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[[quoteright:327:[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyDimensions http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Asmodai6_7180.PNG]]]]
[[caption-width-right:327:I think the game is trying to tell us something...]]

->''"If you run up against an enemy you just can't beat, maybe you should just try dying. Sometimes loss is victory, and victory loss. Think about it..."''
-->-- ''Videogame/SoulNomadAndTheWorldEaters''

Sometimes [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption the plot demands that you fail]]. The storyline requires the defeat of the main characters in order to make a point or explain a key event, regardless of whether or not the ''player'' would allow their party to fall in battle. There are two ways to accomplish this: One is the CutsceneBoss, where the player has no control over the battle's outcome at all -- and the other is the Hopeless Boss Fight.

This is a boss with NighInvulnerability, if not sheer invulnerability outright. Odds are good you won't be able to damage or hit him at all -- he'll quickly reduce it to ScratchDamage or just ignore it outright as he launches OneHitKill (if not TotalPartyKill!) attacks on your team, and if you aren't able to run from this battle on turn one, it's GameOver on turn two. [[FissionMailed Or is it?]]

These bosses tend to make their appearance near the beginning of the game, before the characters have had a chance to earn ExperiencePoints or LevelUp, or otherwise become more powerful than their predefined starting levels -- this makes narrative sense as well, because this is when the characters would be least likely to survive an encounter with them anyway. [[TropesAreTools Done well]], this defeat will strike fear into the heart of the player, having learned firsthand just how powerful this boss really is; done poorly, it feels like [[FakeLongevity a cheap trick designed to advance the plot]], SuspensionOfDisbelief be damned.

Since games like to pretend to be fair, your opponent in the Hopeless Boss Fight tends to [[HeroicRematch return later in the game for a proper battle]]. They have the odd tendency to be {{Climax Boss}}es: If they were the BigBad or TheDragon, players will get to fight them after this FinalBossPreview by the end of the game as a straight up FinalBoss (or Penultimate Boss).

Ideally, the game should make it somewhat obvious to the casual gamer the fight is probably intended to be hopeless, lest you waste your serious healing items and abilities. This is another reason why these tend to appear at the beginning of the game, as you haven't even ''acquired'' any serious healing items or abilities yet.

Often, ([[WrongGenreSavvy Wrong]]) GenreSavvy players may confuse [[ThatOneBoss a hopelessly difficult boss]] with this and [[SheatheYourSword give up fighting]] on the assumption that the battle is intended to be hopeless ... [[WrongGenreSavvy only to discover it isn't]]. More fiendishly, some games can silently observe the player's efforts to determine whether they [[ControllableHelplessness put up a decent struggle before going down]], with a ''genuine'' GameOver issued if they died too quickly, or make the objective to survive for a fixed amount of time, with any deaths resulting in game over.

Not all Hopeless Boss Fights exist to defeat you at a specific point to advance the plot; there may also be BorderPatrol, confronting players who try to go OffTheRails in certain areas with a Hopeless Boss Fight, from which the only option is to RunOrDie. If the monster will become defeatable as you gain power, it's a BeefGate.

Sometimes, the apparently invincible boss ''can'' technically be defeated, if you have [[GuideDangIt a precisely tuned tactical setup]], access to a DiscOneNuke, the advantage of a NewGamePlus or endless hours of LevelGrinding behind you. In this special case, defeating the boss may net you a cool reward of ExperiencePoints or rare items. Or cause crashes and glitches if the devs weren't expecting it.

In any case, since a Hopeless Boss Fight is one the game expects you to lose, the game will react to its defeat in one of several ways:
* The boss will simply reveal that he is [[IAmNotLeftHanded Not Left Handed]] and summon his CutscenePowerToTheMax to knock your party senseless, if your party members didn't already [[CutsceneIncompetence collapse from their own exhaustion]].
* Someone or something else pulls a DiabolusExMachina and finishes you off.
* TheBattleDidntCount, and events unfold exactly the same as if you had lost the battle. Lazy scripting might simply assume that the battle ended with the boss wiping the floor with the party. In extremely ''rare'' cases the game may remember this outcome anyway, possibly as a factor for its [[MultipleEndings Best Ending]].
* You win this fight, but the boss will be back for a rematch and [[{{Railroading}} the plot won't advance until you lose to it]].
* A [[MultipleEndings nonstandard ending]] because defeating this boss drives the plot completely OffTheRails.
* The game crashes (or freezes) because the developers assumed it couldn't happen.

A specific subtrope of FissionMailed, and related to ControllableHelplessness in that you're directly taking part in a situation that will only end one way. If the boss ''must'' be defeated in battle to avoid a GameOver, but invokes a StoryOverwrite ''after'' the battle to defeat you, it's HeadsIWinTailsYouLose. If you can only win by ''not'' attacking, look for SheatheYourSword.

Compare SeeminglyHopelessBossFight, which can resemble this at first (though not in the case of [[FinalBoss Final Bosses]], for obvious reasons). Contrast ForegoneVictory, where it's ''you'' who can't lose the battle, or TheWorfEffect for the story purposes it accomplishes. See also LordBritishPostulate and CurbStompBattle.

The ImplacableMan (with his NighInvulnerability superpower) can sometimes look and feel like a Hopeless Boss Fight. Likewise, the BossInMookClothing can end up feeling like a "hopeless {{Mook}} battle" when your party is already on the ropes.


* HopelessBossFight/RolePlayingGames


[[folder:Action Adventure]]
* ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga'' pulls this off in the first phase of the final battle. You think you've beaten Bowletta? Have a Time Bomb to finish you both off!
* ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}''
** In ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaOrderOfEcclesia'', at the final battle with Dracula, once you've whittled his HP down to 0, if you're not fast enough to quickly equip the [[spoiler:Dominus Union]] he unleashes an unbeatable move that's supposed to instantly kill you (it does 9946 damage, though if you use the Volaticus Glyph, you can fly in the corner of the screen to dodge it, though the frame of Dracula and the explosion stays unmoving and never ends).
** In ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLamentOfInnocence'' Walter counts until the moment you hit him with Vampire Killer. If you don't and try to hit him with any other whip or attack instead, it'll be to no effect whatsoever. He CAN hit back though so unless you switch to the VK, you'll eventually end up dead.
** In ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin'', you can't kill the Behemoth during the initial chase, you can only run, even if you are on NewGamePlus and could beat the actual boss fight in under half a minute by [[GameBreaker Dart spam]].
** ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood'' had the exact same set piece years earlier. The Behemoth in ''Rondo'' could be defeated, though.
* In ''VideoGame/AmericanMcGeesAlice'', Alice cannot defeat the Jabberwock the first time she fights him. The objective of the battle is survive and stall until the Gryphon can arrive to chase him away. (Succeed, and you get the final component of the Jabberwock Eye Staff, a powerful weapon.)
** The truly ironic thing about that is, while the second battle with him doesn't fit the Trope (not only ''can'' she defeat him, she ''has'' to, because he'll kill her if she can't) the second fight is much, much harder than the first; probably the biggest reason is, he has enough room to fully utilize his ability to fly in the second battle.
* ''VideoGame/ShadowOfTheColossus'' has an unusual take on this: [[spoiler: At the end of the game ''you'' turn into the final boss, you're effectively invincible and can attack the armed group that just tried to kill you. This is hopeless, though. They'll seal you away no matter what you do.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{killer7}}'' brings two semi-examples to the table, the first being the fight against the Handsome Men (essentially a series of duels, some of which are impossible to win, and in the long run you only win thanks to one character's EleventhHourSuperpower) and the other being the fight with Greg Nightmare (who sends a group of near-invincible Heaven Smiles at you, who systematically take down six of your personas, leaving Garcian to pick up the Golden Gun and finish Greg off).
* Oddjob from ''James Bond 007'' for the Gameboy could not be beat without a special item, ensuring Bond gets dumped in the desert where he can't possibly survive.
* ''VideoGame/BraveFencerMusashi'' has the fight with the super-vambees in the church. They can't be killed by damage, and if they grab you it's [[OneHitKill instant death]]. Fortunately, if you hold out long enough, [[WeakenedByTheLight the sunlight kills them]]. There's also a few instances where there's some invincible thing chasing you and all you can do is run - the stone head in the prologue chapter comes to mind, as does one of the forms of the FinalBoss.
* ''Franchise/{{Ys}}''
** In ''Ys Origin'', when played as Yunica, the first fight with [[spoiler: Kishgal]] definitely counts. Similarly in Hugo's route, his first encounter with [[spoiler: his brother, Toal]] is one of these as well. However, it's possible in both cases to persevere through the fight until you take off enough of their health.
** In ''VideoGame/YsSeven'', there's the first fight with [[spoiler: Scias in Altago Palace where you MUST lose after his HP is at half, since ALL attacks are BLOCKED (0 Damage) from then on ALONG WITH an attack that does 2k+ damage to you.]]
* In ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRumble Pokemon Rumble Blast]]'', [[spoiler: at the end of World 2, you get a Team Battle with one of these. Lampshaded with a Help Sign stating that "things might not always go your way, but sometimes is a good thing." Hurts your pride if you don't read the sign, but is considered a Critical Hit after winning the Charge Battle to reach this zone.]]
** At the [[NoobCave beginning of the game]], the boss fight is against Zekrom, the Penultimate Boss fought right before [[spoiler:Dark Rust]]. Because of the nature of the game, it would be possible to defeat it - except it destroys the floor of the arena and flies away after either you or it take a set amount of damage.
** In ''VideoGame/PokemonRumble'', at the beginning, Rattata notices that the boss door is open and sneaks in. Of course, you can't win with level 28 against 100.
* ''Franchise/TombRaider''
** In ''VideoGame/TombRaiderTheLastRevelation'', the final boss, [[Myth/EgyptianMythology Set]], is one of these. Lara cannot damage him with any weapon (since he's, well, a god, this is justified), so the only option is to run from the chamber while [[ArchEnemy Horus keeps him busy]] and [[SealedEvilInACan re-seal him]].
** In ''VideoGame/TombRaiderLegend'', the [[GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere "unknown entity"]] is invincible when first encountered in a flashback, and if it touches you, it's GameOver. Easy to accidentally run the wrong way, too.
* In ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter Tri'' and ''3 Ultimate'', the Deviljho basically functions as a hopeless boss fight capable of barging into non-hopeless boss fights-though it's technically killable, you have almost no hope of doing so(even being explicitly told this on your first encounter) until the very end of the high rank quests. In the meantime, you have to do almost every high rank quest up to that point with the fear of a nigh-invulnerable spiky tyrannosaurus with immense attack power barging in and stomping all over you, forcing you to either flee the area and wait for him and your target to split up or dung bomb him until he goes away.
** Another is the first encounter with Lagiacrus, the game's flagship monster during the quest "Guts-It's what's for dinner." The player is actually supposed to avoid it, but even if they're strong and skilled enough to knock it's HP down to zero, Lagiacrus won't die. A rather odd case as due to the game's parts damage system the player can slice Lagiacus to ribbons and it will still keep fighting.
** Like the Lagiracrus, ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter Generations'' has you "randomly" encounter its flagship monsters (Glavenus, Astalos, Mizutsune, and Gammoth) during otherwise ordinary quests, which you have to complete while dodging a ferocious monster that you can't actually kill.
* The beginning of ''VideoGame/{{Metro 2033}}'' requires you to actually get killed by the amassing enemies, if you continue defending you will get overrun eventually.

