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"Get Back Here!" Boss

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That moment when you have to battle the heroes, but don't want to scratch the paint on your Cool Car.
"We give up, Merasmus, you're too scary for us. Now come out so we can kick your ass!"
The Soldier, Team Fortress 2

Basically, this is an enemy who makes you chase them around or stake them out for ages in order to defeat them. There are three main forms:

  • An enemy who turns tail and runs away from you as soon as you spot them, forcing you to give chase. They may occasionally stop briefly and fire back at you, before resuming running. If you have a long-range weapon, they will probably zigzag about, making it hard for you to aim. If you are in a closed arena as opposed to a one-way tunnel or path, the enemy may run in random directions rather than just forwards, allowing them to catch you should you fall too far behind or take a wrong turn.
  • An enemy who teases you, coming out to spray a load of bullets, before jumping out of the way, diving down a hole, or running off as soon as you get close enough to attack. When you fall back a bit, they'll reappear. They are, needless to say, difficult to hit.
  • An enemy who can step into things you cannot, such as a lava pit, high up in the sky or underground, or worse, the background/foreground. They will come out to attack, but once they have finished firing at you, or as soon as you take the offensive, they will move away to their safe place where you cannot attack them. Compare Take Cover! when the player can do this too.

So why bother with them? If they want to run away or hide, why not let them? If only it was that simple. Alas, you have to kill these things if you want to progress. Maybe they have something you really need; maybe they are blocking the door or path ahead; maybe they cause so much trouble when they do come out that you can't concentrate on anything except dodging their crazy gunfire, and would quite like them out of the way so you can get on with whatever it was you were trying to do. Most likely, though, is that they are a Boss or mini-boss who you have to get rid of in order to continue. Also, many of them if you "allow" them to run away WILL come back and attack you for massive damage (either from a quick direct attack or long range weapons) before taunting you to give chase again, wearing your health down anytime they're on screen.

Sometimes they can be fairly easy to catch if you time your move right, but often they fall into Demonic Spider territory, taking multiple hits despite the fact that it takes ages of sprinting, ducking about, or careful stalking just to get them once. If they are a common occurrence throughout a game, they can easily become classed as Goddamned Bats.

Occasionally, they are a not an enemy at all, but an item, creature, or person you have to catch, but not harm, in order to use, ride, or obtain information from.

The difference between this and a Cowardly Boss is that a Cowardly Boss occasionally stops to give you a chance. "Get Back Here!" Bosses won't give you a chance at all if they can help it, and will only stop or emerge when they attack you. They won't pause to let you catch up, or stay up long enough to let you aim before firing.

If you're chasing the boss in a circle, it's Chasing Your Tail. Not to be confused with You Will Not Evade Me (which is when either you can stop the boss from doing this, or the boss can stop you from doing this). Polar opposite of the Advancing Boss of Doom, which chases you instead of you chasing it. Contrast Road Runner Pc where it's you who run circles around the boss, dodging their attacks while attacking on your own; being one may be the key of catching up with a Get Back Here Boss.

You may have this start playing in your head while fighting some of these.


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    Action Adventure 
  • The Water Dragons from Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, who emerge from instant-death water to immediately breathe fire that knocks you off of one of three small platforms to your doom, and then dive back in without giving you any fair chance to hit them once you're through cowering from their attack. What makes it worse is that they have almost no pattern whatsoever, meaning you can't predict where they'll appear of which direction they'll be facing, so you can't try and outsmart them and attack from behind. Your only chance is to walk to the opposite edge of the center platform, hoping that the dragon head will either be high enough to hit with the Axe or that your whip will be timed just right as it drops back down to make contact with it. And you have to be as careful as possible because, thanks to the aforementioned Malevolent Architecture if you screw up even once you have to do this all over again.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening has a couple. There's the miniboss Master Stalfos in Catfish's Maw, whom you have to chase to four separate rooms before finally defeating him; the Slime Eel, the main boss of the same dungeon, does the whack-a-mole approach where it occasionally pops its head out of holes in the walls and has to be pulled with the hookshot to expose its weakpoint. Also, the Grim Creeper in Eagles' Tower; after you defeat his bats, he runs to the top of the tower, where you have to fight him (on an eagle) as the main boss.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time:
      • King Dodongo. The arena is a giant ring with most of it inaccessible due to lava. Link will have to chase him around the ring or cut him off—get there too slow, and he'll either repeat the process, or blast you with a massive fireball.
      • Volvagia pops out of his lava pit to attack. He's actually a differently-translated version of old-school villain Barba (it all comes from バルバジア, barubajia), with a similar MO.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask:
      • Wizzrobe, a normal enemy in other games but a miniboss here, does the whack-a-mole method, as it fires, disappears, and appears elsewhere to fire again. (They do that in all games, but in this one, there are several specific points where he can appear. You have to spot him, avoid his blast and hit him before he can disappear again, or be quicker at shooting him and cancel his attack entirely as he disappears. Like any good Zelda villain, hit him enough times and he Turns Red before you can actually kill him).
      • In the second phase of the boss fight, Majora's Mask spends more time dancing away from you than fighting.
      • Goht is a mechanical bull who runs in a circular track and fires back at you, never stopping. Then he resorts to rocks, and bombs. The way to defeat him is chasing him as Goron Link and bumping into his legs to make him trip. (You could also shoot Fire Arrows at his forehead, but the former method is more fun.)
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: Wizzrobe uses teleportation to move its position shortly after firing a projectile. One kind in particular likes to summon hordes of other monsters to fight you at the same time. Often, they will be monsters that require a lot of attention if you don't want to get wasted by them, including Moblins and Darknus. And in one case, other Wizzrobes, with summons of their own.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess:
      • Stallord. After seemingly defeating it in a normal type battle, has its head come alive and fly around the area shooting fireballs, requiring you to chase after it with the Spinner.
      • Armogohma, whose Clipped-Wing Angel form will run randomly around the boss room faster than Link. Easiest way to finish it off? Stick a bomb arrow in its ass.
      • At the end of the game, you face Ganondorf on horseback. Link must steer the horse close enough to him so Zelda can strike him with her Light Arrows, all while Ganondorf is constantly running away and taking potshots at Link with his sword.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks has Byrne, who constantly jumps back and forth between a series of posts around the arena for much of his first phase, all the while peppering you with weak but quick energy blasts. The only way to get him down to your level is to wait until he launches his grappling claw, dodge it, and direct Phantom Zelda to grab it and pull him off his post.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has the Imprisoned, who completely ignores Link as it marches toward the Sealed Temple. Link has to hit the Sealing Spike on its head before it reaches its goal.
  • Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon: The Shrewd Possessor is like this, and the Boss Battle is very unlike any other in the game (it's sort of like a cross between a bobsled and a shooting gallery). After it takes the form of what resembles a large, monstrous face made of ice (more or less) Luigi has to chase it down a mine shaft in a motorized sled and lob bombs at it to break off its armor, at which point it makes a single attack. If Luigi manages to hit it with one more bomb in its mouth when it tries, the chase ends for the moment, and Luigi is able to use the Poltergust 5000 on the Shrewd Possessor. (The whole process has to be done three times to defeat the creature.) The Health Bar is still in use here, but the greater danger is the sled's engine overheating (which happens if the gauge goes too high, and taking too long or failing to dodge that one attack causes it to go higher).
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice: Sekiro is required to defeat the Folding Screen Monkeys in order for him to reach the Inner Sanctum of Senpou Temple, to receive the Mortal Blade given by the Divine Child Of Rejuvenation. However, instead of the usual mini-boss/boss battle requiring Wolf to use his combat skills, he'll have to use his stealth and traversal skills in order to catch and kill these monkeys; they're far more agile than Wolf, but their only means of fighting back is summoning rather weak monkey apparitions that function more as speed bumps than actual threats. As a result, this "boss battle" is more of a cat-and-mouse game simulator; you most likely won't die, but your sanity probably will.
  • Shantae and the Pirate's Curse:
    • Dagron is one of the harder bosses of the game due to being this. In order to damage this flying boss, Shantae needs to hit a switch in the arena to create platforms that will allow Shantae to reach the boss' head. However, Dagron only appears on screen when it's attacking, so Shantae only has around a second to time her jump attack to whip it on the head as it passes by before it smacks her and/or her platform and forces Shantae to start over again. Worse yet, Dagron has multiple ways to swoop in to attack, including one where it flies juuust out of reach, leading to Shantae getting whacked out of the air for her troubles.
    • The Steel Maggot is a less difficult example. It's a large boss that constantly charges in and out of the screen and whose weak point pops out on its tail, requiring Shantae to jump over it to avoid getting damaged then immediately go after it and attack it from behind before it runs away.
  • Strider (2014): General Mikiel will attack Hiryu from afar, and dash away as soon as he's approached, forcing the player to chase him throughout three rooms before he hops into his Hover Tank and begins the actual boss fight.
  • Tomb Raider: Pierre DuPont periodically pops up in every Greece level to take potshots at Lara. No matter how many bullets you plug into him, he'll run away the moment he takes enough damage and instantly vanishes once he gets behind cover. To rub salt in the wound, he finds the MacGuffin at the final Greece level ahead of you, but the good news is your last encounter with him here is the one where you can finally kill him. The Tomb Raider: Anniversary remake changes things up by having Pierre taunt Lara off screen to confuse her and the final encounter with him is in a Quick Time Event.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: The Druid Sorcerer attacks Xena in the last level in Tir'Na. After a lengthy boss fight which sees the sorceror's health reduced to a single point, he then flees into a crypt, which closes behind him. Xena will need to find a way to enter the crypt and fight the Sorceror, who then positions himself in an altar in the center, and sics thunderbolts at Xena all over the place. Xena will then need to hit the symbols below the altar to finish off the Sorceror.
  • The final boss in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana spends most of the fight backpedalling away from you while pelting your team with attacks. If you manage to deal enough damage to it, it'll get stunned, allowing you to mount it and wail on it's weakpoint.

    Action Game 
  • Assault Retribution has a boss, a giant insect, which you chase on a Hover Bike as it flees across a forest.
  • Denkou from Astro Boy: Omega Factor does nothing but run away and leave behind bombs with increasingly short fuses. For added fun, she's invisible, so the player must deactivate devices before chasing is even possible.
  • Sanctus from Devil May Cry 4 fits this trope. To make it worse, as well as putting up with his endless taunting while he plays keep-away, you have to attack him to break his shield (dodging projectile fire all the way), and if you fail to do this he attempts to attack then regenerates his shields, forcing you to begin the sequence again. Luckily, he's the easiest non-tutorial boss in the game.
  • This is the behavior of Jaws Bruce the great white shark in LJN's Jaws for the NES. When you encounter the shark, he will roam lazily around in the regular shooting stage screen that ensues, and once the regular enemies have all come and gone, if you haven't depleted his life meter, you go back to the ocean map, and he recovers some of his hit points.
  • LEGO Batman. Harley Quinn spends the whole fight backflipping away from you in a circle.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • Dr. Tea Water from Captain Commando flees on a speedboat the moment you defeat his monster crony. You hop on a hoverboard to pursue him down a tube, and the entire battle have you chasing down Tea Water until he either escapes or is defeated.
  • Amelia Swift from Dusty Revenge fights you at the base of a tree, and after taking damage will leap into platforms leading upwards while summoning projectiles to drop on you. You'll need to chase after her and finally defeat her on top of said tree.

    Driving Game 
  • Every single boss in Lucky & Wild, where each stage is a Timed Mission where you're in control of the two titular characters in pursuit while shooting at mooks in the way. The game ends either with the boss defeated and arrested in a cutscene, or the timer running out at which point the boss escapes.
  • Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 2 and its successors have the "Feeling Team" stage, where you start 3.5 kilometers behind and have to catch up before the team reaches the goal. Fortunately, the Comeback Mechanic and the team having a slow car make it possible.

    Fighting Game 
  • Any AI opponent fought in the Planet's Core or Ultimecia's Castle stages in the Dissidia Final Fantasy games. Both of these stages are vertically oriented and have spiraling elements going from near-top to near-bottom. And the computer, for some reason, just loves to grind along the spiraling elements, up and down, all day long. Their is no benefit to them from doing it, and while grinding they are basically the fastest thing on the stage — leading to an extremely frustrated player dashing at them again and again and again, trying to catch them so they can fight already.
  • Most "zoner" characters such as Street Fighter's Dhalsim or Guilty Gear's Axl qualify as this, having many long-range attacks that can keep an opponent at bay. Special mention should go to Nu-13 from BlazBlue who has a meterless multi-hit projectile combo that hits from 3/4 of the screen away, plus gravity wells that drastically reduce the opponent's movement speed and a 30-hit projectile super that inflicts a lot of block-stun. She was so overpowered in the first game, Calamity Trigger, that the developers removed her from the next game, killed her in the story, and replaced her with Lambda-11, a Suspiciously Similar Substitute with an identical appearance, but a different, more balanced move-set. Nu-13 later returned, but was heavily de-powered on her reappearance.
  • In Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2's God-rank Advancement Test, your first opponent is Hercule, who will automatically turn around and run away, knowing he's way out of his league. You have to chase him down and beat him up. Thankfully, the fighters after him stand their ground.
  • Any Pacifist spirit battle in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate counts as this, as they prefer to stay away from the player-controlled fighter and let other AI-controlled fighters or randomly-spawned Assist Trophies do the fighting for them.
  • Some boss characters in Tekken 6's "Scenario Campaign" will appear mid-stage for a quick fight, and then quickly get away when their life gets dangerously low. The one who applies this trope best is Ganryu, however, who attempts this twice before the final true end-of-stage battle.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Hector Rodriguez, while not a boss per se, is the last of three targets you're required to kill in BioShock's Fort Frolic level. He doesn't show up until you've come back out from the back room, and immediately gets up and runs off, tossing molotovs behind him in an attempt to block the way.
  • Inverted with the Big Daddy in Burial at Sea. As it's a Lightning Bruiser, the player will usually spend a lot of time running away from it. Lucky for the Big Daddy, its drill can be fired forward, impaled into the player, and pulled back again.
  • Daemon Summoner have it's first boss, your ex-wife Emily, who's converted into one of the undead and you're required to hunt her down. You spend most of the boss battle chasing her down the streets of Victorian-Era London while taking aim with your crossbow, and she even exclaims "Leave me alone!" at one point.
  • Descent and Descent II have a boss that unloads a payload of high-damage weapons, and teleports away. To a lesser extent, Descent II and 3 also have a thief bot that tries grabbing equipment, and running across the map if detected or attacked.
  • In Destiny's The Dark Below DLC, the player has to fight Omnigul, a Hive Wizard. She spends most of the Strike fleeing from the player and summoning Mooks. It is not until she gets to a very small, two layer room underground that you actually have a chance to fight her, with her summoning Knights and Acolytes all the while.
  • Obnoxious monster players in Evolve play like a mix of the first and second versions. They run and hide as soon as they see the hunters, fighting only when necessary and fleeing again as soon as they get the chance.
  • Trevelyan in GoldenEye spends most of the fight running away from you, taking potshots at you from a distance. Same for in the remake, with the added bonus of him not noticing if you're staying right behind him for the entire fight.
  • The Gonarch in Half-Life attempts to escape several times over the course of its fight, opening up paths through multiple chambers for you before you eventually corner and kill it.
  • In Halo 2 you spend almost two missions chasing the Heretic leader, Sesa 'Refumee, and when you finally fight him he retreats a set number of times when a lot of damage is inflicted before finally killing him.
  • The entire penultimate level of Rise of the Triad is a large chase of the bosses. They are impossible to catch, and just lead the player to the final level (and the final fight).
  • Both Monoculus and Merasmus fall into this in Team Fortress 2.
    • Monoculus (formerly Demoman's left eye) teleports randomly across the map avery few seconds, forcing players to find it. Every time it teleports, however, it leaves behind a portal to another area of the map; players that can survive their way back will temporarily gain invincibility and crits, allowing them to stun Monoculus in place.
    • Merasmus (who is at least partly responsible for Demoman's left eye becoming haunted in the first place) also teleports around the map while fought. Ocassionally, the Bombinomicon will target one player from each team and give them a bomb head: if said players should touch Merasmus, he will briefly be stunned, allowing all players to deal extra damage. When he takes sufficient damage, he will disguise himself as a random prop while several more appear across the map, forcing players to destroy the props until Merasmus is found. While Merasmus is hiding, he will also heal himself, necessitating that players find him quickly.

    Hack and Slash 
  • The Ice King from Castle Crashers. A type two with ice physics. (gives game middle finger)
  • All enemies marked as "Ranger" in Divinity 2 will always flee when in range of your Melee, which makes them rather Demonic Spiders when they can stun and poison you while fleeing, although that's only when they are surrounded by other allies who are more than willing to get in your face with stronger attacks and block your pursuit.
  • Dynasty Warriors (and by extension, all warriors games), whenever the defeat condition is allowing a specific enemy to retreat, the most well-known example being Liu Bei from The Battle of Changban. While all enemies, including these, will usually stop to fend you off, they'll sometimes ignore you and keep running for the escape point, usually bringing you through other officers in the process. In fact, this is why 6's version of Changban is so difficult if you're doing the "Kill no Peasants" sub-mission.
  • The battle with Hermes in God of War III is spent mostly just trying to catch up to him, all the while he taunts and mocks you for being slow. When you finally catch him, he doesn't put up much of a fight, but on the plus side, you make him eat those words...
  • General Burrito from Golden Force, in the last stages of his battle, will flee down a mountain. You chase him via Improvised Zipline as Burrito throws projectiles at you, and you'll need to defeat him in a Chase Fight to clear the level.
  • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle:
    • Million Gunman. Add his unblockable ricochet attack that can hit you from any position, the sudden Platform Hell level with not-so-friendly jump physics, and his extremely annoying Boss Banter, and you have the That One Boss of the game.
    • Margaret. Luckily, she's not that hard to beat, and even engages in melee when Travis is close enough.
    • Letz Shake, mixed with Corridor Cubbyhole Run where you must stand in particular parts of the ground to avoid his earthquakes.
  • Rising Zan: The Samurai Gunman has the second boss, a sentient carriage loaded with explosives making it's way in the middle of the city. The level begins with the carriage walking away from you at a brisk pace, and as you pursue it, mooks will try to slow you down. You'll need to destroy it within a certain time limit, or face a Non Standard Game Over and restart the level.
  • Sengoku Basara has several examples.
    • There's Hideaki, who just won't stop running away and who most objectives involve pursuing; Tsuruhime, who "jumps" all the way back to the beginning of the stage (luckily, this can be avoided if you kill all the soldiers quickly enough); and Yoshihiro, who disappears before you can defeat him and will only come out once you've taken all his bases.
    • Haruhisa not only runs, he hides under the dunes of his desert level, with a sandstorm obscuring his whereabouts on the minimap unless you capture a base he happens to be close to. If you find him, you get to fight him for a minute or two, after which he'll call up a sandstorm again and retreat to an area still under his control. If you capture all of his bases without defeating him, he retreats to a cave in the middle of the stage.

  • In City of Heroes, some missions require you to arrest all enemies on the map.
    • This is a problem when facing the Casters for the Circle of Thorns, who will run after you give them a good whack, requiring you to chase them through what is basically a maze, and you will probably run into a SECOND group of enemies while chasing the one survivor from the first. This is even more irritating when facing the Cabal, who do the same thing but can fly, allowing them to run to high places very quickly. Attempting to ignore these enemies only means they will find you later on, usually as you're down to half health after moving on to the next mob. Finally, in PvP battles, players who can fly do this to those who can't, allowing them to heal and sneer at the grounded player. This is where the power Gravity Control comes in handy...
    • The Teleportation power pool. Nothing to prevent it (except stunning) and it gets very annoying when your enemy vanishes in a flash. In PvP, you can at least predict where the foe's gone, because PC teleportation is limited by line of sight. Then, you meet those blasted Sky Raider Porters, NPCs who can teleport through walls -- preferably at the other end of the area.
    • Many regular enemies in the game do this too. It's not rare for a common enemy to freak out, run away, and go leaping and bounding over buildings to get away from a player. Most of the time, this is suicidal, since they're likely to run into cops, Longbow patrols, Police Drones, or the huge mass of superheroes gathered in Atlas Park. That's not even counting the thugs who leap off of skyscrapers to get away... without any sort of powers that could allow them to prevent or at least mitigate the massive damage they'd inevitably sustain upon impact with the ground...
  • Nearly every raid boss in EverQuest (and many non-raid monsters as well) have the ability to summon whoever is on the top of their hate list to ensure that the player can't run away. It doesn't matter how far away they are in the zone either.
  • Final Fantasy XI:
    • Invoked by players in order to deal with some of the more monstrously powerful Notorious Monsters in that game. The original strategy to fight Kirin was a perfect example. In order to keep Kirin from really unloading on them with his most powerful attacks, the main tank would run their ass in circles around the area Kirin was fought, while debuffers would keep Gravity on Kirin to slow his movement speed. Square Enix started developing NMs with "Draw-In" that would, er, draw in potentially everyone on the hate list, if the player on the top of the hate list got too far away, in order to make players vary their strategies.
    • Qiqirn in Salvage areas, while far from being anything resembling a boss, dropped handy items and would often immediately book it in the other direction when players attacked them. Usually through a group of mobs that were inexplicably highly aggressive to players, but not the bloody Qiqirn. All while dropping mines behind themselves that exploded as players approached them.
  • In Lost Souls (MUD), the most notorious offender on this count is Finwe, who, if seriously wounded, is perfectly willing and able to teleport himself to an extraplanar refuge and heal up before continuing battle.
  • Ghostring in Ragnarok Online will teleport when his health reaches a low enough level, then continues to teleport whenever he spots a player. He's also invisible 90% of the time.
  • The giant mole in RuneScape. For an added bonus, it will put out your light source if it is an open flame.
  • World of Warcraft has a few of these.
    • A good example would be Razorscale from the Siege of Ulduar; before you can even fight her, you have to construct turrets to pull her down to the ground, and after a few seconds, she'll break the chains and fly again, forcing you to start all over.
    • There's a variation of this in the much-hated Halls of Reflection dungeon; you are the Get Back Here Boss. The final part of the instance consists of you frantically trying to run away from the Lich King as he chases you... slowly... throwing up ice walls in your way as you demolish hordes of his mooks.
    • Niuzao in Mists of Pandaria regularly charges around the arena in which you fight him, requiring you to wait until he stops charging before doing additional damage to him.

