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Final-Exam Boss

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"Let's see if you remember everything you learned, slowbeef."

A Final-Exam Boss is a boss (usually the last or second-to-last) that can only be defeated by using every (or almost every) item and power you've acquired throughout the game (often in the same order you got them, even). Sometimes you just have to use those items to make the boss vulnerable to conventional weapons, like freezing a water monster form before bashing it with your weapon of choice. Such a boss often employs weakness-changing abilities. A variant applies this to the whole stage instead of, or in addition to, the boss: you have to use all of your special abilities to get through The Very Definitely Final Dungeon for the big showdown. Of course, this is the finale of the Plot Tailored to the Party.

Obviously overlaps with Sequential Boss and Puzzle Boss. For the television version, see Final Exam Finale. For the dungeon version, see All the Worlds Are a Stage. For an entire series, see Megamix Game.

As these examples are almost universally found at the climax or end of a game, expect unmarked spoilers.


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  • The two final levels and bosses in 20XX do this in different ways. Both levels mix together a variety of enemies and environmental hazards from throughout the game in a kind of Hailfire Peaks sort of way (ice platforms over lava are not unheard of), but the two bosses have different setups that require you to remember how various bosses operate. Brighton Sharp throws a variety of other boss attacks at you, including Kur's Quint Laser, Shatterbeak's Splinterfrost, and Death Lotus's mortars, meaning that your training against those bosses earlier in the game will come in handy (although some of them are tweaked to be harder). Arlan Flat, on the other hand, has a boss fight that involves short platforming sctions, meaning that you need to remember how to handle various kinds of environmental hazard in order to get up to his weak spot and pump ammo into it.
  • The final boss of Altered Beast (2005) has six forms, each of which requires one of your transformations to take down.
  • Astral Chain: Noah Prime, the final form of Noah, forces the player to make use of each Legion's special abilities, use up all their healing items, and will utterly decimate you if you haven't mastered the gameplay and combat system.
  • In Battle Chef Brigade, Mina's final challenge is a Sequential Boss gauntlet against three members of the Brigade, with each battle taking place in one of the three hunting areas, and the theme ingredients belonging to the strongest monster in the region. The number of judges increases with each trial — one, then two, then three — with their favorite flavors encompassing almost all possible gem combinations. The head judge, Chairman Kamin, requires a carefully-balanced meal containing an equal number of high-level Fire, Earth, and Water gems.
  • EOE: Eve of Extinction: Agla cannot be damaged unless you use a Legacy weapon of the corresponding color they change into.
  • Furi: The DLC's Superboss uses similar attacks from the other bosses in the game, in order of boss appearance for each phase. His final phase is just him using nearly every move he used from the whole fight until his invulnerability wears off.
  • Jet Force Gemini: During the final battle, Mizar borrows several attacks and patterns from previous bosses in the game, requiring you to remember how to tackle them. He launches meteoric rocks and places himself from a distance like the Mechantids, uses electric attacks and red-colored Shockwave Stomps like Fet Bubb, hovers from one side to another to attack Juno more closely like Lurg did against Vela in its second phase and, during the final phase, resumes the stationary sequence of attacks like he did in the Final Boss Preview in his fight against Lupus.
  • In Mega Man Powered Up, the Normal and Hard versions of the Wily Machine use the Robot Masters' attacks against you, requiring you to fight back with the weapon of the Robot Master it is strong against. However, Time Slow is useless against the Wily Machine when it is in Super Arm mode (it could only be harmed by Time Man's projectiles, and they're only available if you actually play as Time Man), but fortunately the Wily Machine doesn't attack during this state. Wily himself does sometimes throw a hammer at you. Which can be very easily dodged.
  • The final battle against Omega in Mega Man Zero 3. The initial phase is very similar to the first time you face him (in the intro, to be specific), but faster and adds new attacks. His Fusion Omega form is all about mastering the dash-jump. And lastly the Grand Finale against Omega Zero, which tests EVERYTHING you know from dashing away, dodging his attacks and either blasting him to oblivion or slashing him to ribbons.
  • Beating Wizeman in NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams requires use of all three of the Personas you acquire in the game.
  • In Overcooked!, the Ever Peckish in the first game has you make one of every recipe you've made in the game so far. Your time limit is much more generous, but you also have to contend with the stage constantly changing to incorporate familiar hazards, too, such as conveyor belts. The final recipe you make? A salad, which you haven't had to make since the first stage of the game.

    Action Adventure 
  • The four legendary ships from Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag are optional Superboss challenges, and taking them down involves you using every trick you have learnt in navigation, use of resources (chain shot, heat shot, broadside, fire barrels), and controlling the sail speeds. It's all strategy and represents the culmination of the Franchise's naval component. Special mention has to go to the two Spanish ships — La Dama Negra and El Impoluto, with the latter being almost Shadow of the Colossus worthy as a fight.
  • Batman:
    • Mr. Freeze in Batman: Arkham City is invulnerable to frontal attacks and has a deadly freeze ray, plus he hunts you relentlessly through the area you fight him in. To take him down, you need to use every single different attack and gadget Batman has, because Freeze keeps activating countermeasures to stop you from performing the same trick twice. Curiously, this boss fight takes place near the middle of the game, rather than the end. On New Game Plus, Mr. Freeze is even able to jam Batman's Detective Mode if the player leaves it on for too long.
    • Every battle with the eponymous character of Batman: Arkham Knight tests you on some facet of gameplay. The first battle with him in his tank tests your skills with the Battank. The Excavator tests your skills with driving and avoidance, and the stealth duel forces you to battle enemies who cannot be seen with your detective vision.
    • Also in Arkham Knight, the Riddler's mech tests your combat skills with and without a partner. While he is optional, he can only be fought after obtaining 100% completion, so he is the true final exam.
  • The final "Escape from Snaxburg" sequence in Bugsnax comes in six stages, with each one utilizing one of the traps and gadgets you've been using throughout the game to capture Bugsnax. The catch is that each one has been modified to exterminate the Bugsnax instead of catching them.
  • Immortals Fenyx Rising:
    • The Vault of Typhon is this before facing Typhon himself. Fenyx has to go through four corners with challenges representing the other four vaults that contained the gods' essences: Changing the direction of wind (Hephaistos), pushing chained boxes (Athena), burning poison seeds (Aphrodite) and using gravity cubes (Ares).
    • "A New God" has the Trial of Zeus be this as the last official level. It throws everything you used in the base game, all the new powers which involve Phosphor's Clone, Immortal Field Breaker, Wind Gust and Colossal Strength. You also now have to deal with Zeus throwing lightning bolts at you as well. Can't make it too fair.
  • The final boss of Ittle Dew, rather than attacking you directly, puts you in situations that force you to use your Fire Sword, your Portal Wand, and your Ice Wand effectively. The boss goes through fewer phases if you make it to the end with only two of the three tools, but is no less difficult for it.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Every game in this series is often set up so that you get a new item from a dungeon, learn a new technique, or receive special powers that will undoubtably play a major role in taking out a dungeon boss or the final boss. This is notably averted in Skyward Sword by Ghirahim, who isn't vulnerable to his residing dungeons' items, and is there to see if you've mastered the Wiimote controls. You're in for a world of hurt if you haven't.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening: The Shadow of Nightmares, the Final Boss, morphs into a grand total of five different enemies you've fought before (excluding the Giant Bot), and if you're familiar with them, you know exactly how to counter their moves. Then, you have to endure the true form of the Nightmare, and the real final battle is underway.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: The game requires that you remember the Phantom Ganon battle to combat Ganondorf (or how to use a bottle in unorthodox ways), and figure out the Light Arrows are designed to smite evil. Running down the Tower forces you to face Stalfos again, who only drop their guard when attacking, but also regenerate if their comrades aren't all slain quickly enough, and hopefully you remember how to stop a Redead without the Sun's Song. On to the final battle, where Ganon swats away your sword. So, unless you got the Biggoron Sword, you have to use basically everything else in your arsenal: Megaton Hammer, bombs, arrows, even Deku Nuts. Finally, you have to unleash the Master Sword's Informed Ability at last — use it to deliver the final blow.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: Each phase of the battle against the eponymous mask requires a strategy that, in one way or another, mirrors that of a previous boss (Tatl lampshades this in each phase). But that's assuming you don't actually use the Fierce Deity Mask, which makes the "final exam" completely unnecessary. Since the Fierce Deity mask is harder to get than just beating the final boss, it's more like getting exempt from the final because you aced the entire rest of the class.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games: The final fight in Oracle of Ages rehashes an old battle wherein you had to use Mystery Seeds and the Switch Hook. Move on to simple swordplay and seed shooting, plus a couple tricks to find out how to move those Dark Links around. Finally, it's time to use bombs, sword, and the seed shooter. Also, Pegasus seeds help a lot.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: Puppet Ganon has three forms, each one resembling a boss that was previously fought by Link during his adventure. The standard puppet form has strings that have to be cut with the Boomerang to hit the tail more easily with the Light Arrows, similar to how the upper roots of Kalle Demos have to be cut with the same weapon to unveil the interior of its bud and hit it. The spider form attacks Link from above and has to be hit in the tail (with the Light Arrows again) when it falls down, a reverse form of the battle against Gohma (whom Link causes damage by going above and making a large rock fall right onto that boss). The snake form moves rapidly through the battlefield as Link tries to hit the tail (with the same projectiles as before), similar to how Link has to deal with the Moldorms released by Molgera. The battle against Ganondorf at the top of his tower is a 2-on-1 duel that requires cooperation with Zelda, not unlike the dungeons where Link had to cooperate with a supporting character (or, in one case, controllable statues); and to deliver the final blow, he has to use his Mirror Shield to reflect a Light Arrow shot by Zelda at the Gerudo villain and then employ one of the game's newest sword skills (the parry).
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap: The first fight with Vaati requires the Gust Jar, you need the Bow for his next stage, and his final form requires the Cane of Pacci. The ability to multiply is also required for forms 2 and 3, as is the ability to shrink for the first half of form 3.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess:
      • The Darknut Mini-Boss in the Temple of Time in an interesting example in that despite its position, it's also the first enemy that makes you use all the special sword techniques you've been learning to strip away his armor and open holes in his defense. Midna even tells you to use your sword techniques while admitting she doesn't have any real idea otherwise on how to fight it.
      • In Zant's boss fight, he creates copies of different areas from several dungeons, requiring the player to recall how they cleared the dungeons and used their associated item — for instance, using the gale boomerang in the copy of Diababa's fight or the iron boots to avoid being knocked off the magnetic platform from the Fire Temple.
      • Ganondorf. In the very first part of the battle, against Puppet Zelda, you need to practice your defensive skills, such as your various dodging techniques, the Shield Attack, etc. The next section is played as Wolf Link, and you have to use the trick you learned for catching runaway rams to beat him. After that, you engage in some horseback combat. Wrap it all up with some serious need for the special sword techniques. Or distract him with the fishing rod.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass: The final battle involves the grappling hook, the bow, a new form of the drawing gimmick, and even some boat combat. To finish it all off is a form of swordplay you've been developing by battles against Jolene.
    • Hyrule Warriors: The final boss, Ganon, starts off by mimicking attacks from some of the earlier bosses in the game, and you have to use your bombs, boomerang, bow, and hookshot at the right times in order to weaken it to start dealing actual damage to it.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:
      • The game actually has an in-universe justification for the "Final-Exam" element: Calamity Ganon manifests as a physical amalgamation of the four Blight Ganons you faced before that point (or rather, the Blight Ganons manifested as a limited aspect of Calamity Ganon), and he has all their abilities and weaknesses. In fact, if you skipped any of the Blight Ganon fights in the Divine Beasts before heading to the Sanctum of Hyrule Castle, you'll have to face whichever ones you skipped immediately before facing Calamity Ganon himself.
      • There is a Superboss introduced in "The Champion's Ballad" DLC, Monk Maz Koshia. He uses some of Thuderblight Ganon's attacks (specifically his flash step and summoning metal objects to electrify), creates clones that need to be dealt with using arrows or bombs, has Guardian lasers and fires the various elemental arrows at you. All this to create a boss that requires a lot of different skills to beat.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: Unlike every other boss in the game, Ganondorf has no exploitable weaknesses to stagger him. Randomly attacking will result in him either counterattacking or dodging your strikes. The only way to do heavy damage is to read the telegraphed attacks of his whole arsenal and dodge in the right direction at the precise moment to active Flurry Rush, and his second phase demands you to do this twice in a row. In other words, players are required to have mastered the combat system to best Ganondorf.
    • Octavo from Cadence of Hyrule uses the power of the four instruments that he used to create the four main dungeon bosses during his fight, allowing him to summon smaller versions of them to fight you.
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance: Senator Steven Armstrong, the Big Bad of the game and the Final Boss that you fight, uses tactics that echo all of the previous Winds of Destruction, making those four bosses lead-ups to him. If you haven't mastered parrying, countering, dodging, blade mode and virtually every gameplay mechanic that the game has to offer, he will wreck you.
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid Prime Trilogy:
      • Metroid Prime: The eponymous final boss requires you to use all of your beam weapons against it in the first form, and all of your visors against it in the second.
      • Metroid Prime: Hunters: The first form of Gorea requires you to use all six of your beam weapons against it in a game of Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors if you want to fight the second form and get the good ending.
      • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes: The second form of the Emperor Ing requires the use of the Morph Ball and the Power Bombs to gradually break the carapace of the chrysalis. The third and final form subtly changes colour to reveal its weakness to either the Dark Beam or Light Beam (and by extension their Super Missile forms), though the Annihilator Beam will hurt it in both situations.
      • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption: Gandrayda is a shapeshifter that cycles through the forms of several bosses you have already fought (as well as a couple standard mooks, and Samus herself). Each form must be dealt with using the correct weapons.
    • Metroid: Samus Returns: The Queen Metroid requires you to use virtually every upgrade to win. On top of having to use careful free-aiming of missiles to hit it in the mouth, you also have to use the Space Jump and Spider Ball to avoid its very widely-reaching attacks, with the Spider Ball also helping you avoid being blown into an electrified wall at one point. You can also speed up the fight by performing a Melee Counter on it, then latching onto its tongue with the Grapple Beam to pull it down and give you an opening to Morph Ball into its mouth and plant a Power Bomb in its stomach. This helps hide the fact that it isn't the final boss.
    • Metroid Dread: Raven Beak is a Chozo general armed with the peak of his race's technological might. To fight and evade him optimally Samus has to use nearly everything her arsenal has. One attack is best beaten back by super missiles, storm missiles are excellent for unloading damage on the boss in the tiny openings given as he flies, his speed requires use of both the flash boost and space jump to safely evade, the melee counter can be used to force big openings sooner than they would come naturally, and in the last phase power bombs can be used to outright neutralize the miniature suns that otherwise turn the fight into a periodic space jump evading nightmare. Truly a fitting boss to close out the saga of Samus and the Metroids with.
  • The pseudo-Boss Rush final boss in Nicktoons Unite! combines this with a Plot Tailored to the Party.
  • No More Heroes: Henry is the pinnacle of real difficulty. You have to manage to learn how to Dark Step, emergency evade, and slash the hell out of him. He manages to be completely fair, despite his various unblockable attacks and his dreaded yet awesome One-Hit Kill, plus the Boss Remix "We Are Finally Cowboys" blaring in the background. The game actually makes sure that you're (hopefully) at the top of your game by requiring you to attain all beam katanas before facing off against him.
  • Ōkami: Yami manages to work in a use for every single Celestial Brush technique in the game, even if it has to make up completely new functions in some cases,note  and the one and only Brush Technique that the Sequential Boss battle didn't require, and is otherwise useless in combat (Sunrise), is its ultimate weakness in its final form.
  • Pandora's Tower: The Final Boss Zeron makes use of all elements that were present in the previous towers during her attacks, and in turn many of those attacks mimic those of the bosses fought in said towers: Green Thumb, Dishing Out Dirt, Making a Splash, Playing with Fire, Chrome Champion, White Magic, and Casting a Shadow. Aeron has to deplete the Life Meter of each elemental source to disable them, at which point the boss will be defeated. Should the Golden Ending be on the way of being unlocked, an additional phase is added where Aeron's chain has to be used with good aim to save Elena from Zeron's Last Ditch Move.
  • Sword Saint Isshin from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is one hell of a final exam: Counting the fight against Genichiro right before, he has the highest number of phases in the game at a whopping 4 healthbars, and as you whittle him down he'll begin to use every type of attack in the game against you: slashes, swipes, grabs, ranged attacks, and lightning, forcing the player to use all of the specific counter moves they've learned throughout the game. On top of the game's already generally high difficulty, it's little wonder that he's considered one of, if not THE hardest final boss in FromSoftware history.
  • Sunset Overdrive's final boss is Fizz Co's headquarters, revealed to be a giant robot. The level of fighting is pathetic, but it's all about the Super Le Parkour that you've been learning throughout the game. Besides, you already did all the fighting to awaken the final boss. Also, the final boss is geared for destruction, not fighting. And it's angry about that, because...
    Final Boss: I have a power core?! Why wasn't I told about this?! The only reason you have a power core is so that someone CAN DESTROY THE POWER CORE!!! When I find the guy who-

