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"I'm ashamed of you, Rock. Teleporting straight to the boss rooms? I thought I had taught you better."
Dr. Light, Mega Man's Christmas Carol (which is actually a Boss Game)

A level that consists entirely of a Boss Battle. Usually, this is done for plot reasons, even in games which don't have much. A Climax Boss and especially the Final Boss are more likely to have these.

They may be preceded by a Boss Corridor and supply some Suspicious Video-Game Generosity. It still follows this trope as long as there isn't any serious danger before the boss.

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This trope has become increasingly more common in later platformer games with (slightly) deeper plots.

When taken to extremes this leads to a Boss Game, where every level is a Boss-Only Level. Compare Boss Bonanza, which is a level devoted to several bosses. See also Battleship Raid.

The inverse of this is Mooks but No Bosses. Do not confuse with Level in Boss Clothing, which is an actual, extensive level that fancies itself as a boss fight.


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Examples:

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    Action Game 
  • While Alien Soldier is a Boss Game, there are still "levels" (mostly just short walkways between fights). Stage 20, however, is solely occupied by the Seven Force.
  • The bosses' levels in Splatoon and Splatoon 2. As soon as you arrive to one, you're only a few meters apart from the battlefield.
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has a few: Episodes 11, 29 and 31 and their Extreme versions are nothing but boss battles.
  • In the Die Hard Trilogy , the last level of Die Hard With a Vengeance has you chase down Simon Gruber's helicopter.
  • In the NES version of Astyanax, the last stage, Thelenea Tower, is exclusively a Boss Rush comprised of the minibosses from the previous levels, followed by the Big Bad Blackhorn and his dragon.
  • Cyber Chaser: There are three challenges in which you only refight a boss, with it having more HP and no pickups.
  • Iron Tank's Final Dungeon, the Enemy Headquarters, consists of a Cores-and-Turrets Boss fortification followed by a three-part Sequential Boss fight with the Think Tank Main Body.
  • In Twisted Metal: Black, Minion and Warhawk are both fought in their own stages.
  • Each of the three bosses in Ghostrunner get their own level that begins and ends with their fight. This is very convenient for if you want to replay the boss fights through level select without powering through all the platforming and enemy waves that precede them.

