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- Metroid: Ridley, a Space Pirate pterodactyl/dragon-thing, has made an appearance for a boss fight in every game in the franchise except for three.note He is also the Arch-Enemy of the series's protagonist, Samus Aran, after having killed both her biological family and her adoptive Chozo family. His fights are always regarded as difficult highlights of each of his respective games.
- Illusion of Gaia has Solid Arm, a boss originally from the first game in the series, Soul Blazer, who's only fightable if you collect all fifty Red Jewels.
- Onimusha 3: Demon Siege has two fights against Marcellus - the first a full-on boss battle, the second a Degraded Boss encounter. He originally appeared in Onimusha: Warlords, in which he was also fought twice.
- Both Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 2 feature a boss battle against a demon named Phantom, with the first game's fight being against a female Phantom and the second's against a male one.
- Also, though it's not exactly the same boss, the true form of Arkham in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening is definitely meant to evoke Nightmare from the original Devil May Cry, right down to their appearance being nearly identical.
Hack and Slash
- In Mega Man ZX, Omega from Mega Man Zero 3 appears as a Bonus Boss in the N area. Defeating him nets you the Model O Biometal, the strongest in the game. If you have completed both Zero 3 and 4 in their cartridges, linking them to the DS slot can let you fight 4 of each game's bosses in the same area and defeating them all gives you the same reward.
- In Mega Man Zero 3, taking a secret detour in the second fortress stage will take you to a teleporter. Go inside, and you'll meet Phantom from the first game, or rather his "ghost" since he died. Defeat him and you'll get the Infinity Plus One Foot Chip.
- After defeating all the Robot Masters in Mega Man 3, four new stages open up, each having two Doc Robots (one as a mid boss, one as an end boss). Each Doc Robot takes on the exact same attack pattern of one of the eight Robot Masters from Mega Man 2, and their sprite is even seen descending into the Doc Robot before the fight starts.
- The boss of Wily Castle 1 in Mega Man 10 is the Weapons Archive, which deploys robots that use the weapons and tactics of one Robot Master from each of the past nine games. Also, there are three Downloadable Content stages that each feature one of the Mega Man Killers as bosses.
- In Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, the boss of Space Zone is Tatanga, who was the final boss of Super Mario Land. (Though in this case, you fight him on foot rather than in the Sky Pop, so he doesn't really play the same as he originally did.)
- Super Mario Galaxy 2's Boss Blitz Galaxy is a Boss Rush bonus mission, where all five bosses are ones from the original game not fought anywhere else.
- In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Galacta Knight from Kirby Super Star Ultra appears as an extra boss in the True Arena. In this game, he cannot be fought everywhere else.
- In Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Dark Meta Knight from Kirby & the Amazing Mirror acts as the final boss of King Dedede's mode.
- In Kirby: Planet Robobot, clones of Dark Matter from Kirby's Dream Land 2 and Queen Sectonia from Kirby Triple Deluxe, as well as the real Galacta Knight, are the last three bosses of Meta Knight's mode.
- Sonic the Hedgehog:
- A Pre-Final Boss example. In Sonic Advance's final stage, Dr. Eggman uses both the Egg Mobile's wrecking ball (Egg Mobile-H) from Sonic the Hedgehog 1 and the drill-tipped vehicle (Egg Mobile-D) from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, complete with the boss themes from both games, before the actual Final Boss battle occurs. Notably, each fight has half the durability they had before. And there seems to be no other reason for Eggman to go to the trouble of reenacting fights that he had lost before.
- In Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I, all of the boss fights start out as Legacy Bosses (though the Mad Gear boss works rather differently from its Metropolis Zone predecessor), befitting a game made entirely up of Nostalgia Levels. Episode II pretends it's going to do the same in Sylvania Castle, only to have the real boss turn up and destroy the Sonic 2 Call-Back totem poles.
- Years before the above two, Sonic 3 & Knuckles has two boss fights partway through Sky Sanctuary Zone, in which Mecha Sonic pilots replicas of the Green Hill Zone boss from Sonic 1 and the Metropolis Zone boss from Sonic 2. Interestingly, while the bosses' behavior was essentially identical, the newer game's slightly different physics made the former more difficult and the latter considerably easier. Flying Battery Zone even has a replica of the Wing Fortress Zone boss from 2, but unlike before it is too high up to hit normally, and the machine instead defeats itself.
- Every boss in Sonic Generations except the Final Boss, due to the game's nature as a Milestone Celebration. The console version has Death Egg Robot, Perfect Chaos and Egg Dragoon, while the handheld version has Big Arm, the Biolizard and Egg Emperor.
