Must be Monday. New podcast! Just click on the fancy logo below.
What happens when the Quirky Miniboss Squad gets dangerous
? You get a Wolfpack boss.
In a typical boss fight, the player fights a lone, powerful target (possibly accompanied by a few regular Mooks
). The pattern here is usually straightforward; if there are mooks, take them out quickly to lower the enemy's attack strength, then finish off the big guy.
A Wolfpack boss is a bit trickier. In this case, the player faces two or more enemy characters who aren't quite powerful enough to be bosses when alone, but attack together to overwhelm the player with multiple powerful attacks and abilities. Wolfpack bosses tend to be strategically different from other boss battles because the player has to decide which one to attack first, and has to deal with being attacked multiple times per turn.
One thing that can work in the player's favor here, unlike a normal boss fight, is that the going may get easier as the enemies fall one by one. However, it can also work the other way around, where killing one enemy just makes the survivors get angry and fight harder
The Psycho Rangers
are a common example of this. Compare Dual Boss
. Contrast Duel Boss
where the boss takes your character out of your group for one-on-one. Relies on the aversion of Conservation of Ninjutsu
. See also Doppelgänger Attack
open/close all folders
- Cabal's third boss was a truck that hauled in several turret guns◊, destroying the turrets would deplete the boss' life (Although defeating the truck would end the battle). A straighter example would be the fourth boss fight, which consisted of three turrets◊ that shot loads of bombs and the player had to down each of them.
- Commando, fittingly for a game also known as Wolf of the Battlefield, ends each level with a stream of Mooks ambushing Super Joe from all sides.
- Okami has two, one against a group of Tube Foxes, and a Bonus Boss of dogs. And later, the Tube Foxes join up with a more powerful fox and fight together as the Disc Two Final Boss, where you need to take them down for good in a new form to make the powerful fox vulnerable.
- The Legend Of Zelda A Link To The Past features the Armos Knights - where you must kill six identical golems, and the Lanmolas - three identical sandworms.
Beat Em Up
- Robo Army has a miniboss battle set against a squad of four recolored generic mooks with stronger attack.
- The Mad Midget Five in God Hand.
- In Sly Spy, the first Boss Battle is nothing but a huge mob of mooks that attack you individually with punches, guns or bombs. The fifth boss does nothing but send a bunch of tigers to charge you from both sides of the screen.
- In the first Splatterhouse the first boss battle is a room full of giant leeches ("boreworms") jumping at you from all sides. And remember to watch out for the last one...
- MadWorld has the Shamans, who are a literal and figurative take on this trope. Howard and Kreese, befitting their job, lampshade this.
Howard: These guys don't seem so tough!
Kreese: Y'know, Howard, not one on one, but when they fight as a pack, they can chew the balls right off of ya.
Howard: And you know this becauuuse...?
Kreese: Aw, Jesus, Howard, you just want to see my balls, don'tcha?
Howard: Have they been sanitized?
(Kreese groans at this.)
First Person Shooter
- Serious Sam takes this trope Up to Eleven: There is a Boss Battle, complete with a single big health bar, against the One Hitpoint Wonder frogs that can only Suicide Attack. They attack in large swarms, as you can see for yourself. After you think you're done with them, the next corridor unloads yet more hoppers at you.
- Jedi Academy features a triple boss battle, where you duel Rosh after he turns the the dark side, while at the same time also having to fight a pair of Reborn twins who back him up with Force powers and healing.
- Heretic pits the player against three Iron Liches and three Maulotaurs for the final battles of the first and second episodes, respectively. The Shadow of the Serpent Riders expansion ups the ante by throwing five Iron Liches at the player at the end of the fourth episode, and eight Maulotaurs for the final showdown of the last episode.
- The Heretic Leader and his holographic clones in Halo 2.
Hack And Slash
- The Ancients in Diablo II. As a bonus, you have to defeat them all without teleporting back to camp. If you do, they reset and heal up, and the fight has to be done all over again.
- Muramasa The Demon Blade offers a strange example with the Oomukade boss: Instead of having the usual long lifebar and the smaller one, his body is the long lifebar, while the other centipede that back it up are considered the short lifebar.
- In Magicka there is a part where you fight multiple necromancers at once. If that wasn't bad enough, each one summons zombies quite often, resulting in most of the fight being running away from a giant mob of zombies.
- In Front Mission, one of the levels pits the player against an enemy unit called "Hell's Wall", consisting of 6 enemy mecha that are more powerful than normal enemy boss units and, in fact, have better equipment than the player can possibly get at that point in the game. Factor in that it's an early stage and the player doesn't have a lot of deployable units, and you get a sure formula for Those Six Bosses.
- Repeated again in Front Mission 3 with Imaginary Number unit (either one-shot character Griffith or the recurring Jared and Rosavia combo), and the Purple Haze UCS unit. Except for the Purple Haze unit in Alisa's scenario (in which the two Grapple M 1 Ps are packing a fist-type Melee weapon one level better than what you have), the others don't have better weapons or equipment than you.
- Several raidbosses in World Of Warcraft
- The straightest example is Priestess Delrissa in Magister's terrace, Moroes in Karazhan, Kael'thas Sunstrider (the Tempest Keep version) and Hex Lord Malacrass since they employ 4 fighters of different classes chosen randomly from set with each of them with their own abilities. Sartharion can be optionally fought this way for a harder fight but better loot. The Argent Coliseum is a slight variation since the team of enemy heroes have no defining "leader". The other multiboss fights (such as the Twin Emperor and the duo in SM Cathedral) are strong enough to qualify as Dual Boss since each of them are bosses in their own right.
- The Blood Prince Council in Icecrown Citadel has three vampiric undead elves, each with their own tricks. While they share a health pool, only one of them takes damage at a time, the vulnerable one gaining a massive boost to the abilities.** World Of Warcraft High Priest Thekal in Zul'Gurub with his two attendants Zealots Lor'khan and Zath. They, like the later encounter Romulo and Julianne, all have to die simultaneously or they resurrect each other. Of course then he has second phase with a Tiger One-Winged Angel form... And the Twin Emperors of Ahn'Qiraj. Healing each other, linked health, whole nine yards.
- The Illidari Council in the Black Temple and Council of Iron in Ulduar, which consists of several (4 in the former case, 3 in the latter) bosses fought at once. Each has separate abilities and requires specific tactics to deal. At least they don't have to all die at once, although in the case of the Council of Iron the surviving bosses grow stronger when other members of the Council die.
- The ogre council fighting along with High King Maulgar. Being more powerful than any of them, he may be considered as a Flunky Boss, but his helpers are not mere adds. They are named, powerful, and require specific strategies to take down.
- Naxxramas has the Four Horsemen encounter (also a Puzzle Boss), where the four bosses fan out to the four corners of the room; your raid has to engage all four simultaneously AND keep them seperated to keep their respective abilities from snowballing into a very quick Total Party Kill.
- Lor'themar and the other two Blood Elf bosses in Silvermoon, and as of Cataclysm, The Council of Three Hammers in Ironforge.
- Ever Quest II
- Ludmila Kystov is the leader of an evil adventuring party; she has a mage, a bodyguard, a healer, and if you don't kill it beforehand, a giant mechanical snake.
- Octis, Sslortis, Sunrise and Nightfall in Chelsith: Emperor's Athenaeum.
- Ykesha (one of the main bosses of the The Shadow Odyssey expansion) has a large group with him consisting of himself, some other weaker namers and a few elite mooks.
- The Three Sages raid boss in Sentinel's Fate.
- Some of the encounters in City of Heroes. Romulus Augustus is an archvillain who brings three pets who are also of archvillain rank in his second appearance. Before you can fight Lord Recluse at the end of the Statesman Task Force in his powered up form you will have to deal with his four lieutenants, who are waiting shoulder to shoulder in your path. That still doesn't compare to the Lord Recluse Strike Force in which you fight two groups of 4-5 top-list heroes each before going up against all eight members of the elite Freedom Phalanx at once.
- In Maple Story you fight up to 6 bosses at once with millions of hitpoints each
- RuneScape has the Dagannoth Kings.
- In dungeoneering, there's also the Skeletal Horde and the Skeleton Trio bosses.
- Near the end of Boat 3 of Vindictus, you return to the Perilous Ruins of the first boat to take on a bonus mission, which ends with one of the most evil Wolfpack Boss fights ever — Black Breeze and his two allies, three Lightning Bruiser werewolves who are quite content to chase you down and eat you alive.
- It's not too uncommon to face down two or more bosses at once at the end of an instance, particularly during the later quests on a boat. The very first Dual Boss battle you fight consists of two gnolls, one an archer and the other a melee type, both of which like to bullrush you. Then there are the brothers Emuloch from boat 2, as well as the goblin bosses from Boat 3...
- Several boss battles in Bionic Commando consist of an endlessly respawning mob of regular enemies. In Rearmed, they're led by a general who has to be killed to win the fight. The NES version has one too, but killing him doesn't end the fight.
- The Bobbins Brothers from Plok. The first battle against them is a Dual Boss. Then, you fight THREE of them in a flashback scene later on in the game.
- The Penkinos, as well, later on in the game. It'd be unbelievably easy if there were only one of them, but ...
- Half of the boss cast in Banjo-Kazooie consists of this type of boss (green alien crabs, golden frogs and wild bees). Averted in Banjo-Tooie, where all bosses are full-fledged.
- Shredder and his clones become this if playing with multiple players in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade games.
- In Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon there is a Mini-Boss fight in the second Mansion where Luigi has to fight the Three Sisters, three rather tricky and powerful ghosts that attack as a coordinated team. (And to make it worse, an Escort Mission occurs at the same time.)
- In Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness there is an area where the player and his or her partner must battle a pack of eight Luxio led by a Luxray. (In Sky, they're Electrike led by a Manectric instead.) However, the player character can recruit up to two additional partners to counter this.
- Also, later on, the player character and partner must fight Wigglytuff and the rest of the members of the Guild.
- And there's Dusknoir and the Sableye.
- There's also Kabutops and the two Omastars in Brine Cave.
- Don't forget Regigigas accompanied by 4 Hitmonlee and 4 Bronzong, and Darkrai accompanied by Aggron, Arbok, Magcargo, Magmortar, Mismagius, and Rhyperior.
- Heck, the Monster Houses are basically a boss fight against a large number of Mooks, randomly picked from those in the dungeon.It can either be laughably easy if you have a move combo that can sweep the whole room, to nightmarishly hard (Especially the ones that include Flying Pokémon, that can use Agility or Tail Wind to grant every enemy in the room one extra attack per turn.Including themselves.And can use it up to 3 times in the same turn. And will always use it if you're out of their other moves' range.
Role Playing Game
- The Axem Rangers, from Super Mario RPG.
- In the same game's Bonus Boss battle, Culex himself is accompanied by four elemental crystals, each of which are more powerful than most bosses in the game.
- The Inspectors from Super Robot Wars: Original Generation 2. and Super Robot Wars 3
- The Koopa Bros from Paper Mario put up a decent fight by using special team attacks. Individually, they're just Koopa Troopas with a bit more health.
- The Schrodinger family in Wild ARMs 3 probably counts. None of them are super-powerful, but you have to fight them several times, and a couple of the fights approach That One Boss territory.
- Common trope in Final Fantasy games:
- Final Fantasy I has the Pirates and the Wizards that guard the Crown in the Marsh Cave.
- The Hopeless Boss Fight that opens Final Fantasy II.
- Final Fantasy IV has the Mom Bomb, the Magus Sisters, and the Calcabrina dolls.
- The first and third are interesting, because after you deal enough damage, the components merge together into a single boss.
- Final Fantasy VI has the Tentacles, the Three Dream Stooges, and the fights against the unnamed enemies immediately before the final part of the Final Boss.
- The Turks from Final Fantasy VII.
- Final Fantasy XI is FULL of these. More than half of the major boss fights in the game involve a boss and his quite capable mooks (even if they're generic), or fighting a threesome or more of named mooks. The first major one the player is likely to encounter is a fight against three Tonberries at once. The most famous one is Divine Might, where the player and 17 of their friends fight five bosses (and two of them have pets) at the same time. In all these cases, the strategies tend to involve sleeping or kiting the group while killing them off one by one.
- The Mandragoras in Final Fantasy XII. They only have four-digit HP each (around the same as some random encounters in the same area) but there are five of them. and being a boss fight you can't just flee. The main difficulty is in chasing the little buggers down.
- Final Fantasy X has a triple boss.
- "Gaian Grudge", one of the most infamous optional Missions in Final Fantasy XIII features one of these. One Tonberry alone is almost Bonus Boss material, but three at once?? This Is Gonna Suck.
- Sacred has several of these as bonus bosses in it's expansion. Requiring you to kill thousands of regular mooks in a particular area. An all-day task in the single player campaign. Much easier in multiplayer. But instead of being several lesser enemies to make a hard fight, it's usually comprised of several boss enemies, such as dragons, and other bosses.
- In Jade Empire before you fight the Emperor, you have to fight a large amount of the elite royal guard, about 20 of them, 4 at a time. They are like the normal guard except faster, stronger, smarter and work together better.
- Knights Of The Old Republic combines this with Puzzle Boss. Before you fight Darth Malak, you have to fight a bunch of elite droids that keep respawning if you don't shut down their individual Mook Makers.
- In Dark Souls, one of the hardest bosses is the Four Kings. As the name suggest, there are four of them although they do not all spawn at once. The fight begins with one appearing and attacking you followed by another appearing and attacking you about one minute into the fight. The most dangerous thing is to get overrun and surrounded, making this fight very difficult if the individual kings are not dispatched before the next one begins attacking. The battle is made even worse by the fact that there can be more than four of the four kings on screen at a time if you take too long. This is especially teeth grinding because the arrival of the fifth ghost breaks the rules of the story according to Dark Souls' own lore; there are exactly four lords of Londo so for five ghosts to show up one of them would have to clone their soul and not even the sun god Gwyn can do that. The only possible explanation is Game Play And Story Segregation.
- In Kingdom Hearts II, the most difficult arena fight features 4 separate bosses: Cloud, Yuffie, Tifa and Leon
- In the first game, you have to fight Lock, Shock, and Barrel in Halloween Town before you can go fight Oogie Boogie.
- The first game also provides an optional boss battle with Wakka, Tidus and Selphie in the beginning of the game.
- Dream Drop Distance provides another example with the Beadle boys in each of their encounters. Though even together, their Artificial Stupidity keeps them from being a threat as they have a tendency to have one fight you and the others run away...
- The Tales Series tends to have this frequently, generally by having the recurring bosses gang up on you, and/or as a Bonus Boss fight against multiple characters from previous Tales games.
- In Tales Of Destiny 2, Barbatos teams up with two of the past bosses in the bonus dungeon. However, he doesn't move at all and seldom attacks until both of them are dead, befitting of his character.
- In Tales Of Symphonia, due to the nature of the combat system boss fights against multiple strong enemies at once tend to become Those Bosses. Examples include the Sylphs and the Winged Dragons. The PS2 version adds epic group battles against three of the Grand Cardinals at once, and even Kratos, Yuan, and Mithos as they were millenia ago.
- The Four Stars in Tales Of Rebirth all get together for a final showdown towards the end of Tales Of Rebirth. Gets taken Up to Eleven in the bonus dungeon, where they show up again, but each with a clone in tow, turning it into a four versus eight battle.
- Tales Of Innocence features Chien and his dogs, Cer and Ber. It's probably the hardest fight up to that point, given how difficult multi-boss fights in Tales games are in general.
- This is basically the entire premise of the Team Arena in the PS3 remake of Tales Of Vesperia. It includes battles against the three Schwann Brigade members (Plus Schwann if Raven's not in the party), the three Hunting Blades members (Plus Karol if he's not in your party), all four of the cameo characters simultaneously, and lastly, the five party members you aren't currently using.
- In Tales Of Hearts Chalcedony, Peridot, and Byrocks team up after you fight each of them individually earlier in the story.
- Some of the later Trials of Graces challenges in Tales Of Graces put you up against three or more previous bosses at the same time.
- While mostly fought in pairs, the Fauves from Tales Of Xillia take you on three versus four at one point, and all four of them show up in the final Team Arena battle.
- Tales Of The Abyss has a few boss fights in which the God-Generals gang up on you. Arietta the Wild also counts (appropriately enough) because she always has monsters fighting alongside her.
- Baten Kaitos triple boss of Giacomo, Ayme, and Folon. The best part? You fight them again later in the game (although they only get a few healing cards and aren't powered up since the first time). And then you get to fight them again without getting a break to heal. Sequential Boss on steroids.
- Origins also has one in the form of Valara, Nasca, and Hughes, though they're not nearly as bad if you know what you're doing.
- Chrono Trigger, 3 bosses previously fought separately, Flea and Slash and Ozzie, are more formidable when they attack as a group.
- The battle against the six R-Series robots at once also qualifies.
- Digimon World 4 has a few examples of this. A mid-game boss battle is against three copies of an early boss at once.
- The Final Boss's first form can create up to three clones of himself by transforming copies of that boss.
- The Epsilon enemies are one of these in the game's Bonus Dungeon.
- Last Scenario has a triple boss and two quintuple bosses.
- Defenders of Oasis for Game Gear had several, rather difficult boss battles which almost required Level Grinding. The first was a group of three soldiers, which would later become a regular mook.
- Roughly half the bosses in Persona 3 are like this. Bosses you encounter while dungeon-crawling will either be one enemy or three of the same enemy.
- Persona 2: Eternal Punishment has one of these consisting of a paramilitary unit led by Police Captain Shimazu.
- Disgaea 2: Baal is fought with 4 equally powerful clones of himself.
- The remake takes it further by making you fight eight copies of Pringer X, each of which are far stronger then Baal, and if you beat them, you get the option to make it so each one of them is stronger then all of five Baals put together.
- Literal example: By itself, the Fenrir in the first Etrian Odyssey is merely a powerful boss (in a game where every boss is That One Boss to some degree). However, if you don't take care of the nearby Skoll F.O.E.s before challenging it, they will quickly join the fight and cause even more trouble for you.
- The final Bonus Dungeon of Fire Emblem The Sacred Stones, the Lagdou Ruins, ends with a battle against eight Draco Zombies.
- In the penultimate battle of Ys: The Ark of Napishtim you fight against both the Big Bad Ernst and his Quirky Miniboss Squad of fairies at once. The fairies can't be killed, only temporarily KO'ed.
- Mardek flash series has the World Saviors in the second and more so in the third game. While the group is troperiffic, they are far more dangerous than sub-chapter bosses at the time of encounter. As of the third game, the group consists of 1) a support-healer opening the fight with mass shields and mass regeneration, then following with mass heals as necessary, 2) magic damage dealer with a nasty HP-drain auto-counter against melee attacks, 3) annoying melee Standard Status Effects dealer and last but not least 4) a melee damage dealer who literally Turns Red if you decide to take him out last.
- Karumuna Bash and the mids from the Mega Man Legends series. The Mids get special mention because they fight differently depending on whether or not the area is filled with water, if it isn't they simply fire homing energy shots, if it is when you get down to the last Mid it becomes invulnerable until it attacks and starts leaving mini-mids which explode all over the place.
- Suikoden III was insidious enough to include a pair of wolfpacks right before the Final Boss fight. Yuber is accompanied by skeletons and hellsteeds, while Sarah is flanked by HorroBeasts and Azzodesses.
- In Xenoblade Chronicles, the party gets jumped by a mob of High Entia assassins, who can be quite challenging if you aren't of a considerably higher level then them. They're also one of two groups of enemies you fight that are capable of using Chain Attacks, which can be rather painful when all six of them are still alive. What's worse, Shulk's Monado can't cause more than Scratch Damage against them for plot reasons, making him next to worthless for this fight.
- In Star Ocean The Last Hope, the army of Phantom soldiers you battle are normal enemies that later show up in the final dungeon. However, they're easily one of the hardest fights in the game mostly due to the fact that each commander that shows up in their formations automatically provides all of them with a massive stat buff, that contrary to what logic would dictate, does not fade upon killing off the ones providing it, instead only being removable with the seldom useful and glitchy Void symbology. The buff is powerful enough that anything other then critical hits or symbology will only cause Scratch Damage, and it makes them hit so hard you'll rarely be able to afford the time to use Void instead of healing (Assuming they don't just interrupt you when you try).
- In EVO Search For Eden, the Era 3 boss is a group of Tyrannosauruses/Tyrasaurs. These are somehwat powerful on their own, but can be taken down easily if you can attack out of their attack range. You need to kill a certain amount to move on to the next era, and the fight can be redone in the next two eras as a regular area, though you can ignore them this time and go straight for the right side of the screen to end the level.
- Enclave Squad Sigma at the end of Fallout 3: Broken Steel, which can be skipped if you take the right route in the Mobile Base Crawler.
- The Ceremonial Cave boss in Shiren The Wanderer is a Kigny Chief, who starts out surrounded by Elite Mooks. There's also a Mook Maker in the center of the room for good measure.
- Mega Man X Command Mission: While not truly a "boss" battle (as it lacks the typical warning message prior to it), the three Belladonnas at the end of the "Path of the Strong" in the Eternal Forest can certainly qualify. While a single Belladonna can easily be dispatched with one fully-powered Calamitous Arts from Absolute Zero and a Nova Strike from X's Ultimate Armor at a high enough level, there's three of them. And they each get stronger as they take damage, meaning attacks that hit multiple targets at once would lead to two Belladonnas getting stronger while you focus on one, and then eventually one-shotting your team with Bold Beam. Did I mention that the Nova Strike's rocket attack hits EVERYTHING?
- Every battle against an enemy ace squadron in Ace Combat. It's a perfectly justifiable trope when we're mostly dealing with normal fighter planes, but when the enemy is using Made of Iron superfighters like the Fenrirs or final Varcolac ...
Shoot Em Up
- The Shoot 'em Up U.N. Squadron actually has a boss called the Wolfpack Squadron. It consists of three enemy fighters that are each just a step above the game's Elite Mooks.
- Aero Fighters 2 has a battle against two Concorde plane look-alikes.
- Star Fox's Star Wolf Team are pretty much this trope incarnate.
- The Prismriver Sisters of the fourth stage of Perfect Cherry Blossom
- The Fairy Trio attack together to make the final boss of Great Fairy Wars.
- Night Striker has a literal wolfpack boss- a robotic pack of wolves. You face a constant stream of them until a timer runs out. Each wolf takes one hit to die, but you have to get that hit in fast before it pounces on you.
- And then there's also the last few stages, which give two to three of a previous level boss to fight. In fact, all the Final Bosses are this, with the sole exception of the rocket truck.
Stealth Based Game
Wide Open Sandbox
- The sniper family in Dead Rising. Individually, they lack any special attacks (aside from, well, having sniper rifles) and are fairly vanilla foes. Working together, they can be an extremely annoying boss battle.