  • Monkey Island:
    • Your best chance of beating the Sword Master in The Secret of Monkey Island is to learn every insult and response in the game, because the answers to her all-unique insults are ones that you initially learn as responses to other insults. People in random encounters will sometimes tell you you are ready to face her, before you've actually learnt all the insults.
    • Similarly, in The Curse of Monkey Island you must learn all the insults and rhyming responses to defeat Captain Rottingham in insult sword-fighting.
  • Never Gives Up Her Dead: Downplayed with the final act of the game. You have to use the same robot recording and replaying from Adventureland, and you build a seesaw like you did back in the castle section.
  • The final level of Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It, "Meet the Mayor", incorporates wordplay puzzles from some of the previous levels (like the homophones from "Shopping Bizarre" and the Literal Metaphors in "Buy the Farm" and "Eat Your Words").

    Card Battle 
  • The final battle with Leshy in Inscryption sees him using each of the previous bosses' signature attacks during the fight's first two phases, requiring you to know exactly how to counter each one so you don't end up having your best cards turned into worthless junk or stolen and turned against you.
  • The Final Boss for Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2010: Reverse of Arcadia has to be dueled multiple times, one for each form of gameplay in the game: first a race, then a Turbo Duel, then 2-on-1 (plays like a tag duel for your side), then finally a regular duel.

  • In the Carmen Sandiego game Carmen Sandiego's Great Chase Through Time, the final stage is more like classic Carmen Sandiego games where you have to go to different time periods and ask the people there where they saw her go next. Normally, they give clues you would not get unless you've been paying attention to the general principles of the setting.
  • The final level of JumpStart Adventures 4th Grade: Sapphire Falls features a true or false test with questions about all the subjects the rest of the game covered.

    Fighting Games 

    First Person Shooter 
  • The final battle of Half-Life 2: Episode 2 requires the player to use numerous tactics introduced throughout the game.
  • Wolfenstein ends with the player matching his Medallion powers with Hans Grosse, with access to each power being eliminated with successive stages of the battle.

  • Final Fantasy XIV:
    • A Realm Reborn has you fighting the Ultima Weapon, which uses attacks from Ifrit, Titan, and Garuda as well as its own attacks.
    • Heavensward has the final boss(es) use attacks that are similar to the ones used by the bosses in the Crystal Tower raids that took place during A Realm Reborn.
    • The final boss of Stormblood uses attacks from nearly all the primals from A Realm Reborn as well as its own attacks.
    • Ultima, the High Seraph, final boss of the Return to Ivalice raids in Stormblood reuses attacks from Hashmal, Rofocale, Famfrit, and Belias, bosses from earlier in the raid series.
    • Eulogia, the final boss of Myths of the Realm in Endwalker borrows attacks from each of The Twelve. Which is appropriate because it's all Twelve gods fused into one being.
  • Akylios in RIFT, at least or especially in the Intrepid Adventure mode, tests every core player skill of a RIFT player. After completing the usual generic tasks Intrepid Adventures require of you, you will be faced with an utter horde of small, weak Mooks you will need to use Herd Hitting Attacks to deal with, testing your ability to deal with such hordes effectively. Following this is a smaller group of stronger minions you'll need to use your stronger, fewer-target spells against, again testing your ability to deal with such smaller, stronger groups. Defeating them will prompt Akylios' seeming lieutenant Jornaru to challenge you, and summon waves which are an ultimately fatal Cycle of Hurting if not avoided, as well as his own area-effect attacks, challenging your single-target damage skills and situational awareness. note  Upon his defeat, you will have to deal with 4 Elite Mook tentacles, which are too far away from each other to be AoE'd down, and have to be attacked either in parallel or sequentially, while also dealing with their powerful melee and magical/area effect attacks. This again tests your situational awareness and single target DPS abilities, while also testing the healers' abilities to handle multiple target damage. Once this is done, Akylios itself finally rises from the depths, and brings several more nasty tricks to the table. Its basic attack is a quite powerful and quick to cast magic attack, though manageable by healers and interruptible. However, it will also periodically "rear" in a certain direction and spew an incredibly powerful water blast capable of overwhelming all but the most overgeared healers, forcing you to evade by also moving in that direction, and testing players' abilities to deal with immensely powerful abilities preceded by prompts. Wasting interrupts on its basic attacks is also actually a bad idea, as it will also grab raid members in its mouth and attempt to devour them for an instant kill if this move is not interrupted. Throughout all this, the Cycle of Hurting wave attacks will also continue, although they are safespotable by standing immediately in front of Akylios. This forces raid members to stay attentive to avoid both the overwhelming area-effect attacks, and (demonstrate their ability to) judiciously use their stun and interrupt abilities to interrupt key enemy abilities and save their comrades, while not wasting them on its easily spammable magic attack. The original, pre-Intrepid Adventures version of the fight, though even more complex and challenging through additional factors, did not have as obvious a sequence of testing player skills, though it was undeniably a trying challenge, to the point that it received a celebratory video commemorating its world first defeat.

    Party Game 
  • Mario Party 9: Once Bowser has been reduced to half of his health in Bowser's Block Battle, he starts rolling a Dice Block with pictures of the previous bosses on it. He will summon whichever character he lands on to attack the players.

  • Bang-On Balls: Chronicles: During the final boss fight against Bob Boss, he mixes up the costumes he used in the movie worlds the majority of the game takes place in, causing him to be able to use several different combined attacks based on his previous fights.
  • Banjo-Kazooie: The final boss battles against Gruntilda are final-exam battles, taking a different approach in each case.
    • In the first game, while facing Gruntilda, you have to use skills like Rat-a-Tap Rap, Thunderwing, Egg Firing, Flight and Beak Bomb across the five phases of the battle, while Forward Roll and Feathery Flap are helpful to dodge the witch's fireballs.
    • Banjo-Tooie: The game takes a more literal approach, as Gruntilda (who's piloting the Hag 1 during the battle) will go easier on you with her projectiles if you correctly answer the trivia questions she asks during the fight,
    • Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge: The battles against Gruntilda and Klungo are harder versions of their previous fights against you, and you also have to answer questions and complete minigames during the intermissions between said battles.
    • Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts: During the final battle, Gruntilda will use increasingly large vehicles and machines, each requiring a different tactic to be defeated.
  • Dark Corvo from Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg summons shadow clones of previous bosses to attack the player.
  • In Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey, the battle with Zara has you using all of the abilities you've learned, as well as a mini-game.
  • Donkey Kong 64: The final battle against King K. Rool is a five-round boxing match, and in each round a specific Kong has to make use of their unique abilities to incapacitate K. Rool. Notably, the final round, which corresponds to Chunky, requires the use of all of his specialized skills just to hit K. Rool once, and he has to repeat the tactic a total of four times.
  • In La-Mulana, the Mother has five forms, and each form must be defeated with a different main weapon, of which you have five of. In the remake, it qualifies as this, but in a different way. Sure, now it doesn't matter which weapon you use against her in each form, but she makes up for it in her final form, which gains new attacks based on the signature attacks of each guardian as certain amounts of damage is dealt to her.
  • The first phase of the Final Boss in Mega Man X8 has him using all eight of the Maverick bosses' Desperation Attacks on you. While they're mostly the same as in their original fights, Avalanche Yeti's lasts for much longer and Burn Rooster's is now permanent, leaving you with much less room to dodge the other attacks.
  • Pizza Tower: The final fight against Pizzaface/Pizzahead involves the use of just about every combat-related skill in the game, including the Revolver from the Vigilante's fight, throwing enemies into other enemies (required to stun Pizzaface and the Vigilante in this fight), and bringing back all four previous bosses for a Boss Rush. The following escape sequence down the now-crumbling tower also brings back several level-related gimmicks as well as forcing the player to race down the tower under a strict time limit, which they will fail at if they're not at least competent at barreling through levels at high speed by now.
  • GLaDOS in Portal, only with portal-using techniques instead of weapons or powers. Even more obvious if you've heard the developer's commentary, which constantly keeps mentioning how the game is supposed to teach you how to use the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device.
  • In Portal 2, where the use of all three types of gels and redirection of bombs is necessary to beat Wheatley.
  • The final boss of Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones (not counting the unlosable scripted part after the fight) has three forms. The first is fought as a straight fight, the second requires you to use the environment to set up a Speed Kill, and the final part is a tricky platforming challenge, while being shot at by the boss.
  • Rabi-Ribi: The Disc-One Final Boss has a phase in which she uses variants of attacks used by previous bosses in the game. The True Final Boss does the same in her second phase, except she can use massively enhanced versions of all previous bosses' attacks, including the other Post-Game Bosses. Needless to say, you will be forced to use every dodging technique you've ever learned (as well as some new ones) to clear these battles.
  • Defeating Reflux in Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc requires the use of every Sealed Ability in a Can in the game. There's even a part where you dogfight him with a plane used in the penultimate level.
  • Super Mario Galaxy: Bowser makes use of previous spin techniques and such for defeating him when you battle him in Bowser's Galaxy Reactor.
  • El Toro in Wrath of the Black Manta. He only has 4 life boxes, but he can only be hurt by specific ninja arts… in order. If you use the wrong technique, he immediately regenerates to full life. More annoyingly, this happens even if you use the right technique, but from the wrong side of the screen!

  • The Impossible Quiz 2's final question, question 120, references one of the first 100 questions in some obscure way. You have to know exactly which question it's referring to in order to win.
  • The last level of Flexbox Froggy requires using most of the techniques from previous levels.
  • The second phase of the final battle in Lonesome Village does this, as the player has to redo several of the puzzles they've solved throughout the game in succession. The kicker being that, this time, there's a time limit, as you have to complete the puzzles before the boss finishes charging his attacks.
  • The final stages of the WarioWare series use all the different microgame styles you've learned, though they do give a call in advance so you're not completely on your toes. WarioWare: Get It Together! ends on a True Final Boss battle against Pyoro that uses every non-Pyoro playable character, with each stage of the fight being uniquely suited to each character's abilities.
  • The first two Zero Escape games have this in the form of their final escape sequences (the Study in Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors and the Q Room in Virtue's Last Reward). Both rooms consist of the hardest puzzles in the game re-envisioned and a unique puzzle based on the overall concept of each game.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Pikmin:
    • Pikmin 2: The Titan Dweevil attacks using poison, water, electricity, and fire. Four of the five types of Pikmin are invulnerable to each element used, while the Purple Pikmin's strength helps kill it in its defenseless form faster.
    • Pikmin 3 continues this tradition with the Plasm Wraith. On top of being able to use every hazard in the game against you, its piercing attacks can only be blocked by Rock Pikmin, and it'll often fly up high out of reach of even Yellow Pikmin, forcing you to use Winged Pikmin to attack it. Even getting to the actual fight requires you to have a good enough grasp on commanding and managing Pikmin.

  • The final boss of BIT.TRIP Core is a compilation of a bunch of patterns from the entire game, with the beats looking like asteroids that each move at different speeds.
  • DanceDanceRevolution:
    • PARANOiA Revolution's Expert charts mishmashes past charts, each of them being are boss charts.
    • On an update for A20 Plus, DDR TAGMIX - Last DanceR does the same thing. Additionally, the song samples various boss songs TAG has composed.
  • Both PaRappa the Rapper games involve a level where PaRappa goes against all his instructors, rapping against them. They use more complex versions of their original verses. In the first game, this is the second-to-last level. In the second game, this is the third-to-last level.
  • The Rhythm Heaven series have these in the form of Remixes, which are basically mashups of the past 4-5 levels you've played. Then each game has a true Final Exam Boss in the form of Remix 6 for Tengoku, Remix 10 for Heaven and Heaven Fever, and the Left-Hand, Right-Hand, and Final Remixes in Megamix. Megamix's Final Remix takes it a step further by becoming a Continuity Cavalcade about halfway through, playing each of the main themes of the Rhythm Heaven games in chronological order of release, each time switching to stages from the corresponding games- first the sequel games in the order they appear in the towers from left to right, and then that game's representative endless game. The penultimate section is a subversion, as instead of playing Charging Chicken, you play the Rhythm Test from the start of the game.
  • SongBird Symphony:
    • The Magpies function this way. Whenever they challenge you, expect to revisit the various song styles of all the different birds you've met throughout your travels.
    • The final boss battle contains every type of song style in the entire game.

  • Absented Age: Squarebound: The Final Boss, Karen Alias, is immune to Foxtrot during ARPG Mode. However, various obstacles like iron balls, water pumps, auto-cannons, and logs will spawn, and the player has to remember how these obstacles work so they can use them against the boss, which will make the boss vulnerable to Foxtrot.
  • The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+: The True Final Boss is a particularly thorough one of these, testing you for every boss from the Basement to the expansion-added levels and even Optional Bosses. This is because Delirium essentially is all the bosses at once, being an extremely unstable shapeshifting mass that randomly switches between the forms of every boss, using their attacks as he switches between bosses at an increasingly hectic rate.
  • In Brutal Orchestra, both final bosses revolve around learning the central mechanics:
    • For Heaven, the player has to learn pigment management. The player only has access to pigment every other turn from the hands that it summons, meaning that the player has to choose wisely in what attacks to perform and which character(s) is worth taking the debuffs that it applies. One of Heaven's moves also gives sixteen pigment, meaning the player has to learn how to efficiently use them to avoid taking overflow damage.
    • The Osman Sinnoks fight revolves around character positioning. This boss is heavy-hitting, moves around with each attack, and then performs a One-Hit Kill on their final action. Then he splits into a Dual Boss when his health reaches zero. If the player doesn't learn how to read his movements, they will be in for a rough time.
  • While not exactly a boss per se, Adventure Mode in Don't Starve is incredibly difficult to complete without knowledge of the game that some casual players may not ever learn. For example, thorny bushes hurt when picked, but a shovel can be used to uproot the entire plant and grant you twigs without costing health. Not very useful in Sandbox Mode where saplings are plentiful, but quite vital in Adventure Mode if the game decides that all saplings should be converted into thorny bushes just to spite you.
  • The Rebel Flagship, the Final Boss of FTL: Faster Than Light, employs every possible tactic against you that the dozens of enemies you've already ploughed through have used, spread out over three stages, while breaking a few rules itself.
  • Hades: Theseus and Asterius, the bosses of the Elysium level, combine the tricks of most of the adversaries in that area: Theseus has a shield that works much like that used by Exalted Greatshields and has the Crosshair Aware sniper shot used by the archers, albeit with a spear instead of a bow, while Asterius will sometimes charge at you like one of the chariots.

