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That One Boss / Beat 'em Up

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NOTE: Final Boss and Wake-Up Call Boss cannot be That One Boss without being overly hard by their standards. Please do not add them as examples.

Bonus Boss is banned from being That One Boss. It has to be overpowered and it's optional to fight them.

  • Lu Bu in the Hulao Gate stage of any Dynasty Warriors series is a textbook example of this trope—particularly when he powers up mid-fight. It's the only guy where the suggestion of "run away" is a good one. Of course, as they say: "DON'T PURSUE LU BU!" Or, have his iconic theme play while you're running the hell away or just getting hacked away at with no effort; that is, until you level up someone well enough or if a CPU ally has high enough morale against him off-screen.
    • Lu Bu in the Xiapi stage of Dynasty Warriors 4 if you kill Diaochan. This will enrage Lu Bu, who will power up into "hyper mode." If you want to kill Diaochan, it's suggested that you weaken Lu Bu to a sliver of life before killing Diaochan, and then have all of your generals dog pile Lu Bu. (Allied officers whose AI isn't set to "move to location" as top priority will tend to dogpile the enemy commander in a Warriors game.) In general this rule applies, although Warriors Orochi 2 may have averted it at least once.
      • On a related note, Wei's Act 3 qualifies as That One Act precisely because you have to beat Lu Bu at some point (if he flees at Xiapi, he'll face you in the very next battle). If you can do that, nothing Liu Bei or Sun Jian can throw at you should faze you.
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    • Then there's Lu Bu in Dynasty Warriors 5, which added a fun little feature called Musou Rage. Normally a player-only power-up which made you nigh-unbeatable while using it, Lu Bu could also use it. And while you have to find a Musou Token to use yours once, Lu Bu can use his repeatedly. Combine that with a few attacks that are probably impossible to block, and he will turn you into a bloody smear on the wall if you stand toe-to-toe with him while he's in a Musou Rage. That, and that game had the beefiest Lu Bu most people could ever fight.
    • At least the games (particularly Dynasty Warriors 6) give you the chance to put the shoe on the other foot - by playing as him in his own campaign. Where you proceed to utterly destroy EVERYONE. Twice. Including the people who were already dead. That One Boss is a lot more fun when you get to be him.
      • Or not. Unlike the boss version, the player version doesn't get to use the Hyper Armor, and his attacks have a dangerously lengthy recovery time that leaves him open to attacks.
      • Otherwise, Dynasty Warrior 6 might as well have the EASIEST Lu Bu fight in Hu Lao Gate. Sure, he can one-combo you off easily at the level you should be, but he is highly susceptible to getting knocked down by Charge Attacks, so you can simply "hit 'n run" him for almost half an hour to defeat him at level 1.
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  • Honda Tadakatsu and Maeda Keiji in Samurai Warriors 2. Sure, the computer-controlled ones have a slow wind-up speed to most of their attacks, but heaven help you if you get caught in even ONE of these attacks. There is a reason that in every story battle you come across them, your commanding officer strongly "suggests" you keep well away; especially since the former has his leitmotif.
  • Raoh in Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage. The final battle with him being the worst, where he gains the ability to use Musou Tensei and become intangible, forcing you to do the same so you can hit him at all.
  • And yet again for Dynasty Warriors-based games (sure is popular huh?): The first Blueno fight in the main story mode of One Piece: Pirate Warriors. True to the anime, This is a Heads I Win, Tails You Lose fight in a cramped space after the already aggravating Galley-La Company level. Like most bosses he has three phases. Phase one has him using Soru to fake a guard and punch your lights across the room, a normal combo, and Geppo to dance around a small space and slam you with an AOE attack. Phase two, he ditches Geppo and that normal combo in favor of Rankyaku, the razor kick. This wouldn't seem so bad, if he didn't fire it almost any time you try to come close, and its insane horizontal range and MORE insane speed makes it very tough to dodge. Then comes phase 3, where he shows off his Devil Fruit ability and teleports, where if you find him... Rankyaku! Did we mention that he adores that teleport?! It may be the first Game Over you get in this game!
    • And following that is the Rob Lucci battle. Fast and powerful attacks, annoyingly quick speed for the big target he is And in phase 2... you start out in Gear 3rd recovery mode with a load of Marines hounding you. And then there's phase 3, which, while you're in permanent Gear 2nd mode, you have to chase Lucci onto a Marine ship by redirecting cannonballs with Jet Balloon (hard in itself) while dodging his constant Rankyaku spamming in the background. Then win a QTE that leaves him vulnerable if you win... but requires you to hit buttons at a nearly impossible speed for the short time they arrive. Did we mention you have to do that whole cannonball into QTE thing twice!? Watching the ensuing Jet Gatling after beating him makes you feel so good after all this hell!
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    • And the NEXT level has Kizaru... yeah... that Kizaru... to start off, every time you "beat" him, you have to go to another area on the map to give chase. Doesn't seem so tough, but he's hounding your crewmates during this... the same ones that you have to protect only for Kuma to blast off, nigh you fail the mission. And he has three phases himself. Phase one, all he has is a simple kick, kick, sword combo, a sword swing with godly range, and his usual lightspeed kick. Phase two, after you meet up with him again, he uses all these with a teleport into laser that's not only hard to see coming, but hard to dodge even if you DO see it coming! Then there's phase 3, after you meet up for the last time, he combines all these tactics with a nigh unavoidable attack where he rams into whoever's in his almost impossibly large horizontal range several times for huge damage as well as an attack where he spins like a maniac while firing a metric crapton of laser beams! And to top it off, unlike most of the games Logia types (and Magellan), he likes to keep himself invincible as long as possible during all three phases, making trying to spam your specials an effort in futility.
  • Shtrom Jr. in Captain Commando. Sure, the game is crawling with harder bosses, but he's VERY fast, dashes from one side to another of the room in a second and attacks you with flying kicks and an harpoon thrower, mowing your energy down very easily and traumatizing many children who couldn't make it past the second level. The best part? The sixth level boss were A COUPLE OF THE SAME BOSS!
  • Slice, the fourth stage boss in Capcom's Cadillacs and Dinosaurs Arcade Game. He can blaze about the screen a-la Rolento, and he has ridiculous range and priority with his boomerang attacks... especially the multi-boomerang one which covers half the screen. To top it off, the seventh boss, Slisaurs, are mutated versions of that SAME DAMN BOSS! (three if you're playing a two/three player game)
    • There is however a simple trick to beat him. Namely precise spamming of the dash attack.
    • Even that's nothing compared to Tyrog, or as I like to call him, "Mr. Overkill". To recap: 1. Quick-moving, can hit you from just about everywhere 2. Constantly hopping, so nearly every hit knocks him down, making it virtually impossible to do any real damage. 3. Helper mooks constantly rushing in as fast as you can put them down. 4. And of course, you have to beat him THREE TIMES, each time being able to take more damage. Heck, compared to him, Fessenden is a light sparring session!
  • Fire Leo in Viewtiful Joe - insanely fast, massively strong, on fire, shoots deadly fireballs, and can take off four hearts in one attack. Oh, and he appears at the end of a Boss Rush. On higher difficulty settings you don't even get notification on where your enemy is attacking so it is harder to dodge them. Most common enemies give away other visual cues to make dodging them just as easy (like the common Mecha-Mooks bounce on their feet if they intend to deliver a low sweep kick), but not Fire Leo; the only clues he gives are audio ones. In other words, you can only guess where he is going to attack you during his tornado attack by identifying the sounds and grunts he makes. "Damn you, Fire Leo!"
    • And for more fun, the only way to damage him involves a hidden property of one of your powers: if you attack an object enough times using Mach Speed, Joe will catch fire (which is different from the Standard Status Effects version of being on fire, just to make things more cluttered) which renders him able to attack the burning Leo. This mechanic is explained earlier in the game, but you never get any indication that it's how to beat Fire Leo until you discover it on accident.
    • Know what's worse? Even if you do manage to get him close to death, he gets even faster.
    • By the way, the harder the difficulty, the more damage you take. All damage is multiplied by 8 in Ultra-V Rated, so that attack should take 32 hearts off you. Which is more health than what you can possibly have.
      • Another Joe's Mach Speed duplicates, which on easier difficulties are passable chip damage, are a blender of pure pain with the 8x damage in Ultra-V Rated mode.
  • Many of the bosses are like this in God Hand (which happens to be Nintendo Hard), but the Mad Midget Five are particularly brutal. Being outnumbered in a beat-em-up is bad enough, but these little nightmares love to team up, smacking you back and forth between two of them. And since they are midgets, your combo ability against them is limited because any hit to a midget juggles them. They are also one of the few bosses with projectile attacks, adding to the nightmare. Taking them out with the God Hand and God Reels is a difficult exercise; imagine doing this in the "Kick Me" Self-Imposed Challenge. The best part: you fight them twice!
    • And if you thought that was bad, take a look at the fight against the Three Evil Stooges; Conchita has a whip that she loves to use to grab you from anywhere, Bruce has a giant boomerang that once thrown, remains spinning around causing havoc for way too long, and Felix just hurts like hell. Now, imagine fighting them... ALL AT ONCE.
    • And then we have Demon Elvis. What better way to end a Scrappy Level than with a boss that will make you weep blood?
    • The Great Sensei. Insane combo attacks, most of which stun you, huge reach, high health, and the ability to duplicate himself up to seven copies make him a nightmare to take down. Not to mention he is preceded by an infamous Marathon Level that most likely leaves the player with no powerups and low on health.
      • There's actually a trick, involving the overhead attacks, that lets you lock Great Sensei into a stunloop. Even with this trick, he still takes at least four tries to kill.
    • Ravel and Debussy. It's bad enough that they are a Dual Boss, but they also have projectile spam and Debussy loves low kicks that you cannot simply duck under. In the Fighting Ring rematch, the second guitarist is likely to show up before you can take down either one, leading to even more projectile spam.
  • Streets of Rage for the Sega Genesis has the twins Mona and Lisa. In the first game, they're palette swap clones of Blaze, and behave more like the player characters than any other boss. They're fast, agile, and hit hard, making them very dangerous. The fire-breathing fat guys are a much cheaper version of a That One Boss. When they're charging, they can only be attacked from behind, making it difficult to get at them without getting flattened. When they're not charging, they hide around the edges of the screen, usually making them impossible to attack. They're also the only bosses that can't be thrown or suplexed.
    • Oddly, a way to (fairly) easily beat those twins is to be really slow about it and cautious. But then time limit! So you lose at least one life anyway. It's also telling that in the third game they come back, and have many more moves, and are still far, FAR easier.
    • The boss of level 2 combines this with a Wake-Up Call Boss, considering he's a vicious Lightning Bruiser whose slashes are extremely hard to avoid.
    • Jet in the third game is a total pain in the ass. With 4 bars of health (and that's only on Normal difficulty, folks) and constantly summoning Mooks who pretty much attack like he does (flying, staying airborne, slamming you if they grab you, etc.), you are guaranteed to lose a few lives to the flying bastards. Jet only has one and a half bars in the Japanese version, making him a LOT easier. In American Hard mode, he has something like 7 bars, and is utterly ridiculous.
    • Also Shiva, Mr.X's badass Ninja Bodyguard in SoR2. Your windows of opportunity are very small as he has a counter or knockdown to all of your moves. He also has an invincible attack. On the plus side, his song is totally awesome. He's quite easy though if you know the trick. If you do your regular special move just before his sliding attack lands, your invincibility frames guard you and he's left wide open for a Grand Upper, which conveniently sends him flying far back the right distance so he'll try to do the sliding attack again.
  • The Green Goblin from the Spider-Man arcade game. There are three stages to the fight; in the first and third, you fight him hand-to-hand and he's a wimp. During the second stage, however, he rides his glider and goes back and forth across the stage, dropping about twenty pumpkin bombs on you at once. They're damn near impossible to dodge, and on the rare occasion he decides not to bother with bombs, he flies across the stage so fast he's basically a purple and green blur trying to ram you. He eats up more quarters than any other boss in the game, and he's the last boss of the SECOND stage out of FOUR. When you have to fight him again in the fourth stage as part of a mini-boss rush, he's even faster and supported by goons. The final bosses are Dr. Doom and an infinite army of Venom clones, and neither are anywhere as near as hard as the Green Goblin.
  • Missing Link from Konami's Vendetta!. At seemingly random intervals he would roar and spread his arms, damaging the player and interrupting their attack. Not only was he nearly patternless, but he often didn't flinch from normal hits, having something almost like a super armor ability. Also, it goes without saying he could take a punch and beat you down fairly handily. In comparison, the last boss of the game had a machine gun, but even he moved in patterns and would flinch when you hit him. Also, the Missing Link was in an area with almost no weapons, compared to other bosses who at least had weapon-carrying minions.
    • See also Drigger in the post-apocalyptic Konami beat 'em up Violent Storm. Thankfully there is no Boss Rush as in Crime Fighters and Vendetta, although the final boss being a parody of Tetsuo from AKIRA more than makes up for that. The obviously palette-swapped ninja turtle boss is also aggravatingly fast.
  • The Magician from Kung Fu Master. HE should have been the last boss. Even if the last boss, Mr. X, didn't have his Achilles' Heel AI bug, he still wouldn't be as evil as The Magician. A non-crouching attack does no damage to The Magician; it makes his head fall off and he teleports away for no damage. He shoots fireballs that do good damage and, if dodged instead of attacked out the air, turn into monsters behind you. Additionally, stage enemies are still rushing you from behind while this fight is happening. ALSO, sometimes he will, without warning, shoot a fireball down at the floor instead of straight ahead when you approach; of course, this fireball will also turn into a monster, often putting a dragon between you and the retreating boss. ADDITIONALLY, THE GAME'S TIME LIMIT IS STILL COUNTING DOWN!
  • All the projectile users from the classic arcade game Gladiator. Hacking away pieces of an opponent's armor was the fun part of that game. The stupid block-the-projectiles stages in between those fights were just filler, but then for a stage boss you'd fight a fire breathing or arrow shooting opponent with no armor, which basically took the boring part of the game and made it the hardest part of the game.
  • Inversion: The boss fights were the least insanely and brokenly difficult parts of Battletoads...Oh, except for the Hypno Orb on "Clinger Winger", which if encountered in 2-player mode makes the game Unwinnable! Haha!
  • River City Ransom's Dragon Twins are pastiches of the main characters of Double Dragon and attack you with Billy & Jimmy Lee's famous spin kick while the title theme of Double Dragon plays. Not only do they predate post-modernism becoming fashionable in video games, but they make the final boss, Slick, look like a total chump.
    • At least until the GBA upgrade...Two words, Slick Trick.
      • Even worse, if you try to throw a full four-man party at him (you and three other characters), he'll do the exact same thing. Two of them? The Dragon Twins. Enjoy fighting the stupid formidable penultimate bosses all over again while the final boss is throwing all the crap randomly strewn on the rooftop of River City High for no discernible reason at you with his mind.
  • Double Dragon Advance, the GBA remake of Double Dragon, had a weapon and/or a conveniently placed Bottomless Pit in almost every boss fight. One that has neither is the second-to-last stage boss, which is also a Boss Rush: five martial artists whom you fight two at a time. The final one of these has all the special abilities of the previous four bosses, which bizarrely means that he has not one but two different methods of creating clones of himself in addition to turning into an unhittable shadow and knocking you over. If you avoid getting killed throughout the rest of the previous level, it's possible to enter the boss fight with a weapon, but carrying a weapon makes it harder to knock enemies into the pits of deadly spikes, which makes the level that much harder.
  • And following Lu Bu's example in That One Boss-ism (but not the treacherous nature and Berserker status) is Honda Tadakatsu in Samurai Warriors, especially in the second game where he is a regular character, frequently shows up if you oppose the Tokugawa faction and ALWAYS COME with Hyper Mode. All that can be said is... good luck if you ever try to take him down with a low level character, especially those who are not physically strong. (We're looking at you, Oichi.)
    • He's also like this in Sengoku Basara. The first game, he's notoriously tough, hard to stagger, and deals a wanton of damage. Start praying to God if you ever get caught in his electric orb move. And this is just on the original game, the Macekre'd version Devil Kings had his damage boosted even further, and you're surrounded with grunts that rarely attack, but if they do, they deal damage as strong as him. And if you try to rush after Ieyasu and forget about him? He teleports right next to Ieyasu and you have to deal with BOTH OF THEM.
      • Then he ups the ante again in Sengoku Basara 2: Heroes in Chosokabe Motochika's story. Not only does he have to be beaten thrice, each apparition of him gets even stronger, to the point that the last incarnation is also HARDER than in the first game.
