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Sequential Boss

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"You fool! You can't just beat the ultimate form, there's always an ultimate ultimate form waiting! Don't you know anything?"

Multiple large-scale fights in a row. Most common with a boss who morphs in shape (where multiple areas must be disabled to do real damage on the controlling target, see also: One-Winged Angel), although it sometimes happens with separate bosses. The game may or may not be nice enough to replenish your health in between the fights, but a major danger is using important items or techniques too early in the fight. With sequential bosses that are multiple fights against the same creature, occasionally the game will try to trick you into thinking that the first fight was the only one, showing victory animations and so on.

This trope is VERY common with a final boss. The number of stages will often be three.

If you're fighting multiple bosses at the same time, then that's a different story. Needless to say, Crystal Dragon Jesus help you if you have Sequential Dual Bosses, though those are blessedly rare for now...

Compare Boss Rush (where more than one past enemy is fought in a sequential order), Boss Bonanza (where there are multiple new bosses in a row) and Turns Red.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Action Games 
  • The four horsemen of Apocalypse fits under this trope perfectly.
    • Death begins by summoning hordes of zombies, which Kincaid must defeat while shooting back. Once Death realize zombies aren't going to cut it, he then plunges his scythe into the floor electrifying the surrounding area, which Kincaid must dodge while observing his attack patterns, before fighting Kincaid up close.
    • Plague begins with trapping Kincaid in three platforms, the middle which contains a fire-spewing disco ball which Kincaid must dodge the flames (by jumping between platforms) while shooting Plague. Once Plague's life is down, she ditches the disco ball attack and uses her ranged acid instead, before ultimately deciding to corner Kincaid in one single large platform, where she will pursue him relentlessly.
    • War uneleashes a few easy-to-destroy turrents, before facing Kincaid personally with his Shoulder Cannon, in addition to a BFS if Kincaid gets too close. Once Kincaid wipes out most of War's health, War then enlarges himself to fifty-foot, turning into an Advancing Boss of Doom.
    • Beast is a Damage-Sponge Boss with multiple healthbars Kincaid must deplete. In each of his form he have different abilities; it starts with fireballs (first lifebar), and then a repeated Shockwave Stomp where Beast leaps all over the place with each landing resulting in a shockwave that Kincaid must jump to avoid, before finally fighting Kincaid from up close.
  • Asura's Wrath has several of these.
    • The first one is Wyzen in Chapters 4 and 5. Asura starts fighting Wyzen at normal size, then fights his over 100 meters tall Vajra form, then his planet-sized Gongen form.
    • When fighting Deus, you first go at him with Asura, then Yasha, and then use Asura again.
    • When fighting Gohma Vlitra for the last time, he first sprouts out other Gohma to fight, then you fight one of his Orochi heads, then eventually start fighting all of them, and then its main face, then the true form of Vlitra in the Earth's core.
    • When fighting against Yasha for the final time, Asura and Yasha start off on a massive tower, then flash back to a training fight between the two as you fall down the tower, then fight Yasha in his Unlimited mode.
    • Then there's the final fight with Chakravartin, where you fight his giant intergalactic form, then a smaller version in Naraka, then his Human form, then his Creator form, then a coup de grace QTE battle with him.
  • Bayonetta: Fortitudo, Temperantia, Sapientia, the last fight against Jeanne, and the True Final Boss all qualify due to their multi-layered life meters (each of them color-coded) and phases. You know you're in the last phase of a fight if the Life Meter of the boss is yellow (and inflicting damage leaves the affected part empty with color black, indicating that there are no more layers of health left).
  • Parodied in the web game Chibi Knight: after you defeat the last boss, the Demon Beast, he explodes and you have to fight what's left of him, the Demon Eye. However, it does absolutely nothing and you can kick it around as you please before it dies!
  • Lance in Contra: Shattered Soldier. And Mission 6 consists almost entirely of a sequential boss fight against the Relic of Morai's many forms. If you complete the game up to here with an S ranking, you get to fight the disappointingly easy True Final Boss.
  • Green from Gunstar Heroes boasts a grand total of seven forms with the power of his transforming mech, Seven Force. Sure, you only have to face a couple of them on easy, but harder difficulties have you facing the full set, back to back. He comes back later on using all the forms in conjunction with each other, but this one plays out more like a standard boss battle.
  • In the first God of War game, you fight Ares. Then he sucks you into a portal where you find your "family" and must donate your health to them while being attacked by versions of yourself. THEN, you fight Ares again, only without any of your upgraded weapons or magic.
  • Krut: The Mythic Wings have it's Final Boss, Zurah the stone ogre warlord, who needs to be fought either twice or thrice, depending on how you see it. Firstly you fight off his minions, including a rock golem, while avoiding his attacks from the background as the kaiju-sized Zurah hurls rocks at you while fending off your fellow Krut and Garuda allies. And then you fight Zurah for the first time, and defeat him only for Zurah to bail as your armor unleashes it's true potential, including granting you a Sword Beam-Beam Spam attack. You then move to the following area to fight Zurah, this being the last time.
  • The final fight in The Matrix: Path of Neo against the Mega-Smith takes place over three rounds, each stage damaging him more each time.
  • Metal Slug 4 is full of sequential bosses, for some reason. With the exception being The Iron and Sea Satan, the other 4 bosses plays it completely straight:
    • Brave Gurerrier attacks you on a rooftop, where you must firstly destroy it's dorsal section which has cannons and unloads bouncing bombs on you, then the middle part which has missile launchers, and then it's front which tries to eliminate you with a gatling gun.
    • Toschka Dalanue is a Pillbox Tower containing five segments that you must destroy one at a time. Every level have it's own armaments, may it be turrets, sections that unload mooks or fireball launchers. With the top piloted by Allan O'Neil, having a bomb dispenser and a giant cannon borrowed from the Big Shiee from the second game.
    • Big John is a robotic head which firstly unloads a grappling claw from above, and then a cannon that drops purple fireballs, before showing it's true face and sics missiles and poisoned bubbles on you.
    • The Final Boss, Amadeus Mother Computer, is a control center that first unleash two different giant robots (one at a time; the first has gatling cannons and a sawblade while the second can launch AttackDrones), before taking you on directly with it's final form flanked by the base's laser turrets and robot mooks.
  • SAR: Search and Rescue have it's Final Boss, the mutant abomination source you fought in a pool of blood which needs to be killed twice. You kill it the first time, causing it to break into chunks of flesh as it sinks into the pool... then the mutation takes effect, stitching those chunks into a grotesque new form. With a new health bar and all that.
  • The final battle with Dr. Tongue in Zombies Ate My Neighbors includes two forms: one against the spider form fought in a previous level, and one where he turns into a giant head.

    Action-Adventure Games 
  • Aquaria's final boss, The Creator, fits this trope to a T. First, he appears as a 'perfect' humanoid figure sitting on a throne. Then, his face falls off and he grows tentacles and chases you. Then, he turns into a monster, flees, and you have to track him down by listening to the background music. Then, he becomes a 'lite' version of the first form, which you defeat by singing in the correct sequence. When you win there, he falls on his side and it looks like you've won, but then you're warped to the final battlefield and have to face him as he truly is: a god.
  • Astral Chain:
    • Jena Anderson has three forms, though you get access to HQ and a motorcycle segment between the first and second forms.
    • The Final Boss, Noah, starts with a platforming segment reminiscent of those from Jena's final form, then pits you against its core. After its defeat, its berserk remains attack you as Noah Prime, who becomes Final Noah Prime when it's down to roughly 40% health.
  • Subverted and parodied in the first BloodRayne game. The final boss of Act 2 is a 10-foot tall Nazi cyborg. After you drain his health bar to zero and he collapses, he stands back up again, raises his arms high into the air, and screams "You can't defeat me THAT easily!"... then promptly falls over dead. Rayne even makes a snarky comment about this.
  • Bunny Must Die:
    • Final Boss Chelsea has a whopping seven distinct stages.
    • Septentrion Pleiades has five stages, but this fight happens back to back with possessed Bunny, who also has three stages and is directly followed by yet another three-stage boss (whose second stage is fortunately unbeatable). The game even gives you an award if you manage to finish all those fights without ever running out of HP.
  • Castlevania series:
    • Nearly every Castlevania game ends with a two-stage Dracula battle. Typically, the first half is against Dracula in a humanoid form, and the second is a hulking, demonic form called "True Dracula". Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse went even further, with a two-stage Grim Reaper battle and a three-stage Dracula battle; both versions of Stage 7 end with the Mummies, Cyclops, and Gargoyle being released from coffins in succession by the Evil Flame.
    • In Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, due to its flashback prologue, the game begins with the two-stage Dracula battle from Castlevania: Rondo of Blood.
    • Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, which gives you the same two forms as in Rondo of Blood, but then gives you the TRUE FORM (and despair!) for a THIRD Dracula fight.
    • Another strange example is in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, where Dracula does have two forms, but instead of the second form being a demon thing, the second form renders the first form in 3-D.
    • Aria of Sorrow had a two-stage fight with Graham for the normal ending. Beating him with the three souls that best represent Dracula's powers (Giant Bat, Succubus, and Flame Demon) equipped let you progress further in the game to fight Chaos so you don't turn into Dracula (losing to him causes exactly that to happen) in another two-stage battle.
    • Grimoire of Souls has another example with two different bosses: the first time you manage to defeat Legion, you are subsequently ambushed by Soma Cruz and have to fend him off as well. In subsequent fights, the second boss is not fought.
  • Cave Story:
    • At the end of the game, you fight Misery, then fight The Doctor, who is himself a two-part boss fight, then fight the real final boss, who's backed up with two flunkies. There's no saving or recovery in between, but if you know how, it's possible to get partially healed right before the last one.
    • The Bonus Level of Hell is even worse: You fight the Heavy Press, which can do a lot of damage if you mess up, and instantly kill you in its death throes, then get some decidedly-less-than-generous Suspicious Videogame Generosity before going on to the secret final boss, which has four stages, each one of which can kill you in under six hits with a Boss Arena Recovery that's more likely to cause more damage than it is to heal you, and all of this is at the end of the longest and hardest level in the game without a save point.
  • The Family Guy Video Game! has the Giant Chicken as the final boss, naturally. The battle takes place in seven different areas, with the chicken gaining additional abilities between most of the scenery changes.
  • The Legend of Spyro:
    • The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning:
      • After his health bar is depleted for the first time, the Ice King ditches his sword and shield for a glaive and becomes more aggressive. After it's depleted again, he takes back the sword, starts calling upon more varied attacks, and keeps his magic barrier up much more often.
      • After her health bar is depleted twice, Cynder stops circling overhead and switches to hovering in place while launching fireballs at Spyro.
    • The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night:
      • Skabb, Scratch and Sniff fought in three stages. First, Skabb limits himself to launching his retractable hook hand at Spyro. After his health bar is depleted, it refills and they start shooting cannonballs and missiles. After it's depleted again, they flee altogether and have to be tracked down across the pirate fleet, at which point they're fought one final time and start using magical attacks and calling other Skavengers to assist them.
      • In the first phase of his battle, Gaul battles by trying to impale Spyro with flying leaps, occasionally teleporting across the boss arena and firing off a flaming projectile after rematerializing. After his health bar is depleted for the first time and he and Spyro fall through the arena's floor, he loses his scimitars and starts alternating between a Spin Attack and firing Eye Beams.
    • The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon:
      • The golem is fought in three phases. In the first one, Spyro and Cynder are inside a building while it tries to swat at them with its good arm. The player must strike at its hand enough to stun it and cause it lean against the building, allowing Spyro and Cynder to attack its head. After this is done twice and its lower jaw destroyed, it climbs to the top of the building at starts to fight with powerful blows and punches from its good and artificial arms alike, which release spherical shockwaves. Spyro and Cynder must again strike at its hands until it's stunned, then climb up its arm and crack open its skull to expose the dark crystal within. The third plays out largely like the second, except that it now also shoots fireballs from the hole in its head. This time, after climbing back up to its head, Spyro and Cynder destroy the crystal and finally bring an end to the monster.
      • In his battle's first phase, Malefor simply hovers in place and shoots fireballs at Spyro and Cynder. After his health is depleted, an Action Command sequence ensues to dodge his counterattacks and he enters a second phase where he acts much the same as before, but also uses new aether- and ice-based projectiles. Depleting his health again leads to a second action command sequence and the third and final phase, where he surrounds himself with a shield impervious to everything but Spyro and Cynder's Fury breath.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening: The Shadow Nightmare, the Final Boss, has six sequential forms (although the last two forms can be one-shotted with the right weapons).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Several:
      • Barinade has four phases, starting the battle attached to the ceiling, then surrounded by some of its Bari, then moving around with the rest of its Bari, and finally moving more quickly while firing electricity.
      • Phantom Ganon is first fought as he rides his stallion through the room's paintings, then as he floats around the room by himself.
      • Twinrova begins as a Dual Boss, before the two witches fuse into a single entity for the second phase.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: The final battle with Majora in the moon features three forms, named "Majora's Mask," "Majora's Incarnation," and "Majora's Wrath".
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages: When battling Veran, you have to fight Veran-possessing-Ambi, Veran's "True Form (and despair!)", and her final battle (in which she shapeshifts between three forms), one after the other, without healing. If it's a linked game, you then go on to face Twinrova and Ganon, thus mixing this trope with Boss Bonanza.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker has two:
      • The first boss, Gohma. In the first phase, Link has to make the rocky ceiling fall over her to gradually break her exoskeleton. After three falls, the second phase begins and Link is ready to properly inflict damage to the boss.
      • Puppet Ganon takes exactly three forms: The actual puppet, then a spider, and finally a Moldorm-like caterpillar.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap: Vaati does not like to die. His first form is a humanoid boss version of Patra, and his second form is a giant eye. He appears to die after this, bringing down the castle with him, but just Link is almost to safety, a third form appears that looks like another giant eye, this time with arms. Woe be to you if you used up all of your potions and fairies already. And even then, he's not dead yet.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess:
      • The game does this for every boss except the second, in some cases even tricking you (and Link) into thinking the battle is over. In the majority of cases, the first phase is about merely weakening th boss's defenses with the item you found in the dungeon, while in the second phase you use that item in conjunction with the sword to incapacitate the boss and deal actual damage.
      • Played for laughs with Armogohma, whose second form is merely its eyeball on a tiny spider body, which runs away from you and dies very easily (all while a sillier version of the first phase's boss music plays).
      • Zant himself is a Final-Exam Boss with minor variations (namely, that he mimicks the behavior of some bosses and minibosses, and that he warps Link into a previous location at the start of a new phase).
      • Ganondorf's battle consists of a fight with Puppet Zelda, then Beast Ganon, then Ganondorf on a horse, and finally Ganondorf himself in a Sword Fight. And all of this takes place in direct succession of one-another.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: With the exception of Scaldera and the Imprisoned, every boss has two phases. The miniboss Stalmaster has two as well (it only uses two arms in the first, and all four of them in the second). As a special case, Ghirahim in his third and final fight has three phases: One where he has to confronted in Ring-Out Boss form, followed by one where he uses revamped versions of his classic attacks (plus a new one that can be deflected in Tennis Boss form), and finally one where Link has to shatter his enlarged weapon to expose his weak point.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: The Blight Ganons all have two phases, with the second phase seeing them adding new attacks to their strategies and in one instance altering the Boss Room. The Final Boss uses two layers of this: not only is the initial Calamity Ganon fight split into two phases much like the Blight Ganons, it also precedes the Dark Beast Ganon fight. Also, if you go after Calamity Ganon before defeating all the Blight Ganons, you'll need to fight each one you haven't faced yet before getting to the Calamity. So, if you don't fight any of them, that's four boss fights in a row before the Final Boss.
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid Prime: The final boss has two phases: the first phase has you attack it with whichever Beam it's currently weak to, with increasing shifts to different weaknesses, and the second phase requires you to switch visors to locate the phasing Prime and blast it with the Phazon Beam.
    • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes: All Temple Guardians are of this type. Amorbis has three phases (one where you figth one large worm, one where you fight two and one where you fight three), Chykka has two phases (one as a larva and one as an adult), Quadraxis has three (one in its complete form, one when the main body is disabled and only the head module is attacking, and one when only the module itself remains), and Emperor Ing has three as well (one when it's just an enlarged Inglet, one when it's a chrysalis, and one when it's a grown adult). Dark Samus, in her Final Boss rematch, has two phases as well (one where she fights like she has done in the previous fights, and another where she relies on a Phazon field to periodically shoot Phazon renmants to Samus, who has to throw them back at her).
    • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption: Gandrayda has four phases (one when she transforms into enemies, one when she transforms interchangeably into Rundas and Ghor, one when she transforms into Samus, and one when she attacks while using Hypermode). Omega Ridley has three phases, having a different weak point in each (its mouth, its chest's carapace, and the chest itself). Lastly, in the final area, you fight Aurora 313 right after putting down Dark Samus, and has two forms: complete and floating severed head.
    • Metroid: Samus Returns: Diggernaut, Metroid Queen and Proteus Ridley have three phases each. In all cases, the fought boss adds new attacks and becomes harder to hit upon each phase.
    • Super Metroid: Mother Brain has three different phases. First you fight her like in the first game, as just the brain protected by turrets and zeebetite barriers. After you beat her and examine the body, she rises out of the floor on a robotic body. After dealing enough damage to her, she'll use an extremely powerful attack to reduce you to low health, after which the Metroid hatchling shows up to save the day. But then she comes back to life again, albeit this time she's a Zero-Effort Boss thanks to the Hyper Beam. And then you have to escape the planet before it blows up.
    • Metroid Fusion has the SA-X when you finally get to fight it. First there's the regular Varia Suit-sized version you've been avoiding the entire time. Hit that with your charged up Wave Beam, and you get a giant monstrosity that can't shoot you but can somehow jump anywhere in the room incredibly fast... Fortunately it stands still for a second every now and then and Screw Attack does work too (although it's a double-edged sword since it also hurts yourself...)
  • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle: The Final Boss, Jasper Batt Jr., has three phases. In the first, he's driving a hovering car and attempts to run over Travis; in the second, he takes a tall, muscular form and gains several attacks, including a sequence of teleport punches that are difficult to dodge; in the third, he inflates his body so much that only his belly can be hurted, and gains slow yet powerful attacks (though they're easy to avoid).
  • No More Heroes III:
    • Sonic Juice is first fought in an RPG-like format, and he actually intends the whole battle to last like this. But Travis can then destroy the interface that regulates the battle and the two proceed to fight in a more conventional manner in the next phase.
    • Jess Baptiste VI (a.k.a. FU) has two phases. In the first, he's fought in his standard humanoid form, and his whole body is protected by energy rings that repel all attacks and only dispel for less than a second right after he performs an attack. In the second, Travis fights him from his surreal One-Winged Angel body, having to hit his attacking limb while dodging lasers that appear periodically.
  • Ōkami has this with the Climax Bosses as well as the Final Boss:
    • Orochi has two: In the first, the seal that protects him has to be broken once the serpent heads have been incapacitated. In the second, with the seal broken, Amaterasu can now slay the heads one by one.
    • Ninetails has two: One in which it behaves as an Asteroids Monster and you have to slay the foxes that represent the tails, and another in which one tail remains and the boss is now attacking Amaterasu in a faster-paced duel.
    • The Final Boss example is Yami the Lord of Darkness, whom you fight five times, all the while regaining your Celestial Brush techniques, which Yami zapped out of Amaterasu at the start of the fight. It has to be mentioned though, that Yami's first four forms aren't that different, being a different variety of ball each time. When you face him in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, he does the same thing, but with only three forms.
  • All of the Wii One Piece games have at least one of those.
    • Unlimited Adventure has two.
      • You fight against Rob Lucci twice in a row (once in human form and once in leopard form).
      • At the end of the game, you fight the Evil Guardian, who upon defeat transforms into the Evil Master Beast.
    • Unlimited Cruise:
      • Episode 1 has a fight against the cowardly Spandam and a bunch of Marine flunkies, followed immediately by a fight against Aokiji.
      • Episode 2 has one of these for its final fight. After defeating Yami's first form (a large golemlike creature), he transforms into a much nastier creature composed of tree roots and darkness.
  • In Sundered, the final bosses for the Resist and Embrace paths each have two forms. In the former case, the player defeats Nyarlathotep, only for the Shining Trapezohedron to fuse with it and revive it for round two. In the latter case, the player’s doppelganger goes One-Winged Angel and turns into Humanity.
  • The Yakuza series always ends with these, usually a string of people on the Big Bad Ensemble.

    Card Games 
  • Hearthstone: Several bosses in the singleplayer content, usually those at the end of various adventure wings, will have you fight a different enemy with their own health and armor pool once you beat the first one. Sometimes the opponent's deck changes to match. Other bosses will switch hero powers once you reach a certain threshold, taking the fight in a completely different direction.
    • Depleting Kel'Thuzad's armor causes him to forcibly end the player's turn, summon a pair of minions, and replace his original hero power (which freezes and damages the player's hero) with a new one that lets him steal the player's minions. If you take too long to break his armor and are somehow not dead, Kel'Thuzad will go into the next phase anyway.
    • Defeating Majordomo Executus causes Ragnaros to replace him.
    • Depleting Nefarian's armor when fighting him at the end of Blackrock Mountain causes him to have Onyxia replace him while he harasses you with fireballs from above. Beat Onyxia and he comes back down to fight you proper.
    • When engaging Malchezaar at the end of One Night in Karazhan, the player takes the wrong portal and faces Nazra Wildaxe first. After her defeat, Moroes finds the right portal and you fight Malchezaar proper.
    • Depleting Professor Putricide's armor for the first time causes him to change his Hero Power and get a new portrait and another set of armor. Depleting this second amount of armor lets him take his final phase. His deck doesn't change the whole time.
    • The fight with the Lich King at the end of Icecrown Citadel starts relatively normally, barring an unfair spell that may rig the fight against you. Once the Lich King hits turn 7, he equips Frostmourne, turns immune, and replaces his board with Trapped Souls, and you have to defeat every one of them to proceed (however, he will not play cards in this phase). Once the souls are liberated, the final phase commences, where his Hero Power does increasing amounts of damage to your hero. Unlike other examples before, it is entirely possible to rush him down and beat him before turn 7, skipping the latter phases of the fightnote .
    • When facing off against George and Karl in the Dungeon Run, you have to fight through two opponents, each with their own health pool and Hero Power, who can also tag out mid-battle.
    • The Plague Lords in the Tombs of Terror all start with a massive 300 health and three separate phases with different decks and hero powers. Each time they lose 100 health, they will progress to the next phase, and their remaining health is kept between attempts.
  • Several of the villains in Sentinels of the Multiverse flip in a predictable 1-2 sequence, often (although not exclusively) when their first side's health runs out. That said, many other ones will flip multiple times in a game depending on various in-game triggers.
    • Both versions of Baron Blade initiate phase two of their evil plan when they run out of health. The first has a timed mission where you need to punch through his defences and stop him from pulling the Moon into the Earth, and if you can pull it off, he switches to his battlesuit and starts trying to punch you to death. The second is more direct: he keeps setting off big explosions until you defeat his first form, then fishes out his death ray.
    • Gloomweaver's Skinwalker variant flips to its Rotting God form when damaged sufficiently. In the second mode, Gloomweaver keeps damaging himself, but regains health for every target he destroys.
    • Spite has a first side that's basically enduring his buildup and coming to the rescue of his victims until he gets all his drugs out, at which point he flips and emits waves of damage again and again until either he dies or the heroes do. (It is possible to defeat him in his first form, but because he heals whenever he deals damage, it's fairly difficult.) His second form can change as the game goes on, if you get enough victims into the Safe House, but it doesn't have to...except on Challenge difficulty, which goes straight into the Skinwalker Gloomweaver fight for a potential four stages.
    • The Chairman starts out as just a fight against the Organisation and the Operative, but if you can take out enough Underbosses, he shifts to the side with an actual health bar and can be defeated.
    • Miss Information is invulnerable to damage and spams minor annoyances at you until you accumulate enough Clues, at which point she becomes vulnerable, if difficult.
    • The Dreamer starts out with her minions being the only problem, but flips if you can clean out those minions and starts lashing out with her powers directly. Because killing the Dreamer is a Non Standard Game Over because she's a literal child who means no harm but has powers that are running amok, the second phase is defeated by killing enough minions.
    • Infinitor's Heroic variant, if he runs out of health on his first side, forms a giant monster out of his powers and needs to be fought directly.
    • OblivAeon has the most phases of any villain on standard difficulty. His first form, which has 10,000 HP and an obscene number of damage buffs, goes away when the countdown runs out or you beat the condition on his Shield. His second form, which charges his environment-destroying death beam if the heroes aren't directly confronting him, has a more manageable (although still higher than any villain save Akash'Bhuta) 180 HP. His third, which is a brutal beatdown of constant card plays, has 120. Then, if Rainek Kel'Voss is in play, he pulls a Dragon Ascendant and adds a fourth stage as you try to beat him.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction for the GBA is littered with sequential battles, made worse in that the only way to replenish your health is to go back to the save point, which will reset many of the sequential encounters. The final battle against Sol Chevalsky and Reshef is especially cruel, as you have to batter your way past a combined 60,000 life points versus only 8,000 of your own, plus both opponents' decks have numerous ways to kill you in only a couple turns.
    • The final boss of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Spirit Caller must be fought three times, with him using a different deck for each. You can leave to do other things between each fight though.
    • The Guardians of the third and fifth Duel World in Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship 2008 require the player to beat them in three and five consecutive Duels respectively, with their Life Points carrying over between Duels and no chance to save or edit their Deck in between. They do warn the player about this and give them ample time to prepare.
    • The penultimate boss of Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship 2009: Stardust Accelerator is a brutal sequence of duels against four clones of you. Their Decks, especially the third and fourth opponents, are particularly brutal, and you cannot restore your LP, save, or change Decks in between.
    • The final boss of Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship 2010: Reverse of Arcadia combines this trope with Final-Exam Boss as the player has to beat him in a race, a Tag Duel, a Turbo Duel, and finally a standard Duel. Fortunately the player can save and change their Decks in between.
    • The entire final chapter of Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship 2011: Over the Nexus uses the WRGP rules which combine this trope with Boss Bonanza. The player has to fight through multiple opponents in a row with their LP carried over in between and no chance to change Decks. Fortunately, the board state, hand, and Graveyard are preserved between fights to permit the player to utterly steamroll the opposition if they set up a big lead. The problem, however, starts with surmounting the opponent's board state.

