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"Who gives a damn about you? Your new name is 'Mid-Boss'."
Laharl, Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, giving his opinion of Vyers, The Dark Adonis

A Mini-Boss, Sub-Boss or Mid Boss is a distinct, generally unique, stronger-than-average monster that you encounter usually halfway to two-thirds through the level/dungeon/etc. It is noteworthy because it's tougher than any ordinary enemy (and isn't encountered under normal conditions like a Giant Mook), yet it still isn't as strong as the actual boss that awaits you at the end. In story terms, the mini-boss is often The Dragon to the level boss.

Some games would have worlds split up into levels, and the level bosses would be mid bosses with the world boss being the "proper" boss.

Recurring antagonists, such as the Goldfish Poop Gang and the Quirky Miniboss Squad, are often mini-bosses.

In the days when Nintendo Hard was the norm, this was especially sadistic. But as games got easier, such enemies were often just a little harder than the regular Mooks, and in some cases would just be Breather Bosses. But it's not always the case. Some lucky ones might even be a Wake-Up Call Boss or That One Boss.

Fighting games like to use the "New Challenger" screen normally used for when a second player joins when a midboss arrives.

If there is one, the reward for defeating the mini-boss is usually a map of the level, the featured item or weapon of the dungeon (as in the case of The Legend of Zelda games), or a Plot Coupon, such as the Boss Key.

May return as a regular enemy later in the game. Of course, normal bosses may become sub-bosses later as well.

In RPGs and related game genres, mini-bosses are often significantly less evil than the regular bosses, and are usually not directly interested in whatever evil agenda the Big Bad and The Dragon have. They can be Hired Guns, Punch-Clock Villain, or maybe they are Just Following Orders. Since they are less evil than seriously bad guys and are more intelligent and sensible than the random mook, they can defect or even perform a Heel–Face Turn at some point in the plot when they realize they are not on the right side.

Compare Smash Mook (and some often are), Elite Mooks and Disc-One Final Boss. Mini-Dungeon is a non-boss Sister Trope.

Compare and contrast Boss in Mook Clothing, which is comparable in power to this, but is skipped just as easily as an average mook. Contrast Final Boss, naturally.


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  • Contra: Being a Run-and-Gun series, the games are usually filled with minibosses, and defeating them will be necessary so the characters can proceed forward (or upward, depending on how the current level's screen is scrolling). Contra: Shattered Soldier, being a Boss Game, has at least three per level, some being tougher than the stage-end boss. This formula was borrowed by other games in this genre, such as Gunstar Heroes, Alien Soldier and Alien Hominid.
  • Deae Tonosama Appare Ichiban has many minibosses, but their presence is somewhat undermined by the fact that the playable characters' Super Mode can defeat most of them with one punch.
  • Dynamite Dux has one of these in every stage. They tend to be pretty strange.
  • God Hand has a large amount; every stage has at least one, and most have two or more.
  • Ninja: Shadow of Darkness has those three regular-sized dragons in the mansion level.
  • Rengoku: Each floor in the second game has several Challenge Rooms, which spawn high-level orange-colored ADAM enemies. These are required to be cleared to unlock the floor boss.
  • Road of the Dead Once you get to Central City, HQ Command will send Hellfire choppers to kill you; to beat them, you have to trick them into three highway signs to force them to retreat. The sequel has a new version of Mutants called Alpha Mutants. They are 3 times stronger than regular Mutants, can damage your car if there's no armor on it, and come with two or three Mutants. For added bonus, you encounter multiple Alpha Mutants through your campaign to escape Evans City. Fortunately, you only encounter one per pack.
  • Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade's Revenge: The game features a human-sized Sentinel robot that Cyclops has to fight before the giant version. Spider-Man also has to fight the Shocker midway through his first proper level before fighting N'astirh.
  • Splatoon has the Octostriker, fought in one stage per world (minus the first) in Octo Valley mode. In each of its levels, it will periodically attack the player with a cyclone of ink, making the level more difficult. Only when the player meets the Octostriker in person, the battle will ensue. Also an example of Recurring Boss.
  • Splatoon 2 ditches the Octostriker in single-player mode, but all of the Boss Salmonids in Salmon Run count as such, and each have a special gimmick that's the key to defeating them.
    • Drizzlers normally hide under their impermeable umbrella-like armor, but when they pop out to shoot an Ink Storm-like missile, they're completely vulnerable for several seconds.
    • The Flyfish must have a Splat Bomb tossed into both of its missile pods to defeat them.
    • Grillers have a fish tail poking out of their back. If it's shot enough, three more appear. When enough damage is dealt to these weak points, the machine is destroyed.
    • While Maws can be taken down with normal firepower, it's much faster to toss a Splat Bomb at their warning marker before they lunge up to the surface, so they swallow the bomb and not a player.
    • If a Scrapper soaks up enough damage with its frontal shields, it will be immobilized for several seconds, at which point players can head to the back of the machine and kill its exposed driver.
    • The only vulnerable point on a Steel Eel is its driver, and if they are killed, the rest of the contraption will be demolished.
    • Steelheads attack by forming a bomb on their head and throwing it at a player. If enough damage is dealt to the bomb while it's still swelling up, the Steelhead will explode.
    • Stingers sit atop a tower of 7 pots, all of which must be destroyed to defeat them.
  • Streets of Rage 2 and 3 had loads of these, including Jack (a knife-wielding gangbanger), Electra (the lady with the whip), the Fat Boys, and Hakuyo (the Chinese martial artist). They would often reappear in later levels either as Degraded Midbosses or in conjunction with other Mid Bosses.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989): The NES game features Bebop as a miniboss halfway through the first major stage, who goes down fairly easily, in contrast to Rocksteady, whom you have to fight in order to rescue April. The third NES game has a mini boss fight with Slash in the third level, while later on you twice battle a foot soldier riding a giant mouser.

