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Flunky Boss
I wonder which one's the boss?

A boss that has several of its minions fight alongside it. For example, an Evil Overlord may call upon his henchmen, a queen alien monster may order its offspring to attack, a magic-based enemy will summon otherworldly creatures, a wizard will create clones of itself, and so forth.

This trope contains a wide range of variations:

  • Taking advantage of these extra baddies may be required to beat the boss. For example, the game may require you to take them out before you can even hit the boss at all, or you may have to trick them into attacking their leader.
  • Only rarely do the minions actually stay dead. Defeating all of the minions will cause the boss to revive them, or summon more to take their place. The player can usually exploit this to their advantage by defeating all but one minion; other times the boss will simply revive any fallen minion, and defeating the minions merely just distracts the boss from attacking the party directly. And then there are times where the minions simply respawn on their own, allowing the boss to focus all of its attention on you.
    • Alternately, the boss may become much more powerful as its minions are defeated, unleashing stronger uber-attacks against the party. Be warned that the boss may remain in this empowered state even while reviving its comrades, making the fight even harder.
  • While these extra enemies to deal with may ostensibly make the fight harder, they may also represent an unlimited source of health or ammunition pickups, or experience points as they are defeated. This is a subtle method for the developers to essentially grant you infinite supplies and to prevent the battle from being unwinnable.
  • From a story-gameplay perspective, especially when fighting a humanoid boss, this trope is a sensible choice to avoid such absurd situations as the player's party constantly beating down on a single guy who should've died long ago by regular enemy standards for the entire fight. By giving him minions, you keep other party members occupied in battle and can give the boss a more logical amount of Hit Points without turning the whole fight into an Anticlimax Boss.
  • Sometimes, bosses are very weakly tied to normal enemies and it feels like a boss just appeared in the middle of the battle. (like Zanac for an example)

In general, the best strategy seems to be to concentrate all your offensive efforts on the main boss, as killing him will defeat the minions too, and there's no sense on wasting time and ammo on the minions when they're probably just going to come back anyway. This is especially true if the boss itself has no form of attack, and its flunkies are its only form of offence. The contrary can be true if the flunkies heal the boss, or if more and more of them would spawn if you don't kill them until you are overwhelmed by sheer numbers.

See also the overlapping trope Cognizant Limbs. Compare Dual Boss and Wolf Pack Boss, where they're not flunkies, but on equal terms, and Enemy Summoner, for Mooks that run on this. Weaponized Offspring may be a subtrope.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Action Adventure 
  • Queen Gohma in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time summons its babies (although it's so easy you usually kill it before it even gets to do it), and Odolwa in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask summons hordes of moths.
    • Armoghoma works pretty much the same way in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, but this time it drops at least ten times as many eggs at once. They are easily killed with the Spin Attack, however, often even before they hatch.
    • Frustratingly done with Molgera in Wind Waker. The boss will summon sand worm-things all the time, constantly jumping at you. The best plan is to ignore them...but you CAN'T, because your locking system automatically locks to the closest things to you, thus forcing you to get even closer to the boss who is in quick sand, trying to swallow you.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has Koloktos occasionally summons a few Zombie Bokoblins to attack Link.
  • Bubble Symphony has a giant Space Invader, who has updated sprite versions of the invaders as well as the UFO. The UFO also has eyes on its top.
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed has a fair few, but while the henchmen can be annoying, they are actually helpful, as the player regains health from killing enemies. Bosses who fight alone are considerably harder, due to there being no way to regain health during the battle.
  • In X-Men Legends II, Holocaust is backed up by hordes of Mooks, and will occasionally suck the life out of one to recharge himself.
  • Many, many boss battles in Cave Story are of this type. The battle with the Undead Core actually has two levels of this, as one of the flunkies is itself a Mook Maker.
    • This is because the gameplay mechanics are made such that any boss battle which does not involve either enemies who drop powerups or bullets which are treated as enemies and drop powerups would be terribly unforgiving, weakening your weapons after you take a few hits. While quite a few bosses don't do this, they're generally easy ones, with the notable exception of the Doctor.
    • Special mention goes to the Undead Core (a Flunky Boss who has a Flunky that's a Flunky Boss on her own), the Heavy Press (accompanied by two Invincible Minor Minions in addition to regular enemies) and Wind Fortress's G-CLONE (this is its whole gimmick).
  • The Warmup Boss, first real boss, and final boss of Beyond Good & Evil are all Flunky Bosses. For the first two bosses, the flunkies essentially serve to give you something to do while the boss readies its attack—they consist mostly of harmless, low-power Mooks. In the final boss, you get hit with multi-stage, guilt-tripping baddies that do manage to pose a serious threat, and must be utilized to both attack the boss and to advance the fight in general.
  • Every boss in the Nicktoons Unite series but the final boss of the fourth game, Globs of Doom, is this. Though the second bosses of Nicktoons Unite and Globs of Doom (Plankton's Giant Enemy Crab mecha and GIR gone crazy and stuff again respectively) are of the "sit back until you kill their mooks" variations. Hell, Mr. Crocker even shouts out for "guards, GUARDS!" or that he "wishes for ASSISTANCE!" when summoning enemies.
  • In Overlord: Oberon, Sir William, Khan, the Wizard, and the Forgotten God. Other than the fact that you play as him, the titular Overlord fits the qualifications as well.
  • Natia in Bomberman Hero falls somewhere between this and Dual Boss—or more likely, combines the two. The first time you face her, she's accompanied by Cronus, who seems to be on equal footing with her, but must be defeated before you can damage her (although she'll float around and be a nuisance during the Cronus battle unless you hit her platform with a few bombs, fitting this trope. The second time, she again has an equal in the form of a second Natia, but the trope applies in full force as an endless supply of miniature Cronuses will fall from the ceiling and try to interfere with your battle.
  • Bad Girl in No More Heroes has an annoying habit of batting her gimp minions at you.
  • Most of the bosses in Transformers: War for Cybertron do this. The most notable is the boss fight against Soundwave in the Autobot campaign. He hides behind an energy shield while activating automated turrets and then sending out one of his familiar minions (Frenzy, Rumble, and Laserbeak) to attack you. Taking out the minions is the key to beating him, as the only time he leaves the safety of his energy shield is to retrieve the body of a fallen minion.
  • Myconid Master and Snow Kong in Wonder Boy In Monster Land generate the smaller mook versions of themselves.
  • The Giadrome, Great Jaggi, and their variants in the Monster Hunter series all make it a note to call members of their pack to hassle you at regular intervals. The Qurupeco starts as this kind of foe, initially using its voice mimicry to call various types of small monsters, but tends to go for a different strategy when it gets lower on health.

    Action Game 
  • Spandam in One Piece: Unlimited Adventures as befitting his Smug Snake status.
    • He does this again in Unlimited Cruise, as do Enel, Smoker, Oz, Vivi, and maybe Moria.
    • Even though it's a video game trope, this also applies in the series itself to Perona. She would have gone down extremely quickly to Usopp if not for the fact she had about two dozen minions he had to deal with first and then a big angry Kumacy chasing him around.
    • Her boss, Gecko Moria, also qualifies. After losing his entire crew in battle, he decides to create a new, unkillable, crew, and rely solely on their power. It's not until his Villainous Breakdown that he does any fighting himself.
    • After the Time Skip, Demalo Black's plan to take on the New World hinged on his becoming this. He tricked several pirate crews several times stronger than himself into becoming his followers by making them believe that he was Luffy, intending to use them to take out any threats that Luffy's reputation didn't scare away first.
  • The third Greater Fiend in the Xbox version of Ninja Gaiden, Marbus is interesting about this. The first time you enter his realm, he taunts you, but rather than fight, summons a previously killed boss to fight you (Yep, he's a Flunky Boss that uses other bosses as flunkies). You kill the boss and leave with a plot coupon, then return to face another previously defeated boss, then he just gets ticked off and finally attacks you, while summoning a seemingly infinite stream of lesser fiends in groups of three. There's also Masakado the samurai, second boss of the game. On difficulties above normal every boss has flunkies that drop by at every 25% of the life bar you knock off them.
  • Batman Arkham Series
  • In Castlevania I, you don't have Frankenstein's Monster without his Invincible Minor Minion, Igor, who only serves to distract you and throw additional fireballs at you while you're busy trying to whip Frank's head.

