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Flunky Boss

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I wonder which one's the boss?
"Stop sending in the appliances and fight me like a real man!"
Retro from Dead Leaves, complaining about being on the receiving end of this trope

A boss that has several of its minions fight alongside it. For example, an Evil Overlord may call upon his henchmen, a queen alien monster may order her offspring to attack, a magic-based enemy will summon otherworldly creatures, a wizard will create clones of themself, a King Mook will enlist the help of the normal enemies to which it is related, and so forth.

This trope contains a wide range of variations:

  • Taking advantage of these extra baddies may be required to beat the boss. For example, the game may require you to take them out before you can even hit the boss at all, or you may have to trick them into attacking their leader. Stunning the flunkies and then throwing them back at the boss is a variation favored by Elimination Platformers and some Beat Em Ups.
  • Only rarely do the minions actually stay dead. Defeating all of the minions will cause the boss to revive them, or summon more to take their place. The player can sometimes exploit this to their advantage by defeating all but one minion; other times the boss will simply revive any fallen minion. And then there are times where the minions simply respawn on their own, allowing the boss to focus all of its attention on you. Alternately, the boss may become much more powerful as its minions are defeated.
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  • While these extra enemies to deal with may ostensibly make the fight harder, they may also represent an unlimited source of health or ammunition pickups, or experience points as they are defeated. This is a subtle method for the developers to essentially grant you infinite supplies and to prevent the battle from being unwinnable.
  • From a story-gameplay perspective, especially when fighting a humanoid boss, this trope is a sensible choice to avoid such absurd situations as the player's party constantly beating down on a single guy who should've died long ago by regular enemy standards for the entire fight. By giving him minions, you keep other party members occupied in battle and can give the boss a more logical amount of Hit Points without turning the whole fight into an Anticlimax Boss.
  • Sometimes, bosses are very weakly tied to normal enemies and it feels like a boss just appeared in the middle of the battle.

In many cases, the optimal strategy is to concentrate all your offensive efforts on the main boss, as killing him will defeat the minions too and constitute an Instant-Win Condition, meaning there's no sense in wasting time and resources on the minions when they're probably just going to come back anyway. This is especially true if the boss itself has no form of attack, and its flunkies are its only form of offence. The contrary can be true if the flunkies heal the boss, or if more and more of them would spawn if you don't kill them until you are overwhelmed by sheer numbers, or if the flunkies come in limited numbers, and are Glass Cannon doing most of the actual damage while the boss is a Stone Wall.

See also the overlapping tropes Cognizant Limbs and Cores-and-Turrets Boss. Compare Dual Boss and Wolf Pack Boss, where they're not flunkies, but on equal terms, and Enemy Summoner, for Mooks that run on this. Weaponized Offspring may be a subtrope.


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  • The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night:
    • In their battle's final phase, Skabb, Scratch and Sniff summon members of their pirate crew to assist them against Spyro.
    • The electric elemental spirit in the GBA version. On its own, it would be fairly easy. It's invulnerable and causes collision damage as its main attack, but it's not too hard to dodge. When it does become vulnerable, however, it summons a swarm of Ledge Bats to protect itself.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past:
      • Arrghus protects itself with small jellyfish called Arrgi.
      • Blind The Thief gets beheaded twice in his boss fight, and his heads continue flying around the room and spitting fireballs as the fight continues.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time': Queen Gohma summons its babies (although it's so easy you usually kill it before it even gets to do it). Armoghoma does the same in Twilight Princess'', but this time it drops at least ten times as many eggs at once. They are easily killed with the Spin Attack, however, often even before they hatch.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: Odolwa summons hordes of moths.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: Molgera will summon Lanmola-like larvae all the time, constantly jumping at you. Your locking system automatically locks to the closest larva to you, thus forcing you to either defeat the larvae or get even closer to the boss who is in quick sand, trying to swallow you.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has Koloktos occasionally summon a few Zombie Bokoblins to attack Link. Moldarach will start summoning Arachas once its claws are ripped.
  • Bubble Bobble: Bubble Symphony has a giant Space Invader, who has updated sprite versions of the invaders as well as the UFO. The UFO also has eyes on its top.
  • The Force Unleashed has a fair few, but while the henchmen can be annoying, they are actually helpful, as the player regains health from killing enemies. Bosses who fight alone are considerably harder, due to there being no way to regain health during the battle.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: Most bosses. The Pirate King Pactolus and the Amazonian Queen both have their own legion of Praetorian Guard warriors flanking them in battle, while the ogre sub-bosses are backed up by harpies.
  • X-Men Legends II: Holocaust is backed up by hordes of Mooks, and will occasionally suck the life out of one to recharge himself.
  • Many, many boss battles in Cave Story are of this type. This is because taking damage also weakens your weapons' EXP; the more you get hit, the less damage you can do, making any boss battle without an EXP source terribly unforgiving. Bosses without minions are generally easy ones, with the notable exception of the Doctor. Special mention goes to the Undead Core (a Flunky Boss who has a Flunky that's a Flunky Boss on her own), the Heavy Press (accompanied by two Invincible Minor Minions in addition to regular enemies) and Wind Fortress's G-CLONE (this is its whole gimmick).
  • Psychonauts has the Mega-Censor from the stage "Sasha's Shooting Gallery", and Jasper from "Gloria's Theater". The Hulking Lungfish mid-game boss may also count—she spits crawdads and sucker fish at you, but their threat level is so tiny as to almost be nonexistent.
  • The Warmup Boss, first real boss, and final boss of Beyond Good & Evil are all Flunky Bosses. For the first two bosses, the flunkies essentially serve to give you something to do while the boss readies its attack—they consist mostly of harmless, low-power Mooks. In the final boss, you get hit with multi-stage, guilt-tripping baddies that do manage to pose a serious threat, and must be utilized to both attack the boss and to advance the fight in general.
  • The final boss from Grabbed by the Ghoulies will summon mooks to fight for him each time the player character scores a hit. He does this by blowing a trumpet that will call upon (in this order) armed Skeletons, Zombies, Worms and Pirate Zombies who emerge from the various portraits hanging from the walls. When this happens, the boss cannot be harmed until all the lesser enemies are dealt with.
  • Every boss in the Nicktoons Unite! series but the final boss of the fourth game, Globs of Doom, is this. Though the second bosses of Nicktoons Unite and Globs of Doom (Plankton's Giant Enemy Crab mecha and GIR gone crazy and stuff again respectively) are of the "sit back until you kill their mooks" variations. Hell, Mr. Crocker even shouts out for "guards, GUARDS!" or that he "wishes for ASSISTANCE!" when summoning enemies.
  • Ninja: Shadow of Darkness: The Spider Queen boss, which is also a Mook Maker; she will attempt to ensnare you with her webs and lay eggs which will hatch into baby spiders that chews away your health. She is the reason behind the massive number of giant spider mooks you consistently encounter in the caverns level.
  • In Overlord: Oberon, Sir William, Khan, the Wizard, and the Forgotten God. Other than the fact that you play as him, the titular Overlord fits the qualifications as well.
  • Natia in Bomberman Hero falls somewhere between this and Dual Boss—or more likely, combines the two. The first time you face her, she's accompanied by Cronus, who seems to be on equal footing with her, but must be defeated before you can damage her (although she'll float around and be a nuisance during the Cronus battle unless you hit her platform with a few bombs, fitting this trope. The second time, she again has an equal in the form of a second Natia, but the trope applies in full force as an endless supply of miniature Cronuses will fall from the ceiling and try to interfere with your battle.
  • Bad Girl in No More Heroes has an annoying habit of batting her gimp minions at you.
  • Most of the bosses in Transformers: War for Cybertron do this. The most notable is the boss fight against Soundwave in the Autobot campaign. He hides behind an energy shield while activating automated turrets and then sending out one of his familiar minions (Frenzy, Rumble, and Laserbeak) to attack you. Taking out the minions is the key to beating him, as the only time he leaves the safety of his energy shield is to retrieve the body of a fallen minion.
  • Myconid Master and Snow Kong in Wonder Boy in Monster Land generate the smaller mook versions of themselves.
  • The Myconid Maater repeats this in Wonder Boy in Monster World.
  • Monster Hunter: Many monsters in the series can summon their younger counterparts (that are encountered as small monsters) and use them as minions to fight you by either hindering your attacks and efforts, performing coordinated attacks or very rarely using them as fodder/amunition against you. In the lore of the games, they're the Alphas of a pack and generally command respect through their stronger power and massive size next to their lesser kin.
    • In the first generation there's the raptorian "Drome" monsters: Velocidrome, Gendrome and Iodrome; who summon their smaller "Prey" kin to attack alongside them in hunts and fights against other monsters or the player. Interestingly, they could not actually summon or command their minions in the first games during a battle, only later did they get the ability to call and summon them.
    • The second generation, starting with Monster Hunter 2 (Dos), introduces three fanged beasts that can summon their smaller kin: Bulldrome, who summons smaller Bullfango to ram you; Congalala, who summons smaller Congas to swarm you; and Blangonga, who summons his Blango troops to beat you up and prevent you from properly fighting. The Blangonga can have this ability removed if his fangs are broken. Freedom 2 introduces a fourth Drome in the form of Giadrome who summons his prey kin to fight you. Freedom Unite introduces King Shakalaka (a Lynian which cooperates with the smaller Shakalakas when facing a hunter) and Vespoid Queen (a Neopteron that not only receives help from the surrounding Vespoids during battle, but can also empower them with her pheromones).
    • The third generation introduces a trio of Suspiciously Similar Substitutes of the "Dromes" in the form of the "Great" Bird Wyverns: Great Jaggi, Great Baggi (both of them introduced in the generation's first game, Monster Hunter Tri) and Great Wroggi (introduced in Portable 3rd) who summon their lesser kin frequently and use differing roars to either hound you or a monster they're fighting. Also introduced is the Royal Ludroth, a leviathan that can summon lesser small Ludroths to assist in a fight. The Qurupeco is an odd example of this, as while it doesn't have a "lesser" kin, it does summon Jaggis, Baggis, Wroggis, Bullfango, Ludroths and more (including Deviljho) with special calls.
    • The fourth generation has the Great Maccao, introduced in Monster Hunter Generations, who uses calls to summon his lesser Maccaos to beat you up. However, his minions are far less cooperative with their boss if things get tough for it.
    • Monster Hunter: World introduces two pack-hunting Fanged Wyverns in the place of previous raptorial Bird Wyverns: Great Jagras and Great Girros who will hound on you to hinder your hunts.
    • Monster Hunter: Rise has the Great Izuchi, a raptorial Bird Wyvern inspired on the Kamaitachi who performs coordinated attacks with its smaller Izuchi kin. Also introduced is the Rakna-Kadaki, a spider monster that summons her children Rachnoid to attack.
  • Ittle Dew: Masked Ruby and the Bonus Boss spawn enemies occasionally, but spawning stuff is basically the entire strategy of the Final Boss.
  • Jotun: The Cave Jotun Fé will summon dwarves en masse during her fight. While they don't do too much damage individually and are killed in one hit, they do a good job of slowing the player down for Fé, and as the fight progresses they will swarm the player in greater and greater numbers.
  • Darksiders III: Appropriately enough, Sloth fights mainly by sending waves of his insectoid minions against Fury. He doesn't really start fighting until you piss him off by destroying his throne.
  • Pokémon Rumble adds this to King Mook; the flunkies are all lesser forms of the boss.
  • Dark Devotion takes this to an extreme with Adonias, the King's Envoy. He does not attack you at all (and cannot be attacked, for that matter), instead summoning four pairs of increasingly difficult enemies for you to deal with. Once the last of them has gone down, he allows you to pass without a fight.
  • Hollow Knight has a few bosses that periodically spawn weak enemies. Flukemarm is an unusual example in that repeatedly spawning Flukefeys is pretty much its sole tactic.

    Action Game 
  • Games based on One Piece:
    • Spandam in Unlimited Adventures as befitting his Smug Snake status. He does this again in Unlimited Cruise, as do Enel, Smoker, Oz, Vivi, and maybe Moria. Even though it's a video game trope, this also applies in the series itself to Perona. She would have gone down extremely quickly to Usopp if not for the fact she had about two dozen minions he had to deal with first and then a big angry Kumacy chasing him around.
    • Gecko Moria. After losing his entire crew in battle, he decides to create a new, unkillable, crew, and rely solely on their power. It's not until his Villainous Breakdown that he does any fighting himself.
    • After the Time Skip, Demalo Black's plan to take on the New World hinged on his becoming this. He tricked several pirate crews several times stronger than himself into becoming his followers by making them believe that he was Luffy, intending to use them to take out any threats that Luffy's reputation didn't scare away first.
  • The third Greater Fiend in the Xbox version of Ninja Gaiden, Marbus is interesting about this. The first time you enter his realm, he taunts you, but rather than fight, summons a previously killed boss to fight you (Yep, he's a Flunky Boss that uses other bosses as flunkies). You kill the boss and leave with a plot coupon, then return to face another previously defeated boss, then he just gets ticked off and finally attacks you, while summoning a seemingly infinite stream of lesser fiends in groups of three. There's also Masakado the samurai, second boss of the game. On difficulties above normal, every boss has flunkies that drop by at every 25% of the life bar you knock off them.
  • Batman: Arkham Series:
  • In Castlevania, you don't have Frankenstein's Monster without his Invincible Minor Minion, Igor, who only serves to distract you and throw additional fireballs at you while you're busy trying to whip Frank's head.
  • In The Matrix: Path of Neo the mission 'The Key' has a Mini-Boss, Giant Mook, Elite Mooks - with five regular Mooks that distract and try to kill Neo.
  • The final boss in the European exclusive game Knights of the Temple: Infernal Crusade keeps summoning a more powerful enemy each time you provide him harm. Among those enemies, there are a few previous bosses as well.

    Beat Em Up 
  • Riot, the traitorous First Mate from Crisis Beat, whose battle against him comes with a seemingly endless number of knife-wielding mooks.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, the player can toss flunkies towards the screen. This is the only way to defeat one of the bosses in the SNES version, who takes up a first-person view of the action.
  • In The Ninja Warriors Again, picking up mooks and throwing them is the only way to defeat Banglar, who's protected from your attacks behind a glass capsule.
  • In the Scott Pilgrim game, the first two bosses are always examples; Matthew Patel has his demon hipster chicks and Lucas Lee can summon skateboarders. Other bosses spawn enemies too, but only when in co-op mode, to keep the game balanced.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist has Tatsu (foot soldiers) and Baxter Stockman (mousers). If one is patient enough, these can be killed ad infinitum for extra lives...but since it takes 200 kills per extra life, it's usually better just to finish the boss and be done with it.
  • Machine Gun Willy in the arcade versions of Double Dragon and Double Dragon II joins his flunkies during both game's final battle (the flunkies being bosses from previous stages).
  • Basically every boss in the Final Fight series, nominally excluding Sodom/Katana, Rolento, Retu and Black.
  • Death Bringer from the home ports of Golden Axe surrounded himself with unkillable skeleton enemies, the toughest regular mooks in the game. The idea here was to make it that much harder to deal with the actual boss, and to that end, it was a rousing success.
  • Mr. X in Streets of Rage tends to stand in the back shooting at you with his machine gun while he sends waves of mooks at you, not being particularly worried about shooting them in the process.
  • The penguin boss in Dynamite Dux has six of his minions attack you while he hops in place.
  • Gaia Crusaders goes nuts with this kind of boss. Each one surrounds themselves with a half-dozen lackeys at all times and immediately summons new ones to replace any you take out. With two players it's nearly manageable, but the game becomes a serious quarter-muncher if you're playing solo. Oh, there's also a Boss Rush at the end, and the bosses all bring in the toughest mooks from their respective stages. The exception is the Final Boss, who compensates by being very strong if you go full offensive.
  • In Cadillacs and Dinosaurs all bosses summon minions. The final boss downplays it, but still gets help.
  • In Captain Commando, Dolg, the Shtrom family, Yamato and Dr.T.W. all have mooks to help them.
  • In Battle Circuit, Barbara summons jellyfish and Bike Gals.
  • In the NES version of RollerGames, the leaders of the "evil teams" (as well as the Final Boss) would hang back and make you fight some of their flunkies before attacking you themselves. Ms. Georgia of Bad Attitude would sit on top of the roof of a garage and order her mooks around, getting visibly frustrated as you defeated more of them. Guru Drew of the Maniacs would wander underneath the floor you were fighting on and try to stab you with his spear. The Skull, leader of the Violators, was the only one who didn't show up at all until you dealt with his mooks first.
  • The ninth boss battle in MadWorld, the Shamans, fight like this. Your main target is the leader of this pack of wolfmen, but you'll need to deal with his underlings if you want to survive. Especially so if you want to avoid dealing with their particularly notorious wheel attack.

    First Person Shooter 
  • A couple of bosses in BioShock do this, among them the foppish Sander Cohen who calls on a troupe of dancing spider splicers to mince you for him, as well as the Big Bad Atlas aka Fontaine, who summons waves of splicers and even security bots at various stages of the final battle.
  • The Siren from BioShock Infinite keeps flying around the map, creating new enemies from corpses.
  • A Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy boss is accompanied by two enemies who recharge him once you do a certain amount of damage. They also have fully-decked out force powers and will use them on you, making them nigh-impossible to kill while the main boss is mobile. Doesn't help that the boss is very mobile and free to carve you up while you go after the flunkies. The only way to win is to attack him until the flunkies heal him, then kill them, which takes at least three consecutive defeats.
  • Metroid Prime: The Omega Pirate summons a group of Space Pirates to defend himself when he repairs his armour from the damage you're inflicting, and Metroid Prime's core spawns two Metroids of varying types whenever it generates a new pool of Phazon.
  • The final boss in Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Heinrich I, has a habit of not only sending flying ghouls at you who take off health and make your screen black for a few seconds if you get too far away, but also of respawning useless zombies that can send smaller versions of these ghouls at you (though mostly they just try to walk up and hack you with flailing limbs). The first boss, Olaric, does the same.
  • Doom:
    • In Doom II, there's a Spider Mastermind (though at this point it's a Degraded Boss) surrounded by several Arachnotrons, and in a later level two Spider Masterminds with a swarm of Arachnotrons in sight. Since it's Doom, you can get the two monster types to kill each other. Additionally, the Icon of Sin summons demons as its only defense.
    • The Guardian Of Hell in Doom³. The Guardian itself is blind, and uses flunky Seekers to see.
  • Both D'Sparil in Heretic and the Heresiarch in Hexen start summoning disciples after you reduce their health to a certain point.
  • Almost all of the bosses in Titanfall 2 are this, with the exception of Richter, all of them got some backup, the most prominent one being the Final Boss who will escape the room when she takes enough damage and will proceed to call reinforcement
  • Left 4 Dead:
    • While most of the Special Infected in general operate by trapping and incapacitating survivors among existing Commons, the Boomer's main method of attack is summoning whole waves of them by puking on the players.
    • The game tends to stop spawning enemies completely while a Tank's in play, but sometimes you'll get unlucky and have a Special or two gunning for the survivors while they scramble around. In Versus Mode, however, all bets are off since the Infected team will keep spawning during Tank time, including Boomers.
  • The final gunfight with Alec Trevelyan in GoldenEye (Wii). He isn't much of a threat by himself, as he simply follows a preset path, stopping behind cover to blaze away at Bond. The real threats are the minions (and, eventually, the helicopter) he summons as backup, who have real AI, grenades, and endless reinforcements waiting in the wings. The kicker? You don't even kill Alec; you just weaken him enough until he leaves, then you chase him for the real final showdown.
  • Serious Sam: The Second Encounter. The first boss, Kukulkan the Wind God, is said to defend the portal from your enemies as well as from you; it just happens so that he and the mooks do not attack each other and focus on you. The second one is a huge biomechanical larva that spawns some smaller explosive bugs and hurls them at you. The final boss, Mordekai the Summoner, lives up to his title, with summons as his only "attack".
  • The first boss of Painkiller summons skeletons. He's Necrogiant so it figures.
  • Nearly all of the bosses in Descent are accompanied by a veritable army of other robots, and they (the bosses) can easily kill you on their own. Sometimes the best strategy was to clear out the Mooks first, then attack the boss one-on-one, but sometimes this is impossible, either because there are just so many Mooks, or because the dreaded purple-web things are present. Sometimes the bosses themselves had the ability to spawn more robots as they fought.
  • Halo:
    • In Halo 2, there's the Prophet of Regret and his Elite Honor Guards, and Tartarus and his Brute Captains.
    • In Halo: Reach, the Elite Field Marshal is accompanied by a trio of Zealot Elites, which themselves are bosses in mook clothing, making this a borderline Wolfpack Boss fight (on higher difficulties, they're also accompanied by an Engineer and a group of Spec-Ops Grunts).
    • In Halo 5: Guardians, the Warden Eternal is almost always accompanied by a horde of Promethean robots.
  • The final boss battle in Quake. In fact, the boss (Shub-Niggurath) has no attacks of her own, so once you defeat the minions, you're home free.
  • Most of the bosses in Borderlands (aside from The Destroyer), fight alongside generic Mooks. This can become very annoying for lower level players, but the mooks also serve as easy second winds and quite a lot of abilities you'd want to use against a boss require a kill to use in the first place.
  • TRON 2.0: When Jet's fighting Thorne in the Progress Bar to protect Ma3a, the User-turned-Virus summons a small army of Z-lots to attack, forcing the player to deal with those, potentially having to leave Ma3a open to an attack.
  • Jurassic: The Hunted: during the tyrannosaurus boss fight, flocks of pterosaurs constantly swoop down on you from above. In fact, they can actually pose more of a threat than the T-Rex. Good thing you have that mini-gun.
  • Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi: The Moraie Succubus is surrounded by several monsters who can hurt you before, during, and after the fight with her. The Draija Succubus takes this up to eleven by making her fight you in a room that also contains a giant Portal that will continuously spawn Desmodiij until destroyed, which can often be more dangerous than her.
  • Medal of Honor: Vanguard: The first Tiger Tank the player fights (the second one to appear in the game) has the ammunition for the Bazooka, the only weapon that can damage it, scattered across three different buildings, which are guarded by Waffen SS infantry.

    Fighting Game 
  • In War of the Monsters, Robo-47 sends the American military at you during the single player battle. Expect a lot more tanks and helicopters!

    Light Gun Game 
  • The Ocean Hunter has many Flunky Bosses: Leviathan, a giant shark, sends minor enemies at you to rest between attacks; Charibdis, a giant angler fish, spits other deep-sea fishes as its first attack pattern; and the massive water worm Midgardsorm uses his parasites as his only form of offense since it ate you and you must destroy his heart from the inside.
  • The Hanged Man in House of the Dead sends swarms of literal Goddamned Bats after you in his first phase. The Emperor in the second game can summon previously fought bosses.
  • All Time Crisis bosses.
  • All bosses in Lethal Enforcers except for the first boss and the Final Boss.