    Action-Adventure 
  • Ecco the Dolphin:
    • The final level of the original is devoted to the battle with the Vortex Queen.
    • The bosses in Ecco: The Tides of Time are all in this format, including Moray Abyss, Globe Holder, and the confrontation with the Vortex Queen.
    • Defender of the Future continues the trend, with each Bad Future's capstone boss fight or fights getting their own levels. This includes Sleeping Forces of Doom, Ice and Fire, Abyss of Inferno, Mutaclone, and Heart of the Foe.
  • In Spider-Man (2000), the chapter "Rhino's Rampage" consisted solely of a boss fight with Rhino.
  • Most (if not all) of Bomberman's boss fights are in Boss-Only Levels.
  • The Binding of Isaac:
    • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon in the expansion pack has a bossfight in almost every single room, and all except one are against two different bosses. How's that for hard? The remake brings this level back as well as adding an evil counterpart of it. After beating either of them, you can make them true Boss Only Levels if you obtain both Key Pieces or Dad's Key, which will grant you access to the game's True Final Boss in the first room.
    • Emperor cards have the ability to turn any level into a Boss Only Level. Just use it immediately when you enter a level and you skip right to the boss.
    • The Afterbirth expansion introduces a proper Boss Only Level: The Blue Womb. It contains a core room with four chests, two Item Rooms, one Shop, and a single fighting room. Said fighting room contains Hush, the strongest boss in the game. With the Red Key in Repentance, it is possible to create "proper" rooms with Hush-themed enemies seen elsewhere in the game, but this is not likely to happen on an average run.
    • Greed Mode in Afterbirth ends on a Boss-Only Level: Just called "Ultra Greed," the floor is a continuation of the shop that begins in an empty room and has a boss room ahead of it. Said boss room is a Cat Scare, containing either Monstro, Super Greed, or a number of regular Greeds. The room past that, however, is the true battle against Ultra Greed.
    • The final chapter of Repentance. It is Isaac's house, and it is devoid of any enemies until starting the Boss Bonanza that begins with Dogma. Downplayed in that the Ascent leading to the Home floor acts as a more "proper" level, or a chain of seven shorter levels, complete with their own unique enemies.
  • Luigi's Mansion (Series):
    • In Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, all bosses except Harsh Possessor and Overset Possessor are fought in missions solely devoted to their battles. The mission leading to Harsh Possessor has a long staircase puzzle that takes a while to navigate before reaching the whereabouts of the boss, while the mission leading to Overset Possessor requires Luigi to climb the Clock Tower in order to meet the boss at the top. For the remaining bosses, no demanding effort prior to the battle is required.
    • Luigi's Mansion 3 has the ninth floor, Unnatural History Museum. It has only two rooms: A small square corridor with some prehistoric exhibits, and the larger hall where the skeleton of the Tyrannosaurus rex is shown; this skeleton is possessed by the boss to challenge Luigi right away. The brevity of this area is to make up not only for the longevity of the previous floor (Paranormal Productions), but also for the extra work to retrieve its Plot Coupon after Polterkitty steals it and Luigi has to chase her through that floor as well as the preceding one. To a lesser extent, this is repeated with the twelfth floor (The Spectral Catch, which has three rooms) to make up for the need to replay an old floor in order to learn a skill that will be called for use here.
  • The final level of New Ghostbusters II consists entirely of the fight against Vigo, preceded by a brief segment.
  • Nicktoons Unite!:
    • In the console and GBA versions of Unite!, the last stage of each world is only a boss fight against the world's villain. The DS version instead has them at the end of a world's final stage.
    • In Globs of Doom, the third stage for each world exclusively features a battle against said world's boss: the Krusty Krab for Bubble Bass, Zim's house for GIR, the Fenton Underground for Cujo the Ghost Dog and Retroville Mall for the girl-eating plant. The sole exception is Pupununu Village, which lacks a third stage and thus has its boss faced at the end of the second stage.
  • ActRaiser's Final Dungeon, Deathheim, is entirely a Boss Rush leading up to the Final Boss, Tanzra (Satan).
  • Tomb Raider III has the City and Meteorite Cavern levels, for Sophia and Dr. Willard, respectively.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Some games have their final dungeons void of enemies and/or complex exploration.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past has the Pyramid of Power (which is also where Link started his journey in the Dark World). Just drop down through the hole created by Ganon and you will immediately reach the chamber where the final battle takes place.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening has the Wind Fish's Egg, The Maze you navigate to reach the right path to the final boss.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games have both the Room of Rites in the linked finale, accessed right after you defeat the standard antagonist of whichever game you play last (Veran in Ages, Onox in Seasons). It consists of a simple maze revolving statues and their eyes, and then the battles against Twinrova and later Ganon.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: The Ancient Shrines based on the Tests of Strength (Minor, Modest and Major) consist solely of a wide square chamber where you fight a designated Guarian Scout, a Mini-Boss designated to test Link's combat skills. Defeating it will grant access to the rest area of the Shrine's monk. The trope is subverted with one of the Shrines in the Champions' Ballad DLC, because when you defeat the designated Guardian Scout and reach the end, you press a button that reveals a new part of the Shrine that isn't based on fighting a major opponent (only some small Guardian Mooks while solving a maze puzzle).
  • The Little Mermaid's final battle with One-Winged Angel Ursula is its own stage.
  • No Straight Roads has DJ Subatomic Supernova, DK West and Tatiana, the only bosses in the entire game that don't have security level death courses, and one of those three has no short segment preceding the battle.
  • "Sizing Up Trouble", the 12th level of Pirates of the Carribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow, is entirely the final fight against Tortuga's Arc Villain Pequeño who's assisted by his mooks and El Grande.
  • "Thicker Than Water" is the only mission in Spider-Man: Miles Morales to consist of a fight against a single enemy: the Prowler, uncle of Miles Morales.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • Bayonetta does this with the Four Cardinal Virtues (similar to the Seven Heavenly Virtues but as angelic monsters), although one of them has a few enemies before the boss fight. This trend carries over to its sequel.
  • This often features in final stages in Devil May Cry.
    • In Devil May Cry, the proper fight with the final boss - Mundus The Prince of Darkness, occurs in the penultimate stage which is just the fight. The last stage is mostly running away from the island where the game took place, but just before you get away you have one last match against Mundus which is much shorter and easier.
    • In Devil May Cry 2, it's a battle against first Argosax the Chaos and then the Despair Embodied for Dante's scenario, and a battle against Possessed Arius/Arius-Argosax for Lucia's scenario.
    • In Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, Dante fights his brother Vergil for the third and final time, on a shallow river in the bowels of hell.
