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Boss-Arena Idiocy

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Pick your battle arenas wisely.
"You can't win! This suit is impervious to everything, save for conveniently placed lava crystals."
Killbane, Saints Row: The Third

A trope most common in video games where a boss would be unstoppable... if it weren't for something unique to its arena.

Often overlaps with the Puzzle Boss, but sometimes it's so obvious the game doesn't intend it to be a puzzle. The Ring-Out Boss is almost always based around a form of this, where the boss has to be killed by being pushed back into obstacles in the arena.

A Sub-Trope of Convenient Weakness Placement. Compare Tennis Boss and Tactical Suicide Boss, which pertains to the boss' moves rather than the arena. Also compare Benevolent Architecture. Compare and contrast Boss-Altering Consequence, where utilizing the boss' weakness isn't the only way of defeating them but may give you a significant advantage if you know how to exploit it.


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  • You'd have no way to defeat Ghostrunner's Final Boss if she didn't have four electric generators lying around that can destroy her Combat Tentacles on contact.
  • God of War:
    • God of War: Pandora's Guardian, the giant, armored, demonic, fire-breathing zombie minotaur, fights Kratos in a narrow corridor with some sort of ballista mechanism at one end of it; Kratos can use the ballista bolts to chip away at its armor, and eventually defeats it by impaling it on the door at the other end of the room.
    • God of War II
      • Perseus' preferred tactic is to use his helm of invisibility, then either sneak attack Kratos with his sword or take potshots with his sling. Unfortunately for him, he is forced to fight Kratos in a room with a shallow pool of water, meaning you can use the ripples and splashes to help figure out where he is.
      • Clotho fights in an arena filled with deactivated traps that aren't at all suited for hurting someone the size of a normal human. Kratos, of course, uses them to kill her in an elaborate puzzle boss battle.
    • God of War III: Heracles is wearing armor made from the pelt of the Nemean Lion, whose golden fur is nearly impregnable. Heracles by extension would also be invincible, were it not for his tendency to stop, bellow loudly, and drop his guard with a bum rush long enough for Kratos to counter it and slam him into one of the walls of spikes set up around the arena that keeps him in place long enough for Kratos to remove his armor.
  • One does this with its very first boss, a police chopper who is immune to all your attacks, but it is fought underneath a platform supported by destroyable pillars. Break all the pillars and the platform will take care of the chopper for you. Later on there's an Advancing Boss of Doom in the form of a gigantic robot pursuing you in a tunnel while you're aboard a train. Your weapons can barely scratch the robot, but it just happens said tunnel has destroyable objects on it's ceilings - you simply shoot at the objects instead of the robot, and it will fall and damage the boss for you as well as tripping it over ensuring it wouldn't be able to reach and One-Hit Kill you.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess has at least 3 such bosses. The first one is a Cyclops blocking your way. You are at a high cliff and the guy reaches from below, grabs the ledge with one hand and uses the other to smash you if you try to bypass him (why he doesn't try to climb up the cliff is anyone's guess). All attacks against him are useless. The solution? Keep slashing the hand grabbing the ledge and he'll fall off the cliff. Idiotic indeed. The second one is an invincible (to swords and chakram) fire breathing giant dragon that can only be killed by dropping stalactites on it. Admittedly, said stalactites are not unique to this level, you do get to make use of them to bypass obstacles in LATER levels, but still... The final boss is also invincible and constantly charging at you, and the only solution is to lure it to charge at the supporting columns. When enough columns are smashed, the ceiling will collapse and kill the boss while you hide under an uncollapsed section (if you have enough sense to rush there, that is.)
  • The fourth boss in Super Bomberman can only be damaged by being shoved into an electric fence with your bomb blasts.
  • In Superman: Shadow of Apokolips, Superman has to defeat Livewire at Stryker's prison. Like the TV series, Livewire is made of living electricity and is vulnerable to water, which there's plenty of in the arena.
  • While most battles against regular enemies in the Yakuza series tend to take place in locations with an abundance of items you can use as improvised weapons, from chairs to electrical panels, plus a host of weapons such as knives, katanas, pistols and more, the franchise's boss battles tend to occur in areas where there's even more such items, just waiting for you to slam into the boss's head during your heat actions.

  • Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden:
    • The Giant Acidbeetle combines this with Tactical Suicide Boss; it's fought in a cave where a portal will repeatedly spew exploding orbs, which Ayden can use on the boss. Said beetle spends the whole boss battle airborne, but periodically lowers itself to grab Ayden with it's legs... with it's weak, soft underbelly in full view. Repeat until the beetle's dead.
    • Horus is an ice giant vulnerable only to golden beams of light. How convenient then, since he's fought in an area containing a Light and Mirrors Puzzle allowing Ayden to move panels into reflecting light and damage Horus.
  • The Legend of Zelda has plenty of examples.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past: Ganon is virtually invisible and invincible in the dark, but then there are torches in the room that Link can light up and expose Ganon.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: In the 3DS remake (but not the original game), Odolwa's only weak spot is on the back of his head, and arrows are too unreliable to really finish the battle. Lucky for you that there are Deku Flowers scattered around the floor, and that he just stands around and patiently waits for you to drop a Deku Nut on his head and stun him.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons: The Dodongo fight is like the original, but you need to use the Power Bracelet to throw him into the spikes after he swallows the bomb. Why are there spikes there? There's also the random giant metal spike ball in the area of the fifth boss, Digdogger. Good thing you got those Magnetic Gloves beforehand, and no, the spike ball doesn't reappear later. Both Agahnim and the Poe Sisters would have fared better if they didn't fight in areas with torches.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker:
      • Gohma is invulnerable to grapple and sword attacks, because she is shielded by a thick layer of armour. Handily, the boss fight takes place in a cavern with a weak ceiling and a dragon's tail poking through it. Putting a little bit of weight on the tail causes part of the roof to crash down, destroying her armour. This is at least somewhat justified by the story, since Gohma is living in that exact spot in order to harass the dragon you can drop on her, making it more of a case of Hoist by His Own Petard.
      • Fighting the boss Jalhalla involves hitting him with light from holes in the ceiling and throwing him into spiked pillars around the room.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap: Vaati ambushes you for the final battle, and for some reason chooses to transport you to an Amazing Technicolor Battlefield with both squares to use the Four Sword and a size-changing platform, both of which are instrumental in taking him down.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess:
      • Armogohma fights you in an arena filled with giant, hammer-wielding statues, which are the only way to kill it and the only such devices in the game.
      • Stallord fights you in a circular room that conveniently has grooves spiraling up it, allowing Link to ride up using his Spinner and attack.
      • Argorok fights you on a rooftop with towers in each corner that Link can use to Clawshot his way up to where Argorok flies around.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks: Fraaz takes a rather different approach; upon noticing that Link has been using the two torches in his chamber to damage him, he simply reaches over and smashes them apart. And then he starts using attacks that can be used as replacements for the torches to damage him, making it only a little harder than before.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom:
      • The Colgera fight constantly has massive updrafts that send you really high up and give you more-or-less infinite stamina, allowing you to easily maneuver around the boss which spends the entire fight flying around the area.
      • The Marbled Gohma fight takes place in an enclosed egg-shaped room, meaning you can launch Yunobo, who is the only one who can damage Marbled Rocks, which Gohma is made of, at the boss no matter where it is in the arena, including on the ceiling.
      • The Seized Construct boss fight is quite literally a giant robot boxing match, and you defeat it by fusing spike balls onto the hands of your own giant robot and punching it into the barbed wire that serves as ropes.
  • Savage Halloween have a couple of these:
    • Of note, Omacalt can summon fast-moving boulders into the arena, that would be near-impossible to dodge (or at least, very, very difficult because of their speed) if not for the arena having several platforms you can leap on.
    • Garlic the Genie can fly and stay well out of your reach, while he drop projectile attacks from above you. Conveniently enough, the area you fought him contains two spring-loaded platforms (one on each side) making it much easier to reach and damage him.
  • Shadow of the Colossus: Being a game composed entirely of boss battles, naturally employs this trope.
    • A memorable example is the eighth Colossus (Kuromori, the lizard), who you fight in a ruined Colosseum. He has incredibly powerful lightning attacks, and there is no way to damage him at first. If he stood still, he would be invincible. But, if you aggravate him and hide, you can get him to climb the walls to try to hunt you, at which point you can shoot him to make him fall down, leaving him vulnerable.
    • Both of the "dogs", smaller and faster Colossi that chase you around, are beaten this way. The first is said to be afraid of fire (the only one that is) and lives in an abandoned temple... that has torches around (the only place that has them, mind) so you can scare him with them to push him off a ledge and destroy the armour. The second chases you around as you bait it into knocking over pillars to you can hop onto a ledge, which it crashes into. The final pillars cause the ceiling to collapse onto it, destroying that armour as well. Had they traded locations at least the first one would have been impossible.
    • Also memorable is the 16th Colossus, Malus. His lightning attack is even more powerful and has strong knockback. Although he holds the high ground in his arena, the arena is also filled with defensive walls and tunnels you can hide in, to approach his blind spot.
  • Metroid:
    • In Super Metroid:
      • Draygon's lair is surrounded by turrets that fire balls of plasma at intruders. A few missiles render them inoperable, however, leaving behind bare high-voltage circuitry that can be used to electrocute Draygon in four seconds flat. The boss can also be defeated the old-fashioned way with loads of missiles, but frying it is easier and considerably faster.
      • Crocomire would be completely invincible were it not for the conveniently placed acid pit behind him.
    • Metroid Prime: This trope is surprisingly averted, or at the very least justified, by all of the game's major bosses.
      • Flaahgra, the monster in the Chozo Ruins, has giant mirrors directing sunlight onto him—but scanning him reveals that the Phazon mutation he's gone through makes him need a constant input of direct solar energy to even have the ability to move, so having the mirrors there makes perfect sense.
      • Thardus, the rock golem in Phendrana Drifts, has been placed in a round room with no exit points by the Space Pirates largely because they couldn't control him at all—the best they could do was seal him in a locked chamber and hope for the best.
      • The Omega Pirate is exactly where it's supposed to be according to the Space Pirates' plans, and indeed, the arena is designed for him to be at maximum power. Samus defeating him is a sign of her own skill, rather than any gimmick in the room itself.
  • Batman: Arkham City:
    • Subverted in the Mr. Freeze fight: Freeze didn't design his hijacked lair (an old GCPD forensics unit), but once you've used the environment to land a stealth attack on him, he promptly alters it via his suit's mechanisms so you can't use that trick again. You need to find about seven (ten in the New Game Plus) different methods of weakening him.
      Mr. Freeze: I can evolve my strategies. Can you?
    • However, Clayface's boss fight resembles this. One of his attacks is to roll into Batman: if done right, you can have him roll into the explosives set in the corners of the room and severely weaken him.
  • The Queen in ICO saw fit to decorate her throne room with movable, mystical stone pillars that nullify her instant-petrification spell. All it takes is for Ico to drag them around the room and hide behind them at regular intervals until he can get close enough to take the sword she's vulnerable to and stab her with it.
  • Many Legacy of Kain bosses.
    • Blood Omen 2:
      • Faustus stands atop furnaces in a room full of mist, which you can use to become invisible and sneak up close enough to turn the furnaces on and burn him.
      • The third boss, Sebastian, isn't so much Boss Arena Idiocy as it is he's plain stupid — he crawls along the walls and leaps at you, and there's a laser in the center of the room. If you stand on the other side of the beam, Sebastian will leap into it to try and hit you, and hurt himself in the process.
    • Soul Reaver:
      • Melchiah's chamber has retractable portcullises you have to lure him through and impale him with, and he's finished off after being pinned beneath a giant meat grinder installed in the ceiling.
      • Zephon's chamber contains the corpse of a vampire hunter equipped with a flame thrower, allowing you to ignite the eggs he lays and throw them back at him to burn him.
      • Rahab is even more vulnerable to sunlight than most of his vampire brothers, and makes his lair in a chamber full of boarded up windows which Raziel can shatter with telekinetic blasts to incinerate him.
      • Dumah has spent so long in the spectral realm gathering strength that he is completely invulnerable to all of your attacks and would be unstoppable... if he didn't chase you into the blast furnace, or the one room in the fortress with something in it that can kill him. Weirdly, despite immolation being the only thing that can kill him, he's still completely immune to the fire and sunlight glyphs.
    • In Defiance, Turel's chamber has four gongs that ring loudly and stun him when rung.
  • Darksiders:
    • The first boss, Tiamat, would be unbeatable if her arena wasn't surrounded with torches and bomb flowers. The second boss, the Griever, is defeated with a freight rail carrier that War can punch into her gut. Straga's own weapon and the floor of his own arena are both used to kill him.
    • In the Griever's case, it's not technically her fault — she has no idea you can move something that big. Tiamat can allegedly be defeated using only your Crossblade without the bombs.
  • From MediEvil 2:
    • The Last Elephant-bot enemy fought in the Freakshow can't be damaged by Dan's normal weapons, but the cranes can be used to crush it by dropping spare parts on it.
    • The Count suffers from both this trope and Tactical Suicide Boss; the first stage of the fight requires you to use mirrors to reflect his spells back at him, and the second has you aligning them so that they reflect sunlight onto him, causing him to burn.
  • Ōkami has several bosses like this.
    • The Spider Queen is completely immune to your attacks, her only weakness being her eyes inside her abdomen. But all around the arena are conveniently placed flowers that are here for no reason at all and that you can use to grab her hooks and open the Queen's abdomen, exposing her weak point.
    • Ninetails, Lechku & Nechku, and Yami's Boss Rooms are also full of lava, water, and thunder without which you wouldn't be able to do a thing to them.
  • The boss of the theater level in Psychonauts is slightly smarter than most in that he destroys the spotlights once you've used them to stun him. He's still not smart enough for basic pattern recognition, and ignores the other identical spotlights who are all within spitting distance of each other. Even after you successfully used the first two on him, he doesn't think to destroy the third.
  • A number of bosses in the LEGO Adaptation Game series suffer from having the arena feature the methods for damaging bosses that are otherwise Nigh-Invulnerable, as an extension of how most of them are Puzzle Bosses. Though at least one of them, the Rancor, is also such in the movie where it came from. At least in the movie, it's Justified as being put there by its owner, Jabba the Hutt.
  • Dungeon Siege II:
    • The first act-boss battle is against a three-headed hydra out in a large courtyard. The Hydra heads' breath is quite deadly. However, it just so happens that there was a convenient piece of thick wall right in front of the Hydra's position, which your characters can hide behind while recharging their powers.
    • The first part of the battle against the dragon in The Northern Reaches has the dragon alternating between aerial attacks and long range attacks from various perches around the rampart you're standing on. There also happens to be a large ballista that can be turned toward said perches which is the only way to damage the dragon at this stage. Partially Justified as the tower was set up for defense, not as the dragon's lair.
    • A straighter example is the fight with Valdis at the top of Zaramoth's Horns. Near the four corners of the room are "Eyes of Zaramoth", small statues with wings and a single eye that will fire a very powerful beam shortly after being struck. Naturally, this is the only way to hurt Valdis at this stage. The fight concludes with a giant version being gradually uncovered that Valdis must be positioned in front of.
  • Legacy of the Wizard: Archwinger's area contains a small foxhole to the far right of the screen where you can shoot him but he can't get to you.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • The first two bosses from The Legend of Tian-ding have obstacles that can hurt you... but you can easily deflect it into hurting them. The first boss, "Piggy" Wang, notably has a golden statue of himself that fires painfully slow projectiles you can easily smack aside so they damage Wang instead, while the second boss, Nakamura, is fought in a warehouse with barricades you can use to dodge 70% of his attacks.
  • Spider-Man (2000):
    • The penultimate boss fight of the game against the symbiote Carnage. As Spidey tells you, a symbiote is weak against fire and supersonic frequencies, so naturally the room you fight Carnage in has a massive sonic bubble in the middle (presumably built by Dr. Octopus as a failsafe against Carnage) for you to knock him into.
    • The fight against Doc Ock (with convenient "disable forcefield" buttons lowered to the arena one-by-one)
    • The Rhino boss fight (with electric pistons for the Rhino to charge into and electrocute himself with).
  • Spider-Man 2 – Enter: Electro: Multiple:
    • It's lampshaded with the final battle against Hyper Electro where, after tricking him into zapping one of the several generators in the area, which makes him vulnerable, This turns against you if you didn't destroy the electric tower, which will refill all of Electro's HP. Being that it takes up half the area, you should feel REALLY dumb. Spidey has two quips:
      "Man, you'd think a guy would get wise to this trick!"
      "Just goes to show that good wins, because evil is dumb!"
    • The second fight with Sandman (the first being impossible to win) takes place in a construction site, which seems logical until you spot the open plumbing for a Kill It with Water resolution.
  • Dynamite Dux: There are a few fire bosses, which can only be harmed by water guns, of which there are two placed immediately before each encounter.

    Card Battle Game 
  • A few encounters in Hearthstone are like this:
    • Like his World of Warcraft counterpart below, Razuvious wields a runeblade that will kill you in three hits (two on Heroic). Thankfully, you start with a Mind Control Crystal that steals two Understudies from him to soak the damage until you can stabilize.
    • Lady Deathwhisper has 30 Health and 90 Armor. However, you start with a 30/5 Dragon that can't attack or be attacked while damaged, giving you a serious powerhouse so long as you keep her healed up. This is somewhat justified since Deathwhisper was experimenting on the dragon when the fight begins, but also the Lich King berates her for not bringing any cards to finish the dragon off.
    • Boommaster Flark's gimmick involves you keeping minions between two live wires so they don't connect and damage your hero. The boss even questions why he gave you the wires, since his whole plan is to use them to activate a bomb and kill everybody, and the player actually has a chance to stop him now.
    • Occasionally fights will look like this on Normal... only for the Heroic version to be "do it again, without the Arena Idiocy". For example, Lord Slitherspear has an overpowered hero power that summons a larger and larger naga each turn, but starts with a cauldron in play that will remove that hero power and give him a really crappy one instead when it dies. The heroic version doesn't have the cauldron.

    Fighting Game 
  • Mortal Kombat: Deception features Onaga, who is stunned when you destroy (touch) one of six objects called kamidogu, which are the source of his power. Naturally, he places them along the fringes of the arena, spaced 60 degrees from each other.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Dead Man's Hand has Grissom, the Dumb Muscle who uses dynamites exclusively... and is fought near a steel mill. He's always close to the structure, and you defeat him by shooting the boiler (or throwing dynamites) resulting in an explosion that takes him down. Ironically, one of Grissom's Boss Banter quotes is "I'll show you who is stupid!"
  • Quake has at least two of these. The first chapter boss is completely immune to all damage apart from two adjustable columns that can shoot lightning between them. The final boss is impervious to everything except a floaty teleporty doohickey. Neither of these unique architectural features can be found anywhere else in the game.
  • Two bosses from Clive Barker's Undying have this:
    • Aaron wields a chain that he uses as a whip against you. The only way to defeat him is to position yourself in front of one of the rings on the wall and dodge his attack. His chain will get trapped in the ring, and you can attack him while he's busy trying to get the chain out.
    • Ambrose is invulnerable because he grabs your magic Gel'ziabar stone and puts it in his axe. He's only killable when a giant Gel'ziabar dog comes out of nowhere and attacks him, and then you can only kill him by first shooting the stone out of his axe. If you don't rush up and kill him right away, the dog will vanish, and he will pick up the stone, put it back in his axe, and resume being invulnerable until the next dog attack.
  • The Nihilanth in Half-Life is invincible by drawing upon the power of (and expending) energy orbs floating around its head, which get replenished by easily destroyable crystals on the walls of its chamber. Once the crystals are gone, the orbs eventually run out and the Nihilanth is toast.
  • You reach the final boss of Half-Life 2 with no offensive weapons at all, only a Gravity Gun, so the game provides a dispenser of plasma balls to fling at the boss.
  • The final boss of Doom II is a giant invulnerable face in the wall of an arena which spawns endless monsters from the hole in its forehead; its only weak spot. You can shoot rockets into the hole to kill it, but such a task would be impossible if not for the arena providing a convenient elevator that reaches the height of the brain hole.
  • Alpha Prime follows the "boss recharging from arena items" example - specifically, when damaged enough it retreats to a mined area through which some Phlebotinum glows and replenishes its health. Emphasis on "mined": the laser drills used to do that are still in place, and when activated will kill the boss in one hit.
  • Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi:
    • The way to beat the Foul Beast Vampire is to run into the tunnels. It will then run after you and park itself in front of the entrance you ran into, allowing you to run out another one and hit it with a Stake from behind.
    • Isn't it convenient that the creature that can only be killed by the Sun at dawn is performing a ritual that must be done at dawn? And isn't even more convenient that he doesn't try to avoid the rays of sunlight?
  • In the final boss battle of Jedi Outcast it is possible to kill Desaan without once hitting him, by collapsing multiple pillars onto him. It is also possible to overcome him by main force and skill, but using the environment is much easier.
  • Turbo Overkill has Syn's One-Winged Angel giant form, Artifact Zero, a towering structure that is only vulnerable in it's eyes on the top. Luckily there are hover-platforms you can use to jump and reach it's weak points and shoot away. The same platforms also assists in avoiding Artifact Zero's sweeping laser attack, which is difficult to dodge at lower levels.
  • Strasse's mech in Wolfenstein: The New Order has a thunderstorm-powered shield that repelss bullets and makes it immune to damage. There are two zeppelins tethered to the ends of the boss arena, channelling lightning strikes into the shield generator, and two artillery cannons that BJ must use to shoot the zeppelins down and disable the shield.
  • The Director's Cut version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution added in additional ways to deal with the bosses to better suit players who made a less combat-focused build by including things such as more ammo/weapons scattered around the arena, various turrets/drones that can be hacked and other discoverable traps.

