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Boss Banter

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"Well, you found me. Congratulations. Was it worth it? Because despite your violent behavior, the only thing you've managed to break so far is my heart. Maybe you could settle for that and we'll just call it a day. I guess we both know that isn't going to happen. You chose this path. Now I have a surprise for you. Deploying surprise in five, four..."
GLaDOS, Portal

When a Boss talks to you during combat. Since they usually manage to say anything really important in the introductory cutscene, Boss Banter typically consists mainly of the Boss taunting or mocking the hero, possibly in an attempt to either guile you into a foolish mode of attack or to subtly hint at their weak point. Or, inexplicably, they'll just tell you what attack they're about to use, but that's another trope.

If your heroes are particularly sassy, they may even be willing to trade verbal blows with the villains along with the physical ones.

Related to Enemy Chatter, which is random chatter from Bosses and Mooks alike, and is not necessarily directed at the player character.


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    Action Games 
  • All sapient bosses in Darksiders, plus most Giant Mooks and Elite Mooks.
  • In Dead Rising 2 each boss has a ton of battle quotes; the problem is that even if the boss is That One Boss, a fairly long boss, or very talkative, you're likely to only hear a quarter of their battle quotes. This can be a great motivation for killing one boss in particular who won't stop making really bad cooking puns.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • Vergil is chock full of it when he becomes your opponent in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening and Devil May Cry 5. Apart from having lines that cue some of his attacks, a few of his banters are also situationally played depending on the game and the circumstances.
      • Vergil in Devil May Cry 3 repeatedly insults Dante, calling him "scum" who is "not worthy of being (his) opponent". The other lines you hear depend on how you're faring, ranging from "Now, I'm a little motivated!" or "Don't get cocky." if you're doing well in the fight, or "Where's your motivation?" if you're performing poorly otherwise.
      • In Devil May Cry 5, he can comment on your attack at one point when he blocks you for the first time ("Foolishness... is rushing in blindly all you can do?"), he has specific lines when he successfully impales you with his katana, while some of his other lines directly addressing Dante or Nero are triggered when his health drops at certain thresholds.
    • Aside from Vergil, some bosses in Devil May Cry 3 also talk to Dante during their fights:
      • Apart from his grunts, Beowulf has dialogue lines when he performs his Ground Punch, and when he Turns Red. Both are simply about wanting to kill or crush Dante.
      • In between its attacks, Doppelganger can taunt you by imitating Dante's trademark brand of Trash Talk, no less.
        Doppelganger: Come on, wimp.
      • Nevan spends the whole match seductively taunting Dante.
    • In Devil May Cry 4, Agnus is talkative even during his boss fights. In the Containment Room, he constantly taunts you from behind the glass wall as you are busy dealing with his Gladius demons. As Angelo Agnus, many of his attacks are cued by specific dialogue lines. He also has situational lines which depend on you either getting caught or evading his Life Drain grab.
    • Many bosses in DmC: Devil May Cry will taunt you mid-battle, depending on how the fight goes. Unlike the previous games of the classic continuity, DmC is the first game in the franchise where the in-game boss banters are also displayed in the subtitles.
    • In the previous classic continuity games, some bosses would say one or two simple lines at best if they talked at all beyond battle cries and attack cues. In Devil May Cry 5, many bosses will taunt you mid-battle and the player characters will smack-talk them back right away. And just like in DmC, the in-game boss banters are also displayed in the subtitles.
  • In one of the Boss Battle levels in The Matrix: Path of Neo Smith taunts Neo a few times, moreso if you've been losing, than winning.
  • Allen from Metal Slug.
    "C'mon, boy! You're mincemeat!"
  • No More Heroes: Most of the bosses in the games chastise Travis during battle.
  • Most Treasure games involving voice acting feature this, in several of their boss battles. Naturally, it tends to be unusual.

    Action Adventure Games 
  • Quite a few bosses in the Assassin's Creed series. In the first game, Al Mualim taunts you and goes on a Motive Rant in between phases of the fight. In the second game, Rodrigo Borgia taunts Ezio during both fights with him (in Venice and in the Vatican vault). And in the third game, Haytham Kenway goes on a lengthy rant during his fight with Connor about why the Templars will never die.
  • The final boss of Beyond Good & Evil taunts you in alien language. While it's never translated, it's obvious from context that it's something along the lines of "We Can Rule Together!"
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Chaos Bleeds have this. According to vamp!Tara, Willow is the domme in the relationship.
  • In Creepy Castle:
    • Darking will pause the fight several time to expose his motivations and how stopping him is a bad thing.
    • The Architect you fight will pause the fight a moment to realise he can actually be harmed with Ant Queen suggesting him to stop fighting and go back to talking instead.
  • Various bosses in Iji will either laugh or make comments. In one case, Iosa banters towards a character assisting you.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, if you do very badly against Ghirahim, he will take your sword and chastise you for your poor technique.
  • Every single boss in No Straight Roads has something to say, but a special mention goes to DK West, who raps the entire time.
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time features this with the Final Boss. During the fight, both the prince and the Vizier talk to each other. The fight ends once the full run of the speech has been said. However, if you stop attacking, the speech stops, so you can't just casually dodge until it's over.
  • A number of bosses in Psychonauts, with one boss managing to weaponize it.
  • All of the bosses in Spider-Man: Miles Morales have quite a bit to say to Miles. If you die, you have to listen to them say it all again when you respawn.
    • The Rhino trades a lot of quips with Peter Parker for the first half of his encounter, but once he takes on Miles solo, he gets more serious and demeaning towards this unfamiliar foe.
    • The Rhino gets even more wordy and dramatic with his threats in his second encounter, especially since he has some shiny new upgrades to brag about. When someone comments on how over-the-top his insults are, Miles just says its a Russian thing.
    • The Prowler's boss dialogue is less confrontational than most other bosses, which is fitting given he's the hero's uncle. Instead, his boss dialogue consists of pleas and orders for Miles to surrender and give up being a hero before he gets himself killed.
    • The final boss gives a lengthy Motive Rant and follows up with a few rebuttals to Miles' quips and criticisms, culminating in stating outright that the boss just doesn't trust what Miles says.
    • Played for Laughs in the last training simulation Peter leaves for Miles. Peter voices all the holograms in the last challenge with the most over-the-top impression of a villain you can think of, which Miles finds pretty amusing.
  • A lot of the bosses in Strider (2014) will engage in this during their battles, often to either taunt Hiryu or to praise the Big Bad, Grandmaster Meio.
  • The Final Boss of Transistor will pause the game just to make sure you're paying attention to what he's saying. In this case it's actually beneficial to not defeat him quickly, as many of his lines reveal quite a lot about his motivation and personality.
  • TRON: Evolution gives us Gibson. However, he pleads with you only for deresolution.

    Adventure Games 
  • The Silent from Lux-Pain. Something is on the top screen in the beginning, near the middle, and near the end for each Silent (though each one says different things). The first and second thing are similar and are related to evilness, while the last one is about it dying. In addition, the Original Silents say a bunch of stuff after you win.

    Beat Em Ups 
  • Every single boss, as well as every gang member, in River City Ransom has something snide to say to you as you pummel each other into currency.
  • Every single boss fight in The Legend Of Tian Ding. Then again, the titular character can be pretty cocky at times - besides being The Nicknamer who has a habit of trash-talking his opponents.
    Nakamura: Let me show you how to crack a few eggs!
    Tian-ding': Come on, you stupid gorilla! [cue boss theme]
  • The X-Men arcade game has some of the hammiest one-liners delivered by Magneto. "Kill you!" "X-chicken!" "You are DEAD!"

    Fighting Games 
  • Similarly in BlazBlue, characters have altered voice clips when they fight characters deeply involved in their story. These clips vary greatly in nature from each matchup, from the disturbing exchanges between Jin and Ragna, to the hilarious interactions between the ambiguous Taokaka and "Boobie Lady", as well as the tragic exchanges when Litchi fights her fellow ex-scientist and former colleague, Arakune. Nu's voice clips change A LOT when she fights Ragna, and in Continuum Shift so do Hazama's.
  • General Gyozen (under the influence of the Crystal) of Godzilla Unleashed never shuts up when fighting against him towards the end of the Story mode.
  • Shao Kahn from Mortal Kombat will refrain from the pummeling just to inform the player that "You will never win".
  • Every character does this in Punch-Out!! Wii, corresponding to their moves.
  • Street Fighter IV has "Rival Battles", where you fight with someone who is somehow tied into the story of your currently selected character. As the fight goes on, voice clips of the two taunting each other will play, sometimes with new clips replacing their usual Super or Ultra startup/finisher soundbites.
  • Much like in his home game, Metal Face hurls taunts and insults at the fighters when he appears on the Gaur Plain stage in the Super Smash Bros. series.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • In Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, the enemies have combat taunts. The dark Force-users are more common to spam their comments, as the lesser mooks tend to die much more quickly.
  • Heinrich I from Return to Castle Wolfenstein constantly brags about how he'll crush you like an insect, wrap you in your own guts, and establish the reign of terror over the world. Earlier in the game, Deathshead provides a sort of this — he's gloating in the control room while you're fighting the Ubersoldat below.
  • SHODAN from System Shock talks to you constantly. Constantly. For a self-proclaimed cybernetic goddess, she sure spends a lot of time repeatedly asserting how superior to you she is...
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • As of the 2012 Halloween update, Merasmus the Magician, though most of which backfires in trying to be scary:
      "Merasmus arrives on a tide of blood! ...Oh, hello, Soldier."
      "Fear me! Poop! Poop in your pumpkin pants!"
      "I'm healing myself... with healing magic! ...And aspirin."
      "Feel the terror... of reading!"
    • The 2013 Halloween update adds the Mann brothers, Redmond and Blutarch, although most of the time they're far too busy exchanging banter with each other to bother with the players.
  • Ubersoldier 2 have you battling the Returning Big Bad, Dr. Schaeffer, who assaults you in his mini-tank in the last stage. And he delivers trash-talk by the truckloads, to the point that you'll wonder if he's going to shut the hell up.
    Soon you will die!
    Only one of us is going to walk out of here, and that will be me!
    I am the face of your death!
    Your death is closer than you think!
    You shouldn't have come here!
    These are the last minutes of your life!
    Unfortunately, you'll die too fast!
    You're a nobody!