    • In Devil May Cry 4, Nero fights Sanctus Diabolica, the Big Bad fully ascended. After that, he then fights the False Savior which is somewhat easier.
    • In DmC: Devil May Cry, you have Vergil as the final boss once again.
    • In Devil May Cry 5, you get two in a row against Vergil, first as Dante and then as Nero.
    • However, across the games, there are also some non-final bosses who also take up their entire levels with no level-traversal in sight. Dante's first fight with the Savior in 4 and Mundus' Spawn in DmC are some examples.
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance does this with the fight against "Jetstream" Sam Rodrigues, which counts as an entire chapter.
  • Stage 8 of The Simpsons is a boss fight against Smithers and Burns.
  • Quite a few of these appear in Asura's Wrath. Specifically, the fights against Wyzen, Kalrow and his Fleet, Augus, Olga's fleet, Wrath Asura, The final Deus Battle, the final Gohma Vlitra Battle, The Final Boss Preview battle against Chakravartin, The Final Yasha battle, and finally, the Last Chakravartin battle.
  • MadWorld has one of these in each of the first four areas, each acting as the final boss/stage of the area: Von Twirlenkiller in Downtown (though there's a brief motorcycle segment leading up to it), Yokozuna in Asiantown, Elise in the Castle, and Martin in Area 66.
  • The final boss of Abobo's Big Adventure, Little Mac, gets his own level in the style of his home game.
  • "Technodrome: The Final Shell Shock!" from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time is the Final Boss, Shredder/Super Shredder.
  • The Final Boss of Double Dragon II on the NES gets his own stage as well.
  • The sixth and final level of Black Belt/Hokuto no Ken for the Sega Master System is just a battle against Wang/Raoh.
  • The first Battletoads game has the Dark Queen fight taking up the entire last level.
  • X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse featured two Boss-Only Levels: Danger room fights against Omega Red and Juggernaut.
  • Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems features the Avenger's Base, where you can fight a holographic copy of any of the bosses of the regular stages.
  • The fifth and final stage of Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae only consists of a boss battle with Misa's possessed friend Suzuka and the Demon Blade's final form, Magatsu Hino Tsurugi.
  • Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise has Chapter 9's only story-related fight being with Raoh, to the point that you're given multiple opportunities to be prepared. The sidequests in the wasteland are even blocked off until he's defeated.
  • Stage 8 of the Sega Genesis port of Golden Axe is just a confrontation against Death Bringer. It's identical to the earlier battle against Death Adder, but harder because the boss' skeleton minions attack faster and can't be killed.
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    Fighting Game 
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Super Smash Bros. Melee: Though most chapters in Adventure Mode have platforming segments, some of the later chapters (including the last two) eschew them in favor of directly confronting the challengers of the represented Nintendo universe.
    • Super Smash Bros. Brawl does this in the Adventure Mode, with "The Ruined Hall" and "Battleship Halberd Bridge". "The Canyon" plays with this, since the level only contains a Multi-Mook Melee.
  • In the Tekken Force mini-game in Tekken 3, after completing the 4th stage 4 times, you go on to a bonus 5th stage that only consists of one duel with Doctor Bosconovitch.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • In Wolfenstein 3-D, the only opponent in Episode 1 Level 9 is the boss, Hans Grosse.
  • In the Metroid Prime Trilogy, there are some boss-only areas, namely the Sky Temple in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and the Leviathan Seed regions in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. These are a first for the Metroid series, as the bosses often reside at the end (or central part) of large zones.
  • DeathLoop: The Complex at night is very close. Egor expels everyone else from the area while he celebrates his discovery, leaving only himself, a small thicket of Eternalists near the entrance, the possibility of an invasion from Juliana, and many, many fixed defences and traps.
  • Doom:
    • The endings of episodes 2 and 3, Tower of Babel (a fight against the Cyberdemon) and Dis (Spider Mastermind) from the original Doom, at least on lower difficulties (higher ones add a couple Lost Souls to the former and Cacodemons and a Baron of Hell to the latter).
    • Doom II:
      • Icon of Sin (the final level) is technically this, though the eponymous Icon is also a Mook Maker and will fill the level with enemies once you start the fight.
      • The second secret level, being a Call-Back to Wolfenstein 3-D, has this trait on lower difficulties (Hurt Me Plenty and above add SS Nazis to the level; there's also the four hanging Commander Keens you have to kill to exit the level, but they're totally harmless).
    • DOOM Eternal: The final level of The Ancient Gods Part II DLC, and by extension the entire game, is called "The Dark Lord" and consists entirely of a boss fight against Davoth, the Dark Lord of Hell.
  • The House of Chthon from the original Quake I. No points for guessing what boss you fight in there.
  • Quake II has the aptly named Final Showdown, dedicated to the Makron battle. Similarly, the final stage of the Nintendo 64 adaptation, Command Core, consists of a Wolfpack Boss fight with the Strogg Guardians.
  • Duke Nukem:
    "It's down to you and me, you one-eyed freak!"
    • The N64 version of Duke Nukem 3D gives all three of the game's bosses their own levels; the last two rooms in "The Abyss" and "Overlord" levels are separated from the rest of the level; they drop into these rooms and end the stages where you use them.
  • The final level in Batman Doom. A short map, consisting of basically two rooms, which features a duel against Bane in the ruins of your Batcave.
  • In Mega Man 8-Bit Deathmatch, all of the single player bosses are fought in "separate" areas in a specially made map. This map, titled Unknown, is unplayable in normal multiplayer and any attempt to play on it will automatically redirect all players to Cut Man's stage.
  • Judge Dredd: Dredd vs. Death: The Smokatorium level is built entirely around defeating Judge Fire, the second boss.
  • AMID EVIL: The final level of each episode consists in a boss fight.
  • Both Blood games. The first ends with "The Hall of the Epiphany", which counts by way of the only other enemies being the enemies that acted as bosses previously. Blood II has both Bloody Gideon at the end of Chapter 3, and then the second and third levels of Chapter 4, which consist solely of battles with respectively evil versions of the other Chosen and then the Ancient One.
  • In Turok 2, the Primagen has his own stage, entered from the Hub Level after collecting the six keys from the previous stages.
  • The final level of BioShock is a single large room at the top of Point Prometheus and the highest point in Rapture, simply named "Fontaine", in which you fight the titular Big Bad's ADAM-powered One-Winged Angel form.
  • In Red Faction II, Molov has the final level to himself.
  • Sensory Overload's final stage is dedicated to the Mastermind.
  • ULTRAKILL: With the exception of some light platforming or exploration elements, the final level of each Circle of Hell consists only of a fight with that level's boss. This is also the case for Prime Sanctums. The only exception to the rule so far is 4-4, where V1 takes on a handful of Husks and a Malicious Face after taking care of V2 for good.
  • Halo Infinite: The Spire mission only has two combat encounters; your first fight against Hunters at the entrance and a boss fight against the sub-Monitor Adjutant Resolution in the control room.