    Action Adventure 
  • Astral Chain: Minibosses are plentiful in the game, and serve as unexpected opponents that aim to ambush the hero during action sequences (especially those taking place in the Chimeras' dimension). The main bosses are the Homunculus monsters, the corrupted Legion forms and certain plot-critical characters.
  • Geist: Two fights of this type take place during the start of the final chapter, occuring one after another:
    • Raimi has to take down two helicopters which attempt to transport the indoctrinated souls to the United Nations in order to possess all the presidents and ministers in the world so Volks can command them. Raimi can possess one of the anti-air turrets to easily take down the first of them, but then the second will destroy it and proceed to attack his physical body, forcing him to fight it by shooting at it with his equipped machine gun.
    • With both helicopters down, the soul container they were transporting falls down, freeing the corrupted souls which will now try to attack Raimi, one after another. Raimi can only dispatch them by throwing ethereal bombs, as bullets are useless against them. After Raimi defeats them, enemy soldiers start appearing, and the game progresses normally.
  • Killer7: After crossing the Vinculum Gates and being close to the whereabouts of a chapter's boss, the Smiths have to defeat a brand-new Heaven Smile to proceed. The catch is that, during these fights, any attack from them can kill the characters instantly, so they have to defeat them quickly first; most of them are degraded into regular enemies afterwards (though the Speed, Timer and Galactic Tomahawk Smiles remain one-time opponents).
  • La-Mulana has a great variety of minibosses scattered throughout the ruins. The Dimensional Corridor is packed with them, with 11 different minibosses to defeat before the area's Boss Battle.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening: The game set the tradition in itself and subsequent games in the series to have at least one miniboss per dungeon, often rewarding Link with the dungeon's flagship item upon victory. In comparison, the games before it only have regular bosses refought in Degraded Boss form in later dungeons. Link's Awakening itself also has a dungeon (Catfish's Maw) that holds the record for having the most mini-boss battles, with five in total (the first four against Master Stalfos, and the fifth against two Gohmas).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Minibosses are common in Link's adventure, though unlike in subsequent 3D games there isn't a strict formula set in stone regarding their appearance: the first dungeon (Inside the Deku Tree) has no miniboss, not all minibosses in the other dungeons give you directly their main items (for example, in Jabu-Jabu's Belly, you meet Big Octo after getting the Boomerang), and the number of battles against them can range from one to three (the Mini-Dungeon Thieves' Hideout has you fight four Gerudo warriors at different points). Of special note is the fight against Dark Link in the Water Temple, which is renowned for being much harder than that dungeon's main boss (Morpha).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: Each of the four temples have two minibosses, with the first guarding an arrow weapon and the second guarding the Boss Keys (in the case of Snowhead Temple, the only miniboss is Wizzrobe, which is fought twice).note  Outside the temples, the entire Ikana region has several unique minibosses, among which the most important story-wise are Captain Keeta (in the graveyard) and Igos du Ikana (in the canyon's castle).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games: In addition to fighting minibosses in the main dungeons as usual (and, as a Musical Nod to the games' predecessor Link's Awakening, they also borrow the main boss music played in that game since the main bosses play a new one), Link will occasionally find unique minibosses while finding his way to said dungeons. For example, in Ages Link fights Nayru, who's been possessed by Veran, and in both games he also encounters the Great Moblin.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: The game combines this trope with Degraded Boss. The majority of creatures fought for the first time as minibosses in the dungeons will eventually return as strong, yet regular enemies: Bokoblin (Forsaken Fortress), Moblin (Dragon Roost Cavern), Mothula (Forbidden Woods), Darknut (Tower of the Gods), Stalfos (Earth Temple), and Mighty Darknut (the overworld area Hyrule Castle). The only exceptions are Phantom Ganon (who is fought first in Forsaken Fortress, and then in Ganon's Tower), Big Octo and Cyclos, (both in the Great Sea), and Red Wizzrobe (Wind Temple), as the former two are always fought in miniboss fashion, and the latter two are fought only once to begin with.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: During the game's first Story Arc (the quest for the Fused Shadows), minibosses appear both in the dungeons and in the overworld; after the Master Sword is found and the quest for the Mirror of Twilight begins, only the dungeons have minibosses (the exception is a rematch against King Bulblin in the fortress leading to Arbiter's Grounds). In terms of music, the game gives many minibosses their own battle themes, a trend that was briefly seen in The Wind Waker (with Phantom Ganon playing a special theme, the other dungeon minibosses playing another theme and the sea minibosses playing yet another one) but is further developed here. Some minibosses do still adhere to one standard miniboss music, and two of them (Darknut and Aeralfos) are degraded to regular (yet still powerful) enemies later.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass features an odd approach, as its few mini-bosses (Jolene, a bigger-than-usual Eye Plant, a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere near Goron Island and a group of Phantoms in the Temple of the Ocean King) are all fought in the overworld except the latter one; the normal dungeons avert this trope, opting instead for regular enemy ambushes in certain rooms.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has the Guardian Scouts fought in the Shrines based on the Test of Strength. The test comes in three difficulty levels (Minor, Modest and Major), each of which will determine the strength and resistance of the Guardian Scout designated to fight Link. They respawn after a Blood Moon, allowing Link to farm Ancient Weapons easily.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom:
      • The Training Constructs are Zonai-created automatons located in Training-based Shrines. They were created specifically to help the chosen hero hone his skills in various front (melee combat, counterattacks, aiming and shooting, etc.) To ensure that Link is getting the hang of said skills, the Constructs will only take damage from the attacks that are tasked to him to perform. Doing anything else will do nil damage.
      • During the questline to unlock the Fire Temple and solve the Gorons' obsession with the Marbled Rock Roast, Link has to defeat two minibosses: Yunobo, who's been corrupted by the mask Zelda (as in, Phantom Ganon trying to pass as her) gave to him, and the three headed monster Moragia. There's also the Sludge Like, which attempts to attack Sidon during the questline to reach the Water Temple.
  • Luigi's Mansion:
    • Luigi's Mansion: Some of the Portrait Ghosts that aren't area-ending bosses will put up a fight as Luigi tries to capture them; namely Melody Pianissima, Mr. Luggs, Biff Atlas, Nana, Henry and Orville, Sir Weston and Vincent Van Gore.
    • Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon has the Poltergeists (each fought in a different level, and each of which requires a different strategy to be defeated) and the Three Sisters (fought together in one battle).
    • Luigi's Mansion 3 has Polterkitty, fought twice over the course of the game. In both cases, instead of guarding an elevator button like the boss ghosts, she steals the one Luigi just got and does everything in her power to keep it; this forces Luigi to chase and confront her across previously-cleared floors.
  • Metroid games often have mini-bosses, though their characteristics depend on each game:
    • Metroid: The instruction manual referred to the two bosses required to enter the final area (Kraid and Ridley) as "mini-bosses", which leaves Mother Brain as the only true boss in the game. In the remake Metroid: Zero Mission, all bosses other than final ones and those you need to kill to open a way to the final boss are considered minibosses; this means Kraid and Ridley are nominally upgraded to main bosses in this case.
    • Metroid II: Return of Samus only has one regular boss (Arachnus), numerous mini-bosses (Metroid evolutions of increasing strength) and a final boss (Metroid Queen); the Metroid fights are the main contribution to the game's progression, as defeating them all in one area grants access to the next. The remake Metroid: Samus Returns adds two main bosses (Diggernaut and Proteus Ridley) to the mix.
    • Super Metroid has a total of ten bosses: Five main and five mini. The first four main ones (Kraid, Draygon, Phantoon, Ridley) guard the gateway to the Final Boss (Mother Brain) and play two major battle themes. The minibosses are less powerful, and use a less tense battle music.
    • Metroid Prime Trilogy: Bosses and mini-bosses are sorted by the rewards and outcomes upon beating them.
      • Metroid Prime: Minibosses and actual bosses are easily distinquished: mini-bosses don't have a health bar and tend to become recurring enemies later on.
      • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes: Both main bosses and mini-bosses have a healthbar, but the Energy Controller guardians are often considered to be main bosses and the item guardians mini-bosses (although in this case some of the most diffcult fights are item guardians). The Energy Controller guardians further stand out as main bosses for having multiple phases during battle and having many scannable items for the Scan Visor; in comparison, even the most powerful item guardians only require a conceptually simpler strategy, so at best they're only harder than the bosses of the first game. Dark Samus stands out for inverting Degraded Boss: She's fought as a miniboss in Agon Wastes and again in Sanctuary Fortress, but is then challenged as the Final Boss at the end.
      • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption: The game has several mini-bosses, including corrupted hunters, that you fight about halfway through the zones and planets (the actual bosses are the Leviathan Guardians).
      • Metroid Prime: Hunters has the six antagonistic hunters (fought at various midpoints of the areas) and the Fire and Arctic Spawns. The main bosses are the Octoliths' protectors (Slench and Cretaphid) and Gorea.
    • Metroid Dread:
      • The Central Units located in the E.M.M.I. patrolling zones are relatively simple opponents whose defeat yields Samus the Omega Cannon necessary to dispatch the local E.M.M.I. and turn their jurisdictions into safe zones.
      • The Chozo Robot Soldiers are degraded to this after your sudden fight against the first of them in Ferenia, as they no longer have intro cutscenes and defeating them simply allows you to continue progressing. Sometimes you even fight two at the same time to keep the challenge, since Samus' increasingly enhanced gear would make them too easy otherwise.
  • Ōkami: Being an action-adventure game that follows the footsteps of Zelda, it has its own miniboss cast, though almost all of them are fought in the overworld instead of the dungeons. In order of appearance, they are Waka, the Cutter couple, the Satomi Canine Warriors, the Tube Foxes, Evil Rao, Oki, Nagi and Nechku when fought solo (his rematch alongside Lechku counts as a major boss battle). A Bandit Spider, almost a replica of the first boss, can also be fought three times (one in each of the Devil Gate grottos that house the very difficult Multi-Mook Melee matches). Lastly, judging from the tense music and the fact that they have to be hit more than once before giving up, the three big fish creatures that are captured at different points (Whopper, Cutlass Sword and Marlin) are minibosses as well.