    Maze Game 
  • In Saturn Bomberman, the first stage of the Final Boss battle has Dr. Mechard hiding under a force field while twenty flunkies go to work.
  • All the bosses in Tank Force except the final boss have normal enemies fighting alongside it. These enemies must also be defeated to win the round.

  • Toontown Online has literal flunky bosses; Cog Buildings can have Flunkies as bosses when there's a Flunky invasion. The CJ also has lawyers throwing evidence at Toons, as well as the scale to try to put the scales in the Cogs' favor so that you go sad.
  • City of Villains lets you assume the role of one of these with the "Mastermind" player class. And in both this game and City of Heroes, the hardest foes are rarely found without at least a few Mooks on hand.
  • Frequent among instance bosses in World of Warcraft, with varying boss patterns regarding their underlings.
    • Mr. Smite stuns you to allow minions to beat you senseless while he gets a new weapon. Van Cleef summons more at varying health levels. Instructor Razuvious in Naxxramas will destroy everything in his path... except his students, which are hardy enough to take hits from him if they are mind-controlled. The Karazhan Boss Terestrian Illhoof has a subversion of the "super-attack when minion dies" type: When his imp is killed, Terestrian is weakened until his imp respawn. And many more!
    • Gothik the Harvester is one of these to such an extent that actually killing the boss after he's run out of Mooks to send at you is considered little more than a formality.
    • And there is Lord Ahune, which can only be fought during the midsummer festival. Most of the time, you're too busy fighting his hordes of mooks and a bigger mook to even bother with him (fortunately you can keep your distance from most of his attacks), then he becomes vulnerable for 30 seconds and doesn't attack at all.
    • Kargath Bladefist in Shattered Halls continuously spawn streams of his own mooks when you fight him.
    • Fathom-Lord Karathress in Serpentshrine Cavern is this as well, of the Turns Red variety: he has 3 flunkies (which are all pretty challenging bosses in their own right) and for each one that dies, Karathress gets an increase in damage output and one of their nastiest abilities. By the end of the fight, when you're attacking Karathress proper, he's demolishing your tank, messing up your healers' mana and one-shoting everyone with his Spitfire Totem if your damage dealers are not REALLY fast killing it when it pops up.
    • The black dragon Sartharion is an interesting variant. In the instance are three drakes. You can either kill them before engaging the boss, or leave 1, 2 or all of them alive, which makes the battle significantly harder (Sartharion alone is a fairly simple fight, but with 3 drakes he's the hardest boss in the game, at least until patch 3.1 when a new raid instance is added), but with more and better loot drops.
    • In the first phase of the fight against Yogg Saron, an Old God imprisoned by the Titans in Ulduar, it takes the form of a friendly female NPC while a string of enemies start to appear. Each enemy causes heavy damage over a wide area when it dies, and the only way to reach the second phase of the fight is to have the enemies close enough to the disguised Old God when they die that they hurt her as well.
    • Lady Deathwhisper starts the fight by putting up an impenetrable mana shield and summons cultists from alternate sides of the room. Players must divide their time between killing her allies and attacking her to drain her mana until she runs out and the shield drops, at which point she stops calling them.
    • Alysrazor in Firelands is an interesting variation as your raid has to split up even more than usual. A handful of people grab her feathers, which grant them flight and increased damage, and then proceed to chase her in circles as she flies over the arena without being bothered at all by the fiery chaos on the ground. Meanwhile, the rest of the raid splits into two groups as they have to fight two of her hatchlings as well as waves of cultists. She also occasionally crashes down to the ground and allows everybody to get their kicks in for a bit.
    • Queen Azshara in the Well of Eternity instance is almost a Wolf Pack Boss as Azshara herself doesn't fight you directly, is invincible, and flees when her minions are defeated; but her ability to mind control members of the party, or mind control the entire party and have them commit suicide, makes her the most dangerous person in the battle.
    • Warmaster Blackhorn in Dragon Soul is a Twilight Dragon riding Tauren with six drake riding Vrykul. He sends his minions out first, it's only after the raid deals with the six twilight drakes that he finally appears, joining any Vrykul raiders still alive, and bringing his dragon with him as a Dual Boss.
    • The Will of the Emperor encounter in Mogu'shan Vaults is a Mook Maker which is defeated by beating the two biggest mooks, Jan-Xi and Qin-Xi, while the machine keeps pumping out lesser mooks.
    • Then there also is Wind Lord Meljarakfrom the Mantis'raid called Heart of Fear. He has 3 groups of 3 literal Elite Mooks, and each group a shared healpool, around him who, when added up, have almost as much health as he does. The whole thing gets even better in the heroic mode where his mooks even respawn after a time. He gets a 50% extra damage debuff for every dead mook group though and starts throwing bombs at 75% health, which, in cooperation with one of the mookgroup's ability to freeze single players in amber are going to kill the group quite quickly if the mooks are not killed first, giving them a higher priority despite their high health.
  • Final Fantasy XIV:
    • The game utilizes this heavily in many dungeon and raid boss fights. Most fights are designed for the underlings to be killed, sometimes by certain roles, at certain locations, etc. Depending on the party's gear and skill, these phases can become shorter or get skipped outright.
    • Most primals have add (underling) phases where failure to kill them in a certain time limit will cause that primal's signature move (e.g. Ifrit's Hellfire) to wipe the party. And then there's Knights of the Round, where half the fight is against the Knights instead of the King.
  • RuneScape:
    • The game has TzTok-Jad, the second most powerful attackable monster in the game. Not only he's only reachable after you progress through sixty-something waves of enemies, which is enough for most players to run out of supplies during, but also he does indeed summon four little healers when he falls to half HP. You get a unique cape for defeating him, at least.
    • All of the bosses in the God Wars Dungeon have bodyguards that will violently defend their generals.
    • Some quests have bosses that does this, brought in mind is the Bandos Avatar from The Chosen Commander, who makes the statues in the throne room live when you try to get back the parts of Zanik's Crossbow back, which is the only weapon thay can truly kill him.
    • Glacors summon three glacytes when they reach half health. For an added twist, the glacors are invulnerable until the glacytes are dead, and take on the characteristics of the last glacyte to die.
  • Almost all of the MVP bosses in Ragnarok Online are this. On the other hand, the bosses who doesn't summon flunkies can be counted on one hand.
  • Every single boss in zOMG! except General Dreedle. Most of the time, these Mooks respawn infinitely. In one case, defeating one will make an even stronger one appear and explode right next to you. Fun times.
  • Most bosses in Guild Wars have several standard enemies with them. Zoldark the unholy is a clever variant- His defense in insanely high, but he has no direct attacks, only being able to power up his flunkies and (by damaging himself) revive them. Figure it out.
  • While almost every boss in Wizard101 has a minion (or three if at least three wizards enter the fight) that can survive the boss's death. But some of the cheating bosses deserve special note
    • Angrus Hollowsoul summons a minion that must be killed in four turns or it will cast a spell that functions as a Total Party Kill for the level players are suppose to face it at.
    • General Stormclaw summons three skeletons that must be killed from right to left with single target attacks or they punish the entire party with powerful attacks that can prevent players from doing anything for a turn in addition to the heavy damage.
    • Lyon Lorestriker summons one minion a round (two if a player has heal a over time spell effect on them) and if he is allowed to max out at three minions he gets to cast a free super powered blizzard spell in addition to his normal actions. Also once he gets just under half health his minions health drastically increases.
  • Most bosses in Dungeons & Dragons Online are flunky bosses. In most cases, the flunkies don't respawn. It is also unusual in that killing the flunkies first is usually the best solution (The flunkies have much less HP than the bosses, have a combined damage output greater than him, may be Mook Medic (so kill them first) or have some annoying crowd control spells or attacks (such as Improved Trip, making you fall to the ground if you have low Str and Dex, preventing you from doing anything), and are usually vulnerable to One-Hit Kill, unlike the boss.)


    Platform Game 
  • Jak and Daxter:
    • All but the first boss of Jak II: Renegade. Second one sics his robots on you, third one has an army of his clones that you have to defeat before you can even hurt the boss, and then there is final boss, which features the Metal Head leader and his underlings.
    • Every boss of Jak 3: Wastelander if you don't count The Dark Satellite as a boss.
  • Shinobi (2002) plays with this one - every single boss functions this way, and while the player can ignore the minions and go straight for the boss and still win, experienced players will wait around for minions to spawn and use them to build kill combos, as doing this will allow them to kill all but the first two bosses (yes, even the final boss) in a single hit.
  • The final fight with the vizier in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. The vizier sends out several clones to fight in his stead. His actual body is pretty frail, dying within 2 sword strikes.
  • One of the bonus challenges for Hedgeshock the Erinaceroid in Mega Man ZX Advent is to deliver her the finishing blow by knocking one of her rat minions into her.
  • Mega Man Legends: The caterpillar-like robot tank you encounter in the industrial ruins. It doesn't have any visible weapons on its surface and moves rather slowly, but it has a hatch on its back which will discharge loads and loads of robotic mooks to assault you.
  • In Mega Man X6, the final boss summons disgusting blobs and airborne platform enemies to distract you from its weak point and lasers
  • Donkey Kong Country:
    • The original Donkey Kong Country features Boss Dumb Drum, who pops out common mooks for you to fight. In fact, you can't even hit him at all, he dies after all of his mooks die.note 
    • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest has King Zing, who, about halfway through the battle, shrinks, turns red (literally, not the trope) and gets a few bodyguards. You then have to knock a couple of the surrounding Zingers out and spit eggs at him before they respawn (how many you knock out doesn't affect respawn speed, though). The same game has Kreepy Krow, who summons ghostly Mini-Neckies to attack you. You have to kill the living Mini-Necky so that a barrel will appear, which you can use to attack Kreepy Krow with.
    • Colonel Pluck releases eggs that hatch into mechanical cuckoos in Donkey Kong Country Returns.
    • Pompy, Skowl, and Final Boss Lord Fredrik all summon enemies during their boss battles against DK and company in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
  • A lot of Kirby bosses do this, particularly so the player can inhale the weaker enemies as ammunition (or copy their abilities).
  • Splash Woman from Mega Man 9, whose singing summons fish that attack Mega Man. There's also Mega Man 3's Snake Man and his Search Snakes as well as Hornet Man and his swarm of bees (also from 9). There's a fine line, though, between "flunky" and "projectile" in these cases; Splash Woman's fish just zoom straight across the screen. Hornet Man's bees will at least chase you around the room.
  • Used quite a fair bit in the Wario Land series, where usually, the enemy has to be used as ammunition against the boss. The Shake Dimension has some pretty odd examples though, such as the fourth boss which summons various mooks, then causes a mini hurricane that sends them flying at your character (or into the wall and the fifth boss, which has to be fed one or two mooks before spitting out a bomb which can be used to hurt said boss (Feed It a Bomb).
  • Several bosses in the Sly Cooper series, including Rajan and Jean-Bison in Sly 2: Band of Thieves, and The Black Baron in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves.
  • Most Klonoa bosses have flunkies, because you need to throw mooks at the boss to damage them. The one exception is the first phase of Polonte the Hatchling from Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil, but that's because you can't use the ring what so ever.
  • The Queen at the end of episode 4 of Duke Nukem 3D. It's bad enough that you have to fight her underwater and she's 2000HP tougher than the other bosses, but her constant laying of Protector Drones (Demonic Spiders) makes her into That One Boss (or, if not, very nearly does).
  • Happens several times in Legend of Kay. This is to make the boss fights easier, since killing an enemy gives Kay extra fighting powers for a short time, and the effect is cumulative.
  • RealityMinds:
    • The Sculptor summons rock clones of Astrake and Reffian.
    • Ridgefern has a White Essence and a Black Essence as allies, who reflect physical and magic attacks respectively.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • The ROM hack Brutal Mario has a recreation of Dumb Drum that functions as this.
  • The Rattlecrab and Looger in Scaler. Once it's sustained enough damage, the Rattlecrab starts to continously shoot out little crab-like creatures at you, who can be a merry pain in the rear to shoot down. Looger on the other hand, er, claw will, after a while, firstly summon a group of small Mooks, then a little bit later a couple of large ones, then finally a really big one.
  • Spelunky's only boss spawns enemies every second time it crushes through the floor. The enemies often materialize off-screen (where they become inactive), thus making them a threat only once the player tries to reach the exit.
  • Sonic Heroes has both Robot Carnival and Robot Storm. In those fights, there isn't even a boss; it's all just waves of enemies.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day:
    • Inverted with Big Boiler (a.k.a. the Big Big Guy), as he's operated and commanded by the fiery imps and not the other way around.
    • Buga the Knut orders his Uga Buga minions to kill you; when you get rid of all of them, then Buga himself will challenge you for the definitive fight.
    • Downplayed with Count Batula, as the minions (squirrel villagers) who roam the mansion want to kill both you and him, so what you do is to sacrifice the mooks to kill Batula indirectly.
  • In Banjo-Tooie, five of the bosses summon minions to do you harm. Targitzan, Terry, Weldar and Hag 1 do you the courtesy of summoning minions you can actually kill; no such luck with Mr Patch, whose flunky is an invincible (but mercifully easy to dodge) boxing glove-molehill.
  • The rabbit and pencil bosses of Fancy Pants Adventures require the player to stun their mooks and knock them back at them when they're vulnerable to deal damage.
  • In Akane the Kunoichi, Hiromi does not fight Akane directly. Rather, she stands on top of a platform while the area below her gradually fills with other, lesser enemies (including some which must be dodged rather than killed). She is defeated by running up an opposite wall and throwing kunais at her.
  • Each of the four end-of-world bosses in McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure summon minions during their battles. As Ronald must first have the bosses suck one of the magic gems from his life bar before he can be allowed to damage them, he does have to mind it, but can collect health power-ups by defeating the bosses' minions.
  • In Rugrats Castle Capers, the bosses of four of the six levels involve Angelica summoning minions to attack the babies, and Angelica surrenders one of the babies' toys when she runs out of minions. In "Ali Baby and the 40 Fleas" and "Clock Work Babies", the babies simply have to avoid the minions until they disappear, and in "Dessert Island" and "Sure Would Forest", they have to feed the minions Edible Ammunition to get them to disappear.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Pikmin:
    • Pikmin 2: The Recurring Boss Empress Bulbax is a Flunky Boss in her second and third appearances. She continuously spawns Bulbax Larvae. While incredibly fragile (a single punch from one of your captains will turn them into slime), they are capable of instantly killing your Pikmin, and they're a nuisance to deal with.
    • Pikmin 3: The Scornet Maestro commands a horde of up to 100 Scornets and manipulates them into defending itself and attacking. The Maestro cannot attack or defend itself whatsoever without the help of Scornets.
  • Dawn of War II: Nearly every boss in the campaigns, with more difficult bosses spawning larger numbers and more powerful types of flunkies. Indeed, the main reason The Avatar and Bonesmasha are so frustrating is their tendency to summon bloody hordes of flunkies that include plenty of vehicles and elite soldiers.
  • Homeworld: Enemy carriers and motherships. Being Battlestars, they launch fighters and frigates (and, in the case of some motherships, heavy cruisers) at you to fight. Thankfully, most of them are weakly armed, with only the Turanic carriers, the Kadeshi motherships and the Beast mothership are actually dangerous opponents on their own, and you have to actually destroy them on very rare occasions (once in the original game and once in Cataclysm for the Turanic carrier, once for the Kadeshi mothership (but you have to destroy three of them in that mission) and once for the Beast mothership), with the objective being to force them to run or to escape yourself most of the times.
  • Totally Accurate Battle Simulator has the chicken man, who summons chickens from his coat to attack with. This is turned Up to Eleven with the chicken man man, who summons chicken men.

  • Absented Age: Squarebound: All Arc Monsters can summon minions to assist them, though only some mandatory bosses, such as Canavarı Alias and Plumocrat, can do the same.
  • The grand finale of Nethack features this over the final five planes; the Elemental Plane Of Air and the Astral Plane are by far the worst. Theoretically, the Riders are supposed to be the bosses, but the bigger problem is the sheer volume of Mooks and Mook Makers.
  • In Angband, several of the uniques can summon monsters, and this can quickly get out of hand unless you make an anti-summoning corridor. Morgoth can even summon other uniques you haven't killed yet.
  • In the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, virtually every boss fight that isn't against a legendary Pokemon (Though even some of those aren't exceptions) will have multiple weaker Pokemon assisting the main boss(es).
  • The Binding of Isaac. Most bosses spit out a few flies at minimum. Others, such as The Duke of Flies and Mom, spit out a lot more flies. Mom's Heart spawns minions and hides until they all die, as does It Lives, but with a Degraded Boss or two instead. Mega Satan, however, is the king of this trope to the point where it crosses over with Boss Rush - throwing the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the Super versions of the Seven Deadly Sins, and dark versions of the Angels at you in three separate waves between direct attacks. Some bosses spawn with enemies naturally in their boss rooms, even if they can't summon enemies. For instance, in the original Binding Of Isaac, Monstro could spawn with 2 Black Flies. Rebirth expanded the monsters with Monstro could spawn with, including 2 Attack Flies, 2 Mulligans, 2 Gapers, 2 Hoppers, or 4 Frowning Gapers. 2 downloadable expansions for the Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth also let Monstro spawn with 2 Cyclopias or 4 Ministros, respectively.
  • Darkest Dungeon: Several bosses can spawn the mooks you've faced through the dungeon:
    • The Necromancer will pop out another combative skeleton every time he does anything, be it stressing the party or damaging them. Since his attacks aren't too terrible otherwise, the skeletons become the real threat, and it's a matter of grinding the Necromancer down before getting swamped.
    • The Siren has one single attack that summons one of the Pelagic enemies to her side. However, considering her other attacks, this is mostly an afterthought, and focus-fire takes care of the minion without much trouble.
    • The Brigand Cannon is perhaps the worst of the lot; at the end of every round, it'll summon reinforcements in the form of a crowd of brigands, which will mean up to three bandits can come every time, leaving a steady stream of brigands to kill or be killed by. Worse, one of the reinforcements is always a Matchman, who can actually fire the cannon. It is a must to kill or otherwise incapacitate the Matchman every round if you don't want your entire party to eat cannonball.
  • Some bosses in Ancient Domains of Mystery work like this, most notably Yulgash, the Master Summoner.
  • Every single boss in NeuroVoider has regular enemy robots periodically teleporting into the arena. Even the Post-Final Boss comes with them.