[[folder:Action Game]]
* Kratos's first encounter with Zeus in ''VideoGame/GodOfWar II'', where Kratos is tricked into draining his godly power into the Blade of Olympus, rendering him mortal. After the battle with the Colossus, Kratos is heavily weakened, barely able to swing his blades. At this point Zeus comes along and defeats Kratos.
** Similarly, in ''Chains Of Olympus'' your first battle against Charon is hopeless, since you don't have the right weapon to fend off one of his attacks. You must cross all Tartarus to find it and get back to fight the boss.
* ''Blood Omen: VideoGame/LegacyOfKain'' includes an early battle with Malek. He cannot be killed, forcing Kain to leave and seek help, first from the oracle (Moebius) and then Vorador, who defeats Malek himself.
** In fact, the very first battle is against respawning bandits. If you kill them all, more will come along, and eventually kill you in order to progress the story.
* In ''VideoGame/DantesInferno'', you may perceive the first level's boss, Death, to be a hopeless fight (understandably so, seeing as he's [[TheGrimReaper Death]]), if you don't realize that his life bar decreases from right to left, rather than the standard left to right. In reality, he is a WakeUpCallBoss, teaching you the importance of blocking.
* This happens twice in ''VideoGame/{{Breakdown}}'', both with TheDragon, Solus. The first time isn't much of a fight, since he slams you against a wall before you can really do much. The second time is more of a fight, but the second he gets more strength, the fight's basically over. [[spoiler:However, you get to fight him again after some TimeTravel, and after he remarks that you were supposed to die quick, you beat him because you're now as powerful as he is.]]
* If you play the Zeon campaign in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam: [[VideoGame/GundamVsSeries Federation vs. Zeon]]'', nearly every encounter with Amuro and his Gundam is this. You're not even able to consistently damage him until the final mission, where you drop into his own final battle with Char.
** Same with Char when playing the Federation side. For that matter, pretty much ''any'' named, voiced character from the original anime that isn't on your side and appears in more than one mission fulfills this role. Note that it is actually possible to defeat them before it's called for, it's just really difficult since they have hit points out the wazoo and they pretty consistently kill you in one or two hits, and the game will never make note if you manage it; as the campaign wears on and the end (or that character's time to die) draws closer, their HP continually lowers to more reasonable levels.
* ''Anime/EurekaSeven'' has two videogames, the first of which has you get pit against a high level pilot before the tutorial runs. You are able to beat her with the correct amount of effort, but your first time playing you will be severely unprepared. If you do win, it doesn't matter anyways, it only changes the following cutscene a little and everyone still treats you like the newbie afterwards while Ruri is still hailed as the best.
* ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist: Curse of the Crimson Elixir'' has the boss fight with Scar. Win or lose, the same exact cutscene happens where Ed and Al are defeated. If you win, you do get an item at least, but it doesn't change the story progression. Neither does the following battle with Armstrong, but that doesn't affect anything but the direct moment anyways.
** The very end of the game, after you've beaten the final boss, pits you in a hopeless boss fight against both Mustang and Armstrong at the same time. You can attack and dodge them all you want, but they can't be defeated. You can knock them out, but they'll just get back up again a few moments later. You're intentionally suppose to lose.
* The Sega Genesis version of ''Film/MightyMorphinPowerRangersTheMovie'' has [[BigBad Ivan Ooze]] show up at the end of Level 1 and OHKO the player's Ranger character before teleporting out.
* ''VideoGame/CustomRobo Arena'': The second time you fight [[spoiler:Hadron]], he is totally invincible, as he has [[spoiler:completely absorbed Scythe's energy]]. You have to lose to trigger the next scene. Also, in a dream sequence at the very start of the game, you fight [[spoiler:[[InterfaceSpoiler Jameson]]]] of all Robos. Technically, it's possible to win, but the dream ends a short while after the battle starts anyway.
* The first boss battle of ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'' has Raiden facing off against "Jetstream" Sam. Sam does fairly devastating damage, even when the player blocks his attack and can also FlashStep away. Also, in the first and second phase of the final battle Raiden can only do ScratchDamage to [[spoiler:Armstrong]] at the best.
* In the beginning of ''VideoGame/DNADarkNativeApostle'', while making your way though the first few rooms of the game, you encounter a boss, antagonist Greado. Even though you can hit him with bombs, he won't take any damage, so you end up getting defeated. After this, you get dragged away by security personal and dumped into the sewers, leading to No. 13's amnesia and thus the main events of the game.
* Episode 6 of ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'' is this from the story perspective, although it still plays like any other chapter gameplay-wise.
** It happens again later on during the fight with the TrueFinalBoss, [[spoiler:Chakravartin]], albeit with a twist. [[spoiler:The hopeless boss fight isn't hopeless for the player. It's hopeless for '''the final boss himself'''. And yes, it's as '''magnificent''' as it sounds.]]

[[folder:Adventure Game]]
* ''VideoGame/GrimFandango'' loves this Trope. Both fights against Domino Hurley and Hector [=LeMans=] will go on forever until you TakeAThirdOption.
* ''VideoGame/EscapeFromMonkeyIsland'' ends with a Boss Battle that could go on indefinitely, as the players regenerate their hitpoints faster than the other can take them away. Naturally, there's a trick to winning this one.
* In chapter 2 of ''Imprisoned'', you have to kill two guards in a row, and then the third fight is against a machine, which you can't damage. Later on, with a special ring (and/or a whole lot of LevelGrinding), you can beat them. The fight with Jade is similar in that you can't damage him because he needs to beat you for the game to continue.
* The flash game ''VideoGame/ArmedWithWings 3'' has a battle with the evil king Vandeer Lorde as the third boss, which you're plotwise not powerful enough to kill by then. He gives you 30 seconds to live, so the boss battle ends after those 30 seconds with a cutscene, and the goal is to survive. A little annoying since he's not all THAT tough, and it would be possible to actually kill him, especially if you use a NewGamePlus. [[spoiler: Makes it all the more satisfying to kick his ass when he returns as the final boss, in pretty much the same state.]]
* At one point in ''VideoGame/CosmicSpacehead'' you find yourself in an asteroid field and are told to keep dodging the incoming rocks. The action sequence continues until you take too much damage, at which point you are forced to take a scripted stop at a space station. Unfortunately it's quite easy to dodge every asteroid that comes your way, which means that a good player may end up continuing the sequence indefinitely, or at least until they get bored and decide to throw themselves into a rock on purpose.
* Actually present at the ''end'' of ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryIII''. As the Hero and [[TheCavalry his newly-arrived allies]] make their way into the Lost City in search of the World Gate allowing Demons access to the world of Glorianna, they must each fight an EvilTwin of themselves. It doesn't matter ''how'' high your character's stats are, what abilities or spells you have, or how good you are with the combat system, the player ''cannot'' defeat his doppelganger. As the fight drags on and the Hero is close to being defeated, [[DirtyCoward Harami]], who at first refused to fight, suddenly appears and {{Backstab}}s the Hero's double, distracting it long enough for the Hero to withdraw from the fight and head for the final confrontation with the BigBad.
* Two of them in ''VideoGame/LastWord''. The first discourse you ever engage in is one where Level 1 Whitty is pitted against level 12 Ms. Prattle, who then devastates her in a single turn. You’re similarly out-levelled during your first discourse with Professor Chatters. It's possible to snatch a victory there, though; the game comments on it, before going on as if you lost.

[[folder:Card Battle Game]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Etherlords}} II'' has a couple of these, most notably the "Dragon Musician" which has a level higher than any other thing in the game, including the final boss, who is [[GodIsEvil basically the god of the universe]], not to mention the crazy buffs he gets for free at the start of every fight(one wonders why the Vitals didn't conquer the rest of the world with this crazy powerfull being).
** Though it is possible to kill him, albeit being VERY difficult and breaking one quest which was tied to him, if you manage to kill him, you basically won the campaign, because the rest of your poor enemies no longer stand a chance against your highest level character.
** A lower level example of this can also be found in the Synteth campaign, where you have to summon a monster to aid you n invading a fort, because the enemies there are of too high of a level, but the thing is you can kill them yourself if you are a good player and have some luck, but it will reset to before the fight happened as if you lost.
* In the DS ''VideoGame/DinosaurKing'' game, one of these is fought against Seth - he counters every move you can make regardless of what you do. A variation occurs in that it occurs ''after'' a normal boss fight with him.
* Somewhat unusually for a ''Franchise/YuGiOh'' game, ''VideoGame/YuGiOhForbiddenMemories'' has one of these, the first time you encounter Heishin. If you do manage to beat him, he simply challenges you again. (And again, and again, and again, if need be...) Given he uses 2700+ ATK monsters at a point where you have access to maybe one or two 1800s, you would need some serious luck or lots of grinding to beat him.
* In ''VideoGame/MonsterMonpiece'', you get to fight the Masked Diva after her identity is revealed. She has 9 starting health (the max anyone else has, including the BonusBoss, is four), ''90'' starting mana, on top of using a high upkeep Fusion deck (which 90 mana will let her easily spam from turn 1). If you can somehow survive the initial ten or so cards, her regen is the standard 3; but there is an immensely small chance you'll break even one of her cards before you're overrun the first time through.
* In ''[[MagicTheGathering Magic]] Duels'', you get this in one of Nissa's campaign duels. [[spoiler: The opponent starts off at 100 health instead of the usual 20. It is highly unlikely that you'll be able to whittle this down before they acquire enough mana to cast [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=emrakul%2C+the+aeons+torn Emrakul, the Aeons Torn]]. However, at that point the game simply declares you the winner; it was only a vision, and your objective was only to survive long enough to make that horrible discovery, triggering your planeswalker spark.]]

[[folder:Racing Game]]
* In ''VideoGame/MonsterRacers'', you face off against world champion Reinhart in Ayers Rock shortly after winning the Star Cup. He has a level 35 Furion, whose stats are far and away higher than any of your monsters at this point, and it will outrun you effortlessly. You won't lose any Will for losing the race, and Reinhart will praise your effort in spite of your loss.
* A rare case in a "realistic" racer, in ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeedMostWanted'', your first race is rigged such that you can never win.
** In one case for ''Need For Speed: Carbon'', you can't ever get away from your pursuer in the very first race.
* A very bizarre example exists in the Megadrive/Genesis port of arcade game Super Monaco GP. G. Ceara, [[BlatantLies who is in no way]] [[CaptainErsatz supposed to be]] [[UsefulNotes/FormulaOne late F1 legend Ayrton Senna]] is ''supposed'' to be set up this way. He appears during your [[NewGamePlus second racing season]] and is supposed to defeat you in the first few races no matter how fast you drive until you lose your contract to drive the best car in the game. Upon doing that, he will then become beatable normally for you to earn back your position with the top team. However, the way he's coded, if you can drive a string of perfect races early on, you can defeat him and bypass this entire scenario. Nothing changes except that you don't change teams.
* ''VideoGame/RacingLagoon'', a battle against [[spoiler: Kyoji Nanba]]'s monster RX-7 is likely to be unbeatble. It's possible to win with a lot of turbos, but the result's not different.
* ''[[VideoGame/ForzaMotorsport Forza Horizon]]'' starts with you [[FinalBossPreview racing festival champ Darius Flynt]]; it's also the tutorial, so the best you can really do is stay on his tail.

[[folder:Fighting Game]]
* ''VideoGame/RivalSchools'':
** Regardless which team you choose, in the third round you'll face Raizo, the principal of Justice High School [[spoiler: and Batsu's DisappearedDad]], along with a brainwashed student (his partner for the 2-man special attacks) to fight you. True to the trope, Raizo is very powerful and extremely resistant to damage at this point, but with enough skill, you can manage to chip off enough damage from him and fend him off until time runs out. If you lose as the plot demands, you continue to fight other students and unravel more of the story. If you are playing as the two Justice High teachers and lose, you still continue to fight students... ''as a BrainwashedAndCrazy agent for Raizo'', complete with color-changed outfits, until the plot has your adversaries fight you to snap you out of it. On the other hand, if you do beat Raizo here, you skip directly to the end of the game, with another fight against him (depowered to beatable levels, of course). [[spoiler: Either way, once you defeat him you then fight TheManBehindTheMan, an AxCrazy, sword-wielding Justice High student named Hyo.]]
** For Gorin High's second story mode battle, if you're using Natsu as your primary character, she ends up having to fight Shoma and Roberto by herself - with the odds [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard stacked against her.]] Not only does Shoma get a tag team partner, they start the battle with three full stocks of super meter. Which allows them to use their [[LimitBreak Burning Vigors]] and Team Up attacks right from the start, with the AI being set to [[PerfectPlayAI 'perfect play' mode.]] Whereas Natsu gets jack shit, since she starts off with her super meter ''being empty''. It's still possible for her to eek out a win, [[ThatOneBoss but don't count on it.]]
** Slightly different with the Gedo High in which Akira fights with her teammates instead. This is a normal match (i.e. you have to win it, but your opponents are not especially durable); if you win with a ''perfect'', you skip to the end.
** The sequel ''Project Justice'' gives you a similar setting in Story Mode. Only the opponent is "Vatsu", an empowered Batsu who is actually [[spoiler: Kurow Kirishima aka the local SmugSnake, only under a disguise. He reveals his identity once the fight's over, and then you have to fight ''him''.]] Also, depending on the team you chose, he might have an extra incentive for your team: [[spoiler: he's holding either Hinata (if you chose the Taiyo team that included her, Kyosuke and the actual Batsu) or Kyouko-sensei (if you chose the Teachers Team with her, Hideo and Hayato) as a hostage.]]
* In several wrestling based games, there are matches where, even though they are hard, you can easily win. However, due to the storyline calling you to not have "come out on top" or not possess a certain title, a cutscene will play that takes the title/glory away from you. Several examples in Smackdown vs Raw 06 include: HHH losing in a steel cage, but Eric Bischoff taking away your title, defeating Eddie Guerro but the Undertaker interrupting the match, winning the tag team title, but having to give it to the injured wrestler you previously replaced.
** The original ''[=SmackDown=] vs. Raw'' has a big example itself. At one point, you are given the option to join Vince [=McMahon=], who will referee a WWE Championship match you're in. If you take his offer, it is impossible to lose as he will not recognize submissions or count past two when you're pinned. The inverse, however, is that if you turn him down the same goes for your opponent, meaning it's only a matter of when you lose.
* In ''Manga/YuYuHakusho: Dark Tournament Saga'' for the UsefulNotes/{{Playstation 2}}, every fight against Toguro save the last one is a Hopeless Boss Fight. The final match with Toguro is merely ThatOneBoss.
** You CAN win the fights, if you're extremely good at dodging, and very patient. But the cut scenes take place like it never happened, since the cut scenes are right out of the anime.
* ''VideoGame/DragonBallZBudokaiTenkaichi 2'' plays with this. Certain fights are normally impossible to win, and losing them advances the plot. However, level up your characters enough and you'll be able to alter the story's progression by winning. This opens up alternate story paths that shift around events and characters, the results of which are often hilarious.
* ''Dragon Ball Z Hyperdimension'' for the {{SNES}} has fights in the story mode which you are intended to lose but with enough skill you can win these fights, however winning these fights has no effect on the story and the characters act as if you lost regardless.
* ''VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable: The Gears of Destiny'': The earlier battles against [[FinalBoss System U-D]] are like this, though they're beatable with enough skill. If you do manage to win, it will be revealed that the now exhausted character did little to no damage to System U-D, with the story continuing as normal after U-D retaliates. Having said that, beating her during these Hopeless Boss Fights is one of the prerequisites for accessing the PlayableEpilogue and unlocking System U-D as a playable character.
* In ''VideoGame/DuelSaviorDestiny'' these get pulled on you more frequently as you get into the later story routes. For example, having to go up against four boss units at once all by yourself. During the last route, the game even dumps characters you've never had a chance to use or even have as your ally before, apparently expecting you to lose. If you don't, the game just undoes your victory anyway so you can win the way it wants you to.
* The beginning of the ruined zoo in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBrosBrawl'' has the Porky Statue from Mother 3, which cannot be defeated... well technically not. Without cheating, using Smash hacks, or somehow changing his absurdly massive HP, you can and will never manage to deal nearly enough damage to it to break it.
* In ''VideoGame/KamenRiderBattrideWar'', [[Series/KamenRiderKuuga Kuuga]]'s Memory Level reenacts the final battle in his show. In fact, the entire level is one big boss fight, starting with a hopeless one. Every attack you preform against the boss is worthless and futile, up to and including finishing attacks. Then, after a cutscene where the boss sets Kuuga on fire, he transforms into [[SuperMode Ultimate Form]] and you're finally able to fight him.
* This is a literal explanation for many characters created in MUGEN, such as Chuck Norris or Atom Bomb. They have no hitbox and are intended to be used as GameBreaker fighters for the player to control, but if you neglected to place them outside your fight order in the game's .def file, they'll appear as CPU opponents who are still unbeatable. The only thing to do at that point is [[UnwinnableByMistake restart Arcade mode from the beginning; do not pass Go, do not collect $200.]]
* When starting a new game in ''[[VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy]]'', if you tell the Moogle at the beginning of the game that you mastered Dissidia, he'll pit you against a maxed-out version of the game's SecretBoss with a level 1 Lightning. Have fun!

[[folder:First Person Shooter]]
* For the ''Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep'' expansion for ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'', Tina is the dungeon master for a roleplaying game called ''[[MagicAmpersand Bunkers & Badasses]]''. Just as the Vault Hunters approached the gate to a hub world called Flamerock Refuge, Tina narrated that a dragon appeared out of nowhere to fight. It was impervious to weapons and its attack instantly sent every vault hunter into Fight For Your Life mode. When called out for this by Lilith, Tina revived everyone and substituted the dragon for a different, easier boss.
* ''VideoGame/DeusEx'' has a well-executed instance of this, where you are confronted by a small army who demand your surrender, led by Gunther Hermann (a main character). You ''have'' the option of resisting (even if this is obviously foolish), but Gunther is invincible in this fight, so there's no way to avoid getting captured even if you manage to outfight everyone else (which is pretty hard to do, so you will likely not even notice Gunther's invincibility). You get to fight Gunther later, when he's quite mortal.
** It is quite possible to be starkly confronted with Gunther's invincible nature by taking advantage of his ridiculously stupid AI; lure Gunther into the train station and make an escape through the tunnels. Destroy the small army of UNATCO troops and bots awaiting you, and then find out (to many tropers' eternal frustration) that even though you can hear the evac chopper waiting for you, you can't get to it; you're forced to battle Hermann.
*** It is actually possible to get to da choppa by putting [=LAMs=] or gas grenades on one of the shack walls, and then climbing them. If done properly, this will get you past the invisible walls and invisible ceiling and you can get to Jock's copter. Even if you do this, he will still completely ignore you, forcing you to either kill yourself to continue or load from an earlier point.
*** If you trap Gunther in the train station as mentioned above, and manage to survive the other troops and bots outside for an extended amount of time, the game will move to the next plot point anyways just as if you had surrendered or been knocked out.
* The climactic battle in the expansion pack to ''VideoGame/JediKnightDarkForcesII'', ''Mysteries of the Sith'', presents a unique Hopeless Boss Fight when Mara Jade fights Kyle Katarn (now seduced by TheDarkSide). Kyle's attacks are normal, but he is entirely invulnerable and hence impossible to defeat. This situation almost counts as a PuzzleBoss, except that the solution is not a test of wit.
** ''VideoGame/JediKnightIIJediOutcast'' gives another example. Justified in that, alas, he has Force powers and you do not. The justification is even better than it sounds, because theoretically he has an unbeatable counter to any kind of attack you use. Blasters and energy weapons? Deflected by lightsaber. Thrown explosives? Force Pushed back. So it's not likely the player will even get the chance to verify he's invulnerable as well. Of course, if you happened to be less than skilled and used a cheat code to make yourself invincible, the game becomes unwinnable, since neither side can die.
** In the last fight in ''Jedi Outcast'' you can reverse this trope on Desann (though it is hard). This is possible by trapping his lightsaber under [[spoiler:the weak pillar in the room]] by making it fall on top of it when Desann uses a saber throw. He will then be unable to defend, and only use his force powers to force pull his saber, which is stuck.
** Kinda like this in ''VideoGame/JediKnightJediAcademy''. You have to defeat a mutated rancor. And when you do, the game respawns it immediately. If you do follow the (not so) logical level layout, you can get to the scripted ending where it dies for real.
** The same goes for the level where you have to distract a rancor so the prisoners can escape, and you escape as well in the end. You can actually kill the rancor, but the game respawns it immediately.
* When you first encounter the Makron in ''VideoGame/QuakeIV'', you can't beat it. You can die trying, however; unless you let the Makron catch you with its gravity beam, and thus capture you alive.
** Sometimes the gravity beam glitches and kills you anyway (perhaps by wanting to drag you through scenery):
--->'''Makron''':* EvilLaugh* You cannot win! Die human!
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** Inverted in the original ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved'': There is a scene where several waves of enemies (but no boss enemy) are used to herd the character through a scripted scene. Perplexingly, however, the enemies aren't unlimited, and it is possible on the lower difficulty levels to beat them all, while [[MissionControl Cortana]] keeps telling you that the only safe way out is to jump...
** Played straight with the post-credits LastStand mission in ''VideoGame/HaloReach'', where you fight increasingly tough waves of enemies until Six is killed.
* In ''VideoGame/HalfLife1'' if you refuse the G-Man's offer at the end of the game, you materialize in the middle of a Vortigaunt building with an endless number of enemies...and [[FisticuffsBoss no weapons]]. Additionally, both of the first two gargantuas encountered were apparently intended to only be beaten by luring them into a power reactor and an airstrike respectively, but through an oversight (likely to make it vulnerable to the airstrike), if you hit it with enough ordinary explosives you can kill one early - though this required a degree of ammo conservation discipline that most players wouldn't have observed.
** While not technically a boss fight, a scripted event early in ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' forces you to be overwhelmed by Combine forces before Alyx saves your sorry hide. It's impossible to skip this or defeat the Combine soldiers because you don't have access to weapons that early in the game. If you use a cheat to give yourself weapons early and kill the soldiers before they wail on you, the event doesn't trigger and you're stuck in a small corridor with nothing to do.
** Midway through ''Half-Life 2: Episode 2'', you encounter the acidic antlion queen in the antlion lair, who cannot be hurt until you're back outside later in the game.
*** According to the commentary, not only were you not supposed to fight the Guardian in this section, as a general rule you didn't have enough ammo to actually kill it. That didn't stop playtesters from trying, though, so they had to add a line from the Vortigaunt expressly forbidding you to kill it so that you wouldn't try.
* In ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty 4'', during the end mission, [[spoiler: You are told to shoot down a pursuing helicopter. Naturally, you can't.]]
** It actually IS possible, with the aid of cheats. Doing so triggers a comedic hidden ending.
* In ''VideoGame/RiseOfTheTriad'', your first fight with El Oscuro cannot be won by simply shooting at him until he falls down. Firing at him will cause him to mirror your attack with a magical variant of his own. [[spoiler:Just wait it out, avoid his attacks, and eventually he'll run away and trigger the next level.]]
* The first level of the time-traveling FPS ''VideoGame/DarkestOfDays'' has you as a member of General Custer's cavalry during the Battle of Little Bighorn. That goes about as well as you would expect.
* Episode 1 of ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' ends this way (as does one level of ''[[VideoGame/{{Doom}} The Plutonia Experiment]]'' if you choose the wrong one of its two exits); you get teleported to a dark room full of monsters, with a floor that not only drains your health but also turns off the god-mode cheat if in use, and you can't move; apart from shooting the monsters, all you can do is wait for your health to drop to below 11%, which ends the game.
* If a player pirated a copy of ''VideoGame/SeriousSam 3'', then they would soon start getting hunted by an [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e91q5BtlxK0 immortal, lightning fast, giant pink scorpion]] who would mercilessly slaughter them.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield 3}}'', during the second and final mission as [[spoiler: Miller, you have to hold out for an evac helicopter to come save you and comrades from your disabled tank with its .50 cal machine gun for 15 minutes. It's impossible.]]
* In ''VideoGame/FarCry2'', you start the game trying to flee a town while a civil war is going on all around you. You can't successfully escape the town, because even if you avoid getting killed by gunfire, you collapse from malaria before you can get far. Once you're out of commission, one of the factions picks up your semi-conscious body and drags you to safety to get you to work for them. Which makes very little sense, considering that you may have just shot a lot of them... and then either lost, or collapsed from your [[spoiler: terminally]] serious case of malaria.
* The very first Big Sister encountered in ''VideoGame/{{BioShock 2}}'' cannot be defeated no matter what, though she will eventually flee if either her health or Delta's gets too low.
* In the "Lost to Light" mission from ''VideoGame/{{Destiny}}'''s ''The Taken King'' expansion, you have to return to a location from a previous boss fight to retrieve a shard from the soul of a previous BigBad. It's guarded by an enemy that, while not a boss, is a little tricky. But then, it suddenly vanishes, so you decide to steal the shard anyway. You get the usual "Mission complete" screen and a major NPC's closing remarks over the radio ... but then the signal starts cutting out. ''Then'' a whole bunch of bosses spawn, which is your signal to get the hell out.
* A variation in ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield 1}}'' prologue "Storm of Steel". Unlike typical depictions of your main character being a SuperSoldier, you're just a regular soldier fighting another army in an AnyoneCanDie situation and it won't end until you are dead. Every time ''you'' die, [[TheDeadHaveNames you learn the name and dates of birth and death of the soldier you were controlling]], before taking control of yet another soldier. The sequence only stops after a minimal of four deaths, though it can keep going depending on how often you die.

[[folder:Mecha Game]]
* ''VideoGame/ZoneOfTheEnders''
** Anubis, the FinalBoss, is unbeatable, and that's it. While you can just wait for the end of the game to happen, if you are fast with the controls you can avoid any damage from him whatsoever, at least on easy. The only damage taken is that in a cutscene about halfway through the battle. What makes the battle that much more frustrating is that you spend the entire game (which isn't very long, mind you) fighting bosses that condescend and belittle you for being a kid, despite wiping the floor with them time and again. What do you learn when you reach Anubis? They were right: the only reason you were winning was because you had a SuperPrototype on your hands. Anubis is the first time you've fought something that is Jehuty's equal, and worse, it's at its full potential, while Jehuty still lacks some important equipment. It is literally impossible to land a hit on the thing because it teleports from place to place constantly, away from you and dangerously close; but, to make matters worse, it can kill you if you're foolhardy enough to try to take it on (or are playing on the higher difficulty levels). The only option is to wait for the Atlantis to save you and run away. Nohman even lampshades this with quotes like, "It's impossible for you to kill me." and "I see. At least you're good at running away."
** In the second game, you have several encounters with Anubis, and, once again, it's hammered into you that Anubis just far outclasses you in every possible way. Between his TeleportSpam, overpowered normal attacks, and ultra-tough armor, it's flat-out impossible to beat it. You ''can'' inflict some minor damage if you're good, but there's no way you're winning. Only at the very end of the game, when Jehuty has ''finally'' unlocked its full potential (particularly the ability to TeleportSpam itself), can you put up a fight against Anubis. [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration Oh, and the game didn't just weaken Anubis for the final fights]]... Anubis is just as powerful as it's ever been. Jehuty has powered up ''that much'', which is shown when it's capable of one-shotting what were previously very difficult bosses with ease.
* ''VideoGame/GotchaForce'' has several scripted battles with Sho and Orochi, and both are extremely powerful, with the player lacking the powerful bogs that they use until after several times through the story or massive amounts of LevelGrinding. They technically are winnable; they just massively outgun you. [[spoiler: Actually winning in each encounter with them results in DefeatEqualsFriendship.]]

* In ''VideoGame/EverQuest'' Kerafyrm the Sleeper in the Scars of Velious expansion. He had insane HP and attack power for the time on top of the death touch ability. He was not intended to be defeated, instead utterly destroying your raid party and the inhabitants of Skyshrine, then disappearing from the game until he resurfaced as the killable Big Bad in Secrets of Faydwer.
** That didn't stop the top three most powerful guilds on the Rallos Zek server from uniting together in 2003 and proving to the entire world that he was technically killable. ZergRush tactics worked out quite nicely. [[CaptainObvious His corpse had no loot.]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' has Absolute Virtue. When it was first released, it was supposedly killable ([[BlatantLies "the Development Team killed it with 18 people"]]), but anytime players have managed to kill it Square has nerfed the method that they used within weeks. Worse yet, their released information on ''how'' they killed it required violating their own TOS. For a long time, it remained this; however, Absolute Virtue is now defeated on a regular basis by many linkshells.
** Another megaboss, Pandemonium Warden, also fit this category; in fact a story of a linkshell fighting it for several hours and finally submitting to fatigue and [[BladderOfSteel other personal needs]] became newsworthy when the boss was first unleashed.
* The final mission of the Statesman's Task Force in ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' features Lord Recluse, who's sucking the power from every hero in Paragon City, except you and your team, via four collection towers. He is completely impossible to defeat while the four towers remain standing. He can barely be hit, and if he is hit, he takes little damage, and he regenerates more health in one second than it would take a team of 8 damage dealers to do in a minute. And he can one-shot most tanker-type characters.
** In Issue 15's Task Forces, the Arch-Villain Reichsman takes no damage the first time you see him. You spend the next few missions devising a way to damage him, then put your plan into effect in the last mission. Even then, he's no push-over.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'' had Don Crimbo in the 2009 Crimbo Quest; after he inevitably beat you up, your character would give a speech that convinced him to give up on his evil schemes for the time being. There's also The Whole Kingdom, a BonusBoss that cannot be defeated [[LordBritishPostulate by any known means]]; it also has difficulty defeating ''you'' because it does almost no damage, but it eventually achieves VictoryByEndurance.
** One example that's still available is Cyrus the Virus. He's invincible and always defeats you after one round, but if you use specific items to make him ''stronger'' in 3 separate fights, he decides that he's too overpowered to hang around beating you up, so he leaves [[KickTheDog (after beating you up one last time)]]. Afterward, a different area gets ravaged by a certain virus, which allows you to complete a quest there.
* ''VideoGame/{{Mabinogi}}'': In G13 (Hamlet), you are instructed to fight the Grim Reaper, who is trying to kill Shakespeare. However, this is impossible due to the Grim Reaper's high immunity.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' has a variant in this in the Halls of Reflection. The boss is impossible to kill but the encounter is more about running away from him and killing waves of his minions fast enough before he catches up to you and kills everything in one hit.
** Sort of repeated with Arthas in Icecrown Citadel. He instantly kills everyone when his health reaches a certain mark, but it's not over yet... [[spoiler: King Terenas' spirit breaks free from Frostmourne and brings everyone back to life, while also weakening Arthas to the point of being a free kill]].
* The Vizunah Square mission in ''VideoGame/GuildWars: Factions'' ends with [[BigBad Shiro Tagachi]] showing up and killing the entire party. It's not over yet, though, as the Envoys appear to resurrect you and explain the situation. This can be a problem, however, as the any necromancer minions (which generally prove very useful in the rest of the mission) have become unbound when the necromancer died and are now wailing away on the resurrected party while the leader chats with the envoys. Parties have been known to wipe this way.
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarUniverse'' has one of these in the first chapter of episode 2. The battle against [[spoiler:Ethan and Liina]] is impossible as you cannot deal any damage at all. All you can do is endure long enough for a cutscene to take over.
* The "Whisperdoom's Spawn" adventure in ''VideoGame/DungeonsAndDragonsOnline'' includes a section where you have to destroy the giant spider Whisperdoom's eggs while avoiding the spider herself. On normal difficulty, she's level 11 (the quest is level 6) and has massive damage reduction and a HealingFactor. It's best not to attack her directly and just smash the eggs.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' has the [[spoiler: Warriors of Darkness]] that you fight in the main story in the ''Heavensward'' expansion. Because they possess [[spoiler: the Echo like the player does]], every KO they suffer is only temporary and they are later revived with more strength and HP. After a while, the enemy leader binds the player and their allies completely, ending the fight until a 3rd party intervenes to even the odds and then the battle resumes.

* ''VideoGame/FisherDiver'' has [[spoiler:Captain Connell, who cannot be damaged. He eventually kills the player. You cannot escape him either as the oxygen supplies stop working when trying to return to surface.]]
* ''VisualNovel/{{Danganronpa}}'' technically has "culprits", not "bosses", but the trope plays out the same way in [[spoiler: chapter 5. ''You cannot solve chapter 5's murder,'' at least not in chapter 5 itself. This is because only the player character, Makoto Naegi, and Kyouko Kirigiri are the suspects in that case. At one point Kirigiri tells a lie in court, but if you reveal it Kirigiri is executed and you get a bad ending. But ''not'' revealing the lie causes ''you'' to get executed...only to be saved at the very last second by an outside source. So chapter 5's "boss fight" is hopeless because you ''cannot win.'' You can only progress to chapter 6 ''if you lose in the correct manner.'']]

[[folder:Platform Game]]
* The first boss in the ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'' series is (supposedly) undefeatable until X's ethereal form appears, gives you a new Z-Saber, and disappears. This is actually untrue. He takes one point of ScratchDamage with each Buster hit ([[LampshadeHanging even though Ciel says, "You can't damage this thing (the Golem) with a buster..."]]), so you could beat him with the Buster. It would just take forever because he gets MercyInvincibility after every hit. The saber is programmed to do a OneHitKO.
* Vile, the first boss of ''VideoGame/{{Mega Man X|1}}'', is unbeatable, and in order to advance in the game, you ''have'' to let him beat the crap out of you. A similar situation happens later on in the 1st section of the final level, but Zero sacrifices himself so that you can fight Vile without having to deal with his indestructible giant mech.
** With patience it is possible to survive the fight with Vile, but he still doesn't see you as a real threat and only leaves when Zero shows up.
** When you are down to low amounts of health, Vile will try to jump away and shoot a paralyzer beam. If you're skilled enough, you can dodge the beam, run into Vile, and take enough damage to die. Take ''that'', Capcom!
** In the remake of this game, ''[[VideoGame/MegaManMaverickHunterX Maverick Hunter X]]'', you can beat Vile very easily, and you are in fact required to do so (he'll kill you easily, no paralyzer beam this time), but he uses what basically amounts to a sucker punch to achieve the same situation in the original game. In the rematch, the Hopeless Boss Fight is skipped entirely and goes straight to the HeroicSacrifice, which then leads to the mano-a-mano.
** Similarly, in ''VideoGame/MegaManAndBass'', the first real fight with King is unwinnable, requiring Protoman to perform a HeroicSacrifice, enabling you to actually hurt King. Like Zero, [[spoiler:Protoman doesn't die for real. Even though he was cut in half in the opening minutes by an axe.]]
** Your first fight with High Max in ''[[VideoGame/MegaManX6 X6]]'' is unbeatable; you just have to wait out his attacks until a cut scene triggers.
*** Given how the game was designed, any of the times you fight him with X after the first time can be unwinnable because it's possible to fight him before getting a way to damage him. Except the fight never ends after the first time and you die if you lose.
* In ''VideoGame/MegaManUnlimited'', the final boss fight against [[spoiler:the Z-Prototype, a prototype version of Zero]] is hopeless. He deflects every weapon you fire at him, and the fight only ends when he takes you down to one unit of life and [[spoiler:dislodges your arm cannon.]]
* ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' series:
** In ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid'', the Mother Brain begins as a hopeless boss fight, indestructible and using a wicked beam that pins Samus against the wall. After reducing Samus to 1HP and preparing to fire again, the baby metroid attacks her, draining Mother Brain into helplessness, then feeds that power into Samus to restore her. The Mother Brain awakens and kills the Metroid. An [[MamaBear angry Samus]] (and likely an [[PlayerPunch angry player]]) then [[CurbStompBattle opens the proverbial can with a new blaster weapon - the Mother Brain's super-beam, which smacks it around like a tetherball]].
*** You still have to fight well enough to survive her uber-attack at least once, and you have to do enough damage to trigger the uber-attack (Mother Brain will not use it until she's taken a lot of damage). If you don't survive the first one, the cutscene will not happen and you just get a standard GameOver. If you do really well, you can survive this attack multiple times, but the battle remains hopeless until your energy has brought down low enough for the cutscene to take place.
** Ridley at the beginning of ''Super Metroid'' is also nearly impossible to beat: You can take enough damage (until you are below 30 Energy, more specifically) or hit him 100 times, whichever comes first, since both events cause him to fly away. There's an amusing little twist on this one: if you do manage to hit him enough times, he will drop the Metroid briefly before picking it up, suggesting you at least hurt him.
** Likewise, at the end of ''VideoGame/MetroidFusion'', [[spoiler: you face the Omega Metroid]], and must let it claw you down to 1 HP, at which point [[spoiler:the erstwhile BigBad, SA-X, attempts to kill the Omega Metroid and is struck down with one blow, sacrificing itself to allow Samus to absorb it and regain her [[InfinityPlusOneSword Ice Beam]]]].
* In ''VideoGame/TheAdventuresOfRadGravity'', when your RobotBuddy Kakos is captured and taken to the planet Effluvia, if you fail to switch off the ConveyorBeltODoom at the end in time, he is converted into an invincible KillerRobot. You can still [[ResetButton use your communicator and restart the mission, though]].
* A really strange version occurs in ''Revenge of Meta Knight'', one of the games in ''VideoGame/KirbySuperStar''. The first time you face down Heavy [[strike:Mole]] Lobster on the ship, he actually ''isn't'' invincible to your attacks or strong enough to KO you with one hit. Your attacks are effective as normal. However, while you're fighting, Meta Knight is having a dialogue with his crew on the bottom of the screen. The dialogue doesn't last very long, and the second it ends, Kirby gets blown off the ship. So the player hypothetically ''could'' defeat the boss, but there isn't nearly enough time.
** If you are ''really'' fast, skilled, dodge every attack without taking damage, never cease damaging Heavy Lobster, and have an appropriate weapon, it is just barely possible to kill it before you're blown away. Of course, because Heavy Lobster is only really meant to distract you at this point long enough for said blowing, it changes nothing.
** In the ''Meta Knightmare Ultra'' mode of the remake, ''Kirby Super Star Ultra'' for the DS, you actually do have to beat the boss, both here and at the later point in the game where you'd face him for real as Kirby.
* ''VideoGame/DrawnToLife: The Next Chapter''[='s=] [[spoiler:final battle with Wilfre must be initially lost to continue.]]
* Midway through ''Videogame/ClashAtDemonhead'', you face one of the {{Big Bad}}s in a hopeless boss fight. You have to "die" and continue here to continue the story; ie an early example of FissionMailed.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendaryStarfy'' has one in the final world '''before''' you defeat Mashtooth for the first time. Starfy's Dragon form is useless against Mashtooth, becuase [[spoiler: Mashtooth has a flippin' sheild!]] So the battle must be lost in order to continue, where you battle Mashtoth for real as normal Starfy. This does not happen after defeating Mashtooth for the first time, not even in the boss rush, for it skips to Normal-Starfy-Versus-Mashtooth fight.

[[folder:Puzzle Game]]
* The first fight with the Great Devil in ''VideoGame/AdventuresOfLolo 3'', 3/4 of the way through the game, is unwinnable. There's nothing really to indicate that you can't beat him, the only hint being that the manual says there are 3 sections of the game, while this fight takes place in the 2nd section. Not so bad, since there are no items for you to waste, but has the potential to be a nasty surprise if you thought it was the final boss, only to discover that there are still 25 more levels before that. Not to mention that his only attack is firing very easy-to-dodge projectiles, which means you could keep up the fight a long time without realizing it was useless.

[[folder:Rail Shooter]]
* ''VideoGame/TinStar'' features this with Kid Johnson. Because Tin Star [[WouldntHurtAChild refuses to shoot a child]], drawing Tin Star's gun and trying to hit him will cause Tin Star to miss and [[InterfaceScrew the cursor to move about wildly]]. There's nothing you can do except just wait for Kid to shoot you. [[spoiler:Tin Star eventually gets blamed for shooting Kid anyway as part of a plan to drive him out of town by Black Bart.]]

[[folder:Real Time Strategy]]
* The second Bavakh Brother in ''VideoGame/ImmortalDefense'', who ends up [[spoiler:destroying all life on your homeworld]]. It turns out it ''is'' possible to beat him, if you're crazy good and crazy lucky, but even if you do the game continues as though you hadn't.
* ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'' involves enemy heroes with Divine armor, which can only be destroyed by units with Chaos damage. Because no ordinary units in those scenarios have Chaos damage, the bosses are invincible. Examples include Cenarius and Tichondrius. The player must seek a power-up to gain the Chaos damage required to kill them and win the scenario. In the final mission, Archimonde is impossible to kill ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAKD-3oi_5k well,]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grhNcab3rGY almost]]) so the player must HoldTheLine and keep his army from reaching Nordrassil gate until the time runs out.
** Similarly, one of the early missions in the Human campaign has you having to defend a small town against endless waves of undead. Given the small amount of resources, upgrades and units that you can use to set up a decent defense, you can never actually destroy the two undead bases that keep sending their spawns at you. By the end of the mission, not even a perfectly positioned series of towers and soldiers can stop the undead from overwhelming you. To make matters worse, there's a side-quest in which you have to prevent a THIRD undead army from being spawned.
*** Preventing the third army isn't hard if you've prepared for it since mission 1. By the time the third army side-quest starts, you can potentially have Arthas's invincibility spell up to level 3, which will give you more than enough time to destroy the AI causing the third army, grab the bonus item, and teleport back with a scroll of town portal before another wave of undead hit your base.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Pikmin}} 2'', the Water Wraith. The game's ExpositionFairy even tells you "Run Away! Run Away very Fast!" Any attacks against it result on the Pikmin being killed until the last sublevel of the dungeon when you recruit the purple Pikmin and can make him tangible.
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomUnderFireTheCrusaders'', during Gerald's campaign, you supposedly get one of these against Regnier. Your commanding officer tells you to flee the fight and protect the king. Its only supposedly hopeless because you can actually beat Regnier's unit by having your archers heal you and fire into the melee, while your infantry charge in, steal a few technique points (enough to heal) and then high-tail it back out. This allows a level 7 Gerald and level 9 Hugh to defeat a level 50 Regnier. You still have to leave the battle though, and it doesn't alter anything. (Though you do get a ton of experience.)
** Happens later on while trying to sneak past a massive army of level 50-100 orc units. You're supposed to go around them. Sneaky players can lure them off one at a time and defeat them using the paladins you have with you to heal. The dark elves which try to nuke you with meteor spells are, however, invulnerable, and your only recourse is to dash past them. This leads to the incredibly frustrating situation where you've beaten around five units of ridiculously high level orcs and swarms upon swarms of weaker enemies if you went to wipe out every last enemy on the map, only to get blown into oblivion by some {{stripperiffic}} [[FantasticSlurs "vellie"]] mages. GoshDangItToHeck! Again, you get [[GameBreaker gamebreaking]] amounts of experience and gold for this. Just as well, as [[ThatOneBoss the hardest battle in the game]] is just around the corner.
** Similarly, in Ellen's campaign there's a mission in which you're supposed to just run past several armies of ecclesian knights and paladins. While you can attempt to take them on one by one, you're constantly being chased and spammed by the spells of the paladins, so fighting is not quite a viable option.
* ''VideoGame/{{Starcraft}}:'' Terran Mission 3 is supposed to be a hopeless fight, with your goal being to [[HoldTheLine survive half an hour]]. Unfortunately, the Zerg bases were somewhat less robust than that would suggest. Terran 9, on the other hand, features a genuinely indestructible Zerg base, because destroying any of the buildings ends the mission (ItMakesSenseInContext).
** In the ''VideoGame/StarcraftIIWingsOfLiberty'' mission "In Utter Darkness" [[spoiler: the ultimate fate of the Protoss (and Zerg) is to be annihilated. Your mission objective is to hold out as long as you can until the ''inevitable'' end, where you must be wiped out in order to 'complete' the mission.]]
* Two levels in ''VideoGame/{{Homeworld 2}}'' have you facing off against Progenitor Keepers, incredibly advanced drone warships left behind by a Precursor race millions of years ago and who've taken a disliking towards you for having stolen one of their ancient artifacts. The player's most powerful weapons will barely dent a Keeper, and once worn down by attrition they simply hyperspace out and reappear again with full health. It is then up to the player to stay alive against this onslaught until the game script eventually bails him out of the situation.
** There is ''one'' trick to making them immediately bail - the Scout's EMP blast. If this can be successfully deployed against the Keepers, you can minimize the damage to your forces, as it gives you enough time to burn their health down or they simply jump out on the spot.

[[folder:Rhythm Game]]
* The First time you fight Purge the Great in ''VideoGame/SpaceChannel5 Part 2'', Ulala is only able to dodge deadly lightning attacks. After giving you some truly NintendoHard commands, [[spoiler: Purge goes and kills Ulala.]]
* ''VideoGame/GitarooMan'' contains two examples. On the way to Planet Gitaroo, your ship is ambushed by a giant robot shark, and all you can do is dodge until you unlock a HumongousMecha to fight back with. Then, the BigBad kidnaps your dog (who helps you transform) and the player has to dodge attacks from the [[QuirkyMinibossSquad Sanbone Trio]] until they accidentally free him for you.

[[folder:Shoot Em Up]]
* ''VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising'' has the first face-off with Hades, which is [[BaitAndSwitch built up to be the final confrontation]] and starts off with Hades blasting Pit's Three Sacred Tresures to bits. Pit keeps fighting with his regular weapon and even manages to hurt Hades, but he ends up [[JustEatHim being eaten]] just after that.
* ''VideoGame/RadiantSilvergun'': The final boss is the Stone-Like, the entity that orchestrated the annihilation of the human race and whose forces you've been fighting against the whole game. It's utterly invincible, even intangible. Your only hope is to survive long enough against it [[spoiler:for it to deposit your character far back in time to restart the human race, and hopefully this time the Stone-Like won't need to wipe them out for failing to meet its expectations]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Ikaruga}}'' has a hopeless boss fight with the Stone-Like ([[EpilepticTrees possibly the same being as in]] ''VideoGame/RadiantSilvergun'') at the end, where you can't shoot and have to dodge many patterns of bullets for a certain amount of time. At the end, the Ikaruga releases a HeroicSacrifice self-destruct attack. A BittersweetEnding, but our hero is allowed to AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence, and TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt is averted, unlike in ''RS'' (a DownerEnding).
* In the very first mission of ''VideoGame/ChronosTwin DX'', while you can be 'hurt' by regular enemies, nothing will kill you until you reach the boss, who [[TimeyWimeyBall exists across two timezones at once]]. He kills you dead by attacking from the past. The story then shifts forward several years to your character's younger brother trying again, this time with a modified time machine that lets him simultaneously be in the past and the present.
* "[[FinalBossPreview Versus]]" at the end of ''VideoGame/{{Thunder Force}} IV's'' fifth stage. You and your squad shoot it to no avail, and your squad soon gets their asses completely handed to them, forcing your remaining members to resort to give you the MidSeasonUpgrade.
* The flash game ''VideoGame/RPGShooterStarwish'' has the introduction level. You face against some easy cannon fodder Mooks... then you come across the Firebolt. This thing spams bullets and very damaging, hard-to-avoid lasers, and while you ''can'' beat it (doing so gets you a different cutscene and an achievement), it's very hard to do so and you'll probably go down.
** And if you think you can curbstomp it in a NewGamePlus with all your cool weapons, it also gets a health and damage buff and is just as difficult!

[[folder:Simulation Game]]
* From ''Videogame/WingCommander III'':
** In the climactic mission, the plot called for you to lose your wingmen in battle with an enemy ace and make the final attack alone: however, this was achieved by having the ace magically [[RespawningEnemies respawn]] so long as any wingmen were present. This lead to a surreal battle in which you might shoot him down a dozen times in a row, using up all of your missiles and countermeasures, and have no way of knowing what obscure action would cause things to proceed.
** Similarly, forgetting to use a certain technology could also lead to a constant stream of respawning aces.
** Finally, if you fail a critical mission and end up in the losing path, the final mission involves a confrontation with a unique Kilrathi capital ship which is almost impossible to kill without [[DeathOfAThousandCuts whittling it down with many minutes of firing]]. The expectation appeared to be for the player character to die trying so that the Bad Ending could roll. As you were not meant to destroy it, the game has no idea what to do when you beat it so just leaves you hanging in space.
* While few in the ''VideoGame/AceCombat'' series, ''VideoGame/AceCombat04ShatteredSkies'' may be the only one where there are enemy planes that are literally invincible: in your first encounter with the Yellow Squadron, their AI is so insanely beefed up that hitting them is nigh impossible... and attempting to use guns will reveal that they are invincible as well, just in case someone tried fighting them anyway. In fact, your MissionControl orders you to run the hell away the second they show up; not retreating until the mission timer runs out fails the mission.
** In the next encounter, the Yellow Squadron's piloting skills have been reduced just enough that a mid-tier plane actually stands a chance of hitting them; while they're still invincible, scoring a single solid hit on any of them will cause the entire squadron to disengage and leave the battlefield amidst surprised radio dialogue from both sides.
** There are two missions in ''VideoGame/AceCombat5TheUnsungWar'' where you're actually unarmed (although you're actually very unlikely to get hit), and the series is sprinkled with missions where engaging the enemy aces would run counter to the mission objectives. Of particular note is the infamous ''8492'' in ''[=AC5=]'', which sees you get jumped by a ''very'' large number of [[CoolPlane Su-47 Berkuts and YF-23s]]... right after a very taxing close air support mission, ''[[OhCrap not allowing you to change your]] [[CharacterSelectForcing attacker plane]] for a more suited fighter jet between the two engagements''. Upon spawning, the entire enemy force immediately beelines for you and get on your tail, ripple-firing their missiles in large salvos that instantly kill even on lower difficulty levels, making even ''fleeing'' them (which is the objective) almost impossible. While extremely difficult to battle due to their superb agility making them impossible to out-turn without an F-22 or other top-tier monster of your own, these aces are not actually invincible and shooting them down is required for an S-rank, regardless of your teammates' insistence that staying to fight is suicide. Luckily, [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything bagging enough of them for an S-rank automatically despawns the rest and counts as mission success, regardless of whether you've escaped or not]]. The question is whether the player actually has the skills and good enough plane to do this.
** Technically speaking, Stonehenge in ''04'' starts out as this. It first causes trouble in mission 7, right after you complete your main objective - it's almost like a KaizoTrap in this sense, except you receive plenty of warning at first. You can't even attack it at all in this mission, as it's not even anywhere on the level and is instead firing OneHitKill salvos from afar (with a ten second warning, granted). You have to enter a tight ravine and stay below 2000 feet to keep out of its sights, otherwise you are dead. Later, thankfully, you're given a warning to expect it to act up, and you get more time between shots. You still can't even fight Stonehenge, however. Fast forward to mission 12, and you're actually able to attack it and know where the cannons are, [[LoweredMonsterDifficulty making it far easier to manage]]. Watch your flying though: although the cannons have serious difficulty tracking you from so close, they still dish out a OneHitKill if you happen to be in the way when it fires.
** A smaller example from ''Zero'' is the first phase of the final boss fight against [[spoiler:Pixy]]. You can shoot at him and you can hit him - but until your MissionControl informs you of his Morgan's weakness, you cannot kill him, the reason being that the Morgan's sophisticated ECM makes it invulnerable against both missiles and guns. Only nailing the front air intake can take it down - apparently, whoever designed the ECM thought that nobody would be crazy enough to try AirJousting with a jet fighter. Unfortunately for [[spoiler:Pixy]], Cipher ''is'' [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome that crazy]].
* In ''VideoGame/StarTrekBridgeCommander'', there are a few times where you are encouraged to complete your objective and get the hell out of there ASAP, due to being highly out-gunned. A few times, ships respawn infinitely, but a few times you're highly rewarded for defeating all the enemy vessels.
* In ''[[{{VideoGame/Freespace}} Descent: Freespace]]'' you can fight the ''Lucifer'' multiple times, but can only destroy it during the last mission due to its invulnerable shield. (This is because the final mission is the only time you encounter the Lucifer in the campgain where the "Invulnerable" flag for the ''Lucifer'' is ''not'' turned on. Yeah, that's right, the [[FanNickname Lucy]] doesn't have shields, just a mission editor hax.)
** Not that you'd stand much chance of destroying it even without the shields: you're a small, one-man fighter and the ''Lucifer'' is a 3 kilometer long superdestroyer. It takes a full squadron of fighters guarding two wings of heavy bombers armed with bombs meant for ''planetary bombardment'' to destroy it in the end.
* On the ''VideoGame/WorldOfTanks'' Russian server, fifteen T-34-85 drivers can enter a boss battle with the White Tiger, driven only by [=WarGaming=] staff. It has 14,960 hitpoints, making it NighInvulnerable, and uses the L/56 8.8cm but fires 15cm shells from the E-100. Released partially to promote the obscure German film "The White Tiger".

[[folder:Stealth Based Game]]
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' Raiden goes up against 'Lady Luck' Fortune. Any shot fired at her misses, and any grenade thrown near her is a dud. Your only hope is to dodge her shots until events elsewhere force her to leave.
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'', when you encounter "The Sorrow" any sort of offense is useless since you can't hurt him or his spirits. [[spoiler:The only way out is by essentially dying, game over screen and all, and taking the revival pill.]]
* The DLC of ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII'' has one against [[spoiler:George Washington. Yes, THAT UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington]]. If you run up to him, he blasts you away with an energy wave, if you run circles around him he'll shoot lightning at you, if you just keep your distance he'll summon thunder bolts from the sky on top of you.

[[folder:Survival Horror]]
* ''Franchise/SilentHill'':
** ''VideoGame/SilentHill2'' and ''VideoGame/SilentHill4'' both feature unbeatable bosses. ''Silent Hill 2'' has the ever-popular Pyramid Head, and after running away from him down a long, narrow, winding hall, blindly shooting at him, you run into an elevator to escape. Not everyone does though, and he manages to [[spoiler: kill Maria. But only sort of. Eh]]. ''In Silent Hill 4'', Walter Sullivan chases you for the entire second half of the game. He cannot be killed, but he can be slowed. He and PH do, however, eventually become beatable.
** The two actual "fights" against Pyramid Head (in the apartment building and near the end of the game) definitely qualify. The only way to end these fights is to either die or wait until he decides to end it after a certain amount of time ([[spoiler: the first time by leaving the room, the second time by both Pyramid Heads impaling themselves on their own spears]]). However, while you can't actually "win" the fights, shooting him ''does'' shorten the amount of time it takes Pyramid Head to end the fight.
** Inverted in ''VideoGame/SilentHillDownpour''. [[spoiler:At the end, you get transformed into the Bogeyman (since this is how Anne has viewed you during her journey through the town.) You are essentially a hopeless boss fight for her, and can choose to smash her brains in with your huge hammer or spare her. Her pistol does ScratchDamage to you, so you ''can'' stand there and let her kill you for a TwistEnding.]]
** Silent Hill 4 also features the ghosts, who are more like hopeless miniboss fights - they show up in particular areas and deal damage just by getting near you. Weapons will knock ghosts down but they will always stand up again unless you permanently immobilize them using a special sword item. There are more ghosts than swords in the game though, so you can never get rid of all of them.
* In the Gamecube Remake of the original ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'', Lisa Trevor is an invincible deformed [[ImplacableMan implacable girl]] super-zombie that stalks the player in several areas of the game. The final encounter with her is a PuzzleBoss fight where [[spoiler:you have to push several blocks off a ledge to open her mother's coffin, causing her to jump to her death at the sight.]]
** Even then in the Wii rail shooter ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilTheUmbrellaChronicles'' [[spoiler: Lisa apparently survives her fall/suicide and becomes an unbeatable boss against Wesker during the Rebirth scenario. The least he could do against her was slow her down and pin her under a chandelier. It takes the mansion's self destruct system to finally kill her off.]]
* TragicMonster [[spoiler: Steve]] in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilCodeVeronica''. Your only option is to run, and he will inevitably score a hit or two on you with his axe, which kills in two hits, so you better have some healing items on hand, or this may become an {{Unwinnable}} situation.
** You ''can'' turn around and shoot him to slow him down (the explosive arrows are best for this). Technically, you can get away without a scratch. However, it is ''not'' possible to defeat him.
* The first time you encounter a Leech Zombie in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil0'', you lack the firepower to defeat it, so you can only run for the exit, which triggers the cutscene where Billy takes it down. It ''is'' technically possible to bring it down, but this triggers the same cutscene regardless, and there's no reward.
* Albert Wesker is impossible to kill the first time you face him in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5'': all you're expected to do is ''survive'' for seven minutes. It ''is'' possible to inflict enough damage to end the fight early (and earn an achievement and a valuable gem for your trouble), but the following cutscene is exactly the same as if you just waited out the clock.
* The TyrannosaurusRex in the ''VideoGame/DinoCrisis'' series is an unbeatable boss, and if he catches up with Regina, he will [[OneHitKill swallow her whole]]. Although he cannot be killed, he can be slowed down with gunfire.
* The first few encounters with the White Witch from ''VideoGame/TheDarkMeadow'' will be this. You simply don't have the proper equipment or experience levels to deal with her, forcing you to investigate more of the game's story and kill more monsters first. [[spoiler: And don't even think about winning against The Trickster's second and third forms on your first try.]]
* The zombified Alan Morton, the final boss of ''Videogame/AloneInTheDarkTheNewNightmare''. No matter how many times you knock him down, he always gets back up. After stunning him, you have to run into a mundane alcove which contains a spear, which Carnby automatically uses to kill Morton.
** Likewise, Obed Morton is so difficult to defeat that to many players he ''seems'' like a Hopeless Boss Fight, such that even most of the game's walkthroughs indicate the only way to finish the game is to use an exploit to run past him instead of fighting him. You actually ''can'' kill Obed by shooting him (and it doesn't even matter what weapon you use either), but you can only hurt him when he's in a certain pose (he should be knocked backwards if you hit him correctly, indicating you got it right).
* In ''VideoGame/FatalFrame 2'', you have the Kusabi. An extremely powerful ghost, any time he appears before the end-game fight against him, he's immune to the effects of the Camera Obscura (rendering him invincible) and getting touched by him is instant death, whether you have a Stone Mirror or not. Your only option is to run.
** The same game also features a sequence where the player must run from Sae Kurosawa, another extremely powerful one-hit kill ghost. In this case, though, she's invincible because the player has lost the Camera, and with it their only means of defending themselves against ghosts. Curiously, when she's encountered as the TrueFinalBoss, she's no longer able to one-hit kill you.
** The ''Fatal Frame'' series makes a tradition out of this: Kirie Himuro from the first game is also invincible and a one-hit kill until the final boss fight. The third game has Reika Kuze, who does not have one-hit kill powers, but is invincible until (you guessed it) the final boss fight.

[[folder:Turn Based Strategy]]
* In ''VideoGame/FossilFighters'' , the second fight against Bullwort is unwinnable. Occasionally, an attack will do one damage against Frigisurus, but, more often than not, attacks won't even affect it. Even support effects and status effects miss. It's not until you get Igno that the battle is winnable.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'' has two of these, both of them involving Llednar. He's invincible and strong. You have to stall for several turns before the plot takes over. He does become beatable towards the game's end. Just to give an idea of how unbeatable Llednar is: Most battles have objectives like "Win battle!", "Defeat the Boss!", or the suchlike. During the fight that's just Marche versus Llednar? "Survive!".
* Creator/NipponIchi games, such as the ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' series, ''VideoGame/PhantomBrave'', and ''VideoGame/MakaiKingdom'' had bosses too hard to defeat without massive LevelGrinding. The writers cater to NintendoHard fans, and have divergent game areas just for them. Careful, though, because ''winning'' some of them causes a NonstandardGameOver leading to a [[MultipleEndings Bad Ending]].
** ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 2|CursedMemories}}'' subverts this at one point. Initially, [[spoiler: Laharl]] shows up and kicks your ass. However, in the process he [[spoiler: breaks Rozalin's talisman, triggering her SuperpoweredEvilSide.]] This causes an inversion, where it is he who cannot possibly defeat you, however, you HAVE to lose, if you win this battle at the first phase then you get an ending and are forced to start the story from the top. The same with your battle with Etna. If you lose, the game continues, if you win, you get a joke cutscene, the credits roll, and you have to take it from the top.
** Another ''Disgaea'' subversion happens during the [[VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness first game]]. Initially, during the Chapter 6 fight against the [[spoiler:Alternate Overlord]], his group of ten is all at level 75, and you're normally barely breaking 30 on your first playthrough[[note]]Meaning that should you lose, the castle retainers, their levels around 300 to 400, show up to bail you out as Neutral [=NPCs=][[/note]]. However, should you win this fight on another playthrough (or just level grind enough on your first time through), it turns out that the game just proceeds on. No special cutscene, nothing.
** The Nippon Ichi game ''VideoGame/LaPucelle Tactics'' also had two such bosses, in chapters 4 and 8; defeating them earns a "special ending" for the chapter which grants a powerful piece of equipment.
** ''Videogame/SoulNomadAndTheWorldEaters'' has the titular World Eaters, and without the aid of the resident OmnicidalManiac, you can't hope to defeat them.
*** Storywise, the only World Eater that falls under this category is Feinne, the first World Eater you encounter (right at the beginning of the story, to boot). Actually beating her [[spoiler: triggers the battle against Asagi.]]
** ''RhapsodyAMusicalAdventure'' loves to use this trope. Several boss fights (primarily with Marjoly's minions in early goings of the game) are impossible to win, simply because you can't damage them - all attacks will miss). Others later you have to at least survive for a few rounds before the game ends the fight. Still, the most amusing one is during the contest when you fight Etoile. [[spoiler:You vs Rocket Launchers and Machine guns. Good luck!]]
** ''VideoGame/MakaiKingdom'' actually inverts this at the beginning, placing you against a series of opponents whom you could not possibly lose to.
*** Chapter 8 ends with Alexander finally stepping to defeat you on his own, being way above your level on a first playthrough. Fortunately Salome joins the fight as an uncontrollable third party, even higher level, and turns him into a smear. Unless you have the bad fortune to get into the crossfire, it's a sure win. And of course, on future playthroughs you can fight them on your own for certain alternate endings.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars: Original Generation 2'', you are constantly pitted against the main bosses of the game -- who retain their endboss-level stats the entire time. Whenever they show up, you're supposed to simply stay away from them until they leave, but one battle forces you to go all-out on one who is strictly unbeatable. In another, similar situation, the boss won't leave; either you leave, or you finally beat it by what amounts to cheating.
** Should you actually win the first fight against the Inspectors (the Quirky Miniboss Trio), you get an awful lot of very good items, ridiculous amounts of gold and exp, and a rather amusing NoFourthWall moment.
** In Original Generation 1, there is the early and optional fight against Shu Shirakawa's horrendously broken Granzon. You are encouraged to run, although battling it is an option and a viable one at that, provided you have put a lot of money and level-grinding into Irmgult and the Grungust. Even then, the Granzon still takes a beating and only your top-tier units at the time should be used against it.
* ''Warsong'' (''VideoGame/{{Langrisser}}'' in Japan) had a non-boss version of this. In the first scenario you are supposed to escape, but a clever strategist can beat all the enemies instead. This has no effect on the plot except for a sentence or two.
* In ''FireEmblem'', Captain Fargus challenges your group to see if they're worthy of being given passage to the Dread Island. If you select "Attack" instead of "Talk" when you ''do'' reach him, he will fight the character you used to challenge him. Since he's a promoted class as well as extremely powerful yeah, you can guess the outcome.
** If you manage to actually defeat him, it will result in a NonstandardGameOver, since [[NiceJobBreakingItHero you just killed the only person with a boat to take you to Dread Isle]] ''and'' was willing to take you there. If you attack him at all, it will also result in a NonstandardGameOver on the next turn.
** Valter in the beginning of ''Sacred Stones'' is completely unbeatable, as was demonstrated on youtube to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4-0KoXEQ-k&feature=channel_page comedic]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXecE5XXnTo&feature=channel_page effect]].
** The Invincible Black Knight in ''Path of Radiance'' shows up in an earlier mission when you are expected to not even have a promoted unit yet. Your goal of the mission is to escape the town by sea and if any, and I do mean ANY, character attempts to hold the Black Knight off...Well, they had a good run.
*** ''Radiant Dawn'' does something similar where [[spoiler: the NotQuiteDead Black Knight]] is on the opposing side of the field in Part 3. Fortunately, he doesn't move until about 2 turns before the battle ends, which means he's no threat unless you deliberately step into his attack range. However, it does offer you an interesting reward for challenging him; if Ike has a battle with him and survives (which requires a ''very'' high level at that part of the game), [[spoiler: Chancellor Sephiran is playable for the FinalBoss]].
*** To make things more interesting, if you equip a strong enough unit with the hammer -- a weapon strong against armored units -- it's actually possible to KILL the knight (he's coded with the hammer weakness, even though he's only supposed to be vulnerable to certain blessed swords and magic.) Doing this disqualifies you for the reward though, and [[NotQuiteDead he's not really dead anyways.]]
* ''VideoGame/BattleMoonWars'', Stage 27: when it gets down to Weak!Shirou versus Archer, the game expects Shirou to hit 0 HitPoints and for the Shikis to have their BigDamnHeroes moment. However, it's possible without cheating to beat Archer; well, it would be, except when he hits 30% of his health, the script goes on as if Shirou had been defeated. You barely get a line of acknowledgment for your troubles.
* ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor'', Day 3: [[spoiler:Beldr, first encounter. When [=NPCs=] say that Beldr is immortal, ''they mean it''; his HP and MP are "???", and he nullifies ''everything,'' [[NonElemental Almighty]] included for wiseguys on their second playthrough. Your only option is to escort Midori out of battle, then have your party escape.]]
** ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor2'', Day 7: [[spoiler:Benetnasch, first encounter. It possesses a passive skill called Pacify Human, which naturally cancels out ''any'' attack from a human character... [[FromBadToWorse and then]] it pulls out the ability to ''forcibly unsummon your demons'', leaving you no way to harm it and thus no choice but to run away until you can figure out a way to counter it.]]
** You also can't harm [[spoiler: Dubhe at first - the objective is to reach the other end of the map and escape, and losing any party member in the process results in an ordinary game over. However, just as you reach the escape area, it becomes blocked off and a cutscene results in Dubhe becoming vulnerable.]]
** ''[[UpdatedRerelease Record Breaker]]'' adds [[spoiler:Arcturus, who much like Beldr is completely and utterly invulnerable and forces you to flee the initial encounter while enduring powerful party-wide attacks.]]
* ''SengokuRance'': If you fail to stop [[spoiler:Miki from becoming the Demon King]], you will enter the Demon King pseudo-route, and a Hanny will appear to your castle and tell Rance that there's absolutely no way to win. The enemy army will become incredibly tough by enabling all 4 buffs for every unit, greatly increasing troops sizes and fielding [[spoiler:Kentarou and Xavier]] units with 8000 troops each against you. It's still possible to actually conquer all the enemy territories by using battle permits, but it will lead to [[spoiler:Kentarou]] accusing the player of cheating and a standard Game Over anyway.
* The first ''VideoGame/SakuraWars'' game had this in the first battle with the Koumas, where you're expected to fight for about one turn, realize your attacks are doing almost nothing, and run. In the [=PS2=] remake, they're actually beatable, but the cutscene still treats it as if you ran away even if you stay and beat them.
* In the ''Descent to Darkness'' campaign in ''VideoGame/BattleForWesnoth'', the final mission is essentially a hopeless series of boss fights. [[VillainProtagonist Mal Keshar]] is attacked by a hero and his/her army - it isn't hard to defeat them, but the mission will just repeat itself with new heroes until Mal Keshar is slain.
* ''VideoGame/GeNeSis'': Reciful. The guy has 80,000 HP and reflects half of the damage dealt to him back to the attacker. However, you do get to fight him again straight afterwards using Esis, who is more than capable of dealing 80,000 damage in a single move, which is extremely satisfying.
* In the first ''VideoGame/VandalHearts'' game, the first battle of Chapter 4 pits you against a large enemy force including [[spoiler:the four enemy generals]] and a large entourage of high-level crimson knights. From the get go it is implied that this fight is unwinnable by design and you are directed to attempt to break your way through the enemy lines and flee, a fact reinforced by the mission goal being to simply escape to the gate at the other side of the map. With some patience and strategy, it ''is'' possible to win the fight and wipe the entire enemy force out, but you still need to move all characters to the gate and "flee" and the following cutscene does not change to accommodate your victory.
* A couple of missions in the original ''VideoGame/FrontMission'' have Driscoll in his ridiculously overpowered [[HumongousMecha Wanzer]] who leaves you alone, unless you make the mistake of attacking him in which he will relentlessly (and easily) take out your ''entire unit one by one''. [[spoiler:Though it's subverted with a GoodBadBug if you can pin a helpless enemy Wanzer between you and him and have a ranged primary weapon. It'll take a solid two hours but you ''can'' take him down and yield a buttload of cash and experience.]]

[[folder:Turn Based Tactics]]
* At the end of ''{{Transformers}} G1 Awakening'', the player is made to think that [[ClimaxBoss Shockwave]] must be defeated by Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. However, both Autobots are significantly weaker, even working together, and there are no power plants on this level that would allow them to level up. However, after Prime goes down, TheCavalry shows up in the form of [[HulkSpeak Grimlock]], who proceeds to CurbStompBattle Shockwave.
* In ''VideoGame/BahamutLagoon'' you have to fight against [[spoiler:Sauzer/Zauzer in Chapter 5]], but don't waste any items or energy, this guy has infinite HP, so you can't kill him.

[[folder:Wide Open Sandbox]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Shenmue}}'' has a character named Chai who is supposed to beat you; when you lose you're unconscious for several days, but the game isn't over. Beating him is nearly impossible, but can be done.
** ''VideoGame/{{Shenmue 2}}'' has one hopeless boss fight where Ryo fights Dou Niu and his henchmen in a plaza until the screen blacks out and shows a cutscene of Dou Niu beating Ryo.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto2'' featured a mission that required you to "die" while attempting to break into an enemy gang's stronghold. Your employer then picks you up at the hospital and sends you back to the fort with a better plan and better equipment.
** The original ''[[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoClassic Grand Theft Auto]]'' featured a mission where you're asked to board a train as part of a plot to prove that your boss is the one true god. It's then revealed that the train is rigged with explosives. If you stay on it, after you die your boss apologises, saying that he was high on smack and is impressed you made it... Assuming that wasn't your last life. Worth getting off the train and failing just for the quote: "Only the righteous shall be saved! You! You are a shithead and bound for hell!"
* ''[[VideoGame/InFamousSecondSon inFAMOUS: Second Son]]'', has a story-related twist on this for the DUP King boss. The idea is that it's a Hopeless Boss Fight so long as the hero, Delsin, sticks to using Smoke powers and stubbornly refuses to use his Neon ones. It is expected that the player will eventually run out of Smoke energy and be forced to use Neon, however skilled players on lower difficulties can in fact beat the DUP King without having to do that. This causes dissonance in the next cutscene as the characters will behave as if Delsin gave in and used Neon. According to the developers, none of the playtesters were capable of winning just with Smoke, so they never bothered programming in an alternate cutscene.
* ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'' has the final "boss" of the mission where you kill waves of army and BOI agents [[spoiler:ending with John making a final stand against a line of soldiers as his family flees, getting shot to death by the same man he helped track down all of his old friends. Oh, the irony.]]
* ''VideoGame/MafiaII'' has the first fistfight with Brian O'Neill in the prison yard. While his pattern is easy enough to figure out, once his health reaches a certain level he will start auto-dodging all of your attacks while counter-punching faster than you can react. Fortunately, once ''your'' health gets low enough the guards intervene and incapacitate both of you.

