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Boss Rush
Good luck!
The video game version of Run the Gauntlet. A segment — usually near the end of the game — in which you're forced to fight a collection of previously-defeated bosses in sequence, often without a pause to heal or recollect spent resources in between. Depending on the game, the bosses may receive upgrades in order to remain challenging, or they may simply be a parade of Degraded Bosses that will drop like flies when faced with your improved arsenal, or they may be as deadly as they originally were in games where your character doesn't get an improved arsenal.

Occasionally this takes the form of a single enemy who simply mimics the other bosses' attack patterns. Some games feature the Boss Rush as an optional extra mode after the normal game is completed, rather than taking place near the end of the game.

It's a bonus if the Boss Rush is actually explained (if not, it could be considered as a special case of Artifact Mook instead). Part of the reason this trope exists is to reuse assets made for unique bosses on the already limited memory constraints of classic games. Most of the time, it's just an extra challenge.

Not to be confused with Rush Boss, or the Web Game Boss Rush (which is an inversion). If a game is just more or less one big Boss Rush, it becomes a Boss Game. Compare Boss-Only Level, which is one boss that takes up a whole level, and Boss Bonanza, where the bosses are all or mostly new, but they're all in sequence as well.

Examples:

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    Video Games 
  • In The Binding of Isaac, The Chest, the final level of the game, every room contains at least one of the game's bosses, which leads up to the final boss: ??? (AKA Blue Baby)
  • Ninja Gaiden II justifies this when you eventually go To Hell and Back. Along the way, you meet all four of the major bosses that you've killed before, kill them in hell, fight the evil ninja who started the whole damn thing, save the girl, and THEN you get to the final boss.
  • In The Force Unleashed, the fight with Proxy resembles this. Every few times you hit him, he changes into a different boss that you have fought, before finally settling on Darth Maul.
  • The final level of The Adventures of Batman & Robin (SNES, 1994) is just a boss rush of every villain Batman defeated in the previous levels. The level is named, appropriately enough, "The Gauntlet". Specifically, the villains you fight in this stage are (in order of appearance): Penguin, Scarecrow, Clayface, Catwoman, Man-Bat, and the Joker. Clayface and Man-Bat are not fought in any of the previous stages, and Poison Ivy, Two-Face, and the Riddler (who you do encounter as bosses in previous stages) don't show up in this level.
  • The entire Mega Man series uses this, albeit not always executed the same way. A Boss Rush is typically placed in the second-to-last or last level in the game, although the initial game in the first two series dispersed the Boss Rush throughout the last few levels. It's somewhat bearable thanks to the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors weakness to each boss, meaning you'll likely own them in no time flat with little to no damage. Another bonus is the fact that the game typically gives you health powerups after each battle, so you fight each boss on more even terms. In fact, it's so ingrained into the Mega Man identity that they continue to do it even when, for most games, most gamers do not like the Boss Rush as part of the main game anymore.
    • ROM Hack Rockman No Constancy gave the boss rooms slippery floors.
    • Mega Man Zero skews the boss rush out of focus, picking out the four strongest of the Neo Arcadian Reploids in the final stage for a rematch, then pulls a Subversion by having rematches with the Four Guardians themselves, who actually haven't been destroyed yet. Then the trope is downplayed, when Hidden Phantom decides to pull a suicide attack. The return of the bosses is handwaved in retrospect — being a technological Mecca, Neo Arcadia can rebuild their Mutos Reploid warriors with ease.
    • Mega Man 3 had the Doc Robot, an enemy who copied the attack patterns of the bosses from the previous game.
    • Zero 2 throws the player for a loop by changing the attack patterns of one of the bosses in the boss rush entirely, by throwing in the brother you killed in the previous game. It's like they were feeling spiteful and wanted you to lose. Also, the return of these bosses is handwaved by the fact Elpizo used the power of the Dark Elf to bring them back — though with heavy brainwashing in effect. One of those bosses also has an attack that invokes this, where he lifts Zero into the air and attacks him with phantom images of previous X-series bosses (Vile, Agile, Bit, and Colonel).
    • Zero 3 handwaves this, with the Big Bad specializing in Reploid "revival". Even more stunning — no less than four bosses return to fight you from the first game, all with brand new powers! If that wasn't enough for you, Copy X, the Big Bad of the first title, is one of them! However, he's now stuck with a Verbal Tic, and to prevent him from using his Seraph form and rebelling against Dr. Weil (and effectively becoming a case of final boss deja vu), Weil's rigged him with a self-destruct mechanism that goes off when he tries to transform.
    • In Zero 4, not only is there a regular Boss Rush, but the Final Boss has an attack that is effectively a Boss Bum Rush. He can summon the eight bosses from the previous game to quickly perform their signature attack before vanishing. Luckily, they don't have to be destroyed.
    • Ditto Mega Man Battle Network 2, where Gospel attacks using images of three enemy Navis (Air Man, Quick Man, and Cut Man if you were curious) that the player fought just previously in the actual boss rush.
    • And so does Mega Man X8, where the "revived" bosses are actually Reploids who have shapeshifted into them.
    • And in Mega Man ZX Advent, the bosses are rebuilt in new bodies.
      • ZX, in addition to a normal mandatory Boss Rush, has optional rushes through eight select bosses of Zero 3 and 4 (the first 4 fought in the final stage of 3, and the upper floor of boss teleporation chambers in the final stage of 4), in order to get the Model Onote . Instead of beating those 8 bossesnote , the player can opt to beating a single Bonus Boss — an ultra-pumped up version of Omega Zero (technically, residual data), which is Harder Than Hard. Enjoy using up the subtanks.
      • Also in Mega Man ZX Advent, there is a Boss Battles Mode, where you go through every boss of the game, without breaks in between. You are given all A-Trans and 2 full Subtanks, but you are not given any Heart Tanks or Biometal Upgrades. Good luck!
    • This is upped in Mega Man 10 with the Wily/Weapons Archive; essentially, you're up against three sets of three floating pods who imitate the attack patterns of nine Robot Masters, one from each of the previous games, including 7 and 8. And then you have the classic Boss Rush expected from the game, later on.
    • In V for Game Boy there are two boss rushes: the first one is a sequential one with the Mega Man Killers and Quint, and the other one is a typical teleport one for the 8 Stardroids.
    • All of the Mega Man Battle Network games aside from the first and fourth, despite being RPGs, have a boss rush towards the end of the main story that is split into multiple sections. The sixth game in particular has two, with the second being a repeatable straight boss rush in the Bonus Dungeon that is required in order to challenge the Bonus Boss again. Similarly, the fourth and fifth games have the same setup, where the six bosses you gained Double Souls have dark counterparts that must be defeated to reach the Bonus Boss. In the fourth game, it's one-time-only fights, which eventually lead to a battle with Mega Man's Dark Soul. In the fifth game, going off to face the Chaos Lord warrants a rematch with the Dark Soul Navis each time you return to fight again — though depending on the average time it takes to defeat the Navis, Chaos Lord will assume the form of Nebula Grey, Bass, or Mega Man's Dark Soul.
      • The Battle Network games also had a habit of throwing waves of viruses at you in gauntlet-style battles, the circumstances depending on the situation involved. Sometimes, the virus fights could be as lengthy as 20 battles in a row! Yes, that's right — TWENTY!
      • The third Battle Network had two unique situations of boss-rushing. One involved earning ranks to rise up in status in the Undernet, where Beastman shows up suddenly for a rematch, getting deleted again earlier than the other enemy Navis and not during the final stages of the game. To prevent a third fight, Wily terminates his operator, Inukai.
      • The other instance of boss-rush beyond the norm is a series of battles against 15 Omega Navis, the strongest forms of all the Navis in the game, including post-game bosses (save for Bonus Boss Punk), accessed by a secret code when you have surmounted five stars. These fights are punctuated with 3 battles against Omega-level viruses, then a battle against the Omega Navis. To find them, you have to stumble upon their hidden data on the Net. Beating them and earning seven stars causes Final Boss Alpha to morph into a respective Omega form.
      • Although the first game made the player go through similar dungeons from earlier in the game. The only thing that was missing was a boss at the end of them. And the 4th game only had only 2 non-final bosses you were guaranteed to face, with one of those bosses not really counting as a boss fight (until the post-endgame anyways) and the other boss isn't ever faced until the room before the final boss.
