Epilogue Narration: You defeated your arch rival the sinister Warlock. Peaceful days will now return to Vampires and Monsters.
(...five seconds later...)
Warlock: Ha! Ha! Ha! ... I have returned!So, you've defeated the Final Boss after a long and hard battle, the good old victory music that played after defeating the other bosses kicks in, and your character does his usual dance... But then, the music suddenly grinds to a halt as the boss suddenly gets back up again and reveals his One-Winged Angel form. Your character stops his dance, realising he now has to fight a much bigger, badder form of the boss he was fighting. This is when a boss pulls a Victory Fakeout. Subtrope of Hope Spot and Sequential Boss. If the enemy feigns surrender in the process, this trope overlaps with I Surrender, Suckers. Compare Your Princess Is in Another Castle and Trick Boss. If the player character dies during an actual victory scene, it's a Kaizo Trap.
Warlock: You thought you defeated me. I'm much stronger than you expected. Now I will destroy you!!
Warlock: You thought you defeated me. I'm much stronger than you expected. Now I will destroy you!!
These examples are pretty much all unmarked spoilers. Proceed with caution.
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- The Legend of Zelda:
- In The Wind Waker, Puppet Ganon pulls this on the player after defeating his first form.
- Happens twice in Twilight Princess, with Stallord and Armogohma (though in the latter's case, you "fight" her Clipped-Wing Angel form instead).
- The fifth boss in Phantom Hourglass, Dongorongo. Possibly foreseeable, as "defeating" him doesn't trigger his Critical Existence Failure.
- In Ōkami, after defeating Yami's fourth form, Amaterasu begins her victory howl, only to get taken out midway through by Yami's fifth and final form.
- Kid Icarus: Uprising has Hades, who tears the fake credits apart after defeating Medusa.
- In Batman: Arkham City, the Achievement/Trophy for beating Solomon Grundy pops up after the second phase of the fight... only for him to get back up again for one more phase.
Beat 'em Up
- Gill from Street Fighter III may count, if you're unprepared for his infamous resurrection ability.
- In Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, Abyss does this twice.
- Then in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Yami does the same thing, except on those occasions your health is restored.
- In Fatal Fury, the player character is actually taken to the victory ceremony for the King of Fighters tournament after beating Billy Kane. At which point Geese Howard's thugs arrive, kidnap the player character, and haul him up to Geese's office for the final battle.
- Super Smash Bros. exploits this when the player satisfies the conditions necessary to fight Giga Bowser at the end of Adventure Mode in Melee. Bowser does his typical "dying" animation where he falls offstage, and the player character celebrates as always... but then Bowser's statue rises back up and flakes off from Giga Bowser's body underneath, revealing the true final boss. One of the conditions for additional boss challenges in Classic or Adventure Mode is playing on Normal difficulty or higher, adding an extra layer of surprise.
First Person Shooters
- In the Borderlands DLC, The Zombie Island of Doctor Ned, you go toe-to-toe with the titular Doctor... then you kill him in less than half a minute, get an achievement, and the credits roll. Then the real boss, "Undead Ned" rips his way through the screen, laughs at the player, and the fight resumes.
- Perfect Dark: You've saved the alien Elvis, saved the President, and as the ending cut scene cuts in, you're off to a meeting between the Maians, the United States President, and the head of the Carrington Institute. The music swells.... and the Skedar forces break through the Institute's walls. Lampshaded by Joanna Dark: "Looks like someone doesn't know when to quit!"
- The page quote comes from Monster in My Pocket, an old NES game by Konami, when you defeat Warlock. The usual stage cleared screen is shown, and then the ending begins to play, but then Warlock suddenly comes back and you then fight him on a giant televison screen. After beating him again, your character simply exclaims "Yeah..." and then the credits roll.
- Downplayed in Donkey Kong Country, where the fake kredits during the final battle is blatantly obvious, such as enemy names in place of developer names, and the fact that the final battle theme continues to play regardless.
- In Kirby's Epic Yarn, after beating Yin-Yarn, Kirby and Prince Fluff do their usual victory dance, but then the large needles he left behind come to life to knit a larger, mechanical version of Yin-Yarn. Cue epic Humongous Mecha battle.
- Likewise, a similar thing happens in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, after the Disc-One Final Boss Landia is defeated. Magolor seizes the dragon's Master Crown and reveals that he had been plotting a Batman Gambit to rule the universe all along, with Kirby and co. as the Unwitting Pawns.
- For an example with the victory music playing and dying down when the boss arises, there's the battle against yet another Disc-One Final Boss, the Grand Doomer. The boss stage is just a room with the final piece of Magolor's broken ship, until you attempt to get it, and the piece transforms into the boss. Why, did you think you were going to get that mast without even having to fight?
- The True Final Boss of Sonic Adventure, Perfect Chaos, appears to go down after three hits. However, a moment later, the triumphant main theme is replaced by a dark orchestral piece as he rises from the water with another health bar and powered-up attacks.
- After defeating Bowser in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Mario (and the other players if playing multiplayer) looks up at Princess Peach, only for her to be revealed to be Kamek in disguise, who then casts a spell on Bowser, making him colossal.
- This happens again in New Super Mario Bros. 2 this time thanks to The Koopalings.
- And again in New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U, but what makes it different is that unlike the last two games where you had to avoid him when he was supersized, this time you actually fight him while he's supersized.
- At the end of Super Mario Galaxy 2, Bowser first appears to have been flung into space as a result of Mario ground-pounding his own meteorites at him, but just right before he can even get the last Grand Star, Bowser flies back up, eats the Grand Star, and becomes huge again, and as a result Mario had to ground-pound more meteorites at him to finish him off.
- Super Mario 3D Land did this twice: After the first battle against Bowser, Mario runs up to Peach's chamber to find a cardboard cutout of the Princess, and then sees Bowser carrying the captive Peach, who then mocks him and jumps off the tower. This also happens again during the real final battle, where Mario knocks Bowser into a lava pit (after he throws barrels at Mario)... ...and then Bowser jumps back up and starts chasing him.
- Super Mario 3D World has Bowser pull away the "level clear" screen, take all the fairies, and leap away to the real final world. (Like there haven't been enough Mario games that we knew an eighth world was coming.)
- Happens in the Final Boss battle of I Wanna Be the Guy.
- In Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2, after beating the Final Boss, he explodes and sinks below the ground as the screen fades to black, but then he comes back again in a much bigger size.
- Used by Mother Brain in Super Metroid after "her" cutscene death.
- Subverted with the fight against Crocomire. When you pushes it into the lava pit, it get stripped into bones and sinks into the lava, and then the battle music stops. However, when you head back to the spiked wall. Crocomire's skeleton suddenly cracks open the wall... and promptly collapses.
- In Metroid: Other M, defeating Nightmare will cause him to crash around and then finally crash to the ground in defeat. However, when you have to traverse his boss room in the other direction after discovering Sector Zero, he'll rise from the floor and fight you again. The fact that his body doesn't vanish after the first fight should be a big clue. Of course, even though he "dies" here, he is still alive in the canonically later Metroid: Fusion.
- Dr. Wily in Mega Man 3, Sigma in Mega Man X game, and Elpizo in Mega Man Zero 2 are particularly clear-cut examples.
- Then there's Rockman 4 Minus Infinity. You beat the Wily Capsule as usual, but then the floor explodes from under you, revealing the real final level.
- And Mega Pony, where you beat the Discord Machine and reach the credits... only for the real Discord to interrupt it, revealing the final, glitched level.
- The Bonus Boss Yoku Man in Mega Man Unlimited, fitting given the nature of his stage, pretends to explode and die multiple times throughout the battle with him, even cutting out the background music, before reforming and continuing the fight. Savvy players will note that his life bar isn't empty yet, though.
- Used before the final boss of Skylanders: SuperChargers, where after Kaos activates the Dark Rift Engine and The Darkness is seemingly defeated, Flynn flies away from the explosion as an Award-Bait Song plays, only for a rift to open and begin sucking the credits in before The Darkness reemerges for another round.
- In Zuma's Revenge, one shot on Zhaka Mu's Chef will drop him. Then the real one interrupts the fake end credits, and he's much harder to beat.
- Destroy the Godmodder: They had the godmodder down to 1 hp, everyone was rushing in to kill him... In comes the Anti-Chuck Norris turret, now upgraded into a tank.
- In Super Mario RPG, after enduring a two-phase Boss Battle against the volcano boss, the Axem Rangers show up and swipe the sixth Star Piece out of your hands right in the middle of claiming it.
- In Paper Mario 64, after knocking out Lava Piranha, you get your Star Points and the victory theme starts, but then it gets cut off when the ground shakes and the Lava Pirahna gets back up for another round, and this time it is on fire. There is a slight clue in that the Star Points you're 'rewarded' with don't get added to your total.
- Cortez the Pirate Ghost returns from his defeat sequence twice in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, in a stage that's something of a successor to Lava Piranha's world in the first game.
- In Xenosaga Episode II, winning the first fight against the Patriarch actually goes to the post-battle XP screen, which then breaks with a Fight Woosh to send you into the battle against the next form.
- Similarly, in Final Fantasy VII, after defeating Bizzaro Sephiroth, the screen fades to black and it appears the post-battle XP screen is going to appear, but instead the game is loading the One-Winged Angel battle.
- In Seiken Densetsu 3, one of the three potential final bosses, Archdemon, appears to explode and die in a large explosion after defeating him, like the other bosses, only for him to reappear in his next form.
- Mega Man X: Command Mission actually has one in the form of the fourth boss, Dr. Psyche. After depleting his health (and probably wasting precious Reboots, Backups, and various curing items in the process) he collapses similarly to when you would defeat one of the other bosses, only to get back up and pop his head off, attaching it to his true form, Mad Nautilus. Thankfully you only have to fight Mad Nautilus during the rematch at Far East HQ in the final chapter.
- In Dragon Quest II, you kill Hargon before he can complete his summoning ritual... Only for the ritual to still work anyway, leaving you to fight the actual final boss, Malroth.
- In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, this happens with giant Bowser. You hit with Finishing Bros, Mario and Luigi do their usual victory pose... only to look behind them and see Bowser getting back up. Cue Kamek and some magikoopas turning him One-Winged Angel with their magic, which makes him EVEN BIGGER and forces you to use a second, more powerful Finishing Attack to defeat him for good.
- Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga had a seemingly easy final boss fight with Bowletta. After enough HP is drained, she yells "NO! Cursed Mario Bros.! Not again..." while the Bros. do their victory dance. Then a Bob-Omb comes up while she holds her defeat pose, reveals she was faking it, and inhales them. Cue the true final boss fight with only 1 HP left.
- Shin Megami Tensei IV has the battle with King Kenji. As his HP comes close to zero, Kenji's battle sprite suddenly vanishes and he cries out "I lost..." The game then asks you if you want to pick up the remote...don't do it. Players will notice that the battle interface and theme are still present, and that Kenji hasn't gone through the standard boss explosion animation yet. Players who pick up the remote anyway are treated to getting sucker-punched with an attack that deals Physical damage and inflicts the infectious, strength-reducing Sick status, while choosing not to fall for the trap results in Kenji getting frustrated at your savviness, reducing his Defense.
- In Yo-kai Watch, when you defeat McKraken in the Yo-Kai World, it seems that your journey is all over... Until the player and co. notices that McKraken is getting power from Uptown, and that they'll have to fight Slimamander again, not to mention they'll have to fight mooks from the Yo-Kai World as well to seal the power McKraken is obtaining from Uptown. When you seal them all? He is actually also obtaining power from Mt. Wildwood as well, and you have to fight him in a new, much harder form.
- Played With in Dot Hack GU's second volume. After defeating Tri-Edge and an ending cutscene, the end credits roll to the same theme as the first volume. Immediately afterward the player is given back control for one last event revealing Ovan's not dead, and the actual credits with the new end theme for Volume 2 plays. There is, however, no more combat between defeating Tri-Edge and the end of the game.
- Dark Souls III has it as a series first for the series' first three phase boss. After killing Father Ariandel and Friede, the boss' Leitmotif stops (and on your first playthrough of the fight, you get a Titanite Slab), and you'd expect Heir of Fire Destroyed to pop up as with every other non-Lord of Cinder boss. Then Father Ariandel starts talking, Friede gets back up surrounded by abyssal black flames, and finally the boss music slams back on for the final phase: Blackflame Friede.
- The final stage of the main quest in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind leads to the confrontation with Dagoth Ur. After Nerevarine bests him in single combat, he disappears and mocks the hero for believing they could actually kill a god. Of course, if the player paid attention to the main plotline, they already knew their goal was not to kill Dagoth Ur, but to destroy his source of power. You then proceed to the next room to do exactly that, while avoiding revived Dagoth Ur's attacks.
Shoot Em Ups
- In Star Fox 64, during the boss battle in Sector X, you succeed in defeating the boss and taking its health down, complete with Slippy saying, "Yippee! You did it!" as usual, but then... Fox says, "Huh? What?" just as the boss suddenly comes back to life and says "The view is clear" while giving a Finger Wag to Fox. The boss theme becomes more remixed as the boss tries its hardest to kill you, but should you take too long during the second phase of the battle, Slippy will end up pulling a Leeroy Jenkins moment that will send him to Titania, forcing you to fly to that planet the minute you defeat the boss.
- Also happens in Meteo if you battle the Meteo Crusher. After defeating his first two forms, he'll say he is no match for you and admit defeat. Falco, if he wasn't taken out in Corneria, will see through this ploy immediately, and the shield gauge still appearing half full is another dead give-away. His third form isn't much more difficult than the others, and he'll go down with relative ease, anyway, leading to a legitimate victory.
- Armored Core For Answer. In the level "Defeat White Glint", if you defeat him while playing the level in Normal Mode, he simply sinks into the sea along with his NEXT. But in Hard Mode, upon defeating him once, his mech reactivates and he dusts himself off for round 2.
- Battle Garegga's Final Boss, Glow Squid, appears to be defeated, complete with the background music fading out..but in the midst of its Chain Reaction Destruction, the cockpit detatches itself from the fuselage and starts to choatically bounce all over the screen while spewing projectiles everyone in a last-ditch attempt to stop you, while the music starts back up. It repeats this same feat when fought as a Bonus Boss in Armed Police Batrider.