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    Final Fantasy 

Final Fantasy

  • Final Fantasy II: During the first battle, you get beaten senseless by a band of Black Knights. Different versions vary, but whether you see a cutscene or not, you're on a path to a battle you can't avoid, can't run from, and can't win.
  • Final Fantasy III:
    • Bahamut, normally an end-game boss, is fought very early in the game. During this fight, he has 65536 hit points and heals completely at the end of every turn. The player is expected (and encouraged) to run. If you somehow manage to defeat him, though (by using a cheating device, usually) you are actually penalized; you get nothing for that fight, and he no longer appears later in the game, making it impossible to get him as a summon.
    • Double Subverted with the Nepto Dragon who blocks your path. It is possible to beat him by grinding a lot, but once you do so, you will be moved a few inches back and the boss will still be there, blocking your path.
    • The first battle against the Cloud of Darkness is unwinnable, and they will use the Particle Beam attack against the party, dealing 9999 damage points.
  • Final Fantasy IV: With sufficient Level Grinding it is possible to win the majority of the hopeless boss fights. If you defeat Kain the first time you fight him, the game pretends you lost. If you defeat the Dark Elf without the Twin Harp, it sets the game back to before the battle. The only fights that are unwinnable under any circumstances are those in which a) the player does not have control of the characters, or b) the fight ends regardless of how you're doing.
  • Final Fantasy IV: The After Years: Several times.
    • Most of the fights against the Mysterious Girl are unwinnable; it's only near the game's end that you have a real chance against her or rather them.
    • Other examples include: Kain's first fight against his evil half, Rydia and Luca vs. Titan, etc.
  • Final Fantasy V: Inverted during your fight battle against Exdeath. Even though Galuf's HP can go down to zero, he can't be defeated until Exdeath falls. Unfortunately, straining his body like this causes Galuf to die immediately following the fight.
  • Final Fantasy VI
    • At one point the game requires one character to stay in a certain town until they fight a certain character. In this case, the Hopeless Boss Fight Guardian attacks the party if he tries to leave, activating what it calls "Guard Mode". No attacks can damage it, and it counters with a powerful blow — the only option is to run. In the final dungeon, the Guardian attacks again, but this time it activates "Attack Mode" and actively battles the party. By now, most players will gleefully accept the opportunity to destroy it. The Guardian also appears in Vector if you go there when you aren't supposed to. Basically, the Guardian is the Border Patrol subtrope played straight.
    • There's also a Border Patrol in South Figaro during Locke's solo segment: the Heavy Armor. You actually can beat this one, as it's just a standard mook from slightly later in the game. But you've only got one character, and there's no way in Locke's segment to have him gain any experience, so you're expected to solve the puzzles to pass instead. Beating the Heavy Armors does remove them to let you pass, though.
    • In the second half of the game, you find Terra in the ruined town of Mobliz. While you're suppose to lose the first time the boss of this segment attacks, it's possible to kill the boss by exploiting a glitch with the Useless Useful Spell. The end result doesn't change either way, though.
  • Final Fantasy VIII: The first fight against X-ATM092 (the Spider Tank) is unwinnable, as the game forces you to flee after the boss enters "repair mode". Subvered with the following battles, as it's possible to kill it (or just avoid it) before it reaches the beach if you played Triple Triad beforehand to gain some good magic, and then mashed away with Squall and Zell's limit breaks.
  • Final Fantasy IX:
    • Every Beatrix battle. It is entirely possible to get a Game Over if she kills everyone present (and she likes to spam Shock, which is a 1-hit kill barring Level Grinding and awesome gear), but you can't defeat her. Once you take out her allotted health pool for the fight, she fires off Stock Break or Climhazzard (ironically, both cost less mana and do less damage overall than Shock when she or Steiner use them under the player's control) and reduces everyone to 1 HP before leaving. One useful thing about these fights is that she always has some very nice pieces of equipment for Zidane to steal off of her before she ends the battle (which may take a few attempts at the battle depending on your RNG luck, because the Steal skill is notoriously ineffective).
    • There also when you fight the game's Big Bad, Kuja. At first it looks like you're going to beat him (prior to fighting him you beat someone that he was confident he couldn't beat), but then he activates Trance and nukes everyone with Ultima.
  • Final Fantasy X has Geosgaeno, who Tidus first encounters shortly after being transported to Spira. Its physical attack only does percentage-based damage and it has no other attacks, making it seem like a foregone victory - until it tries to inhale Tidus, who then wisely decides it's time to get the hell out of there. Later on, you can fly back to Baaj Temple for a rematch, which this time is winnable if you have the right abilities on your armor. This time, Geosgaeno has attacks that can instantly kill or petrify your characters (the latter is especially dangerous, as a character who's petrified underwater is shattered and permanently removed from the battle).
  • Final Fantasy XII: Subverted early in the game, where the party is attacked by Ba'Gamnan and his crew after rescuing Penelo and Larsa. You're expected to run away from them, but it's possible to win with proper level grinding. That said, you still have to backtrack the dungeon, and the following cutscene still implies that you escaped.
  • Final Fantasy XIII
    • Snow fights a bunch of soldiers alone, and although it's quite manageable (and probably easier than the boss battle directly afterwards), you don't get a game over for losing, nor do you get anything of value for winning. Either way, the following cutscene is the same.
    • Another example comes from Hope taking a level in badass right after Snow practically broke his back saving him. The boss mob you fought not fifteen minutes earlier, with BOTH Hope and Snow fighting fit, comes over and incapacitates Snow. Hope then takes on the boss by himself! There's no way to win this fight alone, though; whether your HP drops to 1 or you fight the boss for an extended amount of time, Lightning and Fang come to the rescue.
  • Final Fantasy XIV:
    • During the Stormblood expansion, there are two fights against Zenos that's impossible to win due to his absurdly high HP. After a while, he decides to end the fight with a powerful attack that leaves your HP in critical status and stuns you. You eventually get to kick his ass at the end.
    • Subverted in the trial fight against Ultimate Bahamut. After a certain point, Ultimate Bahamut will unleash his ultimate attack that will kill the entire party with no way of mitigating it. Phoenix then appears and revives the party, allowing the players to continue to the next phase of the fight.
  • Final Fantasy XV Episode Gladiolus has the first encounter with the Blademaster. Gladio can't hurt him, can't block his attacks, and doesn't have enough HP to endure too much abuse. The fight ends when Gladio is down to single-digit HP, transitioning into a cutscene. The rest of the episode basically revolves around acquiring the ability to avoid repeating this trope.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance: Llednar Twem, is protected by a 'Fortune' law which causes reality to warp around him, granting him invulnerability to all attacks. His boss fights, rather than a one-on-one duel are instead endurance matches while he chases you around for several rounds until he gets bored and attempts to use an illegal attack, jailing him and leaving you the victor by default. Subsequent battles follow the same pattern, as he flees at the first sign of a judge rather than risk getting jailed again.
  • The Foregone Conclusion of Crisis Core, where Zack is forced to fight his way through an unlimited amount of Shinra infantrymen (they will not stop coming, the battle is scripted to end first), who then leave Zack bloody, bruised and barely able to lift his sword at the end.
  • Final Fantasy Type-0 features a few fights where you're expected to lose, such as Nimbus, Shinryu Celestia, and the story fight with Gilgamesh. Though you won't receive a game over, your final mission grade will certainly worsen.
    • Nimbus literally cannot die, and will remain alive with a tiny fraction HP. Falling to Celestia will automatically summon Bahamut-ZERO, leading to a much more epic finisher. The fight against Gilgamesh is definitely manageable, but will present a slightly different cutscene afterwards either way.
  • World of Final Fantasy has a few throughout the game. The first happens right around the beginning as a means of demonstrating that losing a battle normally will send your playable characters back to Nine Wood Hills. There are a couple more in the No-Gear Level, D-District Prison.

    Suikoden 

Suikoden

  • Suikoden:
    • The war battle against Milich Oppenheimer — whatever move you choose to make, he will release poisonous spores and almost wipe out your army of Redshirts in one go, forcing you to break off the attack and go on a quest to find an antidote against the attack.
    • Neclord appears at Warriors' Village and fights the team. He is immune to all attacks and spells, so all you can do is wait for him to kill your team. After your team undertakes a sidequest to a temple to acquire the Star Dragon Sword, you can fight him at his castle and actually win after striking him with Viktor, who wields the SDS for the rest of the game.
    • Subverted with Pahn vs. Teo duel. It's the hardest duel in the game, even if you're grinded and have the best equipment, but you HAVE to win if you want the Golden Ending.
  • Suikoden II:
    • The battle against Captain Rowd in Kyaro is a subversion, as it's possible to defeat him with proper level grinding.
    • The first two battles against Neclord. The first time is in the ruins of North Window, before you have the Star Dragon Sword (which you immediately go to get afterwards, but Neclord flees when you confront him in North Window a second time). The second time is in the mines of Tinto, where the hero and his sister Nanami encounter him. In both fights, Neclord is again immune to everything, but instead of having to die, the goal in this game is merely to survive for a few rounds, after which the battle will automatically end.
    • It is impossible to defeat Luca Blight's personal unit in War Battles, as it will still be active even with being damaged three times, whereas any other unit dies with just two hits.
      • Even during a mission where the party surrounds him and damages his unit, Luca still retaliates by attacking all your units at once and escapes.
  • Suikoden III:
    • This game mostly subverts this trope with battles that appears to be unwinnable, but really aren't. In these cases, you have to defeat a powerful boss under a turn limit (usually a member of the Big Bad's team), but the game will progress normally, even if you lose. You just won't be rewarded with EXP and gold.
    • The duels against Guillaume (as Melville) and Yuber plays this straight, as they are unwinnable.
  • Suikoden IV:
    • Your first fight in the game is against Glen and Katerina. They have over 6000 HP each and you only have 4 turns before the battle ends. You either survive the turns or lose, you'll pass.
    • Another Dual Boss example is during the first encounter with Troy and Colton.
  • Suikoden V: Subverted with Childreich and Dolph after the Sacred Games. It's an early boss fight that isn't actually that hard if you prepared for it beforehand, even on a first playthrough. That said, even if you win, the game acts like you lost.
  • Suikoden Tierkreis: Many times. This usually happens whenever the party meets a new archivist of the Order of the One True Way. In these fights, you have to survive for a few turns before the battle ends.
  • Suikoden: The Woven Web of A Century:
    • The first battle against the Terasfarmas, in the beginning of the game.
    • You can't win the sparing match against Master Swordswoman Makia Zafir.