    • The picture at the top of this trope's page + Mega Man 2 = Rockman 2 (Ippatsu) Neta. And yes, it is beatable. (Another E-tank, onii-chan? Maybe that's bad to say, for reasons.)
    • Mega Man Star Force has all the FM-ians revived to face off with you as you progress through to get to Big Bad Cepheus — save for Gemini, who shows up earlier for a rematch. How they can assume the forms they took when merging with a human by themselves is handwaved by the fact they can copy the memory of these forms in their bodies, then mimic them perfectly.
    • In Star Force 2, there are two boss rushes of sorts. The first is the normal one where you fight all the bosses who aren't your friends (the usual type,) while the second is in the Bonus Dungeon, where you fight heavily upgraded versions of nearly every boss, (friends included,) as well as some new ones, ending with the Bonus Boss.
    • Star Force 3 also does the same thing.
    • Mega Man X: Command Mission has these as well, despite being an RPG, like the above examples. It's handwaved into the Robots' "DNA" having been absorbed by the Big Bad and the Boss Rush versions not being the original bosses.
    • Mega Man Unlimited, true to Mega Man tradition, has one of these in the fourth endgame stage. However, there is an added twist: Before you fight each boss again, you have to traverse a mini-stage based on the obstacles and enemies in that boss's original stage.
    • While Wily 3 is more of a Metroidvania, the Mechanical Arena unlocked in Rockman 4 Minus Infinity by beating the game is a straighter version (a homage to the Arena in Kirby Super Star). It even has refills in the resting area and a method of travelling to the boss arena.
    • The Spiritual Successor Mighty No. 9 has this as well.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Ganon sponsors them in two games:
      • Ganon's Tower in A Link to the Past features all four of the Light World bosses with upgrades (icy floor for the Armos Knights, traps in the room for the Lanmolas, a weird floor layout for Moldorm, and two false images for Agahnim), the GBA port featured The Palace of the Four Sword which had more difficult forms of the first four Dark World bosses as sub-bosses.
      • Ganon's Tower in The Wind Waker contains black-and-white repeats of every boss in the game bar two, complete with the added challenge of allowing you to use only the items you had available the first time you fought the boss in question; however, you do retain the double-damage master sword, so the bosses drop like flies once you manage to get to their weak spot (the bosses that came before you received the sword, that is).
    • In Spirit Tracks, there is a 50 rupee cost minigame where you go through a bunch of monsters, then get to fight the bosses of the game and Dark Link.
    • In a lesser example, a hidden dungeon in Majora's Mask allows you to fight a series of Mini Bosses you had already defeated in order to gain a Heart Container.
    • Turtle Rock in Link's Awakening had this as well, with the sub-bosses from each of the first four levels and the sixth level reappearing in the dungeon as well as a brand new sub-boss.
    • The Nintendo 3DS Video Game Remake of Ocarina of Time have included the ability to fight previous bosses, and once each boss is refought, a boss rush is unlocked.
    • In Skyward Sword, Lanayru's Lightning Round is one of these. You get to pick a boss to fight at first — lose, and it's Game Over, but win and you get to go on. The prize increases with each successive win, including a Piece of Heart, the game's Infinity+1 Shield, and more Rupees than you know what to do with. Note that you can only fight bosses you have already conquered (except the Bilocyte-infested Levias, who's oddly absent altogether) as well as the Horde blitz prior to fighting Ghirahim III. In Hero Mode, you also get the privilege of facing Demise, who is all kinds of fun. For extra challenge, after the first boss, Lanayru picks the next at random.
    • Similar to Majora's Mask, in the last dungeon of Skyward Sword there's a series of Mini-Boss battles against two Moldorms, Dreadfuse, two Metal Shield Moblins, a group of Stalfos aided by Bokoblin Archers, and a Stalmaster aided by a group of Cursed Bokoblins.
  • The first form of Lavos in Chrono Trigger mimics nine previously-fought bosses in sequence. The repeats receive no updates at all, so the first several go down in one hit. It helps that it allows you to heal and swap party members between each iteration, though it doesn't go out of its way to let you know about this.
  • Near the End of Red's Scenario in SaGa Frontier, you have to fight all of the major bosses again (Each has double the Initial HP they had in the first battle.) You do fight MBlack 3, but that is after the main Boss Rush.
  • Gradius:
    • Each subsequent game in the main series features a variation — a rush of five or six bosses from the previous game. Salamander (the second game) featured three of the Big Cores from Gradius, Gradius II (actually the third game) had up to four Salamander bosses. Gradiuses III, IV and V had all-new bosses mixed into the rush, but always included at least one boss from its immediate predecessor. V does it twice, first in Stage 2, then in Stage 6. As for the Gaiden Game, Gradius Gaiden, its rush consisted entirely of completely new bosses, though two Deaths make up part of one of the bosses.
    • The incredibly Nintendo Hard Salamander 2 doesn't have a boss rush. Neither does Gradius Galaxies; the first mid-boss of Stage 8 is less of a Boss Rush and more of a Sequential Boss.
    • The Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG has a card called Boss Rush, part of a series of cards based on Gradius. The effect is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, in that the player may summon a "B.E.S." or "Big Core" card (these representing Gradius Bosses) at the end of each turn that a B.E.S./Big Core was destroyed. Since all these cards come into play with no counters, they're destroyed in battle (some cards can prevent this), but get a replacement at turn's end. If your opponent lacks Spell removal or monsters with over 2500 ATK, this can cause them problems, at least for the twelve turns your stock of Bosses holds out, assuming you have a full stock. Boss Rush can be stacked for More Dakka over a shorter time period.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • The final chapter of Fire Emblem 7 contains soulless clones (with mostly maxed-out levels and statistics, as well as legendary weapons) of the most dangerous Black Fang members in the game, plus Marquess Laus, and sics them on you all at once. One of the few exceptions to the "never tougher than the originals" rule. However, lucky for you, these morphs have no luck, possibly due to their lack of a soul.
    • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War:
      • Big Bad Julius has 12 beefed-up Mooks defending the final castle, waiting to charge your army as soon as you get close. They've got names, insane stats, powerful weapons, some even have holy blood. Plus, before that, he sends out 3 frustrating Falcon Knights and right-hand lady Ishtar... just as Arion goes for your home base with a group of dragon knights! (Luckily, these can be taken care of by having Altenna talk to Arion. They'll become friendly NPCs after that.)
      • Thracia 776's final level has 6 of the aforementioned beefed-up Mooks, and this time, they're clones of other characters (namely, Leidrick, Sara, Lifis, Galzus, Evayle, and Dagdar) and will take their forms if they are dead.
      • Fire Emblem Awakening brings back the Deadlords, except here they have more or less a chapter to themselves (two actually, if you count the DLC which pits you against 36 of them). There's also an earlier chapter where you fight Cervantes, Excellus, and finally Walhart in succession.
  • In Digital Devil Saga 2, a sidequest allows you to fight the four archangels Uriel, Raphael, Gabriel, and Michael in a certain area. The first three you fight individually, but in the final fight you have to kill them again before facing Michael.
  • At the climax of Half-Life 2: Episode Two, you have to face a small army of tripodal Striders (which served as bosses in the two previous games), and two to three Hunters (which were used as bosses earlier in the game) accompany each one! This is made significantly easier than it sounds, though, since with a bit of skill you can one-hit kill both of them.
  • In Ōkami, you have to fight the first five bosses (Crimson Helm, Orochi, the Spider Queen, Blight, and Ninetails) again before you can proceed to the final boss battle (the penultimate bosses, Lechku and Nechku are not fought as you're without Oki, who was necessary to shoot them down in order to damage them). Another example is the third Bandit Spider Demon Gate, which includes a rematch against three tough mini-bosses up to 3 Evil Raos and 2 Wakas- all at the same time- previously seen through the main quest.
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars contains infinitely reproducing robotic duplicates of the Smithy Gang as Mooks in one part of its final dungeon.
  • Viewtiful Joe and its sequel each have a Boss Rush for their penultimate level. In the first game, they're statues of the bosses come to life. In the second, you fight an android that morphs into the other bosses. In both cases, the repeat bosses have more health than the originals.
  • The original ending to Throne of Bhaal, the expansion for Baldur's Gate 2, was to feature all the bosses you previously fought... in one battle. This was nixed in the final version (which just had a lot of enemies) because of a deadline, but the semi-official mod Ascension put it back in. This battle is both much harder and much more satisfying than the vanilla ending.