    Mecha Game 
  • Inhert in Zone of the Enders: 2nd Runner spends most of the first half of its boss fight flying away while shooting at you. Anubis also makes good use of its Flash Step ability to get away from you whenever it looks like you may actually hit it. Jehuty is only considered a match for Anubis after gaining the same Flash Step ability, allowing it to chase after Anubis.

    Party Game 
  • Mario Party 10: Team Mario acts as one toward the Bowser player in Bowser Party mode. Bowser's goal is to catch up to them to play mini games and take all their hearts away before they can reach the end of the board and win the game.

    Platform Game 
  • BIT.TRIP has the final boss of RUNNER. You have a final platform challenge while advancing your way until you FINALLY get to Goomba Stomp the boss.
  • The fight against Dr. Neo Cortex in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. The whole fight, he's trying to run away from you with the crystals, and you have to chase him through an obstacle course. Let him get to the end and you lose a life.
  • Mzrmr from Eternal Daughter is of the third type. At the beginning of the battle, he rises up off the screen, and will only descend in order to revive the two flunky bosses after you've killed them, then immediately ascend again.
  • In the "Chinless Blunder" level in The Fairly OddParents: Breakin' da Rules, Country Boy functions as this.
  • In Kero Blaster, the mini-boss of Hekichi Plateau ("Dark 1") is a Negativus Legatia blob that hides up in the vents of a frozen factory. There are five vents in the arena, and the boss can appear out of any one and fly to another. Shooting the boss slows it briefly, but it becomes faster as it loses health, produces a spread of "things" whenever it retreats, and periodically drops down from a vent and rolls across the floor.
  • The dragon Tor Chi behaves this way in Legend of Kay. Thankfully, you don't have to kill him. You "only" have to survive his fire long enough to convince him that you're not a rat.
  • Mega Man & Bass has an incredibly frustrating battle against King Plane, a heavily-armed battle jet flying backward down an endless corridor while all you have to fight it on are rocket boards flying over a bottomless pit. To make matters worse, you have to keep jumping up and down on the platforms from different heights. Oh... and King Plane can smash them with its fists — and flash bombs that blind you so you can't even see where you're leaping! Worst of all: it's got a photon laser you have to shoot and break, or it will annihilate your health with one hit! It's bad enough as Bass, but a NIGHTMARE as Mega Man.
  • NiGHTS into Dreams…: Jackle in the first game pulls this, flying backwards and throwing cards at you.
  • Prince of Persia 2: The Final Boss Jaffar will run away from you as long as you're strong enough to kill him.
  • Ratchet: Deadlocked: Shellshock, who you fight on Kronos. Every time his health gets dangerously low, he flies away. While your missions on this planet consist of opening an arena and then returning to it, he fights you twice outside of the arena, and then four more times inside of it in the final mission.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog naturally has numerous examples of this trope.
    • Eggman does it in Labyrinth Zone from the first Sonic the Hedgehog; you're lucky to get more than two shots at him (once before the obstacle course and once after) before he buggers off. However, this time, you win just by surviving his obstacle course, though his Egg Mobile does go up in flames if you somehow manage to hit him eight times.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit) has the Bridge Zone boss, which pops out of water (your only chance to hit him), but he fires bullets at you. You could get him a few times before he goes under again, though.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2: The bosses of Hill Top and Oil Ocean both use the third variation, popping from their hiding places long enough to attack before retreating back down.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog CD crosses this with a Ring-Out Boss (of a sort); in Quartz Quadrant, Robotnik stands on a stationary platform, while Sonic has to keep running on a treadmill moving away from the platform. More details on the Ring-Out Boss page. Later, it plays with the trope again as Sonic famously races against Metal Sonic through Stardust Speedway. Key word being "race".
    • Sonic & Knuckles:
      • In Mushroom Hill Zone, Eggman simply flew away from you, and you had to jump through spiked ball walls and get close enough to hit him.
      • Later, the game inverts the trope. In Lava Reef Zone, Robotnik will use a machine that pops out of lava and shoots spiked balls at you behind you. You can't harm him directly; you have to wait for the spike balls to hit him by jumping up the platforms. In other words, you win by running away from him.
      • The trope gets played straight again in the last form of the Final Boss, in which Eggman's trying to flee from you as the Death Egg collapses behind you. The trick is to be able to hit him without getting bounced back enough to lose all your momentum and fall down. From a storyline perspective, this is also what's going on during the True Final Boss fight, with Eggman utilizing a missile-and-laser-spamming spaceship/mecha in a last-ditch effort to shake off Super Sonic's pursuit and retain possession of the Master Emerald.
    • Sonic Adventure 2: It's not just the 16-bit outings; Sonic games are full of this sort of boss. The final Sonic vs. Shadow fight (where you must keep up with your opponent as pieces of the ground fall to the Earth below), every single boss fight bar the final boss in Sonic Advance 2, and the fights against Eggman's robots in Sonic Heroes and Sonic Unleashed count too.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1: The Mad Gear Zone boss starts out copying the boss from Sonic the Hedgehog 2's Metropolis Zone (which the Zone itself is modelled after), then does this after you hit him enough times. The first stage of Lost Labyrinth Zone's boss also does this, mimicking the boss from the original game's Labyrinth Zone. However, unlike that one, the Lost Labyrinth zone boss actually stops and fights you after the chase.
    • Many Sonic games nowadays have this kind of battle as a standard boss, as it is very suited to the "Modern Sonic" gameplay style: three of the four bosses in Sonic and the Secret Rings, half the bosses in Sonic Unleashed, and a third of the bosses plus the final boss in Sonic Colors are of the "running battle" variety, where you have to catch up to the boss to attack while also avoiding its counterattacks.
    • Sonic and the Black Knight: King Arthur. Any time he's fought, he spends the whole fight galloping away on his horse. The first time, he stops and waits for you after a bit, since he's not really serious about the fight. As for the actual fight, he'll keep galloping while firing off lightning and spells at will, forcing Sonic to time his movements for dodging and eventually catch up so he can flip over Arthur's head and engage in a horseback-and-mid-air sword duel while they're still moving.
    • Sonic Generations: All three rival bosses (Metal Sonic, Shadow, and Silver), as well as the Modern-era bosses of both versionsnote , all work this way.
    • Sonic Lost World: The final boss, while the rest of the game averts this trope completely, also utilises the "running battle" format in a style very similar to that of the final boss of Sonic Colors.
    • Shadow the Hedgehog:
      • In the Lethal Highway stage, the Hero Mission requires Shadow to destroy the enemy spacecraft, which flees from him continually, and is hard to hurt. This is one case of this Trope where it might truly escape, and if that happens, your only option (other than restarting the game) is to switch to the Dark Mission.
      • Iron Jungle is the same thing, but this time with Eggman. And again, it can and will escape if you don't take it out in time.
      • Air Fleet as well. This time, it's the Dark Mission, but again, it can get away.
  • Spyro the Dragon (1998): The fight against Gnasty Gnorc has you charging after him, hoping that when he paused to taunt you, you were close enough to scorch him once before resuming the chase.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • The Seer Council in Dawn of War II: Retribution is this combined with Flunky Boss. Your goal is to kill all members of the Council, who themselves just stand there, but they have a good swarm of mooks to keep you busy and a Warp Spider Exarch who starts teleporting them away as soon as your forces get close. Killing the Exarch is the only way to pin them down long enough to go for the kill. Which is revealed as a Nice Job Breaking It, Hero moment in the next mission.
  • The second half of the Waterwraith battle in Pikmin 2 has it trying to run away from you... and running out of breath after a while. This results in a very satisfying retribution for everything it put you through.
  • In the Total War series, particularly Rome:
    • Enemy Generals can be like this. Typically, they are extremely difficult to kill and, being mounted units, can quickly flee the battlefield. If they manage to break away from your army while fleeing, your only hope to run them down is with faster Light or Missile Cavalry. If they escape the battlefield, they'll regroup with any other units from their army who managed to flee and will need be fought again.
    • While not strictly a "boss" unit, fighting Missile Cavalry can have this effect. They are the fastest-moving units in the game, and the AI is scripted to run away whenever any opponent comes close. Even if you have Light Cavalry, it's unlikely that you'll be able to catch them. Fortunately they are large targets and so are somewhat vulnerable to foot archers, but many Missile Cavalry can also form a "shooting circle" and minimize their casualties to incoming fire. This would be a case of Chasing Your Tail if it wasn't for their ability to fire at you AND run away at the same time. The best way to defeat them is to use the arbitrary "map borders" to trap them in a corner, provided you have enough units to actually trap them all.

  • Etrian Odyssey:
    • Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City: The first stratum boss, Narmer, will flee after losing half its health. Your party will need to use various passages around the area in order to bring it to bay.
    • Etrian Odyssey Nexus: Unlike in her previous series appearances, the Ant Queen attempts to run away from the player's characters, and the vast width of the surrounding area in Seditious Colony makes catching her more difficult. In addition, from time to time she expels egg sacs which, if left unchecked, will hatch eggs to give birth to numerous Ant FOE. The trick is to chase her (and destroy the sacs in the process) until she passes by the entrance door; the party crosses the door to make the Queen think she's not being pursued anymore, and then re-enter to catch the Queen and start the boss battle.
  • In NetHack, "covetous" enemies such as named demons and your quest nemesis can teleport to you or away from you at will, even on levels where teleporting is otherwise disabled. When wounded, they teleport to the up stairs, and then climb up a level when you approach. In theory, they could repeat this cycle all the way to the top of the dungeon. The trick is to lure them away from the up stairs, and then stand on them yourself; the monster won't think to flee to the down stairs instead.
  • The Slash'EM Extended fork gives some bosses like Vlad the Impaler a supply of scrolls that allow them to teleport to a random dungeon level. If they use it, the player may have to search the entire dungeon if they want to kill the boss.
  • In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, you can get missions where you have to apprehend an outlawed Pokémon. When you find them, half of the time they will try to turn tail and run for it. If the outlaw makes it to the stairs, you fail the mission. Arceus help you if the outlaw is an Abra.
  • In FTL: Faster Than Light, when you deplete the hull points of the Rebel Flagship for the first and second time, instead of being destroyed like any other ship in the game, it merely loses one of its wings and makes an emergency FTL jump to a nearby beacon, to where you must pursue it. In the meantime, it restocks itself, repairs any system damage you've made (except crew loss), installs some new systems to replace those it lost, then goes back to trying to destroy the base. Notably, the Rebel Flagship can jump even if its piloting and engine systems are destroyed.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • Gin Ichimaru in the Bleach Tower in Bleach The Third Phantom. He gathers his spiritual pressure to increase his strength, and then runs away. He has Five mobility,which for most characters,is the highest they can go. And there's his absurdly high evasion,and the fact he has a Menos Grande guarding the entrance. That, and it takes two turns to even get to where he is with characters that have the same mobility. To add further insult, you have to beat him in five turns.
  • Micolash, Host of Nightmares from Bloodborne. He is fought in a series of hallways and will run away when you get close, faster than you can catch him, all the while summoning marionettes to attack you. The only way to win is to herd him into dead ends and attack when he can't get away.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm is slightly unusual, in that the final boss itself is one of these. In between each main phase of its battle, STORM flies deeper into the heart of its self-made hurricane, forcing the player to give chase through a series of Gameplay Roulette minigame stages.
  • Dark Sun Gwyndolin in Dark Souls is this. He fights you within an endless hallway, shooting at you from a distance with his magic and arrows. When you get close to him he teleports further down the hallway.
  • In the Ringed City DLC for Dark Souls III, both the Demon Prince and Darkeater Midir have a bad habit of racing across the arena when you start hitting them...although the Prince tends to withdraw slightly in order to start murdering you anew, while more often than not Midir opens distance by trampling you underfoot and just not stopping while you get up. Midir is also a Damage-Sponge Boss with more HP than the USS Nimitz, for added aggravation.
  • Naoya from Devil Survivor, as the first boss fight in Atsuro's Route on Day 7. To win, you have to defeat him. Simple? Heck no, there's a bunch of COMPs lying around, spawning demons unless you picked them up. Then, Naoya can simply throws more COMPs if you take too long. Oh and guess what? Naoya got Devil Speed (7 Movement) and Phantasma (teleportation) to move around.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
    • Dragons often circle around, hover, and only occasionally land in order to attack. Even when they do land, it's usually out of range of melee weapons, and even sometimes in an area the Dragonborn can't reach by any means, let alone doing so before the dragon takes off again.
    • When Dawnbreaker causes an explosion, any draugr that isn't killed by the blast will usually run away.
    • Some enemies (especially high-level Draugr) will suddenly remember that they're 800 years late for work and take off towards the exit of the dungeon you're currently in.
    • Anytime you have to fight a enemy near a body of water. If they flee or take a wrong step, they will end up in the water. While unable to attack you due to not being able to draw their weapons, the same goes for you unless you have some sort of ranged weapon.
    • Most of the boss fight with Harkon consists of trying to chase the obnoxious Vampire Lord down as he pelts you with Drain Life spells and summons gargoyles and skeletons to harass you, occasionally turning invisible to hide or into a swarm of bats to dodge your blows.
  • Elden Ring has a few of these as well:
    • Preceptor Miriam will teleport away from the player after taking damage, launching ranged magical attacks on the player while phantom enemies appear to slow them down. The player must continuously chase after her while dealing with her magic attacks and the phantoms.
    • The Fire Giant has a tendency to roll away from the player and throw fireballs from a distance. Fortunately, this is one of the few major boss battles where the player has access to their mount and can chase the boss down more quickly than they could on foot.
    • The final boss fights you in a massive open arena with a floor seemingly made of water, and will regularly dive beneath the surface only to emerge hundreds of feet away, forcing you to either give chase or simply stand back and endure a series of long-range attacks until its AI eventually tells it to come back.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Doom Gaze/Deathgaze from Final Fantasy VI does this. If you don't deal enough damage to kill him the first time you fight him, he'll eventually escape from battle and you'll have to find him again. Luckily, he keeps all the damage from previous fights. But don't even think about using Vanish/X-Zone on him, either — if you do, the script which gives you the Magicite doesn't activate. He repeats this behaviour in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, similarly giving you access to a powerful ability when defeated.
    • Like the above example in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII there's Aeronite, who you have to stagger him in 3 minutes or he decides that you're taking too long and flies away. You have to stagger him 4 times and then take off his massive 11-38 million HP (depending on difficulty) in 3 minutes or he flies away then too. And unlike the above example, he fully heals each time he flies away. Needless to say abuse of the game's bullet time is required if you want to beat him in time.
    • The Vorpal Bunny mark in Final Fantasy XII constantly runs away, deliberately taking you past groups of other enemies in hopes that they'll distract you. If it gets far enough away, it can despawn and respawn with full health.
    • Ultima WEAPON from Final Fantasy VII.
  • Pazuzu in Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, who stands in an elevator shaft in the middle of his tower and will ride the elevator away every time you attempt to fight him. He will only fight properly after you've hit the levers scattered throughout the tower which prevent it from stopping at certain floors.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • The first game has several bosses like this, including Maleficent (who stands on a platform that slides up and down the hallway), Phantom (who, in addition to slowly eliminating your party members for the rest of the battle AND only being damageable by a somewhat complex strategy novice players may not get early on, but is a complete pain to hit because you're both flying every which way during the battle), Jafar (who flies around the room in an impressive display of completely non-canonical powers), and Clayton (who rides an invisible lizard).
    • The hyenas in the sequel, since in order to get information out of them, you have to chase all three down and beat them up. And, if nothing else, they're damn fast (yet hella fun to chase after since there's no time limit).
    • Xigbar, whose annoying tendencies were already present with his human form, Braig, in Birth By Sleep
    • In 358/2 Days, the entire first half of Agrabah's boss, Antlion, involves trying to catch up to it while sand is slowing down your running speed. Once it reaches its last life bar things pick up, however.
    • Ruler of the Sky and Emerald Serenade are notoriously hard to catch up with. Though Emerald Serenade move faster the lower its health gets, it at least stays on a single path and doesn't fight back. Ruler of the Sky, by contrast, will even fly out of bounds to avoid you.
    • The Deserters combine this with Wolfpack Boss. Normally, they actively avoid you such that you either need to hit them with magic or at melee range on the occasion that one runs by. Their health is low enough that they die in one or two hits, but killing one causes all of the others to rush you before running away again. On the other hand, each one you take out while they attack is one you don't have to chase.
    • The first game, Chain of Memories, and coded all have Iago. You have to beat him to get Jafar's lamp, while Jafar himself is pelting you with various attacks. They also have platforms shifting in height, often keeping him out of range of your Keyblade (though your spells can usually hit him)
    • The Char Clawbster, Holey Moley, and Spellican in Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance]. The first likes to retreat to the opposite end of its very long battlefield periodically, or worse, to the ceiling on the opposite side of the battlefield. The second pops out of random parts of an enormous room (including the walls and ceiling) and has a very bad habit of retreating the moment you get in range to attack it. The third abuses Teleport Spam and gives you very little time to attack before it moves (Though you can buy more time by using Zero Gravity or Magnet-based attacks on it, the latter of which don't affect any other boss in the game.).
    • The King of Toys in Kingdom Hearts III is a textbook example. It will spend most of the fight flying away and trying to barrage your party with missiles and energy blasts, only taking occasional breaks where you can climb on top of it and start attacking. Even when you do this, it will try to use an electric field that doesn't do much damage, but knocks you back so it can resume running away. This is one boss fight where the Shooting Star Keyblade transformations are especially helpful.
  • Tela Vasir from Mass Effect 2's "Lair of the Shadow Broker" DLC. She's the only enemy in the game who can use the Vanguard's Biotic Charge ability, which essentially allows her to teleport to the opposite side of the battle area (or to you) every few seconds.
  • The Boss of the Battle of Karthal stage in Might & Magic X: Legacy is Markus Wolf, who flees when he sees you. You have to fight your way past an army of Mooks and two other Bosses (it's possible to avoid one of them) before you finally corner him; when he finally fights you, he'll collapse with one hit, and your mission is completed.
  • Mount & Blade:
    • Cavalry and horse archers will not stand and fight. Lancers charge into battle, then charge away, then repeat, while horse archers try to play helicopter as long as their arrows last.
    • Fighting any Cavalry Archers very quickly turns into one of these if you don't have a ranged weapon or aren't properly skilled in horseback archery. If you're on foot, you can't really catch up with them and they won't get close enough for you to hit them beyond abusing the "invisible wall of doom". If you're on horseback, they're going to just keep running away from you taking potshots until one of you dies. And their horses are almost always either faster or more maneuverable than yours.
  • The Wise Men from Odin Sphere love to teleport around everywhere. Half of the battle is getting to them quickly enough to actually damage them.
  • The roaming legendaries of Pokémon, first introduced in Pokémon Gold and Silver and Crystal, where there were three. Doesn't sound that bad right? The catch is, they run away on their first move, even if you put them to sleep (as demonstrated here). They kept this idea in all main Pokémon games after that. It isn't known why these incredibly powerful Pokémon are such cowards, although with one of them in Diamond/Pearl/Platinum (Mesprit), Professor Rowan suggests it simply "wants to play with you."
    • You think you'll use a Pokémon that knows a trapping move? They're faster than you are, so they move first and can leg it before your move even happens. You've boosted your Pokémon's speed to ridiculous levels and use the trapping move? They all know Roar, which makes YOUR Pokémon run for it - and if you're playing the FireRed/LeafGreen remakes, this makes the roaming Pokémon lost. The trick is to use the trapping move, pray that they don't use Roar on their first move, and then put them to sleep so you can do some damage to them. Luckily they don't heal from damage between encounters, letting you whittle them down over time. Encountering them at all isn't easy, either - you have to randomly encounter them once before you can track them with the Pokedex, and even then, they change locations every time you change from one route to the next, or enter or exit a city. If you're actively hunting one, you have to jump back and forth over the border between two routes and check the 'dex each time until they're on the same route as you. Making matters even worse, both Entei and Raikou know the move Roar. Due to a nasty glitch, if they use it, they will disappear from the game forever, making it impossible to obtain them on that save file.
    • Pokémon Platinum
      • The game has FIVE roaming legendaries. FIVE. Unless you have five Master Balls, a Pokémon that knows a trapping move that works on the legendary AND is faster than it, or a Wobbuffet, you'll probably spend days hunting them down and capturing them all.
      • A Galactic Grunt detonates a bomb in the Great Marsh, and you are ordered to chase him down. Every time you catch up to him he makes up an excuse why he doesn't have to fight you, which keeps repeating itself a couple of times until he finally gives up running in Valor Lakefront. When you fight him, his team consists of a single Croagunk (as expected of a lowly Grunt), which would probably explain why he's such a Cowardly Boss.
    • Downplayed in Pokémon X and Y with the legendary birds in the post-game. As soon as you encounter one of them (by the way, the one you encounter is determined by which starter Pokémon you chose at the beginning), it will run away without giving you the chance to do anything to it. You will need to encounter the birds ten times before they settle in an isolated cave. They won't run away after this.
    • Pokémon Sword and Shield's Crown Tundra DLC makes the Galarian legendary birds into this. When the player approaches the Dyna Tree for the first time the three birds will appear and fight each other before rushing off in different directions, forcing the player to track them down. Zapdos is found in the Wild Area from the base game, Moltres on the Isle of Armor from the first half of the DLC, and Articuno stays in the Crown Tundra. Each one is an overworld encounter that has to be chased down before they can be battled.
    • New Pokémon Snap has some. Steelix and Volcarona in the illumina spots move around, go in and out of holes, and go through various chambers and have to be hit with fluff fruit to get their shields down so you can orb them into the illumina state. The final boss, Xerneas, is the same way. Mew is also one as an Easter Egg / Call-Back from original Pokémon Snap.
    • Pokémon Legends: Arceus adapts the "roaming legendary" style of encounter with the Forces of Nature - Thunderus, Tornadus, and Landorus and, after you catch those three, Enamorus. These Pokemon take the obnoxious parts of both aggressive and cowardly Pokemon, constantly running away extremely quickly while tossing large, highly-damaging tornadoes at you. And if you do catch up to them? They have a barrier that prevents you from fighting them unless you can break it with a stunning item like a Ball of Mud or a Snowball. And when you do break the barrier, you have about two seconds to initiate a fight before it brings the barrier back up and runs away, forcing you to catch it all over again. Once you do get into the actual battle with one, capturing it is relatively simple - it's actually getting into the fight that's the problem.
  • Riviera: The Promised Land has a variation in the Wyrm-type enemies/minibosses, wherein if you let them use a MAX attack, they'll blow YOU away from the battle and several map areas away. As an upside, however, this is the only way to acces certain areas.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Croco from Super Mario RPG is a variant in that you only need to chase him long enough to initiate the fight. Once you catch him good and proper, he'll stick around until he runs off for your victory.
    • Mario & Luigi:
      • The third Giant Bowser battle in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story is against the Fawful Express, a train that is constantly moving away from Bowser. It stops occasionally to refuel, which is when you can damage it. If you can't defeat it before it reaches a bridge, you automatically lose and have to start the battle over.
      • The fourth Giant Luigi battle in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team is against the Zeekeeper, who constantly flees from Luigi into dimensional rifts and stuff, forcing Luigi to have to counter his attacks to get a chance to fight back. Of course standing still and letting the Zeekeeper flee wouldn't be an option because he comes back to do swooping attacks and firing energy projectiles at you.
      • Antasma does this when assisting Dreamy Mario as one of the attacks. He taunts Mario with Peach into giving chase while sending invincible Dreamy Mario clones after you and spitting purple smoke to obscure your vision.
      • Torkscrew has an attack where he steals one of the bros and forces him to drop coins, while you have to jump over and doge land mines.
  • Undertale: Inverted with the boss battle with Undyne during the Pacifist/Neutral Route. The player has the option to leave the arena and run away from Undyne once their heart turns red again, prompting her to chase you and re-initiate the fight.
  • Vagrant Story: The final boss. SO MUCH. Your only chance of hitting him is when he stops to attack you.
  • The World Ends with You has the raven boss Cornix Canor near the end of week 1. Its battle plan is to stay off of the screen for roughly 90% of the battle, only occasionally flying by while you try to hit it in the second or two that it is actually on the screen. It's actually quite fitting, because in-story, the Reaper who sets Cornix Canor on you is explicitly trying to waste your all-too-precious time.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • After Burner Climax has the Optional Boss of Stages 6 and 7, the stealth bomber. In Stage 6, you have to chase after it without falling too far behind, and if you keep up, you must finish it off in Stage 7 using your guns. If you fail either, the game keeps going, but you will be locked out of the last 2 stages (as is the case with failing any other Emergency Order).
  • EXTRAPOWER: Star Resistance: The stage 3 boss Gustav. After damaging him enough upon first finding him, he'll break through the ceiling and escape to the surface. He'll then have to be chased after, through an ongoing invasion of Clay Kids and Spy Flies, all the while it occasionally drops in from overhead, dropping its cells into the chaos of battle. It's only after several waves of chase is Gustav cornered and fought to the death.
  • In Rez, Uranus (the fourth boss) runs away from the player in his humanoid form.
  • Star Fox 64:
    • Your first boss on Venom (blue path) is a giant robot encased in stone who runs away while throwing obstacles in your way. Slippy even lampshades this with "Why is he running away?" The boss could probably swat you out of the air quite effectively because it's possibly the tallest boss in the game.
    • You keep following the train on Macbeth throughout the entire level. Even when it releases the robot that acts as the boss in the strictest sense, the train keeps moving. This is rather hilariously used to Star Fox's advantage. One of the ways to defeat it is to hit a number of switches that forces the train onto a track leading to one of the weapon depots. The train is destroyed because, as the conductor screams, the brakes apparently won't work and it crashes into the building.
  • Touhou Chireiden ~ Subterranean Animism tosses out the whole "defeatable" part and has Yuugi Hoshiguma sit there onscreen, still throwing bullets at you. While the stage still progresses. Meaning you not only have to dodge the boss onscreen, but the Mooks from the sides as well.
    • There's also stage 4 of Touhou Eiyashou ~ Imperishable Night, which has either Reimu or Marisa as the midboss and boss. It is the ONLY stage for which the boss' music plays at the midboss, and it continues playing as you're chasing them down through a horde of mooks (they don't return to the screen until the boss battle, though.)
    • In the fangame Concealed the Conclusion Stage 4 has Chen and Ran zipping across the screen, taking potshots at you, stopping only once for a midboss spell card, until you reach Yukari (upon which point they return and start the boss battle proper alongside their master).

    Stealth-Based Game 
  • Omen Deng from Alpha Protocol. You chase him around some scaffolds while defeating some mooks. Then, when you get to the end of this portion (by using the scaffolds to get around the giant statue in the middle of the room), you get to the actual boss fight with him in a more standard boss arena.
    • It is possible (though just barely, and only with the right skills) to kill him before reaching the boss arena, which immediately triggers his "run away" script, and makes the subsequent battle child's play (just break through his armor and hit him once for victory). But given how hard it is to do this, even the blatantly unfair boss battle is the better way to go.
  • In Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood some of the Borgia Captains will make a break for it as soon as they know Ezio is in the area. Some other assassination targets in the series also do this.
  • Metal Gear
    • Vamp from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty does this.
    • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater has The End, a well-camouflaged sniper who only attacks from elevated locations and only moves around if he knows he's been spotted or to keep you from figuring out his location.
    • In a similar vein to The End, Quiet from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a sharpshooter who uses camouflage to hide herself, and can sprint at high speeds to evade you if she catches you trying to get close.
    • In Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, "Running Man" just runs away as fast as he can and waits for the nerve gas to kill you for him. Chasing him isn't particularly productive, but you can lay mines in his path when he laps you...
  • Sniper Elite 4: The Big Bad, General Heinz Bohm, in contrast to previous main antagonists who have remained either as The Unfought or as a Cutscene Boss, is the Final Boss of the game who is actually confronted and fought. In this case, Karl must shoot the weak points of the Super Prototype jet bomber he's fleeing in, in order to prevent his escape and succeed in his Assassination Attempt against General Eisenhower.

