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Battleship Raid

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Five bucks says the ship crashes.note 

"WARNING! A huge battleship, [ship name], is approaching fast."

This happens when a boss isn't just big, but forms the focus of an entire section of the level, playing the part of both scenery, boss, and sometimes also Mini-Boss. It can be considered largely as a thematic way of tying a sequence of opponents and obstacles together using a common theme.

This type of Boss is usually a Damage-Sponge Boss and a Marathon Boss; defeating it is rarely easy.

In scrolling shooters, the path will usually loop around the boss, past various gun turrets, Mook Makers and other dangers, before leading to the core, command centre or similar. The boss might at first be seen in the background, before flying on-screen.

If the game has a common Boss Battle Theme, it may play throughout the whole level, or come in near the end, cuing the player that it's time to take the whole thing down.

Compare Colossus Climb, Level in Boss Clothing and Stationary Boss. For a related cinematic trope, see Standard Establishing Spaceship Shot.


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  • The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon: The Destroyer is a Rock Monster so big that its boss battle takes place entirely on, around and within its body. While it has a health bar, it isn't fought conventionally — it doesn't even move — but is treated as a level, with damage caused only by passive environmental hazards as Spyro and Cynder fly and climb around its mountain-sized bulk to track down and smash all the dark crystals keeping it alive, before flying down its throat to find and destroy its heart.

    Flight Sims 
  • From the beginning of the series, Ace Combat has numerous large aircraft and/or airships bristling with weaponry to take down.
  • Vector Thrust boasts a collection of flying superweapons covered in CIWS and air-to-air missile launchers to take down, including the EOS-01 Ziz, a traditional flying wing design and the more radical Pesanta chemical warfare platform.
  • Rogue Squadron II opens with an attack on the Death Star, consisting of fighting gun turrets, fighters, and then a final trench run. It ends with taking out the second Death Star's reactor.
    • And then there's the two missions where you must destroy Star Destroyers, one of which has you destroying two of them.
    • Rogue Squadron III has you killing Super Star Destroyers, including the Executor, the only Super Star Destroyer to appear in the movies.
  • X-Wing Alliance's final missions have you take the Millennium Falcon into battle against the second Death Star, and the very last mission, you get to go inside, just like the movie.
    • X-Wing vs TIE Fighter, and its expansion, Balance of Power had scenarios built around this premise: Turkey Shoots. Pretty much every class of capital ship would hyperspace in one at a time starting with Corvettes, with the idea being to slaughter each ship before tackling the next, bigger ship. Balance of Power's Turkey Shoot culminated with you and your squadron, fatigued from everything that had come before, attempting to take down a Super Star Destroyer.
  • Discovery Freelancer can now have the player be on the receiving end of one of these.
  • Freespace is famous for having truly enormous warships that utterly dwarf the player's fighter. The crowning example here is the six kilometer long Sathanas-class juggernaut, so huge that humanity's own Fenris-class cruisers can fit in its fighterbay! Generally, unless you're flying a bomber armed with antimatter torpedos (and even then it can take a while), these warships are near-impossible to take down on your own, and your job is to disable their turrets and Wave Motion Guns so your own warships can tackle them.
  • Any mission in which you had to attack an enemy zeppelin in Crimson Skies counts.
  • IL-2 Sturmovik has both literal (in Pacific Fighters) and figurative examples (attacking large bomber squadrons, etc.).

    First Person Shooter 
  • Breed have it's final level when you force your way into the Breed's mothership. By this point your weapons are fully upgraded with maximum firepower, and you easily mow down waves and waves of Breed soldiers, One-Man Army-style.
  • Haze's entire final level consists of an attack on a giant tracked Land Carrier, first outside, then inside and finally onto the deck and into the bridge tower.
  • The final level of Medal of Honor: Rising Sun has Griffin, the Player Character, Tanaka, and Bromley, infiltrate, raid, and sabotage a Japanese aircraft carrier.
  • Call of Duty has a literal battleship raid, in which your character and Captain Price needed to infiltrate the Tirpitz to sabotage it.
