Post Final Boss
The Post Final Boss is a 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 distinct from 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. For that reason, a Post Final boss tends to very easy, if not outright effortless
, to defeat.
As this is an Ending Trope
, there will be spoilers.
You have been warned.
Compare Post-Climax Confrontation
, Clipped Wing Angel
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater features a showdown after the final boss. Ocelot jumps on board the escape plane and challenge Snake to a duel with two revolvers, one with one bullet and one totally empty. No matter what, Snake and Ocelot are unhurt (the bullet is either a blank or you can miss on purpose), and the ending proper starts immediately afterwards.
- Possibly the earliest known example: In the original NES Bionic Commando and its remake, after killing Hitler/Master D/The Leader, you must escape the base (or in the remake, the Albatross airship). 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, successfully repelling the Shroob invasion, and returning to the present, Elder Princess Shroob's remains merge with Bowser in a last ditch attempt to kill the Mario Bros. and their younger counterparts. Interestingly, the player is given no turns to actually attack, and instead must damage the boss entirely with counter-attacks and Deadly Dodging; despite the gimmick (or perhaps because of it), this battle is still much 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 designed to impossible to lose. It's possible to get a Game Over if you Petrify all of your characters, but you'd have to be trying to do that.
- In Tokyo Xtreme Racer: Drift 2, after defeating the True Final Boss Ground Zero, multiples of Giant Space Flea from Nowhere challengers called "Twenty Masters" appear anywhere, though these are more of Elite Mooks you may encounter, and you may not race them.
- 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.
- The Negativatron of LittleBigPlanet 2. After destroying its final phase, you're dropped into the belly of the beast... where you only need to land on top of its heart to finish the fight.
- Kingdom Hearts:
- In Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days the "real" Final Boss is Xion, with her fight and subsequent destruction at the hands of Roxas fueling the emotional climax of the narrative. The fight with Riku afterwards is significantly easier and shorter since he has one form compared to Xion's four and is much less aggressive with his attack patterns. The confrontation is there mainly to tie the ending into the prologue of Kingdom Hearts II.
- The fight against Data-Roxas at the end of Kingdom Hearts coded is shorter and much simpler than the earlier one against Sora's Heartless. Data-Roxas has one form with a decent amount of health, while Sora's Heartless has 4 (technically 5) forms and his end removes all of the bugs from Jiminy's Journal.
- The Armored Ventus Nightmare in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance has far less HP than Young Xehanort and is a bit easier to deal with. It only exists to resolve leftover damage caused by Xehanort's plans after they've been thwarted.
- 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" (Oersted, the protagonist of the Medieval chapter, who gets no benefit from Health/Damage Asymmetry and goes down 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 interim and thus pose only a very minor threat).
- After destroying the Jubileus, the creator in Bayonetta, the credits roll. Unless you were expecting No Ending, it's clear that there's more; it turns out these are fake credits, and Jeanne will show up at the end to remind Bayonetta that the statue used to summon Jubileus can't be allowed to crash back down to Earth, so you and her team up to tear it apart as one last action.
- During the credits (the real ones), you'll also replay the original fight against Jeanne. You'll only have 30 seconds to do it, though, so her health and blocking/dodging abilities are incredibly stunted here.
- 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.
- The Biobliterator of Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal. You're given a Hovership to fight the thing, and even if it's destroyed, there's an extra Hovership you can get!
- 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. If you win that Hopeless Boss Fight, you get the game's absolute worst ending for your trouble.
- 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.
- MB is another example, from Metroid: 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...
- Metroid likes this trope. After a lengthy, three-phase battle against Emperor Ing in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Dark Samus ambushes you one last time during the obligatory escape sequence. It's somewhat more difficult than most examples of this trope, as it's a gimmick fight on a time limit, but is shorter and easier than the Emperor Ing fight that preceded it and helps wrap up some loose ends.
- 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.
- 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 final battle against Zophar in Lunar 2: Eternal Blue is a long, grueling, 3-phase fight that can take up to half an hour depending on your party's strength. After this fight, you must fight one more, extremely easy form, which has very low HP and a single attack that causes low damage.
- The most recent version of Lunar 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.
- Shin Megami Tensei IV: The worst ending, bordering on No Final Boss for You, does this. After a trip to alternate dimensions where you deal with Pluto, a poisonous machine sent by God, and Kenji, an human-turned Energy Being who ruled over one of the alternate Tokyos, the White appear again and make an offer while revealing their true intentions: Use Pluto and Kenji, as well as their victims, to make Flynn pass the Despair Event Horizon and destroy the multiverse. If you accept, you beat up on a defenseless Magical Particle Accelerator until it breaks, causing a massive apocalypse. The proper final battle is Kenji, but the powerless Control Device is the last opponent of the route.
- Shin Megami Tensei: Persona:
- In Persona 3, after the party defeats Nyx Avatar, the protagonist ultimately faces the true form of Nyx alone. It deals 4-digit damage every turn (in a game where the heroes can only have 3-digit HP), but The Power of Friendship grants the hero the Universe Arcana, allowing the hero to continue fighting and eventually becoming outright immune to attack. All the player has to do is wait a few turns until they can use their only ability, Great Seal, which instantly ends the battle when used, but at the expense of the hero having to sacrifice himself to do it.
- Persona 4 ends the same way in the True Ending, wherein The Power of Friendship allows the protagonist's initial Persona, Izanagi, to transform into Izanagi-no-Okami (Great God Izanagi). After a few turns of eating 999 damage spells that would instantly KO him in regular gameplay, the hero unleashes one final attack, Myriad Truths, to wipe away all of the lies and deceit in humanity, instantly ending the battle.
- 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.
- In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, the rival May/Brendan serves this role, challenging you to a battle after the credits and being around 10 levels lower than the Champion. They do use a Mega Evolution, but it's likely to be so underleveled it's hardly a threat. Also, like the above AZ fight, you don't even gain exp for this battle. The fight mostly exists to wrap-up the rival's character arc.
- 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.
- After defeating Bane in Batman: Arkham Origins, you fight some group of mooks until you get to the Joker, who goes down rather easily.
- Wild Arms 2 has Lord Blazer, fought after annihilating the main threat, the Kuiper Belt. While Lord Blazer himself is arguably a very large threat plot-wise, he is weak in battle, and the fight is scripted in that all you have to do to beat him is use a certain command multiple times.
- The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard gives us Nafaalilargus, a dragon. After defeating him, you move on to the final boss, who is a fat old man.
- Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 has Naruto fighting the seven remaining Tailed Beasts — Kaiju, in other words — then Tobi, the man controlling them. Naruto is powered up for the Tailed Beasts, with fast movement and huge attack power. He retains that same overpowered state fighting Tobi, who is meant for normal head-to-head play. Even with the AI turned way up, Naruto can combo on Tobi for such ridiculous damage meant for the Tailed Beasts that the fight is pathetically short and easy by comparison.
- In Dark Forces, you beat the final level's boss: the main general who's been the game's Big Bad, though of course Darth Vader outranks him. He's got a suit that can do everything his Dark Trooper robots can, plus can shoot heat seeking missiles, up to ten at a time. How dead will he make you? Very. But once you get past him, you must get to a ship and escape. Guarding it? A single Imperial Officer. The weakest of the human enemies, with your standard blaster he goes down in one shot (Officers take one, Stormtroopers take two, Commandos take three.) He is the actual last enemy you will "fight." Of course, if you barely survived the Big Bad on your last life, get taken out by this chump, and must retake the level from the beginning, you will cry like a baby.
- In Super Smash Bros. Master Core's final phase is a plain orb. That just sits there waiting for you to attack it until it has built up enough knock back to hit a blast line. Just don't idle or it unleashes a decently hard to dodge desperation attack that is an Instant KO. After which, it blows itself up.
- Subverted in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, where the final battle of All-Star Mode is against Captain Olimar. It seems underwhelming at first, since the penultimate battle was against the Pokemon cast, which had 6 fighters. However, Olimar's A.I. is highly ramped up, so the fight is actually quite difficult, more so than even the Pokemon battle.
- In the NES version of Strider, after defeating Big Bad Matic, the final task is to destroy Yggdrasil, the main ZAIN computer, which is only slightly more difficult than the previous ZAIN machines.
- In Winback: Covert Operations, after you defeat your traitorous CO, Cecile bursts into the room, but can be curbstomped with the mounted machine guns once you get past the laser fences.
- In Space Invaders Infinity Gene, the sole enemy of the very final stage, "Back Mutation", is fought in the same reproduction of the original Space Invaders game played at the very beginning. True to the series' roots, it's moving so fast that failing to Lead the Target will inevitably cause it to reach the bottom row and kill the player. Whether or not the player succeeds, the ending scene will roll.
- At the end of Resident Evil 2's B scenario, after you destroy the Tyrant T-103 and escape the exploding lab via train, the ending cutscene is interrupted when G's final, most grotesque form slithers onboard. Fortunately, it's a pushover.
- After the final boss fight against the Pig Star's core in Rocket Knight Adventures, you evacuate the space station before it explodes. However, the last piece of the core isn't done with you. The final challenge is to dodge its last desperate attacks, waiting for it to burn up in atmospheric re-entry.
- You face the real final boss of Tomb Raider, the Giant Atlantean who is a legitimately difficult fight, at the beginning of the final stage and spend the rest of the level fleeing the pyramid before it collapses. About halfway through you run into Natla who has since sprouted devil wings and is carrying a bomb launcher, but even with the starting pistols you'll take her down before she even manages an attack. If you happen to miss her sound bite, you'll probably assume she's just a regular enemy.
- In Quake IV, after the defeat of the Makron, your final opponent is the Hive Mind's brain, whose only defenses are its enemy spawns, and whom can be taken out with a few BFG blasts.
- Urban Reign: Once you get through with the last of the gangster bosses(a formidable swordmaster called Shinkai), it's time to confront the corrupt politician who's behind the current chaos. Although he uses a gun that can kill your character in one or two hits, it's easily dodged, and he'll go down with one hit. The whole mission only takes five seconds, so even if you fail, it's hardly a major effort to try again.
- In Wing Commander III after completing the final mission, which is basically a homage to the Trench Run in A New Hope, you come face to face with a quartet of heavy fighters before you can jump home and complete the game. Under normal circumstances these might be a legit threat, but at this point they spawn with no missiles and you are flying a ship that is pretty close to a game-breaker.
- After the fight with God-Flowey in the Neutral ending is Asriel Dreemurr in the Pacifist ending. While it would be a challenging fight in its own right, the challenge is kind of neutered by the fact that you can't lose. Ever. Even if you die, you simply pick yourself back up through sheer determination and pick up where you left off.
- The effective final boss of the No Mercy path is Sans the skeleton, as the two bosses following this one, Asgore and Flowey, are killed automatically.
- In Heart of the Ice, the Fisticuffs Boss fight with The Watcher during a Dying Dream.
- The Dungeons & Dragons adventure path Age of Worms ends with a battle against the worm-god Kyuss, an extremely difficult fight. Once the players have defeated him, the prince of the city of Alhaster challenges them to a duel for dominion of the city. However, he's four levels lower than the party, and gives up quickly - this is just so that he can hand control of the city to the heroes who saved him.
- As part of Contact's Gainax Ending, it's Terry, the Player Character, who has finally gotten sick of you controlling him.
- The effective Final Boss of most Gradius games is either a Cores and Turrets Boss or an indestructible giant walker of some sort, as in the vast majority of games the Bacterian emperor (or whatever serves as a stand-in for it, such as Gofer from Gradius II or Original Visions of Ultimate Monster from Gradius Gaiden) puts up little or no effort to guard itself.
- Crysis 3: After the fight with the Alpha Ceph, which is very much a genuine challenge, the True Ceph warship, for all its buildup in-story, turns out to be this. You hack into Archangel, line it up and fire. There is so much time to aim that you have to deliberately refuse to fire to lose.