    • Ascension even goes so far as to have Mellissan casually resurrect Irenicus and Bodhi, Big Bad and Dragon of the previous game, for you to warm up with. And if you have Sarevok in the party it's possible for him to turn on you too, meaning you get to face every storyline boss in the entire saga again. Oh and if Imoen's around she'll turn her into the slayer and force her to attack you. Although in her case you just have to stay away until she snaps out of it.
  • A bonus Boss Rush mode is a common unlockable feature in later Castlevania games. Notably Harmony of Dissonance, the Sorrow duology, Portrait of Ruin and Order of Ecclesia. You battle all the bosses in a row, aiming for the quickest time, often to unlock special weapons and equipment for the main game. Quite often given a bit of extra replay value though allowing you to use the bonus characters from the game as well.
    • Harmony Of Dissonance, while allowing you to play through the Boss Rush as Juste or Maxim, also lets you play as the original 8-bit Simon Belmont Sprite, with a remix of Vampire Killer for the music. He can't double jump or dash, but he is much tougher, dealing far more damage and having far more hit points.
    • Castlevania: Bloodlines features at the start of it's Boss Bonanza final level, a fight against Death. While Death is normally a recurring staple of the franchise, before he's fought the player has to pick off cards that summon previous boss fights (in reduced abilities) from the levels, in a monochrome backdrop.
  • Devil Survivor has a form of this in one of the Multiple Endings; the Final Boss, before you can even touch him, will summon all Bel bosses. Sure, some of them are much easier due to the difference in levels. Others... not so much.
  • The Kirby series, similar to Castlevania also tends to feature an unlockable bonus Boss Rush mode.
    • Kirby Super Star Ultra takes this to absolutely ridiculous levels, containing three independent Boss Rush modes: The Arena, the standard rush from the original Kirby Super Star for the SNES; Helper to Hero, where you play as one of Kirby's numerous sidekicks through a shortened Boss Rush with the bosses fought in the same pre-set order every time; and The "True" Arena, where you fight stronger versions of the Spring Breeze bosses, a new boss ported from Kirby's Dream Land, a rush of mini-bosses from Kirby's Adventure and finally, much harder versions of four final bosses of earlier game levels - which, combined with less effective healing items between matches - healing about 20% of the health bar, as opposed to the full bar in the earlier two modes - and the fact that Kirby bosses are already plenty hard before getting powered up, makes for one of the most frustratingly difficult levels in the entire series.
    • In Return to Dreamland, there are also multiple boss rushes: One for the normal mode, and one for Extra Mode. What's notable about Extra Mode's is that in addition to the bosses in the game, you also must face a Bonus Boss: Galacta Knight.
    • The Kirby series has had a couple of mandatory Boss Rushes as well. In the first game, you had to fight the four bosses again before you could battle King Dedede. In Kirby's Dreamland 3, Kirby's Adventure, and several others, there's a level near (or at) the end where you face off with all the mini-bosses of the game again.
    • Kirby Mass Attack deserves mention for having two different Boss Rushes in a row and a more classic Boss Rush. The first is Stage 4-9, in which you fight revived versions of Big Warwiggle, Great Gear, and King Eelongo. Beating them unlocks a new miniboss: Buzzy Bat, who is regarded by many as the hardest miniboss in the game. Immediately after beating them, you fight the Final Boss, Skullord. Beating him with all of the Rainbow Medlas, however, unlocks the real final area... which is a Boss Rush for all four major bosses: Whispy Woods, Lady Ivy, King Dedede, and Skullord. Beating THEM unlocks the True Final Boss, Necrodeus himself. Oh, and you get a more complete Boss Rush of most of the minibosses and bosses by getting all of the Medals and talking to Daroach.
    • Aside from the two arenas, Kirby Triple Deluxe has mandatory rematches against all five of the bosses in the final world, spread out across two levels. Their attack patterns are different from in the original battles to make them a bit more difficult. The last leg of the final level has a miniboss rush with a twist; you're in Hypernova, and proceed to one-shot multiple DX versions of the minibosses, ending with a third rematch with the game's first boss, Flowery Woods that Kirby swallows whole in seconds.
  • The Metal Gear Solid series is another game with an unlockable Boss Rush.
    • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has a one section where you fight clones of the bosses you've previously defeated right before fighting the de facto head of Desperado Inc.. Interestingly enough however, this happens just a little over halfway through the game and not at the end, there are a few more chapters and bosses after this.
  • Jade Empire did this with the penultimate battle in the Gold Division of the Arena, where you fought all enemies you previously faced in one battle (there was a delay between the appearance of each, so you wouldn't be completely overwhelmed). This fight is optional (as is the entire Gold Division).
  • Happens at the end of Blood, where you have to fight the three bosses you defeated earlier before finally facing the Big Bad.
  • Final Fantasy I had each of the Four Fiends occur as pseudobosses in the final dungeon. However, unlike other Boss Rushes, they were actually interspersed throughout the temple, at a series of specific (unavoidable) squares. If you traveled over those squares repeatedly, you'd have to fight them again! Apparently to prevent easy leveling, the bosses all had low experience gains. In addition, the Boss Rush was slightly explained by taking place 2000 years in the past.
    • As an homage to this, Final Fantasy IX does the same thing in Memoria, where the four elemental fiends are encountered at various points in the level. The big difference is that only one of the four previous encounters with the fiends were under player control. Expanding even further on the concept, the very last area in the game features endless copies of these bosses as the only random encounters in the area. Each boss improves slightly so their weaknesses are removed and get new spells. This led to a situation where the first major boss would suddenly use NUKE on you.
  • Final Fantasy IV features repeats of the Four Elemental Lords in the Giant of Babel. Their stats are improved, but they lose a lot of their unique abilities that made them really challenging. Unless you're playing the DS remake, in which case they have lost nothing.
  • Final Fantasy V, In the GBA port, the Cloister of the Dead inside the Sealed Temple, which is unlocked after defeating Enuo, features most bosses from the game to be fought in a succession of waves, all of them slightly altered to adjust the challenge.
  • Final Fantasy VI, in its version for the GBA, has the Soul Shrine, a place where the souls of all the enemies go after being defeated. In order to appease them, you have to fight 128 consecutive battles, with only 5 breaks in between. These fights are random, and they can include the commonest of the foes, but you could end up fighting That One Boss as well. Repeatedly. Regardless, for the final 9 battles, you'll face the 8 Dragons after they've taken their steroids, and their angry daddy, the powerful and almighty Kaiser Dragon. Of course, you will be rewarded accordingly.
  • The Special Match in the Battle Square in Final Fantasy VII has elements of a Boss Rush. Three of the first four enemies are seen as final enemies in the Battle Square's normal matches (and also as normal monsters elsewhere), while the 5th and 8th enemies are bona fide storyline bosses.
  • Final Fantasy X: The ending sequence, which begins with Braska's Final Aeon, then all of Yuna's Aeons - one after the other - and finally, Yu Yevon. The fact that you have Permanent Auto-Life throughout the latter two parts takes away from the spectacle somewhat.
  • The NES game Nightshade had a Boss Rush hall where you face off with all four bosses before the final battle with Sutekh. This could be avoided by finding four artifacts of power scattered through the city, and severing their connection to Sutekh. Each artifact protected would be one less boss to fight.
  • The first House of the Dead game has you fighting previously fought bosses again. During the last level, you face off with the bosses of the first two levels. Chariot is the same, though Hanged Man is a little easier.
    • In House of the Dead 2, you have two types of Boss Rushes in the game. You battle the first three bosses of the game again, as well as the final boss of the first game, throughout the last two levels, with some variations. Finally, when fighting the last boss, Emperor, his second attack strategy is actually to summon up transparent clones of the first four bosses, who attack once before fading away.
  • Gunstar Heroes (And the GBA sequel) has an interesting variation. While you do fight all the main boss characters you faced off with before, they now have either entirely new war machines, or very different attacks and tactics that you must adapt to. What's also interesting is that the entire level is seen through the Big Bad's Control Station monitor, with all the bosses around him. When you defeat one, he directs another to move out and stop you.
  • The Guardian Legend for the NES had a special mode where you ran through all of the vertical-scrolling shooter stages in a row, skipping the mazes and key-collecting.
    • Not to mention the boss rush while escaping, where you fight many previously-encountered bosses, then just when you think it's over, "It", a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere, shows up, apparently in a final act of revenge for the destruction of Naju.
  • The last few levels of Freedom Force have you trying to rescue a team member from a time controlling villain. In order to get to him, you have to fight through slices of time, each containing a previously defeated villain at the height of their power.
  • In Assassins Creed, during the final confrontation with Al-Mualim, the Piece of Eden is used to create specters of each of Altair's previous assassination targets to throw him off.
  • Devil May Cry 3 and 4 have one level almost entirely devoted to this. Then again, they ARE Capcom games.
    • The penultimate boss of Dante's scenario in 2 is a mishmash of most of the bosses you've fought up till that point, including one from the first game.
  • All games in the Another Century's Episode series have Extra Mission 1 & 2, which are essentially boss rushes where you face two bosses at a time.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • The All-star mode in Melee in which the player fights all characters in a random order, finishing with 25 Mr. Game & Watches. Brawl features this mode again, but also has an actual Boss Rush mode with the bosses from the Subspace Emissary.
    • Also in Brawl, during the final level of the Subspace Emissary, The Great Maze, there's a Boss Rush which is a combination of the All-Star and Boss Rush modes, seeing as you have to not only fight all characters gained in the story but all the bosses as well. The Great Maze is also a Game Rush, since not only you have to fight all the other characters and the bosses gained and beaten previously but you also go through bits of most of the levels previously cleared in a single Metroidvania level. It's essentially the game up to that point revisited. This page actually explains this part of the game, saying that the Great Maze is assembled with the pieces of the world taken to Subspace with the Subspace Bombs, and that the revived bosses and shadowy clones are the result of the Subspace Army's extensive analysis.
  • Happens at the end of Rayman, where the final "boss" is in fact three boss fusions fought back-to-back.
  • Space Harrier's eighteenth and final level (Absymbel) is solely a parade of six of the previous bosses, except that now they get names; given the nature of the game, it actually turns out to be somewhat of a Breather Level.
  • In City of Heroes you can fight the archvillains of the Council individually in different parts of the game. In City of Villains you fight a gauntlet of them all in a single mission near the end of the game. Interestingly, you face the toughest ones early on in the boss rush.
    • "End of the game" meaning that this challenge is not available to the player until they reach level 45 in a MMO that has 50 levels.
    • The Lord Recluse Strike Force in the level 45-50 range of City of Villains features three boss rushes in which you fight all of the present elite Heroes simultaneously. Of course, since this is a MMO, "simultaneously" just means "be careful with the pulls".
    • Its heroic counterpart, the Statesman Task Force, has three boss rushes, each one higher up the Arachnos chain of command. The middle one takes it literally, as players have to defeat each member of the Quirky Miniboss Squad at a time to get to the next floor, before about a billion Mooks catch up.
  • In X-Men Legends 2 you face both Apocalypse's four horsemen (all of whom you've already kicked the butts of) and Apocalypse himself. However, none are as hard as when you face them the first time. The sequel Marvel Ultimate Alliance pulls the same trick but in a non-Boss Rush fashion with Doctor Doom being aided by an infinitively respawning Dark Fantastic Four.
  • Konami's X-Men arcade game has you facing all of the bosses PLUS two Magneto's, one fake, one real, on Avalon.
  • In Ace Combat Zero, there is a bonus stage, "The Gauntlet." In it, three different ace squadrons come after you, one after the other, without restoring either your health or your ammo (well, not automatically - there's a Return Line). If you defeat the final squadron quickly enough, Mobius 1, The Faceless Player Character from Ace Combat 04, will come after you alone. Not to mention that the special appearance is only available on Ace difficulty, the hardest difficulty. And Mobius 1 is just as hard as you'd expect. Especially considering they made it Nintendo Hard by letting the AI have Improbable Piloting Skills, and can fire multiple missiles at once. Backwards.
  • One of the most sadistic Boss Rushes in history is in the RPG Legend of Legaia. You're forced to fight three siblings of varying difficulty, one-on-one, with an equivalent fighter on your own team, before having to fight Koru - who doesn't do a great deal of damage, but comes with an inbuilt timer which blows him up in five turns, ending the game. Thankfully, there is a chance to heal and save between the Delilases and Koru. The Master Course of the arena also qualifies, though it is thankfully optional.
  • A series of events hardly hinted at in The World Ends with You causes Another Day's Neku to run into the main game's Joshua - with Another Day's Joshua in tow! It's then that main Joshua challenges Another Neku to an 11-reduction chain battle against just about every boss in the game. The only worthwhile prize to be gained from this (asides from a chance at the bosses' own individual drops multiplied by eleven, useful if you're having difficulty chaining them elsewhere) is five 10K Yen pins and the Angel Feather, which is Awesome, but Impractical, but at least it's redoable.
  • Shining Force II has a bonus map after the game that allows you to fight all the bosses at once. As a bonus Shout-Out, the map is shaped like Sonic.
  • Super Robot Wars is usually generous with only having one or two bosses per-level at the very worst, but sometimes they just get mean.
    • In Super Robot Wars 3, the second-to-last level can hypothetically involve taking on Scirroco, the Big Bad from Zeta Gundam, his girlfriend, Enfant Terrible Wendolo, and three-fourths of his Quirky Miniboss Squad. And all their subordinates, for a grand total of 35 units. And you take them on with half of that. Fun.
    • The version of that fight in Super Robot Wars Original Generation 2, was only slightly less difficult, making you only fight Axel and half the Quirky Miniboss Squad before facing Wendolo. Then the next stage threw you against both the Einst and Shadow-Mirror, and the Shadow-Mirror don't have the courtesy to wait until you're finished with the Einst.
    • In Super Robot Wars Alpha 3, the battle against Muge Solbados from Dancougar is a boss rush. He first sends his three henchmen against the team (along with several mooks). Once they're killed, Muge himself appear and summons four killed boss characters, two of them from previous games.
    • Super Robot Wars K sets a case of this fairly EARLY in the game by having to face almost all the named Overman King Gainer characters very early. Two missions also send them alongside some GUN×SWORD bosses.
    • The real battle in the final scenario of Super Robot Wars Compact 3 begins as Alkaid gives it his all and raises the Shura Gods to use against the team. Shou can't believe that they have to take on all the defeated Shura Gods as well as Alkaid at once but Marvel tells him not to get weak and Quattro says that those are just fakes without the real owner piloting it but Alkaid says that the fake Shura Gods are imbued with his power so they're as strong as the ones the team once faced.
  • The Hole of Heroes in Pikmin 2 is a Boss Dungeon, with some regular floors, some rest floors, and some boss floors, pitting you against a Burrowing Snagret and Pileated Snagret first, then a Ranging Bloyster and some Armored Cannon Beetle Larva, then some Emperor Bulblaxes, then an Empress Bulblax, then a Man-at-Legs fightable with only Blues and Bulbmin, then a Beady Long Legs, then one original boss: the Raging Long Legs. Luckily, you DO get to save between levels.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist, the fourth level (appropriately titled "The Gauntlet") features rematches against the first three level bosses (with an extra health bar each) before sending you against the level's real boss.
  • "Boss Rush" is available through a code in Ristar.
  • ActRaiser has an extremely sadistic Boss Rush at the end of the game. The bosses are extremely hard, but can made simple by using all of your magic on them. But facing them all in a row with no chances to heal or refill your Magic Meter in between makes this Boss Rush next to impossible. Not to mention that all the bosses are sped up.
  • Round 8 in Streets of Rage forces the player to fight against all the previous bosses (Antonio, Souther, Abadede, Bongo, and Onihime and Yasha) before the final battle against Mr. X. While the bosses have less health this time, unlike in the regular rounds, the player cannot summon the bazooka-launching police backup to help them out (since the battle takes place inside a building).
  • Joe & Mac 2: Lost in the Tropics had the player fight every single boss before the last boss.
  • Mario Party has one in two games, both of which require story mode to be completed at least once to prevent spoilers:
    • Mario Party DS has this as a "Boss Bash" Minigame, where you get to fight the bosses in order as a Time Trial. You don't have to worry about restocking or having to fight the bosses on reduced health — but you DO have to beat them all in a row or you'll fail the entire minigame.
    • Mario Party 9 allows the player to choose between fighting only minibosses, only main bosses or all of them. Since bosses can't kill characters (their attacks only reduce scores), the challenge is based on which of the 2-4 challengers deals the most damage in each battle. The character with the highest overall rank is declared victor.
  • Before the final confrontation in Grandia II, you have to fight most of the pieces of Valmar you have defeated so far. Somehow explained, since Big Bad Zera absorbed them.
  • Used in several Sonic the Hedgehog games:
    • The Sonic/Tails version of Sky Sanctuary in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, which gave you versions of the Green Hill and Metropolis bosses from the first two games, before the level boss, Mecha Sonic. Interestingly, due to slight alterations of sprite proportions and Jump Physics between the Sonic games, the difficulty of the two nostalgia bosses here is inverted from their original difficulty.
    • The first Sonic Adventure featured a boss rush for the regular six characters that you can access in Trial Mode after beating their stories. Amy and Big's "rushes" consist of only one boss since that's all they have, and Gamma's rush only has his first and last bosses since his other boss fights are actually part of levels. Also, none of the battles against other playable characters were included in the boss rushes.
    • Sonic Adventure 2 had an optional extra three Boss Rushes: a rush of all the boss battles in the Hero Story when that story is complete; a rush of all the boss battles in the Dark Story when that story is complete; and a rush of all the boss battles in the game when Last Story is complete. Beating each rush is worth one Emblem.
    • The final level of Sonic Advance is a miniature Boss Rush of classics — specifically, the first bosses of Sonic 1 and Sonic 2, before the real final boss shows up.
    • The final level of Sonic Advance 2 is a Boss Rush of all the prior bosses from the game, although they take half the hits to beat. After all that you reach the final boss. This is also a literal example as all the bosses in the game are rushing away from you and you have to run to it.
  • DoDonPachi dai ou jou features a very cruel take on the Boss Rush in a mode called Death Label. You fight the bosses of the game at second-loop difficulty, and at the very end, you get something better than a Perfect Run Final Boss: TWO of them! Also, if you pick Leinyan as your doll and use her laser bomb, the bomb heals the boss!
    • The final stages of both dai ou jou, and its sequel, DaiFukkatsu, also features rematch against the many bosses of DoDonPachi.
  • Ketsui Death Label is a Boss Rush edition of the arcade Shoot Em Up Ketsui for the DS.
  • Breath of Fire III pulls this one near the end of the game. One of the last areas you have to wander through has multiple rooms, many of which hold previous bosses under the name "Sample ##" (each boss had a different number; presumably, the new name scheme was an excuse to not show the HP of bosses that haven't changed one bit). Most of the weaker bosses simply came in groups rather than alone (for example, the game's first boss, Nue, came in a group of 3, but wasn't any stronger), and a few received upgrades (such as the Stallion boss, which was now 3 monsters instead of one, and each one now used and absorbed a specific element). There was even a new boss to fight (though still going by the "Sample" naming scheme), one resembling a giant bird (using the sprite of the Basilisk mook from the the previous game), which is supposedly a copy of a boss that was cut from the final game.
  • Fraxy is a Boss Rush shmup where the bosses are user-created.
  • Dynasty Warriors 6 has this in Lu Bu's version of the Battle of Hu Lao Gate. Apparently the only remaining challenge for him was to have two dead bosses (Zhang Jiao and Dong Zhuo) come back from the dead, the leaders of the Three Kingdoms unite, and for almost everyone else in the game to dog pile ya. If you beat them all, though, they all come back from the dead (in Zhang Jiao and Dong Zhuo's case, again) in Hyper Mode.
  • The Fantasy Zone series always featured a boss rush immediately before the final boss. Said boss rush is made all the harder by the fact that you cannot go to the store to re-purchase useful items unless you die.
  • The doujin shoot-em-up rRootage is one big Boss Game, consisting of four modes (normal, PSY, IKA, GW), each one having 40 stages. Each stage consists of a five-boss Boss Rush, and the 40 stages consist of 30 stages of pre-defined bosses and 10 stages of randomly-generated bosses. 5 bosses * 30 pre-defined stages * 4 modes = 600 bosses. Tally in the random stages and you have a near-unlimited number of bosses.
  • The Monster Arena in Golden Sun: The Lost Age can easily become this if you have defeated every boss there is. The normal bosses aren't that hard, but try surviving when there comes Bonus Boss after Bonus Boss.. Or easier said, try surviving when Dullahan comes.
  • Parappa The Rapper offers a bizarre example: You're desparately standing in line for the bathroom with all the previous stages' bosses, and you have to out-rap them to get past them in line, otherwise you'll poop yourself.
    • The sequel Parappa The Rapper 2 does something similar to this, in the form of a Food Court video game in a stage late in the game.
  • The penultimate stage of the freeware game Blip & Blop: Balls of Steel is a boss rush against Big Bad Dario and his fellow comrades, all of whom are original bosses that you haven't fought yet.
  • The final battle of Nowel's route in Magical Battle Arena has you fighting everyone you've fought along the way, except the Gadget Drones and your clones. The bad: Since this is a Fighting Game, Nowel is still as strong as she was then as she is now. The worse: You have to fight all of them at the same time with no allies. The worst: They're not handicapped in any way. Have fun!
  • Maximum Carnage was made of Boss Rush. First off, a less powerful version of every non-super powered sub-boss would become a grunt in the next level. Then, the boss fights would feature an ever increasing number of super-powered bad guys who would reappear after defeat at the next boss fight. Finally, after a rooftop battle against about 8 true bosses at once, the next level was a Sub-Boss Rush featuring all of the grunts powered back up to their boss-fight level.
  • Secret of Mana comes close to this trope with the Pure Land, an area near the end of the game featuring six bosses, many of them upgraded versions of earlier bosses. While you can leave at any time to heal or restock, doing so forces you to retrace your steps through a tough area replete with powerful enemies in order to make additional progress.
  • Inverted in Eternal Darkness. The game is a series of chapters taking place in various times and locales, each with a different player character. During the final battle, the heroine from the framing story channels each of the dead PCs in turn so they can take one last crack at the Big Bad.
  • An odd version of this occurs in the final part of Dragon Quest III; before getting to fight the final boss, you have to fight his minions; three nasty midbosses. However, instead of being easily-defeated former bosses, these guys are amped-up recolors who can and will beat the crap out of you, inevitably leaving you weakened for the final boss. It doesn't help that they respawn; if you die and get booted back to town, or so much as leave the room, you'll have to fight through them all over again.
  • Riviera: The Promised Land has one in the final section of the game where the player needs to fight 5 Dark Progenitors, basically boss of previous chapters (except Ledah) before facing Hector, and then face Seth-Ra.
  • In Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time, once you approach the game, allows you to fight the bosses from the previous game in the series, Ring of Fates, although you can stop between each battle, and come back and face any of them again at any time.
  • One Piece: Unlimited Cruise has a couple of these, with two modes: a normal mode (in which item use is allowed), and a hard mode (no item for you).
  • Star Soldier on the PSP presents you with Boss On Parade, a boss rush mode which is unlocked when you beat the game once.
  • Almost every Pokémon hand held game follows this trope religiously for the very end of the game. You fight the Elite Four one by one, getting a brief break in between each (without any healing facilities on hand), and then you fight the Pokémon Champion for the final battle. Losing in any of these battles makes you have to fight them all again on your next attempt. Hope you stocked up on Hyper Potions and Revive.
    • You can also set up a bigger one in HeartGold and SoulSilver by getting all the Gym Leaders to come to the Fighting Dojo, and fighting them all without healing.
    • In Pokémon Black and White, after beating the Elite Four (whom you can now face in any order), you immediately have to fight Reshiram/Zekrom, N, and Ghetsis.
    • In Pokemon Black And White 2, there's the Pokemon World Tournament, where you go into a bracket tournament against a particular region's set of Gym Leaders. There's also the World Leaders Tournament, a bigger tournament with opponents from all regions, and the Champions Tournament.
    • In the ROM Hacks Sacred Gold and Storm Silver, there's a special Boss Rush in the Fighting Dojo. You face basically every boss from the game: all 16 gym leaders, the 4 Rocket Admins, The Rival, the Elite Four, Giovanni, Lance, and Red.
  • In The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin (Sega Genesis port for sure, unsure about the others), when Spidey reaches the bomb, he must fight every one of the villains he has faught thus far. He can disarm the bomb while being attacked, but it is a real pain in the ass to do so.
  • New Play Control! Donkey Kong Jungle Beat features a level called "Kong of the Mountain", where you have to fight Dread Kong, Karate Kong, Ninja Kong, Sumo Kong, and Ghastly King without any chance of recovery (and with only 500 beats, to boot).
  • Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? has the second-to-last level, Sweet Palace, which pits you against souped-up versions of bosses you've fought in previous stages, interspersed with short platforming areas.
    • What makes this example interesting is that, depending on which boss (or bosses) you battled in the six initial stages, some will change up during the rush. For example, if you chose the Demon Sea Casino Stage first, you battle Bok Choy, a Zombie who's extremely easy. In the aformentioned Sweet Palace, he decides to sic Cyberclops on you instead of rematching. If you already beat Cyberclops by choosing the stage fifth or last, it gets upgraded to 2.0 and has harder to avoid attacks. Likewise, if the High Tome Forest was picked first, you fight Kim, a Magic Knight. In Sweet Palace, she calls up her twin sister, Chi, to assist her in the fight. If Anise the Cat Witch was involved in any way (including the 3 on 1 midnight battle), she faces you alone.
  • The SNES Animaniacs game has you re-face four bosses before the final showdown with Pinky and the Brain. Okay, the King of Spades has been replaced with the Knight of Clubs, but the battle is basically identical.
  • The Marimite doujin game Lillian Fourhand has its final level consisting of a rush with all of the mini-bosses and the first two bosses before you reach the final boss, a triple tag-team of the game's latter three bosses.
  • The bonus mission "Arena" in F.E.A.R.: Perseus Mandate is a large arena-type area in which various enemies drop in to fight you. Between each wave of regular Replica soldiers a Boss in Mook Clothing drops in to beat up on you; first a Heavy Armor soldier, then a Powered Armor unit, then a riot shield Heavy Armor soldier with a minigun, and finally a huge Leviathan mech walker that serves as the "final boss" of the level.
  • In the third-to-last level of Prey, just before you fight the Disc One Final Boss, you're pitted in an arena fight against practically every enemy type in the game, including the game's previous two boss characters.
  • World of Warcraft's Crusader's Coliseum is essentially this trope, both in 5-man dungeon form and 10/25-man raid form. You're given time to heal/rebuff/resurrect between each fight, though.
    • The first fight of said Coliseum in the raid version would be a more accurate example, fighting three different bosses in rapid succession. On heroic mode, each boss even comes with a set time limit before the next arrives, even if the previous one is still standing.
    • The Crusader's Coliseum was Blizzards answer to players asking for less trash mobs between bosses after Ulduar. No trashmobs at all. No instance either, just a big circular arena.
  • Battle Garegga's fifth stage has you fight upgraded versions of the Stage 1 and 2 bosses, then throws out a huge plane, then culminates with Black Heart.
  • Xenogears is fond of these, pitting you against not one by two Quirky Miniboss Squads (the Elements and Elly's Gelber strike team) twice. Also Disc 2 can be considered an absurdly slow boss rush.
  • In Xenoblade, the stretch before the final boss places phantoms of Xord, Metal Face, Jade Face, and the Sani Telethia in your way. Oddly, you're allowed to simply run past them if you're not in the mood for fighting.
  • Icewind Dale 2 has one of the enemies at the end summon the shadows of a few formerly fought bosses.
  • StarTropics 2: Zoda's Revenge. The second half of the final chapter is a boss rush of all the previous chapters (including the Scorpion mini-boss from Chapter 2). This is complete with black-and-white coloring for the bosses and backgrounds.
  • The last set of levels in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 feature various rushes against the sub-bosses. Nick Fury also uses the abilities of previous bosses, but in different ways
  • Digimon World Dawn/Dusk features a post-final-boss quest where you have to go through a new area featuring stronger wild encounters than any you have faced before, only to end up with a boss rush involving SEVEN back-to-back battles, of which two are against a pair of Digimon, while the rest are against only one (tellingly, most of them are either final bosses or eleventh hour superpowers from the anime or manga). Omegamon was nasty thanks to Royal Slash, and the fact he was not alone, then there's Dukemon Crimson Mode at the end who not only hits like a truck, but takes quite a while to bring down too. If THAT wasn't enough, there's another boss rush quest after you've done several other things, including the boss rush just mentioned. This time, it's 5 battles, each against 1-3 digimon, the last one being against a digimon that has obscenely high defences and resistances to most things, leading to what is a Marathon Boss (called Chronomon Holy Mode, a bonus boss who is the more powerful version of Digimon World DS's final boss, in which he also turns up as a bonus boss) if you don't have darkness attacks to exploit its weakest resistance.
    • Digimon World DS does this with the final quest. First, you have to beat six bosses scattered across the game's later dungeons. Following that, you can finally travel to the final dungeon and encounter the True Final Boss, at which point the other six bosses, or superpowered versions of them, arrive and you fight them, one after the other, and the final boss.
    • The final boss battle of Digimon World 3 is essentially one of these, as it's Nanomon, Valvemon and Armagemon under the command of a Tamer.
  • The last stage of the arcade game Strider intersperses the majority of the bosses and mid-bosses from throughout the game, some of them fought simultaneously, with the boss of Stage 1 ultimately carrying the player to the scene of the final battle.
  • Tenchu 3: Wrath Of Heaven offers one as the final Co-Op mission, pitting two players against 5 teams of two bosses each.
    • Tenchu: Fatal Shadows has it as the last unlockable option in its Red Blade mode, which pits the player against all the game's bosses in quick succession.
  • The Purple Gem Cup in Crash Team Racing has you racing against all the non-final bosses in the game, as well as Fake Crash. At least they don't drop 1000 TNTs per lap anymore.
  • Stage 5-2 of Contra: Shattered Soldier. After fighting Lance, you fight against remakes of several bosses from previous Contra games. Stage 6 combines this with a Sequential Boss.
    • The final stage of Contra III also does this, with returning bosses from the original Contra and Super Contra.
  • Chrome Hounds subverts this in the final mission. You think you're about to fight two of the previous bosses at once but when you kill one the level ends.
  • While climbing the Tower of Babel in Illusion of Gaia, each floor has a room which takes you to a previous Boss you must re-defeat in order to advance. The main differences are cosmetic; the rooms are all redesigned to resemble the Dark Spaces where you save your game and rest. The Bosses remain the same in strength, so your battles are (mostly) easier thanks to your upgrades since those initial battles. The only drawback comes in the form of more than one of those Bosses being That One Boss earlier in the game; enjoy!
    • There's also the added difficulty that there are only savepoints next to the first boss battle in this final rush. After beating boss #1 (Castoth), the player can heal and save before heading up to face boss #2 (Viper). Then a quick trip back downstairs will let you use the same heal/save point as before. Unfortunately, you then pass through a one-way gate on the way further up the tower, and there are no further savepoints after that. This means that you have to fight the annoyingly difficult boss #3 (the Vampire Twins), the easy boss #4 (Sand Fanger), and the really annoyingly difficult boss #5 (the Mummy Queen) without any chance to save or heal between fights. You'd better still have a lot of those healing herbs in your inventory, you'll probably need them!
  • In Rock Band 2, the career mode features four setlists called "Guitar/Drum/Vocal/Bass Legend", in which you play the five hardest songs on each instrument in the game in order of difficulty.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story and Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, within the Challenge Node and the Battle's Gauntlet you can fight powered-up versions of bosses Mario & Luigi defeated. The final boss encountered in both games is an incredibly powered up version of Bowser known as "Bowser X" and Bowser Jr., respectively. The latter game also has the option of battling all the giant bosses found in the game. In Bowser's Inside Story this area is optional, but in Dream Team it is visited as part of the plot.
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 has the Boss Blitz Galaxy as one of the last three galaxies, and in it you go through a boss rush of five bosses from the original game.
  • XOP and its sequel, XOP Black, have boss rushes as bonus stages. The original's Extra Stage 2 also features fights against the various minibosses from the other levels, in a rare example of a Miniboss Rush.
  • In the Monster In My Pocket NES game, you face the first five bosses in the final level and then get two units of health before fighting the main boss. Then you have to fight him again.
  • Deadly Premonition has the "Psychic Spot C" sidequest, in which you are forced to fight all three of the game's bosses in a row. Since the second boss has two forms and the third has three, it's six back-to-back fights. You are given a chance to sleep between bosses, but not to save or restock on items.
  • The Big Bad Need For Speed Carbon hired the three last bosses where you have to at some point beat them, but individually. However, the final race requires you to defeat all three in a canyon race and a street race before taking on the Big Bad, then you can take him on in a street race and canyon run. That puts the end at four consecutive races.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon of Wonder Boy In Monster Land, which is also The Maze, has you fight each previously-encountered boss at a certain point. They're just as tough as before, but you're probably much stronger now. Of course, if you take the wrong path and get sent back, you have to fight them again. And there are no continues here.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game has a cheat code you can enter on the title screen to unlock the Boss Rush. You have to beat all 12 boss fights as fast as possible, with only one life, and almost none of the useable objects that show up in the main game except the things Todd throws around with telekinesis, and the Power of Love sword.
  • Blinx the Time Sweeper's last boss forces you to beat the 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th bosses in one run, and then proceeds to fight you itself.
  • DJMAX Technika has the Conqueror Set, a Technical course whose stage 1-3 songs consist entirely of boss songs from previous courses.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep has the "Villains Vendetta" event at the Mirage Arena, which is a battle against eight Unversed boss from all three stories.
    • In Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, one of the missions is to run around Twilight Town and kill a bunch of giant Heartless, who were fought as bosses previously in the game. The Bonus Boss also makes an appearance as an optional mark.
  • Level 19 of the SNES version of Prince of Persia.
  • Double Dragon
    • In the arcade version of the first game, the player must fight against twin clones of the Mission 1 boss (a Head Swap of Abobo) prior to the final battle, followed by three clones of the second boss (a head swap of the player) who fight alongside the final boss (Machine Gun Willy) as his bodyguards.
    • In the NES version of the first game, the final area of Mission 4 consists of a grand hall where the player must fight against a group of seven Williams and twin versions of all the other enemies (Abobo, Chin, Linda and Rowper), followed by Machine Gun Willy and then the True Final Boss Billy's twin brother Jimmy.
    • In the second arcade game, the player must fight against twin clones of all the previous bosses (Burnov, Abore and Chin) before the final boss fight with Willy and the player's own shadow.
    • In the Game Boy version of Double Dragon II, the player must fight against all the previous bosses (a boxer, a chainsaw-wielding Jason Voorhees-clone, a claw-wielding ninja, and a security guard with a club) before the final boss battle with Anderson.
    • In Return of Double Dragon, the Japanese version of Super Double Dragon, the final room forces the player to fight all the previous bosses (Steve, Jackson, the Chen twins, McGwire, and Carlem) before the final battle with Duke.
  • Before facing the final boss in Athena, you have to defeat every previous boss in order, with short segments in between.
  • Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale Has a Boss Rush of each dungeon's roster unlocked for beating it - useful for farming boss drops. The Bonus Dungeon also features a rush of every boss fight in the game - all 100+ of them.
  • In the final battle of Iron Tank, you fight the Think Tank Main Body, followed by an F-type, then a C-type.
  • The last stage of Hyperzone.
  • Vindictus has battlequest Prepare for Counterattack in the first boat and The Unveiling Truth in the second. The bosses in these spawn on a timer 3 minutes apart, which means that if any fight lasts longer than that it becomes a Wolfpack Boss.
  • The two penultimate levels of Batman Doom take place in the Arkham Asylum in the middle of an outbreak (mirroring the part from the comic book storyline Knightfall). All the inmates from Batman's Rogues Gallery — which is to say, the bosses you've fought throughout the game — are fought one by one throughout these two levels.
  • In the last level of Will Rock (Mount Olympus) you have to fight waves of enemies, among the others several Cyclops and Eaphesti, a revived Medusa and finally Zeus himself.
  • This can be bought with targets in Assassin Blue, after the game is completed.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy unlocks a boss rush mode when you complete it.
  • The final stage in Panzer Bandit is made exclusively of this, with all the bosses from the previous 7 stages coming back for a second round, this time apparently dying off for real as they fade out among explosions.
  • Chariot, the Shoot 'em Up in the three-games-in-one Three Wonders, has the player facing off against all of the previous bosses in groups of 3 during the final stage.
  • The PS2 game Seven Samurai: 20XX has the "Colliseum Mode", an unlockable option that lets you fight against all non-giant bosses from the main game, including the Bonus Bosses.
  • Towards the middle of Hellsinker, the player is taken to a strange dimension and must fight through four or five difficult bosses (as well as a strange midboss that looks like a giant bloody crystal but meows like a cat). Oddly, you have infinite lives for this level, and are therefore at no risk of Game Over'ing, but screwing up the boss sequence results in you losing pretty much all of your score.
  • After you collect 100 mutations in Cubivore, you go to the final run, which has you fighting every single boss from all 3 runs at the same time. After that, you fight the King of Beasts alongside the 4 other 6-limb Rage beasts.
  • Warship Gunner 2 has a mode called Boss Rush you unlock once you beat the game. It is Exactly What It Says On The Tin. You fight the game's superweapons one at a time without being able to reload your weapons or repair your ship in between.
  • RosenkreuzStilette, a doujin clone of Mega Man, obviously has this.
  • MapleStory has Mu Lung Dojo, where you fight 39 various area and party quest bosses in order of weakest to strongest, with another boss at the end.
  • Blazing Lazers has this in Area 9.
  • The final DLC of Borderlands brings back 2 bosses from earlier DLC, along with The Unfought from the main game as mission bosses. Before fighting the game's final boss, you must first defeat previous three in rapid succession. Much to General Knoxx's dismay, as he's been longing for death for more than an entire DLC by now.
  • The second-to-last stage of Bonk's Adventure for the TurboGrafx-16 involves fighting the bosses of the first four worlds all over again, the same as before. Bonk's Revenge's final stage is a Hub Level leading to four mini-levels each ending with one of the first four bosses. After clearing these, you fight the Round 6 boss and the Final Boss in sequence.
  • All Dance Dance Revolution games have this in some form. The Wii games have a medley of bosses from each previous game, but most other games just have you play them back-to-back.
  • The Kaiden course in later beatmania IIDX installments consists of the four hardest songs out of the entire series (three hardest on Doubles). The Single version of the course always ends with Mei, and the Double version always ends with Quasar.
  • Super Spy Hunter has you fight upgraded versions of the Stage 2 and Stage 4 bosses before the Final Boss.
  • G-Darius has an optional Boss Rush mode, where you can pick which bosses you want to fight, the order you fight them in, and so on and so forth. Given each boss comes in two seperate flavours and there's fifteen stages, you could fight up to thirty bosses back to back if you wanted.
  • Solatorobo features two post-game "simulation" missions available on the Golden Roar, both of which pit you against every boss in either the first or second half of the game, back to back, with no heals. The Type G's Gradual Regeneration and the Auto-Revive parts are fairly useful here.
  • Heavy Weapon for the PS3 and Xbox360 has "Boss Blitz" mode, where you have only one life to take down all 19 bosses. Considering that 11 of them can kill you instantly regardless of shielding, it's pretty understandable why it's Nintendo Hard.
  • In the Sega Genesis version of Wardner, towards the end of the final level, you fight all the bosses from the previous five levels again.
  • The final level of Shatterhand involves fighting some of the bosses from previous levels.
  • In the Gauldur Amulet questline in Skyrim, you must defeat three unique powerful Draughr Deathlords to recover the pieces of the Amulet. When you take them to the one place they can be assembled, the spirits of the three return for one last crack at you. They obligingly take turns though they offer no breaks in between fights.
  • The King of Fighters has a variation: one of the 3-man teams is all known bosses, Geese Howard, Wolfgang Krauser and Mr. Big. Later teams would feature original boss-level characters like Chris, Shermie and Yashiro.
  • Dragon Ball Advance Adventure has two. In Bosses on Parade, you fight all of the platformer bosses in sequential order (except the flying battles if you're not playing as Goku or Krillin), with a rest area between battles where you have the option to use one of your limited supply of 4 full-healing items. In the One-on-One Survival mode, you start with a three-layer lifebar and fight all the One-on-One characters, including a duplicate of whoever you selected.
  • The final levels of both Rez and Child of Eden do this.
