Giant Space Flea from Nowhere
Poachers... poachers... more poachers...
GAH, WHERE DID THAT COME FROM!?!
A Giant Space Flea From Nowhere is a boss with no relevance whatsoever to the actual plot, and who comes out of nowhere. They are frequently mindless creatures or beasts as opposed to actual characters, and tend to appear at the end of unimportant plot threads
, such as Fetch Quests
Compare the non-video game boss equivalent, the Big Lipped Alligator Moment
, which applies mostly to scripted scenes that came out of nowhere and have little or no mention of it afterward. If the boss and/or the battle is really weird and nonsensical even in the context of the game, there may be some overlap between the two tropes.
Note that, contrary to what the name might at first seem to indicate
, the Space Flea is not always an Eldritch Abomination
, though overlap is possible. If it makes sense in the plot, it is not this trope regardless of how weird the boss might be. In other words, Lavos
and any other alien world-destroying parasites that are essential to the storyline of the game do not qualify, even if they're literal space fleas from the darkest depths of the universe. In more fantastical settings, they tend to be Single Specimen Species
Also, note that most games that include Random Encounters
, or that have no thematic consistency to their enemies, are pretty much incapable of having a Giant Space Flea From Nowhere. In those games, even the normal enemies appear suddenly and without any connection to the story
; the bosses are therefore just a plain old instance of Gameplay and Story Segregation
, same as the normal battles.
of Lone Wolf Boss
. Diabolus Ex Nihilo
is the non-video game equivalent: a bad guy who pops up out of the blue, does some damage, and dies. Contrast Outside-Context Villain
, which is a villain whose indeterminate origin is the source of their mystery and danger. Sometimes explained with All There in the Manual
, but that might be an Author's Saving Throw
. As you can see, many a Bonus Boss
is not included because they are technically a Bonus Boss
and may even be outside of canon. Not necessarily
related to Giant Enemy Crab
, but it could be.
Now available in the Trope Co. catalog.
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- The Final Fantasy series has a bunch of them.
- Final Fantasy III contains a prototype for these types of enemies in Cloud Of Darkness, a barely-explained cosmic force who pops quite literally out of nowhere to fight you after you beat Big Bad Xande.
- Final Fantasy IV ups the ante with Zeromus, its final boss. He had only a vague connection to the plot, being the hatred of the main villain given form, and seemed to be present largely to provide a massive, intimidating final boss — which Zemus very much wasn't.
- Calcabrina, the living dolls, though the sequel, Final Fantasy IV The After Years, not only ties them into the plot, they even become playable.
- There's also Lugae. Halfway up a tower which you already know contains a boss you'll have to fight, you run into a guy in a lab coat with Einstein hair, who fights alongside an '80s Frankenstein's monster and then turns himself into a gangly zombie. And apparently survives both battles.
- Ultros from Final Fantasy VI, the most amusing Space Flea ever. He's a giant purple octopus who comes out of nowhere and attacks you (in the Super Nintendo translation, he claimed to want to eat your party, which was at least some sort of motivation, but this wasn't in the original Japanese, nor the Game Boy Advance version, where he just attacks you and that's that). When you give him a beating, he escapes and later comes back to wreck the opera you're attending, along with other situations, for revenge. It's even funnier if you pick Gau and Cyan to go to the opera house. Why? Because this means your party is made up of members Ultros has never met before, and thus he's plotting "revenge" against a pack of total strangers.
- He makes a cameo as a boss in The After Years, and the collective reaction of the party is something along the lines of "what the hell was that about?"
- Ultros also makes an apparition in Final Fantasy XIV. Apparently, the thaumaturges of Ul'dah summoned him to their world by mistake. At least his role in the plot gets some build up, as he needs to work at the coliseum in order to repay the heavy debt he piled up by drinking at the local bar. Aside from that, citizens of Ul'dah seems to be unfazed to see a purple pervert octopus with a lot of teeth in their city.
- Atma/Ultima Weapon also fits this trope. He's the boss of the Disc One Final Dungeon, and enters battle delivering a Badass Boast about how ancient and powerful he is while a new, more foreboding boss theme begins to play. Aside from an off-hand mention from a single random NPC much earlier in the game, he's never mentioned beforehand and the party doesn't give him any thought afterward.
- Siegfried/Ziegfried. He is a joke boss on the Phantom Train, also appearing in WoR Cave of Figaro and the Coliseum, who has no relevance to the story whatsoever. He is a "legendary" thief who has some relation to Ultros (this is not explained in detail), but despite being "legendary", the only two characters that mention him are himself and Ultros. It is probable that the version on the Phantom Train is actually an impostor, but this just adds to the randomness.
- Arguably the most (in)famous example is Necron in Final Fantasy IX, predominantly because he is also a final boss who appears suddenly and has no prior lead-up within the context of the storyline. Fans have come up with many Epileptic Trees concerning his relevance and existence, but nothing definitive is ever provided, and his existence is not even mentioned during the ending sequence. Even worse, he directly followed Kuja, a legitimate Big Bad and one of the more popular villains in the series. One is left wondering if the designers wouldn't have been better off making Kuja a Sequential Boss.
- Word of God says that Necron was a "thematic" final boss, acting to fight Zidane's desire to live with a being who represented total death (as opposed to Kuja, who was pretty much just deluded). The writers never even tried to tie him into the plot, though, stating he "could have" been several things. In the Japanese version, Necron's name is "The Eternal Darkness" when directly translated, making it clear that he isn't meant to be a character at all, but just a thematic force of nature.
- While we can't very well say that all the Notorious Monsters in Final Fantasy XI fit here, as most aren't part of a storyline, and others are actually mentioned before you meet them, there's not much mention of a giant angry snowball the size of a van with teeth. Most of them are at least thematically consistent with the areas they come from, though.
- Worth mentioning are two of the three main optional Mega Bosses (Kirin and the Pandemonium Warden, although the former's not so mega these days) who are thematically inappropriate with the areas they appear in (especially Kirin). Along with Absolute Virtue, there is dialogue indicating vague backgrounds with no real relevance to any of the game's overarching plots.
- On a less-major level, several minor bosses throughout the series are just random monsters that turn up and fight you for no real reason, to ensure you are levelled properly.
- The most infamous of those is probably FFVII's Schizo, a strange two-headed dragon who showed up immediately before another (actually plot relevant) boss fight, just to prove it wasn't even there for level structure reasons. It was just kinda there.
- There's also the Red Dragon in the Temple of the Ancients. First, Sephiroth reveals his master plan to become one with the Planet. He flies off, then suddenly, the room that this took place in starts shaking and the lights begin to dim. Cloud wonders if this is Sephiroth's doing, but the latter says it's not him. It was actually the Red Dragon that got absolutely no prior build-up, at all. When you defeat it, Cloud immediately asks where Sephiroth went and the Red Dragon is never brought up again.
- Several bosses in Dissidia: Final Fantasy have no plot reasons for their encounter with the heroes, they just appear and decide to challenge you. The Warrior of Light's battles with Garland, Ultimecia, and the Emperor are the most prevelant; he's searching for his Crystal, the enemy appears and taunts him, he replies Shut Up, Hannibal! and they fight.
- Final Fantasy XIII has possibly the most literal example out there: at one point, the party must fight an improbably huge robot bug that has somehow appeared on the satellite you're on. No explanation is ever given for what it's doing there.
- Dragon Quest II had one of the earliest examples of the Giant Space Flea from Nowhere final boss. After defeating the Big Bad of the game, Sidoh (Malroth in the American version), who he turned out to serve and worship, appears out of nowhere to be the final boss. This was particularly nasty in the US version, as absolutely nothing hinted at his presence aside from a minor quest item named "Eye of Malroth", and he is infinitely harder than the game's Big Bad, Hargon, mostly because he randomly casts Healall to set his life back to full whenever he feels like it.
