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Boss Warning Siren
"WARNING — A HUGE BATTLESHIP 'KING FOSSIL' IS APPROACHING FAST."
Darius

In some video games, before you fight a boss, the screen will start flashing red while the word WARNING! flashes up on the screen as the stage music fades out or stops abruptly. Sometimes, it could be a visual warning or an audio warning; it doesn't necessarily have to be both. In any case, this lets the player know that he's about to face off against a more powerful foe.

Often a Most Wonderful Sound, especially if it precedes an awesome boss. Though when it precedes That One Boss, it also means "This Is Gonna Suck."

May overlap with Boss Subtitles. Related to Fight Woosh and Red Alert. See also Suspicious Video Game Generosity.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Action Adventure 
  • Blaster Master has boss rooms that do this without the text message. The screen begins to repeatedly flash as an alert siren stops the music, before fading out the screen completely and revealing the boss. Interestingly, you can leave the room just before the screen fades out completely.
  • The Guardian Legend uses warning sirens in both the flying and ground stages just before a boss battle starts. On the ground, you can leave the boss arena just before the pyramids seal off all of the exits.
  • Once you unlock a boss in La-Mulana and have at least one Ankh Jewel, the track "Requiem" plays when you're in the room with the boss Ankh.

    Beat 'em Up 

    Fighting 
  • The Super Smash Bros. series generally had a klaxon of some sort for Bonus Character battles.
  • The Mega Man Zero example below also carries over to SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos, where the klaxons sound whenever Zero is about to confront any of the bosses, including Shin Akuma and Serious Mr. Karate, in the boss battles, but not against any normally playable characters.
  • In Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark Of The Millennium, if you meet the requirements for one of the two midbosses:
    Announcer: "This is the final! This is wh—Wait a second! A new opponent has interrupted the tournament!"

    First Person Shooter 
  • In Blake Stone, a warning klaxon or similar signal normally sounds just before the Final Boss Battle in each of the six missions.

    Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game 
  • In Elsword, every boss had one before the boss fight starts.

    Miscellaneous Games 
  • All WarioWare titles have a sound clip whenever a boss stage is coming up next and will linger on the screen between microgames eight beats longer than normal. There will usually (but not always) be an on-screen message telling you that you're about to encounter the boss. Said sound clip varies from game to game, but that in WarioWare: Smooth Moves sounds particularly like a klaxon played to a beat.
  • Trash Panic has a warning siren with a red hue and big letters overtaking the screen right before a "boss" trash piece comes up for you to dispose. Unlike some other games, the huge alert signs are necessary, since it's the biggest piece of trash, you have a set amount of time to break it down (you get a HUGE penalty if you do not), you can't "hold" it, and it's usually very sturdy. The player NEEDS to know when this comes in, thus the sirens and redness.
  • Inverted in Descent I and II, where an escape warning siren sounds after each boss is defeated... because the boss is usually a Reactor Boss that, by damaging, you just triggered a nuclear meltdown.
  • Downplayed in Terraria. When a boss spawns naturally, you get a small message warning you about a minute in advance, such as "You feel an evil presence watching you." for the Eye of Cthulhu, or "You feel a quaking deep underground." for the Destroyer. When you deliberately summon a boss, you get a stock monster roar and a message saying "[Boss Name] has awoken!"
  • When approaching a boss battleground in Iron Tank, the normal music changes to static noise, if not the boss music itself immediately.

    Platformer 
  • The Mega Man X series has this starting from Mega Man X4, just before the boss appeared on screen and monologued with the player character. It was carried over to the Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX series as well, although in those cases it happened just before the fight begins after the boss's monologue.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy, parodying Ikaruga, provides a warning when Mecha Birdo is entering the room.
  • In Magical Doropie, Boss Only Levels are herald with a screen saying "ALERT!!" in big letters on a black screen flashing red. The player then appears in the level while the boss makes its entrance. When the boss's entrance is finished, a "Data File" on the boss appears, listing its name, health, strength, speed, damage and special ability. However, in the final stage, none of the final three bosses have any alert screens or data profiles, although the siren is still heard while the final boss is materialising.
  • Metal Storm flashes "RED ALERT!" when the player is about to fight the level boss. Does not apply to the Boss Rush at the end, however.
  • VVVVVV has a screen named "The Warning". One tunnel, no spikes, eight checkpoints in a row. It leads into one of the hardest sections of the game.
  • Justified in Sonic Adventure 2's boss fight against the Flying Dog. In the cutscene preceding the battle, Rouge is caught sneaking into a maximum-security vault and triggers an alarm that alerts the boss to her presence.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the final boss BGM starts with a blaring klaxon.
  • In Run Saber, normally an arrow appears at the top of the screen showing you which way to proceed through the stage. However, when a boss is encountered, an ALERT! icon blinks there instead.
  • In several platform games made by Rareware, such as Jet Force Gemini (also an action game), Donkey Kong 64 and Banjo-Tooie, among others, a boss is presented through a lengthy cutscene as onminous music plays. The buildup of the battle may be based on either the boss's slow but climatic arrival to the battle arena, or even the assembling of the boss (as in the case of Mr Patch in Banjo-Tooie and King Kut Out in DK64. Notably, for each of the three mentioned games the background music building up the encounter is the same, whereas in Conkers Bad Fur Day and Star Fox Adventures each boss has its own music presentation.
  • Valis II: "WARNING: A strong warrior, (Adjective Noun Fred), is coming!"
  • Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams: It comes accompanied with Boss Subtitles.
  • Bubble Bobble: Occurs with the battleship Yamato in Bubble Symphony much like in Darius, and with each boss in Bubble Memories.
  • Catherine: "_____ has appeared. It's the killer. Do not die."

    Rhythm Game 
  • Dance Dance Revolution games that feature an Extra Stage will sound an alarm if you meet the requirements for it.
  • In beatmania IIDX, after unlocking an Extra Stage boss song, the music select BGM will be overriden by a short loop of the boss, or a new BGM altogether from beatmania IIDX 20 tricoro onwards. In some cases, the background will change accordingly. This only applies to bosses that are made available on the standard music select screen, not bosses accessed through a special "boss select" screen (e.g. beatmania IIDX 13 DistorteD's Cardinal Gate or beatmania IIDX 16 EMPRESS's Empress Place).

    Role Playing Game 
  • Shin Megami Tensei I and Shin Megami Tensei II normally avert these—most of the type you're given no advance warning for upcoming bosses. However, if you encounter one of the Fiends, each of which have a 1/256 chance of showing up while their specific requirement is met, the game gives you a warning message, asking you if you want to stand your ground. If you say "yes", the game asks you if you really want to stand your ground. Say "yes" again and the battle immediately begins. This carries over to Shin Megami Tensei IV as well—see below.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey:
    • When you're approaching a sector endboss, your Demonica alerts you and pinpoints the location of the boss room.
      • Subverted in Sector Bootes, when you approach Mitra's lair and get this warning, but when you enter, you're simply greeted with a speech and get escorted back to the Red Sprite afterwards. The warning doesn't trigger again when you approach Mitra's room a second time to assault him, but since you now know his location, it's not necessary.
    • Late into the game, in Sector Fornax, your Demonica warns you on multiple occasions that a powerful demon is nearby but cannot pinpoint their coordinates. Proceed further and sure enough, you face the One-Winged Angel form of one of the first four sector bosses.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV:
    • Your Gauntlet's AI, Burroughs, will alert you if there is a boss demon nearby or behind a door.
      "I'm detecting a strong demon ahead. Do you want to go on?"
      "Master, look out. I'm detecting a strong demon nearby."
    • If you encounter a midboss or certain Bonus Bosses, Burroughs urges you to "be careful."
    • If you encoutner a Fiend, Burroughs urges you to get out, and the same style of "will you stay here" prompts from Shin Megami Tensei I and II will pop up. Say "yes" to both and the battle immediately begins.

    Shoot'em Up 
  • The shoot-em-up genre loves this trope. See this compilation video for some of the better-known ones.
  • Darius has "A huge battleship is approaching fast!" in most (if not all) of its titles to herald the arrival of its various fish-inspired bosses.
  • Radiant Silvergun has the entire screen taken over with the word "WARNING", as well as the warning "NO REFUGE" and the memetic "BE ATTITUDE FOR GAINS" before every boss fight.
  • Ikaruga, the spritual successor to Radiant Silvergun, had a similar message: "WARNING: The big enemy is approaching at full throttle. According to the data, it is identified as "Butsutekkai". NO REFUGE".
  • In Star Fox 1, almost all boss battles were announced by an alert klaxon and a short voice clip of "incoming enemy". As this was invariably near the end of each level, it occurred while the level music was fading out to be replaced with the boss battle music.
  • Warning Forever does this despite being a Boss Only Game, also giving you its name and a brief chart on its weaponry.
  • Einhänder gives a warning that is themed into the level. For example, in the first level, after fighting your way through the city, the police decide that they can't take you down, so they follow behind you like a low speed chase, keeping their sirens going while they basically escort you right towards the first boss. Following bosses might have klaxons sounding off to indicate that the boss is powering up and becoming mechanically operational, or have someone over a PA system order for another boss to scramble and prepare for battle.
  • The Thunder Force series:
    • In Thunder Force II, a siren plays when encoutnering a midboss in a horizontal-scrolling segment. A lower-pitched one plays when facing the stage's endboss.
    • In Thunder Force III, bosses are preceded by a siren and the word "EMERGENCY" scrolling across the bottom of the screen.
    • In Thunder Force IV, a siren sounds when a boss battle is about to begin.
    • In Thunder Force V: "ALERT! The enemy is (approaching fast) / (dead ahead)! Code Name: <boss name> - <boss description>".
    • In Thunder Force VI, you get a siren and your ship's computer alerting of the boss in Tangut, followed by the name and description of the boss, both in English and Mongolian.
  • In Heavy Weapon this occurs with the Danger! Danger! in bold letters once you get to the end of the stage. It also shows the boss' weapons and abilities (with the exception of the Final Boss).
    • Finally, an arrow will also point in the direction the boss approaches from- this is important because two of them (Mechworm and X-Bot) will One-Hit Kill you if you stay in the wrong spot where they appear.
  • In Subterranean Animism, Utsuho Reiuji, the nuclear-powered Hell raven girl and final boss of the game, has the distinction of prefixing each of her spell cards with klaxons while the text '☢ Caution !! ☢' flares on-screen.
  • In the old arcade game Time Pilot, a loud warning will sound before the boss shows up on any given level.
  • In Beat Hazard, a warning sound is played when a boss is about to enter the screen.
  • At one point in Fantastic Journey, the player encounters the Moai Battleship, with its placement randomly determined inbetween two of the regular stages. When the player is about to encounter it after clearing one of the stages, its own music theme plays instead of the chosen player character's theme and the message WARNING flashes on the screen.
  • Axelay has an audible warning siren when approaching a stage boss.
  • RefleX plays an audio siren and displays a "WARNING" banner that displays the name and subtitle of the boss. The siren is also used when ZODIAC Virgo comes out of nowhere in a cutscene to finish off Cancer.
  • Judgement Silversword brings us "WARNING — HERE COMES THE JUDGE! [ <boss name> ]"
  • Ray Crisis: "ALERT: GENERATING HUGE ANTIBODY: [boss name]". A different alert is used when you return to the Self-Field to fight the Final Boss.
  • "WARNING: THIS IS NOT SIMILATION. GET READY TO DESTOROY THE ENEMY. TARGET FOR THE WEAK POINTS OF F**KIN' MACHINE. DO YOUR BEST YOU HAVE EVER DONE". And in the sequels: "You are approaching the target of attack. The mission starts now!", "Watch out! Watch out!", and "An unidentified battleship/unprecedented tremendous force is approaching!"
  • Dangun Feveron brings us "HEAVEN IS HERE INSIDE MY SOUL!"
  • From Hellsinker:
  • Triggerheart Exelica: "EMERGENCY. EMERGENCY. Your target is approaching."
  • Crimzon Clover: "WARNING - Decide for yourself."

    Survival Horror 
  • In the Silent Hill franchise, an air raid siren sounds just before the town shifts from fogbound to otherworld.

Boss SubtitlesVideo Game Interface ElementsBreak Meter
Boss VulnerabilityBoss BattleBraggart Boss

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