    Role Playing Game 
  • There are many, many instances of this in the Final Fantasy series:
    • Hidon in Final Fantasy VI and the battle with Sin immediately after you Get on the Boat in Final Fantasy X.
    • A LOT of bosses in VI do this. The Marshall miniboss you fight to save Terra VERY early in the game has two Lobos with him, Vargas has two bears who you have to kill before you fight him directly, The boss of Zozo will occasionally summon four or five Iron Fists. And don't forget the MOTHER of all flunky bosses that makes a great deal of FFVI players wanna kill themselves: Wrexsoul. For those who haven't played it, the battle with Wrexsoul can literally be solved by players killing themselves; it's possible to progress through the battle by having the player characters either slay one other or by slaying both of Wrexsoul's henchmen at the same time. Either way, many player characters and henchmen will be revived throughout the potentially long fight.
    • Final Fantasy IV has the CPU with heal and hurt orbs. Somewhat unique in that (in the more difficult DS version) you don't want to Shoot the Medic First because the hurt orb is super painful and the CPU itself is even worse if you destroy both orbs. Until of course it respawns them.
    • Final Fantasy VIII has a miniboss that throws its minions at you for extra damage. Killing them before it removes this attack.
    • Several of the Lucavi in Final Fantasy Tactics summon a few Ultima Demons with them when they fight Ramza's party, including the Final Boss.
    • Every single boss in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles have two mooks fighting alongside them. These respawn all the time, and give no supplies whatsoever. They serve only to distract you from the main boss. Worse, the final boss have the hardest enemies in the game as its minions, and they instantly respawn if you kill both. Add to that two hits will kill you no matter unless you're seriously leveled, and you have yourself a fun battle. Infinite full-heal Cure spells is the only thing that keeps this boss from being Nintendo Hard.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics A2 has few true bosses, but the second, Lord of the Flowsand, and lots of Marks (quest targets that are a bit stronger than the average enemy) have mooks that keep getting replaced until the boss dies.
    • A small list of bosses from Final Fantasy XI that like having buddies: Jailer of Justice, Vrtra, Jailer of Love, Absolute Virtue, Pandemonium Warden... there's also one fight where it's actually recommended to only kill the flunky, as fighting the boss will probably get you killed.
    • Final Fantasy XII:
      • Adrammelech and Zeromus, both of whom come equipped with almost-infinitely spawning (that's spawning, not respawning; ignoring them may lead to over a dozen on the battlefield at any given time), status-effect-spewing undead that can easily overwhelm the player, and Zalera, who has the gall to be invincible so long as his minions are on the field (oh, and that fight has a time limit on it as well).
    • Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings. Every boss in the game, many with unlimited, summon gateless minions. It is an RTS, though.
    • Final Fantasy V had the Dragon Pod with its Dragon Flowers. All the Dragon Pod will do is summon Dragon Flowers, which will use status effect-laden physical attacks. The battles becomes much easier once you get the summon Golem, found in the same dungeon.
    • The segment where you had to fight the Guado and Seymour, especially since they gave him buffs when they died (usually via Valefor's Overdrive). The boss immediately following (with the stupid giant and two Guado) was nearly as frustrating solely if you're out of the aeons' Overdrives.
    • Final Fantasy VII has two bosses that will revive their baddies. Attacking them will be a waste of time.
    • Final Fantasy XIII has two bosses (the final boss in Palum Polum and Barthandelus where you're basically forced to kill the minions (you can kill them regularly, but they are nearly invulnerable and you face 5 enemies hitting you hard, making it very complicated)
    • Final Fantasy XIII-2 has two downloadable Bonus Bosses (Valfodr and Jihl Nabaat) who utilize summons. Nabaat can sacrifice her summons to heal herself or power up her signature move. Valfodr is already one of the most powerful enemies in the game and summons Chichu, a monster regarded as one of the best Commandos available.
  • Journey On: The Avatar of Darkness can summon all the corrupted bosses as minions except the Corrupted Assassin and the Corrupted Wanderer. They all have their unique mechanics and abilities, though they go down easier than before. However, when the boss is near death, she will revive all KOed Corrupted, forcing the party to deal with all of them at once.
  • Kingdom Hearts II:
    • The Twilight Thorn will summon Creepers to assist it once the second stage of the fight has started (i.e. after the first round of Reaction Commands). They aren't a huge threat since they are easily avoided, though they can be dispatched quickly to grab HP Orbs.
    • During the back-to-back fights against Pete in Olympus Coliseum, several species of Heartless will occasionally spawn to assist him.
    • After Oogie Boogie is knocked off of his platform for the first time, his machine starts producing Heartless. They make dodging the boss' painful but predictable attacks a lot harder and are quite capable of taking you out on their own, meaning you can't afford to ignore them.
    • Demyx will start off his boss fight by using his sitar to conjure up watery clones of himself. Beating them is required, as they are accompanied by a timer that will cause a Non Standard Game Over if it runs out before they're all dead.
  • Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance:
    • The rare Lord Kyroo dream eater isn't much of a threat on his own, but a moment into the fight, will call close to a dozen of his fellow frog dream eaters to pester you. This made more annoying by the fact that he runs away after a certain amount of time, in addtion to the fact that he can break your target lock on him, making the act of retargeting him a pain.
    • Captain Pete stays on the sidelines of the fight as Sora fights the Beagle Boys, and only comes down after you KO the three of them and launch them at him using reality shifts.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. Mack, Punchinello, Booster, Jonathan Jones (who converts to a Duel Boss, challenging Mario to a one-on-one fight, when his flunkies are dead), Belome II, Megasmilax, Czar Dragon, Exor, and Smithy himself.
    • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga also features a few of them. The most interesting example are beans spit at the plumbers. If you jump on them with the Action Command, they roll back and turn into mooks. If you jump over them, they just roll offscreen. If you don't jump, you get hit, obviously, but that also prevents them. Interestingly, hitting the beans to spawn the mooks is good for mid-boss grinding, as the mooks award the normal amount of experience and money as they would outside the boss battle.
    • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time and Bowser's Inside Story have quite a few of these boss battles, the former including Sunnycide and General Shroob, the latter including Dark Star and Junker. In most cases you have to use the mooks to weaken the boss enough to attack it, although in some cases they're just for annoyance.
    • In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, all Dream World bosses are this, due to how your attacks there hit multiple targets. Examples include Bowser and Antasma, Big Massif, Elite Trio and Kamek. The Big Bad and Final Boss are this too.
    • Shows up in Paper Mario, where most of the (main) bosses after Tubba Blubba are Flunky Bosses who are significantly more deadly if the player doesn't kill the mooks first, making area-of-effect attacks important.
      • General Guy will order several of his soldiers to attack Mario in different formations before only he remains for the decisive battle.
      • Huff N. Puff spawns small cloudlike creatures every time he is attacked based on how much health the attack cost him - more damage, more mooks. These mooks, if not immediately dispatched, will either attack Mario on their own, combine with any one of Huff N. Puff's special abilities to make them stronger, or simply be sucked up by the boss himself, replenishing his health.
      • The Crystal King summons three Crystal Bits, who don't themselves attack but are used by Crystal King as ammo for his attack. Attacking them lowers the damage he can inflict but prevents you from damaging the King, so you have to ignore them if you want to win. Multi-hitting attacks like Multibounce, Shooting Star items and Star Power works, but you probably want to save them for when the Crystal King starts creating duplicates of himself.
    • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has an interesting variant with the pirate king Cortez. He starts off as a single opponent wielding four weapons. When he's defeated in phase one, he drops his weapons on the floor and switches to a serpentine form. When phase two is beaten, Cortez raises the weapons off the floor, and you now have five targets to worry about. The weapons can be knocked out, but they revive after two turns (unless Flurrie blows them completely out of the battle, the preferred choice since each weapon deals decent damage, one hits both Mario and his partner, and one inflicts status ailments).
    • Fracktail from Super Paper Mario also comes with flunkies in the form of wind-up duck things that appear when you hitch a ride on his body. The player then has to throw them at his antenna to defeat him.
  • In Pokémon Sun and Moon, Totem Pokémon are larger versions of standard Pokémon, and each can summon a regular version of itself. However, the player is still allowed to only have one Pokémon out at a time.
  • Chrono Trigger also has quite a few. The Guardian, Giga Gaias, most of Lavos's forms.
    • The very last form of Lavos comes with two "bit" flunkies. It turns out that one of the bits is actually the true boss, making this trope played with...
    • The Guardian is also especially noteworthy. He does revive his flunkies... but you still have to kill them, as if both survive, he'll hit you with a powerful counter that hits the entire party every time you attack him... and taking out one only weakens it to a very powerful single-target counter. You have to kill them, then quickly pound him in the time before he revives them, if you don't want to get slaughtered or spend half the battle healing.
  • Etrian Odyssey:
    • The first game has the fourth stratum's boss (Iwaoropenelep), which is on an entire floor of F.O.E.s (fighting one on by itself is hard) that become aggressive upon the player entering a battle. This can be avoided by simply killing said F.O.E.s and somehow not dying, or killing the boss before they force themselves into the battle.
    • The second game has two examples:
      • The first stratum boss is the Chimera, aptly subtitled "Lord of the Beasts". After a few turns, a massive flock of Slaveimps come to his cause, either casting Heal or Aura (an attack-up spell) on their master. If the Chimera dies, one still has to knock out any Slaveimps that made it into battle, but if there are any still trying to reach the battle, they disappear if the battle ends without them.
      • The Salamander, from time to time, will summon Baby Salamanders to join the battle. The boss has a skill that redirects all of the party's attacks to the baby into itself in order to protect them, as well as to frustrate the player by not being able to get rid of the babies. However, a clever player can then launch a wide-scale attack that, instead of hitting each target once, hits the boss multiple times to deplete its HP faster.
    • The second stratum boss in the fourth game, the Hollow Queen, summons other Hollow enemies during battle. As she does so, she places herself into the rear area of the battlefield, meaning that the attacks of the playable party's rear characters won't reach her until the summoned enemies are defeated.
    • The third stratum boss in the fifth game, the Undead King, will summon Undead Fencers and Archers shortly after the battl starts. Not only can these mooks attack once during their turns, the Undead King can enable them to attack a second time, which urges the player's party to exterminate them as soon as possible.
  • The second Golden Sun game has a few of these; Briggs, Moapa, and the Star Magician come to mind (who are accompanied by Sea Fighters, Knights, and "Ball monster" minions, respectively). Given what the Star Magician's flunkies can do (Heal 1000 damage?! Reduce your attack damage to two digits?! Eat your Djinn?!), the Star Magician is also That One Boss for many players. Essentially, the easiest way to beat him is to continuously defeat the mooks he summons and hope that he uses his "non-Mook-making" attacks...or continuously summons the least threatening type of mook, the Thunder Ball (a user of some mid-level attack spells) until his party is full. Then dedicate however many party members you need to towards healing each turn while the rest attack the Star Magician.
  • Baldur's Gate series has a couple of these: The solution is elegant in its simplicity. Fireball. Charm spells can be fun as well.
  • This a pretty comon trope in the Fallout franchise.
    • Some example from the first Fallout game could be:
      • Garl Death-hand, he is surrounded by khans, who won't hesitate in attacking you if you attack their dear leader.
      • Decker and Kane, they have some guards, but the real problem is kane, who hits as hards as a truck and has more action points that some of the thoughest enemies.
      • the final boss who also has the abilty to spawn hallucination in the form of super mutants.
    • some examples from Fallout 2 are:
      • the Wanamigo Queen, can become this if the player enter the mine directly into the breeding room.
      • Frog Morton and his nine goons can be a bit of a problem for a unprepared player.
      • Darion, he can be found in the last level of vault 15, the room where you fight him is full of guards that will attack you (and your companions) the moment the battle starts.
      • The optional boss Melchior the magnificent who can summon different enemies from the game including deathclaws
    • In Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel at the end of the first chapter you have to kill Jesse Gomer
      • The final boss General Simon Barnaky you fight him in a room full of robots.
    • Fallout: New Vegas maybe one with more examples of this
      • Happens again if you decide to fight Ulysses at the end of Lonesome Road, who is backed up by a respawning pair of Eyebots that can regenerate his health, along with a horde of Marked Men.
      • Likewise for the optional fight with Caesar himself, who is accompanied by eight Praetorian Guards equipped with Ballistic Fists, who can actually take more punishment than him.
  • A memorable encounter in Jade Empire saw the party's Boisterous Bruiser up against a massive Jade Golem and a never-ending wave of Mooks. It is entirely possible to spend all day slaughtering more soldiers than the game's army could technically support, even have the golem help out in this task, but you can't progress until you hack the golem down to size. Hilariously lampshaded when, after killing a certain ridiculously high amount of enemies, a narrator who's been describing your prowess based on how many mooks you've slaughtered gets fed up and breaks the fourth wall, yelling at you to "just kill the damn golem, already!"