    Fighting Games 
  • Eternal Champions: The Eternal Champion faces you with an amazing five forms in total.
    • Playing the Sega CD Challenge From the Dark Side on the hardest setting? Prepare yourself for nine each from him and Dark Eternal Champion.
  • The King of Fighters '97 has five of these, or even six if some conditions are met. The first one is either Orochi Iori if you don't have Iori Yagami in your team, or Orochi Leona if you do. He or she will be followed by the empowered forms of the New Face Team: first you defeat Orochi Chris, then Orochi Shermie, and Orochi Yashiro at last. Not satisfied? Once they're defeated, it's time to fight Orochi himself. And if you fight as the Japan Team and defeat Orochi with Kyo Kusanagi, this will unlock one last match where Kyo fights Iori Yagami (as in, normal Iori without the Riot of the Blood)
  • Marvel vs. Capcom:
    • Final boss Onslaught of the first game is just plain insane.
      The first form is as tall as the screen, will teleport away whenever you try to hit him (especially if you try using a super-combo), and all his attacks are as powerful as super-combos. If you manage to beat the first form, he becomes even bigger, with his body floating at the background. You can't hit the body, you must aim for the small head, which usually requires super-jumps. Also, your health was not replenished after the first form.
    • The sequel game has the demon Abyss, who had three forms to defeat, each with different attack styles and weaknesses.
  • Naruto:
    • Ridiculously done in Naruto: Path of the Ninja. You fight the Sound Ninja trio four times in a row, first with Sakura and Lee, then just Sakura, then Sakura and Shikamaru, and finally Sakura and Sasuke. They finally run off after that, or else they probably would've brought in every other character to fight with Sakura.
    • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 has these for ALL their boss fights. In order:
      • Kakashi vs Naruto and Sakura: A battle in the training field in standard play, followed up by a lake area where he shoots Water Dragons. If you avoid them or have Sakura knock him off his high point, he shoots fireballs and guns you down with Lightning Blades.
      • Deidara vs Gaara: A battle on top of the Kazekage's Mansion, dodging his explosive birds and spiders, waiting for opportunities to knock him off his bird and open a gourd of sandy whoopass. When you take a healthy chunk of his HP, an aerial chase ensues, where you have to again avoid his fire and pelt him with Sand Shuriken.
      • Orochimaru vs Naruto: Again, fairly normal until Naruto goes Four-Tailed Fox on Snaky. Beam Spam ensues.
  • Ranma One Half Hard Battle: The first of the final bosses is Pantyhose Taro in his human form. After you beat him, you then fight him again, this time in his Cursed with Awesome form.
  • The Simpsons Arcade Game has two:
    • The first is a giant bowling ball late in the game that has four different forms, each one with a different type of attack.
    • The second is the game's final level at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, which has you fight first Smithers, and then Mr. Burns in a giant robot, who additionally has five different forms.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U has Master Core, an amorphous mass of black matter that emerges from Master Hand at higher difficulty levels. The number of forms you fight through also depends on the difficulty, including in order; Master Giant, a large humanoid form; Master Beast, a quadruped dragon/scorpion hybrid; Master Edges, five swords attacking at once; and Master Shadow, a Mirror Match. And finally a Zero-Effort Boss of the core itself. For the Wii U version, Master Core has one additional form (penultimate order-wise) that can only be fought at the highest difficulty levels: Master Fortress, an Eldritch Location Colossus Climb.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate:
      • The Final Rounds of certain Classic Mode routes pit you against multiple opponents in a row to invoke this trope. Mario and Captain Falcon must defeat Bowser, who then comes back as Giga Bowser; similarly, when Zelda defeats Ganondorf, he then transforms into Ganon. Bowser himself has the tables turned on him when Mario comes back from defeat as Metal Mario, without even a loading screen like the previous examples. And Kazura faces a clone of himself (standing in for Heihachi), who then comes back in Metal form.
      • Dracula has two phases. The iconic humanoid vampire form in the first (only his head can receive damage), and then his beastly form in the second.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game ends with you fighting General Traag, Krang, and Shredder, all in a row — though the latter two fights are fought in a final boss room that is actually considered a new stage on the NES version.
  • Cue Ball/Parcs in Undercover Cops. First, you fight his human disguise along with a few Mooks. After half of his lifebar is gone, his skin gets damaged and you fight his robotic form as he attempts to throw you in a trash compactor.
  • Them's Fightin' Herds: The story mode has a few:
    • Arizona vs. Cuddles the Cobra:
      • First, it spits a rain of venom at you from the background. After surviving long enough, reaching the right side of the screen ends this phase.
      • Second, a wolf Predator appears, which you must defeat while still avoiding the venom rain.
      • Third, it alternates between spitting venom, attacking with its tail, and trying to bite you. When it bites, you must attack its head.
      • Fourth, you finally get to fight it head-on. In this phase, its only attack is to jump and then dive down on you.
      • Finally, you fight against it with its full moveset.
    • Arizona vs. Velvet:
      • First, you fight her in a normal 1 vs 1 match.
      • Second, you have to fight her again, except there's permanent wind pushing you away from her.
      • Finally, she creates an ice tornado around herself while still blowing you away. You have to reach her while dodging a barrage of projectile attacks.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • The final boss in the main story of Borderlands The PreSequel is one of these: it starts out as a roughly human sized and shaped opponent who isn't very intimidating by that point in the game, aside from its ability to completely replenish its shields instantly up to two times. Then it assumes its One-Winged Angel form, which must be killed no less than three separate times and comes back with a different elemental type each time. On a related note: Crystal Dragon Jesus help you if you've specialized in only one type of elemental damage, and the boss matches it.
  • The standalone mod/emulator Scoredoom invokes this in the face when it comes to the boss fights. Whereas before in vanilla Doom the player would have to take down a heavily armed and incredibly tough monster at the end of the episode, Scoredoom has the corpse give a handful of ammo and health refills before respawning it as another, usually harder form. As the forms are usually (although not always) unconnected, this could be a one-level Boss Game, the but the fact that the last level of the last (original) episode consists of around ten of the boss monsters back to back makes it obvious why the ammo, health, and power of some of the guns were increased to compensate.
  • Heretic's final boss uses the same idea: D'Sparil starts out riding a fire-breathing serpent, then after you kill the mount he falls off and starts teleporting around, summoning monsters, and shooting stuff.
  • Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi: The final battle makes you fight the Count, and then Lord Malachi immediately after.
  • Quake II's final boss has two forms: the Makron riding some sort of monstrous cyborg mount, and then the Makron alone (with several weapons he wasn't using when mounted).
  • Particularly annoying in Red Faction 2. The final boss is your Super Soldier commander piloting a Mini-Mecha. The mecha has an insane amount of health but its weapons are only of average power. After you blow it up, the boss jumps out to fight you on foot. The annoying part is that he fights with a one-hit-kill railgun, so if he manages to shoot you just once, you die and have to restart the level and fight the mech suit all over again (including sitting through the unskippable pre-boss cutscene).
  • The first boss of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter is a sequential battle where the titular character has to blow up two Hummers, one after the other, before meeting the Longhunter in combat. All of the boss fights in the sequel, Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, are sequential in that Turok will have to deal with random monsters before blowing up a specific part of the boss's body; the target on the body will shift as the boss fight proceeds.