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    Tales Of 

Tales Series

  • In Tales of Destiny, Leon is nearly impossible to beat the first time you face him, which is quite early in the game. If you do manage to win, you get a special ending right then without playing through the rest of the game.
    • In the PS2 remake, however, your efforts are rewarded by him suddenly unleashing his Limit Break and ending the battle regardless of whether everyone actually got KO'd or not.
  • Tales of Eternia: The first fight against Shizel. She'll give you the illusion that you're actually fighting her, and after a little while, she opens up a can of god-power that knocks everyone down to 1 HP before effectively flicking everyone to death. (Bonus points if, instead, the A.I. Roulette decides to finish you off with something powerful like Prism Flasher.) If you manage to pull yourself back from the brink of defeat, the game cuts away from the battle abruptly and pretends you lost anyway when she's reduced to half HP.
  • Tales of Symphonia has an odd variation during a series of Climax Bosses:
    • You have a normal boss fight against Remiel that you must win, immediately followed by a (very difficult) fight against Kratos which you may win or lose (story-wise it makes no difference which one, though you do get a different cutscene after the fight based on what happened) and an unwinnable fight against Yggdrasill that you lose. The second encounter with Yggdrasil (a standalone one in this case) is also unwinnable, although this time you are required to survive the battle until a cutscene is triggered. Defeat will result in a standard game over.
    • You can actually avoid losing the first fight against Yggdrasil (though that isn't likely because if you lose the scripted fight prior to that you will start the fight off with 1 HP), but it is virtually impossible to beat him because the fight will automatically end after a certain amount of time. However, using certain New Game+ upgrades, you can win the fight and force him to flee. He then pulls out Cutscene Power to the Max, giving you a glimpse of his nifty Sword of Plot Advancement in the process, which justifies both the trope and the rescue cutscene immediately afterward.
    • The first battle with Vidarr has a feeling of this trope included as well. Although you still have to win, no matter how well you do, your team will get a cutscene with them about to be killed, only to be saved by Kratos. You can Action Replay this, hit him once down to near death, but this scene will trigger regardless.
  • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World has so many of these, that the player may have trouble discerning whether a given boss battle is winnable or not.
    • The game also has two types of these: Fights that are just really, really hard to win, and fights that you can't win at all (because the boss' HP won't go down). This can become downright ridiculous, like the first fight against Commander Brute. Cue a long string of "Impressive !" as he flinches constantly under your attacks... without losing any HP. During the second encounter, he doesn't get any stat buff but loses that plot invincibility. Curb-Stomp Battle ensues.
    • Lloyd, the first boss of the game is normally unbeatable, but if you can carry your strongest monsters over to your second playthrough or know how to trap him in an infinite combo, he's beatable, thus netting you several levels of experience. But the story advances as if you lost.
  • Tales of Legendia:
    • The first battle against Walter is interrupted by Moses kidnapping Shirley.
    • The Duel Boss between Senel and Melanie ends after a few minutes. The following cut-scene has Senel defeated.
    • The party's first battle against Vaclav. He only has about 8000 HP, but once you've worked him down to about 4000 he unleashes a massive spell that knocks your entire party unconscious.
  • Tales of Hearts features two boss fights you're "supposed" to lose, the one against Chalcedny early on for Kohak's Shy Spirune and the one against Sorceress Incarose about halfway into the game. Both of them are technically winnable, and in a subversion, if you beat Chalcedny, he actually does hand over the Spirune immediately (though the party finds another excuse to go through the area where you'd normally actually get it back).
  • Tales of the Abyss: Subverted with the first Luke vs. Asch fight, where you're expected to lose. You can win, but it requires you to be either very skillful with the battle system, level grind, be in New Game+, or have a lot of healing items. There is a slight variation in the cutscene after if you do manage to win, and you do get experience, so it's not all for nothing at least. It's pretty entertaining to hear Asch whine and cry about how worthless he is because he just lost to his replica.
  • The original version of Tales of Vesperia didn't have one of these, but the PS3 version adds a one-on-one fight between Yuri and Don Whitehorse at the end of Keiv Moc. It is possible to defeat him, even on the first playthrough...but only if you've undergone some serious Level Grinding, set the difficulty to Easy, and are very, very dedicated - otherwise, you'd be best advised to try again the second time around. Nothing changes much if you do win except for acquiring an okay-but-not-great accessory (a Diamond).
  • In Tales of Graces, the first fight against Hubert in the adult arc is this. Even if you're either leveled enough to deal decent damage against him, or skilled enough with the game's combat system to dodge his very wide close-range attacks, he'll build up his eleth gauge incredibly quickly and then use his Mystic Arte to end the battle. Even if you get strong enough to deplete all of his HP, it'll simply display as ???? and he'll keep on fighting.
  • Tales of Xillia: When the party fight the real Maxwell it consists of 4 rounds with cutscenes in between, the first three you can't beat Maxwell no matter how hard you try, as he'll eventually fire off a party wiping attack each round (which ironically if the party is equipped well hardly does any damage) which leads to the next cutscene which they regain their feet and charge again. It isn't until Jude's Did You Just Punch Out Chtulhu moment and Milia joins the battle can you win.
  • Tales of Xillia 2:
    • The game opens with one of these, and it'll only end if you get knocked down (Which leads to the boss hitting you with his mystic arte). Due to an oversight, the fight can potentially never end in a New Game+, as if you have the Glory skill equipped, you'll never get knocked down.
    • The second phase of the second battle with Khronos is also meant to be such, as you aren't given any clues as to how to prevent him from using his time reversal technique note , which will result in the fight ending if he pulls it off successfully. However, if you manage to stop him, you're allowed to defeat him and get some EXP for your efforts, though the following cutscene is unchanged.
  • Tales of Zestiria takes the cake for its use of the trope.
    • Near the start you fight a giant dragon. Its level depends on the difficulty but it will always dwarf yours and can kill you instantly if you try anything against it. You're supposed to run away and come back later to kill it. Its stats are all end game level and you are slightly gimped so we mean much much later.
    • A little later in the game, after his introduction, the Big Bad will occasionally block off routes;of course with no explanation as to why nor does anyone comment on this. You can fight him but you are heavily weakened and his attacks are all end game level so its nigh impossible to do this even with excessive grinding. If you somehow manage to beat him (there's a few exploits you can abuse to help yourself here) then you'd expect him to be unkillable or kick you back out or something, right? Wrong, it actually unlocks the Bad Ending. Don't worry, unlike his appearance, It Makes Sense in Context. It might be a little jab at players as well since you basically need to cheat to beat him, your reward is a bad ending.
  • Tales of Berseria: The first fight against Artorius is one of these, both gameplay-wise and storywise. At a time when your party members might be around level 20, he's level 60, and your attacks only do Scratch Damage, if that. Eventually, Artorius unleashes his Mystic Arte on Velvet, causing a long cutscene to trigger where Velvet can't even hit him.

Other examples

  • One of the first few things you witness in .hack//G.U. is the cutscene version of a Hopeless Boss Fight, Haseo vs. Azure Kite Tri-Edge. Haseo is Perfect Play AIed so thoroughly and easily it is almost laughable. A variation of the same scene occurs at the end of the anime .hack//ROOTS since both series use that event as a buffer zone and it is no less brutal.
    • One of the .hack novels also features The One Sin, an event boss that many players of the game thought was Hopeless. It turned out to be a particularly intricate Puzzle Boss which doubles as an egregious case of That One Boss (probably to the point where if TV Tropes exists in the .hack Verse and some of the players were Tropers, they'd probably think that it's an exception to the Bonus Boss rule for That One Boss!), and the two players who defeated it (Orca and Balmung) gained extreme notoriety.
      • Additionally, the 4th game features the final battle with Cubia. Once you win, it uses a move called Sephira Returner to restore itself to full health. Kite and Black Rose immediately conclude that the battle is hopeless. What they arguably lack in genre savvyness, they make up for in innovation, as obviously the game didn't end there. In case you were wondering Cubia is connected to Kite's bracelet, once Kite destroys it, Cubia vanishes with it.
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    • Besides the cutscenes, several boss fights in the Demon Palace Tournament cannot be beaten, such as the fight with Bordeaux and Alkaid. You could over level your character beyond the needed level for the moment and hit them one time reducing them halfway down their HP bar, and yet the cutscene will roll with it showing you getting your ass royally handed to you even if two seconds ago one blow from your opponent did no damage at all.
  • AdventureQuest has a few, such as The'Galin in "The Final Battle!" and the Nightmare Queen in "Frostval in July!". The first boss is literally the manifestation of a god who is Just Toying with Them. The latter is nigh-unbeatable given that the player character is fighting against a nightmare.
    • DragonFable's Fire War kicks off with a Hopeless Boss Fight against Akriloth, which sets off the Start of Darkness for Drakonnan. Some battles against Drakath also qualify, as does Xan, Sepulchure, and several more.
    • Also in DragonFable, it is possible to beat the Elemental Lords as Nythera rather than as Warlic. You get quite a chunk of experience, but the battle is retconned and you have to do it over. Strangely, the battle is a lot easier as Nythera.
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    • In the DragonFable minigame Archknight, there's a boss you meet at level six or seven who has more than thrice your HP. Naturally, it's this trope and critical to the plot.
  • Happens twice in the first few minutes of Alphadia:
    • The first battle of the game, much like Final Fantasy II, deals with some of the main characters being pursued by elite imperial soldiers. Exhausted and out of supplies, they go down quickly.
    • After saving the characters from the first battle, the hero and his brother face off against another group of soldiers. After dispatching them, they face their sergeant, who hits for max damage.
  • Arkandian Legends: The fight against Fak'Ough at the beginning of Crusade is impossible, since he has 500 HP when you can't deal more than 10 damage in one turn, while he'll easily deal 30. You just won't be able to deal enough damage before he beats you.
  • Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica:
    • When Croix has to face three members of the Grand Bell one of them being Leglius, and all this happening after Cocona goes IPD. While you could possibly level grind high enough to beat these three, the fact is that you play as Croix alone, have no backup or Revyteils meaning he cannot guard or be aided by song magic, cannot harmonize to use better skills, and will die quickly if not right away due to the level you should be at at this point.
    • The boss fight with a guardian for the goddess, which also serves as the tutorial for Replakia. Despite using it at maximum power for as long as Cloche and Luca could possibly manage, one-shotting her guards and dealing millions of damage, she just won't lose that last hit point. In exchange, the boss will pull out a move that is nearly impossible to guard without seeing the attack at least once. Perfect Guards and your best healing magic can last for a while, but that attack will eventually hit hard enough to take everyone out.
  • Arc Rise Fantasia has a few of these: the first fight against the leader of the QED, the fight against the rival team in Diamant Castle later on in the game (which you can't lose but merely survive for a few turns; the boss would be asininely hard if you needed to win), and the first time you face the character who turns out to be the final bosses. There's also the first fight against the rival team on the beach; but that battle can be won or lost by the player, the story progresses either way.
  • Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny:
    • Chaos, the game's Recurring Boss, presents you with a hopeless encounter the second time you face him. The first time, he essentially let you win, and the third time's for keeps.
    • The first encounter with the Dragon King, Ardgevald. To say that Ardgevald annihilates you is a massive understatement: he unloads three immensely powerful attacks before you even get to think about moving, the third one doing overkill damage just in case the first two didn't beat you all the way to death yet, and the battle ends right there and then with your party flattened on the ground. You later on get to fight him for real after getting stronger, and while the battle is winnable, he still does enormous damage and can very easily curbstomp you again, showing that his earlier stomping of your carcass wasn't all plot power, but him being legitimately tough.
  • In Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk, your party's encounter with Keithgriff at the ruins of Hallos Village ends with him wiping the floor with you and making off with the Plot Coupon you were charged with recovering. All attacks against him deal only Scratch Damage, and his attacks are strong enough to one-shot anyone in your party. It's still possible (but ill-advised) to encounter enemies in your weakened state after Keith escapes.
  • Avernum 3: Downplayed. Rentar-Ihrno cannot be defeated in the final boss battle. This is not so much a hopeless battle, however, as the objective is to disable their doomsday machine.
    • Players who've managed to handle her with Wall of Blades spam report that nothing happens when she falls. You just go and turn off the machine anyways, and the ending progresses as normal. At least Spiderweb learned their lesson for the fourth game—the Shades regenerate to full health every turn, making their defeat mathematically impossible without the necessary weapon.
  • Unusual examples from Baldur's Gate: At the very beginning of the first game, as you flee the training area of Candlekeep, you and NPC Gorion are accosted by an armored figure who will eventually be Sarevok, the final boss of the game. A cutscene follows in which the PC flees and Gorion engages the enemy and gets himself killed. However, the battle is still conducted according to the regular rules of the game engine, and occasionally Sarevok's final swing actually misses — but because the game is scripted that way, Gorion drops dead regardless. If you manage to make Gorion or Elminster hostile to you, you won't live long; their battle scripts makes them cast one Lightning Bolt spell for show and then just executes the kill() instruction on your main character, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: an unavoidable One-Hit Kill.
  • In Baldur's Gate II, you're not even given the option to fight; many boss characters will simply automatic kill you if you advance the plot wrongly. They all wear a secret belt that prevents their hp from falling lower than 1. You can see this belt right at the start of the game, when Imoen is wearing it. As Imoen is essential to the plot later on, she cannot be killed; if she were to fall below one hit point, a script causes her to panic and run away. The exploit that allowed you to kill essential characters was that if you somehow managed to reduce your constitution or intelligence stats to 0, you would die regardless of the hitpoints you had. The ability to reduce constitution only shows up in a few traps and is inaccessible to players, while the ability to reduce intelligence shows up in the game for only a short time; The mindflayers you encounter in the underdark automatically do this on a successful strike (hint: they're eating your brains). There was one item near the endgame that allowed you to summon/transform into a mindflayer for a short time, thus allowing you to reduce intelligence. This exploit is fixed in the expansion, though you probably wouldn't have access to it early in the game without cheating anyways.
  • The Machina Vanguard from Baten Kaitos Origins are this once they hop into their fancy Machina Arma. You're free to fight them as many times as you like and although you can do scratch damage you only get so many turns until the game forces you to retreat. It's not until much much later in the game that you get an attack that can crack their armor and the game lets you fight them for real.
  • Battle Hunter has the monster Gon, which shows up once the deck of cards has been depleted. He has much higher stats than any other monster in the game, usually being able to kill most any character in two attacks at most. Even worse, if he kills the player who is currently holding the target item, it results in an immediate Game Over. Even if you do manage to kill him, he just respawns on the next turn, ready for a new round of ass-kicking while you're still recovering from the last fight. Simply put, him showing up is intended to be your cue to wrap things up ASAP.
  • Blue Dragon: Though your party faces Nene several times, the only time you can actually engage him in a winnable battle is the very last time you meet him, with all your other confrontations falling into this category.
  • In A Blurred Line:
    • The very first battle can be this, if you choose to run to work instead of waiting for the Hover-Tram and if you don't learn that Arden is a double agent. You're pitted against four Lazer Teeth thugs and no matter what equipment you buy at the shops with your 100 credits, it’s impossible to put down more than two before you’re defeated and taken prisoner.
    • Then, there’s the battle against Kersh at the Memnosyne’s house. He has quite a few powerful abilities, but can still be fought valiantly ... up until the 10th turn or so, when Talan ends the battle himself, saying that he’s too strong.
  • Boktai itself contains one example. The first battle of the third game pits you against Vanargand. Guess who comes out on top?
  • The Bravely Default series is no stranger to this trope.
    • In Default the party encounters Victoria and Victor of the Council of Six fairly early in the story and though the battle certainly appears as to be a standard Asterisk wielder boss battle they're about to curb stomp the party entirely. Even if they don't the battle ends after five turns. Fortunately Edea makes the party (and the player) plenty aware that they're opponents that they can't possibly hope to beat as they are. However it would be unwise to just roll over and die and you should consider lasting long enough to try to steal from both of them, as their items increase Mind and Intelligence by 10, both of which is very impressive at that point in the game. It is possible to defeat this battle, either in New Game+ or with enough Socialization Bonus attacks of 99,999. The enemy will simply jump to "as if you had barely survived five rounds."
    • If you take the False Ending route, the first fight with Airy is also unwinnable; the entire battle consists of three rounds of Just Between You and Me exposition.
    • Bravely Second, in the vein of Final Fantasy II above, starts off with one of these where Kaiser Oblivion receives 0 damage from your attacks and inflicts 9999 damage with all of his. As the fight is scripted, you can't hope to win this one even on New Game+. Except not if you start after the end of Chapter IV, where the scripting only allows Yew to participate; if you attack normally, you still lose and get kicked back to the Prologue. Use Bravely Second, however, and the fight changes into something more winnable and allows you to carry on with the story.
  • Breath of Fire:
    • Breath of Fire II has quite a few. The very first battle of the game, the second battle of the game (against Barubary) and the optional Duel Boss against Tiga late in the game. The first two are justified, since you are playing Ryu as a kid.
    • Breath of Fire III:
      • Balio and Sunder, who are fought twice before you can actually beat them. It is possible to temporarily hold them off in the second fight, but the first is completely unwinnable.
      • There's also Garr in the Inevitable Tournament. If you stall too long, he says "Let's finish this!" and defeats Ryu with a super critical.
    • Breath of Fire IV: Inverted in the final battle of the Bad Ending, as you control the invincible boss who fully heals himself every turn and fight against your hopeless former party members.
  • Chrono Trigger:
    • At one point you are unexpectedly pitted against Lavos, the final boss. If you've leveled up normally, you will probably lose instantly. He will surely attack first, and will use a Total Party Kill attack that, assuming you leveled up normally, is instant death. Just to make sure you lose, he's actually even stronger than the normal Lavos at the end of the game. It is actually possible to beat him, but you'll need to be in New Game+ and leveled pretty high for there to be any realistic chance of that. Disappointingly, even if you win, you don't get to see Queen Zeal's reaction to the "invincible" Lavos being defeated right in front of her. It leads to a secret ending, one of the most difficult in the game to earn.
    • In the Kingdom of Zeal, the plot requires you to be captured. To this end, a Golem is sent to attack the party. While the standard fare would be to lose to the monster, you can actually defeat it (in fact it can be pathetically easy if you know how). Doing so results in the summoner using the "Look Behind You" trick then shooting you in the back. All winning does is net some decent EXP. What's worse is that, later on, the same guy will summon two of these things that you are expected to defeat, so unless you figured out how the first time around, good luck.
      • Like the Final Fantasy V example on this page, Chrono Trigger also has an Inverted Trope related to the Golem. First, you fight the Golem. Then later in the game, you fight two Golems. Then as a climax after that, you fight the Golem Overlord! ...Except you fight him on top of a giant airship and the boss is afraid of heights. Seeing as the Golem bosses attacks are all based on Ground Pound maneuvers, this cripples it to the degree that it is unable to attack the party, and they are free to wail on him while he literally weeps in cowardice until either his scripted death happens (The Overlord slips and falls out of the airship), or the heroes beat it.note 
    • If you go to the Northern Ruins in 1000 AD, you'll encounter Cyrus' ghost. Physical attacks always miss on him, and he's immune to all elements so magic doesn't work either. The battle ends automatically after a few rounds with the party realizing they can't beat him. The correct thing to do here is to go to the same area in 600 AD and Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
  • In Chrono Cross:
    • The tutorial battle against Radius at the beginning of the game will end with Radius wiping Serge out with a single attack, which he spams if you somehow survive. Even in New Game+, no matter how much damage you do, Radius won't fall. However, if you manage to last enough turns, Radius compliments you and simply gives up.
    • Lynx switches bodies with Serge in the middle of the first fight against him. Serge (as Lynx) must then fight Lynx (in Serge's body), Kid, and one other party member. The battle is meant to be impossible to win, but if you manage to beat them (probably by virtue of being in New Game+), there's an additional cutscene. Serge walks over to his own body, then Kid jumps up and stabs him before collapsing again. The story will then continue as if you had lost.
  • In the Costume Quest DLC Grubbins on Ice, the game opens with you fighting three characters of a significantly higher level than you without a healer in your party. However, given some skill in hitting the button prompts and luck and the enemy's choice in targets, you can win. That said, the game assumes you lost anyway.
  • In Dark Souls:
    • As Demon's Souls Spiritual Successor, the tutorial boss, the Asylum Demon, plays out similarly: when you encounter it, you're armed with a broken hilt of a sword and no shield. You're supposed to run away and come back once you're better equipped. It's possible to win this first encounter, either by grinding him down slowly with your sword hilt, choosing Black Firebombs as your starting gift which will kill him very easily (you are given 10 bombs and 5 will do the job), or simply by waiting until New Game+ where you keep all of your equipment from your original playthrough. If you do, you're rewarded with the Demon's Great Hammer, a weapon with such a high Strength requirement that by the time you can actually wield it it will be useless since you'll have found something stronger.
    • The first encounter with Seath the Scaleless is one of these. Not only has he positioned himself up on a ledge where you can't reach him with melee attacks, you can't damage him at all even with ranged attacks. Inevitably, he will eventually kill you, but instead of respawning at your previous bonfire, you respawn in a prison cell. After escaping from prison and descending into another area, you find Seath's Soul Jar, which prompts him to show up to defend it. After shattering it, he'll be able to take damage normally, and this arena is nice and flat so he can't escape from your melee attacks.
  • Demon's Souls partially-averts this with a seemingly unbeatable tutorial level boss. If you actually manage to beat him, you are teleported to an area where you meet a boss from much later in the game, the Dragon God. He kills you in a cutscene, just to be certain you die this time.
  • Digimon World 3:
    • Zambamon, a Digimon that is way too powerful for your own Digimon to defeat at the time you face him. In fact, he's so strong that the first hit he lays on your Digimon, you are forced to flee. However, he is blocking the path to the next major city in the game, so you have to find a way to get him to move that doesn't require battling him anymore than the first time, which is required to advance the plot.
    • In the Amaterasu server, trying to force your way into Amaterasu City gets you into an unwinnable fight against Knightmon. To add insult to injury, it's virtually impossible to run away from the fight.
  • Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth has a very brief one at the end of the prologue, when the party are attacked by a mysterious data-consuming Digimon. While it doesn't hit particularly hard, it completely No Sells your attacks, and after one turn you realise it's a lost cause and flee... except the protagonist doesn't quite make it.
  • Dragon Age: Origins has what appears to be a Hopeless Boss Fight after rescuing Anora from Arl Howe's estate in Denerim. You are confronted by Loghain's chosen knight, Ser Cauthrien, at the front door, and while after about 20 seconds of trying to fight her and her guards you think it's one of those times you have to just die, it's actually possible to win the battle if you're really good (and just happen to have about 50 health poultices), and the story continues on as normal, except that Ser Cauthrien doesn't confront you before the Landsmeet, what with being dead and all. You get a sword for winning the battle, but you can also get this sword by killing Ser Cauthrien when she confronts you at the Landsmeet instead, which is much easier. Winning this fight also lets you skip the 'Captured!' quest, where you either have to be rescued by your companions or break yourself (and possibly Alistair) out.
  • The Super Famicom game Dragon Ball Z: Legend of the Super Saiyan, Goku has to fight Ginyu. Like the DBZ story, Ginyu has to switch bodies with Goku in order to continue or you can just let Goku be defeated. The rest of the party has to defeat Ginyu.
  • In Dragon Fin Soup, you can try to hold off the Hooded Man in the prologue, but he can't be killed. Once his health drops to 50%, he fully recharges and summons an endless supply of skeletons that get stronger and stronger as you defeat more of them.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • The first encounter with Marquis de Leon (Keeleon in the American NES version) in Dragon Quest IV also counts, since after defeating Balzack, he's powerful enough to easily One-Hit Kill Meena (Nara) and Maya (Mara) before they can even put a dent in him. The battle will end if both of the sisters are knocked out, regardless of how much health Oojam (Orin) has.
    • The first encounter with Bishop Ladja in Dragon Quest V. He's powerful enough to defeat the Hero, your sabrecat, and your Guest-Star Party Member. This is the last battle before the first Time Skip.
    • Dragon Quest VII has two in very close proximity to each other on the Dharma Temple/Alltrades Abbey island. After the party has their magical spells and skills stolen from them, they find themselves in a destitute town filled with other people who've had the same thing happen to them. Strom, the boss of the town decides to beat you mercilessly with his thugs in order to show you who's in charge. Not long after, the party tries to make their way back to regain their abilities with a Guest-Star Party Member in tow, but he abandons you at the last minute, forcing you to fight against another pair of bosses you cannot hope to win against. Another happens later in Hubble, when Hybris uses the Incantation and transforms into a monster - he's not beatable until shortly thereafter.
    • If you attempt to attack the Big Bad Rhapthorne in Dragon Quest VIII after he's put up his barrier, nothing will touch him, but his attacks will still hurt a lot. To take down the barrier is rather involved, requiring a side quest and a complex ceremony - in the middle of a battle.
    • In Dragon Quest IX, there are two fights against higher ranked Celestrians, that are impossible to win because lower ranked Celestrians (like the player) cannot act against higher ranked Celestrians, and the player will be prohibited from attacking. While the player cannot win, if they've leveled up enough, they can survive the assault until the boss gives up and leaves.
  • In 1989 Activision game Dragon Wars you really, really should use the dragon gem on the Dragon Queen to get her to promise her help, and then sic her on Namtar's Army. Nevertheless, it is possible to beat both the Dragon Queen and Namtar's Army through grinding; and the game will even acknowledge you doing so.
  • The first encounter with Bradley in Dubloon. Considering he attacks you before you can even prepare your attack, he could just as easily beat you up in a cutscene note .
  • Late in Mother (EarthBound Zero) is a robot boss that's too powerful for you to beat. Once it defeats your party, one of your friends shows up in a tank and obliterates it. There are two other robot bosses which are defeated in strange ways as well, without which you would be unable to win.
    • Straight after the battle with Master Eddy in Mother 3, you wash up on a beach with all your items gone, and all your characters at a mere 1 HP and 0 MP. Healing your party is impossible without eating from the nearby patch of hallucinogenic mushrooms (an important plot point for this chapter), and there's an enemy Zombieshroom blocking your path forward which, in your party's current state, is suicide to encounter and should be impossible to defeat. Oddly, after you eat the mushrooms, it's not even necessary to fight it at all, as it'll have moved far enough to the side to be avoided. Cheat and kill this enemy before using the mushrooms, and it will still be standing there in your way after the battle.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, it's not technically a boss fight but one of the optional daedra prince quests requires you to anger a widower and let him attack you with a special blade. The only way to win the quest is to die.
  • In Epic Battle Fantasy 4, the player is ambushed at separate points by Godcat's Creator and Destroyer forms. Each one dodges or No Sells all your attacks while dishing out One Hit Kills, but after a set number of turns they'll vanish and be replaced by more reasonable enemies that you can defeat. Someone on YouTube used hacks to discover what happens if you beat Godcat during these fights: the game crashes.
    • In Epic Battle Fantasy 5, shortly after the party arrive in No Man's Land, they're ambushed by Lance in his tank... if by "ambushed", you mean run over by his Neo Valkyrie tank, which allows him to abduct Natalie and bail before Matt and NoLegs regain consciousness. When you fight Lance and his tank later in that area, the tank will not have the room to build up its roadkill-inducing speed, thus stripping it of that particular attack.
  • In Eternal Sonata Frederic Chopin and Polka come up against a mysterious young man wielding a katana (Fugue). A well-leveled player with good timing might be able to survive one of his combos... barely. If you somehow manage to last two rounds against him, he starts using an unblockable, infinite-range attack that deals about 125% your current HP called "Deus Ex Machina."
  • Exit Fate: The first fight against the Demon Commandos. They're completely unbeatable and will curbstomp you with insanely powerful attacks. Several following encounters continue the theme - including one tactical battle, where they are both represented by sorcery units with a thousand manpower each, and a "victory" just means you managed to fend them off for long enough to escape. The two penultimate fights are also guaranteed defeats even though you face each of them alone. However, all damage dealt to them carry over for the final fight.
  • Near the end of Fossil Fighters you have to face the police chief who's actually the boss of the criminal organization you've been facing. His dinosaur that he summons has max evasion so every attack you throw at it will miss. Though it isn't superpowered the fact that you can't hit it makes it a Hopeless Boss Fight.
  • In freeware parody RPG Fragile Hearts 2: Shattered Dreams, the first battle against Bounty Hunter will be lost even if you actually won it.
  • Golden Sun:
    • The first game: Saturos and Menardi at Mt. Aleph, as their attacks can easily hit for twice your max HP in damage, killing the party in less than two turns. Not to mention that they are fought before you gain access to Djinns and psynergy, and it is impossible to grind due to every normal battle in Mt. Aleph being pre-set.
    • The second game: Poseidon subverts this. He has an invincible forcefield, meaning no damage can be done at all to him (though he can still do damage to you). This would seem like a Hopeless Boss Fight, but what one actually needs to do is retrieve the three prongs of the Trident of Ankohl and bring them to Champa to be reforged. The trident can then be used to destroy Poseidon's forcefield, although you still have to defeat him (in a fairly difficult fight). Finding and reforging the Trident can be a bit of Guide Dang It!, though.
  • Granblue Fantasy:
    • The first time you fight Yggdrasil Malice, since she's far too powerful for the main characters to defeat.
    • The one-on-one battle between Cain and Zeyen, your attacks won't even connect on Zeyen, and you get killed instantly in a single hit.
    • The first battle with Ganesha, he has way too much HP to reasonably defeat and the battle ends after several turns.
    • Similarly to the above example, Gilbert's One-Winged Angel form has too much HP to reasonably defeat and the battle ends after several turns due to Gilbert's form breaking down.
    • Raid battle against Macho Vyrn from “Grand Blues!” Comic Strip series, his HP is extremely high, so good luck defeating him in time.
    • First battle against Xolotl, the Primal Beast in “5 Flowers of Fate” side-story. It attacks one of party members with high damage, and its HP is very high. Letting you failed, in order to continue the story.
  • Grandia: Your first battle with Gadwin is hopeless, as he takes no damage from any attack, and will eventually attack you with Dragon Cut, which will deal 9999 damage.
  • Grandia II:
    • The first time you meet Millenia. She has infinite health, and the fight is scripted to end when she uses a lightning spell.
    • In a similar case, the first battle with Melfice. He takes virtually no damage from your attacks at normal levels for this point in the game and his attacks wreck your party. The battle ends whenever he uses Wailing Sword Slash, in the same manner as Millenia's Zap. However, this one is easier to cheese: do some serious level grinding, use Millenia's Spellbinding Eye attack to freeze Melfice for a time (Cancels don't work on him either, even in the Dreamcast version), then wail as hard as you can at his individual parts. It'll take a while, but Melfice will eventually go down, even going through his death animation...then the game continues as if you lost anyways, just like with Millenia.
  • Holy Umbrella:
    • After you get Trapped in Another World, you immediately get trapped in a fight with Dondera Tank. You do have your actual primary weapon at this point (if absolutely nothing else), and you'll have to defeat Dondera Tank several times later in the story, but still the only thing you can do here is get wiped out and watch Dondera Tank attempt a Finishing Move but then get blown up by someone else.
    • Averted with Donderasaurus, who is unstoppable in his earlier bouts with the protagonist and Viper but only because these take place entirely in cutscenes.
  • In Hyperdimension Neptunia, the first boss fight with White Heart, Black Heart, and Green Heart cannot be beaten for two reasons. Not only are you fighting 3 very high level opponents who blast you each once with their best specials, but Purple Heart is controlled by the AI in this fight, guaranteeing you lose.
    • Similarly, in Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 Nepgear, Compa and IF must face CFW Judge as the first boss, but that boss is so overpowered that he can One-Hit Kill the party and Nepgear's attacks won't damage it.
    • Once more with the first battle with Arfoire in Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, where Neptune and Noire must fight her in their human forms and get trashed. It's only when Plutia rejoins as Iris Heart and gives the two CPU Memories to use their HDD form does the fight actually become winnable.
    • Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 is a remake of the first game, unlike the first game, the example above is replaced by a cut-scene of the same battle, however that doesn't mean that the game is devoid of Hopeless Boss Fights, examples include Arfoire (identified as question marks for the first time. She accidentally Nerfs herself by copying Compa's power instead of Neptune's), Arfoire again (impersonating Green Heart, However Vert regains the HDD ability shortly after, placing Arfoire on even ground), The CPU Breaker (Which was only weakened by a Big Damn Heroes Moment from an unexpected character), and the aptly named CPU Killer (which precedes a a turning point and cannot be fought in a weakened state unlike the others). With a lot of Level Grinding these bosses can be beaten, but they give no experience, no credits and don't even appear in the game's bestiary, and the events still play out as if they won the fights.
  • Inindo: Way of the Ninja throws this at you as the first battle of the game.
  • In Jade Cocoon: Story of Tamamayu, when the main character fights the Dream Man and his dragon-like minion in his dream, he cannot be defeated. Even if you win (through cheating or pure luck), only the dialogue changes during the scene after the battle, with the main character still lying on the ground as if defeated. You can win by regular methods as well. He's difficult, yeah, and definitely this trope. But precision tactics can defeat him.
  • In Jade Cocoon 2, towards the end of the training forest, the main character touches Nico's cocoon and is cursed. The subsequent battle cannot be won without cheating, since the Kalma the main character must fight is too powerful for your two newly hatched Divine Beasts to handle. After your inevitable defeat, the main character is "possessed" by the Kalma. However, you take him on a second time much later in the game, and while he is definitely a challenging opponent, he's far from unbeatable.
  • Occurs in the prologue of Kingdom Come: Deliverance; after Henry returns to Skalitz to bury his parents, he's attacked by a group of bandits and their leader Runt. You fight Runt one-on-one, but it's impossible to beat him and he wields a massive club that can knock you flat on your ass in two or three hits. And you'll probably get hit and defeated very quickly, as the combat tutorial you were given at the beginning of the game missed several important considerations. Like blocking.
Kingdom Hearts:
  • Kingdom Hearts: Subverted during the fights against Leon in Traverse Town, and Cloud in the Olympus Coliseum. Both battles are tough, but winnable with grinding.
  • Kingdom Hearts II:
    • Any battles where Roxas fights Nobodies without a keyblade count, similarly to Sora attempting to fight Heartless during the Islands' destruction (again, without a keyblade) in the first game.
    • The first few times you face Hades, he's completely invincible due to him being more powerful in his personal realm of the Underworld. You're only able to fight him proper when you have Hercules backing you up.
  • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days has its share. A battle with a boss heartless who turns out to be Xion under an illusion ends after you chip its HP down far enough, and another battle ends after a certain amount of time has passed.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep: Seen in Ventus's story when you fight Vanitas for the first time in the badlands, as soon as he is down to one HP the game ends the battle. Later, Micky teams up with Ventus and the fight is winnable.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, players can trigger an optional Hopeless Boss Fight by pissing off Calo Nord in the Lower City cantina on Taris; since the plot requires his survival, he's invincible here.
    • For that matter, the nameless Sith mook running the sentry turrets at the elevator from the Lower City to the Undercity? Likewise invincible! Trust me, never choose the 'fight it out' option in the dialogue. Those sentry turrets just don't stop.
    • In your first encounter with Darth Bandon while escaping the Endar Spire, the fight is so hopeless that you don't even get to try. Your Red Shirt teammate sacrifices himself so that you can escape.
    • In your first duel with Malak, you can't kill him. You can only hold him off until Bastila shows up and sacrifices herself to let you escape.
      • Doubles as a poorly implemented example of this trope: Malak is incredibly weak in this appearance, is easily bested and actually flees at one point before Bastila "sacrifices" herself to buy you time to escape, massively lessening the impact of said sacrifice in the process. Doubly irritating since in his Final Boss form, he's way more difficult.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic II, Darth Sion literally can't be killed. Every time you reach a damage threshold, he becomes invincible for a moment as his health is restored. With the right build, you can keep him on the ropes forever, but pure combat won't ever work. When you meet him on Korriban, Kreia makes you and your party run like hell after a few hits. The second time, you have to talk him to death.
  • Two in Last Scenario. One, the first fight against Felgorn, is a true Hopeless Boss Fight, as as soon as you get him down to half his hit points, he hits you with a Total Party Kill attack. The second is more to show The Hero's Determinatorism than anything, though, since he attacks Helio by himself, with none of his equipment, and immediately afterward you get to really beat the guy up.
    • There is also a third that invokes this in Melchior, who fights you to teach your party a lesson. He is level 99 and deliberately designed to be nigh-impossible to defeat. You're supposed to escape from him, as it's meant to be a lesson in humility.
  • Legaia II Duel Saga:
    • The Final Boss Preview against Golden Eyes. He takes zero damage from attacks, and simply watches you until you've attacked several times, then easily defeats you.
    • Downplayed during the first battle against Elliott and Marienne. A prudent player can actually defeat one of them, but the other will trigger a special move that will end the fight.
  • The Legend of Dragoon: Lloyd in the arena. He is undefeatable in the fact that he will simply dodge every attack you throw at him, and then, to add insult to non-injury, he mocks you with such phrases as "Ha! Not even close!" or "Don't waste your time!" or "Too Slow!"
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel
    • You can't beat Sara in Chapter 2, you can't beat <C> in Chapter 4 and you definitely can't beat Victor in Chapter 5. Then, because the game wouldn't be complete without one more you can't beat Scarlet's Spiegel while on foot. All of these are justified by the plot.
    • Fairly early on in Cold Steel II, you're tossed into a boss battle with two members of Fie's former jaeger corps, Zephyr. Both have around 90,000 HP and it's said before the battle that the party has about a "20% chance" of victory. You're allowed to whittle around a quarter of that before both use their S-Crafts. The battle ends automatically a few turns later and it's revealed that they were holding back.
  • LISA: The Painful RPG:
    • Trying to fight Buzzo to get out of one of his Sadistic Choices reveals that he is invincible and has a move that "wrecks" the entire party. He will force Brad to make the choice anyway after losing. Using exploits to beat him just results in a quick cutscene that leads to a game over.
    • Played for Laughs with Demon X, who seems like a weird roleplayer but turns out to have a full-party instant KO move like Buzzo. Defeating him through exploits has him accuse the party or the player of cheating and will give an instant game over.
  • In The Longest Five Minutes, the memory "The Old Man and the Boat" pits the hero in a Duel Boss battle against Delgado, one of the Demon King's generals the party defeated earlier in their journey. This time around, Delgado's HP are artificially jacked up to ungodly levels, and you'll likely only be able to take a small slice out of his overall health with your most powerful attacks before he defeats you.
  • In Lost Odyssey, the end of Disc 2 pits the team against Councilor Gongara. After he taunts them for several turns about how pathetically weak and ignorant they are, he wipes them out with a single spell.
  • Lufia & The Fortress of Doom: In the first game, it is truly impossible to defeat the first Sinistral, Gades, when you first meet him (not counting the prologue). It's something of a tradition that this guy defeats you when you first him. Amusingly, this guy is depicted as weaker than others in the next games, but in this game he appears to comparable in power (some people say he's actually the hardest).
  • Lufia: The Legend Returns has lots of these. The first few battles with Gades, the Ancient Dragon M, the first few battles with Daos...of course, as mentioned above, if you do manage to win a Hopeless Boss Fight, you get a sweet item, then the boss kills you in a cutscene.
  • Lunar: Dragon Song has one with Ignatius about halfway through the game. On the one hand, it is theoretically possible to reach this point and still be level 1. On the other hand, all enemies scale in difficulty to the characters' level, so this is still a floor mopping.
  • Lunarosse has some. They're usually indicated by the boss having the max possible HP instead of a reasonable amount for that point in the game.
  • Magi-Nation: A truly interesting example that's impossible even on a New-Game Plus! Your first encounter with Morag begins like a normal boss fight, with Morag summoning one comparably weak Koil and doing nothing else until it rolls over. After that he gets mean and continually summons Borgors until they eventually slaughter you. Not only are the first few incredibly over leveled at this point, replacement Borgors (which you flat out will NOT see on your first playthrough because the first ones are so damn tough) are even higher in level, and Morag has 65 million energy, compared to the second-highest boss with roughly 1500 (who is not the final boss by the way). Later on you have a normal boss fight with Morag who is incredibly weaker, with only a few hundred energy, but has more variety to his monsters and also casts spells.
  • In the Magic Knight Rayearth SNES RPG: the first battle against Lafarga, and the first battle against Emeraude.
  • Magna Carta mostly avoids this trope; there are a number of ostensibly unwinnable fights throughout the game versus powerful boss enemies which you end up having to beat later, but unlike most such games these fights are actually winnable - it just requires a great deal of strategy (and sometimes some power levelling) to do so. Frustratingly, there IS a single truly hopeless boss fight towards the end of the game, one which you cannot win under any circumstances, though it is fairly obvious that it is hopeless... other than the fact that the other boss fights in the game were winnable.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, Mario and Luigi must fight three Shroobs near the beginning. However, the Shroobs are aided by a giant bomb-carrying UFO that destroys the brothers after three turns, making the fight impossible to win. The intention is for Baby Mario and Baby Luigi to then come to the rescue of their adult counterparts, the UFO being removed in the second fight.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story Bowser's first fight is with Midbus in which you learn how to fight. Then Bowser starts feeling weak because of the Vacuum Mushroom and the battle ends prematurely.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect 2:
      • Though the final DLC, Arrival, doesn't feature any bosses per se, at one point, it pits Shepard (alone!) against five consecutive waves of frighteningly smart, increasingly powerful enemies in a room that has little suitable cover and no ammo refills except the ones you pick up from the enemies. You thought the Thresher Maw on Tuchanka was hard? Good luck getting the "Last Stand" Achievement. It soon proves that regardless of whether you are beaten to unconsciousness by the enemies or taken down in the cutscene following your "victory", you are taken prisoner and the villain's plan proceeds. For the record, if you survive, the Reaper artifact "Object Rho" reaches full power and concusses Shepard into unconsciousness, whereupon s/he is sedated. (It doesn't stick.)
      • Two other DLC packs — "Stolen Memory" and "Lair of the Shadow Broker" — feature bosses that restore themselves to full strength whenever you get their shields down. In both cases, your squadmates will (eventually) rig up an environmental kill: Kasumi wall-crawls up to Hock's gunship and disables its shields while Liara brings down the ceiling of the Shadow Broker's lair, annihilating him with the biotic energy conduit contained there.
    • Mass Effect 3 has the first Kai Leng battle at the end of Priority: Thessia, which is similar to the Shadow Broker example above.
  • In Mega Man Battle Network 3, Bass is almost unbeatable the first time you fight him. He has a shield up that prevents the main character from ever doing any damage. It can even block a chip whose sole purpose is to blow away those kind of shields. Naturally, this shield has become his usual 100-HP aura in time for the real fight (with no plot explanation given).
    • It was found that it's possible to defeat Bass using the Balance chip and hitting him during his one attack where he drops his aura. The game actually gives a different cutscene for this.
    • There's a bit of an explanation for the shield turning to usual, actually. Bass had just absorbed part of Alpha's program, which actually weakened him and probably caused his aura to become not-invincible.
    • Similarly, you can't do anything to ShadeMan in MMBN4 until the second go-round — and even there, you have to let him beat you up a bit.
    • In MMBN6, (or rather, Rockman.exe 6, since it was completely ripped out of the North America version) you can't touch Bonus Boss Count of Groundsoaking Blood until you go on a sidequest related to his game.
    • MMBN1 presented an unbeatable ElecMan, who recovers completely from all major damage and also won't be defeated even if a player is quick enough to drop him to 0 HP. Rather than dying, however, you only need to watch ElecMan heal himself a few times before the heroes learn they need to disable his power and begin the real fight.
  • While we are talking about Mega Man, we should mention Mega Man Star Force which has four bosses that are unbeatable.
    • After you beat Harp Note in the first game Geo is tricked by Luna Platz to coming back to school by having him look at the play set (which is about the battle against Taurus Fire) a jammer drops a light on you but misses, after which you have to chase after it. When you finally catch up with it, the jammer ambushes you, you battle and then after 4 turns the battle ends and he strangles you causing your character (Mega Man Geo-Omega) to pass out and un transform.
    • Then in the second game you go to the shopping center area (where you battled Dark Phantom and later on battled a eyeball monster), while here you are forced by Hollow to save people from multi colored knight monsters. After you beat them you are forced into a 4 round battle against Solo-Rogue after which Sonia shows up and saves you.
    • Next in the third game, you first have to go up against J Corvus, after 4 rounds the battle ends and Joker shows up and datafies Luna. Then later on you have to go up Acid Ace who has been corrupted by Joker (who else?) and after a 4 round battle (what else?) the battle ends and he un transforms and collapses on the floor of the concert stage at the TV studio.
  • The first boss fight in Metal Max Returns is an unusual version of this. The enemy is far too powerful for you to beat as early in the game as you fight it... but you lose as usual if you die. Instead, if you manage to survive for two rounds, a computer-controlled character joins the fight and will win it for you on the next round; you still get the reward for winning, but it does have some consequences in the plot.
  • The old game Might and Magic II had a monster called the MegaDragon in a location reached by Time Travel. It was undefeatable because it served a plot purpose; however, it could in fact be defeated with high level characters and non-elemental spells like Mass Distortion and Implosion. The monster showed up in weaker forms in later games in the series.
    • In Might and Magic V, there is another unbeatable boss, the Big Bad. Notably, it's not even a fight... if you enter the Big Bad's room without the Big Good in your party, BB eradicates your entire party with a wave of his hand and then you get a game over. If you do, the game goes straight to the ending cutscene of the two of them fighting it out while your party waits outside.
    • Might and Magic IX had an interesting take on the Hopeless Boss Fight, that may have actually been kind of cool if the whole game hadn't been released as a shoddy rush job. To defeat the game's Big Bad, a god of chaos named Njam the Meddler (sort of an Expy of Loki) the PCs first had to trick him into chasing them to the Tomb of a Thousand Terrors. They then had to make their way through the place, which had deadly booby traps and the most lethal monsters in the game, until they got to the final room, where they could activate a lever that would imprison Njam forever. Of course, Njam was trying to stop them the whole time, and he'd appear out of nowhere at random times. Trying to fight him was suicide, as you couldn't harm him, but if you just avoided him long enough, he'd disappear and you'd have at least a few minutes before he'd attack again.
  • The Newgrounds flash game Mobile Weapon contains an example of this. At some point in the game, you fight Fleet Commander Ariel Highwater in her mecha, Serra Superion. The mecha has ridiculous health and power and will maim your party within a few hits. However, you don't lose the game: you merely need to repair your own mechas after the battle. You'll never hear from her again. The battle actually subverts the trope - if you grind a lot of monsters to level up to maximum level and stack up on repair items before facing her, she becomes the Bonus Boss instead. She will still be, by far, the hardest boss in the game. Defeating her will not alter the plot at all, as she will just run away from you. You will, however, get a great sense of accomplishment from beating a very hard boss. Oh, and the infinity plus one grenade launcher too.
  • Monster Hunter Tri and 3 Ultimate features the Lagiacrus, who is first encountered during a basic 1-star quest to gather Monster Guts. If you went off to do online quests to get some good gear, it's possible to break off some of its parts for some drops you're not supposed to get until later, but you cannot kill or capture it.
  • Neverwinter Nights mod A Hunt Through the Dark has a dream sequence in which your character is visited by Lolth, the spider-goddess of the Drow. Talking back to her results in one of these.
    • In the Expansion Pack Shadows of Undrentide, you are expected to do a couple of quests in the Elven Crypts for the spirit of an elven hero. If you complain even once about this (something fairly innocuous along the lines of "Oh great, more fighting...", when rebutting other characters in much stronger terms just scold you before carrying on), he takes mortal offense and attacks you. At the level you're expected to be at (around three at most), you will die.
  • Played for Laughs in Nocturne: Rebirth, where it's possible to anger one of the Developer's Room NPCs enough for them to sic three invincible rabbits on you, who will proceed to spam the Final Boss's Limit Break until you die.
  • The Paper Mario series has a few:
    • In the first game, both times you fight Bowser. The first time, at the beginning of the game, is to show off that he has the Star Rod. The second time, as the final boss, he's a Hopeless Boss Fight until after a long cutscene grants you the ability you need to be able to damage him again.
    • Also in the first game, Tubba Blubba. He's completely immune to your attacks until you expose his secret.
    • In Chapter 3 of the second game, you can't beat the Iron Clefts the first time you fight them, not even with techniques that normally work on their species. After they beat you, you get a new party member, a Yoshi, who comes with an ability that can damage them.
    • Finally, in Chapter 4 of the second game, you have multiple encounters with a ghost who has stolen your identity (don't ask). Until you discover his name, you can't hurt him, fortunately, unlike most examples in the series, he can't hurt you either. His name is the same every time, but interestingly enough the same place you find his name is the same place you find the missing letter in the name-entering screen. This is done on purpose, because he asks you to guess his name earlier in the game, but people who have already played (or read a guide) know his name when Mario shouldn't. So they removed a letter from the name-entering screen so whether you know his name or not, you can't enter it until you find out his name in-game. Trying to cheat by replacing the missing letter with its uppercase counterpart is the same as not entering the right name, too - you have to go on with the game like normal.
    • The Shadow Queen is basically invincible until Peach intervenes.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 4: The fight with Shadow Rise mixes this with Bait-and-Switch Boss. Halfway through the fight, Shadow Rise begins to "scan" your party, becoming immune to all your attacks in the process. Teddie unleashes a Desperation Attack to save you, leading to Rise acquiring her Persona. It then becomes apparent that the actual boss in this dungeon is really Shadow Teddie.
    • In Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, there are the FOEs. There are overpowered shadows found in every dungeon that can't be killed when you first meet them, so you have to run away from them (Mission Control suggests this at the start of every FOE fight). Anyway, by the end of each dungeon you should be strong enough to even kill the FOEs of this dungeon, but they're still tough enemies. Also, if you tackle the game on Risky difficulty, FOE battles cannot be escaped from. Ambushed by one and not leveled high enough to beat it? Better reload...
    • Persona 5:
      • The initial fight against Shadow Nejima in Mementos, as your attacks will always miss him due to arcade cheater Yoshikuni Nejima's belief that he's invincible. However you must trigger this battle to start the Tower Confidant and use a skill received from said confidant to defeat him.
      • The first fight against The Holy Grail is unwinnable, as it will constantly heal itself.
      • In the finale, you get a preview of the Bonus Boss fight against Caroline and Justine. Unfortunately, they'll automatically reduce you to 1 hp in two turns, ending the battle.
      • In Royal, the true final boss's third form takes damage from attacks but has infinite hitpoints so their health never decreases. You have to hold out until Futaba can find its weakness. It's actually a Zero-Effort Boss because it only has two attacks and they leave the target with 1 hp regardless.
  • Phantasy Star:
    • Phantasy Star I has what initially seems to be a Hopeless Boss Fight with the "Saccubus", a monster that appears once you fall asleep in the Governer's Mansion and quickly decimates your party at normal levels. Fortunately, it was All Just a Dream. With a bit of Level Grinding, however, it's entirely possible to take down the Saccubus - earning the reward of one single meseta. This fight actually serves as a guide for the party's strength. If Saccubus wins easily, the party is underleveled. If the battle is drawn-out and it seems either side could win, the party is at the right level. If the party wins easily, they're overleveled.
    • Phantasy Star II has the security robots that come to arrest you. Even if you use a cheating device to defeat them, Script Breaking happens and you can't progress through the plot.
    • Phantasy Star IV:
      • Zio the Black Magician, can't be defeated due to his Magic Barrier, although further into the game you collect an item that will disable the barrier.
      • Also, the carnivorous trees on Dezolis, which are used to block progress until you have the Eclipse Torch. They are unbeatable in that they will continually respawn forever. When they are approached with the Eclipse Torch in your inventory, though, they are instantly destroyed, without a fight.
  • In the Pokémon series:
    • Pokémon Black and White, Pokémon X and Y, Pokémon Sun and Moon, and Pokémon Sword and Shield have variants of this. The battle is hopeless for the boss; fainting it, it fainting all your mons, or running out of balls would just delay the capture of the mascot legendary. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire have a similar variant, but rather than the usual mascot legendary, it's done with Rayquaza instead.
    • Pokémon Sword and Shield has you fight against the mascot legendary (which at that time is identified only as ???) early in the game as you head deep into the Slumbering Weald after you get your starter. Your moves will have no affect on it, you can't catch it, and you can't run away, plus it has an unknown level and just stands there waiting for you to pointlessly attack it until the fog completely covers everything and the legendary disappears with you, your Pokémon, and Hop lying unconscious on the forest ground in the aftermath. The later battle against Eternatus during the game's climax subverts it; your attacks will have no affect on it for the first three turns of the fight, just like your first encounter with the mascot legendary, but luckily both Zacian and Zamazenta arrive on the scene to help you fight it.
    • Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, the fight against Darkrai is like this until your Capture Styler gets upgraded.
    • The fangame Pokémon Reborn plays this straight twice: first, against the supposed leader of Team Meteor atop Pyrous Mountain, and then during the fight against El and his Ditto, which has turned into an Arceus. Technically subverted should you side with Randomus for the second one, as if you do you have to win the battle to progress through the story. Actually beating either battle seems to lead to a better ending, though.
    • The fanmade browser game Pokémon Eclipse has these starting from Story 2 in the Battle Arena mode. This is indicated by the level of the opponent being at an infinity sign. The opponents range from Darkrai (until you kick the ass of Shiny Regigigas, which was the source of Darkrai's power, Story 3's Big Bad's Cresselia (with the Big Bad of Story 3 even mentioning it being fun to easily kick your ass), Celebi (who still praises your Pokémon for being strong and helps you), and Mewtwo in the Special Story Mode, which stops Mudkip's initial attempt at world domination.
    • Pokemon: Ash Gray, an adaptation of season 1 of the anime, has multiple of these.
  • Radiant Historia has one very early on. After a mission goes very, very wrong, the party are trapped by Palomides the Executioner, who proceeds to wipe out Raynie and Marco before you even get the chance to move, then knock Stocke down to 1 HP. As it turns out, the entire mission was intended as one of these from the beginning- Heiss wanted to put Stocke in a situation that would awaken the White Chronicle. It worked.
  • In Radiata Stories, the first battle (against Ridley Silverlake) is deliberately rigged for you to lose. Your attacks are woefully underpowered, while she can deal double digit damage per attack. Even if you manage to avoid getting your HP axed to zero after about one minute, Ridley will pull off her Wild Pitch special attack that instantly knocks you out, no matter how high your HP is.
  • Rakenzarn Tales has a few, but you get fair warning in getting a message either to last a certain number of turns or an optional mission to deplete a certain amount of HP for bonus stats.
  • The battle with Queen Beryl in Sailor Moon: Another Story. Her regular form is perfectly beatable, but upon defeat she transforms into Super Beryl, forcing you to fight her again, twice. During the first battle in that form she has a move that does 9999 damage to each character in your party regardless of their stats, and she almost always uses it on the first turn, sparing you from futile attempts to defeat her.
  • A few instances throughout the SaGa series:
    • In The Final Fantasy Legend, three of the worlds feature demons whose appearance signals the end of that world's plot. On the fourth level, however, the boss Su-Zaku attacks pretty much constantly — but he's Nigh-Invulnerable to (almost) all attacks. After you develop the weapon to defeat his shield, he becomes frustratingly less ubiquitous and has to be tracked down. But the One-Hit Kill Saw weapon (which is already a Game-Breaker due to a bug) can defeat Su-Zaku before then, and a character with high enough stats will have no problem slicing through his 255 defense. Doing so does not prevent his reappearance or advance the plot in any way.
    • In SaGa Frontier, the first fight of Red's game, against Shuzer, requires you to get pummeled into the dirt, so Alkarl can show up to save the day.
    • In SaGa Frontier 2, Wil Knight's team has to run away from a human transformed into a giant beast; this battle is unwinnable regardless of how much level grinding you do. (You can, however, challenge it again if you so choose.) In an earlier chapter, Wil's team fights against two dragons which will kill you under normal conditions, then one of your allies will get back up and commit a Heroic Sacrifice, killing the two dragons and healing the party. If you don't have that specific ally in your party, you lose the fight for good.
    • Romancing SaGa has this with the Diamond Fatestone. It is possible to win, but very hard considering your levels at the time you talk to Schiele the final time, especially on New Game+ where even after talking to her once after clearing the event in prior playthroughs, the event will trigger.
  • In Salt and Sanctuary, the very first boss you encounter, the Unspeakable Deep, will casually one-shot the player (unless they're wearing the starting equipment set for the Paladin class), causing the ship they're on to sink. The boss is technically able to be killed, but it takes a ton of skill and effort to bring it down because of how powerful it's attacks are. Succeeding results in the same thing happening, but with the player getting a large amount of salt and a rare, high-end weapon upgrade material that can otherwise only be acquired once per playthrough.
  • Shadow Hearts series:
    • Koudelka:
      • Early on Disc 2, you may choose to grab the Key from Valna and Vigna (the two little girl mummies) without having their dolls (accessible later in the game). None of your attacks will have any effect and you'll be forced to escape unless you want to die.
      • At the very end of Disc 2, while you're in the Church Nave area, a Gargoyle appears and manages to separate Koudelka from Edward and James. A fight begins, but none of Koudelka's attacks reach the target. The only way is to escape and, optionally, take it on later when reunited with your friends.
    • The first Shadow Hearts:
      • The very first battle against Roger Bacon. It is possible for Yuri to deal damage to him, but after three turns, Bacon stops holding back and casts a spell that does more than enough damage to kill Yuri several times over.
      • And very soon thereafter, you have the first encounter with Fox Face. And all subsequent encounters, really: Fox Face is unstoppable, and you have to run away from him. Even when you do finally manage to defeat Fox Face, he's replaced with the four masks of malice, who are likewise unstoppable until a certain point.
  • Shin Megami Tensei:
    • In Digital Devil Saga, there's the Jailer, a Horse like demon that is scary as hell. until you weaken him by replacing his normal supply of canned fifteen year old with rotten meat. He'll use Black Bind which renders the party immobile and ends the battle.
    • From Shin Megami Tensei IV, there is Xi Wangmu in Ikebukuro, who subverts this trope. At first, all of your attacks do only 1 HP of damage, even Critical Hits and exploiting her elemental weaknesses. Only after the Ring of Gaea intervenes, gets curbstomped, and makes a final stand from inside her stomach does she finally feel pain and lose her steel-hard defenses, leaving her open to take actual damage.
    • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux has the first few bouts with Alex. The first time you fight her, she beats you into ground meat, and only Demeter Ex Machina saves your sorry ass. The next couple of times, you are allowed to put up something of a fight, but the game still clearly expects you to run for your life. It's only when Amon softens her up for you in the Third Sphere of the Womb of Grief that you're able to actually drive her off with your own power.
  • Skies of Arcadia:
    • Both Galcian and Ramirez will have 9.999.999 HP when fought at any point besides their final appearances, and they cast Sacrulen to fully heal themselves. The correct options are, respectively, to outrun Galcian and surrender to Ramirez when given the choice.
    • Also, the Red Gigas is completely invincible when you fight him, forcing you to just survive until a scripted event. The Green Gigas does have a limited life bar, but such a ridiculously high HP count that the game expects you to immobilize him instead. However, neither fight actually requires that you lose, making these a borderline case. The Red Gigas takes damage but it's just that he has such ludicrously high HP that after multiple Harpoon Cannons and combination attacks using torpedoes, subcannons, and main cannons, he's taken just enough damage to his health that the difference is actually visible. Similarly, there is an odd glitch when facing the Green Gigas the first time, which prevented the immobilization from taking place, and as such had to knock his HP to zero to kill him. The immobilization cutscene occurrs anyway.
  • Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood: The first battles with the Gizoid Centurions and Prefect Charyb in Chapter 10, with the Centurions having a shield and Charyb being fought underwater where he has a massive advantage. The party is split up into two, and after one team starts to take on these almost invincible bosses, you get a cut scene of losing after three turns of survival (losing in the first three turns gets you a standard Game Over). After this, the action cuts back to the other team, which does something to neutralize the enemy's Nigh-Invulnerability shields and drain the water. You want to focus on restoring your own health and PP, though, because when the battle resumes, you'll be at whatever status you were at the end of the previous battle.
  • The second Spectrobes game, Beyond The Portals, wants you to lose the first fight gainst the Dark Spectrobes. They have a lot more HP, ATK and DEF than your Spectrobes, but just in case that's not enough their HP can't go below 1.
  • Spandex Force, being a superhero parody, takes it to the extreme with a level 100 clone of your character which has 9999 hit points and a single attack called Ultimate Blitz, the description of which states simply "DON'T GET HIT!"
  • Star Ocean: The Second Story has several of them.
    • Dias during the Tournament of Arms finale. He is invincible and will take off a set percentage of Claude's HP with each strike, meaning you'll die in a few attacks no matter how strong you are.
    • At the Lacour Front Line, you'll face a monster called Shin that is also immune to all attacks. The goal is simply to keep your team alive for about one full minute. Afterwards, the fight will end automatically. A short time later, you'll face Shin again, and he is again invincible. The only difference is that to proceed with the game, you have to let him kill you this time.
    • The first battles against Metatron (Shigeo) and Zaphkiel (Marsilio), members of the Ten Wise Man, are hopeless because their shields makes them immune to your attacks.
    • In the optional Cave of Trials, you'll encounter a monster called the Weirdbeast on the fifth level. This monster is a Hopeless Boss Fight at first, unable to be killed by your team. To proceed with the dungeon, you must run from the fight, and explore the rest of the floor until you find a weapon called the Weird Slayer. True to its name, the Weird Slayer will destroy the Weirdbeast in a single blow (as well as any other creature with the word Weird in its name). The first Weird Beast fight is technically not hopeless, but the Weird Beast only every takes 1 damage from an attack and has over 800,000 HP. You can kill it with the "Medusa Shield" and "Bubbly Potion" and such are all legitimate since they were used the way they were meant to be used. Either way, they are still fairly difficult to pull off.