- The Black Plague fight in A2XT is an updated version of his original level in the rom-hack Super Mario Infinity, room design and battle mechanics included.
- In ActRaiser 2, you can fight the final boss from the first game by using the password "Xxxx Yyyy Zzzz".
- The Shantae series has the Squid Baron, who first appears in Risky's Revenge as an important part of the story line and later appears in Shantae and the Pirate's Curse as a Filler Boss with new tricks up his sleeve and higher difficulty. This gets multiple lampshades throughout the game, as the Squid Baron, aware of his nature as a video game character and why he returned for another game, repeatedly bemoans his reduced role in the plot.
- Konk in The Legendary Starfy, who was the first boss in all four of the Japan-only Starfy games.
Real Time Strategy
Role Playing Game
- The Trope Namer is Dragon Quest IX. In it, you can fight every single Big Bad (and some Dragons) from all the previous games as some of the Bonus Bosses. However they use the same grotto system as the other Bonus Bosses, but with a few differences. Such as only one floor, and the fact that you can level up the bosses by giving up the EXP rewards. Beating them usually gives you some cosplay gear related to their original games or some Orbs.
- Illusion of Gaia features a boss battle with the first boss of Soul Blazer in the bonus dungeon, assuming you can collect all fifty Red Jewels to access it.
- Sephiroth appears as a Bonus Boss in Kingdom Hearts 1 and Kingdom Hearts II. The first one as one of the coliseum matches with no context except for one Final Mix exclusive cutscene, the latter game has him cameo during the 1000 Heartless War where he asks where Cloud is, vanishes, and then taunts Cloud a little bit later.
- The Absent Silhouettes in Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix are Bonus Bosses against the members of Organization XIII that had "died" in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.
- Xehanort (or rather Xemnas and Young Xehanort) invert the trope; they first appeared as Bonus Bosses in Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix and Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, respectively, albeit with their identity hidden from the characters (and the audience).
- Pokémon has a few examples:
- Cynthia, Sinnoh's champion, appears as a Bonus Boss in Pokémon Black and White.
- Later, in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, you can face every Gym Leader and Champion from preceding games. Most of them are fought in the World Tournament, but some of the retired Gym leaders from Black And White, and N are fought in different areas, and only one Gym Leader is excluded (Koga, as his daughter Janine took over as Gym Leader and is present instead).
- To enter the Battle Tree in the postgame of Pokémon Sun and Moon, you have to do battle with either Red or Blue from the first generation. Within the Battle Tree, they, along with various other cameos you've encountered in the game like Colress or Grimsley, can appear as opponents at various streak milestones.
- Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon has a new storyline where the player has to face the bosses of the villain teams from preceding games.
- Metal Max 4's Downloadable Content Bosses are these. Including Noah and Ted Broiler.
- The Dragonborn DLC of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has Karstaag, the ghost of a Frost Giant that the player had to kill in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind's Bloodmoon DLC.
- In later versions of Final Fantasy I starting with the Game Boy Advance version, there are bonus dungeons featuring four bosses each from Final Fantasy III, IV, V, and VI. There are no bosses from Final Fantasy II because that game is usually bundled with I.
- Lashiec, the penultimate boss of Phantasy Star I, returns in Phantasy Star IV, complete with his Air Castle dungeon.
- Phantasy Star Universe: Ambition of the Illuminus features a boss battle against Mother Brain, a tribute to the end boss of Phantasy Star II. The battle's theme is even a hard-hitting techno remix of the final boss theme from PhSII.
- The Gal Gryphon from Phantasy Star Online is brought back as a limited event boss in its sequel, Phantasy Star Online 2. Its moves, arena, and music are completely intact, and its strength is amped up to handle 12 players at once.
- The Final Dungeon of Final Fantasy IV: The After Years has bosses from I to VI, with only a couple of them being optional. This was dropped in the later 3D remake, however.
- Tales of Vesperia has previous Tales Series bosses fightable. Phantasia's Dhaos, Eternia's Shizel, Destiny's Barbatos, and Symphonia's Kratos are all opponents in the coliseum's 200-Man Melee.
- In the Bonus Dungeon of Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis, you can fight the dark versions or Alvero, Yula, and Crowley, bosses from Atelier Iris 3.
- Golden Sun: Dark Dawn has two optional fights against the Star Magician and the Dullahan, two of the strongest Bonus Bosses of the previous game, now even stronger.
- The Updated Re-release of Bravely Default features optional bosses from Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light that are distributed via StreetPass.
- Ozzie, Slash, and Flea, a group of recurring bosses from Chrono Trigger, can be found and fought in the Bend of Time on the sequel Chrono Cross. Since they're only found during a New Game+, they're harder than in the original game.
- Dark Souls II has this in the form of The Old Dragonslayer, AKA Dragonslayer Ornstein and the Belfry Gargoyles (only this time you fight six of them, not two).
- Dark Souls 3, ups the ante with several bosses that are references to or copied whole-cloth from Dark Souls 1. Up to and including the Final Boss, a composite of 4 Previous Player Character Cameos (in phase 1) and Gwyn (in phase 2).
- Dark Chronicle has the bonus dungeon Zelmite Mine, with the Big Bad, the Dark Genie, from the first game as the boss at the end.
- In an example that's both this and a Call-Forward, the PSP version of Persona 3 adds an optional boss battle against Margaret, the Velvet Room attendant from Persona 4. This is because the PSP Updated Re-release of 3 was developed after 4.
- Both the Digital Devil Saga games does this with it's bonus bosses. The first game features the Demi-fiend and the second game features the return of the Four Archangels, Seth, and Satan.
- Final Fantasy IX has battles against the Four Fiends from the original Final Fantasy I, though only one (Lich, though identified as "Earth Guardian" during the boss battle) is actually fought as a boss - the rest are Cutscene Boss battles and later fought as Degraded Boss encounters in Memoria (though Marilith's name is mistranslated as Maliris).
- Final Fantasy XII: Some of the optional monster hunts pit you up against revamped boss characters from previous games, such as perennial favorite Gilgamesh or slimy lech Ultros/Orthros (here redesigned as a flan rather than an octopus).
- A few DLC bosses in the Coliseum in Final Fantasy XIII-2 are these, including PuPu, Ultros and Typhon, Omega and Gilgamesh.
- In the main game, all the optional bosses that can be fought in Archylte Steppe are either exactly the same as or functionally identical to Cie'th Stone mission bosses from Final Fantasy XIII - Ochu, Gigantuar, Immortal and Long Gui are taken from the previous game (though Long Gui is severely downgraded in terms of difficulty), while Yomi fights exactly the same way as Bonus Boss Vercingetorix from the previous game.
- Plenty of bosses in the Wild ARMs series appear in multiple games. Sometimes, they're important to the storyline, sometimes they're not. For the biggest example, you have the Bonus Boss Ragu O Ragla, whom appears in all 5 installments.
Turn Based Strategy
- Many Nippon Ichi games in this genre have Bonus Boss battles against characters and bosses from other Nippon Ichi games. Often, the boss will be unlocked after defeating them.
- Perhaps the most iconic example is Baal, described as the strongest demon in existence and the strongest Bonus Boss in each game he appears in. Despite this status, Baal has suffered from being Demoted to Extra in later Nippon Ichi games. One game actually has him explicitly replaced by Makai Kingdom's Valvoga.
- When Baal isn't the final Bonus Boss, Pringer X usually is. Unlike Baal, Pringer X has less plot surrounding him, coming off as a random robot penguin that's insanely powerful.
- And then there's Asagi, who may be the silliest example here. In her initial appearance she was an Early-Bird Cameo Bonus Boss for a game still in development. When that game got cancelled, she reappeared as a Bonus Boss in other games in order to pull a Hostile Show Takeover. Since the player beats her, she tragically fails each time.
- Priere, the main character of La Pucelle, almost always appears as this trope in Disgaea games. The twist is that she appears in her demonic form from the secret joke ending of her game. This resulted in La Pucelle's remake having an Alternate Timeline Demon Priere story.
- Earlier Disgaea games have a fight against Marjoly, the Big Bad of Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure. In Phantom Brave her servant Myao is fought instead. Later games have Majorly Demoted to Extra, first by becoming DLC in Disgaea 3, and then being absent in later games.
- Disgaea Dimension 2 has a boss fight against Darkdeath Evilman from Zettai Hero Project. He is specifically summoned to challenge the main character.
- Disgaea 5 features a Palette Swap of Darkdeath Evilman called "Proto Darkdeath".
Light Gun Game
- Five Nights at Freddy's II features Golden Freddy as an opponent on the 6th night. While he was basically an Easter Egg in the original game who would rarely appear suddenly in the office and crash the game if you didn't immediately look away, in the sequel he wanders the halls with the other animatronics, though he's by far the deadliest of them all.