    • In Samurai Warriors 3 the situation flips on its head: Honda Tadakatsu is far too easy, unlike Keiji Maeda, as he doesn't even use his moves to their full extent nor wisely, and his Hyper Armor fails too often. Meanwhile a player using Honda Tadakatsu is pretty much an invincible train of pain that can only be challenged by Commanders or Generals on their last stand.
  • Virgil in The Warriors. Not only do you just have Cleon and Vermin when you fight him, but the fight is in 3 parts! The first part, you have to keep chucking bricks and bottles at him since you can't reach him while he throws bottles and motolovs at you. Once he runs to the next room, he plays a game of hide and seek in dark areas. When he comes out, he'll try to kick you in the balls which slowly knocks you down to the ground. While he won't attack you while you're down, he's fond of hitting you like this and running away, with the camera hovering right above you so you can't see where he hid. Not only that, but in the final room where you can fight him normally, Virgil will occasionally "rage out" like you do, making him ungrabbable and has an attack that knocks you down. Oh yeah, and there's flaming falling debris that will put you on fire if you get hit. Luckily, Virgil can also be set aflame.
    • Chatterbox is also another That One Boss. When you first fight him, he's on a balcony like Virgil is and will throw motolovs at you while his Mooks deal with you. After you pelt him with bottles and skulls enough, he'll come down to fight you himself. Grabbing him just makes him push you down and his regular attack can also knock you down. Not only that, but if you or your allies get hit by the roller coaster, it's instant death. While you can get Chatterbox to die the same way, he will actually dive out of the way if it is coming. When his health gets low, he will be dazed, thus he can die by the car if he is on the tracks. However, if he is left alone for too long while dazed, he will pop some flash to heal himself and he can do this several times! Oh, and if you are going for a high score to unlock bonus content, Chatterbox dying by the roller coaster won't give you the 1000 point bonus boss kill.
  • The evil ghost Ezerhorden in the second Dungeons and Dragons arcade game, Shadow over Mystara. Considering if you beat the Bonus Boss from the FIRST game you already know how to beat the Bonus Boss of this game AND the final boss, it's Ezerhorden who wrecks your shit. He has a lot of invulnerability frames, and has resistance to everything but lightning. Since he seems to be a mad spirit it's kind of reasonable he ISN'T the final boss though.
    • Then again, the dragon's biting attacks, instant-kill breath weapon and hard to avoid melee attacks make the man at Fort Runnels ask you three times whether you want to face it, and for good reason. Deimos is also quite an annoying boss, given his constantly teleporting, immunity to magic and high-level spells.
  • King of the Monsters 2 has quite a few bosses that could qualify for this. Beetle Master can jab you with his stinger tail to poison you, which slows you down for the scant few seconds he needs to grab you again. He even clones himself once for his second phase! Aqua Slug can stun you in one of two ways; with its grab (which freezes you in ice), or by shooting blobs which make you swell up like a balloon. King Famardy is definitely the worst case of this. For starters, before you even fight him, you have to beat all the other bosses AGAIN (which, due to their tendency to knock you down repeatedly, is not very pleasant). Once you finally reach King Famardy himself, you'll be surprised to see that despite being a gigantic lump without legs, he can leap across the screen farther, faster and higher than every other monster, and he can knock you down JUST BY JUMPING TOWARDS YOU. This property is even more dangerous than everything else in his arsenal, including his ability to fire every other boss's projectile attack.
  • Haman Khan at the end of Judau Ashta's story in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam. Judau's story is 2 levels long, giving you almost no time to grind either the pilot or the Mobile Suit, and Judau switches Mobile Suits just before the final level. This leaves you with a low-leveled pilot, and a MS which will be level 2 at best, and have no equipment by the time you fight Haman. It doesn't help that you have to fight her four times in this mission: the first three are bearable, but the fourth fight doesn't have any Mecha-Mooks that you can use to charge your SP Attack or get armor repairs from, and when you get her down to 25% health, she recovers all her armor and Turns Red.
    • The Devil Gundam in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2. You have to kill the tentacles before you can touch the head, and the head is the only way to kill the boss... unlucky for you, the tentacles shower Frickin' Laser Beams and fall on you more or less the second you touch them. Even more evilly, some missions require you to take this boss on in a really weak mobile suit, or as part of a Boss Rush sequence, or as part of an Escort Mission where naturally the person you need to protect insists on running directly into the laser barrage.
      • Although there is a Game-Breaker available, in the form of the "Small Giant" skill.
    • Burning Gundam. Pray you do not run into this pain train from hell as the boss of a mission on Hard. It has the ability to make two clones of itself if it decides things are getting too serious, not to mention that it gets its ludicrous attack power increased even further if either Domon Kashu or Master Asia is the pilot, not to mention that all bosses on Hard have a funny habit of initiating their special move the instant you get their health down to a sliver, as you're attacking them, making it impossible to block and near impossible to get away from unless you aren't juggled and have a special attack of your own saved up to counter it.
    • A few enemies that decided to not just take the cake of difficulty, but also smear it in your face are both versions of Psyco Gundam and its damned to hell explosions killing your allies off like flies. Do not get fans started on any time Athrun and Kira decide they don't like Shinn and double team him? The less said about the Big Zam the least they fixed That One Boss from the first game: Paptimus Scirocco and Haman inside the damn colony laser. While using the underpowered Hyaku Shiki. While probably Level 10. With them in Hyper Mode and unanimously deciding they hate Char far more than they hate each other...
    • Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 fixed the issues with giant enemies: they now lack their super armor and can be attacked normally (this is especially nice with Devil Gundam, since you can attack him anytime without killing the Gundam Heads first). However, they also introduced Knight Gundam, who in certain stages has permanent Super Mode and such ludicrous attack power that he can kill anything in two hits. That's two basic attacks. Fights with him can last mere seconds on these stages.
  • In Dungeon Fighter Online, many of the bosses past level 30 are made to be tougher, but one boss stands out. Isadora from the GBL Arad Branch dungeon. Out of all the bosses at the end of the game, she stands out as That One Boss of this game. Her attacks include a Meteor spell, summoning spirits to fight with her, a move to detonate said spirits for large amounts of damage, a copy of the Mage's Phase shift spell, teleporting close combat moves that inflict Freeze or Blind, in addition to all of this, she's not alone either. She has several of the Mooks of the dungeon with her, plus two of the more annoying enemies in that dungeon as well. Oh and if you thought her Heel–Face Turn in Metastasis meant you were safe, she's still at Iced Wall!
    • Sajin the Dragon Swordsman can be an absolute nightmare. The final boss of the Tower of Illusion, his DPS is through the roof and into the stratosphere, his attacks cover large amounts of ground in a relatively small room, and he has really nasty combos that can drain well over half of your health in one go. As if that weren't bad enough, there are ten dragons scattered around the room called Freets that have a rather nasty habit of spamming their ridiculously wide-angle flame breath attack to knock you out of your attacks or simply stun you. Needless to say, you have to use your most overpowered attacks to even stand a chance against this bastard. Naturally, you need to beat him once to get your overpowered attacks as the ToI is a job advancement objective.
    • The new Metastasis dungeons have one boss per area that tends to give players fits:
      • In Meltdown, there's Red Hand Busley. While he's fairly tame if you can stay on top of him and can endure his occasional melee combo, if he gets away for a few seconds, he'll summon shadow that tear through health like crazy. Adding onto this is the fact that he's encountered at level 23, which is before the player starts getting to the real meat of their selected subclass.
      • Probably the most notorious boss for newcomers is Gold King Widir. He starts the fight by dropping lightning bolts on your character for a long time unless you can throw him out of it, and he can throw his hammer to the ground to generate electric fields and spawn an electric orb that moves back and forth, letting him control decent portions of the small arena. The real pain is when he literally Turns Red and can unleash a series of rushing attacks similar to the Slayer's Drive Slash except up to 9 hits. Thankfully he tires out after the combo, but all it can take is getting caught twice to kill the player at this point. He also gains more arena control by summoning spears to linger overhead. Oh, and he's the boss of TWO dungeons, and his second arena is a very long corridor with tons of enemies.
      • Behemoth has the boss of the special dungeon, Adenbain. By himself, he is easily comboable and his only really damaging attack is if you're standing right on top of him when he starts his self-stabbing attack. However, at some point he'll begin That One Attack by summoning four green-named enemies. If you can't kill all of these summons fast enough (and at least one of them just loves to avoid any attempts of being grouped up for a mass beatdown), he explodes all of the corpses in the room. And the room is absolutely covered in corpses, so it's almost always the player's first taste of a one-hit kill. Players that can't reliably kill all of the summons fast enough learn very quickly how to otherwise avoid the attack, and it tends to not be the rather unreliable nen bubble that appears. note 
  • DonJames in the NES port of P.O.W.: Prisoners of War is more deadly, overpowered, and hair-tearing aggravating than every other enemy in the game put together. He moves quickly and is tough to get to, and has both a five-way gun and unlimited grenades, both of which kill you in one hit. He also has the nasty habit of grenading the spot where your next life begins, meaning you lose another life before you can even move! And just for a little bloody, fragmented icing on the cake, he shows up twice.
  • General Tragg from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game (at least the NES version). He comes prepared with a lot of health and has a long-ranged attack, in addition to a punch attack that hits hard. Often, he tries to hit you into the electric barrier, if you try jump kicking him. Given you'll probably get KO'ed in the fight, and add to the fact there's an electric fence where he tries cornering you into, which also hurts you.
    • Also from the same game, Krang. Another boss who takes a lot of punishment before being defeated, and he has quite a few attacks prepared, including a missile attack, a long-range kick that will often hit you, and a punch which he doesn't use as often as the other two attacks. It's not uncommon to lose a couple lives in that fight.
    • Shogun, the sixth level's boss. qualifies for this in spades considering his basic attacks out-range your own and also can can counter your jump kicks unless you have perfect timing. It gets even worse when he Turns Red and his head flies off of his body and around the room trying to attack you while his body also tries to attack you at the same time. He is also the boss of That One Level, so have fun dealing with that.
    • Baxter Stockman, whom you had to attack with jump-kicks while he hovered around throwing Mousers all over the place.
  • Senran Kagura:
    • The mission "What Doesn't Kill Me" in the Hebijo storyline has you fighting Homura as Haruka. She will not allow you to just keep your distance and hold her down by repeatedly throwing neurotoxin at her. If you try to do so, she will rip your clothes off so fast that you will not even have time to think before your neurotoxin is gone.
    • The battle wouldn't be nearly as difficult if she didn't have a dozen or so goons whacking you as you try and battle her.
    • Heck, any mission where you fight Homura or Miyabi is bound to be harder than normal due to both of them being extremely fast Lightning Bruisers.
    • Same goes for Mirai, unless the player has learnt to dodge her bullets consistently (a skill which is required by no other boss in the game). Homura at least can be locked down if you have the reach to do so; Mirai has a tendency to lock you down instead with her constant barrage of gunfire. To make matters worse, that also gives her ample opportunities to use her Ninja Arts.
    • Mirai's battle against Hibari in Chapter 4 is also really hard. Here's the setting: Mirai; a long range combatant, is fighting Hibari (a very close range combatant) and her goons in a very tight arena with no power-ups at all. If you take damage, you're going to keep that damage. Even at Level 23 (20 is about where you'll be if you're doing only the story missions), you're doing Scratch Damage to Hibari, and she can hit back really hard.
    • Hebijo's 5-14 pits you against Daidōji...and four strengthened robo-dummies at once. If you get careless either the dummies will stun you to death or Daidōji will wipe the floor with you using her ninja arts, is even worse on Frantic Mode where a single hit from Daidōji is enough to kill you.
    • Chapter 3-04 of Hanzō's story, in Shinovi Versus, has you go up against Miyabi, Ryōbi, and Ryōna. The problem? It's a 1 vs. 3 fight. Miyabi can inflict serious damage with her combos as well as chase you down if you ever try to fall back. It's also followed by the problem of having to deal with the Ryō twins and their constant intervening. Combined, all three can be a threat and will not give you any breathing room whatsoever. What makes this all the more irritating is that this is the only time where you fight three bosses at the same time.
    • Chapter 4-05 of Gessen's story in Shinovi Versus has you fighting against Homura as Yumi. While Homura herself isn't all that hard, the real challenge comes from the Mooks she's surrounded by which happen to be the strongest enemies in the game, the Greater Shinobi and the Bear Assassin Shinobi. Both of which can tank your attacks and deliver devastating damage, with the former able to inflict paralysis and can chain combos once they land a hit, and the latter able to inflict burn status with their rolling attacks that gradually drain your HP. Taking them out first is critically essential for beating this fight and while you can make them flinch with Yumi's fully charged breach art, doing so will leave you open to Homura's attacks. Thankfully defeating them rewards you with ninja scrolls and healing onigiri but still, this fight is tough.
