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Zero-Effort Boss

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Earthworm Jim vs. Bob the Killer Goldfish. What an impossible challenge!

"There were sequences really near the beginning that kicked my ass until I was wearing my buttocks like a hat while the closest thing to a final boss fight is basically you versus a wheelchair bound cross-eyed hobbit and you're armed with the BFG 9000."
Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, on Halo 3

A Zero-Effort Boss is a boss that's about as threatening as the crates you destroy for ammo. Against these foes, you'd actively have to try to lose such a boss battle. At its most extreme, you are incapable of losing even if you tried to.

The most common version is The Man Behind the Curtain/Non-Action Big Bad variety. You have slaughtered the Big Bad's Mooks, infiltrated the Evil Tower of Ominousness, battled through the Elite Guard, and barely survived the fight against The Dragon. All that's left is the weak, unarmed, defenseless mastermind behind it all. A subversion of Authority Equals Asskicking, usually the Dragon-in-Chief was intended to be the real Final Boss, and this one-shot kill is meant to provide closure to the story. Or maybe it's just Played for Laughs that the Dark Lord Bludentiers is a fat slob who can barely lift a sword. Sometimes, there is an actual battle, but it's effectively won on the penultimate hit, requiring the player to finish off a vastly weakened enemy.


A less common variety is that for some reason, perhaps 11th-Hour Superpower, you are invincible for the final battle. This invincibility may not be obvious at first, since you still suffer damage and get attacked, and only reveal itself when you lose all health. Either way, it is impossible to lose.

Compare Breather Boss and Anti-Climax Boss. Not to be confused with a Cutscene Boss, which is not only zero-effort, but zero-interactivity. It doesn't count if you spent 10 hours Level Grinding to kill the boss in one hit, that's not zero-effort. Compare Clipped-Wing Angel.

In some cases, the player Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing, with not even a single button press required to defeat the boss.

Contrast Hopeless Boss Fight, which relates to boss battles you cannot win for the sake of the plot.



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    Action Adventure 
  • In the ZX Spectrum game Avalon, the Big Bad Avelach is a Brain in a Jar who is easily despatched with a single blow of your sword.
  • Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams: the climax of chapter 7 has Soki finally stop holding back and going full Black Onimusha to confront Hideyoshi and his cronies. The first two phases of the battle (a fight against a bunch of Yellow Genma Generals and a fight against Hideyoshi) has Soki completely invincible, enemy attacks can knock him around a bit and stun him, but cannot hurt him the slightest. Subverted once you deplete Hideyoshi's first health bar, at which point he gets serious too and can actually wound Soki.
  • The Mist Noble in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. The battle itself is more of a formality than anything, the player having made it through a particularly challenging area. But still, it's quite hard to actually lose to it; even though it can theoretically attack, its speed and damage are so pathetic it takes far, far more time to lose to it than just killing it–and since it's very easily staggered, it is impossible for it to retaliate once the player starts attacking.

    Action Game 
  • In Cannon Fodder 2, after blasting your way through dozens of nigh-on-impossible battles, your last mission is to assassinate a general. Your squad appears on a tiny map, positioned practically right next to him. He's unarmed. You're not. Bang. According to Stoo Campbell's Web site, this was meant to represent a firing squad.
  • When you encounter Mysterio in a store in Spider-Man 2, the intense battle music begins, his life bar, which is much, much bigger than any of the games other boss', appears on-screen, and it appears that you're in for one hell of a fight... until you realize that his only "attack" is yelling increasingly desperate (and ultimately, ineffectual) threats at you, and that his whole life bar is completely drained with a single punch. It's obviously a joke, and fits with the character's status as a Master of Illusion. It also embodies his Villain Decay, since when he first popped up, he was attacking the city with robot drones and attempting to steal the Statue of Liberty, but when you run into him for the final battle, he's holding up a convenience store.
  • Contra - Operation C ends its final stage with a combat cyborg, followed by a hallway with a trio of timed deathtraps, leading up to... an alien cell in a giant jar. You can still die, as there's a bottomless pit in front of you, but the cell itself has no form of defense.
  • In Gungrave, after beating the last boss, you are left only with the game's Big Bad... who just stands there and lets you shoot him. It'd be a cutscene boss, except the game does force you to press x to kill him, and if you refuse to press anything, then you just stand there with your gun trained on him forever.
  • The final bosses in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 would normally be pretty challenging, if not for the bit where you're, y'know, impossible to kill...
  • Metroid:
    • Super Metroid: The last phase of the Mother Brain fight, in which Samus obliterates her with the newly-acquired Hyper Beam.
    • Metroid: Other M has MB, the cybernetic reincarnation of Mother Brain, who is incredibly easy to beat despite being built up to be quite threatening. Most players will kill her by accident while trying to desperately fend off at-this-point-invincible Desbrachians. Downplayed in that it isn't made clear exactly what you're meant to be doing in the fight anyway, so you could find yourself spending several minutes blasting away before you accidentally beat it or suddenly realize that the Desbrachians are just there to distract you from aiming at MB herself, who is standing far in the background.
  • Zeke in the Evil ending of inFAMOUS 2. It's justified as he understands that he is just a regular human, and is even considerably weakened by a terminal disease to boot, and stands no chance against the super-powered Cole, but believes that he still has to try to prevent Cole from destroying the RFI and killing all non-Conduits. It's more a Last Stand than anything.
  • James Bond 007 for the Game Boy has this. One mid-game boss is a big, burly man that the game has hyped up as being a major threat. However, he's actually a wimp; he gives up after one hit from any weapon and starts crying.
  • At the end of the first chapter of Alice: Madness Returns, you face the Dormouse and March Hare, who are driving a giant robot. Dramatic music begins to play, the robot begins to prepare its attack... then a giant teapot falls from the ceiling and kills them both. Word of God states that while a boss fight was originally planned to be implemented, the developers lacked the time to properly implement it, and as such the two were disposed of in a cutscene.
  • In Adventure Time: Hey, Ice King! Why'd You Steal All Our Garbage?!, there's Bliblob, the Cutest Warrior (one of the Cute King's lackeys from the episode "Conquest of Cuteness"). He is destroyed in one hit.
  • Batman: Arkham Origins has The Electrocutioner, who talks up a big game and is armed with shock gauntlets, but is immediately floored by a single kick from Batman.
  • The various encounters with Captain Hayashi in Jet Set Radio Future are like this. He sports a very large health bar and is usually accompanied by several members of the Rokakku Police, but he's a terrible shot, and the shots he does land don't do a lot of damage. On top of that, he's defeated like every other mook in the game; by knocking him over and tagging him. There's even a point where you can knock him over off a building and instantly win!
  • Played for Laughs in Ben 10: Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks. After stalemating with Ben the whole fight, Albedo transforms into Alien X. But since Alien X requires an agreement between 3 personalities to do anything, Ben just knocks him over and carries on.
  • The Legend of Zelda
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, the Skull Kid is this when the player encounters him near the end of the game on the final day. He can summon the Moon to drop, but doesn't attack Link any other way. All the player has to do is play the Oath to Order so the Giants can stop the moon. The Skull Kid will promptly have a mental breakdown and faint. The only possible way to lose is to wait for the Moon to drop in the five minutes allotted.
    • Armogohma's a pretty easy boss to begin with in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, with her only offense being a laser that does not-too-great damage and spawning a bunch of weak spiders. Then when you finally kill her, you have to face her terrifying second form... her eye falling out and turning into a little spider that dies in one hit from a sword. It's mostly worth it for the look on Link's face.
    • Dark Beast Ganon in Breath of the Wild is practically an interactive variant of a Cutscene Boss, except that you can die if you don't dodge his breath attacks. This isn't particularly hard (especially on horseback, which you're put on by default at the start of the fight). Zelda tells you exactly what to do and the boss fight mostly belongs to her — the player and Link already put in the hard work of defeating Ganon's other five forms.
  • Both Mom and Mom's Heart in The Binding of Isaac become this if you enter the fight with a fully-charged Bible, as both are a One-Hit Kill against her (don't even think about using it against any of the True Final Bosses beyond that, though).
  • In Axiom Verge, the aborted clone of Athetos just sits there waiting for you to kill it. It's also a Skippable Boss.
  • Shantae:
    • After an intense air battle with the Dragon Rider boss of the first Shantae game, the Dragon finally perishes, leaving only the Rider... and he doesn't have any weapons. One quick attack later, and the Twinkle Stone is yours.
    • Shantae: Risky's Revenge does something similar with the Hypno Baron, only this time, it's his skull that's trying to bounce away in hapless terror after you destroy his body. Taking the hopping skull out not only gives you the last Magic Seal, he also drops 5 gems.
  • MeatBoy had most of its boss fights do this.
  • In Bloody Wolf, there is a boss who only fights with a knife. The first time you fight him, you are also restricted to using your knife for non-specified reasons, making him a possible threat. The second time, you can use your gun, which kills him with one hit.
  • killer7:
    • The battle against the Handsome Men is predetermined; the Smiths will always win 4 - 3, though there is considerable symbolism and foreshadowing in the fight. For example: Harman is a Decoy Protagonist to Garcian, much like how Handsome Red, Harman's opponent, is one to Handsome Pink, Garcian's opponent.
    • The Final Boss, Greg Nightmare, is the type that's very, very hard to lose to (provided you can figure out that Garcian can pick up the Golden Gun). The Post Final Bosses, Emir Parkreiner and the Last Shot Smile, cannot be lost to.
  • A staple of the Assassin's Creed games, as the bosses are just regular humans and thusly vulnerable to getting a blade shoved into their neck, no more or less than every other person. There are still some targets that you could call a boss fight, but those are mostly people that know how to block your attacks. Justified in that it is about assassinations, and in most encounters, you are supposed to get them when they don't expect it. The straightest example would be in Assassin's Creed III, where in the present, Daniel Cross suffers a sequence of the bleeding effect, meaning that he runs around in a big room like a lunatic and you can just wait on the spot you are standing until he comes around. Vidic is even more extreme, as he is killed in what is essentially a cutscene where you have to press X once.
    • The first target in Brotherhood, the executioner, is such an easy target that it's actually a lot harder to kill him without satisfying the optional objective.
  • In Spec Ops: The Line, the final boss battle is dealt with no more than a single click — you just have to decide where your gun is pointing, at the Big Bad Konrad, or at yourself.
  • Special mention goes to General Scales from Star Fox Adventures. The game has been building him up to be the Final Boss, but once you confront him, the fight is immediately interrupted by Andross, who forces Scales to surrender the final Krazoa Spirit to Fox. The cutscene immediately triggers by simply pulling out Krystal's staff for battle, but if you chose to wait around for a while, you'll find that Scales won't put up a fight anyway. He'll just prance around the arena and wait for you to attack, not even making the first move himself.
  • How to defeat Dracula as Richter Belmont in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night: Take the Holy Water that you find right inside his room, and do an Item Crash. It hits the whole screen and does insane damage at very little cost, such that it'll most likely kill him the moment he's done transforming. Even if you haven't picked up the Holy Water or didn't read the manual, he'd still have to work out to be called a Warm-Up Boss; he doesn't do much damage and he's a gigantic target, and if your health does hit zero, Maria shows up to give it back. The Holy Water Item Crash is such a broken starting move that it's a major reason "Richter Mode" is considered to have Hard Levels, Easy Bosses. Note that the real purpose of this fight, not that the game tells you, is to tweak Alucard's base stats depending on how and what you do. Finishing quickly without "dying" gives Alucard higher stats, finishing without taking a hit and not using a special weapon starts you with 14 luck, and "dying" starts you with lower stats and a high potion.
  • Death is normally one of hardest bosses in the franchise, but in Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, you can simply go right past him and collect the mansion's Plot Coupon. Should you choose to actually fight Death to obtain the powerful Golden Knife weapon, you don't even need to be present to win; you can simply drop a Garlic in front of him, and then set the controller down to call a friend or fix a plate of nachos.
  • Ōkami has the fight against Nechku, a mechanical owl demon. Nechku is guaranteed to lose, because you'll be accompanied by Shiranui, a far more powerful previous incarnation of yourself, who'll tear that owl apart. The main challenge here is to avoid taking any damage.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • The so-called "final boss" in The Incredible Hulk for the Super NES and Genesis/Mega Drive is the Leader, one of the Hulk's deadliest foes in the comics, thanks to his tremendous intellect... but in the game, all he does is stand in one place and laugh. Though he laughs off normal punches, just one uppercut is enough to defeat him, sending him tumbling down a Bottomless Pit.
    • See it here.
    • Even funnier, you can transform back into Bruce Banner in this game by taking a pill. His shotgun kills the Leader in one hit.
  • Having slashed your way through Bangler's entire military in The Ninja Warriors, you corner Bangler himself in a dead end in the capitol building. He cowers, hyperventilating, against the wall, and takes a single unopposed slash to kill. However, you do have to walk across the entire width of the screen to do this, as for some reason he's completely immune to your shurikens. If you take too long to kill him, he will take out a gun to shoot you. But you have to be trying in order for him to do so.
  • Obscure ZX Spectrum game Oriental Hero is so impossibly difficult that the only way to even reach the final boss is cheating. The final boss himself, on the other hand... well, look for yourself.

    Card Game 
  • Dorothy of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Tag Force Series tends to fill this role whenever she appears, being a very weak opponent you can defeat for a free win. Several of her decks aren't even capable of Summoning, and others need to throw in a ton of work just to play cards with over 2000 ATK. One of the funnier ones is in 3, where she runs a variant of the Empty Jar mill (a deck based on spamming Morphing Jar and Cyber Jar to deplete the opponent's deck)... only she depletes her own deck faster than she does yours, so she usually ends up killing herself on her own first turn.
  • Wager Master in Sentinels of the Multiverse (both tabletop and digital versions) is a Luck-Based Mission par excellence, meaning that while he can be a difficult fight, he can also queue up the wrong sequence of effects and lose before the game even begins - if, for example, he's taking on a team of heroes with even starting HP, and he gets two plays of Wagelings (which deal one damage to each hero) and Losing to the Odds (instant win for the heroes if all their HP is even and below their starting total) as his starting plays, the heroes all take two damage, and then Losing to the Odds discovers that they have even HP below their starting total and Wager Master loses instantly.

    Fighting Game 
  • The Shainto clan in Bushido Blade 2 face an insanely difficult boss battle, but after this enemy is finally killed, the player learns that he was merely The Dragon and the true leader of the Narukagami is... an unarmed young woman kneeling in the next room. She patiently awaits her death, but the player can choose to spare her if so inclined.
  • The final form of Master Core in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U is just a glowing sphere. It never attacks and moves only to re-position itself at the center of the stage. The only way to lose here is to accidentally (or intentionally) walk off the ledge and fall past the stage boundaries. It does have a One-Hit Kill move that it uses if left idle for too long, but you won't ever see it unless you're trying to (and it dies immediately afterwards anyway).
  • A few spirit battles in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are ridiculously easy, often to reflect the fact the character represented by those spirits is a One-Hit Point Wonder in their origin game:
    • Shedinja is a Stamina Battle where the opponent has only 1 HP and a brief period of invincibility at the beginning of the fight. Even the weakest jab can take it out as soon as its invincibility wears off, and even if you let it attack, you you have enough HP to survive and land that one hit regardless of what it hits you with. However, its invincibility does renew itself constantly, so you need good timing to land that one hit you need.
    • True to the source game, Buzz Buzz is defeated by literally swatting him away (he's a really tiny Mr.G&W who starts with 300% damage).
    • Child Alm and Celica are two Villagers who do nothing but try to run away. You're given two full minutes to catch up to them and pummel them into oblivion.
  • In the obscure game Ka-Ge-Ki: Fists of Steel, you see your defeated enemies repeatedly being thrown down into the sewers by one villain. When this guy fights you himself (and he's the second-to-last opponent in the entire game), he goes down from one punch.
    • Even better! If you don't hit him at all, after a few seconds, the referee will run in, end the fight, and give you the win!
  • Glass Joe from the Punch-Out!! series. Your first opponent in three of the games. While he's easy enough in the original arcade version, he's a complete pushover in both console versions. One of the challenges in the Wii version is losing to him after knocking him down 3 times and going the distance, which is far more tedious than simply beating him.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • In First Encounter Assault Recon, you spend the entire game trying to find Paxton Fettel. You eventually come across him kneeling in a small cell. He starts babbling madly, but one pistol shot to the head takes care of him and his psychically-controlled clone soldiers.
  • Marathon has you fighting through an entire alien army to find and kill the alien general. But when you find him, he turns out to be a deskbound pushover, with no weapons and no attacks. He does, however, have a rather sizeable legion of bodyguards in the same room.
  • Near the end of No One Lives Forever, the player finally comes face to face with Baroness Dumas (basically the Big Bad, though there is another Boss Battle after her). While she does shoot you, she doesn't move, and is defeated with a couple of shots from your own pistol. The real point of the level begins after you defeat her, which is to get everyone away from the area before she blows up (she turned herself into an Action Bomb). The handful of Mooks that appear afterwards with submachine guns are more dangerous.
  • Borderlands 2:
    • Face McShooty needs your help. Shoot him in the face. Even better than a boss, since this counts as a side-quest, meaning you get an experience-point reward. And an achievement if you're playing on Steam or the Xbox.
    • Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt has Professor Nakayama, who more or less defeats himself when he trips and falls down a flight of stairs after coming out to confront you.
    • Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep has Prince Jeffrey, who immediately surrenders in a single hit. You can then proceed to slap him some more just to hear him whine some more (at least until Tina runs out of dialog for him).
  • Halo: While Halo 3 provides the page quote (as of 8/2016), Halo 4 is worse. The final enemy is beaten through Press X to Not Die; the final "battle" isn't easy so much as actually, literally, not there at all.
  • This is the final boss of GoldenEye on the DS in a nutshell. The only thing you have to do to kill the final boss in the game is simply shoot him. You don't even have to aim down your sights.
  • Nemeroth of Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is one of these. You spend several minutes killing cannon fodder demons while Nemeroth transforms into a Daemon Prince. Instead of actually fighting him, however, you tackle him off the tower and... QTE him to death. It's not even hard, or even failable. Even a chimpanzee could beat this boss as long as it keeps hitting buttons.
  • Shadow of the Wool Ball: After you defeat the final boss, the Big Bad himself only stands there and seethes, and can be dispatched with a single attack.
  • Perfect Dark has the Duel mission, which is ordinarily difficult almost to Luck-Based Mission levels... unless you're facing Jonathan Steinberg. The guy was actually fairly competent when he was helping you, but when he's in the Duel, he's apparently taken correspondence courses at the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy, and misses every single shot even at point-blank range. This is because he's still coded as an ally, and therefore to avoid friendly fire. The only way to get killed is to either get into melee range or use cheats to give him a rocket launcher.
  • Quake I: Shub-Niggurath's lair is full of monsters protecting the Eldritch Abomination, but Shub-Niggurath herself is completely immobile and effectively helpless. She's immune to physical harm, but all you need to do to defeat her is step inside a handy slipgate at the right moment and Tele-Frag her.

    Idle Game 
  • In Armory & Machine, we have the Writhing Mass in the Bio Swamp. Every enemy in the Bio Swamp has moves that either do nothing or damage themselves, and the boss is no exception. The only way to lose against it is to use Explosive Trap (which will kill it but greatly damages yourself too) and have your maximum HP below 920, since you win if you survive that. The Star Writhing Mass is an upgraded version of it found in the Bonus Dungeon, boasts the most health in the game... and it still uses moves that do nothing or hurt itself.

  • In the "While Guthix Sleeps" quest in RuneScape, Lucian summons two Tormented Demons to try to kill you. You touched the Stone of Jas before that, which bumped up all your stats to level 255 temporarily (the maximum is 99, and you can only get about 30 additional levels with potions in comparison). Oh, you also regenerate any lost health during the battle, so if you wanted to, you could remove all your armor and punch the tormented demons to death when it is not using Protect from Melee.
  • City of Heroes has Sally, the Giant Monster swimming in Lake Salamanca. Tag her with one attack — any attack — and she submerges.
  • In RIFT, any boss fight in "Instant Adventure" or "Intrepid Adventures" mode is at least a Downplayed example of this trope. While enemies still deal damage, it's scaled such that unless players are standing in the firenote , a single attentive/raid-spec healer or two should be enough to easily cover the whole raid. When players do dienote , they are able to access unlimited respawns with only the usual respawn penaltiesnote  and are merely taken out of the fight for as long as it takes to run back from the respawn point and reengage, rendering death merely a humiliating nuisance. The only real failure condition remaining is the generous 20-minute timer on the fights, which would generally require coordinated (in)action to fail, or an almost-empty party with insufficient healing to prevent the few remaining members from repeatedly dying, in turn preventing them from applying damage.

    Platform Game 
  • The Aladdin (Capcom) game features a pyramid level. The boss of this level is Abu wearing an Egyptian mask. It's impossible to lose this fight; one jump onto Abu's mask, and the boss fight ends. Abu can't even damage Aladdin, and there's no time limit. Abu will just wander back and forth until you run out of patience and jump on him.
  • The arcade version of Bionic Commando features what may be one of the earliest examples; the Final "Boss" is an unarmed general weaker than the generic Mook fought through the game.
  • After you fight the Vizier's magical duplicates in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, the actual Vizier takes only two hits to defeat. One to knock him out a window, then one to finish him after he somehow gets back up and ineffectually threatens you and Farah.
  • Dracula's final form in I Wanna Be the Guy. It's a Waddle Doo incapable of doing any damage, in a game where just about everything does damage to your One-Hit Point Wonder.
  • In You Have to Burn the Rope, the protagonist has unlimited health, and the only boss (the only enemy, actually) dies after a single hit from a falling chandelier. You don't even have to time the chandelier-drop correctly; the boss will always walk right under it when it starts to fall.
  • In Ristar, Adahan, the boss of Planet Scorch, spends most of the fight at roughly the ideal difficulty. After you've landed the penultimate blow, however, the robot mole explodes, and you see its damaged remains fall from up high. Followed by the pilot, who now tries to continue the fight despite being completely harmless without his armoured suit. He starts crying the next time you hit him.
  • Bob the Killer Goldfish from the first Earthworm Jim, unsurprisingly, since he is a goldfish in a bowl. You reach him at the end of a grueling Shark Tunnel maze and an insane bathysphere race against time. He floats in his bowl, sneering at you. Any attack, or just touching him, will knock his bowl off the pedestal, leaving him to flop around. In the sequel, Jim will simply eat Bob when you finish the stage.
  • Mega Man Zero 3: After defeating the final boss in his three forms, a cutscene follows, paralyzes him, and you get to land the final blow with the saber.
  • Spark Mandrill from Mega Man X is considered That One Boss if you try to fight him without the weapon he's weak against, Chill Penguin's Shotgun Ice (to make matters worse, if you haven't been to Chill Penguin's stage yet, you won't have the boots upgrade that helps you to dodge his fast and powerful attacks). On the other hand, if you do have Shotgun Ice, he takes no effort at all, as you can instantly freeze him solid with the rapid-traveling shot (doing a fair chunk of damage to him) and then refreeze him again immediately after the animation for him breaking free ends, effectively stun locking him until he dies without even being able to move. The freeze effect even cancels out his momentum if he manages to get a jump off before you can shoot (and if you miss him, the ice projectile shatters against the wall, sending a fan of ice chunks backwards that will almost invariably hit him anyway). As long as you have Shotgun Ice, it's almost impossible to lose unless you try. This was fixed in the fight with him in Mega Man Xtreme, where he was given extra Mercy Invincibility after the "breaking free" animation ended, requiring you to actually put a little effort into dodging his attacks. Then it was broken even worse than the original in Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X, as he has no Mercy Invincibility at all during the "breaking free" animation, so you don't even have to worry about the very lenient timing the original required to pull off the stun lock.
    • This type of thing gets taken to ludicrous extremes in Mega Man X4 (at least when playing as X), where every single standard boss in the game can be similarly stun-locked by the weapon they're weak against, causing most fights to devolve into "shoot with weakness, wait for stun animation to end, rinse and repeat until dead."
  • Metal Man in Mega Man 2 is already one of the game's easier bosses, but in the rematch against him, he's famously weak to his own weapon. As in, "dies in two hits from it on Difficult and one on Normal" weak. The Metal Blade is also notoriously overpowered and spammable, which makes it very, very easy to get in those hits on him.
  • Toad Man in Mega Man 4 is generally regarded as the easiest Robot Master fight in the franchise. He has an incredibly basic and predictable pattern: jump, raise arms, call down his rain attack, repeat. When he raises his arms, he leaves himself wide open to be interrupted, and his lack of other attacks makes it easy to get right in his face. Trapping him in a Cycle of Hurting where he never pulls off an attack is something a lot of players manage on their first try. If you go in with his weakness, he just becomes even sadder.
    • Pharaoh Man in the same game is normally That One Boss, but with his weakness he becomes arguably even worse than Spark Mandrill. He's the only boss in the game to be affected by the Flash Stopper, meaning that a fight with him using the Flash Stopper consists of him being frozen completely still while Mega Man shoots him for about thirty seconds.
  • Kirby series:
    • Adeleine in Kirby's Dream Land 3 and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. The monsters she summons through her paintings are actually pretty challenging, and once they're defeated, she'll attack Kirby herself. The fact that she gets a full health bar like her creations might deceive one into thinking she'll actually put up a fight, but simply bumping into her is enough to do her in immediately.
    • One of the bosses in Kirby Super Star's Arena is a Waddle Dee. Though it does have more HP than the average Dee, it just stands there and doesn't even try to attack you with Collision Damage. In Kirby Super Star Ultra, it now wears a blue bandana like the Waddle Dee in the Megaton Punch minigame, and it can actually walk (slowly) and jump. It's still very easy, however. It also shows up late in the new sub-game "Revenge of the King" as well.
    • You fight Flowery Woods thrice in Kirby: Triple Deluxe during the main game. The final time, you have Hypernova, so you can inhale his entire body (and health bar) in seconds before he can attack.
    • Perhaps in a nod to the aforementioned Adeleine, the Holo Defense API in Kirby: Planet Robobot comes after Kirby directly once its holographic constructs have been eliminated, but is so frail that simply touching it is enough to finish it off. It is, however, rather difficult to actually hit due to its erratic movements, which can make it a serious time-waster in the game's timed modes.
  • The Brain in a Jar from Space Station Silicon Valley. It's a brain in a jar. It just sits there. You're a killer robot with Eye Beams. The only way you can lose the match is if your console were to short-circuit at some point during the three seconds it takes to fry it.
  • The final boss of Bunny Must Die! Chelsea and the 7 Devils in Chelsea's storyline. After a Hopeless Boss Fight against a gigantic Dechronos, Bunny comes to Chelsea's rescue. Not only is she far stronger than she was in her own storyline, she automatically Guard Blocks all of his attacks, negating all damage he deals.
  • Dynamite Headdy has a fairly difficult boss midway through the game called Baby Face, which is a giant head on a pole that shifts through the various stages of life as you progress through the battle. Most of the stages also have a hand on a pole doing various things to try to kill you or screw you up. When you finally reach the Old Man, the final stage, the only attack is a withered hand that constantly shoots up and tries to grab you. If you successfully avoid it and blast away the last mask, you get a bonus point. However, if the hand grabs you, the boss laughs evilly...then promptly dies of old age.
  • In Rayman 2: The Great Escape, one would expect Umber, one of the four Guardians (in this case, of the Sanctuary of Stone and Fire), to put up a fight. Instead, he simply waits for Rayman to take up residence on his head and then walks along the lava corridor and eventually is submerged completely, but not before enabling Rayman to jump off onto the platform bearing the mask Umber is supposed to protect. However, Umber explains in Revolution that Ly contacted him, telling him about Rayman and his efforts to defeat Razorbeard. He knew Rayman was the chosen one without a doubt, and willingly gave him passage to the mask, where Rayman then met Razorbeard's robot ninja pirate assassin waiting to ambush him, who serves as the actual boss of the level.
  • An early boss in Monster Party is simply a corpse that apologizes for being dead. There is also a later boss fight against a pair of zombies that can be defeated by just watching them dance, as they tell you to.
  • Puzzle Man in Mega Man 5: Indonesian Artifact. Sure, he flips the gravity around, but he just stands there. He is immune to the Mega Buster, though.
  • Tinker Knight in Shovel Knight is the smallest member of the Order of No Quarter, and also the easiest to defeat, as he simply runs back and forth tossing wrenches at you, and as an additional form of humiliation, hitting him with the Mobile Gear relic you find in his level is an One-Hit Kill. However, things get quite a bit harder after you defeat him and he summons his Tinker Tank...
  • Bowser's final form in Super Mario Galaxy 2. His only attack releases a coin that negates any damage you take.
  • The last phase of the final boss of A Hat in Time has you constantly regaining health — faster than the boss can possibly dish it out — because all the Mooks are taking your side, and realize you will reset time if you win, so they're deliberately killing each other in order to provide you with Healing Pons.
  • In Bug Too!, the first world, "Weevil Dead 2", has three Scenes. At the end of each Scene in this world is a Mini-Boss fight against a Knight enemy. Scene 1 and 2 have legitimately formidable opponents, while the third scene has a really tiny knight. You beat him by literally walking onto him to squish him instantly.
  • Combust Man in Make a Good Mega Man Level Contest 2. Shoot him once with any weapon, and...
    Roahm Mythril: Well... he combusted. That's for sure.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006):
    • When playing Silver's story, trouncing Sonic is very nearly as easy as it was for him when you were playing as Sonic. It's cathartic as all hell to give the game a taste of its own medicine, even if you don't get to actually use the same hilariously overpowered attack.
    • Sonic Man's Town Mission. You're racing him, but he's so slow compared to Sonic that you have to be really bad to lose to him.
  • Zote the Mighty in Hollow Knight boasts throughout the game that he is undefeated in battle, yet the player constantly rescues him from precarious situations. When you finally face him in the Colosseum of Fools, he not only is easy to defeat, but his attacks cannot even damage the player. His dream variant, Grey Prince Zote, is a different story, fueled by his admirer's perception of him.
  • In Grapple Force Rena, the boss of World 6-1 is a single Hollow that just harmlessly dances and can be defeated by simply throwing it twice.

    Puzzle Game 
  • A Stable Time Loop in Bookworm Adventures 2 sets this up in one chapter: In an earlier chapter, Lex encountered what he assumed was an Evil Counterpart of himself who made off with his Magic Pen. When he acquires a time helmet, he decides to travel back in time to this chapter to stop his evil counterpart from stealing the Magic Pen, only to discover, after a series of tough literary opponents, that the "boss" is his previous self, who only has 4 hearts and goes down with one blow. Turns out that "EviLex" was actually the future Lex!
  • Portal 2 has a fight with GLaDOS that is honestly just a simple puzzle where you can't die, with comments by Wheatley and GLaDOS. Naturally, this is just the Disc-One Final Boss.
  • You Have to Burn the Rope: As a parody game that intentionally deconstructs puzzle bosses, the Grinning Colossus, the only enemy in the game, is this. While it cannot be killed by your axes due to it's instantaneous healing factor (and it is hard coded so even if you do manage to deplete its health through a hack it still won't die) and can shoot eye lasers, your character is invincible and cannot be killed by any means. You can easily work around its healing by grabbing a torch and burning a rope so a chandelier will fall on it and kill it. The most the boss can do is cause you to lose the torch if it lands a hit on you, which doesn't matter since you can just get another one.

    Racing Game 

    Rail Shooter 
  • The Control Centers in Galaxy Force II have the combat capacity of a piece of debris. Yes, even the final Control Center.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • In Pikmin 2, the Eldritch Abomination Waterwraith is a hard fight at first, but then halfway through the fight, he becomes incapable of harming you at all. You still have to chase him around and attack him, and he can run away, but you can't lose after that point.
    • Very cathartic after completing an entire dungeon where it chases you around, completely invulnerable.
  • In the original Homeworld, the Imperial Flagship is a full counterpart of the player's mothership... That is, a gigantic mobile shipyard that houses the faction's leader but has relatively low health and next to no weapons, making it easily destroyed by a decent-sized squadron of frigates, let alone the massive fleet the player has amassed by that point. Destroying it serves mostly to give closure, with the difficulty in the level being caused by the waves upon waves of enemy forces and your Fleet Command having been knocked out before the start of the mission, making it harder to control your own units.
  • One of the Orc missions in the original Warcraft pits you against Griselda and the band of Ogres she has run off with. She is easier to kill than a Peon, and cannot attack at all.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • In Albion, the final boss has the maximum number of hit points allowed by the game engine (which is way more than what any other character or enemy in the game has), and is also impervious to physical attacks and 90% resistant to magical ones. His attack also kills pretty much any character in 1 hit. Why is he is a Zero Effort Boss? Because you automatically win the fight after he kills 2 of your party members.
  • The Post-Final Boss of Baten Kaitos Eternal Wings And The Lost Ocean offers no resistance whatsoever. Despite having a mountain of HP, his attacks are weaker than most of the mooks you've been facing for the past hour. Granted, having the Disc-One Final Boss' head suddenly rise from the earth and challenge the party to a battle was the last thing any player expected at that point, and it does provide for an interesting bit of story near the end.
  • Chrono Trigger
    • The Golem Boss has plenty of buildup: after you fight the Heads I Win, Tails You Lose battle against the Golem, and defeat That One Boss the Golem Twins, the game pits you against the Golem Boss in a battle atop an airship. Unfortunately for the Golem Boss, it's too afraid of heights to attack you. It will start counting down to an attack, then nervously start over, before just saying it's scared and cowering. However, some effort must be involved in killing the Golem Boss before it automatically flees after a set amount of time. You can't lose the fight, but if you don't kill Golem Boss outright, you'll be denied some juicy experience points and tech points.
    • Ozzie is a pitiful excuse for a boss the two times you battle him. His entire strategy is to hide behind a barrier and surround himself with switches that open trap doors (including, bizarrely enough, one that opens directly underneath him). If you choose to attack Ozzie directly, he'll counter with an attack that does very little damage; even less in New Game+. The only possible way to lose against him is to continue attacking him directly without ever bothering to heal yourself; do enough damage to him, and you're essentially forced to attack one of the switches.
  • In Crossing Souls, General OhRus' Clipped-Wing Angel form has him flying aimlessly around the arena, crashing straight into rocks around the arena until he completely destroys himself.
  • Demon's Souls
    • King Allant XII of Boletaria thought he could control the soul arts, and as a result was reduced to a writhing, inhuman blob incapable of lifting a finger up to your SL 120 ass. What's even more shocking is that this guy is the Final Boss of the game, and all you have to do is put him out of his misery.
    • The Maiden Astrea boss fight: she doesn't attack or harm you, instead you fight against her guardian, when you defeat him Maiden Astrea will kill herself without any fight.
  • Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II has the final fight with Cell as Super Saiyan 2 Gohan (the final Beam-O-War is a cutscene). For the entire fight, Gohan's stats are maxed out, meaning that only a handful of punches chews through Cell's whole health bar. Being based on one of the show's most famous Curb Stomp Battles, this is fairly sensible.
    • In the sequel, Buu's Fury, the winner of the junior martial arts tournament (Trunks) and the winner of the adult tournament (Hercule) have a just-for-fun match that ends with you sending Hercule flying into the far wall with one punch. The audience agrees that it was super kind of Hercule to let the kid win like that.
    • Buu's Fury also has the fight with Pui Pui — well, "fight" is being kind to it. He has 50 HP, in a game where the starting mooks have triple-digit HP.
  • Dragon's Dogma has you eventually fight Duke Edmun, former Arisen. Except at this point he's about 90 years old, feeling every day of it, and can barely lift his sword. He could kill you if you stood still for about two hours and let him, but more players are inclined to hit the little weasel with their most ludicrously overpowered attack.
  • Dubloon sets up the upcoming battle with the Atlan Temple's guardian like it's going to be a climactic battle, up until he falls to one hit from a character that doesn't even need to be properly leveled-up. Remember kids, you don't get to be powerful just from living 1000 years and wearing gold armour!
  • The Starman Junior in EarthBound might have been a pretty tough opponent on his own, given he has enough hit points to last him a while and attacks with PSI skills that are quite powerful in the early game. However, you have a computer-controlled Buzz Buzz with you for the battle, and the bot will always have him put up a shield that absorbs all damage, and to replace it when it runs out. The only possible way to lose is to spend hours leveling up in the starting area until you get the physical shield spell that will override the magic shield Buzz Buzz uses.
  • The Gray Prince in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, who is your last adversary in the Arena, can easily become this... but only after you do a Side Quest that reveals his true origins (he's the son of a vampire). Upon learning of it, he decides that he doesn't want to live anymore and asks you to kill him.
  • Evil Islands: The Curse can kill you easily, but it's focused on Tka-Rik, who does all the fighting for you. All you need to do is to weaken it and watch the incoming ownage.
  • Fable II has this. You've spent the entire game foiling Lucien's plans, he's kidnapped the people that were supposed to give you the power to beat him, he's SHOT YOUR DOG and, if you got married and had a kid, KILLED YOUR FAMILY. You can shoot and kill him in one shot while he does his evil monologue. Either that, or Reaver does it for you. Granted, you're given a MacGuffin that renders him powerless beforehand. Some consider this a form of poetic justice.
  • Fallout: often used for a dose of Reality Ensues.
    • Fallout 1: the Lieutenant (who could be the Final Boss depending on the order you go in) is a powerful foe when faced in direct combat, but the easiest way to beat him is to simply ignore him and set off his base's self-destruct sequence, then walk out the front door. He dies in the ensuing explosion. In fact, since he's on the opposite end of the floor where the self-destruct terminal is, and you need to blow up the base anyway to complete the game, you have to go out of your way and seek him out in order to get an actual fight. Part of this is also the Combat, Diplomacy, Stealth trinity that Fallout largely codified: a combat-focused character will have to set the terminal while the base is on high alert, meaning the Lieutenant will actively pursue them, while speech or stealth-focused characters have nothing blocking their path except a handful of cultists who run rather than fight.
    • In Fallout 3, you can take down President John Henry Eden using a single relatively low-level speech check, upon which he will kill himself and blow up his own base. It's so easy most people don't expect that saying it would actually defeat the President. Alternatively, there's a self-destruct key for the base sitting out in the open two rooms away from his office.
    • The actual 'final boss' of 3, Colonel Autumn, is a normal human wearing a trench coat and armed only with a laser pistol, whereas your character is a death machine with Powered Armor and several high level guns. He can be easily killed with one headshot from any high-level weapon. Even if you do nothing, Fawkes or Sarah will kill him anyway, so it's pretty much impossible to actually lose to him. By this stage of the game, you are highly likely to have maxed out several stats and skills, which means that you can also normally talk this character into leaving with a couple of speech checks, meaning that before you can start your one-sided curb stomp, you have to go out of your way to insult him first.
    • When you finally confront Professor Calvert at the end of Point Lookout, he's a Brain in a Jar with no attacks and no way of defending himself aside from a few defective Protectrons. If your character has survived the swampfolk, ghoul reavers, and tribals that populate Point Lookout, you'd have to be trying to fail this. If you don't do anything and just stand there, Desmond will kill him for you.
    • The Alien Captain from Mothership Zeta literally dies in one shot from any of the dozens of alien guns you've picked up throughout the course of the DLC. Or, like Autumn, you can just sit there and let a companion kill him.
    • Salt-Upon-Wounds, the Final Boss of Fallout: New Vegas's Honest Hearts DLC, is an odd one of these, in that he's actually fairly powerful and would be dangerous if you fought him alone. But since you fight him alongside Joshua Graham, who is mostly invincible and armed with a rapid-fire Hand Cannon that outdamages a sniper rifle, you basically just need to sit back and let Graham handle it. It's actually harder to not kill him, as that requires a maxed-out Speech skill and picking the right dialogue options with Graham.
    • The Big Bad of Fallout 4, Father/Shaun, is an untrained old man in a labcoat, carrying only a laser pistol. On top of that, by the time you confront him in the final mission, he's dying of cancer and can't even get up from his bed, unable to do anything more than fling insults at you. You can either shoot him or leave in the base while it explodes, it makes no difference. Plenty of people ended up killing him by accident when they first ran into him.