    Hack and Slash 
  • Most Bosses in Diablo II say a specific phrase when you first meet them. As do four bosses in Diablo I (the Butcher, the Warlord of Blood, the Archbishop, and Diablo himself):
    Butcher: "AH, FRESH MEAT."
    Andariel: DIIIIIE, maggot!
    Duriel: Looking for BAAL?!
    Mephisto: You're too late!
    Diablo: Not even DEATH can save you from me!
  • In Diablo III, Azmodan and Diablo both taunt the player throughout their respective Acts, specifically trying to downplay whatever the player has just accomplished. It makes them come off as increasingly desperate.
  • Every boss in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance that isn't completely mechanical, though that doesn't stop LQ-84i from getting in a few lines. Special mention goes to the Final Boss Senator Steven Armstrong, who goes from lines like "Fear the wrath of the USA!" in the first half of his fight to "This is the greatest fight of my life!" in the second half.

  • In Age of Conan there are many occasions when bosses speak directly to the player, and there is only one occasion when the boss talks to the player in a Destiny Quest.
    Mithrelle: "I tire of your meddling, slave. Tortage was only a minor setback. Now, the games are over. Your end approaches!"
  • Foxbat in Champions Online is rather notorious for this, including lines like "Admit it, you're just here for my autograph!" and "Would you classify yourself as a creepy stalker, or just an obsessed fan?"
  • City of Heroes not only features this frequently, but also allows it as part of the player-created content Architect System. Bosses can react as their health drops during the battle. Depending on the boss, this can be epic, hilarious, or annoying.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has many bosses that speak to the player, usually to taunt them, sometimes to encourage them. The Thunder God, one of the bosses from the final portion of the "Return to Ivalice" raid questline, is particularly famous for spending the first several minutes egging the players on.
  • Common in The Lord of the Rings Online. At one point, Mordirith gives his entire origin story while his minions fight the players.
  • RuneScape: While 99% of the game's dialogue is read-only, several of the bosses of daemonheim have voiced banter. Laughing Mad Blink, in particular, who says the most ridiculous things when you fight him; 'M-More tea, Alice?'. Aptly-named Yk'Lagor the Thunderous was the first boss with voiced dialogue, and ALL of his banter is in the form of Thundering One-liners: "This is... TRUE POWER!" "Another Kill For The Thunderous!!"
  • The C.J. and C.E.O. in Toontown Online. However, the C.J. does this more than the C.E.O. does.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • "Fools! Kill the one in the dress!". Especially the dear, old Kael'thas Sunstrider in Tempest Keep. He's like he can't do nothing but talk, talk and talk.
    • In the Wrath of the Lich King dungeons, it's sometimes hard to find a boss that will shut up for more than 10 seconds. However, this crosses often into Calling Your Attacks, which can be useful, or Bond One-Liner, which can be pretty awesome.

    Platform Games 
  • Azure Striker Gunvolt Series: Just like the stages, entire conversations happen during bosses, sometimes long enough for it to not finish by the time you beat them.
  • Gruntilda in Banjo-Kazooie and Tooie. Particularly in Tooie, where she asks you quiz questions during the final battle (and goes easier on you if you get them right). Most bosses in Tooie speak during the battles as well.
  • In the 2009 version of Bionic Commando, the creators play around with this a bit. If you fight one boss enough times by losing, the pre-battle banter lampshades a Mondegreen Gag. Then there's the penultimate boss, who rants to you in between attacks for awhile. Lose to him enough times, and you get a "skip dialogue" button which manifests as Spencer telling the boss to shut the fuck up and fight.
  • Mostly featured in Castlevania by its usual Final Boss Dracula's constant Evil Laugh, but Barlowe from Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia mixes it up with Punctuated Pounding.
  • Comes with all three boss battles in the game The Cat in the Hat
    Mr. Quinn: Mwah ha ha ha! You will never stop me, cat.
    The Cat In The Hat: A little voice inside of me is saying "This is a really bad idea."
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day features a musical example of this trope (and other, less savory tropes as well) in the form of the Great Mighty Poo.
  • In A Hat in Time, the boss battle against either the Conductor or DJ Grooves, depending on who wins the movie award, has several randomized voiced quotes from the boss you're fighting whenever you defeat one of their phases.
    "Oh, darling, darling, you're so rude!"
    "I can't believe I let yer be the star of my movie!"
    "How could you do this to me, darling?"
    "I can't believe I let the peck necks on me train, only to have yer be the troublemaker!"
  • I Wanna Be the Guy: The Guy, after he goes One-Winged Angel.
    "You think you can defeat me!"
    "I will crush your tiny bones!"
    "Yes, I did have sex with your mother!"
  • The platformer Magician Lord is infamous for (among other things) the ridiculous taunts made by the Big Bad before each fight. "Be dead down here." "C'mon nice guy. But your life is mine very soon." "I'm destined just to die." etc.
  • Most bosses in the Mega Man (Classic) games with voice acting exhibit this behavior.
  • The Ratchet & Clank series often has this, especially with the Final Bosses.
  • In Scooby-Doo: Night of a Hundred Frights, Redbeard's Ghost, of course, talks like a pirate. And the Mastermind comments on the lyrics of his own boss song.
    Chorus: Who are you, Mastermind?
    Mastermind: Who am I? Come get me and find out!
  • Some of the bosses in the Sly Cooper series do this. Particularly noteworthy is Clockwerk in the first game ranting about why he's so superior to the Cooper Clan in that eerie, lifeless mechanical voice. He doesn't even shut up after crashing into the lava and getting his face smashed.
  • Dr. Robotnik/Eggman in the Sonic The Hedgehog is fond of taunting Sonic during their battles (at least, in Sonic Adventure and onward), all of which are heard so often that they received Memetic Mutation.
    "Get a load of Get a load of Get a load of THIS!"

    Puzzle Games 
  • Some demons in Nethack. Examples: "I first mistook thee for a statue, when I regarded thy head of stone." "Go play leapfrog with a herd of unicorns!"
  • GLaDOS in Portal spends the entire final confrontation telling that you're a bad person, that things will be much worse if you destroy her, making petty insults, and being bitter and resentful. For that matter, the whole game consists mostly of Boss Banter, with GLaDOS slowly dropping the facade of being a helpful AI.
  • Wheatley in Portal 2 spends the entire Final Boss fight talking. And talking. And talking. And when he's not talking, the defective cores are, just like in the first game, only with a lot more dialogue this time. Since the battle is a Timed Mission, you will fail it if you try to listen to everything they have to say.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour has a "challenge campaign" that puts the player up against the various subfactions in the game. The leaders of these subfactions taunt the players and react to situations on the battlefield. "Oh, look! I have a nuke all ready for you!" Some of these taunts seem to play randomly, though. For example, a futile attack of around three helicopters against a heavy anti-air defenses is accompanied by the enemy General noting that "Fools rush in, General."
  • Dawn of War:
    • All the stronghold missions in Dark Crusade have the leader characters of the factions perform Volleying Insults with each other as the mission proceeds (except for the Necrons, who don't talk and so have a human recently converted into a Necron do the bantering for them). Most of the them are pretty generic "Prepare to Die!" "No, You!" type of things, but some of the insults get incredibly personal; Taldeer and Eliphas for example pull off some epic burns against Captain Thule, while Space Marines vs. Imperial Guard is a rather tragic (for the setting) example of Just Following Orders.
    • All bosses in the Dawn of War II campaigns that aren't Tyranids have a few things to say to the player, and as usual the Orks have the best lines ("Me only regret... is explodin"). In the case of Kyras in Retribution he customises some of his responses based on which faction the player is using.


    Role-Playing Games 
  • The end bosses in Baldur's Gate tend to do this. Not as much as some, and it mostly involves shouting battle-cries, but still...
  • Bomberman Quest, a comedic RPG spinoff from the main Bomberman series, had this set-up: before every battle (whether with a boss or a mook), Bomberman and the enemy character would have some humorous back-and-forth banter; even the True Final Boss does this, except his banter is completely serious.
  • In Destiny Of An Emperor, Sima Shi and Sima Zhao keep taunting the heroes as you beat the stuffing out of them.
  • Digital Devil Saga has this, but one of the bonus bosses, Gui-Xian, gets special mention because the dragon and the tortoise occasionally argue amongst themselves.
  • Drakengard 2 does this often. Of particular note is Yaha, whose banter consists partially of him HITTING ON the male characters. He's also male himself, so...
  • In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Dagoth Ur will speak to you throughout your battle with him, usually taunting you about not being able to kill him since he is a god. He really is a god, so you cannot actually kill him. However, you can cut him off from his source of divinity, which will kill him.
  • All the human bosses in Eternal Sonata will throw one-liners at you when the battle begins, before calling their attacks, and once their turn is over. Special credit goes for the last two bosses, who spend longer talking that performing their attacks.
  • Jack of Blades in Fable.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Gilgamesh from Final Fantasy V has a tendency to talk more than what he actually fights... frequently giving excuses for him running away and giving advice to each of your party members before his Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Final Fantasy VI: "Ouch! Seafood soup!" "Meatheads? I hate 'em!"
    • Final Fantasy X is a rare example where the player can respond to the taunts. During certain fights, a "Talk" option appears on some characters' combat menus. Using it wastes a turn but grants the character a rather large stat boost or, in the final boss fight, calms the boss's anger and thus his Overdrive meter.
    • Final Fantasy X-2's Ormi: Feel like taking a spin?! *throws shield*
  • Most duelists in Fleuret Blanc have a stock pool of lines they say during bouts, usually tied to their dodges (such as Roland's "Missed me~!") or techniques (such as Kant's "I salute thee!"). They'll also sometimes say a unique line when they win or lose; some of these are also used as Voice Grunting outside of bouts.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Ursula warns you to "Get ready for this!" while Hades invites you to "Feel the heat!"
    • "Dance, water, dance!"
    • All of the Organization XIII bosses have some pretty cool lines during their battles. And then we have Quinton Flynn's wonderful work with Axel, which, to sum all of his lines up: "BURN, BABY!"
    • Kingdom Hearts II: The Final Boss has a strange banter. It is, among other things, the story of two boys who are close friends and, before the game started, rivals, who, after making some horrific mistakes and serious sacrifices, spend three games and the better part of two in-verse years trying to fix what went wrong, find each other, and go home, their rivalry abandoned because there are more important things than one-upping each other, and through it all, never losing trust in each other. The final boss's taunts?
      "Sora... are you certain you can trust Riku?"
      "Riku... are you sure you're not jealous of Sora?"
    • Sephiroth has "Descend.... Heartless Angel", "Give in to the dark!", and if you stray from him without fighting for too long... "What's wrong? Are you afraid?"
    • The final boss of Kingdom Hearts. Due in part to both awesome dialogue and an awesome voice actor, some of the game's most memorable lines are spoken by the Big Bad during the battle with him.
    • Saix says some of the most badass lines while trying to pummel you.
    • The Duel Boss against Riku in the first game. Some generic lines made cool by his Voice of the Legion.
      "Welcome oblivion!"
      "It's over."
    • Xaldin's intro line is hilariously prescient given he's considered That One Boss:
      "Where's the fun in this?"
  • Several boss battles in the Knights of the Old Republic games will pause partway through so you can have a brief conversation with the boss. Sometimes, you can convince them to stop fighting you, maybe even join your party, but when you fight Darth Malak, the best possible result is that he admits that he made a mistake going down the dark path before he dies. All the other results just end up with him taunting you, and most of these conversations start out as taunting and Volleying Insults.
  • The sequel to KotoR, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords only features this once, but it's crucial to defeating him. Sion is a Sith Lord only held together by pain and the darkside, but he is effectively invulnerable to normal damage. You effectively pause in combat to persuade him to fall apart, if you're particularly good at persuade his stats will drop like a rock too.
  • Inverted in The Last Story, where it's the main characters who continuously discuss about the possible weaknesses of the bosses they fight. There are a few exceptions, such as human (or humanoid) bosses who can speak.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Harbinger's battle quotes during Mass Effect 2: "This hurts you", "You cannot resist", "This is what you face", "Face your annihilation", "You are bacteria", "You are shortsighted", "Pitiful", "We will end you", "We are the beginning, you are the end", "I sense your weakness", "Your attacks are primitive", "You cannot sustain your attack", "Your attack is an insult", "You are no longer relevant", "My attacks will tear you apart."
    • Kai Leng in Mass Effect 3 tries this out during the final battle with him. It backfires.
      Kai Leng: You're still slow, Shepard!
      Shepard: I'm only slow because I'm not running! You ran at the Citadel! You ran on Thessia!
      Kai Leng: Sh... shut up!
  • Miitopia
    • The General boss even talks in battle, though not to the player. He only does this to the Besmirched Noble's Son.
    • The Final Boss (and Dark Sun does this right before his HP to 1 attack.
  • This is a tradition in the MOTHER trilogy. Each of the game's final bosses interrupt the action every turn to say something, and then attack.
  • Nocturne: Rebirth gives lines to Idith, Ristill, Hypnosis, Shylphiel, and Khaos during their boss battles. As an inversion, some of the minor bosses like Wind Guardian will only have dialogue from the main character, who usually explains how to deal with their attacks.
  • Octopath Traveler: This occurs in two separate Final Boss battles, Ophilia's and Therion's. Ophilia's is voiced, but Therion's is not.
  • Octopath Traveler II has even more boss banters than the previous game, to the point that every character has one:
    • When the Darkling becomes totally consumed by darkness and can only growl in pain, Ochette says that she want to end its pain as soon as possible.