  • The Orb Of Undead from Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, the only "attack" it has is to summon an army of skeletons and fly out of the players reach, but once you kill all of it's minions it will come back down to resummon it's army.
  • SaGa Frontier is very fond of these types of fights, typically surrounding some bosses with upgraded versions of normal enemies from that dungeon, and even one of the final bosses gets this treatment. To make matters worse, the bosses frequently unleash powerful attacks upon the party when all the flunkies are killed. In the case of Master Ring, one of the game's seven final bosses, killing all nine of its powerful companions causes it to unleash the Revolution 9 attack, which deals catastrophic damage in addition to giving the boss a substantial defense buff.
    • The Space Magic: Vortex makes the battle easier since it will negate Revolution 9, but it is much easier if you have Purple Eyes' equipped (negate Gazes) or have Mecs, and leave the Charm Gaze Monster alive, it will keep wasting turns using Gaze attacks meaning the only thing you have to worry about is Master Ring's Oscillation attack.
  • Star Ocean: The Last Hope has Tamiel, Armaros Manifest, and Kokabiel. All of them summon new minions on a regular basis, but the latter of the three is particularly notable for having literally dozens of extremely low HP minions that make keeping the actual boss targeted a pain, on top of swarming you to the point where you where you can barely even move if they aren't wiped out by some manner of area attack quickly (Some of them are invincible, though). The boss is also only vulnerable while creating a new batch of minions.
  • Romancing SaGa:
    • That One Boss Ewei has 2 beastmen of 3 different varieties that assist him in battle, and respawn the second turn after they are defeated, they act as a shield for Ewei, and to add insult to injury he uses A powerful Terrology Spell to negate most of the damage dealt to him and 2 types of Attack all spells that can prevent using magic or attacking normally, in addition he can heal himself. The only possible way to defeat him is to have an Archer know Rain of Arrows or a Hand Axe user use Rolling Slash to injure both Ewei and his beastmen and have one character equipped with the Amethyst (Negates his Demonology spells) in addition to the Opal (Negates Terrology Spells).
    • Also the beastmen can use a technique that can knock your characters unconscious
    • And to even deepen the wound there is a unskippable amount of dialogue in a scene 3 Minutes and 22 Seconds long before fighting him every single time, you cannot escape from the battle which makes him an even worse offender than Miguel from Chrono Cross. So if you lose and have a Quicksave outside of Ewei's lab you have better do something to kill time until the actual battle starts. The dialogue is automated so at least you don't need to keep pressing the action button.
  • Dragon Quest VIII features Don Mole, who is basically James Brown in mole form, who fights with the support of four "Soul Moles." There's also Evil Jessica, who constantly summons Shadows to help her out. She can call 3 at a time (and up to 6 total), they're resistant to a lot of attacks, and they've got a fairly powerful ice breath attack that really starts to add up when multiple Shadows use it in a single round. Have fun.
  • Earthbound has enemies that can call for help in the middle of battle to overwhelm the party; bosses usually do this. However, if the party is strong enough, they can keep killing each newly summoned minion over and over again, and then beat the foe that was calling for help to break the chain and gain a ton of experience points. Works even better if the foes that call for help summon other foes that are exactly like it.
  • Mother 3 has the Jealous Bass, which starts the fight with two flunkies. It uses them in a "jam session attack" which hits a character quite hard. FOUR TIMES. Even better, when you kill the flunkies, Jealous Bass increases his offense by over 20, allowing him to do what he was already doing. Combine this with the fact that you only have 2 party members, and only one of them has PSI "magic"...
  • The boss battle with Minamimoto in The World Ends with You has him summoning Taboo Noise every so often, and then challenging you directly after you defeat a few waves. He also hops back-and-forth between human form and Noise form during the fight.
    • Konishi uses both noise and shadow clones of herself to keep you busy during her boss fight.
  • Xenosaga:
    • The first game has one of these, a powerful Gnosis flanked by two smaller helpers. It gets faster as its flunkies die, to the point that it's practically attacking between each of your party members' attacks when both minions are dead.
    • There's also the Sufal Mass in Xenogears, which falls squarely in the "kill all my babies and I'll tear you apart" category; and also Fis-6, whose medic flunkies are easysauce when one considers they're mere humans and your party is composed of Gears.
    • Another one of these is in Xenosaga: the twist is that putting the minions to sleep will cause their commander to shoot them and cause damage.
  • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne has Albion, a giant and the source of the four Zoas, his flunkies. Killing all of them causes Albion to revive them immediately, regardless of turn order. If he is killed, they revive him on their next turn. This is also the gimmick of all of the battles with The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Each of the riders starts off the fight by summoning two demons, and go on with the fight while having their demons act annoying by casting buffs/debuffs and causing Status Effects among your team members. Kill them off, and the rider will use Dragon Eye to summon them back and attack you with the extra turns.
  • Odin Sphere: Every. Last. One of them. Midbosses included, will summon other enemies for the player to fight. The Queen of the Dead in particular never seems to stop summoning them.
  • Digital Devil Saga: Usas summons Unicorns to fight alongside her. The Demi-fiend, the strongest opponent in the game, takes this further - he has two minions out at a time and cycles through them if you keep killing them. However, you'll want to keep casualties to a minimum, as the main boss uses a hard to avoid One Hit Kill on the party after a certain number of them die.
  • Nearly every single boss in Super Robot Wars OG Saga: Endless Frontier. The flunkies could be (and often are) bosses on their own. The bosses themselves are ridiculously strong even compared to their flunkies. However, the game does make stylish use of this with one boss named Dorothy, whose allies are palette-swapped versions of a scarecrow, a tinman robot, and a beastman, named "Heartless", "Brainless", and "Gutsless". What Theme Naming?
  • The prequel to Baten Kaitos, Baten Kaitos Origins, has the Holoholobird, which is joined by two chicks that can heal the mother (and the mother will lay an egg that will hatch into another chick whenever one is defeated). It's That One Boss.
    • And to make matters worse, it appears right after a Point of No Return; if you don't either A) do quite a bit of Level Grinding beforehand, B) keep an extra save from before said Point of No Return so you can go back and do A, or C) get lucky, you could end up having to start the whole game over.
    • The first final boss, Quaestor Verus, is a very tough one of these. First, you fight two waves of tough machina turrets, with no break in between waves, so you don't get After-Combat Recovery. When you get to him, he has four of said turrets, which make it impossible to damage him until all four of them are dead.
    • The first Baten Kaitos had one as well—the Tree Guardian, which fought with a pair of Tentacles at its side that would regenerate after a few turns if defeated. Of note is that unlike every other boss save for one very early in the game, the Tentacles are not immune to Status Effects.
  • The Slaadi in Neverwinter Nights summon more Slaadi for you to fight. Unfortunately, the summoned Red Slaadi don't grant XP or drop items. Fortunately, they disappear as soon as you beat the summoner. Unfortunately, your (computer-controlled) henchmen never seem to grasp this idea... Most spellcasting enemies also do this trick, summoning anything from a dire badger to an Elder Elemental. Of course, the spell is available for players too...
  • You fight against the enigmatic Tri-Edge which isn't actually Tri-Edge first in .hack//GU Vol.1, followed by an awesome Avatar fight. Next time you see him, he's not alone, two bosslike enemies are with him. They have an annoying defence of being able to dodge every attack you throw when they glow translucent blue by teleporting, while the main boss himself stays idle. The real threat comes when he uses the power of all three to make a combo spell move or the unblockable combo attack. Defeating the two subbosses don't really make a difference, as the real one will invariably revive them two.
    • Also played straight with Real Tri-Edge who summons a different combination of three orbs at regular intervals. The orbs either, 1) Shoot light beams at you, 2) Make the boss invulnerable until you destroy it or 3) Heals him. Extra fun when he summons a combo with 2-3-3.
  • Several bosses (and even some not-quite-bosses) in the Geneforge series continually make new creations until either they or you die. Unlike most examples, these creations generally stick around even after said flunky boss dies.
    • From the same developers, Avernum and Avadon have a lot of these, too, although they're generally less likely to be summoners. The latter game has a particularly odd variant in Zhossa Mindtaker, who never attacks you directly during his first fight, instead calling it a "game"—you earn a point every time you drop a flunky's HP to 1 and force him to heal it, he'll earn a point if his flunkies kill you and he devours your corpse. Earn enough points, and he'll eventually flee, leaving his flunkies to die.
  • Just about every one of the Desian Grand Cardinals from Tales of Symphonia. Magnius just has some generic Desians, Kvar has the Energy Stones, Forcystus has the Exbones, and the second battle with Pronyma features the Idun. Also the Ktugach with its Ktugachlings, the Adulocia with its Amphitra, the Toize Valley Mine Defense System with its Orbits, and the Gatekeeper with Angel Swordians.
  • A lot of bosses in Tales of Phantasia come with several mooks (out of nowhere) to aid them. Some of the bosses (such as Dhaos in the past) may even be helpless while their minions are still alive.
  • Tales of Graces has several of these, where the boss may come with flunkies but also have some where they summon flunkies. One of the problems is the boss is dangerous enough by themselves, and the AI knows it doesn't have to gang up on you to cause a game over...just that the flunkies have to be annoying. (They love to pick on Sophie or Cheria, the healers.) Even if they don't Shoot the Medic First, they'll probably force the AI to attack them, thus reducing your DPS on the boss. So what happens if you focus on the adds, just so you can focus more damage on the boss? Then the boss will start running around and pick on your healers. What happens if you decide to focus on the boss so they don't go crazy? Then the adds start picking on you.
  • In The Witcher one interesting example exists: Dagon's flunkys need to be killed to harm him, as they are his worshipers and Gods Need Prayer Badly
  • Lost Odyssey enjoys this trope. One mini-boss fight includes a sea monster which keeps summoning weaker versions of itself and then disappearing while you wail on them, another boss involves a literal Hive Queen that beefs her minions up to insanely powerful levels, and an optional boss requires you to fight a bunch of raptors that call reinforcements (and eventually the boss) into battle.
  • Persona 2 Eternal Punishment LOVES this trope. And you have to beat all enemies for the fight to finish.
    • JOKER Tatsuya Sudou starts the fight by summoning two Minotaurs and two Shaxes, which are there to deal you even more damage and cause ailments.
    • JOKER Noriko is flanked by three Mafia hitmen. While they don't have any real skills, they have a great damage output, unusually high HP for their type of enemy, and the boss keeps applying buffs on them to make them even harder to take down. It's only after you eliminate them that the boss starts fighting you for real.
    • Demonized Sugimoto is flanked by two Red Berets, which are human mooks in the same dungeon.
    • JOKER Ginji summons four Shoggoths at the start of the fight. They keep spamming a Suicide Attack that damages your party and deals ailments, while the main boss keeps reviving them.
    • Captain Shimazu is flanked by four SAT soldiers. They're arguably more dangerous than him, as they keep spamming One-Hit Kill attacks.
    • Takahisa Kandori is flanked by four Mini Mechas. Keep in mind that earlier in the game you fight a single one of them as a boss. And they're not as much trouble as the main guy.
    • For an example from Innocent Sin, the last fight against the Longinus Spear robots features their ultimate and most powerful mech flanked by three regular ones.
  • Persona 3:
    • The Hanged Man spends half its attacks summoning minions. This can become very annoying, since the very existence of some of these minions will make the boss float above the battlefield, unable to be attacked.
    • Almost every boss in The Answer comes with a few minions. Usually you'll have to abuse the combat system to stop them from ever attacking if you don't want to die horribly.
  • Persona 4 has Shadow Yukiko and Shadow Kanji, as well as the God Hand. Even some ordinary Mooks can summon minions.
  • Persona 5 takes this to an extreme with Shadow Kunikazu. He hides behind an army of robots while casting minor support spells and cannot be damaged until all the robots are destroyed. Once on his own, he goes down without a fight.
    • In Royal, most Palace Rulers turn into one during their second phases:
      • Shadow Kamoshida manages to turn this into a Player Punch by summoning a cognitive version of Shiho, the girl who was Driven to Suicide by his abuse (she got better... eventually). She doesn't attack directly, but passes Kamoshida a volleyball that he uses for his strongest attack, which hits your entire party. You have to kill the cognitive Shiho to avoid having your entire team wiped out.
      • Shadow Madarame begins constantly summoning elemental copies of himself to fight alongside him. The party note how fitting this is, given that one of his many crimes is counterfeiting. Once his health is down to about half, his artistic ability runs dry and he starts summoning defective copies with low health and status effects.
      • Shadow Kaneshiro summons two hired goons, one of whom will block any attacks aimed at Kaneshiro himself. Played with in that the intended strategy is to just put them to sleep and then ignore them while you beat down Kaneshiro as normal; once his health is low enough, he launches a desperation attack that quickly drains his coffers until he can't pay the hired goons anymore, causing them to abandon him.
  • The Queen of Hearts in Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth periodically summons Card Soldiers into battle. Unlike the FOEs that you encounter earlier, though, the only threat that they pose is that they don't allow you to attack the Queen before you defeat them - they're weak to every non-physical element.
  • Dengeki Gakuen RPG: Cross of Venus has an odd variation: The archer boss on the first visit to the Haruka Nogizaka's Secret world will start sending out soccer players when low on health. However, these versions are effectively invincible but they only perform their rushing attack 'till they run off-screen. And she sends out waves of them, giving the impression of a stampede.
  • Rather common in Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis. Plenty of optional bosses do this, as well as the first boss and the final boss.
  • Lots and lots of the bosses in DragonFable have a couple of minions, usually one of the standard monsters from the quest up to that point. Luckily, only one boss so far has figured out how to respawn them, and his flunkies aren't good for much but Cherry Tapping you.
  • Happens in Mass Effect with Matriarch Benezia. She is invulnerable to damage for the first part, so you are left to fight the mooks all around you. When you clear them out, she uses some of her power, open doors...which apparently house more mooks. Eventually her power drains because of this and she is no longer invulnerable.
    • From a gameplay perspective, this translates to: three waves of enemy flunkies, cutscene, one-on-three boss fight. She can also uses biotic powers of her own during the flunky waves.
    • Some minibosses in the first Mass Effect rely on this:
      • The human thug Fist is a variation. If you don't immobilize him early in the fight, he'll take cover behind his desk and activate two defense turrets who will shred you to pieces. You more or less have to destroy them from behind cover before you can get back to Fist.
      • Confronting a geth Armature, an Elite Mook which had previously only been fought in vehicle sections, on Artemis Tau. Half of the fight's challenge (aside from the obvious task of fighting an Armature on foot, without the Mako) is that there's also a squad of fast-moving stalkers, tank-like rocket troopers and snipers to deal with, while the Armature itself hangs back and occasionally throws devastating energy balls at you. Subverted in that both the Armature and the flunkies have to die to trigger the next event flag.
    • In the second game, Jedore is aided by tank-bred Krogan. There is also a YMIR Mech aiding her.
    • Marauder Shields and the three Husketeers.
    • In ME3, Kai Leng always has backup nearby. In his final appearance, the boss fight ends when the last mook falls, so it can be easier to win by taking them out than by focusing on Kai Leng.
  • Devil Survivor: Absolutely every goddamned boss in the goddamned game.
  • Dragon Age: Origins: The combat system is largely biased towards gang-ups, flank-attacks and back-stabs, so a boss who fights alone would normally be very easy to defeat. Therefore, most of the bosses in the game are accompanied by Mooks, and some even by a massive swarm of mooks (though never endless). Bosses who fight alone are rare, and when they do they are usually extraordinarily over-powered to make up for their numerical inferiority. Many bosses are made ridiculously easier to defeat if you can somehow draw their mooks away and take care of them first.
    • And then there's someone like Ser Cauthrien, who comes with massive amounts of mooks, and even if you managed to seperate Ser Cauthrien from the mooks (or kill all the mooks first), she is still ridiculously hard to take down. Thankfully she's a Bonus Boss.
    • The ultimate example of this from the game would have to be the Archdemon because in its case, the Mooks really are neverending, and are just there to distract you from the boss itself. Thankfully, you can call in armies of allies to deal with the Mooks, making the player character something of an inversion.
    • The Harvester in The Golems of Amgarrak DLC takes this Up to Eleven by summoning Boss-level mooks to assist it.
    • There's also the Broodmother, which calls Darkspawn to protect it.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 Mask Of The Betrayer has two. The first is against Okku and his spirit army. Since Okku is a god, his worshippers grant him oodles of HP and immunity to weapons until they die. After enough are down, he's killable, and he drops to far below his max HP by the time all of them are dead. In the second one, the boss is a Genus Loci, which consists of five trees that do nothing but spam summoned allies until they are destroyed. However, in both cases AoE blasting will handle them pretty easily.
  • Demon's Souls has Phalanx, the Wake-Up Call Boss which can only be harmed by killing the living shields that surround it.
  • Soma in Aselia the Eternal - The Spirit of Eternity Sword has no fighting ability since he's just a normal human. He lets his brainwashed minions do all his fighting for him. And when they go down...
  • In The Legend of Dragoon, the boss of the Queen Fury/Ghost Ship section is actually a group of Respawning Enemies. Four Ghost Knights, accompanied by a stronger Commander, attack you. Killing one, including the Commander, simply 'downs' it for 1-3 turns, after which they stand back up at full health. If you are unlucky they may even rise back up before you even get your next action. The only way to win is to down all 5 enemies at the same time, which is easier said than done in a game where the only multi-hitting attacks you have are limited items and, at that point in the game, very few Dragoon Spells, only one of which is actually powerful enough to take them all out at moderate health, besides the Commander. May very well become That One Boss if you aren't prepared for it.
  • Skies of Arcadia does this, most notably with a number of the bonus Wanted battles. Gordo is first but his 3 chef pirates don't get brought back or replaced when defeated. Then you have Lapen (spike drones), Daikokuya (bodyguards) and Lord Zivilyn Bane (mook Zivilyn Banes). These three will summon replacement flunkies a set number of times but do stop eventually so you can feasibly kill them all and then focus on the boss.
  • Diablo II has got unique monsters (and a lot of superunique monsters) which have several minions fighting alongside it. Also, Act I and III boss rooms are filled with normal enemies which can attack with the boss.
  • In Dark Souls:
    • The Capra Demon is infamously flanked by two attack dogs, who are very good at stunning the player and leaving them open to the Demon's powerful sword blows, especially considering the cramped arena. Hence the most famous piece of advice in the Souls community: "Kill the dogs first."
    • Nito, First of the Dead is accompanied by a bunch of skeletons, including one giant skeleton. Because he's a necromancer, those skeletons will also respawn continuously unless they are slain with a divine weapon.
  • Dark Souls II:
    • The Mirror Knight can summon warriors from other worlds to assist him in battle. The twist is that in addition to NPC's, he can also summon other players who happen to be online at the moment.
    • Elana, the Squalid Queen will summon skeletons as well as a previous boss, Velstadt, to help her in her fight. And occasionally she'll summon those three piglets from the beginning of the game by accident.
    • The Burnt Ivory King will continuously be helped by Charred Loyce Knights. You can stop this by bringing uncorrupted Loyce Knights into battle, who can freeze the portals they spawn from.
    • In New Game+, both the Flexile Sentry and the Lost Sinner will be accompanied by black phantoms in their fights.
    • The Executioner's Chariot fight takes place in an area full of skeletons and necromancers. The necromancers rez the skeletons and cast spells at you if they have line of sight, so while the Chariot thundering over the skeletons can knock them down, it doesn't actually cause them much trouble.
  • Dark Souls III:
    • The Curse-Rotted Greatwood will be joined by numerous Undead Settlers during the first phase of its fight. You can kill them, but more will come shortly.
    • High Lord Wolnir will periodically summon skeletons to help him. Skeletons that have to be killed twice to stay down for good. Fortunately, Wolnir isn't careful with his attacks and will kill his own servants quite often.
    • The Champion's Gravetender in Ariandel starts out with a small pack of wolves helping him, and is later joined by a single enormous Greatwolf who is a boss in its own right.
  • In Okage: Shadow King every boss save the for the Final Boss has minions that fight with it.
  • Pseudolonewolf's MARDEK series uses this a few times; Moric summons zombies and Droma the first and second times he is fought, Ss'leneck brings two Reptoid Warriors with him, the King of Goznor summons Aether Clones of Mardek and his party members (active and reserve), at level 30, with any equipment equipped on their real life counterparts and finally Qualna summons Aether Clones of Mardek in the Astral Tunnel, at level 30, with any equipment he has one him.
  • Alraune, the Final Boss of PN03, occasionally summons groups of Eichels, the Goddamned Bats encountered throughout the game.
  • The fight against O. Dio in the Western chapter of Live A Live is this if you did not set up very many traps beforehand. If you set up none, his flunkies will be fourteen in number and take up the majority of the battle screen.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles:
    • Lorithia, That One Boss near the end of the game sends lots of nebula enemies to attack you - rather annoying since these are creatures that are highly resistant to physical attacks, inflict status ailments, and explode if left alone with little HP. They also spawn often and share their damage resistance with the boss if so much as one of them remains alive.
    • Xord, who regularly summons a mob of weak mechon to assist him. They're necessary for beating him, as you need to use a chain attack to make him vulnerable to damage, and defeating them is the only practical way to max out your chain gauge.
    • Metal Face is accompanied by two Mass-Produced Faces in his final battle, and Face Nemesis is backed up by four lesser Mechon. The latter is an interesting example in that your goal is to avoid killing the main boss since it's Fiora piloting it and focus entirely on wiping out the flunkies.
  • Several of the bosses in The Lord of the Rings: War in the North are backed up with hordes of respawning mooks. Once the boss is killed, any remaining enemies must also be slain in order to progress. This can become very frustrating if you just managed to survive the boss only to get finished off by a lowly Goblin that you forgot to take care of.
  • Several bosses in The Last Story summon enemies to disturb the player's strategies. Terracor (first fight), Marbas and Necromancer are only some examples.
  • One of the two types of "bosses" in Evil Islands.
    • Erfar takes it to its logical extreme, Zerg Rushing you with at least fifteen Mooks who you will likely two-shot by then (the boss himself included).
    • A less serious and way more dangerous example would be Bandit Chief's Lieutenant. Encountered fairly early in the game he has an assortment of six to eight bandits that will come to his aid once engaged. It's possible to pick them off one by one before the main fight though, otherwise you're in for a slugfest.
  • Might and Magic VI sets up the final battle to be against a Reactor Boss (which turns out to be oddly simple, assuming you did as instructed and armed your characters with blasters), and then promptly teleports you to face the Kreegan Hive Queen and a horde of lesser Kreegan the moment you destroy the reactor.
  • In Mage Gauntlet, Hurgoth is one of these. Justified in that he's a weak coward whose only job is to hold the Dark Realm portal open, and the portal is the actual boss, with him trying to shoot you through it. The Final Boss of the Roguelike Gaiden Game, Wayward Souls, is almost exactly the same (though this time, it's not Hurgoth, but the Altered Shadow).
  • In Terranigma, Parasite spits out six flunkies in the Boss Battle's second stage, and you have to kill them all before its eye opens again. Killing the flunkies gives you good XP.
  • Yo-Kai Watch features a boss named SV Snaggerjag, a pirate attached to his ship - literally. One of his only moves, called Takin' It All, is to pull fish flunkies out of the water. There are three types - one attacks physically, one attacks with water, and one heals Snaggerjag. Up to two can be at his side. To make it worse, when he has two, he starts charging his most powerful, A Fisher's Life, which cannot be interrupted by defeating a flunkie. and you get no extra XP for the flunkies. The game might just hate you.
  • Bloodborne has several. The Witches of Hemwick summon mooks who wander the arena and attack you when you move near, though it's subverted in that there's a simple method to stop them from ever spawning, which turns the fight into a cake walk. Played straight with Rom and the Celestial Emissary, relatively weak bosses who barricade themselves behind walls of respawning mooks.
  • Earthlock:
    • Mushriga (optional, but drops loot required for 100% Completion) is a giant mushroom. It spawns smaller mushrooms with a poison attack.
    • The Final Boss spawns shadow versions of the party. Don't spend too much time fighting them — the boss soon sacrfices them to power itself up.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm:
    • PewDiePie can summon a seemingly endless amount of literal Straw Fans. As in, they're actually small straw dolls. Killing them is a waste of time as Pews will revive them at the end of every turn.
    • Pews' boss RayWilliamJohnson will resort to call followers as the battle goes on.
    • Lady Anita, an over-the-top parody of Anita Sarkeesian from Feminist Frequency as an insane cult leader, will keep calling her "sisters" to aid her in battle. Unlike the underlings of Pews and RayWilliamJohnson, Anita's Social Justice Warriors do pose a treat, making the fight much harder.
    • One_Wing, the Chapter 6 boss of will regularly spawn a flurry of "Underwings" to keep you busy while he hides and heals.
  • Octopath Traveler: Most bosses summon a couple of weaker minions to support them, and in some cases use them as bodyguards to prevent their vulnerabilities from being hit. It's a sign that you're up against a very dangerous boss when they don't summon any minions.
  • YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG has The Golden Alpaca, who summons invincible Soul Survivors to aid it in battle. The Soul Survivors themselves aren't too dangerous, just having a single mediocre attack, but the Golden Alpaca can absorb them to (depending on the version) evolve into stronger forms or unleash an HP to 1 attack on the entire party if they are not banished.
  • In Cris Tales, Mayor Enzo is very dependent on his Hounds, large monstrous dogs he trained himself from pups. They do almost all of the direct damage while he stands behind them and gives commands. It is not the best idea to focus entirely on him though; he can sacrifice his Hounds to heal back a lot of his HP, then summon another. He also begins with two Hounds but can have up to four of them at a time, which will overwhelm the player party. It's more efficient to get rid of his Hounds as soon as possible to prevent him from healing and to keep his pack manageable.

