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Goddamned Boss

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Climb back up, and repeat ad nauseam.
Pit: Why aren't my attacks doing more damage?!
Palutena: Well, it is a boss...
Pit: So annoying!
Kid Icarus: Uprising, "Chapter 9: Medusa's Final Battle"

First, let us say that it is not That One Boss.

These bosses are not particularly difficult or dangerous, but an absolute pain in the neck to fight (one of the proposed titles for this trope was therefore "Pain in the Boss"). Sure, your character may be able to last all day against this boss's attacks, but your patience certainly cannot. Frustration leading to mistakes is the most common way that players end up getting killed by these bosses.

In short, Goddamned Boss is the boss equivalent of Goddamned Bats, while That One Boss is the boss equivalent of Demonic Spiders. Or phrased another way, it is actually not that difficult to beat once you've seen through the annoyance factor, deciphered its attack pattern and come up with an effective counter-strategy.

Common traits of the Goddamned Boss include:

  • Attacks that cause an Interface Screw.
  • Attacks that throw you to the other end of the arena or even out of it.
  • A weak spot that's nigh-impossible to hit.
  • Has a weak point protected by a shield, especially if the shield can be regenerated if taken down.
  • Employs numerous Status Effects, especially ones such as Sleep or Confuse that impede your ability to control your character.
  • Frequently runs or teleports out of attack range.
  • Incredibly high Hit Points. Bonus points if it regenerates said hit points. Extra bonus points if it heals at a rate just under how fast you can damage it.
  • Can heal itself up back to full in an instant, incredibly high hit points or not.
  • Taunts the player. Constantly.
  • Uses Mana Burn, Mana Drain, or some other form of Power Nullifier.
  • Is sandwiched between long, unskippable cutscenes or a drought of Save Points. The boss itself may not be much of a problem, but if you fail, then you have to wait for a while before you can try to beat it again. You can go watch YouTube while waiting for some of these, but the worst ones require constant controller input.
  • Moves with very long animations, so even if the damage is minimal, you have to sit through the animation every time the boss uses it.
  • Is a Flunky Boss, especially if the flunkies make it awkward to damage the boss itself without getting hit.
  • The battle mechanics are painfully repetitive.
  • Has access to That One Attack which heals the boss or makes it invincible for a while, making the length of the fight dependent on how the A.I. Roulette is feeling that day.
  • A Tactical Suicide Boss that has an attack that lets you hurt it, and rarely uses it, at random.
  • By extension, a Tennis Boss that can only be damaged by its Tactical Suicide move and forces the player to wait before it's used.
  • Extended cutscenes in the middle of the fight where you can't hurt them, especially if they're triggered by how much health is left instead of time.
  • If it's an optional boss, it may qualify as one of those if it's a major pain in the ass to summon and/or find him at all.
  • If you're running a New Game Plus, the boss can't simply be blazed through with your previous-run gear and items, while other bosses can be curb-stomped with comparatively little issue.

Sometimes overlaps with Marathon Boss. If this annoying yet easy boss occurs at a particularly plot-significant point, it may be seen as an Anti-Climax Boss. For bosses that are really frickin' hard beyond an annoyance factor, see That One Boss.

Example subpages:

By genre

By game

Other examples:

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    Action Game 
  • In God of War III, there is truly one that is not difficult to kill (On easy or normal mode...), but hard to fight. The Cerberus/Satyr fight in the underworld. The monster dog does a number of things to simply drive you insane. First, it spawns smaller dogs that explode, up to three at a time. Sure, you can kick them back at the Cerberus if you are lucky. It has a three prong massive fire attack, which, while easy to avoid, is unblockable; last but not least, it uses its claws to swipe away your health, but this is easy to avoid. After you tear off one head is when things get interesting. Now a Satyr shows up to help. If you manage to kill it and tear off another dog head, TWO more of these things show up! So now you have serious problem. This boss is the Goddammed boss of the game when played on Titan mode or above. Apparently, you are supposed to use ' Boots to help with the battle according to YouTube, but locking on to the right enemy is far from easy; most of the time, you'll end up locking on to one of the exploding dogs instead, very frustrating. Satyrs being the series-long Demonic Spider doesn't help.
  • Godzilla: Monster of Monsters!:
    • Gezora. It's not really hard to defeat, yet thanks to a bug it can trap you and constantly smack you with its tentacle, dealing no damage, but giving you less time to defeat it. Sometimes, it continues to smack you until the timer will run out, and then it would regenerate some of its lost health. In later worlds, it regenerates much more health, making Gezora one of the most annoying bosses (if not the most annoying boss) in the game, and to make matters worse since its one of the first two bosses in the game you get to fight him on every single world.
    • Baragon has the annoying trait of "often not possible to hit". You need to get in close and kick it in the face when it is on all fours, and when it stands on its hind legs to fire at you you can't hit it at all. It stands often. Even your beam won't touch it most of the time, with most of it going over Baragon's head on all fours, and it inexplicably missing when Baragon stands on its hind legs. Worse is that Baragon (and Varan) is one of two worst offenders of "retreat to the next field" tactic when the timer runs out, which can deprive you of leveling up and a much-deserved victory after duking it out with this annoying little bugger.
  • Devil May Cry 2:
    • The Infested Chopper. Not only does the damn thing chase you through half the level, but once you actually face it, the "fight" mostly consists of mashing the shoot button, occasionally dodging homing missiles, and trying not to fall off a skyscraper.
    • Noctpteran. The challenge comes not from the moth itself (it's completely harmless) but the eggs it constantly lays, which hatch into hard-to-avoid larvae that try to eat Dante and Lucia after they burrow out from underground. If they succeed, you're left helpless for a moment until Dante/Lucia breaks free (though rotating the analog stick speeds up the process). Being a flying boss also means close-range combat is out of the question.
    • Tateobesu is not that dangerous, but fighting it is quite annoying on difficulties lower than Lucia Must Die, as swords are useless, guns are occasionally turned useless by the boss becoming invisible, and the Devil Trigger Gauge is hard to recover without melee attacks. On Lucia Must Die, though, it becomes That One Boss, as Tateobesu is now permanently invisible.
    • Trismagia hovers somewhere between this trope and That One Boss due to how the fight is structured. The usual strategy has players slowly filling their DT Gauge (either by attacking Trismagia directly or slicing up the icicles occasionally spawned by one of the three heads) and then using it to unload on Trismagia between his attacks. Unfortunately, only one of the three heads is vulnerable at a time and the heads tend to stay out of your firearms' range (let alone your melee weapons'), all while Dante/Lucia is being assailed by several projectiles and ranged attacks. The glacial pace of the battle only slows down further when Trismagia periodically halts his attack pattern(s) so that he can recombine, deliver a Combined Energy Attack, and then tear himself apart. This all would be infuriating enough on its own, but Trismagia's constant barrage will likely leave you in dire need of healing when his lifebar has been whittled down — whereupon Trismagia proceeds to take one last shot at you, forcing players to start the battle all over again if killed by his final attack.
  • Devil May Cry 4 has a terrible boss in the form of the first fight against Agnus (or rather, the glass window blocking him from you). Waves of Gladius fly out, and you're supposed to grab them and use them to break the glass. On lower difficulties, it's not too bad, but on higher ones, it's a nightmare. In theory, you're supposed to grab a Gladius before it attacks you — or just shoot it and then grab another — whilst dodging the ones you can't. In practice, your lock-on controls won't know which Gladius you want, they attack fast enough that you can only dodge so much, the floor constantly charges with electricity so you're limited by your dodging space, and it's entirely possible to be stun-locked and lose half of your health in one go.
  • Bayonetta has the Final Boss Jubileus, especially on Hard or Non-Stop Infinite Climax. She's not difficult by the standards of the last boss in a Nintendo Hard game, many of her attacks are well telegraphed, and her "fire" and "ice areas" can both be cheesed with the Odette weapon. But she has five lifebars, is often curled up in the middle of her sphere and unreachable to most attacks, frequently summons flying heads that are tankier than they look and tend to mess with attacking her if left alone, she goes through multiple phrases that have unskippable cutscenes between each one, and towards the last legs she gains a One-Hit Kill move that can catch a player off guard. The icing on the cake is the minigame where the player steers her soul towards the sun. On Normal on lower, the minigame is easy and cathartic. On Hard or Non-Stop, the terrestrial planets become much harder to dodge, not helped by the camera being a little deceptive and making it look like the player is avoiding them when they are not. Failing this minigame means instant death, which requires starting the entire lengthy boss fight and the motorcycle ride before it all over again if the player does not want a major score penalty.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • Like a Dragon: Shimano in chapter 3 of Yakuza Kiwami is a Marathon Boss with a mountain of health and Super Armor on most of his attacks, meaning you have to chip away at his life bar a tiny amount at a time or risk getting hit back. The worst part, however, is that he occasionally stops and starts regenerating his life bars at an alarming rate. The trick you are meant to use for this fight is the remake's namesake Kiwami attacks, which interrupt the regeneration and deal a ton of damage, but the tutorial on them took place during A Taste of Power, so you might not understand why you can't interrupt the boss's healing (the game never clearly tells you that you need to unlock the Essence of Extreme Rush). If you didn't realize just how important the "Essence of Extreme X" skills were, you'll have no choice but to wear down the boss the long and boring way.
  • River City Ransom: The game has one of the really early bosses: Moose. The problem isn't him — as the first boss, he's a pushover — the real problem is his stage. If you don't watch your footing, before you beat him, you'll plunge into the huge pit that takes up most of the Construction Site and instantly die, and then have to run all the way back to the Construction Site, mop up all the mooks there, and finally fight Moose again.
  • Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage: Carrion isn't particularly strong or durable, but is annoying due to his ability to levitate and turn intangible.
  • StreetPass Mii Plaza: In Battleground Z/StreetPass Zombies, Bubba and Cleetus Rotts can't really harm you that much, but they use a combination of throwing you out into the far edges of their cornfield and sending endless numbers of fast-moving zombie dogs at you. If you don't yet know their attack patterns, you'll spend more time going back to the center of the cornfield, while fighting off their dogs, than actually fighting them.
  • Streets of Rage: Streets of Rage 3, the end boss of Stage 4: the mysterious samurai ninja robot(?) named Yamato. He splits into three separate entities (of which, chivalrously, only one will face you at a time), with four life bars each. His default behavior is to keep his distance and wait for the player to make a move (or throw flaming shuriken at a passive opponent). When you get too close, he'll either immediately make a flying leap to the other side of the arena or run you through with a lightning-fast sword dash. If you back him into a corner, he'll either Flash Step right behind you for another slash-dash or turn briefly invincible and run over anything between him and the opposing corner of the arena. He has some other tactics too, such as turning briefly invisible and throwing shuriken in triples or splitting into two unhittable mirror images that symmetrically dash through everything in the upper and lower edges of the area. However, with tons of practice, finding weaknesses, and goading him into doing just those things that leave openings for attack, he gets simple and he turns into a slightly more arduous Marathon Boss.

