Hard Levels, Easy Bosses
Some video games have bosses that are extremely easy compared to the levels before them. Regardless of whether the levels are simple or Nintendo Hard
, the bosses are a breeze compared to the skill and effort to just get to them.
Reasons for this can vary. Perhaps the developer honestly thought that easier bosses would balance out the game's difficulty. Maybe they wanted to be realistic and avert Authority Equals Ass Kicking
. Or there could be a Puzzle Boss
which might take work to figure out, but it becomes ridiculously easy to pull off that pattern once known.
of Boss Dissonance
Compare Mooks but No Bosses
and Anti-Climax Boss
Contrast Easy Levels, Hard Bosses
, SNK Boss
- In Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth, the amount of damage you sustain by the normal stage enemies is determined by the stage number, in the vein of Castlevania I and III. However, every boss in the game always inflicts the minimum amount of damage for the particular difficulty mode you are playing through.
- In Super Castlevania IV, Stage 8 is frustratingly difficult, but the boss (Frankenstein) is one of the easiest in the game.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time's Water Temple, one of the most hair-pulling 3D temples with Morpha, one of the easiest bosses ever (sit in a corner, and watch how you effortlessly get a no-damage win).
- In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, there's the Stone Tower Temple, likely the most diabolical and convoluted dungeon in the game (and one of the most in the entire series, for that matter), but whose boss simply requires you to turn into a giant and constantly hit its permanently exposed weak points (tail and head) to be defeated. This boss, Twinmold, doesn't even try to attack you, since it just moves around the battle arena.
- The Legend of Zelda has the dungeons hidden away in some places that require specific items to reach them or knowledge of where the dungeons themselves are located. Each dungeon is also filled with dangerous mooks, but the bosses themselves take no more than a minute to defeat, including the Final Boss.
- Oracle Of Ages has the very long Jabu-Jabu's Belly, with the incredibly easy Electric Jellyfish boss.
- The CD-i games are notorious for this. The levels are filled with ridiculous amounts of frustrating Fake Difficulty, but the bosses are One Hit Point Wonders. Ganon is probably one of the most anti-climactic final bosses in the history of video games. You defeat him by throwing a book/wand at him. Afterwards, all you get is a ridiculous cutscene.
NOT INTO THE PIT! IT BURRRRRRRRNS!!!
- Richter Mode in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a fairly extreme example. Even the easiest mooks can kill you if you aren't careful, and some of the more challenging mooks can kill you in one or two hits. On the other hand, bosses can usually be kept at a distance and killed without too much difficulty (and if you use Hydro Storm on them, most die as fast as your average mook).
- There are three bosses in Castlevania II: Simon's Quest: Carmilla, Death, and -of course- Dracula. Carmilla sticks to a laughably easy pattern that can be avoided by simply standing still and deflecting her fireballs with Dracula's Rib and Dracula himself can be taken out in roughly 15 seconds with either the Sacred Flame or the Golden Knife. Meanwhile, Death -normally among the hardest bosses in the series- can be dealt with here by simply dropping a garlic in front of him and leaving to make a plate of nachos. Even worse, you don't have to fight Death - just keep walking and go prosess Dracula's Eye.
- In just about every playset in Disney Infinity that has bosses at all, they're among the easiest parts of the game.
- In Pirates of the Caribbean, the last mook fight is massively harder than the final boss battle — largely because the final boss is a battle at sea using your fully-upgraded ship while said mook fight occurs on land using your character's own weak weaponry.
- The Incredibles hits you with a constant stream of nightmarish tank mooks falling from the sky and has trivially easy boss fights.
- The Lone Ranger ends with a very long Puzzle Boss fight, but it's still easier than many of the timed missions you've faced earlier in the game.
Beat 'em Up
- Spider-Man: The Movie game has harder bosses in the beginning of the game, when you're fighting faceless mooks, and harder levels towards the end, when you fight omnipowerful robots.
