The Post Final Boss
is an easy
boss you fight to clean up the plot after you fight the real Final Boss
. They're more common in RPGs than other types of games mainly because RPGs pay more attention to the plot than other types of games, but they can also be found in nearly any game that has a plot. Handled well, it can be very cathartic, especially if it comes quickly after That One Boss
, with no Save Point
or After Boss Recovery
Note that this is not always synonymous with Anticlimax Boss
; a climax is the "highest tension" part of a story or conflict, and everything after that is falling action after the rising action peaks. This would be a brief spike in the action before all conflicts are resolved and everything is summed up.
As this is an Ending Trope
, there will be Spoilers.
You have been warned.
Compare Post-Climax Confrontation
, Clipped Wing Angel
- This trope may best be illustrated by the fistfight in Metal Gear Solid. Snake has just destroyed his biggest, toughest enemy, a rampaging giant robot, and after returning to consciousness, he fights Liquid bare-knuckled and shirtless on the remains of the robot. Although unlike most examples of this trope, Liquid is a legitimate threat and can be a challenging fight; in fact, he can be tougher than Metal Gear Rex was.
- Arguably, that could just be considered the final part of a three-phase boss. The Jeep escape sequence afterwards is more of a gimme boss in comparison. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater also featured the showdown with Ocelot after the final boss.
- Possibly the earliest known example: In the original NES Bionic Commando, after killing Hitler, you must escape the base. As you climb out of the soon to explode base, you face one last enemy standing in the way of your escape: the cyborg soldier who was a boss in earlier levels. Interestingly enough, there's nothing stopping you from just ignoring him and continuing your climb.
- After beating the Elder Princess Shroob in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, she possesses Bowser in a last ditch attempt to kill the Mario Bros. and their younger counterparts back in the present time. Even though you're given no chance to attack, meaning you can only damage her spirit via Deadly Dodging, this battle is infinitely easier than what preceded it.
- After you fight Braska's Final Aeon in Final Fantasy X, you meet Yu Yevon in a fight that is mechanically impossible to lose unless you're deliberately trying.
- In Final Fantasy VII, after defeating the trope-naming One-Winged Angel form of Sephiroth, Cloud's mind is invaded by Sephiroth's consciousness in a last-ditch effort on the villain's part. During the fight's intro, Cloud's Limit Break meter fills up, prompting the player to use Omnislash on Sephiroth. And even if the player stands there and does nothing, Sephiroth hits Cloud with a gravity-based move, which Cloud counters, making the player win the fight anyways.
- Shadow of the Colossus: The Hopeless Boss Fight against the three knights after you've beaten the final Colossus. The kicker? YOU are the Colossus.
- Geldoblame in Baten Kaitos. Despite its mountain of hit points, it barely hits at all, has no defensive capacities, and gets one-shotted by a Spirit Attack. That being said, it has a kickass battle theme that's only heard here.
- Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings has one of these.
- Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days has Roxas fight Riku in The World That Never Was after finishing off the Sequential Boss, Xion. It's not a particularly easy fight, but definitely not final boss material, and we'd already seen exactly what happens due to Anachronic Order.
- The Armored Ventus Nightmare in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance fills this role, having far less HP then the previous bosses and serving only to undo leftover damage once the villains have been stopped. It's still tough enough to keep you on your toes, however.
- At the end of Live A Live, after a long and difficult battle against the Demon Lord Odio, you either fight Odio's "true form" (a weak human fighter who dies in a few hits), or spare Odio and end up fighting all the game's previous major bosses from the previous chapters (who have not leveled up in the interrim and thus pose only a very minor threat).
- At the end of the Alien campaign in Aliens Vs Predator 2, after a difficult battle against 2 Predators, the game ends with you fighting Dr. Eisenberg, a human with a shotgun who goes down after one hit.