  • The final boss in BloodNet repeatedly transforms into various major characters encountered throughout the game, requiring the player to use specific weapons and armor to take advantage of each form's particular weaknesses (for example, deflecting a cyborg's laser shots by wearing a reflector shield, or instantly killing a vampire with a consecrated blade).
  • Chrono Cross: At several points in the game, you see colors flashing in sequence. Note the order. It is also the order required before using the eponymous item.
  • Chrono Trigger: Lavos's first form has shades of this, in the form of a Boss Rush you can heal between stages of. Do you remember how Magus's Barrier Shift trick worked? Or which hand to kill first on Giga Gaia? Oh, you'd better not have forgotten what dinosaurs are weak to. However, none of the bosses have scaled at all, so it's pretty likely you'll just brute force most of 'em with the benefit of dozens of levels. There's a bit of Fridge Logic there, too, as Lavos evidently took its DNA from the strongest creatures on the planet… who were promptly thrashed by the heroes. Also, at least one boss shows up from the future. And is a robot.
  • The final boss of Dark Souls III's base game qualifies. During the first phase of the fight, the Soul of Cinder utilizes various player styles and weapon types to attack you. After taking out its first health bar, it explodes... and Gwyn's theme begins to play, as the Soul of Cinder uses his moveset instead.
  • Disco Elysium's Tribunal is one of these, depending a lot on your ability to explore the gameworld and dig up information and items. First of all, there are only three weapons in the game, all of them require you to make some very specific choices to find them, and you need to have found (and equipped) at least one of them or you're automatically screwed. Your opponents are dressed in military-grade armour, so if you haven't had the chance to inspect any part of it the roll to successfully find a weak spot in it will be harder. Your opponents have a connection to the victim, so the more you know about him the more you can distract the Tribunal and get them off-guard, potentially allowing you to take out one of them first. Finally, your ability to cooperate with your partner Kim will have a good impact on the final skill check of the Tribunal and potentially save him from being shot.
  • Eternal Radiance: The final boss, Eldareth, is capable of using mechanics from several past bosses and enemies. He has a similar laser attack to the small golem enemies, can use overhead projectiles like Yvonne, can summon energy orb minions like Quinn, and can summon a clone in a parallel to how Kylia can summon additional Shadowborn.
  • Fate/Grand Order has the Climax Boss of Lostbelt 7, ORT, the Ultimate One of the Oort Cloud, who presents a very unique take on this trope - not only is ORT the sole story Raid Boss you face, but ORT has two unique mechanics. Firstly, it changes class after each battle, giving it new weaknesses and strengths. Second, servants defeated by ORT are consumed by it, making them unusable in subsequent fights until the raid is almost finished. So not only is your mastery of different servant skills and strategies tested, but also the number and level of servants you have.
  • Happens with Emperor Sun Hai in Jade Empire, although to a lesser extent than many of the examples — he becomes immune to each type of style you use against him, so you have to repeatedly switch between Martial, Weapon, and Magic styles to take him down. Or you can just hit Jade Golem Transformation.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Kingdom Hearts II has Xemnas, the final boss and its true test. You have to master Reaction Commands, managing your party, fighting him without your party and therefore without Drive Forms, fighting him when he uses all the Organization XIII weapons, managing without your main character Sora, and fighting him with backup Nobodies in one phase.
    • Kingdom Hearts III has its final boss, Master Xehanort, as a long, multi-phase fight in which you have to use almost every combat ability to its fullest, including underwater combat. Best exemplified in its final phase's desperation move, which is almost guaranteed death if you didn't get used to guarding.
  • Kingdom of Loathing:
    • The old, pre-2016 Sorceress' Tower was this. First you had to go through a courtyard with a series of puzzles involving using the right potions, meatpasting, using clovers, and finding instruments and keys, after which you had a few standard fights with regular monsters. Once you got in the actual tower, you had yet another series of puzzles, this time involving using combat items from all over the game world, healing yourself, and equipping and buffing familiars, before you face the Sorceress, who has counters for just about every combat style, by removing your buffs, reducing the power of your familiar, sapping your mana points for skills and spells, and periodically preventing you from using combat items and skills.
    • The following version of the Sorceress's Tower is also this. The final and penultimate boss of the area are unchanged, but now the area involves much more stat tests. First, you have to win an "Adventuring Contest", by buffing your combat initiative, one of the three main attributes, and damage in one of the game's five main elements to a certain level and then you beating up your competitors in standard combat. Next, you have to navigate a maze, which you could bypass if you had enough resistances and HP to withstand the shortcuts. Once past that, you must unlock a door with keys found throughout the game world and fight bosses that, barring certain combinations of skills, can only be defeated with certain combat items, again found throughout the game area.
    • The developers have stated they consider this a weakness of the quest and game, as changes to the game slowly expand the potential set of resources a player might have, and it becomes less clear to new players why post-quest additions aren't working in a challenge they appear to fit. Rather than expand the exam or add alternate solutions when adding to the game, they'd rather abandon this trope entirely as a bad idea.
  • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII: the final boss battle will not go well for you if you have not mastered staggering.
  • In Monster Hunter: World: Iceborne, the raid boss Safi'jiiva is a downplayed example. Most of its moveset is based off of its adolescent form Xeno'jiiva, but it takes a few cues from other monsters, including Namielle (a thin laser attack that causes ground eruptions) and Behemoth (a Draw Aggro mechanic and a One-Hit Kill attack that can only be avoided by ducking behind convenient boulders).
  • Persona:
    • The Final Boss of Persona 3, Nyx Avatar, goes through each arcana one at a time; all fourteen phases possessing different resistances and skills which resemble the past twelve Full Moon bosses. In Persona 3 Reload, it incorporates the attack behaviors and even some of the signature attacks of the Arcana Shadows, especially in its final phase, retaining the ability to use most of these skills at once.
    • Beyond Nyx, there is the secret boss, Elizabeth (or Theodore in the Portable re-release as the female protagonist), whom you have to fight a Duel Boss with only your main character, and who, like you, can change Personas, thus switching her weaknesses and defenses. You better know the traits of each of their Personas, their patterns, and be equipped with a good variety of Personas that don't break their rules in order to win.
    • Persona 5 Royal has the True Final Boss of the Third Semester, Takuto Maruki, with his boss fight requiring a full elemental distribution and effective use of the Baton Pass mechanic to break through his defenses. If you don't have it, the boss will only take Scratch Damage and the tendrils will be revived every turn. It also requires a lot of knowledge on the game's mechanics such as types of abilities, technical damage, and Status Effects.
  • Pokémon:
    • In almost all of the main series games, you have to go through a cave called Victory Road before getting to the Pokémon League. This cave usually makes use of all of the HM moves that you acquired throughout the game.
    • The champion's team in each game is also stronger and features more variety in typing and strategy than the gym leaders and Elite Four members before them, forcing you to utilize your whole (hopefully balanced) team more over just sweeping the opponent with one or two Pokémon with type advantages.
  • The True Destroyer in Romancing SaGa 3. However, completely optional if you kill the Abyss Devil Lords beforehand.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Most games tend to have at least one boss like this in each game, but the requirements for each one are not necessarily as specific as many other examples. The most common version of this in the series is a Sequential Boss, where the boss has a set pattern of abilities, and you must plan for all of them. You don't need EVERY spell in the game, but you do need a good variety.
    • In Digital Devil Saga, the final boss of the game requires you to smash orbs floating around it to destroy the boss. These orbs are each resistant to different elements, and the boss acquires said resistances from any orbs that are still standing.
    • In true That One Boss fashion, some of these bosses require to you get hit at times to avoid enraging them, like Trumpeter in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne.
  • Silver, the penultimate boss in Silver, requires you to use all the magic you've acquired to destroy an object that is holding his power. Yes, even the Healing orb and Time orb, which normally have no offensive power on their own, can hurt that thing.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, the final boss makes use of all the brothers' (and Bowser's) defensive actions (as series tradition). Another example is the game's Superboss. Bowser X is the final battle of the Boss Rush and temporarily disables any special attack the brothers can use after being used once. Add in a turn limit on the fight, and that means the player is required to be proficient with just about every special attack.
    • The Superboss of Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, Bowser Jr. pulls a similar trick to the previous game's ultimate boss; he steals special attacks as well.
    • In Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, you face all seven Koopalings at once before fighting the final boss. The first four (Wendy, Roy, Ludwig and Larry) are fought in pairs and function exactly like you fought them earlier in the game. The last three (Iggy, Morton and Lemmy) are new and their only method of attacks are to use two chase attacks and one attack which involves using Paper Mario as a trampoline to deflect a Chain Chomp back at the group. Failing to execute any of these attacks correctly when fighting the last three Koopalings results in an instant death.
  • A literal example is from Ultima IV. Rather than fighting an overt evil, the game is about mastering the world's code of moral virtues and behavior. At the bottom of the final dungeon, rather than a tough boss, the player is quizzed on the virtues.
  • Undertale:
    • At the end of a True Pacifist Run, you engage in a Boss Rush against all your friends in the form of Lost Souls, and you have to ACT to SAVE them. They use similar attacks to their earlier boss battles, albeit extremely easy to avoid.
    • One of ASGORE's trademark attacks is his blue/orange trident sweep, which is unavoidable if you don't remember how blue and orange attacks work. Many of his other attacks are similar to Toriel's as well, albeit harder to avoid and more damaging.
  • The final boss of Wild ARMs 3 has a grand total of ten forms, most of which require the use of one specific spell in your repertoire. Then again, the Clive/Finest Arts trick deals so much damage that it can bypass any other trick you might be having trouble with through sheer brute force.

  • Ghostbusters: The Video Game: The Stylized version of the game (Wii, Playstation 2) makes the final boss a Final-Exam Boss. You will use all the various nozzles and weapon types available on your pack to finish him off.
  • House of the Dead
    • "The Emperor", the final boss from 2, is a variation; his second attack pattern is to throw at you metallic clones of the previous bosses. These can only be stopped by shooting at their specific weak point, which you saw at the end of the original levels.
    • Taken even more literally by Typing of the Dead, where all the bosses test one particular area of typing note , and The Emperor is a test of everything.
    • In Typing of the Dead: Overkill, the final boss allows you to type any word you want in order to deal damage — as long as said word is somehow related to a displayed topic. The instructions before the fight even literally say Final Exam!
  • Stormwinds: Lost Campaigns has the final boss' three forms which require strategies used throughout the game. The first is heavily armored with only a small weakspot at the bottom which requires you to position a gun at the bottom, the second is guarded by shield-projecting balloons that need to be taken down first, and the last is a Rush Boss that flies and attacks similar to the golden helicopter enemies in the level.

  • The "Hungry Festivities" challenges in Cook, Serve, Delicious! play out like this: each challenge centers around a certain dish, and you're required to make one of every possible recipe for that dish while under intense time pressure. Needless to say, unless you've practically memorized said recipes, you don't stand a chance.
  • Trauma Center:
    • The final boss in Under the Knife 2, Aletheia, attacks by spawning copies of earlier bosses. You have to repeat your methods for destroying them before you can deal damage to Aletheia.
    • Cardia, the final boss of New Blood, requires the use of every single surgical tool in order to defeat it.
  • Winnie the Pooh's Home Run Derby: Christopher Robin, the last pitcher Pooh goes up to bat against, uses all of the previous pitching styles at random.

    Survival Horror 
  • Flumpty Night from One Night at Flumpty's 3 qualifies, since you'll have to know how every mechanic in the series including the cancelled One Week at Flumpty's works in order to have even a chance of surviving the night.

    Visual Novel 
  • Monster Girl Quest has Black Alice, mainly her third form. In this form, she will cancel your spirits if you have more than two summoned at once, forcing you to fight with only one at a time (as you've done for most of the game). Moreover, she has a variety of attacks that each requires a specific tactic to counter, all of which (summoning a particular spirit, struggling, attacking, guarding) you've used in previous battles. Though as it turns out, Black Alice isn't actually the final boss, that would be Ilias.

Alternative Title(s): Finals Boss