Follow TV Tropes


Stationary Boss

Go To

A Boss Battle where the boss remains in one place. In side scrolling games this typically means the left or right side of the screen, though in 3D games the distinction gets a lot blurrier.

It might be because the boss is too big to move and be a fair fight or because it's merged with something and can't move. In older games, large bosses were largely stationary due to sprite limit count (and having to use background tiles as an alternative) and difficulty to animate background tiles.

A boss that stands in the background and launches attacks into the foreground is a Background Boss. If the boss remains on one side of the screen and is edging ever closer requiring you to defeat him while running away he may also be an Advancing Boss of Doom.

Compare Pivotal Boss and Battleship Raid. Contrast High-Speed Battle. Not to be confused with a Stationery Boss who attacks you with memos, box files, pens, ink, staplers etc.



  • Most giant bosses in Kingdom Hearts:
    • The first game has several, including the Cave of Wonders Guardian (being a cave mouth rooted to the ground), the Parasite Cage, Giant Ursula, Oogie's Manor, Chernabog and the World of Chaos. The Rock and Ice Titans can move somewhat, but are so massive they barely fit in the arena to begin with.
    • Marluxia's final form in the Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories remake: Marluxia remains immobile while his large, angelic specter attacks.
    • From Kingdom Hearts II we have Thresholder and Xemnas' odd knight-like form in the final battles.
    • Darkside, the first boss in the series, remains stationary then and during every other time you encounter him.
  • Malus, the sixteenth and final colossus from Shadow of the Colossus. Because of this, some consider him an Anti-Climax Boss.
  • In Resident Evil 4, the castle boss. Castellan Salazar and his left hand man fuse with a giant random plant (that is stuck to a wall) in order to make a giant talking plant........with tentacles
    • The final form of Birkin in Resident Evil 2 - the trick is to shoot him a lot.
    • Advertisement:
    • Plant 42 from Resident Evil, in the remake at least.
  • All Orochi battles from Ōkami.
  • Castlevania
  • In Psychonauts, the death tank operated by Coach Oleander's brain didn't move.
    • In her first few phases, the Hulking Lungfish from Psychonauts doesn't move. She stays on one side of the arena, attacking you from there. However, in her later phases, she does walk around the arena... and trap you with an Advancing Wall of Doom...
  • The Thorian in Mass Effect, an enormous plant... thing. "This may be... problematic."
  • Metroid Fusion also has an "enormous plant thing" boss. It's stationary, but it spews spores and things.
    • Metroid does this a lot. Heck, the original Mother Brain fight was one!
      • And there was the Parasite Queen and Flaaghra bosses in Prime too.
    • Metroid: Zero Mission has one too: a large cocoon that hangs from the ceiling and doesn't move. After you shoot the things holding it in place, it falls down to the room below, where you fight the insect boss that hatches from it.
    • Other bosses from Metroid include the Hive Mecha and Fire Drone from Prime, the large worm that grants the Charge Beam and Mecha Ridley from Zero Mission.
  • Several bosses qualify for this trope in Super Mario Sunshine.
    • Mario sometimes have to fight Polluted Piranha Plants by spraying water into their mouths while they attack by throwing up sludge balls that spawn enemies.
    • In Rico Harbor and Noki Bay, Mario encounters Gooper Blooper, who tries to hurt the plumber by hitting him with his tentacles. If the giant squid misses, Mario can jump on the tentacles and pull them off, gradually incapacitating him which allows Mario to pull out the cork from Gooper Blooper's mouth, leading up to the second phase where Mario's adversary can shoot him with ink.
    • In Pinna Park, Mario runs into his impostor, Shadow Mario, who summons a giant robot of Bowser called Mecha-Bowser. Mario is offered a ride on the local roller coaster and has to use the F.L.U.D.D. to shoot missiles at the gargantuan machine while simultaneously defending himself from incoming Bullet Bills and occasionally douse the robot's fire breath whenever the plumber gets too close, all while Mecha-Bowser just stands in one spot and breathes fire like a lunatic.
