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Playing With / Bait-and-Switch Boss

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Basic Trope: It looks like a boss-fight is about to start, when another boss interrupts (usually fatally) and fights you instead.

  • Straight: Hiro is about to fight Anacondor, when the latter is suddenly decapitated by the Dark and Stormy Knight, who challenges the protagonist in his place.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
    • You fight Anacondor for a while, but when it gets to 75% health, the Dark and Stormy Knight pushes him off-screen and enters the battle instead.
    • After a certain amount of time, the Dark and Stormy Knight will step in and finish off Anacondor, unless the player has already defeated it.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted: Decoy Protagonist: it looks like Hiro is the protagonist, but then he’s ganked by the Dark And Stormy Knight, and Alice must become hero in his stead.
  • Subverted:
    • After The Dark and Stormy Knight dives in and slashes at Anacondor, it turns the latter is not quite dead and proceeds to swallow the former whole and fight you instead.
    • The Dark and Stormy Knight was just passing through, and leaves Hiro alone.
    • The Dark and Stormy Knight ambushes Hiro instead, making it a very unusual Dual Boss.
  • Double Subverted:
    • When Anancondor is at 75% of his health, He suddenly gets cut into bits from the inside by The Dark and Stormy Knight, who proceed to challenge you to a duel.
    • One too many snarky comments later, and the Knight comes back to beat some respect into our Jerk with a Heart of Gold .
  • Parodied:
    • Anancondor is a poorly-made Puppet on strings, and is very obviously just there to fake you out.
    • Hiro asks why the knight murdered Anancondor instead of himself while the latter had the chance. A beat passes, and the new boss suddenly face-palms and sheepishly asks if he can try that again.
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  • Zig Zagged: The Dark and Stormy Knight dives in and slashes at Anacondor, but the latter is not quite dead. Both bosses retreat their challenges and offer to help kill the other; you can choose to accept one of their offers, or to take both of them on at once.
  • Averted: Each boss is as it appears to be.
  • Enforced: Executive Meddling means that Anacondor’s fight is Dummied Out, but the art team who laboured over the sprites want to still get some use out of them.
  • Lampshaded:
    • “Ignore this pitiful worm! You face ME now!
    • “Hey! I was trying to FIGHT that snake, y’know! Give a guy a little EXP here!”
  • Invoked: The Dark And Stormy Knight baits Anancondor into fighting Hiro, as he wants the snake dead and thinks suddenly decapitating it would make for a suitable entrance.
  • Exploited: Hiro challenges Anancondor to a fight to draw out the Black knight, knowing that The Dark And Stormy Knight would immediately kill the snake and attack Hiro instead, as his honour would allow nothing less.
  • Defied: Anancondor turns on and murders the Dark and Stormy Knight before the latter can attack him, saying he doesn’t want his big moment to be interrupted.
  • Discussed: “Right about now, I’m expecting that knight to bust out the wall like the cool-aid man and split you in twain, and then challenge me to a fight as an encore”.
  • Conversed: “Wouldn’t it make more sense to wait until Hiro has just defeated Anancondor before attacking? For a knight, his grasp of tactics is…lacking."
  • Deconstructed: The Dark and Stormy Knight would have easily killed Hiro if the latter was worn out from fighting off Anacondor. Instead, the knight is beaten, and then has to explain both his failure and his assasination attempt to Emperor Evulz, who is decidedly unhappy with this arrangement.
  • Reconstructed:
  • Played For Laughs: Anacondor is a Punch-Clock Villain, and the Dark And Stormy Knight comes to take his shift right before the battle. Anacondor happily retreats to watch the fight with popcorn.
  • Played For Drama:

Back to Boss Fi- *SHCIK* …Er, Bait And Switch Boss, thank you.

Example of: