{{Boss Battle}}s in video games tend towards two extremes. One type is the boss that take a very long time to beat, but poses little offensive threat; a boss that is a StoneWall, in effect. This is the MarathonBoss. Then you have these -- bosses that [[GlassCannon hit hard but die fast]]. However, these bosses are not necessarily [[BreatherBoss easy]], just as {{Marathon Boss}}es are not always difficult. These bosses ''can'' be {{Sequential Boss}}es, though this trait usually applies to individual forms in that case.

In game design, these models may be favoured for being more exciting than MarathonBoss-style wars of attrition, though if they die too quickly, players may be able to bypass whatever gimmick or strategy they were supposed to use simply by using an AttackAttackAttack strategy. In addition, their attacks are usually difficult to dodge, since, obviously, dodging attacks would negate their offensive power.

MarathonBoss is this trope's inverse. See also BossVulnerability; these are usually type 1s.

Note that this is not merely a boss that goes down very quickly -- that usually falls under BreatherBoss or AnticlimaxBoss. They must be able to take ''you'' down very quickly as well. FragileSpeedster-type bosses that frequently dodge attacks do not count either, since in that case it's as if they have high defense anyway. See GetBackHereBoss for that.

Subtrope of RocketTagGameplay.

Not to be confused with BossRush, or [[BullfightBoss a boss that rushes at you]].
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!!Examples:

* Most of the Brothers in ''VideoGame/{{Turgor}}'', in contrast to the giant Predators, who are {{Marathon Boss}}es.
** Whaler in particular; he turns into more and more of a GlassCannon as the fight progresses, to the point where you can kill him in one hit if enough time has elapsed. In addition, his vulnerability wheels never fall off, making him the only boss that is actually capable of dying in a single hit.
* The Bone Demon in ''{{MARDEK}}''. It has the lowest HP of all the chapter 3 {{Bonus Boss}}es, but has very powerful attacks.
* Jubei Yagyu in ''{{Onimusha}} Dawn of Dreams'' can unleash several quick and damaging swordslashes in a row, which is quite bad for your health. However, with a good defense timing you can pull an easy Issen counterattack and finish her off in two or three attacks.
* Both final bosses of ''AlphaProtocol''. One uses a series of deadly miniguns but has horrible damage resistance, while the other uses a rocket launcher but can be defeated in a single punch (although getting close enough to do so can be a problem).
* Ridley in the 2D ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}}'' games, due to being one of the few (if not the ''only'') boss who is always vulnerable to attack. However, you usually fight him in a cramped space, and his attacks are both hard to dodge and powerful.
* For ''VideoGame/{{Alundra}}'', the US localization team specifically noted that they tweaked a few bosses to have more attack power and less HP than in the original Japanese version, because they felt some of the {{Boss Battle}}s were more tedious than challenging.
* In the [[WebGames flash game]] ''VideoGame/{{LARRY and the GNOMES}}'', the Purple Monster boss has the least health of all the bosses; however, its attacks reduce a lot of health with a single hit, it attacks very rapidly, and its charge can kill you quickly if you don't dodge it.
* ''BushidoBlade'': The game's intent of realistic combat (i.e: no [[LifeMeter lifebars]]) effectively means that ''any'' battle can end in just [[OneHitKill one clean strike]] against your opponent.
* In contrast to the series's love of the inverse, most boss fights in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' are of this trope. The first [[FanTranslation legal]] and [[PortingDisaster decent]] release of the game outside of Japan was on a portable system, which was suited well to this trope, luckily.
* The duel with Luca Blight in ''SuikodenII''. Thanks to the prior SequentialBoss fight, he only has a sliver of health left, but he's still strong enough to kill you in two attacks.
* Many of the DPS Race raid bosses in WorldOfWarcraft have enrage timers that are notably shorter than bosses who are more of a battle of survival (typically 5 or 6 minutes, compared to standard 9-10 minute enrage timers), and the greatest danger is most often killing them before the timer expires and they start one-shotting the raiders.
* Odin is a common RushBoss in the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series as a whole, since he will generally give you a short amount of time to kill him before he uses Zantetsuken (which is either an attack that is almost impossible to survive or a NonStandardGameOver). At the same time, he tends to have less HP than bosses of equivalent difficulty.
* Most of the key bosses in ''[[VideoGame/{{Diablo}} Diablo II]]'' are marathon bosses (including all the Act Bosses except possibly Andarial, who's a bit of a half-way house), but the mid-act boss in Act 2, The Summoner, is a classic Rush Boss. He's extremely fragile, going down in two or three hits, but depending on your build he can easily OneHitKill ''you'', at least on Normal difficulty. He also has fantastic range (well over your character's sight range), meaning new players often die to him before they even see him.
* Elec Man and Ice Man in ''VideoGame/MegaMan1''. Both of them can destroy Mega Man in three hits, but Mega Man can destroy them in 3 hits if he [[ElementalRockPaperScissors uses the correct weapon]].
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'', most Lucavi, especially Velius, can be killed relatively quickly, but can, on the other hand, very quickly obliterate you as well.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'', the battle between Link and Cyclos lasts only 30 seconds, but that time is ''decisive''. If you fail to quickly shoot three arrows to Cyclos, he will use his cyclone to take you away to a random part of the Great Sea., forcing you to look for him again for a rematch. And if you aim for HundredPercentCompletion, then you will also need to take a picto shot to the opponent before defeating him, [[LostForever otherwise you will never have another chance.]]
* The Demon Wall in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'', being an AdvancingWallOfDoom in boss form, is naturally one of these.
* In ''DissidiaFinalFantasy'', many of the Golden Manikins are set up like this: They have so little HP (sometimes only ''[[OneHitPointWonder one]]'') that even a level 1 character can kill them in a single blow. However, their bravery/attack is often high enough that ''they'' can kill a level 99 character in a single blow, and are usually programmed to be aggressive, evasive, and use their best attacks.
* Professor Hangar, the boss of Titania in the original ''VideoGame/StarFox'', has very light armor but his attacks are tricky to dodge. Typically, one of you will be dead within 30 seconds.
* ''VideoGame/AbmneshiTheProphecy'' has a secret TrueFinalBoss, Avatar, which has only a fraction of the preceding boss's HP but nonetheless dwarfs it in sheer difficulty.
* Bosses in the ''{{Izuna}}'' games tend to hit ''very'' hard, especially with their special attacks. But you're just as dangerous to them as long as you use items and talismans well instead of just hacking away.
* The BonusBoss of ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'', Panthera Cantus, can be defeated in as quickly as 35 seconds. However, he is also the single most damaging enemy in the entire game; even at level 100 and with severely-boosted HP he can still wipe the floor with both of your characters.
* The KillerRabbit of ''VideoGame/DragonsCrown''. It has low health for a boss, but it's fast, hard to hit, deals very heavy damage and stuns with its moves, and also gains a move that [[OneHitKill deals your Max Health in damage]] when it TurnsRed.
* Raivolt in ''VideoGame/GridWarrior''. It doesn't have that much health, but it's fast, can stun you then charge at you, and its attacks deals armor-piercing damage. Its DesperationAttack can be a OneHitKill if you don't avoid the laser which stuns you, then it lands on you to finish you off.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Hellsinker}}'', the boss of Segment 2 Lead, the Scarlet Queen, has a hidden form if you defeat her with high enough [[DynamicDifficulty Stella]]. The good news: it's only 15 seconds long. The bad news: It's particularly brutal.
* TableTopGames/{{Pathfinder}} and TableTopGames/DungeonsAndDragons before 4th edition were all about this trope for ''most'' [[BossBattle boss battles]]. The climactic fight in a dungeon would often be able to lay down enough damage to break a party in a few rounds and may have incredibly powerful debuffs or OneHitKO powers. Players would immediately realize the situation had crossed the GodzillaThreshold and pour forth all of their most potent, limited-use items. Additionally, the boss would be targeted by every one of the StandardStatusEffects since there was no UselessUsefulSpell.
** Fourth Edition TableTopGames/DungeonsAndDragons goes for MarathonBoss more often.
* Master level enemies in DarkHeresy, BlackCrusade, RogueTrader, TabletopGame/{{Deathwatch}}, and OnlyWar cause gameplay to turn to RocketTag. Enemies at those levels can turn player characters into a fine red mist in no time flat.
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