Follow TV Tropes


Underwater Boss Battle

Go To
If Sonic can get a bubble shield, Eggman can too.

The placement of a boss arena underwater can radically change a boss battle and how it plays out. The Oxygen Meter can often be a big problem if your character needs to breathe. Even if your character can somehow breathe underwater or doesn't need to breathe at all, movement is often a lot trickier. In these cases, the boss is typically an aquatic creature that cannot survive on land. Common forms for these bosses include giant fishes, octopi, crabs, and assorted Sea Monsters, as well as enemies in submarines and other aquatic vehicles.

Subtrope of Boss Battle. This is very commonly found Under the Sea. Compare Waterfront Boss Battle, for battles that take place above a body of water instead of underwater.


    open/close all folders 

    Action Adventure 
  • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin has Dagon, some kind of weird reptillian... thing. You fight him underwater, and one of his attacks even involves taking away all the water temporarily in order to use it like a weapon.
  • Clash at Demonhead: Shark's base is underneath the sea on Route 22, which you'll need an Aqua Lung to reach (and survive).
  • Jaws has you fighting the shark underwater, like everything else.
  • Jaws Unleashed: The game only has a few bosses that are actually completely underwater. The most notable is the giant squid.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening: Angler Fish, the boss of the fourth dungeon, is an underwater sidescrolling boss.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: The second part of the fight against Gyorg, in the 3DS remake, plays entirely underwater. In the original version, Link only has to enter the water when the boss is stunned in order to inflict damage onto it.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages has two. The first of which is Octogon of the sixth dungeon, Mermaid's Cave, where after doing damage to it on dry land, it submerges underwater and you must give chase with the Mermaid Suit to damage him. The second is Plasmarine of the seventh dungeon, Jabu-Jabu's Belly, where his battle takes place entirely underwater after the water level reaches its maximum point, and you have to maintain a safe distance from it and use the Switch Hook to trade places with it when it fires a ball of lightning at you, causing it to be hit by its own attack. The Angler Fish returns to serve as the mid-boss of the latter dungeon, although even though the background suggests that you're underwater you control Link as if you were on land.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess:
      • The Lakebed Temple features one, naturally enough. The first phase is on the floor of the deepest point of the dungeon, fought against the tentacles of the boss that emerge from the and. In the second phase, it emerges from the sand and starts swimming around, pulling you into its maw with a whirlpool if you get too close. The key to beating it is to hookshot yourself to the eye on its back and stab away.
      • One of Zant's boss phases teleports you back down there, where he hides in one of three enormous copies of his helmet.
  • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes: Alpha Blogg is a large creature with a massive jaw located in Torvus Bog, specifically in the flooded jail of the Hydrochamber. After Samus acquires the Gravity Boost, which allows her to move and hover underwater more fluidly, the jail will open and the monster will start attacking her, thus forcing the battle between the two. The jaw is the weak point.

    Action Game 
  • Bomberman Hero features some levels with Bomberman turns into a vehicle. One of these is the Bomber Submarine. The boss rush at the end features an underwater re-encounter with a stone lion for no particular reason.
  • Monster Hunter 3 (Tri) is the first game in the series to add underwater fighting, and thus underwater boss fights. The final boss Ceadeus, the cause of the earthquakes, has no way to get onto land and is a giant, mobile monster on terms with the Jhen Mohran. The fight against it will only be under water, there is no active land to go on to, but there are some set up weapons to use against it. In 3 Ultimate, Goldbeard Ceadeus is fought the same way, as well as Abyssal Lagiacrus, the game's final monster, fought in the same area. Fortunately, your Oxygen Meter is quite generous and can be refilled or extended in many different ways, or outright rendered a non-issue with the right skill points.

    Many underwater-capable bosses reappear in Monster Hunter Portable 3rd and Monster Hunter Generations. Since neither of these games have underwater mechanics, these bosses are fought on land, averting this trope.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • Bayonetta 2: The fight against the demon Insidious takes place underwater, as does the second part of Valor's boss fight.
  • Both entries of the Oriental Legend duology have levels set underwater, including boss fights. The first game notably sees you battling a submarine-sized hostile sea urchin who has Spike Shooter abilities.