- God of War featured several really difficult and lethal environmental challenges, along with a few miniboss pile-on challenges. Fighting the bosses, particularly the end boss, was practically a relief.
- Ninja Gaiden games tend to have hard levels early on. For example: Even the second level in Ninja Gaiden 2 for the NES has gusts that blow Ryu into pits and takes a bit of mastery, but Baron Spider (the boss) is trivial, especially if you have the Fire Wheel and the Clones. A lot of the difficulty of bosses comes from having half one's life bar from the previous stage and trying not to die.
- Captain Cabot Toth of Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter is mindnumbingly easy. Especially compared to the level you just faced. Made all the worse by the fact that he's vulnerable to your Force lightning.
- The levels in Loaded are lenghty and intricate, requiring careful positioning and crowd control to clear some of the bigger rooms and rationing of your limited health supplies. Meanwhile, the bosses (of which there are only two, though one is fought multiple times) have simple and predictable attack patterns, little health and weak attacks.
- This seems to be an issue of Dante's Inferno. Most areas are absurdly harder than the boss of that area. And Lucifer himself is the EASIEST BOSS IN THE GAME. But maybe it is because your skills improved, or maybe because they won't be causing much damage later on...
Collectible Card Games
- Castle Crashers gives us the long and tedious Fire-Demon filled level Lava World, and tops it off with a volcano that does nothing but shoot easily avoided and not that powerful fireballs (the only challenge is realising you need to have a beefy-sandwich to beat him) and a huge fire-dragon that breathes weak fire, drops boulders towards you that are very easy to avoid, and swats you with his left, sock-puppeted hand if you try to go through the exit door.
- The Streets of Rage series zig zags with this trope. In the first game, the challenge comes from fending off several waves of mooks that gang up on you while you try not to lose too many lives just reaching the boss of the level. The bosses themselves follow a fairly predictable pattern and are easy to beat once you know how to avoid their attacks. The final boss will always have mooks with him. The second game has mooks appear for several bosses, averting the trope. The third game follows what the first game did; waves of mooks in the levels and bosses appearing by themselves. The only exception to the rule is the boss of stage 6 where he always has mooks with him.
- Kantai Collection:
- Usually averted, but occasionally played straight. For example, at 3-2, the boss node only has destroyers, transports and light cruisers, but most fleets are forced to retreat by the pre-boss node, which has battleships and heavy cruisers.
- 3-5 north route also applies. The boss node is one light cruiser, two transports, one battleship and two destroyers. Nothing particularly tough. But to get there, you'll have to go through one node with up to three Flagship Wo-class standard carriers, and another with Northern Ocean Princess. The south route isn't much better; due to the closing torpedo phase, the light ships you'll have to use for it have a high chance of being damaged to red in either of the two nodes before the boss, forcing you to retreat.
- In The King of Fighters 97, once you're done with the tournament itself, your team will fight the extremely fast Orochi Iori and/or Orochi Leona and then the Orochi empowered New Face Team (Orochi Chris, Orochi Shermie and Orochi Yashiro. And then you see that the Final Boss, Orochi himself, is... maybe the easiest KOF Final Boss in the whole saga, thanks to his very poor AI. Kind of a Justified Trope: three of the aforementioned sub-bosses are SNK Bosses, so by the point a player reaches Orochi s/he is likely to be rather fastidiated and tired.
- Nosferatu The Wrath Of Malachi: For the most part, bosses tend to be brought down pretty quickly by hitting them with Wooden Stakes over and over. They're probably less likely to kill you than the labyrinth of rooms infested with monsters.
- World of Warcraft:
- The high level dungeons tend to fall in this category. Getting to a boss requires carefully planned engagement with mook groups using every bit of "crowd control" the party has to offer, but most of the bosses are fairly straightforward. Some bosses do require comparable efforts... because they are accompanied by minor mooks.
- The true "Endgame" bosses (which require teams of 10 and 25 to face), on the other hand, go back and forth between this trope at a ludicrous pace; The Mount Hyjal scenario exemplifies this trope in both forms, pitting you against endurance battles with the bosses; depending on the makeup of your team, these are usually either comically easy or ludicrously difficult. The final boss, on the other hand, fits squarely under That One Boss (and has an actual break before facing him, unlike the others).
- This trope is also evident in many of the smaller, 5-man dungeons, where a suboptimal group may easily beat the bosses but wipe hard on the trash leading up to them.
- Cataclysm dungeons and raids have significantly harder trash mobs than previous ones and tend to require unique strategies for each one. Some of them are fairly easy with a little crowd control and strategy, others have mechanics that must be followed to avoid wiping (such as tanks swapping after taking stacks of a debuff), and still others are so hard that groups will not pull them if they do not have to. At times, there may be only two or three trash pulls between bosses, each of which is completely different, rather than several encounters with similar enemies.
- WoW in general switches been this and Easy Levels, Hard Bosses depending on the difficulty and where in progressions players usually are. Regular tends to be this Easy Levels, Hard Bosses while Heroic tends to be this trope until players are overgeared for it, when it becomes easy all around.
- Bugdom can get pretty damn hard in the later levels. Then the boss fight consists of you kicking a pipe to extinguish Thorax's scepter and crown (making him vulnerable), attacking him, and repeating this process until he dies. Easy peasy.
- Crash Bandicoot generally falls under this; the first two games in particular had almost laughable bosses in comparison to the challenges the levels presented. Some of the later games have some truly challenging battles (with notorious examples including Dingodile in Crash Twinsanity and Uka Uka in Crash of the Titans) but still usually had way more of a challenge in just getting to the fights.
- Super Mario 64 is known for this. The levels can be quite hard. The bosses are absolutely simple by comparison. Best shown in Lethal Lava Land, which has some tricky platforming, some annoying obstacles, and the Big Bully as the only boss in it.
- Near every Super Mario World or other game hack ever created, simply because the bosses are far more difficult to edit than the levels; hence, most hacks usually leave the normal bosses after massively tough, Nintendo Hard levels, meaning that the bosses go down in about 2 seconds as a result. Subverted by Kaizo Mario World. The first game featured two boss fights, against the Big Boo and Invisible Bowser. The second had two, Underwater Bowser and Reznor, but in a room full of spiked logs and rising lava.
- Mario games, formerly known for this trope, have eventually shaken the trend a bit. Super Mario Sunshine has easy bosses like Gooper Blooper, but Phantamanta and Eely-Mouth can be tricky and difficult. Super Mario Galaxy has some tricky bosses, particularly in the daredevil runs; Bouldergeist in particular is frustrating. The bosses in New Super Mario Bros. Wii always retreat into their shell after each hit, so even the easier fights at least take some time to win. Then there's the final boss. Super Mario Galaxy 2 has an easy final Bowser battle compared to the trials before him, while the fight in Super Mario 3D Land is quite tough.
- Sonic the Hedgehog: In general, the bosses are significantly easier than the levels themselves, with the exception of one or two bosses per game.
- As is to be expected of a fangame, Sonic Robo Blast 2 is also a large offender, with bosses that are very basic compared to the stage, at least until (of course) you reach a familiar mechanical behemoth. Of course, this could be attributed to the ten years spent designing the game.
- The first Spyro the Dragon game had tricky platforming aplenty, but the bosses were laughably pathetic. Each was a case of "Get Back Here!" Boss, took no more than three hits to defeat, and were usually no more powerful than the Mooks populating the rest of their respective levels.
- Donkey Kong Country:
- The first game. The levels get increasingly harder, but all the bosses (except for K. Rool, and possibly the second battle with Necky) are a cakewalk.
- Donkey Kong Country 2 qualifies as well. The bosses are more challenging than those in the first game, but none of them will make you tear your hair out in frustration. Many of the levels, however, are absolutely brutal.