    Sports Game 

    Shoot Em Up 
  • Several bosses in the arcade classic Sunset Riders are backed up by a few straight-up, standard-issue, gun-toting mooks. Notably, as they don't respawn (although the final boss has so many, you might not think so at first), it's more tactically sound than in most scenarios to go after them first.
  • Touhou Project:
    • Meiling summons fairies for a few patterns. Oddly, this is for her nonspells, which are normally gimmick-free zones.
    • This trope seems to be Rin Kaenbyou's gimmick, as she is accompanied by various minor enemies for many of her spellcards, the worst being those creepy zombie fairies that burst into a shower of bullets when destroyed, only to revive again within seconds.
    • Yoshika summons spirits for her first spellcard, which do most of the attacking. The catch is that she'll recover health if you kill them.
  • The Cave Ceiling boss in the horizontal scrolling Shoot 'em Up U.N. Squadron (SNES version). It's this large moving machine on the ceiling whose weak point can only be attacked from below, and its downward flamethrower attacks shouldn't pose much trouble. The problem? There's a conveyor belt on the floor where homing missile launchers AND upward-firing flamethrowers will come in from both sides, making your life a living hell. Unsurprisingly, its That One Boss.
  • Nearly half the bosses in Hero Core. Notably, the Reaper Drone takes this trope to its logical extreme, being able to use its flunkies as both shields and weapons simultaneously. The Grand Mother is also this on multiple levels, as it spawns Mothers, which are themselves Mook Makers. The Guardian also has statues in his room that come to live once you damage him enough, and the Liquid Metal Processor can only be harmed after its flunkies are destroyed.
  • The jet bomber boss in the Raiden series sends waves of mini-jets after you, and the mobile fortress boss in the second game can spawn turrets.
  • The G.I. Joe arcade game gives us Metal-Head (who is aided by standard mooks), the Baroness (uses robots and aerial forces), Major Bludd (mooks and a laser cannon from the background) and Destro (air and sea forces).
  • Sleeping Spire, the first boss of Arc Angle. Being based off the sin of Sloth, it does absolutely nothing at all. However, the programs in the area will attack you, and that even includes another copy of the Mini-Boss!
  • Several bosses in Cuphead fight alongside waves of smaller enemies:
    • Hilda Berg summons small planes for her fight, and UFOs in her final phase.
    • Cagney Carnation occasionally launches seeds that sprout into enemies.
    • Baroness Von Bon Bon lets her minions (and later, her living castle) do most of the work, while the baroness herself stays back and fires a shotgun at Cuphead.
    • Beppi the Clown summons living balloon animals, and later, penguins who throw baseballs.
    • Grim Matchstick uses living flame creatures that jump up at Cuphead in his second phase.
    • Wally Warbles is accompanied by parades of small birds with nails attached to their heads, and later his two medic birds that carry his stretcher.
    • Rumor Honeybottoms, as a queen bee, has the bees of her hive attack you.
    • Captain Brineybeard and Cala Maria both attack largely by summoning various sea creatures.
    • Sally Stageplay's 'big wave' attack in her third phase is actually a stagehand running across the screen with the prop.
    • King Dice will make you face a Boss Bonanza of his lackeys (known collectively as the King's Court) before him, and when he attacks, it's by marching living waves of cards out of his sleeve.
  • In Octogeddon, the Big Boss Bass enemies will summon smaller robotic fishes to attack Octogeddon while they themselves circle around it.

    Stealth Based Game 
  • Assassin's Creed: Most bosses (targets) have guards with them, although in many cases they can be bypassed through smart stealth/surprise. Played completely straight with Al-Mualim and his Ancient Astronaut Phlebotinum which allows him to teleport and summon ghostly versions of himself and your other targets... or are they? The sequel inverts this with Ezio uses the same (or a similar) piece of Phlebotinum against the Pope and the Papal Staff. Brotherhood uses this too with the final battle with Cesare Borgia, where mooks will appear to aid Cesare in every phase... for all the good that does, as he's immune to counter kills or kill streak executions unlike Il Carnefice. (In contrast, Papal Guards are immune to counter kills but not kill streaks, which actually makes them more survivable on their own.)
    • Actually exploitable in AC2 once you get the Poison Blade — time the injection just right and get out of sight, and in his death throes the poisoned bodyguard may inadvertently kill the target for you, as several players have proved in gameplay videos.
    • Ironically, Brotherhood essentially makes Ezio himself a Flunky Boss — from late-Sequence 4 through Sequence 8 and in post-story free-roam, he can summon Assassin apprentices to make kills for him or to fight alongside him in Open Conflict... but if the player is not pressed for time, it's usually to make kills for Ezio.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 4, Crying Wolf, Screaming Mantis and Raging Raven are all examples. However, the first two would be laughably easy were it not for the regular enemies, while the latter is actually easier because of them.
    • In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, when you fight Armored Vehicles, Tanks and Choppers they are helped by Escorts. Also the Chrysalis and it's Kidnappers.
  • Yushchenko in Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain is accompanied by a squad of Elite Mooks wearing red berets and flak jackets and packing magnum pistols, in addition to the level's normal guards.

    Survival Horror 
  • From Fatal Frame:
    • Ryokan Kurosawa from the second game occasionally disappears and summons two Veiled Priests during his boss battle. Taking out the Priests renders him unable to summon them again, and defeating Kurosawa himself makes the two die right afterwards if they're still active.
    • Yoshitatsu Kiryu, also from the second game, uses the dolls in his workshop floor as his main method of attack, both as a grapple and direct attack by having them ram onto Mio. His Fatal Frame moment is when he finally tries to hurt you himself.
    • The third game has Yoshino Takigawa, a victim of the Tattoo Curse turned hostile as a ghost. When battling her, she's always surrounded by shadows that continually re-spawn until she's defeated.
    • The fifth game has Ouse/Ose Kurosawa, during her actual final battle.
      • When fought underwater, she summons 5-6 Guardians around her, who disperse and attack separately if not defeated quickly. Fortunately said Guardians go down in one hit or two.
      • When fought above water surface, she summons some Mook(s) you've encountered earlier in the story. And Guardian(s), if summoned, emerge out of water to grab you by the ankle before disappearing.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Dungeons & Dragons Adventure System board games have several:
    • In Castle Ravenloft, Klak combines this with "Get Back Here!" Boss; if he's close enough to a player to attack, he will, but otherwise he teleports to new rooms and summons monsters to attack the party.
    • Also from Ravenloft, Count Strahd combines this with Turns Red; if his health gets below 5HP, he teleports to his crypt and starts summoning monsters.
    • In The Legend of Drizz't, Methil prefers to attack by activating existing monsters, and will summon a new one if there are no monsters to activate.
    • Also from Drizz't, Jarlaxle calls a mercenary if there are no other monsters on his tile.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • Silhouette, Coyote Bongwater and Ponsonby from the Destroy All Humans! series count as this.
  • Shows up several times in Max Payne of all games, with a number of subversions:
    • The first boss you run up against legs it after a while, leaving half a dozen Mooks to finish you off despite his having an Ingram.
    • There are various Mooks conveniently loitering along the path of your pursuit of Vinnie Cognitti, who function in much the same way. (The level where you take on B.B. is similar, but he barely counts as a boss seeing as this is the level when you get the Jackhammer.)
    • Jack Lupino has two henchmen flanking him when he deigns to join the fray... after about two dozen others have been whaling on you from two sides when you have no proper cover; it's actually a bit of a relief when he shows up, even if he is Made of Iron and tripping out on V.
    • The closest thing to a completely straight example are the Trio, three Minibosses / Giant Mooks spread across the level who have a couple of regular enemies lurking nearby. In the PC version you don't trigger the "Mini-Boss defeated " flag until you kill these Mooks as well, not that you're likely to notice.
  • Every Boss Battle in Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard includes flunkies, except the ones that are Quicktime Events.
  • Stay Puft in Ghostbusters: The Video Game.
  • Zeta Prime from Transformers: War for Cybertron.
  • Bosses in Warframe are accompanied by large amounts of minions whose purpose of making the fight difficult is only secondary to their role in keeping the player supplied. The Corpus Razorbacks stand out in that their impenetrable defences can be breached only by the Bursa mechs that appear in Razorbacks' chambers, which you can hack to turn into your temporary allies.

    Tower Defense 
  • Infinitode 2 has Constructor, the boss faced in 3.8, spawns enemies as long as it's active on the field every 5 seconds and when it drops to 75%, 50%, and 25% HP. The foe types spawned are usually Regular, Fast, and Strong, but other enemies from the level's portal can also appear (other than Healer).

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • Every boss comes with some sort of back-up in Disgaea: Hour of Darkness because 10 on 1 generally isn't much a fight. A few notable examples are: Hoggmeiser, who comes with a group of monks who do nothing but stand there, appropriately all called "Meat Walls", Maderas, who comes to battle with a group of Succubi (it has to do with the plot.) and the big bad Vulcanus who brings a small army into battle with him! The good news is that most bosses don't start moving around for the first few turns.
    • A notable exception is Captain Gordon, defender of earth!, who is on equal level with Thursday, making them a Dual Boss.
    • The final boss of Disgaea 4 starts off with back-up units, summons more on each turn, and also gets powered up based on how many of them are on the field. Fortunately, he's the first boss in the history of the series where defeating him also results in the defeat of all his minions.
  • Every boss in Heroes Must Die is this because the bosses themselves are immune to normal attacks and must be hit during a combo which can only be achieved by hitting 3 or 6 Mooks in a row.
  • Like Disgaea above, nearly every boss in Vanguard Bandits has some form of help around with them. There's only a handful of fights that don't.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Every boss fight in [PROTOTYPE], as the "use them for health" variant. Soldiers and human infected are a complete non-threat to Alex, only existing as a health bonus. The fights against Supreme Hunter and Greene take it up a notch by using hunters, who are genuinely threatening in their own right, but still exist mostly as a health boost for Alex.
  • Technically every boss in inFAMOUS:
    • Sasha has her reapers, however these reapers are merely illusions brought upon by her ability.
    • Alden has his scrap crabs, though these are most likely an extension of his own powers.
    • Kessler has his giant electric clones, again by his own powers.
  • Similarly, several of the mutant bosses in inFAMOUS 2 summon mooks. If he goes down the evil karmic path, Cole can even make some of his own!
  • In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Big Smoke constantly calls Vagos until you kill him.
  • Starlink: Battle for Atlas has the recurring Extractor fights, which can't be targeted if any of their Nodes are alive. Kill the Nodes and it becomes attackable, at least until it respawns more.
  • In Bully, after Jimmy defeats Bif in the Preppies' boxing ring in a bid to show them up, clique leader Derby refuses to acknowledge him as their champion, and sets the other Preppies on him. Jimmy then needs to fight his way past them to take Derby down proper.
    Jimmy: You pathetic wretch, hiding behind your friends!
    Derby: I'm leveraging the assets I have and you don't: friends!


Video Example(s):



Maleficent will often summon Heartless to help her fight you.

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Main / FlunkyBoss

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