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"You're about to face your first real challenge. I hope you've toughened up enough."
The "Guardian Angel", Borderlands

Usually appearing at the end of the first level/area or the tutorial or prologue section, the Warm-Up Boss is the early, first Boss Battle that represents the first time the player's skill or knowledge is tested in any real way. Notable because the player has likely encountered nothing but extremely basic enemies up until now, and this is the player's first taste of "real" combat, in the sense that this is an enemy that actually has a fighting chance against them. However, given that this is still the beginning of the game, the fight is still rather easy, if not extremely so.

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In Role-Playing Games, the Warm-Up Boss might mark the first time the player has to pay attention to things like elemental match-ups or healing. In action games, you may have to do a little dodging or defending instead of just straightforward attacking.

Has a high probability of showing up at the end of A Taste of Power. Sometimes used as the first encounter with the Goldfish Poop Gang. More likely than other bosses to be a Tactical Suicide Boss or suffer from Boss Arena Idiocy. See also Breather Boss, for when a boss of this level of challenge shows up later in the game and is expected to be harder. Contrast with Wake-Up Call Boss, an early boss that's surprisingly challenging. If another one like it shows up later, Degraded Boss is likely to be in effect, with the lucky ones getting to be a Mini-Boss and the unlucky ones relegated to Elite Mook or Giant Mook status.

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For the non-video game equivalent, see Starter Villain.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Action Game 
  • The "Rogue Jedi" (actually Kento Marek, the father of the main character) serves this kind of role in The Force Unleashed, as you're controlling Darth Vader himself during their battle.
  • Devil May Cry 4 uses the series' main character, Dante, as a warm-up boss for the new playable character, Nero. Subverted in the 2nd fight with him, where he becomes harder to beat, and even more in the harder difficulties, where he has full access to his arsenal of weapons and will gladly use them in BOTH battles, even when he doesn't acquire the majority of those weapons until later in the game, thus turning him into That One Boss. He also becomes a Wake-Up Call Boss to the players that come from Devil Hunter Mode into Son of Sparda Mode thinking that he'll be as easy as ever in the first mission, until he starts using weapons like Pandora and Gilgamesh to attack you.
  • Prince of Persia: Though not a Boss Battle, the Mook guarding the exit route in the first level is the first enemy you should have to fight (though there is a way to get around him).
  • Wyzen in Asura's Wrath has the easiest patterns in the game to look out for, along with being the first of Asura's former allies to die. Even when he's the size of the planet, Asura still destroys him handily.
  • Heavy Weapon has the Twinblade, a Future Copter with two homing missile launchers as its only weaponry... both of which can be destroyed, along with the missiles they launch. In the rematch against it, it gets two plasma cannons that can't be destroyed. However, it's an Early-Bird Boss in the Boss Blitz mode, where you don't get any power-ups prior to facing it.
  • The NES game based on G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero ends its first mission with a battle against a Cobra Range Viper. Compared to the other, more famous bosses that appear later in the game, he's pretty pathetic — he jumps around and fires a few missiles, and can easily be dispatched in seconds.
  • In Astyanax, your first boss fight is against Caesar, a strange beast with a goblin-like head and chicken-like legs. Its head is an easy-to-hit target and it doesn't have many attacks. Once you defeat Caesar, you also have to defeat its rider, who puts up even less resistance. With the right weapon, you can repeatedly cast magic on Caesar and defeat it and its rider without even touching it.
  • The Halls of Knowledge in Enter the Gungeon ends with Ser Manuel challenging you to "Face me in single combat!" His attack patterns are easier to avoid than some of the Mooks you'll encounter in the first level of the Gungeon itself.

    Action-Adventure Game 
  • Metroid:
    • The Parasite Queen in the Space Pirate ship in the beginning of Metroid Prime.
    • In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, you fight a Berserker Lord tricked out with Phazon armor that can only be hurt by deflecting its shots.
    • In Super Metroid, the first enemy you face is an old enemy, Ridley. Unfortunately, you're at minimum strength and he's a giant flying Space Pirate dragon. Thankfully, since he’s there to commit theft rather than to pick a fight, he flies off after either of you takes too much damage (more likely you). When you fight him again later, it's a much different story.
    • Kraid in his Super Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission appearance. His attacks aren't terribly damaging and he dies pretty quickly to missiles. And he is massive, and this is compared to Ridley, who is much smaller than Kraid, yet possesses more strength and health than him. This doesn't really apply to Zero Mission's hard mode, though.
    • The first Alpha Metroid in Metroid II: Return of Samus and Metroid: Samus Returns.
  • The attack helicopter in Shadow Complex at the end of the prologue.
  • No More Heroes:
    • The game starts off with the first ranked match against Death Metal. In terms of characterization and hostility, he's up there with the rest of the game's bosses, but quite simple to defeat. Lampshaded in that Travis seems aware that he's just a warm-up boss and spends half of the battle giving an internal monologue that suggests he's not paying any attention to the fight.
    • Dr. Peace does nothing but stand in the middle of the arena and rotate between three easy to dodge attacks, making it very easy to defeat him without taking a single hit, even on Bitter mode.
  • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle has Skelter Helter. He serves mainly as a tutorial to the game's controls and is therefore rather easy to beat. At least until you fight him on Bitter...
  • The first encounter with flying mutant toaster Balrog in Cave Story, and if that wasn't easy enough, he even asks you if you want to fight him (and if you say no, he'll run off). You'll meet him again, three or four more times, in more difficult forms, but compared to the other bosses in the game (e.g. Monster X, the Core, or the Doctor), all of his forms are enough of a pushover to make him qualify as a permanent Warm-Up Boss.
  • Beyond Good & Evil throws you into a boss fight against a DomZ monster, after fighting off several of its flunkies. That teaches you about on foot combat. Not half an hour later, it throws you into a boss fight against a flying serpent, which teaches you about hovercraft combat.
  • In order to win your first Plot Coupon in Mushroom Men, you are thrown into a miniature "tournament" against a larger mushroom man, whom you must defeat. The hero, Pax, is... really, really confused and a little annoyed about having to fight someone out of the blue.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • One Piece
    • Bartholomew Kuma, the first boss of One Piece: Unlimited Cruise, is kind of the first boss version of the Anticlimax Boss. Anyone who has read or watched One Piece knows how much of a scary badass this guy is, and so when the fight actually starts, it's a surprise that the big guy turns out to be a complete pushover. Once you unlock him in multiplayer though, he regains his badass status.
    • Smoker plays this role in Unlimited Adventure, and is similarly toned down from his fairly powerful canon incarnation.
    • In Unlimited World Red, the first boss you fight is Vegapunk's Dragon. It has only a few different moves, and all of them have lengthy charge-up times that are unmistakably different from each other, allowing you to figure out exactly how to dodge it. It is also the only boss in the game with two bars of health, with all other bosses having 3. That being said, this game's difficulty is well above average, and even Vegapunk's Dragon can annihilate you if you don't take the battle seriously.
  • Ninja: Shadow of Darkness:
    • The first boss is a Minotaur-crocodile hybrid who breathes slow, easy-to-dodge fireballs, and there is plenty of area for you to run around him in circles and fling throwing knives at him. His only dangerous attack is his Tail Slap, which can be avoided if you keep a safe distance from him.
    • Heck, the second boss, a two-headed Cerberus, is arguably easier than the first. You fight it (them?) in a much smaller arena, but since it lacks a ranged attack (unlike the previous boss' powerful tail) you can easily land punch after punch on it or blast it from up close with your smoke bombs or ground pound. Even better, you can obtain a battleax in an area not too far from the boss arena, and since you don't need to keep your distance, if you still have that ax with you, that will come in handy whacking away massive chunks of the Cerberus' health. It's only ranged attack is firing an easy-to-dodge eye laser, which ends up working in your favour because the Cerberus needs to stay still while firing the laser, allowing you to land several more hits by sneaking up on it. At any rate, the boss fights only become challenging from the third Wake-Up Call Boss onwards.
  • Castlevania has a fair few. The giant bat is the most common, but Arthroverta in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia is significantly easier than almost every boss in the game. It's easier than the first boss of Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin to say the least, especially as Ecclesia is a fair bit harder overall.
    • The version of the aforementioned giant bat from the original Castlevania is notable in that he only qualifies for this trope because the game is nice enough to hand you the axe subweapon a couple screens before the fight. Without the axe, he's a significant challenge, as the only time he's within attack range is when he's swooping down to crash into you. The axe's high trajectory lets you hit him while he's flying overhead, and makes the fight a cakewalk.
  • Dracula has this status in the Action Prologue of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. His attacks are telegraphed and easily countered, and Richter is much more agile than he was in Castlevania: Rondo of Blood. And if you still manage to lose, Maria will arrive to bail Richter out.
  • The Mad Bomber from Popful Mail. It has an easily predictable pattern, and takes only 10 hits to defeat with Mail's basic longsword.
  • In Darksiders II, the first real boss, the Crowfather shapeshifted into War, uses easy-to-avoid though somewhat damaging attacks. It's a good thing they are easy to dodge too, since the fight also demonstrates to those still used to playing as War in the previous game that Death is faster and more fragile than his brother.
  • Red Durathor from Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django has a variant of this. About half-way through the game, you become a vampire, lose all your original powers, and gain a slew of dark-based ones. Durathor is specifically designed to be vulnerable to each and every onenote  to test if you've figured out how to use them. She is beatable without them, but falls clearly into That One Boss if you try it.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • The series has the Veloci/Gen/Io/Giadromes, weak "boss" monsters that are basically just souped-up versions of small monsters. Even with the weak starting weapons, they can be easily killed in under two minutes.
    • Later games have the Great Jaggi, which is also a King Mook, but is given more of a unique design from its underlings and more health to make it more of an actual boss monster. Its relatives, the Great Wroggi and Great Baggi, are also King Mooks, but are fought later enough to not count as just warm-ups.
    • Portable 3rd also has the Arzuros, with its simple and slow movement pattern and low health. It's even fought before the Great Jaggi in this game.
  • Terranigma has the several early battles against Huballs or Cadets, which barely even count as bosses. At the end of the first section of the game (in the last of the 5 towers), Ark faces off against the first real boss, Shadow Keeper (a giant demonic scorpion...thing). Depending on how much the player has levelled up at this point, Shadow Keeper may be anything from a Wake-Up Call Boss to a Warm-Up Boss. If your player is say, level 5 or below, he's a Wake-Up Call Boss (and will most likely kill you slowly). If you're level 6-8, he'll be a regular boss. If you're level 9 or more, he's a Warm-Up Boss who you'll easily trounce.
  • Cyber Jenny in Ittle Dew 2. Her melee attacks are very easy to dodge, and while her ranged attacks (a spread of missiles followed by a laser blast) look intimidating, she immediately stops to taunt afterward, giving you plenty of time to smack her around.
  • Dark Devotion: Child of the Limbo, the first boss, is a lot easier than the rest of the game’s bosses. It moves slowly, its attacks are highly telegraphed and easy to dodge, and it has no ranged attacks or gap-closing abilities. Its defeat marks the end of the tutorial area and the beginning of the game proper.
  • In Clash at Demonhead, Gazh, the boss of Route 11, is usually the first one that players fight. He's a simple Bullfight Boss who's protected from attacks from behind, and his only attack is to fire a stream of fireballs every time he gets shot in the face.

    Card Game 
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction has Tristan, who has only very weak Monster Cards. In the late game, dueling him becomes worth your time as he gives out good cards with no change in his deck.
  • Fancybot and Stardog in Calculords. Fancybot's cards aren't pitiful, but he can't use them very well - he often forgets to cover one lane and can even skip a turn entirely. Stardog is just a notch above him, employing actual tactics, but her cards are mostly weak.
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    Eastern RPG 
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Garland, the very first boss you fight in Final Fantasy, goes down with little effort for a properly prepared party. His One-Winged Angel form, which you fight at the very end of the game, is orders of magnitude tougher.
    • Final Fantasy III's Land Turtle can be beaten fairly easily by equipping the gear you find in the cave and using Arctic Winds on it. He's slightly trickier in the DS remake, when Luneth fights alone, but is fairly simple; the Antarctic Wind will still chop off most of his health.
    • Final Fantasy IV, V, VI, and VII all have an initial boss that switches between an attack form and a defense form. When in the latter form, the player is instructed to withhold attacks until it changes back — thus, it serves as a tutorial for the Active Time Battle system that Final Fantasy IV introduced.
    • Final Fantasy VIII has Ifrit. He hits harder than previous enemies, has a special attack, and likely can't be beat in a direct hit race without the need to heal thanks to his higher hit points. But the heroes are given his weakness even earlier in the game, and were taught lessons on how to beat him. So much so, he even speaks special dialogue when his weakness is used against him, to let the player know they are doing it right.
    • In Final Fantasy XIII, the Shiva Sisters serve as this for the Eidolon battles. These are Puzzle Bosses with a time limit where you can't win by attacking alone. You need to use Libra to figure out the strategy that 'impresses' them. Shiva is both easy to impress and almost impossible to die to; one of the Sisters will continuously heal you if your health drops.
    • Klikk in Final Fantasy X. One might also argue for Sinspawn Ammes or Geosgaeno, but given that they're a Foregone Victory and Hopeless Boss Fight respectively, they don't quite fit the trope, and therefore Klikk is the first "proper" Boss Battle without training wheels. Tros, who is fought almost immediately after, also has elements of this, teaching the player about Trigger Commands, which are special commands just for that particular fight.
  • The Masked Man in Jade Cocoon (Who ISN'T Lui, by the way). He's the only boss in the entire game who doesn't summon minions to fight for him, and even facing him just as Levant with the starting equipment he is fairly easy to defeat. Fighting him is optional, but you score a very handy water-elemental spear for the trouble (or lack thereof).
  • Fire Emblem:
    • The franchise as a whole tends to use this as a Recurring Element; the first boss will almost always be a fighter, brigand, or pirate who is usually depicted as little more than a local raider or bandit chief with an ugly design and a repellant personality, in the process of attacking a small town. Since Heroes Prefer Swords and the above classes use axes (which are grotesquely heavy and inaccurate in older games and have a weapon triangle disadvantage against swords in newer ones), the boss in question will have a laughably bad hit rate, and may even lack a ranged weapon, making it possible to poke them to death with arrows. Examples include Gazzak, Gerrard, Damas, Batta, Groznyi, O'Neill, Zawana, Pugo, Garrick, and Kostas.
    • Batta in Blazing Blade stands out particularly because, due to the game's tutorial mechanics, it's impossible to lose to him on Normal Mode. The game forces you to make the necessary attacks on him, and the fight is scripted to rig the RNG in your favor, making him practically a Cutscene Boss. It's possible to lose to him on Hard, though, but only if you're very reckless and largely because you only have access to a single unit who's made out of tissue paper.
    • Weismann, the first boss of Fire Emblem: Thracia 776, is somewhat atypical in that he's a sword armor rather than the usual axe-wielding barbarian, making him much sturdier, especially when accounting for the gate he's standing on. In his case, rather than simply moving the Lord over and having them slash him to death, he serves as a tutorial on an important mechanic: namely, how to easily kill armored enemies, who are weak to the hammer and armorslayer weapons and whose high Defense is no protection against magic. Coincidentally, you have one character with a hammer in their inventory, and two characters with magic swords.
  • In Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean, the first boss fight is the laughable Saber Dragon in Moonguile Forest. Even if you haven't gotten the hang of the card-based battle system, the dragon doesn't hit hard at all and has a crippling weakness to light and water. Granted, almost immediately afterwards it's followed up by the Lord of the Spring...
  • Shadow Yosuke from Persona 4 is your introduction to general bossfight 101, involving using attacks and guards in response to the boss's behavior to bring him down.
  • Persona 5
    • Shadow Kamoshida is made into as much of a Hate Sink as possible so the player will want to take him down. While Kamoshida has so much health that a player can't just brute force their way through, the mechanics introduced that get around this are still very straightforward. All of the strategies required to beat him are very clear (and the characters even spell them out during in-game dialogue), Kamoshida can't hit any party member's weakness, and the method to soften him up doesn't take that long. However, it does teach players about how major boss fights aren't going to be straightforward slugfests, about how they might have to deprive themselves of a party member for a while with special actions, and that managing party health is crucial.
    • Shadow Madarame, the second major boss fight. This battle requires a player to manage not only their party line-up, but type weaknesses of both the enemies and their characters. Madarame starts as four portraits, each with its own set of weaknesses and elements that it absorbs as HP, meaning a player can't just use one catch-all technique to beat him. And he'll often use his own unique ability to make a party member weak to everything, which forces a player to manage an enemy getting more turns.
      • In Royal, Madarame's new second phase is more of the same, since his clones use fire, ice, lightning, and wind. Each party member besides Joker can hit one of these weaknesses, but they're also weak to one of those elements as well. This makes the player not only consider each party member's weakness, but also which Personas that Joker has and what weaknesses he can deal with as the only character that both must be in the party and that can change which Persona (and thus his elemental affinity) he's using.
  • The opening of Lufia & The Fortress of Doom ends with fighting the four Sinistrals...except A Taste of Power is fully in effect for Maxim's party, and the Sinistrals are actually weaker than when you fight them at the end of the game with a party that's likely many levels below Maxim's party.
  • Maxim has his own against a Lizardman in Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals, shortly before he receives his quest to fight the Sinistrals.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Bowser in Super Mario RPG, though it's virtually impossible to lose against him. The Hammer Brothers could be seen as this also.
    • Bowser again in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (and the first part of the game that allows player input apart from the bit with Toad) is literally impossible to lose against. Your only option each turn is to attack, and even if you mess up every one of your attacks and get hit by every one of his, he will still hit 0 before you do.
    • In the case of Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time:
      • It's Baby Bowser who serves this role, and you learn the bare basics of battling while fighting solo (Luigi is only at the sidelines at every occasion).
      • Junior Shrooboid is the Warm-Up Boss for Adult Mario.
    • In Dream Team:
      • Antasma takes this role. He goes down in two attacks and he can't hurt you. Justified, as it was a dream of Luigi's.
      • Smouldergeist is this for 'real' world combat and Dreamy Mario is this for dream world combat. Possibly also Robo Drilldigger for giant Luigi battling. They can all turn into either That One Boss or Wake-Up Call Boss on Hard Mode.
      • For Giant Battles, it's the Robo-Drilldigger. Has lower HP and defense compared to the later giant bosses, and its attacks are easy to counter. Chances are, the only way it can actually damage you is an unblockable Always Accurate Attack that will trigger the tutorial for the Rhythm Mushroom ability.
    • The Magikoopa fight of Paper Mario qualifies, as it comes immediately after you get the Action Command function.
    • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door:
      • The game has the first fight with the Goldfish Poop Gang, Lord Crump. This time around, however, you have full use of action commands. There are numerous enemies/minibosses in the early game that use special music to show that they are there to show you how to do stuff, such as Gus, the Bristles, and the Gold Fuzzy.
      • The first giant Blooper in Rogueport Sewers also fits this trope. It is also the first boss to have a chance to beat the player.
    • Paper Mario: The Origami King: The Earth Vellumental is the first boss fight in the game and serves as a primer on the unique boss fight mechanics, such as how to position Mario in front of its weak points (especially its tail) instead of its invulnerable shell, as well as using 1,000-Fold Arms to initiate a rush attack when the boss charges a super-move (and therefore how to recognize cues to do the same in later boss fights), and unlike subsequent bosses there's no weakness to have to exploit to make headway in the fight. Its attacks are also weaker than later bosses as well, punishing players less for making mistakes.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • The Darkside Heartless at the end of Sora's dream in Kingdom Hearts and its Nobody counterpart Twilight Thorn in Roxas' dream in Kingdom Hearts II. Each one is a huge enemy that requires the player to not only make use of jumping and attacking at the right time, but also paying attention to what the boss is doing to avoid getting wailed on in kind.
    • At the end of the Birth by Sleep tutorial level in which you play as Ventus, you'll have the option of fighting either Terra or Aqua in a practice duel.
    • In Dream Drop Distance, Ursula herself fills this role!
  • The fight against the Vault bandits in Golden Sun. Despite being potentially able to defeat the party, they're just glorified mooks, and the fight against them was the first plot-relevant fight that was actually winnable.
  • EarthBound has the fight with Starman Jr., where Buzz Buzz does all the work for you. However, it teaches you that enemies have abilities that you need to counter, about the rolling HP system, and how shields work.
  • Mother 3:
    • The game has something like this in the form of the Mole Cricket, the only enemy you fight in the prologue. Nicely subverted/lampshaded in that he comes back toward the end of the game, demanding a rematch, but his stats are exactly the same.
    • The Reconstructed Caribou you fight early in the first chapter is also a fairly easy boss, unless you've been avoiding fights. As he's incredibly vulnerable to Duster's Wall Staples technique, he mostly exists to teach the player that all those "Useless Useful Spells" like buffs, debuffs, and inflicting status ailments that are typically worthless in RPGs are, in fact, not only useful but necessary in this game.
  • Vidarr in Tales of Symphonia, is your typical JRPG first boss, which easily puts him in this category, particularly since his most powerful attack is telegraphed a mile away. However, on higher difficulties, he potentially can kill... your CPU allies. His attacks are still telegraphed a mile away. If you also have a New Game+ option that reduces your EXP and set the difficulty to Mania, he becomes a serious Damage-Sponge Boss, and if you cast a mid- or high-level spell at just the right time, Kratos won't show up, leaving you with no healer and no room for error. Chances are, he still won't kill a player-controlled character, even with all of those Self Imposed Challenges added on.
  • Chrono Trigger has an optional Warm-up Enemy named Gato that you can face during the Millennial Fair at the beginning of the game, well before you'll face any actual monsters. Gato teaches you about how enemy placement works in a fight, and how enemies will have different attacks you have to contend with. He's also not that hard to defeat, and even if you do lose, there's some free healing just outside of his area.
  • Pokémon: Since the first trainers you encounter beforehand tend to have extremely low-level bug Pokémon that can be beaten without much effort, the first gym leader is typically the first battle in which you're required to utilize strategy and type match-ups. However, if you chose the wrong starter Pokemon or rush in without having leveled up much, it could easily be a Wake-Up Call Boss. A notable example from the first game Pokémon Red and Blue and their remakes: Brock, the first gym leader. Due to type advantages, a Squirtle or Bulbasaur trainer will be able to wipe the floor with him. Even a Charmander trainer can get around the type disadvantage due to both of Brock's Mons having a low Special stat and no actual Rock-type moves. (You just need to beware of damaging Onix while using Bide.) The remakes take it even farther, where Charmander can learn Metal Claw, which is super effective against Rock-types. This is subverted in Yellow, as your starter Pokémon is Pikachu that only has Electric-type attacks, which have no effect on his Pokémon, or Normal-type moves which are not very effective. Catching the Fighting-type Mankey (or a Nidoran and teaching it Double Kick) can solve this problem, though those options require some Level Grinding.
    • In Pokémon Sun and Moon, Nihilego serves as one for the post-game Ultra Beast quest. There's only one to have to catch, whereas all the others except the last one require catching at least two each, and as many as four for one of them in each version. Furthermore, it is five levels lower than the next lowest-leveled Ultra Beast, its Beast Boost boosts a defensive stat rather than an offensive one, and other than Power Gem the moves you encounter it with are unlikely to give you much trouble. It also helps that you're already familiar with it, since you fight (but don't catch) another one halfway through the main story, and it plays a big role in the climax of the main story, too.
  • Napstablook in Undertale has easy to avoid attack patterns when he isn't wasting turns by apologizing, and the method to spare him is easy to figure out.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm has the trio of Blind Diggers that ambush you at the end of the tutorial dungeon. They’re the first enemies with four digits of health, and they have an attack that can stun you, but none of their attacks do much damage and they’re easy to take down if you focus on one at a time.
  • Sinjid:
    • The Gel Skeleton in Battle Arena is the first boss fought in the game, and has the most simplistic attack patterns out of all of them. He can be somewhat troublesome due to his fast attacks, but he's a cakewalk when compared to the other bosses in the game.
    • Mad Lord Yuji has average stats, simple attack patterns, and his Rage ability slows him down and has an obvious tell (he literally Turns Red), making his attacks easy to avoid if you know what you're doing.
  • The first bosses from Muramasa: The Demon Blade qualify:
    • Momohime fights the Blue Monk, a revenge-seeking cyclops yokai. He's a big sluggish target that telegraphs all of his attack (he always prays before taking action) making them really easy to dodge. He can also be stun-locked by a flurry of slashes before he gets to do anything.
    • Kizuke has to deal with Kurozaru, the leader of the Skull Valley Ozaru ninjas. Like the Blue Monk, he's also a big target that telegraphs all of his attack that invariably involve his pair of pinwheel shurikens. The difference is that Kurozaru is slightly faster but not by much.

    Fighting Game 
  • Art of Fighting starts the player off against Ryukahu Todoh, whose strength and speed are on par with Ryo and Robert, but is only able to use a single special attack against them.
  • Petey Piranha in Super Smash Bros. Brawl: The Subspace Emissary. His attacks are slow, easily dodged, obviously telegraphed and he has three gigantic hitboxes. You also fight him as Kirby, which means that you can just get up in his face and deliver a continuous stream of pummeling during the fight. Once you know his painfully predictable pattern, it's very easy to not take a single percentage point of damage during the curbstomping you give him.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Nine-Toes in Borderlands. Even first-time players tend to finish him off pretty quickly, though his pet skags can be troublesome.
  • Knuckle Dragger in Borderlands 2 is simply a big bullymong surrounded by smaller bullymongs that you deal with before you even get your Action Skill.
  • Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi: The first boss, the Desmodaui Vampire, has no enemies around him, is quite slow and weak and doesn't take much to bring down, and his coffin is right next to the area where you fight him.
  • In Duke Nukem Forever, a boss is the first thing you fight in the entire game. Needless to say, it isn't meant to be difficult. What's funny is that it's apparently the final boss of the Game Within a Game Duke is playing.

    Light Gun Game 
  • All of House of the Dead games have a boss with an easily visible weakpoint and revealing movements, so that the player can get the weakpoint system of the bosses down. This also goes for its spiritual clone/parody CarnEvil. Although sometimes you have to listen to their quotes.
  • Garam from Battle Clash and Garam mk 2 from its sequel, Metal Combat: Falcon's Revenge. Even though Guido's mech is more powerful in the second game, a few well-placed charge shots (as few as two if you're playing as Carol) can bring the battle to a very swift end.

    MMORPG 
  • New players in City of Heroes generally end up in the former Scrappy Level The Hollows, and complete the Frostfire mission more than once. Although he has a few pets, he's a generally easy boss compared to the other Archvillain level foes that are found later on, and his level is awesome.
  • The Wood Man Guard and Shadow Fang are your introductory bosses for Vindictus, if you didn't fight the Giant Spider at the end of the tutorial stage.
  • In World of Warcraft:
    • The bosses in Ragefire Chasm, the first dungeon, have no noteworthy special abilities, and are only distinct from the trash by having more health and doing more damage. It allows people to ease into their roles in the dungeon.
    • In the Brawler's Guild, Bruce, the first boss, is a crocolisk with relatively little HP and only one deadly attack, which can be avoided simply by running away from him (people who die to this attack are often considered Too Dumb to Live). There are simpler fights (such as King Kulaka and Unguloxx), but they mainly test the player's ability to put out damage while staying alive.
  • In The Secret World, the first bosses in most dungeons act something like this in normal or elite versions. (Less so in nightmares.)
  • Each of the bosses in the Sastasha dungeon in Final Fantasy XIV act in this role. Each introduces a basic combat concept - such as close and ranged area of effect markers, trash adds, mid-fight object interaction - in a straightforward manner. This allows players to understand common mechanics of boss fights that will be employed in later content.

    Platform Game 
  • Banjo-Kazooie: In Banjo-Tooie, the first of three not-so-difficult fights with Klungo happens before even entering the Hub Level.
  • Spyro the Dragon: Most of the games include one of these.
    • The first game has Toasty — you have to work hard to get hit in this "battle".
    • Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! has Crush — his fireball attack can be a bit difficult at times, especially when he does three in a row, but one can still easily beat him in less than three minutes.
    • Spyro: Year of the Dragon has Buzz — for the first half of the battle, he can't even really hurt you unless he knocks you into the lava with his harmless ramming attack, or you mysteriously forget how to run when he rolls after you. You'll be done with him in two minutes — he's so weak that he even comes back later as a mook used by another boss.
    • The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night: The first boss, the Assassin, is an easy battle that you'll be done with in three minutes tops, and eventually battles with ordinary Dreadwing enemies will emulate this boss.
  • Crash Bandicoot (1996): Papu-Papu is the first villain to be fought. He spins around with his staff in his hut, and after he slams it down, you jump on him three times (five in the Japanese and N-Sane Trilogy version) to beat him.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • The most famous one is the Green Hill Zone boss in the Genesis version of Sonic the Hedgehog, Eggman wielding a wrecking ball (Egg Mobile-H, often nicknamed the Checker Wrecker). It's very predictable and easy to avoid, and often pops up in later games to fill the same role.
    • In the Game Gear version of Sonic the Hedgehog, the Green Hill Zone boss is even easier, as Eggman just floats around at different heights. The only attack he does is floating across the bottom of the screen, and even then it's more like an invitation to attack.
    • The boss of Palmtree Panic in Sonic the Hedgehog CD,the EGG-HVC-001 (a reference to the Famicom's serial number, HVC-001), is a contender for easiest boss ever that requires some challenge. As in, you can't just attack it whenever. You have to wait for Robotnik to lower his bumper guards. And then after you hit him, you can hit him again any time. And if you run to the right hand side of the screen, you'll be behind him when he lands and can avoid the bumper guards altogether. He can then be defeated in about two seconds. Even worse, getting a Good Future for Palmtree Panic makes the HVC-001 a One-Hit Point Wonder.
    • The Egg Mobile-D from Emerald Hill Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. It's no wonder why Cybershell dubbed it the "Pathetic-Mobile". A more commonly heard nickname for it is Stupid Little Drill Tank.
      • Both the wrecking ball and the drill tank make a comeback in Sonic Advance as sort of a Shout-Out, and they're even further weakened by halving their health from eight hits to four.
    • Sonic Adventure starts with an incredibly easy fight against Chaos 0, who you fight before you even enter the first level.
  • The first boss of Psychonauts is a relatively tame encounter with a giant, mutated Censor. It's mostly a matter of killing it until it dies. The REST of the bosses, on the other hand...
  • Rollanratl in Wario Land: Shake It!! is a Warm-Up Boss for anyone playing the game, with relatively easy to dodge attacks, and his main attack doing no actual damage. As is Spoiled Rotten in Wario Land 4, except when you have to kill it in 15 seconds on Super Hard mode.
  • When it comes to minibosses, the Kirby series has Mr. Frosty. His battle tactic consists entirely of running forwards and tripping. After getting up, he fires an incredibly-slow block of ice. Then, he restarts the pattern. Later Kirby games give Mr. Frosty more attacks, but is generally still an easy miniboss to defeat in those games.
    • Whispy Woods is the first boss in almost every Kirby game (except Kirby & the Amazing Mirror, where he's replaced by King Golem, who's basically a reskin with the ability to summon Golems). He's completely stationary, most of his attacks can be avoided simply by standing right next to him, and his only really dangerous attack is to drop apples. In the Extra Mode of Kirby's Dream Land, though, he can drop Gordos.
      • Notably, many later games add twists and variations to his fight to catch veterans off-guard, such as Twin Woods in Kirby Super Star, his ability to inhale and chew players in Kirby's Return to Dream Land (nailing people who think standing next to him and whaling away will still work), and the considerably more mobile Flowery Woods and Clanky Woods, but in all cases are still easier than bosses later in the game, so they still fit this trope.
    • While most of the enemies are pretty harmless in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, the warm-up boss takes the cake. You walk into a cabin, the door shuts, and a giant N-Z just stands still doing nothing while you attack it.
    • For added fun, to make this fight absolutely impossible to lose, obtain and hang onto the flame sword. Draw the sword and turn around so that the blade is touching the N-Z. Death in about five seconds.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy has Mike Tyson. He's not really easy so much as easier, but compared to any other boss he's cake.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario 64 has the Big Bob-omb, whose only method of attacking is to pick you up and throw you, which only damages you if you fall off of the top of the mountain. Just get behind him and throw him onto the ground 3 times and he's done.
    • Bowser himself fulfills this role in New Super Mario Bros., where you just have to get behind him and press the switch and the fight is instantly over, just like in the original Super Mario Bros..
    • The first time you fight Petey Piranha in Super Mario Sunshine. Petey is slow and weak, and his weak point (open mouth) is easy to attack. There's also the Polluted Piranha, which can be defeated in under one minute.
    • Dino Piranha from Super Mario Galaxy and Peewee Piranha in Super Mario Galaxy 2. Both Dino and Peewee have their tails as the primary weakness, so you simply have to attack them from behind.
  • In The Addams Family, the earliest boss you can fight is a giant bird on top of a tree, and it's the easiest boss. You just jump on it when it swoops down and avoid the eggs it drops. Like every boss (except the final boss) defeating it earns you a Heart Container.
  • Something series:
    • The four Red Birdos in Something. Since they are Mooks, they go down very easily.
    • Bigeye in Something Else. He's a giant eyeball with no projectile attacks.
  • Mega Man
    • Mega Man X: Each game has an "intro level" with a fight against this kind of bosses. They're big, slow and easy targets with simplistic attacks. The exception is the very first game's intro boss, Vile, who's a Hopeless Boss Fight instead. The sixth game gives a combo of both: After you fight a giant, berserking construction robot, you meet one of the main villains, High Max, who you literally can't harm - he'll just fight you for a few seconds and then go away.
    • Mega Man Zero follows the trend, though Played With when it gets to Mega Man Zero 3: In that game, the first boss (Omega) follows the trend, but he's also the Final Boss, with the first stage of the latter fight just being a beefed-up version of the beginning battle with a Palette Swap, more health, upgraded faster moves and one entirely new technique. Weil admits Omega's just been holding back his true power, and gives him the all-clear to kick it into high gear. Twice.
    • Mega Man ZX and Advent: To drive it home, the first and second bosses in the former get a variation each that become Mini Bosses in the latter, and the latter's first boss is the only one Grey/Ashe have to defeat in just their regular un-Megamerged forms.
  • The first two bosses in Cuphead:
    • The Root Pack are a trio of sentient vegetables who don't move and have rather predictable, easy-to-avoid attack patterns.
    • Goopy le Grande, a Blob Monster, is more mobile than the Root Trio, but most of his time is spent bouncing around, and he's the only boss in the game who doesn't use projectiles or minions to aid him.
  • Operation: V.I.D.E.O.G.A.M.E. has the Toiletnator serve as the boss of the tutorial level, befitting his Butt-Monkey status in the show the game is based on.
  • Army Dillo, the boss of the first world, Jungle Japes, in Donkey Kong 64, is a very simple Tactical Suicide Boss.
  • The dark eco plant in the Forbidden Jungle in Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy.
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation: Fred Fucks (or The Nostalgia Critic in the original) is a rather simple miniboss with one attack who goes down quickly, fought in the tutorial level.
  • Iji: Elite Krotera is a Tasen Elite with more HP, an easily-dodged super move, and a crippling weakness to the heads of the turrets he keeps summoning. He's also a Skippable Boss if playing a pacifist run. He's a far cry from later bosses, including the one two sectors over.

    Puzzle Game 
  • The Fists of Grudge in Catherine, the first boss is relatively easy, not very fast, easy blocks to move, and the only special move she has is the ability to change blocks into very heavy blocks you can still move, just very slowly. Which can be undone with a powerup in the stage, no less. After this though, this being an Atlus Game, the bosses get much harder.
  • Skeleton T in Puyo Puyo is typically this. He's slow and doesn't even rotate his Puyos.
  • Shadow of the Colossus has two (which is probably fair, since there are no non-boss enemies in the game). Valus and Quadratus are both very straightforward fights where you mount the colossus, find the weak points and stab them. All other colossi require at least some use of the terrain.

    Rail Shooter 

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • The first boss of DonPachi can be beaten just by firing one charged shot and watching the 'multi assault tank' blow up!
  • The boss of chapter 1 of Ikaruga. Still easy to die, but compared to the rest of the game, it's a cakewalk, especially if you fight conservatively.
  • The Dobkeratops at the end of the first stage of R-Type is a pushover. Despite its size and frightening appearance, its attacks are easy to dodge, and it can be taken down in mere seconds.
  • Star Fox:
    • The original had the Attack Carrier, the boss of Corneria in the first two routes. The Destructor on Path 3, while much more difficult, it still nothing compared to the bosses from Monarch Dodora onwards.
    • Regardless of which route you take through Corneria in Star Fox 64, the level will end with a really easy boss. The one at the end of the Mission Accomplished Route is the Attack Carrier, same one as the first boss of the original game. The Mission Complete route ends with the even more pathetic Granga; you can destroy the mech's legs and render it immobile.
    • Star Fox Zero has the massive Androsa, which, despite looking cool, has four obvious weak points and gets weaker as you damage it. There is a secret component, but it's just a copy of the equally easy stage two boss. Subverted with the Attack Carrier, which is now the boss of the third to last level of the game.
  • Battle Garegga's first boss, MD-113 "Nose Lavagghin", is a bomber that can be easily defeated by continuously shooting at its center, especially with a ship that uses piercing shots. However, doing this instead of destroying the boss's many components means you miss out on hundreds of thousands of points that could contribute to an early 1-Up.
  • DoDonPachi II: Bee Storm's very first boss (who you face before you even start the first stage) is, of all things, the True Final Boss of DoDonPachi. Fortunately, you only face his first form, and he goes down quickly without much resistance.
  • Every Stage 1 boss in the Touhou series. They're the first spellcard users you encounter in the games, but their patterns are (usually) trivial to dodge. This sometimes extends to the Stage 2 boss, at least when they're not the Wake-Up Call Boss.
  • Most of the stage 1 bosses in the Gradius franchise counts. The first boss in the SNES port of Gradius III, the Goliath, is possibly the easiest first stage boss in the franchise. Jarring, as it was a Wake-Up Call Boss in the Arcade version.
  • Pixelvader: The first boss, thanks to not having much HP and a very simple bullet pattern.
  • Arc Angle's first boss is the Sleeping Spire, who has absolutely no attacks but instead sics the level's enemies and Mini-Boss on you, which have easily telegraphed and reflectable patterns. Instead of sending their attacks back to them as per normal, you instead reflect them to the boss to damage it.

    Sports Game 
  • Glass Joe in Punch-Out!!, and his successor, Gabby Jay in Super Punch-Out on SNES. They're both rather frail boxers who take a while to mount any offense; their special punch merely consists of them taunting you, and leaving themselves wide open to an easy knockdown.

    Stealth-Based Game 
  • Metal Gear Solid games all have a habit of throwing some Elite Mooks at you for Cannon Fodder, then throwing a gunfight against a boss at you to where just blindly mashing the fire button will get you steamrolled and you instead need the games quirkier gun tactics to win:
    • Revolver Ocelot in the first game fights you in an arena where a hostage strapped to some C4 is in the middle of the room and likes to keep his distance. You'll have to rely on cover until he runs out of bullets and then use the run and shoot mechanic to land hits, because you risk hitting the hostage if you take potshots from a distance, and using grenades will set off the C4.
    • Olga Gurlukovich pops up during the Tanker Chapter of Sons Of Liberty, basically being an inverse of the Ocelot battle in the first game. Now you'll need to use carefully aimed shots to hit her while she peeks out from cover, then get out of there before she decides to blind you with spotlights or toss grenades at you.
    • Ocelot again fills this role in the third game, mostly to teach you two important things about this game's bosses. You can always cheat or find creative ways to battle bosses, in this case by shooting down beehives or standing out in the open to have an outright Showdown at High Noon (complete with a tumbleweed), and to expect the bosses to cheat as well: Ocelot's guards will fire at you even in spite of Ocelot's insistence of a fair fight.

    Survival Horror 
  • Silent Hill
    • Silent Hill: The Split Head is just a tutorial battle that teaches the player that unlike other Survival Horror games like Resident Evil, you can actually move and shot at the same time.
    • Silent Hill 2: You don't even have to attack Pyramid Head, just dodge and run until he gets bored and makes a quick exit.
    • Silent Hill 3: The Split Worm is a Call-Back to the Split Head from the first game and it isn't any more dangerous, despite being a train-sized annelid monster. A few rounds from your handgun will lend it.
    • Silent Hill: 0rigins: Momma maybe a bit faster than most bosses on this series but she can easily be beaten by just retreating into a corner and shooting her until she drops.

    Tower Defense 
  • Infinitode 2 has Broot, the boss faced in 1.8. As the game mentions, it is slow, heavy and simple. It shouldn't be difficult to win if you've placed several well-upgraded towers.
  • In Arknights, the first Reunion leader fought is Crownslayer. Unlike other Reunion leaders, or even most other enemies, Crownslayer doesn't attack your operators. Instead, she has a special ability which lets her pass through an operator that's blocking her. It has a long cooldown, so it can easily be dealt with while still punishing those who get careless, and the stage where she's first fought provides a way to stun her for a short time, but it does introduce the fact that Reunion leaders will have powerful abilities can ruin your day if you don't prepare.

    Visual Novel 
  • In the Ace Attorney series, the first culprit is usually pretty easy to take down, and any new mechanics introduced by a game in the series usually make it pretty clear where a contradiction is. Also, most of the games will outright show you who the first criminal is so you aren't guessing wrong while getting the hang of it.
    • Winston Payne fills this role as the first prosecutor you face in the first four games of the series, making his reputation as a "rookie killer" an Informed Ability. The fifth and sixth games replace him with his brother Gaspen, who's meaner but just as pathetic, and the first case of The Great Ace Attorney is prosecuted by the Paynes' slightly more competent ancestor Taketsuchi Auchi.
    • Frank Sahwit as a witness and culprit (no, that's not a spoiler) in the first game. You don't even have to press him.
    • Averted in the first case of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, where the culprit isn't the first witness as you've come to expect, but rather the main character's boss and co-counsel Kristoph Gavin, who turns out to be the Big Bad of the game as a whole.
  • In Spirit Hunter: NG, Yuri is the first spirit to be fought in the game. The 'fight' against her is short and relatively simple and exists to demonstrate the (slightly revamped) Puzzle Boss mechanics. She also doesn't have much of a backstory and doesn't require a lengthy investigation for Akira to understand her history and motives.

    Western RPG 

    Non-Video Game Examples 
  • Arkham Horror and its spin-off, Eldritch Horror has the Blind Idiot God, Azathoth. Most Great Old Ones have weird gameplay effects that will change monsters or gameplay significantly, and in comparison, Azathoth's are quite minor. As such, he is a great first boss for beginners to play, so they can understand how to strategize with other players and get familiar with the game mechanics. Arkham also has Bokrug, which tends to be easier than most other Ancient Ones.
  • Dead of Winter has the mission "We need more samples." It simply requires the player to kill zombies and roll dice for success after doing so. Since there's no penalty for failure, it tends to be a very short game and help introduce players to playing.
  • For the participants of the bike grand prix in Doctor Slump, Daigoro Kurigashira, who guards the first checkpoint, counts as this. While each participant is required to perform the task that is written on a piece of paper placed on his desk at the checkpoint, the punishment for failing it amounts to a one-minute delay, after which the participant gets to continue racing, if with a slight disadvantage due to said one-minute delay. No such leniency is granted for the participants at any other checkpoint.

 
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Alternative Title(s): Starter Boss

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Iudex Gundyr

The first boss of the game, his attacks are quite telegraphed and slow, and his One-Winged Angel serves as the player's introduction to bosses in this game having different movesets once their health is down to a certain value.

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