    Fighting Games 
  • Bloody Marie from Skullgirls. Her attacks do good damage, but are blockable, and she isn't too over-powered, particularly her first two forms. Her third form is smaller and floats above the ground, which is highly annoying due to her attacking more than the first two forms and her tendency to run away, as well as being immune to most ground attacks.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Borderlands 2:
    • Wilhelm is this for many players. A giant robot with many hard to avoid attacks and can summon lesser robots to either annoy and distract you or to get his shield recharged unless you blast them quickly. Even with a strong corrosive weapon, Wilhelm has a ton of health. Don't let the boss catch you near the arena's cliff edge because he can push you over it and instantly kill you, causing his health and shield to be fully restored because you died. The only way to avoid that is to play with other people, since boss characters cannot regain health unless the entire group is taken out in one swoop.
    • Saturn manages to be even worse, being encountered in an area where pools of slag will make you vulnerable to damage if you step on them (and is very easy to do on accident) and while cover is available, he's so tall he can shoot over most of it anyway. It does get easier once you shoot out his many turrets, but then it just becomes an attrition fight of finding cover from his missile attack, dealing as much damage as possible, and dive back in.
    • An optional Raid Boss, called "Terramorphous the Invincible" can be fought initially as a side mission after the end of the original campaign. As a Raid Boss, he is not that difficult if you are a few levels above him. However, he is made to be fought first in True Vault Hunter Mode with four level 50 characters at the same time. Also he has a slapping attack which, if standing in the wrong place, can toss you out of the arena into a deep chasm. However, there is an area in the arena where most of his attacks can't reach. If the player can find that spot, the fight should be much easier.
  • Half-Life 2:
    • The Gunship battles are this if you don't understand how the rocket launcher works, which many players do not thanks to the only explanation being by Colonel Cubbage at a time when you might not even be anywhere near him.
    • To a lesser extent, Striders, but they don't move as much and don't shoot down your rockets.
    • The final boss of Opposing Force. The pattern is simple: shoot out his eyes with the cannons, fire into the portal in his stomach, kill the Shock Trooper he spawns, then repeat. There's barely any challenge; by this stage of the game, one Shock Trooper is barely a threat, the boss's attacks are telegraphed way in advance, and there's a health pool in the other room, safe from anything the boss can throw at you. However, the collision detection for the portal in his stomach is very fiddly, and there's no way to tell if you're actually doing anything until the boss dies, which usually takes a while.
    • The invading Striders at the end of Episode 2: the only quick way to defeat them is to either hit them with three rockets or latch a Magnusson Bomb to them and detonate it. You're given plenty of practice with this method beforehand and the base you have to protect has some decent rocket turrets and Vortigaunts which can hold off a couple if they slip through, but what makes it annoying is that every Strider is accompanied by at least 3 Hunters, which will shoot down rockets and bombs if you try to attack the Strider before dealing with them. You can also only carry a single bomb in your car, so if they shoot one down while you're far from a resupply point (or the one you're using gets destroyed) and you're out of rockets you need to backtrack all the way to another to get another shot at it.