    Beat Em Up 
  • Oddly used in some beat-em-ups: Since one of the important attacks of some characters consists of picking up mooks and throwing them at opponents to knock them down, low-level baddies are often present during boss fights to act as ammo.
  • In the Scott Pilgrim game, the first two bosses are always examples; Matthew Patel has his demon hipster chicks and Lucas Lee can summon skateboarders. Other bosses spawn enemies too, but only when in co-op mode, to keep the game balanced.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist has Tatsu (foot soldiers) and Baxter Stockman (mousers). If one is patient enough, these can be killed ad infinitum for extra lives...but since it takes 200 kills per extra life, it's usually better just to finish the boss and be done with it.
  • Machine Gun Willy in the arcade versions of Double Dragon and Double Dragon II joins his flunkies during both game's final battle (the flunkies being bosses from previous stages).
  • Also Belger from the original Final Fight.
    • Actually, this is true with a lot of bosses in Final Fight. In the first game alone, Damnd, Edi.E, and Abigail all have Mooks helping them. And a lot of bosses in subsequent games do too.
  • Death Bringer from the home ports of Golden Axe surrounded himself with unkillable skeleton enemies, the toughest regular mooks in the game. The idea here was to make it that much harder to deal with the actual boss, and to that end, it was a rousing success.
  • Mr. X in Streets of Rage tends to stand in the back shooting at you with his machine gun while he sends waves of mooks at you, not being particularly worried about shooting them in the process.
  • The penguin boss in Dynamite Dux has six of his minions attack you while he hops in place.

    First Person Shooter 
  • A couple of bosses in BioShock do this, among them the foppish Sander Cohen who calls on a troupe of dancing spider splicers to mince you for him, as well as the Big Bad Atlas aka Fontaine, who summons waves of splicers and even security bots at various stages of the final battle.
  • A Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy boss is accompanied by two enemies who recharge him once you do a certain amount of damage. They also have fully-decked out force powers and will use them on you, making them nigh-impossible to kill while the main boss is mobile. Doesn't help that the boss is very mobile and free to carve you up while you go after the flunkies. The only way to win is to attack him until the flunkies heal him, then kill them, which takes at least three consecutive defeats.
  • Several bosses in the Metroid Prime games. For example the Omega Pirate would summon a group of Space Pirates to defend himself when he repaired his armour, and Metroid Prime's core would spawn two metroids of varying types whenver it generated a new pool of Phazon.
  • The final boss in Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Heinrich I, has a habit of not only sending flying ghouls at you who take off health and make your screen black for a few seconds if you get too far away, but also of respawning useless zombies that can send smaller versions of these ghouls at you (though mostly they just try to walk up and hack you with flailing limbs). The first boss, Olaric, does the same.
  • In Doom 2, there's a Spider Mastermind (though at this point it's a Degraded Boss) surrounded by several Arachnotrons, and in a later level two Spider Masterminds with a swarm of Arachnotrons in sight. Since it's Doom, you can usually get the two monster types to kill each other.
  • The Guardian Of Hell in Doom 3. The Guardian itself is blind, and uses flunky Seekers to see. Guess what has to die first.
    • Even before that, the final boss of Doom 2 could only summon more and more minions as its only defense.
  • Both D'Sparil in Heretic and the Heresiarch in Hexen start summoning disciples after you reduce their health to a certain point.
  • Left 4 Dead: While most of the Special Infected in general operate by trapping and incapacitating survivors among existing Commons, the Boomer's main method of attack is summoning whole waves of them by puking on the players.
    • The game tends to stop spawning enemies completely while a Tank's in play, but sometimes you'll get unlucky and have a Special or two gunning for the survivors while they scramble around. In Versus Mode, however, all bets are off since the Infected team will keep spawning during Tank time, including Boomers.
  • The final gunfight with Alec Trevelyan in GoldenEye Wii. He isn't much of a threat by himself, as he simply follows a preset path, stopping behind cover to blaze away at Bond. The real threats are the minions (and, eventually, the helicopter) he summons as backup, who have real AI, grenades, and endless reinforcements waiting in the wings.
    • The kicker? You don't even kill Alec; you just weaken him enough until he leaves, then you chase him for the real final showdown.
  • The final boss of Serious Sam: The Second Encounter, Mordekai the Summoner, lives up to his title, with summons as his only "attack".
    • Others also qualify to some extent. The first one, Kukulkan the Wind God, is said to defend the portal from your enemies as well as from you. It's just happens so that he and the mooks do not attack each other and focus on you. The second one is a huge biomechanical larva that spawns some smaller explosive bugs and hurls them at you.
  • The first boss of Painkiller summons skeletons. He's Necrogiant so it figures.
  • Descent. Holy crap, Descent. Nearly all of the bosses are accompanied by a veritable army of other robots, and they (the bosses) can easily kill you on their own. Sometimes the best strategy was to clear out the Mooks first, then attack the boss one-on-one, but sometimes this is impossible, either because there are just so many Mooks, or because the dreaded purple-web things are present. Sometimes the bosses themselves had the ability to spawn more robots as they fought.
  • Halo: In Halo 2, there's the Prophet of Regret and his Elite Honor Guards, and Tartarus and his Brute Captains. In Halo: Reach, the Elite Field Marshal is accompanied by a trio of Zealot Elites, which themselves are bosses in mook clothing, making this a borderline Wolfpack Boss fight (on higher difficulties, they're also accompanied by an Engineer and a group of Spec-Ops Grunts).
  • The final boss battle in Quake. In fact, the boss (Shub-Niggurath) has no attacks of her own, so once you defeat the minions, you're home free.
  • Most of the bosses in Borderlands (aside from The Destroyer), fight alongside generic Mooks. This can become very annoying for lower level players, but the mooks also serve as easy second winds and quite a lot of abilities you'd want to use against a boss require a kill to use in the first place.
  • TRON 2.0: When Jet's fighting Thorne in the Progress Bar to protect Ma3a, the User-turned-Virus summons a small army of Z-lots to attack, forcing the player to deal with those, potentially having to leave Ma3a open to an attack.
  • Jurassic The Hunted: during the tyrannosaurus boss fight, flocks of pterosaurs constantly swoop down on you from above. In fact, they can actually pose more of a threat than the T-Rex. Good thing you have that mini-gun.

    Light Gun Game 
  • The Ocean Hunter has many Flunky Bosses: Leviathan, a giant shark, sends minor enemies at you to rest between attacks; Charibdis, a giant anglerfish, spits other deep-sea fishes as its first attack pattern; and the massive water worm Midgardsorm uses his parasites as his only form of offense since it ate you and you must destroy his heart from the inside.
  • The Hanged Man in House of the Dead sends swarms of literal Goddamned Bats after you in his first phase. The Emperor in the second game can summon previously fought bosses.
  • Pretty much all Time Crisis bosses.
  • All bosses in Lethal Enforcers except for the first boss and the Final Boss.

    Maze Game 
  • All the bosses in Tank Force except the final boss have normal enemies fighting alongside it. These enemies must also be defeated to win the round.

    MMORP Gs 
  • City of Villains lets you assume the role of one of these with the "Mastermind" player class.
    • And in both that and Cityof Heroes, the hardest foes are rarely found without at least a few Mooks on hand.
  • Frequent among instance bosses in World of Warcraft, with varying boss patterns regarding their underlings. Mr. Smite stuns you to allow minions to beat you senseless while he gets a new weapon. Van Cleef summons more at varying health levels. Instructor Razuvious in Naxxramas will destroy everything in his path... except his students, which are hardy enough to take hits from him if they are mind-controlled. The Karazhan Boss Terestrian Illhoof has a subversion of the "super-attack when minion dies" type: When his imp is killed, Terestrian is weakened until his imp respawn. And many more!
    • Gothik the Harvester is one of these to such an extent that actually killing the boss after he's run out of Mooks to send at you is considered little more than a formality.
    • And there is Lord Ahune, which can only be fought during the midsummer festival. Most of the time, you're too busy fighting his hordes of mooks and a bigger mook to even bother with him (fortunately you can keep your distance from most of his attacks), then he becomes vulnerable for 30 seconds and doesn't attack at all.
    • Kargath Bladefist in Shattered Halls continuously spawn streams of his own mooks when you fight him.
    • Fathom-Lord Karathress in Serpentshrine Cavern is this as well, of the Turns Red variety: he has 3 flunkies (which are all pretty challenging bosses in their own right) and for each one that dies, Karathress gets an increase in damage output and one of their nastiest abilities. By the end of the fight, when you're attacking Karathress proper, he's demolishing your tank, messing up your healers' mana and one-shoting everyone with his Spitfire Totem if your damage dealers are not REALLY fast killing it when it pops up.
    • The black dragon Sartharion is an interesting variant. In the instance are three drakes. You can either kill them before engaging the boss, or leave 1, 2 or all of them alive, which makes the battle significantly harder (Sartharion alone is a fairly simple fight, but with 3 drakes he's the hardest boss in the game, atleast until patch 3.1 when a new raid instance is added), but with more and better loot drops.
    • In the first phase of the fight against Yogg Saron, an Old God imprisoned by the Titans in Ulduar, it takes the form of a friendly female NPC while a string of enemies start to appear. Each enemy causes heavy damage over a wide area when it dies, and the only way to reach the second phase of the fight is to have the enemies close enough to the disguised Old God when they die that they hurt her as well.
    • Lady Deathwhisper starts the fight by putting up an impenetrable mana shield and summons cultists from alternate sides of the room. Players must divide their time between killing her allies and attacking her to drain her mana until she runs out and the shield drops, at which point she stops calling them.
    • Queen Azshara in the Well of Eternity instance is almost a Wolf Pack Boss as Azshara herself doesn't fight you directly, is invincible, and flees when her minions are defeated; but her ability to mind control members of the party, or mind control the entire party and have them commit suicide, makes her the most dangerous person in the battle.
    • Warmaster Blackhorn in Dragon Soul is a Twilight Dragon riding Tauren with six drake riding Vrykul. He sends his minions out first, it's only after the raid deals with the six twilight drakes that he finally appears, joining any Vrykul raiders still alive, and bringing his dragon with him as a Dual Boss.
    • The Will of the Emperor encounter in Mogu'shan Vaults is a Mook Maker which is defeated by beating the two biggest mooks, Jan-Xi and Qin-Xi, while the machine keeps pumping out lesser mooks.
    • Then there also is Wind Lord Meljarakfrom the Mantis'raid called Heart of Fear. He has 3 groups of 3 literal Elite Mooks, and each group a shared healpool, around him who, when added up, have almost as much health as he does. The whole thing gets even better in the heroic mode where his mooks even respawn after a time. He gets a 50% extra damage debuff for every dead mook group though and starts throwing bombs at 75% health, which, in cooperation with one of the mookgroup's ability to freeze single players in amber are going to kill the group quite quickly if the mooks are not killed first, giving them a higher priority despite their high health.
  • Runescape has TzTok-Jad, the second most powerful attackable monster in the game. Not only he's only reachable after you progress through sixty-something waves of enemies, which is enough for most players to run out of supplies during, but also he does indeed summon four little healers when he falls to half HP. You get an unique cape for defeating him, at least.
    • All of the bosses in the God Wars Dungeon have bodyguards that will violently defend their generals.
    • Some quests have bosses that does this, brought in mind is the Bandos Avatar from The Chosen Commander, who makes the statues in the throne room live when you try to get back the parts of Zanik's Crossbow back, which is the only weapon thay can truly kill him.
    • Glacors summon three glacytes when they reach half health. For an added twist, the glacors are invulnerable until the glacytes are dead, and take on the characteristics of the last glacyte to die.
  • Every single boss in zOMG! except General Dreedle. Most of the time, these Mooks respawn infinitely. In one case, defeating one will make an even stronger one appear and explode right next to you. Fun times.
  • Most bosses in Guild Wars have several standard enemies with them. Zoldark the unholy is a clever variant- His defense in insanely high, but he has no direct attacks, only being able to power up his flunkies and (by damaging himself) revive them. Figure it out.
  • While almost every boss in Wizard101 has a minion (or three if at least three wizards enter the fight) that can survive the boss's death. But some of the cheating bosses deserve special note
    • Angrus Hollowsoul summons a minion that must be killed in four turns or it will cast a spell that functions as a Total Party Kill for the level players are suppose to face it at.
    • General Stormclaw summons three skeletons that must be killed from right to left with single target attacks or they punish the entire party with powerful attacks that can prevent players from doing anything for a turn in addition to the heavy damage.
    • Lyon Lorestriker summons one minion a round (two if a player has heal a over time spell effect on them) and if he is allowed to max out at three minions he gets to cast a free super powered blizzard spell in addition to his normal actions. Also once he gets just under half health his minions health drastically increases.

    Pinball 

    Platform Game 
  • The final boss of Jak II: Renegade, which features the Metal Head leader and his underlings.
  • Psychonauts has the Mega-Censor from the stage "Sasha's Shooting Gallery", and Jasper from "Gloria's Theater". The Hulking Lungfish mid-game boss may also count—she spits crawdads and sucker fish at you, but their threat level is so tiny as to almost be nonexistent.
  • Shinobi for the PS2 plays with this one - every single boss functions this way, and while the player can ignore the minions and go straight for the boss and still win, experienced players will wait around for minions to spawn and use them to build kill combos, as doing this will allow them to kill all but the first two bosses (yes, even the final boss) in a single hit.
  • The final fight with the vizier in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. The vizier sends out several clones to fight in his stead. His actual body is pretty frail, dying within 2 sword strikes.
  • One of the bonus challenges for Tesrat the Hedgeroid in Mega Man ZX Advent is to deliver her the finishing blow by knocking one of her rat minions into her.
  • In Mega Man X6, the final boss summons disgusting blobs and airborne platform enemies to distract you from its weak point and lasers
  • Donkey Kong Country 2 has King Zing, who, about halfway through the battle, shrinks, turns red (literally, not the trope) and gets a few bodyguards. You then have to knock a couple of the surrounding Zingers out and spit eggs at him before they respawn (how many you knock out doesn't affect respawn speed, though).
  • Kracko in the Kirby games.
  • Splash Woman from Mega Man 9, whose singing summons fish that attack Mega Man. There's also Mega Man 4's Snake Man and his snakes as well as Hornet Man and his swarm of bees (also from 9). There's a fine line, though, between "flunky" and "projectile" in these cases; Splash Woman's fish just zoom straight across the screen. Hornet Man's bees will at least chase you around the room.
  • Used quite a fair bit in the Wario Land series, where usually, the enemy has to be used as ammunition against the boss. The Shake Dimension has some pretty odd examples though, such as the fourth boss which summons various mooks, then causes a mini hurricane that sends them flying at your character (or into the wall and the fifth boss, which has to be fed one or two mooks before spitting out a bomb which can be used to hurt said boss (Feed It a Bomb).
  • Several bosses in the Sly Cooper series, including Rajan and Jean-Bison in Sly 2: Band Of Thieves, and The Black Baron in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves.
  • Most Klonoa bosses have flunkies, because you need to throw mooks at the boss to damage them. The one exception is the first phase of Polente the Hatchling, but that's because you can't use the ring what so ever.
  • The Queen at the end of episode 4 of Duke Nukem 3D. It's bad enough that you have to fight her underwater and she's 2000HP tougher than the other bosses, but her constant laying of Protector Drones (Demonic Spiders) makes her into That One Boss (or, if not, very nearly does).
  • Happens several times in Legend of Kay. This is to make the boss fights easier, since killing an enemy gives Kay extra fighting powers for a short time, and the effect is cumulative.
  • The Whomp King in Super Mario Galaxy 2 actually now has the ability to summon smaller Whomps called Whimps.
  • Fracktail from Super Paper Mario also comes with flunkies in the form of wind-up duck things that appear when you hitch a ride on his body. The player then has to throw them at his antenna to defeat him.
  • The ROM hack Brutal Mario has a recreation of Dumb Drum that functions as this.
  • The Rattlecrab and Looger in Scaler. Once it's sustained enough damage, the Rattlecrab starts to continously shoot out little crab-like creatures at you, who can be a merry pain in the rear to shoot down. Looger on the other hand, er, claw will, after a while, firstly summon a group of small Mooks, then a little bit later a couple of large ones, then finally a really big one.
  • Pokémon Rumble adds this to King Mook; the flunkies are all lesser forms of the boss.
  • Spelunky's only boss spawns enemies every second time it crushes through the floor. The enemies often materialize off-screen (where they become inactive), thus making them a threat only once the player tries to reach the exit.
  • Buga the Knut orders his Uga Buga minions to kill you in Conkers Bad Fur Day; when you get rid of all of them, then Buga himself will challenge you for the definitive fight. Downplayed with Count Batula, as the minions (squirrel villagers) who roam the mansion want to kill both you and him, so what you do is to sacrifice the mooks to kill Batula indirectly. Inverted with Big Boiler, as he's operated and commanded by the fiery imps and not the other way around.
  • In BanjoTooie, of the tennote  bosses in the game, five of them summon minions to do you harm. Targitzan, Terry, Weldar and Hag 1 do you the courtesy of summoning minions you can actually kill; no such luck with Mr Patch, whose flunky is an invincible (but mercifully easy to dodge) boxing glove-molehill.
  • The rabbit and pencil bosses of Fancy Pants Adventures require the player to stun their mooks and knock them back at them when they're vulnerable to deal damage.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • The Recurring Boss Empress Bulbax in Pikmin 2 is a Flunky Boss in her second and third appearances. She continuously spawns Bulbax Larvae. While incredibly fragile (a single punch from one of your captains will turn them into slime), they are capable of instantly killing your Pikmin, and they're a nuisance to deal with.
  • Nearly every boss in the Dawn of War II campaigns, with more difficult bosses spawning larger numbers and more powerful types of flunkies. Indeed, the main reason The Avatar and Bonesmasha are so frustrating is their tendency to summon bloody hordes of flunkies that include plenty of vehicles and elite soldiers.
  • Enemy carriers and motherships in the Homeworld series: being Battlestars, they launch fighters and frigates (and, in the case of some motherships, heavy cruisers) at you to fight. Thankfully, most of them are weakly armed, with only the Turanic carriers, the Kadeshi motherships and the Beast mothership are actually dangerous opponents on their own, and you have to actually destroy them on very rare occasions (once in the original game and once in Cataclysm for the Turanic carrier, once for the Kadeshi mothership (but you have to destroy three of them in that mission) and once for the Beast mothership), with the objective being to force them to run or to escape yourself most of the times.

    Roguelike 
  • The grand finale of Nethack features this over the final five planes; the Elemental Plane Of Air and the Astral Plane are by far the worst. Theoretically, the Riders are supposed to be the bosses, but the bigger problem is the sheer volume of Mooks and Mook Makers.
  • In Angband, several of the uniques can summon monsters, and this can quickly get out of hand unless you make an anti-summoning corrior. Morgoth can even summon other uniques you haven't killed yet.
  • In the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, virtually every boss fight that isn't against a legendary Pokemon (Though even some of those aren't exceptions) will have multiple weaker Pokemon assisting the main boss(es).

    Role Playing Game 
  • There are many, many instances of this in the Final Fantasy series. For example, Hidon in Final Fantasy VI and the battle with Sin immediately after you Get on the Boat in Final Fantasy X.
    • A LOT of bosses in VI do this. The Marshall miniboss you fight to save Terra VERY early in the game has two Lobos with him, Vargas has two bears who you have to kill before you fight him directly, The boss of Zozo will occasionally summon four or five Iron Fists. And don't forget the MOTHER of all flunky bosses that makes a great deal of FFVI players wanna kill themselves: Wrexsoul. For those who haven't played it, the battle with Wrexsoul can literally be solved by players killing themselves; it's possible to progress through the battle by having the player characters either slay one other or by slaying both of Wrexsoul's henchmen at the same time. Either way, many player characters and henchmen will be revived throughout the potentially long fight.
    • Final Fantasy IV has the CPU with heal and hurt orbs. Somewhat unique in that (in the more difficult DS version) you don't want to Shoot the Medic First because the hurt orb is super painful and the CPU itself is even worse if you destroy both orbs. Until of course it respawns them.
    • Final Fantasy VIII has a miniboss that throws its minions at you for extra damage. Killing them before it removes this attack.
    • Several of the Lucavi in Final Fantasy Tactics summon a few Ultima Demons with them when they fight Ramza's party, including the Final Boss.
    • Every single boss in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles have two mooks fighting alongside them. These respawn all the time, and give no supplies whatsoever. They serve only to distract you from the main boss. Worse, the final boss have the hardest enemies in the game as its minions, and they instantly respawn if you kill both. Add to that two hits will kill you no matter unless you're seriously leveled, and you have yourself a fun battle. Infinite full-heal Cure spells is the only thing that keeps this boss from being Nintendo Hard.
      • To be fair, the respawn rate on the minions is NOT instantaneous, just exceptionally fast unless you kill them shortly after respawn, causing the AI to usually wait anywhere from one to several attacks before respawning the mooks.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics A2 has few true bosses, but the second, Lord of the Flowsand, and lots of Marks (quest targets that are a bit stronger than the average enemy) have mooks that keep getting replaced until the boss dies.
    • A small list of bosses from Final Fantasy XI that like having buddies: Jailer of Justice, Vrtra, Jailer of Love, Absolute Virtue, Pandemonium Warden... there's also one fight where it's actually recommended to only kill the flunky, as fighting the boss will probably get you killed.
    • It would probably be easier to list the bosses, bonus or otherwise, that didn't have mook minions in Final Fantasy XII. Notable examples include Adrammelech and Zeromus, both of whom come equipped with almost-infinitely spawning (that's spawning, not respawning; ignoring them may lead to over a dozen on the battlefield at any given time), status-effect-spewing undead that can easily overwhelm the player, and Zalera, who has the gall to be invincible so long as his minions are on the field (oh, and that fight has a time limit on it as well).
      • The fight gets easier once you have gotten the Exodus or Mateus summon. A group of four carbuncles on Mateus or Exodus can hold back HORDES of zombies, leaving the greater bulk of your party to attack Zalera. (if you invested in some Cu Chulains, then this battle will be cake, even more so if you have Basch and Vaan unleash all their skills at once on Zalera at the same time.)
      • This becomes HORRIBLY easy if you actually wasted the time to get Bahamut first because Bahamut by himself is already capable of mowing down hordes of Zombies on end without a care in the world especially since every blast of Mega flare means disable. A horde of zombies is not very scary if they can't attack at all.
      • Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings. Every boss in the game, many with unlimited, summon gateless minions. It is an RTS, though.
    • Final Fantasy V had the Dragon Pod with its Dragon Flowers. All the Dragon Pod will do is summon Dragon Flowers, which will use status effect-laden physical attacks. The battles becomes much easier once you get the summon Golem, found in the same dungeon.
    • The segment where you had to fight the Guado and Seymour, especially since they gave him buffs when they died (usually via Valefor's Overdrive). The boss immediately following (with the stupid giant and two Guado) was nearly as frustrating solely if you're out of the aeons' Overdrives.
    • Final Fantasy VII has two bosses that will revive their baddies. Attacking them will be a waste of time.
    • Final Fantasy XIII has two bosses (the final boss in Palum Polum and Barthandelus where you're basically forced to kill the minions (you can kill them regularly, but they are nearly invulnerable and you face 5 enemies hitting you hard, making it very complicated)
    • Final Fantasy XIII-2 has two downloadable Bonus Bosses (Valfodr and Jihl Nabaat) who utilize summons. Nabaat can sacrifice her summons to heal herself or power up her signature move. Valfodr is already one of the most powerful enemies in the game and summons Chichu, a monster regarded as one of the best Commandos available.
  • Kingdom Hearts II has Demyx. His weapon is a sitar, but while it's not as threatening as a sword, he uses it to conjure up watery clones of himself. There are a couple of ways he can do this— the first isn't so scary. He'll usually just summon two or three of them, and they 'might' attack you—but most of the time, they float around aimlessly, basically just getting in your way as you're fighting him. You can even use the clones against him to attack him. Sounds like a good deal, right? Until he summons about fifty all at once, and you have to defeat all of them in forty seconds or less, or it's an instant game over.
    • Oogie Boogie starts producing heartless from his machine on a regular basis once you knock him down from his perch for the first time. They make dodging the boss' painful but predictable attacks a lot harder and are quite capable of taking you out on their own, meaning you can't afford to ignore them.
  • The rare Lord Kyroo dream eater in Kingdom Hearts 3D isn't much of a threat on his own, but a moment into the fight, will call close to a dozen of his fellow frog dream eaters to pester you. This made more annoying by the fact that he runs away after a certain amount of time, in addtion to the fact that he can break your target lock on him, making the act of retargeting him a pain.
    • The version of Pete fought in this game also qualifies, staying on the sidelines and tossing bombs while you fight the Beagle Boys, and only comes down after you KO the three of them and launch them at him using reality shifts.
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars loves these. Mack, Punchinello, Booster, Jonathan Jones (who converts to a Duel Boss, challenging Mario to a one-on-one fight, when his flunkies are dead), Belome II, Megasmilax, Czar Dragon, Exor, and Smithy himself.
    • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga also features a few of them. The most interesting example are beans spit at the plumbers. If you jump on them with the Action Command, they roll back and turn into mooks. If you jump over them, they just roll offscreen. If you don't jump, you get hit, obviously, but that also prevents them. Interestingly, hitting the beans to spawn the mooks is good for mid-boss grinding, as the mooks award the normal amount of experience and money as they would outside the boss battle.
    • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time and Bowser's Inside Story have quite a few of these boss battles, the former including Sunnycide and General Shroob, the latter including Dark Star and Junker. In most cases you have to use the mooks to weaken the boss enough to attack it, although in some cases they're just for annoyance.
    • In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, all Dream World bosses are this, due to how your attacks there hit multiple targets. Examples include Bowser and Antasma, Big Massif, Elite Trio and Kamek. The Big Bad and Final Boss are this too.
    • Shows up in Paper Mario, where most of the (main) bosses after Tubba Blubba are Flunky Bosses who are significantly more deadly if the player doesn't kill the mooks first, making area-of-effect attacks important. Most noteworthy of all would have to be Huff N. Puff, who spawns small cloudlike creatures every time he is attacked based on how much health the attack cost him - more damage, more mooks. These mooks, if not immediately dispatched, will either attack Mario on their own, combine with any one of Huff N. Puff's special abilities to make them stronger, or simply be sucked up by the boss himself, replenishing his health.
      • The Crystal King summons three Crystal Bits, who don't themselves attack but are used by Crystal King as ammo for his attack. Attacking them lowers the damage he can inflict but prevents you from damaging the King, so you have to ignore them if you want to win. Multi-hitting attacks like Multibounce, Shooting Star items and Star Power works, but you probably want to save them for when the Crystal King starts creating duplicates of himself.
    • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has an interesting variant with the pirate king Cortez. He starts off as a single opponent wielding four weapons. When he's defeated in phase one, he drops his weapons on the floor and switches to a serpentine form. When phase two is beaten, Cortez raises the weapons off the floor, and you now have five targets to worry about. The weapons can be knocked out, but they revive after two turns (unless Flurrie blows them completely out of the battle, the preferred choice since each weapon deals decent damage, one hits both Mario and his partner, and one inflicts status ailments).
  • Chrono Trigger also has quite a few. The Guardian, Giga Gaias, most of Lavos's forms.
    • The very last form of Lavos comes with two "bit" flunkies. It turns out that one of the bits is actually the true boss, making this trope played with...
    • The Guardian is also especially noteworthy. He does revive his flunkies... but you still have to kill them, as if both survive, he'll hit you with a powerful counter that hits the entire party every time you attack him... and taking out one only weakens it to a very powerful single-target counter. You have to kill them, then quickly pound him in the time before he revives them, if you don't want to get slaughtered or spend half the battle healing.
    • The Mud Imp is an odd example.
  • Etrian Odyssey 2's first stratum boss is the Chimera, aptly subtitled "Lord of the Beasts". After a few turns, a massive flock of Slaveimps come to his cause, either casting Heal or Aura (an attack-up spell) on their master. If the Chimera dies, one still has to knock out any Slaveimps that made it into battle, but if there are any still trying to reach the battle, they disappear if the battle ends without them.
    • Plenty of the bosses in the original Etrian Odyssey fall under this category. There's also the fourth stratum's boss, which is on an entire floor of F.O.E.s (fighting one on by itself is hard) that become aggressive upon the player entering a battle. This can be avoided by simply killing said F.O.E.s and somehow not dying, or killing the boss before they force themselves into the battle.
  • The second Golden Sun game has a few of these; Briggs, Moapa, and the Star Magician come to mind (who are accompanied by Sea Fighters, Knights, and "Ball monster" minions, respectively). Given what the Star Magician's flunkies can do (Heal 1000 damage?! Reduce your attack damage to two digits?! Eat your Djinn?!), the Star Magician is also That One Boss for many players. Essentially, the easiest way to beat him is to continuously defeat the mooks he summons and hope that he uses his "non-Mook-making" attacks.
  • Baldur's Gate series has a couple of these: The solution is elegant in its simplicity. Fireball.
    • Charm spells can be fun as well.
  • Oddly, this happens only once (thus far) in the Fallout franchise, and even then only for one of four possible endings. Fallout: New Vegas has three factions one can choose to side with: the New California Republic, Mr. House's Independent New Vegas, and Caesar's Legion. They can also opt to use a security backdoor called Yes Man to steal Mr. House's robot army, and by extension, city, for their own. Players who side with the NCR, Mr. House, or Yes Man will have to break the Legion to ensure the city's survival, pitting them against the par-for-the-course Made of Iron Legate Lanius. The NCR is spared because both House and Yes Man are dependent on NCR tourism for economic stability and want to simply muscle the NCR out of Vegas, not massacre them. A Legion player has the opposite viewpoint, wishing to strengthen the Legion's hold on the city and break the morale of the NCR. As a result, Legion sympathizers fight General Lee Oliver, or more accurately, the squad of Veteran NCR Rangers guarding General Lee Oliver. Expect the peak of Oliver's involvement to be his unimpressive armor and weaponry going off, unnoticed, in the background while you do so.
    • Happens again if you decide to fight Ulysses at the end of Lonesome Road, who is backed up by a respawning pair of Eyebots that can regenerate his health, along with a horde of Marked Men.
    • Likewise for the optional fight with Caesar himself, who is accompanied by eight Praetorian Guards equipped with Ballistic Fists, who can actually take more punishment than him.
  • A memorable encounter in Jade Empire saw the party's Boisterous Bruiser up against a massive Jade Golem and a never-ending wave of Mooks. It is entirely possible to spend all day slaughtering more soldiers than the game's army could technically support, even have the golem help out in this task, but you can't progress until you hack the golem down to size. Hilariously lampshaded when, after killing a certain ridiculously high amount of enemies, a narrator who's been describing your prowess based on how many mooks you've slaughtered gets fed up and breaks the fourth wall, yelling at you to "just kill the damn golem, already!"
  • The Orb Of Undead from Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, the only "attack" it has is to summon an army of skeletons and fly out of the players reach, but once you kill all of it's minions it will come back down to resummon it's army.
  • SaGa Frontier is very fond of these types of fights, typically surrounding some bosses with upgraded versions of normal enemies from that dungeon, and even one of the final bosses gets this treatment. To make matters worse, the bosses frequently unleash powerful attacks upon the party when all the flunkies are killed. In the case of Master Ring, one of the game's seven final bosses, killing all nine of its powerful companions causes it to unleash the Revolution9 attack, which deals catastrophic damage in addition to giving the boss a substantial defense buff.
    • The Space Magic: Vortex makes the battle easier since it will negate Revolution 9, but it is much easier if you have Purple Eyes' equipped (negate Gazes) or have Mecs, and leave the Charm Gaze Monster alive, it will keep wasting turns using Gaze attacks meaning the only thing you have to worry about is Master Ring's Oscillation attack.
  • Star Ocean: The Last Hope has Tamiel, Armaros Manifest, and Kokabiel. All of them summon new minions on a regular basis, but the latter of the three is particularly notable for having literally dozens of extremely low HP minions that make keeping the actual boss targeted a pain, on top of swarming you to the point where you where you can barely even move if they aren't wiped out by some manner of area attack quickly (Some of them are invincible, though). The boss is also only vulnerable while creating a new batch of minions.
  • Romancing SaGa That One Boss Ewei definitely fits this trope, and maybe a few others. Here's why: He has 2 beastmen of 3 different varieties that assist him in battle, and respawn the second turn after they are defeated, they act as a shield for Ewei, and to add insult to injury he uses A powerful Terrology Spell to negate most of the damage dealt to him and 2 types of Attack all spells that can prevent using magic or attacking normally, in addition he can heal himself. The only possible way to defeat him is to have an Archer know Rain of Arrows or a Hand Axe user use Rolling Slash to injure both Ewei and his beastmen and have one character equipped with the Amethyst (Negates his Demonology spells) in addition to the Opal (Negates Terrology Spells).
    • Also the beastmen can use a technique that can knock your characters unconscious
    • And to even deepen the wound there is a unskippable amount of dialogue in a scene 3 Minutes and 22 Seconds long before fighting him every single time, you cannot escape from the battle which makes him an even worse offender than Miguel from Chrono Cross. So if you lose and have a Quicksave outside of Ewei's lab you have better do something to kill time until the actual battle starts. The dialogue is automated so at least you don't need to keep pressing the action button.
  • Dragon Quest VIII features Don Mole, who is basically James Brown in mole form, who fights with the support of four "Soul Moles."
    • There's also Evil Jessica, who constantly summons Shadows to help her out. She can call 3 at a time (and up to 6 total), they're resistant to a lot of attacks, and they've got a fairly powerful ice breath attack that really starts to add up when multiple Shadows use it in a single round. Have fun.
      • The shadows aren't really strong, it's more the sheer number of them. They usually can't deal more than 15 damage per turn to a properly leveled party, and the healing abilities more than cover it. Basically, depending on levels, the flunkies are more likely to be on the level of Goddamned Bats than Demonic Spiders.
  • Earthbound has enemies that can call for help in the middle of battle to overwhelm the party; bosses usually do this. However, if the party is strong enough, they can keep killing each newly summoned minion over and over again, and then beat the foe that was calling for help to break the chain and gain a ton of experience points. Works even better if the foes that call for help summon other foes that are exactly like it.
    • Lampshaded in Kid Radd when Radd, G.I. Guy and I.B. encounters three bunnies in "Mofo". They can only take out two each round (I.B. is a non-combatant) and the third always summon two more, so the fight goes on interminably... until G.I. Guy uses his scary powers to break the loop.
      • Some RPGs differentiate between 'Summons', 'Flunkies', and 'Reinforcements'. Summons can be performed by some normal enemies, usually by gimmick enemies where the gimmick is summoning. Flunkies are this trope. Reinforcements are used by certain bosses and show up at a certain amount of health.
    • Speaking of Earthbound, MOTHER 3 has the Jealous Bass, which starts the fight with two flunkies. It uses them in a "jam session attack" which hits a character quite hard. FOUR TIMES. Even better, when you kill the flunkies, Jealous Bass increases his offense by over 20, allowing him to do pretty much what he was already doing. Combine this with the fact that you only have 2 party members, and only one of them has PSI "magic"...
  • The boss battle with Minamimoto in The World Ends with You has him summoning Taboo Noise every so often, and then challenging you directly after you defeat a few waves. He also hops back-and-forth between human form and Noise form during the fight.
    • Konishi uses both noise and shadow clones of herself to keep you busy during her boss fight.
  • The first Xenosaga game has one of these, a powerful Gnosis flanked by two smaller helpers. It gets faster as its flunkies die, to the point that it's practically attacking between each of your party members' attacks when both minions are dead.
    • There's also the Sufal Mass in Xenogears, which falls squarely in the "kill all my babies and I'll tear you apart" category; and also Fis-6, whose medic flunkies are easysauce when one considers they're mere humans and your party is composed of Gears.
    • Another one of these is in Xenosaga: the twist is that putting the minions to sleep will cause their commander to shoot them and cause damage.
  • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne has Albion, a giant and the source of the four Zoas, his flunkies. Killing all of them causes Albion to revive them immediately, regardless of turn order. If he is killed, they revive him on their next turn.
  • Nearly every single boss in Super Robot Wars OG Saga: Endless Frontier. The flunkies could be (and often are) bosses on their own. The bosses themselves are ridiculously strong even compared to their flunkies. However, the game does make stylish use of this with one boss named Dorothy, whose allies are palette-swapped versions of a scarecrow, a tinman robot, and a beastman, named "Heartless", "Brainless", and "Gutsless". What Theme Naming?
  • The prequel to Baten Kaitos, Baten Kaitos Origins, has the Holoholobird, which is joined by two chicks that can heal the mother (and the mother will lay an egg that will hatch into another chick whenever one is defeated). It's That One Boss.
    • And to make matters worse, it appears right after a Point of No Return; if you don't either A) do quite a bit of Level Grinding beforehand, B) keep an extra save from before said Point of No Return so you can go back and do A, or C) get lucky, you could end up having to start the whole game over.
    • The first final boss, Quaestor Verus, is a very tough one of these. First, you fight two waves of tough machina turrets, with no break in between waves, so you don't get After Combat Recovery. When you get to him, he has four of said turrets, which make it impossible to damage him until all four of them are dead.
  • The Slaadi in Neverwinter Nights summon more Slaadi for you to fight. Unfortunately, the summoned Red Slaadi don't grant XP or drop items. Fortunately, they disappear as soon as you beat the summoner. Unfortunately, your (computer-controlled) henchmen never seem to grasp this idea... Most spellcasting enemies also do this trick, summoning anything from a dire badger to an Elder Elemental. Of course, the spell is available for players too...
  • You fight against the enigmatic Tri-Edge which isn't actually Tri-Edge first in .hack//GU Vol.1, followed by an awesome Avatar fight. Next time you see him, he's not alone, two bosslike enemies are with him. They have an annoying defence of being able to dodge every attack you throw when they glow translucent blue by teleporting, while the main boss himself stays idle. The real threat comes when he uses the power of all three to make a combo spell move or the unblockable combo attack. Defeating the two subbosses don't really make a difference, as the real one will invariably revive them two.
    • Also played straight with Real Tri-Edge who summons a different combination of three orbs at regular intervals. The orbs either, 1) Shoot light beams at you, 2) Make the boss invulnerable until you destroy it or 3) Heals him. Extra fun when he summons a combo with 2-3-3.
  • Several bosses (and even some not-quite-bosses) in the Geneforge series continually make new creations until either they or you die. Unlike most examples, these creations generally stick around even after said flunky boss dies.
    • From the same developers, Avernum and Avadon have a lot of these, too, although they're generally less likely to be summoners. The latter game has a particularly odd variant in Zhossa Mindtaker, who never attacks you directly during his first fight, instead calling it a "game"—you earn a point every time you drop a flunky's HP to 1 and force him to heal it, he'll earn a point if his flunkies kill you and he devours your corpse. (And yes, that's pretty much how he phrases it.) Earn enough points, and he'll eventually flee, leaving his flunkies to die.
  • Just about every one of the Desian Grand Cardinals from Tales of Symphonia. Magnius just has some generic Desians, Kvar has the Energy Stones, Forcystus has the Exbones, and the second battle with Pronyma features the Idun. Also the Ktugach with its Ktugachlings, the Adulocia with its Amphitra, the Toize Valley Mine Defense System with its Orbits, and the Gatekeeper with Angel Swordians.
  • A lot of bosses in Tales of Phantasia come with several mooks (out of nowhere) to aid them. Some of the bosses (such as Dhaos in the past) may even be helpless while their minions are still alive.
  • Tales of Graces has several of these, where the boss may come with flunkies but also have some where they summon flunkies. One of the problems is the boss is dangerous enough by themselves, and the AI knows it doesn't have to gang up on you to cause a game over...just that the flunkies have to be annoying. (They love to pick on Sophie or Cheria, the healers.) Even if they don't Shoot the Medic First, they'll probably force the AI to attack them, thus reducing your DPS on the boss. So what happens if you focus on the adds, just so you can focus more damage on the boss? Then the boss will start running around and pick on your healers. What happens if you decide to focus on the boss so they don't go crazy? Then the adds start picking on you.
  • In The Witcher one interesting example exists: Dagon's flunkys need to be killed to harm him, as they are his worshipers and Gods Need Prayer Badly
  • Lost Odyssey enjoys this trope. One mini-boss fight includes a sea monster which keeps summoning weaker versions of itself and then disappearing while you wail on them, another boss involves a literal Hive Queen that beefs her minions up to insanely powerful levels, and an optional boss requires you to fight a bunch of raptors that call reinforcements (and eventually the boss) into battle.
  • The Hanged Man in Persona 3 spends half its attacks summoning minions. This can become very annoying, since the very existence of some of these minions will make the boss float above the battlefield, unable to be attacked.
    • Almost every boss in The Answer comes with a few minions. Usually you'll have to abuse the combat system to stop them from ever attacking if you don't want to die horribly.
  • Persona 4 has Shadow Yukiko and Shadow Kanji, as well as the God Hand. Even some ordinary Mooks can summon minions.
  • Dengeki Gakuen RPG: Cross of Venus has an odd variation: The archer boss on the first visit to the Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu world will start sending out soccer players when low on health. However, these versions are effectively invincible but they only perform their rushing attack 'till they run off-screen. And she sends out waves of them,giving the impression of a stampede. No wonder why Shana is flat-chested.
  • Rather common in Mana Khemia. Plenty of optional bosses do this, as well as the first boss and the final boss.
  • Lots and lots of the bosses in Dragon Fable have a couple of minions, usually one of the standard monsters from the quest up to that point. Luckily, only one boss so far has figured out how to respawn them, and his flunkies aren't good for much but Cherry Tapping you.
  • Happens in Mass Effect 1 with Matriarch Benezia. She is invulnerable to damage for the first part, so you are left to fight the mooks all around you. When you clear them out, she uses some of her power to...um, open doors...which apparently house more mooks. Eventually her power drains because of this and she is no longer invulnerable.
    • From a gameplay perspective, this translates to: three waves of enemy flunkies, cutscene, one-on-three boss fight. She can also uses biotic powers of her own during the flunky waves.
    • Some minibosses in the first Mass Effect rely on this:
      • The human thug Fist is a variation. If you don't immobilize him early in the fight, he'll take cover behind his desk and activate two defense turrets who will shred you to pieces. You more or less have to destroy them from behind cover before you can get back to Fist.
      • Confronting a geth Armature, an Elite Mook which had previously only been fought in vehicle sections, on Artemis Tau. Half of the fight's challenge (aside from the obvious task of fighting an Armature on foot, without the Mako) is that there's also a squad of fast-moving stalkers, tank-like rocket troopers and snipers to deal with, while the Armature itself hangs back and occasionally throws devastating energy balls at you. Subverted in that both the Armature and the flunkies have to die to trigger the next event flag.
    • In the second game, Jedore is aided by tank-bred Krogan. There is also a YMIR Mech aiding her.
    • Marauder Shields and the three Husketeers.
    • In ME3, Kai Leng always has backup nearby. In his final appearance, the boss fight ends when the last mook falls, so it can be easier to win by taking them out than by focusing on Kai Leng.
  • Devil Survivor: Absolutely every goddamned boss in the goddamned game.
  • Dragon Age: Origins: The combat system is largely biased towards gang-ups, flank-attacks and back-stabs, so a boss who fights alone would normally be very easy to defeat. Therefore, most of the bosses in the game are accompanied by Mooks, and some even by a massive swarm of mooks (though never endless). Bosses who fight alone are rare, and when they do they are usually extraordinarily over-powered to make up for their numerical inferiority. Many bosses are made ridiculously easier to defeat if you can somehow draw their mooks away and take care of them first.
    • And then there's someone like Ser Cauthrien, who comes with massive amounts of mooks, and even if you managed to seperate Ser Cauthrien from the mooks (or kill all the mooks first), she is still ridiculously hard to take down. Thankfully she's a Bonus Boss.
    • The ultimate example of this from the game would have to be the Archdemon because in its case, the Mooks really are neverending, and are just there to distract you from the boss itself. Thankfully, you can call in armies of allies to deal with the Mooks, making the player character something of an inversion.
    • The Harvester in The Golems of Amgarrak DLC takes this Up to Eleven by summoning Boss-level mooks to assist it.
    • There's also the Broodmother, which calls Darkspawn to protect it.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 Mask Of The Betrayer has two. The first is against Okku and his spirit army. Since Okku is a god, his worshippers grant him oodles of HP and immunity to weapons until they die. After enough are down, he's killable, and he drops to far below his max HP by the time all of them are dead. In the second one, the boss is a Genus Loci, which consists of five trees that do nothing but spam summoned allies until they are destroyed. However, in both cases AoE blasting will handle them pretty easily.
  • Demons Souls has Phalanx, the Wake-Up Call Boss which can only be harmed by killing the living shields that surround it.
  • Soma in Eien no Aselia has no fighting ability since he's just a normal human. He lets his brainwashed minions do all his fighting for him. And when they go down...
  • In The Legend of Dragoon, the boss of the Queen Fury/Ghost Ship section is actually a group of Respawning Enemies. Four Ghost Knights, accompanied by a stronger Commander, attack you. Killing one, including the Commander, simply 'downs' it for 1-3 turns, after which they stand back up at full health. If you are unlucky they may even rise back up before you even get your next action. The only way to win is to down all 5 enemies at the same time, which is easier said than done in a game where the only multi-hitting attacks you have are limited items and, at that point in the game, very few Dragoon Spells, only one of which is actually powerful enough to take them all out at moderate health, besides the Commander. May very well become That One Boss if you aren't prepared for it.
  • Skies of Arcadia does this, most notably with a number of the bonus Wanted battles. Gordo is first but his 3 chef pirates don't get brought back or replaced when defeated. Then you have Lapen (spike drones), Daikokuya (bodyguards) and Lord Zivilyn Bane (mook Zivilyn Banes). These three will summon replacement flunkies a set number of times but do stop eventually so you can feasibly kill them all and then focus on the boss.
  • Diablo II has got unique monsters (and a lot of superunique monsters) which have several minions fighting alongside it. Also, Act I and III boss rooms are filled with normal enemies which can attack with the boss.
  • In Dark Souls both the Capra Demon and Nito, First of the Dead are accompanied by mooks. Nito's skeletal mooks will also respawn unless they are slain with a divine weapon.
  • In Okage: Shadow King every boss save the for the Final Boss has minions that fight with it.
  • Pseudolonewolf's MARDEK series uses this a few times; Moric summons zombies and Droma the first and second times he is fought, Ss'leneck brings two Reptoid Warriors with him, the King of Goznor summons Aether Clones of Mardek and his party members (active and reserve), at level 30, with any equipment equipped on their real life counterparts and finally Qualna summons Aether Clones of Mardek in the Astral Tunnel, at level 30, with any equipment he has one him.
  • Alraune, the Final Boss of PN03, occasionally summons groups of Eichels, the Goddamned Bats encountered throughout the game.
  • The fight against O. Dio in the Western chapter of Live A Live is this if you did not set up very many traps beforehand. If you set up none, the enemies take up the majority of the screen.
  • Xenoblade: Lorithia, That One Boss near the end of the game sends lots of nebula enemies to attack you - rather annoying since these are creatures that are highly resistant to physical attacks, inflict status ailments, and explode if left alone with little HP. They also spawn often and share their damage resistance with the boss if so much as one of them remains alive.
    • Prior to that, there's Xord, who regularly summons a mob of weak mechon to assist him. They're necessary for beating him, as you need to use a chain attack to make him vulnerable to damage, and defeating them is the only practical way to max out your chain gauge.
  • Several of the bosses in The Lord of the Rings: War in the North are backed up with hordes of respawning mooks. Once the boss is killed, any remaining enemies must also be slain in order to progress. This can become very frustrating if you just managed to survive the boss only to get finished off by a lowly Goblin that you forgot to take care of.
  • Several bosses in The Last Story summon enemies to disturb the player's strategies. Terracor (first fight), Marbas and Necromancer are only some examples.
  • One of the two types of "bosses" in Evil Islands.
    • Erfar takes it to its logical extreme, Zerg Rushing you with at least fifteen Mooks who you will likely two-shot by then (the boss himself included).
    • A less serious and way more dangerous example would be Bandit Chief's Lieutenant. Encountered fairly early in the game he has an assortment of six to eight bandits that will come to his aid once engaged. It's possible to pick them off one by one before the main fight though, otherwise you're in for a slugfest.
  • Might and Magic VI sets up the final battle to be against a Reactor Boss (which turns out to be oddly simple, assuming you did as instructed and armed your characters with blasters), and then promptly teleports you to face the Kreegan Hive Queen and a horde of lesser Kreegan the moment you destroy the reactor.

     Sports Game 

    Shoot Em Up 
  • Several bosses in the arcade classic Sunset Riders are backed up by a few straight-up, standard-issue, gun-toting mooks. Notably, as they don't respawn (although the final boss has so many, you might not think so at first), it's more tactically sound than in most scenarios to go after them first.
  • Touhou:
    • Meiling summons fairies for a few patterns. Oddly, this is for her nonspells, which are normally gimmick-free zones.
    • This trope seems to be Rin Kaenbyou's gimmick, as she is accompanied by various minor enemies for many of her spellcards, the worst being those creepy zombie fairies that burst into a shower of bullets when destroyed, only to revive again within seconds.
    • Yoshika summons spirits for her first spellcard, which do most of the attacking. The catch is that she'll recover health if you kill them.
  • The Cave Ceiling boss in the horizontal scrolling Shoot 'em Up U.N. Squadron (SNES version). It's this large moving machine on the ceiling whose weak point can only be attacked from below, and its downward flamethrower attacks shouldn't pose much trouble. The problem? There's a conveyor belt on the floor where homing missile launchers AND upward-firing flamethrowers will come in from both sides, making your life a living hell. Unsurprisingly, its That One Boss.
  • Nearly half the bosses in Hero Core. Notably, the Reaper Drone takes this trope to its logical extreme, being able to use its flunkies as both shields and weapons simultaneously. The Grand Mother is also this on multiple levels, as it spawns Mothers, which are themselves Mook Makers. The Guardian also has statues in his room that come to live once you damage him enough, and the Liquid Metal Processor can only be harmed after its flunkies are destroyed.
  • The jet bomber boss in the Raiden series sends waves of mini-jets after you, and the mobile fortress boss in the second game can spawn turrets.
  • 'The G.I. Joe arcade game gives us Metal-Head (who is aided by standard mooks), the Baroness (uses robots and aerial forces), Major Bludd (mooks and a laser cannon from the background) and Destro (air and sea forces).
  • Sleeping Spire, the first boss of Arc Angle. Being based off the sin of Sloth, it does absolutely nothing at all. However, the programs in the area will attack you, and that even includes another copy of the Mini-Boss!

    Stealth Based Game 
  • Assassin's Creed I: Most bosses (targets) have guards with them, although in many cases they can be bypassed through smart stealth/surprise. Played completely straight with Al-Mualim and his Ancient Astronaut Phlebotinum which allows him to teleport and summon ghostly versions of himself and your other targets... or are they? The sequel inverts this with Ezio uses the same (or a similar) piece of Phlebotinum against the Pope and the Papal Staff. Brotherhood uses this too with the final battle with Cesare Borgia, where mooks will appear to aid Cesare in every phase... for all the good that does, as he's immune to counter kills or kill streak executions unlike Il Carnefice. (In contrast, Papal Guards are immune to counter kills but not kill streaks, which actually makes them more survivable on their own.)
    • Actually exploitable in AC2 once you get the Poison Blade — time the injection just right and get out of sight, and in his death throes the poisoned bodyguard may inadvertently kill the target for you, as several players have proved in gameplay videos.
    • Ironically, Brotherhood essentially makes Ezio himself a Flunky Boss — from late-Sequence 4 through Sequence 8 and in post-story free-roam, he can summon Assassin apprentices to make kills for him or to fight alongside him in Open Conflict... but if the player is not pressed for time, it's usually to make kills for Ezio.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 4, Crying Wolf, Screaming Mantis and Raging Raven are all examples. However, the first two would be laughably easy were it not for the regular enemies, while the latter is actually easier because of them.
    • In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, when you fight Armored Vehicles, Tanks and Choppers they are helped by Escorts. Also the Chrysalis and it's Kidnappers.
  • Yushchenko in Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain is accompanied by a squad of Elite Mooks wearing red berets and flak jackets and packing magnum pistols, in addition to the level's normal guards.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Dungeons & Dragons Adventure System board games have several:
    • In Castle Ravenloft, Klak combines this with Get Back Here Boss; if he's close enough to a player to attack, he will, but otherwise he teleports to new rooms and summons monsters to attack the party.
    • Also from Ravenloft, Count Strahd combines this with Turns Red; if his health gets below 5HP, he teleports to his crypt and starts summoning monsters.
    • In The Legend of Drizz't, Methil prefers to attack by activating existing monsters, and will summon a new one if there are no monsters to activate.
    • Also from Drizz't, Jarlaxle calls a mercenary if there are no other monsters on his tile.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • Shows up several times in Max Payne of all games, with a number of subversions:
    • The first boss you run up against legs it after a while, leaving half a dozen Mooks to finish you off despite his having an Ingram.
    • There are various Mooks conveniently loitering along the path of your pursuit of Vinnie Cognitti, who function in much the same way. (The level where you take on B.B. is similar, but he barely counts as a boss seeing as this is the level when you get the Jackhammer.)
    • Jack Lupino has two henchmen flanking him when he deigns to join the fray... after about two dozen others have been whaling on you from two sides when you have no proper cover; it's actually a bit of a relief when he shows up, even if he is Made of Iron and tripping out on V.
    • The closest thing to a completely straight example are the Trio, three Minibosses / Giant Mooks spread across the level who have a couple of regular enemies lurking nearby. In the PC version you don't trigger the "Mini-Boss defeated " flag until you kill these Mooks as well, not that you're likely to notice.
  • Every Boss Battle in Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard includes flunkies, except the ones that are Quicktime Events.
  • Stay Puft in Ghostbusters: The Video Game.
  • Zeta Prime from Transformers: War for Cybertron.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • Every boss comes with some sort of back-up in Disgaea: Hour of Darkness because 10 on 1 generally isn't much a fight. A few notable examples are: Hoggmeiser, who comes with a group of monks who do nothing but stand there, appropriately all called "Meat Walls", Maderas, who comes to battle with a group of Succubi (it has to do with the plot.) and the big bad Vulcanus who brings a small army into battle with him! The good news is that most bosses don't start moving around for the first few turns.
    • A notable exception is Captain Gordon, defender of earth!, who is on equal level with Jennifer and Thursday, making them a Triple Boss.
    • The final boss of Disgaea 4 starts off with back-up units, summons more on each turn, and also gets powered up based on how many of them are on the field. Fortunately, he's the first boss in the history of the series where defeating him also results in the defeat of all his minions.
  • Like Disgaea above, nearly every boss in Vanguard Bandits has some form of help around with them. There's only a handful of fights that don't.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Every boss fight in Prototype, as the "use them for health" variant. Soldiers and human infected are a complete non-threat to Alex, only existing as a health bonus. The fight against Greene takes it up a notch by using hunters, who are genuinely threatening in their own right, but still exist mostly as a health boost for Alex.
  • Technically every boss in inFAMOUS:
    • Sasha has her reapers, however these reapers are merely illusions brought upon by her ability.
    • Alden has his scrap crabs, though these are most likely an extension of his own powers.
    • Kessler has his giant electric clones, again by his own powers.
  • Similarly, several of the mutant bosses in inFAMOUS 2 summon mooks. If he goes down the evil karmic path, Cole can even make some of his own!
  • In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Big Smoke calls constantly Vagos until you kill him.


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