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Boss Battle

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"Mr. Mario, I feel that you and I are destined to do battle, again and again, for as long as the gods see fit."
"And while regular battles offer a great challenge... boss battles really up the ante!"

Most Action Games contain a climactic confrontation with a unique, stronger than average, and often monstrous enemy creature known colloquially as a "boss". They have several important features, depending on the genre of game in which they are found.

In old-school Shoot Em Ups and 2D Platformers, the boss comes at the end of a level or series of levels (commonly called a "world") and fits with the theme of that world. It will often require a special trick to defeat, or have a targetable weak point.

In FPS, 3PS's, and 3D platformers, they divide up the game. They might be common or uncommon, gigantic or small, complex multi-stage affairs or simple exercises in circle strafing while shooting.

In RPGs, they wait at the end of dungeons (though the larger dungeons may have multiple boss fights). They have a mountain of Hit Points. If they're the last one, you'll most likely fight them more than once. Most have a specific weakness.

In a Fighting Game the word boss is used a bit differently. As all the opponents in single player could be considered "bosses" by other games' standards, the term is used simply for the last character you fight, in that even when the rest of the battles have you going up against a randomly-selected opponent, the boss is always the same. The boss is typically not a playable character (though circumstances may allow him to be unlocked later), and tends to be the most powerful by balance standards. Occasionally, the penultimate and/or halfway-point battles will also be against a "boss". (The penultimate/halftime opponent is often dubbed a "Mini-Boss".) Recent fighting games, however, have added elements from other genres into the mix.

Though popularized by video games, the trope probably originated with the powerful enemies guarding hoards at the bottom of dungeons in Dungeons & Dragons. In fact, the first known video game boss battle is the Final Boss of the PLATO computers version of dnd.

Often accompanied by unique, tense, action-packed Battle Theme Music. Sometimes, special Fight Wooshes and Fanfares are also made just for this event.

Note that in some games, the boss isn't always at the end of any given level or dungeon.


Alternative Title(s): Boss Fight