For one reason or another, you felt like replaying this game you like. You have just beaten That One Boss
and now you're almost at the end of the game. OK, you did things differently this time around, like not waiting for your buddy Superfly
, and caused Atlantis to sink (you were pretty sure there wasn't anything important or powerful in there). But now you're about to face the final boss and beat the game agai- what trial? GUILTY? CREDITS!?
That's right, No Final Boss for You. It's when a game with a final boss denies you that final boss because you did something different. Sometimes, it's something bad
— in which case being denied that closure is a Nonstandard Game Over
. Other times, your "crime" is playing the game with training wheels on
. But for whatever the reason, you don't get to fight a final boss, hence the name.
Contrast with True Final Boss
, which is a special final boss fight that occurs if you've done everything right.
- In Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, you don't fight the disco ball in the sky, Kagutsuchi, in the demon ending. Why? Because demons are not allowed to create their own world and the Demi-Fiend is demonic enough to fall under this rule.
- In Devil Survivor, if you choose Yuzu's route, in which you escape the lockdown, you won't fight Babel, the final boss in other routes. Instead, you fight Amane and Izuna, who guard the lockdown as final bosses (said battle isn't that much easier, since angels on the field absorb your mana, and you don't have access to some powerful endgame demons from other routes). Also, day 7 isn't one big Boss Rush like on other routes, since it contains only 2 battles (including final) on Yuzu's route. The ending isn't exactly happy though.
- In Persona 3, you can simply choose not to fight the final boss and skip the last month of the game, which gives you a "happy" ending with a bad aftertaste. Similarly, Persona 4 will deny you of a real closure at two seperate points if you fail to find out the true identity of the serial killer, which can be a Guide Dang It for some.
- The UFO endings for the Silent Hill games do this. However, that may be because they are joke endings.
- In the New Game+ of Haunting Ground, you can get a key that will let you get an early ending if you use it on the front gates. The ending is actually worth it to watch because you get to see the Big Bad get his comeuppance (and an old crippled man falling downstairs).
- If you don't travel to the past and defeat Wiseman in a sidequest in Baten Kaitos Origins, then you won't get to fight Verus-Wiseman at the end of the game.
- In Resident Evil, if you don't do the sidequests to get the good ending, you'll miss out on the final Tyrant fight.
- In the Underground installment of the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games, you reach the end of the game, and Eric Sparrow turns up and taunts the player character with the tape of their Crowning Moment of Awesome from earlier in the game, which only Eric & the main character were witness to, before challenging the player to follow Eric's run across the entirety of the New Jersey level, whilst Eric is throwing things at them. Play through the game a second time, and as Eric pulls out the tape and starts taunting the main character, they just punch him out and take the tape.
- The Trauma mode ending from Painkiller skips the game's final chapter (including the final boss) entirely, and instead gives you a genuinely happy ending where Daniel gets let into Heaven to reunite with his wife.
- The Good Cop endgame of True Crime New York City has no final boss, just a subway chase that ends with The Mole / Big Bad dying in a cutscene. In contrast, the Bad Cop endgame has a final punchout against your Jerkass boss Captain Navarro.
- Astro Boy: Omega Factor stops you from seeing the last level (and thus the final battle) on the first playthrough ("Birth"), because Death Mask judges all robots on Earth as guilty and obliterates the lot of them — including Astro. Only by playing through "Rebirth", the second playthrough, can you complete the game.
- The Bubble Bobble series:
- In Vanguard Bandits, if your party's morale is low enough on the Kingdom Branch, you'll be set unto the Bad Ending and won't fight the normal final boss.
- In the Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark Expansion Pack, you can engineer this yourself: by obtaining a couple of very valuable pieces of information, you can end the Final Boss during the pre-battle banter.
- Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines had two final bosses: Ming Xiao and the Sheriff. Siding with the Kuei-jin or LaCroix, respectively, in the end freed you from fighting one of them. Too bad that their endings give you either a bad case of dead or an eternity spent on ocean floor. In the good endings, you have to defeat both bosses.
- Some endings in Star Fox Command can lead to this, though the game does always end with a boss fight. The True Final Boss, Emperor Anglar's True Form, is only fought in four out of nine possible endings Making the original path's ending a Final Boss Preview.
- Planescape: Torment allows you to skip the final boss battle by Talking the Monster to Death if your Wisdom stat is high enough (23+).
- There's a multitude of ways to skip the final boss. And some of them are actually more awesome than just fighting it.
- Completing a certain sidequest in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion turns the Arena grand champion into a Zero-Effort Boss.
- Technically, of course, he's still the final boss of the storyline even then. It's just that it turns the battle from a (likely) tough battle to something amounting to an execution.
- Salamander for the MSX denied the final stage and good ending to players who didn't put Gradius 2 in the second slot and pick up a crystal in one of the previous stages.
- Touhou has a couple of these.
- Play on Easy in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil and you are flatout refused stage 6 and the battle with the final boss.
- On Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, you will not be able to fight the "true" culprit of the game's incidents if you so much as choose either Remilia or Patchouli. You'll still get an ending, but you'll ultimately not resolve the incident. You also cannot be able to fight the culprit if you use her on the story mode, but, well... That's kinda obvious.
- Meta example on Hisoutensoku; both Sanae and Cirno fail to fight against the strange giant they were chasing about. Sanae ended up sparring with one of her shrine's goddesses, and Cirno ended up fighting Alice's Goliath Doll experiment. Fun fact: they were chasing after a hot-air balloon. Meiling's case is arguable, since it was just a dream fueled by a tengu manga after all.
- BioShock 2 is guilty of this, despite the first game having a final boss. All you do is fight off hordes of Splicers while Eleanor boils the water necessary to launch the escape sub. The very last thing you do is equalize the pressure by destroying the two large pipes, flooding the room and killing all remaining Splicers.
- In Tech Romancer, there are very few routes in the branching storylines that don't result in a final confrontation between the characters and Big Bad Goldibus, but they do exist. Some substitute a rival character instead of Goldibus, some don't have the second half of the boss fight.
- There's two actually two contenders for the final boss of Fallout 1 (The Master and the Lieutenant) depending on whether you tackle the Cathedral or the Military Base last, but fights with either of them can be skipped by sneaking in and blowing up the buildings they're in (or in The Master's case, convincing him that his entire plan is futile and causing him to commit suicide.)