    First Person Shooter 
  • Halo 3: The scarabs. There are three encounters with them, each one of them being an major challenge for the player, even greater than the final boss itself.

    Fighting Game 
  • Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium announces one as follows: "W-W-Wait a sec! A new opponent has interrupted the tournament!". Depending on your score, you'll either face M. Bison or Geese Howard.
  • M. Bison again fills the role of his franchise's designated sub-boss for Street Fighter X Tekken, this time with Juri tagging along with him. Otherwise, you'll fight Jin and Xiaoyu.
  • In the third Fatal Fury game, Yamazaki will step in to challenge you twice, once midway and once at the end of the arcade ladder. The first battle is a one-round fight and he's not too strong but in the second bout, the gloves come off and you take him to the full length of the match. Succeed and you move onto the Jin brothers, Chonshu and (provided you do well enough against Chonshu) Chonrei.
  • The King of Fighters will sometimes have a character challenge you from nowhere, interrupting the normal flow. These characters usually fight alone (unlike the usual team battle), but usually have increased defense to balance it. In the console version of KOF XI, your actions up to that point determined the midboss, and if you beat them, you unlocked them.
  • Mortal Kombat, traditionally, includes a particularly challenging sub-boss right before the final boss in arcade mode. Those who fill the role include:
    • Goro fills this role in Mortal Kombat (1992) and the home versions of Mortal Kombat 4, then split the role of second-to-last opponent in Mortal Kombat 9.
    • Kintaro takes over in Mortal Kombat II, then became the other possible penultimate opponent in 9.
    • Motaro takes the role to new levels of SNK Boss frustration in Mortal Kombat 3 and its updates.
    • In the arcade version of 4, it was Quan Chi. It made sense from a storyline perspective, but he was a selectable character from the very start already.
    • Moloch is next to take the role in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance.
    • Mortal Kombat: Deception changes things up a bit by having the tag team of Noob Saibot and Smoke. In the PS2 and Xbox versions, you had to unlock them, but on the Gamecube and PSP, they were available right away.
    • Mortal Kombat: Armageddon picks randomly from seven different Mighty Glacier characters on the PS2 and Xbox. On the Wii, two normal fighters, Khameleon, who was only available on the Wii, and Scorpion, who's just there because he's the Ensemble Dark Horse, get added into the selection.
    • Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe has Darkseid or Shao Kahn as your penultimate opponent. If you fight only opponents from either Mortal Kombat or DC, then you will fight their representative Mighty Glacier, but if you fight opponents from both sides, the game picks at random.
    • In addition to Goro and Kintaro, Shang Tsung is always your eighth opponent. The twist is that he can access some AI-only moves.
  • Playstation All Stars Battle Royale pits the player's chosen character against their designated rival in the penultimate battle of Story Mode (for example, Jak and Daxter versus Ratchet and Clank, Nathan Drake versus Sly Cooper, and so on; this also applies the other way around). The fight is preceded by a special cutscene where the characters converse, but the dialogue always ends in a fight. It is necessary to defeat the rival in a 3-life duel to win. The next (and last) fight is against the mode's main boss, Polygon Man.
  • Street Fighter Alpha 3 had you fight a character relevant to your own character's story halfway through the game; this has shown up in other Fighting Games and are often referred to as "story battles". This returns in Street Fighter IV, happening just before the final battle in each character's story mode.
  • In Super Smash Bros., minibosses are fought in the single-player modes:
    • Super Smash Bros. 64: On 1P Game, the Fighting Polygon Team is found right before Master Hand. The game also has two minibosses at the middle and before the last bonus minigame: Giant Donkey Kong (who is so massive that you get two allies to help you fight against him) and Metal Mario (who is hard to launch and very heavy).
    • Super Smash Bros. Melee: There's the Fighting Wire Frame team as well as the Metal Bros. (Metal Mario and Metal Luigi) in Adventure Mode. Cassic Mode has just a fight against the metal version of any character.
    • Super Smash Bros. Brawl: Minibosses are very plentiful in the Subspace Emissary, and include dark versions of Diddy, Peach, Zelda and (during The Great Maze) all remaining characters that appeared up to that point. Strangely, Brawl is also the first game in the series whose Classic Mode averts this trope (the second is Ultimate), since the designated Quirky Miniboss Squad (the Fighting Alloys) are only fought in the Multi Mook Brawl modes.
    • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U: In the 3DS instalment, the Fighting Mii Team, while optional, are always on one of the penultimate paths before the final battle with Master Hand. In the Wii U instalment, the Fighting Mii Team is always fought right before Master Hand.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: While no miniboss is present in Classic Mode, they're plentiful in Adventure Mode (World of Light). Namely, they're the main playable characters who are now under the influence of Galeem or Dharkon, and their fights stand out for not having any gimmicks or caveats; defeating them allows you to recruit them (defeating the copies who are playing playing Spirit roles doesn't count, as the rewards you get in those fights are the Spirits themselves only; thus, they're standard Smash fights with Spirit-based gimmicks).
  • Tekken does this in an interesting way. In arcade mode (from T5:DR onward), opponents are essentially ghost replay data, that the game has programmed in to act like CPU opponents, complete with an increasing rank system as you go along, that determines how sophisticated the ghost data is (in terms of combo execution, blocking, reversals etc). However, when you get to central storyline sub-bosses (like Tekken 6's Jin, or Tekken Tag 2's Jun, and to a lesser extent T5:DR's Devil Jin) you'll notice their rank will shoot up regardless of what yours is at the time, making them far more skilled in previous mentioned mechanics, which can really take you by surprise if you're not ready for it. Their single attacks aren't powerful, but it's the way the A.I strings the attacks together that chips off your health. They are of course only sub bosses to the cheap boss bastards that come afterwards (Tekken 5:DR's Jinpachi, Tekken 6's Azazel, Tekken Tag 2's Unknown) who rely on the typical SNK Boss overpowered, durable, limited moveset tactic, that ignores the ghost data system.

    Hack and Slash 
  • In Bayonetta, many first encounters with enemies that are stronger than the average angel count. By the end of the game, however, they become regular enemies and even some of the previous bosses become minibosses as well. The game suggests that they're different from the original bosses by giving them a different color scheme and an English name while the original versions had Latin ones.
  • Bujingai has several with demonic "Overlords" of Tears, Sin, Despair, and Pain.
  • Devil May Cry:
  • Diablo has unique monsters which often play this role.
  • MadWorld has several different ones for different areas; Big Bull Crocker, Yee Fung, Tengu, Death Blade, Big Long Driller, and the Cyber Slashers in order of appearance. They have surprisingly high health, a variety of attacks, and the ability to get into Power Struggles with Jack. Naturally, you tangle with nearly all of them in the stage leading up to the final boss (Death Blade and the Cyber Slashers, for whatever reason, weren't in on that action). In that stage, the Quirky Mini-Boss Rush turns Yee Fung into a Mook Master, has Tengu flanked by dozens of ninjas, and finally has two Bulls and a Driller.
  • No More Heroes:
    • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle has five, and they are fought through the optional revenge missions. They are the ones who kill Bishop (Travis's friend) after the start of the game.
    • Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes: The Sheepmen. Claiming to the the representation of the "trials" that Travis must overcome to truly master the Death Drive, they are differentiated by the color of their masks and posses power similar to the bosses of the worlds they guard. They are also quite the chatty bunch, prompting Travis to tell them off. Mid bosses are usually silent...
    • No More Heroes III has several, which stand out from the usual mooks by having their own Life Meter during battle and a surprisingly large repertoire of attacks. They're, in turn, classified in two categories: Anthropomorphic aliens (Leopardon, Minoru and Captain Treatment) and abominations so large that you have to fight them in space from your mecha (Ice Shaver, Space Sheath and Space Peacock).
  • Vindictus has so very many. Sometimes you even get Dual Minibosses.

    Party Game 
  • Mario Party 9 has a signature miniboss per board in Story Mode, which is fought in the halfway point. In party mode, players can choose which one to fight regardless of the board they're playing. Notably, one of the minibosses, Bowser Jr., can also be fought in up to 10 different minigames, one of which is triggered by player choice when he or she lands upon the Bowser Jr. space.
  • Mario Party 10: There's a total of five minibosses in the game, each one by default being associated with one of the five playable boards. When the characters reach the halfway point or first third in a board, Bowser Jr. forcefully takes them to a Fortress and the game game chooses a miniboss randomly, and it may or may not be the one associated with the board. In the absence of Story Mode, the bosses and minibosses can only be fought in the Party and Free Play Modes (there's no Boss Rush mode either).