    Light Gun Games 
  • Most Final Boss battles from the Time Crisis franchise plays this trope entirely straight.
    • Ernesto Diaz in 2 starts off assaulting you with a rocket launcher, then kidnaps your ally Christy to use as a Human Shield while he takes potshots at you with a pistol. If you damage Ernesto enough, he will throw Christy aside off a ledge, and as you save her from falling, Ernesto then hops on his Kill Sat and sics it on you. You will need to get past the satellite's defenses and finally put Ernesto down for good.
    • Giorgio Zott in 3. He starts by Dual Wielding a sword and his gun on you, and you need to damage him enough before he decides to unleash three Tesla Tanks to back him up. After defeating the tanks, Zott changes his weapon to dual rocket launchers, where the subsequent gunfight is finally to the death.
    • Robert Baxter from 5 attacks you with his katana, and then his guns, and throws mooks at you before unveiling his Transforming Mecha that you must defeat. If you defeat said mecha, you finally squares off against him in a Quick Time Event that if performed correctly, ends with him getting shot off a ledge to his Disney Villain Death.

    Massively Multiplayer Online RPG 
  • City of Heroes does this once with Snaptooth, a particularly nasty member of the Red Caps who only appears during the special holiday missions. In the Valentine's event, he first appears in the mission as a Lieutenant class Red Cap and is not very tough. Upon nearly being defeated, he pulls the trick that they sometimes pull and drives into the ground, only to pop back out larger and tougher as a Boss class. Then when he is nearly defeated again, he pulls the stunt for a second time and pops back out being even bigger and now an Elite Boss.
  • Kingdom of Loathing:
    • The Naughty Sorceress. Your character even exclaims at the last form, as a Lampshade Hanging: "Dang it!" you shout. "How many times do I have to kill you? This battle has taken over a half an hour and there's no save point!"
    • Also parodied in the battle against Ed the Undying, a mummy who has to be defeated seven times in a row and, as the name suggests, doesn't actually die, he's just too damaged to keep fighting. Ironically, each time you fight him, he has less HP than the previous time, to a ridiculously low amount in the last form. Shown as just his skull loosely attached to his arm.
  • Maplestory uses this trope quite a bit.
    • The Yakuza Boss of Showa Town in MapleStory. When you first enter the Treasure Room, he appears as Bodyguard A, a tough guy who uses Physical attacks. When defeated, he turns into Bodyguard B, who has a BFG and mana drain abilities. When he's beaten, he assumes his true form, a hulking, demonic bald guy in a kimono; while he's not as physically tough as A and B, he uses a variety of powerful magical attacks and debuffs.
    • Lotus is the final boss of the Black Heaven storyline. You must fight Lotus 3 times in a row to defeat him. He has psychic powers and is cybernetically enhanced. The first phase involves disconnecting Lotus from the Black Heaven by destroying the core, which sends robot mooks after you and shoots rotating lasers. Lotus starts fighting you in person in the second phase. In this phase, he can shoot energy balls that bounce around the map and summon large robot mooks to drop on your head, among other things. The third phase is mostly like the second phase, although Lotus is much more powerful. Also, he starts flying backwards into the backround to attack you from where you can't hit him.
    • Lucid has 2 phases. In the first phase, you must knock Lucid backwards, each time by depleting a health bar. In the second phase, you must hit Lucid as much as you can as she flies across the map.
  • RuneScape has a few of these:
    • The Dream Mentor quest boss has 4 forms which represent different aspects of Cyrisus' fear of combat.
    • The Recipe for Disaster quest has 6 sequential bosses at the end, although you can leave between battles.
    • The Kalphite Queen, a high-level raid boss, has 2 forms, an armored beetle that is immune to ranged and magic attacks, and a flying wasp that is (mostly) immune to melee attacks.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The longest sequence is the Dark Portal dungeon, a retelling of a historical keypoint. The enemies come from portals, each of which is linked to a mini boss, with each sixth being linked to a real boss. The players have little time to rest between portals, although they are given a generous breather after each major boss, the ability to summon a guard to distract the enemies, and finally the quest target can take some beating if necessary. But since the portals open in a preset interval, you do need to keep up.
    • The Violet Hold instance in the expansion pack is almost exactly the same, except that the two first major bosses are random (the final boss is always the same).
    • Another variation is an event where a single player takes control over a demon to destroy the protective barrier around a demon portal. The catch here is that for the first two bosses, control is transferred after their defeat, forcing the player to adapt a new playstyle each. The third demon then fights 3 bosses in a row, while the other two have to deal with waves of mooks first.
    • Kael'thas Sunstrider, final boss of Tempest Keep in the Burning Crusade expansion, with no less than five distinct phases. First, you fight his four bodyguards one after another, then he animates a number of weapons to fight you, then he revives the bodyguards all at once. Only after their second demise do you actually get to fight him, and he himself goes into a Phlebotinum Overload phase when reduced to half health.
    • The Black Knight is perhaps the most straightforward example of the One-Winged Angel variant: He has to be killed three times, going from an undead to a skeleton to a ghost. Note that this battle is also after what could be considered a sequential battle comprised of three random bosses, which in tu- Oh, screw it. The entire instance is one damn sequence from beginning to end.
    • The final showdown with Deathwing in the finale of the Cataclysm expansion takes place over two separate encounters, each with multiple phases with different mechanics and loot.
  • Many bosses in Wynncraft have multi-phase fights, but the Matryoshka Idol stands out from the rest for having ten phases.

    Party Games 
  • Mario Party 4: Bowser, at the end of Story Mode. The battlefield is a cube-shaped planetoid of lava suspended in a void, and in each face the character has to pass a test (except the first, in which Bowser and the player's chosen character merely confront each other verbally alongside the two Koopa Kid servants).
    • First, the character has to cross several circular grounds surrounded by lava while also avoiding the dual fire beams expelled from jets in their centers.
    • In the next face, they have to Ground Pound the tiles to form a 2x2 Koopa Kid's image, all while avoiding the projectiles dropped by the Koopa Kids themselves from their Clon Cars (fire cannonballs and tornadoes respectively).
    • In the next two faces, the character has to repeat the steps done respectively in the previous two. However, there will be more platforms to jump across in the jump challenge (and in some of them the jets will expel triple fire beams), and in the puzzle challenge you're now assembling an 3x3 picture showing Bowser's image while dodging a rapid fire boomerang thrown by the Koopa King.
    • In the sixth and final face, the character fights Bowser himself directly. There are five buttons in the ground's border, and it's necessary to press at least three of them to activate an electric field capable of hurting Bowser (he must be within the perimeter of the field, or else it won't work). After five hits, Bowser will be defeated.
  • Mario Party 5: Even without counting the first two phases of the Final Battle in Story Mode (where the player's character simply has to defeat Mechakoopas and dodge rings of fire respectively), Bowser won't go down in only one phase.
    • First, upon seeing the character still alive, will break the TV's screen out of rage and jump onto the battlefield to begin attacking them. He usually runs onto the character to hurt them and spew fire from his mouth, but from time to time he'll perform a Ground Pound onto them; this last attack leaves a crack in the landing tile, so the character has to trick him into landing onto the same tile three times to make him fall down, though this also makes the rest of the floor crumble and take both combatants down.
    • In the second phase, Bowser enlarges himself and begins attacking with his fire breath as well as certain dark stones he throws at the character. If the fire heats the stones, these will turn into energy crystals, one of which can be picked by the character and thrown back at the Koopa King; however, they have to be grabbed quickly as Bowser will perform a Shockwave Stomp that wipes out all stones. If the character manages to land five hits with the crystallized stones, they'll defeat Bowser for good and win the fight.
  • Mario Party 8: Bowser, fought at the end of the Star Battle Arena campaign, has three phases. In the first, Bowser is throwing fireballs at the player's character, who has to dodge them and then shake the Star Rod to charge it and land a hit onto the enemy. In the second phase, Bowser activates some extra cannons from his Koopa Clown Car, and these begin to shoot Bullet Bills that home at the character (their homing effect makes evasion more difficult). In the third and final phase, Bowser opens the Clown Car's mouth so it shoots laser beams like there's no tomorrow, requiring good reflexes to dodge them. The character has to retaliate the same way in all phases, however, by shaking the Star Rod to prepare a shot that aims straight at the Koopa King. The player has 5 HP, while Bowser had 10, so the battle is quite difficult (luckily, the game asks the player if they want to retry in case the character has all their Life Meter depleted).
  • Mario Party DS: Bowser, unlike the other bosses, changes tactics after he takes enough damage during the Final Boss battle. Prior to it, he wears the Megamorph Belt to turn into a spinning top made of blocks, with the weak point (a gold block with Bowser's face engraved) being near the, well, top; after shooting lots of fireballs, it loses momentum and the side with the weak point falls down, giving the player a chance to punch it several times. Afterwards, Bowser transforms into a 9x9 Rubik-style block arrangement, with the weak point being located in one of the sides; the character has to wait until that side is shown properly so the weak point can be reached and punched. Finally, Bowser transforms into a snake-shaped arrangement, with the weak point being the head; some of the other blocks will shoot fireballs, as will do the weak point for a while; the character has to wait until the right moment to hit it, and also watch out for the fire it may suddenly exhale to avoid taking damage.

    Puzzle Games 
  • Freeware game Karoshi also had a five-stage final boss... or rather, five final boss stages.
  • The sequel, Karoshi 2, has four different final boss segments in the game, the first of which has you against the final boss eight times in a row, each in a different way. Talk about an extended ending!
  • Zuma's Revenge. First, you have to extinguish some torches while not dying. Then, you have to fight his chef. Then, you get Fake Credits dumped on you, which then happens to have the REAL final boss drop onto it. Then, when you've got him halfway down, he's replaced by an evil bat thing. And then, just to rub salt in your wounds, you go through a Mirror Battle. Thankfully, if you've beaten the levels before this sequence, this probably will be a piece of cake.

  • All 15 members of the Blacklist in Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005) are raced in Rival Challenges featuring multiple races in a row. The first 10 racers have 2 races, the following 4 have 3 races, and the Final Boss has 5.
  • In Test Drive Overdrive, Vasily races the player throughout a long series of city races, followed by Donald in a same yet reverse order. This is the climax of the storyline that overlaps with Duel Boss.
  • The last couple installations of the Tokyo Xtreme Racer series actually feature multi-stage bosses in a racing game. Though most of the races you participate in are simple one-on-one matches, some may have you taking on multiple opponents: you may be competing against a leader of a racing crew and, once you have him halfway beat, suddenly find yourself confronted with a ''second'', equally high-powered member of the racing crew which will help give your original opponent an increased advantage. Since beating opponents requires you to drain their "battle meter" by gaining a large enough lead (or finishing the race in a first place in Drift titles), throwing in a second rival with a fresh battle meter midway through a race can complicate things significantly.

  • The Binding of Isaac has quite a few. There's handful among the normal bosses (The Four Horsemen, The Haunt, Brownie, ect), but the majority are the various "final" bosses.
    • Satan was the original sequential boss, as well as the original True Final Boss of the game. His first phase is a fight against The Fallen, after which he would reveal himself. After his first form is defeated, he flies up and grows giant offscreen, trying to stomp you while you have to attack his legs.
    • Isaac, added in Wrath of the Lamb, is one as well. His first phase has him crying on the floor. At about 75% health, he stands up and gains a new attack pattern. At 50%, he grows wings and the ability to teleport, as well as another new attack set.
    • ??? is the boss that follows Isaac, and has the same three phases as him, albeit with different attacks.
    • Mega Satan from Rebirth is probably the largest example. After his first form is defeated, he sends waves of bosses to fight you. After clearing each wave (of which there are three seperate waves), you repeat the first phase again before finishing with his hyper-powered One-Winged Angel mode. If you count each boss wave as a separate phase, he has seven phases in total.
    • Hush, the Superboss from Afterbirth also counts. His first phase is a palette-swapped ???, but defeating that reveals his true form, which has five phases in which each of them he gains new attacks.
    • As of Afterbirth+, Ultra Greed is this in Greedier Mode. When his first form is destroyed, the gold statue he normally leaves behind comes alive and fights you.
    • In Repentance, the Disc-One Final Boss, Mother starts with a fight against her peering over the top of the screen. Once she's down to about 50%, her head flies off and you need to fight it.
    • The True Final Boss is a Boss Rush against six of these. First you take on Dogma, who starts attached to the television. Once you break it, he turns into an Angelic Abomination. After defeating Dogma, you fight the Four Ultra Horsemen one at a time, who are all dual-stage bosses like their basic versions (except for Death, who has only one stage. Finally, the True Final Boss of the game as a whole, The Beast, is a lighter example, changing its attack pattern in its second phase, and then opting for a final charge towards you once it's nearly dead.
  • In Crying Suns, the final boss fight pits you against several battleships in a row.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • Abmneshi The Prophecy downplays this trope; bosses have many lifebars, but they don't change at all between forms, they just have different attacks. The final boss, Kelbris, and second True Final Boss, Drowned, have sixteen lifebars.
  • Every boss in Cuphead is a sequential boss, to the point where it was given its own page.
  • All the bosses in Dragon Blaze 2000 comes in at least two forms, including the first, where after defeating them once, they'll come back again, either in a Mighty Glacier form far bigger than before, or as a slightly smaller but faster Fragile Speedster incarnation. The last boss notably needs to be defeated four times.
  • Gradius:
    • III (Arcade) has Wyvern, a three-headed fiery dragon with a vulnerable blue core in its first phase. After sustaining enough damage, Wyvern transforms into a serpentine Amphisbaena-like dragon called Vulture Dragon that spews explosive fireballs from each end while wrapping around the Vic Viper.
    • The Final Boss of Nemesis II: Return of the Hero battles the Player Character at its hangar in its first phase before fleeing the base and fires projectiles from its rear.
    • In Galaxies, the first mid-boss of Stage 8 fights you three times, getting repairs and upgrades for its second and third forms.
    • Gradius V has Keeper's Core, a Gun Wall that makes artificial gravity wells that pull players off from the center as well as having three plasma ball-spraying turrets. Its second form launches the wall cannons that fire laser barricades to block the players from passing.
  • Every boss in Gundemonium Recollection has at least two forms, but the final boss has an amazing eleven. The eleventh is fortunately the True Final Boss and is only triggered under certain conditions, but you do have to deal with the rest on every playthrough, either by defeating them or managing to stay alive until the timer empties.
  • The final boss of Gungrave: Overdose has two phases. In the first phase, the boss is protected by a barrier, which your character must break through by destroying the three generators that flank the room. With the barrier gone, the boss moves to the second phase by creating some sort of bizarre space and decides to get dangerous by using time-based attacks against your character.
  • Unlike the rest of the bosses in Hotline Miami, the final boss battle consists of three (technically four) opponents who are each taken down fairly quickly. First, you must fight off two panthers at the same time using only a trophy as a melee weapon. Then, you must fight a ninja-esque bodyguard and take her out by throwing the trophy and performing an execution on her. Finally, you must fight the boss of The Mafiya himself, who sits at his desk and fires dual-wielded submachine guns at you.
  • The final boss of Ikaruga has four phases, and the last disables your weapons and forces you to survive for a minute just by dodging.
  • The Final Boss of In the Hunt is a giant warhead rocket. The first segment spawns weak submarines, the second fires out lots of INDESTRUCTIBLE mines that block shots (in a game where most enemy projectiles in the game are destructible, this is bad news), the third shoots out massive rockets, and the fourth does the mine storm AGAIN. Finally, you get to the main warhead that spams missiles. If you had used any continues before this, you will get the good ending; otherwise, the bomb blows up along with your submarine.
  • Radiant Silvergun has tons of them. One boss is where all its parts are sequential, some bosses themselves are sequential, and near the end of the game, you'll fight several bosses (some being sequential themselves) in a row without stages being in between them.
  • Raiden is pretty fond of these. Every boss has multiple stages of combat based on difficulty. You transition between sequences by blasting the crap out of it and causing things to explode. After exploding, what's left of the boss transforms and resumes combat. This can happen up to ten times in later games like Raiden IV.
  • RefleX has ZODIAC Virgo, who has 5 phases. First phase is the introduction, before spreading its wings, destroying Human Virgo and initiating the next phase. After that it becomes a Hopeless Boss Fight as it lays the beam smackdown on the Phoenix, killing the pilot. But then the Phoenix, true to name, springs back to life and returns the curbstomping tenfold, with you chasing Virgo as it flees, but fails as you destroy its thrusters forcing it to stand its ground. The final phase is you going to town on this mechanical menace, effortlessly blocking its screen-filling lasers and a crapton of projectiles before finally destroying it.
  • Rigid Force Alpha has a three phase Final Boss fight; first against the CORE Sentinel, then two rounds against the CORE Plasmoid previously encountered in Stage 2.
  • Sin and Punishment 2 hads the Stage 2 boss, Armon Ritter, morphing through several rather strange-looking forms as you fought over the ocean. His final form is...a dolphin.
  • The Dragon of Sol Divide, who battles you in a dragon mausoleum. He fights you as a normal, human-sized enemy at first, and after you beat him he then reveals his One-Winged Angel form as a Draconic Humanoid, with a new health bar. Defeat him once more, and he pulls out his trump card by absorbing the bones of dragons around him, turning into a gigantic dragon behemoth (how big? For the entire fight you'll see only his head). Defeat him once more and you'll... face the True Final Boss. Yeah, the last encounter can take up maybe a quarter of the overall gameplay.
  • Both Strikers 1945 games (a.k.a just 1945 I & II) had sequential bosses ending each level. In the early levels they usually had two stages (first a regular battleship, tank, airplane and such, which then transforms to a Humongous Mecha), later bosses usually have 3 or 4 stages (transforming from a mech to two smaller mechs and so on).
  • Touhou Project bosses always have multiple life bars, one for each bullet pattern they shoot.
    • Early bosses usually have at most 4, whereas final bosses have many: Kaguya Houraisan from the eighth game, for example, has 10 life bars on every difficulty, plus five optional Last Spells after that. In the most extreme cases, bosses can have up to 22 life bars (these are exclusively reserved for the Extra Stages, though).
    • In Lotus Land Story, you fight Gengetsu/Gengetu immediately after you defeat the first bonus boss, Mugetsu.
  • Based on how well you're doing, Triggerheart Exelica bosses can go from one phase to up to five phases. The better equipped you are (more lives, bombs, point items, and score), the harder it gets.
  • Trigonometry Wars has several examples, both of the different-lifebars-have-different-attacks kind and the more interesting kind.
    • Trigonometry Wars 4 has its final boss, Idryo's Heart, who is fought first in a green mecha, which literally Turns Red for the second phase, before finally fighting you alone.
    • In Trigonometry Wars 3 Redux: The Revengeoning, Apollyon's Eye is fought immediately after Apollyon the Destroyer. And then in the second loop, this gets taken through the roof, as you then must fight Idryo the Creator, who herself has two forms.

    Simulation Games 
  • Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War. Solo Wing Pixy's Morgan starts the fight off firing its laser. When it gets damaged enough, it drops the Frickin' Laser Beams and switches to the Multi-Purpose Burst Missile. For the third stage, it drops the MPBM too, but starts using an ECM system that forces you to attack it from the front in order to damage it.
  • Trauma Center:
    • Various late-game levels in the series have you operate on several patients in succession, each infected with a different type of the super-pathogen featured in the plot. Some of the more difficult levels choose to have a single patient infected with two types of pathogen at once.
    • The Challenge missions in New Blood would have you operate on multiple patients in a row, with the vitals from the last carrying over to the next. Sort of justified in that it's supposed to be a VR simulation, not real operations.

    Stealth-Based Games 
  • Metal Gear:
    • In Metal Gear Solid, the player must fight Liquid Snake both in and on top of Metal Gear REX sequentially.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Raiden must fight a number of Metal Gear RAYs (the number depends on the difficulty selected); after a long (and confusing) cutscene, the player must fight Solidus Snake. Without skipping anything, the whole thing probably takes upwards of a half hour.
    • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Volgin is a very persistent opponent. First, you fight him hand to hand. Then he jumps in the Shagohod and chases you as you escape in a motorcycle. Then you blow up a bridge to sink the Shagohod into a river. Then it rises out of the river, and you strafe it in the motorcycle. Then you run around on foot, as in previous (or rather future) fights with Metal Gear.

    Strategy RPG 
  • In the Fire Emblem series:
    • The final chapter of Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade has you fighting the Morphs of various bosses that were fought earlier in the story plus the previously unfought Brendan, in a specific order, before fighting Nergal.
    • Present in each route of Fire Emblem Fates:
      • Birthright ends with a final battle against Garon. First, players fight him as an axe-wielding man. Afterwards, he transforms into a dragon.
      • In Conquest, the final battle starts with Garon, albiet appearing as a monster with melting flesh as a result of the Hoshidan throne revealing his true nature. After he is bested, the player has to fight Takumi, whose corpse was reanimated by the Greater-Scope Villain.
      • Revelation has Chapters 16 and 17 pit you against Hans and Iago respectively with no opportunity to save or restock.
      • Revelation ends with a final battle against the Greater-Scope Villain, Anankos, who first appears as a giant stone mask before taking on the form of an Eldritch Abomination dragon.
  • Super Robot Wars loves this, sometimes having both kinds at the same time.
    • One level of Super Robot Wars: Original Generation 2 has you fighting Axel Almar, Sikalog, Aguija (Sikalog and Aguika fight together), and finally Wendolo.
    • Level 29 from Super Robot Wars Judgment is probably one of the longest stages in the game. It starts off pretty simple, just a couple sets of Mazinger Z and Full Metal Panic! mooks. Then an FMP boss shows up with a batch of reinforcements on the second enemy turn. Then on your third turn, Gauron shows up with a set of Elite Mooks from Mazinger, and four Behemoths (One of which was a stage boss five levels ago.). Take out Gauron, and Zeorymer's Rose C'est La Vie of the Moon comes along as well. Defeat him, and the level rounds off with you fighting Baron Ashura.
    • The final level of Super Robot Wars Destiny; You first have to defeat Ignus and his units, then Aquila and the reinforcements he brings. Then, in the second half of the mission, you have to defeat both Contagio and Umbra, who regain their HP when they are below 1/3 of their HP, and then you have to fight the machines of the 5 enemy generals all at once in addition to the final boss. By the way, you have to fight the final boss twice; he gains reinforcements after he is defeated the first time.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Greatwyrms and ancient dragon turtles are classified as mythic monsters in 5th edition, which means they have a second phase baked into them. When they hit 0 hit points for the first time in an encounter, they immediately recover most of their health, recharge their breath weapons, replenish their uses of legendary resistance, and gain extra legendary action options.
    • The final boss of the module Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep is this. Alyxian the Apotheon faced nothing but cruelty and abuse for all his life because he was born under a wicked moon. When the players face him, they can either fight him the normal way, or attempt to comfort him and talk him down. Either way, he goes through three phases: Alyxian the Tormented, a monstrous Eldritch Abomination lashing out at the world that hurt him; Alyxian the Callous, a cold angel devoid of emotion enacting twisted "justice" for his mistreatment; and finally, Alyxian the Dispossessed, a bitter old man who believes there is nothing left for him but death. Should the player kill him in his final phase, he dies for good. If they instead comfort him and assure him that the world still has a place for him, he becomes Alyxian the Absolved, an old man who still carries the love of life.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Medusa is this in Kid Icarus: Uprising. She fights you normally, then gets chained in place, and her head comes off and flies around, attacking you. Then, in chapter 25, Hades fights you in the Underworld, then several times in hyperspace or something using his "Battle Ensemble," then he fights you AGAIN on the surface, and then you have one last minigame-ish thing before you beat the game.
  • The boss fight at Gall Spaceport in the Shadows of the Empire game. After Boba Fett's health is depleted, he falls into the docking bay — and Fett's ship, Slave I, immediately rises and starts firing at the player.
  • Splatoon:
    • The final boss of the first game's Hero Mode has five stages, each of which has him adding a new weapon to his arsenal while stepping up the platforming challenge.
    • Splatoon 2:
      • The final boss has four stages. All four has him getting new attacks, but the last also grants the player character an 11th-Hour Superpower.
      • The Superboss of the Octo Expansion has five stages, and they're all very difficult on their own.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Sequential Boss Fight


Mr. Gimmick

Beating the first form of Stage 5's boss causes it to unleash its second form at you, complete with music change.

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Example of:

Main / SequentialBoss

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