    Hack and Slash 
  • Dante's Inferno depopulates the Ninth Circle of Hell from the original so it's just an icy series of platforms that lead up to Satan's three-headed Final Boss form.
  • Exaggerated in Gauntlet: Dark Legacy. Each of the realm bosses gets a level to themselves.
  • No More Heroes:
    • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle has the Rank 10 and 7 stages, as well as the Henry stage. In the former two, Travis manages to reach the whereabouts of the bosses without needing to go through a path filled with enemies, while the latter one has Henry being trapped within a nightmare because Mimmy won't allow him to wake up (thus forcing the battle as soon as they finish talking).
    • No More Heroes III: Many rank stages start with a luxurious entrance area within FU's vessel (which include both a Save Point and a sushi kiosk for supply purchase), which is then followed directly by the relevant boss battle. There are exceptions, such as the Rank 8 stage (a secluded city within Thunderdome where Travis has to look for his opponentnote ) and the Rank 5 stage (an abandoned school where Travis has to "follow" the boss and then defeat several enemies within classrooms before reaching the boss fight).
  • Xena: Warrior Princess have at least three levels which is just a lengthy boss fight. The fourth stage have her getting ambushed by a Cyclops as soon as she arrived at the Isle of Kronos, where she must find a way up the cyclops' hill while avoiding flung rocks and battle the cyclops at it's top. When she arrives in hell, Xena is immediately greeted by hell's keeper, Dyzan the dragon, whose battle takes up another whole stage. And finally there's the final level in Mount Olympus, where Xena faces the main villain, Kalabrax, a Sequential Boss who first throws two low-level cultists, then fights Xena directly, before turning One-Winged Angel.

    Platform Game 
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog series.
    • The trend started with the first game (which has the Final Zone), and really took off after The Doomsday Zone, with the final bosses of most games take up their own level, usually played while in Super Mode. In addition, the second game's Death Egg Zone was just two boss fights. Exaggerated in every Sonic game since Adventure, which all give bosses their own levels.
    • Sonic 3D Blast gave each boss their own level as well.
    • The Wii and PS2 versions of Sonic Unleashed demote Mazuri to one of these, possibly to save space.
    • While Sonic Lost World mostly averts this trope, the Wii U version of Lava Mountain has this in Zones 1 and 4, while the entire level is this in the 3DS version.
    • The 8-bit platform games and Sonic CD have the trope in downplayed form; the third acts in these games are boss levels, but contain a very short platforming/pre-fight area prior to the boss. The two exceptions are 8-bit Sonic 1 "Scrap Brain Act 3", which is navigating through a maze of hallways with no boss fight, and 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2's "Green Hills Act 3", where the platforming is bouncing across hills of springs with one-hit kill spikes waiting for Sonic should he fall, plus no checkpoint, making this stage one of the contenders for That One Level in this game and the Sonic series in general.
  • Azure Striker Gunvolt Series:
    • Azure Striker Gunvolt:
      • Urban Run, which has GV chasing after Merak to rescue Joule, has no enemies, just the Mantis R boss a short ways through.
      • Babel, the penultimate level, has the player doing Boss Rush against four resurrected Sumeragi Adepts and Copen. The fifth and final Special mission is also a Boss Rush, this time it includes Nova (both forms) and the True Final Boss Asimov.
    • Azure Striker Gunvolt 2:
      • Glaive Tenjian, while technically part of the opening act, is a mission detached from Copen's or Gunvolt's respective prologue missions, since it has its own Gameplay Grading screen. This mission can later be revisited without playing the other two prologue missions.
      • Gunvolt's Downtown level, and Copen's Sewers level. Whereas Gunvolt fights the appropriate Adept in that area (Ghauri) Copen would face Gibril instead of Milas.
      • The Garden 3, like Babel from the first game, is the Boss Rush level, with Tenjian, a hub area with three teleport mirrors leading to the three bosses (depending on which is your character), Sumeragi Zonda, and finally, the real one.
      • Even if the True Final Boss takes place immediately after the real Zonda, it is treated as a separate mission, since they have separate result screens.
  • ACE and Kevin, the only two bosses in Gamer 2, are both the only enemies fought in their respective levels.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros. 3: The first World 7 mini-fortress is an odd case in that it's a full-sized level, but there's no Mooks in it, and there are accessories for some enemies but without the relevant enemies attached to them. The only enemy in the entire fortress is Boom-Boom, who shows up at the end as usual.
    • Super Mario Sunshine: Gelato Beach becomes a boss-only world during Episode 3. As soon as you enter, the giant-sized Wiggler will be shown running around the coast, terrorizing the local residents. The boss music gets to pull a Background Music Override onto the usual introductory cutscene's fanfare as a result. None of the Cataquacks (the level's resident mooks) appear either.
    • Super Mario Galaxy has Bonefin Galaxy, where the only objective is to defeat Kingfin. There's also the first Bowser Jr. level (located in the Terrace), as once Mario moves on from the first planet, in the next he'll confront Megaleg.
    • Super Mario Galaxy 2: Boss Blitz Galaxy mixes this with Boss Rush, as the only planets present (save for one where he can get a 6-point Mushroom) are those where the bosses await.
    • Super Mario 3D World has the levels where the blue and pink Hisstocrats and Motley Bossblob are fought. They're all represented in the overworld areas as UFO-like flying tent circuses.
    • Super Mario Odyssey: The Cloud Kingdom and Ruined Kingdom are little more than glorified arenas for the fights against Bowser and the Ruined Dragon (respectively) the first time you go through them. On subsequent visits, however, they do have a small number of Power Moons to be found there.
    • Super Mario Maker 2: Story Mode has a level where all you have to do is defeat Pom Pom in a small battlefield.
  • Kirby games always have the boss of each level in their own stage, with the exception of the first game (which only has five levels and a boss for each), Kirby Super Star (which does the same for many sub-games), and Kirby Star Allies (where the bosses are instead at the end of full-length stages).
  • Mega Man
    • Mega Man (Classic)
      • Mega Man 2's final level is short and only leads up to the final battle with the alien hologram.
      • In Mega Man 3, Break Man, and the Wily Machine get stages to their own as does Gamma. Break Man's stage is literally one room - that being the one you fight him in, of course.
      • Mega Man 7 has the Robot Museum, where you fight a robotic clown, after clearing the first four Robot Master stages.
      • The ascended fan-game Street Fighter X Mega Man has Balrog and M. Bison.
    • Mega Man X:
      • In Mega Man X4 has the duel against Colonel if you're playing as X. (If you're playing as Zero, it's an FMV Cutscene Boss instead.)
      • In Mega Man X5, the battles with Dynamo.
      • In Mega Man X8, one level has the Hunters chasing after Gigavolt Man-o-War, shooting at him until he slows down to be faced in a proper battle. There are no other enemies in the level except Man-o-War himself, just stage hazards.
    • Mega Man Zero: Zero must chase after the giant Drill Tank Hittide Hottide before it reaches the La Résistance Base. The only other enemies in the sequence are ones that emerged from the tank itself.
  • Crash Bandicoot usually does this, though Crash Twinsanity, Crash of the Titans and Crash: Mind Over Mutant put bosses at the end of levels (or, in the latter game, after certain quests) instead. In a series first, Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time includes one Mini-Boss at the end of a level but otherwise gives every boss their own levels like in the earlier games.
  • Spyro the Dragon: Though the bosses in the first game are closer to Level in Boss Clothing, Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! and Spyro: Year of the Dragon have boss levels that are bosses and nothing else, though the latter had the odd boss that could be found in a level along with the plot-mandated fights. In Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly, Ripto (the only boss in this game) was given his own level.
  • Wario Land:
    • In Virtual Boy Wario Land, stages 4, 8, 12 and 14 are short boss-only stages, and also the only ones to not have a treasure to collect. The map and treasure collection on the save screen make absolutely no secret of these facts.
    • In Wario Land 3, the final boss has his own level. Every boss in 4 and Shake It! has their own level as well.
    • In Wario World, while there are bosses at the end of actual levels, world bosses are contained in their own level.
  • Donkey Kong:
    • Every single boss in the Donkey Kong Country games is in a level all its own, with the sole exception of the final boss of Donkey Kong Country Returns. In fact, the final boss of the original game isn't even placed in one of the game worlds; his "level" is just a spot on the overall island map, the seventh, making it a world on its own.
    • The original Donkey Kong '94 did this, which likely set the trend for the series. Every four stages, you face DK in what is usually a dodging the debris kind of level, then the 8th stage is a fight against DK where you have to fight against him with barrels. The last six levels of the game are also this, where DK and DK Jr. try to harm you every stage and take you down, and it finally ends with a fight against DK, and then a final 9th level activates where you face Giga Kong.
    • Played With in the first Mario vs. Donkey Kong: while clearing the Mini-Mario Levels always leads players to facing Donkey Kong, after the first battle in any given world the Boss Battle itself is freely accessible afterwards, although not going through the MM levels first "punishes" the player with four Hit Points instead of the "usual" six, as it would be the case if all six Mini Marios are rescued. The sequels play it straight as well.
  • Castlevania
    • In Castlevania for the NES, stage 12 is a short corridor leading to a Boss Battle, and stage 18 is the famous stairs leading up to an antechamber to the Final Boss room. The MSX2 version turns these into considerably longer levels.
    • In Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, the Castlevania ruins are devoid of mooks and only serve as a battleground for Dracula in Anti-Climax Boss form.
    • In Super Castlevania IV, the final areas consist of a series of chambers housing nothing more than bosses. Slogra, Gaibon, Death, and finally Dracula must be fought in sequence with no mooks interfering.
    • In Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, Stage 6 is a boss level in which Shaft resurrects the first four bosses from the original NES game (Giant Bat, Medusa, Mummy, Frankenstein's Monster), and then Richter fights Shaft himself.
  • The eighth level of Kid Niki: Radical Ninja is really the second part of the Final Boss battle, where he starts running away.
  • Exaggerated in Mischief Makers, every boss has their own stage. Mini-bosses have their own stages!
  • Level 20 of the SNES version of Prince of Persia is just the Final Boss, Jaffar. Earlier, Level 17 consists a short gauntlet of traps followed by a battle with God Vishnu, and Level 19, which ends with a Boss Rush, is devoid of normal enemies as well. The Classic remake for modern platforms also gives Jaffar his own level.
  • The Poseidome, the Industrial Park and the Chum Bucket Lab from SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom are this.
  • Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil has one of these for each of its bosses. Door to Phantomile has one for the Final Boss.
  • Stage 8 of Alisia Dragoon is not so much a stage as a showdown with Ornah and Baldour.
  • Every boss level in Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure, with the exception of the first battle against Montana Max in the haunted pirate ship level is this. These are the only types of levels in the game that cannot be revisited once completed.
  • Every boss in The Adventures of Lomax. It's downplayed in that there's a short platforming section before the actual boss fight.
  • In Vice: Project Doom, most Boss Battles take place in separately numbered stages, though the Fight Woosh used before each suggests that they really just continue the preceding stages.
  • Ristar: Each planet has two regular levels, followed by one of these.
  • Dynamite Headdy: Every act-ending boss after the first has their own scene, and most of the fights against Trouble Bruin do as well. There are two entire acts where all the danger takes place in boss fights: Act 7 against the Gatekeepers, and Act 9 against Trouble Bruin's Super Finagler (which has other obstacles to worry about as well).
  • Commander Keen: The final level of the third Episodic Game, as well as the final level in the Gaiden Game Keen Dreams, both consist solely of their respective Final Bosses.
  • The last level of Leander consists only of the Big Bad's Boss Room.
  • All of the boss levels are like this in the later LittleBigPlanet games. The first game, however, only has it for the Advancing Boss of Doom and the Final Boss.
  • Most of the bosses in Bio Menace have their own level, and the only enemies appear as distractions. The only exception is the Enforcer, who's reached at the end of the last level.
  • The eighth level of PC game BIONICLE: The Game is just a Sequential Boss fight with Makuta and the Game Boy Advance game Bionicle: Matoran Adventures transitions to and from each of its boss fights the same way that it transitions between levels.
  • In Vector Man, stages 2, 7, 11, and 16 have very short time limits, as all you have to do is defeat the stage boss to proceed.
  • At the end of each world in Bug!, there is a "Finale" scene which consists of the world's boss battle and nothing else.
  • The bosses of Iji, save for the Asha rematch, are treated as their own separate Sectors in the game. As such, losing to a boss will result in restarting at the boss as opposed to the beginning of the Sector.
  • The last level of the Unlicensed Game Silent Assault is solely a boss battle with a pair of Egyptian Sphinxes.
  • Action 52 has this in the second level of Ninja Assault and the last level of Cheetahmen.
  • In Ori and the Will of the Wisps, the only enemy in Windtorn Ruins is the giant Sand Worm that Ori has to escape from after uniting the Wisps. Likewise, the final area after emerging from Willow's End (the last full-size dungeon) is just a short platform sequence leading up to the Spirit Willow followed by the Final Boss battle.
  • Pizza Vs. Skeletons: The final level of each world is a Boss Battle. Said battles all consist of you and the boss pushing against each other to try and push each other off the stage.
  • The final stage of DuckTales 2, which is Bermuda with the route changed to a once-blocked-off rope at the right of the start, has only the battle with Glomgold's D-1000.
  • Monster Party's ninth and final stage is just a battle with the Dark World Master.
  • Claws of Furry: You fight the bosses in their own levels.
  • Prehistorik: The even-numbered levels in the first game. All bosses are fought in a secluded boxing ring, and you challenge them right at the start, without needing to get there through any platforming gameplay.

    Rail Shooter 
  • New Pokémon Snap: After certain research milestones, the player gains access to an "Illumina" stage, in which the focus is on a single large Pokemon (or multiples of the same species) that takes some effort to get a clear picture of. However, this only applies to the Level 1 version of the stage; after clearing the stage once, a variant of the area with other Pokemon roaming the Illumina Spot and interacting with the Illumina Pokemon becomes available.
  • The "Hard" route makes Venom one of these in Star Fox 64. You first fight upgraded forms of Star Wolf, then fight Andross, then Andross' Brain. There's a short series of hallways to and from the battles with Andross, but it's otherwise nothing but boss fights.
  • Time Crisis series:
    • In the first game, each of the three bosses has a dedicated "Boss Area", though all of them are also Flunky Bosses.
    • Stage 2-3 in the second game is entirely a one-on-one fight with Buff Bryant, without any flunky support, while Stage 3-3 is devoted solely to General Diaz and his Doomsday Device prototype.
    • The final stage in Time Crisis 5 is one long final battle against Robert Baxter.
  • File #4 of Virtua Cop 2 is simply one final boss battle against Joe Fang. In the third game, it's a Boss Rush.
  • The final stage of LA Machineguns in Gunblade N.Y./L.A. Machineguns consists of a Battleship Raid against the terrorists' flying aircraft carrier.
  • The House of the Dead 1's Final Chapter is just rematches with Chariot and Hanged Man followed by the Final Boss battle with Magician.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Resident Evil 4: The sixth and final chapter (known simply as "Final Chapter") begins as soon as Leon and Ashley manage to excise the Plagas within them, and consists of the Final Boss battle against Saddler, followed by an Escape Sequence. The extra campaign added in later versions of the game (Separate Ways) averts the trope, as its last stage has Ada make her way through the Island's factory and defeating prior boss before reaching the part where she fights Saddler (and later helps Leon in his own fight against the same villain).
    • Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles: Chapter 5 is spent with Leon and Krauser fighting Javier (the villain of the Operation Javier campaign) who has mutated.
  • The final two stages of Omega Boost, Zones 8 and 9, consist only of a fight against one last Sub-Boss, then four consecutive fights against Alpha Core.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Pikmin 2: Some of the Challenge Mode missions consist merely of fighting a boss, and thus have only one floor each instead of two to five like many of the others. Examples include #15 (Cavernous Abyss, where the Raging Long Legs is) and #16 (Snack Pit, home of the Giant Breadbug).