- Dragon Quest in general is terrible about doing this to the final boss of the game. Even the very first one, the original text had the Dragonlord's pet superdragon come out of nowhere after you beat him (although the first translation changed this to his "true form" to help make the fight climactic and continuous.)
- Deathtamoor of DQVI gets namedropped pretty late in the game, as well, with his evil being pretty much Offstage Villainy, via his minions.
- Not that Dragon Quest VIII is without them, though. Megalodon and Ruin (from when you're trying to escape The Black Citadel) both fit this trope pretty well.
- And VII is not without its Giant Space Fleas From Nowhere (although you're generally dealing with the effects of said Space Fleas); it's just that the (plot relevant) final boss is set up from the very beginning of the game. There are two Bonus Dungeons, with Bonus Bosses, but they're, well, bonus dungeons.
- Dragon Quest V: Bjorn the Behemoose can appear to be one (emphasis on the Giant, he's the size of a mountain and is fought from the top of a tower) via accidental Sequence Breaking, as the key he drops is needed for the final dungeon but he can be fought just after three-fourths of the way in the game.
- Happens in the original Star Ocean, after a Victory Fakeout no less. Just when you think you've saved the day, all of a sudden, there's this Jie Revorse jackass to deal with, and there's absolutely no lead-up into this. The PSP rerelease at least has a minor rewrite in order to link him to the main plot. This was one of many unfortunate side effects of half the game being Dummied Out for space reasons.
- The third game features literal Giant Space Fleas, literally from Nowhere, which invalidate entirely almost everything that happens previous to their arrival. Not a technical example of the trope since the entire second half of the game involves dealing with them, but considering the profound implications their arrival has on the entire series, the fact that they happen with absolutely no warning has gone so far as to break the base.
- In SaGa Frontier, Emelia's final boss is an actual gigantic Mecha Shiva that drops down from the roof of the church where Emelia is pretending to have a wedding ceremony with the party in lieu of her dead boyfriend. Word of God explicitly states that there's no relationship at all between this creature and the Big Bad. It seems to exist solely to provide a final boss to the character arc.
- Discussed in the elaborate Strategy Guide for the remakes of both Lunar games. The developers chose to remove several Giant Space Fleas that could distract from the main narrative. Of course, the remakes put a lot more emphasis on some of the baddies that did make sense.
- Skies of Arcadia has quite a few of these. An overweight, acid-spewing rabbit, a giant robotic penguin with a death-ray, a floating tortoise that could make itself invincible, and a cockatrice-esque giant bird all appeared suddenly, were dispatched by the heroes, and died without comment from anyone.
- There was a gigantic green blob in the game's sewer level (the aforementioned "acid-spewing rabbit"). What made him twice as bad was that not only does he come from nowhere, but after beating him, you immediately have to fight a boss that IS related to the story. That sequence sticks is one of the toughest parts of the entire game, partially because it happens so early and your healing options are very limited.
- The Bleigock (the aforementioned "gigantic green blob") was likely there (placed by Valua, or more likely just because it was hungry) to eat the bodies that were dumped through the hole that Vyse is trying to enter the Coliseum through. The other mentioned creatures were bosses guarding the Moon Crystals (by coincidence or ancient design), which would be an understandable security measure to add.
- Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga has a couple:
- Trunkle, a rock-tree-creature who suddenly appears at the end of the desert section to menace the princess for a distinctly nonspecific reason. If you go to that area before Peach is with you, Trunkle will be sleeping there; you can infer she woke him up and he got angry.
- Before Trunkle, there's a part of the game where you save the queen by having her drink a legendary soda. The main boss of that section... is the soda. The guy who created it made it able to defend itself. No one mentions this again.
- Mario & Luigi: Dream Team has a couple of these:
- Mammoshka. You never know there's a powerful guardian on Mount Pajamaja unless you speak to one of the trapped Pi'illos on the mountain, otherwise you won't until you literally see it in the cut scene just before the fight. It's supposedly legendary... but no one ever mentions it except for said Pi'illo and the Massifs about 30 seconds before the battle.
- Earthwake. One minute you're walking through Dreamy Wakeport trying to free the Bedsmith from some Nightmare Orbs, next minute that Pi'illo Collector guy appears and warns you of a terrible guardian that attacks anyone who hits the nearby ! block (and you see a save block nearby). And even after hearing this, you most likely don't expect the building you're standing on to fly into the air, an alarm klaxon to sound, and a Humongous Mecha made of buildings from the background to form and try to kill the Mario Bros.
- Pi'illodium. You don't know about this ancient Pi'illo security system until it literally appears and someone asks what it is.
- On the whole, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is pretty good about making sure all its bosses are either connected to the plot in some way or at the very least foreshadowed. However, nothing whatsoever explains what happens when you break up the Princess's wedding to a minor villain: The chefs who prepared the wedding cake get upset that their work will be unappreciated, so they attack you. Then, the wedding cake inexplicably comes to life and uses its inexplicably vast magical powers to try and kill you for some inexplicable reason.
- Paper Mario series:
- Smorg from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. While its individual components do appear in one room in an abandoned train station where you bashed them in the face to get to a switch, it gave no indication that they would be able to amass together to create some giant animal made out of sentient balls of lint. The only apparent reason it exists is to give the chapter a boss fight that isn't Doopliss.
- There are also the three giant Bloopers in the first Paper Mario. They serve no purpose in the game's story, and just appear without warning while you're exploring the sewers under Toad Town screaming "BLOOPER!" in huge text, and are not mentioned by anyone before or after fighting them. Although, by the time you see the Super Blooper (the third one), the shock has all but worn off.
- There's also Kent C. Koopa, who you encounter on Pleasant Path. He literally shows up from out of nowhere to block your path for no good reason. You can either fight him or pay him a temporary toll, and it is absolutely necessary to use the path, so... (Actually, there's a sign in the Mushroom Kingdom that foreshadows his existence. Make sure to read both sides of it each chapter).
- Lampshaded in Suikoden, where encountering a random boss enemy that is not referenced before or after causes one character to exclaim something along the lines of "What the hell!?" before the fight. It's also played straight with a few other encounters.
- In Suikoden IV, at the climax of the game, you fight a Giant Space Tree From Nowhere. It's actually explained in the game's Backstory — and the sequel clears things up for those who didn't piece things together on their own — but still, it's very much a WTF moment at the time.
- Almost every boss that isn't a human character in Suikoden V falls into this category. Even the final boss of the game, the Sun Rune incarnation, shows up and then dies without a single mention before or after. At no point does the Queen mention that the Sun Rune can do that, none of the villains mention that that's who they're trying to awaken or that that's their ultimate plan... The Big Bad just disappears into a cloud of dust right before the battle and QUICK BOSS TIME GO.
- Chernabog from Kingdom Hearts. He literally appears out of nowhere, after you've jumped through the hole in "The End of the World". You don't know who he is, Sora makes no comment about him whatsoever, it's never explained if he's a Heartless, what connection he's got to Xehanort or why he's even there, he's the only boss who doesn't get an entry in Jiminy Cricket's journal, and he's never mentioned again. It's as though the developers just thought it would be a disservice not to include one of the most impressive Disney creations, even if they had to just drop it in without so much as a single word of context. It's just plain Rule of Cool (and copious Rule of Scary).