    Survival Horror 
  • Though only a non-optional mini-boss fight, Dead Rising has the fight with psychopath Cliff Hudson, who runs and hides in the service tunnels surrounding the store you fight him in, and only pops out to attack you.
  • The vampire that Edward fights in Eternal Darkness books it every time you encounter him until you go after his healing source.
  • The Ceramic Smile in Killer7 screams and runs if you face it. Its weak spot, its heart, is only vulnerable from the front. You have to keep your back turned, then flip around at the last second and shoot it in the heart. Alternatively, you just turn around and quietly wait there with your gun out. The battle arena is circular, and the Ceramic Smile is an idiot, so it'll just come back 'round to you and skid to a halt while you shoot its weak point.
  • There are three notable bosses in Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. The first, Bishop Vick, has Celerity and will zip around the room at ridiculous speed while blasting you with a shotgun. The second, Andrei the Tzimisce, teleports away every time you land a solid strike. In both cases, the environments are closed-off and have sparse cover, so you can theoretically stay in one place, follow them around the room, and attack at range... but both have minions (zombies in the first case, fleshcrafted monsters in the second) that will latch onto you, dealing damage and screwing your aim unless you keep moving. The third boss of this kind is Bach, who warps across a relatively large room (considering previous examples) and shoots the player from large distances with a sniper rifle. Considering that he warps after even the slightest damage, it can get annoying indeed.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • In Burning Rangers the third boss is constantly floating away from you in a donut shaped boss arena. You've got to shoot off its armour before being able to attack is weakspot, problem is if you don't keep up a constant barrage of fire it'll pick up the pieces of armour he's dropped the next time he comes around the circuit.
  • Danger Girl for the PlayStation have it's Final Boss, Natassia Kassle, who spends her entire fight running away from Abbey Chase while being pursued down a narrow corridor, where she will repeatedly throw mooks at Abbey's direction until she's cornered at the edge of a pit, leading to a boss fight.
  • The Punisher has Eddie Gnucci, who's constantly running around a maze as other enemies constantly spawn. If you track him down, you can get a few shots in before he runs off, and it's very easy to lose him.
  • In Red Dead Redemption, one can find the War Horse wandering the fields. The game will alert the player, and the player will be forced to chase it down. Since it runs in any direction it wants, the player has to try their best to keep up. The player also has to be on a horse to even stand a chance of catching it. This makes it more complicated as not only do you have to catch it, but you have to also jump off your own horse and grab that horse right away before it turns away. Killing it removes the chance of getting it, so wasting bullets wastes a good horse.
  • Splatoon 2 has the "Goldie Seeking" wave in Salmon Run, in which the titular Goldie hides within the Gushers scattered around the stage. When the Gusher it's currently hiding in is opened, it doesn't try to fight — it instead runs to another Gusher while players are tasked with firing on the creature to make it drop Golden Eggs.
  • In Syphon Filter 1, you chase after Aramov while dodging trains in a subway tunnel.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Ruger in Fire Emblem: Awakening will start to run away when you get close to him, and is the only boss in the game able to walk off the map. It's not necessary to fight him, but you get a nice wad of money for beating him.
    • Two battles in Fire Emblem: Three Houses will end with a Game Over if you allow the boss to escape:
      • Crimson Flower, Chapter 13: Once you defeat Leonie's reinforcementsnote , Judith will notice that the battle is turning against her and order all of her forces to retreat to the northeastern edge of the map.
      • In the Verdant Wind (Chapter 18) and Silver Snow (Chapter 17) versions of the Fort Merceus battle, after several turns pass or if you get close enough to the Death Knight, he'll start running away and you have to chase him down. Unlike earlier battles where he's an obscenely powerful Optional Boss, you have to defeat him to complete the chapter. (It turns out that he's not running away from you, but from an impending "javelins of light" strike from "those who slither in the dark" that will destroy the fortress and everyone in it, and the Death Knight wants to be The Only One Allowed to Defeat You.)
    • Fire Emblem Heroes: Upon learning that the Order want the Ár, Nerþuz refuses to give it over and instead flees from them because she can't bear to harm them, forcing the Order to chase her across two maps. However, since they refuse to heed her warnings to leave, she takes it as reason to fight back.
  • One request in Suikoden Tactics has you chasing Cedric who is in possession of the True Holy Rune, giving him the highest movement in the game at the cost of not being able to attack and he has terrible defense, why chase him then? He's a godly good medic and can manipulate the battlefield like a boss, so it's worth it.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Bully has a couple. There's the Boss Battle against Davis White, who starts off with a lengthy chase before Jimmy traps him on a scaffold. And during the final fight against Gary, you have to make your way across an obstacle course while he throws bricks at you. To a lesser extent the fights against Johnny Vincent and Edgar Munsen have chase sections as well.
  • Grand Theft Auto:
    • Lots of missions in the series involve chases in cars/bikes/anything else, with you having to tailgate your target until he's dead.
    • A notable one in Liberty City Stories had you chasing a Fat Bastard in a meatpacking plant. You are restricted to using an ax and the only way to successfully strike him is to sneak up from behind. If you strike him or are seen he runs to a new hiding spot and is way faster than you.
  • Minecraft: The Enderdragon flies away from you as soon as you LOOK at it. Good luck trying to shoot it with arrows. Although most speedrunners agree that the best strategy against it is to explode ''beds'' in its face anyway.
  • Taggart in [PROTOTYPE] spends half the time running from you in a Thermobaric Tank and the other half ordering weaker tanks to intercept you. Unlike conventional examples of this trope, it is trivially easy to catch Taggart. Alex runs much faster than the tank. You can even ride the tank to its next stop. The problem is the game won't actually let you finish him off until the plot calls for it (you need to jack the tank to eat Taggart, and that function is disabled), at which point a cutscene gives Taggart a decent lead so he has a minor chance of actually escaping, thus failing the mission.
    • Hilariously, the distance meter which forces you to stay within range of Taggart's tank is fairly lenient. If you've memorized where the tank ambushes are set up, you can bust them up before Taggart actually gets there.
    • In the sequel, about half of the Evolved you meet will lead you on a merry chase through the city before finally becoming vulnerable to damage, usually taunting you for being slow even if you have fully upgraded your movement and are thus faster than they are.
  • When you actually get to fighting Shogo in Saints Row 2, he has a bunch of Ronin lieutenants fight you before attempting a getaway on his motorcycle.
  • You also have to chase Electro in Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, as well as Black Cat. This time though, none of them really want it.
  • In order to fight Scorpion, you need to go after him in Spider-Man 3.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man (2005) abuses this trope. Both as Spider-Man and Venom, you will almost always have to chase the enemy across New York City before finally fighting him/her, either because you have to catch up with the boss (Rhino), because the boss is escaping (Venom), or because the boss wants you to chase him (Electro and Beetle).

  • Aida from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is an Implacable Man for anything but the Ghost Rider, but problem is, after the first time the Rider dealt a Wound That Will Not Heal, they're absolutely terrified of him and will teleport away any time he gets too close, so most of the good guys' plan is about tricking the boss into unknowingly allowing the Rider to get into touching range, at which point all that's left is the inevitable Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • The Cracked article "5 Famous Video Game Villains (Who Are Actually the Victim)" discusses this briefly, when it's pointed out that Heavy Mole from Kirby's Adventure spends the entire battle trying to get away from Kirby, while Kirby is the one relentlessly chasing him.
  • Mordroc, the Big Bad of the LaserDisc game Dragon's Lair 2. Dirk has to spend the entire game chasing him from one time period to the next.
  • Shane the Shy never directly attacked the party. What he did do was act as an enabler for every crazed doom cult, power-hungry nobleman, and two-bit villain he could find. After about the fifth time the party had to clean up after he unleashed some random apocalypse, they made it their goal to hunt down and catch him. Problem was, since the GM kept him level with the party, and since his build was built entirely around hiding and running, he was always just a bit faster and sneakier than the party.


Video Example(s):


Prison Keeper

When it's not trying to bite its target, it's usually floating around high enough that you have to jump off of the highest point in the area to get at it.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / GetBackHereBoss

Media sources: