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Playing With / Degraded Boss

Basic Trope: A boss in a video game returns later as a regular enemy.
  • Straight: Captain Shadowclaw appears as the boss of level one, but by level five is a regular recurring enemy.
  • Exaggerated: Shadowclaw is fought as a boss in one room. In the next room, there are five of him acting as standard enemies.
  • Downplayed: Shadowclaw doesn't return as an Mini-Boss until the last level, and there's only one of him.
  • Justified:
    • Members of the Five-Bad Band get no second chances and are demoted after one mistake.
    • When Shadowclaw first appears, the hero was level 5, but when Shadowclaw reappears, the hero is now level 20.
    • Shadowclaw's boss, noticing that he was quite a formidable opponent for the heroes, decides to clone him. However, Clone Degeneration is in full force in this setting, so the duplicates aren't nearly as effective as the original.
    • The Empire's rules dictate that surviving bosses must be degraded to mook rank after defeat. With no superpowerful gear and army of minions, this is basically condemning Shadowclaw to Death by Hero.
    • The first Shadowclaw faced was a final prototype - later Shadowclaws are rolled out after mass production begins.
  • Inverted: Shadowclaw was a Mook at the beginning before being promoted to a boss.
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted:
    • He's a Recurring Boss, then an enemy.
    • Later however you face cybernetic versions of Shadowclaw clones that are only cosmetically different from the original.
  • Parodied: Shadowclaw was a Zero-Effort Boss in the first place, so it's quite fitting.
  • Zig-zagged: Shadowclaw is a Recurring Boss in levels 1, 2 and 3, then a Mook in Levels 4 and 5, before being a boss again for Level 6.
  • Averted: Shadowclaw never returns after his first appearance.
  • Enforced: "We spent quite a few resources in order to animate and render Shadowclaw! It would have been kind of a shame to only have him as a relatively minor boss fight, so we added lesser versions of it so you can enjoy his awesome super-moves!"
  • Lampshaded: "Weren't you a boss some time ago?"
  • Invoked: Enemy recruitment is easier with someone who already has experience as a villain.
  • Exploited:
    • The Hero doesn't defeat Shadowclaw, knowing that he'd just come back as an enemy later anyway.
    • The hero specifically faces Shadowclaw as a boss because while powerful he was still weaker than Deathclaw and he would rather fight Shadowclaw repeatably than Deathclaw.
  • Defied:
  • Discussed: "It's weird how many people get demoted from villain to Mook, eh?"
  • Conversed: "Will there ever be a villain who doesn't show up again later in the game?"
  • Deconstructed: As a standard enemy, Shadowclaw has to live through the gruelling life of the working class.
  • Reconstructed: Shadowclaw returns at the end of the game as the final boss again.
  • Played For Laughs: Shadowclaw keeps trying to monologue while an enemy before realizing that he is not in that position.
  • Played For Drama: All of the minions that he treated like crap before hate him now that he's their equal.

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