[[quoteright:320:[[VideoGame/PaperMario64 http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/JrTroopa_3065.PNG]]]]
[[caption-width-right:320:Neither can we.]]

->'''Barry''': ''"[Lucia] knew when [the Tyrant] was nearby!"''\\
'''Leon''': ''Barry, they're always nearby. You got lucky when you only had to fight yours TWICE. Did you hear about Jill's? She lost count, Barry. She. Lost. Count."''
-->-- Opendork's [[http://lparchive.org/Resident-Evil-Gaiden/Update%203/ Let's Play]] of ''Franchise/ResidentEvil Gaiden''

The non-comic relief version of the GoldfishPoopGang. A boss-type monster who you have to face several times (usually [[RuleOfThree three]]) over the course of the game, though fortunately not in [[SequentialBoss back-to-back battles]].

Though, unlike the GoldfishPoopGang, he or she is an actual threat each time.

'''There's a few ways it can go:'''
* The boss flees when defeated, only to come back later (presumably after some LevelGrinding).
* The boss is [[HopelessBossFight unbeatable in his first appearance(s)]], and the players must either flee or survive his attacks; he can only be fought back and defeated in the final showdown.
* The player(s) actually kill the boss, only for him to be resurrected later on by some means and come back for another go. (This isn't much different from facing distinct bosses, but may help refine the scope of the story.)

For the first two cases, the same tricks and tactics will usually work to defeat the boss each time -- though frequently, the player will not be able to execute the required trick in the early appearances (especially if it's a HopelessBossFight). Alternatively, the boss may announce during a later confrontation that he has gained an immunity to whatever beat him last time.

Any version can turn out to be the FinalBoss in their most powerful form, depending on how the boss relates to the surrounding plot; alternately, the decisive final battle against this boss may be held back as a BonusBoss.

In action games, they often take the form of an ImplacableMan. He may end up suffering a RasputinianDeath.

Compare LegacyBossBattle.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Action Adventure ]]

* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening'', A Stalfos miniboss in the Catfish's Maw dungeon is the first variety. After you've defeated him once, he seems to become terrified of you, despite popping up to fight you again and again. At one point he steals the dungeon treasure from its chest and leaves a note in its place. You have to kill him to get it.
** Vire appears as the {{miniboss}} of the sixth dungeon in both ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames''. He flees the first time, but when you [[OldSaveBonus import your completed game from one to the other]], he dies the second time.
** King Bulblin from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess''. You have at least four encounters with the hulking brute throughout the game. After he is beaten the final time, he decides that [[IFightForTheStrongestSide he admires anyone tough enough to defeat him so consistently]], and he simply hands you a key and walks off.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' has you fighting both Ghirahim and The Imprisoned [[RuleOfThree three times each]].
* Pierre DuPont in '''VideoGame/TombRaider'' shows up frequently in the Greece/Rome levels to shoot at Lara. He cannot be killed until his last appearance; before that he can take an infinite number of bullets. Lara, on the other hand, cannot.
* Balrog in ''VideoGame/CaveStory''. He's mainly a comic relief character, but he is a challenge in battle. Hell, three of the first four boss fights are against Balrog.
* Reala from ''[[VideoGame/NiGHTSIntoDreams NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams]]'' does this as the first variety.
* The [=DomZ=] Serpent in ''VideoGame/BeyondGoodAndEvil.'' While the method of beating it remains the same each time, its movement pattern changes each time to reflect the mobility of your overworld vehicle. It's also one of the animals you need to photograph, but if you don't nab it in a fight, it isn't LostForever--the skeletal remains of one serpent are found in a cave, and you can photograph them.
* Tablet of ''VideoGame/GraffitiKingdom'' turns up in the middle of every other stage [[spoiler:until he kills his father and becomes the final boss.]]
* Orochi from ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}''. You fight him three times, first time in [[spoiler:the present]], second time in [[spoiler:the past]], and the third and final time in [[spoiler:the Ark of Yamato]]. Now technically, Orochi's [[spoiler:first and third battles are are (chronologically) after Orochi's first defeat (his second battle - in the past)]]. Another example is the Bandit Spider: An optional creature very similar to the Spider Queen (the game's first boss) fought three separate times in hidden grottos where MultiMookMelee fights also take place.
* Prince Vorkken in ''VideoGame/TheWonderful 101'' is fought four times throughout the game. Always taking place on a flying ship.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Action Game ]]

* Montross from ''VideoGame/StarWarsBountyHunter''.
* Catwoman in ''[[VideoGame/LEGOAdaptationGame LEGO Batman]]''. She appears several times in one level, and each time you more or less only have to hit her once.
* Every boss in the original ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry'' is of the first variety, fought exactly three times. Most bosses are the first type, except for the final boss, who is the third type (and his fights are [[SequentialBoss one after the other]]). The EvilCounterpart Nelo Angelo's fights are spaced out evenly along the plot, while the other three bosses each have their three fights in relatively short (though not immediate) succession. In addition, Nightmare has an attack which forces you to fight weaker versions of killed bosses, allowing them to recur more than three times. ''Devil May Cry 3'' also has Vergil and, the Special Edition, Jester, who you fight three times each.
** ''Devil May Cry 2'' has Phantom reappear at about the same point in both Dante and Lucia's missions as well, possibly making him the most recurring boss in the series.
** A puzzle in ''Devil May Cry 3'' requires the player to defeat bosses from earlier in the game to advance. The puzzle element is choosing which bosses to fight, and navigating the area's AlienGeometries. No explanation is offered as to how these bosses came to be alive again. Presumably [[AWizardDidIt a demon did it]].
* In ''VideoGame/GodHand'' almost every boss in the game is fought at least twice. The game also features arena challenges, many of whom involve fighting bosses from the main story. (Including [[spoiler:yourself]].)
* Ryu's Doppelganger from ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden III'' for the NES is fought twice. Once at the end of Act V and again in Act VI.
* In ''VideoGame/PN03'', Sonnenblume first appears in a HopelessBossFight at the end of the first mission, then in beatable form at the end of the third. Orchidee, the robo-centipede thing, and Loewenzahn, the doom-buggy, both gain new attacks, Orchidee goes SpiderTank OneWingedAngel after its centipede form is defeated the second time, while Loewenzahn II becomes a [[ThePhoenix robotic phoenix]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Driving Game ]]

* ''VideoGame/InitialDArcadeStage'' has Takumi Fujiwara, the protagonist of the source manga and anime. You first encounter him as a WarmUpBoss on Myougi (Version 1-3) or Lake Akina (''4'' and ''5''), then later as ThatOneBoss on his home course Akina, and once more as a FinalBoss on the last course of whatever game you're playing.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fighting Game ]]

* Several in ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries Soul Calibur III]]'''s Chronicles of the Sword mode, all of the first variety. Girardot and Abelia are fought twice near the beginning and the end of the story, whereas characters like [[SNKBoss Hyle]] and [[spoiler:Chester]] are fought three times, and Luna is fought ''four'' times before joining you as an EleventhHourSuperpower.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: First Person Shooter ]]

* Desann, the BigBad of ''[[VideoGame/DarkForcesSaga Jedi Outcast]]'', is the second variety. [[spoiler:His [[TheDragon Dragon]], Tavion, returns for the sequel, ''Jedi Academy'', as the new Big Bad, proving to have been of the first variety. She is now much stronger, and when you think she's done for, you find she's got the tendencies of the ''third'' variety.]]
** And ''she'' now has a [[TheDragon Dragon]] of her own, who is the first type.
** Boba Fett himself appears as a boss in both the original ''Dark Forces'' and a late-game BossOnlyLevel of ''Jedi Academy''.
* The eponymous monster of the ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' series shows up as a final boss in all three games, most often in its "Dark Samus" form. In ''Echoes'', you fight Dark Samus a total of three times.
* Anna and Gunther in ''VideoGame/DeusEx''. Anna's a RecurringBoss if you run away from her first boss fight, battling her for real later on. However, the fight's not really hopeless: You can stand your ground and kill Anna, and you never have to fight her again. There's also an earlier scene in which her usual NPC invulnerability is rescinded, though that's really only a boss fight if you opt to kill her while her guard is down. Note that Anna is a SkippableBoss all three times: You can simply not attack her the first time, you might get captured before the second (though there's no reason to do so intentionally), and you can learn a passcode that kills her instantly before the third.
** Like Anna, Gunther can be a RecurringBoss. Like Anna's, Gunther's fights are skippable. Unlike Anna, Gunther really ''is'' a HopelessBossFight in the first encounter: You either surrender in dialogue or get captured when he kicks the stuffing out of you. You can still use the "kill phrase" trick in the second if you make the right choices in game, though.
* Heavyweight enemies in ''VideoGame/ZenoClash''. They're not the only boss, but they seem to be a good 75%.
* ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'''s love affair with Striders. Notably, while they're all exactly the same creature/mech, they fit different boss tropes pretty much every time.
* The Makron in ''VideoGame/QuakeIV'' is fought twice. The first time, he's unbeatable and captures you to be Stroggified.
* The Warlord from ''VideoGame/{{Unreal|I}}'' appears two times - once in a castle (from where he teleports before you get the chance to kill him) and the second time in a [[TheMotherShip mothership]]. If you do manage to kill the Warlord the first time, nothing changes - he still appears later on. [[WhatCouldHaveBeen It was also planned]] to include him in one of the first levels as a teaser, where he flies away before the player could attack him.
** In the expansion ''Unreal: Return to Na Pali'', the Warlord appears once again, but it is explained that [[FacelessGoons it's a different one]].
** The Titans also typically act as boss encounters, but are different creatures in every one.
* In ''VideoGame/HaloReach'', the Field Marshal runs off and sends his Zealot underlings after you the first time you meet him [[CutsceneBoss in a cutscene]] near the end of Winter Contingency, later, you fight him for a moment after he kills Kat in New Alexandria, before he escapes again, only in the last mission is he beatable.
* The Big Sisters from ''VideoGame/{{BioShock 2}}'' were originally going to be a single enemy that runs off instead of dying when the fight's over, but playtesters complained that this was unsatisfying. The lack of any material payoff in a game where looting slain enemies is a core part of gameplay -- especially considering how many resources it takes to bring her down -- probably didn't help either.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Hack And Slash ]]

* ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'' has Jeanne, whom you'll fight plenty of times. [[spoiler:And in the MonsterArena, you'll fight her even MORE often.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Light Gun Game ]]

* ''VideoGame/TimeCrisis'' has Wild Dog, who appears in every numbered installment of the series. Oddly enough, he's the ''only'' recurring character.
** Jakov Kinsky attacks you several times throughout the first act of the second game, then you finally take him down in a proper boss fight at the end of the stage.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: MMORP Gs ]]

* In ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'', one plot arc has you fighting the Envoy of Shadows (a powerful demon) multiple times. Even if you defeat him, he's still around after the mission. It's explained in-game that in order to send him packing for good, you have to learn his true name; after you manage that, his final ClimaxBoss defeat signals the end of the arc.
** Also, over the course of the late game story arcs, you fight [[TheChessmaster Nemesis]] several times. Curiously, most of the time your contacts act like you've actually killed him (despite the game being NeverSayDie the rest of the time), but they always leave the bit of doubt that it really was Nemesis you killed. (And then there's the possibility that it really is Nemesis '''EVERY''' time, but his consciousness is spread out over many different bodies. Given that he at one point plans [[spoiler:to take over the minds of the entire Rikti race]], that's not as crazy as it sounds.)
*** One player theory is that the real Nemesis died a long time ago and it's just a bunch of robot duplicates running about, with occasionally one of them starting to think that it is the real one.
** One story arc also requires that you fight Mary [=MacComber=] - and beat her, then the ''rest'' of her minions - ten times in a row. Might qualify as a SequentialBoss, too.
* The Nemesis system in ''VideoGame/ChampionsOnline'' means you actually get to CREATE your own recurring Boss, as well as determine his powerset, personality, minions, and the minions' power type. And if you finally defeat him for good, you get to create another!
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' has the Lich King himself as this during the ''Wrath of the Lich King'' expansion. Players face him multiple times as they level through Northrend, culminating in the single-player quest "Tirion's Gambit", then the 5-player dungeon Halls of Reflection, and finally the actual raid encounter in Icecrown Citadel.
** The Blood Prince Council consists of three vampiric Darkfallen players killed in quests or dungeons earlier in the game, reanimated and empowered by the Orb. Two of them have abilities reminiscent of their strategy from the first time ([[PlayingWithFire Fireballs]] and [[DarkIsEdgy Shadowbolts]] for Taldaram and Keleseth respectively), but Valanar has bizarrely developed kinetic energy manipulation.
* Nezikchened in ''VideoGame/{{Runescape}}'' is this, as you fight him three times throughout the course of one quest. There's also Sigmund as well, who is also fought three times throughout three different quests.
** Regarding Nezikchened, after that quest, you can do While Guthix Sleeps, part of the larger story arc in the game. At one point, you are tracking down a wizard, and in his miscellaneous diary, he remarks that although the totem poles in the Kharazi Jungle have returned to normal (basically, what you did during the quest with Nezikchened), an ancient demon is still present, hinting that he might be coming back.
* Jacoby Drexelhand from the introductory Korthos Island quests from ''VideoGame/DungeonsAndDragonsOnline''. You first meet him as the NPC who opens the gate for you at Heyton's Rest, is revealed as the collaborator with the Sahuagin and the Devourer Cult in the instance appropriately titled The Collaborator, and after you dispatch him in that quest, he is brought back as an undead wight, who you have to kill again in the finale of Necromancer's Doom.
* '''Every''' ''VideoGame/MarvelAvengersAlliance'' boss escapes in the end of the fight (either by teleportation, or because one of his goons created a distraction for them to flee). If not, they're later freed from prison by others.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Platform Game ]]

* Break Man (who is actually Proto Man) in ''VideoGame/MegaMan3''.
** The Mega Man Killers first showed up individually in each of the first four ''GB'' games. Then you fight all of them again in ''5 GB''. And now, after a long disappearance, they, barring Quint, show up in ''VideoGame/MegaMan10'' as the Special Stage bosses.
*** In his first appearance, Ballade had to be fought twice before the game ends. Interestingly, his second phase has been completely dropped in future games, with his battles using the second attack pattern, but his original appearance.
** Bass in the ''Classic'' series. He's your WarmUpBoss in ''7'', before you later fight him one-on-one in Dr. Wily's first castle stage, then he merges with Treble in the second stage. Then you fight him again in Wily's castle in ''VideoGame/MegaMan8''.
** The Yellow Devil has been so recurring that he's even crossed over some of the sub-series. Along his classic series appearance in ''[[VideoGame/MegaMan1 1]]'', ''[[VideoGame/MegaMan3 3]]'', ''[[VideoGame/MegaMan8 8]]'' (as Green Devil), ''VideoGame/MegaManAndBass'' (ditto), ''V'' (as Dark Moon), ''Power Fighter'' series and ''Adventures'' (as New Yellow Devil); he's also a boss in ''[[[[VideoGame/MegaManX5 X5]]'' (as Shadow Devil) and the ''[[VideoGame/MegaManZero Zero]]'' series (as Rainbow Devil).
** High Max of ''VideoGame/MegaManX6'' is invincible in the intro stage and requires two particular attacks in order to defeat him when you meet him again. ([[FakeDifficulty Unfortunately]], you're also able to encounter him later ''without'' having acquired the requisite attacks, leading to a HopelessBossFight that merely ends in a GameOver.)
** In ''[[VideoGame/MegaManX5 X5]]'' there's Dynamo, a bounty hunter who is hired to stall the heroes as they try to prevent the [[ColonyDrop Eurasia Colony]] from falling onto Earth. He teleports out when his health bar runs out, only to reappear a while later until he flees for good. He's also in ''X6'', but only as an optional boss.
** And of course, there's the infamous Vile, starting off as [[HopelessBossFight unbeatable]] in his first introduction in ''[[VideoGame/MegaManX1 X1]]'', only to be defeated in the BigBad's final fortress. He shows up after being resurrected in both ''X3 and ''X8'', fueled by his hatred of the Hunters and X in particular.
** [[PunnyName Bit & Byte]] come back in ''[[VideoGame/MegaManX3 X3]]'' if you [[GuideDangIt don't kill them with a specific weapon]].
** The X-Hunters in ''[[VideoGame/MegaManX2 X2]]'' are fought a second time in the final fortress, two of three in their OneWingedAngel forms.
** Colonel in ''[[VideoGame/MegaManX4 X4]]'' is fought twice in X's story path, his first battle being replaced by a cutscene in Zero's.
** The Four Guardians from ''VideoGame/MegaManZero''. Three of them are fought four times (the last time would be in their OneWingedAngel forms), while the fourth Guardian wasn't alive long enough to be seen with a [[OneWingedAngel OWA]], and the third time he's fought, it was only as a BonusBoss.
** Shadow Man is a miniboss version of this trope in ''VideoGame/Rockman4MinusInfinity''. He first shows up in 3 of the Robot Master Stages. He makes his last supposed appearance in Cossack Castle Stage, riding a kite.
* The Dhaka in ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaWarriorWithin''; the only option is to escape until the very end, [[spoiler:where it serves as the TrueFinalBoss if you've achieved OneHundredPercentCompletion.]]
* Gnasty Gnorc of the ''Franchise/SpyroTheDragon'' games is a special case. He doesn't appear more than once in the same game, but he's appeared in multiple games (the first and fifth). Ripto is the same case, except he appeared in the second and fourth games.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfSpyro: The Eternal Night'' has a great number of Dreadwing minibosses scattered throughout the entire game. One is a main boss, the Assassin, whom you fight twice, once in the first level and once in the last. You also fight Skabb twice during the Sky Pirates arc.
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'':
** Bowser himself is a recurring bad guy in many ''Mario'' games. The original game had you fighting him no less than eight times, with the eighth and final Bowser being the genuine article (all the other Bowsers being mooks of his transformed through his magic). You fight him three times in ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'' as with both ''Galaxy'' games.
** Nearly every boss in ''[[VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine Sunshine]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy Galaxy]]'' appeared at least twice. And there's [[BreatherBoss Topmaniac]] from the latter, who appeared ''four'' times for no real reason (two normal battles, one daredevil run and one speedrun).
** Birdo is in almost every level of ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2''. In fact, two of the major bosses (Mouser and Tryclide) are also fought twice each.
** Bowser Junior, in ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBros'', is the type who runs off after every fight, while his papa is the type who gets resurrected.
** Boom Boom in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'' and Reznor in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld''. This is indeed a trend for minibosses in the 2D ''Mario'' games.
* The thug leader in ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClankGoingCommando''.
** [=ShellShock=] from ''VideoGame/RatchetDeadlocked'' requires you to face him almost five times in the same level before he finally succumbs to you.
* In most 2-D ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' games, Doctor Robotnik/Eggman is an extreme example of this. Not only is he a boss in every game, but the boss of almost every level therein; other bosses are the exception rather than the rule. He runs away after his vehicle is destroyed, and has a new one ready by the next encounter.
** Certain boss vehicles however also return quite regularly. The [[SonicTheHedgehog2 Emerald Hill Zone boss]] turns up in the final boss of ''SonicAdvance'', and the [[SonicTheHedgehog2 Metropolis Zone boss]] turns up in Sonic & Knuckles, and gets a varient in ''SonicTheHedgehog4''. Similarly Sonic 4 also brings back the [[SonicTheHedgehog2 Casino Night Zone boss]], and the [[Videogame/SonicTheHedgehog Labyrinth Zone boss]] and [[Videogame/SonicTheHedgehog Green Hill Zone boss]] who also turns up in [[SonicAndKnuckles Sky Sanctuary Zone]] and [[SonicAdvance X Zone]]. Similarly, Generations also brings back [[SonicAdventure Perfect Chaos]] (whose fight is almost identical), [[SonicUnleashed the Egg Dragoon]] and the [[SonicTheHedgehog2 Death Egg Robot]] who also reappears at the end of Sonic&Knuckles as part of the TrueFinalBoss, and at the end of ''SonicTheHedgehog4'' as the FinalBoss, except in ''SonicGenerations'' it's merely [[DegradedBoss the first boss]].
** ''VideoGame/SonicLostWorld'' has the [[BigBad Deadly Six]], who are the only bosses in the game [[spoiler:(excluding Eggman as the final boss)]], and each member is fought three times throughout.
* Big John, the T. rex-looking first boss from ''VideoGame/ViewtifulJoe 2'', comes back at least twice as a SubBoss. And wears a PaperThinDisguise as "Big Lee", who spends the better part of a minute denying he's really Big John before proving a BaitAndSwitchBoss. You DO get to fight him a second time... except it's shapeshifting robot Miss Bloody Rachel. He finally gets his rematch with you in ''Red Hot Rumble''. Captain Blue does this in the first game.
* ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'':
** Ridley serves in this capacity for the series as a whole. He's made in appearance near the end of almost every game in the franchise, and has even shown up twice in two of them. The only games Ridley doesn't show up in some form are ''[[VideoGame/MetroidIIReturnOfSamus Metroid II]]'', ''[[VideoGame/MetroidPrime Metroid Prime 2]]'' and ''Metroid Prime Hunters''. In the particular case of ''Metroid Prime 3'', you must fight Ridley three times: He harasses you while you're using Morph Ball to navigate between towers the first time, then you fight him while plummeting down a shaft, and finally when attacking the third Leviathan seed, where he's powered up by Phazon and labelled ''Omega Ridley''.
** The SA-X from ''VideoGame/MetroidFusion'' is the second variety. Some encounters are avoidable entirely as long as Samus doesn't expose herself, but the later ones always force you to run away. It can be stunned with Ice Missiles, but only briefly. The security robot from Fusion is the first variety.
** ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM'' has this flying anomalacris creature called the Rheodigan. Appears out of nowhere, fires seeker missiles at you, and all sorts of attacks. After the fourth fight, he finally dies and gives up the Seeker Missiles. In the end of the PlayableEpilogue, you have an enemy rush before the final boss. There are ''other two Rheodigans'', but they die there and then.
** Nightmare, from the same game, is fought twice. However, there isn't a lot of action between the two battles, so some could say he's more of a SequentialBoss.
* Crunch Bandicoot from ''VideoGame/CrashBandicootTheWrathOfCortex'' is of the third variety, showing up about five times including the [[FinalBoss final stage]].
* Two of the bosses in ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong64'', Army Dillo and Dogadon, are fought twice each, their rematches giving more powerful and harder battles. Also, nearly all the bosses in ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry'' returned later, slightly faster / more difficult, but otherwise near exactly the same.
* Deadeye Joe in ''[[VideoGame/{{Contra}} Contra: Hard Corps]]'', depending on whether the player chooses to pursue him at the end of the first stage or not.
* [[ArchEnemy Asha]] returns twice in ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'' after you first encounter him; the second time you cross paths he [[{{Anticlimax}} teleports away without attacking you]], but the last time he fights to the death. If you were hoping to [[CurbStompBattle nuke]] him again, too bad, he's now fast enough to [[BeyondTheImpossible dodge it despite the enclosed space]].
* Weasleby in ''HenryHatsworthInThePuzzlingAdventure''. He even has two different battle themes.
* In ''VideoGame/KeithCourageInAlphaZones'', [[DegradedBoss the first boss later reappears as a mook,]] Stitch and Baron Chairman return as a DualBoss in Stage 5, and Mr. Roboto, ThatOneBoss, receives an upgraded PaletteSwap for the FinalBoss battle.
* All of the bosses in ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersia2008'' have to be fought six times before they can be defeated for good.
* Kurtz from ''VideoGame/RunSaber'' serves as a MiniBoss in Stages 2, 4 and 5.
* The first ''VideoGame/{{Strider}}'' has Solo, who you fight twice (three times if you can't defeat it the first one). The sequel has Solo reprise it as a MiniBoss in two stages (his first fight now being [[SequentialBoss sequential]]), and has Hien become one in the PSX port exclusive Stage 0.
* ''[[VideoGame/ThreeWonders Midnight Wanderers]]'' has Balgoss and Dougar, bosses being fought twice in stage 1/3 (respectively) and 5.
* Tsubai in ''VideoGame/PanzerBandit'' has a MiniBoss fight with a smaller lifebar midway through Stage 5, which he serves later in a full-fledged BossFight. Add to that his third fight as part of the end-game BossRush.
* The 2004 version of ''VideoGame/SabreWulf'' takes this to the point of exaggeration: you "fight" (or rather, [[TheJuggernaut run the hell away from]]) the titular beast at the end of ''every'' level as it chases you back to the start. It instantly kills anything besides you and it in the entire level, and runs much faster than you, but it can't turn around as fast as you can, so you can slow it down by repeatedly jumping over it. Incidentally, even if you trick it into falling down a hole, it'll be back again next level, no worse for wear.
* Arma in ''[[VideoGame/GargoylesQuest Demon's Crest]]'', who Firebrand fights three times, each time dropping a different crest as a reward.
* The Knight in the SNES version of ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersia1'', initially encountered in Level 16, returns as a blue {{palette swap}} with more HP in Level 18.
* Klungo in ''[[VideoGame/BanjoKazooie Banjo-Tooie]]'' is fought a total of three times: immediately after leaving the "training" level and entering the hub, a second time roughly halfway through the game, and a third right as the player enters the lair of the BigBad. As is par for the course in this game, the recurrence is Lampshaded by Banjo and Kazooie.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Time Strategy ]]

* The Empress Bulbax in ''[[VideoGame/{{Pikmin}} Pikmin 2]]''. She's generally the first boss you'll fight at the start of the game; she reappears much later in two other holes. In your second and third encounters with her, she becomes a FlunkyBoss capable of summoning the fragile-but-deadly (to your Pikmin, that is) Bulbax Larvae. While her "main" attack (rolling) remains the same, the addition of {{Mooks}} makes you change your strategy.
* The Imperial cruiser and carrier in the original ''VideoGame/{{Homeworld}}'' are Type 3 in their early appearances: you encounter a ship of each type in multiple missions, they are the most dangerous opponents every time (the cruiser due sheer firepower, the carrier due its ability to build other ships and because its escape often means automatic loss), and once you've killed them you only need to mop up. In the final mission they are degraded to TheDragon level, though, as the ''first two'' cruisers and the first carrier you face lead the enemy attack forces while the second carrier and the ''second three cruisers'' are guarding the BigBad's ship.
** The Beast's Mothership in ''Cataclysm'' is a Type 2: you first encounter it at its weakest, when it's still just [[spoiler: your original hangar module that you jettisoned when it got [[TheCorruption corrupted by the Beast]], but you have no idea what happened to it and don't dare to go near and have to run when [[TooDumbToLive a large Turanic-Taiidan Imperialist force doesn't listen your warnings and gets corrupted]]; the second time you meet it it's complete, and you are forced to run again when your newly-acquired [[WaveMotionGun Siege Cannon]] fails to disintegrate it due you having no idea of how it works; it's only at the third encounter that you can finally destroy it with the Siege Cannon, now fully operative thanks to help from its original builders.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Role Playing Game ]]

* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' is quite fond of these:
** Gilgamesh from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'', whom you fight a grand total of FIVE times, though usually as a gag battle. Each appearance involves humorous dialogue, followed by Gilgamesh making some sort of excuse for leaving and at one point leaving his sidekick to "deal with" your party. During the fourth battle, he whips out the piddly [[JokeItem Excalipur]], which he'd mistaken for Excalibur, causing [[BigBad Exdeath]] to send him to the Void. Later, in the void, he recognizes your characters during the fifth encounter and even [[spoiler:[[TakingYouWithme sacrifices himself]] to save your party from a later boss.]]
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI'', you must fight the [[BigBad four fiends]] again in the final dungeon.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', there's Kefka, who started as a joke battle in Sabin's scenario, then a boss battle in Narshe, another short scripted battle at the Cave of the Sealed Gate, yet another (easy) boss fight where you get to play as [[GuestStarPartyMember General Leo]], and finally the final boss as a god.
** Ultros is fought four times - once in Lete River, once in the Opera House, once in the Cave on Crescent Island, and once in the air.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', there's both [[QuirkyMinibossSquad The Turks]], who you are forced to fight once, but there are three optional boss fights with them. The Ultima Weapon is also fought several times, but is a BonusBoss.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', there's [[ThoseTwoGuys Biggs and Wedge]] (who are fought twice), Fujin and Rajin(also twice), [[spoiler:Edea(twice) and Seifer(''four'' times)]]
** Beatrix in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasy IX'' is of the second variety.
** [[spoiler:Seymour]] from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' is of the third variety. ''FFX'' also features the second variety in an optional boss fight (for the second optional summon), although the fight mechanics are completely different.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'', the Proudclad (piloted by Rosch) is fought twice and [[spoiler:Barthandelus is fought three times]].
** The new reigning king of this trope in Final Fantasy is ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'''s [[spoiler:BigBad, Caius]]. If one counts [[MultipleEndings Paradox Endings]] and [[OneWingedAngel his transformations]] as well as the battles with him as his normal self, he is fought no less than ''eleven times''. Add the times he's fought in the Requiem of the Goddess DLC, it's [[ArcNumber thirteen]] times.
* [[BigBad Rhapthorne]] from ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII''. Counting the [[SealedEvilInACan different people he possesses,]] you fight [[DiscOneFinalBoss Dhoulmagus]], then an [[OneWingedAngel upgraded form]] of Dhoulmagus, then [[spoiler:Jessica after she's been possessed]], then Sir Leopold. And though Marcello resists Rhapthorne, he's still using Rhapthorne's staff against you, so he counts. Then you finally go fight the man himself in [[ClippedWingedAngel tiny baby mode]], and then battle two different stages of him in the final boss battle. All told, that's having to beat him ''eight times'' before he finally goes down.
* TheRival in near-every ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' game.
** Including the leader of TheSyndicate in each of the ''Pokémon'' games and a few protege trainers.
** N in ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'' is unique in that his party is assembled primarily from Mons that can be found in the nearby areas, and completely different every time.
* It's a tradition of the ''VideoGame/TalesSeries'' to have at least one recurring boss in each game.
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'' has you fight Dhaos a total of three times (Five if you count his additional forms in the final battle).
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny2'' has you fight Barbatos Goetia three times in the story, and two more times as a BonusBoss.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'':
** Yggdrasil encompasses all of these elements. He's unbeatable in his first appearance, leaves during his second, and transforms during his final appearance. He can be beatable in his second fight, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cL-dp60MxE but you have to be max lvl and do it really fast.]]
** You must also fight [[spoiler:Kratos]] thrice and [[spoiler:Botta]] twice, who either don't care if they win or lose or just plain won't stay defeated. You can also face past versions of Kratos, Yuan, and a young form of Yggdrasil again [[RegionalBonus in the PS3 version of the game]] in a [[BonusLevel bonus dungeon]].
** Pronyma and [[spoiler:Sheena]]. The Sword Dancer is faced three times, but he's an OptionalBoss.
** The sequel has Alice and Decus, each of whom are fought first individually, then later act as one of the penultimate bosses as a DualBoss.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' features Zagi, who uses the [[PsychoForHire first]] and [[BloodKnight third]] forms. You fight Zagi a total of ''five'' times throughout the game. (Six if you include the "Sidequest dungeon".) And no matter how many times he's tossed off a boat or had his arm blown up, he just does not back down.
** Lampshaded by Estelle and Judith, who, by the final time he's encountered, tell him "Stop bothering us!" and "...Don't you ''ever'' die?"
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfGraces'' features Richard/Lambda. You fight him in his normal (albeit possessed) human form twice, OneWingedAngel humanoid form twice, a vision of Lambda as he first appeared once, and his true Lambda Angelus form as the final boss.
* [[spoiler: Van]] from ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss''. Even though you defeat him in battle two-thirds into the game, he [[NeverFoundTheBody comes]] [[NotQuiteDead back]] as the FinalBoss.
** There's also the ''rest'' of the Oracle Knights, for that matter. Dist is the only one who never has a moment where [[NotQuiteDead you think he's dead]] [[NeverFoundTheBody but you aren't quite sure what happened]] (and actually ''survives'' the game). Sync meanwhile is fought once in a set of ruins with [[DualBoss Largo]], another time in the core where [[NotQuiteDead he apparently gets knocked off the Tartarus]], then is the penultimate boss in the final dungeon. Legretta is fought once early in the game, again on the mountains and [[NeverFoundTheBody apparently gets swept off the mountain along with Arietta and Largo in an avalanche]], then again in the final dungeon. Largo was once fought with Sync, then again with Legretta and Arietta, and finally later (but not the final dungeon!). Arietta is fought ''first'' of the Oracle knights, then [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment again with Legretta and Largo]], and finally much later in the game. It's also important that Asch was also an Oracle Knight, but was only fought twice. However, that's mostly because of [[GuestStarPartyMember his role]] [[HeelFaceTurn in the story.]]
* The Fauves/Chimeriad in ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia'' are all fought in three battles each, save for Jiao, who only shows up for two battles. All four of them appear together in the arena as an optional battle, as well.
** Their boss Gaius also fights you three times; the first as a very powerful ClimaxBoss that you don't actually have to defeat (though you get some nice experience and loot for doing so), then as the penultimate boss, and one half of the FinalBoss [[DualBoss pair]]. The other half of that pair, Muzet, you fight twice in Jude's path and an additional time in Milla's.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia2'', [[spoiler: [[SmugSnake Redau]]]] can be fought as many as three times, (The first encounter being optional, but most people will pick it over the alternative for obvious reasons). [[spoiler: [[BigBad Kronos]]]] is also fought on three occasions, and upgrades his tactics significantly with each encounter.
* Hades from ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII''. When you first meet him, he is impervious to your attacks and you're forced to flee while he hurls fireballs at you. Becomes beatable later, being fought and defeated in the second visit to the Colosseum, then again at the end of two of the Colosseum cups.
** In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories'', numerous members of Organization XIII are fought numerous times. At least in Sora mode - You fight Vexen a third time in Riku mode, and Zexion and Lexaeus are fought only once. But the king of this trope is ''Riku Replica'', who is, over the course of Sora's and Riku's story, is fought a total of ''six'' times.
** ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep Birth By Sleep]]'' has Vanitas who's probably a quarter of the bosses in the game. In Aqua and Ven's paths he's fought 3 times each, including both of their final boss fights. Terra only fights him once, but as a DualBoss with Xenahort.
** Hades is practically a recurring boss throughout the entire series; one of the few villains who continuously pesters Sora (and the Keyblade users for that matter) besides Maleficent and Pete. But if bosses who are fought multiple times in the series count as a Recurring Boss, we'd be here all day just reading the examples.
* Subverted in [[http://www.goldcoincomics.com/?id=61 this]] [[GoldCoinComics GCC]] strip, where the main character laments about having just realized he will need to fight his rival again and again.
* In ''VideoGame/BatenKaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean'', Giacomo and his crew appear several times as bosses, even forcing two difficult fights sequentially (to the annoyance of many gamers). They've even got their own [[{{Leitmotif}} theme music]], "Chaotic Dance."
** Giacomo also appears several times in ''Origins'' (complete with a remixed "Chaotic Dance"), though he's rather less threatening and stops showing up near the end of Disc 1.
** It also features outer dimensional worm creatures which break through where reality is weak, or something along those lines. Also, one of the supporting bad guys turns into a [[EyesDoNotBelongThere crotch-eyed abomination]] which gets [[PalleteSwappd mirrored in one]] of the [[SideQuest optional sidequests]] [[ShiftingSandLand in the desert.]]
* In ''Baten Kaitos Origins'', the heroes have to face one boss, the Lord of the Lava Caves, three times in about ten minutes of game. Notable because the (otherwise serious) heroes [[LampshadeHanging hang lampshades]] all over the encounter, complaining bitterly about how difficult the boss is and how annoying the repetitive fights are, and even stomping spitefully on his corpse when he goes down for good.
* As pictured, Jr. Troopa appears multiple times in ''VideoGame/PaperMario''. He's actually a fairly difficult and ingenious foe, adjusting his weaknesses with each encounter, but Mario and his companions don't take him seriously at all, and he's often the butt of jokes. In the final dungeon, he actually prevents the Koopa Bros. from recurring in order to get in another shot at you.
** Another recurring ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' boss is the "Invincible" Tubba Blubba (until you find and defeat the real boss [[spoiler:his heart]], after which Tubba himself is a CurbStompBattle).
** Similarly, Popple is fought four times in ''VideoGame/MarioandLuigiSuperstarSaga,'' though only once by himself. Bowser is fought four times as well: once as a WarmUpBoss, twice as "Rookie" alongside Popple, and once when possessed by [[BigBad Cackletta.]]
** Lord Crump is your first battle in ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'', and is fought thrice later, twice in a HumongousMecha. (The second HumongousMecha is basically an upgraded model of the first one, making ''that'' a Recurring Boss as well.)
*** Zigzagged by Doopliss, from the same game. After the initial battle with him at the Creepy Steeple, you end up in a fight with him ''twice'' just outside Twilight Town, but this is a HopelessBossFight in which ''neither'' side can inflict any damage on each other, and the only thing you can do is run away both times. Later, you confront him using [[KryptoniteFactor his real name]], after which you fight him once again, exactly where you fought him the first time, followed by ''one last'' fight with him in the final chapter.
** Midbus fulfills this role in ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory'', being fought three times total. This is also how many times you fight Bowser, which is strange when you consider that he's one of the playable characters. One of those times is as a BonusBoss, however.
* One of the bosses on Ellen's path in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}: Eternal Punishment'' is a recurring vision of her "stalker". He attacks several times, becoming more and more damaged and bandaged up each time.
* In ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'', the Spectre comes back over and over, convinced you want to steal his Magatsuhi when you're just trying to pass through the Amala Network. Even at the end, when he invokes MakeMyMonsterGrow by absorbing several other Spectres, he would still have gotten away had his paranoia not gotten the best of him.
* Belome in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG''. Croco in the same game as well.
* The ''VideoGame/WildARMs'' games use this ''constantly'', with the third game being the worst contender (practically every significant boss is fought at least three times). The fourth game is the only one that avoided this trope, by giving the main antagonists so many members you only need to fight each of them once.
* Fassad/Yokuba in ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}''. He crosses paths with you about four times, though you only fight him twice.
* Jin and Takaya, of ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'', after the fight against them before fighting the Hanged Man, proceed to jump off a bridge. They come back.
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'''s Darth Sion is fought once as a HopelessBossFight before you have to defeat him numerous times before he finally dies.
* Saturos and Menardi in ''VideoGame/GoldenSun''. The first encounter is a HopelessBossFight. Next, you fight just a weakened Saturos on the Mercury Lighthouse. Finally, you have to [[DualBoss fight them both]] on the [[TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon Venus Lighthouse]]. After being defeated at the Venus Lighthouse, they merge to become a very big dragon.
* The ''VideoGame/BreathOfFire'' series has several examples:
** ''VideoGame/{{Breath of Fire|I}}'' has the Knight and General bosses being fought atleast twice, and then one more time in their OneWingedAngel form. Other bosses who are fought twice are RugaX, Mothra and Cerl.
** ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireII'' has Barubary/Barbaroi and the Goldfly, fought two and three times respectively. FinalBoss Deathevans fights you twice, his first fight being just a ZeroEffortBoss.
** ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIII'' has the "Horse Brothers" Balio and Sunder, a DualBoss: the first battle against them is [[HopelessBossFight unwinnable]], the second can be won (but can also be lost without getting a Game Over), and it's in the third battle where you finally get rid of them for good. Garr as well, being fought twice (the first of which is also [[HopelessBossFight unwinnable]]).
** Bosch in ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireDragonQuarter''. Including his dragonized form, he is fought at least three times.
* ''VideoGame/AtelierIris2TheAzothOfDestiny'' has Chaos, TheRival with the twin to [[TheHero Felt's]] sword. And despite being optional, Punis Taro, Jiro, and Kichi in almost every AtelierSeries game are of the third variety.
* Both Bola and Claymore from ''MegaManLegends 2''; you have to face each boss pirate twice throughout the game.
* Ramirez from ''VideoGame/SkiesOfArcadia'' is not only a recurring boss, he is the ''final'' boss, with two OneWingedAngel forms that fit the [[ConsoleRPGCliches169To192 Console RPG Cliches list]] perfectly. Depending on who you talk to, Galcian also counts.
* Harbinger in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' blurs the line between this and EliteMook due to his near-constant use of VillainOverride. Any battle against his mooks that drags on long enough will have him "assuming direct control" of at least one of them to personally [[PerfectPlayAI make you his bitch]].
** Saren in the first game. You fight him once on Virmire, but he escapes. Then you fight him again on the Citadel. [[spoiler: Depending on if you convince him to commit suicide or not, you may not have to fight him the first time, but you'll definitely have to do the second fight when Sovereign burns out the organic parts of his body and animates his cybernetics.]]
* ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'': every game after ''2'' had Bass as a penultimate boss or as a secret final boss. In ''2'', you would have to fight him before you fight Gospel, and later, you fight his real version in the secret area, which you cannot "jack out of" until you get back to the point where you entered it. In ''3'', you fight him before Alpha, as well as in yet another secret area where you actually help fund his recovery in a bug frag trade machine. In ''4'' he appears in Undernet 5 after beating the game about 3 times and disturbing his "statue". In ''5'', he is in yet another secret area called the Nebula Area after completing a Liberation Mission in area 6 and getting a time between 25-40 seconds busting the Navis in that area. In ''6'', he appears in the Undernet (where he is in a stone monument) and then a harder form in the Graveyard area, then a supercharged version in the Underground area, in which he sports a Gregar or Falzar attack depending on your version.
** In every single game, you also end up having to fight some, if not all of the storyline bosses again later in the game.
* Bradley in ''VideoGame/{{Dubloon}}''. The first time you see him, he's a HopelessBossFight, but on subsequent encounters, he escapes before you can kill him, and then [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking he moves up a rank]]. [[VillainForgotToLevelGrind Or at least he's supposed to]].
* When you play ''VideoGame/{{Lufia}}'' series, expect to fight Gades at least twice. In the first time, you can't beat him (not without doing way too much grinding anyway.) The second time is when you fight and beat him [[DiscOneFinalBoss thinking he's final boss]], there's also likely the third time where he's resurrected and fight you in the final dungeon as a part of a BossRush.
* Solt and Peppor in ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' are the first type. Your first several fights with them serve primarily to teach you about the combat system as they make horrible tactical mistakes. Eventually, you fight them in a sidequest and they're actually almost difficult.
* The Asylum Demon, Stray Demon, and Demon Firesage in ''DarkSouls'' are practically identical, though the Stray Demon and Demon Firesage add powerful fire attacks to their repertoire.
** And Kirk, Knight of the Thorns, is the only NPC to invade you more than once.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}}'', you fight Metal Face/[[spoiler: Mumkhar]] a total of five times throughout the story.
* Pison in ''VideoGame/The7thSaga''. Combined with PaletteSwap, as he becomes Red-Pison (yes, they actually call him this) and Metal-Pison.
* Xenogears has the persistant Ramsus. Swearing to defeat the hero we fight him, on foot, in a submarine type mecha, in his AceCustom mech, in his AceCustom mech transformed into an Omnigear, and finally in the omnigear of the BigBad (Ramsus is not the FinalBoss, he simply no longer needed it and Ramsus can use any Omnigear due to his genes). With him for all but that last two is his assitant Miang who we also fight twice on her own (one time she's in disguise so the Party doesn't know its her). Ramsus also has a subordinate Domina, and her squad of 3 other soldiers. You fight Domina in a ship, in a submarine mech, in her own mech, in her own mech alongside her squad, her entire squad on foot, and finally in one giant mech piloted by all 4 of them. All these bosses are either with Ramsus himself or on his orders.
* Terracor, Muruk and Nebirous are fought more than once in ''VideoGame/TheLastStory''. Other bosses, such as Berith and the swordman brothers who serve Zangurak, are fought a second time in Chapter 40 as part of the game's BossRush finale.
* Nearly every single boss in ''VideoGame/OdinSphere'' (with the exception of three bosses who are only fought in the endgame) are fought more than once throughout the game. Belial is the reigning champion of this, being fought by every single character in the game (though one of them is as part of a DuelBoss fight with one of the Three Wise Men.)
* Eve, the BigBad in ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve'', is fought a grand total of four times with each fight giving her a different appearance and new powers. Each defeat Eve suffers only has her trying to convince the main character to join her side (since Eve and the protagonist share similar powers) and then flees when the offer is refused. In her final encounter, [[spoiler: she actually dies, though the TrueFinalBoss appears shortly afterwards and has to be fought multiple times as well to put it down for good.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Roguelike ]]

* In ''VideoGame/NetHack'', once you [[spoiler:Either kill the Wizard of Yendor or perform the Invocation Ritual]], the [[spoiler:Wizard of Yendor will, even if you kill him, every number of turns, be able to resurrect, and is guaranteed to reappear on the Plane of Earth]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Shoot Em Up ]]

* Big Core in ''VideoGame/{{Gradius}}''. It's the boss of Stages 1-4 in the original, and comes back every now and then in subsequent installments for [[BossRush Boss Rushes]]. By ''Gradius V'', it's [[DegradedBoss become nothing more than a medium-sized regular enemy]].
** The ''Gradius'' series in general seems to thrive off the Recurring Boss concept, as many come back in theme if not outright in a Boss Rush of subsequent games. The original Big Core is still the Recurring Boss champion, rivaled only by Tetran from ''Salamander''.
* All but one of the ''VideoGame/RType'' games has included Dobkeratops as a boss. Gomander and its invincible Outslays make frequent appearances as well, as does Gaines, the human-shaped robot with a {{BFG}} who seems to exist to get killed halfway through the first stage. There's also the [[BattleshipRaid Giant Battleship]].
* ''VideoGame/BattleGaregga'' has Nose Lavaggin (Stage 1 boss) and Mad Ball (Stage 2 boss) appear again in Stage 5. And then the endboss of Stage 5, Black Heart, makes a second appearance in Stage 7. And in the SpiritualSuccessor, ''Armed Police Batrider'', Black Heart not only appears in its original form, but also a second time within that game in its mk. II form!
* In ''[[VideoGame/NineteenFortyTwo 19XX: The War Against Destiny]]'', you encounter and battle a black stealth fighter in nearly every stage, culminating in him [[NukeEm launching nukes at your hometown]] and [[OneWingedAngel docking into a]] [[FinalBoss larger stealth bomber]].
* Several bosses in ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' come back with different bullet patterns, either in the same game or in later games, but the prize for most recurring boss goes to Rin Kaenbyou, who shows up in ''Subterranean Animism'' as the stage 4 midboss (twice!), stage 5 midboss, stage 5 boss, and stage 6 midboss. Another recurring boss is Nue Houjuu, who is the [[spoiler:Stage 4 midboss, Stage 6 midboss, and]] BonusBoss of ''Unidentified Fantastical Object'', [[spoiler:and the Extra Stage midboss in ''Ten Desires''.]]
* In ''VideoGame/LegendaryWings'', save the FinalBoss, all other bosses are simply just variations on one another, with later ones having more cannons.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Simulation Game ]]

* The FinalBoss of ''[[VideoGame/{{Descent}} Descent II]]'' returns with a vengeance in the Vertigo Series ExpansionPack.
* ''VideoGame/AceCombat'' loves this:
** ''VideoGame/AceCombat04ShatteredSkies'' has Yellow Squadron.
** ''VideoGame/AceCombat5TheUnsungWar'' has Grabacr Squadron.
** ''VideoGame/AceCombat6FiresOfLiberation'' has Strigon Squadron.
** ''VideoGame/AceCombatXSkiesOfDeception'' has Fenrir Squadron.
** ''VideoGame/AceCombatJointAssault'' has Varcolac Squadron.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Stealth Based Game ]]

* Liquid Snake in the original ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' and ''Sons of Liberty'' serves as a mix of the second and third varieties. [[spoiler:He is defeated in a Hind D, Metal Gear Rex, fistfight, and Jeep before finally succumbing to [=FOXDIE=], and in ''Sons of Liberty'', he is reincarnated as Revolver Ocelot's new arm.]]
** In addition to Liquid, the player must fight against Sniper Wolf and Vulcan Raven twice in the original ''MGS''. A more subtle example is Revolver Ocelot - he flees after the fight and later returns to tortures Snake.
** Ocelot is fought in ''1'', ''3'', and ''4''. Oddly enough, [[TheManBehindTheMan despite his importance]] in ''2'', you never get the chance to fight him.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2'' also has Vamp, who comes back from [[spoiler:a cutscene death, his Harrier being shot down, a firefight, and a sniper duel]] in that order. And in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4'', [[spoiler:his boss battle requires you to use a special syringe to finish him, or else he'll keep coming back to life.]]
** ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker]]'' has the titular Peace Walker mech, which is fought a total of three times in the game, [[spoiler:although the third encounter is a ZeroEffortBoss]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Tenchu}}'' has Onikage, who started in the first game, being fought a total of 3 times in Stages 6, 9 and 10. He returns in ''2'' and ''Wrath of Heaven'', serving as a boss twice in each one.
** ''Tenchu 2'' also has Genbu of the [[FiveBadBand Four Lords]] of the Burning Dawn, which Ayame fights twice.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Survival Horror ]]

* In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'', The Tyrant pulls a BackFromTheDead version, appearing as both the penultimate boss and final boss - unless you burn his body after the first time.
* In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'', William Birkin (aka "G") transforms from a simple overdeveloped humanoid in his first encounter to a hulking, deformed monster in his last form (for a total of 5 fought forms). Mr X is also encountered several times, but you're only forced to fight him once.
* In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil3Nemesis'', you usually have option of fighting or running from the titular Nemesis. If you defeat him in one of the various optional ways, you can acquire two useful weapons, but running doesn't cost anything if you're fast enough. You only have to actually fight him three times: in the middle of the game, near the end of the game as the penultimate boss, and as the FinalBoss.
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilCodeVeronica'' has another Tyrant pulling a BackFromTheDead (fought twice) and [[spoiler:Alexia (also fought twice).]]
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' has two odd examples. Saddler is fought twice, but in different scenarios (he's the final boss for both Leon and Ada). Krauser is also fought twice: once in a [[PressXToNotDie QTE]] sequence and then several times in succession in chapter 6-2. [[spoiler:He then proves to be NotQuiteDead in Separate Ways.]]
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5'' has Wesker, who is [[DualBoss fought]] [[PuzzleBoss four]] [[PressXToNotDie separate]] [[FinalBoss times.]]
* ''Franchise/SilentHill'''s most famous monster, Pyramid Head, must be fought several times. The first time, he will leave after either A) a predetermined number of bullets are unloaded into him, or B) a predetermined time limit runs out (shooting him makes the clock run down faster). The second time, you must escape him by running down a very long hallway, and you can slow him with bullets but not kill him. The third time you see him, you just have to run around him in a giant maze. And, as the ultimate slap-in-the-face, in your final battle with him (and this time, he brings a friend), he kills ''himself'' before you get to finish the job.
* Carlito in ''VideoGame/DeadRising'' in so much as, if you want the [[strike:good]] [[MultipleEndings "best" ending]], you have to fight him three times.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tower Defense ]]

* ''VideoGame/PlantsVsZombies II'' makes you fight Dr. Zomboss in the final level of each world.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Turn Based Strategy ]]

* Wiegraf in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'': the first time you fight him, he runs away; the second time, you mortally wound him and he makes a DealWithTheDevil to keep on living; the third time, he's been completely taken over by the demon, and the first part of the battle is a DuelBoss in which you have to defeat his human form before he drops his disguise.
** Also in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'', [[spoiler:Gaffgarion is fought three times; the first time, he turns on you in the beginning of the battle, the second is a normal fight, and the third time is a pseudo-DuelBoss (you have can still use allies in the fight, but they're trapped in another area until you use a switch to open a gate)]]. In [[UpdatedRerelease War of the Lions]], Argath (Algus in the PS1 version) appears a second time late in the third chapter. Most of the Temple Knights, [[spoiler:Elmdor]], Celia, and Lede are all also fought twice.
** Celia and Lede are fought three times. Well, if you count their first apperance (Castle Rooftop) a [[LuckBasedMission 'fight']].
* Llednar Twem from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'' is of the second variety.
** Klesta from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2'' is of the first variety.
** Illua, who is fought a total of three times.
* Pretty much ''every'' boss apart from the final bosses in the ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'', though you can [[NonLethalKO shoot them down]] before they retreat if you reduce their hit points to just above the point where they'd retreat, then use a really powerful attack.
** [[Anime/BigO Jason Beck]], in every game in the ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsZ'' series so far. He's basically the [[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Yazan Gable]] of Z, which might as well be a CastingGag.
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'':
** Gharnef in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia Shadow Dragon]]'' is present on the map midway through the game, and you must simply survive him because it is a HopelessBossFight without Starlight. The second time, you can fight him for real after picking out the real Gharnef amongst [[SendInTheClones his doppelgangers]].
*** And, in fact, he can be skipped. In the original NES ''FireEmblem'', this can result in the game becoming {{Unwinnable}}. In the DS remake, if you skipped him and Tiki is dead, then you get sent to chapter 24x, where [[spoiler:Nagi]] will join the party and Marth gets a weaker Falchion.
** ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral Thracia 776]]'' has a few:
*** Galzus plays almost an identical role as the Black Knight: mysterious, frighteningly deadly OneManArmy whose occasional appearance forces your party to run in the opposite direction. He's not invincible, but for the better part of the game he's close enough to count. [[spoiler:Mercifully he can be recruited near the very end without having to deal with him directly.]]
*** Saias turns up a couple times during the game, but as less of a boss and more of an incredible nuisance - thanks to having ''10'' authority stars, his mere presence pumps up the entire enemy force into DemonicSpiders until you do something to make him leave. [[spoiler:He also is recruitable late-game, but by then he has lost the overpowered buff.]]
** The BlackKnight from ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Path of Radiance]]'' appears on the map a total of three times throughout the game, but you don't possess the means to damage him until the third. The first two, he must be avoided, as he can easily kill anyone who steps into his attack range. In the sequel, ''Radiant Dawn'', he appears as an enemy twice, and can be killed both times, though doing so the first time is both dangerous and pointless, since there is no reward for defeating him and you will be unable to recruit another character later in the game if you do.
** Validar in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening Awakening]]'', under very unusual circumstances - [[spoiler:the first time in the SpoilerOpening, his proper debut in chapter 6, the rematch in chapter 23 where the Spoiler Opening took place, and then ''[[SequentialBoss again]]'' in that chapter where he [[TurnsRed finally takes the kid's gloves off]].]]
* Selvaria in ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles''. The first two times you encounter her, she's invincible on account of her Valkyria powers. The [[RuleOfThree third time]], aptly named "Selvaria's Last Stand", she decides to fight you as a mortal woman. [[SmallGirlBigGun That doesn't make her]] [[ThatOneBoss any easier.]]
** [[AntiVillain Radi Jaeger]] if fought twice, first as an optional WarmupBoss, and ''much'' later as the penultimate boss.
** Also, [[EliteMook Ty the Immortal]], bu he is optional.
* UnknownRival [[strike:Vyers, the Dark Adonis]] Mid-Boss from the first ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea|HourOfDarkness}}'' is fought a total of ''five times''. Though he's treated like a GoldfishPoopGang in-story, he's actually a legitimate threat every time.
** ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 2|CursedMemories}}'' has Axel, the Dark Hero. He is not, as his name may imply, a vicious murdering bastard, but a former rock star. Mid-Boss also makes an amusing optional cameo.
* Several bosses in ''VideoGame/TacticsOgre'', depending on which path you go through.
** ''Let us Cling Together'':
*** On the Chaotic path, Oz, but this fight with him is a bit out of the way. In the neutral path, he doesn't escape.
*** You fight Ganb throughout the ''entire'' game, with an optional way to recruit him in Chapter 4, along with several of his monsters.
*** Martym in a sidequest. [[spoiler:He dies for real around the final boss]].
** ''The Knight of Lodis'':
*** You see Nichart several times throughout the story and you know you'll have to fight him... but then you finally do, while he taunts you with a nice spear during the fight. Except that when you beat him... he doesn't drop it, and he runs off with it. You do face him for real later on, but by the time he drops it, you might have had something better by then.
* ''VideoGame/TearsToTiara2'': The AxCrazy Izebel and her subordinate Laelius. Izebel is impossible to kill in a straight up fight on the first encounter on the hardest difficulty, being 7 to 10 levels higher than the player's party on top with her super high stats. Although you can kill her through a trick of the map. They both get gradually easier. [[TheBattleDidntCount But no matter how many times you beat them the story always pretend you just ran away until you face them the final time]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Wide Open Sandbox ]]

* Inasmuch as a game like ''VideoGame/EndlessOcean'' has bosses, the second game features a few different head-to-head encounters with the maneating king of the great white sharks, Thanatos.
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