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Waterfront Boss Battle

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Many battles against aquatic video game bosses place the player on a platform or more above a body of water, or riding in a boat or similar vehicle, while the boss moves around beneath the water itself. Usually, the boss is either in the water and attacks from there, jumps out of the water at the player from under the floor or, in rare occasions, is the water.

In some games, the player character can swim, but those games take measures to ensure they're not in the water for long. This often occurs by having Grimy Water that damages them if they enter it, threatening to push them offscreen as the platform and/or enemy moves away without them, depleting an energy or Oxygen Meter whenever they touch the water, or what-have-you.

Subtrope of Boss Battle. Compare Underwater Boss Battle, for boss battles that take place underwater instead of by it. If both the player and the boss are on ships or similar vehicles, this may overlap with Epic Ship-on-Ship Action.


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  • ANNO: Mutationem: The Varanus at The Consortium's underground facility is fought in its containment cell, a large stone center surrounded by sewage water. During the battle, it moves around the fighting area by traversing through the enclosing water before doing a Shockwave Stomp after emerging to shake the platform.
  • All the bosses from Aqua Jack, since you're in a high-speed, weaponized motorboat kicking ass as you travel at high-speed along a river. From a series of turrets built to the underside of a bridge, to a bomber craft above the water, and military war-machines above the water.
  • Bayonetta: The boss battle against Sapientia has Bayonetta surfing on a piece of scrap metal in the middle of the ocean while Sapientia tries to attack from underneath her. During the last section of the fight, the battle is fought in a giant whirlpool.
  • Castle Crashers has the river rapids level where you surf on top of logs, rafts or even corpses against a giant Catfish.
  • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow has an unusual case in the form of Rahab, a large fish. The area where you fight him is a pool, and there are no platforms for your hero to stand upon (he instead floats on the surface of the water), but the boss will frequently leap out of the water to attack in one of three ways. Defeating it nets you the ability to move around underwater.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Giant Fist: The boss of the Milles City industrial area stage is a giant squid rampaging at the harbour. It attacks the land-based hero with whatever Combat Tentacles are not suspending other Mooks in the air.
  • La-Mulana: Bahamut is of the boat-based variety, with the caveat that you can fall out of the boat, which causes a lot of damage.
  • Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver: During the Rahab fight, Raziel jumps between eight pillars while Rahab swims around, shoots water at him or tries to bite him.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Morpha is fought in a room holding a large pool of water, with a raised edge and four platforms in the pool itself. Link spends the battle standing on these raised areas, while Morpha lurks in the water and uses its hydrokinesis to turn it into tentacles with which to attack Link. Morpha is invulnerable while underwater, so Link must use the Longshot to pull it on dry land and attack it while it crawls back into the pool.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons: The Omuai are a trio of minibosses fought in a room containing a network of flooded pits. They dive in and out of these to shoot projectiles at Link, and only become vulnerable when they pop out to take a shot.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: All six Big Octo minibosses found in the Great Sea are fought this way. In each case, Link (who is riding the King of Red Lions) gets slowly dragged into the Big Octo due to an aquatic swirl, and the objective is to destroy its eyes before Big Octo ends up sinking him.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: The Twilight Bloat is fought in Lake Hylia, where it alternates between flying and rapidly swimming in the water while trying to ram into the floating raft on which Wolf Link is standing, and can only be attacked in the moment where it rises above the raft.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass: Gleeok is fought in a flooded chamber in the Temple of Ice, where the dragon remains half-submerged and only leaves its necks and heads above water. Link fights it while standing on an emerged platform, resulting in a very back-and-forth fight as Link can't leave his perch and Gleeok is a Stationary Boss that doesn't leave its spot, and the battle mostly consists of reflecting Gleeok's Breath Weapons back at it, and later of using a grappling hook to pull the heads across to where Link can reach them, while trying to ride it out its periodic flooding of the platform.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks: Phytops is an octopus-like monster found lurking inside a large flooded pit. As Link can only stand on the edge of this pit and thus can't reach the creature, while Phytops has free reign to strike with its tentacles and spit globs of poison across the gap, he must wait for Phytops to attack, grab a thorn from its tentacles, and throw it at its eye. Doing this often enough will stun the beast and cause it slump on the edge of the pit, allowing Link to attack it directly before Phytops recovers and retreats.
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid Fusion:
      • Serris lives in a flooded room and attacks by frequently jumping out of the water and moving through the air before submerging again, while Samus stands on one of several platforms above the water or hangs onto an overhead ladder on the ceiling and tries and avoid from there.
      • In the second B.O.X fight, you're on an overhead ladder across the ceiling while it stays in the water, electrifying it, while occasionally jumping at you and shooting missiles.
      • Nettori just kind of stands there above the water, but the water has deadly plants growing in there which eat you alive and make it difficult to get out of the water if you fall into it.
    • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes: The Chykka swims around in toxic water while you stand on a platform. You can attack it while it's swimming, though it's very hard to hit. It does occasionally jump out of the water, and occasionally jumps onto the platform to try to eat you.
  • Overlord has a large sea serpent that sticks its head out of the water and attacks you while you're on land.
  • Shadow of the Colossus has two water-based colossi battles, one against an electric eel and the other against a colossus who walks around a lake. The first one is unique in that the boss itself is the only platform in the arena, and it tends to drag you underwater, too.

  • Final Fantasy XIV: Leviathan is fought in a small ocean platform. Leviathan will slam onto the platform tip it, causing the players to slide. On the Extreme version, the safety railing get removed after the first phase, which means you can slide off the platform and die if you don't position yourself first.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Maws is summoned out in the sea. The raid composition determines whether he's fought at the water's surface or underneath
    • The Lurker Below in Serpentshrine Cavern, must be fished out of a pool of water (it's a gigantic sea monster sort of thing) to initiate the battle. The raid's preparation determines whether the water around it is filled with flesheating bastardly fish (bad) or boiling (not as bad), so it's generally advised to stay on the solid ring around the boss' pool.

    Platform Game 
  • Bug! has the boss of Splot!, a swamp worm. Bug rides a platform floating on the water while the boss lunges out of the water or takes potshots at him. Once the boss takes enough damage, the platform sinks, and Bug has to Goomba Springboard on the boss' body onto an even smaller platform. Notably, it's the toughest boss in the game since getting hit will cause knockback, resulting in Bug falling into the water and drowning instantly, Mercy Invincibility be damned.
  • Clockwork Knight 2 features one of these in the third area, the Bathroom. The arena consists of a water-filled tub with a few turtle shell platforms for the player to stand on (water is naturally dangerous to a metal wind-up knight) while the boss, Captain Octopus, hurls soap bars and occasionally tries to block the player's path with his tentacles.
  • Contra: Shattered Soldier: The Jinmen-Gyo (Man-Faced Fish) from the fourth stage attacks by jumping out of the water, trying to eat the player from one of three floating platforms, as well as sucking the platforms into his mouth in a bid to swallow the player alive.
  • Donkey Kong:
    • Diddy Kong Racing features a boss race against an octopus. It lasts three laps, and winning against it is necessary to unlock the fourth world.
    • Donkey Kong 64: In Gloomy Galleon's boss battle, Lanky Kong goes against a giant pufferfish named Puftoss inside a closed-off cove area - thus, Lanky and the boss stay in the water for the duration of the fight. To damage Puftoss, Lanky has to motor around in a boat and pass through multiple rings to raise electrical pylons that surround and zap the fish, while it shoots fireballs and sends shockwaves at Lanky.
  • Freedom Planet: The boss battle at the end of Aqua Tunnel has Milla on a raft drifting down the toxic waters of a water treatment plant as a giant anglerfish pursues and attacks her.
  • Ghosts 'n Goblins: The second boss of Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts, the Kraken, is fought from a tiny raft.
  • Golden Force have a shark mecha attacking you near a pier, where it will submerge in and out the water to take potshots at you. Once it's damaged enough, the boss sinks underwater and you jump in to finish it off.
  • Kirby Super Star: Fatty Whale attacks either by bouncing atop the floating platform Kirby's standing on or by swimming around said platform while attack.
  • Mega Man:
    • Mega Man: The Wily Wars: Mega Water S starts his fight by jumping out of the water as soon as the battle begins but never jumping back in.
    • Mega Man X4: Jet Stingray attacks from above the surface while X/Zero are underwater.
    • Mega Man Zero 3: The battlefield for Childre Innarrabitta is normally underwater, and there's only a few feet of air above. However, completing the mission's objectives would decrease the water level until it barely reaches Zero's height.
    • Mega Man Legends: MegaMan fights against Tron's Frog Bot at Lake Jynn while he's riding in a boat he got from Wily's (no relation to the Mad Scientist of the original series).
  • Rocket Knight Adventures: In the second part of Stage 1, Sparkster flies through the air with his Jet Pack as a robotic Segmented Serpent lurks in the water below, occasionally jumping out of the water to try to attack Sparkster.
  • Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves: Crusher the Sea Monster attacks the Cooper Gang's ship out at sea. Panda King first takes it on as it attempts to flip the ship over and sink it, then Sly fires several cannons at its eye to incapacitate it.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has two bosses like this, neither of which actually involve water:
    • Sonic 3 & Knuckles: Both of the Hydrocity Zone levels end with a battle where Sonic is in the water, but the boss is above it. For Act 1, the water is deep enough to drown in, and the Big Shaker boss stirs up the water to knock you off your feet. For Act 2, the water is waist-deep, and Eggman uses it to try and pull you into his Screw Mobile's whirling propeller.
    • Sonic Adventure: Chaos 4. Because it sometimes takes a while for him to pop out of the swamp, he can on occasion be one of the longest boss fights in the game.
    • Sonic Colors: Planet Wisp's Rotatotron in the DS version is above water while you are too, but its major weak spots are underwater, only reachable by use of the drill wisp.
    • Sonic Mania: The mini-boss of Hydrocity Zone Act 1 involves Sonic piloting the original Act 2 boss machine, attempting to suck up Eggman into the propeller blades as Eggman did to him in Sonic 3.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • New Super Mario Bros.: The fight with Cheepskipper happens on a bridge suspended over water.
    • Luigi's Mansion 3: Clem's fight takes place in a pool of water and involves him and Luigi floating around in inner tubes, with Luigi having to avoid the Spikes of Doom around the edges of the pool and the naval mines Clem tosses.
    • Wario World: The Dual Dragon is fought on a platform on a river stream as both of its heads attack with fire or attempts to swallow Wario.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • Final Fantasy VI: Ultros is first fought by the party on a mountain stream while they are atop of a wooden log boat.

    Shoot 'em Up 

    Stealth-Based Game 

    Survival Horror 

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Gears of War 2 has the Leviathan, a Kraken/piranha mix that tries to drag your boat down and then eat it whole.

Alternative Title(s): Waterside Boss Battle, Beachside Boss Battle