  • Battlefield 2142's Titan dropships are Airborne Aircraft Carriers that can be sabotaged for instant victory.
    • Battlefield4 does this with aircraft carriers.
    • Battlefield 1's "Nothing Is Written" campaign climaxes with a fight against a heavily-armoured Ottoman train.
  • Halo:
    • In Halo: Reach's "Long Night of Solace", you raid and destroy both a Covenant corvette and supercarrier.
    • Halo: Combat Evolved has Master Chief raid a Covenant battlecruiser twice, first to rescue Captain Keyes, and again to retrieve his neural implants.
  • Titanfall 2's mission "The Ark" takes place entirely in the sky over a swath of jungles and mountains, with a Militia ship detachment chasing down an IMC transport vessel before it can reach its destination. You must move between smaller and larger ships in the air, moving up and disabling turrets on the escorting ships so the fleet can catch up to the transport without being shot down. It even ends with a boss fight against a flying Titan while standing on the outer deck of an IMC cruiser.
  • Unreal Tournament 2004 has AS-Mothership, where attackers have to board the Skaarj Mothership and destroy its reactor core.

    Role Playing Games 
  • This trope is a staple of the Final Fantasy games:
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • The final boss of Kingdom Hearts merges with an absolutely enormous Heartless for his final form, and the player has to take it apart piece-by-piece before they can finish him.
    • Kingdom Hearts II does this in two of the Gummi Ship levels and, again, the Final Boss. The first Gummi Ship version centers around a flying Heartless pirate-ship... blasting off its huge arsenal of different cannons and such takes up a lot of time, and towards the end, you have a chance at destroying it entirely - you don't HAVE to, but it's worth a buttload of points. Then there's Assault of the Dreadnaught, where you take on an even bigger Nobody ship, even flying inside it and blasting at the core.
  • Shadow Master have the level, "Dreadnaught", with you raiding the titular villain's Space Base and battling your way across hordes and hordes of enemies to reach his inner headquarters.
  • This happens several times in Skies of Arcadia, and fittingly so since the game's about Sky Pirates.
  • Though you don't actually fight it, and play no direct role in its destruction, Herakles from Tales of Vesperia counts.
  • The final area of Xenogears takes place within Deus after it has grown to roughly the size of a mountain.
  • In MapleStory, one of the bosses, Krexel, is a giant tree that makes up the whole map. You fight it by standing on its roots.
  • The entirety of Fallout 3's Mothership Zeta consists of trashing a starship, killing most of its crew, and then using its Wave-Motion Gun to fry another mothership. Mostly by yourself.
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 has two boss battles involving battleships.
    • One is against the Tunnels boss, Big Vardha: a gargantuan land-based battleship armed with missiles, beam cannons, and the top half of a giant robot.
    • Another is Phantom Warship Yamato, fought only in the Emergency Quest "Unleashed Prestige". The first half of the battle involves fighting across a frozen sea towards the battleship in order to disable its guns. Once the ship takes flight, the rest of the battle is fought using ARKS Interception Silhouettes.
  • In the .hack games, Cubia usually ends up like this. In the R1 games, he starts out as just "giant monster" sized, but by the fourth and final game he's become so huge he's basically a level in and of himself. In .hack//G.U. the entire final dungeon is within Cubia's body, with the Final Boss being his core essence.
  • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV, the heroes need to raid a battleship from The Empire and destroy the generator emitting a barrier to open the way for the shrine to have the Divine Knight showdown.
  • In Rogue Galaxy, the Final Boss is this: Valkog, his lackeys, and his battleship are all horribly fused together into a monstrous Demon Battleship. All eight of the player characters have to split up to take out its individual parts.

    Shoot Em Ups 
  • The second stage of Cloud Cutter ends with a lengthy raid on an enemy aircraft carrier, where you pilot your eponymous jet to shoot down enemy aircraft, destroy the carrier's turrets and defenses, before blowing up the whole thing.
  • Gorf, from The Golden Age of Video Games, is the Trope Maker, with the final level before the game levels up and resets involves a confrontation with the enemy flagship.
    • Likewise, Zaxxon, from the same era, consists entirely of attacking surface installations on a giant enemy vessel.
