Epilogue Narration: You defeated your arch rival the sinister Warlock. Peaceful days will now return to Vampires and Monsters.
(...five seconds later...)
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
These examples are pretty much all unmarked spoilers. Procede with caution.
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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.
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 quotes 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.
- Subverted 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 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.
- Baby Bowser pulls the same stunt even earlier in Super Mario World 2, thanks again to Kamek and his Make My Monster Grow trick.
- 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 on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, 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.
- 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.
- In Zuma's Revenge, one shot on the false Zhaka Mu will drop him. 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, after knocking out Lava Piranha, the victory theme is about to kick in when the ground shakes and the Lava Pirahna gets back up for another round, and this time it is on fire.
- The fact that the Star Points don't get added up into your total hints to this.
- 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 Episode II, the first fight against the Patriarch actually goes to the post-battle XP screen, then breaks 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.
- Dragon Quest I has you beat the Dragonlord... only for his even stronger, gigantic pet dragon to attack you (In the North American release, this was changed to the Dragonlord pulling a One-Winged Angel).
- Then 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.
- The original 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.... 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. Genre Savvy 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.
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.
- 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.