  • Banjo-Kazooie: You can tell an opponent is a miniboss if it's just a group of special enemies, and note that they still lurk on their own in entire levels, like the main bosses.
  • Banjo-Tooie: Every single level in the game is guarded by a full-fledged boss, while Klungo serves as the resident miniboss fought during key moments of the game.
  • Castlevania has them in some of the linear games.
  • In Conker's Bad Fur Day, the first two mini-bosses (a pitchfork and a wild bull) are traditionally found at a mid point of their residing levels, but the rest (such as groups of fiery imps or cavemen, for example) are fought right before the actual bosses.
  • In Donkey Kong 64, several minibosses consists of groups of regular enemies, though there's also a giant spider and a big evil toy.
  • Kirby:
    • Kirby's Adventure set the tradition in itself and subsequent games to have a bunch of recurring minibosses, though one of them (Poppy Bros Sr.) debuted in the very first game. In the games with a Boss Rush mode, they appear again in groups to make up for the lack of power compared to a normal boss. Some of them provide hard-to-come-by abilities such as Cook.
    • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards didn't have unique mini-bosses, but it did have larger versions of common enemies serving as the mini-bosses of the levels, and one of these would eventually be fleshed out into a proper mini-boss in the later games.
    • The series as a whole also has Kracko Jr., which is an easier version of Kracko, a boss (and is usually fought in the same level), and also debuted in the first game. On occassion, however, Kracko Jr was part of a Sequential Boss fight with Kracko.
  • Mega Man games. They started appearing regularly in the second game (not counting Boss in Mook Clothing enemies such as Bigeyes).
    • Mega Man 8 also had a miniboss at the halfway point of half the levels (Sword Man, Clown Man, Aqua Man and Grenade Man).
    • Mega Man 11 is the first Mega Man (Classic) game to feature a Mini Boss for all eight Robot Master levels.
    • Mega Man X series: Usually 4 of the eight stages would have at least one.
    • Mega Man ZX: In Area I, there are two alternate paths through the level, each one resulting in encountering a midboss (either a dragon or a sphinx mechaniloid). If you're willing to take the backtrack path near the boss room that returns to where the paths divulged and take the other way, you could fight both of them without ever leaving the stage.
    • Inverted in two stages of ZX Advent, when the main boss (Mega Man Model ZX Vent/Aile and Argoyle/Uygole) is at the beginning of one level and the midboss of that level is at the end. It also has two level that has two midbosses (which on one level were both noticeably unique encounters that never showed up again returning to the level, while the other level only had one unique midboss), and two of the midbosses were actually reskins of ZX's two Warm-Up Boss.
    • The Mega Man Zero series has them as a mainstay of each level.
    • Rockman 4 Minus ∞:
      • Shadow Man is a recurring boss version of this trope. He shows up in Toad Man, Bright Man, and Pharaoh Man Robot Master stages.
      • Whopper and The Trio of Ring Rings in Ring Man's stage
      • Hogale and Enker in Dive Man's stage.
      • Quint and Kabatoncue in Drill Man's stage.
  • Purple features demons acting as mini-bosses you can encounter randomly while stepping on blank nodes on the stage select screen. Sometimes two, as well. In World 6, they appear as tough enemies instead.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic 3 & Knuckles features two levels (Acts) per thematic area (Zone). In earlier games, there would only be a boss at the end of the Zone, but in S3&K, there is also a sub-boss at the end of each first Act. They are distinct from other bosses, in that they are autonomous, not controlled by Eggman/EggRobo. An interesting thing about the Sonic 3 mini-bosses is that if the game is locked on to Sonic & Knuckles, they use the mini-boss music from S&K instead of Sonic 3's mini-boss music. A Good Bad Bug reveals that the S&K mini-boss music is actually on the Sonic 3 cartridge.
    • Sonic Adventure has some of the character fights. You only do them during story mode, and they are pretty easy; there's also the E-100 robots from the same game. In subsequent games, namely Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Heroes, Sonic Rush, Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), and Sonic and the Black Knight, they are classed as normal bosses, and some of them can be a lot harder to defeat.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, the final level has a trio of firefly badniks named Hotaru.
    • Sonic Colors has a handful, like Big Chaser and the giant eyeball in Asteroid Coaster.
    • Sonic Mania would repeat the trend set by Sonic 3 & Knuckles, although with a twist as sometimes Eggman would be the Mini-Boss and not the actual boss at the end of the zone like he usually is. In turn, the Heavy Gunner is only the Mini-Boss of Studiopolis Zone Act 1, while the rest of the Hard-Boiled Heavies are Act 2 bosses in their respective zones.
    • Sonic Frontiers has the largest amount of mid-bosses per game in the form of the Guardians that can be found in specific areas of the open zones of each island or (in the case of certain examples) are free-roaming around said zones. Defeating these Guardians drops the Portal Gears necessary to access the Cyber Stages, and all defeated Guardians will respawn (along with regular enemies) during the random nighttime meteor-shower event.
  • Super Mario Bros. examples:
    • Super Mario Bros. 2 set the tradition in itself and subsequent 2D Mario games to have a miniboss that is frequently fought over the course of the adventure, so they also qualify as Recurring Bosses. Birdo fits the role here, appearing in almost every level and in up to three variations: The pink version (who shoots one egg at a time), the green and gray versions (who shoot two-to-three fireballs at once), and the red version (who alternates between both types of projectiles). The eggs can be thrown back at them, but since the fireballs obviously can't you have to attack the green/gray variant by throwing Mushroom Blocks instead. The game has an additional miniboss appearing in the final level, right before the battle against the Final Boss Wart: The previously-harmless Mask Gate, who has to be hit three times with Mushroom Blocks as it tries to attack you so its mouth opens and you can enter.
    • Super Mario Bros. 3 limits the appearance of minibosses to Fortresses, which is carried over in future 2D games, and for this game in particular the Fortresses are guarded by Boom-Boom. He appears in up to two versions: One in which he jumps higher and runs faster when it's hit, and one in which he flies after receiving the first hit. In the last world, Dark Land, Boom Boom also serves as the last opponent in the Naval, Airship and second Tank courses, as those would usually be guarded by the Koopalings (the game's main bosses) but by that point they've all been defeated already.
    • Super Mario World features Reznor, a team of four prehistoric-themed rhinoceri who ride a wooden, spinning wheel. They cannot be stomped on, so Mario and Luigi have instead to hit their platforms from below (as if they were hitting normal blocks) to defeat them; it's necessary to hop onto one of the wheel's platforms as soon as possible and continue hitting the rhinoceri from there, because the bridge over the lava will start shattering shortly after the battle begins. The game also has a second miniboss in the form of Big Boo, who guards a secret exit in Donut Secret House (itself a secret level in Donut Plains) and has to be defeated by throwing blue blocks at him.
    • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and its first sequel (Yoshi's Island DS) distinguish themselves from the mainline Mario platformers in that every world has its own miniboss, instead of the game having just one appearing every time it can; another distinction is that the minibosses also share a unique battle music that is different from the main bosses'. Yoshi's New Island has Kamek appear in all mid-world fortresses, while Yoshi's Woolly World has two: Big Montgomery for the odd-numbered worlds, and Knot-Wing the Koopa for the even-numbered ones.