  • Stage 3 of most games in the R-Type series is taken up by a fight with a giant battleship, or several in some cases. In fact, the third stage of R-Type Final just happens to be called "Battleship Raid".
    • And parodied in the Konami shooter Parodius - half an entire level based around a battleship with giant Moai heads wearing sunglasses (and named, in the English language versions anyway, "Captain Kebab").
    • X Multiply, another shooter by IREM similar to R-Type but set into a human body, features in stage 2 a fight against not a battleship, but, given the organic nature of the enemies, some kind of huge monstrosity with a detachable almost-human head that becomes the true boss of the stage.
  • Ikaruga's fourth stage consists entirely of the approach and engagement of the gigantic flying fortess Misago.
  • Gradius Series:
    • Stage 4 of Salamander 2 pits the player(s) against a fleet of invincible battleships before taking on the stage boss, a Tetran variant named Tenny Rop.
    • The second stage of Gradius V has the Vic Viper T-301 going against a Bacterian battleship from the inside. You actually run through a mirror version of said battleship in the final stage of the game, minus the boss rush after destroying Venom's eyes, since the game ends immediately on that.
    • Nemesis III has a small one with the boss fight against Queensryche, where after destroying its head, the player must carefully fly into its cavity from the rear and destroy the turrets inside said cavity before reaching and destroying the final core, which opens into a section with a final boss fight with Gofer once and for all.
  • Steel Empire (Empire of Steel in Europe) features two levels over half of which are taken up by four giant bosses: in Sky District Zektor, it's the Empire's Floating Fortress and one of their Aero Gunships, while in Damd City it's two Gunships. In a row.
  • Bio-Hazard Battle had the sixth stage, a space shuttle... Or so it seemed, as its organic interior started getting exposed as its weaponry took damage.
  • In Star Fox 64, the battle on Katina is focused entirely on defeating a vast flying saucer with four Mook Makers and a central core. It's one-upped by Bolse, a defence station so huge the entire level is set on one side of it. Also the boss on Macbeth; that level was titled "The Forever Train" for a reason.
    • Earlier in Star Fox, the Space Armada level has several Battleship Raid sequences, with the last pretty much a reference to Return of the Jedi.
    • Star Fox 2 gives you the ability to fly into Andross' battleships that he deploys, destroying the core on the inside.
    • Sector Z has a tougher version of that boss, and another based around the Great Fox. Only that this time, you don't attack, you defend.
  • More or less the entire point of Uridium.
  • Great Battleship (Stage IV) in Thunder Cross.
  • In Abadox and Sidewinder 2 this trope is extended to the entire game being one gigantic boss.
  • Z-Out's final level was a giant living alien battleship.
  • Usually every iteration of the Panzer Dragoon series has a stage or two comprised of nothing but huge airships which were usually the boss or sub-boss of a previous stage. They've been debuffed for your convenience, however.
  • UN Squadron featured two such levels, one an actual battleship, the other a land carrier.
    • The final stage of the obscure arcade original (and the SNES version) pits you against a multiple-screen battleship.
    • The Spiritual Successor, Carrier Air Wing, featured a battle against several warships that conclude with fighting a large battleship, a drydocked carrier, and a battle against a fortress, with the final stage being to take down a massive rocket, a space shuttle attached to the rocket carrying a Kill Sat, and finally the Satellite itself. There was also a level where you blew up a regular fortress, but it played the same way.
  • The first two games in the Strikers 1945 series both feature giant airships attacked from tail to nose, with both unfolding to deploy gun batteries and other weapon systems. The first game also has an actual waterborne (as opposed to "fling") battleship boss, while the second has an aircraft carrier.
  • The Aero Fighters series features this too, perhaps the most notable being a battleship-helicopter carrier that appears in a quite dramatic way ramming and destroying a smaller vessel.
  • Metal Slug 4 features a battle against the multi-screen gondola of a giant airship.
    • The second half of the final mission in Metal Slug 3 is effectively one of these, taking you through the Rugname, the Martians' mothership. Once you escape with whichever character was taken captive, Rootmars, the Final Boss, attempts revenge by latching on to your Metal Slug and mind-storming you to death.
  • Spider-Man: The Movie had a level where you fight an automated Humongous Mecha inside an OsCorp research facility. It's the size of a small oceangoing warship.
  • In Mushihime Sama, the third stage is spent destroying an entire (insectoid) battleship piece by piece.
  • Similarly, you do the same in the 5th mission of Phalanx.
  • Terminal Velocity (1995) has the Moon Dagger level. It's not so much a giant space battleship, as an extremely giant planet-killing cruise missile with self-defense capability and an escort fleet. You kill it on it's way to Earth.
  • In the Darius series, we have Darius Gaiden 's aptly-named Titanic Lance, who is six screens long, and G-Darius 's Queen Fossil, who is so huge that you destroy her section by section. "Huge Battleships" indeed. The latter is unusual in that in G-Darius, you normally decide a sub-route partway through the level; in Queen Fossil's stage, you decide it at the start of her boss battle, and that determines what side you dismantle her from.
    • Don't forget her twin counterpart battleship, Fire Fossil.
  • The 1942 series had several battleship raids, generally against actual battleships, with the occasional aircraft carrier.
  • The final stage of the third chapter of Tyrian pits the player against an entire warfleet. Most of the capital ships are immune to fire, and serve as scenery. You have to weave between them, avoiding or destroying turrets and fighter escorts while you head for the flagship.
    • Likewise, the last stage of Axelay includes several large enemy ships with turrets and bridges that can be destroyed, and you fly between them, all the while taking out smaller fighters buzzing around them. Then you enter the mothership...
  • Thunder Force III. After clear all five planets, the sixth stage pits the player against the Cerberus battleship. Another Cerberus appears in IV and once more in VI.
    • In Thunder Force VI there's a whole stage of battleships.
  • The Death And Return of Superman used this to play out a scene in the comic storyline where Superboy had to stop a missile flying towards Metropolis.
  • Obscure Macross shoot-em-up, Macross: Scrambled Valkyrie, features an entire stage fighting against a single enormous battleship. The stage boss, though, is a different aircraft.
  • Stage 2 of Space Megaforce.
  • Several bosses (especially Phase 2) in Chaos Field, which is also a Boss Game.
  • The vast majority of Stage 3 in RefleX is spent fighting ZODIAC Sagittarius, an absolutely gigantic battleship, as well as what amounts to an entire battle fleet.
  • The second stage of E.D.F.: Earth Defense Force subverts this. Halfway through, the music briefly stops as if a boss is going to show up, then a giant Airborne Aircraft Carrier appears, but the music changes back to normal, indicating that this is not the boss. When you reach the front end of the carrier, it launches the real boss.
  • The Sega Master System game Bomber Raid did this for all its bosses.
  • In Robo Aleste, Stage 3 spends quite a while hovering over a long train plowing its way through a snowy landscape. The airship in Stage 5 is another example.
  • The (literal) Battleship boss in Heavy Weapon is a miniature variant, it has destructible gun turrets, but the main weak spot is the control tower.
  • Stage 4 of Sol-Feace is based around an enemy battleship "approaching fast!"
  • Played straight with the six boss of the game Blazing Star, a huge space battleship.
  • The arcade game USAAF Mustang played this trope twice: first with a Japanese submarine that launched missiles while submerged (something that in Real Life did not exist, at least in World War II and in the Imperial Japanese Navy) and later with the also Japanese battleship Yamato.
  • The Final Boss battle of the Sega Light Gun Game LA Machineguns.
  • The first Stage 6 midboss of Sin and Punishment 2 is a massive submarine that rises from the lava. Before you fight it, you slowly fly around it while picking off the various enemies and turrets that line the outside, before finally fighting the sub afterwards. Later, the final stage has you attacking the Nebulox's battleship.
  • Lightning Fighters has this for the fourth boss fight.
  • In Thunder Blade, the final part of every stage but the last has your helicopter doing a slow bombing run on a large enemy craft: at sea in the first stage, on land in the second stage, and in the air in the third stage. The final level of Super Thunder Blade has you take out a non-mobile enemy base in the same manner.