    First Person Shooter 
  • AMID EVIL: The boss fight against the Twin Terrors is unusual in that it's fought while swimming in a sphere of water hanging over an endless void. In order to survive getting knocked out of the water by the bosses, you need to land on one of a ring of stained glass platforms below that will send you back into the water.
  • The entirety of the Death in the Water duology, as you're a Bounty Hunter in a monster-infested abyss. The titular "Death", for instance, is a mighty black octopus and Final Boss who repeatedly tries dragging you into the murky darkness.
  • Duke Nukem 3D: The Alien Queen in Episode 4 is fought underwater.
  • Duke Nukem Forever: The penultimate boss, the Energy Leech, is fought underwater in a battle complicated by Duke's slow swimming speed.

  • AdventureQuest Worlds:
    • You get to battle a Nessie as an underwater boss battle for the third boss fight in Arcangrove.
    • The Deep Dweller is an underwater boss battle that also serves as a third boss fight in a different area, this one in Etherstorm Wastes.
  • Guild Wars 2 features a significant amount of underwater battles, a fight with a giant escaped shark being one of the earliest.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Maws is a giant shark is summoned out in the sea. The raid composition determines whether he's fought at the water's surface or underneath.
    • The Lurker Below, the second boss of Serpentshrine Cavern. While he's mostly fought on platforms (due to the fact that the water is hot and deals damage over time while you're in it), you're forced to go underwater every so often in order to avoid his Spout attack, which will knock you 100+ yards away into the boiling water, probably causing your death as you try and swim back to the platform. Post buff and pre nerf a dedicated Shadowpriest could keep its section of a raid alive and underwater the entire fight thanks to Vampiric Embrace shenanigans.

    Platform Game 
  • Banjo-Tooie has an anglerfish named Lord Woo Fak Fak. You can actually fight him as either the submarine transformation in this level, or as bear and bird.
  • Bug has Quaria's boss, a giant octopus who throws dogfish (fish with dog heads and collars) at Bug, who has to swat them back with a tennis racket. While the whole world is underwater, the physics in the level are exactly the same as on dry land.
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze: Fugu the Frightening. Unlike other underwater battles, in this one the Kongs have to keep an eye on the Oxygen Meter, and collect bubbles if it's running out.
  • Drawn to Life has an anglerfish boss that is fought entirely underwater.
  • The Itchy and Scratchy Game: The boss of the "The Pusseidon Adventure" level is Scratchy in a submarine. To defeat Scratchy, Itchy must open the hatch to the submarine to fill it with water and drown Scratchy.
  • Kero Blaster:
    • Dekaigyo the giant fish is fought in a half-underwater arena. Going underwater to attack it is faster than staying above, but it's also much harder to dodge while swimming.
    • Puddie, the Train Station mid-boss, is entirely underwater. However, when it's fought in Zangyou Mode, it's in a dry room, and the fight changes to accommodate that.
  • Kirby:
    • Kirby's Dream Land 3: Acro the orca starts off as a land-based boss until he destroys the floor and begins the second phase in an underwater arena. He also appears in Kirby 64, but this time the whole fight takes place underwater.
    • Kirby and the Rainbow Curse: The battle against Claykken and the rematch with Hooplagoon take place underwater.
  • In Land of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, the battle against a Giant Enemy Crab in the Sand Castle takes place underwater. As Mickey has an Oxygen Meter in this game, he will need to swim up to the surface to replenish it if he's running low.
  • Mega Man:
  • Mr. Nutz: The giant octopus boss is fought in an underwater room.
  • Psychonauts: The Hulking Lungfish is an underwater enemy whom you fight from within an air bubble. Since Raz can't swim, you have to figure out how to damage her without leaving the bubble. Eventually, though, she leaves the bubble and starts attacking you as normal.
  • Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc: The boss of the Land of the Livid Dead is a Hoodlum piloting a giant underwater mecha.
  • Ristar: The hammerhead shark. Hitting it would knock it into a cork which would lower the water level. After knocking out all the corks, all the water is drained and you win, but until that point it just gives you less room to swim around and dodge his attacks.
  • Rocket Knight Adventures: At the end of the second part of Stage 3, the mini-boss is a robotic Giant Enemy Crab piloted by one of Emperor Devligus Devotindos' Pig Soldiers. Because it is underwater, Sparkster has to swim underwater to attack it.
  • RosenkreuzStilette has you fight Trauare Wrede underwater or above water depending on which path you take in her stage.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Land: Dragonzamasu is a large seahorse that guards the end of World 2-3, which takes place underwater. Mario doesn't fight it while swimming on his own, but while driving the Marine Pop.
    • Super Mario Sunshine: Eely-Mouth, which is fought in the deepest waters of Noki Bay in Episode 4. Mario has to clean its teeth while shooting water onto them (since Mario is already underwater, what FLUDD's water is doing is effectively brushing the teeth). Toxic bubbles come out of the giant eel's mouth, and will drastically reduce Mario's Oxygen Meter if touched; however, if they're shot with FLUDD's water, they'll be purified and will actually restore oxygen upon contact.
    • Super Mario Galaxy: The battle against Kingfin, a huge skeletal shark, takes place inside the waters of an aquatic planet in Bonefin Galaxy. Mario has to throw Koopa Troopa shells at it while avoiding the Skeletal Fish Guards that home at him like Torpedo Teds do (and collecting air bubbles to keep his Oxygen Meter full).
    • New Super Mario Bros. Wii: The second battle against Wendy O. Koopa. The basic gist is that Kamek has submerged the arena; considering that you can't stomp on enemies underwater, you have to hold out until the water level becomes low enough for you to jump on Wendy. A similar battle occurs in New Super Mario Bros. 2, implying this trope to be Wendy's arena of choice.
    • New Super Mario Bros. U: The first battle against Bowser Jr. takes place entirely underwater, and the water won't disappear. Fortunately, the boss is a Tactical Suicide Boss, as he launches Targeting Teds that you have to direct into him.
  • Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 3 has you battle a giant green mutated crab while underwater. Notably, your air meter is also your Life Meter, and both are replenished by surfacing or swimming into jets of bubbles. Since there are five such jets in the arena, it is literally impossible to lose.
  • Wuppo: Beneath Popocity's channel, you'll encounter the notorious Breevis — a ridiculously oversized kneft vermin prowling around a large underwater cave. The fight consists of avoiding his attempts to suck you into his mouth, instead filling it with paint from your Gumgumgun and forcing him to spit up segments of his own body.

    Role Playing Game 
  • Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City: Since the entirety of Undersea Grotto (the second stratum) takes place beneath the ocean of Armoroad, the resident main boss (Ketos, a sacred whale) is accordingly challenged this way. The player's characters have Super Not-Drowning Skills, so the difficulty of the battle is based on the variety of attacks Ketos can use (including a party-wide attack that can cause strong damage but has low accuracy). There's also Anemone, a Superboss who resides in Undersea Grotto as well, albeit in a hidden area only accessible after accepting a postgame sidequest. Ketos returns in Etrian Odyssey Nexus, fought once again on the same stratum.
  • E.V.O.: Search for Eden: King Kuraselache, the boss of the First Epoch, and King Rogon, one of the bosses of the Fifth Epoch, a great white shark and a Gillman respectively.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy V has the optional battle against Gogo, who is fought in the now-submerged ruins of Walse Tower. The drowning timer from the dungeon continues during the fight, which the player needs to be mindful of since the party still needs go back the way they came to get out.
    • Final Fantasy VII has Emerald WEAPON, a Superboss who hangs out at the bottom of the sea. And you don't even fight him in your submarine. There's also a couple of underwater (though air-containing) areas.
    • Final Fantasy X: Sinspawn Echuilles, Geosgaeno and Evrae Altana. Shinryu, one of Final Fantasy's two recurring Optional Bosses, is an Underground Monkey of Evrae Altana. All of these battles restrict you to the only three party membersnote  who can fight underwater: two blitzball players and one salvager.
  • Kingdom Hearts III: The Lightning Angler is fought in a submerged cave in The Caribbean and an intermediate phase of Master Xehanort's Sequential Boss fight also takes place underwater. These fights are made particularly difficult as being underwater prevents Sora from using Formchanges, Shotlocks, or Team Attacks.
  • Romancing SaGa 2: You fight Subier either underwater or on a boat depending on your actions.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • Andro Dunos 2 has the battle against the mechanical leviathan, set underneath a sunken city and the only boss fought underwater.
  • In the Hunt has five of its six boss battles like this. Then again, your character is a submarine, so it's not surprising.
  • Star Fox 64:
    • The giant clam boss in Aquas, the underwater level, while piloting the submarine vehicle exclusive to the level.
    • The boss of Zoness is a submarine, though battled at the water's surface while in the Arwing.
  • Ultimate Crab Battle. The entire games takes place in a boss battle against a Giant Enemy Crab, who has a ridiculously high variety of special attacks mostly based on gadgets he pulls out of himself, hammerspace style.

    Survival Sandbox 
  • ''Raft has the rhino shark at Varuna Point, which is fought inside a sunken skyscraper.

Alternative Title(s): Underwater Boss Fight


Bowser Jr

Mario fights Bowser Jr underwater.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / UnderwaterBossBattle

Media sources: