Main Wakeup Call Boss Discussion

Collapse/Expand Topics

08:09:19 PM Jul 6th 2015
This is a bit long-winded so bear with me.

I'm noticing a lot of major overlap in discussion/explanation of examples between this and the entries in That One Boss. As I understand it, this trope is supposed to be a reasonably early boss fight that: 1) Shows a noticeable increase in difficulty and/or skill required to defeat compared to what would likely be used by new players up to this point. 2) Sets the tone of said skill and difficulty progression expected out of the player for the rest of the game.

What I'm seeing in a lot of the examples are bosses that are either moderately far into the game, represent tonal shifts more than a difficulty curve being made apparent, are notoriously hard for reasons other than simply being not being totally familiar with the game's expectations, or otherwise fit far better in the That One Boss trope.

A few key examples I noticed just out of games I've played, keeping in mind the inherent subjectivity of difficulty:

Tales of Vesperia's Gatsuo: Yes this boss is both early and difficult, but it's almost to the point of unfair for your party's comparative level at this point in the game. This sort of difficulty in bosses in Vesperia isn't really seen until much later in the game in my experience.

Persona 4's Shadow Kanji: Again, this is an early boss, but also considered by many fans of the game to be THE hardest main storyline boss in the entire thing. Shadow Yukiko sets the tone for what's expected out of the game's boss fights, but

Kingdom Hearts's sets of examples seems to have almost every Organization XIII member that doesn't appear in the final level, including mid/end-game bosses like Demyx, Xaldin, and even Xigbar. We also see Hollow Bastion from the first game where you get your weapon removed. This isn't a wake up call especially considering it's the second to last level; it's a hindrance for the sake of plot/character development. This simply is far too along in the game to be a "wake up call" for the rest of the game.

I've also noticed that a few entries dotted around have phrasing a long the lines of "Every boss in X example qualifies" simply because the game itself is generally hard.

I feel this heavily cheapens what this trope is supposed to be and a slightly better clarification on what qualifies as an example and what doesn't may be needed.

That's my two cents anyway.
08:23:14 PM Jun 17th 2014
Should we include Flowery Woods from Kirby: Triple Deluxe? It's second stage is completely different then what you would expect from a Whispy Woods clone and really forces you to pay attention to the 3D mechanics.
08:26:21 AM May 14th 2014
Why the hell isn't this a YMMV trope? Not everyone finds the same bosses as difficult as other people! I say this because Flowery Woods from Kirby Triple Deluxe was put here, and I found that boss easy! If people can disagree on examples, it's a YMMV trope! Why the hell is That One Boss considered YMMV, yet this isn't?! Seriously, WHY?!
09:04:26 AM May 14th 2014
Huh, first off, we don't need that many exclamations. It makes you look hysterical.

Tone aside, "video game boss hardness" is a dicey subject YMMV classification wise - might want to mention it here.
10:18:19 AM May 14th 2014
It's a shame there aren't Issue Helper notifiers for discussion page posts.
04:32:02 AM Nov 2nd 2012
Brock in Pokemon Red and Blue? He's easy pickings, even for Charmander. Geodude and Onix only know Normal type moves (Tackle and Bind), and their poor Special means that Ember will still deal a fair amount of damage, especially if it manages to Burn. Defense Curl (Ember doesn't care) and Bide (just Growl until Onix unleashes its energy) are practically non-factors.

Honestly, I think Misty's Starmie, or even that Rocket with the high level Raticate in Mount Moon, are better examples.
08:51:38 AM Mar 22nd 2012
Why exactly is the quintessential Wake-Up Call Boss, the Chemical Plant Zone boss from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, no longer listed on the page? For that matter, why are various platformer bosses listed in either the Action folder or the Action Adventure folder, instead of their own separate folder?
03:49:04 AM Nov 20th 2011
edited by BigglesTh9
Isn't this trope YMMV in the same way as its flip-side Breather Boss? That is, whether a boss fits one of these categories a matter of audience reaction - there's nothing in-game that labels them as such.
04:28:05 AM Jan 4th 2012
It's not a flip-side to Breather Boss. That One Boss is the opposite of Breather Boss. Instead this trope is about a boss that provides the first example of what the game is really going to be like.

Brock from Pokemon is probably the best example. He's incredibly hard to beat unless you level grind or take advantage of type disadvantages. It sets the tone for "how" the game should be played.
02:14:29 PM Dec 23rd 2010
Does it make sense to list Evrae as a Wake-Up Call Boss, considering that you fight it more than halfway through the (rather large) game, and well after you've mastered every aspect of combat? Sure Evrae is tough, but this far into the game, how does it serve as a wake-up call? If anything, Sinspawn Gui is the closest thing FF X has to a Wake-Up Call Boss, and that fight still occurs pretty far into the game (though much earlier than Evrae).
03:47:16 AM Nov 20th 2011
10:39:36 PM Oct 24th 2010
As lengthy as this is could we have some folders?
07:57:20 PM Oct 25th 2010
I'll do some folders, but it could also help if someone would go through and cut natter.
Collapse/Expand Topics