Awesome Laconic Main
TV Tropes Needs Your Help
Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help
View Kickstarter Project
aka: Boss Fight
A climactic confrontation with a unique, stronger than average, and often monstrous enemy creature known colloquially as a "boss". It has several important features, depending on the genre of game in which it is found.
Shoot Em Ups
, the boss comes at the end of a level or series of levels (commonly called a "world"). He will often require a
to defeat, or have a targetable
's, and 3D
, they divide up the game. They might be common or uncommon, gigantic or small, complex multi-stage affairs or simple exercises in
circle strafing while shooting
, they wait at the end of dungeons (though the larger dungeons may have multiple boss fights). They have a mountain of
. If they're
the last one
, you'll most likely fight them
more than once
. Most have a
, the boss is simply 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
most difficult opponent
. Occasionally, the penultimate battle will
be against a "boss". (The penultimate opponent is often dubbed a "
Often accompanied by unique, tense, action-packed
Battle Theme Music
. Sometimes, special
are also made just for this event.
Note that in some games, the boss isn't
at the end of any given level or dungeon.
Advancing Boss of Doom A boss that keeps chasing you and you have to continually flee from.
After Boss Recovery After a boss battle, you get lots of healing items, or are healed fully for whatever reason.
Anti-Climax Boss A boss that's easier than the plot implies.
Attack Its Weak Point If you see a shiny or glowing target anywhere on the boss villain's body, chances are that's where you need to attack.
Go for the Eye If the boss has a giant eyeball, nine times out of ten that's its weak point.
In Case of Boss Fight, Break Glass If the boss has a glass cockpit, frame concealing energy core or generally any other glass part on the boss's body, nine times out of ten that's its weak point too.
Authority Equals Asskicking The higher a character is in his hierarchy, the better he is in a fight.
Background Boss A Platform Game boss that stands in the background and unleashes attacks into the foreground.
Bait-and-Switch Boss You see a normal-looking boss, who's suddenly removed or killed and replaced with a much bigger or nastier one.
Barrier Change Boss A boss that changes what element it's weak to.
The Battle Didn't Count When you defeat a boss in battle, they'll just shake it off like it was nothing.
Battleship Raid The boss takes up the whole level.
Best Boss Ever Yeah, it was a tough fight, but it was awesome and you really looked forward to kicking that guy's butt!
Big Bad The one behind the entire plot.
The Big Bad Shuffle When there's more than one Big Bad all competing to see who ends up the final villain.
Bonus Boss An optional boss who is often much more difficult than even the Final Boss of the game.
Legacy Boss Battle An optional or out-of-context boss from another game by the same developers or company. Some can be normal story bosses, though.
Boss Arena Recovery Where you can find recovery items during a boss battle itself.
Boss Banter When a boss talks to you during combat.
Boss Corridor That one empty hallway right before the Boss Room.
Boss Dissonance Where the difficulty level of the bosses and the rest of the game are totally different.
Boss Game A game consists of nothing but boss battles.
Boss in Mook Clothing A "normal battle" with an enemy that, as it turns out, can wipe the floor with you.
Boss-Only Level A level consisting entirely of a Boss Battle.
Boss Remix The music that plays during the boss fight is a remix of some other tune in the game.
Boss Room The room in a video game where the boss and the player exchange blows.
Boss Rush A segment in which you're forced to fight a collection of previously-defeated bosses in sequence.
Boss Bonanza When a segment contains a surprisingly high number of new bosses in sequence.
Boss Subtitles Where the boss is introduced with a big show of its name and a title or descriptive line.
Boss Vulnerability Some bosses are more susceptible to attack than others. This trope lists all types.
Boss Warning Siren A warning siren is heard or seen just before a boss battle.
Braggart Boss A blustering, over-the-top buffoon who confronts the heroic party, often completely out of nowhere, pompously and dramatically introduces himself, and challenges the heroes to battle.
Breather Boss A surprisingly easy, but not plot-critical, boss.
Bullfight Boss A boss that charges at you over and over again.
Cat and Mouse Boss Where you and the boss take turns chasing each other.
Chasing Your Tail A boss battle where the player and the boss run around in circles trying to catch and/or escape each other.
Climax Boss Boss fight usually occurring after a major revelation in the plot.
Cognizant Limbs A boss with multiple parts of his body, each of which acts as a separate monster and can be targetted separately.
Collapsing Ceiling Boss A boss who shakes the foundation and makes debris fall out of the ceiling onto your head.
Colossus Climb Where the boss is many, many times the size of the hero and must be climbed to reach a weak spot.
Contractual Boss Immunity Any overpowered or instant-death skill will be useless on big bosses.
Cores and Turrets Boss A completely mechanical boss that mainly consists of turrets (which shoot at you) and cores (which you shoot at).
Cowardly Boss 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.
Crosshair Aware The player will be fighting a boss, and a target sight will be shown tracking the player.
Cutscene Boss You don't even get to fight this boss, except maybe with a Quick Time Event.
Damage-Sponge Boss The most basic boss type: Strong attacks, lots of Hit Points; the only strategy is to hit it until it dies.
Degraded Boss Once you beat the boss, it comes back as a normal enemy later.
Didn't Need Those Anyway When a boss is literally "falling to pieces".
Disc One Final Boss Yeah, that guy who blew up your home? You beat him and he was someone's minion.
The Dragon The villain that's second in power after the Big Bad, and is often the second-to-last boss.
Dual Boss Fighting two bosses at once.
Duel Boss A one-on-one boss fight, in a game that primarily involves team battles.
Dueling Player Characters The player must fight one Player Character with another in a single-player video game.
Early Bird Boss A boss that appears early on and is difficult primarily due to your characters' lack of stats and abilities that they will acquire later.
Fighting Your Friend A Boss Battle in which you fight against a character who's explicitly on your side.
Final Boss This is it, man! One last challenge before watching the ending!
Final Boss, New Dimension You have to enter a different "dimension" to fight the final boss.
Final Boss Preview A fight in mid-game with the Final Boss or his second-in-command, which you will inevitably lose.
Fisticuffs Boss A boss where you can't use weapons or abilities, just plain old duking it out.
Flunky Boss A boss that has several of its minions fight alongside it.
Free-Fall Fight A boss that you fight in freefall.
Get Back Here Boss A boss that you have to keep chasing after or stake out in order to beat.
Giant Space Flea from Nowhere A boss that comes out of nowhere and has no relevance whatsoever to the actual plot.
Goddamned Boss A boss that's not very dangerous, but very annoying or frustrating to fight.
Goldfish Poop Gang Characters who keep popping up, requiring you to fight them multiple times through the game.
Heads I Win, Tails You Lose A boss battle where you get a Game Over if you lose, but if you win, the boss immediately proceeds to beat you in a cutscene.
He Was Right There All Along A boss who's already in the room when you enter, and only reveals himself after you go partway into the room.
High-Altitude Battle In which the hero of a video game has to go up in the sky and defeat the enemy.
High Speed Battle Where the hero and villain are fighting whilst one is chasing the other on moving vehicles.
Hopeless Boss Fight An incredibly powerful boss which you are supposed to lose to, and won't get a Game Over when you do.
Instant Death Radius When the boss has a far-reaching and very deadly melee attack radius, such that trying to fight him up close is suicide.
I Let You Win A boss battle which seems normal, but after which the boss says he actually let you win to further his nefarious plans.
Jaws First Person Perspective An underwater boss who is revealed by a first-person view from the boss's perspective before it jumps the hero.
King Mook A boss who resembles an enlarged or palette swapped version of a regular enemy, possibly with a crown or some other identifying feature.
Level in Boss Clothing A battle that plays out more like a level than like a normal boss fight.
Load-Bearing Boss A boss-type monster whose destruction causes the location to collapse or self-destruct.
Lone Wolf Boss The boss is not associated with the Big Bad in any way. He's a villain all on his own.
The Man Behind the Man So you thought that guy was the Big Bad all this time? He was small potatoes, This is the real Big Kahuna.
Make My Monster Grow A villain grows to enormous size before the big beatdown.
Marathon Boss A boss that takes a really, really, really long time to beat.
Mini-Boss A distinct, generally unique (up until that point, anyway), stronger-than-average monster that you encounter within a level.
Mirror Boss A boss in a game whose abilities are equivalent (if not downright identical) to those of the playable character.
Mook Promotion A regular enemy who functions as a level boss.
Multi-Stage Battle A boss battle that takes place over multiple stages.
Open Ended Boss Battle A boss battle that you can win or lose without triggering a Game Over or ending.
The Pawns Go First The boss lets his underlings fight the hero(es) for a bit before joining in.
Platform Battle A boss battle that occurs on Floating Platforms. Try not to fall off....
Puzzle Boss A boss that is beaten by trickery rather than force.
Reactor Boss A final battle where you have to blow up the enemies' main reactor.
Recurring Boss A boss-type monster who you have to face several times over the course of the game, typically not sequentially.
Recurring Boss Template Where bosses in the sequel(s) tend to act like their original counterparts.
Ring Out Boss Where the boss himself has to be knocked or thrown back into a dangerous substance or obstacle to cause damage.
Rush Boss A boss fight that doesn't take very long to beat, but can easily destroy you if you're not careful.
Scripted Battle A battle that follows a script, either for a segment or for the entire thing, instead of acting like a regular battle.
Sequential Boss Multiple large-scale fights in a row.
Sheathe Your Sword A boss who can only be beaten by not fighting him.
Shielded Core Boss A boss whose weak point is protected by some kind of protrusion which needs to be destroyed before it takes damage.
Skippable Boss Boss fights that feature some way to avoid fighting them altogether.
Smashed Eggs Hatching A boss's smashed eggs contain enemy monsters.
SNK Boss A Nintendo Hard boss battle that usually shows up in Fighting Games.
Stationary Boss A fight where the boss remains in one place.
Pivotal Boss The boss is too big to move, so he turns to face you.
Tactical Suicide Boss 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 Achilles' Heel in the process.
Teleport Spam A boss that teleports all over the place.
Tennis Boss You have to reflect his attacks back onto him to defeat him.
That One Boss An infamous boss known to be frustrating and/or difficult.
Throw The Mook At Them Flunky Boss? pull up those sleeves and throw his Mooks at him!
Time-Limit Boss Bosses which have to be beaten within a certain preset period of time or turns.
Boss Arena Urgency Bosses who you have to beat quickly, or the boss will become impossible to beat.
Tragic Monster Where an ally is turned into a monster and then has to be fought as a boss battle.
Training Boss Area or location where the player can practice their moves on a more or less undefeatable character, sometimes as part of a tutorial.
Trick Boss A suspiciously easy boss which turns out to be a trick; the real boss is right behind him.
Turns Red When the boss loses health, he gains power and abilities.
Underwater Boss Battle Are your Super Not-Drowning Skills up to par?
The Unfought 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 Bait-and-Switch Boss and Cutscene Boss.
Vehicular Assault Fight against a vehicle of some kind.
Victory Fakeout The boss is defeated, the stage is cleared and... wait, he's getting up again? What's he doing? Uh oh...
Wake-Up Call Boss An early boss who ends up being much harder than expected.
Warmup Boss The "test" boss or Mini-Boss that appears at the end of the first level or after the tutorial.
Whack A Monster Fighting a Boss (or other critter) that is only vulnerable when it temporarily appears.
Wolfpack Boss A boss consisting of several Mooks who wouldn't be difficult by themselves, but when acting together provide a significant challenge.
You Will Not Evade Me A boss that keeps coming after you or in general prevents you from running away.
Zero-Effort Boss A boss incapable of attacking or killing you.