  • In the PC version of the famous D&D adventure Temple of Elemental Evil, an evil god by the name of Iuz will suddenly join a battle which your party would've (by this stage of the game) been able to win reasonably well. Iuz has a VERY large number of hit points, and can easily kill a healthy barbarian in a couple of strikes. The idea is to try to avoid getting your entire team slaughtered (which can happen very quickly), until a couple of turns later another god shows up. At this point, everyone in the team is resurrected, as are the enemies, the two gods disappear, and the whole fight starts over from scratch. In other words, you're expected to try to survive for as long as you can. Surprisingly, there are actually people who've defeated the god, and the designers even added an extra "achievement" reward which is acknowledged in the endgame slideshow. Good luck though, it is extremely difficult.
  • The first Rival battle in temtem plays out this way, as Max's Digital-type Temtem is strong against all three potential starters.
  • Happens at least twice in a row in Three the Hard Way, against Benson and Mauldin. In the first encounter, Benson pulls a Death Technique that almost killed the protagonist, and in the second encounter, Mauldin uses a Sleep spell on the party before escaping. Unlike most examples, however, the story will only progress when they defeat you with the aforementioned technique. If they defeat you normally, you will get a game over.
  • In Trillion: God of Destruction, the fight against the titular boss in the prologue is impossible to win, even with the recently-killed Astaroth lending Zeabolos the remains of his power. Trillion does, after all, start out with 1 trillion HP, so your time throughout the game will be spent training the other Overlords to be strong enough to grind down its HP little by little and stand a fighting chance to save their underworld from almost-certain destruction.
    • In addition, the first battle against Mokujin (a wooden robot constructed to mimic Trillion's powers and moveset), is also impossible to win. After a set number of turns, it blasts you with Final Miasma, which kills you instantly. When you fight it again during the second cycle, it starts out with a more reasonable power level.
    • After this, Trillion is technically killable in all further engagements. Your first, second, and probably third and fourth Overlord choices are doomed anyway. Trillion is just that powerful, and killing it is not a one-person job. Your Overlords can only face it alone, and only retreat so many times. The inevitable happens, and the survivors have to keep trying.
      • New Game+ can make it possible for your first or second Overlord to kill Trillion, but even then it requires smart playing and a fair bit of luck to acquire certain skills.
  • The Game Maker Unlimited Adventures allows you to make one of these by providing a "Party Never Dies" option for combats, meaning that losing the combat doesn't end the game and all player characters are restored to 1 HP afterwards. Actually, there's no option to check whether or not the party has indeed lost the fight, meaning that the designer should ensure that the enemies are indeed strong enough to wipe the floor with the party.
  • Undertale:
    • The game toys with the fourth wall to provide an inversion in one path. YOU are the hopeless boss fight - as in you, the player. The final boss of the Genocide route, Sans, is entirely aware of your ability to reload the game, should you lose, so he knows he has no real chance of beating you outright. The only thing he can do is making the fight so difficult, you give up and stop playing the game. And boy does he try.
    • Also inverted with Omega Flowey. While he is a big, scary, Eldritch Abomination who gleefully invokes The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You, if you stick with it long enough, you'll find that the boss fight is very generous with its save points, and you really can't lose.
    • Another inversion comes in the other path. It's impossible to LOSE against the final boss of the Pacifist Route, Asriel Dreemurr, as much as he tries to convince you otherwise. No matter what Asriel does, or how many times you're brought down to 0 HP, Determination keeps you going.
    • A variation occurs in the Pacifist run with Undyne. She refuses to listen to your attempts to spare her, so all you can do is run away until she chases you into a Lethal Lava Land and passes out from the heat.
    • From a Neutral run perspective, Mettaton is completely invincible in his first two encounters and he isn't exactly "spared" so much as he leaves and runs away from your new yellow Soul Mode, respectively. In the third encounter, it turns out his taking damage from the Shooter Mode was only part of an act. Eventually, you have to trick him into turning around, then flip a switch to get him into the more vulnerable Mettaton EX. From here is a more "traditional" boss by the game's standards, where you can properly fight or spare him. His "Check" descriptions lampshade this:
      His metal body renders him invulnerable to attack.
      His metal body STILL renders him invulnerable to attack.
      Seriously, his metal body is invulnerable!
    • Napstablook is a variation. The ghost takes damage when attacked, but once the player has beaten them, they will simply confess that they voluntarily lowered their HP to make the player feel happy. Since they're already a ghost and can't be attacked or killed to begin with.
    • The Mad Dummy can't be attacked by the Player and mercilessly mocks them for that as well. Even their description notes how attacks are useless. Ironically, the Dummy attacks with magic missles and those can damage them. In the end, Mad Dummy gets chased away by Napstablook's magic tears. Apart from getting the Dummy's own attacks to hit them, all you can do is survive until Napsablook shows up.
  • Valkyrie Profile gives one either the option of immediately attacking the King of the Vampires, Brahms; or listening to what he has to say. Plot-wise for the Best Ending you should listen to him. Fighting usually results in him kicking your butt and scolding you which results in a decrease in the Karma Meter. However, if you actually beat him, the game just ignores that the battle ever happened (although you do get the karma bonus). And if you get the "C" ending, Freya comes down and kicks your ass.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines the default solution to the werewolf level is to simply outrun the thing until the timer runs down. But technically you can defeat it by getting it to crush itself in the observatory doors, but this approach is difficult to pull off even if you've been consulting walkthroughs.
  • Wandering Hamster has this trope in the form of Ghost Broaste, who you cannot kill until you find the worthless weapon, his old Teddy-Bear.
  • Wild ARMs:
    • Wild ARMs: Alter Code F downplays this. After a few turns, the unwinnable battle automatically ends — either just closing, or with your party being instantly wiped out — but you still get EXP from the encounter based on how much damage you managed to deal first, so it's still a good idea to go all out.
    • Wild ARMs 4: Gawn attacks deal 9.999 damage, so you have to survive for a few turns before the battle ends.
    • Wild ARMs 5 pulls this each time the party meets a new Sentinel. The game doesn't even pretend to be fair during these battles: any attacks against your opponent automatically fail (with an explict "No Effect!" message) and analysing the enemy reveals that you gain no experience points for a victory. There are subversions, like the first Golem the human characters fight or the first battle with the Ice Queen.
  • In Winged Warrior III, the player is not supposed to be able to defeat the Nova Knight during the first encounter. It's possible to beat him after a lot of grinding at the training center, in which case the game will act up.
  • In The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings the player must complete a regular boss fight versus two assassins, which ends once one of them killed. In order to get information from the dead man the player must then participate in a necromantic ritual that allows him them relive the assassin's memories. The memory plays all the way out to the same boss fight, but from the point of view of the dead assassin. Since this result of the fight is a Foregone Conclusion the player is only allow to do Scratch Damage in order to make the battle hopeless. If the player does somehow manage to deal significant damage then the memory simply ends early.
  • In The World Ends with You:
    • The fights with Reaper Beat and the Trance Rhino (a Taboo Noise) may feel hopeless the first time through, but cut off after a certain amount of time regardless of who's winning. But if you die before that, the Game Over is for real.
    • The battle against Taboo Minamimoto feels hopeless as well, as it typically ends with your defeat. However, if you are defeated too quickly, you receive a Game Over instead of the cutscene that follows.
    • In a New Game+, both Reaper Beat and Taboo Minamimoto appear as Blue Noise symbols and can be fought in optional, standard battles.
    • And you'll probably fight them over and over. If not for the satisfaction for kicking their asses, then for the sweet pins they drop that you'll need for some of the more useful stickers.
  • Quite a few of these show up in Xenoblade, and they'll end if everyone gets KO'd, a certain amount of time passes, or if you cause enough damage to the boss. In the latter two situations, the boss will simply send everyone flying with a special attack to end the fight. Their HP also simply stops decreasing once it reaches the "You lose" threshold, so you can't win even on a New Game+, where you could realistically OHKO some of them otherwise.
    • A notable example pits your party against two bosses, with one 5 levels stronger than the other, and probably too strong for your party to defeat at the time, forcing you to choose the weaker boss instead. Defeating either boss moves the plot forward, but complicating matters is the fact that the weaker boss is Meyneth/Fiora, who is being controlled by Egil and doesn't want to fight you. On a New Game+ or with sufficient Level Grinding, however, you can wail on the stronger boss with no problems.
  • Xenogears:
    • Id and his invincible Gear show up to beat the party into the ground a couple times.
    • Followed closely by an impromptu fighting test culminating in a Hopeless Boss Fight against eventual party member Rico. Even if you do use a Gameshark, you still can't win. After beating down Rico (which takes a while - he has about 65,535 HP, give or take) the game simply continues as if you'd lost!
    • Alpha Weltall is a boss you aren't supposed to beat either, but some crafty and Crazy-Prepared players have beaten him, and do so as a sport. Since it does have a drop if you have the Trader's Card (The "Slayer's Robe") it seems the writers had some idea it was possible.
  • Subverted in Xenosaga in the first fight with Margulis. The fight is very doable even without grinding as long as you counter his gimmick, and while the game continues if you lose, the cutscene afterwards is ambiguous enough that it makes sense whether you beat him or not. Either he has you on the ropes, or you fought him to a standstill; either way, Ziggy creates a distraction with explosives he placed earlier and makes an escape.
  • YIIKA Postmodern RPG most infamously has all fights against Proto-Alex. The first fight has him eventually One-Hit Kill every party member one by one, while in the latter he simply can't be brought down to 0 HP. The player eventually defeats him outside of combat by pulling two levers directly behind him. Keep in mind that this basically means that every climactic Final Boss battle in the game is unwinnable.
  • Ys:
    • In Ys: The Oath in Felghana, the first battle with Nicholas Garland is unwinnable. His shield simply cannot be broken, no matter how much damage you pile on it. The only option is losing. Of course, the second fight is perfectly winnable.
    • In Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys, Keith Fact is possessed and turned against you, and the only way to proceed is to be beaten.
    • In Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim, the secret room that contains the Eldian Orb, which is a Guide Dang It! to reach, is guarded by a innocent-looking goldfish-type miniboss called Majunun. Unless you really max out your experience(which takes forever, since in the higher levels all enemies only give 1 EXP), you have no chance at defeating it. In fact, its attacks will One-Hit Kill you at the level you are at when you can first reach the room.
  • Zettai Hero Project plays with this trope: at the start of the game, you, a wimpy kid, end up becoming the Unlosing Ranger after the previous Unlosing Ranger is killed in a hit-and-run accident. You go to fight the Big Bad, but get the snot kicked out of you. The story of the game is undergoing Training from Hell so that the Hopeless Boss Fight becomes not-so-hopeless. Like any other Nippon Ichi game, actually winning any of these fights results in a Non Standard Game Over, either because of the main character's lack of Character Development, or because a Disgaea character decides it's time to make a cameo. And then of course there's the fact that you just killed Darkdeath...

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