->"''I find it funny that they don't even bother with the boss music this time. It's like they're admitting that he's old news by now.''"
-->-- '''vgfmak''' of Website/YouTube, on [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udERhQTBEV8 Wizrobe's 4th appearance]] from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask''

The boss in a video game, or on rare occasion series, who, after you defeat him/her/it, returns multiple times - but not as a boss, but as a [[GiantMook regular enemy]] (sometimes more than one appearing at once). Sometimes, the boss you fought is the "strongest" of the monsters; sometimes you've attained a new weapon which is [[ElementalRockPaperScissors particularly effective against that boss]], or just leveled up enough that you're able to take on [[DualBoss several at a time]]. In some games, later enemies will be [[PaletteSwap palette-swapped]] versions of the boss' sprite/model, and may actually be ''stronger'' than the original Boss form. It makes you wonder why ''they're'' [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking not in charge]].

Sometimes confused with VillainDecay. The two may overlap, however, if TheManBehindTheMan pops up and reveals that there are multiple copies of his previously-unique underling. In narrative, this looks a lot like the ConservationOfNinjutsu. Sometimes results in VillainForgotToLevelGrind. Not to be confused with the BossInMookClothing. Compare with BossRush where previous Bosses return as Bosses in rapid succession.

A common version of this is for the first boss of the game to reappear as a GiantMook throughout the rest of the game.

See RecurringBoss for examples where they don't get degraded. This may overlap with ArtifactMook if the boss return as a mook has no real reason other than add flavor to the game.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Action Adventure ]]

* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** The first ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZelda'' game is rife with this. Dodongo, Manhandla, Gleeock, Digdogger, and Gohma all reappear in later dungeons as normal enemies. Dodongo even appears in threes later, Gleeock grows extra heads (from two in its first appearance up to four eventually, although the latter is for when it is reused as the boss of Level 8), and Digdogger splits into three after playing the Flute anywhere but its debut. That's just the first quest; they show up sooner and more often in the second one. In the case of Dodongo, in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Majora's Mask]]'', Dodongos are run-of-the-mill nuisances. However, ''Ocarina of Time'' has [[KingMook King Dodongo]] as the boss version, operating much like the original Dodongo.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'' also has pairs of Lizalfos presented as {{Mini Boss}}es in the second dungeon, while you play Link as a child. Adult Link can take them out in two hits with the Biggoron Sword, and by that point in the game young Link has enough equipment and [[HitPoints hearts]] to turn them into mooks. Stalfos are another example, as they also act as minibosses in their first encounter, but you also encounter them as regular enemies later. Then they are used as minibosses ''again'', with the added challenge of beating them both at once in a short time, lest they rise up again.
** Nearly every miniboss in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker The Wind Waker]]'' is encountered as a regular enemy some time after their original appearance. For example, the large Moblins with spears are presented as inmune guardians Link must avoid confronting, then one is fought as a MiniBoss in the fire dungeon. Afterwards, however, they're reduced largely to tough minions. This same role is later filled by the Darknuts, the first of which shows up as a sub-boss in the Tower of the Gods, but the very next section pits you up against about six of them and twelve Moblins (their later incarnations are more powerful, but you almost always fight at least two). Same case with the shielded Bokoblins, Mothulas and Stalfos.
** In a meta sense, the Mothulas went from being a boss in ''A Link to the Past'' and ''Oracle of Seasons'' to a miniboss and later mook in ''The Wind Waker''. Arrghus also went from an ''A Link to the Past'' boss to a miniboss in ''Majora's Mask'' (called "Wart" outside of Japan). Gyorg was both played straight and subverted - In ''Majora's Mask'' it is a boss, in ''The Wind Waker'' a common mook, and in ''The Minish Cap'' it goes back to being a boss, then goes back to mook status in ''Phantom Hourglass'' and ''Spirit Tracks''.
** Hardly unique among the Game Boy games. Many of the mini-bosses from early levels of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening'' show up as regular enemies later in that same game. In some cases, there's a new weapon that makes it easier. In other cases, not so much.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'' examples: The City in the Sky features a fight with an Aeralfos, a winged reptilian creature that uses a sword, shield, and a suit of armor. The [[BonusDungeon Cave of Ordeals]] features scores of such creatures. [[ZigzaggedTrope Zig-zagged]] with the Darknuts, however, which switch from miniboss (Temple of Time), to enemy (Cave of Ordeals), then miniboss (Hyrule Castle at the mid), and enemy yet again (Hyrule Castle at the end).
** Multi-game example: Dark Link has taken many different roles, including, but not limited to, [[GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere surprise final boss]] in ''[[VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink Adventure of Link]]'', mini-boss in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', merely appearing in a cut scene in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', several easily defeated {{Mooks}} created by a boss in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames Oracle of Ages]]'', TheDragon of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwordsAdventures'', and BonusBoss in ''Spirit Tracks''.
** Two of the mini-bosses in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks'' actually appear again as regular enemies ''within their own dungeons'' (specifically, they're Snapper, the whip-wielding guy from the Ocean Temple, and Heatoise, the giant tortoise from the Fire Temple). In both cases, the dungeon item you get from the first battle makes the later ones much easier.
** Played straight and zig-zagged in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]'': Moldarach plays the trope straight as it debuts as boss in the third dungeon, and reappears as a miniboss in the Shipyard. In the case of the Moldorms, one appears as a sporadic, optional enemy in a grotto from the Fire Sanctuary, but the next one is fought as a miniboss later in the same dungeon. The ones found afterwards (one in a grotto during the StealthBasedMission in Eldin Volcano and another in the grotto of a certain island in the Sky) are regular enemies, but other two are minibosses in the final dungeon.
** Occurs in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds'' with Moldorm and Arrghus, who go from dungeon bosses to mini bosses later in the game (both appear in Lorule Castle, and the former also appears as the 'boss' in the enemy gauntlet of Treacherous Tower).
* Happens twice in ''VideoGame/{{Onimusha}}''. Reynaldo, who is set up as a mini-boss but is quickly revealed to be a really tough (and regenerating/self-duplicating) mook. Then there's Volchiman, who you must first fight as ninja girl Kaede, who is significantly weaker than main character Samonosuke; later on you may encounter two Volchiman at once. However, there's also Marcellus, whose prototype you face first. The real deal is a much, much more difficult opponent - probably more so than final boss Fortinbras.
* Almost every single miniboss in ''VideoGame/{{Killer7}}'' becomes this, since the miniboss battles are meant to introduce a new type of Heaven Smile for the next chapter. The first miniboss and the last two never show up, however, though the penultimate miniboss, the Timer Smile, is debatably a major boss, as there is no boss in its section after it.
* One of the various mech bosses in ''ShadowComplex'' returns as a regular enemy at one point, but strangely still has his boss lifebar if you're near it. In the final boss fight you fight ''all of them''.
* Every enemy is introduced in ''TheHauntedMansion'' with a lot of fanfare, and you are put into a one-on-one match with them. As soon as you beat them, they begin showing up as regular enemies. Fortunately, [[HeroicMime Zeke's]] weapon gets powerful enough to accommodate for this.
* The Henchmen in ''VideoGame/KingsQuestMaskOfEternity'' become normal enemies in the last area of the game.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Action Game ]]

* The Hell Vanguard from ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry 3'' returns in later parts of the game as a lifebar-less mook. However, all recurrences are as strong as the first one. Furthermore, on one occasion (Mission 17's Trial of the Warrior room), the Hell Vanguard "mook" taps into the [[LimitBreak latent "Devil Trigger" power]] and becomes even more powerful than the boss version. On the highest difficulty, all "mook" versions of the Hell Vanguard can potentially use the Devil Trigger power.
** ''DevilMayCry 4'' combines this trope with CutscenePowerToTheMax. After defeating the frog demon Dagon, you are treated to a cutscene where Dante receives a new Devil Arm. Suddenly, the courtyard is full of Dagon's brothers. Dante then proceeds to use his new weapon to quickly annihilate every giant frog in sight.
** Played with in the first game. Phantom, Griffon, and Nelo Angelo all are bosses you fight multiple times in game, and each actually gains new attacks and abilities in between fights. However, after you kill them, when fighting the boss Nightmare, it can absorb you and force you to fight a weaker illusionary form of one of the prior bosses.
* A twist occurs in the first two ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'' games for the NES: the Malice Four from the first ''Ninja Gaiden'' appears in ''Ninja Gaiden II'' as mooks who are literal clones of the originals created by Ashtar. The clones are the same size as Ryu and are killed with a single strike like other regular mooks.
* Done both in-game and in-story in ''NinjaGaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos''. The basic {{Mooks}} you first fight are in fact clones of the first boss of the original game. Clones of the games subsequent three bosses also appear, usually in GiantMook form, though Kelberos comes back in full Boss form.
** The boss you face in the first chapter of seventh generation ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden II'' is Rasetsu, a large, literal [[DemonicSpiders Demonic spider/Human hybrid]] who stands about 8 feet tall with 4 large bladed appendages protruding from his back. You also encounter another Spider Ninja Fiend in the second chapter, backed up by spider ninja Mooks. In the last chapters you end up slaying a couple dozen of them; sometimes in pairs. They are still as strong as the first encounter, but by then you're a lot stronger.
* The first encounter with the centaurs in ''VideoGame/TombRaider'' is considered a boss fight, due to the fact that they're the first Atlanteans you see in the game and their appearance is a [[WhamEpisode shock.]] More centaurs are encountered later as regular enemies.
** The VideoGameRemake changes this by changing the first centaurs into a PuzzleBoss, and only the later ones act as regular enemies.
* In the indie title ''VideoGame/{{ARES}}'', the Mini-Bosses from Stage 1 and 2 also show up as regular mooks by Stage 3. Thanks to upgraded weapons, they hardly even count as EliteMooks anymore.
* Another inversion: Fritz the Firing Train in ''Iron Tank'' first appears as a GiantMook-type encounter, ie without the ominous boss music, then later as a proper boss encounter.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Beat Em Up ]]

