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Legacy Boss Battle

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A Legacy Boss Battle is a boss from one game that appears as a boss in a later installment, often as a Bonus Boss and as a result generally much harder than the original boss fight. Though some storyline bosses can fit as well.

If the boss' game of origin is from another franchise, then these may be Mythology Gags or Lawyer Friendly Cameos.

Of important note is that most Legacy bosses are only fightable in the post-game and don't have any role in the plot. So Big Bad Final Boss examples don't qualify unless the Big Bad of the game his cameo is in is different, or because the fight feels more familiar than the context would indicate.


Compare and contrast Degraded Boss, Recurring Boss Template, Previous Player-Character Cameo, Hijacked by Ganon, Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome, Giant Space Flea from Nowhere. Nostalgia Level is the Level version.


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     Action Adventure 

     Hack and Slash 


  • Two of the Zero Space bossed from Megaman X 5 are taken from earlier Megaman franchise games.
    • When you reach the end of the first Zero Space stage, Doctor Wily's logo is visible in the background for the first time in the X series. Then after the Boss Warning Siren, a remix of the Megaman 1 fortress boss theme plays, and the Shadow Devil, a recolor of the Yellow Devil from the same game, makes its entrance.
    • The second Zero Space stage boss is Rangda Bangda from Megaman X 1, complete with a remix of the fortress boss theme from that game.
  • In Mega Man ZX, Omega from Mega Man Zero 3 appears as a Bonus Boss in the N area. Defeating him nets you the Model O Biometal, the strongest in the game. If you have completed both Zero 3 and 4 in their cartridges, linking them to the DS slot can let you fight 4 of each game's bosses in the same area and defeating them all gives you the same reward.
  • In Mega Man Zero 3, taking a secret detour in the second fortress stage will take you to a teleporter. Go inside, and you'll meet Phantom from the first game, or rather his "ghost" since he died. Defeat him and you'll get the Infinity Plus One Foot Chip.
  • After defeating all the Robot Masters in Mega Man 3, four new stages open up, each having two Doc Robots (one as a mid boss, one as an end boss). Each Doc Robot takes on the exact same attack pattern of one of the eight Robot Masters from Mega Man 2, and their sprite is even seen descending into the Doc Robot before the fight starts.
  • The boss of Wily Castle 1 in Mega Man 10 is the Weapons Archive, which deploys robots that use the weapons and tactics of one Robot Master from each of the past nine games. Also, there are three Downloadable Content stages that each feature one of the Mega Man Killers as bosses.
  • In Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, the boss of Space Zone is Tatanga, who was the final boss of Super Mario Land.
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2's Boss Blitz Galaxy is a Boss Rush bonus mission, where all five bosses are ones from the original game not fought anywhere else.
  • In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Galacta Knight from Kirby Super Star Ultra appears as an extra boss in the True Arena. In this game, he cannot be fought everywhere else.
  • In Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Dark Meta Knight from Kirby & the Amazing Mirror acts as the final boss of King Dedede's mode.
  • In Kirby: Planet Robobot, clones of Dark Matter from Kirby's Dream Land 2 and Queen Sectonia from Kirby Triple Deluxe, as well as the real Galacta Knight, are the last three bosses of Meta Knight's mode.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • The Black Plague fight in A2XT is an updated version of his original level in the rom-hack Super Mario Infinity, room design and battle mechanics included.
  • In ActRaiser 2, you can fight the final boss from the first game by using the password "Xxxx Yyyy Zzzz".
  • The Shantae series has the Squid Baron, who first appears in Risky's Revenge as an important part of the story line and later appears in Shantae and the Pirate's Curse as a Filler Boss with new tricks up his sleeve and higher difficulty. This gets multiple lampshades throughout the game, as the Squid Baron, aware of his nature as a video game character and why he returned for another game, repeatedly bemoans his reduced role in the plot.
  • Konk in The Legendary Starfy, who was the first boss in all four of the Japan-only Starfy games.

     Real Time Strategy 
  • Warcraft III has an optional fight against an enormous monster called the Butcher, a boss from the Diablo series.

     Role Playing Game 
  • The Trope Namer is Dragon Quest IX. In it, you can fight every single Big Bad (and some Dragons) from all the previous games as some of the Bonus Bosses. However they use the same grotto system as the other Bonus Bosses, but with a few differences. Such as only one floor, and the fact that you can level up the bosses by giving up the EXP rewards. Beating them usually gives you some cosplay gear related to their original games or some Orbs.
  • Illusion of Gaia features a boss battle with the first boss of SoulBlazer in the bonus dungeon, assuming you can collect all fifty Red Jewels to access it.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • If a Disney world is recycled in a subsequent installment, then it is expected that their villain will be too, since there is only so much room for its plot to expand and the games usually don't dabble in supplementary materials (say, TV series), if there is any. Out of the Disney villains who appear in the first game, the only one who does not make a return in a sequel is Clayton, and that is because Disney lost the license to Tarzan. Special mention goes to Hades, who is fought in nearly every game since his world also appears in nearly every game.
    • Sephiroth appears as a Bonus Boss in Kingdom Hearts I and Kingdom Hearts II. The first one as one of the coliseum matches with no context except for one Final Mix exclusive cutscene, the latter game has him cameo during the 1000 Heartless War where he asks where Cloud is, vanishes, and then taunts Cloud a little bit later.
    • Axel, the only Organization XIII member who survives the events of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, returns as the prologue boss in Kingdom Hearts II. The Final Mix update adds the Absent Silhouette Bonus Bosses, where you fight against the deceased members from CoM.
    • Xemnas and Young Xehanort invert the trope; they first appeared as Bonus Bosses in Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix and Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, respectively, albeit with their identity hidden from the characters (and the audience).
    • The Keyblade War sequence from Kingdom Hearts III consists of a string of Legacy Boss Battles, including Ansem Seeker of Darkness, seven members of the original Organization XIII (Larxene, Luxord, Marluxia, Saix, Xigbar, Xemnas, and Xion), Riku Replica, Vanitas, Master Xehanort, Terra-Xehanort, and Young Xehanort.
  • Pokémon has a few examples:
    • Cynthia, Sinnoh's champion, appears as a Bonus Boss in Pokémon Black and White.
    • Later, in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, you can face every Gym Leader and Champion from preceding games. Most of them are fought in the World Tournament, but some of the retired Gym leaders from Black And White, and N are fought in different areas, and only one Gym Leader is excluded (Koga, as his daughter Janine took over as Gym Leader and is present instead).
    • Mewtwo appears in a cave that is off-limits until after the end of Pokémon X and Y.
    • To enter the Battle Tree in the postgame of Pokémon Sun and Moon, you have to do battle with either Red or Blue from the first generation. Within the Battle Tree, they, along with various other cameos you've encountered in the game like Colress or Grimsley, can appear as opponents at various streak milestones.
    • Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon has a new storyline where the player has to face the bosses of the villain teams from preceding games.
  • Metal Max 4's Downloadable Content Bosses are these. Including Noah and Ted Broiler.
  • The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC has a Bonus Boss fight against the ghost of Karstaag, a Frost Giant slain by the Player Character during Morrowind's Bloodmoon expansion.
  • In later versions of Final Fantasy I starting with the Game Boy Advance version, there are bonus dungeons featuring four bosses each from Final Fantasy III, IV, V, and VI. There are no bosses from Final Fantasy II because that game is usually bundled with I.
  • Lashiec, the penultimate boss of Phantasy Star I, returns in Phantasy Star IV, complete with his Air Castle dungeon.
  • Phantasy Star Universe: Ambition of the Illuminus features a boss battle against Mother Brain, a tribute to the end boss of Phantasy Star II. The battle's theme is even a hard-hitting techno remix of the final boss theme from PhSII.
  • The Gal Gryphon from Phantasy Star Online is brought back as a limited event boss in its sequel, Phantasy Star Online 2. Its moves, arena, and music are completely intact, and its strength is amped up to handle 12 players at once.
  • The Final Dungeon of Final Fantasy IV: The After Years has bosses from I to VI, with only a couple of them being optional. This was dropped in the later 3D remake, however.
  • Tales of Vesperia has previous Tales Series bosses fightable. Phantasia's Dhaos, Eternia's Shizel, Destiny's Barbatos, and Symphonia's Kratos are all opponents in the coliseum's 200-Man Melee.
  • In the Bonus Dungeon of Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis, you can fight the dark versions or Alvero, Yula, and Crowley, bosses from Atelier Iris 3.
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn has two optional fights against the Star Magician and the Dullahan, two of the strongest Bonus Bosses of the previous game, now even stronger.
  • The Updated Re-release of Bravely Default features optional bosses from Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light that are distributed via StreetPass.
  • Ozzie, Slash, and Flea, a group of recurring bosses from Chrono Trigger, can be found and fought in the Bend of Time on the sequel Chrono Cross. Since they're only found during a New Game+, they're harder than in the original game.
  • Dark Souls II has this in the form of The Old Dragonslayer, AKA Dragonslayer Ornstein and the Belfry Gargoyles (only this time you fight six of them, not two).
  • Dark Souls III, ups the ante with several bosses that are references to or copied whole-cloth from Dark Souls I. Up to and including the Final Boss, a composite of 4 Previous Player Character Cameos (in phase 1) and Gwyn (in phase 2).
  • Dark Chronicle has the bonus dungeon Zelmite Mine, with the Big Bad, the Dark Genie, from the first game as the boss at the end.
  • In an example that's both this and a Call-Forward, the PSP version of Persona 3 adds an optional boss battle against Margaret, the Velvet Room attendant from Persona 4. This is because the PSP Updated Re-release of 3 was developed after 4.
  • Both the Digital Devil Saga games does this with it's bonus bosses. The first game features the Demi-fiend and the second game features the return of the Four Archangels, Seth, and Satan.
  • Final Fantasy IX has battles against the Four Fiends from the original Final Fantasy I, though only one (Lich, though identified as "Earth Guardian" during the boss battle) is actually fought as a boss - the rest are Cutscene Boss battles and later fought as Degraded Boss encounters in Memoria (though Marilith's name is mistranslated as Maliris).
  • Final Fantasy XII: Some of the optional monster hunts pit you up against revamped boss characters from previous games, such as perennial favorite Gilgamesh or slimy lech Ultros/Orthros (here redesigned as a flan rather than an octopus).
  • A few DLC bosses in the Coliseum in Final Fantasy XIII-2 are these, including PuPu, Ultros and Typhon, Omega and Gilgamesh.
    • In the main game, all the optional bosses that can be fought in Archylte Steppe are either exactly the same as or functionally identical to Cie'th Stone mission bosses from Final Fantasy XIII - Ochu, Gigantuar, Immortal and Long Gui are taken from the previous game (though Long Gui is severely downgraded in terms of difficulty), while Yomi fights exactly the same way as Bonus Boss Vercingetorix from the previous game.
  • Plenty of bosses in the Wild ARMs series appear in multiple games. Sometimes, they're important to the storyline, sometimes they're not. For the biggest example, you have the Bonus Boss Ragu O Ragla, whom appears in all 5 installments.
  • In Mega Man Battle Network, a lot of navis have played this role, being bosses in multiple games. Sometimes they're optional, sometimes they're not. The most notable examples are Gutsman, Protoman, and Bass.
  • Megaman Star Force, being made by the same people and a sequel to Battle Network, of course has some bosses who reoccur through the series.
  • Last Scenario and Exit Fate, being made by the same person, actually have an enemy called "Pestilence" that appears in both games.
  • The final boss of Panzer Dragoon Zwei, the Ancient Dragon, makes a comeback in Panzer Dragoon Saga as an earlier boss, as he was found and brought back by the Empire in an injured state but no less deadly.

     Turn Based Strategy 


     Rail Shooter 
  • If you take the alternate path on Corneria in Star Fox 64note , the boss fight is the Attack Carrier from the original Star Fox. Defeating it will take you to Sector Y instead of the Asteroid Field stage.

     Light Gun Game 
  • The Magician, the Final Boss of The House Of The Dead reappears as the penultimate (unique) boss of The House Of The Dead 2, in a form only slightly weaker than his incarnation in the previous game. He also appears as the final boss in The House of the Dead 4 Special.

     Survival Horror 

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