  • The final boss of the "All the Statesmen" event from Fate/Grand Order is the Master With No Name, a master noted in the story for her mistreatment and cruelty to her Servants, as well as a staunch loathing of whales. When you finally confront her team, the first two waves are badly underleveled welfares who each go down in one shot. The third wave is noticeably better, and consists of rare five-stars, but they're still underleveled—it's not at all improbable for Support Party Member Bunyan to take them down in a single hit of her Limit Break, if she's been buffed up a little.
  • Final Fantasy II:
    • At the end of the Snow Cavern, the traitorous Count Borghen confronts the party, knowing the Emperor will have him killed for his failure to keep the Rebels from obtaining the Goddess's Bell and deciding to take the party with him. He's far weaker than the Adamantoise guarding the Bell and poses little threat. He gets the last laugh, though.
    • When the party refuses to hand over their loot to Leila, she sics her pirates on them. Each of them can be taken out with a single hit, or even one or two group-casted magic attacks.
  • Final Fantasy V:
    • Played for drama where all but one of your party members is incapacitated, requiring the one to take on Exdeath solo. Despite laying into Galuf with everything he's got, doing enough damage to kill him several times over, Galuf remains standing through sheer force of will, with his HP going down to 0, but still fighting. It isn't until Exdeath is defeated that Galuf finally allows himself to die. Worth mentioning is the fact that this entire fight is presented through the in-game battle screen. Galuf defeats Exdeath long after his own HP is reduced to zero.
    • Famed Mimic Gogo. In the sunken tower of Walse, you can find him at the bottom of the tower. How do you defeat him? Since he told you to mimic him and he won't act until you do, the right action is to do nothing yourself, and you'll win. If you manage to reach the bottom with enough time to spare to wait him out, you win. If you attack him, he'll counter with attacks that deal 9,999 points of damage, then, if you get him down to a certain point, he'll cast Meteor three times, killing everyone, unless one is using cheats. It is possible to win by killing him before he gets off the three Meteors, though.
  • In Final Fantasy VI, the imposter Siegfried on the Phantom Train opens the battle with a flurry of hits, all of which are pathetic, and has such low health he'll die in one hit to anything. If you're using the Black Belt accessory, or even if you still have Shadow and his dog Interceptor decides to, y'know, intercept, he'll probably die before he finishes his initial attack combo. The battle against the real Siegfried in the Colosseum later on? Not so easy.
  • Final Fantasy VII
    • After the epic One-Winged Angel battle against Safer Sephiroth (with kickass music), there's one more fight against him in the Lifestream. He is impossible to lose against — the only attack you can do is the Limit Break Omnislash, which kills him in one hit, he can't do enough damage to kill you because his attack is percentage-based, and if you do wait for him to attack, you automatically (whether or not you had the materia equipped) counter with a normal attack which also kills him in one hit.
    • The final Jenova fight is basically impossible to lose unless you've been doing a low-level run of the game. It only has 45,000 HP, and if you take more than 15 turns to beat it, it will cast Ultima and you automatically win. This attack is easily survivable if you've been playing the game normally. Interestingly, winning this fight in this fashion decreases the HP totals of the next two bosses.
    • The fight against Palmer in Rocket Town is laughably easy due to him spending half the time taunting you and the other half shooting you with an elemental based gun. Said gun does pathetic damage and can be reduced even further with MBarrier. You also have materia and accessories that can reduce damage fire, ice, or lightning attacks, which Palmer's gun uses.
  • Final Fantasy X has Yu Yevon, the Post-Final Boss of the game and the biggest single threat in the world...except all he does is heal himself and use percentage-based attacks (he only uses Ultima when low on health), so it's very unlikely he'll cause enough damage to kill you, and even if he did, everyone in the battle has permanent Auto-Life, so they spring right back to life as soon as they get knocked out. The only way you could possibly lose is by deliberately casting petrification spells on all your characters. Hell, you can even Zombify the boss, and watch as he slowly whittles his own health away with healing magic.
  • Sol in Final Fantasy Legend III just stands there and says "Kill me" so he'll take Xagor down with him. However, the True Final Boss comes right after that fight, so it's a perfect opportunity to put on some buffs.
  • Kingdom Hearts II: Past Pete's primary move is trying to punch you and only hurting his hand in the process. The only ways he can hurt you is if you attack him and he gets knocked into the air and causes a shockwave when he lands and you are close enough to be hit by it, or when he runs around after being hit by you and crashes into you causing Collision Damage. Even then, the damage both these actions cause is almost nonexistent. You cannot lose against him. This is done for story purposes to help the heroes realize he is far too weak to be the Pete they know.
    • Kingdom Hearts III has Saïx in the Keyblade Graveyard, who would normally be a challenge due to his high HP and attack power… except you have a completely invincible and extremely damaging Roxas on your side, who will annihilate him without any input from the player.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III has Rean Schwarzer soloing the Final Boss in one of the most brutal curb stomps in the Trails Series. All players literally have to do is just press circlenote /crossnote /Anote /the left mouse buttonnote  a few times and win. This is because he uses his Sword of Plot Advancement, his Super Mode, and his Humongous Mecha against a giant corrupted turtle. This ends up being a bad thing, because the Sword of Plot Advancement is created from his dead friend and his Super Mode just had to go out of control, and he ends up just killing the beast, which then brings out the biggest Downer Ending of the franchise.
  • The Floor 99 Boss of the Ancient Cave in Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals is impossible to lose to. He spends 2 rounds healing you, idles for one round, and then kills himself. The trick is to deal 10k HP damage before he kills himself or kill off your own party, if you want his key. Of course, few would know either of those, due to the Nintendo Hard nature of the Ancient Cave....
  • In the first two games of the Mario & Luigi series, it is impossible to lose to the introductory tutorial boss.
  • Mega Man Star Force 3. After defeating the final boss, a cutscene follows, showing Mega Man's final form (the one shown on the game box), unlocked. After that, you refight the final boss, who now has an astonishing 8000 HP. This may be daunting, but his attacks cannot kill you, even at 1 HP, and the battle doesn't end until you land the final move (also dependent on the game's version).
  • In Might & Magic X, there's Markus Wolf, the boss in the Battle of Karthal stage. He flees the instant he sees you, and the whole stage is spent chasing him. You have to fight your way past an army of Mooks and two other Bosses (one of which is skippable) before you finally corner him; when he finally fights you, it's impossible to lose, as he goes down if he takes even one point of damage. (But given how he's portrayed in-story, it's no wonder.)
  • Negative Man from Mother 3. He mostly just cries and mopes while you assault him. He can attack, but it's extremely weak and he attacks so rarely that players may never see him attack at all. Also the story-telling robots in Saturn Valley, who actually cannot attack.
  • Naufragar: Crimson: Rather than make the player fight an unbeatable opponent, the game makes them play as Hyo fighting Jarret and Lance. Hyo has access to the strongest spells in the game and has massive stats, meaning Jarret and Lance can't hope to win unless the player just lets the ATB run without doing anything.
  • The very last possible fight in Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer is against the rest of your party when they turn on you for your evil actions in the game's Bad Ending. This would be a difficult fight, but you obtain the game's final power, which allows you to instantly one-shot anything. You'll use it at most three times, taking down one person each time, and then the game is over.
  • Played for drama in OFF. The Critic-Burnt and Hugo are zero-effort because they're completely defenseless and innocent. They aren't "boss battles" so much as murders.
    • The final boss of the Judge ending can easily be turned into this, as not only does he only have 2500 HP, which is less than the game's first boss, he is also not immune to Palsy (OFF's version of paralysis), which the Judge can use from Level 1.
  • Paper Mario:
    • Tubba Blubba, an invincible boss with high attack power and immunity to everything. You have to discover his secret and defeat his Soul Jar to make him lose his immunity. Then, it turns out he has very low HP, and can be defeated in one single turn. Although you did just beat his heart, a much tougher fight.
    • Monstar. This ghostly creature looks dangerous, but it only has 20 HP and a single attack that does 1 damage. His defense power is 1 (in a game where 0 is possible), which is the only reason you'd have any trouble with him at all early in the game... and he's fought very late in the game. He's even easier if you have the Defend Plus badge equipped (which you should), which reduces all damage by 1 (making you completely immune to Monstar's attack).
    • Peach and Twink's battle against Kammy Koopa in the final dungeon. While you technically control both characters, they only have one action each, making the fight impossible to lose.
  • Bowser Jr. in your first encounter in Paper Mario: Sticker Star is this. Sure, he'll regenerate after being jumped on, but you need to use the Scissors Sticker you automatically get before the fight, which defeats him in one hit.
  • Persona:
    • The True Final Boss of Persona 3 cannot be lost to, even though it deals 9999 damage attacks every round (your health caps at 999); eventually, you just start blocking the attacks, and then on the last round, every command is greyed out except the one skill that will finish the fight.
    • The same applies to Persona 4. Izanami on her last phase attempts to hit you with an attack that causes 999 damage, but you survive each attack, until the "Myriad Truths" skill becomes available, allowing you to defeat her at last.
    • In Persona 5, the trend regarding Final Bosses in the Persona series continues with the last phase of Yaldabaoth; he floors the party with his Rays of Control, but they just get back up and the protagonist summons his Ultimate Persona that No-Sells another use of Rays of Control and takes him down in one hit with "Sinful Shell".
    • Royal has the final phase of the fight with Takuto Maruki. As a result of the Metaverse fading away, all your character and your opponent can do is exchange punches; with all you have to do is press the attack button until Maruki collapses.
    • In Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, after you make all the preparations to fight Kamoshidaman and remove his invincibility, he becomes extremely weak, and can be defeated in only a few turns using regular attacks. After you win, however, you have to fight the much more difficult Super Kamoshidaman.
  • In Radia Senki Reimeihen, you fight off two Samaran grunts who attack Saria. Despite the boss music, both of them rarely even attack and aren't that tough. This happens to be Foreshadowing, as Saria ends up being The Mole.
  • Secret of Mana
    • The first boss, Mantis Ant, as Jema will revive you each time you die until you win. Which is a good thing, because you're probably going to die at least three times over before you can finally kill the bastard.
    • The rematch against three Biting Lizards. They're a boss from really, really early in the game rematched really, really late in the game, and Villain Forgot to Level Grind. Even having three of them doesn't make them a huge threat (except for the threat of a Non-Standard Game Over if all three characters are eaten simultaneously, but you probably won't see unless you really screw up or are deliberately trying to do it).
  • FromSoftware Playstation 1 game Shadow Tower has the Demon King boss. After killing Balron, the toughest boss in the game, you'll see glowing evil eyes. These belong to Balron's leader the Demon King and while intimidating, the moment you strike him, the Demon King will yell out "Ow, it hurts!!!" and start running away. You now get to chase him around and attack him to your heart's content as he won't fight back.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV on the "Nothingness" route has the Yamato Perpetual Reactor. Burroughs scans it for defense mechanisms, only to find that it has no defenses; indeed, all it does every turn is "No Reaction". This is mainly meant to deprive the player of any satisfaction of destroying the universe.
  • While not technically a boss, the Apprentice from Super Mario RPG should count, since you can't run away from him once he challenges you and will probably go down in one or two hits, and the only way you can possibly lose is if you do nothing but defend and try to run away while he whittles away your HP with Scratch Damage. If you do lose, he will actually be hired as Snifit 4 and appear in Booster Tower, though you don't get anything for it. If you do lose to this Snifit, another will appear in his place. You can actually do this up to five times, and upon losing the fifth time, if you return to Booster Tower, instead of meeting Snifit 8, you'll just find the normal Apprentice sulking in the corner.
    APPRENTICE: Shriek! The boss only wants 7 Snifits! All my training was in vain! What a rip!
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth: The pedophile cameraman is easily killed in one or two turns, and his only "attack" is to take photos of you, which does no damage.
  • Undertale:
    • Toriel's fight is very difficult to lose, as her attacks will start actively avoiding you if your health is low. The real challenge of her fight is not beating her, but beating her in a way that won't get you guilt-tripped by the game.
    • If the player is defeated by Papyrus, he will just capture them instead of killing them. Getting captured three times will have Papyrus give up on the next attempt, making him be the one boss that doesn't need to be beaten.
    • Getting the worst ending requires you to do an excessive amount of Level Grinding entirely because you can, but doesn't rebalance the enemies. Accordingly, nearly every enemy and boss becomes this. Notably, Undyne subverts this, taking a One-Hit Kill just like everyone else, but then summoning Heroic Willpower to go One-Winged Angel in a final attempt to stop you, and becomes one of the most difficult bosses in the game. Also, the Final Boss of the Genocide Run is an SNK Boss, breaking the game's rules and mechanics.
      • The Genocide route battle against Papyrus is impossible to lose. The only things that progress the battle are attacking him (where it's a One-Hit KO) or sparing him. Anything else just prompts Visible Silence from Papyrus.
      • Mettaton on the Genocide route not only goes down in a single hit like the rest of the enemies, he doesn't even attack.
    • Mettaton's first encounter, the Quiz Show, is impossible to lose. Even if you don't notice that Alphys is giving you the answers, Mettaton's punishments for getting wrong answers will never drain you below 1 HP. Further, if you do get to 1 HP, he will skip to the penultimate question, which will automatically be answered for you.
    • The True Final Boss is a Zero-Effort Boss, on either non-neutral route. The "Pacifist" route has your character using their Heroic Willpower to bring themselves back. While your HP can be reduced to 0, you ultimately can't lose. The "Genocide" path turns Asgore, normally the last boss before the final boss, into a Post-Final Boss by your character taking him out in one hit.
      • The "Pacifist" route is actually a subversion, as while the player can't die, running out of health will still set the player back to the last check point in the fight, so the player still needs to exert effort in order to progress. Doubly subverted in the final sequence of the fight, which is essentially an interactive cutscene.
    • Also on the True Pacifist run is the Snowdrake amalgamate, a monster (or rather, melted mass of monsters) thoroughly gnarled up by the experiments done on them. Their attacks are pathetically weak, and oftentimes don't even make it to your dodge window. They're also the easiest of the enemies in the dungeon to spare normally, leaving you alone simply after selecting the same ACT command three times.
  • A lot of the bosses in Valkyrie Profile turn into this thanks to Weapon of X-Slaying type equipment that kills anything in its category in one shot, and which you can just find in a normal playthrough, without going very much out of your way, if at all. The first of these you get is Dragon Slayer, then Beast Slayer, and half the game's dungeons culminate in a boss that fits into one of those two categories. Same goes for weapons with "[Element]+DEATH" in its description. In the A ending, one of the final three bosses is susceptible to this because of a weakness to fire.
  • Augst from Wild ARMs 4 injects himself with cells that make him super-powerful. Unfortunately, all he does is become a giant super-powerful traffic barrier with a speed stat of 0. He will never get to act unless you somehow give him a speed boost, in which case he just skips his turns. The second battle isn't much better, but at least he counters.
  • In Xenosaga II, the very last boss fight of the game is against Albedo, who sets himself up as being godlike and goes on and on about how powerful he is, but it is actually IMPOSSIBLE to lose the battle. Albedo will even heal you if you use skills that deplete your own HP too far. Albedo throws the battle because he wants Jr. to kill him.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 2, when you go to fight Malos and Jin at the Cliffs of Morytha, about halfway through the fight, you gain a Super Mode which massively increases your attack, and as long as you are in it, you cannot be lowered below 1 health making it impossible to lose. Unlike the rest of the game, it doesn't have a time limit for this one fight.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • Almost every final boss in the Gradius series is the Bacterian emperor, who usually takes the form of a large brain and either fires easily-avoidable attacks or just sits there and does nothing, giving the player a chance to take him down. On the other hand, given that it's in control of the space station you just cruised through, maybe the whole level counts as the final boss.
    • Special mention goes to Gradius III, in which the Bacterian emperor mutters some incomprehensible curse (in the SNES version), starts vomiting really slow purple energy balls in a gentle curve, and spontaneously explodes fifteen seconds later (or sooner, if you fire at him). At least he actually fights back, which is something of an accomplishment considering the last two final bosses of Gradius didn't even do that. In the arcade version, getting hit by its attacks doesn't kill you, but instead teleports you to a Nostalgia Level based on either Gradius 1 or Salamander. Finishing it or dying in it takes you to the last checkpoint before the final boss.
    • Another special mentions goes to Gradius Rebirth, in which the final boss sics a large group of Option Hunters on you to defend itself while taunting you. While annoying in that they steal your Options, they can't actually destroy you.
    • The final boss of Salamander 2, Doom, is an exception. A major one. Venom in Nemesis II is an exception too.
  • The Final Boss of Space Invaders Infinity Gene is a lone invader which you fight in old-school arcade style. It's still possible to get killed (but you have infinite lives in that sequence), and it's also possible for the invader to reach the bottom of the screen. Whether you beat it or not, the game is still completed.
  • The Final Boss of R-Type 3 is no pushover, being fought in a Negative Space Wedgie. However, after (seemingly) killing that boss and returning to normal space, it will hold the Negative Space Wedgie open, ostensibly to come after you. However, its attacks are stupidly easy to dodge after the boss fight you just went through, and you can (must) kill it in one hit by smashing its face with your Force Device.
  • Mambu, the super secret final boss of Sonic Wings 2. It only goes from one side of the screen to the other, then you automatically see the ending (which is a special one if you have faced him).
  • Certain attack patterns in Touhou are like this, most infamously Cirno's Ice Sign "Icicle Fall" on Easy difficulty, which has a massive blind spot directly in front of her. It's become such a meme in the fanbase that any boss with a safespot, no matter how miniscule, is uploaded with Cirno's theme song playing over it.

    Simulation Game 
  • In Dwarf Fortress, Demons, Forgotten Beasts, and Titans are randomly generated and can be a very wide variety of things, from monstrous animals to humanoids to blobs, and can be made of any material. This includes things like snow, grime, and smoke, in a game where being Made of Air doesn't actually confer Nigh-Invulnerability (beasts made of fire are also fragile, but they count as Glass Cannons). These tend to go down really easily, although more conventionally fleshy Forgotten Beasts are dangerous threats and ones made of a tough solid are hell to fight. And if you get a blob made of some weapons-grade material (steel if you're really unlucky), just assume the Random Number God hates you and flood everything with magma.
  • Terminal Velocity, World 3 boss. When you destroy the large building, a large turret is deployed in its place. The turret faces directly at you, and shoots from the cannons on the side of the turret. As such, it takes more effort to fly into one of the projectiles than to try a head-on attack. You are also more likely to be killed by other mooks.

    Sports Game 
  • In Arc Style: Baseball!! 3D, the first 2 games of the Tournament mode are nearly impossible to lose because the pitchers only throw you slow fastballs to the center of the strike zone. Anyone can catch up, even if they have never played a baseball game. Even if you hit an easy catchable fly ball, the fielders will almost always make an error, saving you from an out and getting you someone on base.

    Stealth-Based Game 
  • Tenchu has a few bosses that follow this. In the original Tenchu: Stealth Assassins, the boss of the first level is an old merchant who goes down in one or two hits. It is possible to lose to him if you're low on health and let him shoot you with a gun, but you have to be trying to lose. In Tenchu: Fatal Shadows, you have an early encounter with the Big Bad... who leaves while his lover volunteers to fight you. She is a defenseless Geisha girl with a small dagger who goes down in one hit. It may be impossible to actually lose unless your health is at the bare minimum and you let her attack.
  • In Mark of the Ninja, when The Ninja finally reaches Karajan, he's shown with the "terrorized" indicator over his head, and he's so out of it that he won't realize The Ninja is in his safe room in spite of the door opened and walking in right in front of him until The Ninja makes the killing move.
  • Rarely played completely straight in Metal Gear, but bosses often have zero effort phases:
    • The Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is a Mirror Boss and Final-Exam Boss, and fighting her is a true test of skill. However, after defeating her, you have to finish her off yourself. Snake will even pull the trigger for you if you take too long.
    • The Sorrow from the same game straddles the line between this and Hopeless Boss Fight. The "fight" is simply wading through a river. Whether you make it to the end or not doesn't matter in terms of story, since either way, you have to take the revival pill. The only difference is that you get a bonus piece of camouflage for making it to the end.
    • After beating The Boss, Snake and EVA head off in their plane...only to be accosted by Ocelot demanding one last pistol duel. No matter what you do in this "fight", the end result is the same — no one gets shot, and Snake and his foe separate on relatively good terms.
    • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker: in what is likely a Call-Back to the third game since the AI is based on The Boss, the final phase of the fight against the titular Peace Walker is simply you shooting the AI pod, which will not move or fire back.

    Survival Horror 
  • In the remake of Resident Evil, you have to deal with Neptune, a Zombie Great White Shark. Sound tough? It would be, except since you drained the shark tank, all it can do is feebly flop around. Note that if you screw around when he's splashing, chances are, you may climb down and get eaten.
    • The giant alligator from Resident Evil 2 has it even worse: its boss fight (if it can even be considered one) consists of releasing an incredibly obvious gas canister from the wall, waiting for the gator to put said canister in its mouth, and then firing one shot at it. Cue the raining head chunks.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Chroma Squad has three:
    • The Muscular Pigeon in Season 3 is fought directly after the Crimson Ronin attacks your squad in their studio. Unlike the Crimson Ronin it barely qualifies as a boss battle, and will die to a turn 1 Finishing Move from all but the least optimized squads. While it can hypothetically fight back, it's about as dangerous as a mook.
    • Gaga, during The Reveal, has 2 hp and cannot attack you: He will fall to the first attack. Of course, he subsequently stands up and reveals his actual power.
    • Colin's Bear in Season 4 has an assortment of mooks, but otherwise can only attack you using the 'dance of death' that deals 1 damage to four random team members. When defeated its One-Winged Angel mode subverts this by being every bit the boss you would expect.
  • The boss of chapter 2 of Disgaea: Hour of Darkness is not the dragon that Flonne summonsnote , but rather Flonne herself. Her only special move is a healing move that does not even heal her. One special move of your own is enough to kill her. It's the dragon that will give you more trouble.
  • In Eternal Card Game, a Trading Card Game that sits halfway between Magic: The Gathering and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, the final boss of the "Dead Reckoning" campaign is literally impossible to not defeat. You take your turn first, he has suffered HP to 1, you have two separate ways of dealing 3 damage to him, and the game does not let you pass your turn without using one of them. (You can Concede the match voluntarily, but that just means you have to try the "fight" again later.)
  • In Fantasy General (an old Panzer General spinoff), you fight dozens of battles across six continents to stop the Shadowlord and his vassals. Once you reach the fifth continent, the Shadowlord will cast spells at your troops each turn. However, when you finally reach the end of the campaign and storm his castle, he will get destroyed without a fight, being unable to stand against the pure goodness emanating from you.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Lorenz, the first boss of the second book of Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem. Though his statline is somewhat formidable, he's using a broken lance, which means his hit rate should be in the low 20s, he has no speed whatsoever, and he does about 3 damage per hit. He does have high Defense, but his attacking power is so bad that he simply doesn't pose a threat to your units. Of course, it's pretty obvious given the context that you're meant to talk to him with Marth, meaning that attacking him just serves to help twig the player in that something isn't right—after all, who would send a military expedition to crush a guy with a broken weapon who turns out to be dying? This is somewhat altered in the remake, due to broken weapons no longer being usable in combat; there, he averts this trope and is an actual threat, though he's still tweaked to be a Warm-Up Boss at most (even on the highest difficulty, his Defense is six points lower than it used to be).
    • When you meet the pirate captain Lifis in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776, he has no weapons at all. This means that on top of being unable to attack or defend himself in combat (and his stats are pretty bad, so he wouldn't be good at it anyway), he can be defeated automatically by simply walking someone over and hitting "CAPTURE." This is intentional, as the game very much intends you to capture Lifisnote . And on top of that, he's a Dirty Coward—why would he bother fighting back against enemies that the much stronger men under his command couldn't stop?

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • The final confrontation in The Saboteur with Nazi officer Kurt Dierker on the top of the Eiffel Tower. It is actually not as epic as it sounds, but the atmosphere really sells how far Dierker has lost it. After a very uneventful elevator ride to the top of the tower, all while surrounded by Nazis who have either been killed, have committed suicide, or are just out of their minds, you meet Dierker, who is drunk and depressed, not wearing any kind of armor, and, despite having a gun, does nothing to defend himself, and all you have to do to finish off him is firing a single shot. And that is not even required, because he will jump off the tower himself if you just stand around for long enough. Though this is more due to Dierker's Villainous Breakdown (as before this, he pretty much killed every Nazi officer under his command due to paranoia). You can clearly tell he is pretty much over the edge already and in no shape to fight.
  • Billy Grey from Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned. Though the preceding level involves blasting your way into the prison to reach him, once you do, he is unarmed (as he's a prisoner) and you just shoot him down.
  • Parodied in the Saints Row IV DLC "Enter the Dominatrix", which is based on a DLC for Saints Row: The Third that eventually mutated into the fourth game. Zinyak (doing in-character commentary) complains about how the developers made him go down with one shot and a series of action commands in ETD.
    Zinyak: This was meant to be my shining moment! I mean, will you look at that health bar! Just... just... just insulting, agh! And now they want to draw it out with these ridiculous button prompts!
  • Mafia III has Sal Marcano, who is simply sitting around waiting for Lincoln once you get to him. After sharing a drink, you can kill him or, if you wait long enough, he'll shoot himself.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Joke Boss


Benrey's Mokujin Mech

Benrey, in his skeletal form, attempts to fight the Science Team in a robot replica of Mokujin from Tekken. Unfortunately for him, it gets destroyed quickly and effortlessly by the gang's gunfire.

How well does it match the trope?

4.9 (20 votes)

Example of:

Main / ZeroEffortBoss

Media sources:

Main / ZeroEffortBoss