    • New Super Mario Bros.: The series has usually one miniboss per game, guarding the Tower levels, but variations have also occured. Bowser Jr. fits the role in the original New Super Mario Bros. for Nintendo DS, Reznor does in New Super Mario Bros. 2, Boom Boom does in New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U (he's replaced by Sumo Bro in one case, and by Kamek in another), and the Koopalings themselves in New Super Mario Bros. Wii are fought in this fashion in the Tower levels (facing them a second time in the Castles, with a tougher battlefield and/or improved attacks, counts as proper boss battles; as a final side note, Kamek is fought this way in the Tower level of World 8).
    • Super Mario Bros. Wonder: The Battleship levels, which have to be cleared so the characters can proceed in their quest for the Royal Seeds, are guarded (and powered) by Bowser-shaped generating engines which serve as the ultimate target.
    • Super Mario 64 has the King Mook enemies that don't have a background boss theme or even a pre-battle dialogue (Big Boo, the Big Bullies, Mr. I, etc.), while the ones with boss music and dialogue (Big Bob-Omb, Bowser, Eyerok, etc.) are obviously bosses.
    • Super Mario Sunshine has Bowser Jr. in his Shadow Mario persona, fought in the seventh episode of every world; since the worlds' main bosses are always found and faced in prior episodes, this results in an inversion of the trope (especially as the Event Flag that unlocks the final stage lies in defeating Shadow Mario, not the main bosses). Other minibosses present in the game include the Polluted Piranha Plant (fought five times across Bianco Hills and Delfino Plaza), the Plungelos (in Gelato Beach) and Phantamanta (in Sirena Beach).
    • Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel both have lots of minibosses, which are the bosses of the galaxies that precede the Grand Star stages (where the actual bosses reside).
    • Super Mario 3D World: Minibosses aren't seen until World 6, which introduces Prince Bully. The subsequent worlds have Degraded Bosses who will act as enemy blockades, as will the pink Hisstocrat near the end of the game.
    • Super Mario Odyssey has the Broodals, which are fought halfway through the Kingdoms' corresponding story arcs, in a fashion similar to the minibosses from the 2D games. In the penultimate level, they realize they're individually no match for Mario, so they join forces as they pilot the Robobrood to face him in a full-fledged boss battle.
    • Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3: Unlike any other enemy in the game, Captain Syrup is defended by an armored knight who behaves very much like any of the preceding bosses and takes some work to defeat.
    • Wario World: The game has two minibosses per world, each located at the end of one of the two associated levels; once both are defeated, the world's boss can be challenged.
    • The ROM hack Mario Adventure has a Boom-Boom (sometimes more than one) at the end of almost every level.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Pikmin:
    • Pikmin 2: The Burrowing Snagrets are degraded to this in the Snagret Hole, since the main boss there is the more powerful and dangerous Pileated Snagret. This also occurs to Emperor Bulblax in The Cavern of Chaos (in fact, you now fight three smaller specimens in the same floor), whose main boss is Segmented Crawbster.
    • Pikmin 3 has the Shaggy Long Legs, Burrowing Snagret, Bug-Eyed Crawmad and Calcified Crushblat, powerful enemies fought at different points in the game, which tend to be either unique or to appear in limited numbers, are fought in small arenas that don't host other living creatures, and drop pieces of fruit on dying.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • Anvil of Dawn has Messengers, who function as field commanders for the Big Bad. You fight about seven throughout the game. There's also a tougher, recolored Wither Priest guarding the key to the Castellan's hall.
  • Dark Souls has quite a few of these, most prominently are the Black Knights. Mini-bosses in Dark Souls are much tougher than normal enemies and don't respawn, but don't have their health bar constantly on-screen or trap you in a Boss Arena as you're fighting them. Some of them turn up as regular enemies later.
  • Dark Souls II has several powerful enemies that don't respawn, such as the Heide Knights, the Giant Basilisk in the Shaded Ruins, and the Guardian Dragons in the Dragon Aerie. The tutorial zone Things Betwixt is also home to several non-respawning Ogres which are way too powerful for a brand new character to handle.
  • Dark Souls III is home to numerous mid-tier enemies who don't respawn. For example, the entrances to the Cathedral of the Deep and Farron Keep are protected by pairs of non-respawning opponents to serve as something of a Beef Gate: a pair wielding a greatclub and a curved sword for the Keep, and a fast-moving swordsman and a berserker with an axe for the Cathedral.
  • Elden Ring has a ton of enemies that serve this role: no health bar or fog gate, and usually respawning instead of unique, but quite strong and situated in a unique arena.
    • Within the first hour of the game you can encounter several Warm-Up Boss fights in their own mini cave dungeons like the Demi-Human Chief, Patches, and the Beastman of Farum Azula. On the main path between them, which you're also likely to stumble upon in the first hour of the game, is a clearing guarded by a dozen soldiers and a giant Troll. This battle is both much harder and more impressive-looking than said early bosses, but it's not counted as a real boss and the enemies here will respawn if you come back later. To make this a bit weirder, right next to this miniboss is another cave dungeon with a near-identical Troll who lacks such back-up... and he's considered a regular boss: he gets a fog wall, a health bar, and he doesn't respawn.
    • The Lordsworn Knight in Fort Haight is guarded by his own platoon of mooks, is only encountered at the end of the arena, doesn't respawn, and has to be killed to complete a quest. Combat-wise he's just a regular knight with twice as much health and one new move, the Blood Slash. He's arguably harder than most of the bosses in that zone, but he also doesn't get the usual boss markers.
  • In Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, this is spoofed with Recurring Boss Vyers, known to himself as "The Dark Adonis", gets stuck with the nickname "Mid-Boss". This is the characters calling him a minor obstacle, not an actual description of his effects on the game or story. (He's actually the final boss of three of the four chapters in which he is fought.)
  • At the end of each level of the first dnd video game, there is a buffed up version of a normal enemy guarding a teleporter to the next level.
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind: The final area in the main quest and each of the main quests of the expansions features one of these.
    • About halfway through Dagoth Ur's Red Mountain citadel, you'll face Dagoth Gilvoth, one of Dagoth Ur's Ash Vampire minions. (The six other Ash Vampires in the game are each the boss of their own stronghold.)
    • In Tribunal, near the end of Sotha Sil's Clockwork City, you'll have to battle the Imperfect, a giant fabricant which hits hard and comes with lightning attacks.
    • In Bloodmoon, you'll face several of these as your fellow competitors inside Hircine's glacial hunting grounds.
  • Etrian Odyssey: Minibosses are relatively rare in the series (note that the F.O.E. are Boss in Mook Clothing opponents, as they simply lurk in the strata and it's almost never mandatory to defeat them), but they exist.
    • In the first game, it is necessary to defeat the Queen Ant in the second floor of the Azure Rainforest in order to progress in that stratum (the actual boss is Corotrangul, found in the fifth floor). This is repeated in the fifth stratum (Lost Shinjuku), where the player's party has to defeat Ren and Tlachga before they can proceed further (the main boss is Etreant, the monster form of Visil who is revealed to be the game's Big Bad). Lastly, during the postgame, to reach the chamber of the Yggdrasil Core (the game's True Final Boss) in Claret Hollows, it is necessary to defeat three dragons that are duplicated versions of the three Elemental Dragons, and given the role to protect the Core. Luckily, they're all weaker than the originals and, in the remake Millenium Girl, it is not necessary to fight them as they have been relocated.
    • Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard has Artelinde and Wihelm, fought in a Dual Boss fight in the last floor of Frozen Grounds, shortly after they reveal their darker side (though things get better after the battle); shortly afterwards, in that same floor, you fight the proper boss of the stratum (Scylla). The game also has the Juggernaut, a strong guardian located in Heavenly Keep and one of the most powerful creations of the dungeon's main boss (the Overlord, who is also the game's Final Boss).
    • Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City has the Deep One and the Deep Lady, a dual miniboss fought in the second floor of Molten Caves. In terms of gameplay and design, they're reskinned versions of FOE located in the next stratum (Abyssal Shrine), and the efficiency of their attacks make them pretty dangerous. However, the actual boss of the stratum is still another one, namely the Gatekeeper in the fourth floor. The game also features many minibosses fought in the sea as part of sidequests, such as King Penguin or the Ghost Ship.
    • Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan: There's the first Bloodbear found in Lush Woodlands, eventually-recruitable characters like Kibegami and Logre, Prince Baldur, and sidequest-related opponents like Baboon King and Sand Leviathan; all of them use the theme "Unrest — The End of Raging Winds" (a remixed version of the ocean battle theme in The Drowned City).
    • Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth: The presence of minibosses is limited to sidequests and stratum events, and most of them are just souped-up versions of enemies or F.O.E.; examples include Luring Phantom, Hurt Crustacean and Angry Mole Lord.
    • Etrian Odyssey Nexus: The last two returning strata to appear in the game (both located in the Isle of Bluffs) have one each: Salamander (originally from Heroes of Lagaard) in the Golden Lair, and Basilisk (of Fafnir Knight fame) in the Sandy Barrens. The Queen Ant from the first game, as well as the Juggernaut from the second and Chameleon King from the fourth, return as well (they now guard respectively three mini-dungeons).
  • The Final Fantasy games have some.
    • The Sealed Cave from Final Fantasy IV is in large part that way due to the Trapdoor minibosses. Yes, plural — almost every door is a Trapdoor.
    • The four elemental worlds in Final Fantasy Mystic Quest would have two lesser dungeon bosses before the final crystal guardians.
  • The Kingdom Hearts games have each a few. The Shadow Sora miniboss fight in the Neverland level from the first game is infamous for being much, MUCH harder than the final boss for the level (Captain Hook).
  • Legend of Keepers from Goblinz Studio has your character as the final boss (choice between Masters such as Maug the Slaveholder Centaur, Sarel the Dryad Enchantress and Lira the Monkey Engineer) and rare monsters indicated with a star such as Vampires and Tanks, these are your Elite Mook. While Sarel and Lira will get enhanced spell room and traps respectively if they are promoted, Maug gets Interns. These Interns are: Sannakji the Mermaid Matriarch, Chalcodon the Colossal Hydra, and Masoch the Father of the Damned. Each of one is these occupy a room by themselves similar to a Master and similarly all are about twice the height of incoming heroes. Unlike the Masters or your monsters, the Interns don't gain levels. However similar to a Master, Interns can get specific events that raises their power. For Masters, it's a workout session but for Interns it's an interview where they tell Maug about they want and Maug has a choice of how to improve them.
  • The Legend of Dragoon is a rare instance of the sub bosses are often as powerful, if not more than the normal bosses. The two bosses you fight in the volcano during Disc 1 come to mind: Virage and the Flame Bird. The Virage is fought part-way through the level, and serves to prove why they were so feared in ages past. Then you fight the Flame Bird (which most people had forgotten about, after the trauma of the Virage battle), and it turns out to have twice as much HP, but only half the fight.
  • Monster Hunter: The games have a few groups of large monsters that serve this role. These monsters have a lower HP than others, are considered to have a threat level of only three stars (the lowest for a large monster), and from the third-generations games onward have a soft-paced battle theme that differs from those of the main areas where they're found; also, since they're the lowest-ranked large monsters there's always a Background Music Override upon the appearance of another monster. In the multi-monster quests with two or three monsters, one of these miniboss beasts will appear first and, upon hunt or capture, will be followed by a larger monster. The monster classes that fall into this category are:
  • Mother 3. Plenty of them if we consider the chapter bosses as the only true bosses. The Reconstructed Caribou fought in Chapter 1 is perhaps the most famous example as it serves as an Establishing Series Moment for the game as far as the enemies the characters will be encountering is concerned.
  • In Panzer Dragoon Saga enemies have a coloured symbol next to their name which tells the player what type of enemy it is (Mutant, Pure Blood, Black Fleet, Imperial Fleet) and what strength the opponent is for this point in the game. A yellow coloured symbol tells the player that this boss is only a mini boss. Mini bosses tend to lean more towards being simple puzzle bosses as opposed to red-symboled main bosses which tend to be strong and punish mistakes.
  • Paper Mario: The series has plenty of minibosses. They are usually either a giant version of a normally encountered enemy or a group of foes flanked by a spell-casting support unit.
  • In Persona 4, several dungeons have Mini-Boss shadows around half-way through them, which also double as a case of Boss in Mook Clothing.
  • In Persona 5, each Palace has two or more mini-bosses, with different elemental affinities than their regular counterparts and with a red and/or golden overworld model. The encounters after a new party member awakens their Persona count as mini-bosses as well, though they are significantly less difficult and all have a weakness to the new member's element. Royal adds a further mini-boss guarding the last Will Seed for every Palace.
  • The Pokémon series has The Rival play this role. While the first two generations (Johto and Kanto) as well as the fourth (Sinnoh) have only one each, the others have two or more rivals (in the case of Hoenn and Kalos, one of them will be the playable character you didn't choose). In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers, there are Regice, Regirock and Registeel to Regigigas.
  • Undertale has one for each of the first four stages — Napstablook for the Ruins, Greater Dog for Snowdin, Mad Dummy for Waterfall, and Muffet for Hotland. All of them but the Greater Dog have their own versions of the same theme. Muffet, however, borders on being a regular boss (albeit a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere) due to being able to (a) change your heart color — something generally reserved for major bosses, and (b) absolutely destroy you.
  • Wild ARMs: Beginning in Wild ARMs 3, the series began having mini-bosses literally pop out of nowhere — the party will be shown walking around an empty corridor, one person says "Something's coming!" (or words to that effect), and boom, you're fighting a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere.

    Shoot 'Em Up 
  • The Darius series has Sub Bosses as tradition.
    • Particularly notable are the Sub Bosses of Darius Gaiden; each sub-boss has a spherical orb, usually on the top of it; if you destroy just that part, you can collect the orb, causing the sub-boss to pull a Heel–Face Turn and fight for you! Though, it slowly explodes over time and eventually dies. For those who play this game for score, clearing the game nets a huge bonus for each sub-boss captured.
    • In G-Darius, your ship has the ability to capture all regular enemies enemies and make them fight for you, including Mini-Bosses, although the difference this time around is that you need to first shoot off the gold-colored shielding with normal shots before they can be captured. Once captured, they stick around until they take too much hits from the other enemies, and each one has a special attack they used against you, useable by inputting a set of joystick motions, much like in Fighting Games. And yes, like in the previous game, keeping them alive until to the end of the stage is worth a large score bonus, although they can be utilized to cause a long-lasting Smart Bomb explosion or a stronger-than-normal Wave-Motion Gun blast.
  • Dogyuun has at least one per level. The first one also counts as a Fake Ultimate Mook, as you face it right after the first wave of enemies!
  • Einhänder has a mini-boss signaling the halfway point for most of the levels. In the first level for example, while you storm through the capital city of the Earth Empire, the police unleash a new weapon to stop you called the Greif. After you destroy it, the police eventually decide the only thing they can do is back off and escort you like a low speed chase right up to the Drache, the first level's boss.
  • In Raiden and Raiden 2, many levels have pairs of minibosses. For instance, in Raiden stage 6 there's the two big bombers that come up behind you, and in Raiden 2 stage 2 there's the two amphibious tanks.
  • Star Fox: The original Star Fox, Star Fox 64, and Star Fox: Assault sometimes have a stronger enemy appear about halfway through the level, although you don't have to defeat them to progress. A straight example would be the Venom Guardians' second fights (the first fights are full fledged bosses) in the original: Phantron, the Galactic Riders, and the Great Commander, but which you fight depends on which route you pick. In Star Fox 64, either the last Star Wolf fight or the Golemech on either Venom Route qualify as this. Star Fox Command also has some minibosses guarding motherships in the harder levels. The aforementioned Star Wolf collectively act as a full-fledged boss fight in Fortuna/Fichina as well.
  • Touhou
    • The series is very fond of midbosses. With the exception of the occasional final stage, every stage has one. Sometimes more, though this is rare. The thing is, every boss has to have a unique character design and profile, so dedicated midbosses are rare. Which means that it's usually the same character as the stage's actual boss, even if this makes no sense from a story perspective. Other times you get stage bosses midbossing for other characters (sometimes between games!), though this is usually explained.
    • Phantasmagoria of Flower View has a recurring midboss. Phantasmagoria of Flower View is a versus shooter, and as such doesn't have stages. Said character, Lily White, is also a midboss in all other games where she appears, outside endings. Two other unique (but not officially named) fairies, commonly known as Daiyousei and Koushi/Rengeteki are also recurring fairy midbosses, the former appearing in the Windows games, while the latter showed up in the PC-98 series.
    • In many games there's one fairy somewhere who looks like every other fairy, has no name, but is very tough and powerful by fairy standards.