  • Rhythm Game Dance Central 2 has a final stage composed of 5 dances, which are the final or boss-type dances of each dance crew.
  • Soulcalibur V has "Legendary Souls" mode, where players fight seven hard bosses (Kilik, Nightmare, Siegfried, Cervantes, Edge Master, Elysium and Algol) in quick succession.
  • The PSN download game Malicious is pretty much a boss rush game masquerading as a Dynasty Warriors style hack & slash - it dumps you straight in a boss battle when you select a level and laughs as you run for your life. It only doesn't count as a Boss Game because there are mooks in the stage and you are supposed to kill a whole lot of them before seriously engaging the boss. Or you can try your luck, but that tends to end badly.
  • In Metal Storm, you fight all of the bosses you've met so far, then you fight the final boss.
  • Curiously inverted in Fallout: New Vegas; depending on the choices you make and how many side-quests you engage in, the final battle at the Hoover Dam is you and MAYBE a few of whichever major faction you're hanging out with (NCR or Legion) against huge waves of the other major faction. The more side-quests you complete and allies you build up, the more rounds of back-up you receive, up to and including massive artillery strikes and bomber runs. Against guys in light armor with MAYBE rifles.
  • Beating the game unlocks this as a bonus challenge in Kid Icarus: Uprising.
  • The final stage of Bad Dudes had you fighting through all the bosses again, though Karnov and Animal (the stage 4 boss) are both zombified (according to the end credits of the Japanese version, which list those two and only those two as different enemies).
  • Several Konami arcade Beat Em Ups featured this. Not only does X-Men have it (as mentioned above), Crime Fighters used a Boss Rush as a Bonus Level Of Hell after the final stage, and Metamorphic Force featured one as the second-to-last stage (in an arena setting, no less) with a new boss at the end of the rush.
  • In the final level of Street Fighter 2010, you have to beat every previous boss and the final boss all within the same time limit. Not helped by the time limit still counting down through the cutscene before the final boss.
  • The final level of the Wolfenstein 3D-based game Corridor7 ends in a series of small rooms, each one containing the previous bosses of the game, ending with the final boss.
  • The last stage of Lightning Fighters includes rematches with the Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 6 bosses before the final two.
  • The last stage of Ghostbusters for the Sega Genesis includes rematches with all of the previous bosses except Stay-Puft.
  • Trigonometry Wars 4 has Death Label mode, in which you fight eight bosses in a row: The first two are new, the next two are pulled from other games by the same creator, the fifth and sixth are the game's [1]es, and the final two are heavioly modified versions of bosses from Cave games.
  • In Bleed, the final stage has you fighting each boss from stages 1-5 in reverse order before facing the final boss. However, there is an added twist: you will fight TWO of each boss at the same time!
  • Mass Effect 3:
    • As part of the Citadel DLC, BioWare had to create boss-level hostile versions of all six player classes for the showdown with Shepard's evil clone. For obvious reasons the storyline only uses one of them which would be something of a waste, so they added the 'Mirror Match' option to the Armax Arena which sends three each of all of them at you over three rounds.
    • Another Armax Arena example comes from completing the glitch hunt sidequest, which culminates in a multi-round fight involving Atlas mechs, Geth Primes, Banshees and even a Possessed Praetorian.
  • In Sly Spy, the climb up to the Final Boss recapitulates every previous Boss Battle that wasn't fought underwater or in a vehicle.
  • The Monster Hunter games have the "Epic/Marathon" Hunting Quests. Made particularly difficult because you can't change your weapon mid-hunt and each monster is easier/harder to deal with using certain weapons more than others (e.g Dual swords on a Plesioth is pain incarnate; a bow or bowgun with Pierce shots will make sashimi out of one). In Tri Ultimate, these missions become the largest part of the final rank chapter (9 stars).
  • Chapter 40 of The Last Story has rematches against Berith (first fought in Chapter 33), Zepha and Zesha (fought together in Chapter 35, fought separately this time), Zangurak (first fought in chapter 10) and Dagran as the Final Boss. Five bosses in total.
  • Touhou has one in the form of Phantasmagoria of Flower View's extra stage, in which you have to defeat every character in the game in succession. Additionally, the fans have composed a couple of amazing boss theme compilations, known as Last Boss Rush and Extra Boss Rush, which covers the Leitmotif every Final Boss and Bonus Boss through the 12th game, respectively.
  • Phantasy Star Online has the quest "Towards the Future", which is a boss rush of Episode I with a few rooms of enemies in between each boss. It's also the only thing anyone ever plays.
  • The Infyn Prism has the Knowledge Vault, a giant tower where the player must fight every boss in the game, save the Terracotta Kings, and the final boss. In-Universe, its size varies for each entrant, as the tower draws on the entrants memories and make the monsters stronger, creating a more powerful boss. However, this is only for show as the tower's order doesn't change for the player.
  • Something: The True Final Boss. Also, Mario has to do it without power ups.
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2 has three consecutive in the Arcade Mode. The four bosses are also Final Bosses in the Tekken series. The first battle is a tag battle with Heihachi Mishimanote  and his father, Jinpachi Mishimanote . The second one is with True Ogrenote , and the last one is with Jun Kazama who transforms into Unknownnote  if you defeat her first.
  • In Feel The Magic: XY/XX, you're eventually forced a hallucinogen which makes you relive the three boss-level minigames as nightmares.
  • In Mad Stalker: Full Metal Force's final stage, you face off against boss rush of the all of the previously beaten bosses save for Rising Dog in succession. Silpheed and Prisoner-β will also have flunkies aiding them during the re-match.
  • Bayonetta has degraded bosses show up as early as two levels after you kill the bosses they're based on, but in the final lengthy level of the game you wind up fighting all of them over the course of the stage, as well as Boss in Mook Clothing Golem and Joy(s).
  • The final stage of Mad Stalker: Full Metal Force has you fighting off against every boss you previous defeated before destroying the engine of Omega's warship and fighting Rising Dog.
  • Bravely Default has one in the last chapter of the game, where every human boss you've ever fought comes back to challenge you in teams of four. Also, the Boss Rush is entirely justified, and there's boss banter between the bosses themselves as to why they're all working together and why each team was formed with certain members — for instance, one team specializes in inflicting status ailments, with the leader of the team capable of dishing out incredible amounts of damage dependent on such status ailments being in place. These aren't Degraded Bosses, either. If you go in unprepared and without a strategy, especially in Hard Mode, prepare to be curb-stomped. It's an absolutely gruelling gauntlet, although you are allowed to heal in between.
  • Each mission (except the Premium Mission) in the first season's final chapter of Marvel Avengers Alliance has no goons and the boss is directly revealed. The boss is accompanied by other eight mini-bosses (which can be fought alone if you desire to ease the battle against him). The first mission features Thor's villains (being Loki the main boss), the second Hydra (being Baron Zemo the main boss), the third Hood's Gang and mystic villains (being Dormammu the main boss) and the fourth A.I.M. (being M.O.D.O.K. the main boss). And the fifth mission? Each boss of the other missions acting as mini-bosses to the Red Skull.
  • In Shovel Knight, when you complete the Ascent stage of the Tower of Fate, you literally drop in on the bosses' dinner party, and they each attack you one by one. The order is different each time you face them.
  • The last level of Chalk contains only weaker versions of past levels' end bosses.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Katanagatari's finale has Shichika defeating 12 warriors wielding the 12 katana he's been gathering with Togame during the entire series, but using upgraded tactics. Since it's part of a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, he curbstomps them all, and it's awesome.
  • In Naruto, the army that the Big Bad brings with himself to the final battle includes immortal undead made of most of the greatest badasses of the last three generations, including most of the series' deceased villains.
  • In Medaka Box, the 100 flowers run is an event where Medaka fights 100 previously defeated opponents. She's given a time limit of 90 minutes, too.
  • In Kill la Kill, Ryuko spends episodes 8 through 11 fighting against the Elite Four. Except she only fights and defeats three of them, because Nui interrupts the beginning of the showdown with the last remaining member, who she defeats with a single move. Nui ends up becoming Ryuko's fourth opponent and for Ryuko, things do not end well.

    Live Action 

    Pinball 
  • A variation appears in Stern Pinball's The Avengers; to complete the sub-Wizard Mode, "Assault on the Helicarrier", the player must make each Avengers' shot, in order, twice.

    Tabletop Games 

    Web Original 


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