Playing With / Boss Dissonance

Basic Trope: The difficulty of bosses in a Video Game is significantly different from that of the rest of the game.

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    Type 1 - Hard Levels, Easy Bosses 
  • Straight: The bosses are much easier than the levels.
  • Exaggerated: The game is Platform Hell, but every boss is a Zero-Effort Boss.
  • Downplayed: The levels are challenging, and the boss would be just as challenging but it uses the exact same gimmick as the levels, so players don't have to change anything to beat the boss if they got through the level.
  • Justified:
    • The boss is a weak but brilliant and charismatic Big Bad who is protected by his legion of Mooks and deviously constructed Death Course.
    • The game is based around navigation and platforming, and not around combat. The bosses are simply there to signify the end of a level.
    • Alternatively, the game is a Bullet Hell shooter. It's significantly easier to avoid intricate bullet patterns from one enemy rather than sprays of bullets from several.
  • Inverted: Type 1 is an inversion of Type 2, and vice-versa
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted: After fighting yet another easy boss for a while, he goes One-Winged Angel... But it turns out to be a Clipped-Wing Angel.
  • Parodied: A Platform Hell game has humorously easy bosses like ordinary goldfish, rubber ducks, etc.
  • Zig Zagged: There are lots of bosses in the game. Some are hard, some are easy, some are all but impossible, some are too easy....
    • The Clipped-Wing Angel was only the first part of the transformation. The rest means business!
  • Averted: The bosses are as challenging as the levels themselves.
  • Enforced: "The player just went through hell to get to the end of the level, right? Let's make the bosses really easy so they don't break their controllers".
  • Lampshaded: "You seem incredibly weak compared to what I had to go through to get to you".
  • Invoked: "The Hero will never defeat me if he can't get past all my guards and traps!"
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: A Recurring Boss is fought early on, and doesn't put up much of a fight. He comes back, having sworn vengeance and taken several levels in badass, to become That One Boss.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: "Oh man, after that level, the boss music has never sounded so sweet".
  • Deconstructed: The boss has an inferiority complex that leads to suicidal tendencies. When you fight him, he refuses to fight back and begs you to finish him. When the player beats him (if the player beats him), it's a genuine Tear Jerker.
  • Reconstructed: ...But when he finds out that you're actually going to go through with it, he has a Freak-Out and tries to take you out with all he's got!...only to be taken out in half a second.

     Type 2 - Easy Levels, Hard Bosses 
  • Straight: The bosses are much harder than the levels.
  • Exaggerated: The game's levels are boringly easy, but each boss requires several hours of practice, memorization, Level Grinding, etc.
  • Downplayed: The levels are simple and enjoyable, if only a bit. The boss, who does things that the level doesn't, is more difficult because the player has to learn how to cope with the different pace the boss sets.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted: Type 2 is an inversion of Type 1, and viceversa
  • Subverted: The first boss in the game takes up more than the whole screen, but turns out to be really easy.
  • Double Subverted: It's the Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever, but it's really easy. But then it Turns Red, and becomes That One Boss.
  • Parodied: A Nintendo Hard Boss Game has areas between the bosses that are substantial, but pointlessly easy.
  • Zig Zagged: There are lots of bosses in the game. Some are hard, some are easy, some are all but impossible, some are too easy....
    • However, the boss' next form is much easier.
  • Averted: The bosses are as challenging as the levels themselves.
  • Enforced: "Sure, the levels look pretty, but it's the bosses that'll stick in the players mind. So make the levels easy so they can get to the super-tough bosses, where the real fun lies."
  • Lampshaded: "If you're such a badass, why did you hire such wimps to guard you?"
  • Invoked: "I can't trust my Mooks to take care of this guy. It's time to take matters into my own hands."
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: A very tough boss battle is fought...for a few seconds or turns. The boss then escapes so he can stay alive and see his Evil Plan come to fruition.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: "Oh crap. That's the boss music!"
  • Deconstructed: The boss's minions are on strike and do nothing to stop you on your way to the boss. While you're busy with him, they terrorize the countryside, and one of them becomes the next Big Bad.
  • Reconstructed: ...Only for the first Big Bad to beat the arising boss and take control of his gang (and former minions).

Y'know, after fighting all the way through Boss Dissonance to get here, this page really isn't that tough.