    Role-Playing Game 
  • Arkandian Legends: The final boss is always in a separate dungeon from the buildup dungeon, so there's obviously a way to prepare.
  • Your first visits to the Fairy Village in both Breath of Fire III and IV. In the former, it's just a short sequence of cutscenes until you meet the Dolphin boss, and in the latter you have to fight several minibosses (all of whom are Pre-existing Encounters, not Random Encounters) until the main boss pops out.
  • Dark Cloud does this with most of its boss fights. The sequel, Dark Chronicle, does the same.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: The Final Boss is found after both a Boss Corridor and the same clearly-labeled Point of No Return that marks the transition to each new Act. In multiplayer, this requires each player to confirm the transition.
  • Eternal Twilight: The Bonus Dungeon, the Seraphic Shrine, consists only of boss battles and a central hub for shopping and upgrading gear. There are no random encounters, but all the bosses can be refought if the player needs to grind.
  • In Freedom Force, the last battle against Time Master is just him and his time clones.
  • Final Fantasy
    • Final Fantasy VII has the City of the Ancients (not to be confused with the Temple of the Ancients which precedes it in the plot). There are no random battles, just some items and gear to pick up, a massive plot development followed by a Boss fight, and then Disc 1 is finished.
    • Final Fantasy IX
      • Earth Shrine. A turning point in the plot, since it unlocks the passage to Terra, but the boss is a blend of Gimmick Level (you fight it with Zidane and Quina, of all characters) and Anticlimax Boss (unless you've neglected to learn Blue Magic).
      • The Hill of Despair, where you fight the final boss, Necron.
      • Chocobo's Air Garden has no Random Encounters, just the Super Boss Ozma.
    • Remiem Temple from Final Fantasy X doesn't use a Cloister of Trials or have Random Encounters to unlock its resident Aeon. Instead, it's an Aeon Duel Boss against Recurring Boss Belgemine.
    • Final Fantasy XIV has Trials, instanced fights against a single, powerful boss (usually, but not always, a Primal) and usually used in climactic moments in the main story. Raids in and after Stormblood were streamlined to be more like Trials, with no trash mobs and each 'floor' of the Raid sending you directly to the boss arena.
  • The King's Field games have a few of these. One notable example: in the first game near the endgame area there is a place you must fight 5 bosses in a row. A door will mark the threshold of the area, and when you step through it one of the boss doors will open, leading you into the fight. You can leave between boss fights if you want, but once you cross that threshold you have to start over at the beginning with the first boss. Only by beating all 5 bosses can you advance to the endgame area.
  • A few examples from World of Warcraft:
    • The Eye of Eternity instance only has the fight with Malygos.
    • Trial of the Crusader has five boss encounters and no trash. It's unique in that this is the only time this trope applied to an entire raid tier- the other raids are relatively short ones that are alongside longer ones.
    • Throne of the Four Winds only has the fights with the Conclave of Wind and Al'Akir.
    • Terrace of Endless Spring essentially is this, as there's only two small sets of trash in the area, which means that two out of the four bosses come immediately after the one before them.
    • The Arena of Annihilation is a scenario with a series of boss fights.
    • Most of the holiday bosses have become this, despite taking place in dungeons (which are typically trivially easy for the maximum-level players fighting the boss), as queuing for a holiday boss results in you and your group being sent to where the fight happens, or given a direct route to the fight.
    • Since Looking For Raid divides each raid into wings, this can happen sometimes. Seat of the Pantheon, the final wing of the Antorus raid, only has one trash mob apart from Aggramar and Argus, which is essentially a mini-boss.
  • Dark Souls:
    • Dark Souls 1:
      • The Sanctuary Garden in the Artorias of the Abyss DLC, which consists only of the Sanctuary Guardian's boss arena. When you come back later, there are two Degraded Boss Sanctuary Guardians.
      • The Demon Ruins comes close to being a boss-only level, as it has three bosses and most of the respawning enemies are also degraded bosses.
      • Quelaag's Domain consists of a colossal spider nest linking Blighttown to the aforementioned Demon Ruins. Aside from two Infested Hollows and Quelaag's little sister (plus attendant), there is only the titular Chaos Spider and a Bell of Awakening.
    • The Throne of Want in Dark Souls II is a variation. When you open the appropriate door in Drangleic Castle, you find a giant stone bridge with the Throne Watcher and Throne Defender boss fog at the end (accompanied by summon signs). The Emerald Herald appears briefly, but she'll disappear after you talk to her. The twist, however, is that once the Watcher and the Defender go down, if you have the Memory of Giants item, the Final Boss will appear through the boss fog.
    • Dark Souls III's final area, the Kiln of the First Flame, is a small map that only consists of the Final Boss fight against the Soul of Cinder and the First Flame it is guarding.
  • The final area of Elden Ring, Leyndell, Ashen Capital, is largely devoid of enemies barring the last few bosses of the game. If you explore, though, you may encounter a stray Boss in Mook Clothing in a hardly-visited corner of its map.
  • Live A Live:
    • The Cowboy chapter consists pretty much entirely of buildup and preparation for the chapter's boss, which is the only major fight in the whole chapter. There's a small handful of other battles for story purposes, but they're all against single enemies who go down in a couple hits and are nearly impossible to lose to.
    • The Sci-Fi chapter literally contains only one fight, against the boss. The rest of it functions more as an adventure game than an RPG, and it’s still one of the shortest chapters.
  • A huge chunk of disc 2 of Xenogears is narration, boss fight, narration, boss fight, repeat. Occasionally, you'll crawl through a dungeon before said fight. Occasionally.
  • In Ni no Kuni, the Ghost Ship is just two fights against a mini boss and a boss. Its counterparts, the Glimmering Grotto and the Vault of Tears, are complete dungeons with puzzles to solve and regular enemies to fight.
  • Monster Hunter: Almost every Elder Dragon in the series is fought in one of these. Those places are always unavailable otherwise. In the case of the Underwater Ruins in 3 Ultimate, the lair of Ceadeus, it's also the battlefield to fight Gold Ceadeus and Abyssal Lagiacrus, both in G Rank. In the event that you fight an Elder Dragon outside of a specialized map (usually the case with Kirin and its Oroshi subspecies, Chameleos, Teostra, Lunastra, Kushala Daora, Valstrax, Nergigante, Vaal Hazak, Velkhana, Namielle, and all associated variants), most small monsters will leave the map. Certain extremely powerful regular monsters (Shen Gaoren, Akantor, Ukanlos, Ahtal-Ka, Raging Brachydios and most Rare Species of other monsters) have each a specialized secluded area as well.
  • The final story mission in Dragon Age: Inquisition is a fairly small zone consisting of nothing but the Final Boss fight against Corypheus. Considering how large levels in this game can be.
  • Undertale has a few areas which qualify, to varying extents.
    • Toriel's house has no one inside except Toriel and the player. This qualifies because Toriel is fought in her basement.
    • New Home is a much larger area, with no fights before Asgore Dreemur. There are, however, a number of "fights" where the monsters do not attack; the "fights" are solely there to provide exposition. This trope is played differently in a True Pacifist run; there, you only fight one boss—Asriel Dreemur—but briefly encounter Asgore before Toriel attacks Asgore, followed by all other monsters, including bosses, briefly appearing. Meanwhile, in a Genocide Run, there are technically two bosses—Sans and Asgore—but the latter is defeated in a cutscene with no player effort.
    • After Flowey takes the human souls and becomes Photoshop Flowey, nothing exists except Flowey and the player, as Flowey destroyed it all.
    • In addition, every boss (and many unique monsters) are encountered in rooms without other encounters. Muffet is a notable example, due to both the length of her boss room and the presence of a room before it, clearly associated with her and possessing no random encounters.
  • In Paper Mario 64, Unlike most boss' lairs, the only thing of note in Cloudy Climb is Huff N' Puff himself.
  • Pokémon
    • Pokémon Gold and Silver has Jasmine's, Blaine's, and Blue's Gyms, which are notable for having no regular trainers to battle, with only the leaders available to battle. The remakes however, do add trainers to Blaine's and Blue's Gyms.
    • Pokémon Black and White, The Very Definitely Final Dungeon Team Plasma Castle, in spite of being the evil team's headquarters doesn't have any Random Encounters and none of its inhabitants fight you as trainers either, just the Final Bosses at the end. In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 this place can be revisited as a derelict ruin, and all it contains is a Bonus Boss.
    • In Pokémon X and Y the Unknown Dungeon and Sea Spirit's Den both have one room apiece, containing a Legendary Pokemon: Mewtwo and one of the Legendary Birds (depending on the starter the player chose at the start of the game), respectively. However, getting the bird to appear in the latter is a sidequest on its own, making it a subversion.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon's Ultra Space is just a short linear path that has no random encounters, just the Climax Boss with the game's Big Bad at the end. Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon expands Ultra Space to have various locales, but still limits a single Pokemon to one area each (whether they're simply rare Pokemon, Legendaries, or Ultra Beasts).
  • In Persona 4, the haunted shopping district, the first dungeon, is this. There are only two battles- a fixed tutorial battle against two weak Shadows that can be won in two turns and Shadow Yosuke.
  • In Child of Light, due to time constraints, the planned Very Definitely Final Dungeon was cut down to just the Final Boss battle with Queen Umbra.
  • Steven Universe: Save The Light: Hessonites Warship consists only of a short hallway leading to an elevator that heads up to the final boss room. The ship would later be greatly expanded upon in the Unleash The Light.
  • Tokyo Xanadu: The Sanctuary of Eternity in the Epilogue. It has no labyrinth to go through, nor any Greeds to fight along the way. It's just one boss battle against the Nine-Tailed Fox.
  • Ys series:
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story has both the Nerve Cluster and and the Memory Banks in Bowser's body. By the time the story requires the player to enter these areas, Mario and Luigi are immediately thrown into battles with the Durmite and Bowser Memory ML, respectively. After the last Giant boss battle, the paths leading to the final bosses are void of enemies as well.
  • Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep - A Fragmentary Passage has the ruins of Destiny Islands, which only features a few cutscenes and the final boss fight with the Demon Tide.

    Run and Gun 
  • Most of Cuphead is going from extravagant multi-phase boss fight to boss fight. The exceptions are "Run n' Gun" levels which feature more traditional level layouts. There are only 2 of these per world, compared to 5+ boss levels per world.
  • The final stage of Blazing Chrome only features bosses, though the final boss does involve platforming phases.
  • In all versions of Alien Syndrome, the last area simply consists of the final battle with King Core.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • EXTRAPOWER: Star Resistance: The final stage is one prolonged boss fight against the Shakun Star Main Computer, a gargantuan robot with a muscular build that gets corrupted with dark energy and attacks. After a short Boss Corridor that gives the player an automatic MAXIMUM POWER, the Main Computer rises from its seat and the player ascends the length of its scuplted torso to fight it face to face. The rest of the stage consists of the boss slowly approaching the player as they attack its head and dodge incoming attacks, occassionally whipping the screen back when it throws a massive screen-filling punch.
  • Almost all of the Battleship Raid levels in the R-Type series, especially the famous third level of the first R-Type, essentially consist of one long battle against a giant Bydo warship.
  • Gundemonium Recollection and Gundeadli Gne do this in their final levels.
  • Zone M/Titanic Lance in Darius Gaiden. Special in that Zone M is right in the middle of the game, and Titanic Lance is generally agreed to be harder than most of the final bosses.
  • The first Bangai-O game has the duel with Sabu in level 26. There are no enemies at all, with the only obstacles being falling block generators.
  • Segment 3 Lead and Segment 7 from Hellsinker pits you against Sunken Bishop and Rex Cavalier respectivly for almost the entire duration of the stage.
  • The final stage of Steel Saviour has you play what seems to be a level with many "minibosses"... which are revealed to be the Final Boss's Cognizant Limbs. Finally, you fight the main eye at the end.
  • A secret stage in Abmneshi The Prophecy consists of one long fight against the Bonus Boss, Sirisai.
  • The final stage of the arcade version of Area 88 is this, fighting the Project 4 fortress in an orange sky.
  • The final stage of Kamui consists solely of the boss battle with Xaffiquel.
  • Kamui's prequel RefleX
    • Area 4 pits you against Cancer.
    • Area 7 pits you against ZODIAC Virgo.
    • Area 8, the final area, starts with a short cutscene followed by taking on ZODIAC Libra and two KAMUI units.
  • The last stage of Ray Crisis consists solely of the Final Boss, and if the conditions are met, the True Final Boss. Ditto its predecessor, Ray Storm.
  • Stages 6 and 1 of Radiant Silvergun are entirely occupied by fights against Xiga and the Stone-like, respectively (though "fight" is a bit of a loose term in the case of the latter).
  • Chapter 10 of Ginga Force simply consists of the final showdown with Viridian.
  • In the SNES version of Gradius III, the Boss Rush that made up the first leg of the arcade version's final stage is spun off into a separate stage. In fact, all of the boss rush levels are this trope, if you exclude the Zubs or other Mooks that drop power ups.

    Simulation Game 
  • Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War:
    • The final campaign mission is just you versus one boss: Solo Wing Pixy and his ADFX-01 Morgan.
    • A bonus, non-canon mission involves a Sequential Boss battle against all the previous ace squadrons.

    Third-Person Shooter 

    Tower Defense 
  • Osomatsu-san: Hesokuri Wars: Choromatsu's 10th and final stages of his Beta events, aside from standard Hatabous in helicopters, consists entirely of boss versions of the enemies across a long battlefield.

    Turn-Based Strategy 

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