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"Each arm alone is where you must seek victory. [...] Fight his arm. Win. Then fight his leg. Fight him piece by piece 'til he's all defeated."
Sword Master, "The Sword Master," Oglaf note 

Generally found in fantasy-based Role Playing Games and Shoot Em Ups, this applies to a monster, especially a big one, usually a boss or a sub-boss of sorts, which has multiple targets, all worthy enough to tackle, punch, cast spells, leech or perform any other actions generally expected from self-sustaining monsters. In some cases, the targets can include the head, a tail, legs, arms, eyes and the torso. Machines and devices also apply, in which case the parts might be extra weapons or power sources. If it's an action game, expect such a monster to be at least a mid boss. Watch out, as it's not uncommon for the parts to use a Combination Attack against you. Beside giving additional attacks, the parts can also give defensive support, whether it is by taking hits for the main part, covering it, even healing it. And sometimes, the main part can't even be hurt unless you slice the rest apart.

In other cases, the additional targets may not be physically attached, but serve as support, almost always as a pair—left and right. Rarely are the supporters normally living things. This can consist of practically anything that the writers' imaginations could conscribe. And you can almost guarantee that if you beat all of the supports, the Big Bad has a way of reviving not just one of them, but all of them at once. Them's the rules of the game. And that's when they can actually be destroyed. However, if you defeat the main part, the other ones might be nice enough to die with it.

Overlaps with Flunky Boss. See also Subsystem Damage, Giant Hands of Doom, Giant Foot of Stomping, and Didn't Need Those Anyway!.


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     Action Game 
  • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening gives us the Leviathan heartcore, which has one organ to take your red orbs (and by extension your green health orbs), one to drain your Devil Trigger gauge, and the middle one to be beaten down (also the only one that attacks, but they can summon Mooks).

    Action Adventure 
  • Orochi's eight heads in Ōkami, each of which has its own elemental attack. Ninetails also requires you to destroy its eight other tails before the body.
  • Metroid:
    • Many of the bosses in the Metroid Prime Trilogy have multiple targets, such as the Omega Pirate, who has four armor pieces that must be destroyed before he becomes vulnerable to damage, one on each shoulder and one on each thigh.
    • Chykka, the main boss of the Torvus Bog in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, where Samus needs to shoot its four wings simultaneously with the Seeker Launcher, knocking it into the poison bog to transform into Dark Chykka, who's even easier to damage thanks to your Light Beam being very effective against Dark-anything.
    • The first Torizo in Super Metroid counts as this. After a few hits, you break open its chest, and after a few more hits, you destroy its head. All while it's going faster while it loses these. Luckily, it blows up after a couple more hits.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Castlevania
    • Legion is a recurring boss were the pieces are entire human bodies surrounding a central core.
    • Menace from Dawn of Sorrow has multiple small heads as weak points which must be destroyed separately.