    • Halfway through the battle against Trousseau, his mask is destroyed, revealing a violent and broken man inside. Trousseau comments on how Castti will never understand him, Castti explains to him that life is always worth living for, and Trousseau has a Villainous Breakdown, telling Castti that he'll help her by killing her.
    • Throné has this with Mother, Father and Claude. During the first one, Mother expresses pure hatred towards Throné while the latter is dedicated to killing her; when fighting Father, bother Throné and Father become unstable as Father reveals that he wants her to kill him; and while Claude keeps complimenting Throné on how powerful she is, Throné expresses disgust towards Claude.
    • Professor Harvey angrily commenting on how he could never beat Osvald with his researches, when Osvald learns the One True Magic via The Power of Love. Osvald on the other hand comments that Harvey has never changed for the better.
    • When Roque has a breakdown in his steam tank, Partitio tells him that he always looks up to him and wants to help him see his error.
    • Between the two battles against Dolcinaea, just as Agnea is about to give up as she sees the crowd cheering for Dolcinaea, she is cheered up by the people she's helped in her way, and she picks herself up and ready to perform a duet with Dolcinaea.
    • Captain Kaldena shows Temenos the concept of shadow magic, tries to use the shadow magic to empower herself, only to be consumed by it.
    • Mugen saying that he'll execute Hikari, calls him the shame of Ku, and also calls him a "sentimental fool" when Hikari says that he'll fight against him for his friends.
  • Common in Persona 3 and Persona 4, though in the former it only appears when fighting Strega, the last boss, Elizabeth, and your teammates in The Answer; the other bosses, being Shadows, don't speak human languages. In the latter, every plotline boss does it.
  • In Persona 5, each of the major targets the Phantom Thieves confront will have something to say, which can depend on how the battle is progressing.
  • As of the the fourth generation games of Pokémon, important bosses, such as Gym Leaders, will taunt the player based on the context of the battle, such as when they send out their final Mon.
  • Many Resonance of Fate bosses find deadly combat to be the best time to exposit their political and religious philosophies.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV and its sequel Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse actually allows you to respond to the banter, with your choice affecting the battle — a boss may feel intimidated or disgusted, lowering stats or eating his Press Turns, or you might gain stats as you get into the fight. Miss the correct choice and instead the boss will power up, or you will start losing heart. In the last fights, it's very important you actually think the available options — actually picking the answer that does not help you might well spell doom for you and your team.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • In Paper Mario most of the Boss Banter follows a progression, and they tend to only say something when entering a new phase and when you discover a weakness. Although the Koopa Bros. alternate between two units of chatter while they're hidden in a lame Bowser disguise, and later, when they're out of it, say "Woah! We're going over!" when Mario throws them off-balance.
      • The Final Bosses of the series are the real banterers. Especially the Shadow Queen, who, when she becomes invincible, will taunt you until you attack her three parts before killing everybody in your audience to replenish her HP.
      • The most prominent of these is probably Rawk Hawk — a grandstanding Professional Battler who is in it for the show.
    • In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Fawful chats at you throughout his entire fight. This would probably get annoying, if Fawful wasn't made of concentrated funny and doom mustard. (Oddly enough, he doesn't say a single word when you fight him in Bowser's Inside Story, though he does engage in some Evil Laughing.)
    • In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, a few bosses do this. Popple calls you an idiot and proceeds to annoy the boss he's fought alongside in the process, Earthwake has a seeming meltdown at about one third of its health and talks about how badly its been damaged, and Pi'illodium mocks you every few turns or so in Robo Speak. Amusingly, the latter actually changes its quotes when its Cognizant Limbs are destroyed, going from bragging about how your end is nigh to worrying about its own gradually worsening condition (and then right back to bragging once it heals). The other giant bosses do this a bit too, with the Zeekeeper commenting on the battle as it fights you and Bowser talking about finishing you soon.
  • This is present in most of the 3D Tales Series games, the majority of it tending to occur at the beginning of the battle.
    Richter: What do you know?! My methods are my business! I don't need you telling me what to do!
    • Tales of the Abyss ramps this up by giving nearly every human boss a conversation sequence at the start of the fight... which changes slightly depending on which party members you're using. The Final Boss even changes more depending on who's leading the party.
    • Tales of Xillia has this, though with the addition of stylish animated character portraits that appear as each character speaks their lines.
  • Every major boss fight in Time and Eternity engages in this and is the source of much of the game's humor. The only tricky part is keeping the fight going long enough to allow everyone to finish speaking.
  • Nearly all bosses and minibosses in Undertale, as well as normal monsters, will produce some degree of Speech Bubbles. Some just cycle between a few characteristic lines and some mostly maintain Visible Silence, but some bosses will carry on a lively dialogue and agree to spare you when they finally run out of things to say. The only exceptions are ASGORE and "God Flowey," tied to an Interface Screw and an Unexpected Gameplay Change respectively.
  • The Witcher:
    • The first game is filled with banter between Geralt and named enemies. The most is with Azar and the Professor because of their history of chase and false finishes, with banter before, after, and throughout combats.
      Azar Javed: Did anyone warn you about pissing upwind?
      Geralt: You talk too much.
      Azar Javed: You just pissed in a tornado!
    • The third games continues it with its bosses as well. The second one's bosses are mostly monsters.
  • The World Ends with You has most of the major bosses engage in this. Most of Ensemble Dark Horse Sho Minamimoto's more memetastic lines show up in this format.
  • Xenosaga bosses frequently taunt, curse, or threaten you both in person and over the comm. The second game's Final Boss has Albedo spend most of the battle simply taunting Jr. Justified because he wants his brother to finally kill him.

    Shoot Em Ups 
  • Star Fox:
    • Most bosses in Star Fox 64 talk during the battle. Surprisingly, Andross himself mostly talks in cutscenes and contacts you during the final level to taunt you, but during the battle, he mostly laughs. The Star Wolf team is especially prone to do this, with Pigma having some pretty cruel banter, such as "Too bad Dad's not here to see ya FAIL!" and the surprisingly harsh (for a Nintendo game) "Daddy screamed REAL good before he died!", both referencing how he helped conspire to kill him.
    • Star Fox: Assault manages to use this to disturbing effect during a few of its boss fights: in the Asteroid Belt, Pigma gets assimilated and suffers a Loss of Identity, General Pepper is taken over in the Corneria stage and ''begs you'' to kill him, and then the Aparoid Queen tries to break the team's spirit via using the information gained from Pigma, Pepper, Rob and Peppy, even going far enough as to use the voice of Fox's father, James. This ends up backfiring, since the Queen didn't do her research on James.
    • Star Fox Zero has plenty of banter between the bosses and Fox's team. Andross even manages to get some proper banter during the battle with him.
  • Touhou Project usually restricts boss dialogue to before and after the battle, but some levels feature an exchange with the boss in the middle of the level. Ten Desires takes it further, with one spellcard of the final boss being her calling for assistance from her two allies, all three of them with dialogue boxes above their sprites, the battle not interrupted whatsoever.
  • Ultimate Crab Battle. "You cannot stand between me... and my destiny!" and so forth.