- Earthworm Jim falls under this category occasionally, with the third level "Down The Tubes" being a prime offender. The entire second part of the level is a race against a brutal clock inside a glass submarine with as much endurance as wet tissue through a maze full of tight corners and jagged rocks. The boss is...a goldfish. You win by knocking his bowl off the stand.
- I Wanna Be the Guy is like this to an extent. Both parts are incredibly hard, but the bosses are easier... "easier" being the key word here.
- Super Ghouls & Ghosts, which lives on almost every top-10 hardest games of all times lists, has some of the easiest bosses ever. Not just easy for SG&G, or easier than the levels around them. Drop dead simple. The Hydra is perhaps the easiest boss in any videogame (and his level is one of the hardest. There's dissonance right there); you stand there and shoot him with his weapon, while dodging rock attacks that he telegraphs a mile away and only throws out every 3-5 seconds anyway. The final boss is pathetically wimpy.
- Prince of Persia had levels filled with precipitous falls and Spikes of Doom of the deadliest sort. The almost only boss in the game is Jaffar, who fights like all the other Mooks and can be killed just by pushing him off the platform if you get behind him. (This doesn't apply to the SNES version, which has completely different bosses and many more of them.)
- Wario Land 1-3, being based off the Mario series, fell into this, bar the one boss in the first game that actually posed a challenge.
- While Banjo-Tooie wasn't really hard, the bosses actually got easier as the stages progressed, with the final boss being difficult more due to length than challenge. The sequel didn't have bosses per se, but the challenges offered by Grunty were all pathetically easy with the proper application of creative thinking. This is because the characters grow disproportionately powerful compared to the bosses, provided you find the items. There's no excusing Minji-Jongo. Try the bosses on Boss Replay, and the final boss suddenly becomes hair-pulling.
- In Yoshi's Island, Marching Milde was a relatively easy boss, but she came at the end of a frustratingly long stage, one of the longest in the game.
- Battletoads might as well be the level-focused poster-boy. The bosses are rather easy, but several of the stages are almost up there with I Wanna Be the Guy in difficulty - even the creator of IWBTG thought Battletoads was impossible. Part of the gap is due to most levels being on a checkpoint system, while boss fights never are, which means you don't have to start over when you lose a life fighting a boss.
- New Super Marisa Land's bosses are, with the exception of the World 7 boss, much easier than the stages preceding them.
- Mega Man X6 tends to have extremely brutal stages (Blaze Heatnix and Metal Shark Player come to mind) followed by insultingly easy bosses in comparison. The only exception is Gate's second stage, which has both a difficult level, and two difficult boss fights (High Max and Gate himself). Played straight once again with Sigma, who's an absolute joke.
- Mega Man (Classic) bosses also have plenty of this going. Some boss levels are much more difficult than the robot masters at the end of them, especially when utility items or Rush aren't available. Part of this can be pinned on the predictable patterns some bosses had. Guts Man's stage has the notorious platforms, Heat Man has the thrice-damned disappearing block segments over instant-death lava or bottomless pits, Toad Man has wind and water pushing Mega Man around into more bottomless pits, and so on. Don't be surprised to spend more lives on the levels than the bosses in more than a few instances.
- Mega Man & Bass changes between this and Easy Levels, Hard Bosses depending on which character you choose. Playing as Mega Man makes the stages harder, since he doesn't have Bass's Double Jump, dash, or ability to fire in seven directions. However, his Mega Buster can charge, allowing him to deal more damage to the bosses, and their Mercy Invincibility is just about right for him to charge up another shot.
- The Mega Man fangame Unlimited is infamous for this trope, a lot of the levels being boarder line Marathon Levels with some rather sadistic platforming at times, but a lot of the bosses (with the exception of Glue Man) being a cinch to beat buster only.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures, for the most part.
- The bosses in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles(NES) are relatively easy compared to the Demonic Spiders-infested levels leading up to them.
- Mibiblis Quest has some brutal levels that require a good combination of skill, memory, and knowledge of the game mechanics. The bosses, while no slouch in difficulty, are significantly easier, as they tend to follow a pattern.
- The Dawn of War expansions Dark Crusade and Soulstorm suffer from this on later levels. A regular map is played as a standard skirmish against the AI albeit with a few weak units and lowered ressources. On later levels, you play a two-on-one, and if the computer's Player Character is on he the map, starts with extra regular units which immediately attack your base. Strongholds, on the other hand, send in one big attack at the beginning, subsequent attack waves are much weaker than usual (and this is before the special features like stealing the enemy's artillery or disabling their special attacks). It is even possible to defeat the Dark Eldar without even building a base, as they do not send attacks before you do so.
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. The dungeons themselves will see you using up the majority of your wiles and resources, while most bosses can be made utterly harmless with a single status seed. Bosses with minions are exceptions, though, depending on your items and moves. This also happens with the third installment, to the extent where the final level doesn't even have a boss; the challenge is negotiating a dungeon without any allies.
Shoot 'em Up
- In the RPG The 7th Saga, random encounters are invariably more dangerous than a typical boss; just walking from one town to the next requires a ton of Forced Level Grinding. There are a few obscenely overpowered bosses, but they're special.
- In Shin Megami Tensei I and Shin Megami Tensei II, random encounters come hard and fast and you're pretty lucky if you can get to the end of the boss without being horribly mangled. The Boss you fight, on the other hand is at best marginally harder than one of the standard enemies outside... that you had to fight like eighteen of every two steps.
- Persona Q falls into this. Dungeons are long and filled with tough enemies, as well as F.O.Es; enemies so strong you're meant to avoid fighting them. The actual bosses of the dungeons are much easier by comparison, generally being Damage Sponge Bosses at best and vulnerable to crippling status effects like Poison and Strength/Magic Bind. Going back to fight the dungeon's F.O.Es when you're strong enough is the real challenge.
- Demon's Souls:
- Some players call it this. Helps that there's sometimes an exploit that makes the boss a breeze. (safe zones, inability to attack at a distance, etc.)
- A straight forward example is 5-2, Most players have a load of trouble with the level it's self, however, the Boss is pretty easy and is weak to both Fire and Magic.
- World 4 in its entirety is one of the most challenging levels, with powerful enemies and plenty of places to fall to your death, yet each of the bosses is a complete joke. Adjudicator can be easily defeated by running around him clockwise, Old hero is BLIND, and the Storm King can be defeated effortlessly with the amazing tactic of hiding in the safe zone behind the runed house while carving him up with the Stormruler.
- Dark Souls I has more of the opposite, but a few areas play out this way.
- The Depths is a labrynthine, confusing sewer level crawling with rats and curse-spewing Basilisks. The boss (while terrifying) is one of the easiest in the game.
- Sen's Fortress is filled with traps, pitfalls, and horrid enemies. The boss can be easily soloed by an NPC phantom.
- The Catacombs are filled with endlessly respawning skeletons, which are some of the nastiest enemies in the game, and deeper into the level are the even worse Wheel Skeletons. The boss of the area, Pinwheel, is considered an absolute joke, having so little HP and attacking so slowly that many players kill him their first time before he can even start attacking.
- Played straight with a Sorcery-proficient build, however. Going from bonfire to bonfire involves carefully managing magic charges and not overextend usage on common enemies, and to get the most out of spells they have to invest heavily in intelligence, which means they're most likely not gonna have as much hit points and stamina, and also only have access to a smaller pool of weapons. Bosses on the other hand almost always boil down to running away and spamming any leftover magic for a quick kill.
- Dark Souls II has a few of these as well:
- The Iron Keep is a difficult lava-filled gauntlet stuffed to the brim with Elite Mooks, but the boss at the end is amazingly easy (almost an outright joke if you're a ranged character), especially for a fight that's supposed to be fairly major. In fact, the boss is less threatening than the lava surrounding its arena. The optional boss of Iron Keep, however...
- The Shrine of Amana is covered in water that is home to bottomless pits and lurking monsters that jump out when you're least expecting. Its main feature, however, is its sorcerers, who constantly fire homing magic blasts, and can do so from very far away. Constantly. The boss of the Shrine is one of the easiest bosses in the whole game.
- Touhou Mother is often stated to have fairly easy bosses, but many dangerous random encounters that make the dungeons themselves much more difficult to go through than any boss fight.
- The Spirit Engine 2 is usually this type, since normal enemies can be quite difficult (generally they accomplish almost as much in one turn as a boss, except there'll be three of them and they mostly have enough health that you can't just hope they run out first) and are very numerous. Certain regular enemies also have armor values far outstripping the bosses, since the author learned his lesson after giving a few bosses in the first game too much armor; this means that dealing significant damage to them is only possible with a few specific moves. And that's ignoring the two sections where you have to fight several defensively-oriented groups of enemies on a time limit.
- Golden Sun as a general rule tends to involve more tricky puzzles than tough battles, and most of the bosses are no exception (the few that are tend to end up That One Boss anyway). The Lost Age mitigates this somewhat by having a Hard Mode, ramping up the difficulty of the bosses for you. Dark Dawn does not have a Hard Mode, and gives you an assist for the puzzles, which made it painfully easy for some fans.
- Disc 2 of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time had ridiculously tough regular enemies, many of which are way more trouble than they're worth, but the bosses usually aren't too bad. Some bosses even appear as normal enemies soon after the initial battle; one of the first bosses on Disc 2 appears in a pair in the next area!
- The final level in Alpha Protocol is like this. The level itself is pretty tough (especially since you have a limited number of health power-ups), but Final Boss is the easiest boss in the game, as he stands absolutely still (no ducking or running away) and has very low damage reduction.
- While the normal mode in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team comes under the opposite trope, this one is in full effect for the unlockable hard mode. Why? Because generally, players are prepared for difficult bosses, and have usually memorised their attack patterns in the first playthrough. They haven't often however prepared for the normal monsters being able to kill them in two to three hits. Hence most deaths there aren't from super hard bosses like in the main game, but from a player being overly confident, thinking they can take down a dangerous enemy with about half their health gone like in the main game and getting thoroughly crushed by a mixture of high damage, unanticipated attack patterns and status effects like burn or dizzyness. This doesn't work for the Giant Bosses, which can easily swing around the other way. While they, too, use the same attack patterns as before, they are a lot more punishing on hard mode, you can't grind levels for them, and if you lose, you get a gameover as usual... meaning a bunch of cutscenes to get through (some are skippable) before you can take another shot at them.
- Dragon Quest IX can suffer from this with its Randomly Generated grotto system. The monsters a grotto contains and its final boss are often at complete odds with each other, and it is quite often faster (if riskier) to Level Grind by hunting down the bottom-floor monsters (which sometimes include Metal Slimes) than to take out bosses.
- Big Core in any version of the original Gradius. His only attack is a four-laser spread, albeit one that gets faster the more your ship is powered up. The only time where he might be more difficult is on Stages 1 and 4, where dormant volcanoes will reduce your flying space. And even if you have a hard time hitting him (as a result of being underpowered or possessing the Double powerup, which halves your firing rate), you can still "defeat" him by waiting until he self-destructs, which usually takes no more than a minute.
- In both Nanostray, the obstacles in the stage makes the stage much harder than the boss.
- In Thunder Force III, nearly every boss is much easier than the stage preceding it, especially if you have Sever, in which case they'll go down in under 20 seconds each. And in Thunder Force VI, if you're using the Rynex-R, and have at least one Over Weapon gauge ready, most bosses will go down in at most five seconds. On Maniac difficulty, this is a big relief from a normal shooter-turned-Bullet Hell.
- Sly Spy has extremely simple boss fights. All the actual bosses have only a single, easily dodgeable attack with the motorcycle and underwater levels being the worst offenders. However, some boss fights are just rushes of Elite Mooks which are very good at eating away at your health.
- In Space Harrier, the levels consist of tricky controlling around dangerous scenery and large amounts of Everything Trying to Kill You; the bosses are fought in clean areas with incredibly predictable movement and attack patterns.
- Levels in Heavy Weapon tend to be grind-fests which later on tend to be filled with Demonic Spiders. In contrast, bosses are somewhat more tame than those levels itself. (X-bot, War Wrecker, Bustczar, Twinblade on the rematch, X-bot, and even Eyebot come to mind)
- The main form of gameplay in the Hitman series. Your target is placed somewhere that normal civilians cannot get to, are often surrounded by bodyguards, and depending on the game, certain NPC:s can see through any disguise you're wearing if you wander too close. The targets, however, can often be killed with one button press, especially if you manage to get behind them. The only exception are scripted bosses, for example Mark Parchezzi III
- Resident Evil 4:
- In some cases. Granted, the mooks aren't much harder, but there are a couple bosses that can be instantly killed with one hit from a rocket launcher, or a few shots from an upgraded magnum. Avoiding the super powerful weapons swings things closer to the lethal boss end of the spectrum; the bosses will take several shots from a normal gun and can dish out serious pain.
- By the fifth stage (and especially on Pro), the Island, it's both. You will pull your hair out fighting Krauser again and again, and then when you do beat him, spend the next few hours warding off waves of enemies and machine gun turrets.
- Resident Evil 5 is worse. Every boss in the game, even the final boss, can be killed in one hit with the rocket launcher. There's even more fun to be had if you have the infinite rocket launch. At least Resident Evil 6 fixes this by making it so the rocket launcher is just a one time item.
- Alan Wake: Bosses are either possessed machinery, slow and cumbersome, which you don't even need your firearms to defeat, or buffed up versions of regular enemies, who only present danger through numbers and surprise, which bosses obviously lack. And the final boss is as anti-climactic as it gets.
- In Dead Space, most bosses tend to be slow-to-immobile and heavily telegraph their attacks. The Hunter doesn't run, and although you cannot kill it via normal means, you can disable it temporarily about as easily as you can dispatch the basic mooks. The Leviathan attacks with slow moving tentacles and a slow-moving exploding projectile you can shoot back at it, while you can move rapidly out of the way thanks to the Zero-G environment. The Slug is somewhat hard, if only because the ADS Cannon doesn't have very good controls. Finally, the Hive Mind either spawns weak mooks or slaps at you with a highly telegraphed tentacle strike; the only challenging part is an aiming sequence about midway through.
- Dead Space 2 is also like this. The Tormentor is dealt with in a series of aiming sequences. The Ubermorph is The Hunter again, although it's a bit tougher as you have to put up with him while running a gauntlet of Necromorphs and you're given less warning about him. Finally Marker!Nicole is very slow moving and fairly easy to damage; the toughest part about the fight is that it's at the tail end of the aformentioned gauntlet, and you have to deal with the Pack while during the fight.
- The Silent Hill games have very few difficult bosses, usually due to the cramped quarters you fight them in, like the Abstract Daddy from 2. 3's bosses are all very easy with simple, slow attack patterns, even the final boss, God.
- Dungeons & Dragons, regrettably, often works out like this - singular powerful monsters can often be a trivial challenge, simply because everybody gets their one set of actions a round. So the boss gets to move and attack... and then four to six party members get to do the same thing. Boss monsters tend to get buried in a pile of player character actions, plus many spells, even at low levels, that can win such fights with a single dice roll, and at high levels with no dice roll. Fourth Edition attempts to avert this with Solo monsters, which get a lot more HP than normal enemies, and may also receive multiple actions to make them a challenge for a full party. And, since the boss is usually at the end of a day, in 4th edition players may decide to use their daily powers against them (since you lose your chance after an extended rest), speeding things up a bit. A Balor? No sweat. Tucker's kobolds? Run.
- Ratchet and Clank tends to fall into this. The levels get more and more brutal as swarming enemies increase in both strength and number. By comparison, the bosses, especially single-target ones, aren't nearly as difficult, especially since those tough levels provide plenty of experience points.
Wide Open Sandbox
- In the various Final Fantasy Tactics games, bosses are almost always easier than regular battles. This is because you have five or six people and they have only one, so you get several times as many actions as them, and more often than not their attacks can't hit everyone at once, or take a long time to charge.
- X-COM's end boss is technically a four tiles terrain with 40 armor, who dies if one of its tiles is destroyed, and is guarded by Etherals, Sectopods, and Chryssalids. So you are basically trying to shoot a terrain tile (explosives deal a fixed 50% damage to terrain, other weapons deal between 25 and 75% damage), while trying to have at least one soldier survive Mind Control and One-Hit Kill for the final showdown. In the remake, bosses like the first Sectoid Commander are already easy because a singular enemy is never very challenging unless you get caught wildly out of position. The final encounter of the game is three Ethereals, one of whom is the statistically identical final boss. You can kill him in one turn with a couple of snipers, without ever damaging his two companions, and win.
- Jagged Alliance, in Deadly Games, a 'boss' are often nothing more than a souped up mook. However, in Jagged Alliance 2, many of the so called 'bosses' are no harder than the mooks, as they are probably there just to add to the story. Those black shirt Elite Mooks gives you more problem than anything else in the game really.
- Many Fire Emblem bosses are a piece of cake compared to the map they occur on, largely owing to most of them refusing to move, which is justified some of the time as reaching for them tends to be rather hard. This is inverted in Radiant Dawn, where many of the bosses are ridiculously hard, especially the last two; the second-to-last does move, a lot, and the last doesn't need to.
- Telepath Tactics. Huge swarms of low-level Mooks present a grueling gauntlet, but it's rare for singular, high-level enemies to be significantly more threatening, especially since you can usually win the whole mission just by focusing on them. This is a little odd, since previous games in the series leaned more towards the reverse. The change can probably be attributed to both larger army sizes and the fact that bosses have to play by the same rules as normal troops, making most of them no more significant than King Mooks.
- The Godfather: The Game, was like this, mostly because the only characters that could be considered to be bosses (stronger body armor, powerful weapons, pinpoint aim), also had the same weaknesses as the rest of the enemies (basically, headshot kills no matter what and the ability to waltz right up to them and choke them to death), and also took you on basically one on one, or with less minions, which meant a boss fight was much more favorable than the normal swarm of enemies coming to take you out. In fact, in the climax and Final Boss of the game (the assassination montage from the movie), the main challenge is driving to the multiple locations it takes place in within the time limit.
- In Batman: Arkham City you will be killed by random groups of street thugs more often then Mr. Freeze, Solomon Grundy, Clayface, Ras Al Ghul and Deadshot combined especially if you're playing on Hard.
- Batman: Arkham Knight has all of the bosses being mostly QTEs and cutscenes. The difficulty of this game comes from the Batmobile sections where he has to fight the drones are significantly more difficult than defeating the bosses.
- No gunslinger in Red Dead Redemption is as deadly as a pack of wolves or a solitary cougar, or worse, a pack of bears.
- Saints Row 2 subscribes to this philosophy, especially with the final mission, in which you have to chase down and shoot up a fleeing limo, gun your way past an oncoming horde of police and SWAT officers, and destroy a series of security stations while flying a (very clunky) helicopter and avoiding being shot down by guided missiles, at the end of which the Final Boss is...only slightly tougher than the average policeman.
- Generally the case with Grand Theft Auto games. Most levels including or leading up to a boss fight involve shootouts with large amounts of enemies (in generally unfavorable conditions), chases or escort missions but when you get to a boss they're dispatched as easily as any other enemy. Justified since bosses in these games tend to be criminal masterminds who are only human and are rarely as badass as the protagonist.