    Hack And Slash 
  • Devil May Cry: Nightmare first appears as a completely invulnerable pool of black goo which swallows Dante up if he touches it. Wherever it is found, there will always be blue circles and switches in the arena to keep it solid and make it turn to a more dangerous, yet vulnerable form. As mentioned in its Enemy File, these are justified; the same embossed circles allow it to be restrained and controlled in the first place, ensuring that it will do what its maker wanted. Therefore, charging them to solidify it is a necessary drawback.
  • Lyran, a Lich in Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2. The first time you meet him, he's completely invincible, and you're forced to fight your way through his castle while keeping your distance from him and dodging his spells. Eventually, you find the ossuary where his one weakness (his mortal remains from when he was alive) is stored, and he decides to lock you in the one room where he's vulnerable so he can do battle with you properly... Needless to say, it goes poorly for him.
  • The scarecrow boss in the Plague Town level in Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows seems to have left a number of giant pots of flaming oil sitting around so you can tip them over on him.
    • And the final Sorrow, Caldera, saw fit to decorate his arena with several huge ballistas pointed right at himself.
  • Heidelberg 1693 have a couple of these - notably, Johann Wilhelm, whose physical body would be too difficult to hit if there isn't a convenient platform you can jump and aim your musket from, and Count Tilly's Cavalry of the Dead who can be avoided thanks to a tall ledge at the corner of the screen.

    Mecha Game 
  • In Armored Core 3, the higher ranked Arena opponents either frequently use their Overboost or take to the skies and will keep boosting upward even when they hit the ceiling which usually gave you two easy ways to kill them. One was in the desert arena where you could trick the OB-saavy opponents to dash right out of bounds which counts as an automatic forfeit. Or you could go to the parking lot where their movement will be limited to a few feet in the air so you can pound them to death with the strongest weapons and they'll just float there and take it all.

  • World of Warcraft has several:
    • It would be nearly impossible to defeat Anub'arak in the Crusader's Coliseum save for the conveniently placed frost orbs floating around his lair which, when knocked down, form icy patches on the floor that prevent his minions from burrowing and stun him when he runs into them.
    • Karsh Steelbender in Blackrock Caverns is almost invulnerable to player damage unless he's lured into the molten metal conveniently pouring down out of his forge. Of course, doing this also causes him to inflict massive fire damage to the entire party.
    • In Naxxramas, Instructor Razuvious hits hard enough to make him nigh-untankable. However, his nearby students can be mind-controlled by priests and sent to soak up his hits. It's even worse in the 10-man version, where for no particular reason (save for the fact that a 10-man raid may not have people who can mind control) there are mind-control orbs sitting right there that anyone can use. That's just asking for trouble.
    • Professor Putricide in Icecrown Citadel would kill the entire party with pools of ever-growing slime if he did not conveniently have a bottle on his desk that transforms the person who drinks it into a mutant monster that eats this slime.
    • The Ulduar Flame Leviathan and indeed the entire section leading up to it would be impossible if a bunch of siege engines hadn't been left right by the entrance, although they were built by Brann Bronzebeard specifically for that reason. The Flame Leviathan would also be much harder if there weren't barrels of pyrite floating all over that can be shot down and it tricked into running over or shot at it by the vehicles.
    • The blind dragon Atramedes of Blackwing Descent makes the mistake of fighting your group in a room where the walls are lined with shields that can be smacked like gongs to deafen and disorient him. It goes without saying that this is the only way to beat him.
    • Also from Blackwing Descent, Chimaeron is a boss that deals massive amounts of damage for his level -Massive enough that the fight would be impossible if not for the Bile-O-Tron, a device that prevents Chimaeron's attacks from killing anyone who has more than 10,000 health. This case is partially justified in that the Bile-O-Tron was built by a gnome Nefarian was keeping prisoner and was not supposed to be there, but then, one has to wonder how Finkle managed to build it while caged in the first place (or sneak it in when he was captured, if he'd done so already).
    • Magtheridon has five cubes that must be used to banish him when he uses Blast Nova. Justified in that Illidan's forces were using those cubes to keep him prisoner there.
    • Razorgore the Untamed has a mind control device in his room, which you need to use to make him destroy the eggs before you can defeat him.
    • Bloodlord Mandokir is able to instantly kill any player with almost all of his attacks. Good thing he chooses to fight you in an arena surrounded by benevolent spirits who can resurrect you and make you stronger.
    • Morchok from Dragon Soul is another example. He summons huge earthen spikes right before casting Black Blood of the Earth. The spikes themselves don't serve any purpose except for the players to hide behind to completely avoid damage from Black Blood of the Earth, which, if stood in, will kill you after a fairly short amount of time. Basically, he'd easily wipe the group if he didn't also summon those spikes for no apparent reason. In a similar vein, the final boss of Sethekk Halls charges up a massive Arcane Explosion that does fatal damage, but is easily blocked by hiding behind one of the several pillars he has in his room.
    • The Spine of Deathwing fight takes place with the entire raid riding on Deathwing's back. At various points in the fight, he will attempt to shake the players off by rolling. This is potentially a One-Hit Kill on the entire raid, but it can be avoided by using the numerous tentacles sprouting from Deathwing to secure yourself to his back.
    • Goroth creates massive spikes around his arena. Players use them as shield against his more powerful attacks.
    • The Desolate Host has mechanics that impact both the physical and spirit world. If it weren't for a set of braziers that allow players to freely shift between realms, the spirit enemies would be safe from attack.
    • The Antoran High Command has three bosses who rotate in and out of pods capable of spewing high damage attacks. Not only would they be safe from attack if they stayed in the pods and just rained hell down on the players from there, but they also leave the pod open. The special abilities granted to players by the pods are the only reason the fight is possible on higher difficulties.
    • G'Huun, a creature similar to the Old Gods, would be impossible to beat if not for the presence of a Reorigination Drive in its boss room. However, as said boss room is pretty much its containment chamber in the titan facility of Uldir, it may be justified in this case.
  • Spiral Knights: The Snarbolax is invincible unless the Beast Bell in his boss room is rung when he's close enough for it to stun him. The Roarmulus Twins are immune to Knights' weapons, but not their own missiles; the Twins are placed directly across from each other with switchable walls between them.
  • The Undead Lich in Guild Wars Prophecies chooses to fight you in the one place where his immortality can be stolen. On a lesser note, he doesn't even bother stepping away from the nearby lava, sometimes even teleporting into the lava, causing him to burst into flames.
  • Scarlet Briar's Hologram fight in Guild Wars 2 is only possible in the first two phases due to it creating energy puddles that allow you to do full damage. In the third phase these disappear, but are replaced by small holograms that are much easier to kill, damaging the main hologram.
  • Final Fantasy XIV:
    • The All-Seeing Eye in Dzemael Darkhold is invincible unless it is floating above an area illuminated by purple crystals. Guess what you can find in the area where you fight it? Purple crystals. Made worse by the fact that the boss has to actually be in the purple illuminated area within the arena, so if it simply stayed outside these zones and used ranged attacks on players (it has several) then it would be fine. Either that, or it sends the adds that spawn throughout the fight into the area to deal with the players. There is no helping some bosses.
    • The original version of Livia sas Junius was unkillable by anything except artillery...and she fought players while standing between two rows of cannons, each next to a convenient stack of artillery missiles. (The entire dungeon has been revamped; the current version Livia sas Junius can be killed with normal spells and attacks.)
  • The Division 2: Boomer is a big armored guy that awaits you in a room fitted with shield generators that make nearby minions invincible. Fortunately, both Boomer and the generators are vulnerable to the mounted miniguns on the sides. He will wise up eventually and destroy them if the group takes too long, at least.

  • Big Karnak have a gigantic Man-Eating Plant boss who's defeated by a collapsible platform, placed two meters away from it for some reason.
  • Daze Before Christmas have you fighting a rat-man in an attic, who can be hurt by a weighted drop on the ceiling. Which is triggered by a switch, and will regularly regenerate new weights to ensure you have means of hurting the boss.
  • Dinosaurs For Hire have a boss fight in a laboratory against an escaping Monster in the Ice dinosaur, which is immune to all your shots but can be stopped by shooting buttons to release nitrogen blasts and re-freeze the monster. How convenient then, considering there's a single button capable of releasing the gas behind it - the entire battle consists of you tricking the monster to drop it's head to breathe fire, and then shoot the switch, rinse and repeat until it freezes over.
  • The second dragon boss in Hell Fighter is fought on some cliffs, where the dragon is above you. Conveniently, the cliff's sides can be shot out into a makeshift alcove for you to dodge 90% of the boss' attacks, and if you collect a Homing Projectile (available in the same area) you're in for a Zero-Effort Boss fight, since the dragon's attacks will keep missing you while you spam projectiles at it until it expires.
  • Musya have at least two of the bosses - the kamaitachi and kappa - who fights you in wide-open areas, where their projectile attacks are otherwise unavoidable (or really difficult to dodge) if not for conveniently-placed platforms in the same place. The kappa's slashing attack could also be blocked thanks to the stage having indestructible stone barricades.
  • Super Mario Bros.: The boss battles are quite notorious for this.
    • Several fights against Bowser in platformers are winnable only because he challenges Mario in battlefields that have mechanisms working against him:
      • In Super Mario Bros. and The Lost Levels, Bowser (and each of the fakes) stands on a bridge. On the other side of the bridge is an axe. If Mario can pass Bowser and get the axe, the bridge and Bowser fall and you win. And in the New Super Mario Bros. games, the fight is the same, but the axe is replaced by a large button with a skull on it. The tradition is continued in Super Mario 3D Land, once again with a button (only this time it has his insignia on it). The most that can be said for Bowser here is that in the DS game, once the player gets past him he will at least turn around and run for the button.
      • Super Mario Bros. 3 has Bowser jumping on a fragile floor.
      • Super Mario 64: Bowser would be completely invincible if it weren't for the floating mines surrounding his arena that Mario has to go suicidally out of his way to be hurt by.
      • Super Mario Sunshine: Bowser and his son are defeated after all five tips of the hot bath tub (each marked with a meteor drawing indicating that Mario has to ground-pound them from a very high point) are broken.
      • Super Mario Galaxy: Bowser usually challenges Mario in a planet that has lava flowing in its interior. But some of the parts of the planet are made of a fragile glass that can be broken by Bowser himself when doing a Ground Pound.
      • Super Mario 3D World: Meowser is defeated when he positions himself at the top of his tower, which contains a massive POW block Mario has to hit several times while avoiding the fireballs spit by Meowser's clones.
      • Super Mario Maker: The castle levels are cleared by touching a default axe that opens a floor and makes any living enemy or hazard fall down. This allows the designer to invoke the trope if Bowser and/or Bowser Jr. is placed onto said floor.
      • Super Mario Bros. Wonder: During the final battle against Bowser, the wonder effect causes platforms to spring up so they can help Mario bounce higher if he times his jumps right, which is the key to hit the buttons on Bowser.
    • Super Mario Bros. 2: Wart can only be killed by having vegetables thrown in his mouth. He has a machine in his throne room that shoots vegetables. He also opens his mouth a lot. Wart is not very smart. And apparently there's a reason. Wart stole the Dream Machine and reprogrammed it to bolster his army. Problem is, the thing has a mind of its own and it decides to help kill Wart. Of course, seeing as the bubbles Wart spews from his mouth destroy the vegetables, Wart may be smarter than he looks here; he might be trying to hinder the Dream Machine.
    • Super Mario Land: King Totomesu, the first boss, has a boss stage that looks just like Bowser's, and can be defeated in the same manner — either run under him when he jumps so that you can hit the button behind him, or pelt him with five Superballs.
    • Super Mario Sunshine: The Plungelos (due to the mirrors themselves tilting with the weight of Mario as well as the Cataquacks themselves) and Wiggler (due to the sand dunes that grow instantly when Mario waters them).
    • Super Mario Galaxy: The electric fence in the arena where you fight Topmaniac in is what harms it.
    • New Super Mario Bros. Wii has this happen to Bowser Jr. in all three of his boss battles. The first fight has him stay far above you... while there are propeller blocks for you to use to jump on or throw at him. The second has him giving you your own Clown Car to play Bumper Cars with him (as well as electrified walls). The third has him jacking his dad's own Clown Car and throwing giant spiked bombs at you... while the floor is extremely rickety and can be used to send the bombs back to the kid.
    • Super Mario Odyssey: Several bosses are fought in battlefields where enemies are present. Those enemies happen to the ones that will help Mario win the fights once he possesses them.
    • Wario Land: A certain few bosses have lava around the arena they need to be smashed into, and another has water on both sides of the arena for no real reason than the boss to be knocked back into. Unfortunately, Wario is on the other end of this in games 2 and 3 — most boss rooms make it easy for the boss to kick Wario out somehow. After all, the only way to really win against a hero who can't die is to cause Ring Out after Ring Out until the player snaps the cartridge in half.
    • Wario World: Red-Brief J would be completely invincible if it weren't for the lava under his arena. The Winter Windster would be a lot harder to hit if there weren't lava pits that could be forced to erupt and stun the boss.
    • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island:
      • There is an Egg-Plant in both Burt the Bashful and Sluggy the Unshaven's arenas. Their only purpose seem to be providing Yoshi with an endless supply of eggs.
      • Hookbill the Koopa will spit out eggs if you jump on his head, which you can then use to hurt him.
      • Roger the Potted Ghost cannot be fazed by any of Yoshi's attacks. If there wasn't a gap on the right side of the platform for Yoshi to push him in to, Roger would be unbeatable.
      • Raphael the Raven would be unbeatable if there weren't any posts for you to ground pound on the moon where you fight him.
      • Tap-Tap the Red Nose is on top of breakable blocks over some lava.
      • Baby Bowser fights on a rubber floor that can send shockwaves around the entire floor when Ground Pounded on, which both him and Yoshi use to fight each other. In the second phase, he's ridiculously huge and charging at you from the background as an artificial time limit, and he'd be unstoppable if balloons didn't show up now and then to deliver giant eggs for you to use on him.
      • Most of the other boss fights provide an endless number of Mooks for you to eat to ensure that you'll never run out of eggs.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • The boss of the Star Light Zone attacks Sonic by tossing spike bombs from the underside of his craft that explode after a brief period. Would be an effective strategy if not for the fact Eggman drops these bombs on top of the seesaws that Sonic can then use to either throw the bombs back at Eggman or as counterweights to launch himself up for a direct assault.
      • Even the Green Hill Zone boss is guilty of this; he would be unbeatable if he didn't decide to strike in a screen with floating platforms.
    • In Sonic Unleashed, the boss Dark Gaia Phoenix fights you in an area with the game's first throw-ready water barrels, which are necessary to hurt it. Said barrels continue to show up solely in areas where fire-protected enemies attack you.
    • In Sonic Adventure:
      • Amy's story has her pursued by a robot, Zero, who can be stunned by her hammer but never actually destroyed, and if you hit it enough times, it becomes invincible. However, in Amy's only Boss Battle, the arena is surrounded by nodes between which electricity constantly arcs. Knocking Zero into the electricity stuns it and exposes a vulnerable button which may be hit by Amy, thus damaging it.
      • Chaos 6 would probably wear down Sonic and Knuckles if those robots didn't come into play; stunning the robots then causing Chaos to ingest them freezes him, thus allowing attacks to actually hurt him. In Sonic's version of the battle, Eggman himself dispenses the robots, then complains when you're able to use the robots against Chaos. And, when you damage Chaos/Eggman after that display of idiocy, his reaction is a memorable "No way, I can't believe this!". This man has an IQ of 300.
    • The Biolizard would be a lot more difficult to kill (not that it already isn't), if it didn't produce a load of pink bubbles, that could be used to reach its life-support system. Stopping to catch its breath is more forgivable, since if it didn't, it would, well, die.
    • Sonic 3 & Knuckles:
      • The Sandopolis miniboss, which is completely invincible to the heroes' attacks but definitely not invincible to the pit of quicksand you can lead or knock it into.
      • The "normal" boss of Death Egg (before the final boss sequence) automatically deflects all attacks and drops robotic minions on you, which are the only things that can damage it. The only reason you can even do so is because he picked a room that happens to let you flip the gravity.
    • In the boss fight for the Ice Mountain Zone from Sonic Advance, Robotnik is moving along the top of the arena, just barely out of your reach. You're under water for the duration of the fight, so if you stay under for too long, you'll drown. Robotnik would've been impossible to defeat if it weren't for him sending icebergs down your way, which you can jump onto and use to both damage him and get a breath of fresh air.
    • Shadow the Hedgehog isn't immune either. Dr. Eggman's "latest and greatest invention" includes buttons that couldn't possibly benefit him, most notably the ones that trigger Shadow Fever. It may have been used in order to power up those Shadow androids he made, but he really should have had the foresight to disable that feature when the real Shadow showed up.
    • Sonic Adventure 2 has Egg Golem, a boss with a big power source on its head just perfect for being attacked by a tiny blue hedgehog. Hoever, Eggman had the smarts to make the robot much too big for Sonic to easily climb to the top of. Except he also decided to put stepping stones up the side of the robot for Sonic to climb. With pictures of Sonic on them.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball is Entire Game Arena Idiocy. All these pinball-themed levels are Robotnik's "Pinball Defense System". Meaning that at some point, Robotnik specifically decided to design his entire base to be vulnerable exclusively to his mortal enemy's oldest signature move. You're clearly not supposed to think about it.
    • The only way to destroy the Spider-Mobile, the act 2 boss of Flying Battery Zone, in Sonic Mania is by bashing the machine's cockpit against the spikes lining parts of the walls the lift the battle takes place on passes by. This is done by hitting the giant bumper that makes up the machine's abdomen, which can be accomplished either by hitting it with a Spin Dash-charged jump or by flinging yourself from the rotating poles opposite the spike walls.
  • Kirby & the Amazing Mirror: The Mega Titan is Nigh-Invulnerable unless he gets knocked into the convenient electrical barriers on either side of his boss arena. The Spark and Beam abilities works, though. If you're adequately prepared, he's actually one of the easier bosses in the game.
  • In the NES Felix the Cat video game, the lab where you fight Professor in his spaceship has three Magic Bag warps, which allow Felix to quickly stack up power-ups and fight Professor in the tank, making the fight a breeze.
  • Iji:
    • It starts with this as early as the first boss. The turrets that pop up on occasion do a lot of damage to the boss, with the added incentive that you want to deal with them quickly to prevent them from shooting you. The Komato Sentinel would probably wipe the floor with Iji if not for the conveniently located electrified pads she can knock it into, and the initial form of Iosa The Invincible is very hard to kill without using the lasers in her chamber. Enforced because Iji has an experience system that lets you build combat abilities or more stealth/exploration oriented skills. Thus, to prevent players taking a noncombative route from getting stonewalled, nearly every boss is a Puzzle Boss.
    • Defeating Proxima, the Sentinel without using the electropads actually gives you a reward. It's not too hard provided you brought enough ammo. Iji comments on it by saying "Guess it pays to be prepared".
  • Skully has the first boss, Wanda the water elemental, whose arena conveniently contains mud pools allowing you to jump in and transform into golems, allowing you to actually harm her. Despite the fact that Wanda hates dirt.
  • Crash Bandicoot:
    • In the first game, Ripper Roo is invincible. The only way to harm him is to jump on TNT that's moving down the river between the two platforms and hope that the explosion hurts him. Same thing happens in the second game, but this time he's a Tactical Suicide Boss and the whole thing is just surviving long enough for him to kill himself.
    • In Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, Tiny is invincible. The only way to harm him is to hop around on the platforms, avoiding him, until they blink red. Once they do, hop onto a non-blinking platform and hope that Tiny lands on a blinking platform and falls, hurting him.
    • In Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, N. Tropy is... not invincible. However, he has you at the far end of the arena from him, and thus you can't do a thing, not having a distance attack. Until he switches the platforms to create a direct trail to him... and then takes that moment to catch his breath and stop attacking you.
    • In Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced, Fake Crash copies all of your movements and will kill you instantly if the two of you touch, so you have to lead him into the traps on his side without also getting maimed by the traps on yours.
    • Almost all boss battles in Crash of the Titans are only winnable because the bad guys are considerate enough to populate the arena with weaker Titans, so you can capture something capable of hurting the main boss.
    • In Crash: Mind Over Mutant, the boss fight against Evil Crunch and N. Brio has the boss in a decrepit weapons factory - next to a conveyor belt steadily supplying TNT Crates, which are the only thing capable of blowing up Crunch's cannons. Then, later on, when facing a mutated Cortex, the boss is defeated by taking control of Cortex and spinning a screw out of the ground then body slamming the self-destruct switch for the space station the fight occurs on. The screw in the ground is only uncovered when Cortex's defenses and minions are defeated.
  • In Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, Muggshot's arena is filled with person-sized grounded light bulbs. To defeat the boss, you have to reflect light onto the light bulbs (thus making them completely impractical for non-combat use), and lighting them all hurts Muggshot and melts his guns, despite not hurting your character. There's no attempt whatsoever to explain why Muggshot keeps these things in his office.
  • Donkey Kong:
    • The eponymous villain of Donkey Kong is defeated after Mario removes the pegs sustaining the unbuilt complex, causing Donkey Kong to fall down.
    • This lives on in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series. An especially egregious example is in Mini Land Mayhem in the fourth level how Donkey Kong hits the button to mix up the pipes. On the surface it seems clever, but if he NEVER hits that button, then it's impossible for a mini to ever find their way to one of the bombs needed to take him out.
    • Donkey Kong Country:
      • You have to fight both Master Necky Jr. and Master Necky Sr., bosses that only can be hurt by jumping on their heads. Unfortunately, their heads are too high for Donkey or even Diddy reach. Good luck that someone inexplicably left a tire lying around, right?
      • Queen B. would be invincible if barrels didn't keep magically re-spawning in her lair.
    • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest:
      • Krow, Kleever, Kudgel and Kreepy Krow would be unstoppable if projectiles weren't available for you to throw at them.
      • King Zing would be unbeatable if there wasn't a Squawks Barrel at the entrance to his arena.
    • Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!:
      • Belcha could never be defeated if there weren't a hole on the right side of the platform.
      • Similar to King Zing above, Barbos could never be defeated if there wasn't an Enguarde Barrel at the entrance to her lair.
      • If Baron K. Roolstein hadn't installed levers in the ceiling that drop barrels, the Kongs would have no way to hurt him. In addition, the Kong's attacks will often force him into the lightning traps in his boss area, shocking him.
    • The battlefields chosen by Army Dillo (to challenge Donkey Kong) and Dogadon (to challenge Diddy and Chunky) in Donkey Kong 64 have a random, convenient, unnecessary exploding barrel in the middle of the room that, if removed, would make even the first boss impossible to defeat. In the case of Puftoss, there are electric pillars that can be activated by Lanky to harm the boss with a big electric charge. In the case of King Kut Out, as it's just a large cardboard, its related example is attributed to the stupidity of the Kremlings who built it, as they chose to assemble it in a tower protected by sevral wooden cannons which the Kongs can use to launch themselves to the boss when it's not attacking. Mad Jack can't help it either, as it's thrown from a Reject bin into a battlefield made of platforms that have buttons capable of electrifying them (which is what Tiny uses in-battle to hurt the boss).
    • The bosses in Donkey Kong Country Returns are generally good about choosing locations that aren't potentially lethal towards them if utilized properly by Donkey and Diddy. The one glaringly obvious exception is Mangoruby, whose boss chamber contains three wheels with switches on them that, when pounded, de-electrifies Mangoruby's body and allow Donkey to Goomba Stomp her.
  • Mega Man:
    • Cut Man, from Mega Man, is weak against Guts Man's power. Guts Man's power is simply being very, very strong. Mega Man can use this strength to lift giant brick blocks and throw them away or at enemies. And for a literal case of Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors, guess who's got a few brick blocks in his arena for no particular reason? (This also works on Elec Man, though not nearly as well.) Incidentally, this means the rematch against Cut Man in the lategame Boss Rush is actually harder (not difficult, though; it's still Cut Man, after all) solely because you fight him in an empty room with nothing to throw in it.
    • In Mega Man & Bass' Burner Man decides to fight the titular heroes in an arena blocked off by two pits of spikes (which usually are a One-Hit Kill, but will simply damage Burner Man for about 1/4 his total health). Although Burner Man himself is at least smart enough to avoid the pits while he's dashing around and trying to hit you, if the player brought along Cold Wall (Burner Man's Kryptonite Factor), and slides it into him...
    • Copy-X's second form, the Final Boss of Mega Man Zero stays in the air and is out of reach of most of Zero's attacks, if it weren't for the floating pillars Copy-X himself summoned that Zero can use a Wall Jump on. Yes, they do float over the Bottomless Pits and Copy-X does have an immobilizing move that will send Zero to a cheap death if it catches him while he's on the pillars, plus his Desperation Attack uses the floating pillars to try and crush Zero, but that's still unneeded when Copy-X could just carpet-bomb the small platform to kill Zero (and two of his moves do just this).
  • Spyro the Dragon:
    • In Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!, the boss Crush combines this with Tactical Suicide Boss. He fights you in an arena where using his giant club sends debris falling on him from the ceiling, the only thing that injures him. He has plenty of other attacks as well, but if you annoy him he'll keep using his club.
    • In Attack of the Rhynocs, Ripto is defeated by leading him into destroying the three statues throughout his throne room.
    • Red. You fight him twice - the first time, he seems at first to be competent by magicking up things that only hurt Spyro - and then for some reason he makes exploding boxes appear, which you push into him to take down his health. Despite the fact that they're the ONLY things that can hurt him, he makes these appear all throughout the battle. Then you fight Mecha-Red, a robotic version of Red, and he decides that the best place to fight Spyro is in a room FULL of weaponry that he designed, all of which is capable of hurting him, and his former captive is outside in the control room making this weaponry available to Spyro CONSTANTLY. And the award for Most Idiotic Boss Ever goes to....
  • Prince of Persia:
    • The Skeleton from Level 3 is fought on a floating platform. Because it eternally reassembles itself when struck down, the Prince's only hope to escape it is to... push it off the edge of the platform and then escape to the next level, which would be impossible if it didn't fight him in the location where it fights him. In the SNES adapation of the game, the Prince pushes it off of a platform twice and then leads it under a crushing roof trap.
    • Jaffar makes the same mistake as the Skeleton in the original version of the game, fighting the Prince on a platform over a bottomless pit where he can pushed over the edge for a one-hit kill. Subverted in the SNES adaptation of the game, where instead he fights in a normal room, so this tactic is unavailable.
  • Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones:
    • The final boss, Vizier, can manipulate matter telekinetically and at the first stage of the battle he tosses debris at you which is perfectly understandable. Then he makes debris revolve around the arena trying to run you over with them which is also perfectly understandable. Finally he soars high into the air where he would be completely unreachable for you... if it wasn't for the debris that he, completely unintentionally, of course, arranges as a contrived obstacle course.
    • The first boss, the giant, is fought in an arena with walls that can be climbed to leap at the boss and stab it in the eye. Even after you do this the first time, it doesn't smash anything that could allow the prince to repeat the process with its' other eye. Granted, he's not the sharpest tool in the shed.
  • In Prince of Persia (2008), the Warrior would be completely invulnerable, were it not for some well-placed construction pillars in the boss arena.
  • From the Rayman series:
    • In Rayman Mr. Stone can't be hurt at all by your attacks, and even the smaller rock men are Invincible Minor Minions that stay down only for a few seconds. Unfortunately for him the arena features a tall idol tower that can be knocked over his head and smash him to bits.
    • Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc has the boss battle with Reflux. Reflux is a Knaaren. Knaaren are an invincible race — seriously, you have to get through an entire cave of them, and none of your attacks do a thing. Avoiding them is the only option. So Reflux, apparently one of the most powerful Knaaren (never having been defeated before, according to the Knaaren leader) should be a Hopeless Boss Fight, shouldn't it? Nope. Reflux uses a staff as a weapon and you attack that to defeat him.
  • The Medusa boss in Hercules can only be killed by running around and hiding behind shields mounted on the wall to reflect its gaze.
  • Commander Keen Episode 1: "You cannot kill the Vorticon Commander directly."note  Luckily, he hangs around in a small area directly below the game's only example of destructible terrain - a large concrete block suspended by a thin chain. Just don't ask how he got into that situation since he's too large to fit through any of the gaps in the walls around it.
  • Jak and Daxter:
    • Gol and Maia in Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. If they just removed the Blue Eco Launcher, their bombs would kill Jak in 20 seconds flat.
    • In Jak II: Renegade, in the second fight against Baron Praxis, he can use chain guns which are quite effective: they deal damage, aren't easy to dodge, and even the columns behind which you can hide slowly get destroyed by said chain guns. Fortunately, the Baron Parxis keeps attacking you by dropping the heavy bombs that you can send him back.
    • Jak 3: Wastelander has plenty examples of it. The Precursor Robot would be completely invulnerable to your attacks ... were not for mine carts full of explosives placed just above the arena that you can shoot down on him. Cyber Errol, while being not shootable directly even with ridiculously mass-destructive guns (including Nukes if you play with "Hero mode"), attacks you with efficient missiles first, and then sends drone bombs that you can easily neutralize to send back. And in the final boss fight he gives you White Eco sources, or just what you need to: Regenerate your full health anytime, freeze time, activate a damage-dealing shield. And also Dark Eco sources, in order that you be match for him with your overpowerful Dark Bombs in case that you ran out of ammo.
  • The boss of World 2-S1 (Atlantic Abyss) in Super Mario Fusion Revival is a White Shark. It is invincible against all of your attacks, it constantly seeks you out, and it rushes you at blinding speed. There are large jellyfish that enter the playfield occasionally. The only way to damage the White Shark is to dupe it into rushing into a jellyfish.
  • Something series
    • The boss of the Chateau du Vent has plenty of throw blocks in its arena. If they were replaced with an ordinary platform, the boss fight would be impossible.
    • The boss of Chateau de la Terre still has the throw block problem, but there's only three throw blocks in said arena.
  • The Fairly OddParents: Shadow Showdown has the boss fight in "The Great Esc-ape". The boss is a paranoid ape king who is terribly allergic to bananas. ...sooo why did he surround himself with banana trees, the contents of which we can attack him with? Because he's just not very bright, as shown in the level's opening cutscene.
  • Super Mario World: Piranha Island
    • The Green-stemmed Muncher Plant Boss in Blood Muncher wouldn't be beatable if the Bob-Omb cannon was removed.
    • the Blue Piranha Plant boss in Piranha Tank wouldn't be beatable if the shell shooter wasn't there at all.
  • In Kid Kool, bosses are defeated by jumping on a spring repeatedly until it goes all the way down. Sometimes the spring is part of the boss itself, but not usually.
  • In Theta vs Pi 7 King Pi is impervious to wizard powers and can only be harmed by jumping on his head (or using a shield, though that only gets you one of the needed hits). He is however too tall for Theta to reach from the ground. Thankfully his throne serves as a handy jumping off point. The trope is then invoked when King Teth attacks and destroys the throne, leaving you with no way to reach him, only for King Pi to become your ally so you can use him as a jumping off point to get to Teth.
  • Yokai Hunter Shintaro have at least three of these bosses. Firstly there's Biwa the Demon Monk who can summon a thick energy beam covering the entire ground level, that would be impossible to avoid if not for the several floating platforms in the stage. Later on there's an Oni who comes at you with a Shockwave Stomp, but again you can leap on a platform right in the center of the screen to escape. Even the Final Boss, the almighty King of Yokai, Shuten dōji, makes this mistake, with his wall of flames covering the entire arena's ground level, but can be avoided since there are two platforms in the middle!
  • In Yooka-Laylee, the ice-themed boss of Glitterglaze Glacier can only be damaged by fire berries, which are conveniently obtainable within his Boss Room. This is duly Lampshaded:
    Brrreeze Blok: I knew that buying that 'Scorchberry' bush would come back to haunt me!
  • Banjo-Tooie:
    • After you hit Mr. Patch once, boxing gloves will rise out of the ground, forcing Banjo and Kazooie to take to the air to beat him, as the boxing gloves make it too dangerous to just stand around and shoot Mr Patch. The problem with this? Mr. Patch provides Banjo and Kazooie with a Flight Pad, instead of just forcing them to remain grounded. Mind you, the whole point of the fight is to get you to try out your new Airborne Egg Aiming ability, but still.
    • Chilli Billi and Chilly Willy have cannons in their arenas. The only purpose of these cannons are for launching eggs directly at their faces.
    • If you use in-game cheats to open levels earlier than planned and attempt to fight Chilli Billi or Gruntilda, they will not only not let you enter their arenas, but also tell you where to find the missing move. How nice of them to practically hand their defeat to you on a silver platter. Targitzan technically does this too, but it's implied that he is doing so for Banjo and Kazooie to "master the ancient art of bird handling". note 
  • In Tail Concerto, the final battle against The Guardian takes place within The Iron Giant, where it hits hard, moves fast, and every time you knock it down, it just gets back up again. From that alone, you expect to be hit with an unwinnable fight... except after you knock The Guardian down once, the crystals powering The Iron Giant reveals themselves. There's nothing stopping you from walking up and swiping the only one you can reach to disable the entire beast.
  • Grey Area (2023):
    • The first boss, the Guardian, can't directly be hurt by Hailey, but some of the block in the arena have spikes that pop out of them, which will damage it if you trick it into headbutting them.
    • The third boss, the Goddess of Ichor, has an orb orbiting around her. This orb can't damage Hailey, so all it can do is act as a Goomba Springboard for her to jump up and kick her in the face. It also helps avoid certain attacks.

    Party Game 
  • In boss minigames with Bowser in the Mario Party series, he is commonly defeated by something left in the arena that the player uses against him.

    Puzzle Game 
  • Angry Birds generally has no bosses (excepting the Space version); however, in its Crossover with Rio, we are treated to two bosses from that movie. These bosses are surrounded by explosives and rocks that allow the player to inflict even more damage than the birds ever could. In every other instance in the Angry Birds games, the pigs always place more fragile materials such as glass or wood where it would be much smarter to place stone or pillars. In some cases there are even TNT crates within their structures, or, as said above, boulders to bulldoze fragile structures or unfortunately-placed pigs.
  • In Ball Revamped, entering an exit deals damage to the bosses. This doesn't stop them from choosing arenas with exits, although the final bosses of IV: Amplitude and V: Synergy at least try to keep them away from you.
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine:
    • The evil Alice leaves a fully-functional crafting machine in the area she sets up for Henry to fight Boris.
    • There's an ax in the room where Henry fights Bertrum. Bertrum even conveniently breaks the desk that contains it, allowing Henry easy access to it.
  • Justified in Portal: The end boss GLaDOS is part of the arena itself, and in-universe, not only did the scientists who built her have enough common sense to put in measures specifically in case of a "Rogue AI" situation, but they had enough common sense to keep said measures 100% isolated from the parts of the system she had control over. Additionally, the only way you can defeat her is by manipulating incoming rocket fire through portals to hit her. Though GlaDOS has so far been shown to have control over all the systems in the entire facility, she notes that her morality core, which you destroyed, "must have had some ancillary responsibilities" and thus she is unable to deactivate the turret.
  • Portal 2:
    • It initially averts this; GLaDOS has learned from the last time and presents you instead with what would be a completely lethal trap, if you and Wheatley hadn't sabotaged her turret and neurotoxin production during your earlier romp through the facility.
    • Although Wheatley claims to have studied footage of GLaDOS' defeat and doesn't make the same mistakes, he makes entirely different mistakes instead. The room you fight in has no viable portal surfaces (your only method of attack), but he builds his "lair" near convenient Conversion Gel tubes and starts hurling bombs at you instead of waiting for the neurotoxin to do its work. Stand close enough to the tube and the bomb will destroy it, causing the gel to spray everywhere. Mostly justified though, as he has been well established as being deliberately made deeply, deeply stupid. Plus, he wants the satisfaction of killing you before the entire place explodes. It's also subverted in that he does have one final surprise in store if you beat him, perhaps his triumphant moment, and it's not his fault that it doesn't work. He also tries turning the bombs off after you hit him the first time, but he's apparently too damaged to do so, like GLaDOS above. And after the sprinkler system activates and washes away the gel he even comments on how he should have triggered it himself if only he had known it would work (or been able to turn them on, given his state at the time).
  • Doppleganger Arle skirts with this during the final battle in Puyo Puyo~n. The main gimmick of the fight is that both fields are stuffed full of Hard Puyo that require multiple chains in order to break through. At the bottom of the piles of garbage are two point multipliers that, when included during a chain, will instantly send a Dreamcast Spiral's worth of garbage over to the foe, leading them to be smothered to death with nearly endless cascades of Hard Garbage Puyo with every drop until their field is toast. Thus the name of the game becomes digging out faster than Dopple can so you can open up the playing field and get down to the multipliers before she can. If you do get them, all she can do is spam her Void Hole special to delay the garbage. Don't get too comfortable, however, because in the semi-unlikely event that she manages to dig down to the multipliers after you've popped yours, the sheer amount of points obtained from popping her own is able to instantly overrule and reflect your garbage back at you.