* Done a lot in old beat'em-up arcade games. Examples: ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon'', ''Cadillacs and Dinosaurs'', ''Ninja Combat'', and ''Arabian Nights''. Often, the first boss you face will also be the first GiantMook.
** As does the ''VideoGame/StreetsOfRage'' series with some of their boss characters. Lampshaded in Streets of Rage 2, with the weaker mook version of the boss "R. Bear" being called "[[OverlordJr Bear Jr.]]"
*** ''2'' takes it pretty quickly, too. After beating the twin robot bosses in Stage 7, the very first enemies you fight in Stage 8 are two more.
** Averted by the original ''VideoGame/FinalFight'' and its SNES sequels: the bosses are unique to each stage and none of them actually reappear once they're defeated.
** In the arcade version of ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon'', the {{elite mook}}s that appear near the end of Mission 3 and during the final battle in Mission 4 are all palette-swaps of Jeff, the Mission 2 boss (who was in turn, a head-swapped Lee brother). However, they're just as tough as the boss version of Jeff.
*** It also happens to Chin Taimei (Jeff's equivalent as the Mission 2 boss) in the NES version. In fact, it happens rather immediately, as the second fight in Mission 3 is against a group of three Chin clones.
*** In ''Super Double Dragon'', Steve and Jackson, the first two bosses, appear throughout the rest of the game as mooks. All of the previous bosses also appear in the final stage.
** In ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheRound'', Scorn (the first boss) reappears many times as an EliteMook called "Tall Man." He's equally annoying, except he has less health.
** ''VideoGame/ThePunisherCapcom'' also reuses the first boss Scully as a mook in the final stage.
** In ''VideoGame/AlienVsPredatorCapcom'', the first boss, Chrysalis, reappears twice in the final stages and in a pair each time.
** In ''VideoGame/UndercoverCops'', generic, already-damaged clones of the first boss show up in the last level.
** Done in ''VideoGame/ViolentStorm'', where clones of Dabel (but without the mask) appear as generic enemies near the end of the game.
** In ''VideoGame/TheKingOfDragons'': the Dragon Rider (Level 8 Boss) appears as a weaker PaletteSwap twice in Level 9 and once in Level 12.
* ''VideoGame/GoldenAxe'' and its sequels. Particularly noteworthy is ''Golden Axe II'' where after fighting four purple Hell Lizards as a boss, they begin returning on a regular basis (sometimes in the stronger green form). Of similar note are the huge minotaurs who appear as palette-swapped bosses twice then return as normal enemies! And remember, this is ''Golden Axe'' - there's no leveling up in this game!
* ''{{Splatterhouse}} 3'' has a big yellow ogre(?) for the first level's boss. The second level features two of them as normal enemies, and the third level has 2 ''green'' ogres. Dammit.
** ''Splatterhouse 2010'' has the Teratoid, a big monster with a tentacle for one arm that hits pretty hard and can regenerate other monsters. You later start encountering Teratoids regularly throughout the game.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'', after you [[NoKillLikeOverkill completely brutalize]] a Cardinal Virtue ([[MyFriendsAndZoidberg or a Golem]]), weaker versions will appear later in the game. Mostly during the BossRush. Clones of Temperentia in particular are fought four times throughout the game.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/DynamiteDux'', where a miniboss that appeared in the first stage later becomes the main boss of the fourth stage.
* This happens quite often in ''[[MaximumCarnage Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage]]'' for the SNES, most notably with the two [[PrehensileHair long-haired]] girls who act as the boss of the first stage and quickly become annoyingly common enemies.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fighting Game ]]

* Krizalid from ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters '99'' reappears as one of Zero's allies in KOF 2001.
* Typically this will happen in fighting games if the endgame of the previous title in the series caused the main boss to lose their standing and are forced to fight against whoever took over to get it back. For the sequel, they will then become a playable cast member as they are considered a "participant" rather than the "organizer". Examples include ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'''s Heihachi Mishima between the first and second games (then again between the fourth and fifth games), Cervantes de Leon after ''[[SoulSeries Soul Blade]]'', and Gaia after the first ''VideoGame/BattleArenaToshinden''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: First Person Shooter ]]

* In the second ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'' game, a [[KingMook Mother of]] [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast All Hunters]] is fought as a boss on "If I had a rocket launcher...", then the final stage has at least three of them. On the ''Infinity'' level "You think you're big time?" they get re-promoted to boss status, and have homing projectiles this time. In ''2'', the KingMook version of the Cyborgs only appears once, while in ''Infinity'' it is a recurring enemy, although still rare.
** ''Marathon: EVIL'' has you first fight a Pfhor Mystic in a boss-style encounter on the level "Hackers", then they are regular encounters from then on out, save for a KingMook variation on the final level. The giant Cyborgs are also now a regular occurence.
* ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D'' has Mini Battlelords, which are, obviously, smaller and weaker versions of the Battlelord. They're still a huge pain in the ass, however, since "weaker" only refers to their health (a mere 1000 to the big one's 4500) and not their ''tremendous'' damage output -- worst case scenario, they can shred you in under three seconds. Gets even worse when they decide to spam their grenade launchers. And then there's the fact that in one of the later chapters there's one level where you end up facing ''three at once''.
* The Serpent God and the Sumo in ''ShadowWarrior''.
* The climax of ''VideoGame/HalfLife2: Episode Two'' pits you against a small army of biomechanical tripods known as "Striders", several of which made your life a living hell in a certain battle in the original ''Half-Life 2'', and one of which was the ''actual'' boss of ''Half-Life 2: Episode One''. Oh, and this time they have Hunter support. This battle would be quite a bit harder if you didn't have [[spoiler:a car and a weapon that could OneHitKill them.]] Their machine guns receive a significant downgrade from the near-instakill they were in earlier installments.
** For that matter, the Hunters were introduced with one [[spoiler: nearly killing Alyx]], and two or three of them was a boss battle early in the Episode. Two or three of them escort ''every Strider''. Fortunately, you have [[CarFu a weapon]] that can OneHitKill ''them'', too.
** There's also the Antlion Guardian--when you first meet it (when you're instructed not to kill it, not that you can anyway), it has a poison attack. When you later actually get to kill it, this is missing, making it only a PaletteSwap of the Antlion Guard. Not that it needs any help killing you all the same.
* The Cyberdemon and Spider Mastermind boss monsters of the first ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' game return in the sequels as regular level monsters (though they're just as tough as they were as bosses), while the final bosses are upgraded to multiple-stories-high monster-spawning buildings. ''Doom 3'' then ''promoted'' the Cyberdemon back to boss status.
** And in the original ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'', the bosses of the shareware version (the Barons of Hell) become more common in the retail installments. Again, they're just as tough as they were as bosses, though the energy weapons (the plasma gun and the {{BFG}}) that you acquire later on make quick work of them.
*** In ''Doom 3'', in an homage to the original ''Doom'', you fight a pair of Hell Knights right before you teleport into Hell, and they too later become regular enemies, just as tough as before.
*** ''Doom 2'' also adds the Hell Knights, a PaletteSwap of the Baron with half the health. Combined with the above-mentioned double-barreled shotgun, they show up more than the Barons without unbalancing things too drastically. Likewise, the Arachnotrons are smaller versions of the Spider Mastermind with plasma cannons instead of a chaingun.
** Vagary, the first boss of ''VideoGame/{{Doom}} 3'', later reappears as a {{mook}}, albeit a tough one.
* The end boss of ''VideoGame/{{Heretic}}'' episode 1 is a small group of Iron Liches, who appear sporadically throughout the other episodes. The Maulotaur makes its first appearance as the boss of episode 2 and appears mid-level a few times in the episodes that follow. Interestingly, both of these creature types return as final bosses in the expansion - it has two episodes, and the first ends with a battle with a ''horde'' of Iron Liches, the second with one of Maulotaurs. Another way used of twisting the concept around is when a former boss appears at the beginning of an episode as a GiantMook - and is ''more'' difficult than as a boss, because you just don't have the weapons and ammunition to beat it yet at that point.
** The final boss of ''Heretic'' appears riding a large green creature refered to as a Serpent (although it doesn't look particularly snake-like in appearance). The pseudo-sequel to ''Heretic'', ''VideoGame/{{Hexen}}'', uses these creatures in its levels as regular mooks, albeit much easier to beat and without anybody riding on top of them. They come in palette swap form as well, with the regular green ones behaving exactly like the one we saw in ''Heretic'', while the brown ones are tougher and attack you with a different projectile.
* ''VideoGame/SeriousSam: The First Encounter'' has the Aludran Reptiloid, Highlander, which appears as a boss. When it reappears in subsequent installments of Serious Sam, it has been demoted to a mook which is ironic since in the Second Encounter, they can withstand more beating before dying.
** In ''Serious Sam 3'', the first Adult Arachnoid is counted as a boss. It subsequently appears as a normal enemy and soon a smaller version of them also appears. The same goes for the first Major Biomechanoid, Technopolip, Khnum, and Witch-Bride you encounter.
** Inverted in the "Legend of the Beast" DLC for ''The Second Encounter HD'', which adds a stronger version of ''BFE'''s Khnum as the final boss.
* The first boss in ''VideoGame/WillRock'' is a huge Cyclops. From the following level onward you have to fight several other cyclops (their stone-spitting attack is different though). Then, the second boss, Hepheastus is later found as a KingMook on Mount Olympus. Several of them, actually.
* ''VideoGame/{{Unreal}}'' does this with Titans; the first encounter is a locked-in boss fight (including an entire level essentially built around forshadowing it), then later on you just encounter them standing around in normal situations, as they are as strong as the first time and tend to come in multiples running away seems to be promoted. Your final encounter with one is another built-up boss fight with a much tougher version (which can be dropped into lava if desired.)
* Plated Beetles, adult Sheegoths and Chozo Ghosts in ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' all first appear as mini-bosses, but later become regular enemies. The Sheegoth particularly feels degraded, as it was a quite hard to beat on the first time, but after you get the Plasma Beam, you can ''kill it with one shot without even waiting for it to expose its weak spot!''
** In ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}} Zero Mission'', there is a Dessgeega that you encounter early in the game as a mini-boss after acquiring the long beam and discovering the currently locked entrance to the BigBad's lair. This miniboss turns out to be a common enemy in a later level.
** In ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM'', you first run into the FG-1000 security drones early on in the game, where they function as a fairly tricky miniboss battle. Much later, you find a few more, but by that time, you can blast through them with a single charged Plasma Beam blast, without even having to wait for them to expose their weak point, much like the Sheegoth example above.
* In ''VideoGame/{{BioShock|1}}'', most of the game's bosses are simply regular enemy types with more health and the occasional attribute tweak (the Iceman in Fort Frolic is immune to ice attacks, for example). Most bosses are encountered before you fight regular Splicers of that type. For example, the game's first boss Dr. Steinman is a machinegun-wielding Leadhead Splicer, the regular versions of which you don't encounter until 3/4ths of the way through the game.
* After you fight [[spoiler:Jen]] in ''VideoGame/{{Prey}}'', you will face it again as summoned mook when you're fighting the Keeper. And after you fight the Keeper, you will then need to fight agains more Keepers to get out. Fortunately for latter case, the Keepers will not summon mooks and there are leech gun ammo around.
* The first boss of ''VideoGame/{{Descent}} 2'', aka the "Red Fatty", later returns in PaletteSwap GiantMook form, armed with Mercury Missiles and Phoenix Cannons. In the first game, Fusion Hulks are a palette swap of the first boss that have Fusion Cannons.
* Just about every boss in ''VideoGame/{{Painkiller}}'' was a unique one-shot, but the fan-made expansion ''Overdose'' abuses this to hell and back by taking the end-of-level miniboss from the first level of ''Painkiller'' and reusing him a grand total of '''over 50 times''', with more than a dozen showing up for each individual encounter.
* The Altered from ''VideoGame/{{Wolfenstein|2009}}'' (2009). The first time you fight one, you're armed with nothing more than small arms and have to use the environment to kill it. Later in the game you acquire a BFG that can kill one in a single hit.
* ''Amsterdoom'' has this in every stage, with the boss of the area becoming a recurring type of enemy in the next.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Quake}}'', a pair of Vores are fought as a boss battle at the end of Episode 2, then they become recurring enemies in the last two episodes.
** In the second game, the Super Tank and Tank Flyer first appear as KingMook bosses, then as normal enemies, although they're just as tough as before.
* Inverted with the Uber Soldat in ''ReturnToCastleWolfenstein'', as you first fight a prototype Mook version, then a tougher boss version. Then played straight when the Uber version itself becomes a normal enemy alongside the Proto Soldats.
* In ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved'', Zealot Elites were BossInMookClothing-type enemies that were [[LightningBruiser much tougher and more agile]] than normal Elites. In the second game, their shields were downgraded to the level of Major Elites and they only wielded Energy Swords, while their former stats (and then some) were given to the new Ultra Elites. ''Reach'' promoted the Zealots back to their former status and downgraded the Ultras somewhat.
** In ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'', Brute Chieftain Tartarus is the game's final boss, with a one-hit-kill gravity hammer and an invincible forcefield that can only be brought down by Sgt. Johnson's particle rifle. From ''Halo 3'' onwards, Brute Chieftains regularly appear as KingMook {{miniboss}}es; they're armed with one-hit-kill gravity hammers (or some other heavy weapon) and one-time-use invincibility shields that last for a couple dozen seconds. Justified in this case by the fact that Tartarus was the highest ranking Chieftain of his entire species.
* ''VideoGame/{{Blood}}'''s bosses, excluding the final one, all appear as regular enemies in the episode(s) following their boss fight, though only above normal difficulty. Each one also has a subordinate version of themselves that appears primarily in the episode they're the boss of.
* The ''VideoGame/DarkForcesSaga'' is rather fond of this trope. The Dark Troopers of the original game are introduced in this way, as are [=AT-STs=] in later installments. In ''Jedi Academy'', in which lightsaber-wielding opponents are so numerous that they are basically EliteMooks by the end of the game, an early level features one as a de facto boss. Even the [[DualBoss Kothos Twins]] from the end of the second act get this sort of treatment, with unnamed Reborn Masters popping up in the finale of the third act, who have all the Force powers the originals did, but now also have lightsabers.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Hack And Slash ]]

* ''{{VideoGame/Diablo}}'':
** The Butcher is an Overlord demon and a challenging boss early on, but later you can dispatch countless Overlords who are even stronger, albeit without the cleaver.
** Zhar the Mad appears halfway through the game as a boss. Dark mage type enemies resembling him are later found in the final Hell levels.
* Gorgons in ''VideoGame/GodOfWar''. Medusa serves as the player's introduction to the enemy type as well as providing a demonstration of how to perform a special kill by ripping off the head. Every Gorgon you meet from that point onward (even the ones you face ''a few minutes later'') is much, ''much'' stronger than she is.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Mecha Game ]]

* The final stage in ''VideoGame/ZoneOfTheEnders: the 2nd Runner'' throws endless copies of Nephtis, the game's second boss at you, which you can cut down by the dozen with near impunity. Playing through the NewGamePlus with the EleventhHourSuperpower you get at the beginning of that stage will confirm that they haven't been made weaker than the original.
* Used, in a fashion, in ''VideoGame/MechWarrior 3'' and the first two games ''MechWarrior 4'' series. Due to the presence of a stronger narrative structure in those games, various named enemy characters are present, many of whom serve as 'bosses' of a sort. As there is no character level structure in the series, the only thing determining the difficulty most enemies is what they ride, especially in comparison to the player's HumongousMecha. Early on, players will often be in light or medium 'Mechs, and enemy heavies and assaults can be cast as 'boss' encounters. As the game advances though, what would have been a boss encounter is degraded to a common enemy, usually by virtue of the player having salvaged materiel that puts them on par with the enemy.
** In ''VideoGame/MechWarrior 3'' for instance, the player starts in a basic medium 'Mech, and is tasked to fight mostly smaller, less well armed or armored machines. The first 'boss' fight is a MirrorMatch against an enemy using the same model of 'Mech as the player, and later boss characters often involve the introduction of dangerous heavy or assault 'Mechs at the end of a mission. By the later missions, though, the player's starting Mech is plainly outclassed, but the enemy will still use that chassis, and they become little more than speed bumps by that point.
** ''VideoGame/MechWarrior 4'' also features this. The player starts in another medium Mech, but will fight against superior heavies and assault class machines as named encounters, including going up against several LightningBruiser designs. Come the end of the game, though, even those designs are not the challenge they once were.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: [[Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game MMORP Gs ]]
]]
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', Kael'Thas Sunstrider starts off the first expansion as one of the final endgame bosses who required a group of 40 players in max level gear to reliably take down. Two major updates and one necromantic encounter later he's still a final boss... but of a dungeon that any 5-man group of newly-max-level players can take down without too much trouble.
* The MMORPG ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' and its Villain counterpart do this as well in a few cases. Some specific missions have Boss or Elite Boss versions of enemies that are normally only minion or lieutenants normally, while in other cases Bosses are eventually downgraded to lower status. Villains can run into this as early as level 5 and the Lt. Blechley enemy, an Elite Boss version of the normally lieutenant-powered Council Vampyri. Heroes encounter this as well, although the most notable case doesn't come into play until level 45, where the dangerous Malta Gunslingers begin to regularly apply as lieutenants instead of their previous Boss counterparts.Justified as heroes don't even start to encounter the Vampyri until level 20, while villains encounter Lt. Blechley before level 10. At that stage in the game, he would be tough for a hero as well.
* Happens a lot in DungeonFighterOnline, with nearly every single boss you fight at the start of the game.
* ''GuildWars Nightfall'', a powerful boss early in the game is a construct made of floating stone fragments called the [[http://gw.gamewikis.org/wiki/Apocrypha Apocrypha]]. In the final third of the game, identical creatures appear in large group as regular encounters, and are called "graven monoliths."
** And in Factions, the first mission on the mainland has you fighting a Shiro'ken boss at the end, while by the second to last mission, the Shiro'ken are essentially elite mooks.
* ''VideoGame/{{Mabinogi}}'' has an interesting example: "Boss" status refers to a monster being so many levels above you, and while dungeons have unique boss encounters, you'll come across many "Boss" monsters outside which will eventually downgrade to normal and "weak" after you've leveled sufficiently.
* ''GrandChase'' has quite a few of these. The first is the Orc Warrior, who is degraded to a normal mook a mere two stages after his appearance as a boss. Then there's the Troll [Two stages again], Lich, Gorgos, and Paradom, although these appear as Mini-Bosses. The Hero Dungeon also has buffed versions of Gaikoz, Gardosen, Kamiki, Giant Stone Golem, and Basilisk as minibosses. Multiple at once.
* TheButcher in ''VideoGame/RustyHearts'' starts out as the boss of the Subterranean Canals B2, but turns into a regular (though slightly more powerful than normal) enemy on the Hard and Very Hard difficulties in Wine Cellar 1F.
** In fact, all Butcher-type enemies (Armored Butcher, Hammer Butcher, Gloves, etc.) become degraded bosses later on in the game. In [[HarderThanHard Blood Mode]] versions of certain levels, you'll fight at least one Butcher in every room before the boss.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Platform Game ]]

* The boss of the first level in ''VideoGame/TheLionKing'' video game is a hyena. They are demoted to "mere" borderline-DemonicSpiders in the Elephant Graveyard and even further to common {{Mooks}} in the later adult Simba levels.
* ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' games have been doing this since the beginning, when the first level boss, the Giant Bat, reappeared multiple times on the last level.
** The Giant Bat from the first game is echoed by the Armor Battler in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaBloodlines''; several instances of it appear in quick succession in the last level, with heavily reduced hit points.
*** ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaTheAdventureRebirth'' has the first boss appear a few times on the final level as a normal enemy. It has less health than when it was fought as a boss.
** Several early bosses in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'' (Gaibon and Slogra, Karusuman, the Lesser Demon, plus the arena's Werewolf and Minotaur). The degradation seems to have stuck, as several of these monsters have remained normal enemies in later games in the series.
** ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaAriaOfSorrow Aria of Sorrow]]'' loved this. The first four bosses become regular enemies later. There's even [[PaletteSwap more powerful]] versions of these enemies later on.
*** The Man Eater is an inversion. It's a regular enemy that shows up in the BossRush mode for some reason. ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaOrderOfEcclesia'' brings it back as a full-fledged boss.
** Also in ''Aria Of Sorrow,'' there is a combination of this and BaitAndSwitchBoss. You enter a boss room and the Giant Bat appears...And is promptly crushed by a giant hand. You still get the Giant Bat soul after beating the real boss.
** The Frankenstein's Monster Boss has bounced back and forth from boss, to normal enemy, to boss over many of the later games.
*** ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaOrderOfEcclesia'' had it both ways, with several palette swapped Frankenstein's Monster types as normal enemies (The Creature-which is the name the original boss and most normal enemy incarnations go by, Enkidu, Rebuild) and one as a boss (Goliath)
** The Giant Skeleton in ''Order of Ecclesia'' gets this treatment, in the "two-at-once" variety. Considering that this ''Castlevania'' is a good deal harder than other recent ones, and everything in the game had a good chance of killing you anyway, this isn't surprising.
** The Stone Golem and Werewolf have also bounced between Mook and Boss status from game to game.
** ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin'' also uses a lot of degraded bosses. Many of the bosses from ''Rondo of Blood'' (Including Minotaur, Wyvern, Dogether, and Camilla's assistant Laura the catgirl) appear as normal enemies, as well as the aforementioned Slogra and Gaibon. However, the Werewolf and The Creature are back to being bosses again - but 2 of The Creature appear in the Nest Of Evil. And you better believe they're not degraded whatsoever despite not being the floor boss(es).
** The Dullahan enemy moves up from {{Mook}} to WakeUpCallBoss in ''Portrait of Ruin'', only to go back to Mook just one game later in ''Order of Ecclesia''. Though the mook version is often called Durhan.
*** Series wise, the boss version could be a KingMook variation. Before and after, it's a mook, that one time it's a boss. However, they appear as mooks again in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaHarmonyOfDespair'', exactly the same as in Portrait of Ruin (giant, hard to get around with projectiles that curse, and you have to hit a floating head).
** The Giant Armor in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaHarmonyOfDissonance'' appears as an enemy later on.
** Many of the early bosses from ''Lords of Shadow'' show up as [[PaletteSwap pallete swapped]] recurring mooks by Chapter 2. The first boss shows up as a BossInMookClothing as early as the second level.
** Slogra and Gaibon have degraded just about as far as you can go by now. In their first appearance in ''Super Castlevania'', they were fought individually as two of the three final bosses before Dracula (the other one was ''Death''), and they weren't easy. In ''Symphony of the Night'', they were fought as a team as the ''first'' boss, which wasn't that hard. Further games stripped them of boss status entirely, but at least kept them on as tough mooks found near the end of the game. By ''Portrait of Ruin'', they have become little more than standard issue dead-in-two-hits mooks found randomly in the middle of the game.
** There are a couple of slight inversions as well, normal mooks becoming EliteMooks later. In general, the games have the same enemies in each game, only their status as Mook, GoddamnedBats, DemonicSpider, KingMook, EliteMook, UndergroundMonkey, BossInMookClothing, DegradedBoss and actual boss varies from game to game.
* In ''MagicSword'', the first dragon boss is reused as a PaletteSwap GiantMook midway through the game.
* In the sixth stage of ''VideoGame/GhostsNGoblins'', the bosses from stages 1-4 show up again as regular enemies that can be bypassed without fighting. They're no weaker than they were earlier, though.
* In ''VideoGame/MegaManX 8'', various enemy reploids in the final stage use copy chips to turn into duplicates of Sigma, the heroes' recurring nemesis (and final boss of the first seven games). Fortunately, they only have access to Sigma's original body, not any of the nightmarish battle forms he loves to inflict on the player.
** In ''[[VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork Battle Network]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/MegaManStarForce Star Force]]'', after defeating a boss, they'll have a ghost version hiding on a specific tile somewhere in the Cyberworld / on the Wave Roads, usually in a dead end or a corner of a wide platform. Step there and a stronger version of the boss will appear to fight you. After you defeat it, an even stronger version becomes a rare random encounter, usually in the same area.
** In ''VideoGame/MegaMan9'', the second Wily Stage's boss is a ship that has three parts, each with their own health bar and attack pattern. The battle is pretty tough, especially because it's a Wily boss, so you have to conserve weapon energy. So what do they do? They take the [[NintendoHard already super-tough]] [[BonusBoss downloadable Fake Man stage]] and stick in the ship along with several mini-bosses. Not to mention that because it's a Time-Attack-only stage, you have only one life, and no E-tanks. What you basically have is a Degraded Boss who takes this trope in a bunch of different directions. Better hope the enemies [[RandomlyDrops drop some energy pellets]], because you'll need them.
** The recent gameplay videos for ''Rockman Online'' have shown old bosses such as [[VideoGame/MegaMan5 Stone Man]] as normal enemies.
** After fighting [[spoiler:Botos]] in ''VideoGame/MegaManXCommandMission'', he sends decoys after you a bit later in the game, which are notably weaker than [[spoiler:Botos]] himself. When you actually fight the real one, he just beats you up for a little bit and then runs away.
* In ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'', some of the stages operated by Eggman contained enemies that were near-duplicates of E-102 Gamma from the previous game. Interestingly, in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure,'' Gamma was both a player character ''and'' a boss, ''and'' made occasional appearances as an NPC, so he ends up having had quite a varied career.
** There's also the fact that in ''Sonic Adventure 2'', Bigfoot troops showed up as the first bosses for the hero and dark side story archs. When they show up again in ''ShadowTheHedgehog'', they are reduced to standard enemies in the stage 5 and stage 6 options.
* ''VideoGame/KeithCourageInAlphaZones'' brings many of the earlier bosses back several times, as palette swaps, two-at-once bosses, and infinitely recurring enemies.
* Fire Leo, ThatOneBoss for many players of ''VideoGame/ViewtifulJoe'', reappears in the next chapter as a normal enemy called Metal Leo with severely reduced health and no fire attacks, thankfully.
* The regular assassins in ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'' appear after you fight Asha. Their tactics are less showy and give more time between attacks but also gain an attack that Asha couldn't perform because he only has one arm. In fact, nearly every boss enemy or notable character is just a normal enemy with some backstory and an optional supermove (and more health).
* Some of the {{Mini Boss}}es in ''VideoGame/LaMulana'' are reused this way in Hell Temple.
* The Knight in ''VideoGame/WonderBoyInMonsterLand'', in addition to having several {{palette swap}}s, also appears as a recurring enemy late in the game, as does the GrimReaper, who also returns in ''VideoGame/WonderBoyIIIMonsterLair'''s fifth stage as [[GoddamnedBats swarms of miniature versions]].
* ''Midnight Wanderers'', one of the three games forming ''VideoGame/ThreeWonders''', has the flamethrower from the Terror Twins (Stage 2 Boss) and Dumpty (Stage 3 MiniBoss) reappear later as minor {{mooks}}.
* In ''{{Spyro}}'' this happens on occasion. The best example would be Buzz, the first boss in ''Spyro: Year of the Dragon''. When he first appears you have to knock him in lava six times to kill him, and each time he gets out you have to dodge his roll attack (and the last two times he gets out he has a powerful fire breath). Cue the third boss, Scorch, who spits Buzz out as an egg. After being hatched, Buzz still has to be knocked into lava/acid, but only once to kill him this time, and you don't have to deal with his roll attack or fire breath.
* In ''VideoGame/WarioWorld'', {{Sandworm}}, the boss of Greenhorn Ruins, reappears in Pecan Sands. However, this time he's weaker, not the level's boss, and [[SkippableBoss not a required fight]].
* In ''Videogame/TheCavernsOfHammerfest'', every single 'boss', with an exception of the Final Boss, are rather introductions to more powerful enemies you will find in the next levels.
* The Daemon mini-bosses in the SNES and Genesis game ''Warlock'' appear as regular enemies two levels after they're introduced. The player hasn't gained anymore power, and they have the same amount of health, these are still pretty much ''DemonicSpiders''. The only difference is that they are now skippable. The fact that this stage is ''ThatOneLevel'' doesn't help matters.
* In ''VideoGame/YoshisIsland'', the boss of level eight of the first land is Salvo the Slime. In the level four fort of land six, [[PaletteSwap different colored versions of him appear]]. Defeating one gets you a key, and beating another brings forth one of the five flowers of the level.
* MiniBoss demons in ''VideoGame/{{Purple}}'' get demoted to (elite) in-stage enemies in world 6.
* In ''MickeyMousecapade'', Peg-Leg Pete, ThatOneBoss from the Pirate Ship, returns as a slightly less frustrating sub-boss in the Castle.
* In ''VideoGame/CopyKitty'', the first time Boki fights a [[HumongousMecha Virs]] it is introduced as a boss battle. They make rare appearances throughout the game afterward as {{Giant Mook}}s, and even have an EliteMook variant introduced in the later game, the Eclipse Virs.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Rail Shooter ]]

* Moz, the ninja boss in the first ''TimeCrisis'' reappears as a MiniBoss in Stage 3-3, then as a mook during the FinalBoss battle.
* The fourth archive of ''ChildOfEden'' features the "running man" form of ''VideoGame/{{Rez}}'''s fourth boss as a sub-boss.
* Common in the ''HouseOfTheDead'' series, with ''House of the Dead 2'' simply throwing ultra-weak versions of every boss in the game at the player in the buildup to the final boss.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Time Strategy ]]

* In ''VideoGame/{{Pikmin}} 2'', the Burrowing Snagret -- the boss of the third dungeon you visit -- appears as a regular enemy later on in the game (and not that much later), and often in pairs. The Emperor Bulblax, which was the FinalBoss of the previous game, appears also as a boss in one dungeon, but later on occur as mere mini-bosses and in pairs.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Roguelike ]]

* VideoGame/TheBindingOfIsaac takes this UpToEleven. By the time you get to [[spoiler: Sheol]], all of the pre-Wrath of the Lamb non-final bosses except for Gurdy and some of the [[spoiler:Womb]] bosses can show up as mini-bosses in any room and the Seven Deadly Sins can show up in any room. In [[spoiler: The Cathedral]], Wrath of the Lamb bosses are degraded, as well. [[spoiler: The Chest, TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon, contains rooms with either chests or Degraded Bosses, and bosses that were never degraded before, like the aforementioned Gurdy, are now degraded. barring the TrueFinalBoss. And these are the only possible rooms.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Role Playing Game ]]

* The ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series does this many times, in many ways.
** The Vampire is a boss early on in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI'', you get attacked by swarms of them later in the game. This game also has palette swaps of Astos, an early boss, later in the game as more powerful enemies.
** Almost every boss in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' appears as regular enemy later. Some as soon as the dungeon right after the one they were a boss in. Case in point, after you defeat the first form of the emperor, doppelgangers called "Imperial Shadows" appear.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII'' sends palette swaps of two previous bosses, ''explicitly labeled as clones'' on the way to the BigBad. In TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon, clones of the BigBad appear as a ChestMonster.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'':
*** After defeating Exdeath for the first time, you could fight a PaletteSwap called Exdeath's Soul in the Sealed Castle.
*** After you beat Garula at the Walse Tower, you can encounter it again as a random encounter near the Walse Meteorite. This version won't harm you.
*** Two bosses from earlier in the game, [[ThatOneBoss Soul Cannon and Liquid Flame]], could be fought again in the Phoenix Tower if you chose the wrong staircases. In the case of Soul Cannon, [[BossInMookClothing the results can be quite nasty]].
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'':
*** Most of the monsters seen on the Veldt are just regular enemies. However, you can find both forms of Sr. Behemoth and ''the Holy Dragon'' (one of eight allegedly unique dragons) after killing them normally and get their rages and the items they drop upon defeat.
*** The M-Tek Armors. You fight two of them as a boss when you first get Edgar (though two shots from Edgar's crossbow will kill them.) Then, in Sabin's scenario, they're all over the place in the Imperial outpost as forced and avoidable non-random encounters and easily fall victim to Sabin's Blitzes or Shadow's shurikens, especially after you get Magitek Armor Suits of your own (and you can use a Bolt Beam to attack their weak points for massive damage.) You can also find them on the Veldt, though Gau starts with their (useless) rage.
** Every single boss in ''FinalFantasy: Mystic Quest'', with five exceptions: the crystal guardians (and their PaletteSwap counterparts in Doom Castle), and the final boss.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'': Granaldo and its Raldo minions are fought on Disc 1 as a regular boss, but they appear in Disc 2 as pets of the Garden Faculty. Also, a few bosses, namely Granaldo and the Oilboyles, appear in the final dungeon as regular enemies.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'': The Four Chaoses (Lich, Marilith, Kraken, and Tiamat) show up as regular bosses in specific points throughout Memoria. However, weaker, "Crystal" versions of them appear later in the Crystal World as random encounters.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'':
*** The BonusDungeon has a lot of these. In the 100-floor dungeon, you encounter bosses on every 20th floor, and after beating the 80th floor boss, all the level bosses you've beaten thus far will start showing up as normal enemies beyond the 81st floor. Considering how incredibly powerful they are (the last two have over '''10 times''' the HP of the final boss!), it's generally a VERY good idea to run if you run into them, as they're NOT worth the effort to beat a second time.
*** Some bosses from earlier in the game also show up later. If you revisit the Floating Ruins in later chapters, you will occasionally encounter Boris, the boss from the first mission there. He has exactly the same stats as last time, therefore making him much easier to defeat.
*** Ultima and Omega Weapon, usually {{Bonus Boss}}es, have been relegated to random encounters for this game. Surprisingly, Omega is the easier of the two.
*** ''X-2'' also has bosses from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' return as regular encounters. Because the mechanics of the games are so different, they can be much easier or more difficult then your remember.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' plays it straight with the Urutan Eater--reappearing as the Emeralditan in the [[BonusDungeon Nabreus Deadlands]] and Garuda, which reappears as the Garuda-Egi in [[SlippySlideyIceWorld Paramina Rift]], and inverts it with the Rogue Tomato, a level 3ish boss who reappears as a much bigger pain in the ass called the Deadly Nightshade, and the squad of five Mandragoras, initially an easy and fun boss fight and then later reappearing [[GuideDangIt (if you can spawn them, that is)]] as regular enemies that are very good at making the gamer hate his or her life.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' has several enemies that count in this category, such as various Behemoths and Wyverns. Of particular note is the Juggurnaut, a giant mechanical monstrosity that can and will tear your team to shreds should you stumble into it early in the Pulsian underground. However, when they appear later, your party will be strong enough to turn them into scrap metal in about a minute.
** ''VideoGame/{{Final Fantasy XIII-2}}'' has a couple cross-game inversions: The Immortal and Ochus were regular, if strong and rare, enemies in the first game, but are unique {{Bonus Boss}}es here.
** The Zaltys that serves as the boss of the tutorial in ''VideoGame/LightningReturnsFinalFantasyXIII'' appears a regular enemy in the same area when you revisit it.
* ''VagrantStory'' featured bosses that often become normal mooks with varied stat decreases. The Harpy and Lich both appear as mooks a few ''rooms'' following their boss arenas, though, unlike other examples in the same game, has their stats decreased.
* Many, many bosses in ''VideoGame/LufiaAndTheFortressOfDoom''. With the exception of the Sinistrals, you don't fight an actual unique boss until around the halfway point of the game.
** ''VideoGame/LufiaIIRiseOfTheSinistrals'' loves this as well. The general rule of thumb there is, "if the boss doesn't have any lines of dialogue and the game hasn't hit its 3/4th complete point, expect to see it in normal dungeons regularly later on."
* A few minor bosses such as the Desert Axebeaks in ''VideoGame/LegendOfMana'' are simply normal enemies with a boss-level hit point bar, although due to the game's level scaling system these downgraded enemies can eventually become more dangerous than their Boss equivalents.
* ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiII'' features an example of this that's notable for the rare case of having obvious justification. The enemy Betelgeuse first appears as a boss... and a giant monster. Later, you encounter him as a normal enemy, but in this form, he's human-sized and humanoid.
** Any ''MegaTen'' game with the recruitable demon mechanic will allow you to recruit, fuse, or otherwise obtain many of the bosses you fight after beating them at least once.
* In ''VideoGame/EarthBound'', the [[ThatOneBoss Kraken]], which was fought on the way to Scaraba, reappears in the Sea of Eden (where Ness has to fight them alone). It then reappears ''again'' in the Cave of the Past as "[[PaletteSwap Bionic Kraken]]". Also, several other enemies in the Cave of the Past are renamed and palette-swapped versions of previous bosses (such as of Starman DX and Boogey Tent).
* In ''VideoGame/DragonQuestI'', you must rescue the princess from the Dragon early on. Later, dragons are all over the place. The Axe Knight also first appears as a boss guarding Erdrick's Armor, then as a recurring enemy in the FinalDungeon.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' games, on the final stage you'll usually not only have the FinalBoss to deal with, but around two dozen variants on previous original bosses, usually mass-produced models of SuperPrototype mechs the QuirkyMinibossSquad used. In some of the more [[NintendoHard challenging]] ones they're just as strong as the originals.
* In ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'', there are various lower-level Noise (examples including the lowest form of wolf, shark, and rhino), which when you encounter them for the first time, they're treated as a boss. Later in the game however, they're just another type of Noise to defeat - sorry, ''[[DeadlyEuphemism erase]]''.
* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG'' presents a spin on this: several of the game's earlier bosses reappear in the game's final dungeon, a factory that literally ''churns them out''. They're even ''called'' "Machine Made," no matter what boss they're copies of. Every last one of them is called "Machine Made."
** Most Machine Mades are somewhat to significantly easier than their boss counterparts. The exceptions are Machine Made Mack and Machine Made Bowyer, who both have more HP than their "original" forms.
** The Machine Made Yaridovich has a unique evasion trick where it splits into four lesser {{mooks}} and you need to pound away at them until the original Machine Made returns to the field. Like the original's Mirage attack, it gives your party more enemies to be assaulted by; unlike the original's Mirage attack, these enemies are easily dispatched by your party at its current strength.
** Unlike most examples of this trope, the boss music still plays while fighting Machine Mades, interestingly.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'''s "The Answer" more then likely caused some episodes of PTSD when one of the most [[ThatOneBoss challenging bosses]] from the main game, The World Balance, showed up as a regular encounter ''with all its moves and stats intact''.
** ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' has a (sub-)boss with a really quick turnover, the Avenger Knight (who can kill an unprepared party real easily) appears on the floor right after his initial appearance, sometimes appearing in pairs! Thankfully these have a fraction of the HP and none of the physical skills the boss had [[spoiler:and can be one hit killed 100% of the time via Hama/light, easily found on ''Angel'' at this point]]
** A lot of bosses from [=P3=] can be found as random encounters in [=P4=].
*** World Balance shows up again, but it's an interesting case; you find it as a random encounter ''way'' before you fight it as a sub-boss. Fighting it then gives you a version that resists physical attacks as well as all elements, but falls instantly to Hama and Mudo and only knows Ziodyne. Later on, you fight a powered-up version in [[spoiler:Nanako]]'s dungeon, which still isn't as hard as the nightmare it was in the previous game. Here, the World Balance has a simple pattern (Mind Charge and then a -dyne spell) and has low HP for a boss.
*** The Magical Magus appears in the ''first level of the game'', and in [=P3=], you didn't fight it until you got to the third block of Tartarus.
*** The Natural Dancer also makes an appearance. It only has two skills now; Navas Nebula (Physical attack, whole party, causes Exhaustion, which drains SP each turn) and Marakunda (Debuff, lowers defense of all enemies). It also picked up a weakness to ice, which it didn't have in the previous game.
* In ''VideoGame/FableII'', even TheDragon is not immune to this; after you kill the Commandant very similar looking people who have the same powers and abilities appear. This is at least a justified case, as the Commandant is introduced as a prototype, and similar creations are explicitly being mass-produced during the 10 year interval at the game's halfway point.
** Also the boss Thag the Impatient later returns as common Bandit chiefs.
** In ''VideoGame/FableIII'', downgraded versions of Captain Saker and Lieutenant Simmons (deceased) appear once you've defeated them and are a high enough level.
* The Giant Snake, a difficult ActionCommands boss from the first ''VideoGame/DarkCloud'', appears as a regular (albeit hard) foe in ''VideoGame/DarkChronicle'''s second area. The level where it first appears in is even named after it.
* The first ''KingdomHearts'' does this with the Behemoth Heartless; after appearing as the 'boss' of your second visit to Hollow Bastion, you fight more of them in the Hades Cup and the End of the World, only this time they're basically [[GiantMook Giant Mooks]]. Stealth Sneak also appears as this in the Hades Cup but subverts this by being stronger than the original, and you face [[DualBoss two of them at once]]. This trope becomes quite {{egregious}} in ''358/2 Days'', with most of the targets for missions becoming lesser enemies later on; one of the later missions involves defeating ''six'' mini-bosses. The first game also has the very first boss, a gigantic knight split into several pieces, appear again in the arena. Except only parts of it appear, so it's very odd to see a random armored leg or arm fighting in the arena.
* The Tyrannosaurus Rex looking Dinosaur from ''DragonballZ: The Legacy of Goku'' that were immune to Kamehameha. Originally beating the first one took half of this player's Gameboy battery power, it took so long. After the first one, more Trex look alikes show up in later levels of the game, each time easier to kill as Goku gets stronger until he's too fast and strong for the dinos to even be worth the time.
* ''VideoGame/AdventureQuest'' does this a lot with war bosses, which in many cases end up in random encounter lists. This gets lampshaded in one quest where you have to fight Drakath the Undead Dragon, who it's likely the player has run up against at least 3 or 4 times before, and their character wonders, "Who keeps reanimating that dragon?"
* ''VideoGame/{{Wizardry}}: Tale of the Forsaken Land'' contains several examples.
** On level 4 you fight an enemy and minions as a mini boss for an optional quest. By level 6 these are normal enemies.
** On level 8 you will fight a mini boss in a certain room that due to timing and various other factors makes this the hardest fight in the game to get right at the time you get there. And it's just an optional quest mini boss with near zero plot importance. On the final level of the game you fight this exact enemy as a normal encounter with the same minions... and may even encounter it at the same time as another difficult enemy. Post game you will sometimes fight two at once and minions as a normal encounter.
** For that matter, post game you can fight bosses as normal enemies. Even the ones that actually were bosses.
* In ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'', Jatayu and Garuda are fought on the outside of the higher levels of the Karma Temple. After being defeated and going back inside the temple they can be encountered in random battles.
* Wendigo in ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor''. It's still referred to as a fearsome demon in cut-scenes even when you're strong enough to take on five teams of Wendigos at once. It's actually even {{invoked|Trope}}, as one of your party members will mention how Wendigo appearing as a regular enemy means that you're fighting tougher demons now.
* The Barbarian Fighter and the Iron Golem from ''{{Summoner}}''. The first can be fought in a normal encounter practically right after you fight him as a boss, and the Iron Golem can be found as enemy before he's a boss, if you're a glutton for punishment and go wandering in the mountains.
* The first boss you face in the main storyline of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' is an ogre, which becomes a normal enemy later in the game (with more powerful versions at times.) Justified in that you're trying to ''re''take an area that's off to one side of the main battle, and the darkspawn would've just sent a strike force consisting of their normal troops to take it in the first place.
** The DynamicDifficulty of the game scales all monsters to the PlayerCharacter's level, with Normal enemies being slighly weaker than the PC; Lieutenants, slighly stronger; and Bosses, about as strong as your entire party combined (don't ask about [[ThatOneBoss Elite Bosses]]). Said first Ogre you encounter (at level 4-5) is a Boss, yet all subsequent Ogres are Lieutenants, so they are simultaneously stronger that the first one and weaker than yourself during all subsequent encounters.
** Same thing happens in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'': an ogre is the very first boss you fight in the game (twice), and even Flemeth comments on how impressive it is to beat one. The next ones you meet in the end of Act I are considerably less difficult. By Act III, Hawke and Companions will crunch them for breakfast.
** Heck, ''Origins'' did that with freaking ''High Dragons''. The Mountaintop Dragon is a boss so obviously overpowered that the game almost asks you "Are you really, really sure?" several times before you are allowed to fight it (and awards you an Achievement if you prevail). The ExpansionPack puts a High Dragon to guard the entrance to TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon--whom you rip apart before you even register its creature type. Twenty extra levels do make a difference.
** In ''Origins'' and ''Awakening'', Pride Demons are one of the few bosses dangerous enough to present a challenge even when not backed up by [[FlunkyBoss waves of flunkies]]. In ''DAII'', however, they get {{Nerf}}ed so hard that a two-character party can take one out without breaking sweat ''unless'' it's backed up by wave upon wave of {{Mooks}}.
* ''VideoGame/CrisisCore: Final Fantasy VII'' is full of these. Sometimes they're storyline bosses, sometimes they're mission-ending uniques.
* In ''VideoGame/SkiesOfArcadia'', the executioner you face fairly early in the game appears reskinned as a mook in one of the climactic sequences. The original inspired nightmares, his green-painted cousins are easy meat, probably because you gained about 30 levels and now have access to Fina's wide range of healing powers.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'', you first face off against Redrum, who is one of the game's top contenders for ThatOneBoss. A bit later, you fight Bloody, a palette swapped version that has higher stats, but is weaker relative to your higher level party. Then, late in the game, there are random encounters with a pair of Bloody Brothers. They're identical to Bloody, except they use Redrum/Bloody's trademark attack, "Murder" much less often, and by this point in the game all their other attacks only deal 1 damage.
* Xord in ''VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}}'' is the first Faced Mechon you fight proper. Later on Mass-Produced Faces that look and fight exactly like him show up as regular enemies. One of the few examples that are entirely justified in-story though, as there are implications that Xord is a Mass-Produced Face himself, meaning the minor antagonist you assumed was TheBrute turned out to be just a run-of-the-mill EliteMook who happened to have a backstory.
* The Lotus Assassins of ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'' get this hard. The first one you meet, you can't even fight - an NPC rushes in to defeat the assassin and says you wouldn't have stood a chance. Later, you fight a couple, but each is at the center of a boss fight. A couple of acts later, and you're taking on entire squads of assassins by yourself without breaking a sweat.
* Ascended Sleepers in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind''. Various named Dagoths encountered in the latter half of the main quest are modified Ascended Sleepers, but they're actually downgraded from the normal enemy (which only shows up at extremely high levels - it is in fact the highest levelled non-unique monster in the game). So it is quite possible to learn to [[BossInMookClothing hate]] Ascended Sleepers before knowing what they're actually called.
* Prophallus from ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarIV'' is basically a ([[BossInMookClothing very powerful]]) variation of the ''FinalBoss'' of the first game.
* ''SecretOfEvermore'' had the Eye of Rimsala; the first is a boss about halfway through the game. The last dungeon area has one guarding most corridors, and the last SequentialBoss fight includes a segment where you take on three at once.
* ''VideoGame/LegendOfLegaia'' has you fight against two [[ShockAndAwe Viguro]] early in the game. They're second-tier Seru while you're still on first-tier spells. Interesting in that it is still possible to [[PowerCopying absorb them]] in this fight if you're lucky enough, giving you a considerable boost in damage output for as long as you can meet the higher MP requirement.
** The Kemaro mini-boss fight is a lesser example.
* Priel from ''VideoGame/LuminousArc'' gets smacked with this ''hard''. In the first game, she's TheDragon, and a royal pain every time you fight her. In [[VideoGame/LuminousArc2 the sequel]], her sprite is reused as a generic ranged {{Mook}} you'll see in the first five chapters.
* ''VideoGame/StarOceanTillTheEndOfTime'' does this with nearly every single boss in the second disk. They don't wait for the player to get stronger before showing up again, nor do they get weaker upon being degraded, they just get a little ''stronger'' and show up as normal enemies from then on out.
** In the BonusDungeon of ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheSecondStory'', this happens multiple times. The boss of one floor of the dungeon will often be a random encounter on the next.
** ''VideoGame/StarOcean1'' has a case of a boss being degraded before you fight him. It's the Velcant. It's a rare random encounter in his dungeon, so some people don't run into it. What's worse is it's a WakeUpCallBoss, one that either forces you to grind or forces you to learn how to effectively use the battle system and control the party rather than just mashing A and let the AI control your other party members.
* The Great Jaggi is your first large Monster Hunt in ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter Tri''. By the time you fight the Royal Ludroth, you're taking them on two at a time, and they're barely worth hunting anymore. Note that at this point, you're ''still'' fighting the weakest monsters in the game. In the expansions ''Portable 3rd'' and ''Ultimate'', the lowest-tier large monsters end up being the first of many monsters fought successively on multi-monster quests.
* ''Franchise/BreathOfFire'' makes recurrent use of the trope in their early entries:
** Several of the less important, nameless and/or monstrous bosses in ''VideoGame/{{Breath of Fire|I}}'' return later as {{Palette Swap}}ped mooks, most notably the trio of dragons serving as Ryu's trials and the Gremlin, [[WakeUpCallBoss a rather memorable early boss]].
** ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireII'' makes the same reuse of boss sprites, though it doesn't limit itself with minor bosses, as guys like Shupkay, M.C. Tusk (end-of-arc bosses) and ''[[TheRival Ray]]'' are among the degraded lot.
** ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIII'' and forward practically avert the trope almost completely. In ''III'', for example, the only example comes from 4 {{Mini Boss}}es from very early.
* Halfway through the first disc of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfDragoon'' you face a "Sandora Elite", an assassin who fights with kunai, earth-based ninjutsu and two [[DopplegangerAttack ninja clones]] at his side. They become standard enemies in the DiscOneFinalDungeon, minus the dopplegangers.
* At least in the Super Famicom game, ''DragonBallZ: Legend of the Super Saiyan'', there are random encounter enemies late in the game that are palette swaps of Cui, Dodoria, Zarbon, and the Ginyu Force that are weaker or stronger than you originally fought as bosses.
* A few bosses in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'' are fought in later dungeons as random encounters. This includes Forneus, the Troll (although he was only a miniboss to begin with), Ose, Yaksini (same as the Troll), and a few others.
* ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'':
** The Taurus Demon, the Capra Demon, Pinwheel and the Moonlight Butterfly can all be encountered as normal, respawning enemies later in the game. The Taurus Demon is particularly bad about this as with the others, you can sometimes fight them one on one, and in a relatively safe environment. The area where you first see the "Lesser Taurus Demons" (which actually have slightly more hp then the boss normally did) you see them in a recently cooled down lava lake, with still bubbling lava. oh, and theres you know, seven of them.
** The Bell Gargoyles also reappear as non-respawning [[MiniBoss mini bosses]] in Anor Londo, although they're smaller and [[BreathWeapon breathe lightning]] instead of fire. They're also encountered individually, which makes them much easier to deal with.
** The Sanctuary Guardian boss in the Artorias of the Abyss DLC becomes a degraded boss after you rescue Dusk of Oolacile. Two of them appear in the arena where you fought the first one, but they have much less health.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', an YMIR heavy mech is the first boss. As the game progresses, they show up frequently as [[EliteMook elite mooks]], sometimes in pairs. They're never easy, and in the harder battles (especially when they start out near the party, since they can absolutely shred [[WeCannotGoOnWithoutYou Shepard]] at short range), they qualify as BossInMookClothing, and are sometimes harder than actual bosses.
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'', the boss on Therum is a Krogan Battlemaster. You fight them later in the game, but they are much easier.
** The first Brute in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' counts as a miniboss, complete with arena-like setting and cinematic introduction, but others will be introduced later in the same mission with much less drama. Ditto for Banshee later in the game.
** Also in the third game, the Atlas Mech is counted as an outright boss when encountered during Priority: Sur'Kesh and [[DownloadableContent Priority: Eden Prime]]. They become more common in later missions though.
** Inverted with the [[SpiderTank Geth Colossus]] and [[SandWorm Thresher Maw]]. In the first game, you'd probably end up killg a dozen of each due to the fact that you had the [[AwesomePersonnelCarrier Mako IFV.]] However, in the second game, only one of each is fought; since you're fighting them on foot this time, they're treated as bosses.
* Happens in Franchise/{{Pokemon}}. You'll be fighting trainers with ComMons, and the gym leaders have evolved Pokémon, or Pokémon not available to you yet. Eventually you'll be able to find evolved Pokémon, or stronger unevolved Pokémon both in the wild and used by trainers.
** Besides gym leaders, the true bosses of the series are [[OlympusMons Legendary Pokémon.]] One of a kind so only the player can have one. Yet, for some reason, you'll be finding a couple of them in use by {{Non Player Character}}s in the Battle Frontier of [[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire Pokémon Emerald.]]
* The first boss you fight in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiStrangeJourney'' is Orias, who shows he's serious by killing off several Strike Team members [[spoiler:and [[SacrificialLamb Commander Gore]]]]. He's level 7, and can't do anything but attack. A few sectors later, Orias is a random encounter... and he's level ''27'' and throws [[BlowYouAway Magarulas]] around like they're free candy.
* Almost every boss in ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'' reappears later in the game as a standard enemy, even such important bosses like ''summon spirits'' (Undine and Volt in particular).
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout1}}'' has Deathclaws. The first one is at the end of a quest, and locals of the nearby town speak of it as though it were a mythical being whose very existence is in doubt. A later quest has you destroying a nest of them.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/OdinSphere''. The player normally encounters [[GrimReaper Halja]] in the Netherworld as midbosses, but in Oswald's story, two of them are fought at once as an end-of-stage boss.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Shoot Em Up ]]

* Big Core in the ''VideoGame/{{Gradius}}'' series as a whole; they were the first game's RecurringBoss and came back for [[BossRush Boss Rushes]] in subsequent games. In ''Gradius V'', they've been reduced to regular enemy status, appearing frequently in Stage 1, 3, and 7 and getting killed pretty quickly.
** Another level boss Gaw appeared in ''Life Force'' at the end of Stage 5. It appeared in ''Gradius II'''s BossRush before becoming a pre-stage enemy for the bio levels in ''Gaiden'' and ''V''.
** The giant worm that was the first boss of ''Gaiden'' appears as an enemy in ''V'''s bio stage.
** The worst is Zelos Force, the final boss of ''Salamander/Life Force'', degraded to a simple obstacle course of multiple Zelos Forces in Stage 1 of ''Gradius V''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Darius}} Twin'''s final stage''. There are no normal mooks to be had...every last thing you run into is either a mid-boss or stage boss you've encountered prior. And they will swarm the screen to ''no'' end.
* Two variants occurs in ''{{Contra}} [=ReBirth=]''. The giant alien worm faced as the first boss of the game becomes "ammunition" for the penultimate boss (or FinalBoss if playing on Easy), Uranian Devil Gaba / Jagger Froid, serving a similar purpose to the RecurringBoss's appendages in the other games. On the same boss stage, another RecurringBoss that served as the FinalBoss of ''Super C'' is reduced to mini versions on a [[ZergRush stampede]].
* Several of the mooks in ''Fester's Quest'' are miniature versions of bosses from ''VideoGame/BlasterMaster''; both games were by Sunsoft.
* ''SpaceInvaders Infinite Gene'' is insane with this, with a hundred or so of these in the normal game (of 30 levels) alone. The degraded versions usually have less health, come with different enemies\obstacles each time, and they'll go away if you can't beat them in time.
* The first boss of ''RayStorm'', Pendragon returns as a MiniBoss in the Judgement and Emotion stages of ''RayCrisis''. In the same game, Sem-Slut/Strut, the boss of the Emotion stage, appears in mook form in the Memory and Consciousness stages.
* Yuyuko, final boss of ''[[VideoGame/{{Touhou}} Perfect Cherry Blossom]]'', [[spoiler:is the Stage 1 boss of ''Ten Desires''. Justified in that she's WillfullyWeak; she just wants to get in some practice with you before you go on the investigation.]]
** The fangame ''Concealed the Conclusion'' is full of those: Flandre and Mokou ({{Bonus Boss}}es in original games) are stage 1 {{miniboss}}es, Kaguya and Mima (originally {{Final Boss}}es) are stage 1 bosses, powerhouses like Remilia, Eirin, Eiki and Yuuka are on stages 2-3, etc.
** Generally speaking, if a characters recurs they'll be showing up a midboss the second time. Though this can be a promotion if they went from a boss of an early stage to an EX midboss.
* In ''{{Raiden}} IV'', the twin {{spider tank}}s from ''Raiden II'' return in smaller form in Stage 4, but then they are re-promoted to bosses in that same stage. The series' recurring jet boss, Ichneumon, becomes a regular enemy in Stages 5 and 6 of the Xbox 360 version.


[[/folder]]

[[folder: Survival Horror ]]

* The survival horror game ''VideoGame/SilentHill2'' miniboss, the Doorman (or Abstract Daddy) appears as a common monster in a later level, albeit a smaller, weaker version of the original. The reason for this being, based off the most popular theory, that the psychological reasons for the original creature to exist are sort of "echoing" themselves. Or something.
** In ''VideoGame/SilentHill3'', the Missionary, which you first fight as a boss after one of them kills Harry, becomes a recurring mook in the cult's church near the end of the game.
** In ''VideoGame/SilentHillOrigins'', Caliban, the boss of the theater, becomes a mook in the outdoor segment almost immediately after you beat the boss version. Along with the giant versions of the dogs, these act as a very, ''very'' unsubtle hint that you should probably just be running from enemies on the streets now instead of wasting ammunition and BreakableWeapons fighting them.
* Los Gigantes from ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' undergo an interesting form of degrading. When you first encounter one, El Gigante is a ridiculously powerful boss that you only manage to beat because you have lots of room to maneuver and (hopefully) a dog to provide a distraction. The second time, you lack this room, and you're expected to use the terrain to delay it long enough to escape. By the third and final time, you've got enough firepower to handle two Gigantes with relative ease -- and since you retain your arsenal when you [[NewGamePlus start the game over]], from the second round on Los Gigantes are pushovers from the start. It also helps the 3rd time that you can [[spoiler:activate a lava pit and eliminate one of them quickly. In true RE tradition, ConvectionSchmonvection applies.]]
* The Prototype Tyrants in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil0'', although this is more of an inversion, as the game is a prequel.
* The [[http://deadspace.wikia.com/wiki/Tripod Tripod]] from ''VideoGame/DeadSpace2'' may be a challenge when you first fight it but it has to attack in increasing numbers to be a threat latter on. One actually runs away from its own boss fight.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Third Person Shooter ]]

