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A hidden BossBattle in a VideoGame that shows up after (or [[BaitAndSwitchBoss instead of]]) the game's usual FinalBoss battle, but only if certain conditions have been met. In terms of the narrative, they could be the regular FinalBoss gone OneWingedAngel, TheManBehindTheMan, a GreaterScopeVillain, TheDragon ([[DragonTheirFeet having arrived late to the party]]), [[TheDogWasTheMastermind some side character nobody thought was important until right this moment]], or (if the game is a fan of MindScrew) a GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere. Or maybe the ''regular'' FinalBoss is TheDragon or a GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere, and the BigBad proper is the TrueFinalBoss. Regardless of their identity, this is undoubtedly THE [[DifficultySpike strongest, baddest opponent]] you can battle in the game (aside from maybe the BonusBoss).

Exactly how to unlock this guy varies: It may be as simple as playing the game on a higher DifficultyLevel, or it may involve achievements like a SpeedRun, NoDamageRun, or some obscure GottaCatchThemAll SideQuest. Not every game will {{Foreshadow|ing}} that this foe even exists in the first place or how to find him -- GuideDangIt -- and sometimes even an official strategy guide will intentionally avoid spoiling this guy in advance. (But for that, there's always the Internet...)

If a game has MultipleEndings, expect the game's GoldenEnding to be hidden behind this guy, especially if anything less yields only a BittersweetEnding ([[DownerEnding at best]]) and[=/=]or provides [[LeftHanging little or no real thematic closure to the game's narrative]]. Outside of that, don't expect any tangible rewards for beating this guy, though.

Expect an OhCrap moment when a player unlocks this guy for their first time -- bonus points if it happens while showing off their mad gameplay skills (or a SelfImposedChallenge) to their nearby friends.

Contrast PostFinalBoss, which is an easier, post-climax fight that lets you cool down after the real climactic struggle, and BonusBoss, which is an extra-hard secret unlockable boss that has no relevance to the game plot (or at least not to the immediate struggle) and only gives a BraggingRightsReward for beating it.

''Naturally, the below examples are all spoilers. [[SpoileredRotten Read at your own risk]]!''


* ''VideoGame/GanbareGoemon 3'' lets you fight the recurring Kabuki if you collect all the health power-ups.
* If you get the Tsubaki Mark III in ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'', you get to fight [[spoiler:"Mister Sir Henry Motherfucker", Travis' long-lost Irish brother]]. No gimmicks, no interventions, just two young men in a deserted car park, with {{Laser Blade}}s and a score to settle.
* In ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames Oracle of Ages/Seasons]]'', there is a [[OneWingedAngel multi-stage final boss]] at the end of each game. If you beat one and then [[OldSaveBonus transfer your save file to the other]] via code or wire, you get to see new things. One of these things happens after you beat the final boss of the ''new'' game. Zelda comes to you, and is promptly kidnapped by [[TheDragon Twinrova]], who then reveals that the first two final bosses were just sacrifices to bring back [[BigBad Ganon]], and Zelda is the final sacrifice. You're then taken to a small dungeon that leads to two consecutive battles against first Twinrova and then Ganon.
* In the fanmade ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' game ''[[http://www.zeldaroth.fr/us/z3t.php Time To Triumph]]'', after completing another set of dungeons after completing three separate trading quests and beating the regular FinalBoss, you discover the game's GreaterScopeVillain: [[spoiler:the bestiary guy who pays you for killing different types of enemies throughout the game]]!
* When you play the SNES version of ''VideoGame/{{Sparkster}}'' on Hard, instead of the FinalBoss dying before he launches the missile, he dies right ''after'' he hits the button. Guess what the True Final Boss is this time? And it really is deserving of ThatOneBoss, as even the [[UnexpectedGameplayChange mecha battle against Axel Gear]] seems easy compared to this boss.
** When playing a higher difficulty in the Genesis version, you fight a 2nd form of Gedol. [[spoiler:If you get all 7 hidden swords throughout the game, it becomes much easier, as his attacks in both forms will not do as much damage, and it also slightly influences the ending.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Bomberman 64}}'', a player who has gotten [[HundredPercentCompletion every Gold Card]] and "flawlessly" defeats Altair will get to see [[spoiler:Sirius]] reveal himself as one of these, vaporize Altair with a WaveMotionGun, and dare you to come after him. The bonus sixth world, [[spoiler:Rainbow Palace]], then opens up with another 4 stages to play, and [[spoiler:two forms of Sirius await you in the final stage.]]
** Likewise, ''VideoGame/Bomberman64TheSecondAttack'' required you to collect the optional Light and Dark bombs to fight the Angel of Light and Shadow. Not only that, but you must complete all the stages before proceeding to Warship Noah and also fight [[spoiler:a possessed Lilith]] halfway through the level rather than watch [[spoiler:the goddess take control over her.]] Do this right, and [[spoiler:Mihaele forces BigBad [[{{Satan}} Sther]][[GodOfEvil toth]]]] into a remerger with her after you beat the latter's first two forms at the end of Warship Noah (the [[spoiler:possessed Rukifellth in a standard B64-2 boss fight, and then Sthertoth himself in a different type of battle)]], and the True Final Boss battle against the Angel will commence, leading to the GoldenEnding when you beat it. If you don't do this right, no merger takes place, and [[spoiler:you get another, stronger Sthertoth form that leads to a Downer Ending where almost everyone dies when you beat him.]]
* The arcade version of ''VideoGame/GoldenAxe'' ends when you beat Death Adder. When you beat him in the Genesis version, it lets you think the game is over... and then cheerfully informs you that you have to fight Death ''[[ManBehindTheMan Bringer]]'' now.
* Collecting all 65 of the weapons in ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard}}'' unlocks a [[MultipleEndings 5th secret ending]] in which you fight [[spoiler:the Queen of the Grotesqueries]]. Though it's a rather unconventional battle, more akin to a RhythmGame than to a real boss, it is widely considered [[NintendoHard the hardest challenge in the game]] ''[[DifficultySpike by far]]''.
** LetsPlay/TheDarkId, in particular, [[http://lparchive.org/Drakengard/Update%2060/ rants a bit about the insane difficulty]]. To wit -- after the first thirty seconds, ''[[OneHitKill there is]] '''[[OneHitKill no]]''' [[OneHitKill room for error]]''. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TycMDbNG1U You'd have to be a robot to beat this in less than fifty tries.]]
** ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard 3}}'' also has this, picking up the slack from its predecessor. Have fun facing [[spoiler:''all'' the Intoner sisters in their true [[EldritchAbomination Grotesquerie]] [[OneWingedAngel Queen]] forms]]! This somehow manages to be worse than the original, due to [[CameraScrew frustrating camera angles]] and deceptive rhythm changes.
* In ''VideoGame/NieR'', the true final boss for Endings C and D is [[spoiler:Kainé]], who is unlocked in your third playthrough.
* Clearing every Grudge Match in ''VideoGame/CustomRobo'' ''Arena'' (which in turn requires beating the game and reaching HundredPercentCompletion) unlocks two more fights; a rematch against [[spoiler:Eddy]], and after that, a fight against [[spoiler:Liv]].
* In the NES version of ''VideoGame/DoubleDragonII'', the final stage (which is simply the final boss battle) is only accessible on Supreme Master mode, the hardest difficulty setting. The Warrior mode ends the game on the penultimate stage (after the battle against the doppelgangers), while Practice only lasts the first three stages. This doesn't apply to the Famicom version, [[DifficultyByRegion in which the entire game could be played on any of the three settings]].
* ''{{VideoGame/Contra}}: Shattered Soldier'' has two true final boss fights. The first, if you complete the first five missions with an A ranking, is a SequentialBoss fight with the "Relic of Moirai", then if you manage to achieve and maintain an S ranking through there, you get to fight his Very Definitely Final Form.
** ''Neo'' also has two true final boss fights. Like ''Shattered Soldier'', should you complete the first five missions with an A or S rank, the first one is a SequentialBoss battle with Master Contra. Beat him with an A or S rank, you'll fight him in his Very Definitely Final Form while falling through the Earth's atmosphere.
** The GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere final boss of ''[=ReBirth=]'' won't be fought unless you set the game's difficulty to Normal or above. It will appear after you complete Stage 5 on the above difficulties.
** In ''The Alien Wars'', you won't fight [[FinalBoss Red Falcon's]] [[OneWingedAngel true final form]] unless you play on Hard mode.
** You also won't be able to fight Black Viper in ''4'' unless you play Normal or Hard.
* ''VideoGame/PokemonRumble Blast'' has two. Beat the 5 EX levels for Battle Royale and Team Battle, and the EX 6 levels open up, where you respectively fight [[spoiler:Mewtwo in EX Battle Royale 6 and Arceus in EX Team Battle 6.]]
* This is a recurring trope in the ''VideoGame/GundamVsSeries''. In Gundam Vs. Zeta Gundam, if you reach a high enough ranking (RADM or higher), you'll go into an EX Stage. Depending on the route, you'll go up against high-tier mobile suits only who generally outnumber you, and in one particular has one of the openings from ZZ playing as the background music.
** In the SEED-based games, getting a SEED ranking at the end of Arcade Mode nets you an extra solo battle against either Kira Yamato or Athrun Zala with all of their Gundams, their strongest ones being equipped with METEOR.
** In Gundam Vs Gundam NEXT, clearing all of the EX Stages in an arcade playthrough (which requires enough points and generally not losing a battle) will unlock the NEXT FINAL stage where you go up against Kira yet again in a really suped up Strike Freedom with three separate phases (one as his normal self with a stupidly overpowered charged shot, the other being him in his METEOR, and the last being the same as before but with infinite SEED factor).
** ''Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost'' has an "Extra Final Scene" after fighting Sthesia Acht where you fight against a seemingly revived ex- (referred to as ex-(DC)) in the Extreme Gundam Mystic Phase from Full Boost.
* The Samurai from ''VideoGame/SavantAscent'', after being added in the void update. There's no secret to actually getting to fight him, you just have to beat the previous level. Of course, given the sheer difficulty of both him and the level before him, it might as well be required to get the [[spoiler:Philosopher's Stone]] to fight him.
* In ''[[VideoGame/UltionusATaleOfPettyRevenge Ultionus: A Tale of Petty Revenge]]'', finding Serena's RobotBuddy Balzac in the first five levels grants access to a sixth level where she escapes from the Space Prince's planet, culminating in a spaceship-vs.-HumongousMecha battle at the end. If you missed Balzac in even one of the levels, the game ends after you defeat the fifth boss, with Serena barely escaping capture from the Prince's remaining forces.
* ''Armored Core: Last Raven'' features several multiple endings, but there is one extra mission taking place after the "true ending" [[spoiler:where the player becomes the last remaining Raven alive]]. The mission is given to you by an unknown client and proposes for you to fight one last Pulverizer designed specifically to fight against you in the Intercine. The Pulverizer in question is a palette swapped, suped up version of the one fought in that ending and your reward for beating it is what is arguably the best head part in the game.

[[folder:Dating Sim]]
* In ''VideoGame/MitsumeteKnight'', you get to fight the leader of the enemy army, [[BlackKnight Wolfgario]] [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast the Ravager]], in his unmasked version if you have killed all the Generals who have appeared before him during the game. He's not more powerful than his masked version, but still follows this trope well, as his defeated animation in battle is different: instead of just dropping his sword and standing, contracted in pain, he now holds out his arm towards the sky, gets shocked by a thunderbolt, and falls on the ground.

[[folder:Eastern RPG]]
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'' has three scenarios for the three main characters, and each scenario has its own FinalBoss. The true final boss, though, is fought in the Final Episode (accessed by collecting all off the [[GottaCatchThemAll Xehanort reports]] throughout the three scenarios) [[spoiler:as Aqua, fighting desperately against the crazed BigBad Xehanort [[GrandTheftMe possessing her friend Terra's body.]]]]
** ''[[UpdatedRerelease Final Mix]]'' takes it a step further with the Secret Episode. [[spoiler:This takes place during Aqua's time in the Land of Darkness, where she fights off many pure-blood Heartless (such as Shadows, Neoshadows and Darkballs) until she faces a new unnamed boss Heartless. Also, this is the only time Heartless are fought in the game at all!]]
* The ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' games that feature "skill points" -- optional challenges in each level -- often have a harder final boss as a "reward" for completing most or all of them. Examples include Septuagint in ''Original Generation'', Stern Regisseur in ''Original Generation 2'', and the unholy powerful Neo Granzon in ''Alpha Gaiden''.
** Also, in ''Impact'', you fight [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack Char Aznable in his Sazabi]] if you get 50 skill points out of 99.
** ''Alpha 3'' gives you the FinalBoss of ''Alpha 2'' as a friendly reinforcement. Note that the ''Alpha 3'' reinforcement is '''full-powered'''. No RedemptionDemotion degradation. Under the player's full control. It has more HP than anyone so far has bothered to ''try'' to find out, and is essentially [[NighInvulnerable unkillable]].
** ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsW'' gives you the "true" ending on a second playthrough, including [[spoiler:Critic]] piloting the true final boss, guarded by four copies of the previous final boss, and [[spoiler:Applicant in the Val Arm]] showing up to help you.
** ''VideoGame/{{Super Robot Wars Z}}2'' has a variation -- if you reach the final boss with enough Points to be on Hard Mode, you are given the option to fight him at level 99 instead of his standard level 70.
** ''VideoGame/ShinSuperRobotWars'' has the [[spoiler:Devil Gundam piloted by Ghostelo]] in the La Vie En Rose as the true final boss if you beat the Earth and Space Routes and combine the data from both routes.
** After being absent for quite some time, ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration 2nd Original Generation]]'' reveals that the True Final Boss and the [[BiggerBad real Big Bad]] of the game is none other than [[spoiler:Arteil Steinback, also known as [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha Euzeth Gozzo]]. [[MemeticMutation Sore mo]] [[TheManBehindTheMan watashi da]] indeed.]]
* ''VideoGame/DragonsDogma'' has two forms of this; an optional final boss that's an undead form of the game's initial final boss, which is so overpowered that it requires the combined efforts of every other player with an internet connection to beat it. [[spoiler:You also fight the Seneschal (which is basically God) at the end of what's referred to as the 'post-game' to get the true ending.]]
* ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'' had a fight like this against the Biggest Bad of them all, [[spoiler:Lucifer]]. You have to complete the optional (and [[NintendoHard extremely hard]]) Labyrinth of Amala dungeon to fight him. Even crazier, his entire justification for the fight is to prepare you for a war against the GreaterScopeVillain of the series: [[spoiler:[[GodIsEvil YHVH]]]].
** ''VideoGame/MegamiTenseiII'' for the Famicom had, if you did everything right, [[spoiler:YHVH Himself, in one of his only three appearances in the main series (the other two being ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiII'' and ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIVApocalypse'').]]
** ''Overclocked'', ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor'''s UpdatedRerelease, adds three new final bosses for the new 8th Days: [[spoiler:Okuninushi, Japan's creator god]] in Amane's, [[spoiler:Metatron, the Voice of God]] in Naoya's, and [[spoiler:a souped-up Belberith]] in Yuzu's.
** ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor2: Record Breaker'' adds a new story arc with a new final boss, [[spoiler:Canopus]].
** ''VideoGame/Persona4'' does this twice. At first, it looks like the final boss is [[spoiler:Kunino-Sagiri, aka Taro Namatame. If you don't toss him into the TV]], eventually you discover that the true final boss is [[spoiler:resident bumbling detective Tohru Adachi and a random godly entity called Ameno-Sagiri]]. But [[spoiler:if you go to the Junes food court after saying your goodbyes]], it turns out the true mastermind behind everything is [[spoiler:the gas station attendant you met at the beginning of the game, aka Izanami. And yeah, you fight her at the end of the true final dungeon]].
* The ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' games have SP versions of the main boss replace the normal ones after conditions are met, generally requiring that beating the True Final Boss is the only thing left needed to achieve OneHundredPercentCompletion.
** The sequel series ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce'' recently switched this up on us: the True Final Boss of ''Star Force 2'' comes ''after'' the SP version of the final boss. It's a fiendishly difficult super-version of TheRival.
** ''Star Force 3'' just gets weird with this. As normal, getting every star lets you fight the super form of the final boss. However, inputting [[GuideDangIt secret]] passwords lets you fight your Rival's new super form, and the super forms of the BonusBoss, the BonusBoss of the last game, and one of the new bosses. After all of that, you can fight the final boss's super SUPER form... as a random encounter. Not only that, but if you go through a long gauntlet of Wi-Fi matches (which is hard with all of the [=DCers=]), you can fight yet another secret boss and earn a secret star.
* In the ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' series:
** In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemMysteryOfTheEmblem'', if the player collects all the Starshards as well as the other 4 spheres, Marth finds out that his quest to defeat Hardin was just a distraction so [[HijackedByGanon Gharnef could revive Medeus]].
** In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBindingBlade'', defeating BigBad King Zephiel with all the gaiden chapters completed and all legendary weapons intact unlocks a few extra chapters, pitting you against TheRemnant and culminating in the real final boss fight with Zephiel's literal [[TheDragon Dragon]], still under orders to carry out his ultimate plan.
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemPathOfRadiance'' has something of an [[AnticlimaxBoss anticlimactic]] final boss on Easy and Normal mode, but he springs a cruel surprise on Hard mode: not only does he start moving (with a massive movement range of 10 spaces), after you "beat" him, he immediately invokes a dark god and resurrects with wildly increased stats and fully-replenished (and jacked-up) HP. And it's '''still your turn''', meaning any units that attacked him are unable to act until your next turn! Adding to that, only six characters can actually inflict damage on him before he resurrects, of whom you can only have three at once. (Eagle-eyed players might suspect something is amiss going into the final chapter, as there are [[SuspiciousVideoGameGenerosity less enemies on the map]] than in Normal mode.)
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIIRevenantWings'' makes the FinalBoss and TheDragon level 99 if you have [[HundredPercentCompletion 100% mission completion]]. Have fun LevelGrinding.
** Similarly in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', Safer Sephiroth's HP depends on a variety of things, increasing 30,000 HP for each character at level 99, and increasing 80,000 HP if you cast Knights of the Round on JENOVA.Synthesis. Fortunately, his health is also decreased slightly for every time you killed the head while fighting Bizarro Sephiroth. Ultimately, his health, normally 80,000 HP, can range from 55,100 to 400,000.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
** In ''VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver'' (and the [[VideoGameRemake Remakes]]), Red, the main character from the previous games, becomes this. You only meet him after getting all the Kanto badges (which only become available after beating the normal final boss) and going to Mt. Silver. After you defeat him, you get the second "ending", and the credits roll. Notably, in the HG/SS versions, he has the highest-levelled Pokémon of any trainer in the ''franchise''.
** In the fifth-gen games, when you fight the League after beating it once, they face you with a full Pokémon team (as opposed to 4), more type and move variety, and a couple dozen levels higher, ultimately allowing you to properly face the Champion, Alder.
** In ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire]]'', [[spoiler:Deoxys]] fills this role, and [[spoiler:yes, you do get to fight it in space]].
** After snagging all Shadow Pokemon that are available to you in ''VideoGame/PokemonColosseum'', a series of events will lead to the final battle in the game, where you can snag the very last Shadow Pokemon in the game.
** After beating the main story of ''VideoGame/PokemonUltraSunAndUltraMoon'', you unlock Episode RR and the true final boss: [[spoiler:Giovanni, the main villain of [[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue first games in the series]]. To even reach him, you need to go through almost every villain in the series, all of whom are packing [[OlympusMons Legendary Pokemon]] and one of whom who also has access to Mega Evolution. Giovanni himself is a formidable threat: his Pokemon are high-levelled and cover their weaknesses effectively, but the real problem is the fact that he has a ''[[OhCrap Mega]] [[SuperMode Evolving]] [[TheDreaded Mewtwo]]'', which is drawn for the highest base stat total in the entire series.]] Beating him is extremely hard but feels ''very'' good.
* In ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheSecondStory'', doing a seemingly totally random Private Action will release the "limiter" on the final boss, jacking up his stats and making him nigh-impossible to beat without ridiculous level grinding in the bonus dungeon.
* ''VideoGame/BatenKaitos Origins'' typically ends with a [[AnticlimaxBoss slightly anticlimactic]] [[ThatOneBoss (but still stupidly hard)]] battle against [[spoiler:Verus]]. If you defeated a certain optional boss, though, [[spoiler:Wiseman shows up possessing Verus's corpse and reveals himself to be TheManBehindTheMan. The true final battle that ensues is much more climactic and satisfying]].
* ''VideoGame/RomancingSaGa: Minstrel's Song'' has an optional True Final Boss. If you manage [[spoiler:to acquire all ten Fatestones (something that requires quite a bit of planning and cannot be accomplished until you have cleared the game at least twice), you can offer them all up to the final boss,]] vastly increasing his powers. The jump in strength for each stone beyond the fifth gets larger and larger, and the jump to the tenth is what makes 10FS Saruin a True Final Boss.
* ''VideoGame/ManaKhemiaAlchemistsOfAlRevis''. The FinalBoss is [[spoiler:your ''main character'' fighting against his friends trying to [[IKnowYouAreInThereSomewhereFight snap him out]] of making a HeroicSacrifice]]. The only way to fight the True Final Boss is to [[spoiler:increase one character's RelationshipValues with the main character to maximum, releasing him from the hold of his ''powers'']]. The latter (italicized to avoid confusion) given "physical form" is the True Final Boss.
* In ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireI'', [[spoiler:Tyr/Myrna's OneWingedAngel form]] is one of these, only occurring if [[spoiler:you use Agni/Infinity in the second fight]].
* ''VideoGame/Disgaea2CursedMemories'' has a rare example of this (rare for the series anyway, which tends much more towards Bonus Bosses) if you go for the Worst Ending. Upon defeating Zenon, you end up fighting [[spoiler:Rozalin/the real Overlord Zenon,]] who is at level ''2000.'' (Compare with the previous fight with an enemy at level 90.) And unlike the other storyline fights with enemies at this level, you're supposed to win this one. Granted, it'll take a lot of grinding of a sort just to unlock this fight, but it can still catch you off guard. Luckily, there's a way to back out of qualifying for this ending. Which is a ''good'' thing, as your reward for victory is some NightmareFuel.
* ''VideoGame/Disgaea4APromiseUnforgotten'' puts you up against against a different, much higher-leveled final boss if you clear the second-to-last stage using only the main character at level 500 or higher. [[spoiler:You fight the messengers of [[GodIsEvil God]]. Unfortunately, your reward is a DownerEnding.]]
* In ''VideoGame/RecordOfAgarestWar'', after spending how many hours in the game, you'd think [[spoiler:Summerill is the final boss.]] If you unlocked the True Ending route (itself a GuideDangIt), you get to fight off against [[spoiler:''five'' sealed gods who are level 300 and the True Final Boss who is at level 350, when your level at this point is at most level 100.]] Taken UpToEleven in the prequel ''VideoGame/RecordOfAgarestWarZero'', where the true end (still a GuideDangIt) nets you close to 20 additional boss fights (each progressively harder than the last) before facing the True Final Boss if you played on hard.
* Recruiting all three goddesses in the original ''VideoGame/HyperdimensionNeptunia'' will significantly increase Arfoire's stats.
* Recruiting all sixteen playable characters in ''VideoGame/TheReconstruction'' won't cause you to fight a completely different FinalBoss, but it will make the FinalBoss go OneWingedAngel and lead to a harder fight. This is required to get the GoldenEnding.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' does a variation of this. [[spoiler:Duke]] normally has two forms; however, if you happen to have collected all of the [[InfinityPlusOneSword Fell Arms]] in the game, he will resonate with them ([[GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere for some reason]]), becoming the Radiant Winged One.
* In the NewGamePlus of ''VideoGame/LufiaCurseOfTheSinistrals'', [[spoiler:an actual boss fight against Erim becomes the TrueFinalBoss, complete with a ''new'' EleventhHourSuperpower from the Dual Blade]].
* There's an obscure ''[[Franchise/DragonBall Dragon Ball Z]]'' game for the gameboy called ''Dragon Ball Z: Goku Gekitouden'' that plays out the well known Namek arc. If you did too much LevelGrinding, the game ends with Goku's Spirit Bomb killing Frieza[[note]]canonically, Frieza survives the Spirit Bomb and kills Krillin, which leads Goku to become a Super Saiyan and then the fight continues[[/note]]. [[LowLevelRun Only if you reach the end below a certain level]] do you reach the final battle where Goku turns Super Saiyan to fight Frieza. Strangely, completing the game will unlock Super Saiyan Goku as a playable character in the game's tournament mode either way, even if you never saw him in story mode.
* In ''Dragon Ball Z: Legend of the Super Saiyajin'', a [[Franchise/DragonBall Dragon Ball Z]] game for the Famicom, Goku can only turn Super Saiyajin if one of his Earthling friends[[note]]Gohan or Piccolo dying is an instant GameOver[[/note]] is killed by Frieza's final form. If this happens, and Vegeta is still around, Vegeta will turn Super Saiyajin as well and attack Goku after Frieza is defeated.
* ''VideoGame/UncommonTime'' does this, though it's just a souped-up form of the regular FinalBoss. After clearing the two {{Bonus Dungeon}}s, the Distortion will have been allowed to grow for enough time to manifest directly, giving it a different appearance and more powerful attacks -- including Arietta's, Altair's, and Chantal's {{Limit Break}}s from Grand Pause.
* The Android based ''VideoGame/ChaosRings2'' by SquareEnix does this. After defeating Necron the credits roll and you unlock the ability to replay past chapters taking different routes, but it also turns out there's more story if you keep going on the route you've already taken. Play through that and you'll learn who the real villain has been the whole time and get another credit roll. Players can sense it coming, both from the story and from the fact the main character doesn't unlock his 3rd and final ultimate attack prior to defeating Necron.

[[folder: Fighting Game]]
* If you play the Story Mode in ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries Soulcalibur 3]]'' normally, the final boss will be Abyss, but if you find the path to Olcadan and defeat him without ever continuing instead, you'll get the dreaded [[SNKBoss Night Terror]] as your final opponent.
* Akuma is a popular true final boss in the ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' games, first appearing in ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterII Super Street Fighter II Turbo]]'' to [[BaitAndSwitchBoss take out usual final boss M. Bison in one shot and then take you on]] if you beat every previous opponent without losing a single match.
** ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIV'' moves it up a notch, having Akuma as a true final boss, then the harder to reach Gouken as the ''true'' true final boss, likely as a nod to the old "Sheng Long" rumors.
** ''Super Street Fighter IV'' turns them into their Shin forms, making them ''much'' harder. And the ''Arcade Edition'' adds Shin Evil Ryu and Shin Oni into the mix.
* In Chapter 7 of ''VideoGame/RivalSchools'', the player must defeat either Raizo or his brainwashed partner with a team-up combination attack in order to win the match. By doing this, the player will then be taken to the true final boss of the game, who happens to be [[spoiler:Hyo Imawano, the nephew of Raizo and the true mastermind behind the game's story]].
* Both games of the ''VideoGame/StarGladiator'' series use this particular trope very well. In ''Star Gladiator'', the player must beat the game within a specific amount of time in Arcade Mode so that they can go on to fight the true final boss of the game, or else they'll get a false ending when they defeat Bilstein. In ''Plasma Sword'', whether or not you get enough Battle Ability points from within Arcade Mode determines your character's ending. If they don't have the specific amount of Battle Ability points needed when you get to Stage 8, they get an abridged (false) ending, while defeating the eighth opponent and having the specific amount of Battle Ability points grants an extra special battle against each character's True Final Boss, which yields the extended, true conclusion of that person's storyline.
* In the first ''VideoGame/BushidoBlade'', to get the true final boss, you had to ''[[NintendoHard not get hit at all]]''. There was a way to skip most of the opponents by running to a certain area of the map, take your opponent's legs out so they can't follow you, and jump down a well, which makes you fight only one more opponent before going onto the bosses. You still have to avoid getting hit to get the "real" ending for each character.
* The flash game ''VideoGame/{{Amorphous}}'' sometimes surprises you with a Razor Queen instead of the annoying-as-fuck regular Queen. The game's normal "boss", the Queen, is nimble, has the ability to spawn other Queens (via a hostile takeover of another blob), carries two unbreakable claws to your one sword, is smart enough to avoid your swings, and can be beaten [[SingleStrokeBattle samurai style]]. The Razor Queen, on the other hand, is a colossal scorpion-looking ''thing'' with ''four'' huge claws that has an annoying penchant of turning you into Ludicrous Gibs. Beating her does unlock the InfinityPlusOneSword (one of her claws), though there's not a lot you probably still need it for by this point.
* The "Master Program" in ''VideoGame/BattleCircuit''. You have to finish the game in one credit or get a high enough score.
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'':
** ''Melee'' and ''Brawl'' have Crazy Hand in Classic Mode, who will appear [[DualBoss alongside Master Hand]] only if the difficulty level is set high enough and certain other conditions are met. ''Melee'''s Adventure mode has similar conditions for fighting Giga Bowser. Beating him earns you a trophy and the sight of Bowser's Adventure Mode trophy actually falling into the abyss, then exploding into a million tiny fragments.
** In ''Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS'', landing enough hits on Master Hand or Crazy Hand on Intensity 5.1 or higher will cause Crazy Hand to disappear, while Master Hand spasms and twists, clearly in pain as he transforms into the [[EldritchAbomination Master Core]], a mass of shadow with five forms: Master Giant (a humanoid being), Master Beast (a scorpion-like being), Master Edges (an array of swords), Master Shadow (a MirrorBoss), and ultimately a defenseless orb, or on the Intensity 8.0 or higher in the Wii U version, Master Fortress (a WombLevel). The number of forms that it uses varies depending on the difficulty.
* In ''[[VideoGame/FatalFury Fatal Fury Special]]'', if the player defeats every opponent in only two rounds without ever losing, there will be an additional match against [[GuestFighter Ryo Sakazaki]] from ''[[VideoGame/ArtOfFighting Art of Fighting]]'' after defeating Wolfgang Krauser.
** Likewise, ''Art of Fighting 2'' has a younger Geese Howard as a secret final boss under the same conditions.
** In ''Fatal Fury 3'', the player can only face the Jin Brothers if he has a high enough score after beating Yamazaki. If he makes it to Chonshu, then Chonrei appears if you had a grade of B or higher after beating Chonshu. Otherwise, the game gives the player a BadEnding, in which Chonshu telepathically taunts the player, saying that he's not interested in someone who had to struggle so hard against Yamazaki and that he'll gladly meet up with them again in the future once they improve themselves.
** In ''Real Bout Special'', if the player has a score of over 750,000 after beating Wolfgang Krauser, Geese Howard appears to challenge his character in a special "Nightmare" battle. If the player loses to him, it's a GameOver with no continues.
** In ''Real Bout 2'', get a high enough rank and/or beat Geese and Krauser without losing a round, and the player will fight... Alfred, the protagonist of ''Dominated Mind''. Many consider him to be an AntiClimaxBoss, since his appearance is just a tie-in to a [=PS1=] port of ''Real Bout Special'' that never left Japan.
** In ''Mark of the Wolves'', Kain R. Heinlein only appears if the player has a high enough grade after beating Grant.
* ''[[VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters The King of Fighters]]'' loves this one, too. Beating Krizalid with a high enough score in '99 let you fight Iori or Kyo, and in ''2002 Unlimited Match'', beating Krizalid, Clone Zero, Original Zero, or Igniz lets you fight Omega Rugal if you meet certain conditions. You only get one chance to beat him, and that is literally almost impossible unless you absolutely know what you're doing. Omega Rugal's stats are [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard artificially increased]] to the point where one normal attack on them does roughly 1/3 of its normal damage. Basically, [[CaptainObvious teamwork is key]]. Lose one set and it's GameOver. Win and you unlock them for regular play.
** A variant of this existed in ''97''; when playing as the Hero team, if Kyo was the one that finished Orochi off, you'd go to a bonus battle with Iori.
** In ''2003'', depending on how you defeat [[CloningBlues Kusanagi]], you fight either Adelheid or Mukai.
** And finally, ''XIII''. If you get to the final team battle without enough points, the bad ending plays where it's hinted Saiki rewinds time and tries his initial Orochi resurrection plan again. Getting there with the right amount takes you to the final fights with Saiki and Dark Ash.
* If you beat I-no in ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear XX Slash'' or ''Accent Core'' without continuing, and getting at least 10 Overdrive finishes, she creates a portal and transports you to the past, where you fight... Order Sol, an alternate version of Sol Badguy that wears Ky's jacket and doesn't use his trademark Fireseal sword. The character is available from the start, but the CPU Order-Sol is faster, stronger, and regenerates his exclusive charge meter. Not only that, he has an exclusive super move called Flame Distortion which is basically his normal Dragon Install on steroids. It regenerates his health faster than I-no, increases his power and speed even '''further''', and gives him an unlimited super meter and charge meter. And it lasts for double the time of a normal Dragon Install (15 seconds). Oh, and you can't continue against him -- don't lose or it'll be an instant and real GameOver!
* ''[[VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy]]'', once you finish the 013 story mode and defeat [[BigBad Chaos]], you unlock Confessions of the Creator, which reveals a side of the game's story previously only hinted at, and leads up to the combination True Final Boss and BonusBoss, [[OneWingedAngel Feral Chaos]]. Defeating him unlocks the game's true ending as well as the ability to play as him.
* ''[[VideoGame/CapcomVsSNK2MarkOfTheMillennium Capcom vs. SNK 2]]''. Upon the final match, certain requirements need to be met in order to fight the true final match, including score, getting the mid-boss before the final match (Bison or Geese), and accomplishing various ways to finish a match with a super combo. [[http://strategywiki.org/wiki/Capcom_vs._SNK/Secrets See StrategyWiki for full details.]] If you don't get the requirements, the game stops after the last team match. If you got enough, you fight either Akuma or Rugal chosen at random. Meeting the best requirements gives you Shin Akuma or God/Ultimate Rugal chosen at random.
* Under ordinary circumstances, ''VideoGame/BattleArenaToshinden'' ends with a generic "you win" message following the defeat of Gaia. But if the player makes it all the way past Gaia on Hard difficulty or above without losing a match, the battle with Gaia is followed by a battle with Sho, followed by a character-specific ending after Sho is defeated.
* ''VideoGame/DigimonBattleSpirit'' has a partial example: Fulfilling certain conditions would cause Impmon to replace the Digimon you were supposed to fight beforehand, which acts as an SNKBoss (complete with power-nerfing as an unlockable). However, he doesn't entirely fit the trope because he's a midboss, not a final boss. The trope was more properly done in the [[NoExportForYou Japan-only]] expanded version. If you get to Milleniumon and beat him without losing once, it'll transform into [=ZeedMilleniumon=].
* In the [=PS2=] version of ''VideoGame/VirtualOn'', if you beat all 8 mechs in under 15-25 seconds, you will fight the original version of Fei-Yen. This version of Fei-Yen is always in Hyper Mode, but with no downsides and increased stats.
* ''[[VideoGame/SNKVsCapcomSVCChaos SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos]]'' has two true final bosses: A goddess version of Athena from the old ''VideoGame/{{Athena}}'' arcade game, and Red Arremer from ''[[VideoGame/GhostsNGoblins Ghouls 'n Ghosts]]''. Failing to meet them would give you a generic, text-only ending stating your character was never seen again.
** And you only get one shot at these final bosses. If you lose, then your character gets transformed into something which varies depending on whether you fight Athena or Red Arremer before giving you the generic, text-only ending.
* If you clear Arcade Mode in ''VideoGame/BlazBlueCalamityTrigger'' with 10 or more Distortion Finishes and no rounds lost, you get the displeasure of fighting Unlimited Ragna, who has triple health and permanent [[SuperMode Blood Kain]].
** And in the console versions of ''Continuum Shift'', beating Hazama with the right amount of Astral Finishes and without losing a round rewards you with a fight against Mu-12. Unlimited Mu-12, that is. If you're using Mu in [=CS2=] though, you fight Unlimited Ragna instead. If you're playing as Relius Clover in the ''Extend'' edition, you get to fight Unlimited Ragna as well. Hazama doesn't get a TFB.
* In ''VideoGame/TheBouncer'', you fight [[spoiler:Dauragon]] three times. The first time, he ties a hand behind his back and still hits pretty hard. The second time is the final boss fight, and he's pretty tough. The third time, as the True Final Boss, he decides he doesn't need to hold back ''at all'', and will ''easily'' pummel you with moves you haven't seen before. There is even a fourth version of him where he is even more powerful, but you won't see this version until you have beaten the game three times though.
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' has two of these in its first FightingGame [[GaidenGame side story]] ''Immaterial And Missing Power''. With only two exceptions, each character's story mode lets you fight Yukari if you beat the previous five stages without continuing, and then lets you fight Suika if you don't continue against Yukari. (If you don't fight Yukari, you get a bad ending, and if you beat Yukari but don't fight Suika, you get another bad ending). Naturally, the two characters without True Final Bosses are... Yukari and Suika.
* After you get more and more information about what's going on in ''VideoGame/DuelSaviorDestiny'', the last route finally has you go up against God on his own turf, since he's responsible for everything (even if he didn't do anything directly). Otherwise, he'd just set events in motion again and try to destroy all of creation.
* Shadow Jago (a SuperpoweredEvilSide of token hero Jago) in the 2013 ''VideoGame/KillerInstinct'' game appears only after you've earned all three of a character's endings and then beat the game with them on at least Medium and without losing, finishing the sixth match with an Ultra Combo.

* Many games in the ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' series have bosses that lead to an [[BadEnd abrupt ending]] if you don't meet a specific requirement, such as equipping the right item to see through an illusion (''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight''), or reaching an otherwise unreachable boss (''VideoGame/CastlevaniaDawnOfSorrow''), etc. In almost all of these scenarios, Dracula, the BigBad of the series, is the TrueFinalBoss.
** {{Dracula}} has a secret 3rd form in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaTheDraculaXChronicles'' that appears only if you rescue Annette (which means you have to save Iris and Terra. Saving Maria is not a requirement). After you beat the 2nd form again, he reverts to his original form and sprouts 6 demon butterfly wings and vanishes. He then proceeds to fire bats, fireballs, meteors, turn into a wolf, and use his own version of Richter's Hydro Storm. It's a lot harder than it sounds.
* In ''VideoGame/CaveStory'', if you [[GuideDangIt do all the contrived stuff in the alternate route]], you'll get Ballos after you defeat the Undead Core. It's only made worse by the fact that you can only save immediately after Undead Core and then have to make your way through a BrutalBonusLevel and yet another nontrivial new boss, the Heavy Press (who can come out of nowhere [[KaizoTrap and still kill you even during his death animation!]]) ''before even reaching the True Final Boss.'' Then, when you reach him, you find out you get very limited HP/missile/weapon recovery, no new save point, and ''four'' difficult fights in a row against his various forms.
* A variation occurs in ''VideoGame/MetroidZeroMission''. There's no extra boss, but if you collect 100% of the items, the final boss will have roughly three times as much health as it normally does, and its attacks deal double damage.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Shantae}} and the Pirate's Curse'', failing to find all of the Dark Magic will make the game end after the first phase of the FinalBoss fight, leading to a Bad Ending. Collecting all 20 Dark Magic will unlock the True Form of the Pirate Master [[spoiler:where he grows to {{Kaiju}} size after stripping Shantae of her pirate equipment]], which leads to the True Ending.
* In the BulletHell Metroidvania ''VideoGame/RabiRibi'', the final boss, [[spoiler:Irisu, or 'Alice']], only shows up post-game in a locked area - though hints to her true nature are revealed throughout.
* In ''VideoGame/BlasterMaster Zero'', if you killed every mutant and got every power-up (including life upgrades) and area map in the game, a cutscene after the regular FinalBoss introduces you to the game's InfinityPlusOneSword and whisks you away to the true final level ending with the ultimate fight against [[spoiler: Sophia III possessed by the Mutant Core]].
* In order to face the True Final Boss and get the best ending in ''VideoGame/HollowKnight'', you need to acquire the [[spoiler:Void Heart]] in a late-game sidequest and use the Dream Nail on the final boss when prompted. Getting the [[spoiler: Void Heart]] and not using the Dream Nail actually gets you an even ''[[EarnYourBadEnding worse]]'' ending than the default.

* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', the Ulduar raid instance has an extra boss called Algalon the Observer that can only be fought after beating several other bosses in hard mode. Reportedly, he is far more difficult than Yogg-Saron (the normal final boss) and to make matters worse, will despawn if not beaten within an hour of the first try and won't come back until the instance resets.
** Algalon the Raid Destroyer. He feeds on your tears.
** As a boss, Yogg-Saron without any keepers was far harder before the recent onslaught of nerfs. Lore-wise, Algalon could wipe out Yogg-Saron and call it a day, but doesn't want to as it could [[spoiler:destroy the world]].
** Another example happens in the Trial of the Crusader raid, where an NPC starts congratulating the players on completing the Trial... and is rudely interrupted.
** In ''Cataclysm'', Vanessa [=VanCleef=] from the Deadmines (Heroic mode only). One reason she's notable is that normally, Heroic mode fights are exclusive to raids.
** If you do Bastion of Twilight on normal mode, the final boss is Cho'gall, who was a fairly tough but doable boss. Beat his much more difficult encounter in heroic mode? The raid's not over, now you have to face the heroic-exclusive fight of Sinestra, a much more demanding fight.
** In the Firelands, Ragnaros gains a fourth phase on Heroic, healing to half health and using entirely new mechanics.
** Now there's another true final boss in Mists of Pandaria. After you defeat the Thunder King Lei Shen in heroic mode, you're then given the opportunity to fight a creation of the Titans named Ra-Den.
** In ''Warlords of Draenor'', after defeating Imperator Mar'gok in Highmaul on Mythic, the raid faces Cho'gall.
* ''Videogame/KingdomOfLoathing'''s final boss is normally the Naughty Sorceress, who has three forms. However, on some of the special challenge paths, her third form is [[BaitAndSwitchBoss interrupted]] by another enemy, such as [[spoiler:the Guy Made Of Bees]] in "Bees Hate You", [[spoiler:the Avatar of Sneaky Pete]] in "Avatar of Boris", and [[spoiler:Rene C. Corman]] in "Zombie Master".
** She is [[BaitAndSwitchBoss replaced entirely]] by [[spoiler:the Avatar of Boris]] in "Avatar of Jarlsberg".
** One fights one of two Elder Gods in the BonusDungeon "The Sea" depending on if you get to the Temple of the Underwater City through the Colosseum or the Library. If you collect each class's drop (so 12 fights) and then combine them, wear those, and enter the Temple immediately, instead you fight [[spoiler:Dad Sea Monkee; or at least whatever he's channeling.]]

* The VideoGame/{{Kirby}} games ''Dream Land 2'', ''Dream Land 3'', and ''64'' keep their True Final Boss hidden until you achieve OneHundredPercentCompletion.
** In ''VideoGame/Kirby64TheCrystalShards'', not finishing the game with HundredPercentCompletion gets you the game's [[MultipleEndings bad ending]]: With the fairy queen secretly smiling a [[NightmareFuel pretty creepy]] SlasherSmile into the camera from behind Ribbon's back, revealing that she's still being [[DemonicPossession possessed by Dark Matter]]. [[spoiler:Once you ''do'' have all the Crystal Shards, the Crystal shoots a [[FrickinLaserBeams big beam of light]] at the fairy queen, driving Dark Matter out of her body. Dark Matter retreats to the center of the galaxy, and you chase after it and infiltrate it. After you get through the absurdly easy platforming bit, Dedede launches you into the air, and you fall through a void until Ribbon catches you. The Crystal turns into a gun, and a [[UglyCute grotesque-looking cherub thing]] drops its disguise to reveal itself to be a resurrected Zero, hell-bent upon kicking your ass.]] You also can not retreat from this battle. If you pause, your only options become the usual continue, and [[ButThouMust "TOUGH IT OUT!"]]
** ''VideoGame/KirbySuperStar'' requires you to complete each of its main modes, before revealing ''another'' mode in which you must RunTheGauntlet, defeating [[BossRush every enemy in the game]] in a random sequence, keeping accumulated damage between battles.
** In Ultra, there's the True Arena, a powered up version of the Arena unlocked after defeating the following [[BonusBoss semi bonus bosses]]. These are [[spoiler:Wham Bam Jewel, Masked Dedede, and Galacta Knight.]] Here you will face powered up versions of some of the bosses as well as the three mentioned bosses. Once [[spoiler:Galacta Knight is beaten, you'll see an epic cutscene showing Marx still alive floating in space and merging with the debris of Galactic Nova. He transforms into [[NightmareFuel Marx Soul]], a souped-up resurrected Marx, and you will fight him.]]
** In ''VideoGame/KirbysReturnToDreamLand'', completing Extra Mode allows for a fight with [[spoiler:Magolor Soul, a souped-up version of Magolor's second form from the main game. Galacta Knight, despite being exclusive to the True Arena, is not an example, as Magolor EX and Magolor Soul are fought after him]].
** Similarly, in ''VideoGame/KirbyTripleDeluxe'', completing the main game unlocks a postgame mode where you play as King Dedede and fight powered up versions of previous bosses, ending with a fight with [[spoiler:Dark Meta Knight from ''Amazing Mirror'']]. Beating both this boss and the Arena unlocks the True Arena and, upon beating [[spoiler:Dark Meta Knight]], the actual True Final Boss: [[spoiler:Soul of Sectonia. However, if you're only expecting a powered up version of the original boss fight, you're in for a surprise.]]
** In ''VideoGame/KirbyPlanetRobobot'', the format is similar to ''Triple Deluxe''. The extra mode, this time with Meta Knight, has a gauntlet of new bosses consisting of [[spoiler:Dark Matter Blade from ''Dream Land 2'', Sectonia from ''Triple Deluxe'', and Galacta Knight]]. At the end of the True Arena, the True Final Boss is revealed to be [[spoiler:Star Dream Soul OS. It also gets an extra form, which is reminiscent of the previous Soul bosses as well as Heart of NOVA/Galactic Nova Nucleus]].
* The ''VideoGame/GhostsNGoblins'' series always required you to play through the whole game twice (in one sitting) to get the right weapon to kill the FinalBoss, but Ultimate Ghosts 'n' Goblins spiced things up by requiring you to find "magic rings", often hidden in impossible-to-reach places, to open the doors leading to Astaroth first and Hades later (the latter one requiring ALL of the 33 rings).
** The spinoff series ''VideoGame/GargoylesQuest'' had ''two'' of these in the third game, ''Demon's Crest'' for SNES. If you collected every crest and item, the final boss, Phalanx, would reveal a new form far more challenging than the previous ones. If you beat this and sat through the credits, you got a password unlocking an even harder final boss, [[ThatOneBoss Dark Demon]], who could be defeated for a different ending.
* ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaWarriorWithin'' had a final fight with the Empress of Time if you just made it that far. If you collected all of the nine health upgrades scattered about, you get the Water Sword and it leads to an [[MultipleEndings Alternate Ending]] that is much more satisfying, fighting the previously unkillable Dahaka. ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheTwoThrones'' confirms this to be the canonical ending.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperMario3DLand'', the real final boss is Dry Bowser, who's fought at the end of Special World 8, although this battle is essentially just a harder version of the penultimate Bowser boss from World 8 and nowhere near as elaborate as the regular Final Boss. A [[BrutalBonusLevel much tougher final challenge]] lies tucked even further away into the post-game than this fight.
* ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBros2'' has Dry Bowser as the True Final Boss, as World-Star is unlocked by collecting all the star coins.
* The Queen of Hearts in ''VideoGame/AmericanMcGeesAlice'' is relatively easy, if you know how to handle her. Her true form, on the other hand, is ''much'' more difficult in comparison.
* Every 2D ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' game since ''[[VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles Sonic & Knuckles]]'' has had an extra boss battle if you get all of the Emeralds. The main games usually open up a similar final boss battle by beating all of the branching storylines.
** Inverted in ''VideoGame/SonicTheFighters / Sonic Championship''. Reaching round 2 of the penultimate boss fight without losing a single round will let you turn into Super Sonic, becoming invincible.
** ''VideoGame/SonicHeroes'' made you beat all four storylines ''and'' collect all seven Emeralds before you could face the final boss, [[spoiler:Metal Sonic]].
** ''[[VideoGame/SonicAdvanceTrilogy Sonic Advance 2]]'' required you to both beat the game as all four characters and collect all Emeralds ''as Sonic'' (logical, but not intuitive, leading to [[UrbanLegendOfZelda many false understandings]] of what actually was required) before you could face the GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere that kidnaps Vanilla for some reason. This is made worse by [[GuideDangIt how you reach the Special Stages]] in this game (although the stages themselves are usually easy).
** This gets particularly annoying in ''VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog'', where there are '''''ten''''' endings that must be seen before the final stage opens up, some of which are pretty tough to reach unless you come through a certain penultimate stage.
** And the trend continued with ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006'', where you must complete the three different storylines, each of which had their own different final bosses, to unlock the last episode where the three hedgehog heroes ([[ThatOneLevel after the worst level in the game]]) take on the ultimate final boss.
** Played with in the 8-bit ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2'', wherein beating the boss of Scrambled Egg Zone (Mecha Sonic/Silver Sonic) with all the Emeralds collected allowed the player to move on to the true final level, Crystal Egg Zone (which has the same amount of Acts as the others), fight the real final boss, Robotnik/Eggman himself, and properly save Tails (if you don't have all the Emeralds before beating Scrambled Egg Zone Act 3, the game concludes prematurely and in a grim DownerEnding upon completing this stage.)
** In ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'', clearing the six campaigns for each character opens a "Super Sonic" campaign, which consists mainly of travelling to key areas in the Mystic Ruins hubs and watching cutscenes before the final confrontation with [[spoiler:Perfect Chaos]].
** ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'' only had two storylines to beat to open up the Last Story (compared to the six in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'', four in ''Sonic Heroes'', and ten in ''VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog''), but made up for it by having a super-long level (five parts, each using a different character) and a [[ThatOneBoss difficult]] boss fight ''without'' the use of SuperMode before the obligatory Super Mode final fight.
** Despite the Wii version lacking a True Final Boss, the Nintendo DS version of ''VideoGame/SonicColors'' has you collect all 7 Chaos Emeralds in Special Stages that are similar to those of ''[[VideoGame/SonicRushSeries Sonic Rush]]'' when you collect 50 rings in a normal stage in each world. After all 7 of the emeralds are collected, you get to fight the [[spoiler:Nega-Mother Wisp]] as Super Sonic.
** Collecting all seven Chaos Emeralds in ''Videogame/SonicMania'' will unlock [[spoiler:the Egg Reverie battle]], in which you fight [[spoiler:both Eggman and the Heavy King]] as Super Sonic.
* Earthworm Kim, VideoGame/EarthwormJim's [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anima_and_animus Jungian anima]], who you only face if you collect all the [[SolveTheSoupCans Soup Cans]] in ''Earthworm Jim 3D''.
* In a form of EasyModeMockery, ''VideoGame/MegaManX8'' features [[spoiler:Sigma]] as the FinalBoss. The True Final Boss, [[spoiler:Lumine]] can only be fought on Normal and Hard modes.
* ''[[VideoGame/MeatBoy Super Meat Boy]]'' has a second, much more difficult battle against Dr. Fetus once you beat most of the Dark World levels.
* The ''Franchise/CrashBandicoot'' games usually avert this, at the worst making you fight the FinalBoss two times, once without 100% Completion and once with it. [[VideoGame/CrashBandicoot2NTranced The second GBA game]] plays it straight, though, where you need 100% completion to fight N. Tropy.
* To reach ''VideoGame/WonderBoy''[='=]s eighth area and its true final boss, you have to [[GottaCatchEmAll collect all of the dolls]] hidden in each level, which can be [[GuideDangIt nigh-impossible without a game guide]].
* In ''VideoGame/StreetFighterXMegaMan'', if you defeat 4 of the 8 World Warriors without taking any damage, [[spoiler:Akuma will interrupt your battle with Bison and challenge you.]]
* ''[[VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry2DiddysKongQuest Donkey Kong Country 2]] and [[VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry3DixieKongsDoubleTrouble 3]]'' both have a second boss fight with K. Rool after unlocking and completing all of the Lost World levels (which requires [[HundredPercentCompletion collecting everything in the game]]).
* In ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'', after you have beaten the game once, you can use a switch to make the final boss much harder. This is literally done by activating the "make the boss harder" console accessible via teleport right before him. And the game even warns you.
* The true final boss in the True Mechanical Arena in ''VideoGame/Rockman4MinusInfinity'' is [[spoiler:[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyV Omega]] using the sprite of the Cockroach Twins]].
* ''Amazing Princess Sarah'' [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] this trope after you beat the regular FinalBoss by telling you that "You are not strong enough for the Greater Lilith." Beating the game unlocks one of six NewGamePlus modes that make the game harder, and after you beat all six, [[spoiler:Lilith will assume her OneWingedAngel form and [[BaitAndSwitchBoss eat the regular final boss]] before challenging you herself]].

[[folder:Puzzle Game]]
* Beating the entire story mode of ''VideoGame/DrMario 64'' in one sitting without continuing would pit you against Vampire Wario if you were Mario or Metal Mario if you were Wario. (Once you actually reached this point, you could continue and retry the match as many times as you liked.) Beating them unlocked the code for [[HarderThanHard S-Hard difficulty]].
* In most versions of ''[[VideoGame/PuyoPuyo Puyo Puyo Tsuu]]'', racking up 180,000 points before reaching the final stage, without using any continues, replaces Satan with [[PaperThinDisguise Masked Satan]] as the final boss. (The game challenges you to try this if you beat the game normally.) A special ending occurs if you can beat him, but frustratingly not in the Mega Drive version.
** ''Tsuu'' also has a secret reverse example of this if you really go out of your way to suck. If you can manage to beat every opponent on the first floor ''without'' scoring enough points to advance to floor 2, you're pit against Masked Satan... and then get [[NonStandardGameOver thrown out of the tower for sucking so hard]]. [[http://www.nicozon.net/player.html?video_id=sm8203476 Video here.]] (Note that this is only possible in versions of ''Tsuu'' that require 30,000 points to advance to floor 2.)
** In Fever, if you are playing Raffine's storyline, [[spoiler:if you lose 7 times (probably on purpose), and then defeat Ms. Accord without losing,]] the character who replaces Popoi is none other than '''Carbuncle!''' In fact, [[spoiler:defeat Carbuncle and you will unlock him as a selectable character.]]
** Also, in SUN, if you play the Hard mode, [[spoiler:if you defeat every single stage without losing, Satan included,]] Carbuncle will battle you.
* In ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}} [[VideoGame/PanelDePon Puzzle League]]'', beating the game on any difficulty higher than Hard reveals that Gary wasn't the Puzzle Master. Rather, Mewtwo decided to use his psychic powers [[MundaneUtility to be very good at this game]]. And if it's not enough that he's extremely difficult to beat, you only get one shot to do so; if you lose to him, you won't be able to rematch him unless you beat Gary again.
* ''VideoGame/LocoRoco 2'': defeating the boss doesn't finish the game. After you clean up all of the dirt, an unlikely villain will pop up and result in a gameplay change.
* If you take the right path in ''VideoGame/{{Meteos}}'', you face off against True Meteo, which is really just three Meteos.
* ''VideoGame/PonyIsland'': [[spoiler: The Hopeless Soul, which can only be accessed if you've collected every single ticket in the game; it in itself already a difficult feat to accomplish (see GuideDangIt).]]

[[folder:Rhythm Game]]
* Many of Creator/{{Konami}}'s Franchise/{{Bemani}} games have historically contained "Extra Stage" systems, which lets the player play another song if they achieve certain goals during their session (most commonly getting a certain minimum rank on each song played). Often, there are songs exclusive to this mode (usually a BonusBoss). Usually, these Extra Stages force you to play under modifiers that make the song even harder; for instance, Extra Stages in ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution'' force you to play with the x1.5 speed and Reverse mods, as well as a life meter that doesn't replenish (later versions swap this out for a "battery" lifebar). And in some of these games, this same requirement can be used to reach what is called the One More Extra Stage, or OMES for short; in DDR, this is a fairly easier song in which ''[[OneHitPointWonder you fail instantly if you get one Good, Bad, Miss, or a hold that is not held]]'', and in ''[[VideoGame/{{Beatmania}} beatmania IIDX]]'', this is traditionally an [[ThatOneBoss even harder song]]. Usually, different songs are cycled from these tiers into standard gameplay over the life of the version (typically a year or so), and thus the True Final Boss may first appear as the final unique OMES song.
** Some IIDX games (and later DDR, as influenced by it) have had special events that activate themed BonusBoss areas only accessible on Extra Stage, often requiring players to meet rather specific goals elsewhere in order to access the songs within. In these cases, the True Final Boss can be found within them as a special One More Extra Stage (sometimes requiring all the other songs to have been cleared once as a prerequisite. ''DDR X2'' required players to unlock its six bonus bosses via in-game goals to unlock its True Final Boss, and then reset the player's progress and required them to go through the entire cycle to play it again)
** DDR 2014 deserves special mention for its Encore Extra Stage song, Over the "Period". Not only do you need to go through a lengthy unlock process to even have the chance to play it (which must be repeated for every attempt), getting anything lower than a Perfect is an instant game over, ''it's one of the hardest songs in the game'', with its Challenge chart one of four to be rated 19/20. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F05rnJ1vwrY Look for yourself]] It took two months for it to be cleared ''on Beginner''.
* In the second ''Patapon'' game, defeating [[EldritchAbomination Dettankarmen]] three times makes him drop the Grey Rainbow, which is used to unlock [[spoiler:Zuttankarmen,]] who doubles as the BonusBoss. That, and he makes both [[OurDemonsAreDifferent Dettankarmen]] and [[TankGoodness Ganodias]] [[NintendoHard look like slaying a Kacheek in comparison.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{DJMAX}} Technika''[='=]s Technical courses have you select three songs, do those songs, then face a boss song (that is not revealed until you get to it). However, clearing the first two stages with at least 95% of your hits being rated "MAX" will bring up an alternate fourth song. For example, the Customizer course's normal final boss is "Son of Sun," and the TFB is "Sin."

* ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonExplorers'' has [[spoiler:Darkrai, who set the plot of the ''entire game'' into motion. The player's amnesia and being turned into a Pokémon? His doing. Temporal Tower almost collapsing and Dialga's descent into insanity? His doing. [[PhysicalGod Palkia]] trying to kill you? ''His doing!'' Not to mention, he planned a backup to everything, even the defeat at Dark Crater... although it failed to succeed, thanks to Palkia.]]
* In ''Videogame/DoomTheRoguelike'', nuking the Cyberdemon while under the effects of an Invulnerability Sphere will reveal the secret stairs to the next level, wherein resides the Ultimate Evil. [[spoiler:It's John Carmack, and he has a rocket launcher and summons Barons of Hell.]]
** This came out of an [[GoodBadBugs unintended feature]] in earlier versions of the game, where nuking the Cyberdemon still counted as a win, despite the fact you just killed yourself. In later versions, this was changed to marking it as a "partial" victory on your record, since you did technically commit suicide. Now, if you want to try to win that way and survive, the True Final Boss is there to make sure you're not just taking the cheap way out.
* In ''VideoGame/AncientDomainsOfMystery'', the goal of the game is to close the Chaos Gate and keep it from reopening. If you have completed a number of [[GuideDangIt obscure and difficult]] tasks, you may instead enter the Chaos Gate and kill [[BigBad Andor Drakon]].
** And there are 3 Ultra endings that require even ''more'' obscure and difficult requirements!
* ''VideoGame/TheBindingOfIsaac'' has many, many, ''many'' True Final Bosses thanks to multiple updates to the game.
** Mom is the final boss in the first playthrough. However, after that, two new levels are added with Mom's Heart as the final boss (True Final Boss). After the 9th playthrough, Mom's Heart is replaced with It Lives, a harder variation of Mom's Heart (Slightly Truer Final Boss).
** The Halloween Update added a new final level that is normally unlocked after defeating It Lives, although there are a few ways to reach it earlier. At the end of the level, you fight [[spoiler:[[TheDevil Satan]]]] (Completely True Final Boss).
** The ExpansionPack, ''Wrath of the Lamb'', adds an alternate level after It Lives, with an Alternate Completely True Final Boss. [[spoiler:[[MirrorMatch It's Isaac]].]] (For a short time before being patched out, there even was an alternate boss to him, unlocked similarly to It Lives). And then after fulfilling another condition, you can go to ''[[TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon yet another level]]'' after that one, where the Most Definitely True Final Boss lies: [[spoiler:???, Dead Baby]].
** Then there's the remake, ''Rebirth'', which has three True Final Bosses. The first is the aforementioned [[spoiler:???/Dead Baby]]. The second is fought as [[spoiler:???]]'s counterpart, but after [[spoiler:Satan]] instead. It's [[spoiler:a being known as The Lamb]]. However, beating either of them unlocks the option to fight one last boss: [[spoiler:the all-powerful Mega Satan]].
** Surprisingly, ''Afterbirth'' defies this by adding no new alternate final bosses to the three provided by base ''Rebirth'', opting instead for a BonusBoss and a new mode with its own Final Boss.
** ''Afterbirth+'', on the other hand, adds yet another final boss found on a new floor accessible under certain conditions after any of the previous "True Final Bosses," [[spoiler: Delirium]]. Since ''Afterbirth+'' is the final [[VideoGame/TheBindingOfIsaac Binding Of Isaac]] expansion, this boss is the definitive True Final Boss of the game. To emphasize this point, the boss [[spoiler: rapidly transforms into most of the bosses in the game, including almost every other final boss before it!]]
* ''VideoGame/NuclearThrone'' provides one in the form of [[spoiler:the I.D.P.D. Captain]], with the boss's area only being accessible by looping the game and interacting with a very specific object (namely, [[spoiler:the I.D.P.D. van that unloads a group of enemies]]). Unlike the FinalBoss, which will only end your run if you don't meet the circumstances required to loop, beating this boss will always end your run and boot up the credits, stating that "the struggle is over".
* ''{{VideoGame/Spelunky}}'' offers an whole new set of levels to be explored if you complete a [[GuideDangIt convoluted and tough sequence]] of actions, which include finding a [[BlackMarket hidden store in a jungle]], dying and being resurrected, [[CityOfGold accessing a more bountiful secret area]], and killing the final boss in a very specific area. Completing the secret levels allows you to face the real final boss, who upon defeat will grant you a slightly different ending cutscene and more reward money.
* ''VideoGame/EnterTheGungeon'' features The Lich, [[spoiler:the undead form of the very first Gungeoneer]], in [[spoiler:Bullet Hell after defeating the boss of each Gungeoneer's past]].

[[folder: Shoot 'Em Up]]
* BulletHell shooters take the cake for this, featuring impossible bosses such as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTn0I3xnVMc Hibachi the mecha-bee]] from the ''VideoGame/DonPachi'' series. And to even reach them, you have to play their games with ''no continues''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' has a few examples. In most cases, a level is not playable until certain conditions are met:
** The second game, ''The Story of Eastern Wonderland'', had a proper True Final Boss with Mima's second form (really third, but you don't fight the first one), which you can only see if you don't continue until then. Interestingly, you can continue at that form, but you get the bad ending.
** In the fourth game, ''Lotus Land Story'', the last stage and its FinalBoss can only be reached [[EasyModeMockery if you play on a difficulty higher than easy]], and you haven't continued until then. Otherwise, you receive the bad ending. The last stage also prevents you from continuing, period; there's no bad ending, it's just game over.
** Similarly, the sixth game, ''Embodiment of Scarlet Devil'', prevents the last stage from being played on Easy difficulty and sends you to the bad ending. If you play on Normal or higher, you can still reach the last stage even if you continue (and can continue on the last stage), but you still get the bad ending.
** Finally for the shooting games, the eighth game, ''Imperishable Night'', has an alternate final stage, with an alternate final boss, that you can only get to after beating the game once with the specific choice of characters. Continuing on the playthrough that unlocks the alternative final stage is fine, but continuing too much gets a NonstandardGameOver ending. The true final stage itself can't be reached if you continue, and gives you the bad ending if you die on it.
** It should be mentioned that the unlockable [[BonusDungeon Extra Stages]] with their [[BonusBoss Extra Bosses]] are technically ''not'' this trope gameplay-wise, as unlike other examples, the Extra Stage is really ''selected from the title screen''. Storyline-wise, it is debatable and depends on which game is being played.
** In ''Hidden Star in Four Seasons'', though, [[spoiler:the heroines fail to defeat Okina due to her final attack being too lopsided in her favor (she strips you of your options, release ability and Power, and uses it to create a difficult multi-stage attack) and end up running away. Thus, [[HeroicSecondWind they regroup]] and [[EleventhHourSuperpower learn to harness a new power]] before [[ItsPersonal invading Ushirodo-no-Kuni again and challenging Okina to a rematch]]]], which is the Extra Stage of this game. This makes it a first for the series, where the Extra Stage is actually truly "Stage 7" and a continuation of the story, and the only game where the BonusBoss is also the TrueFinalBoss.[[note]] Yukari in ''Perfect Cherry Blossom'' does not count because, while she ''is'' the one who actually opened the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead, she only did so at Yuyuko's request, which makes the latter the real FinalBoss of the story.[[/note]]
* ''VideoGame/LenEn''[='=]s second game, ''Earthen Miraculous Sword'', features a true final boss in the form of the titular sword, [[LegendaryWeapon Tasouken]], unlocked after completing the final stage with at least three petals on the Cloud Flower Gauge. Tasouken has only one spellcard, "A Single Glimmer", but [[ThatOneBoss it's a real doozy]], requiring the player to flash-bomb ''repeatedly'' in the penultimate pattern of the spellcard.
* ''VideoGame/MushihimeSama Futari'' one-upped the genre with ''two'' consecutive true final bosses [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ztCxpBmXuA&feature=related which really do have to be seen to be believed.]] It's also called the hardest video game boss ever, with good reason. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQZuidKexBQ There's even a video on YouTube by that name.]] Also, ''Black Label''[='=]s God Mode features an alternate form of the FinalBoss, regarded by many players to be ''easier''.
* Hentai shooter ''Sentimental Shooting'' takes this one step further: Finish a stage (any stage) without using your time freeze and without losing a life, and a bonus boss would appear to blow you to smithereens. Level boss stages are the only exception to this rule.
* ''[[VideoGame/DonPachi DoDonPachi dai ou jou]]'''s Death Label mode pits you against not one Hibachi, but ''two'' of them. Have fun dying!
** Hibachi's incarnation in ''[=DoDonPachi=] Dai Fukkatsu'' puts even Mushihime-sama Futari's [=TFB=] to shame.
** And then Black Label Daifukkatsu added a new system that ''rapidly escalates'' the difficulty depending on how you play.
* CAVE really outdid themselves in regards to this trope with ''Daifukkatsu Black Label'', which introduces a [[UpToEleven second True Final Boss]] (provided certain requirements are met). Basically a literal TurnsRed version of Hibachi.
** Here it is, Zatzusa, the crowning terror of Shump bosses. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHqN_fH2S7k Here it is, on Arcade Mode]].
** On the 360 Retail Black Label arrange mode, the Ketsui crossover, now you have to fight Evacaneer DOOM on Steroids (now called HIVAC), [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vH3pbDY5Khk making the original look like a mid-boss]] in comparison.
* ''Dodonpachi Saidaioujou'' manages to [[SerialEscalation up the ante even further]] with a second true final boss in the form of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoUIM63soZ8 Inbachi]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Deathsmiles}}'' added one (Bloody Jitterbug) in Mega Black Label, which required you to access the final stage on rank 999 and not take damage up to Tyrranosatan. If that sounds a bit too easy, that's because the requirement for accessing Hades Castle at rank 999 includes beating both bonus stages... at rank 999. And the bonus stages have to be taken in a specific order, too, otherwise the rank will be back down to standard rank.
** And in case you're wondering, yes, 1.1 arranged on the 360 version made it easier to reach him by making it only a 1cc requirement (no more ragequitting over getting hit, no more Rank 999, and no more forcing your way through The Gorge). Unfortunately, beating him this way does not unlock an achievement, as the relevant achievement specifically requires standard MBL.
** The sequel ''VideoGame/{{Deathsmiles}} IIX'' has [[spoiler:Pigeon Blood Jitterbug.]]
* ''VideoGame/RayCrisis'': If you manage to get to and beat the normal FinalBoss, Dis-Human, without continuing, you reach the true final boss, Infinity.
* ''VideoGame/GigaWing'' normally ends after Stage 6 with a BittersweetEnding in which your character self-destructs to destroy the BigBad. Completing the first six stages without continuing before then, however, takes you to the true final boss and secures you the GoldenEnding (your character returns home alive after destroying the BigBad)!
* ''VideoGame/{{Ketsui}} Death Label'' has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jti0nXyG2Dg "DOOM Mode,"]] which lets you fight the True Final Boss, Evacaneer DOOM ([[VideoGame/{{Doom}} no relation]]) right off the bat. The catch is that you initially fight an easy version of it, and you fight it again and again, with the boss getting harder on subsequent rounds. And as implied, the original version also contains Evacaneer DOOM, but in order to see it, you need to beat the first loop of the game without dying or using bombs with a score of a certain cutoff.
* ''VideoGame/{{Raiden}}'':
** ''Raiden IV'' has one [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=il_9pV3OeDw at the end of the second loop]].
** ''Raiden DX'' has one [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-NTxIK-GYQ in the second loop in the secret ninth stage]] which can only be accessed by not continuing and completing most of the the second loop.
** ''VideoGame/RaidenV'' has one called Divine Rampart. In order to reach it, you have to power up all your weapons to Level 10 before reaching the Stage 8 boss.
** ''VideoGame/RaidenFighters 2'' has one called Red Eye. In the Japanese versions, a [[HundredPercentCompletion 100% Target Destroy Rate]] on both Stages 3 and 6 are required before reaching this Stage 7 boss. However, [[DifficultyByRegion you will always encounter this in overseas versions]].
** ''Raiden Fighters Jet'' has the Real Battle hidden missions which you can only enter if you got less than one miss, and having better performance than average. And after destroying Jasper Virtuos and Simon Quartz, you can only fight XTB-1 if you don't get crushed before them.
%%* Freeware [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24fU9MbKcS8 shmups]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1I4IiYB0c1Q are]][[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrVg9vye8Bw not]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngxnoO8ZCl0 immune]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBtLfIcT_ls to]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2r1e61D9A0 this.]]
* ''VideoGame/ChoRenSha68K'' has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngxnoO8ZCl0 this monster]] show up after beating the regular final boss on the second loop, and has several phases that must be defeated.
* The LightGunGame ''VideoGame/RazingStorm'' has this of sorts -- the third stage has you defeat the terrorist leader, and if you managed to survive the [[LastDitchMove last-ditch]] MacrossMissileMassacre of the SpiderTank, you're treated to the '''true''' final stage, a bonus stage of sorts. Where you finally face against a CoolAirship that [[GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere comes out of nowhere]].
* Andross's Brain in ''VideoGame/StarFox64'' (you have to access Venom through the [[ThatOneLevel Area 6 course]] rather than the Bolse course, which leads to an All-Range Mode dogfight against a suped-up Star Wolf team prior to Andross's palace) and the Anglar Emperor in ''VideoGame/StarFoxCommand''.
* In ''VideoGame/EveryExtend'', Heavy mode has a different (replacement, not subsequent) final boss if you collect 7 Quicken powerups, have at least 4 lives, and either below 100k or above 800k points. This is doable but not particularly easy[[note]]The game stops spawning Quicken-dropping enemies after you pick up 6 Quickens. Therefore you have to rely on getting at least two Quickens to be on the playfield at the same time once you're at five.[[/note]], although you can also summon him by having 8 Quickens (the cap) regardless of other conditions.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fraxy}}'', it is possible to make a boss throw out a new form if the rank is 100!
* In ''VideoGame/{{Rez}}'', each of the first four areas has a Mega, Giga, and Tera version of the boss, depending on how well you did throughout the stage. The sudden shift in difficulty is a bit of a surprise the first time.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Tyrian}}'', this actually happens twice in a row; first, you fight a giant brain, after which everything is said to be over, BUT THEN! [[note]]yes, it's written like that in the game[[/note]], the former BigBad Vykromod appears as a giant nose. If you beat him, the game again states that everything is over, but if you found a certain secret earlier in the game, you now have to fight a minigame-like boss on the planet Soh Jin, which, if you win, is revealed to be a creation of Zinglon himself, who you then fight in an offscreen battle. In Episode V, it's revealed that Zinglon was behind Microsol and Vykromod in the first place.
* ''My Little Pegasus: Kizuna [=DoPonyPachi=]'' has two. Normally, the game ends after defeating Angra Mainyu. If you're on the second loop, you then fight Enuma. On Ura loop, however, you fight a third boss, Caliburn, in addition to Enuma.
* ''Starhall Redthel'' is very fond of these:
** The final boss gets longer and longer on higher difficulties; it has one phase on Original mode, two on Hell mode, and three on Chaosside mode.
** The thing the game actually calls the True Final Boss is [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSSHSeBty50 this monster]], which appears at the end if you have 14 or more lives and are playing on Hell mode or above.
** There's yet another one, which requires a NoDeathRun. There's no video footage of it yet, but it completely puts the above to shame.
* ''VideoGame/{{HELLSINKER}}'' has three tiers of {{Final Boss}}es, determined by [[TimeLimitBoss the "Satisfaction Level" of the penultimate boss when time runs out]]; shooting it will raise the Satisfaction Level, while dying, bombing, or not hitting it for long periods of time decreases the Satisfaction Level. If you make it to the third-level final boss, you then must fill up its inverted LifeMeter, also by shooting the boss, within the time limit then wait for time to run out; doing so grants you access to the True Final Boss, who can only be [[HoldTheLine defeated by time out]], but [[ScoreMilking gives out loads of Spirits as you shoot it]].
* ''Cardinal Sins: VideoGame/JudgementSilversword Recycle Edition'' has the Mirror of Cardinal Sins, which requires the player to complete all seven stages with no F ranks. The Mirror also sports multiple forms, gaining more the better you performed in the preceding stages; there are four forms in all.
* In the Master System version of ''VideoGame/SpaceHarrier'', finishing the final stage (a BossRush) without dying once results in Haya-Oh, a completely new boss consisting of two incredible fast fire dragons, appearing at the end of it. This also applies to the ''3D Classics'' version.
* In ''VideoGame/SilentScope'', if you beat the last level without continuing, Falcon finds that [[spoiler:Robert, his commander,]] is the terrorist leader. This leads to one last OneBulletLeft scenario, in which Falcon must kill [[spoiler:Robert]] with one bullet in a sniper showdown; if Falcon misses this bullet, [[spoiler:Robert]] wins the sniper showdown, but if Falcon succeeds in making a headshot, [[spoiler:Robert]] is killed instantly. Falcon then watches over the distance, as the word "Fin" appears.
* ''VideoGame/BlueRevolver'' has one at the end of [[HarderThanHard Parallel]] difficulty, requiring a no-continue clear of the mode to unlock. It consists of [[spoiler:Dee and whichever of the two protagonists you didn't select [[DualBoss teaming up on you]].]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Darius}}'' has the huge SpaceWhale battleship Great Thing (sometimes called G.T.), which in several games -- ''Darius Gaiden'', ''G-Darius'', ''Dariusburst'', and ''Dariusburst Another Chronicle'', in particular -- is reached only by taking the hardest possible path in any game it appears in. ''Dariusburst'' and ''Another Chronicle'' in particular have it guard the GoldenEnding. ''Dariusburst Another Chronicle EX'' ups the ante with G.T-V., found in Zone Z, the lowest and hardest final stage of the EX stage tree; it is basically Great Thing but {{Palette Swap}}ped to [[PurpleIsPowerful purple]] and significantly harder.

[[folder:Stealth Game]]
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker'', the true final boss will trigger upon completion of Metal Gear ZEKE and finishing all main ops. How difficult the boss fight is depends on how well you obtain the parts for ZEKE.

[[folder:Survival Horror]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Illbleed}}'', there was a hidden final boss that could only be accessed in a NewGamePlus, by purposefully ''not'' saving your kidnapped friends. Stranger still, every time you let one of them die, Eriko (the protagonist) loses her clothing, until she is eventually completely naked save for a tiny thong-like panty scrap and a couple of band-aids over her nipples. Reach the final arena like this, and instead of introducing the final boss, the announcer will start drooling over you and come down there himself. And believe it or not, it gets even stranger from there...
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilOutbreak'' has a final boss fight. Your characters run, to escape only to be confronted by the boss you just defeated, ''again.'' You have the option of blowing him up with whatever weapons you have on hand or injecting him with the cure for the T-virus, which makes him explode.
** ''Outbreak File #2'' had this one boss follow you throughout the last leg of the finale scenario. Then, if you have to take the long way around to complete the scenario, the game fakes you out by making it seem like you have to fight him again, even if you killed him earlier. But [[spoiler:another BOW absorbs him into its body and the True Final Boss fight begins!]]
* The original ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'' required you to make sure your player character's partner survived the game through several procedure choices you make through the game in order to get a rematch against the Tyrant on the helipad where you're supposed to be picked up.
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'' features ''two'' in the B Scenario. [[DiscOneFinalBoss The A scenario's final boss]] is Birkin's lion-like six-legged form, who's tough, but still pretty easy to kill. In the B Scenario, you have to fight [[spoiler:a heavily mutated T-103 Tyrant]], who's much faster than before, hits harder, and can only be defeated by the timely intervention of rocket-based explosives. Then, you reach the end of the story, only to find out that the A Scenario ended prematurely, and you have to fight [[spoiler:Birkin one more time, plus he's mutated even further into a horrific EldritchAbomination-esque [[BlobMonster blob]], which is fortunately [[ClippedWingAngel much easier than his previous forms]]]]. Only then will you see the real ending to the game.
* The true enemy and ending in ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve'' can only be accessed by beating the game once, which unlocks the [[BonusDungeon Chrysler Building]]. Reach the top floor and Aya will confront [[spoiler:the Original Eve, possessing the "body" of Aya's deceased sister, Maya]].
* ''VideoGame/FatalFrame 2'' usually ends with a fight against "Rope Man" (aka the Kusabi). However, on Nightmare difficulty on the [=PS2=] or Fatal difficulty on the Xbox, you fight Sae Kurosawa after her, and get a different, somewhat happier ending.
** The Wii Remake allows the player to fight Sae at any difficulty, as long as several conditions are met.
* ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys4'' has [[spoiler:Nightmare]], an animatronic that only appears in the last two hours of the bonus night Night 7 to replace [[spoiler:Nightmare Fredbear]].

[[folder:Third-Person Shooter]]
* ''VideoGame/TrueCrimeStreetsOfLA'' had, based on player performance, story forks that led to worst to successively better endings and another BigBad. Fortunately, each of these forks were well-written self-contained stories, and had their own unique features that made it worth it to explore each one, and doing so made the True Final Boss appear for the OneHundredPercentCompletion ending. [[spoiler:It turns out to be the same boss as in the worst ending, [[ThisIsYourPremiseOnDrugs but on steroids and crack]].]]
* ''VideoGame/WinBack'' plays with this by having you fight the true final boss, Dan, ''before'' the [[MultipleEndings bad ending]] final boss, Cecile, making the latter a PostFinalBoss.

[[folder:Vehicular Combat]]
* In ''Franchise/StarWars: VideoGame/RogueSquadron III: Rebel Strike'', while not technically a boss, there is a bonus extension to one level if and only if you meet the requirements for a silver medal or higher. Earn a bronze medal and the level is finished and you win. Earn a silver or better and you play a short mission in a TIE Bomber and gain an opportunity to unlock said Bomber for use in other missions.
* ''VideoGame/AceCombatZeroTheBelkanWar'' plays with this. If you've beaten the game enough to unlock the SP Mission "[[BossRush The Gauntlet]]" on the highest difficulty, played that mission on said highest difficulty setting, and defeated [[ThatOneBoss Espada Squadron]] in less than 1 minute during the mission, then the game's penultimate boss Wizard Squadron appears. Do you have to fight them, too? Nope, instead a single F-22 Raptor appears from behind them and utterly slaughters Wizard Squadron in all of about 5 seconds. Then that F-22's pilot sets his sights on you. Good luck with [[VideoGame/AceCombat04ShatteredSkies Mobius 1]], Cipher.
* ''[[VideoGame/AirForceDelta Air Force Delta Strike]]'' features NAVIGATOR on the final mission for 3rd Element. The only way to get to this boss is by using 3rd Element pilots for almost all of the space-based part of the game.
* ''[[VideoGame/NavalOps Warship Gunner 2]]'' after the final boss has one where you have to sink a superweapon.
** ''[[VideoGame/NavalOps Naval Ops: Warship Gunner]]'' does this on the second playthrough as well, but there is no mission break after sinking the Druna Skass, the Silfurbor Negla just sails right onto the level and starts shooting.
* In ''Aerofighters Assault'', you could only fight the actual final boss by clearing every mission, which includes the bonus ones, the game usually ending at "To be continued" after fighting Lar deep in the Antarctic. There are three in total, but the player will only usually get to play one in a normal playthrough. Getting to the other two requires both speed and a lot of points (which you'll usually net enough of by taking out the enemy jets). Once you get through this, you'll unlock the Space level with a final showdown against the series original final boss Pandora. While she has multiple forms, they're not based on damage levels like most bosses, but based on how much time has passed, starting as a UFO, then a flying weapon and at last her original form as a metallic golden skull with a dangling spinal cord. Luckily, you can just kill her before she even transforms by using FS-X's super attack.

[[folder:Western RPG]]
* ''VideoGame/NeoQuest'', one of two online {{Website/Neopets}} [=RPG=]s, features this, with an extra boss added for each difficulty. There are three levels to choose from: Normal, Hard, and [[HarderThanHard InSaNe]]. On Normal, you'll only fight the standard FinalBoss, Jahbal. On Hard, it's Jahbal, immediately followed by [[ManBehindTheMan Mastermind]]. The ultimate battle consists of Jahbal, then Mastermind, then [[NightmareFuel Xantan Reborn]], a strengthened version of the first boss you fought, [[CaptainObvious Xantan]]. You get no break between the three, and losing to Mastermind (or anyone, if you're playing on [=InSaNe=]) [[LevelDrain completely erases your save data]]. Have fun with that.
* ''VideoGame/InfinityBlade'' has the God Kings. After you've played through the castle your first 15 or so times, you can actually buy the InfinityPlusOneSword. This actually opens the doors to the four ''new'' immortal kings. The first three are really no problem, but the third is a Level 300 (the level cap in the game is 100 for players) robot mech with a man inside it. But you do get a sweet cinematic if you can best this insane challenge.
* ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'': the game's alternate routes have different and much harder encounters replace the last two bosses of the most commonly first run "neutral route".
** Pacifist Route, requiring you to have completed Neutral first, reset the game and then make extra sure to never kill anybody and befriend everybody available. [[spoiler:Asriel/Flowey]] assumes his true form to fight you, and you actually save the Neutral route's penultimate boss from him during the fight.
** Genocide Route, requiring you to meticulously hunt down and kill every single living thing in every area of the game. [[spoiler:Sans]] interjects before the usual final bosses to try and stop you from [[OmnicidalManiac destroying the world]]. The Neutral Route's last bosses still actually face you if you get past him, [[CutsceneBoss but you kill them in one hit in a cutscene]].
** Inverted in the Neutral Route itself on your second playthrough and beyond. The FinalBoss [[spoiler:Flowey]]'s time warping powers allow him to know exactly how your fight is going to go down (you kick his ass), so he hightails it after you beat the penultimate boss [[spoiler:Asgore]].
* ''VideoGame/DarkSouls2'' offers one in the Scholar of the First Sin edition if certain conditions are met: The player has to talk to Aldia, the Scholar of the First Sin on all the occasions he shows up and kill [[spoiler:King Vendrick]], then [[spoiler:Aldia]] will appear as a boss in the [[spoiler:Throne of Want]] after [[spoiler:Nashandra]] is defeated.
* ''VideoGame/{{Bloodborne}}'' has a similar case in the [[spoiler:Moon Presence]]. To fight it you have to find and use three of four items scattered throughout the game, two of which are permanently missable, and [[spoiler:refuse Gehrman's offer to free you from the Hunter's dream]]. The [[spoiler:Moon Presence]] appears after you then defeat [[spoiler:Gehrman]].
* ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddysWorld'' has one that can only be fought in Hard Mode and it's [[spoiler:a fictional version of Scott Cawthon himself.]] Update 2 features another one in [[spoiler:Chica's Magic Rainbow, with her literally squishing the intended final boss [[TrickBoss about a minute into the final battle]].]] Unusually, beating either of them don't result in happy endings: beating the former results in him complaining that the game ended because [[spoiler:the player killed the puppetmaster]], and beating the latter results in a cutscene that turns out to be [[spoiler:a teaser for ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddysSisterLocation'']].
* ''VideoGame/CreepyCastle'' has the FinalBoss be [[spoiler:Possessor (who turns into Possessor Demon in the second part of Scenario 2)]]. After beating the two storylines, you can continue into the Depths...or, if you are aiming for every "The Story" achievement, you can go straight to Ant Queen's story. Clearing that (which is required to do so, as well as clearing ''Creepy Castle,'' ''Ghostly Mystery'' and ''Lost'') leads you to ''The Final Fist,'' where Ant Queen fights one true last enemy of the storyline: [[spoiler: Possessor Apollyon]]. [[spoiler:There is a save point before Possessor Apollyon so that you can retry the fight if you were to lose against Possessor Apollyon.]]

[[folder:Misc Games]]
* Played with in ''[[VideoGame/NightsIntoDreams NiGHTS Journey of Dreams]]'': fulfiling the criteria for the best ending adds a final showdown with TheDragon immidiately before the actual FinalBoss, which is unchanged.
* A driving/animal-catching game called ''Jambo! Safari'' had the goal was to catch (and presumably tag, not actually poach) wild animals on the African savannah. The last level was an all-or-nothing attempt to capture a saber-toothed tiger... unless you managed to get there in a single credit, in which case your final target was a white lion. The game's AttractMode seemed to imply that if you somehow attained an even more perfect run, you'd have to catch a Moa.
* In ''VideoGame/TokyoXtremeRacer: Drift 2'', when you defeated Forever Knights, the Emotional King (final boss) in Hokkaido area of the game, you may think the story is finished. [[SarcasmMode But no,]] Ground Zero is waiting for you in Hakone where you have started off, while it's a clear night there.
* In ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeedUnderground'', immediately upon defeating the original final boss, [[BigBad Eddie]], an unknown challenger in a Nissan Fairlady Z/[=350Z=] appears and challenges you. Upon victory, it is revealed that the challenger and true final boss is [[TheDragon Melissa, Eddie's girlfriend.]]
* ''VideoGame/InitialDArcadeStage'' has Bunta Fujiwara, which gives you [[BonusBoss a free battle]] ''only'' if you have ''defeated all opponents in one loop'' of The Legend of Streets mode. He is [[RubberBandAI extremely fast]], so you have a hard time to block him from passing. However, the credits will roll even if you lose.
* ''Breakout'' clone ''VideoGame/DarkBall2'' pulls this out in the most unexpected way. After beating [[FinalBoss Khross]]'s second form, if you have the five secret kharma chips, you get the [[EleventhHourSuperpower Truth power up]], which by this point seems to be there just to let you finish him off and avoid a bad ending. Then ''[[FaceHeelTurn the ball reveals it was using you all along]]'' and was just interested in reaching this level of power, challenging you to a fight to decide who will become a god.
* ''[[VideoGame/FZero F-Zero GX]]'' has a final chapter unlocked after beating Deathborn, in which Captain Falcon, already a MemeticBadass, challenges [[spoiler:The Creators, 3 mysterious entities that were responsible for both Deathborn and creating Earth.]]
* Taken UpToEleven in [[{{Gauntlet}} Gauntlet: Dark Legacy]]. In the original version, Gauntlet Legends, Skorne's true form could only be fought after hunting down all 12 runestones AND running through a level beforehand. After this fight in the remake, [[spoiler:Garm absorbs Skorne's power, transforming into a large statue, taking control of Skorne's forces,]] and sealing himself within a citadel that can only be reached by finding the 13th runestone in the Battlefield.