- Seen in the PC version of Far Cry. In the final level, you fight (in order) the mutated, superpowered Big Bad, then go through That One Level fighting several Giant Mooks with rocket launchers and Demonic Spider snipers, then have to fight through a final gauntlet of Elite Mooks, before you finally come to the final villain; a weak scientist armed with a submachine gun who goes down in one bullet.
- Jowy in two of Suikoden II's endings.
- Lucien in Fable II with the Giant Shard serving as the actual final boss.
- In Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, after defeating Richter, you fight a Hopeless Boss Fight against Lloyd and Marta, followed by a Duel Boss against Ratatosk, which you don't even have to win.
- The final boss of Xenogears, Urobolus, is extremely easy. Of course, having just defeated God (or, rather, a somewhat mechanical creature that is sort of God but not really... don't ask...), anything would be easy.
- In Xenosaga II, after a difficult two round fight against the Patriarch, Jr. fights Albedo in a battle he can't lose.
- Xenoblade ends with a three-part battle against Zanza. However, the third form is identical to the second, and is vastly easier due to Shulk acquiring the True Monado between the second and third forms.
- Metroid Fusion has the Omega Metroid, which is basically a last challenge while being timed. He can be tricky, but his attacks are easy to avoid and you should have plenty of time to win. The SA-X is the true final boss really.
- The same goes for Dark Samus attacking you one last time in Metroid Prime 2, during the countdown escape. Emperor Ing is the real final boss.
- MB is another example, from Other M - the Metroid Queen is the main final boss, the last part is just a first person thing and you just have to aim for the enemy (MB) in order for a cutscene to play. It only resembles a challenge due to being backed up by four unique Elite Mooks (Desbrachian supersoldiers) who can still be knocked out of the way easily once you figure out the proper trick to them. However, there is a Playable Epilogue afterwards...
- At the end of the final Borderlands DLC (which is also the end of the Borderlands story proper), you fight a humongous Claptrap robot-fortress. After you blow that up, the 3-foot-tall Claptrap robot himself jumps out to fight you. He's pretty nimble and has a fairly damaging close-range hadoken move, but otherwise has relatively low health and damage output and is a pretty easy fight compared to the usual major boss battles in the game.
- This is seen in the post-credits sequence in Lands of Lore III. After defeating Jakel and saving the Lands from destruction, your character has one last fight with Evil Chancellor Lord Geron after you catch him trying to flee with the crown jewels. This is pretty well justified and a decent way to end the series, given that long-time fans have been waiting 3 games for the chance to shank that condescending, Obviously Evil Devil in Plain Sight asshat.
- Operation C, the Contra game for the original Game Boy, has you fight a giant robot guardian before confronting the alien leader. The alien leader itself is just a giant Brain in a Jar with no form of defense whatsoever.
- Killer7 ends this way with TWO of them. After a Mind Screw battle against Secretary of Education Greg Nightmare, you go back to the Union Hotel and witness Garcian/Emir kill the other six members and Harman and Kun Lan getting mercilessly shot to death. It cultimates in a showdown between Garcian and his past self, Emir Parkreiner, on the roof. After defeating him, you unlock a Playable Epilogue. You make your way through Battleship Island and learn quite a bit of Mind Screws, which end you up in Garcian's Trailerhouse. Finally, you head down to fight the Last Shot Smile to end the Heaven Smile terror threat...who you chase down a hallway that's WAY too big for a basement, which a Trailerhouse shouldn't have anyway, and shoot him down to reveal that he's some mixture of Kun Lan and Iwazaru. Or Iwazaru was Kun Lan all along. Or it's Kun Lan dressing as Iwazaru. Or... you know, let's not question this.
- It could be argued that Gary is this in Bully, with the clique leader Boss Rush being the Final Boss stage. The fight against Gary consists largely of taunts and arguments, before an easy fight which ends with Gary being expelled. Really, the fight is only there to get back at Gary for the events of the rest of the game, but the earlier Boss Rush provided much more of a challenge.
- In Manhunt, after a tense cat-and-mouse battle against the monstrous, completely insane Piggsy, the Director himself is an overweight schmuck who takes a few potshots at you with a pistol as you chase him around and finally eviscerate him with a chainsaw.
- Super Robot Wars Original Generation Gaiden: Neo Granzon, much easier than Dark Brain which had around a Million HP and 30% HP Regen
- In the Fallout 3 DLC Operation Anchorage, you deal with Sibley and his band of Brotherhood Outcasts after defeating the ultra-tough General Jingwei in the simulation. Since Sibley and his squad are each only about as powerful as a low to mid tier Enclave soldier, and you just looted a vault full of T-51 Power Armor and Gauss Rifles, they don't put up much of a fight.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, if the players take the House or Independent ending, they'll have to deal with General Oliver after dealing with Legate Lanius. Oliver himself is relatively weak, but is accompanied by NCR Veteran Rangers wielding Brush Guns (one of the best rifles of the game). Like Lanius however, the player can choose to talk him into simply leaving. If not, you'll at least have your own Elite Mecha-Mooks to back you up and chances are you'll be enough of a One-Man Army at that point to take every one of them down yourself.
- In the endings of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines where you gun for him, LaCroix turns out to be an example of this after you've disposed of The Sheriff as the Final Boss. Whatever way it goes down, he's defeated with some dialogue and a cutscene.
- The Meteor Parasite in Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles. Before you can deliver the final blow, you get whisked away to the Final Boss. After beating the last boss, you get transported back to the parasite, who is still in critical condition, being at 1 HP and unable to fight back at all. All it takes is a single attack to finish it off.
- The PS3 version of Eternal Sonata turns Frederic into this by upgrading the previous battle from a rather easy battle against something close to a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere in the Xbox 360 version to a much harder fight to the death with the Evil Overlord. If you managed to beat him, the Post Final Boss should be a walk in the park for you.
- The fight against the Lunar Dragon (somewhat inexplicably renamed the Time Devourer in the English localization) from Chrono Cross is an epic Final Boss fight, spanning several locales and stages, and packing a lot of hard-hitting attacks and Elements. Afterwards there's the fight against the real Time Devourer (the Lavos one), who doesn't hit nearly as hard, and who is defeated by playing a song.
- In Daikatana, Kage Mishima appears as a strong Duel Boss. In the portable version, he has two forms and can do a lot of damage to Hiro. After the fight, Mikiko betrays Hiro and can be defeated in a couple of seconds on both versions.
- After a tough battle with Dr. Wily's machine in Mega Man 2, you go through a stage with no obstacles except dripping lava. Then, you see him turn into an alien. That would be pretty imposing, if it didn't use a simple figure 8 flight pattern and single shots (although it's immune to everything except Bubble Lead and does a lot of damage if you touch the alien itself). Granted, it's justified as it's actually a hologram projector, so it's not like Wily had anything else left.
- This is seen in Silent Hill Downpour. After defeating the giant "Wheelman" monster as the final boss, the game ends with Anne appearing and trying to murder you. She's a puny human armed with a pistol, while you're suddenly playing as The Bogeyman (who's at the same level of toughness as Pyramid Head was). Surprisingly, Anne still manages to put up a half-decent fight, although she has pretty much zero chance of actually killing you.
- Wizard101 has a double version of this trope for the world of Avalon. In the second to last dungeon the player fights the insanely powerful Young Morganthe, and the fight is then followed by the much easier fight with Sir Malory. The final dungeon is also easy compared to the second to last (although Pendragon is tough without any healing spells) and there is even a fairly easy Dual Boss after him.
- In Lunar: Silver Star Story, after finally defeating Ghaleon for the last time, you still have to deal with an Ax-Crazy Althena. Just walking up the stairs to pick a fight with her gets you one-shot killed. You have to remind her who you are, or else... Somewhat subverted, though, since either way you never actually fight her.
- The most recent version averts the trope completely; because the "Prove your identity" requirement was added by the company that handled the first remake, it's not present here.
- Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones. The Vizier is a very challenging final boss. Anticlimax, thy name is Dark Presence!
- In MOTHER 3, after a climactic (and quite challenging) showdown with Master Porky's spider mech, Lucas and the Masked Man duel over who pulls the final needle. The problem is that the Masked Man has been revealed to be a Chimera version of his long lost twin brother Claus, so the battle is just Claus dealing more than 100 HP of damage per turn to Lucas while Lucas guards and heals himself until a cutscene takes place, after which Claus becomes weaker and starts to regain his memories, ultimately culminating in his suicide. Provided you have the healing items, PP, and healing PSI to endure the fight, it's not hard at all. Well, except emotionally.
- Literary example in The Lord of the Rings. The hobbits have done their part to destroy Sauron, certainly the greatest evil in their world, only to return home and realize the Shire's been taken over by thugs commanded by a de-powered Saruman. He's not quite a challenge compared to the unutterable evil that was Sauron but he serves as a grim reminder that war can even touch the supposedly untouchable.
- In Persona 3, after your party defeats Nyx Avatar, you ultimately face the true form of Nyx alone. It deals 4-digit damage every turn (and you can only have 3-digit HP), but you just get back up anyway, and after a few hits, you become immune to its attack. All you need to do is wait a few turns until you can use your only ability, Great Seal, which instantly ends the battle when used.
- Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards mixes this and True Final Boss. 0, now revived as 02, is fought after Miracle Matter after getting every Shard. However, 02 is almost universally considered to be far easier than Miracle Matter and is only in the game to show how Dark Matter is still attacking after 0's death.
- Demon's Souls has King Allant/Wannabe Allant below the Nexus. It's just meant to showcase what Allant's corruption did to him and a warning to the player against choosing the evil ending.
- All of the final targets in the Silent Scope games, which you have to take down with your last bullet.
- The Chronicles of Inotia 4: Assasin of Berkel: After successfully killing Alexander and having an epic Battle in the Center of the Mind with Chaos Strider Moar, you end up on a snowfield, fighting your way through polar bears till you reach your destination where the big reveal waits... then the game just ends on a cliffhanger until Elinia takes you to the post-game dungeon.
- Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Sonic and Tails' version of the game has multiple bosses back-to-back in the final level: the Death Ball, then Robotnik's Egg Mecha (which has two stages), and finally Robotnik's glorified escape pod. The escape pod is by far the easiest of the bunch—it doesn't attack at all, so the only challenge is timing your attacks so the rebound doesn't knock you off the crumbling platforms. Of course, if you're playing as Sonic and you have all the chaos emeralds, then you face the True Final Boss immediately afterwards, and it's no pushover.
- Marauder Shields from Mass Effect 3. After the long, difficult wave based encounter where the game throws everything it has at you (including three of the one-hit-kill Banshees at once) that serves as the game's final boss, there's a story-based sequence where an injured Shepard, armed only with a pistol, has to fight through a few more enemies, who have greatly reduced health. The only way to lose is to just stand there and not fight back. Of course, this is followed by a dialog boss fight against the game's main antagonist, so it's only post-final-boss if you're talking in terms of combat.
- For all you're told to beware him, Lahabrea from Final Fantasy XIV is tragically easy with a low health pool and only one truly dangerous attack making Gaius and the Ultima Weapon the final challenge of the story.
- In Pokémon X and Y, after defeating the Champion, the player is thrown a parade to celebrate. However, at said parade, AZ, whom the player had encountered several times during their journey, requests a battle. After the battle, he finally lets go of the anger in his heart about what happened 3000 years ago. Suddenly, from the sky floats down a Floette - and AZ collapses to his knees and cries with happiness, having finally been reunited with his friend after so long.
- Batman: Arkham City has Harley Quinn's Revenge, a DLC set some time after the ending of the main game which deals with Harley's Villainous Breakdown after the game and her attempt at revenge for the death of The Joker. Since this is Harley Quinn we're talking about, she's not exactly that big of a threat and the DLC is more to wrap up loose ends.