  • The Ace Combat games usually have this in the form of either one-time-appearance enemies (such as post-mission update enemies) or the antagonist ace squadrons, such as Yellow Squadron and Strigon Team; the former becomes a Degraded Boss by 04's final mission though.
  • In Wing Commander, named Kilrathi aces such as Bhurak "Starkiller" nar Caxki and Bakhtosh "Baron Redclaw" nar Kiranka in the first game, or Kur Human-Killer in the second, qualify as minibosses.

    Survival Horror 
  • Dead Space
    • The Brute Necromorph, which moves fast, hits hard, and blocks Isaac's path forward periodically until it's dealt with. It rarely spawns, and when it does, it usually mirrors a boss encounter.
    • The first encounter with the Infector Necromorph is similar to a boss fight. It is encountered at the end of Chapter 3, it's in a large room, and, unlike in following games, a normal Infector generates Enhanced Slashers, which you hadn't seen yet and will take quite a bit of work to take down.
  • Resident Evil 4 has a few (with Dr. Salvador doubling as a Mascot Mook) and are often fought in order to get an important item, or gain access to an area.

    Non-Video Game Examples 
  • Destroy the Godmodder: Lots. There are many entities summoned at one point or another called bosses, but since everything that is going on has the godmodder in the background, mini-boss is a better term.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Sub Boss, Mid Boss



Sleepyhead is a wizard rhynoc that dwells in the house in Spooky Swamp, accessible after lighting all four tea-lamps.

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