    Action RPG 
  • In Horizon Zero Dawn and its sequel, all machines more complex than a humble watcher (which is fundamentally an eye on legs) are bristling with appendages and specialized organ-like structures. While some of these are weak points that can be attacked to deal massive damage, incur status effects, or acquire special resources, others are specialized weapons that give the machine extra attack options. Shooting these off not only makes the machine less dangerous and more vulnerable, but some of them can be picked up and used against it.
  • The Guard Armor in Kingdom Hearts has arms and legs that were so independent as to enter tournaments by themselves later in the game. Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep gives it an Unversed counterpart, the Trinity Armor.
  • Too Human has trolls which fit this trope. Each limb, plus the chest, plus a backpack on some of them can be individually targeted and destroyed, though this is not the only method of killing them. The third boss is very similar to the trolls, though destroying all limbs and the chest is the only way of killing it. In addition, the first level boss also has sequences where it must be shot in a very specific location to be damaged, though you can still technically target any portion of the body.
  • The Ultimate Being in Parasite Eve 2 has no fewer than nine separate parts — several of which will split into two parts on their own after being damaged enough — and each of them has some sort of attack. Only two parts need to be destroyed in order to expose the Core, and only the Core needs to be destroyed in order to bring about the boss's defeat, but the real challenge is eliminating every part of the Ultimate Being, which bestows some bonuses upon the player.
  • The final boss of Raidou Kuzunohavs The Soulless Army is a Transforming Mecha whose arms must be destroyed before you can take on its true form.
  • Galbalan in Wanderers from Ys and Ys: The Oath in Felghana, the latter of which also has Floating Limbs. Also used for many other bosses throughout the series.
  • In Crawl, the final boss Kourak has two tentacles that attack separately and cannot be destroyed. One fires out acid pools and the other fires out bubbles which trap the hero. Since the main mechanic of this multiplayer game is to have the ghost players able to possess traps/monsters, the tentacles and boss itself are actually controllable by different players.
  • Cthulhu in Dragon: Marked for Death has four tentacles (the two outermost tentacles fire streams of water than can cover the length of the ship stage while the innermost tentacles fire globs of toxic gas that induce Confusion) with their own separate health bars, and all of them must be depleted to trigger the finishing cutscene where the ship you're on kills the monster's main body with cannon-fire. On higher difficulties, each limb needs to be defeated twice in order to count as fully downed, and on the highest difficulties the "defeat each limb twice" rule still applies but now each limb instead of going away for good keeps attacking and is now invulnerable to damage until all the other limbs have been defeated twice.

    Card Battle Game 
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft: The Voyage to the Sunken City expansion introduces Colossal minions that summon parts of themselves as additional minions, invoking the spirit of this trope, though the appendages don't die with the main "body".

    Eastern RPG 
  • The Final Fantasy series uses this a lot. There's usually at least one boss battle like this in each game.
    • Final Fantasy III's DS remake made the two tentacles surrounding the Final Boss into a textbook example. They love to cast nasty spells like Haste and Bad Breath.
    • Final Fantasy IV: Baigan has two snake-like arms when you fight him, that will actually continue to hover in midair and have to be killed separately even if you kill the entire rest of the body. The CPU of the giant robot has an Attacker and Defender support system. Although in the DS remake, Baigan's arms self-destruct the first chance they get once the body is killed.
    • Final Fantasy V: Neo Exdeath has four parts. Also in the Updated Re-release for the Game Boy Advance, Neo Shinryu has multiple, invincible spots designed to suck in multiple attacks, giving it the appearance it's invulnerable some of the time.
    • Final Fantasy VI has the boss of the Minecart Madness sequence (with hands), the enemy airship guarding the Floating Continent (with two cannons and a flying speck that shoots magic), the tentacle monster in the bottom of Castle Figaro (who actually doesn't even have a main body, but four tentacles instead), a throw-away boss in the final dungeon (again with hands), and the three first parts of the final battle dungeon (which are parts of a huge tower composed of monsters).
    • Final Fantasy VII:
      • The game has several in the later portion of the game. There was the Carry Armor in the underwater reactor, stage 2 of the Hojo fight, and Jenova SYNTHESIS in the Final Dungeon, immediately followed by the battle against Bizarro Sephiroth which, in addition to having separately attacking hands, has a mini-Sephy which heals him and a self-resurrecting chest-thingie whose being dead allows the main part to take damage at all.
      • Both Emerald and Ruby Weapon qualify as well. Ruby Weapon won't deploy its tentacles in combat until your party is down to one (living) member; until then, it just banishes your characters from the battle one by one. In Emerald Weapon's case it's not really limbs, but rather a pair of extra eyes on each shoulder. Killing all of them provokes its ultimate attack.
    • Final Fantasy VIII has the final battle against Ultimecia, where she has a separate target in her chest from which both she and you can draw an über-spell called Apocalypse.
    • Final Fantasy IX had Kraken, the water fiend, and his water-shooting tentacles.
    • Several of the Sinspawn in Final Fantasy X employ this, and Sin itself exaggerates it by having its various parts be separate boss battles. There's also the Superboss, Penance, which is a literal example as it is accompanied by its two floating arms.
    • Final Fantasy X-2:
      • The game lets you play as one of these in battle: each character has a Special Dressphere, which changes her into a powerful form with two extra parts which replace the two other party members.
      • The game's final boss, Vegnagun, requires you to defeat all of its parts in various boss fights before you confront Vegnagun itself. And those parts often have their own extra parts.
    • The Final Boss in Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings has two hands and his chest targetable. Taking out the hands first isn't necessary, just highly recommended.
    • Final Fantasy XIII:
      • The game has the Havoc Skytank boss, whose multiple parts will be shooting you with every weapon available in quick succession. While you can just blow away the main body, demolishing the side components will cause much damage to the boss via Explosive Instrumentation and cut down on the attacks flying your way at the same time.
      • The first battle with Barthandelus, whose armor/body parts must be destroyed to lower the main body's high damage resistance.
      • The Adamantoise and its variants have front legs that can be attacked separately; defeating them both causes the creature to temporarily fall to the ground, lowering its damage resistance and halting its punishing attacks to allow you to wail on it.
  • Phantasy Star III: Dark Force has two hands as additional targets. One does healing, the other - a powerful attack.
  • Secret of Mana, though an Action-Adventure style RPG, has a Living Wall boss with two eyes, each with the ability to use magic, and a central eye. The central eye is the real target, but it stays closed until you defeat one of the outer eyes.
  • Secret of Evermore has Thraxx (and its later palette-swap Coleoptera), a massive spider-like monster with a couple of arms that can swipe at you, and an oddly visible heart blocked by its ribcage. You can attack the arms, but Thraxx's heart is its weak point, and it can only be reached by attacking the ribcage until it opens, or targeting the heart with alchemy spells. The arms are even worth some extra experience if you destroy them before finishing off Thraxx's heart.
  • Breath of Fire II: In the boss fight against your Father, he's strapped into a machine and protected by three drones. In order to complete the extended sidequest to get the good ending, you have to leave him alive, which means slowly chipping away at the drones one by one because anything that would hurt all of them will also hurt him.
  • In Illusion of Gaia, in the US version, the very first boss had two big ol' claws, which you had to defeat before you could strike at the head. In the original Japanese version, you can't attack the hands and you can go for the head directly.
  • Chrono Trigger: Lavos, the alien parasite, is a major user of this. His first form is a Boss Rush, growing various extra bits to mimic past bosses (many of which have Cognizant Limbs of their own) before fighting you for real. Then you fight Inner Lavos and its two arms. The Lavos Core is somewhat of a subversion, though; it is a normal-sized humanoid flanked by two small floating Lavos Bits; however, it soon becomes clear that the humanoid is not the actual Lavos Core, but instead the Center Bit. The enemy on the right is the Lavos Core, which looks identical to the Lavos Bit on the left.
  • Persona 2: The final boss of Persona 2: Innocent Sin, the Great Father, has five different health bars representing its head and four limbs, all with different attacks that can act independently. In a macabre twist of this trope, each limb represents each party members' dad, who will call out his/her name as they attack the party!
  • Wild AR Ms 2 has bosses set up so that you can simply go after the main part of the boss, or first target and defeat the individual parts. Doing so nets you more experience and make the boss fight harder, as the boss begins using their most powerful moves constantly.
  • Grandia: Several appear in the series, particularly the final boss battles of the first game and the various parts of Valmar in Grandia II. A notable case is the fight against Melfice, where you could target his Sword, a piece of armor, or himself. While killing Melfice would mean you didn't have to destroy the items, you wouldn't get as much treasure and it makes the fight harder.
  • Grandia III: Emelious ups the ante a bit with himself, Demon Sword, and the Orb of Darkness, all capable of powerful attacks. There is also a 4th target, the Godslayer, which cannot be killed but must be regularly canceled or it causes instant game-over.
  • RealityMinds: The Tentacreature boss has two of its tentacles act as separate enemies.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Mario & Luigi:
      • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga has Cackletta's final form with four parts: Two arms, the head, and the body, the last of which can only be targeted after killing the other three parts, as it exposes its heart to regenerate the other parts. Also, you start this fight with ONE health point for each character. Dodging all three attacks is hard, especially if one is hit by the first attack.
      • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time: The final boss has seven different parts: its head, four arms, a bunch of legs, and its crown. You need to destroy the head, which is protected by the crown, which is kept out of reach by the legs. Everything but the head will come back several turns after being destroyed. This, obviously, means a long battle (and this is right after two back-to-back bosses!)
      • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story: You're supposed to be fighting against the Dark Star's Monster SuitDark Bowser — but, as it turns out, Dark [Bug] Fawful is hiding inside of him, and as soon as you knock him unconscious, the Intentional Engrish for Funny-speaking maniac heals him and sends him into a Super Mode. At that point, you have to injure his head (or just punch him in the gut) so that he spits out Fawful, then have Bowser inhale him so that the Mario Bros. can face him inside his body. Except...what's this? Fawful has a Super Mode too? And all three of his limbs and both of his contact lenses are targetable? Yep, and to reach the actual Dark Star on his head, you have to defeat all five limbs/contacts to make him fall over so that you can face the Dark Star and its ludicrously overpowered attacks... for three turns. At that point, it heals Fawful and escapes back into Dark Bowser, and the process begins anew. However, the playable cutscene at the very end of the battle makes up for it.
      • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team: The final boss has the boss' two arms and the boss itself being targetable. The right arm exists solely to protect the boss from aerial attacks (Which cause extra damage) while it's functional, while the left arm is capable of seizing one of the bros and making them incapable of action until it's destroyed or it releases them by throwing them. You don't actually need to get rid of the right arm to win, as ground attacks will connect just fine.
    • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door:
      • The final boss does the two-hands thing. Occasionally, it'll split the hands into a field of dozens of hands, which oddly enough means less targets.
      • Magnus Von Grapple (both V1 and V2) has the main body and two hands.
    • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars:
      • The giant talking sword, Exor, has three Cognizant Limbs. His eyes cast minor spells and his mouth casts major spells, but the real target is the pommel of the sword itself, which can only be harmed while part of its main face is knocked out.
      • Smithy, the Big Bad of the game. His second form has both a regenerating body and a massive head which shifts between four forms.
      • King Calamari is composed of a gargantuan squid body and numerous tentacles, which will continue to fight after the main body is defeated until Mario and his party put them down individually.
      • Megasmilax is a potted Piranha Plant that grows one large head and numerous smaller ones.
      • Count Down is a giant clock whose ringing bells cast spells and can also be targeted.
  • The Legend of Dragoon had many of these, including a human boss whose swords counted as separate enemies.
    • Especially present in a fight with a Virage on Disc 2. Disarming it in the more literal sense can lead to a Flawless Victory, as the Virage AI can get confused and not attack at all. Unfortunately for you, the arms 'regenerate' at full health after a few turns. One of them gives it a One-Hit Kill attack.
  • Tales of Phantasia: Neo Dhaos (Dhaos' strange mutant-thing-ish second form) has two targets: his head and his arm. Both shoot fireballs at you. And both have insanely high defense, evasion, and hit points — thus making the fight not so much difficult as it is excruciatingly tedious.
  • In Tales of Vesperia, there is an Optional Boss, Spiral Draco, that follows this. He consists of three heads, a body, and tail, all of which can be targeted separately. They all have ludicrous HP and Attack power, so getting close is nigh impossible, but also have such high Magic Defense that your best ranged damage dealer (Rita) is useless. And the main head can revive other body parts if it doesn't get killed first.
  • Almost every boss in Digimon World DS and Digimon World Dawn/Dusk takes up multiple zones. This actually hinders them in that they take more than one hit from ranged attacks, and their massive size doesn't offer any benefits to the bosses themselves.
  • The second phase of the Overlord GAIA battle in Digimon World 2 splits his hands from his main body. Both hands have a pesky habit of significantly reducing your party's stats, making them more vulnerable to the hard hitting main body.
  • The first form of the Big Bad in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood has a couple of defensive units that hang out on either side of him. Taking these out isn't strictly necessary, but he does take more damage (and, more importantly, does less damage to you) in the few turns before he respawns them.
  • Blue Dragon has this for the third boss, the Hydrattler. It gets one attack for every living member of its four heads.
  • The final boss of Lunar: Eternal Blue is like this, having a head and four arms to target. It's sort of split up, though; at the start of the battle, you can only target the two outer arms. The rest of the targets are invincible, but they don't attack either. After a set amount of turns, your team is fully healed and all parts of the boss start attacking, and can be attacked in return (hopefully you killed the two outer arms by this point, otherwise things start to get really hectic).
  • Nearly every enemy in Resonance of Fate has at least one other body part in addition to their main body. These body parts act as shields from some angles. Destroying them nets you a Hero Gauge bezel, potentially some items, and usually exposes the main body to attack from that angle (unless there's another body part layered under it!), but you get no experience for attacking it.
  • The final (or penultimate depending on a certain extra) fight against Quaestor Verus in Baten Kaitos Origins has you fighting not only against the man, but also a group of four mechanical tentacles, which attack you along with the actual boss, block all attacks aimed at Verus, and can be revived after you take them down. The tentacles take no damage when protecting Verus — very annoying when you've prepared a powerful combo after the tentacles have been defeated, only to have them be brought back and seeing your combo do a total of zero damage.
  • Wolfram ALPHA from BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm is a towering mecha split into seven targets across three phases. First you have to fight its legs, then its arms, and finally its head and pauldrons, which fire devastating energy pulses.

    Fighting Game 
  • Guilty Gear - Dizzy's wings, an angelic woman and a demonic creature, serve as her protectors, and lash out very violently to anyone who would hurt her.
  • Subverted in Super Smash Bros., where what would appear to be the limbs (or just their extremities, to be precise) to the boss ARE the bosses.

    Light Gun Game 
  • Every enemy in Battle Clash and Metal Combat has parts that can be shot at and blown up. Some are just there for extra protection, while others house powerful weapons systems. Usually, there's a trick associated with them: in the battle with Lorca in the first game, shooting off his arms and legs is the best way to keep him from using his destructive "Battle Dance" special attack. In an inverse case, you want to avoid aiming at ST Arachnus' abdomen, or it'll unleash an attack similar to Lorca's Battle Dance that will end with you taking a shower in bullets.
  • Every boss in Revolution X (except for the mutated giant ant, which can be defeated with a rather simple gimmick) has multiple weak spots which must be destroyed individually before they are taken care of for good.
  • Almost every enemy bigger than a facebiter and smaller than a boss monster in Space Gun can have its arms and legs shot off.

    Massive Mutliplayer Online Game 
  • In City of Heroes:
    • Lusca the giant octopus is effectively nine separate giant monsters — eight tentacles and the head.
    • Each organelle (eighteen of them) and the nucleus of the amoeba-like Hamidon is a separate entity.
    • The tentacles/organelles must all be destroyed before the head/nucleus can be damaged at all.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Kologarn from the Ulduar instance is a giant stone... giant, with arms that can be targeted and destroyed separately from his body. Destroying at least one of them before focusing on his body is preferable as they allow him to do some very nasty attacks. Repeatedly destroying them is even better, as they lower the main body's HP by 15% until they're regenerated. This mechanic makes a return in the Firelands instance with Lord Rhyolith, a gigantic magma elemental. His left and right feet can be individually targeted, and damaging one makes him turn in that direction.
    • Seen again with the final battle against Deathwing. The first encounter with him involves the entire raid standing on his back and destroying tendons to tear apart his armor. The second encounter, after his transformation into an Eldritch Abomination, focuses on severing his limb tentacles before beating on his head.
    • Seen in The Heart of Fear raid. In this case, the Mantis send a giant siege weapon bug with a main body and 4 separately attackable legs, with one of them regrowing every 30 seconds, against the players.
    • Magaera in Throne of Thunder is a take on the mythical Hydra, with multiple independent heads that must be killed.
  • zOMG! has one of these which doubles as a Sequential Boss, with five different parts. After fighting the tail, the body and the arms come out. The arms will be destroyed if the body is destroyed, and the body will be destroyed if the arms are destroyed. Finally, the head rears its ugly... self.
  • Granblue Fantasy: Most bosses with multiple health bars invoke this trope, particularly the Impossible raid versions. Examples include Tiamat (her dragon tails) and Colossus (its sword-wielding arm). Just defeating the main body results in an instant victory. However, their "limbs" aren't to be trifled with, as they can provide additional buffs and abilities to the main body if left unchecked.
  • In The Lord of the Rings Online, the Watcher in the Water appears a few times in the main quest line in Moria; in each case the player fights multiple tentacles as mini-bosses. The Watcher itself can be fought later in a 12-man raid, along with its tentacles.
  • MapleStory:
    • Balrog's arms and body are separate.
    • Zakum is downplayed; he has eight arms which are all separate from his body, but they must be destroyed before his body can even be damaged, so he spends most of the fight without them.
    • Horntail's legs, tail, wings, each of its arms, and each of its three heads all act separately.
  • Some of the various bosses of Phantasy Star Online possess multiple points that can be targeted by area or multi-target attacks, though not necessarily destroyed separate of their host depending on the boss. Either way, all damage contributes to whittling down their total HP.
    • The Dragons have six points; the head, two feet, two wings and the tail. Inflicting enough damage to the feet causes it to drop prone, allowing melee combatants to attack the head, which takes more damage than the others.
    • De Rol Le and Da Ra Lie lose their bone-like armor plates as their segments take damage, increasing the amount of damage dealt to that segment. Makes it important to focus your attacks.
    • Vol Opt is split into several monitors and smaller components in his first stage. During his second stage, his parts can be destroyed to prevent him from using their abilities. As one of them lets him heal himself, this is high priority.
  • This comes into play on occasion in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. The Temple Guardian in The Sunken Temple of Qarn has a Soulstone which must be destroyed in order to render him vulnerable; said Soulstone regenerates after a few seconds, making the fight a race to do as much damage as possible while the Soulstone is broken. Partway through the fight with Titan, his Heart (a large crystal on his chest) becomes a target; destroying the Heart in short order is vital to ensuring the party doesn't instantly wipe when he unleashes his signature Earthen Fury attack. The Kraken at the end of Hullbreaker Isle is the most extreme example so far, with ten appendages in all which must be destroyed in order to force the boss into retreat.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Capital ships from Empire at War can have their weapons systems, hangars, bridges, shield generators, and engines destroyed.
  • The Hierarchy Walkers from Universe at War function like this. They have many separate parts, all built, damaged, and repaired separately. Destroying them involves blasting through the weak points to the coolant nodes or core. One of the few player-controllable cases of this.

  • For the King: The Kraken and the Sea King (Final Boss of the "Into the Deep" campaign) both have a main body and two tentacles; each has its own initiative order and Hit Points and is affected separately by Status Effects. The Kraken will retreat when it loses a tentacle, but is only killed for good when the main body is destroyed. The Sea King's tentacles continue to fight even after its body is killed.
  • Fear & Hunger: Every enemy is comprised of a set of limbs, which — usually excepting the legs — take an action each per turn. The order in which you take out each limb is vital to succeeding in the game's combat.

    Simulation Game 
  • Dwarf Fortress has hydras, with seven heads and seven necks to focus attacks on. Until recently, though, cutting off one head would kill the entire hydra.

    Shooter/Shoot 'Em Up 
  • Andross appears as a giant head and pair of hands floating in space in Star Fox 64. Taking out the hands limits his attacks, but it isn't necessary to defeat him. He does it again in ''Star Fox Adventures'".
  • Recca has this guy. Not only does he have four of them, but each of them are segmented — you will need to destroy all the segments to beat one, so you might as well go for his head and kill him off with your Smart Bomb.
  • This trope is the premise of Warning Forever.
  • The vast majority of bosses in Radiant Silvergun have many individually destroyable parts. The game rewards you with extra points for destroying the nonessential parts before the core part. Many parts of these mechanical bosses often indeed resemble limbs of living creatures.
  • Every freaking boss in Einhänder lives and breathes this trope, and some of the minor enemies! Beyond that, you often have to blow off the armor just to be able to actually hurt the boss or moderate enemies. On the upside, stripping off the boss's weapons is a good idea; not only does it give the player breathing room, many of them can be picked up and turned against the enemy.
  • Eyebot in Heavy Weapon has six destructible Combat Tentacles that shoot instant-kill lightning downwards. It also closes its weak spot when it starts to fire the lightning, which can be a good thing because you don't have to worry about dodging his random-shooting attack.
  • Absolutely loaded with in Jets'n'Guns. Anything bigger than your human-sized troopers and smaller ships can be broken into chunks, especially the environment.
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising, Pit's first encounter with Hewdraw follows this trope, as all three of his heads need to be destroyed to proceed. The two that fall off are fought separately later in the stage.
  • Vanquish has a Spider Tank boss, the Argus, whose legs can be crippled. An achievement is awarded for destroying all of the individual body parts. Giant Mooks such as the Romanovs can also have their limbs disabled, another achievement requires doing this then finishing them with a melee attack.
  • Nearly all bosses in the RAY Series.
  • Many bosses in the Raiden franchise have these, and destroying the optional parts causes the boss to increase its firepower.
  • Lightning Fighters' Stage 3 boss consists of three ships that combine into a larger battleship.
  • The larger Thresher enemies in Borderlands 2 such as Badasses and Old Slappy have tentacles that can be targeted separately from the Thresher. They share the same health bar but severing a tentacle will earn you a Second Wind. However, Superboss Terramorphous the Invincible has various types of tentacles that each have their own individual health bars.
  • Some bosses in Blazing Star, overlapping with One-Winged Angel and most notably the ones from the second and fourth stages. The former has two arms and a tail and the latter jets and weapon turrets.
  • Aero Fighters has a large number of this too in their bosses and often overlapping with Battleship Raid. To cite one example the battleship from the first game of the franchise, that is attacked from the stern and in which you must destroy first the rear turret and later its entire superstructure.
  • Blaster Master: Blasting Again takes this to a ridiculous extreme, as boss fights involve engaging titantic enemies with an egregious number of individual components. The first boss has 18 health bars, one for each of its individual parts, and it gets crazier from there.
  • Many bosses in Chaos Field have multiple parts that can be destroyed in order to advance while some can replenish Meta or reward Point Items.

    Survival Horror 
  • In Eternal Darkness, you can easily choose which limb you want to lock-on and attack with most enemies. It has different effects depending on which limb is damaged (cutting off a zombie's head leaves it completely disoriented, while doing the same to all three heads of a Horror, for example, outright kills it).

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • The final boss of Shining Force, Dark Dragon, had three heads, each equally powerful.
  • Shining Force II had the Kraken boss and its multiple tentacles.
  • Star Overlord Valvoga in Makai Kingdom is a parody of this, with a separate personality in each of his components - Dryzen the loud and brutish dragon skull, Ophelia the arrogant dark angel, and Micky, the apparent main body who is actually timid and Ambiguously Gay. Despite this, though, his Optional Boss form is only a single enemy.
    Zetta: This thing... err, these things... are Dark Lord Valvoga, the Star Overlord. In many worlds, they're the Final Boss. On the bottom is the dragon, Dryzen. The face in the middle is Ophelia, the fallen angel. At the top is Micky, who supposedly makes the decisions, but the others tend to bully him. They're basically calling the shots. For a demon general, he's pretty spineless.
  • The Final Boss of Bahamut Lagoon is a five-headed dragon. Somewhat disappointing — the game engine isn't built to handle it.
  • In Battleships Forever, all the ships consist of multiple individually destroyable parts.

    Western RPG 
  • The Sleeper, the final boss in the first Gothic game, is an extra-dimensional demon which somehow draws its power from five beating hearts encased in pillars in its lair. The Boss Battle involves dodging its attacks and getting close enough to stab each heart in turn with one of five specific swords. Once that's done, you don't even have to deal with the Sleeper itself — it just leaves!
  • A mainstay of the Fallout series has been the ability to target individual body parts on enemies, from the eyes to the groin. This also applies to nonhuman enemies, allowing the player to target the strangely-named and/or placed body parts of the series' many mutant freaks.
  • The Broodmother in Dragon Age: Origins has the main body and multiple tentacles that the game deals as separate opponents rising from the ground. One of the simplest ways of beating her is to have your party stand in places where the tentacles can't reach and use bows and other ranged attacks.

    Non-Video Game Examples 

Anime and Manga

  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds does this with the Meklord Emperors, wherein each Emperor consists of five parts: the Emperor itself, plus the Top, Attack, Guard, and Carrier parts. Averted in the real life card game, where each Meklord Emperor is represented, in full form, as a single card.
  • Merem Solomon of the Nasu Verse and Tsukihime lore has replaced his four main limbs with demons, each with its own special power and capable of acting on its own.

Religion and Mythology

  • Older Than Feudalism: The multi-headed Lernaean Hydra from the Greek myth of Hercules would respawn two heads for every one cut off unless the stumps were seared with fire.


  • Destroy the Godmodder has had several of these over the course of the series. The most notable one is the UOSS, a giant orbital spaceship from the second thread.

Tabletop Games

  • In Dungeons & Dragons:
    • A hydra has multiple heads that allow it to make multiple attacks a round.
    • The Beholder is a monster known for spell-like effects from its eyes. Despite being only 4 feet wide, it's one of the few monsters where you can target the main eye or the eye stalks.
  • Monsterpocalypse: Osheroth is like this. In its initial form, there's four tentacles roving around, each of which can attack and be attacked separately. When Osheroth goes into Hyper mode (whether voluntarily or because the tentacles were depleted of vitality) they get retracted and Osheroth itself makes an appearance.
  • In Exalted, the Unconquered Sun is capable of assuming an alternate combat form in which he gains thirty two arms, all with fairly decent health levels, that are the only thing on him that can be hurt (although reducing him back to four forces him into his usual form), and that he can gradually regenerate.
  • The classic approach to modelling giant monsters in Fate-based games is by making the creature into its own map with distinct zones — so, somebody behind a giant dragon may not even get to attack its head until they've managed to get past its tail and main body first and its various sections will probably count as individual opponents in their own right. Since the Fate System explicitly allows pretty much anything to be modelled as a character by just giving it the traits it needs (codified as its "Bronze Rule" as of Fate Core, also sometimes known as the "Fate Fractal"), this approach also directly works for large-scale environmental threats like e.g. a sufficiently large fire.
  • During battles, monsters and bosses of Power Rangers: Heroes Of The Grid are all represented by four cards, that each have their own health and effects. The Ranger characters must defeat all four cards to destroy the monster. In the case of bosses, they need to destroy six cards, requiring another battle against them.
  • Played with in Yu-Gi-Oh! Rush Duel; Maximum Monsters are three separate cards that have combined together to make up a single monster with three different effects. However, upon doing so the left and right cards stop being distinct monsters, meaning that simply taking out the "head" (that is, the monster in the middle zone) will defeat all three cards.

Real Life

  • The Cymothoa exigua, a parasitic variety of crustacean, eventually kills the tongue it feeds upon... at which point it replaces it. That may not sound scary, until you realize it still has eyes and limbs. It's not all bad- the fish can eat harder foods by crushing them between the parasite's back and their hard palate.
  • Each individual arm of an octopus actually thinks for itself. The way the animal's body works is, the octopus in effect issues a command to an arm (such as "grab food"), and the arm's cluster of nerves decide independently of the octopus's brain how to perform the action. Each individual arm even has its own "personality"; that is, two arms issued the same command will go about different ways of performing it.