  •  In Avenger for the PC Engine, Mission 1 includes a short section where you fly over a battleship and take out its turrets. This pretty much ends when the Humongous Mecha boss detaches itself from the ship.
  • Raiden Fighters has one each (excluding Jet). Either Stage 3 or 6 gives you one, and one of them is also a Traintop Battle.
  • Raiden V's fifth stage is a raid on a giant version of the recurring battleship boss from previous games. Then there's the giant space station boss of Stage 7.
  • Superlative Night Dreams: Cotton Rock 'n' Roll has the Blue Sky stage, which has Cotton (or whoever you're playing as) going up against a massive airship/flying castle hybrid. Most of the stage consists of flying near the ship, destroying the turrets and enemies that it deploys, and defeating the boss at the end (which is apparently a pair of giant, flying centipedes) will lead to the ship's engine being destroyed, causing it to fall in flames.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • The PlayStation 2 game Transformers (2004) has part of a level set on an aircraft carrier. Once the control room has been found, the whole carrier transforms into Tidal Wave, a Deception. Well, this is Transformers, after all. If you've seen the show you know what's coming, but if you haven't it'll give you quite a start.
  • Transformers: War for Cybertron has two such bosses, one an Autobot and one a Decepticon, who each serve as the Final Boss and stretch over the final two missions of the opposing faction's Campaign Mode.
    • In the penultimate mission of the Decepticon campaign, Soundwave reports that he has detected a massive Autobot warship closing on the Decepticon's position. Immediately upon the ship's arrival, Megatron realizes that the ship is actually the alt-mode of Omega Supreme. Megatron, Soundwave, and Breakdown then spend the remainder of that mission trying to avoid getting killed by it, and finally return the favor in the next one.
    • In the Autobot campaign, the penultimate mission begins with the three Aerialbots, Silverbolt, Air Raid, and Jetfire, leading an aerial assault against the Decepticon space station. After getting inside the station and fighting their way through dozens upon dozens of Decepticon Mooks on their way to the control room, they realize that their entire mission has been a Colossus Climb as the station itself is the alt-mode of Trypticon. The remainder of that mission has the three Aerialbots causing Trypticon to crash-land on the surface of Cybertron, where Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Ironhide spend the entirety of the final mission battling him.
  • All of the gameplay in the Intellivision game The Dreadnaught Factor is this trope. You fly a small fighter, making several passes over a huge dreadnaught, taking out turrets, exhaust ports, etc, until you blow it up, or it reaches Earth.
  • Armored Core: For Answer: Arms Fort Spirit of Motherwill.
    • Most Arms Forts count, especially Answerer and Great Wall. Cabracan's more a straight-up Mook Maker, though.
  • Another Century's Episode 2: One mission pit player against a large submarine, with several parts like main cannons and launching catapult can be destroyed (after you get those barrier generator, of cause!).
  • Chrome Hounds: Unidentified Weapon Appears.
  • Zone of the Enders: the 2nd Runner features two versions, a pursuit of a massive train, and a mission where you take down an entire fleet of battleships.
  • Star Wars: Battlefront 2 has missions set in space where the ultimate goal is to disable the enemy's capital ship. This can be done either by hopping into a bomber and destroying key systems from the outside or by landing in the hanger bay and taking them out from the inside.
  • The final mission of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified takes place aboard the Outsider battleship/space station.
  • Vanquish's third act focuses on destroying the giant walking battle platform Kreon.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • Advance Wars: Days of Ruin has an entire mission dedicated to this, in which your army fights the opponent's army on the wing of the gargantuan Great Owl. While it's in flight.
  • An entire chapter of Disgaea: Hour of Darkness is dedicated to your group infiltrating the Battleship Gargantua.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics A2: The final boss.
  • The final battle of Fire Emblem: Awakening takes place on the Fell Dragon Grima's back. The part you actually damage is a combination of his head and his future self possessing an alternate version of the Player Character. It's complicated.
  • Inverted in Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love. The battleship/carrier in question occupies the entire battlefield, and is large enough to divide it into four areas (port, starboard, deck, and hanger). It's a rather intimidating sight, pouring AA fire just outside the actual mission area in the opening cinematic, with an elite escort covering the close-in weakpoints that its own guns can't reach. The only catch is that the ship is the Ahab, the Star Division's mothership, it's already lost two of its four engines by the time the mission starts (and the remaining two are on fire), and you're the elite escort charged with protecting it from an endless stream of mooks until you can gain enough altitude to outrun them. Good luck.
  • Valkyria Chronicles had the Marmotah, which was literally a gigantic battleship on threads, with a Wave-Motion Gun picked up along the way. The last two stages require you to have your troops try and board the ship, which serves as the entire level to fight the Final Boss.
    Largo: Up on the Marmota's deck, eh? Nice spot for a showdown.
  • Valkyria Chronicles II has the Dandarius, the Rebel's battleship provided by the Atlantic Federation. The final story missions involved preventing Baldren Gassenarl from escaping into Federation sea by destroying the heat sink to disable the ship itself. Since it takes place in a battleship, it has cannons that can target an entire segment of the map, which can obliterate your entire units unless they hide under certain zones like a building. Like the first game, it serves as a battlefield for the Final Boss.
  • In XCOM: Enemy Unknown, battleships are the largest UFOs your interceptor pilots can engage, and when it's time to send in a strike team to secure them, they take up the entire map. The Slingshot DLC pack includes a special mission chain that culminates in your soldiers hijacking a battleship mid-flight, disrupting its power systems to bring it down intact for a Disc-One Nuke. And the final mission is an assault on the aliens' Temple Ship to defeat its Load-Bearing Boss.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • The USS Reagan Seabase level in EndWar has the defending faction starting out on the flight deck of a moored aircraft carrier. There are only three bridges to access the deck with and it's significantly higher than the surrounding area, making artillery barrages aimed at the low ground extremely devastating with no danger of return fire due to the high ground concealing them from sight. The attacking faction practically has no choice but to Attack! Attack! Attack!
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 gives us this little buddy and two campaign missions happening on it. It is notable that the floating fortress itself is indestructible to everything the factions at war can mobilize - not even the Colony Drop of a space station can even scratch it, hence why they board and sabotage it instead. Unfortunately for the Japanese, they left a critical flaw in the fortress' defenses: the Wave-Force Cannons defending it can use auxiliary targeting data to fire beyond visual range - which is why the Allies knocked out the radar boats supplying said data first, blinding the cannons long enough to take over the fortress as the gunners didn't have enough time to switch back to normal targeting.
  • Starcraft's fourth zerg mission has Kerrigan boarding a Terran science vessel to steal information; it's amazingly huge, considering the unit's actual scale in the game. As with all installation maps, it's a heavily scripted no-base mission with limited units.
  • Heart of the Swarm
    • There is a Prison Ship Raid, using more or less endless swarms of Zerg to rescue Jim Raynor.
    • There is also a twist on the mission type earlier in the game, where Kerrigan implants a Zergling into a Protoss being warped back onto a Protoss ship. After hatching from her hapless victim, Kerrigan has to stealthily guide the Zergling through the ship to grow and evolve until it is able to spawn a swarm large enough to bring the ship down.

    Other Action Games 
  • After its jump to the Playstation, the Mega Man X series overdosed on these.
    • The majority of the Ocean stage in X5 is a series of long fights against a giant submarine mech.
    • The entirety of the Weapons Center stage in X6 is spent dodging the shots of a giant mech in the background while cutting the cables that power it.
    • The Radio Tower stage in X7 is spent climbing up while avoiding the attacks of a giant bug mech, then fighting it.
    • The Central Valley stage in X8 is spent running away form a giant mech, fighting it, chasing it, then fighting it again.
  • Kirby:
    • Kirby Super Star: "Revenge of Meta Knight" is basically an entire subgame based on bringing down the Halberd, a huge battleship. "Milky Way Wishes" has a Shoot 'Em Up section for the penultimate boss, which is even bigger than the Halberd.
    • Kirby and the Rainbow Curse has two levels that involve bringing down the Bastron, a pastel-colored battleship, from the inside.
  • Various levels in the Sonic The Hedgehog series, but the Wing Fortress stage in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is probably the most well-known.
    • Marve-shupopolous-gou is a long freight train found in Sunset Park in Sonic Triple Trouble, combining this trope with the Locomotive Level. Act 3 consists of Sonic getting on board near the caboose and has him running on the traintops to reach the engine to disable it.
    • This was also done in Sonic & Knuckles, via the Flying Battery Zone. In homage to Sonic 2, it also had a near direct copy of the Wing Fortress' boss segment as a pre-boss.
    • As well as the Sky Chase parts of Sonic and Tails' stories in Sonic Adventure, where you fly around, over, under and finally onto the titanic Egg Carrier.
    • Sonic Adventure's Sky Deck stage for Sonic is a more traditional example, with players fighting their way through the turret-laden exterior of the ship, contending with strong winds and the ship tilting and twisting before busting into the ship's interior.
    • Sonic Heroes has its final two stages, Egg Fleet and Final Fortress. The former is a Battleship Raid consisting of several flying battleships, while the latter is a singular raid on Eggman's gargantuan flagship.
  • In Super Mario Bros. 3 and its 16-bit remake, the Koopalings were inside big, wooden, flying battleships. Then in World 8, there were sea-bound battleships and large tanks.
    • Seeing as how they are destroyed at the end, the fortress levels all count as well, and also Megaleg in Super Mario Galaxy.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit's Twin Mega Battleships.
  • Naval Ops: Warship Gunner and its later sequel Naval Ops: Commander, this trope happened every other level, with a boss in the form of a colossal 'supership' of some kind. They came in a variety of flavors, from giant submarines to colossal landing ships to to a supership armed with a Wave-Motion Gun. Humorously, this can be inverted by the player who with a well designed (battle)ship of their own can effectively destroy entire enemy fleets (including bosses) single-handed. In the last game, this can be done with a Frigate by giving it a high enough speed and shields against lasers.
  • Shinobi III has the final level involving you infiltrating the final boss's armed floating platform amidst a moonlit night sky and into its mechanical depths, leading up to the final showdown with the boss himself. It's really pretty damn awesome. You have to play it to believe it.
  • The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon: The protagonists join forces with every ally they could round up to take on a mountain-sized golem. After flooding a canyon to halt its movement (the thing's so big its stride lets it circle the globe in twenty-four hours), you fly all around this beast attacking targets of opportunity while your NPC allies rain hell on it from the background, culminating in flying right down its throat to destroy its heart. After all that, it turns out to be a Heads I Win, Tails You Lose scenario, setting up the showdown with the Big Bad.
  • Contra:
    • Exaggerated in Hard Corps: Uprising thanks to Daisuke Ishiwatari. To explain it in detail would spoil the game because it's the final level, but for the sake of awesomeness, look below at your own risk. You start out riding on motorcycles, dodging the ship's lasers. Once all enemies are beaten, you fly off a ramp and manage to somehow land back on the ship itself (emphasis on somehow). Even then, you must now make it through enemies while dodging more lasers that destroy the areas it touches (a la Final Fortress). THEN, sections of the ship start coming down to crush you, and while doing so you must dodge more lasers while hopping on rockets to reach the ship's engine. After destroying the engine, you take an elevator all the way up to the front of the ship, where you fight Tiberius. After beating him once, he transforms into a huge monster that, when beaten, crushes a hole inside of the ship, causing you to go careening to your doom, until your helicopter saves you. While this is happening, the destruction you caused earlier has caused the ship to collapse, and then you find out that the fight is not over, as Tiberius suddenly grows wings and knocks you off of your helicopter. You must now fight Tiberius one last time on the FALLING DEBRIS OF THE SHIP YOU JUST DESTROYED.
    • Contra: Shattered Soldier: In the first half of Stage 2, you fight a giant amphibious aircraft, similar to the motorcycle section of Stage 4 in Contra III, in the second, you raid a battle train. Also, the Crawler Tank boss at the end of Stage 3.
    • Neo Contra: Stage 4 is essentially this. After the the first part when the Battleship Ro was destroyed, the players jump down from Mr. Heli-Robo, which is also about to explode, onto the Helicarrier. The players must destroy all enemy targets while evading the missiles whom is attacking the players. After destroying the last target on the Helicarrier, the two players, after facing the Animal Contra, jump down onto the missiles, and fight the TIM Gunboat on the sea.
  • Adventures Of Tom Sawyer: The boss fight of the Level in the Clouds is an Unexpected Shmup Level against a zeppelin.
  • World of Warcraft: One stage of the final raid against Deathwing involves fighting him while on his back in midair.
    • The third boss fight in Icecrown Citadel has the raid take part in a firefight the Horde and Alliance gunships which have been patrolling the region for the entire expansion. Several players man the cannons while the rest of the raid uses rocket backpacks to jump back and forth between the ships fighting the enemy faction's forces.
  • Alien Soldier has a short but visually impressive example of this in Stage 9, where a huge blimp flies overhead the train the player is perched on.
  • Super Mario Fusion Revival:
    • World 1-SHIP (Doomship Assault) The final obstacle between you and Bowser's Keep is this Doomship level. Larry Koopa awaits you at the end as a boss. Why are the other Doomships being mobilized so quickly?
    • In World 3-SHIP (Subterranean Hell): Wendy O. Koopa's fleet of submarines and u-boats have been sucked into the Ocean of Oblivion! Once you get through the gauntlet of cannons and Torpedo Ted launchers, the player has to face Wendy herself in her flagship Doomsub! She brings back her deadly red rings of death for this battle!
    • World 6-2 (Security Grid) The Covenant have breached the security wing of the Great Fox. They have activated the defense systems in that wing. Mario and crew must fight off the Covenant and disengage the defense systems in order to restore control of the Great Fox to the Star Fox team.
  • Asura's Wrath has chapter 8, which has Asura tearing apart Kalrow's entire fleet while they're all in-flight, ending with a Zero-Effort Boss against Kalrow himself.
  • Double Dragon Neon has the Giant Tank battle in Stage 6, which is also a callback to the machine in Double Dragon II's fifth stage.
  • Two thirds of the Battletoads and Double Dragon: The Ultimate Team crossover involve infiltrating, raiding and eventually shooting down the Colossus Ratship. Also, getting on the missile it shoots afterwards.
  • In Bionic Commando Rearmed, the Albatross, which was just a Colossus Climb boss fight in the original NES game, is now a full-length stage where you venture inside the airship.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the main storyline dungeons take the form of the Divine Beasts: ancient war machines originally created to combat Ganon.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • The series has Jhen Mohran in Monster Hunter 3 (Tri) (as well as its Hallowed subspecies in the Updated Re-release 3 Ultimate) and Dah'ren Mohran in Monster Hunter 4, which are both fought in this fashion. In both cases, the first phase starts on a Sand Ship, firing cannons and ballistae to weaken it. The second phase is more straightforward except you have the Dragonator set up as an attack option.
    • In Monster Hunter: World the second half of Zorah Magdaros fights play out like this. He reaches a barrier where you focus on using artillery to injure him and potentially leap back onto his body during an attack to attack a weak spot.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the NES, the Turtles must perform this to enter the Technodrome, taking out the mobile base's turrets, Foot Soldier dispensers, electric prongs, and Eye Spy radar.
  • The final mission (unless you qualify for the Bloodright Trials) in MechWarrior 2: Ghost Bear's Legacy has you fighting an entire orbital platform, blowing a hole in it, jump jetting inside and fighting the mechs inside it to retrieve the final container of genetic material of Clan Ghost Bear's founders.
  • In Rockman 7 EP, Wily Stage 2: Dreadnought is a SHMUP level based on destroying Wily's battleship from the inside. Gamerizer is the boss.
  • In Path of Exile, the last third of Act 4 involves breaching the body of the mountain-sized Beast and fighting through its interior to slay its heart. You have to revisit the Beast's corpse in Act 9, where it has begun to rot and the blood and viscera leaking from its corpse has rendered much of the region uninhabitable.