[spoiler:with her DeathTrap]]. After two volumes of [[KickTheDog tormenting Lucy Snow]] and indirectly threatening her with detention, she makes the decision to [[MoralEventHorizon go all the way]] and [[spoiler:outright attempt to kill her]]. Escaping this situation requires Lucy to [[FinalExamBoss use the skills she learned up to this point]], as well as [[FireForgedFriends team up with Claude]] and [[IndyPloy act on the fly]]. She then goes on to confront the BigBad in Volume 3.
* In ''Anime/KillLaKill'', [[spoiler: Nui Harime]] is first fought immediately after revealing that [[spoiler: she was Isshin's killer]].
* While it's still running, ''Manga/OnePiece'' had this in the form of Crocodile. He's the first major BigBad the Straw Hat crew encounters after crossing the Grand Line and the first antagonist in the series to actually defeat the main character Luffy in battle, ''twice.'' It's this arc and Crocodile's defeat that really kicks off the plot elements that are still present in the series today.

* [[spoiler:Grand King Ghidorah]] in ''Fanfic/TheBridge''. Nearly everything bad in the series can be tracked back to him in some fashion [[spoiler:(he's in part responsible for Bagan in the first place, caused Monster X and the evil Xilians to exist, and a number of other things),]] and his fight marks the Godzilla family finally mending and uniting together against a single threat.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Shane is the main antagonist of the second season of ''Series/TheWalkingDead'', as he tries to usurp Rick after losing leadership of the group as well as Lori and Carl's affections to him. The penultimate episode of the season features their [[spoiler: final]] confrontation that resolves their story arc and proves Shane wrong in that Rick ''is'' a man who can do what needs to be done to protect his family and friends.

[[folder:Web Video]]
* This was one of Game Dude's many [[AccentuateTheNegative gripes]] about ''VideoGame/MickeyMousecapade'': he gasped in astonishment at how short Pete's level was, and complained that, despite being on the cover art, he isn't actually the FinalBoss.

[[folder:Western Animtion]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', in the episode "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS5E13DoPrincessesDreamOfMagicSheep Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep]]", the Tantabus can be considered this for [[spoiler: Luna's RedemptionQuest]] that began in the [[spoiler: second episode because she]] only defeats it by finally forgiving herself for that event and being willing to move on.
* Two of these are fought in episode "XCVIII" of ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack''. Jack [[spoiler:goes on a JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind and relinquishes the anger that has corrupted him for the past 50 years, finally purifying his EnemyWithin Inner Jack]]. Meanwhile, [[spoiler:Ashi defeats her mother the High Priestess in a DuelToTheDeath, finally completing her RedemptionQuest and completely escaping her influence]].