!!Non-video game examples:

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* This trope is parodied in the ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' side story "Haruhi Theatre Act 1". Haruhi and Brigade are trapped in an RPG, and when Haruhi meets a sage who warns her that she can't defeat the dragon without the power to do so, she doesn't listen and drags the Brigade over to fight it. Naturally she gets creamed and regenerates next to the sage, who smugly tells her off. She doesn't listen ''again'' and continually goes back and dies. When she finally listens to him, he demands some stuff from her as he's only giving them out if she gets quest items... but she just threatens him.
* Inverted in ''Anime/YuYuHakusho'' when the party goes up against "The Gamemaster", who has the power to bring any video game of his choosing to life, trapping anyone within his territory within various game roles. Unfortunately for him, the game he chooses use this for is "Goblin City" (with him taking on the role of the game's BigBad and the party being the player characters.) Kurama, being familiar with the game, explains that players have unlimited continues within the game, while the BigBad is KilledOffForReal if the heroes win, meaning that he's trapped himself in a situation that can only end in his death, and all he can do is prolong the inevitable.
* Walpurgisnacht of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' essentially embodies this trope. Known as the strongest witch in existence, it can cause gigantic and terrible storms and it fights by either hurling any object, including buildings, at its enemy or simply ''[[PlayingWithFire blasting them with powerful flames.]]'' It is also tough enough to withstand ''anything''. Case in point, one of the main females attacked it with ''[[NoKillLikeOverkill RPGs, Mortars, an exploding gas tanker, and missiles, then detonated landmines to where it landed]]''m [[NoSell and all of it did absolutely nothing]]. This is why it is stated that Walpurgisnacht's nature is ''helplessness'', as no magical girl can stand up to it and win, while it laughs at their feeble attempts at trying.
* Since Saitama in ''Webcomic/OnePunchMan'' can defeat anything in one punch, he's this. In a sparring match, Genos sets the rules so that they will fight until Genos can't keep fighting, not either one of them. Part of the reason Sonic is obsessed with Saitama is he can't actually envision himself defeating Saitama.
* The angelic legions in [[WorldTree Yggdrasil]] in ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline''. Yui notes that individually, they aren't that strong. However, due to their spawn rate and population cap, their sheer numbers turn them into a giant, unbeatable boss. Only by [[GondorCallsForAid calling on the combined military might of every race]] is it possible to get a single player to the top of tree.
* In ''Manga/NewGame'', the FictionalVideoGame ''Fairies Story 3'' has one of this. Specifically, in a particular battle, {{mooks}} spawns indefinitely until [[spoiler:Sophia]] dies.

* Used in-story by ''Literature/EndersGame'', where a video game given to the cadets ends with a giant killing their character. The point was to see how they would react with an {{unwinnable}} scenario. [[spoiler:Ender kills the giant by [[ChunkySalsaRule jumping into its eye and attacking its brain]]]]
* Discussed in detail in the Star Trek novel ''Kobayashi Maru'' in which we see exactly how Scotty, Chekov, Sulu, and Kirk all dealt with the eponymous training simulation: Scotty performs engineering miracles (including one that ''only'' works in a simulator) until the ship is finally overpowered and destroyed (this leads to him being transferred out of Command School into the Engineering Corps), Chekov [[RammingAlwaysWorks rams the Enterprise into the Klingon ships]], destroying them [[EpicFail (and the Maru as well)]], Sulu [[GenreSavvy realized that it was likely a trap]] and left without crossing into the Neutral Zone, while Kirk reprogrammed the simulation so that, when he introduced himself, he was so well-known as a badass that the Klingons immediately surrendered.
* This trope is OlderThanPrint, as a Norse Myth had Loki pit Thor against an avatar of aging itself.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* In one famous week-long series of ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot'' strips, involving a FictionalVideoGame, Jason has spent a month playing a game trying to beat a Boss called the Red Orb Guardian who he can't even come close to defeating. When Paige tries to play the game, she figures out why; you aren't supposed to fight the guy at all, if you [[SheatheYourSword simply walk past him]], he won't stop you. (Jason seems to wonder why you aren't supposed to challenge a huge, hulking, ferocious-looking warrior that has skeletal corpses surrounding him, [[WrongGenreSavvy calling the situation "counter-intuitive".]] Of course, Jason is like that a lot.)

* The whole point of the KobayashiMaru test in ''Franchise/StarTrek''. Like the Giant's Drink above, it's actually a psychological test rather than a tactical puzzle, although that doesn't stop people from trying. As various cadets' attempts to hack the infamous sim have piled up, they've resorted to ever-more-obvious tactics to keep it hopeless, including spawning extra enemies when needed or allowing them to break the laws of physics.
* In a rare occasion, this is the case for ''both'' opponents in the FinalBattle of ''Film/DoctorStrange2016''. [[spoiler: Strange has no chance of beating [[GreaterScopeVillain Dormammu]]...but because of the GroundhogDayLoop, Dormammu can't win either since every time he kills Strange, time just bounces back to the start.]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In one ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'' rulebook, there is a section on fighting Caine that consists of two words, [[GameOver "You Lose."]] He is the Biblical Cain, turned into the first vampire by God. He knows [[AllYourPowersCombined every vampiric Discipline in the books]], has centuries upon centuries of experience, and has the ability to do - more or less - anything he wants. In addition, he possesses the Mark of Cain from the Bible. Any damage inflicted on him is returned seven fold to his attacker, and on the off chance someone did manage to kill Caine, they would instantly die.
* Togashi Yokuni in ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings''. The utterly mysterious lord of the Dragon Clan, who is so enigmatic that those who speak with him don't even really remember what his voice sounded like or what words were said, is actually [[spoiler: Togashi-Kami, the immortal child of the Sun and Moon and the only remaining sibling of the first Emperor. He is also a dragon.]] He can see the future and knows when he will die, and it sure ain't gonna be you that kills him.
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** The Lady of Pain. She is the enigmatic steward and protector of Sigil, the City of Doors, whose motives cannot be divined and who can (and has) annihilate even higher tier deities with her power. She ''will'' flay you outright or trap you into a nigh-inescapable labyrinthine dimension should you ever do anything to cross her. Stats for her simply aren't given, because She > You no matter how many epic levels you've got. And if you're a minotaur with an adept sense of direction? She just puts you in a single hallway. One. Long. Hallway.
** There's also the entity known as the Guardian of the Dead Gods, a being who was formerly the god Anubis, who now watches over the dead gods in the Astral Plane and protects them from desecration. It's very hard to tell just what will make him intervene (the githyanki have built entire cities on the giant corpses and he doesn't seem to mind, but sometimes, simply touching one might get him upset). The article where he's mentioned gives a flat 5% chance that doing anything to one of the dead gods will attract his attention (unless someone does something ''really'' stupid, like try to completely demolish one, in which case it's almost assured), and even then, he'll usually send his servant to deal with it (who's a powerful wizard, but not unbeatable). If you're unlucky enough that he decides to deal with it personally... The same source says that your only chance is to flee (he ''usually'' will not follow, but there's no guarantee). Simply put, he ''cannot'' be hurt by anything mortals have at their disposal.
** This was a common theme in {{Planescape}} in general. While on a Prime (Earth-like) world high-level [=PCs=] might get used to being the biggest badasses around, on the planes there's always a bigger fish - ''always''. Demon lords and archdevils were the weakest of the untouchables (who you had a chance of at least defying and defeating their servitors), then any of the gods were next up the list (with their own hierarchy from hero-deity and demigod to greater power), and finally up to enigmatic cosmic forces like the Lady (who can kill gods) and the Guardian of the Dead Gods. At the same time, Planescape was dedicated to cutting a survivable niche out for the merely mortal while in realms populated by such beings, when before the planes themselves had only really been open to high-level characters with powerful magic.
** There's something like this in the first scenario (also the FramingDevice) of the module ''The Vortex of Madness'', a sort of inversion of a PuzzleBoss theme. The [=PCs=] meet an intelligent iron golem in a room that resembles a chessboard, with smaller golems as the pieces; the golem demands a game of chess. However, if the [=PCs=] do this, it demands a rematch again and again (regardless of whether it wins or loses). If the players finally catch on and decide to fight the golem, it gladly does so, with its chess pieces supporting it, and the [=PCs=] pieces supporting them; and if defeated, the golem finally admits defeat. (The purpose of this strange encounter is an attempt by the Machine of Lum the Mad, who controls the complex, to recreate the battle between Lum the Mad and General Leuk-O, which ended indecisively. The golem represents Leuk-O, and the [=PCs=] represent Lum.)
* In one of the ''Literature/WarriorCats'' tabletop games included with a few of the books, if you attempt to fight a [[HumansAreCthulhu Twoleg]], it ends like this. The [=PCs'=] only options are to attack, which does nothing but damage them, or run away.
* [[EldritchHorror The big boss himself]] in ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu''. In some versions, his ''only'' stat is that he [[JustEatHim eats 1d6 characters]] ''per round'' and gives you a huge hit to your SanityMeter upon seeing him. And even if you ''do'' [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu manage to kill him]], like the sailor Johansen who fought him in the [[Literature/TheCallOfCthulhu original story]], he'll simply come right back.
** Also [[AlmightyIdiot Azathoth.]] If you summon [[ItIsDehumanizing it,]] it is impossible to fight. [[ApocalypseHow It instantly destroys the world.]]
* In ''TabletopGame/SLAIndustries'', two unstoppable badasses are repeatedly made mention of: the infamous serial killer, Halloween Jack, and the king and father of all Manchines, Digger. While both are a notable threats or inconveniences to the company, and have many attemps made against them, both are effectively unkillable: Jack has has a bounty of 2 billion credits on his head that no sensible op would try and collect on, and Digger has a whole army to fight with. Niether character has stats in any of the books, as they are considered to [[OneHitKill OHK]] [[TotalPartyKill the party]] if they ever cross paths. This especially bad news for those taking one premade platinum mission, which requires them to go right into Digger's homebase, and sabotage his ultimate plan to conquer Mort.
* In ''TabletopGame/ArkhamHorror'', failing to seal enough portals before too many have opened will result in the Big Bad of the session to break through and the players facing it in direct combat. The fight is heavily stacked in its favor and the [=PCs=] are probably going to die, but it's potentially winnable... except when the Big Bad is Azathoth. If Azathoth wakes up, the whole universe ends.
* ''[[TabletopGame/ProseDescriptiveQualities Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies]]'' ranks [=NPCs=] from cannon fodder Minions all the way up to powerful Archvillains, but then notes that some characters are so arbitrarily powerful they can only be designated "Plot Devices" and so doesn't bother giving them stats - for example, Alexei Rostand, a retired sky-pirate who had been at the work around 50 years before he managed to win a pardon. Even Rostand's lieutenants go un-statted and are simply described as extremely dangerous.

[[folder:Web Video]]
* Parodied in ''WebVideo/CollegeSaga''. The characters face Leviathan, who uses the devastating "Tidal Wave" attack, and quickly kills off the party... and then says "Just kidding LOL. You can't kill a guardian force."
* It's a bit ambiguous because Thamill ''did'' manage to pull off a narrow victory, but the post-fight dialogue after the [[spoiler:Ocean Sage Briney]] battle in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mi701TTqq4U episode 50]] of ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Extreme Randomizer]] Nuzlocke'' suggests that the player is not expected to win and the game would progress the same win or lose.