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Playing With / The Unfought

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Basic Trope: A major antagonist in a Video Game is never faced in battle for some reason.

  • Straight: Duke Eugene Darrows has been a thorn in the heroes' sides ever since he joined Emperor Evulz. However, they never get a chance to fight him head-on during their quest.
  • Exaggerated: Though it looks as though they'll be able to take out the Duke several times, he always manages to evade them and sic minions on them instead.
  • Downplayed:
    • Duke fights our heroes with a vehicle, but never directly.
    • Only an impersonator of Duke is fought. The real one ends up killed shortly after his ringer is defeated.
    • Duke Eugene Darrows is faced in battle alongside a pair of Recurring Bosses, but is never fought in a separate battle.
  • Justified:
    • Duke Darrows doesn't have any fighting skills and wouldn't stand much of a chance against the heroes, so he avoids a direct confrontation at all costs.
    • Duke is, in fact, on what would end up being the hero's side, as well as Evulz for once. Halfway through, shortly before you catch up with Duke, a major reveal is shown, changing sides dramatically with the heroes actually agreeing with Evuls, and by extension Duke, removing a need to fight.
    • Duke Darrows is a Non-Action Big Bad.
    • Duke isn't really a person. He's actually a disguise designed to be able to be put on by many people of the same height and weight. You don't find this out until later, when you think you may finally be able to face him.
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    • Duke is killed by the real Big Bad before the heroes can get to him.
  • Inverted:
    • Duke Darrows is a badass who could dismantle the heroes with ease, so they must avoid fighting him at all costs.
    • Every battle in the game is against Duke.
    • Duke Darrows is a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere. No context or build up whatsoever, but you still have to fight him.
  • Subverted:
    • The heroes chase him down and take him on.
    • The credits roll, and the boss fight with Duke takes place afterwards.
  • Double Subverted:
    • However, after the battle ends, the Duke they fought is revealed to a body double minion.
    • Except this turns into a Cutscene Boss.
  • Parodied: Duke Darrows looks like a total badass but at the final boss fight he simply leaves and you fight a minor mook from the beginning of the game that Took a Level in Badass.
  • Zig Zagged: There are several routes in the game. One of them you end up on the same side as Darrows, another he looks like he'll get used as a diversion but gets executed for letting the heroes reach the final sanctum, and finally in one route.
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  • Averted: All major antagonists are faced in battle.
  • Enforced:
    • The creators want to avoid an Anticlimax Boss, so they keep the player from ever fighting the Duke.
    • It is difficult to conceive how a fight with Duke would play out.
    • It's a licensed game where the characters in the original work didn't fight the Big Bad directly, and the studio wanted to be true to the source. (Or just couldn't figure out how to add the scene.)
    • Technical limitations make the boss impractical despite being so integral to the story.
  • Lampshaded: "Damn it! When will we get to face him?!" "I don't think we will."
  • Invoked: Duke Darrows makes sure to operate remotely so he can never be accessed.
  • Exploited: Duke Darrows can't be fought and he knows it. He never wields any weapons nor and wears no armor. Instead he shows up in outfits that would be lethally impractical for anyone else and taunts the heroes unceasingly.
  • Defied: Duke Darrows tries to run away. Rosemary chases after him swearing that she'll kill him painfully for what he did to her village. She catches up to him for a Duel Boss fight against him.
  • Discussed: "Duke Darrows always seems to leave when we're about to fight him. Maybe he doesn't want to fight us for some reason..."
  • Conversed: "Is he going to be one of those bad guys that always runs away and never fights? I hate those guys!"
  • Deconstructed: Duke Darrows ends up a Karma Houdini and the party ends up embittered that the man behind it all got away.
  • Reconstructed:
  • Played For Laughs: Duke Darrows is obviously a simpering coward who flees any sign of danger — frequently tripping all over himself and even getting hurt in the process of running away.
  • Played For Drama: The Duke betrayed Becky's homeland to The Empire, and she joined the heroes hoping for revenge. But he just keeps slipping through her fingers...

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