07:15:34 AM Jun 29th 2012
The Zelda examples don't mention A Link to the Past where the Ball and Chain soldier is effectively the first Boss of the game, but becomes a regular Mook once you have the Master Sword and enter the Castle Tower. The Bosses who guarded the Pendents also re-appear in Gannon's Tower, but their more Minibosses. In Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels fake Bowsers appear in the final Bowser's castle.
02:43:15 PM Jul 31st 2011
- There's also Rhedogians. The first one you encounter jumps right into Demonic Spider territory. It's fast, powerful, and has a tough weakpoint to exploit, battling it multiple times in areas that are pretty small. In the post-game, you face a slew of them on the way to the Bonus Boss, and by then you can one-shot them with a Power Bomb.
03:59:32 PM Jun 12th 2011
- Darth Vader in Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi fights Luke exactly the same way he did in the previous game, minus the ability to throw debris. The only other difference here is Vader has a lot less health than his last appearance in The Empire Strikes Back. This is to reflect in the storyline on how Luke had gotten a lot stronger once he finished his Jedi training.
01:54:05 PM May 2nd 2011
- In the first Streets of Rage, the second boss reappears in stage 6, except there's 2 of them - as the stage boss. In two player mode, every boss has 2 of the bosses instead of one. Therefore stages 2 and 6 have pretty much the same boss!
- Mr. X's Bodyguard Shiva, the second to last and arguably hardest boss in Streets Of Rage 2, returns in the 3rd game as the first stage boss, where he is naturally much easier to defeat.
06:47:03 PM Sep 27th 2010
- In the first Marathon game, the Juggernauts only appeared in the second-to-last level. In the second game, they only appear in the final level. In the third game? They're in at least seven levels. Many levels of the third game have more Juggernauts than the first and second game COMBINED.
- Not to mention Slogra and Gaibon debuted as the opening bosses of the final tower in Super Castlevania 4. These two really took a fall from grace.
- Cross-game example: Facade was the boss of the sixth dungeon in Link's Awakening, but by Oracle Of Seasons he had been downgraded to miniboss status (even with two new attacks). Then again, he was rather pathetic in his original form.
- World of Warcraft somewhat does this, except they are still bosses. What degrades is the challenge level, several "raid" bosses (which require up to 40 players) models were reused in the expansion as normal instance bosses. There are straight examples as well though, not to mention that most humanoid bosses use the same models as the players, except larger.
- The Emperor Bulblax, Final Boss of the first Pikmin game, becomes a recurring miniboss in the second game. However, its size has been reduced and its jumping ability removed, which were two of the things that made it so tough in the first place. It can still be nasty when you fight two or three at once, though. The Burrowing Snagret suffers a similar fate.
- Not to mention the Big Daddies themselves. Complete nightmares early on that are easily dispatched but the truckload later on.
- Another example: One of the fortress bosses in Mega Man 8 is the Green Devil, with a wide array of attacks. However, it reappears in the interquel Mega Man & Bass as the intro boss, with its only attack to shoot globs at the opponent.
- In Yoshi's Island, Salvo the Slime reappears as a mini-boss in some of the later fortresses. This may have happened with Tap-Tap the Red Nose too, reappearing as Tap-Tap the Golden in a tense pursuit scene in Bowser's Castle.
- Technically Tap-Tap the Golden isn't degraded, as there's no way to kill him (he can even jump out of pits that are essentially bottomless for Yoshi). The only thing you can do is run like hell.
- Luna's 4 elementally themed subordinates in SoulCalibur 3's Chronicles of the Sword mode. In their first appearance they are the very annoying, but a few chapters latter, the player fights them again and fights them all in one fight, then the 4 of them (and Luna) in a single chapter on a linear path with them as the only enemies. The reason behind their degradeing is mostly the fact that they attack you, meaning that they don't have the stage effects MASSIVELY in their favor, when back again, they have the stage effects in their favor again and Luna has Soul Calibur makeing them a challenge again (but not as hard as the first).
- You will face a recurring mini boss on levels 1, 5, and 10. Though technically she does get stronger each time, the second and third time you can easily prevent her from doing anything at all even if your party is weak. The first time you don't have that ability, or much if any abilities making it a luck based affair as to whether or not someone dies.
- Drill Sergeant Big John from Viewtiful Joe 2. After the first time you beat him, he subsequently reappears as a reoccuring mini-boss. Later on, Big John pops up again to present himself as the main boss of multiple film reels before being beaten by the real thing in the cut scenes.
- The Dark Forces Saga has a somewhat weird version of this. The AT-ST walker is essentially treated as a Recurring Boss in Jedi Outcast, which you almost always have to fight on foot. It reappears in Jedi Academy... but only twice, and in both occurrences, you have a turret that can kill it in one second.
- Metal Gear KODOQUE, final boss of Metal Gear Ac!d, returns as a mid-game boss in Metal Gear Ac!d 2. Whether or not he's easier second-time round is debatable.
- Touhou Project does something similar to a few bosses, that you fight once as a real boss, and later as not quite a regular mook, but a miniboss instead. Cirno is an example of rather special case, whose appearance as a Mini-Boss is in a different GAME from her appearance as a boss.
- In Super Mario Land, alien Tatanga was the Big Bad, but in the sequel he was reduced to a mere normal boss (which sort of implies he had been working for Wario this whole time, and the first game was merely part of a Xanatos Gambit on Wario's part to keep Mario busy while he took over).
07:01:57 PM Apr 6th 2010
Is there an inverse to this trope? I'm thinking of cases where an enemy that was previously a Mini-Boss or Elite Mook is elevated by circumstances to the level off full boss. Examples that come to mind:
- In the climax of Half-Life 2: Episode One, you face a Strider in a confined space with no rockets except at the top of the area. By comparison, the first encounter with them in Half-Life 2 involves fighting four Striders at once, but the battlefield is much larger and has much better cover.
- In Mass Effect, the Geth Colossus is a moderate challenge when you're in the Mako. In Mass Effect 2, the only Geth Colossus you encounter is fought on foot, and is thus a legitimate boss. The Thresher Maw is similar (moderate challenge in a tank -> major challenge on foot).