* In ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'', the minigun-wielding Grinders in the second game are functionally weaker versions of the first game's final boss, General RAAM, with less health and no Kryll Shield. ''Story''-wise they're two entirely different beasts (RAAM being an ascended Theron Guard while Grinders are big dumb Boomers), but gameplay-wise they're very similar.
* In the 2004 ''[[TransformersPreludeToEnergon Transformers Armada]]'' game by Atari (Good luck finding it), the boss of Level One is a "Heavy Unit" wielding dual energy blasters, homing missiles, and a mean ShockwaveStomp. And you fight him in relatively close quarters (with some terrain for cover), too. He becomes a standard GiantMook no later than than '''level two''', when the game reveals its true NintendoHard colors: They can ''survive'' one or two {{Boom Headshot}}s from your SniperRifle (depending on your aim), and are frequently stationed out in wide open areas where they are free to launch their homing missiles at you from ''really'' long range. And nearby reinforcements will wonder what they're shooting at and start searching for you themselves. Fun game though.
* Hunters in ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'', although they [[BossInMookClothing don't degrade by a lot]] until much later in the game. It isn't that they get weaker, it's that your character grows in power a lot. Fighting them is still very tricky, until you get the hunter dirtnap ability (which lets you chokeslam them). Once you get the blade power, however, they fall in one hit.
* ''MDK2''. You beat and destroy a Minecrawler Pilot as the very first boss of this game. Level 7? You end up fighting at least five as "regular" enemies.
* ''VideoGame/MaxPayne 2'' has Kaufman, the much-feared leader of the Squeaky Cleaning Company hitmen, whose baseball cap and jacket set him apart from his jumpsuit-wearing lackeys. In the levels following his death, Cleaners wearing his outfit are only a little less common than the standard models.
* ''DirgeOfCerberus'' does this a lot, most notably with the Heavy Armor Soldier mini-boss in the third level.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Turn Based Strategy ]]

* ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones'' has the Cyclops, fought as a regular boss previously, appear as a regular enemy in the Endgame and {{Bonus Dungeon}}s. It's as tough as before though; it's your party that's become stronger.
** Proving it's never too late to pull this, the boss of the second-to-last chapter is a Dracozombie. You have to fight two as regular Mooks (though they're more [[BossInMookClothing Bosses In Mook Clothing]]) in the final chapter, and even more appear in the BonusDungeon. Interestinly, the first one you fight has a radically different sprite... [[spoiler: because he's Morva, a very significant NPC and Myrrh's father, suffering a case of CameBackWrong.]]
** Happens a lot in FireEmblem. The first bosses are different classes. As you get some of your own, the bosses become higher tier classes, with the mooks being like the first bosses. Get some of your own of that too, then by the end of the game all the mooks swarming each level could have been a boss of an earlier level.
* ''VideoGame/ShiningForce'' used this often, with several bosses on stages being a Minotaur, a Golem, a Witch creature, a Black Knight, etc., all of whom would appear frequently as simple mooks in later missions, once the team got stronger.
** ''ShiningInTheDarkness'' had the Kaiserkrab, the insanely hard-to-beat first boss. When it reappears as a mook, it's just as powerful but easier to beat, since you have two extra teammates by then.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Wide Open Sandbox ]]

* The special zombies in ''VideoGame/DeadIsland'' show up initially as bosses, complete with cut scenes showing shocked protagonist reactions. After couple of areas have been passed, they show up mixed in with regular zombies, as strong as they were before (stronger, in fact, as they level with the players). As they tend to have elements of a PuzzleBoss about them (disable the arms first, use ranged weapons, only attack from behind etc) it's usually best to mop up the mook before attempting to take them down.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Other ]]

* ''NintendoLand'' goes nuts with this in its [[VideoGame/{{Pikmin}} Pikmin Adventure]] and [[Franchise/TheLegendofZelda The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest]] attractions. Had trouble against the Greater Bladed Baub? Let's see how you fare against ''three in a row!''[[note]]The third one doesn't even bother waiting until the second is down.[[/note]] You know it's bad when ''[[spoiler:Ganon]]'' gets this treatment.
** However, it's inverted in the [[VideoGame/{{Metroid}} Metroid Blast]] attraction. The first time you face Ridley, he gets no fanfare and is treated as a normal enemy. Every time you face him after that, he gets an intro cutscene reserved for bosses.
!!Non-game examples:

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Anyone with a Two-Star uniform in ''Anime/KillLaKill'' becomes this... around Episode 5, which should probably tell you something about the ridiculous power scale of the show. By episode 7, they're lucky to get even two lines of dialogue before Ryuko strips them. Hell, one of them doesn't even get to announce their name before getting taken out.
* After facing Ranba Ral (Gouf) and the Black Tri-Stars (Dom) in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'', the Mobile Suits used by them are soon adopted as Mass-production units by Zeon Mooks.
** Similarly, in ''Anime/GundamSEEDDestiny'', The Earth Alliance's powerful Mobile Armors such as the Zamzah-Zah and Destroy Gundam appear in greater numbers later in the series (and are usually killed ''much'' easier than the first one they faced).
*** The Destroy Gundam is most notorious in that when the emotionally-unbalanced Stella piloted the beast, it absolutely devastated Berlin and even when stopped, the machine was still largely intact. When they start mass producing it, they drop like flies. Granted, ZAFT did introduce new prototype suits, but you'd think they'd at least be able to match the original's damage.
*** Somewhat justified in that the Destroy Gundam's greatest strength wasn't its firepower (though [[MoreDakka it]] [[BeamSpam was]] [[{{BFS}} quite]] [[WaveMotionGun impressive]]), but its ability to [[AttackReflector reflect back beam weapons]]. When they reappeared in later episodes, [=ZAFT=] knew that the way to deal with Destroy Gundams was to have your fastest units charge in and carve them up with swords, while the rest of your forces held off the escorts. And [=ZAFT=] had fielded a pair of ''very'' fast new Gundams after Berlin. Most likely, up to Berlin the Aile Strike Gundam (itself a unique SuperPrototype]] was the only machine they had that was fast enough to pull this tactic off.
* In ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'', Vamdemon ([[DubNameChange Myotismon]]) was the longest-lasting villain--12 episodes in his original form and two more as [=VenomVamdemon=], which would be enough to make his arc the longest even on its own, but the five episodes immediately preceding his debut involved one of his minions stirring up trouble. [[spoiler:And even then he wasn't defeated, coming back in ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' as [=BelialVamdemon/MaloMyotismon=] to serve as that season's ManBehindTheMan, er, mon. Cut ahead to ''Anime/DigimonXrosWarsTheYoungHuntersLeapingThroughTime'', and mass-produced Vamdemon clones are being slaughtered wholesale.]]
* Gillians in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''. First time one appeared it seemed like an EldritchAbomination with power of mass destruction. Turns out it was just a {{Mook}}.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* In the ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'' series, some xenomorphs are victims of this trope. A warrior is the main villain of the first movie, while in the film ''Film/{{Aliens}}'', the warriors are demoted to EliteMooks.
* In ''Star Wars Episode II: Film/AttackOfTheClones'', during the chase scene with Obi-Wan and Jango in the asteroid field, Jango launches a missile at Obi-Wan's ship, which is treated like a terrifying, nearly inescapable weapon. Obi-Wan is chased for a good minute before he gets lucky and manages to destroy it by tricking it to fly between two huge asteroids. In ''Revenge of the Sith'', Anakin and Obi-Wan are flying in a space battle and FOUR of those same missiles come after them, and they act like are no big deal and destroy them in about fifteen seconds just by SPINNING.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* In "Trial Under Fire" (the ''VideoGame/MechWarrior 3'' novelization), the team's first encounter with a 100 ton ''Annihilator'' is described as an epic battle. Mid book, it is stated it "no longer held any special terror for" the main character, and towards the end, the lance destroys them two or three at a time.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]

* In ''Series/PowerRangersSPD'', there was a three-tier {{Mook}} system: Silver ones cannon fodder, blue ones smarter and tougher, gold ones mega-badass. ''At first.'' The first Bluehead was actually the series' first MonsterOfTheWeek. They became much easier to deal with afterward being more EliteMooks (though it never got to the point where the Rangers could beat them unmorphed.) Then there were the Orangeheads. The first one gave the Rangers a lot of trouble, clearly outclassing the two it fought at first and requiring the whole team to go all-out. The ''second'' one was powerful against but eventually fell to two Rangers. It was a while to the next one, but from then on, they were nothing special. Of course, as grunts of all tiers were summoned in ever greater numbers, it seems they just fell to the LawOfConservationOfNinjutsu. One Orangehead will ''always'' be worse than four.
** The next series also had a multi-tier grunt system. Hidiacs were the standard grunts, with Styxoids treated as being fairly elite, and on a couple occasions, one Styxoid would lead a bunch of Hidiacs, a la Blueheads leading standard Krybots. By the end of the series it was common to see the two groups treated no differently; grunt fights had a mixed back of Hidiacs and Styxoids just to make the scene more flavorful.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** In the 7th and final season, the first Turok-Han (or "uber-vamp") is a terrifyingly powerful enemy that Buffy is only able to defeat with extreme difficulty. The rest of them are fought during the SeriesFinale.
** Forrest's cyborg self is reduced to a type of mook in the game ''Chaos Bleeds''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Role Playing Games ]]

* Whether this trope applies in a role-playing game depends heavily on how steep the power curve between new and experienced characters is. In a game where high-level characters are far, far more powerful, such as ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', this trope almost always will apply. A monster is used as a boss for a third level party won't make a seventh level party sweat and will make a fifteenth level laugh.
** ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' 4th Edition actually invokes this with the Elite and Minion monsters. Elites are sort of mini-bosses, being twice as tough as normal monsters, while Minions are weak and only have 1 HP. You could fight a level 4 Elite orc enemy, then later fight a level 9 normal orc who is very similar to the Elite you fought 5 levels early. This could be taken further by fighting a level 14 Minion orc who looks like the two previous enemies. In addition, you could downgrade a Solo Monster (IE boss monster) to a higher level Elite.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tropes ]]

* Most examples of ConservationOfNinjutsu suffer this. A battle against only one enemy is treated as a BossBattle. While in a battle against several enemies, these are treated as Mooks.

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