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Playing With: Turns Red
Basic Trope: A video game boss grows more difficult as its health is depleted.
  • Straight: The boss is at half health. Now it breathes fire!
  • Exaggerated:
    • The boss is at half health. Now it literally turns red, flies high into the air, drops nuclear bombs, and takes one-tenth damage from all attacks!
    • One-Winged Angel
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
    • The boss's blood is corrosive, and it bleeds over more and more of the stage as it suffers wounds.
    • The attack is very painful to the boss, and he doesn't want to use it unless he really has to.
    • The boss is a Villain with Good Publicity, and the attack would compromise his/her public image. So, s/he uses it only as a last resort.
    • I Am Not Left-Handed
  • Inverted: The boss is slowed and weakened by its wounds.
  • Subverted:
    • The boss reaches half health and starts breathing fire, but its Breath Weapon is actually less powerful than the attacks it was using before.
    • Although you were lowering its hitpoints, there didn't seem to be any way to finish the boss off the way you were fighting it before. But once you make it angry, it becomes a Tactical Suicide Boss.
  • Double Subverted: The boss's new breath weapon is less powerful than the attacks it was using before. And then the wooden stage ignites!
  • Parodied: The boss sees the hero coming and injures itself, complete with checking its remaining Hit Points, so it can use its best attacks right off the bat.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • The boss's new breath weapon is less powerful than the attacks it was using before. And then the wooden stage ignites... causing even more damage to the boss. But then it gets down to one quarter health and starts using the really powerful attacks.
    • The boss heals itself periodically and cancels its enraged pattern when it pops back over the HP threshold.
  • Averted: The boss fights at peak capacity throughout the battle.
  • Enforced: "The players expect the game's difficulty to increase over time, so why not reflect that in the boss fights as well?"
  • Lampshaded: "Why don't the monsters I fight ever get weaker when I stab their heads?"
  • Invoked: The boss learns to commit Bloody Murder.
  • Exploited: A Genre Savvy hero, knowing that the boss will use only use their more powerful attacks at low health, purposefully stalls for time while one of his teammates charges a weapon that can take out 51 percent of the boss's health in one hit.
  • Defied:
    • A Duel Boss goes to half health and unleashes a strong attack...then catches himself in anger and stops using the attack, saying that it isn't honorable.
    • The Boss gets a therapist to help him work through his mental block preventing him from fighting to his full ability when not injured.
  • Discussed: "The dragons on that mountain are known for going into an Unstoppable Rage when they lose too much blood."
  • Conversed: "That's the third boss I've faced who gets harder when he's nearly dead!"
  • Deconstructed: The boss's increasingly fevered attacks and thrashing around become genuinely moving in their sheer desperation.
  • Reconstructed: The boss thought the fight was a game, but now that it's really hurt, it flies into a rage, giving the hero the fight of his life.

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