    Hack and Slash 
  • Diablo II: Lord of Destruction:
  • Alpha Azieru in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2. It's not Devil Gundam-level difficult, but if you're in the wrong place, the goddamn funnels will hit you no matter where you try to move, sometimes three or four times in a row. It can shave off quite a bit of your health in the process.
  • The Hydra in Warriors Orochi 3 isn't difficult. It can only be fought with the Yashio'ri cannon and its attacks are easy to avoid. What makes it such a drag is that you have to wait a ridiculously long amount of time for the main beam attack to recharge and the right moment to fire it. At best, it will only take three shots to destroy one head, but this still takes at least a minute. In one battle, you have to destroy eight heads.
  • The Undead Pirate Captain in Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2 has many health points, can deliver average (but not excessive) damage, and resurrects his undead henchmen, meaning that you'll have to deal with them again. The only advantaged character is Alessia the cleric, who can use Turn Undead to wipe them out and destroy their corpses.
  • Hyrule Warriors:
    • Gohma. It's invulnerable except if hit with a specific attack when you see an opening (to be fair, an easily-identifiable one), and is under no obligation to use the attack that exposes the opening. The attacks that do qualify do a large amount of damage and have a wide range. The attacks that don't do a large amount of damage and have a wide range. And the bastard's fast. Do not let it get a morale boost in Adventure Mode, or it will quickly rise to That One Boss.
    • Manhandla. Like Gohma, it's impossible to damage unless you hit it when it exposes its weak point with a specific item. Unlike Gohma, Manhandla has four heads that must all be taken out to reveal its weak point, it reveals its weak point more rarely (Gohma has an opening after nearly ever attack; Manhandla only has one after two specific attacks, one which only lets you take out the heads one at a time), and the weapon you have to use to make it vulnerable (the boomerang) has a relatively small range, forcing you to get close. What's worse, it has several wide-range attacks, making it very difficult to avoid taking some damage while you try to get close enough to attack it. There is some alleviation to this however. While most of the time it does require all four heads to be taken down, the player can occasionally catch a break and get the plant mass vulnerable by knocking out three or even just two. It seems to be luck based however, if not just a glitch entirely.
    • King Dodongo is by no means difficult to defeat- most characters are able to one-round his weak point, even if they are unable to against other bosses. The annoying bit is revealing this weak point: King Dodongo has a massive array of attacks that he can use regardless of health, and only one will expose his weakpoint. For reference, most other bosses have two or three attacks that expose their weak points, and the attacks that don't tend to appear once the boss has lost some health. If you don't have a Focus Spirit to reveal Dodongo's weakpoint immediately and/or are using a warrior that isn't powerful enough to defeat him in one weak-point strike... prepare to take a while.
    • The Imprisoned is easily the tankiest of the Giant Bosses and he just loves to stall with tediously drawn out attacks, potentially costing you an A-rank by either shredding through your health or just wasting too much time. The Imprisoned is unique in that exposing his weak point isn't dependent on him using a specific attack, which sounds nice on paper but in practice requires you to spend much of the fight huddled around his vulnerable feet, practically begging to get stomped on or hit by a powerful shockwave attack if he's at low health. Not helping matters is his sheer size, which many maps just aren't able to comfortably accommodate without messing with the camera. The Imprisoned is even worse in the Wii U version where he will automatically stand up when his weak point gauge reaches half. No other boss, not even Ganon, is capable of doing this. The Legends and Definitive versions remove this trait, but fights with The Imprisoned are still unpleasant regardless.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Crownslayer from Arknights can be irritating. While her stats are just decent and she is a Warm-Up Boss, she can also use her "blink" ability to pass operators who try blocking her. It's more egregious under Crownslayer: Wolf's Fang contracts (which can only be selected for Pyrite Gorge); they buff her stats, prevent her from being silencednote , and increase her weight to make it harder to pull or push her.
  • Dawn of War II:
    • The game gives us the Avatar of Khaine, and the warboss, to an arguably lesser degree, both of them near-endgame bonus bosses with what feels like more HP than all other bosses in the game combined, a considerable repertoire of near instant kill attacks and 'spells,' as well as the ability to call in the most powerful units of their respective races as reinforcements. The only way to defeat these monstrosities tends to be a good twenty minutes of hit and run attacks with your ranged squads, and if you should lose focus only once, there is a good chance they will be swathed with a well placed area of effect spell, forcing you to repeat the entire process. Oh, and they do of course regenerate HP at a disturbing rate.
    • The second sequel, Retribution, gave us a more straight example in Mad Meks, who you fight in the first Ork mission on the Space Hulk. He's armed with a Rokkit Launcher that will blow the crap out of vehicles but do pretty piss poor damage against heavily armored heroes, doubtlessly not enough to ever overwhelm the healing you can do with liberal applications of the items/abilities you have at your disposal. However, his armor has a chance to teleport anyone who melees a reasonable distance away from him. Thus, the majority of the fight will be spent telling your own units to run up and hit his face ad nauseam without ever being in any real danger of losing. The fact that he can immobilize everyone temporarily or take damage to his energy bar rather than his health doesn't help either...
  • In the Protoss mini-campaign of Starcraft II, the player fights Maar, a protoss-zerg hybrid and an extremely annoying boss. Every time he is brought down to zero health, he returns to his spawn point and regenerates before coming back for another round. To make matters worse, Maar keeps doing this until the end of the mission, and comes back stronger ever single time. What stops him from being That One Boss is the fact that he's not all that tough; because of his massive energy capacity, a single high templar can take out half his health with its disruption ability.
  • Paladin Uther in the Undead campaign of Warcraft III. You only have basic infantry to deal with him, whom Uther can one-shot with the same spell he can also heal his pose of knights with. Next, due to his trait, both he and the knights have ridiculously high armor. And finally, he can become invincible for 45 seconds, with no option for you but to wait it out. You can always run away and spawn more units, so eventually he will go down, but it's still a very long and tedious fight. Thank Nerzul, at least he cannot ressurect his knights if you kill them, or else keyboards would be broken.
    • Frozen Throne makes things even harder. The final Undead mission has Arthas who is brought down to lvl 2 while up against Illidan, and his Naga and Blood Elf army, and the three opposing heroes are at lvl 10. Thankfully, Illidan's an idiot and you get the walking mass of murder that is Anub'Arak to babysit Arthas until he's back at level 10.
    • Any high-level Blademaster is one by default, due to their "mirror image" ability. With any other enemy hero you at least know what to attack. This bastard can spawn three dopplegangers, who look exactly like him, down to the HP and mana count. Yes, there're ways to tell: the copies cannot actually harm you, they take extra damage from attacks and super-extra damage from banishing spells, - but good luck using those in the heat of battle, and once you single out the real one, he just recasts the spell, and the fun starts anew!

  • Angband:
    • Smeagol. His attacks deal negligible damage, but he has high health, moves quickly, and can steal your money whenever he hits you. Even worse, he teleports whenever he steals from you and you couldn't get your money back until a later update. Also, he's invisible (though warm-blooded, so you can see him with infravision if you're the right race and he's near) at a point when you usually can't yet See Invisible. At least he usually drops great items when killed... though, he could just as well drop a few copper pieces, especially in later updates. It's a bit better if you have some manner of generating bright light, as he'll run away from it. Of course, this means you'll have to chase him around the level.
    • Also, later bosses that can heal and teleport self. Can be close to impossible to kill if the "smart monsters" option is on — normally monster casting is a 1-in-X chance (it can be 1-in-2 or even 1-in-1), but in smart mode they are able to choose (with a high probability) which spell to cast (for example, healing about 10 rounds worth of your damage).
  • Hades has Theseus and Asterius, who alone aren't especially difficult but at the end of Elysium you have to fight them together. Asterius will also sometimes show up partway through the level as a miniboss, and in the final fight only have a small dent in his health. Theseus is especially frustrating because he can also call upon boons from the Olympian gods like you can, and also has a shield that blocks attacks from the front much like the hordes of Goddamned Bats that have been harrassing you throughout Elysium. What's even more annoying is that even once you start beating them regularly, they'll still use up enough of your Death Defiances to make it very hard to beat the actual Final Boss, Hades, who otherwise isn't especially difficult. Oh, and there's also the fact that Theseus will spend the entire fight hurling insults at you.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • The bosses of Deae Tonosama Appare Ichiban are usually a letdown (even the final one) because of the absurdly over-powered Super Mode of the main characters. However Abra Kadabra, the fat sultan, is the only one that must be fought differently. He hovers on a Flying Carpet and can't be hit, not even with smart bombs - the only way to damage him is to hit the oil drums he rolls every now and then on the floor. Too bad that he uses fire magic that burns the player (including an annoying fire dragon that follows him) and is timed in a way that he usually drops the drums when the player is engulfed in flames and unable to hit them. It is a long and tedious fight as opposed to the ridiculously easy other ones.
  • X-Bot from Heavy Weapon. He forces you to move left and right to avoid his One-Hit Kill crushing attack. In the PC version, this makes it frustrating to aim at him while moving around, due to the fact that your tank moves with your cursor. Plus, when you manage to destroy the arms that block it's main weak point, you'll have to condone dodging his eye beams, which are not a one-hit kill but serves as a distraction and can screw the player badly.
  • Glorious Symbol from Hellsinker serves as the Segment 2 Behind boss and while he isn't particularly difficult by the standards of the game, he takes a somewhat long time to defeat, no thanks in part to the fact it likes to repeatedly move to the bottom of the screen. While the other bosses of Segments 1 through 3 can be killed quickly just by hitting their central components until they explode, Glorious Symbol requires you to repeatedly destroy its 4 cores multiple times until it finally explodes, something that can easily take over two minutes. Worse yet, you can't just skip him by playing Segment 2 Lead to fight Scarlet Queen on your first playthrough; to earn the privilege of playing the Lead stages, you have to complete Segments 1 through 4 on your first credit.
  • In Natsuki Chronicles, there's Alex and Margaret in Stage 7. You have to fight them in a large and extremely clumsy-to-control heavy assault ship, the same one that you fight in Ginga Force (as this game is a P.O.V. Sequel, and this stage is her perspective of her boss fight in Chapter 7 of that game), and you basically get pelted with their attacks the whole time therefore as you try capturing their ship with your special weapon. This would be That One Boss if not for the fact that Natsuki will lose the fight regardless and you have a lot of health with which to survive until the fight ends on its own, but you still have to inflict as much capture damage on them and reduce damage to yourself as much as possible to get a good grade on the stage. Thankfully you're not expected to no-damage it since you can take a few dozen hits and still get an S++, and this stage is excluded from Arcade Mode.
  • Touhou Project 13: Ten Desires has the Stage 3 boss, Miyako Yoshika; her spellcards are in no way considered hard, but for her final spellcard, she surrounds herself with knifes and heals herself. Since the pathway to get around the knives is just as long as dodging them and going to stop Yoshika healing, fighting the battle either way is irritatingly long.

    Simulation Games 
  • Naval Ops: Commander has the Archaeopteryx, which is a big airplane. It is extremely fast, VERY hard to even hit and follows a "hit-and-run" tactic.

    Stealth-Based Games 
  • Metal Gear Solid has three:
    • The M1 Tank. It goes down in only a few hits and does much less damage than you'd expect frigging tank rounds to do to a man in a sneaking suit but the problem is you have to engage it with grenades, the single most unused weapon in the game. Odds are you haven't even tried them out once by this point in the game, so expect to take a rather cruel beating from it until you get good enough with them to toss them through the hatch. The game also neglects to tell you that Claymore mines can damage the tank's treads and slow it down.
    • The Hind D gets really really annoying once it gets to around 2/3rds health and begins dipping down below the building. Once it does this it is completely untouchable and the battle basically just... pauses (even the boss music stops) and there's nothing you can do but stand there like a dope and spend the next solid half-minute or so watching it circle on the radar before it flies back into range. It does this a lot, between each successful hit even, making the otherwise not difficult battle very frustrating since more than half of it is spent standing around waiting for the battle to resume.
    • The second Sniper Wolf battle, provided you don't cheat and use Nikita Missiles. Wolf has a rather huge area to hide in with lots of cover while you... don't. Odds are she'll spot and land a hit on you before you manage to even locate her, let alone zero her in your sights. When this happens your only choice is to run for cover and wait until she loses sight of you, and then try again.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater has two:
    • The Sniper Duel with The End. Even without the Konami Code cheat or simply waiting a week he's not exactly difficult, but the fight just drags on forever since the area is so massive and it can be tricky to line up a shot on him even when you know exactly where he is. Of course, some fans consider him to be one of the best bosses in the entire series, due to the long and patient cat-and-mouse game, and for those who don't, thank Kojima for the Anti-Frustration Features.
    • The Ladder that you climb to reach Groznyj Grad. Yes, the fanbase actually considers it a boss. All you do is hold up to climb a ladder, with no enemies or conflicting obstacles whatsoever. For a solid two minutes.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots has the battle with the sniper Crying Wolf (It's just par for the course with sniper battles), who engages you in the same snowfield as Sniper Wolf but this time with an armored suit, a rail gun, and reinforcements. Your choice to fight her boils down to a rather patient game of cat and mouse in the snow, or just hiding under the truck for like 3 hours and landing a hit every time the opportunity presents itself.

    Survival Horror 
  • Grandfather/Lord Burroughs from Clock Tower 3, while not difficult per se, is simply beyond annoying to face. His basic attack tethers you on the spot like your own bind move and, sure enough, if he lands three it's an instant loss (though one hell of a death scene). He also has about three olympic swimming pools worth of HP, gains access to a second binding move at 3/4 health, and if he gets close can grab you to drain HP and Turn Red for a while, making his already annoying attacks even worse. All the difficulty from what would otherwise be an easy fight comes from how long it drags and that the slightest slip-up practically guarantees an instant death.
  • Haunting Ground: The final fight against Lorenzo isn't all that hard (especially if one saved loads of Magnesia), but Lorenzo's annoying tendency to suddenly stop and gloat, then proceed to troll Fiona by blowing up the floor at her heels to send her flying becomes plain annoying after the twentieth time it happens. His high health (which is invisible to the player, by the way), tendency to turn on Hewie, teleport on top of Fiona to push her into panic, the small size of the arena and his ability to one-hit Fiona at the most random times (panic mode or not, he doesn't care!) only makes it more frustrating. And God help you if you don't have any Health, Panic or Dog items left.
  • The first true "boss" in Resident Evil, the giant snake known as Yawn, pops up early enough in the game when you're likely to not entirely have a good grip on the tank-like controls, and in a small room where you can very easily get trapped by his long body. Making matters worse is that you don't actually have to fight him but simply make a break for the crest in the corner, but just getting there and out in one piece is easier said than done. The GameCube Remake made it possible to have Richard help you out which was even more of a double-edged sword: you were forced to take down the snake or else you'd miss out on the single most useful weapon in the game: the assault shotgun. This only applies to Jill's game, however; since Richard doesn't show up to assist in Chris' game, he can safely just grab the crest and book it.
  • Resident Evil – Code: Veronica has Alexia in her final form. It's not a hard fight, as all you have to do is hit her once with the linear launcher, but you only have minutes to do so, as wasting too much time results in the Antarctic base blowing up, and she flits around like a fly, spewing ichor at you which causes Chris to drop his aim. Add in the slow moving aiming and the only real way to hit her is to wait for her to cross the middle of the screen and shoot, or pray you saved enough ammo from the Damage Sponge form before it to riddle her with bullets and slow her down.
  • Resident Evil 6:
    • Since the final boss Derek Simmons of the Leon / Helena chapter feeds on the constant stream of respawning C-Virus Zombies to regenerate, you instead need to impale a zombie with a lightning rod, damage him, let him absorb the zombie, and wait for lightning to strike him to inflict lasting damage. Ironically it's probably the most Resident Evilish boss ever, but it also means the battle's majority consists of first figuring out that's what you're supposed to do, and then waiting patiently for him to grab the lightning rod. It's largely random which zombie he grabs, and lugging the rod around leaves you slow and vulnerable, meaning this fight can drag on for a very long frustrating time if the Random Number God decides he's not going to grab the zombie you want him to.
    • The chopper from the Chris / Piers chapter. You're forced to engage it and a swarm of respawning J'avo with nothing more than assault rifles and the almost entirely cosmetic "help" of Jake and Sherry who you're helping to protect from it. Expect the battle to take at least 20 minutes before you finally drive the god-forsaken thing away, and then minutes later you hear Chris say those chilling words "it's come back to finish us off!" Cue second battle exactly like the first, except now you have a somewhat useful grenade launcher. The worst part about this boss is you get to face the exact same boss again during the Jake / Sherry, simply playing their part instead of Chris's.
  • Rule of Rose has the Mermaid boss, which isn't necessarily difficult, but the fight can get so drawn-out and monotonous that you mess up out of frustration. Granted, bosses generally aren't the game's strongest suit....
  • Scarlet from Silent Hill: Homecoming is a literal nightmare to fight if you don't grab the very-easy-to-miss crowbar from Hell's Descent prior. Without it you're stuck engaging her with the Axe (which is too slow to connect) and the Pipe and Knife (which both do Scratch Damage at best). Have fun whittling both her forms down for the next hour and good luck dodging her One-Hit KO attack!

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Arch Azul from Dirge of Cerberus had a real stupid gimmick. He's immune to projectiles. This includes Bullets. Dirge of Cerberus is a Third Person Shooter. The options you have available to you? Magic which does jack shit, and your melee attack with is Jack shit jack. The third option (the right way) is to transform into your monster form and fight back. This causes one of two things to happen, according to The Dark Id: Either you beat the crap out of him and his A.I. shits the bed, or you get stunlocked to death.
  • Gears of War 3 has the Lambent Zerker. She's actually a pretty climactic battle in campaign, where she shows up only once at the end of a frantic defense of fortress at Anvil Gate. Her appearance in Horde Mode is another matter entirely. She has the opportunity to show up every tenth wave, and is one option of five that can be selected at random (the others being a regular Berserker or two, a squad of Reavers, four or five Gunkers, a squad of Savage Corpsers, or a lone Brumak). The Lambent Zerker is easily the worst of the lot because of her staying power—she is vulnerable only when she opens her chest plate (which, if the mood strikes her, may be once every 60 seconds or more), and even then is a Damage Sponge of mythic proportions. She also has the tendency to charge willy-nilly around the map, casually smashing the fortifications you've spent the past nine waves saving up for. The worst part is that Gunkers and Brumaks are tougher enemies, while a regular Berzerker is a more strategic fight—the Lambent Zerker isn't very hard, just annoyingly durable.
  • The Super Bean from Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2. It's a Shielded Core Boss who has a forcefield that must be taken down in order to damage it, and it regenerates it after enough time passes. Also, it will liberally use Teleport Spam and Flash Step to avoid damage making it a pain to whittle its health. Super Bean's attacks are no slouch either, annoying hitscan Eye Beams, a cape spin, and a big, damaging laser it will use when near death. The good news is that you have four Super Brains assisting you in this fight, the bad news is that it can appear as a Degraded Boss in the Endless Flag mode.
  • The original Star Fox has its alternate final boss, the Slot Machine. This box is a mixture of this, Puzzle Boss, Marathon Boss, and Luck-Based Mission. This boss does not have a health bar and is basically one-shotted. But... it's HOW you do it. You need to get Triple Sevens. This is EXTREMELY annoying to do, as the game DOES NOT SHOW ANY MERCY WITH THE REELS. You CAN heal if you get Cherries, but you get attacked if you get an Andross. And Andross overrides Cherry. Oh, and the ending you get? Yeah, you can only get out of it by resetting or dying to the enemies that come. And if you die? You do the level ALL OVER AGAIN, INCLUDING THE SLOT MACHINE.
  • Splatoon 2:
    • The main game has Octoshower. It isn't too bad the first time you fight it using the Charger, but fighting it again with different weapons is a major pain due to the fact that none of them have the range or damage of a Charger. This makes it incredibly time consuming to fight, since you will waste a bunch of time riding the rails towards it only to not get quite close enough to do any damage. The fact that it constantly moves around the arena only magnifies the frustration.
    • The Octo Expansion DLC has the rematch with the Octo Samurai. He isn't particularly dangerous as long as you keep your distance, but he only way to damage him is to get in close and detonate the Baller, which does surprisingly little damage. Therefore, the battle has a tendency to drag out as you repeatedly have to charge him to get in one or two hits only to run away before he can knock you out of the arena.
  • Warframe:
    • Alad V could certainly count. Interface screw? Check. Weak point that's hard to hit? A dog robot that leaps around acrobatically counts. Frequently runs out of range? See the aforementioned dog robot. Incredibly high HP? Check. Taunts the player? Yes. Repetitive mechanics? You bet your ass. Not to mention that he is the ONLY remotely reliable way to farm Neural Sensors, a resource needed to craft three especially important and valuable items (Catalysts, Forma, and certain helmets) that you will probably need several dozen of.
    • His Mutalist form manages to be even more annoying. In this case, he is only vulnerable when he uses his collar to control one of the other Tenno in your group, which he rarely does. At this point, while you're trying to damage him, you also have to avoid another Tenno trying to kill you, which depending on the Tenno being controlled can be really difficult.
    • Tyl Regor isn't much better. All of his melee attacks have a high chance of stunlocking, and his shields recharge almost instantly. This wouldn't be a problem if he didn't have Flash Step Teleport Spam. He's no match for Purposefully Overpowered weapons, but if you don't have any prepare for a grueling fight.

    Turn-Based Tactics 
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Any boss with the Great Shield/Pavise skill is likely to qualify, which gives them a percentage chance to either halve the damage from an attack (in newer games) or shut it down entirely (in older games). When you add in the fact that said bosses are invariably in some variant of the General class, which is the designated Mighty Glacier and therefore isn't likely to take a lot of damage to begin with, you get fights that can drag out for an irritatingly long time if the boss keeps getting lucky. Probably the most infamous case of this, though, is Boldor from Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, because there's a time-sensitive objective (namely, a village with a valuable item that will be destroyed if you don't get to it quickly) that can only be reached after beating him. He also has a Barrier Ring to mitigate his Achilles heel of being weak to magic, and he's a considerable distance from the player's starting point, meaning that only the mounted units (which have only one healer among them and, barring Sigurd, have generally inferior offense) are likely to reach him in time. The only real option is to hurl all your units at him and hope he doesn't trigger Great Shield more than once.
    • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade:
      • In Chapter 23 (the Lloyd version), Lloyd Reed goes from a borderline Anti-Climax Boss in Eliwood's path to this kind in Hector's. If you don't find out beforehand that not only has he moved to the middle of the map amongst hordes of other mooks, but that he also moves when approached, you're very likely to pay for it with a dead ally. And the chapter objective is to defeat Lloyd, so if this happens too soon, it's either restart or miss out on the rest of the goodies in the chapter. Also, all this occurs in Fog of War. Fun.
      • Kishuna the Magic Seal. He's incapable of harming anyone, but he has an absurdly high evasion rate so beating him is mostly a matter of luck, and if you don't defeat him in one turn, he warps away. Defeating him in his first appearance is required to unlock a Sidequest chapter on Hector's route that's full of massive plot reveals, but you'll probably need many resets to do it.
  • The Incubi in the tactical strategy Odium. They are pretty weak and their attack cannot really harm you (they launch exploding spheres which explode after a few turns, so if you keep your men away from them nobody will ever get hurt.) But their animations are horribly slow (and they attack twice per turn), and they happen to have a movement rate just a lil' bit faster than all of your men, which means that most of the fight will consist of you chasing them down and trying to get them into range of your weapons so that you can just barely scratch them while waiting through the horribly slow enemy turns. (Oh, and each sphere explodes individually at the beginning of the enemy turn, further bogging it down.)
  • Super Robot Wars: Original Generation has the R-Gun Rivale. Comes near the end of the level when your characters are all fatigued out, regenerates energy and life, has a force field, and has an attack with very high range. You may use a strategy that sucks up all his energy and hence can not use his ultimate attack (for a time, at least, since he regenerates energy), but he has a backup in the form of Gundam's funnel-like weapons. He has 50 uses/durability for it, though. Do not play on an empty stomach. This branch of the SRW series seems to specialize in such bosses, often prompting tactics that end up gamebreaking in other games (where bosses aren't such insane damage sponges)

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Half of the boss battle against Gary in Bully involves chasing him on a scaffolding whilst he dumps wheelbarrows full of bricks on you from above, whilst bragging about how awesome he is and how much Jimmy sucks. The second half involves punching him whilst he makes NO effort to hurt you. Which makes perfect sense. Gary's a Manipulative Bastard who hid behind others for the entire game. Of course he wouldn't stand a chance in a fistfight against the scrap-happy Jimmy.
  • The Queen Slime from the Minecraft map Herobrine's Return. She's a Magma Cube with a huge size, boss-level HP, and strong damage and armor, but she only has a melee attack and doesn't come with any minions, so she's not offensively threatening. She also has no knockback resistance, so repeatedly hitting her with your sword can keep her knocked back and almost unable to attack. The end result is an easy, but very tedious Damage-Sponge Boss that consists of whaling on the Queen Slime for several minutes with your available weapons until she finally goes down. Fortunately, she's an Optional Boss, and when she splits upon death, the smaller Magma Cubes have normal HP.
  • The General from Saints Row 2 is very much one. More so then Maero or Kazuo-Maero just had a huge truck and Kazuo had an easy to figure out gimmick (although, considering the timing you had to pull off, Kazuo could count too). The General is worse because he drives around a mall in a huge SUV while an army of Samedi gangsters attack you. While his fleeing never results in a game over, and his SUV can be taken out quickly if you were smart enough to bring an RPG, you may originally be left with no option then to attack him with a dinky SMG on a dinkier ATV while being bombarded with enemy gunfire.

Alternative Title(s): Pain In The Boss