- The ever-popular punch.
- Grabbing your character and squeezing.
- Walking on two fingers.
- Laser beams (especially popular if the head appears).
- Making a gun with its fingers and somehow firing a real projectile.
- And whatever the designer thought of by waving his hands around, basically.
open/close all folders
Video Game Examples
Nintendo absolutely loves this trope, to the point that only a handful of its franchises do not have it in some way.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- The infamous Wallmasters, in multiple entries, might be the first examples from the company and are easily among the earliest, though they are not bosses, just mook bouncers.
- Bongo Bongo from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, a boss example
- Gohdan from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (pictured)
- The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games
- Ramrock from Ages
- General Onox from Seasons
- Mazaal from The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, who is similar to Gohdan in 2D, except you have to climb inside the head to damage it.
- Zant's Hands from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess are just as creepy as the Wallmasters.
- The Twilit Fossil Stallord from Link's Crossbow Training
- The first to be used as a boss may have been the first form of Zoda from StarTropics, fought at the beginning of the last stage. He attacks with Giant Hands Of Doom and then brings the head out for some fireball action, at which point you can use your blaster or your Super Nova on him, or just the blaster, because you start with only have three hearts for this battle, and using the Yo-Yo against him is insane.
- In Donkey Kong '94, after you seemingly beat Donkey Kong for the final time, it turns out that there's one more boss fight with the big ape left. After his fall from the tower in the previous level, Donkey Kong absorbs a ton of Super Mushrooms and grows into a giant gorilla in a battle where he uses his newfound giant fists to try and crush you. In order to beat him you need to hit his head with barrels six times instead of the usual three.
- In Donkey Kong Country Returns, Tiki Tong uses this strategy against the Kongs.
- Haunter from the Pokémon series, although the more powerful form more likely to be used as a boss, Gengar, lacks these.
- Wham Bam Rock and Wham Bam Jewel from Kirby Super Star and Kirby Super Star Ultra. Many of his attacks were eventually used for Master Hand (and his insane left handed counterpart, Crazy Hand) in Super Smash Bros..
- One of the bosses from Super Mario 64 is Eyerok, two hands made out of rock with large eyeballs on the palms. Unsurprisingly, these eyes are also a weak point.
- Super Mario Galaxy had Bouldergeist, a big blockheaded ghost with giant destructible (but regenerating) hands of stone. He also shoots rocks that turn into exploding ghosts.
- Magolor's One-Winged Angel form in Kirbys Return To Dreamland.
- Andross from Star Fox 64 uses these. Ever since his appearance in this particular game he is almost always depicted as a giant floating head and hands, with no explanation of how he got that way.
- Super Smash Bros. has Master Hand, and from Melee onward, Crazy Hand, too. And sometimes you have to fight them both at the same time.
- By the way, that list of attacks up above? Master Hand can do them all and then some (well, it couldn't squeeze you or shoot lasers before Melee, but yeah). The only of those that Crazy Hand cannot do is walking on two fingers. Instead, he crawls on all five fingers, rather like a spider.
- If Master Hand teams up with Crazy Hand, they can do even more attacks, such as smashing the player character in a giant clapping motion, crushing him/her between two fists, have one slap the ground while the other uses the Finger Gun, etc.
- The final boss of Wario Land 3. The "grabbing and squeezing" attack is also the only way in the whole game to get a Game Over.
- A good player character example are the disembodied Psynergy hands in the Golden Sun games. While the old generation used them to move or lift objects, the new generation have weaponized them to crush boulders or slap stuff.
- Cackletta's Ghost, the final boss of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, is styled this way. You have to destroy the head and hands before the heart is revealed.
- Dreamy Bowser, the final boss of Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, has this to a lesser extent. You only have to destroy the right hand to attack the head, but the left hand can grab one of the bros, forcing you to attack it to get him back. While the other final bosses of the series, the Elder Princess Shroob's second form and the Dark Star Core, fight similarly, only these two actually utilize this trope to a notable extent.
- The Wonderful 101 has many bosses designed by this template (circular area and a huge boss circling around it, punching you and throwing stuff), including one of the forms of final boss.
- Splatoon has DJ Octavio, who is damaged when you knock his mech's giant fists back at him by shooting them before they hit the ground.
- In Miitopia, the Darkest Lord is a golden sun with two floating clawed hands, one of which carries a staff. They are actually strong enough to be fought separately as fully-fledged bosses!
- The final form of Yami, the final boss is a giant hand attached to an orb.
- This is repeated in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, where Yami is again the final boss. Its grab super is downright lethal.
