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[[quoteright:256:[[VideoGame/SuperMarioBros http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Bowser_smb1_2015.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:256:[[VideoGameLongRunners "Mr. Mario, I feel that you and I are destined to do battle, again and again, for as long as the gods see fit."]]]]

Most {{Action Game}}s contain a climactic confrontation with a unique, stronger than average, and often monstrous enemy creature known colloquially as a "boss". They have several important features, depending on the genre of game in which they are found.

In old-school {{Shoot Em Up}}s and 2D {{Platformer}}s, the boss comes at the end of a level or series of levels (commonly called a "world") and fit with the theme of that world. He will often require a [[PuzzleBoss special trick]] to defeat, or have a targetable WeakSpot.

In {{FPS}}, [[ThirdPersonShooter 3PS]]'s, and 3D {{platformer}}s, they divide up the game. They might be common or uncommon, gigantic or small, complex multi-stage affairs or simple exercises in [[HeroTrackingFailure circle strafing while shooting]].

In {{RPG}}s, they wait at the end of dungeons (though the larger dungeons may have multiple boss fights). They have a mountain of HitPoints. If they're [[FinalBoss the last one]], you'll most likely fight them [[SequentialBoss more than once]]. Most have a [[OutsideTheBoxTactic specific weakness]].

In a FightingGame the word boss is used a bit differently. As all the opponents in single player could be considered "bosses" by other game's standards the term is used simply for the last character you fight, in that even when the rest of the battles have you going up against a randomly-selected opponent, the boss is always the same. The boss is typically not a playable character (though circumstances may allow him to be unlocked later), and tends to be the [[SNKBoss most difficult opponent]]. Occasionally, the penultimate battle will ''also'' be against a "boss". (The penultimate opponent is often dubbed a "MiniBoss"). Recent fighting games however have added elements from other genres into the mix.

Often accompanied by unique, tense, action-packed BattleThemeMusic. Sometimes, special {{Fight Woosh}}es and {{Fanfare}}s are also made just for this event.

Note that in some games, the boss isn't ''always'' at the end of any given level or dungeon.


* AdvancingBossOfDoom \\
A boss that keeps chasing you and you have to continually flee from.
* AfterBossRecovery \\
After a boss battle, you get lots of healing items, or are healed fully for whatever reason.
* AntiClimaxBoss \\
A boss that turns out to be much easier than the plot implies it to be.
* AttackItsWeakPoint \\
If you see a feature that's out of the ordinary on a boss's body, such as a weird eye, chances are that's what you need to attack.
** GoForTheEye \\
If the boss has a giant eyeball, nine times out of ten that's its weak point.
** InCaseOfBossFightBreakGlass \\
If the boss has a glass cockpit, frame concealing an energy core, or generally any other glass part on the boss's body, nine times out of ten that's its weak point too.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking \\
The higher a character is in his hierarchy, the better he is in a fight.
* BackgroundBoss \\
A boss that stands in the background and unleashes attacks into the foreground.
* BaitAndSwitchBoss \\
You see a normal-looking boss, who's suddenly removed or killed and replaced with a ''much bigger or nastier one''.
* BarrierChangeBoss \\
A boss that changes what element it's weak to.
* TheBattleDidntCount \\
When you defeat a boss in battle, they'll just shake it off like it was nothing.
** HeadsIWinTailsYouLose \\
A boss battle where you get a GameOver if you lose, but if you win, the boss immediately proceeds to beat you in a cutscene.
* BattleshipRaid \\
The boss takes up the whole level.
* [[AwesomeBosses/VideoGames Best Boss Ever]] \\
Yeah, it was a tough fight, but it was awesome and you ''really'' looked forward to kicking that guy's butt!
* BonusBoss \\
An optional boss that is often much more difficult than even the FinalBoss of the game.
** LegacyBossBattle \\
An optional or out-of-context boss from another game by the same developers or company. Some can be normal story bosses, though.
* BossArenaRecovery \\
Where you can find recovery items during a boss battle itself.
* BossBanter \\
When a boss talks to you during combat.
* BossCorridor \\
That one empty hallway right before the BossRoom.
* BossDissonance \\
Where the difficulty level of the bosses and the rest of the [[VideoGame game]] are totally different.
** EasyLevelsHardBosses
** HardLevelsEasyBosses
* BossGame \\
A [[VideoGame game]] that consists of nothing but boss battles.
* BossInMookClothing \\
A "normal battle" with an enemy that, as it turns out, does a very good job at wiping the floor with you.
* BossOnlyLevel \\
A level consisting entirely of a Boss Battle.
* BossRemix \\
The music that plays during the boss fight is a remix of some other tune in the [[VideoGame game]].
* BossRoom \\
The room in a {{video game}} where the boss and the player exchange blows.
* BossRush \\
A segment in which you're forced to fight a collection of previously-defeated bosses in sequence.
** BossBonanza \\
When a segment contains a surprisingly high number of new bosses in sequence.
* BossSubtitles \\
Where the boss is introduced with a big show of its name and a title or descriptive line.
* BossVulnerability \\
Some bosses are more susceptible to attack than others. This {{trope}} lists all types.
* BossWarningSiren \\
A warning siren is heard or seen just before a boss battle.
* BraggartBoss \\
A blustering, over-the-top buffoon who confronts the heroic party, often completely out of nowhere, [[IncomingHam pompously and dramatically introduces himself,]] and challenges the heroes to battle.
* BreatherBoss \\
A surprisingly easy, but not plot-critical, boss.
* BullfightBoss \\
A boss that charges at you over and over again.
* CatAndMouseBoss \\
Where you and the boss take turns chasing each other.
* ChasingYourTail \\
A boss battle where the player and the boss run around in circles trying to catch and/or escape each other.
* ClimaxBoss \\
A boss fight usually occurring at a critical point in the plot, typically challenging.
* CognizantLimbs \\
A boss with multiple parts of his body, each of which acts as a separate monster and can be targetted separately.
* CollapsingCeilingBoss \\
A boss who shakes the foundation and makes debris fall out of the ceiling onto your head.
* ColossusClimb \\
Where the boss is many, many times the size of {{the hero}} and must be climbed to reach a weak spot.
* ContractualBossImmunity \\
Any overpowered or instant-death skill will be useless on big bosses.
* CoresAndTurretsBoss \\
A completely mechanical boss that mainly consists of turrets (which shoot at you) and cores (which you shoot at).
* CowardlyBoss \\
A boss that the party fights, that then randomly runs after taking a certain amount of damage, forcing you to have to hunt that boss down and fight them again.
* CrosshairAware \\
The boss aims a weapon at the player, and a target sight will be shown tracking the player.
* CutsceneBoss \\
You don't even get to fight this boss, except maybe with a QuickTimeEvent.
* DamageSpongeBoss \\
The most basic boss type: Strong attacks, lots of HitPoints; the only strategy is to hit it until it dies.
* DegradedBoss \\
Once you beat the boss, it comes back as a normal enemy later.
* DidntNeedThoseAnyway \\
When a boss is literally "falling to pieces".
* [[DiscOneFinalBoss/VideoGames Disc One Final Boss]] \\
Yeah, that guy who blew up your [[DoomedHometown home]]? You beat him and '''he''' was someone's minion.
* TheDragon \\
The villain that's second in power after the BigBad, and is often the penultimate boss.
* DualBoss \\
A battle against two bosses at once.
* DuelBoss \\
A one-on-one boss fight, in a game that primarily involves team battles.
* DuelingPlayerCharacters \\
In a single-player video game, a boss fight against another PlayerCharacter.
* EarlyBirdBoss \\
A boss that appears early on and is difficult primarily due to your characters' lack of stats and abilities that they will acquire later.
* EnemyPosturing \\
The boss leaves itself open to attack when it takes time out of the battle just to taunt you.
* FightingYourFriend \\
A Boss Battle in which you fight against a character who's explicitly on your side.
* FinalBoss \\
This is it, man! One last challenge before watching the ending!
** FinalExamBoss \\
A boss that must be defeated by using just about every item, power-up, and skill you've acquired in the game.
** NoFinalBossForYou \\
When doing things a certain way makes you skip out on a {{final boss}} or two.
** TrueFinalBoss \\
Where a second "{{final boss}}" appears after the first one, but only when particular requirements are filled.
** PostFinalBoss \\
An [[AnticlimaxBoss easy]] to [[ZeroEffortBoss effortless]] boss battle after the real {{final boss}} in order to wrap up the plot.
* FinalBossNewDimension \\
You have to enter a different "dimension" to fight the {{final boss}}.
** AmazingTechnicolorBattlefield \\
Lookit all the pretty stars and streams and blinky things!
* FinalBossPreview \\
A fight in mid-game with the FinalBoss or his [[TheDragon second-in-command]], which you will [[HopelessBossFight inevitably]] [[HeadsIWinTailsYouLose lose]].
* FisticuffsBoss \\
A boss where you can't use weapons or abilities, just plain old duking it out.
* FlunkyBoss \\
A boss that has several of its minions fight alongside it.
** WeaponizedOffspring \\
A creature gives birth to CannonFodder as a defense mechanism.
* FreeFallFight \\
A boss that you fight [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin in freefall]].
* GetBackHereBoss \\
A boss that you have to keep chasing after or stake out in order to beat.
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere \\
A boss that [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment comes out of nowhere and has no relevance whatsoever to the actual plot.]]
* GoddamnedBoss \\
A boss that's not dangerous, but is frustrating for reasons beyond difficulty.
* GoldfishPoopGang \\
Comic relief antagonists who keep popping up, requiring you to fight them multiple times through the game.
* HeWasRightThereAllAlong \\
A boss who's hiding in the BossRoom, and won't reveal itself until the player does something.
* HighAltitudeBattle \\
In which {{the hero}} of a {{video game}} has to go up in the sky and defeat the enemy.
* HighSpeedBattle \\
Where {{the hero}} and villain are fighting whilst one is chasing the other on moving vehicles.
* HopelessBossFight \\
An incredibly powerful boss which you are supposed to lose to, and won't get a GameOver when you do.
** SeeminglyHopelessBossFight \\
A boss fight seems hopeless until a cutscene makes it winnable.
* InstantDeathRadius \\
When the boss has a far-reaching and very deadly melee attack radius, such that trying to fight him up close is suicide.
* ILetYouWin \\
A boss battle which seems normal, but after which the boss says he actually let you win to further his nefarious plans.
* JawsFirstPersonPerspective \\
An underwater boss who is revealed by a first-person view from the boss's perspective before it jumps {{the hero}}.
* KingMook \\
A boss who resembles an enlarged or [[PaletteSwap palette swapped]] version of a regular enemy, possibly with a [[NiceHat crown or some other identifying feature]].
* LevelInBossClothing\\
A battle that plays out more like a level than like a normal boss fight.
* LoadBearingBoss \\
A boss-type monster whose destruction [[NoOntologicalInertia causes the location to collapse or self-destruct.]]
* LoneWolfBoss \\
A boss that is not associated with the BigBad in any way. He's an antagonist acting on his own.
* TheManBehindTheMan \\
So you thought that guy was the BigBad all this time? He was small potatoes. ''This'' is the real Big Kahuna.
* MakeMyMonsterGrow \\
A villain grows to enormous size before the big beatdown.
* MarathonBoss \\
A boss that takes a really, really, ''really'' long time to beat.
* MiniBoss \\
A distinct, generally unique [[DegradedBoss (up until that point, anyway)]], stronger-than-average monster that you encounter within a level.
* MirrorBoss \\
A boss in a [[VideoGame game]] whose abilities are equivalent (if not downright identical) to those of the playable character.
* MookPromotion \\
A regular enemy who functions as a level boss.
* MultiStageBattle \\
A boss battle that takes place over multiple stages.
* OpenEndedBossBattle \\
A boss battle that you can win ''or'' lose without triggering a GameOver or [[MultipleEndings ending]].
* ParallelConflictSequence \\
Another battle is taking place at the same time as the main boss battle.
* ThePawnsGoFirst\\
The boss lets his underlings fight the hero(es) for a bit before joining in.
* PlatformBattle \\
A boss battle that occurs on FloatingPlatforms. Try not to fall off....
* PreAsskickingOneLiner \\
When a boss gives you a threatening phrase before fighting you.
* ProactiveBoss\\
The boss tries to kill you before you even reach him.
* PuzzleBoss \\
A boss that is beaten by trickery rather than force.
* ReactorBoss \\
A final battle where you have to blow up the enemies' main reactor.
* RecurringBoss \\
A boss-type monster who you have to face several times over the course of the game, typically not [[SequentialBoss sequentially]].
* RecurringBossTemplate \\
Where bosses in the {{sequel}}(s) tend to act like their original counterparts.
* RingOutBoss \\
Where the boss himself has to be knocked or thrown back into a [[LavaPit dangerous substance]] or [[SpikesOfDoom obstacle]] to cause damage.
* RushBoss \\
A boss fight that doesn't take very long to beat, but can easily destroy you if you're not careful.
* ScriptedBattle \\
A battle that follows a script, either for a segment or for the entire thing, instead of acting like a regular battle.
* SelfRecoverySurprise \\
When you think the boss is finished, he applies Healing Factor and the battle starts again.
* SequentialBoss \\
Multiple large-scale fights in a row.
* SheatheYourSword \\
A boss who can only be beaten by ''not fighting him''.
* ShieldedCoreBoss \\
A boss whose weak point is protected by some kind of protrusion which needs to be destroyed before it takes damage.
* SkippableBoss \\
Boss fights that feature some way to avoid fighting them altogether.
* SmashedEggsHatching \\
A boss's smashed eggs contain enemy monsters.
* SNKBoss \\
A NintendoHard boss battle that usually shows up in Fighting Games.
* StationaryBoss \\
A fight where the boss remains in one place.
** PivotalBoss\\
The boss is too big to move, so he turns to face you.
* TacticalSuicideBoss \\
The boss is impervious to the player's regular attacks, and would be impossible to defeat if one of its attacks didn't expose its particular AchillesHeel in the process.
** BossArenaIdiocy \\
The boss's weakness is something unique to the boss's own arena.
* TeleportSpam \\
A boss that teleports all over the place.
* TennisBoss \\
You have to reflect his attacks back onto him to defeat him.
* ThatOneBoss \\
An infamous boss known to be frustrating and/or difficult.
** ThatOneAttack \\
Almost got him! Almost... almost -- [[OneHitKill INSTANT DEATH?]]
* ThrowTheMookAtThem \\
FlunkyBoss? pull up those sleeves and throw his Mooks at him!
* TimeLimitBoss \\
Bosses which have to be beaten within a certain preset period of time or turns.
** BossArenaUrgency \\
Bosses who you have to beat quickly, or the boss will become impossible to beat.
* TragicMonster \\
Where an ally is turned into a monster and then has to be fought as a boss battle.
* TrainingBoss \\
Area or location where the player can practice their moves on a more or less undefeatable character, sometimes as part of a tutorial.
* TreacherousCheckpoint \\
What you thought was a safe spot was actually the boss.
* TrickBoss \\
A suspiciously easy boss which turns out to be a trick; the real boss is right behind him.
* TurnsRed \\
When the boss loses health, he gains power and abilities.
* UnderwaterBossBattle \\
Are your SuperNotDrowningSkills up to par?
* TheUnfought \\
An antagonist in the game who plays an important role in the story, but is never really fought as an actual boss. May overlap with BaitAndSwitchBoss and CutsceneBoss.
* VehicularAssault \\
Fight against a vehicle of some kind.
* VictoryFakeout \\
The boss is defeated, the stage is cleared and... wait, he's getting up again? What's he [[OneWingedAngel doing]]? [[OhCrap Uh oh...]]
* WakeUpCallBoss \\
An early boss who ends up being much harder than expected.
* WarmUpBoss \\
The "test" boss or MiniBoss that appears at the end of the first level or after the [[VideoGameTutorial tutorial]].
* WhackAMonster\\
Fighting a Boss (or other critter) that is only vulnerable when it temporarily appears.
* WolfpackBoss \\
A boss consisting of several {{Mook}}s who wouldn't be difficult by themselves, but when acting together provide a significant challenge.
* YouWillNotEvadeMe \\
A boss that keeps coming after you or in general prevents you from running away.
* ZeroEffortBoss \\
A boss that is so easy that you have to actively try in order to lose.
** ForegoneVictory \\
When a boss literally cannot be lost to.