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Warm-Up Boss
You're about to face your first real challenge. I hope you've toughened up enough.
The "Guardian Angel", Borderlands

The "test" boss or Mini-Boss that appears at the end of the first level, the end of Noob Cave, or immediately after the tutorial. Notable because the player has been fighting nothing but helpless weaklings until now, and this is the player's first taste of "real" combat, in the sense that this is an enemy that actually has a fighting chance to kill you (although the fight is invariably quite easy).

Has a high probability of showing up at the end of A Taste of Power. Sometimes used as the first encounter with the Goldfish Poop Gang. The antithesis of the Warmup Boss is the Wake-Up Call Boss. See also Breather Boss, for when a boss of this level of challenge shows up later in the game and is expected to be harder.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Action Game 
  • The Mega Man X and Zero series love intro bosses that are both huge and pathetically easy. In fact, the bigger the boss, the easier it is (X2 being the ultimate proof).
  • The "Rogue Jedi" (actually Kento Marek, the father of the main character) serves this kind of role in The Force Unleashed.
  • Devil May Cry 4 uses the series' main character, Dante, as a warmup boss for the new playable character, Nero.
    • Subverted in the 2nd fight with him, where he becomes harder to beat, and even more in the harder difficulties, where he has full access to his arsenal of weapons and will gladly use them in BOTH battles, even when he doesn't acquire the majority of those weapons until later in the game, thus turning him into a That One Boss. He also becomes a Wake-Up Call Boss to the players that come from Devil Hunter Mode into Son of Sparda Mode thinking that he'll be as easy as ever in the first mission, until he starts using weapons like Pandora and Gilgamesh to attack you.
  • Prince of Persia: Though not a Boss Battle, the Mook guarding the exit route in the first level is the first enemy you should have to fight (though there is a way to get around him).
  • Wyzen in Asura's Wrath has the easiest patterns in the game to look out for, along with being the first of Asura's former allies to die. Even when he's the size of the planet, Asura still destroys him handily.
  • Heavy Weapon has the Twinblade, a Future Copter with two homing missile launchers as its only weaponry... both of which can be destroyed, along with the missiles they launch. In the rematch against it, it gets two plasma cannons that can't be destroyed. However, it's an Early Bird Boss in the Boss Blitz mode, where you don't get any power-ups prior to facing it.

    Action/Adventure Game 
  • The Parasite Queen in the Space Pirate ship in the beginning of Metroid Prime.
    • Compared to the rest of ''Echoes'', the Alpha Splinter is pretty easy. His first form is actually harder than his second, mostly because its first form's charge attacks are considerably harder to dodge than the second form's, plus the second form gains an attack that is pretty easy to dodge.
    • In the third Prime game, you fight a Space Pirate knight tricked out with Phazon armor that can only be hurt by deflecting its shots.
    • In Super Metroid, the first enemy you face is an old enemy, Ridley. Unfortunately, you're at minimum strength and he's a giant flying Space Pirate dragon. Thankfully, he flies off after either of you takes too much damage (more likely you). When you fight him again later, it's a much different story.
    • Kraid in his Super Metroid and Metroid Zero Mission appearance. His attacks aren't terribly damaging and he dies pretty quickly to missiles. Don't forget that he is massive, and this is compared to Ridley, who is much smaller than Kraid, yet possess more strength and health than him. Doesn't really apply to Zero Mission's hard mode, though.
  • No More Heroes starts off with the first ranked match against Death Metal. In terms of characterization and hostility he's up there with the rest of the game's bosses, but quite simple to defeat. Lampshaded in that Travis seems aware that he's just a warmup boss and spends half of the battle giving an internal monologue that suggests he's not paying any attention to the fight.
  • The first encounter with flying mutant toaster Balrog in Cave Story, and if that wasn't easy enough, he even asks you if you want to fight him (and if you say no, he'll run off). You'll meet him again, three or four more times, in more difficult forms, but compared to the other bosses in the game (e.g. Monster X, the Core or the Doctor), all of his forms are enough of a pushover to make him qualify as a permanent Warm-Up Boss.
  • Beyond Good & Evil throws you into a boss fight against a DomZ monster, after fighting off several of its flunkies. That teaches you about on foot combat. Not half an hour later, it throws you into a boss fight against a flying serpent, which teaches you about hovercraft combat.
  • In order to win your first Plot Coupon in Mushroom Men, you are thrown into a miniature "tournament" against a larger mushroom man, whom you must defeat. The hero, Pax, is... really, really confused and a little annoyed about having to fight someone out of the blue.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the first boss, Gohma, is a complete pushover.
  • Bartholomew Kuma, the first boss of One Piece: Unlimited Cruise is kind of the first boss version of the Anticlimax Boss. Anyone who has read or watched One Piece knows how much of a scary Badass this guy is, and so when the fight actually starts, it's a surprise that the big guy turns out to be a complete pushover. Once you unlock him in multiplayer though, he regains his Badass status.
    • Smoker plays this role in Unlimited Adventure, and is similarly toned down from his fairly powerful canon incarnation.
  • Castlevania has a fair few. The giant bat is the most common, but Arthroverta in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia is significantly easier than almost every boss in the game. It's easier than the first boss of Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin to say the least, especially as Ecclesia is a fair bit harder overall.
  • The Mad Bomber from Popful Mail. It has an easily predictable pattern, and takes only 10 hits to defeat with Mail's basic longsword.
  • In Darksiders II, the first real boss, the Crowfather shapeshifted into War, uses easy to avoid though somewhat damaging attacks. It's a good thing they are easy to dodge too, since the fight also demonstrates to those still used to playing as War in the previous game that Death is faster and more fragile than his brother.
  • Red Durathor from Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django has a variant of this. About half-way through the game you become a vampire, lose all your original powers, and gain a slew of dark-based ones. Durathor is specifically designed to be vulnerable to each and every onenote  to test if you've figured out how to use them. She is beatable without them, but falls clearly into That One Boss if you try it.

    Eastern RPG 
  • Garland, the very first boss you fight in Final Fantasy I, goes down with little effort for a properly prepared party. His One-Winged Angel form, which you fight at the very end of the game, is orders of magnitude tougher.
  • Final Fantasy IV, V, VI, and VII all have an initial boss that switches between an attack form and a defense form. When in the latter form, the player is instructed to withhold attacks until it changes back — thus, it serves as a tutorial for the Active Time Battle system that Final Fantasy IV introduced.
    • A translation mistake ends up making the FFVII version quite difficult if you aren't paying attention (or don't read the mini-walkthrough section in the manual)
    • Final Fantasy VIII has Ifrit, as a very good example of this. He hits harder than previous enemies, and has a special attack, and likely can't be beat in a direct hit race, without the need to heal, thanks to his higher hit points. But the heroes are given his weakness even earlier in the game, and was taught lessons on how to beat him. So much so, he even speaks special dialogue when his weakness s used against him, to let the player know they are doing it right.
    • In Final Fantasy XIII, the Shiva Sisters serve as this for the Eidolon battles. These are Puzzle Bosses with a time limit where you can't win by attacking alone. You need to use Libra to figure out the strategy that 'impresses' them. Shiva is both easy to impress and almost impossible to die to; one of the Sisters will continuously heal you if your health drops.
  • The Masked Man in Jade Cocoon (Who ISN'T Lui, by the way). He's the only boss in the entire game who doesn't summon minions to fight for him, and even facing him just as Levant with the starting equipment he is fairly easy to defeat. Fighting him is optional, but you score a very handy water-elemental spear for the trouble (or lack thereof).
  • The Darkside Heartless at the end of Sora's dream in Kingdom Hearts I and its Nobody counterpart Twilight Thorn in Roxas' dream in the sequel.
    • The former also appears at the end of Destiny Islands and as the second phase to the final boss.
    • At the end of the Birth by Sleep tutorial level in which you play as Ventus, you'll have the option of fighting either Terra or Aqua in a practice duel.
    • In Dream Drop Distance, Ursula herself fills this role!
  • Klikk in Final Fantasy X. One might also argue for Sinspawn Ammes, but, considering that it can't kill Tidus and Auron, it doesn't quite fit the trope.
  • The Hammer Brothers in Super Mario RPG.
    • And even before that, Bowser in the prologue. Technically a boss fight in presentation, but hardly a challenge.
  • The fight against the Vault bandits in Golden Sun. Despite being potentially able to defeat the party, they're just glorified mooks, and the fight against them was the first plot-relevant fight that was actually winnable.
  • MOTHER 3 has something like this in the form of the Mole Cricket, the only enemy you fight in the Prologue. Nicely subverted/lampshaded in that he comes back toward the end of the game, demanding a rematch, but his stats are exactly the same.
    • Aside from having maxed-out speed, probably so that you can see just how weak he still is before your first attack annihilates him.
    • The Reconstructed Caribou you fight early in the first chapter is also a fairly easy boss, unless you've been avoiding fights.
    • EarthBound had the fight with Starman Jr., where Buzz Buzz did all the work for you.
  • Vidarr in Tales of Symphonia, is your typical JRPG first boss, which easily puts him in this category, particularly since his most powerful attack is telegraphed a mile away. However, on higher difficulties, he potentially can kill... your CPU allies. His attacks are still telegraphed a mile away. If you also have a New Game+ option that reduces your EXP and set the difficulty to Mania, he becomes a serious Damage-Sponge Boss, and if you cast a mid- or high-level spell at just the right time, Kratos won't show up, leaving you with no healer and no room for error. Chances are, he still won't kill a player-controlled character, even with all of those Self Imposed Challenges added on.
  • The random bandit leader encountered in the first mission of Fire Emblem 7 (the first one released Stateside) definitely qualifies. It's a tutorial chapter, he is at a disadvantage in the weapons triangle, and the RNG is even rigged to let you win and get a specific set of stat gains upon leveling up.
  • In the first three Mario & Luigi games, Bowser is the very first opponent you fight (in the case of Partners in Time it was Baby Bowser), and you learn the bare basics of battling while fighting solo (Luigi is only at the sidelines at every occasion). In Dream Team, Antasma takes this role. He goes down in two attacks and he can't hurt you. Justified as it was a dream of Luigi's.
  • Kisuke's first boss in Muramasa The Demon Blade seems like this at first, until you deplete his first life bar... And realize that he has about four or five more.
    • Momohime's first boss more or less plays this straight, though.
  • Chrono Trigger has an optional enemy named Gato that you can face during the Millennial Fair at the beginning of the game. For proper bosses, there's Yakra at the Manolia Cathedral in 600 AD. Both enemies can be beaten with brute force and minimal healing techniques.
  • The first gym leader in every Pokémon game could be considered one of these. Since the first trainers you encounter beforehand tend to have extremely low-level bug Pokémon that can be beaten without much effort, the first gym leader is typically the first battle in which you're required to utilize strategy and type match-ups. However, if you chose the wrong starter Pokemon or rush in without having leveled up much, it could easily be a Wake-Up Call Boss.
  • The Magikoopa fight of Paper Mario qualifies, as it comes immediately after you get the Action Command function.
    • Even earlier than that — even before you get Action Commands — you fight Jr. Troopa, though it just boils down to "trade jumps back and forth".
    • The second game also has the first fight with the Goldfish Poop Gang, Lord Crump. This time around, however, you have full use of action commands. There are numerous enemies/minibosses in the early game that use special music to show that they are there to show you how to do stuff, such as Gus, the Bristles, and the Gold Fuzzy.
      • Blooper, the second boss of the same game, also applies to this trope. It is also the first boss to have a chance to beat the player.
  • Final Fantasy III's Land Turtle can be beaten fairly easily by equipping the gear you find in the cave and using Arctic Winds on it. He's slightly trickier in the DS remake, when Luneth fights alone, but is fairly simple; the Antarctic Wind will still chop off most of his health.
  • In Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean, the first boss fight is the laughable Saber Dragon in Moonguile Forest. Even if you haven't gotten the hang of the card-based battle system, the dragon doesn't hit hard at all and has a crippling weakness to light and water. Granted, almost immediately afterwards it's followed up by the Lord of the Spring...
  • Terranigma has the several early battles against Huballs or Cadets, which barely even count as bosses.
    • At the end of the first section of the game (in the last of the 5 towers), Ark faces off against the first real boss, Shadow Keeper (a giant demonic scorpion...thing). Depending on how much the player has levelled up at this point, Shadow Keeper may be anything from a Wake-Up Call Boss to a Warmup Boss. If your player is say, level 5 or below, he's a Wake-Up Call Boss (and will most likely kill you slowly). If you're level 6-8, he'll be regular boss. If you're level 9 or more, he's a Warmup Boss who you'll easily trounce.
      • This extends through the whole game, in fact. As long as you keep Ark sufficiently levelled up, it's possible to make sure that each and every boss in the game is just a Warmup Boss. But don't do enough Level Grinding and they'll each be a Wake-Up Call Boss instead...
  • Shadow Yosuke from Persona 4 is your introduction to general bossfight 101, involving using attacks and guards in response to the boss's behavior to bring him down.

    Fighting Game 
  • Art of Fighting started you off against Ryuhaku Todoh, an aikido practitioner with average strength and speed and exactly one special attack.
  • Petey Piranha in Super Smash Bros. Brawl: The Subspace Emissary. His attacks are slow, easily dodged, obviously telegraphed and he has three gigantic hitboxes. You also fight him as Kirby, which means that you can just get up in his face and deliver a continuous stream of pummeling during the fight. Once you know his painfully predictable pattern, it's very easy to not take a single percentage point of damage during the curbstomping you give him.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Nine-Toes in Borderlands. Even first-time players tend to finish him off pretty quickly, though his pet skags can be troublesome.
  • Knuckle Dragger in Borderlands 2 is simply a big bullymong surrounded by smaller bullymongs that you deal with before you even get your Action Skill.

    Light Gun Game 
  • All of The House of the Dead games have a boss with an easily visible weakpoint and revealing movements, so that the player can get the weakpoint system of the bosses down.
    • This also goes for its spiritual clone/parody Carn Evil. Although sometimes you had to listen to their quotes.
  • Garam from Battle Clash and Garam mk 2 from its sequel, Metal Combat: Falcon's Revenge. Even though Guido's mech is more powerful in the second game, a few well-placed charge shots (as few as two if you're playing as Carol) can bring the battle to a very swift end.

    MMORPG 
  • New players in City of Heroes generally end up in the former Scrappy Level The Hollows, and complete the Frostfire mission more than once. Although he has a few pets, he's a generally easy boss compared to the other Archvillain level foes that are found later on, and his level is awesome.
  • The Wood Man Guard and Shadow Fang are your introductory bosses for Vindictus, if you didn't fight the Giant Spider at the end of the tutorial stage.
  • In World of Warcraft, the bosses in Ragefire Chasm, the first dungeon, have no noteworthy special abilities, and are only distinct from the trash by having more health and doing more damage. It allows people to ease into their roles in the dungeon.
    • In the Brawler's Guild, Bruce, the first boss, is a crocolisk with relatively little HP and only one deadly attack, which can be avoided simply by running away from him (people who die to this attack are often considered Too Dumb to Live). There are simpler fights (such as King Kulaka and Unguloxx), but they mainly test the player's ability to put out damage while staying alive.

    Platform Game 
  • In Banjo-Tooie, the first of three not-so-difficult fights with Klungo happens before even entering the Hub Level.
  • Most of the Spyro the Dragon games inculde one of these. Toasty in Spyro 1 - you have to work hard to get hit in this "battle." Then Crush in Spyro 2 - his fireball attack can be a bit difficult at times, especially when he does three in a row, but one can still easily beat him in less than three minutes. And then we have Buzz in Spyro 3 - for the first half of the battle, he can't even really hurt you unless he knocks you into the lava with his harmless ramming attack, or you mysteriously forget how to run when he rolls after you. You'll be done with him in two minutes - he's so weak that he even comes back later as a mook used by another boss.
    • In The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night, the first boss, the Assassin, is an easy battle that you'll be done with in three minutes tops, and eventually battles with ordinary Dreadwing enemies will emulate this boss.
  • The boss of Emerald Hill Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, arguably the easiest boss in a 16-bit Sonic game. It's no wonder why Cybershell dubbed it the "Pathetic-Mobile".
    • A more commonly heard nickname for it is Stupid Little Drill Tank.
    • The same contraption makes a comeback in Sonic Advance as sort of a Shout-Out to the aforementioned game, but it was sad that it only took four hits to destroy.
    • In the Game Gear version of Sonic The Hedgehog 1, the Green Hill Zone boss is even easier, as it just floats around at different heights. The only thing it does that even arguably constitutes an attack is floating across the bottom of the screen, and even then it's more like an invitation to attack.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog CD's boss in Palmtree Panic is a contender for easiest boss ever that requires some challenge. As in, you can't just attack it whenever. You have to wait for Robotnik to lower his bumper guards. And then after you hit him, you can hit him again any time. Did I mention he only takes 3 hits to beat?
      • Also if you run to the right hand side of the screen, you'll be behind him when he lands and can avoid the bumper guards altogether. He can then be defeated in about two seconds.
  • The first boss of Psychonauts is a relatively tame encounter with a giant, mutated Censor. It's mostly a matter of killing it until it dies. The REST of the bosses, on the other hand...
  • Rollanratl in Wario Land: Shake It! is a Warmup Boss for anyone playing the game, with relatively easy to dodge attacks, and his main attack doing no actual damage. As is Spoiled Rotten in Wario Land 4, except when you have to kill it in 10 seconds on Super Hard mode.
  • When it comes to minibosses, the Kirby series has Mr. Frosty. His battle tactic consists entirely of screaming and running forwards. He always trips after running for a while. After getting up, he fires an incredibly-slow block of ice. Then, he restarts the pattern.
    • Whispy Woods is the first boss in almost every Kirby game. He's completely stationary, most of his attacks can be avoided simply by standing right next to him, and his only really dangerous attack is to drop apples. In the Extra Mode of Kirby's Dream Land, though, he can drop Gordos. He also has a variant in Kirby Triple Deluxe named Flowery Woods who is not quite as easy.
    • While most of the enemies are pretty harmless in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, the Warmup Boss takes the cake. You walk into a cabin, the door shuts, and a giant N-Z just stands still doing nothing while you attack it.
    • For added fun, to make this fight absolutely impossible to lose, obtain and hang onto the flame sword. Draw the sword and turn around so that the blade is touching the N-Z. Death in about five seconds.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy has Mike Tyson. He's not really easy so much as easier, but compared to any other boss he's cake.
  • Dino Piranha from Super Mario Galaxy.
  • In The Addams Family, the earliest boss you can fight is a giant bird on top of a tree, and it's the easiest boss. You just jump on it when it swoops down and avoid the eggs it drops. Like every boss (except the final boss) defeating it earns you a Heart Container.
  • Something series
    • The four Red Birdos in Something. Since they are Mooks, they go down very easily.
    • Bigeye in Something Else. He's a giant eyeball with no projectile attacks.

    Puzzle Game 
  • The Fists of Grudge in Catherine, the first boss is relatively easy, not very fast, easy blocks to move, and the only special move she has is the ability to change blocks into very heavy blocks you can still move, just very slowly. Which can be undone with a powerup in the stage, no less. After this though, this being an Atlus Game, the bosses get much harder.
  • Skeleton T in Puyo Puyo is typically this. He's slow and doesn't even rotate his Puyos.
  • Shadow of the Colossus has two (which is probably fair, since there are no non-boss enemies in the game). Valus and Quadratus are both very straightforward fights where you mount the colossus, find the weak points and stab them. All other colossi require at least some use of the terrain.

    Shoot-Em-Up 
  • The first boss of DonPachi can be beaten just by firing one charged shot and watching the 'multi assault tank' blow up!
  • The boss of chapter 1 of Ikaruga. Still easy to die, but compared to the rest of the game, it's a cakewalk, especially if you fight conservatively.
  • The Dobkeratops at the end of the first stage of R-Type is a pushover. Despite its size and frightening appearance, its attacks are easy to dodge, and it can be taken down in mere seconds.
  • Regardless of which route you take through Corneria in Star Fox 64, the level will end with a really easy boss. The one at the end of the Mission Accomplished Route is the same one as the first boss of the original game.
  • Battle Garegga's first boss, Nose Lavaggin, is a bomber that can be easily defeated by continuously shooting at its center, especially with a ship that uses piercing shots. However, doing this instead of destroying the boss's many components means you miss out on hundreds of thousands of points that could contribute to an early 1-Up.
  • DoDonPachi II: Bee Storm's very first boss (who you face before you even start the first stage) is, of all things, the True Final Boss of DoDonPachi. Fortunately, you only face his first form, and he goes down quickly without much resistance.
  • Every Stage 1 boss in the Touhou series. They're the first spellcard users you encounter in the games, but their patterns are (usually) trivial to dodge. This sometimes extends to the Stage 2 boss, at least when they're not the Wake-Up Call Boss.

    Sports Game 
  • Glass Joe in Punch-Out!!, and his successor, Gabby Jay in Super Punch-Out on SNES.

    Strategy Game 
  • The first Homeworld has a variant: where the first level is a tutorial and the second level is embarrassingly easy, the third features four assault frigate that you have to defeat while capturing at least one before they destroy all the cryo trays. While destroying them all is rather easy, they still have a chance to destroy all the cryo trays, and if all cryo trays are destroyed or you don't capture at least one frigate you lose.

    Visual Novel 
  • Winston Payne fills this role as the first prosecutor you face in most games of the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series, making his reputation as a "rookie killer" an Informed Ability.
    • Frank Sahwit as a witness in the first game. You don't even have to press him.
    • To a lesser extent, most of the other murderers of the first cases. For the most part, they committed their crimes without planning ahead, and are the only witnesses to the crimes apart from the accused. There isn't much evidence apart from the autopsy report and murder weapon, and it's typically fairly easy to see how each comes into play.

    Western RPG 
  • The Ogre in Dragon Age: Origins, who later becomes a Degraded Boss.
    • The Ogre performs this duty again in Dragon Age II, but those who played the first game would remember how to fight them, so it's potentially not as bad.
  • Similarly, Mass Effect 2 throws a YMIR mech at you in Freedom's Progress; it later goes on to turn up as a particularly tough enemy.
  • Joe Cobb and his fellow Powder Gangers in Fallout: New Vegas, who you fight shortly after the (optional) tutorial quests.
  • Diablo III has two of them, the first being the necromancer Jondar, who you fight with the help of your first companion Kormac; and the Skeleton King, the first proper boss of the game.
  • The Elder Scrolls series tends to put one of these at the end of each game's tutorial level/Noob Cave. Specific examples:

Wake-Up Call BossBoss BattleWhack A Monster

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