  • Barinade in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, sorta. At the start of the battle, the main body is linked via tentacles to the ceiling. You must chop it free in order to send it into a suicidal frenzy and kill it.
  • GLaDOS from Portal
  • The final boss in Doom II is a demonic face on a wall that fires cubes that spawn demons on impact with a surface (or telefrag you if they land on you). If you use the no clipping cheat it turns out that the core of the boss is programmer John Romero's head on a stake.
  • The Final Boss of the Final Fantasy XI expansion Treasures of Aht Urghan, as well as the Final Boss of the Add-on A Crystalline Prophecy. There are a few other Boss Fights and not-so-normal enemies that are like this, as well.
  • Devil May Cry has the Leviathan heart. Three stationary targets to be exact.
  • The large plant-like Tentacles in the Rocket Silo in Half-Life that relied on sound rather than sight. They are later encountered again in Xen.
    • There are two of these bosses in the "Opposing Force" Expansion Pack. One in a sewage pipe when you had to fix a gearbox and turn a valve and at the end when you have to shoot a creature half way through a portal.
  • The final fight in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's.
  • Extremely common in Fire Emblem, and they're usually sitting on a tile with terrain bonuses. Practically required on "seize tile" maps, to avoid accidentally becoming a Skippable Boss. One of the hallmarks of Hard Mode in the series is that bosses on levels other than "Seize ____" will charge the party when they would have remained still in Normal, and until Shadow Dragonnote , you won't know their AI has changed until they do it.
  • TimeSplitters
  • The enormous "Metal Gear" DomZ in Beyond Good & Evil stamps its feet, but it otherwise remains in the exact center of its boss arena.
  • The final boss of Monster Rancher EVO, Muu, stays in place. Your monsters are the only ones who move, which is nice, at least — it means you can choose which attacks you want to use yourself, and don't have to jocky with him for position.
  • The Brain of the Many and SHODAN in System Shock 2.
  • Star Fox has plenty of stationary bosses, although some only in relation to the player. Free-range bosses usually move around, but Star Fox: Assault has several exceptions, most notably the aparoid queen in the first form.
  • World of Warcraft: Ragnaros is completely immobile, as are other beings with the same model. He still needs to be tanked though.
    • Same goes for Murmur.
    • Kologarn of Ulduar, who you only fought the torso of due to him standing in a massive abyss to fight you.
    • From first glances, the final battle against Deathwing, who stands from the torso up in the maelstrom as his power rips him apart and the raid finishes him off.
    • Many of the Sha Bosses in Pandaria are effecively immobile. Not that they look like they couldn't move, they just wont.
  • Half of the Mega Man final bosses. And some of the fortress bosses. Rangda Bangda!!! *shakes fist*
  • We also have a huge live 'processing plant' in Quake IV.
  • The final boss of Silent Hill 3 was immobile, too. Not to mention the strange growth in the apartment complex level of the same game (Glutton?), which was a pure Puzzle Boss; it even did not attack.
  • The final boss of ObsCure was also immobile.
  • Every 3D Sonic game has a boss that simply stands in the same place and shoots at you from a stationary position. In this case, it's a matter of getting around them to their hidden weak points.
    • Sonic 1 for the Game Gear has a final boss, which is basically Robotnik standing in a tube while jet blasts shoot up from the floor in a pattern and an occasional energy ball flies across the screen.
    • Sonic 2 for the Game Gear had a first and a last boss like this, the former being down a pit and the latter being Robotnik himself in a wall-mounted gun emplacement.
    • The Quartz Quadrant level of Sonic CD features a twist on this kind of boss. Robotnik stands on a platform over a conveyor belt that threatens to throw you into spikes if you stop running and he drops spiked projectiles onto you. After you hit him once, the boss is beaten by running towards him at full speed, eventually forcing the conveyor belt to break.
    • In Sonic Spinball, all four of the game's end-of-level bosses do not move from their spots. Sonic must use his pinball-like abilities to propel himself up to them without falling out of the boss arena.
    • A fair few in the Sonic series. Volcano Valley, E-105 Zeta, The Biolizard, Metal Madness, Ghost Kraken, Ghost Titan, Ghost Pendulum (all 3 ghosts from Sonic Rush Adventure), Crystal Egg (with the tubes around it and spinning flower beam things), and undoubtedly many more.
  • The Kirby series has quite a few:
  • The original NES Ninja Gaiden' had several of these. In the first game, fighting the Masked Devil sort-of counts, as the actual target (which does most of the attacking) is a stationary statue. The final demon boss is also stationary, too. In Ninja Gaiden 2, a boss about midway through the game is stationary, as are two of the three forms of the final boss. Ninja Gaiden 3 only has one stationary boss, being the second form of the three-part final boss.
  • Old Marwood in Kameo: Elements of Power.
  • Most (if not all) the bosses of Gauntlet Legends 64 were immobile or moved in an extremely limited way. Same with, again, most of the sequel bosses although a few of them (Lich?) could wander about
  • City of Heroes (and City of Villains) has the giant amoeba monster Hamidon, which is game-mechanically not so much a critter as a zone. The Thorn Tree is also stationary, as are the giant monsters Lusca and the Hydra. I may be missing others.
    • Lusca does move, or at least relocates, several times during any battle with her.
  • World of Mana's immobile bosses:
    • The two Advancing Wall of Doom bosses in Secret of Mana.
    • The boss guarding Chartmoon Tower in Trials of Mana (except for some very brief attack animations, he is never off screen); ditto the Benevodon of darkness Zable Fahr; ditto Zehnoa, the fireplace boss; ditto one of the final bosses.
    • The last boss in Dawn of Mana.
    • Tropicallo in Legend of Mana is not only immobile, you can't even hit it directly: you have to wear its HP down gradually by attacking its sprouts. This gets extremely tedious in the harder modes, as you have to deal with both the sprouts and the boss itself having much more HP. This was only partially the case in its appearances in Secret of Mana, where it would occasionally tunnel to different spots on the map.
    • At least one in Children of Mana
  • In earlier Nippon Ichi games, most bosses wouldn't move unless your characters were in range to attack in one turn, so you can game this to your advantage by having your magic casters stand outside of this range and nuke them with spells. Later titles have them start moving the after they take damage to prevent this.
    • Disgaea 2 features Makai Kingdom cameo Zetta as a truly immobile boss. He makes up for it to a degree by having an utterly absurd hit radius on his trademark Zetta Beam, though there's a safe zone he can be attacked from with no fear of retaliation if you can manage to get closer to him.
    • All of the World Eaters in Soul Nomad & the World Eaters are immobile. They make up for this by being able to zap you from far away with very powerful attacks.
  • MapleStory - Zakum is more or less immobile, attacking with his arms.
    • As are Pianus, Horntail, and the Balrog.
  • Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army had perfectly-mobile enemies, except at the very end - the final boss's last two forms did not move (much) because they were too big.
  • Contra featured a number of immobile level bosses.
    • In the first game, they are fortified entrances to the enemy bases, but in all other games, they are various CosmicHorrors.
      • The boss of the Waterfall stage in the first Contra was a stationary Cosmic Horror as well.
  • In Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver the spider based boss was grafted to a wall over the years and completely unable to move even if he wanted to.
  • The Plutonium Boss in the original Blaster Master. It moved its head around to spit bouncing projectiles around, but otherwise stayed in the same spot for the duration of the battle.
  • In Cave Story, Heavy Press and Ballos' last form, though in the latter's room everything you can step on either moves or damages you.
  • The Greater Guardian in Eternal Darkness stays at the far end of the room behind several magikal shields while attacking and summoning mooks.
  • A handful of boss-type monsters (MVPs) in Ragnarok Online are immobile, though they can attack at range and their slave monsters have no problem with motion.
  • Ecco the Dolphin has seen a couple; the biggest were the Vortex Queen and the Foe Queen's heart.
  • La-Mulana has Baphomet (whose only motions are to cast spells or to protect itself with its wings) and Tiamat (whose only motions are to turn around to avoid you, flick its tail at you while otherwise remaining stationary).
  • Devil Gundam from G-Gundam fits this perfectly, while not as bad as Kira, it had a nasty slew of tricks to use. When he attacks, he fires a powerful motion wave gun that cleans 1000s out like candy and has two gundam heads which act as his invincible shield generators when he takes a certain amount of damage. Once he goes a lower level of health, he switches to a sweeping version of his attack (weaker thankfully) and summons a G-Crossover capable of hitting horizontally or Vertically. He is a nightmare for melee mechs.
  • Poison Ivy in Batman: Arkham Asylum, having merged with a giant mutated plant while under the influence of the Titan formula.
  • The final boss of Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, the Biobliterator, stays in one place in the middle of the battlefield while you circle around it and shoot it down with the hovership. Another culprit of the Anti-Climax Boss tag.
    • In the arena of Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Crushto stays in the middle of the arena and turns to face you. This doesn't mean you can afford to be sloppy, though; his machine gun makes a spray of shots that can be tricky to weave between, and he can either suck in air to try and inhale you, or blow air to push you off the edge of the arena. He only moves when entering the arena, and jumping out during tag-team battles.
  • Bayonetta features both Temperantia and Iustitia who stay still for much of their fight while you stand on a platform and attack them. Fortitudo will remain stationary if you stay on the platform at the beginning of the fight (though he'll come down and chase you if you jump off), and Sapientia's final phase is also like this.
  • The first boss in Adventure Island 2 for the NES was one of these. It was a huge pulsating... something resembling a plant that filled the entire edge of the screen. It'd slowly grow tendrils to get at you while you wailed (ideally, with the help of the Pteranodon) at its pineapple-like core.
  • Mother in Prey (2006) at the start is stuck within a massive ball of screens as she oversees the world you're currently stuck on.
  • Shub-Niggurath, the final boss of Quake, not only doesn't move, but doesn't even attack, relying on its minions instead.
    • Chthon, the first boss, just sits in his pool of lava right under the electrical arc that is the only way to kill him.
  • The Hell Atsche of Warship Gunner 2 is a fortress with a giant laser cannon on top.
  • Odium has Messiah, who's pinned to a wall (and is annoyingly immune to all attacks that aren't done from up close), and Puppet, who for some reason cannot walk or even turn around. Which means that you can simply make all your men walk behind him and render him a Zero-Effort Boss.
  • The DeepDive boss in An Untitled Story, who also doubles as Segmented Serpent.
  • The World from House of the Dead 4.
  • Zeus, the Big Bad in Will Rock, is sitting on his huge throne at the top of the tall, monster-infested arena and will summon huge thunderbolts across the area to smite you. The safest way to kill it is to reach him, go right between his feet (where you're out of range from many enemies), and shoot him to death.
  • The recurring Keeper's Core, aka Gun Wall, among other bosses, in the Gradius series.
  • While Radiant Historia usually gives you the freedom to knock most bosses silly around the battlefield, good luck doing that with any of the giant spiders. Or the final boss, once he goes One-Winged Angel.
  • In Drakensang some bosses are unable to move, including the Evil Tree in Moorbridge, the Linnorm and Jafgur in the first game, and the Newt Kraken and the Water Dragon in the second game.
  • Tomb Raider:
  • [PROTOTYPE] has Elizabeth Greene in a massive subterranean organism that bursts out in the middle of Times Square to swat military forces(and you) with its Combat Tentacles and more.
  • Spiral Knights: The Roarmulus Twins do this until they've been damaged enough.
  • Based on demo's shown so far, the larger bosses in Guild Wars 2 like The Sunless or Shatterer make a Dramatic Entrance, then remain in a single spot for the entire battle despite an Asura Wave-Motion Gun being aimed at his exact spot. Then again, there would be no way to defeat him if he just flew around.
  • The Outposts in Battlestar Galactica Online are of this sort, though their non-unique status means they're more like King Mooks. They have so much health and firepower, though, that you will still need a large party to take one down.
  • RuneScape has the behomoth Stomp, who's only partway through a portal from another dimension because the rest of him won't fit and is therefore completely unable to pursue the player around the boss room, and the stalker Shadow-Forger Ihlakhizan, who is tied to four pillars over a deep pit and also completely immobile. This immobility does not make them any less deadly to an inexperienced or underprepared team.
  • Rock Minotaurs in God of War II are generally these. If you see a random pile of rocks between you and a grapple point, chances are when you approach it you'll be greeted by a rock minotaur.
  • A number of bosses in the Geneforge series. Sometimes they are a Mook Maker who simply doesn't have legs, others are literally wired into Magitek support systems.
  • The final boss of Festers Quest is a machine which stands in one place, firing straight ahead.
  • Von Toad II's machine in Something Else can't move but it's quite big. The only way to hit it is to jump on the ball projectiles it shoots out.
  • In the first Gothic, we have Sleeper. He just stands in one spot and shoots fireballs at you while you try to break 5 pedestals standing around him.
  • In El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron, the final battle with Ezekiel has her morph into a giant blob of flesh that sits in the middle of the arena, firing radial elemental-based attacks at you. At certain points, she splits in half and the top part of her chases you around while the bottom half stays where it is.
  • Alien vs. Predator (Capcom) will pit you against the Alien Queen, tied to her egg sac. She's immobile that way, but she still has a number of attacks (claws, teeth, acid, stinger tail) and a host of lesser aliens to help her. Remember the movie — if you defeat her, rest assured that you haven't seen the last of her...
  • A very similar fight (and its similar recurrence) happen in Konami's Aliens arcade shooter. More in accordance wih the movie than the previous example, the Queen doesn't attack at in the first fight (but lesser aliens are happy to oblige), and she's way more formidable in the second fight. Complete with the means of her final destruction.
  • In The Matrix: Path of Neo, the three fights against the Mega-Smith are a stationary fight, where Smith throws pieces of buildings and copies at you that you have to dodge.
  • Fantasy Life treats its rare trees and ores as bosses, giving them a higher number of hit points and Regenerating Health. Given their actual nature, one can guess they don't move much.
  • The Binding of Isaac has Gurdy, Mom's Heart/It Lives, Isaac, and ???. ''Rebirth adds in Mega Maw, The Gate, Mama Gurdy, Mr. Fred, Mega Satan, and removes Isaac and ??? from this trope by letting them move around a bit.
  • The Idol in Icewind Dale is an immobile statue that can only attack via spells, making it easy to defeat via spamming Area of Effect spells from beyond its visual range after taking care of its guards.
  • The Aladdin Licensed Game for the Sega Genesis has three examples; Razoul in Agrabah Rooftops, Iago in the Sultan's Palace, and Jafar in the final level never move from the positions you see them in when you find them.
  • In most versions of the The Jungle Book Licensed Game, the final boss, Shere Khan, does not move from his spot. In the NES, Genesis, Game Boy, and PC versions, he stands on a cliff on the right side of the screen, flinging embers and blowing fire rings at Mowgli as he tries to keep his balance above a fire pit. In the Master System and Game Gear versions, Khan sits on a boulder in the middle of the screen and doesn't attack at all. Mowgli has to dodge the fire around him as he throws fire at Khan.
  • Dr. Peace from No More Heroes functions as one, simply shooting at the player from the pitcher's mound in the arena.
  • The Spider Queen, the final boss of Vectorman 2, does not move from her spot.


Video Example(s):


Johnny Deepend phase 2

After Gooigi activates a switch to suck up the water, Deepend gets stuck in the drain and is stationary for the rest of the fight.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / StationaryBoss

Media sources:

Main / StationaryBoss