- In his original appearance, Chernabog isn't really given a backstory either. The Night on Bald Mountain begins with him turning out to be the top of a mountain and proceeding to terrorize a nearby village in some pretty frightening scenes. Therefore, he could perhaps be considered a Giant Space Flea From Nowhere in Fantasia as well.
- There's a brief reference to Bald Mountain... in Traverse Town. Which you may never actually notice. And which makes no actual reference to giant demons.
- Apparently, when they were asked about him being in the game, the devs stated that Chernabog was originally going to be the final boss, as he was supposed to be the source of all of the Heartless. Unfortunately, having a Sephiroth proxy seemed cooler, so Ansem's battles were put in. That's why they're so relatively easy compared to his battle.
- Note that Chernabog apppears as Sora is traveling through the "Dark Paths" that the Heartless use to get from world to world. Each gate Sora travels is a different color depending on if that world's keyhole is locked or not, or if the Heartless never visited (Hundred Acre Woods). Chernabog's is red, implying this is a world that fell to darkness (which was since confirmed). Chernabog may just be the Heartless of an entire world.
- The Granstream Saga produces a boss from nowhere. (But also manages to tie it into the plot while simultaneously nullifying the rest of the point of the game.) You've happily completed the game's quest across four floating continents to save them from falling into the sea. (Then you're sucked into a black hole where someone named Demaar tells you that the whole world was an illusion and that you have to fight him to break a hundreds-of-years-long cycle.) To call it out of nowhere would be something of an understatement.
- In Jade Empire, the obstruction of the spirit world at Dirge allowed a being of pure darkness from outside the human and spirit worlds to arrive, which the player must defeat. There is little explanation of what it is or where it comes from, it simply is.
- Nearly every boss in Mother 3. Notable ones include Master Eddy, an animate whirlpool you fight near Tanetane Island, and the Forlorn Junk Heap, a discarded clayman reinforced with scrap metal. Of course, considering what kind of game this is, you really can't complain about weirdness.
- Chrono Cross and the Time Devourer. Sure, Lavos is mentioned a couple times in passing if you go out of your way to read side documents near the end. Schala isn't. But the game already gave two 'final' bosses before this, one at the end of a long dungeon and the prior requiring a long attunement and the entire game having built up to it. But then you fight this giant space-eating glowing thing that merged with Schala somehow and defeat it with The Power of Rock? What the hell? Dropping Magus in would have made about as much sense. Hell, Chrono, Marle, and a zombie Lucca would have made about as much sense. And what was with Miguel? Why was he a superpowered philosophical fisherman?
- Most of the bosses in Chrono Cross fall into this category, really. Generally there's a thematic link between boss and area they're fought in, but pretty much any fight that's not preceded by a story scene exists solely to give the player another star level.
- The roaming legendaries in Pokémon, once unlocked, can be found absolutely anywhere in the world and change location at random. You're just sitting there, training up your Golbat, when — HOLY CRAP! A RAIKOU!
- The second generation actually did set up the (original) roaming legendaries of Raikou, Suicune, and Entei quite a bit. As far as their appearance in Generation III, or Latios, Latias, and (in Platinum) the bird trio? Or what Cresselia and Mespirit's deal is? Uh...
- The game does give the excuse that Mespirit wants you to chase it (perhaps as a game of sorts), but that doesn't mean you won't still run into it entirely by accident while doing something else.
- In the original games, Moltres also qualifies. His Ice and Lightning counterparts are found at the end of optional Ice and Lightning dungeons. Naturally, you'd expect find Moltres, the fire bird, in some kind of fire-themed area. Then you find him standing around in a dead end of the underground tunnel leading to the last bosses. He was relocated to a less bizarre area in the remakes.
- In X and Y, you can encounter Mewtwo lurking in a cave in the Pokemon Village after defeating the Elite Four. No explanation is given in-game as to why it's there, other than Gen I nostalgia and a halfassed Hand Wave about the village being a refuge for unloved Pokémon.
- The Final Boss of Rogue Galaxy is a very odd example of this. For the first two-thirds of the game, Valkog appeared to be the Big Bad; after a certain event (actually reaching Mariglenn/Eden), Valkog and his flunkies are suddenly demoted to Quirky Miniboss Squad and you don't expect to even SEE them again. However, once you face off against the supposed new Big Bad in a two-stage battle, Valkog shows up again...and through a convenient plot contrivance, he and his two flunkies and their spaceship are transformed into the Final Boss.
- Ah, Ōkami... a long and winding story based on Eastern mythology and presented in a heavily stylized watercolor graphics evoking old Japanese prints. During the game, you battle shadow demons, multi-headed dragons, and Tengu to finally reach the final boss: A black whale-like fetus in a glass orb driving around a glowing technological ball-shaped mecha in the heart of a star ship. The idea may have been to give Yami a sense of wrongness compared to the rest of the world, but it still comes out of nowhere.
- Its sequel, Okamiden, has Asteroidean. While all the other bosses in the game have some sort of story relevance, Asteroidean is just a random starfish that is fought underwater, with no mention before it appears, no dialogue before or after the fight, and no mention of it for the rest of the game after. In fact, most people who play the game tend to forget it's even in the game to begin with.
- Erebus, the final boss of Persona 3: The Answer. It was mentioned in the first game that Nyx, the Big Bad, was being called into existence by the despair and depression of humanity, but the player was probably not expecting that those emotions would take the form of a giant, two-headed... thing made of shadow. For that matter, the main game's Big Bad was also kind of an example, being revealed after 80% of the game was over and never explained beyond wanting to bring about The End of the World as We Know It.
- One could make the same case for Persona 4's True Final Boss, only she is revealed at the very last minute (as in moments before you're supposed to leave town on a bus.) This is made more apparent because the true murderer of the case you were trying to solve has already been defeated, as well as the being that was behind him. The plot also winds and swerves in so many directions that spoiling the True Final Boss by itself doesn't really give away anything else.
- Of course, Persona 4's True Final Boss is the answer to the first question the player likely ever had. "Why do I suddenly have the power of Persona?" Thematically, that the player stopped caring after the first few minutes makes it the ultimate expression of the "Fog of Truth" — the question that cannot be seen.
- In Dark Cloud 2 (Or Dark Chronicle), the final boss of the game, at the end of a bonus dungeon, is the Big Bad (for no reason) from the previous game.
- Exists outside of time. It is the link between the games.
- A lot of the bosses in Last Scenario. Some (generally the more human ones) at least merit some acknowledgment by the characters, but others (say, the Viviones) are never mentioned again, even if they took you a dozen tries to defeat.
- And then there's the mother of all Giant Space Fleas From Nowhere, unlocked by beating the game after collecting every hex tile, at which point it's just hanging out on the World Map waiting for you to fight it with no explanation or even a single line of dialogue: Planetary Consciousness.
- Baten Kaitos Origins is particularly infamous for one of these. The game is a double disk, and you switch from one disk to the other right after battling a boss and moving to a new area. You have to save your progress when inserting the second disk, only to be shipwrecked and stranded in a hostile forest instantly and having to battle one of the most ridiculously difficult boss battles in the game (since, most likely than not, your party will be severely underleveled and the boss can heal itself). It ends up being one of the cheapest battles in the game, since it's completely unexpected and thus you'll be unprepared for it. And since you're stranded in a forest and you just saved your progress, you can't go back to raise your characters' level.
- Baten Kaitos Lost Wings and the Eternal Ocean is similar. At one point, you're in a ghostly area where it's stated that the walls between dimensions is weak. Best way to showcase this? A giant monster bursts out of another dimension, and you fight it back in.
- The original Dot Hack games were actually decent about its Giant Space Fleas. All the 8 Phases of Morgana may have looked bizarre — as BlackRose was oft to point out — but there was a point where that was expected. Even Cubia was given ample foreshadowing, although his initial appearance at the end of the first game certainly may have been a surprise.