  • The Binding of Isaac:
    • The Tuff Twins and their undead counterpart The Shell are covered in rock that makes them impervious to everything except explosions. Thankfully, they always spawn in a room with one or two Bomb Grimaces which spit out endless red bombs for Isaac to throw at them. Even if they spawn in a Boss Challenge room, they'll be accompanied by a Bomb Grimace.
    • In Antibirth, The Witness has an attack where it lifts some rocks up from the ground for no reason, then fires a sweeping laser across the screen. If those rocks weren't there, it would be impossible to dodge this. Like many things related to The Witness, this attack was removed when it was ported into Repentance.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Mario & Luigi:
      • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story: The Tower of Yikk can't normally be harmed by Bowser; to be defeated, it must be shoved into the river it's standing in front of. Inverted in the very next Giant Bowser fight where you, as Bowser, have to beat the enemy before you get led onto a collapsing bridge over a bottomless pit (which gives you an instant Game Over if you reach it).
      • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team: The giant bosses have some of this going on in their arenas. Earthwake would be invincible if it didn't conveniently fight near the Dreamy Wakeport habour, leading to scenes like those in the battle with the Tower of Yikk from Bowser's Inside Story (aka you get to knock it in and smash the hell out of its head with a hammer). And Giant Bowser would be invincible at the end of his battle had the fight not took place in a lava filled wasteland that he could be easily knocked back into.
    • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars plays service to this trend in the fight against Bowser at the beginning of the game: you fight on chandeliers held up by Chain Chomps, so instead of attacking Bowser, you can just attack the Chain Chomp. (Though oddly averted in the fight against Boomer on the same chandeliers later, now held up by Shy Guys. You can't attack the Shy Guys, though Boomer attacks his own Shy Guy after losing.)
  • Mega Man Battle Network:
    • BubbleMan in Battle Network 3 subverts this. He spends the entire battle with a bubble shield, and behind a rock. The bubble shield will take one hit regardless of damage, the rock takes some time to destroy, and his attacks are designed to keep you busy.
    • BlastMan in Battle Network 6 has two metal cubes on the field when you fight him. Those become important, when he uses his strongest attack, sending a wave of fire from either up, down or side and forcing you to hide behind the cube. Later, when you re-match him, if you play Falzar version, you can suck in the cubes using Dust Cross, and fire them off at BlastMan for nice damage. Doing so will leave you defenseless when he uses his wave attack, though.
    • A short parody "Dr Wiley Fails at life" inverts this, causing Mega Man to run into a room full of instant death spikes and die.
    • FreezeMan in Battle Network 2 fights on a field of ice panels. While this theoretically keeps MegaMan from lining up with him, there are permanent holes on the field that allow Mega to do so regardless, and because Ice Magic Is Water is in full effect, FreezeMan takes quadruple damage from Elec-Element attacks (x2 damage from him being an Aqua-Element Navi and another x2 damage from the ice panel beneath him).
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Kingdom Hearts: In the last match of the Hercules Cup, you fight Hercules in an arena you've already used for dozens of battles. Every single time before and after, it was completely empty, just a flat ring. For the Hercules fight, it's filled with barrels that you need to get rid of the hero aura which makes him invincible. The barrels being provided may be justified by the fact that it's more of a friendly practice match than anything else and Hercules is giving Sora sporting chance. There is, however, no explanation for why a wooden barrel is able to weaken Hercules so much.
    • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep: Captain Hook's boss battle in Ven's story takes place on a small rocky island that has a few submerged steps around it that Ven can stand on. As it's on a lower level than the island itself, Ven is safe from all of Hook's attacks except his explosive presents, and since it still counts as ground, the crocodile can't get you. It's supposed to be counterbalanced by being unable to attack Hook while standing on them but there's nothing stopping you from using long-range spells like Fire or even Thunder. If you spend too long down there, Hook throws extra powerful bombs to flush you out, but that still doesn't stop you from being able to hide out from his berserker attacks there.
  • Chrono Trigger: A recurring invincible boss named Ozzie is beaten twice. Both times involve attacking other objects to cause him to fall through a trap door. (Why does he even HAVE that lever?) He's particularly odd in that for some reason he relies on traps and cowardice despite having one of the most powerful shields in the whole game. He has the MOST reason out of anyone to face you in a direct fair fight.
  • Dagoth Ur of Morrowind fights you (after a short introduction where he grants you the first blow) in a room that also houses the source of his power, the destruction of which would make him mortal. Granted, he wouldn't have reason to expect you to be willing (or even know how) to destroy that source, and he has to hang around the place anyhow to keep the Tribunal from sneaking in and renewing their power...
  • The Dragon God in Demon's Souls would be unbeatable...if it weren't seated right between two huge ballistae pointed at its shoulders, put there by the Burrowers in case it ever ressurected.
    • Similarily, Dark Souls 2 has the Pursuer, a flying Lightning Bruiser optional boss that is blatantly impossible to beat for new players and even experienced players if they haven't min/maxed with the right weapons, upgrades, and build... except for his second potential appearance taking place on top of a wall with, again, two ballistae that remove a huge chunk his health every time they hit. Getting the timing down is a pain, but even solo it makes the fight trivial compared to straight brawling with him.
  • Extremely common in the Pokémon series. Most Gym Leaders make their home base near routes or locations housing Pokémon that can serve as fantastic counters to their teams. These include Lt. Surge being an Electric-type Gym Leader in a city with a cave full of Diglett and Dugtrio; Skyla having her Flying-type Gym in a town first reached by traveling through a cave full of Electric- and Rock-types; and an NPC standing outside Roxie's Poison-type Gym flat-out telling you that the nearby Virbank Complex has some Poison-type immune Magnemite roaming around.
    • Averted with Sabrina in most Kanto games. In Red/Blue/Yellow, her counter is meant to be Ghost-types (found in a nearby town) and Bug-types (found near the start of the game or at the Safari Zone you likely visited beforehand). However, the former was glitched so that Psychic-types resisted Ghost instead, and no powerful Bug-type moves existed. The Gen III remakes had Ghost work as intended, but the only Ghost-types in the region were also Posion-types, meaning that they were still weak to Psychic. Bug-types still had no powerful moves, and while Dark-types had existed since Gen II to give Psychics another weakness, no Kanto creatures were retroactively given the type. It would take until the Gen VII remakes for the player to have access to any Pokémon that truly resisted Psychic (via in-game trades) and for powerful Bug-type moves to be available, playing this trope straight once again.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The Blitz-shooter boss in Final Fantasy X can be fought by chipping away its health, but a much easier strategy is to have Lulu cast lightning spells at one of the nearby cranes until it charges up; the crane can then be used to pick up and drop the boss, removing its most powerful attack and taking a large chunk from its hitpoints.
    • A couple of bosses in Final Fantasy XII are in arenas with areas they're too big to fit into. Fafnir can't fit behind the rocks and Yiazmat can't fit on the stairs of their respective arenas. Keeping your party in these areas will limit these bosses to only using ranged attacks (this is even more effective for Fafnir as its only ranged attacks can be reflected, making it possible to defeat it without taking any damage).
  • Dark Cloud has a partial example of sorts, mixed with Tactical Suicide Boss: Around the boss arena in the Moon level, there are barrels of an unspecified liquid lying around, which the boss (a minotaur) will attempt to drink. When he does, you can shoot them with Osmond, causing them to explode and damage the boss. However, the "idiocy" and "suicide" elements of this are downplayed by the fact that, should you fail to do so, the liquid has the same effect as a Stamina Drink, causing the boss to inflict double damage and take half damage.
  • In the first Eye of the Beholder the boss dwells in an area with a very obvious trap: There is a wall niche full of treasure with an absolutely enormous blood stain in front of it. At least the only way to force the boss into it is with a unique magical wand that requires a lengthy quest to acquire.
  • In Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark, a tribe of vampires in the second chapter litter their lair with breakable wooden objects, including wooden treasure chests next to each of their coffins. Naturally, you kill them until they flee to regenerate, then break something wooden nearby so you can finish them off with your makeshift stake.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • Most locales have items you can interact with to devastate or immobilize your prey, but the monsters with unique arenas have conveniently placed ways to deal a lot of damage or evade otherwise highly destructive attacks.
    • Monster Hunter: World:
      • Kulve Taroth's four arenas have Wedge Beetles that can be used to avoid its rolling attacks or mount it, cannons to blast it with, boulders to drop on its head, and a conspicuously placed climbable pillar in the center of one arena that can be used to mount it. The Master Rank version wises up and uses the pillar for herself.
      • In the Iceborne expansion, each of Safi'jiiva's phases uses a different iteration of this trope; the first floor of the Secluded Valley has rocks you can drop on its head to topple it and vine traps you can trick it into stepping on, the second floor has ledges you can use to attempt to mount it, and the third floor has climbable walls and the aforementioned ledges. The second and last floors also have crags that can be used to avoid the "Sapphire Star of the Emperor."
      • Origin Isle, the arena Shara Ishvalda is fought in, has several precariously placed boulders you can slam it into with your Clutch Claw, causing them to fall on its head. While not required, this is tremendously helpful with breaking its rock plating. It wisely decides to destroy the rocks in its second phase.
      • Fatalis' arena in Iceborne has two pillar nubs that can block its "cone breath" attack, a giant chunk of metal that can block its "Schrade's Demise" move, Dragonators to (eventually) spear it with, a Roaming Ballista to knock it out of the air with, a barricade to block its "Schrade's Demise" move again, cannons to knock it down and ballistae to smack it out of the air.
      • Raging Brachydios is one of the few monsters to outright deny this in its final phase. It traps you in its lair, which has nothing you can use against it, then rigs the whole place to explode with slime.
  • Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal: You can limit the number of helpers Nahatomb can summon in his first phase by luring him to the edges of the arena. You DEFINITELY don't want him summoning six Heart Magis to heal him at the same time!

    Stealth-Based Game 
  • In the original Metal Gear Solid, Liquid Snake can't be defeated through normal means and you don't have access to weapons while fighting him. Conveniently, despite having hours to prepare for the battle, he chose to stage the fight on top of a Metal Gear with nothing to prevent him falling off. Not that falling off stops him for long. Possibly justified, since his entire plan had basically already been ruined and airplanes were coming to bomb the place; he might have just wanted to make a dramatic last stand. Also, Snake could fall off the Metal Gear too, so it's not lethal to just him. And in the Hind-D battle, he decides to blow up the whatever-they-are-tanks on the roof with his last missile... after his helicopter is already going down. Had he done that much sooner, he'd have taken out the only cover you had and you'd be at his mercy.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater:
    • The Pain is a guy who is covered in bees. The only place where you can't be hurt by his bees is in water. So where does The Pain, in his infinite wisdom, choose to ambush you? On a rock in a lake, of course!
    • From the same game, The Fear. There are two massive mistakes he made in choosing his ambush spot: first, it's the same place he tested his poisons, thus the rabbits there drop antidotes. Secondly, the place is littered with poison dart frogs. Given that The Fear will eat any food in the arena when his stamina drops, shooting a frog makes the fight even easier since they will poison him, dropping his stamina further.
  • In Beyond Good & Evil there are some Alpha Section guards who, unlike the rest, don't have an air tank (thus, they are immune to the usual tactic for disabling them). Whenever you face them, they either can be sneaked past, or they are standing next to a moving platform that can be activated to send them to their doom. The Alpha bases also contain military robots that cannot be destroyed using conventional attacks; however, they can always be pushed into an electric barrier conveniently placed nearby, destroying both the robot and the barrier.
  • In The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, Riddick has to fight a Humongous Mecha at one point to advance. You fight him in an open, well-lit room, in a game that heavily emphasizes stealth, and your firearms barely scratch its armor. Good thing there are explosive fuel canisters constantly moving around the room.

    Survival Horror 
  • Several times in Resident Evil.
    • The T-078 Tyrant in Resident Evil – Code: Veronica has a distinct advantage in the enclosed space of the plane, only to be defeated thanks to a lone crate in the cargo hold.
    • In Resident Evil 4 Salazar's Right Hand (i.e. one of his two main servants) has several liquid nitrogen tanks that slow him down and make him vulnerable in his area, and when you fight two El Gigantes there's a lava trap you can use to kill one, but it technically isn't required in any way.
    • In Resident Evil 5, the second boss battle against Wesker. It's oddly convenient that he can't see you in the dark because of his sunglasses (which he won't take off no matter what), and you just so happen to be fighting him in an arena with easily-located light switches!
  • Luigi's Mansion: Boolossus is completely invulnerable to everything except being pulled by Luigi's vacuum attacks. Conveniently, the balcony where you fight him inexplicably has a pair of stone unicorns. The trick to beating him is to use the vacuum cleaner to pull him onto the horn of one of the unicorns, 'popping' him into the smaller, vulnerable Boos which make Boolossus.
  • Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon:
    • The Big Boo in Treacherous Mansion can be broken apart by spiky objects... and there's a giant train with a drill on the front going around a track nearby for you to fling the boss at. And despite the Boos being unable to be caught in the Poltergust, said train just happens to have a bunch of circus animal style cages lying open as the the rest of its carriages, providing a nice convenient place to trap the ghosts in.
    • The Tough Possessor would be entirely invincible with its suit of armour possessing shenanigans and stuff... except the room just happens to have two infinite respawning carpets on the floor that you can suck away to trip the knights up with. And when it possesses a giant suit of armour... the two carpets are perfectly placed to trip the giant knight up in one go.
  • Luigi's Mansion 3: Some of the bosses in the game also fall into this category:
    • Chef Soulfflé has some melons in his kitchen that can be used to knock his frying pan out of his hands, though this is not the only way to make him vulnerable.
    • Clem’s arena has spikes around his pool of water, and since he spends his fight dueling in an inflatable tube, Luigi can take advantage of him getting stunned and launch him into the spikes, sending him to the rim of the pool and knocking him out momentarily.
    • Johnny Deepend would be untouchable since he’s in a pool, but the pump for the pool is in the area, and thus the pump can be turned off to trap him in the drain.
    • But perhaps the biggest ghost who made the mistake of choosing a poor arena is Ug. Ug possesses a T-Rex fossil to attack Luigi, but there are dinosaurs eggs that can be shot into the fossil to destroy it. To Ug’s credit, he does catch wise and smashes one of them after taking the first hit, but there’s another way to damage him that he doesn’t expect.
  • In Silent Hill 4, Walter and the "god" he summons are completely invincible... except for the spears that spawn in the very place where you fight him.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • In Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy, Marlena Kessler fights you in a room full of liquid nitrogen canisters. This is rare as there's an actual reason for her to fight you there; her fusion cannon wasn't exactly portable. Although the infinitely replenishing liquid nitrogen canisters aren't so excusable. Notably, it's also possible to fight her without the cannisters after you destroy the cannons (though it's insanely difficult).
  • Played straight (with an attempted subversion) in SecondSight Hanson claims that the glass is bullet and psy proof, but Vattic and The zenner children combine their telekinetic powers to bring it down.
  • In Ratchet & Clank, the Snagglebeast has a shield which can deflect any type of projectile. The only thing that can hurt it while the shield is up is falling into lava. Not only is the arena full of lava, the boss is too heavy to cross the bridges over it.
    • The second game is worse in this regard. While the Thug Leader is smart enough to attack you in a Humongous Mecha when you reach Thugs-4-Less Headquarters he does it in an arena surrounded by turrets which easily tear the mech apart. Even worse is the Mutant Protopet which can be attacked before engaging the boss battle to reduce its HP to lower numbers. When the fight actually engages the HP will plummet to its correct value including 0 and it's a viable tactic since there's a weapons vendor next to it. Easiest Final Boss ever.
  • Transformers: War for Cybertron has this twice: Omega Supreme fights you near energon tanks you can taint with dark energon to make him vulnerable. Trypticon fights you near energon tank conveyor belts, which can be made to detonate and are the sole things capable of damaging his shoulder cannons.
  • James Bond: Everything or Nothing: In the boss fight after "An Old Friend," Jaws can be defeated by electrical bolts to his metal teeth. He shows Bond where the bolts are by pulling the four conduit pillars from the wall. Despite this, Bond still has to be careful: 1) those pillars hurt, 2) the electricity is a One-Hit Kill, and 3) Jaws' attacks deal at least 3/4 damage.

    Non-Video Game Examples 

Anime and Manga

  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: DIO is a vampire, yet he designs his castle with windows that let sunlight through. It doesn't help Vanilla Ice - who is otherwise an invincible villain - to easily get killed by the twilight because he doesn't know he's been slowly turned into an undead.
  • Pokémon: The Original Series: In "The Battle of the Badge", Ash had to battle Jessie & James for his gym badge, and along with breaking a few rules, the duo devised a series of traps that would ensure their victory, namely rigging the platform Ash was on so he would be shocked according to the pain his Pokémon were feeling, and a self-destruct button for the platform. It turns out though that James had also rigged Jessie's platform with the same elements.


  • The Misfits (Warhammer 40,000): Alaster Karo, an ordinary high-school student, defeats a Space Marine by luring him onto a slippery stretch of gym floor and striking quickly. The duel was to first blood, and he admits in a serious fight he would have only died quickly.

Films — Live-Action

  • In The Wiz, Evillene melts when doused with water. Despite this, the movie version places her lair in a sweatshop with overhead sprinklers, and uses a giant toilet for her throne. Thanks to these amenities, Dorothy defeats Evillene by simply pulling the fire alarm.
  • In Hardcore Henry, Akan's powers surge up in the final battle, causing himself to levitate out of Henry's reach. However, some of the other dead cyborgs' bodies are also levitating with him, giving Henry some convenient footholds to jump up and reach Akan.
  • In Conan the Destroyer, Conan fights a wizard in a room full of mirrors. The wizard is impervious to Conan's sword, but when Conan accidentally smashes one of the mirrors, a large gash appears on wizard's body. Realising what's for, Conan starts breaking other mirrors, hurting the wizard further until he dies. Since the room was inside the wizard's castle, it makes you wonder why he would put all those mirrors there in the first place.
  • Star Wars has a couple:
    • In Return of the Jedi, Palpatine has a pit in his throne room leading all the way to the reactor, with seemingly no purpose other than for him to eventually get thrown in. A downplayed example, as Luke or Vader could conceivably kill him in other ways (although the explosion when he dies might kill them as well.)
    • In The Rise of Skywalker, Palpatine builds his Final Order fleet on the planet Exegol, whose storms prevent the ship's taking off without a destroyable navigation tower; the novelization says that storms also block the ships' Deflector Shields. They'd be near unstoppable anywhere else.
  • It Follows has a rare example of the heroes falling victim to this. During the climax, the protagonists cook up a hare-brained scheme to kill "It", the implacable Eldritch Abomination that's been stalking and trying to kill Jay for the entire movie: lure "It" into a swimming pool, then electrify it by throwing various electronics and appliances into the pool. The problem? It Can Think. "It" immediately recognizes that it's a trap and starts throwing the appliances into the pool itself in order to kill Jay, who's in the pool as bait. The only reason Jay survives is because the plan was deeply flawed to begin with, as the power needed to electrify an entire Olympic-sized swimming pool is more than the power grid can take before it shorts out.


  • In the original book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the mop and bucket were part of a feint; the Witch had enslaved Dorothy (being unable to kill her or worse due to the North Witch's protection spell), and she was trying to get the Silver Slippers by having Dorothy trip while washing the floor. She just hadn't expected Dorothy to finally lose her temper.
  • Invoked in Dark Lord of Derkholm where the Dark Lord stands by a bottomless pit full of magic fire and makes threats until the Pilgrims attack and knock him into it. It's all stage direction, though, the Dark Lord is an illusion who dies to set the final triumph on a tour.
  • Exploited in Carpe Jugulum by Count Bela de Magpyr. His castle is designed to make him easy to defeat - he keeps stores of stakes, holy water, and lemons (along with instructions on how to use them), his decorations can be easily twisted into holy symbols, and he has large windows with easily removed curtains. None of these methods will permanently kill a Discworld vampire, merely reduce them to dust until blood splatters on them and they rise again. Ultimately, he and the townsfolk treat the whole experience as a ritual - every few decades, the Count rises and kidnaps a fair maiden. A young man from the town comes along to rescue her. The Count is 'killed', which gives him a few more decades of rest, and the young man is hailed as a hero. There are ways to keep a vampire down more permanently, but they're a lot of hassle so why bother when the Count's not that big a problem?
  • Grendel's mother in Beowulf can't be harmed by any human-forged weapon, but has a giant-forged sword decorating her lair which Beowulf steals and uses to decapitate her.


Western Animation


Video Example(s):


Bowser's Castle axe

In one of the first and biggest examples of this trope, Bowser keeps an axe behind his bridge that Mario can jump on and use to topple the bridge and defeat him.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (20 votes)

Example of:

Main / BossArenaIdiocy

Media sources: