There are some bosses in gaming that are more difficult than the creators expect
... and then there's this guy. He's not quite pathetic enough to go down in one hit from any old attack, and there's no story significance to him being easy, or indeed, any story significance to him at all. In fact, the developers expected people to actually find said character a challenging opponent in some way, but failed.
This is the Breather Boss, the boss enemy that lacks any semblance of challenge or plot importance. They may just have had a predictable and easy-to-exploit weakness,
or they may just be easy due to attack pattern. Nevertheless, they are easy and weak. Simple as that.
Note: Only list bosses not intended to be beaten without fail; any bosses that have been created just to lose easily should go under Zero-Effort Boss
Compare to Zero-Effort Boss
, which is when the boss is so easy that it's a challenge to lose
; That One Boss
, which just plows right through your characters every time and poses a massive challenge, possibly unintentionally; Anti-Climax Boss
, when the easy boss is critical plot-wise
; and Hard Levels, Easy Bosses
, where every boss is this way in relation to the stages.
Examples for the series below:
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- Final Fantasy VI has the Phantom Train. He can be a decent fight, but he has the glaring weakness to Phoenix Down that most undead enemies have. He's also notably weak to Sabin's Suplex move, often done for the humour value.
- Dadaluma is another joke boss in this game. He's less threatening than the standard mooks you find in his respective area.
- Final Fantasy VII has Gi Nattak, who is easily beaten by one or two Phoenix Downs, and Palmer, who is simply a pushover.
- Final Fantasy VIII has Gerogero, who is also easily defeated by Phoenix Downs... and, if you master the Junction system, most guardians of Ultimecia's Castle will also be pushovers.
- Final Fantasy IX has Soulcage, who has some pretty tough attacks(notably Mustard Bomb), and some fairly valuable items to steal. Once you have all three items, just hit him with a Phoenix Down, and then the next hit(even Eiko, your weakest physical attacker at that point) will take him out.
- In Final Fantasy V, the Manticore, one of three final bosses in World 1, is an example. It comes after the Soul Cannon, which can fire a powerful all-hitting electrical attack if not killed quickly enough, and Archeoaevis, which has lots of HP, powerful attacks, and can change its elemental weakness. Conversely, Manticore lacks immunities to most status effects, has only 3300 HP (Archeoaevis had roughly 10,000), and lacks any really powerful moves.
- The Titan, another of the final World 1 Bosses, is a borderline example. His Earthshaker attack can be quite powerful; however, you can control the Gaelicat enemy on North Mountain and make it cast Float on you, effectively negating it. He has only 2500 HP, but the relative difficulty in finding Float before World 2 might place him slightly above Breather Boss level.
- In the last dungeon, the first boss the player encounters after Omega's territory is Apanda, who is incredibly weak against fire and trembles in fear if you summon Ifrit.
- The Bonus Boss in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is a no-rules fight against three corrupt judges (special units whose stats are derived from the Paladin job). All they've got are a bunch of endgame gear and pitiful melee attacks. You, on the other hand, have Marche, Cid, and 4 other units on your side; plus the fact that you've just beaten a better final boss who has the ability to wipe your entire party in an instant. Also, at this point, you should've pretty much amassed all of the best equipment and abilities in the game. Can you say Curb-Stomp Battle?
- Also, don't forget that there is one boss battle in the main storyline that can be incredibly easy, even though Marche is alone. All you have to do is KO Babus before you get to the crystal smashing. Failing that, there is an easily available robe that nullifies Babus' spells, which most of Marche's jobs can equip. If you ignore Babus, this could turn him into That One Boss.
- There is another battle that can also be extremely easy, or another That One Boss. The boss can charm your allies to make them fight each other, but if you fight it on a day charming is against the law it won't use this attack, making it trivially easy.
- Final Fantasy X has Evrae Altana, who... wait for it... goes down to two Phoenix Downs. A few other bosses may also qualify, perhaps most notably the late-game Seymour Omnis. Not because he's exceptionally easy, but because the previous encounter with him is That One Boss. Of course, blowing off the final dungeon for a while can lead to you having level grinded enough to One-Hit Kill him, so...
- Bonus Boss version in Final Fantasy XII! Carrot, monster malboro and very high-level Giant Mook is pathetically easy to take down as his/her size actually works against him/her in this game: Putrid Breath, his/her worst weapon, is some seriously bad mojo that inflicts almost every debuff in the game on you—however, you've seen it before; the Cassies and the Vivians have it. It's an area-of-effect ability that radiates out from the center of the malboro and is notable for having probably the smallest area affected of any spell in the game. As a result, because Carrot is so huge, he/she cannot target all characters with it at once—so if the ability connects on the one character Carrot can target, one of the other characters just tosses a Remedy at them (Coming across Remedies at this point in the game is not an issue and besides, what player would knowingly take on a malboro, of all things, without a stock?) and the fight proceeds with barely a hiccup. Come on, Carrot, that was just disgraceful.
- Pokémon had a few, depending on team choices.
- In the original Pokémon Red and Blue
- Brock, the first gym leader in the original games, definitely comes under this if you picked the water-type Squirtle or grass-type Bulbasaur as your starter. His two Pokémon (Geodude and Onix) were both Rock/Ground types, taking x4 damage from both water and grass, and their Special stat wasn't much cop either. Even with Charmander, he can be beaten easily because of said Special stat and poor HP; despite the type disadvantage, Charmander's Ember does far more damage than either of his Pokémon can take. This is even better in FR-LG, where Charmander can learn Metal Claw, which is super effective against rock types.
- This is subverted in Yellow, as your starter Pokémon is Pikachu that either has electric moves, which have no effect on his Pokémon or normal type moves which are not very effective. Although catching the fighting-type Mankey (or a Nidoran and teaching it Double Kick) can solve that problem, though it still requires some Level Grinding.
- Likewise, Misty will definitely come under this if you raised both Pikachu and Bulbasaur. One resists water and both have super-effective moves against Misty's Pokemon. Heck, you probably can get through even if Pikachu/Bulbasaur is 1-3 levels under.
- Koga and Bruno's teams came under this. In Pokémon Gold and Silver, when Koga was an Elite Four Member, his team still came under this.
- Giovanni. Last Gym Leader in Kanto, third encounter with him...and you most likely have a Water Pokémon to sweep his team (at the very least, you can make that Tentacool you probably caught on the way to Cinnabar annoying for him by teaching it Surf). He dropped his Kangaskhan for a Dugtrio and another Rhyhorn. In RBY you still have to be careful of Fissure, though (and in Yellow, he keeps his Persian to keep in line with the anime, and the kitty was a critihax machine back in the day).
- Applies even moreso for Blaine. You're required to have a Pokémon with Surf, a powerful and reliable Water move, to even get to the Island and he uses Fire-type.
- The first, and often the second of the Elite Four is often this. This is fairly reasonable, as you still have three fights to go. However, due to a glitch making a preferred type overpowered, Bruno was even easier, and that's far less reasonable.
- In Pokémon Gold and Silver
- The ultimate example would have to be Janine, the Fuschia City Gym Leader in GSC. Her team's levels are lower than the eighth leader of Johto, meaning that by the time you reach her, you team is at least a good ten levels higher.
- The majority of Kanto Gym Leaders (except Green/Blue) also applies. Most of their Pokémon levels are on par, or lower than Lance's (and some of the Elite Four's) Pokémons, so an average gamer would be at least five levels higher. For those who played the originals, this is even more obvious with Sabrina, as she (and Psychic Pokemon in general) now has a proper weakness, type-wise. The remakes fixed this by raising the levels of their Pokemons to be higher than Lance and his Elite Four.
- One of the easiest bosses would probably be Jasmine if you have a type advantage. Her team is two Magnemites and a Steelix. Magnemite is an unevolved Pokémon, so it can probably be one-shotted by a single fire-type attack. Steelix is evolved, but unlike what you may think, being part ground-type does not give it any resistance to fire attacks. It might take two hits, depending on your fire type's level, but it shouldn't be able to beat it.
- Alternatively, the use of a water-type Pokémon with Surf (one that you had to have for plot reasons before fighting Jasmine) works well enough.
- Her Steelix does know Sunny Day, which weakens Water-type moves... while making Fire-type ones hit harder. You can see where this is going.
- If you want to count legendary Pokémon as bosses, Mewtwo is surprisingly easy to catch in Heart Gold and Soul Silver. Initially, its only attacking move is Psycho Cut, and if you have a Dark-type that knows False Swipe, you can just whittle down its HP safely, give it sleep or paralysis, and start tossing Poké Balls.
- Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire:
- Tate & Liza are pretty easy for being the seventh Gym Leaders. Theirs is a Double Battle, in which they use a Solrock and Lunatone. Both are Rock/Psychic types weak to Water, and Surf can hit both of them at the same time for high damage. Especially Solrock who has very low Special Defense.
- Not so much in Emerald, as they have added a Xatu and Claydol to their team and become significantly more challenging. Claydol is still weak to Surf as well, but has very high Special Defense to offset this.
- The final Elite Four Drake can be this. While he had strong Pokémon, all of it are weak to ice. With the exception of Shelgon (which is the weakest of his Pokémon), they all took 4x damage against them too. So if you have a strong Ice Pokémon or even a strong Pokémon who knows Ice Beam, Drake will be easy sweep. Emerald fixed this by replacing one of his Flygons (he has two) with a Kingdra though.
- Sapphire owners have it easy, as Kyogre is practically given to them, and it comes packed with Ice Beam. Even at its base level of 47, it could still one-shot every single one of Drake's Pokémon.
- Pokémon Diamond and Pearl:
- Byron is a joke if you picked Chimchar. Considering you can get a free TM 35 for Flamethrower in the Fuego Ironworks right after you get Surf, or if you're too lazy to do that you can get the TM 38 for Fire Blast at the Veilstone Department Store, you can use those along with Close Combat and basically destroy him in three turns. And even if you don't have Chimchar, he's still not that hard at all. His Pokémon are light on offense (save Magneton, which Platinum gives him over Bronzor), Steelix dies to a good Water-type with Surf, and Bastiodon is easily susceptible to Fighting and Ground-types like Machamp or Golem. Bronzor might cause some annoyances, but this Gym is nothing compared to Fantina (DP) or Crasher Wake (Platinum) before it.
- Candice is also made extremely easy by Chimchar, as her Snover and Abomasnow have a big weakness to Fire while her Sneasel has the same weakness to Fighting moves. Chimchar's evolutions are both Fire/Fighting, making this self-explanatory. Even if you didn't pick Chimchar or raise a Ponyta, the only other Fire-type in Sinnoh, the sheer number of weaknesses that her Pokémon have still make her a very easy opponent.
- Less so in Platinum, as she has added a Froslass to her team that can cause some serious problems with its high Speed and Snow Cloak ability.
- Pokémon Black and White and Pokémon Black 2 and White 2:
- Pokémon Black and White gives us Skyla, who is pretty darn easy to beat if you've just got a decent Electric-type, especially considering her main Pokémon has a double weakness to electric types. This would not be such a problem if her gym didn't come right after a cave with 2 extremely useful electric-type Pokémon in it.
- This is even more true in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, as there are even more electric types available beforehand, meaning you basically have no excuse not to run roughshod over her.
- Brycen is also incredibly easy. His Pokemon are all pure Ice-types, which is defensively the worst type in the game, only resisting itself. So long as you don't use Ice-type moves you'll always do at least neutral damage, and none of his Pokemon are strong enough to stand up to a super effective attack for too long.
- Out of all the champioms in each game, Alder is one of the easiest, which is made worse since in Black and White he's also one of the easiest storyline opponents. This is justified in that he is severely out of practice - his fight against Plasma King N had him choke to said opponent's legendary, highly suggesting he was never going to be back in his prime again.
- In addition to Skyla, Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 also has Marlon. Despite being the final gym leader, all of his Pokemon are weak to grass and electricity, and none of them have any particularly notable stats aside from high HP. He can wall pretty well, but he'll usually have difficulty dealing any high damage unless you send out a bunch of fire and ground types for some reason.
- Going by non-main series games, ''Pokémon Colosseum has Gonzap, who comes after a few hard rematches with the Cipher Admins and before the leader of Team Cipher. None of his Pokémon are particularly dangerous, and they love to spam Earthquake. Unlike Dakim however, none of his Pokémon can avoid the move except for his Shadow Skarmory, so he usually ends up crippling his team via friendly fire making it easy to pick them off. The only real struggle in this fight is snagging his Skarmory, but even that's more annoying rather than truly difficult.
World Of Warcraft
- World of Warcraft has an interesting example: rather than fighting a boss normally, you play Chess with him (not the real chess, it has its own rules). Despite the fact that the boss cheats, it's not hard to win it, but it's certainly a different experience.
- Noth the Plaguebringer counts. He's a fairly easy boss, but, apart from some easily-downed trash, he comes immediately before the dreaded Heigan. Get your dancing shoes on.
- Ulduar: First, there's Flame Leviathan, a very innovative encounter using vehicles, but he's a complete pushover. Razorscale is not much harder. Then come XT-002 and Ignis who will eat you alive. Similarily there's Auriaya in central Ulduar, who is not particularily difficult except for the pull, that requires high amounts of coordination, but other than that, the boss is rather easy... and immediately followed by the watchers, who are much harder. And Mimiron WILL make you weep in despair.
- And all bosses are Breather Bosses in comparison to the soul-crushingly, gut-wrenchingly, sickeningly difficult Algalon and Yogg-Saron (Hardest mode)
- Burning Crusade had the Void Reaver, a slightly beefed up version of the Fel Reavers that run around Hellfire Peninsula and slaughter lower level characters. He was standing in Tempest Keep, where one of the hardest Bosses of all time was found, together with another two fairly difficult encounters... and the Trash before him is effectivly a lot harder than he himself. He could take a beating, but as long as most of the raid pays attention he is ridiculously easy. So easy that it was advised to try him as soon as you could beat a single boss of a lower Tier. They called him "Loot Reaver" for a reason.
- Void Reaver was inadvertently made a lot harder after he got changed in a patch, though. Originally he was bugged, causing him to shoot his attacks (which you are supposed to run out of the path of) from his feet rather than his head. This was later fixed, which - since he's an insanely tall robot - had the side effect of making these shots impossible to see until they hit you. People had to use scripts to increase the viewing distance beyond the default maximum to work around this.
- In Icecrown Citadel, Lord Marrowgar and Lady Deathwhisper are quite difficult for players who haven't run through the dungeon very often. Then comes the gunship battle, which is easy enough to be nicknamed the "Lootship" battle, as it basically consists of fighting off adds while shooting the enemy ship with the cannons, and occasionally killing a mage who disables your cannons. The Deathbringer, who comes soon afterward, is a relatively simple DPS race if the raid knows how to deal with Mark of the Fallen Champion. Valithria Dreamwalker, whom many raids go to after the more difficult Plagueworks and Crimson Hall bosses, is quite easy compared to others, as it mainly consists of killing adds while healing the dragon.
- The gunship battle was in fact so easy that groups which had no hope of completing Icecrown Citadel on normal difficulty still regularly beat the gunship battle on heroic difficulty, despite the fact that heroic difficulty is otherwise tuned so that the first bosses on heroic are harder than the last boss on normal.
- In Cataclysm, Blackwing Descent begins with the relatively easy Magmaw and the fairly difficult Omnitron Defense System. Then the next boss is Maloriak, who has relatively simple mechanics, and the only difficult part is managing the release of the aberrations so they're all dead before the second phase.
- Compared to the other bosses, Maloriak is in fact so easy that our main problem was that we killed him too fast, which caused the mechanics of the fight to get screwed up. Not only was he much easier than the designers had intended, he was so much easier that the designers failed to plan for the possibility of people killing him that quickly!
- In the new version of Shadowfang Keep, Baron Silverlaine comes after Baron Ashbury (who is quite difficult for groups who can't interrupt properly), and his only abilities are a healing reduction debuff and summoning adds to be defeated.
- Baron Silverlaine is about the same difficulty as most other comparable bosses, though. It's just that Baron Ashbury is an unusually complex fight. Once you've figured out the mechanics of it (like how some of his attacks deal damage as a percentage of your current health, meaning they can't actually kill you), the two fights are about the same difficulty.
- Murozond in End Time. He has a very large amount of HP, but the ability to rewind time (which resets cooldowns and even revives dead players) five times makes killing him easy, especially since you can use Bloodlust/Heroism/Time Warp five times. He also has few abilities, only a breath attack and AO Es that leave behind "fire" on random players.
- In Throne of Thunder, Primordius is this after the fairly difficult Durumu and the complex but manageable Dark Animus. Primordius only has a few abilities, and most of the encounter involves killing slimes to prevent him from "evolving" and gaining a damage buff and a new ability, while then turning your attention to him once you have enough buffs and are mutated. All in all, it's a relatively simple fight.
- In the last wing, Iron Qon and the Twin Consorts are fairly straightforward lead-ups to the fiendishly complicated Lei Shen fight.