- His successor in Ōkamiden, Akuro, goes with the more standard approach to this trope in his first form.
- In the sunken ship area, there is a room where a giant seaweed-monster thing lives. When you enter the room, two gigantic hands rise out of the water and attempt to crush Ammy and/or push her off into the waters below. Fortunately, the monster can be killed by draining the water from the room, and then rolling spiked cylinders across its face until it dies.
- The final form of Yami, the final boss is a giant hand attached to an orb.
- Queen Zeal's second form from Chrono Trigger, though her head also fires spells.
- Giga Gaia and Lavos's second form are also like this, though in their case the arms are visible, just not target-able.
- Norstein Bekkler, who runs the minigame tent in the present day Millennium Fair, is a non-boss example
- Several Mega Man X and Zero games have the final boss transform into their giant form, then attack with massive hands and lasers... and hands shooting lasers.
- The Keeper minibosses in Mega Man 10 in Strike Man's stage is a good example of giant hands punching a ball and Mega Man in order to attempt to do damage.
- The final boss of Mega Man 3 sometimes takes a break from raining projectiles on you and tries to punch you. You can jump on the fist to reach his head and attack his weakpoint.
- In Dragon Quest VI, the final boss Deathtamoor, "discards this worthless body" and becomes a giant demonic head and pair of hands in his last phase.
- The final boss of Pulseman is another "Head and Hands" type boss who shoots energy balls from his hands, punches, and pounds the ground to summon minions.
- Bomberman Generation has one as a boss in one of the desert stages.
- The third Boss in Contra III.
- The first Boss in Illusion of Gaia.
- Onmyōji: Ibaraki-dōji's special attack in which he plants his severed right arm into the ground, making a huge hand appear from under an enemy and crush them. This skill deals a devastating amount of damage.
- Sonic the Hedgehog:
- Sonic 3 & Knuckles
- Lava Reef's miniboss is comprised of two threats, one of them being a giant hand that rises from the lava below and tries to crush Sonic.
- In the first stage of the final boss fight, you must destroy all six of its Malicious Fingers.
- Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island
- The boss of the Rusty Ruin Zone attacks solely by trying to crush Sonic with its conveniently platform-shaped paws.
- One stage of the final boss features two disembodied hands that first try to crush him, then to run him over by racing across the arena.
- Sonic Advance 2's Egg Saucer is basically a giant wheel-like vehicle with the cockpit and weak point, a laser, and a huge hand. The hand hurts like hell, and if it hits you directly, you are likely to die instantly. Makes this That One Boss.
- Hyper Eggrobo of Sonic Advance 3 attacks with such hands, and you have to use them as platforms to hit the boss.
- Sonic 3 & Knuckles
- The fourth level boss of the licensed TaleSpin game for the NES, the massive "invisible gentleman". It defends itself with punches from its floating, white-gloved hands. The weak point? The bow tie, obviously.
- The Red Dragon from the Dungeons & Dragons arcade games is much like this. Tower of Doom's Flamewing attacked not only with the claws, but with fireballs, rockfalls, and his fire breath. He was by far the toughest boss in the entire game.
- The final form of Julius in Final Fantasy Adventure is technically one of the "disembodied head and hands" variety, even though all he did was teleport and shoot fireballs. This was apparently a fan-favorite boss, however, as one of the most common complaints about the remake Sword of Mana is that this form wasn't present.
- Kologarn, a boss in World of Warcraft's donjon Ulduar. He's an entire giant golem, but most of his attacks come from his two hands (which are also directly killable). Also, yes, his eyes shoot laser beams.
- While not exactly giant, the titular Glover and the Big Bad Cross-Stitch were gloves. Cross-Stitch was certianly a lot more Doomy, though.
- The final battle versus Abaddon in Guild Wars Nightfall.
- Vysage, Lefty, and Righty are usually found together in Final Fantasy VIII. At one point, though, the three make up the first stage of a boss battle.
- Eversion has creepy giant hands shooting out of the second Advancing Wall of Doom.
- The Clock Tower boss in Epic Mickey is this type of boss.
- The Boss battle with Electro in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions does this with electricity-shooting hands.
- Stlunko from Stinkoman 20X6.
- Ys has several:
- The Super Fighting Robot from Scott Pilgrim attacks with detachable hands, which also happen to be the only parts you can damage. Meanwhile the rest of the body chills in the background, invincible but still attacking you with lasers, missiles, and a flamethrower.
- Balore from Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow punches at you with his hands at first, then switches to a laser fired from his eye (which is his weakpoint). Dawn of Sorrow as well as Portrait of Ruin also feature him, but he's a little different and only alternates between his laser and hands.
- Alice: Madness Returns uses this for the final encounter.
- The first boss in Catherine is the Fist of Grudge, a pair of Katherine's hands holding a giant fork.
- The player can use these in the Deception series as a type of trap. Typically, the either grab an invader to lock him in place for a while, or they bash him/her around to cause high amounts of damage.
- Defense System Gepetto from NieR, being an Expy of Gohdan, has two giant floating hands as his main weapons. They can not only smash you, but they also shoot Frickin' Laser Beams from their fingertips.
- One of the early level bosses from the Amiga classic Turrican is a giant mechanical fist flying around trying to crush the player.
- In Valis IV for the PC Engine, the second stage boss is a floating head and pair of hands.
- The mage Hockomonkey in Kingdom Hearts 3D periodically disappears, leaving a multitude of its disembodied hands behind to swipe at you and throw parts of the environment, only reappearing once they've all been destroyed. This is especially annoying in the rematch, where the combined HP of them rivals that of the boss itself.
- In Terraria you have to fight a boss, Skeletron, to be able to explore the dungeon: if you don't, large skulls will fly at you from nowhere if you go in too deep and kill you instantly. Skeletron is depicted as a flying skull, with hands and arms. He has a version later in the game called Skeletron Prime, who, as well as attacking with his hands which are now equiped with a vice and a drill, will also shoot lasers and bombs from his other pair of arms.
- Undefined Fantastic Object, the twelfth Touhou feature the boss battle with Ichirin and her cloud youkai familiar, Unzan. Unzan will attack you with giant fists danmaku (the Brofist), which also leave trails of smaller bullets. Ichirin herself is basically Unzan's hitbox.
- Both Persona 3 and Persona 4 feature the 'Hand' type Shadow, which is basically a walking, disembodied hand. Most of them are quite small, but some of the Metal Slime variants are huge.
- Several boss battles in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice is against Mao's dad, or more specifically, his hand. You see, Mao's father is so huge that even his fingers are several times the size of the average character. Somehow, the game treats destroying all his fingers as completely beating himself.
- Dark Falz Elder in Phantasy Star Online 2 sics four of his hands on you (Which look like bizarre hydras; the two outermost fingers being legs, and the other three heads) for the first phase of his fight, remaining in the background to launch lasers and meteors at you while the hands attack directly with the sorts of moves you might expect. They occasionally mix things up by pairing off or summoning numerous additional hands onto the field to perform combination attacks.
- The Golem Mine boss of Shantae, complete with a giant head that has a weak point that you could reach by stepping on its giant hands.
- Mega Satan, the True Final Boss of The Binding of Isaac Rebirth, has two of these which attack separately, have their own health, and can respawn. They disappear for his final form, however.
- In Titan Souls, both Gol-Iath and Gol-Set use their giant hands to attack the archer; the latter of the bosses needing to be dealt with by guiding the hands toward panels which when pressed, expose the boss's weak spot.
- The final boss of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is a rare first-person shooter example of this type of boss.
- The True Final Boss of The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, Mega Satan, uses his hands to send shockwaves your way, while his head primarily sends powerful beams your way, summons Sins, and goes into full on Bullet Hell in its final phase where it becomes a horned skull.
Non-Video Game Examples
Anime And Manga
- STRength from Black★Rock Shooter uses a pair of giant gauntlets as her weapons.
- In '''Future Card Buddyfight'", Gao newly evolved Dragon Force "Style of Impact" includes a pair of big fists.
- In the Naru Taru manga humanity meets its end being slapped away to oblivion by gigantic hands coming out from the Earth itself. Seriously.
- In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, the heroes face loads and loads of Moon-sized, hand-(or foot-)shaped mechas. With faces. Thank you, Anti-Spiral.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, Z-One uses these and a giant Deck to duel.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, Girag has this trope as his deck's theme. All of his monsters are just hands/arms. His ace monsters are Number 106: Giant Hand and Number C106: Giant Red Hand. His deck is more defensive than offensive.
- In the 1963 movie Captain Sindbad starring Guy Williams, the final peril at the top of El Kerim's tower is a giant mechanical hand.
- The novel "The Philosophical Strangler" by Eric Flint has an entity called "Even Worse Hands." Picture a giant pair of disembodied hands. Got it? These are Even Worse.
- In Bridge of Birds, The Hand That No One Sees ( it's actually a giant invisible spider).