- The .hack//G.U. games each play out by introducing successive Space Fleas at the end of each game: the first game ended with a surprise AIDA infection after a battle with Tri-Edge actually, Azure Kite; the second game ended with Tri-Edge being revealed as the monster hiding in Ovan's arm, hitherto thought to be where Corbenik was hiding; then, suddenly, in the last game, Cubia appears.
- Quite a few of the bosses in Eternal Sonata were these. Potentially justified, in that things don't always make sense in a dream.
- Ultima III has one in the form of Exodus; not a traditional boss fight to end the game with, but instead, in the midst of a medieval fantasy setting: a computer into which you must insert four punchcards in the proper order. Not exactly what you were expecting, after the first two games, but paved the way for the last-boss-less sequels.
- Armageddemon shows up in Digimon World 3 just before you get to fight the Big Bad. Every other Digimon boss is foreshadowed by having an overworld sprite; he doesn't. It's debatable whether he's supposed to be a boss — the random battle theme is used and it's possible to run from him. He's also one of three old bosses featured in the final boss battle.
- He's used in a similar capacity in Digimon World DS, but this time he gets a line of dialogue and the player's character explaining what he is.
- The main plot of Digimon World 3 also does this. All of the terror in the Digital World was supposedly caused by the MAGAMI company. However, after dispatching all of their head honchos, something called Lord Megadeath shows up and claims responsibility for everything. You are then transported to his orbiting satellite, where you fight him. Absolutely no mention of this character is made until just before that sequence.
- The Big Bad of Anachronox is not revealed until the very endnote , his name is not revealed, nor is anything known about him. It doesn't help that the game was supposed to have a sequel.
- The Valkyrie Profile series has a few, but a particularly odd one is Ull, from Valkyrie Profile 2 Silmeria. He appears in a brief cutscene establishing that he knew Silmeria at some point in the past, does his job as Wake-Up Call Boss, and is then never seen or mentioned again.
- Baldur's Gate 2 had the Twisted Rune. Originally intended as the hidden cabal behind several sidequests, including the Athkatla slaver ring and the serial-killing tailor, the actual breadcrumb trail that was to lead to them ended up as cut content. They remained in, however, peacefully chilling in their evil clubhouse under the docks district unless the player randomly stumbled across the entrance, resulting in being dropped straight into a battle with an eclectic bunch of obscenely overpowered spellcasters after trying to enter an ordinary-looking house.
- Golden Sun: Dark Dawn does a (deliberately) bad job of recapping the first two games in the "Sun Saga" books and Psynergy Training Grounds in-verse. Among other things, they made Alex and Felix into the Big Bads of the story, leaving the Fire Clan, the Anti-Villain main antagonists of the games, to look like "freaky dragon people from nowhere".
- Interestingly enough, the previous game in the Golden Sun series, Golden Sun: The Lost Age, actually subverts this trope. At the end of the game, the main characters appear to be unhindered as they achieve their goal. Suddenly, the Wise One, a character that appeared very early on in the first game but was seemingly forgotten about until the very end, appears and summons a three-headed dragon to combat the characters. At this point, almost every playable character responds similarly to the player himself would at this point, pointing out that it's kind of odd that a being with god-like powers would do something as weird as summon a dragon to fight the protagonists, especially considering (which the characters actually point out), they've already defeated a two headed dragon in the last game. All the characters respond this way... except for token Wise old master Kraden. He realizes that nothing from a being called the Wise One could possibly be that simple, and, realizing that every major dragon they fought in the series was someone transformed, realizes that the three-headed dragon was actually the main characters' missing parents fused together. He tries to warn the characters, but is unable to before they defeat the dragon, fatally wounding their parents in the process. Whoops.
- Brave Soul has two. One is a giant flying goldfish, although it gets a pass since it's found in some sunken ruins, and most of the monsters in the game look pretty weird anyway. The other, however, is a giant beetle, found in a Dragon's cave, and can't even be fought during the first visit, because of a scripted event triggered by the associated quest taking over control and moving the player directly to the destination. The only reason it was even included was because one of the developers already made it.
- The third Darm Tower boss in Ys I and II, Khonsclard, is some weird spinning conglomeration of rocks. Many other bosses in the series also qualify, solely acting as beef gates or guarding plot coupons.
- Drakengard is mostly a hybrid of Dynasty Warriors style Hack and Slash and Panzer Dragoon/Ace Combat style flight combat. The True Final Boss is a Nintendo Hard Rhythm Game. It should noted that the game's soundtrack is primarily composed of classical music samples arranged to sound harsh and dissonant. All the other possible Final Bosses are fought in the same way you've been fighting for most of the game.
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, there's a quest for the Thieves' Guild where Maven Black-Briar hires you to sabotage a competing meadery. The quest involves putting what amounts to rat poison into the Honningbrew Meadery's brew, and killing the skeevers (giant rats) that prompted the owner to hire an outside exterminator. Then you find an insane spell-slinging self-styled skeever master in the tunnels under the meadery. And he's not Squishy, and you have no clues that he even exists until the first Firebolt collides with your head. After you kill him, you can loot his journal to find out his backstory, and the quest-giver admits they knew about him but didn't tell you, but going in you have no warning he's going to be in there and his arrival is very surprising.
- Grandia has this this in spades, not to mention you fight some of them again for no explained reason.
- Dragon Age II has The Ancient Rock Wraith, the final boss of the first act. While there is a lore explanation for it (it's the spirit of a dwarf too evil to return to the Stone), it's only revealed after the battle.
- In the GBA adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the final boss turns out to be none other than Draco Malfoy!. There was absolutely no build-up to him being there whatsoever (mind you, this didn't happen in the book) and quite literally just pops up just as you're about to rescue Sirius. The battle itself has literally no impact on the story whatsoever. Its only purpose is possibly to have a more satisfying final boss as compared to the fight against Lupin (which wasn't really a fight, so much as it was "keep Buckbeak alive").
- To make it worse, the game tricks you into thinking that Lupin would be the final boss, since aside from the Demetors, he's technically the last enemy Harry and his friends face in the book. Not only that, he received his own unique battle theme so you know that he's not a normal boss and he is fought at the climax of the story.
- Then again, the game is absolutely rife with GSFFN. It contains inexplicable fights against a mountain troll, a forest troll, a venomous Tentacula, a giant rat, several run-ins with the Monster book of Monsters, and perhaps most inexplicably of all (bar the final boss): Crabbe and Goyle, who appear for no reason during the transfiguration maze!
- In Metal Combat, after defeating the "real" Anubis (who seems to be either a robot or a particularly extensive cyborg), you fought Typhon and his/her ST, Giga-Desp.
- The Strikers series (1945, 1945II, and 1945III/1999) lives on this trope. The attract screen and the PS1 version opening doesn't hint any Humongous Mecha forms of whatever boss fortress you face and an alien entity as the final bosses. Instead, the attract screens and intros show a WWII-themed shmup.
- Aero Fighters has an alien entity — a giant skinless apeman — break off a jar as the final boss. The second game has you fight a black eyeball that resembles Buckbaird at the end, or a Bedsheet Ghost, which is randomly selected. Finally, at the third game, if you proceed good, you either fought a mutant ghost submarine in Bermuda Triangle, or go off to space and fight an UFO in another route. Do badly, and you'll fight a joke cartoon thing instead. And the rest of the game is you fighting various modern-day (sometimes future, however) war machines with a jetfighter (except the third). Oh, did I mention that you either go into space, a temple, or underwater in the final stages?
- In Touhou, the EX stage of Lotus Land Story has Reimu and Marisa wandering through a dream world, uncertain how they even got there. Cue getting randomly jumped by the creator of that world in the guise of a Meido... and, once you've trounced her, her big sister shows up.
- More generally, the early stage bosses are unlikely to have much to do with the plot, though the games seem to be moving away from this, as of the 12th and 13th games.
- Lampshaded and inverted in Reimu's storyline in Lotus Land Story, where she pretty much only calls out and attacks the Stage 1 boss because she knows there's supposed to be a boss fight. Said boss was hiding from Reimu.
- Jitterbug is built up as the Big Bad of Cave shooter Death Smiles. After you beat him, however, Tyrannosatan suddenly jumps out of an open portal to eat him. Tyrannosatan has no relevance to the plot, and is only there to provide a more climactic final boss. Although Jitterbug can come back as Bloody Jitterbug depending on how you've done.
- Jitterbug may have attempted to summon Tyrannosatan, but since Evil Is Not a Toy, it eats him. Bloody Jitterbug may be the result of Jitterbug absorbing Tyrannosatan's power.
- More likely, given Jitterbug's motivations to return to Earth, Tyrannosatan is the force behind the demonic invasion that came through said portal before him.
- Since XOP has no real plot, most bosses are like this, but the final boss of the original is the most blatant. You've been fighting weird translucent aliens for the entire level, then you get the boss warning, and travel down some organic tentacled landscape, shooting blobs. Then you make it to an egg, it hatches...and a phoenix comes out and starts shooting lasers all over the place.
- Gun Bird 2 has you racing to collect elements to make a cure-all medicine to resolve whatever Excuse Plot there is in the game (each of the 5 characters has a reason for the need of the medicine) and fighting off a Goldfish Poop Gang pirate crew who wants the medicine for their own evil deeds. Then you get to the main boss- a giant Expy of Japanese pharmaceutical mascot Sato-chan (an orange-colored anthropomorphic elephant). Ok, so maybe It Makes Sense in Context, but it still qualifies since said final boss this was never mentioned in the game until the moment he appears, and up until then, the villain has always been said pirate gang.
- Every other boss in God Hand seems to be one of these. Mind you, it's part of the game's appeal: You know that a game is unique when you get to fight two Hard Gay twin thugs in stripperiffic outfits, a Terrible Trio whose hobby is to cut random people's arms off, a masked gorilla who uses pro-wrestling moves, a rock duo from hell who attacks by shooting lazers and beams from their instruments, a group of five midgets dressed in Power Rangers style clothing, an afro-coifed black disco reject in a yellow vinyl suit, replete with arm tassels and flare bell bottom pants. Gene even comments this, after beating the Psychic Midget in the caverns, by saying that the paranoid old hermit seemed to pick the wrong game to appear in.
- The ending of No More Heroes has got to be a parody of this, with a long stream of nonsensical boss fights and totally non-foreshadowed plot twists which push Travis to break the Fourth Wall and complain that the developers are just making this up as they go along.
- The best example period is Mimmy from the second game. Travis has completed one of the toughest fights in the game and is now 7th, had a tense, sort of tough-to-watch scene, and suddenly this happens.
- The classic X-Men arcade game inexplicably throws Nimrod (an advanced Sentinel from the future) at you. It doesn't make any sense why he would be working for Magneto, since he was designed to hunt and kill mutants. The same could be said of Wendigo, another boss in the game who has no connection with Magneto.
- At the end of the second-to-last level, some pharaoh statues attack you in the tomb without any foreshadowing, and earlier on in the level, the players get attacked by six weak clones of Pyro.
- As depicted above, Growl is all about beating hordes of poachers to death and freeing captive animals. When you take out their leader (a masked freak with enough strength to throw a tank), his corpse begins to slither around the arena, when suddenly a millipede bursts out of his back and states that it is the true leader of the poachers. (Players of the Darius games will recognize it as one of the aliens from those games, but there were barely any hints that Growl shared a universe with them.)
- In Noitu Love 2 we have some pretty strange bosses. Starting with a boat with tank treads that tries to run you over in stage run, to a train that apparently thinks it's some kind of transformer, to the last boss, which becomes a fetus thing, a giant mechanical thing with gears, and... A person.
- The arcade version of Double Dragon II: The Revenge took a turn to the occult for some of its enemy characters. The first boss, Burnov, is a masked wrestler who, instead of blinking into non-existence like all the other defeated enemies, will stand up and yell with his arms raised and then vanish into thin air, leaving behind his clothes and mask. In later encounters, he will rematerialize after using his death animation once. Later in the final stage, after defeating Machine Gun Willy, the game seems to be over until the player's own shadow starts gaining a life of its own and attacks the player as the actual final boss.
- The True Final Boss in the NES version is a nameless martial artist with the ability to make himself invisible in battle. Unless you've read the manual, his existence is never hinted anywhere in the game. He is also a Master of Illusion, which explains why your shadow gained sentience...
- For most of Double Dragon 3, the player spent their time fighting human enemies such as bikers, martial artists, swordsmen, and scantily-clad Roman warriors. In the fifth and final stage, the enemies consist of living tree people, stonemen, and the reanimated corpse of Cleopatra (which in the NES version is a possessed Marion).
- When The Simpsons got their own Beat 'em Up arcade game made by Konami, there was only the first season to draw material from. Thus, we got such surreal bosses as an evil Werner von Brawn, a Krusty The Clown parade float piloted by Mr. Smithers (who is also evil in this game), two mobsters who copied the two-player combination attacks, a Cerny-esque fire-breathing giant hiding in Moe's Tavern, a bear, an anthropomorphic bowling ball conjured by Homer's imagination, and a Noh Theater actor with a Blade on a Stick.
- Anarchy Reigns features random boss fights commencing in its multiplayer matches: particularly, a Giant Squid named Kraken, and a Humongous Mecha named Cthulhu (which you can punch out).
- Battle of Giants: Dinosaurs has Mystery Bosses, who are not super dinosaurs, but instead angry inanimate objects. They include monster trucks, rockets, telephone boxes, and a schoolhouse. It's jarring because otherwise you're in some kind of Land Before Time-esque world filled with dinosaurs, and no explanation is give for the phone boxes attacking you. On the other hand, seeing a T-Rex beat up a school is crazy awesome.
- Marvel Super Heroes Versus Street Fighter: The seventh round is Apocalypse, fair enough, he's a significant Marvel villain... and then, Suddenly, Cyber-Akuma!
- Akuma similarly comes from nowhere to face you in Puzzle Fighter (then again, the boss you were "supposed" to fight is Dan Hibiki).
- Ditto for Akuma's first appearance as the True Final Boss in Super Street Fighter II Turbo, where he appears out of nowhere and kills M. Bison, who you normally fight. His name wasn't even shown then.
- This happens again in Capcom Fighting Evolution. The game doesn't have a plot, yet it's still ridiculous seeing Shin Akuma suddenly showing up after defeating Pyron. Admittedly, you can only fight him after fulfilling specific requirements, but still...
- If you said that Yami would be the boss of Tatsunoko vs. Capcom prior to its release, everyone would be mocking you.
- After the boss battle, do they talk about their achievement? No, they do a completely different task, and they never mention fighting Yami again.
- Improved upon in Ultimate All-Stars, where some characters do in fact acknowledge 1) that Yami pulled their worlds together and 2) they had to beat it to undo said pulling.
- The Touhou fighting game Touhou Hisoutensoku features three of them. One is Utsuho Reiuji, the final boss of Subterranean Animism. It's a bit of a stretch, though, as Sanae is descending into the geyser control center when you run into her, and if you're at all familiar with the story of Subterranean Animism, you probably expect to see her or at least someone else from that game. After you beat her, however, you fight Sanae's final boss, Suwako Moriya, who actually does come out of nowhere. Given that Suwako is already in the game as one of Sanae's assists (and you can even use Sanae's Suwako assist during the fight!), it's safe to say that no one was expecting her to be Sanae's final boss.
- Who's the final boss of Guilty Gear Isuka? Is it Justice? Nope. Dizzy? Nope. That Man?!? Nope again. It's Leopaldon. Some strange, gigantic white beast with a huge puppy inside its mouth that is being controlled by a man in black who looks somewhat like the Black Mage.
- The final boss in Tekken Tag Tournament is Unknown: a woman whose actions are controlled like a puppet by a forest spirit — which looks like a werewolf's torso — floating behind her. It probably helps that the game is non-canon, but she/they still come out of nowhere.
- Tag Tournament 2 has Unknown return, but is less Space Flea-y, because the game confirms the Epileptic Trees floating around about it being Jun Kazama. Also, as a Continuity Nod to Unknown's own ending from the first, the wolf thingie is gone.
- Samurai Shodown 6 is a "festival" game whose plot is basically that Yoshitora Tokugowa is holding a swordfighting tournament and will use his powers as "ruler of everything" to grant the winner one wish. The tournament gets hijacked by one of the four previous final bosses, then you go to HELL and fight Demon Haoh, right out of nowhere. Like the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom example above, neither the "hijacked" boss or Demon Haoh are ever mentioned again.
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Subspace Emissary: Rayquaza attacking Diddy and Fox for no apparent reason. From a lake. It's supposed to live in the sky.
- The obscure arcade fighter/beat 'em up hybrid Mutant Fighter, after having you battle a variety of fighters and beast in hand to hand/grappling combat, reveals its final boss to be...'Magician', a wizard who barrages you with spells and doesn't throw a single punch. While not as jarring as some examples, the fact that you get to the end of this elite warrior hand to hand tournament and find a magician is like getting to the end of Street Fighter II and finding a Terminator expy waiting for you instead of M.Bison.
- Kil'jaeden, the Final Boss of the first World of Warcraft expansion, The Burning Crusade, could easily be considered one of these by players who aren't well versed in the background story of the game. It's not so much that he's an unknown entity (he's not), but that all of the marketing of Burning Crusade was focused exclusively on Illidan, the final boss of the Black Temple. Kil'jaeden, despite being one of the canonical Big Bads of the series, got almost no mention at all from the in-game story until suddenly being introduced in patch 2.4. Despite this, Sunwell Plateau (where you fight Kil'jaeden) is widely considered a Crowning Moment of Awesome in terms of dungeon design.
- Blizzard has actually stated themselves that they released Black Temple too early and needed to find some way to keep everyone interested in the game. Still, it worked.
- In Drak'Tharon Keep, the players fight a skeletal wind serpent named Tharon'ja. It's unclear whether this is supposed to be a spirit that the trolls worship, or a troll that ate its god like the trolls of Gundrak did.
- The Dungeon Journal introduced a patch and a half later explains that Tharon'ja was indeed one of the trolls who killed and stole the power of a loa, only to be killed in turn and turned into a servant of the Scourge and the Lich King.
- Prince Malchezaar of Karazhan. The other bosses are mostly ghosts or magical constructs left behind in Medivh's castle, but while he's associated with the Eredar, it's never stated why he is there. The same applies to the nether dragon Netherspite.
- Malchezaar is considered by Blizzard to be the last boss of Karazhan, effectively making him its ruler, as far as the unexplained storyline goes. The question of what does the Burning Legion want to do with a place like that is left for us to wonder.
- Karazhan is the only place they can do anything with at all. It reaches into the Twisting Nether and thus can be used to try and invade Azeroth. In fact, it's been hinted that Karazhan was relatively quiet up until Malchezaar appeared and started stirring up the spirits.
- More importantly, Karazhan is three unfinished dungeons (Well, one finished, two unfinished) combined into one.
- A lot of minor dungeon bosses are this. They get one throw-away line to explain who they are and what they're doing. Sometimes.
- In Cataclysm some effort has been made to explain some of the more bizarre bosses. New quests for classic dungeons offer some explanation of their background, though not every boss gets this.
- Speaking of Cataclysm, let's not forget the final boss of the Worgen starting zone. Rather than using Crenshaw, the previously-introduced undead general that had bombed Gilneas City, Blizzard decided to put you and your friends up against a weird mutated orc named "The Machinist", who had never even been hinted at.
- Guild Wars has one of these in Eye of the North, the Disc of Chaos. It has some of the highest health and damage seen on a mob and uses a model that has been flipped horizontally so it floats. The Disc only appears during its fight and is never mentioned before or after.
- The Disc stands out even more due to its name. All other Destroyers have names in the format of "Destroyer of" or "of Destruction". The Disc is the only Destroyer to not follow this pattern.
- Runescape has Chaos Elemental who, instead of residing in some sort of cave or building, is located in a seemingly uninteresting and generic spot in the Wilderness.
- A few of the quests have boss battle creatures that come out of nowhere and have nothing to do with the story, just to make the quest a bit harder.
- Lamp-shaded in the 'could you fetch my ball from the fenced yard' quest: the unnecessary boss morphs into six or seven arbitrary forms with escalating difficulty. Inverted in that earlier in the quest, you read the witch's journal where she mentions her experiment.
- Averted in My Arm's Big Adenture. In this quest, you teach a troll how to farm. Once you have the stuff you need, My Arm (trolls are named for either the first thing they try to eat, or for the noise said thing makes; it was his father's arm) warns you about a "bird". Sure enough, once the goutweed is planted, a Giant Roc attacks you. If you're the type of player who ignores dialogue, you would have been caught by surprise. The mod who wrote the quest was probably counting on that.
- Puzzle Pirates has "monkey boats".
For Science! For balance.
- As silly and nonsensical as Kingdom of Loathing is, the final boss of the main quest takes it to a whole new level. Most other enemies in the game are parody versions of RPG monsters, which you kill with weapons and/or spells with goofy names. The Naughty Sorceress is no exception; she appears to be your basic evil female spellcaster, but her "true form" is some kind of Eldritch Abomination covered in eyes, fanged mouths, and Combat Tentacles. After you beat that, she takes on her "actual true form" and turns into a goddamn sausage. With ludicrously high HP and Reality Warper powers. Which can only be defeated by using anagrams to deflect its attacks.
- Invoked in Phantasy Star Online 2, thanks to the randomly-generated nature of the game's stages, particularly multi-party areas, where bosses can spawn at any time. Even bosses from different fields (but still the same planet) can spawn, such as the Tranmizer, the sub-boss for Lillipa's Mines, appearing on Lillipa's Desert and Quarry. Darker bosses are exempt from the "same planet" rule, and can spawn in any field, regardless of which field they act as the boss of. Also, some event quests subvert this rule: a limited-time map introduced in February 2014 features bosses from Lillipa and Naberius spawning on Vopal's Coastline. The only exceptions to this rule are Val Rodos (Vopal Coastline's boss) and Dark Falz Elder (an emergency quest-exclusive boss), due to their large size and the unique nature of their battles.
- In the Star Trek Online mission "Installation 18", if you're playing as either a Federation or Klingon character, this is the first time you meet an Elachi. It's tough to fight, especially flanked by Tal Shiar soldiers, and it holds no bearing to either storylines. This is because it's actually geared towards the Romulan player, who has a whole history of dealing with these things.
- The boss of the Sandopolis Zone Act 1 from the Sonic the Hedgehog game Sonic and Knuckles. All of the other bosses in the game (and in fact most other Sonic games) are either Robotnik or his robotic henchmen. And then at the end of Sandopolis we get this big huge... golem thingy that you have to trick into the nearby quicksand pit. Yeah.
- Actually referenced in Sonic Adventure 2 with the "Egg Golem" boss. Except that one was bigger, defeated in a different way, and was a robot.
- King Boom Boo from Sonic Adventure 2 fits this trope perfectly. Seriously, Knuckles has to fight a giant bug-eyed ghost with a rainbow colored tongue for no reason? What was the point in even having this thing in? Did fighting the ghost even do anything to advance the plot?
- Amusingly, the ghosts in that game are references to the aforementioned Sandopolis Zone.
- Also from Sonic Adventure 2, the Biolizard. The only foreshadowing we get to its existence was a report Rouge found that called Shadow's identity into question. Then Sonic and company have to keep the ARK from pulling a Colony Drop and come face-to-face with a massive red biomechanical reptile, which later fuses with the colony's Wave Motion Gun to continue steering the colony towards Earth. Sure, there's some foreshadowing that Shadow is not the first constructed creature while trying to make the ultimate life form, but chances are no one expected this to be his prototype.
- The first boss of Sonic Rush Adventure, the Ghost Rex. The actual plot of this game is built up very slowly, and so many of the first few levels are just Sonic and Tails trying to accomplish some things on their own, so when a gigantic, mechanical T-Rex drops down and fights Sonic before a villain has even been established, it's... jarring, to say the least.
- Heinrich from Conkers Bad Fur Day. Up until this point, the Big Bad had been the Panther King. You're all ready to fight him, and a xenomorph implanted by his mad scientist right-hand man pops out of his chest and becomes the Final Boss. Yes, THAT xenomorph.
- Punch-Out!! (Wii) has one when you get to fight a hidden boxer. Donkey Kong. Yes, the same Donkey Kong who beats up Kremlings and plays with Mario in sports and go-karting. He has no relation to the Punch Out franchise at all...unless you've played the old arcade version and seen The Cameo. See, sometimes there's a point!
- You want to know what the original secret character was? Princess Peach. No joke.
- Alone In The Dark The New Nightmare features a battle with a nightmarish Insectoid Winged Demon from Nowhere Mini-Boss in the Library.
- Before that, some sort of sea monster attacks you in the sewer (if you play as Edward) or out of a rug (if you play as Aline).
- Postal 2 was a semi-realistic game in that there were no "bosses" or monsters, just a free-roaming journey through a town inhabited by assorted screwed-up gun-toting humans with varying levels of craziness. Postal 2: Apocalypse Weekend ends with the sudden and completely out-of-left-field appearance of a "final boss" in the form of a 20-foot tall demonic half-cow half-man who declares "I am Mike J, Kosher Zombie Mad Cow, God of Hellfire! All bow down, and worship my asscock!". The Postal Dude promptly lampshades the trope by stating "Some designer has lost his tiny mind".
- Actually, an easily missed passing mention was made by one of the NPCs at the start of the expansion about his colleague named Mike J catching Mad Cow Disease. But that still came out of nowhere since one does not expect this to happen to a Mad Cow Disease victim in real life.
- While every boss starting with Kling Klong in LittleBIGPlanet 2 is some creature either created by the Negativitron, the boss of The Factory of a Better Tomorrow is... Copernicus the Guard Turkey. No one ever mentions that the factory even has a Guard Turkey, but when you beat the fourth level of the world, Clive will show up, horrified, and tell you that Copernicus is on the loose. After a quick chase, Copernicus is dead and the plot resumes as usual.
- Win Back: Jin, the McNinja boss, is a blatant example. He is the only boss in the game to not have any introductory dialogue before the battle.
- The final boss of Razing Storm is an enormous skull-shaped battleship. One of your comrades lampshades its sudden appearance by asking why no one told him about it, to which someone else responds, "Because we didn't know about it! Now keep firing!"
- "Caduceus", the final boss of Strider 2, not only pops out of nowhere with no explanation or relevance to the plot, but is in fact gigantic, fought in outer space, and unmistakably flea-like.
- Beyond the Beyond has Akkadias as the final boss, who is not mentioned anywhere prior in the entire game. The rest are all plot-relevant.
- Spider-Man is a boss fight in Revenge of Shinobi. The only foreshadowing of this is a 'Copyright of Marvel Comics' at the beginning of the game.
- The six-armed humanoid ("God Vishnu" according to the sound test) in Level 17 of the SNES Adaptation Expansion of Prince of Persia has no relevance thematically to the rest of the game. It is the only boss other than the Final Boss with a unique Battle Theme Music, the only enemy that doesn't appear in the manual, and the only one that doesn't swordfight you.
- Most Bosses from Blue Dragon don't really tie into even the countless sub-plots, and no one bats an eyelash after slaying them.
- A Sachen game called Silent Assault had numerous bosses which even didn't make any sense. This is supposedly a game where aliens and mind-controlled humans are attacking the Earth, but bosses also consist of a floating skull, a computer with a mouth, a clown's head on a boot, a fire-breathing tree, and, as a final boss, a pair of sphinxes. However, it's Sachen so what do you expect.
- Donkey Kong Jungle Beat features our simian hero fighting warthogs, other gorillas, and the occasional robot elephant. Then you get to the final boss fight, and meet: The Cactus King, a weird, green, giant space-gremlin with what looks like a dead tree for a head and rides a fire-breathing pig. Nothing in the game even hinted toward this character's existence, he has no motives, and totally clashes with the aesthetic featured in the rest of the game.
- The Kalhar Boss Monster in Super Star Wars, which only briefly appeared in the film as a holographic chess piece, randomly appears out of the blue to block you from meeting Han Solo in the Cantina.
- The almost forgotten SNK side shooter Prehistoric Isle in 1930 has the some of the usual Stock Dinosaurs as boss encounters, except the fourth one which is appropiately named "Unknown dinosaur": Part plant and part whale.
- The ending to Borderlands. You're all geared up to fight Commandant Steele, whose mercenaries have been making your life difficult for the last quarter of the game, when suddenly a massive Eldritch Abomination pops out of the vault, impales Steele and swallows her whole, and then tries to kill the player.
- Lampshaded in the intro of Borderlands 2, where Marcus states that the only things the Vault Hunters found were tentacles and disappointment.
- In Fable, escaping a prison with your mother ends in a battle with a Kraken. What it's doing there or how it survives in what appears to be a pond of water just large enough to contain it is anyone's guess.
- Sigma Star Saga gives us a few of these, including some literal giant space fleas from nowhere.
- Indy platformer William And Sly has this with its final and only boss. Okay, it is mentioned in the beginning that something strange must be going on at the storehouse. But still...the game is an hour or so of relaxing platforming in the vein of Knytt. Impressive vistas, all exploration and scavenger-hunting, only a handful of not-very-threatening enemies. Then you top it off with an awkward and difficult fight against a giant phantom in the shape of a cobra's head.
- Baron Brrr in Super Mario Galaxy (and also, to an extent the Undergrunt Gunner in many appearances). Baron Brrr has no lead in from the level to the boss other than being there, and unlike nearly every other boss, never appears again. Similarly, the Undergrunt Gunner, the very common cannon Monty Mole doesn't even get mentioned in the mission name, and appears in two levels completely out of the blue (and one, he's just guarding the cannon, right at the start of the level, and you don't even need to use said cannon.)
- The Final Boss in Doom 64 is a giant space fly from nowhere, and a Subversion. It is alluded to only in the manual as what's been reviving and mutating the Demons for another invasion. The whole game and the collection of the three items for the superweapon are basically to stop this demon's resurrections from continuing.
- In the game Sanitarium, after navigating a hedge maze, you have to face a scarecrow with a pumpkin for a head, wielding a scythe. The game may be based in the PC's subconscious mind, but this was a serious Level Breaker.
- Tutankhamenattack in the NES version of Life Force, which is, as his name suggests, a giant pharaoh mask. The stage is also a Big Lipped Alligator Moment.
- The international releases of the game using the "fight through an evil invading alien fleet" graphics from Salamander while putting the "fight through the body of a giant planet-eating alien" plot from the arcade version of Life Force (an Updated Re-release of the Salamander arcade game with redone graphics to match the plot change) in the manual didn't exactly help matters.
- In Dawn of War: Winter Assault, there are two campaigns, Order (Imperial Guard and Eldar) and Disorder (Orks and Chaos). If you play the Disorder campaign before you play the order campaign you will be immensely surprised in mission five when Necrons, whom you had no knowledge of even being in this system, let alone coming to this planet, land and attack you. When you play the Order campaign it is explained by the Eldar characters that the Necrons are coming and why they want to attack. But if you play Disorder without playing Order first they seem like a Giant Space Flea From Nowhere.
- After defeating the Big Bad Plutonium Boss of Blaster Master, a strange cyborg knight with a plasma whip appears out of nowhere to challenge you.
- In Legendary Wings, after defeating the last version of the Recurring Boss, you fight a teleporting robotic Giant Eye Of Doom for the True Final Boss.
- Magic Mushroom from Tonic Trouble who randomly shows up to steal your last piggy bank.
- The appropriately-named Unknown Entity in Tomb Raider Legend.
- This is always what forgotten beast attacks in Dwarf Fortress are. They attack with no warning, kill everything they find, and then promptly are killed or the fortress is wiped out.
- In Master of Orion a Giant Space Amoeba From Nowhere will occasionally show up and charge across the map, killing everything in its path until it's destroyed. If you take it down, you get a significant boost to your standing with the other races.
- In the sequel, it's a mild nuisance at best, unless you happen to encounter it at the start of the game, and it eats one of your planets, leaving behind a toxic rock that takes a very convoluted method to turn back into a habitable planet.
- Puyo Puyo Fever has an interesting case. It isn't the boss of the game that makes sense (no, it's just a big plot hole), but the secret boss; Carbuncle, who awards you for finding him with the hardest fight in the game series.
- The final stage of the story mode of F-Zero GX. Most of the story involves Captain Falcon taking on Black Shadow and Deathborn, both of whom are introduced in the first cutscene. Nothing vastly out of the ordinary until the final stage, where, just as the story is being wrapped up, three ghosts representing the developers appear and announce that Deathborn was wrong about everything. They then challenge Captain Falcon to a race in a kind of digital dimension. He defeats them, they vanish, and the story just ends there.
- The final boss of Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3 is a ghost copy of your own car.
- Monstrous in Ridge Racer 6 and 7 has no maker stated, making this machine even more mysterious. Racers have to wonder if where did this machine come from. Even Kamata Angelus and Soldat Crinale users don't know about it.
- In Dance Central 2, the entire career mode seems to hint that the Glitterati are the final boss. However, once you beat them, you're suddenly picked up by a passing airship, which reveals a mad scientist who wants to use his robots to replace all the dance crews in the city. Suddenly you have to do five dances in a row with hardly a break in between to beat them. And you have to get near-perfect scores for each one, or you lose. This boss is never even hinted at throughout the entire game until he suddenly appears to kidnap you.
- In Hatoful Boyfriend, dating Anghel somehow ends in a turn-based JRPG battle against an Eldritch Abomination summoned by the school doctor with dark magics. Fan theories posit that this creature is actually Anghel's Superpowered Evil Side and a representation of the plague the doctor implanted in Anghel, but during a first playthrough it's pretty confusing.
- Kingdom Rush: There you are, fending off bandits, orcs and other such enemies from attacking your castle, placing your newly acquired paladins and wizards here and there. Cue drone-shooting Humongous Mecha who beats the everloving crap out of your troops. The other two bosses aren't nearly as unexpected.
- In Armored Core, it seems the most notable difference between Normal and Hard Mode is that Hard will occasionally throw an extra enemy AC/NEXT at you, regardless of your actual mission objectives. While they aren't exactly "Giant Space Fleas" (you face other AC's/NEXT's all the time in regular gameplay), you can't help but notice that their timing is impeccable, especially if you just finished your main objective and you're running on low health and/or ammo.
- The entire penultimate level of Cybermage Darklight Awakening could be considered an example of this trope, overlapping slightly with Genre Shift. To recap; you've fought your way through all manner of gun-toting mooks, killer robots and genetically-engineered Super Soldiers in high-tech research labs, a crime-infested Wretched Hive, the headquarters of a Megacorporation, a blasted-out battlefield, and an Absurdly Spacious Sewer (twice) - all pretty much bread-and-butter for a First-Person Shooter in the Cyber Punk genre. Then right before The Very Definitely Final Dungeon you find yourself inside a gothic citadel with unmistakably medieval architecture, fighting off robed cultists and LivingShadows that wouldn't look horribly out of place in Origin Systems Inc's other game, Ultima. Even All There in the Manual sheds no light on the in-universe origins or plot significance of this place.
- Golden Freddy in Five Nights at Freddy's is very different from the four animatronics who try to kill you - he's an empty and discolored Freddy costume who only appears when "summoned" and can only disappear when "unsummoning" him (i.e. changing camera views). Nothing foreshadows him, he is never explained, and if he kills you, the game outright crashes.
- "Pikmin": There's an enemy that appears in only one dungeon, and it's never really explained where it comes from (the ship says it might have come from another dimension). This enemy is the Waterwraith.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction has the Chevaliers. In their introduction, they simply say that Master Chevalsky turned them into what they are. That's all you get from them, and that makes them even more creepy.
Non-video game Examples
- Destroy The Godmodder: Almost every boss that ever pops up. The paradox monster, the grandmatriarch army, Lord Helix...
- A musical example: Elio e le Storie Tese's song "Supermassiccio" is actually about Giant Space Fleas from The Future that came out of a black hole. No, it's not supposed to make any sense.
- In Naruto, after 200 chapters of war against Madara (both the real and fake one), Kaguya Otsutsuki, an in-universe mythological character who was first mentioned and not even hinted at until about 650 chapters into the story and is supposed to be dead, reveals herself as the true villain behind everything, less than 20 chapters after her first mention. Kishimoto tried to justify it by revealing that Black Zetsu was manipulating the entire world in order to revive her, with many of his actions causing the most pivotal events in ninja history, but it didn't make it feel any less of a copout.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, after building up Malik as the Big Bad for Battle City, his dark side takes over and becomes the true antagonist. There was absolutely no foreshadowing and Dark Malik was made into a Card-Carrying Villain to make his villainous alter-ego seem more sympathetic.
- DC Comics' Final Crisis kept building Darkseid up to be the final villain, but in the end Mandrakk the Dark Monitor showed up out of nowhere to be the real threat.
- In Homestuck, from the Troll's point of view, Bec Noir is this to their game of SBURB. Especially since he came from a completely different session of the game.
- In the Broadway version of Disney's Tarzan, instead of being chased by a group of baboons Jane is captured by a giant spider.
- Played for Laughs in 8-Bit Theater, when the main characters complain that they live in a classic fantasy world and that the Warmech hunting them is completely thematically inappropriate.