    Stealth-Based Games 
  • In Hitman: Codename 47, the drug dealer (read: a living Shout-Out to Scarface (1983)) will interrupt the battle for each and every bullet he gets hit with... even when you're using a machine-gun.
  • Every Metal Gear game from Metal Gear Solid onwards loves this trope — from Ocelot comparing Snake (favorable or not depending on how long you take) to Big Boss, while The Fury will scream insults at the player when he gets hit, etc.
  • In the final level of Thief II, the Big Bad is aware that Garrett is somewhere in the building, so periodically speaks to him over the loudspeaker, taunting him and trying to get him to give up. Garrett is too smart to allow this to affect him, only muttering "Yeah, yeah, keep talking" under his breath at one point.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Dead Space 2:
  • In Gears of War 3, the final fight with the Queen is filled with this.
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising, they don't just talk throughout the boss fights, but the entire level too. In a World of Ham, this can be pretty entertaining — and distracting on higher difficulties. Those that don't speak themselves result in chatter with their rulers/manipulators (Cragalanche, the Underworlder rematches, Phoenix), between Pit and Palutena (Twinbellows, Great Reaper), or even between Pit and Pit namely, Heart Of Hades.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Resident Evil 4: The boss battle with Salazar is the ONLY boss battle (besides the final boss) to talk with you. And it can be used very tactically, as he only talks for 3 reasons, besides his introductory "You will suffer like Ashley did": Whenever you shoot the Verdugo, he mocks you saying things like "That tickles"; whenever he grabs with you with the tentacle; finally, he talks when he uses his One-Hit Kill move. Which is very useful, since you can tell when to dodge.
    • Resident Evil 5: Every boss-fight with Wesker involves him taunting you and/or explaining his evil plan in great detail. Towards the end, Chris finally had enough...
      Wesker: The human race requires judgment.
      Chris: And you're going to judge us? Do you get all your ideas from comic book villains?
  • Splatoon:
    • The Final Boss of Splatoon, DJ Octavio, is quite the chatterbox. The Japanese and European versions of him engage in the usual mixture of threats and braggadocio, while the American localization stands out for making him a veritable fountain of gleefully over-the-top puns and ham.
    • The trend continues in Splatoon 2, both with the final boss of Octo Valley, DJ Octavio and Callie, and the final boss of Octo Expansion, Commander Tartar, with the latter forgoing the bravado in favor of typical world-resetting AI chatter.
  • Every boss in John Woo's Stranglehold will do this during your battle with them.
  • The bosses in Syphon Filter do this. When they go off at Logan's feelings for Lian, it's pretty effective.
  • Warframe has its bosses not only taunt you during the lead-up to their arena, but when you actively engage them they will have certain lines as they confront the player(s). While this is expected from the Grineer and Corpus, it begins to get creepy when the Infested start speaking. And then there's the special mini-bosses you can summon, such as the Grustag Three, Zanuka, and The Stalker.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Final Fantasy Tactics — Quite a few story battles consist of Ramza arguing with his opponentsnote , trading dialogue (and/or banter) at various (scripted) points of said battle, turning these fights into an exercise in Shut Up, Hannibal!. If you take along the right special characters to the right story battles, they've got some optional dialogue, too.
  • Quite a few bosses in Fire Emblem will say something along these lines when you first attack them, or when a specific character attacks them.
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle has The Phantom, a large opera-singing ghost Rabbid who holds a massive grudge against Mario. He's one of the only two characters in the game to have proper voice acting, and he has quite a lot to say.
    "IIIIIMBICILE! I'm a national treasure!"
  • Super Robot Wars in all of its incarnations does this. Oftentimes, this only happens when the current boss you're up against has some relation to the person that's attacking them, but the final boss of a game almost always has a few lines of conversation with any conceivable member of the group. Banter also accompanies literally every attack delivered, received, dodged, or intercepted. (Warning: Video contains spoilers in the above-mentioned variety of Boss Banter.) And even that is sometimes preceded by unique one-liners when fighting bosses.
  • In Telepath Tactics, most bosses have taunts for when they first attack or are attacked. Archos and Tarion will also talk a few more times as the battle progresses.
  • Every boss in Vanguard Bandits, and even a few grunts, will have lines once you attack them. Faulkner takes the top position, as he regularly taunts the party without being attacked.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monster Coliseum, duelists will say different things depending on how the duel is going, when monsters are attacked or destroyed, when you take a long time to move your pieces, and when losing or winning. There's also banter before and after the fights.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Sasha from inFAMOUS keeps talking about being in love with you and being angry about you loving another woman while you fight her. She at one point mistakes you for Kessler, foreshadowing The Reveal at the end. Kessler too, made funnier or more sad by the fact that, as he is Cole, he knows exactly what to say to make him feel bad.


Video Example(s):


You Can't Run From Your Fate

In "Final Fantasy X (HD Remaster)," player characters can sometimes use the Trigger Command "Talk" to prompt a conversation with a boss. In the boss battle with Seymour Omnis on Mt. Gagazet, using this with Yuna has him ask if she truly wants to heal Spira's sorrow and suggest that she just let death carry her away. But Yuna tells him that he's the one who can't fight his fate. Choosing to have this conversation takes up a turn, but triggers a boost to Yuna's Magic Defense stat which lasts for the duration of the battle.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / BossBanter

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