Occasionally, games will decide to give you a break and actually feature methods of skipping boss battles
, most often by talking them out of
fighting the player or by using some convenient environmental feature
to instantly destroy them.
Of course, skipping the boss may not be the best course of action if you earn a nifty reward by defeating it through normal means, or if there's one for 100% Completion
. But, hey, that's the penalty you get for taking the easy way out.
The Skippable Boss is occasionally the alternative to the Hopeless Boss Fight
. It most frequently occurs in (but is not limited to) RPGs
. See also Puzzle Boss
The inverse is a Bonus Boss
; the difference is that the Skippable Boss is fought by default, while the Bonus Boss is skipped by default instead.
Note that a Speed Run
, particularly tool-assisted one, can make bosses skippable unintentionally.
- There are three way to deal with most bosses in Dark Souls: fighting them the hard way (emphasis on hard), use environmental features to make a quick job of them, or just skip them altogether:
- If you pick the Master Key item at the start of the game (or get a free one by choosing Thief as your starting class), you can completly skip having to fight the Taurus Demon by unlocking a door prior to the fog door by traveling to certain areas in this order (Darkroot Basin -> Darkroot Garden -> Undead Parish -> Undead Burg). The Capra Demon in the Lower Undead Burg and the Gaping Dragon in the Depths can also be skipped by opening an early shortcut to Blighttown to face Chaos Witch Quelaag and ring the second tower bell from the Firelink Shrine and New Londo Ruins.
- The Stray Demon can be fought as soon as you complete the tutorial by heading back to the Undead Asylum; doing so will net you a rare weapon upgrade material, but you don't need to fight it in order to get a key item to open up the Painted World of Ariamis for more rare loot and another optional boss.
- The Moonlight Butterfly is only there to guard an Ember that can be used to unlock a new weapon ascension path and a key to a door you can already open if you have the Master Key.
- Crossbreed Priscilla in the Painted World of Ariamis isn't just an optional boss, but the fight itself is optional, as she will let you walk right past her to leave the Painted World if you wish, but you can start the fight by attacking her.
- Dark Sun Gwyndolin requires a special ring found in the Catacombs to be confronted, and beating him will net you a new miracle along with his soul for weapon forging.
- If you join the Chaos Servant covenant and pay the covenant leader 30 Humanity, you can open a shortcut to Lost Izalith from the Demon Ruins to reach the Bed of Chaos without having to fight both the Demon Firesage and the Centipede Demon. The shortcut will also allow you to save Solaire from being possessed by a Chaos Bug.
- An unintentional example is Ceaseless Discharge, as having enough stamina, HP, fire resistance, and the Dark Wood Grain Ring let you just run through the lava pit you normally need to kill him to dry up.
- Most of Deus Ex's bosses aren't required to be killed and can simply be evaded and ignored, making the game well-suited to a Pacifist Run, which is a favourite Deus Ex playthrough. 2027, a mod for Deus Ex, has Magnus as this, which can be done by evading him, killing him when he is technically not a boss at the time, or making the right choices throughout the game.
- The final boss in Fallout can either be killed normally in a fight, talked into committing suicide if you show him proof that his plan is doomed to failure, or be blown up by a bomb hidden in his lair that can be activated by the player. Similarly, Legate Lanius, the final boss for most of the endings of Fallout: New Vegas can be convinced to issue a retreat by convincing him several different ways that even if he were to win the Legion would not be able to sustain itself for long (either via lack of manpower to hold all of their territories or having no supply routes, eventually starving) after that and would eventually lose via attrition. Also, if you're fighting for the Legion, Mr. House or Independence, you can also convince General Oliver and his Elite Mooks to stand down either by convincing him he's lost or in the latter two threatening him with your robot army/other allies.
- In the final Fallout: New Vegas expansion pack Lonesome Road, a particularly clever player can out-philosophize Ulysses with his own logic and convince him to stand down.
- This also applies to just about every DLC. You can simply walk out on Father Elijah in Dead Money so he'll get himself locked in the vault after you check it first, convince the Think Tank to work for you instead, along with deciding not to pick a fight with Mobius, in Old World Blues, and either convince Salt-Upon-Wounds to flee (if you're evacuating), let Joshua unceremoniously execute him, or convince Joshua to let him run off (if you're attacking the White Legs) in Honest Hearts. It's easier to list the bosses you cannot skip (which would be, not counting sidequest bosses and mook rushes, just the Giant Roboscorpion from Old World Blues).
- This can also be done with General Jingwei in Fallout 3's Operation Anchorage DLC.
- Metal Gear:
- Metal Gear Solid 3 features a boss that can be sniped when first seen, thus avoiding a later fight with him. Alternatively, one can use one of Metal Gear's trademark meta-fictional tricks: the boss dies of old age if you set the system clock ahead by a few days at a certain point in the game. Or you could just wait out those real-time days. From the same game, the sequence against The Sorrow is skippable, if you know the trick. If you take the fake death pill and then the revival pill as soon as the sequence starts, you'll skip the battle with The Sorrow. However, doing so means you won't get The Sorrow's camouflage.
- The original Metal Gear for the MSX features a boss battle with a tank. While you'll probably take a bit of damage, it's possible to just walk around the tank and go to the next area without destroying it. Additionally, there was a glitch in the NES version that allowed you to skip having to blow up the computer by simply turning immediately right when you entered the room (you would glitch into the final boss room). Handy if you never bothered rescuing the scientist (you can only blow up the computer with plastic explosives IF the scientist told you).
- In Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, the Naval Piranha Plant, which grows into the World 3 boss, can be killed with an egg before one gets so close as to trigger the fight-starting cutscene. Oddly, while this is not the only boss you can see (and throw things at!) before starting the battle, it is the only one you can affect this way: probably because the stage itself makes it a point to teach you about deflecting eggs and making them skip on the water surface, more or less making the way you can bypass the boss fight a Final Exam Boss in the subject itself.
- In Super Mario 3D Land, in one of the Special World airships, a boss battle with Boom Boom can (and must, if you want to get all the star coins) be skipped by taking another route.
- The final confrontation with the ultimate boss of Planescape: Torment can be resolved without violence... in about four different ways. And each of those ways have a couple of different ways of going about it. Indeed, not fighting the boss gives you a somewhat better ending than if you killed it.
- The final boss in Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura can, in the same manner as the Fallout boss, be persuaded that his plan is unsound and will then allow the player to kill him without resistance.
- It is possible to skip various bosses in Mega Man X5. Either launch the Enigma laser or shuttle early, or let Eurasia fall to Earth.
- In Resident Evil: Code: Veronica, with the exception of Hopeless Boss Steve and Final Boss Alexia, every other Boss Battle is skippable to some degree:
- The Gulp Worm can be skipped not once but twice; the first time by Claire, the second time by Chris. However, doing so the second time results in a couple of items Lost Forever (assuming Claire gave Rodrigo the hemostat earlier; otherwise there's no point in fighting it).
- While the Tyrant must be catapulted from the seaplane in order to be defeated, Claire can either do that five times in a row and defeat him... or choose to fight him, weaken him enough, and then catapult him to his death. Similarly with Nosferatu, Claire can One-Hit Kill him with a precise sniper shot or stab to the heart, bypassing the whole fight (though this requires quite a lot of luck in striking the one polygon).
- Chris can fight the adult Albinoid from a safe distance and afterwards fetch the Eagle Plate unharmed... or he can just jump in, absorb some damage from the electrified pool, and leave with the Plate without even fighting the Albinoid.
- Same goes with the large Black Widow custodying Alexander's Pierce, except you can fetch the item in question without even getting hit once, so there's even less of a reason to stay and fight the spider in the first place.
- For the original Resident Evil, there's two examples:
- While both scenarios require you weaken it with chemicals, Jill can skip the actual fight against Plant 42, courtesy of having the lockpick as her default item. If she stumbles into its main room, Barry will automatically kill it with a flamethrower. In Chris' scenario, it must be fought normally.
- In both scenarios, you can skip the first fight with Yawn by running around him really fast and grabbing the emblem required to get an item. It's not too hard, but getting bitten by him results in the player getting poisoned, requiring them to detour and grab a serum.
- Resident Evil 4:
- Ramon Salazar's right hand creature, Verdugo, stalks you in a corridor while you wait for the elevator. Once it arrives you can just get on and forget about him — which is nice, because he's really hard to kill. And, unlike most of these, if you go back, he's still there waiting for you, only now you're cornered, and are very unlikely to stop being so before you die.
- In chapter 2-3, the player has to choose between two paths, one of which features the second El Gigante encounter and need never be entered. The other path has a small army of Ganados including chainsaw wielding mini-bosses (good thing the player can get position at the higher ground), however, so you're not getting a free pass. If you're going for all the treasures and 100% Completion, you must explore both paths.
- In the SNES RPG Secret of Evermore, it is possible to skip one boss, the Verminator, and continue on with the game... but if you do, you'll eventually be trapped in a room filled with boxes from which there is no escape. Have fun starting the game over!
- In the first Fighting Fantasy book, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, when you finally meet the title warlock, you can
- fight him straight off (which is not easy),
- cleverly reduce him to roughly half power (which is a relatively easy fight), or
- depending on choices made earlier on in the adventure, kill him instantly without risk.
You get the same ending whichever way you use.
- This more or less became a series staple. Fighting Fantasy as a whole generally offered ways to avoid fighting enemies and risking death if the player knew what he was doing. Given that the final boss was often ridiculously hard, this was usually the only way to win these things.
- Jade Empire had a whole host of battles that you could avoid by choosing a good or evil course of action.
- Same goes for Fable and most other games with a Karma Meter.
- In Mass Effect 1, you can convince the Final Boss to commit suicide. But regardless of which way you kill him, Sovereign will still assume direct control of his cybernetics after he's dead, so you still have to fight the One-Winged Angel form.
- Kirby Super Star has a miniboss in its "Dyna Blade" sub-game that the player skips 99% of the time, as you've likely picked up an Invincibility Power-Up that is still in effect (reversing Collision Damage onto the boss)
- Also, in "Spring Breeze", you have the ability to get the almighty Crash ability right before a boss. Fire off Crash when the bosses appear, and you'll kill them both instantly. The same "Spring Breeze" level also has an example of instantly defeating a miniboss with invincibility.
- In "The Great Cave Offensive", you can instantly kill a miniboss by destroying the bridge it's supposed to land on before it appears. You have to be quick; if you try destroying it after it appears, it will just jump safely onto solid ground.
- In Cave Story, a late part of the game has two dragons (the Sisters) that you fight if you open a very obvious chest in the middle of the room. Less obviously, you can avoid the chest and continue on. Earlier in the game, Recurring Boss Balrog explicitly asks you if you want to fight. If you respond with "no," he says "Oh, okay" and goes about his way.
- Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis had a difficult fist-fight against a Nazi that could be avoided by crushing him with a boulder (and a lesser opponent which could be defeated by toppling a stone slab onto him), but in order to get maximum "Indy points", you had to go through the game multiple times, actually fighting the boss at least once. Also, the majority of fights could be skipped outright by using the "Sucker Punch" option, which downed the enemy immediately. You got no Indy Points, though, and the above-named Giant Mook just shrugs it off and laughs.
- Chrono Trigger features two skippable bosses. In one, you fight Magus in North Cape after the fall of Zeal... and you can skip this by convincing him to join forces instead. The second is Lavos. When you arrive in 1999 AD via Epoch, you can crash it into Lavos and skip his first form. However, doing so eliminates your ability to return to the End of Time for saving and healing; on the plus side, whether or not you crash the Epoch changes the ending. And a subverted skippable boss earlier as well:
Nizbel: You wanna see Azala? She's right through here.
(You walk past Nizbel, mentally thanking him for the directions.)
Nizbel: Hey! I meant you gotta go through me! Whaddaya think I was standing here looking all vicious for?
- The final confrontation with the Turks in Final Fantasy VII, if you ran the Wutai subquest, can be skipped simply by refusing to fight. However, if you have a Steal materia handy, there's enough loot between the three of them to make it worth the effort anyway. You can also skip the Gongaga and Sunken Plane Turk encounters by simply choosing not to go there. By the time the plot forces you to go to Gongoga, they will be gone, and you don't ever need to go to the Plane at all, and even then once Shinra folds at the end of Disc 2, the Turks won't be there anymore.
- Final Fantasy VIII's last dungeon strips your party of most of your abilities as soon as you go in, and there are numerous bosses scattered about the place that must be killed to get them back. Or not — if you know what you're doing, you can eliminate the only two mandatory bosses that stand in the way of the Big Bad, and fight her with the bare minimum commands needed to win.
- The second time Tiger Joe shows up in God Hand, you can run right past him and exit the stage without so much as one punch.
- In the second Neverwinter Nights expansion, Hordes of the Underdark, if you're incredibly rich, you can make a donation to learn the final boss's true name. With this in hand, you can order him to give up — or even become your subordinate as you take over his plans.
- In the Githyanki Base in Neverwinter Nights 2, it's possible to bluff Zaxis into believing that he failed his mission, instantly "killing" him. Until later in the game, when you won't get to fight him anyway.
- The three Machina Arma wielders from Baten Kaitos Origins can be skipped the second time around. Beating them but sparing their lives afterward results in three extra scenes at the end of the game.
- Several bosses in Final Fantasy X can be bribed rather than defeated by conventional means.
- Evrae Altana in the Via Purifico can either be fought the long and relatively difficult way, which involves fighting your way across a series of rooms, or killed near-instantly by two Phoenix Downs. In fact, skipping the "proper" fight allows you to grab a few chests with equipment that would've been Lost Forever otherwise.
- Sonic Chronicles has the party approached by a Swatbot with memory issues. Telling it that it's programmed to fight makes it fight you, while telling it that it's served its purpose causes it to self-destruct. Later on, when you first encounter Shadow, if you tell him you don't want to fight him, you won't. Shadow will say something, and then it skips straight to the dialogue that happens after the fight.
- Nethack, of all games, has a bunch of these:
- When you confront various major demons in their lairs, a good fraction of them will offer to not fight you if you bribe them. As this amount is a fraction of how much you're visibly carrying, it's possible to skip a fight for the price of a rusty dagger.
- In addition, as a chaotic character, sacrificing your original species summons a peaceful Yeenoghu or Juiblex, some of the toughest enemies in the game. More specifically, it summons those demons out of their lairs and to your present location, and makes them peaceful to you. Since they'll no longer be in their lair when you inevitably have to go through them, you've skipped the boss by taming it.
- Metroid Zero Mission has a worm that appears at least twice, but you don't need to kill to proceed in the game... only to get a very helpful Charge Beam which will be Lost Forever if you skip the fight.
- In Super Metroid, every boss can be skipped through some Sequence Breaking.
- None of the Metroid Hatcher fights in Metroid Prime 3 are mandatorily fought.
- Subverted in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction: The guardians of The Very Definitely Final Dungeon can be bypassed with a Plot Coupon. The problem? The Big Bad bribes one of the NPCs into handing him the Plot Coupon, which means he gets the free pass instead. Enjoy your boss fight!
- In Final Fantasy XII, The Elder Wyrm boss fight, which some people tend to find harder than most of the game's boss fights because of its favour of status-effecting attacks, can be skipped by taking another route to the next area. There are some pretty tough enemies that you have to run past, but it gets you away from the boss.
- In Chrono Cross, it is possible to get the Black Dragon's relic without fighting him: just bring along a party of non-humans. Unfortunately, doing so means he'll never leave the area, and the player will never obtain a rare item required to forge Prism equipment (the best in the game).
- Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword has a few of these, usually in timed missions:
- Carjiga in chapter 4 Lyn's route
- Puzon in chapter 13x
- Sealen in chapter 15 Hector's route
- Damien in chapter 16x Eliwood's route (in Hector's route he comes charging right for you)
- Zoldam in chapter 17E/18H
- Kishuna in chapter 18x (in either route, but in Hector's route it's worth killing him for the secret sidequest)
- Eubans in chapter 21E/22H
- Kishuna again in 22xE/23xH (where you're not intended to fight him, much less pick him off)
- Ursula in chapter 26E/28H
- Denning in chapter 29E/31H
- Another Fire Emblem example exists in Path of Radiance, where you can choose to fight the Raven King Naesala and struggle against the third-deadliest enemy in the whole game, or talk to him using one of your hawks and then Reyson to convince him and his troops to leave the battlefield.
- In the arcade game Wonder Boy in Monster Land, the boss Sphynx will let you pass without a fight if you answer correctly his really zany questions (no, the answer is not "the Man").
- Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3: The penguin boss, Not only is the entire world he's the boss of completely optional and non-connected to the story, there's actually an UNLOCKED EXIT DOOR right next to the boss for the character to simply walk out the fight. And the exit counts as finishing the level/beating the boss.
- Star Fox 64 has several bosses that can be skipped:
- If you go the easy route, any Star Wolf Members you didn't defeat on Fortuna show up again on Bolse. In both cases, you can ignore them (although that means you'll have to let the timer run out on Fortuna). Subverted, however, if you avoid both of those stages, as they'll reappear in the much deadlier Wolfen IIs when you arrive on the advanced Venom route.
- If you enter one of the Warp Zones, you'll skip the respective level's boss.
- The boss on Macbeth (a train with a mecha-kite) can be skipped by redirecting it into a fuel depot. You'll even get close to 5 times more points than the boss gives you. However, the last switches used for this don't appear until the boss fight begins, so you can't completely skip it.
- In Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, there is a fork in Block 3. Should you take the upper path, you'll eventually reach the boss. Selecting the lower path, on the other hand, takes you immediately to Block 4 without a boss battle.
- If you are willing to beat Castlevania II Simons Quest without the most powerful knife in the game, you can simply walk past Death and claim Dracula's eye without fighting him. The same thing could have been done with Carmilla if her dropped item wasn't required to complete the game.
- In Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Scylla and Granfaloon only guard unnecessary items, Karasuman only blocks a direct path through the Clock Tower to the Castle Keep, any Inverted Castle boss that doesn't guard a piece of Dracula is skippable, and the Saturn-Only Skeleton Leader boss doesn't really get you anything either.
- Lots of bosses in Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance are skippable. Specifically, the following bosses can be skipped: Giant Bat, Golem, Minotaur, Minotaur II, your choice of either Legion (saint) or Giant Merman, and Legion (corpse). And that's not getting into Sequence Breaking...
- In Castlevania The Adventure Rebirth on the Wii, each stage has an alternate route you can take which skips past the stage's mid-boss. Of course, that alternate route isn't going to be any easier.
- In Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, many levels have alternate versions. Going to the alternate versions often means fighting one boss instead of another. However, a couple of routes have no bosses at all, most notably Stage 5'. However, you don't get to play Stage 5' until you've beaten Dracula, presumably because the developers wanted you to go to Stage 5 normal first time round and fight Death. Yes, on replays, Death is skippable. The level itself is so much harder though...
- You can avoid the second Rival battle in Pokémon Red and Blue by not exploring Route 22 the first time you pass through Viridian City. In Yellow, this will have an effect on his final line-up.
- Final Fantasy IV: While the fight itself is unavoidable, two of the bosses (Calcobrena, Dr. Lugae) have stronger forms that you can skip if you kill the enemies in the first stage in the right order. Although in the second case, this means the remaining enemy will probably go kamikaze on one of your characters, knocking him out right before you get into another, much more troubling boss fight.
- In the X-Men game for Sega Genesis, one of the bosses was Mojo. There was a hidden dead-end cave above his room where you could pick up a little health for the fight with him. However, if playing Nightcrawler, you could teleport right through the dead end to the next room and skip him altogether.
- Also in the first level, if you jumped to the top of the trees right before the mid-boss area and used Iceman to make a bridge across to the other trees, you could skip the fight with Juggernaut. If you were at the third level and jumped on top of the rocks right before the mid-boss area, then called Iceman to make a bridge across to the other rocks, you could skip the fight with Sabretooth. In the fourth level, there was a huge gap where you had to fight a couple of Sentinels to pass, but if you used Nightcrawler's jump kick or Wolverine's jump punch, you would be able to dive across the gap without fighting the Sentinels. This made all of these levels considerably easier.
- If you are playing a Pacifist Run in Iji, you can get one boss taken down by his subordinate, and another can be completely avoided via Dungeon Bypass.
- Mega Man Zero features a variation in the first game, where (roughly) half of the selectable missions in the game will be skipped if the player fails the first mission to protect the La Résistance base. This is so that, in failing the mission, the player cannot reap rewards from the Bosses in the missions that were skipped.
- In Sonic 3, there's a glitch where you can skip all of Ice Cap zone with Sonic & Tails right at the first ice block you see. Just have Tails place Sonic on the block and do a spindash.
- All the bosses in the first SpyroTheDragon (except the last). This is because bosses make up their own levels and just serve to collect more stuff. All the bosses leave are gems. If you have enough gems/dragons/eggs/etc. to pass to the next hub, you can skip any remaining levels.
- Despite that it is not exactly required to kill most bosses in World of Warcraft, if you do run dungeons, there exist bosses that will have to be killed in order to unlock another boss encounter, or simply you have to kill that boss because they're in the way. Other bosses are commonly skipped because they are out of the way or are simply notorious for annoying strategies. Almost an entire wiki can be filled with these, but some of the most notorious examples include:
- "The Fish Boss" in Zul'Gurub due to the fact that the boss is optional and is out of the way.
- Jin'do the Hexxer in Zul'Gurub, who became That One Boss for many players due to having a very annoying strategy to defeat. He is not required to reach Hakkar, and in fact is practically the True Final Boss of the dungeon, but he was still skippable.
- Father Flame in Upper Blackrock Spire, the intended boss that was to be summoned in the famous "Leeroy Jenkins" video. Once most people got all the gear they got from that boss, nobody wanted to do that boss encounter.
- There is also Dire Maul, where skipping bosses is actually encouraged. Every boss, barring the last, can be ignored, trapped, or distracted so that you never have to face them. When you do defeat the final boss, all the bosses you skipped offer you tribute, which is usually better than what you would have gotten by killing them.
- The final mission of the Faultline arcs in City of Heroes has three villains fighting over who gets to take the MacGuffin from you. You can ignore them, rescue their hostage, and give it to her to destroy.
- In Super Mario RPG, you can skip Dodo twice (First time you get a nice item, second just run into him with a Super Star). Also, if you get past Booster in a mini-game, you can get a nice accessory.
- In the first Paper Mario, a ways into Chapter 2, you're stopped by a large vulture named Buzzar. She doesn't necessarily work for Bowser, she just has a wanted poster from him, so she doesn't quite have an idea of who Mario is. Naturally, she asks who you are, since your face and the one on the poster are identical. Answer Mario or Peach to fight her, or answer Luigi to pass by with no troubles.
- Golden Sun has one boss you don't have to fight if you can outrun it.
- During the final leg of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, you fight a number of Sixth House nobles to weaken Dagoth Ur (statistically, it doesn't work). You don't have to fight most of them and, if you do stumble upon them, it is possible to safely talk your way past a few, such as Dagoth Uthol.
- In the arcade version of Gradius III and Gradius ReBirth, there are secret levels you can enter that will allow you to skip the current stage's boss.
- Two of the Antlion Guards in Half-Life 2 can be skipped, as the exits to the arenas in which they are fought are only blocked with physics objects (as opposed to the impervious "gates" used in most sections of the game).
- In Dragon Age: Origins, there's an incident which is a hybrid of this and Hopeless Boss Fight — the fight is not impossible, just really really hard, and you can bypass it altogether by surrendering (or not bothering to fight back). If you win, the story continues; if you lose or surrender, you get sent to jail and have to either break out or get two of your companions to break you out. Later, assuming you skipped the original fight, you encounter the same person again, and can talk her out of fighting you if your persuasion skills are high enough.
- In Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, the Architect will propose an Enemy Mine with you against the Mother, which you can agree to. Doing so, however, will anger some companions into attacking you unless you have enough Persuasion to talk them down.
- Turrican II has a sort of flying saucer on stage 1-2 which you have to go out of your way to fight. However, if you do, you are rewarded with 4 extra lives when you kill him.
- In Rune Factory Frontier, it is possible to skip the battle against Iris Noire in the Snow Ruins if your friendship with Iris Blanche is high enough.
- Unless you're going for the Chaos path, in which case it's good for your alignment, you can get through Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey without killing Ryan.
- There's a short Story Arc in FoxTrot where gamer Jason struggles with a nigh-impossible boss, leaves to go to the bathroom, and when he returns his sister Paige has gotten past the boss. Jason refuses to believe that she simply ignored the boss, despite their mother suggesting that it was meant to be An Aesop about discretion being the better part of valor (and of course, it's lampshaded that Jason, who pranks and harasses Paige despite the fact that he inevitably ends up eating a knuckle sandwich, doesn't know the meaning of the word "discretion").
- In Knights of the Old Republic, the endless stream of droids that stands between you and Darth Malak is meant to be dealt with by using computer spikes to shut down each of the generators, but walking past them and breaking down the door also works.
- In Persona, there are two boss battles that can be entirely avoided by choosing the right choices. One is a giant teddy bear and the other is a demon that's really Maki's mother. If you make the wrong choice and start fighting Monster Teddy Bear, then you're on the bad ending route, and if you're fighting Hariti (Maki's mother), then you've lost two of your Ultimate Personae.
- In the epilogue of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, you engage Letho in conversation where you get the chance to listen to his side of the story. Afterwards, Geralt can decide whether to have a duel to the death or let him go, upon which he promises to never bother you again.
- In Half-Minute Hero, you can avoid fighting the Beautiful Evil Lord by reuniting him with his kidnapped girlfriend Millennia. You can try to defeat him (and you get a special title if you succeed), but you'll have to do a lot of Level Grinding to do so, because he's very powerful when he's angry. Notable in that defeating him won't stop the spell. To him, a world without his beloved Millennia is worthless.
- The final opponent in Crusader: No Remorse is a difficult opponent, but you don't need to fight her at all. Your objective at that point is not to defeat her, but to get through the door she's guarding. If you run past her, grab the keycard next to her, shut off the alarm, run past her again to unlock the door, and then go through it, you go straight to the ending animation where you escape the exploding station in the last life pod, leaving your opponent behind (The ending itself does not change whether you kill her yourself or leave her to die).
- Suikoden III has quite a bit of boss battles, usually in the form of fighting human characters. Your character has an option to pick what to say, and that will determine your fight (which may actually be a BAD idea, as some of them are rather difficult unless you level grind).
- In Half-Life: Opposing Force, skilled platforming allows you to skip one boss. Since this is a linear game, it makes no difference story-wise whether or not you actually kill the boss; either way, you get to the next level.
- In Clash At Demonhead, you can skip right past Pandar, since he doesn't have one of the Medallions that you need to disarm the Doomsday Device.
- The fourth fight with Gilgamesh in Final Fantasy V is skippable if you don't take a certain chest; however, skipping it will make the Excalipoor and Genji Equipment Lost Forever, as well as making a certain boss fight much later on play differently. Also, in the waterfall dungeon late in the game, Leviathan is unsealed at the end. You don't actually have to fight him, you can just continue the main quest and come back later to fight him for his summon.
- The T-Rex encounter in the first three Tomb Raider games can be ignored entirely (the dinosaur in the 2nd game is optional since it guards a secret), although you will have a much harder time trying to navigate the area as you pick up key items while being attacked. In the first game, Larson on his second encounter can be ignored by just running past him and grabbing the Scion, which triggers the end of the level, so killing Larson is purely optional. In the Anniversary remake, the T-Rex can no longer be ignored.
- A number of the bosses in Alpha Protocol are skippable:
- The Final Boss will be either Yancy Westridge or Henry Leland, depending on what you're trying to do in the final mission (take down Halbech, take down both Alpha Protocol and Halbech, or take down Alpha Protocol on behalf of Halbech). If you fight one, the other will be skipped.
- Also during the final mission, there is a sequence in which you have to defeat both Alan Parker and Conrad Marburg before they can destroy the evidence of Alpha Protocol's existence that you want to recover. Depending on your actions earlier in the game, there are multiple ways to eliminate Parker or Marburg or both from the fight: if you killed Marburg in Rome, you will fight Parker alone; if you found out that Madison was Parker's daughter and Marburg killed her, he will turn on Marburg and be killed, so you will fight Marburg alone; if you collected enough of Marburg's dossier, you can persuade him to quit, and you will fight Parker alone; if you can persuade Parker that his grand plan has failed, but that he can still get away if he helps you pin the blame on someone else, he will do a Heel-Face Turn and you will fight Marburg alone; if you collected enough of both men's dossiers, you can persuade Marburg to kill Parker, and you will fight Marburg alone; finally, if you manage to persuade both men to quit, you will fight neither, and the sequence instead will involve killing a horde of Mooks within a certain amount of time.
- In Moscow, you will only fight Championchik, Surkov's bodyguard, if you find out that Surkov is Halbech's real connection in Moscow, and refuse to take the deal he offers you when you confront him.
- In Baldur's Gate II, the red dragon Firkraag gives you the option of fighting one of his minions instead of himself. Depending on when you take the Side Quest in which he appears, this may be a good idea, as he is one of the most powerful opponents in the game. (You can return for him later.)
- The Ascension mod for Throne of Bhaal allows you to skip the boss fight with Balthazar if you're a good-aligned character and are able to convince him to join forces with you against the game's Big Bad. If you're an evil-aligned character, you instead get the option to recruit Irenicus and Bodhi when said Big Bad summons them for a rematch against you.
- The whole trilogy gives the player plenty of opportunities to play a Guile Hero and talk their way out of potential fights, though most of these fights are parts of side quests. You still have to fight many of the plot-important fights.
- In Pikmin, the first Armored Cannon Beetle can be skipped by just taking the ship part it's guarding, but it requires an effective distraction so the Pikmin taking the part aren't attacked. In Pikmin 2, there are several Burrowing Snagrets through the Snagret Hole that can be skipped as long as they're not internally guarding anything important; the one in Valley of Repose and the one found alongside the (mandatory) Pileated Sbagret in Hole of Heroes can be skipped as well.
- Every boss (except for the last one) in Hero Core can be skipped. In fact, you can enter the final battle at pretty much any point in the game. The fight is a lot tougher without all of the gear and level ups you get for fighting the other bosses, though.
- Breath of Fire:
- Breath of Fire II: Fighting the Wildcat cook is entirely optional, though doing so would prevent the player from getting a very valuable magic spell. There's also a Guard Mini-Boss that can be avoided if given the right answer to his question.
- Breath of Fire III: Out of the 12 bosses in the Boss Rush at the end of the game, only 2 must be confronted if one knows the correct path through the labyrinth housing them.
- Breath of Fire IV: The Angler is an entirely optional boss that can only be fought by returning to an early-game area. There's no story reason to go back there, but beating it unlocks a hidden Fishing Spot.
- In Monster Rancher 2, you only need to beat 1 of the 2 possible enemies in the "Legends Cup" in order to "beat" the game, allowing one to avoid the difficult Most and go for the slightly-easier Poritoka.
- In Strider, one can jump over the room for the first boss and bypass him entirely. One can also ignore the flying mercenary Solo in Stage 2 and continue ahead, though he'll eventually come back later to pester you. While this can also be done in the final stage, the fact you get to the Boss Rush right after means you have to deal with him and the bosses in question, so it's better to take care of him first.
- In the 4th mission in Fatal Shadows, there's an alternative path to the boss that lets Rin Stealth Kill him in a cutscene, effectively saving the player a rather troublesome boss fight.
- Tenchu Z expands on that and allows the player to choose whether they want to fight the bosses of discreetly kill them.
- In Shinobi Hyakusen, given its a compilation of stages created by the game's Level Editor, one can kill the bosses as if they were simple mooks as long as the player has not been spotted. In missions other than "Kill the Boss" and "Kill 'em All", one can get to the objective and finish the stage without even meeting the boss.
- There's an incredibly easy way to skip one particular boss in EarthBound. Want to know? Simple. You can skip fighting Everdred by not walking up to him.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus will pit you up against The Shredder of the Feudal era, near a cliff, and with bamboo stalks guarding the borders. These bamboo stalks, however, can be broken, and if you take the time to do so, you can simply knock the Shredder off of the cliff, killing him instantly.
- A variant in Spec Ops: The Line: near the end of the penultimate chapter, Walker has a hallucination of Lugo coming to kill him which serves as a Climax Boss, as he has more health than any other enemy in the game and is brandishing an enormous gun. If Walker gets killed, rather than the game showing the normal death screen, the game simply "rewinds" back to immediately before the encounter and Walker only has to fight a normal Heavy Trooper instead.
- The first boss in Bunny Must Die! Chelsea and the 7 Devils is skippable, as it's possible using very well-timed parries to get into the second boss's room first, and thence the rest of the game. However, the first boss takes her position as the FIRST boss very seriously, and she has new dialogue and a much harder fight if you tell her that you've beaten another boss beforehand.
- Due to a bug, several bosses in Subterranean Animism can be skipped if you bomb at just the right time and place using either Reimu C or Marisa B.
- Accidentally enforced in Monster Party. In Round 7, you only have to kill two bosses to get the key to make it to the next level. Killing the third boss actually takes away the key, forcing you to start over.
- There are two boss fights that are completely optional in River City Ransom. Benny & Clyde are found on a dead end area, and you can immediately run from them rather than fight. In fact, if you don't defeat them here, they don't subsequently appear in front of the sauna just before River City High. Even if they do reappear in front of the sauna, you can just run past them while they're monologuing and not bother with them (however, as they carry around better cash than the mooks you mow down, and they're just as weak as their first appearance, they're more like a Pińata Enemy at this point). Within River City High itself, there are four floors. The third floor has Tex, leader of the Cowboys gang, who appears after you beat all of the gang members on the floor. Alternately, you can just take the stairs immediately upon entering the floor to go to the fourth floor, where the Dragon Twins await.
- In the Banjo-Kazooie games, all bosses except Gruntilda can be skipped as long as the player has enough Jiggies to open all levels so the ones guarded by the bosses aren't required. The exception is Old King Coal in Banjo-Tooie, since he not only guards a Jiggy, but also the Chuffy Train, which provides internal access to Grunty Industries, and there the characters have to learn a move that is vital to access the last level.
- In Dawnof War: Dark Crusade, you could beat the Eldar stronghold by invading a fortified location that can only be reached through well-guarded chokepoints and spawns fully-reinforced knockback-spamming vehicles and squads far beyond the normal cap in addition to the giant Avatar of Khaine that gives morale immunity to its allies... or you could simply capture the three huge Webway portals that are the Eldar's sole link to their Craftworld and only send out a squad or two at a time to retake.
- Similarly, the Tau stronghold in Soulstorm is defeated by destroying a specific building. You could fight your way through the Tau's secondary and main bases as they continuously fire plasma and railguns at you, or you could just send jump troops/artillery to the base of the cliff where the building is located, bypassing the whole defensive network.
- In the NES version of Double Dragon, it's possible to avoid fighting the second boss by climbing back down the ladders you used to reach him just after he exits the door.
- In the Video Game version of Magi-Nation, Warrada pulls a bait-and-switch on the player if they decide. When you meet her in the Orothean Shadow Geyser, she gives you an offer: Agree to leave the realm in exchange for the core stone, or refuse and fight her there. If the player decides to accept her offer, then you will not fight her, making it seem like you skipped her. However,the offer is a trick - if you accept it, she will suddenly appear out of nowhere during the next Shadow Geyser and call you out on not keeping your end of the bargain.