This is basically the entire level.
A level that consists entirely of a Boss Battle
. Usually, this is done for plot reasons, even in games which don't have much.
Said boss is almost always
, penultimate, or final
This trope has become increasingly more common in later platformer games with (slightly) deeper plots.
When taken to extremes this leads to a Boss Game
, where every
level is a Boss-Only Level. Compare Boss Rush
, which is a level devoted to several
previously-fought bosses. See also Battleship Raid
open/close all folders
- The final level of the original Ecco the Dolphin is devoted to the battle with the Vortex Queen.
- Ecco: The Tides of Time also has a Vortex Queen level, though it's not the final one.
- In the Playstation Spider-Man game, the chapter "Rhino's Rampage" consisted solely of a boss fight with Rhino.
- Most (if not all) of Bomberman's boss fights were in Boss-Only Levels.
- X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse featured two Boss-Only Levels: Danger room fights against Omega Red and Juggernaut.
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon in the expansion pack of The Binding of Isaac has a bossfight in every single room, and all except one are against two different bosses. How's that for hard?
- The last two levels of Family Guy Back To The Multiverse are this.
- The final mission of Dante's scenario in Devil May Cry 2 is a battle against first Argosax the Chaos and then the Despair Embodied.
Beat 'Em Up
- Bayonetta does this with the Four Cardinal Virtues (similar to the Seven Heavenly Virtues...but as angelic monsters), although one of them has a few enemies before the boss fight.
- This often features on final stages in Devil May Cry.
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance does this with the fight against "Jetstream" Sam Rodrigues which counts as an entire chapter.
- Stage 8 of The Simpsons is a boss fight against Smithers and Burns.
- Quite a few of these appear in Asura's Wrath. Specifically, the fights against Wyzen, Kalrow and his Fleet, Augus, Olga's fleet, Wrath Asura, The final Deus Battle, the final Gohma Vlitra Battle, The Final Boss Preview battle against Chakravartin, The Final Yasha battle, and finally, the Last Chakravartin battle.
- MadWorld has one of these in each of the first four areas, each acting as the final boss/stage of the area: Von Twirlenkiller in Downtown (though there's a brief motorcycle segment leading up to it), Yokozuna in Asiantown, Elise in the Castle, and Martin in Area 66.
- The final boss of Abobo's Big Adventure, Little Mac, gets his own level in the style of his home game.
- "Technodrome: The Final Shell Shock!" from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time is the Final Boss, Shredder/Super Shredder.
- The Final Boss of Double Dragon II on the NES gets his own stage as well.
- The sixth and final level of Black Belt/Hokuto no Ken for the Sega Master System is just a battle against Wang/Raoh.
- The first Battletoads game has the Dark Queen fight taking up the entire last level.
First Person Shooter
Hack And Slash
- The Sonic the Hedgehog series loves this trope. The trend started with the first game (which has the Final Zone), and really took off after The Doomsday Zone, with the final bosses of most games take up their own level, usually played while in Super Mode. In addition, the second game's Death Egg Zone was just two boss fights.
- Exaggerated in pretty much every Sonic game since Adventure, which all give bosses their own levels.
- Sonic 3D Blast gave each boss their own level as well.
- The Wii and PS2 versions of Sonic Unleashed demote Mazuri to one of these, possibly to save space.
- While Sonic Lost World mostly averts this trope, the Wii U version of Lava Mountain has this in Zones 1 and 4, while the entire level is this in the 3DS version.
- The first Super Mario Galaxy has Bonefin Galaxy.
- Mega Man 2's final level is short and only leads up to the final battle with the alien.
- In Mega Man 3, Break Man, Wily Machine and Gamma have levels to their own.
- In Mega Man X4, the duel against Colonel is one of these if you're playing as X. (If you're playing as Zero, you get a cutscene instead.)
- Played With in the first Mario vs. Donkey Kong: while clearing the Mini-Mario Levels always leads players to facing Donkey Kong, after the first battle in any given world the Boss Battle itself is freely accessible afterwards, although not going through the MM levels first "punishes" the player with four Hit Points instead of the "usual" six, as it would be the case if all six Mini Marios are rescued.
- The sequels play it straighter.
- The original Donkey Kong '94 also did this, which likely set the trend for the series. Every four stages, you face DK in some kind of, what is usually a dodging the debris kind of level, then the 8th stage is a fight against DK where you have to fight against him with barrels. The last six levels of the game are also this, where DK and DK Jr. try to harm you every stage and take you down, and it finally ends with a fight against DK, and then a final 9th level activates where you face Giga Kong.
- Earthworm Jim has "Snot a Problem".
- In the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy, bosses have their own separate levels.
- In the Wario Land series, the final boss of 3 has his own level. Every boss in 4 and Shake It! has their own level as well.
- In Wario World, while there are bosses at the end of actual levels, world bosses are contained in their own level.
- Donkey Kong:
- In Castlevania for the NES, stage 12 is a short corridor leading to a Boss Battle, and stage 18 is the famous stairs leading up to an antechamber to the Final Boss room. The MSX2 version turns these into considerably longer levels.
- The eighth level of Kid Niki Radical Ninja is really the second part of the Final Boss battle, where he starts running away.
- The penultimate and/or final stage of Wily's Castle in the Mega Man series is usually this.
- Exaggerated in Mischief Makers, every boss has their own stage. Mini-bosses have their own stages!
- Level 20 of the SNES version of Prince of Persia is just the Final Boss.
- The Poseidome, the Industrial Park and the Chum Bucket Lab from Sponge Bob Square Pants Battle For Bikini Bottom are this.
- Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil has one of these for each of its bosses. Door to Phantomile has one for the Final Boss.
- Stage 8 of Alisia Dragoon is not so much a stage as a showdown with Ornah and Baldour.
Role Playing Game
- In Freedom Force, the last battle against Time Master is just him and his time clones.
- Dark Cloud does this with most of its boss fights.
- Final Fantasy IX features the Hill of Despair, where you fight the final boss, Necron.
- Earth Shrine. A turning point in the plot, since it unlocks the passage to Terra, but the boss is a blend of Gimmick Level (you fight it with Zidane and Quina, of all characters) and Anticlimax Boss (unless you've neglected to learn Blue Magic).
- Final Fantasy VII has the City of the Ancients (not to be confused with the Temple of the Ancients which precedes it in the plot). There are no random battles, just some items and gear to pick up, a massive plot development followed by a Boss fight, and then Disc 1 is finished.
- A few examples from World of Warcraft
- The Eye of Eternity instance only has the fight with Malygos.
- Trial of the Crusader has five boss encounters and no trash.
- Throne of the Four Winds only has the fights with the Conclave of Wind and Al'Akir.
- Most of the holiday bosses have become this, despite taking place in dungeons (which are typically trivially easy for the maximum-level players fighting the boss), as queuing for a holiday boss results in you and your group being sent to where the fight happens, or given a direct route to the fight.
- Dark Souls has the Sanctuary Garden in the Artorias of the Abyss DLC, which consists only of the Sanctuary Guardian's boss arena. When you come back later, there are two Degraded Boss Sanctuary Guardians.
- The Demon Ruins comes close to being a boss-only level, as it has three bosses and most of the respawning enemies are also degraded bosses.
- A huge chunk of disc 2 of Xenogears is narration, boss fight, narration, boss fight, repeat. Occasionally, you'll crawl through a dungeon before said fight. Occasionally.
- In Ni No Kuni, the Ghost Ship is just two fights against a mini boss and a boss. Its counterparts, the Glimmering Grotto and the Vault of Tears, are complete dungeons with puzzles to solve and regular enemies to fight.
- Each Elder Dragon in the Monster Hunter series is fought in one of these. Those places are always unavailable otherwise. In the case of the Underwater Ruins in Tri Ultimate, the lair of Ceadeus, it's also the battlefield to fight Gold Ceadeus and Abyssal Lagiacrus.
Shoot 'Em Up
- Famously, the third level of R-Type is essentially one long battle against a giant alien spacecraft.
- Gundemonium Recollection and Gundeadli Gne do this in their final levels.
- Zone M/Titanic Lance in Darius Gaiden. Special in that Zone M is right in the middle of the game, and Titanic Lance is generally agreed to be harder than most of the final bosses.
- The first Bangai-O game has the duel with Sabu in level 26. There are no enemies at all, with the only obstacles being falling block generators.
- Segment 3 Lead and Segment 7 from Hellsinker pits you against Sunken Bishop and Rex Cavalier respectivly for almost the entire duration of the stage.
- The final stage of Steel Saviour has you play what seems to be a level with many "minibosses"... which are revealed to be the Final Boss's Cognizant Limbs. Finally, you fight the main eye at the end.
- A secret stage in Abmneshi The Prophecy consists of one long fight against the Bonus Boss, Sirisai.
- The final stage of the arcade version of Manga/Area88 is this, fighting the Project 4 fortress in an orange sky.
- The final stage of Kamui consists solely of the boss battle with Xaffiquel.
- Kamui's prequel RefleX
- Area 4 pits you against Cancer.
- Area 8, the final area, starts with a short cutscene followed by taking on ZODIAC Libra and two KAMUI units.
- The last stage of Ray Crisis consists solely of the Final Boss, and if the conditions are met, the True Final Boss.
Third Person Shooter