    • Chapter 6-05 of both Rin and Daidōji's stories in Shinovi Versus. Both are tough as hell. Being the quickest character in SV, Rin will chase you down and not give you any time to react to her attacks. She'll pretty much pummel you from the very beginning of the fight with her breach art and speed. Daidōji, however, is quite slower, but hits significantly harder. Attacking her with every last bit of power you have does little to nothing.
    • Any mission with Asuka, Ryōna and Haruka as the boss count as well.
    • Any tier 4 raid boss in New Wave for their astronomical health and offense. It's not uncommon to see lots of cooperation request anytime they appear.
    • Yagyū in Shinovi Versus courtesy of how she absolutely loves to spam kunai at every possible moment for every second she's in the air. Of course, if you can handle that, that instead makes the fight boring as all hell.
    • From Senran Kagura 2:
      • Yomi's first fight has been a brickwall for many players due the different mechanics introduced on the game.
      • Any fight with Dougen becomes this due his tendency to ram the player from off-screen, invincibility frames and the considerable amount of health he has.
      • Kagura/True Kagura is this for some players due to her teleporting skills.
    • In Estival Versus, there's Kafuru of the Mikagura Sisters. Combine Mirai's long-range fighting style with the multi-dash benefit from characters like Ikaruga and a "dive" attack similar to Asuka's, and you'd have one HELL of a tough opponent. Not only do her water projectiles have insane range, but travel in unpredictable arcs and will stun-lock you dead still with little chance of recovery if you take enough hits from the barrage. And fighting her always consists of a Wolfpack Boss with her other sisters. So while she's busy stun-locking you, she's also giving her other sisters a chance to lay a beating on you as well. You should always prioritize on taking her out first before going after the other sisters.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Manhattan Project had Leatherhead. He could grab your character and proceed to chomp his face, leading to one of the most damaging attacks in the entire game. He also has a tail whip when you're in melee range. He also has a gun which shoots three bullets which knock you back. His range on his ground attacks was such that drop kicking was just about the only way to realistically hit him, but if he was in his dash this would simply knock you back. Oh, and he and Groundchuck are the only two fights in the game that have a water pit.
    • It's easier to deal with Leatherhead there than Slash in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time. He's exclusive to the SNES version and you fight him in place of the Cement monster which appeared in the Arcade version. He has five bars of health, fully blocks all frontal attacks, and he outranges Donatello, making your own survival to the point of when he jumps and exposes his back a chore.
      • Then again in co-op he easily becomes ridiculously simple to beat. Who can say SLASH PING PONG?
    • Also the two person battles in the case of Tokka and Rahzar, considering that Tokka can freeze you and Rahzar can burn you. Also the boss fight with Bebop and Rocksteady considering that Bebop's whip attack and Rocksteady's thrust attack both had insane priority. Good luck with these battles if you're playing one player mode considering that even with two players these fights could be very tough.
  • Hookah from Dragonica. It has a powerful OHKO slash with his hook. Not to mention the shoot who tangles you and stops you from moving and the poison shoot. Expect him to be a nightmare when you're facing him alone. In harder stages, he's even worse, because he can summon his minions and you're screwed if you don't have a party or no potions.
    • Combined with the fact he's one of the first bosses that has never ending mook spawns.
  • Super Double Dragon has McGuire, the Monster Clown boss of Mission 5, who likes to throw his weight around and is equipped with a deadly Kano-style Rolling Attack. In Mission 3, there's the Chen-Long Brothers, who have the ability to counter-throw you, and you have to fight both of them at once in the Japanese version.
  • Demon King Nobunaga in Sengoku Basara 3. Normally, Nobunaga isn't hard, but he'll absorb the souls of his fallen army (up to 6 times) and his attacks will do more damage but at the cost of his defense. The last time is the worse, here he summons a demon to surround him, making his attacks more powerful and unblockable.
  • Chin Taimei from the NES version of Double Dragon and the arcade version of Double Dragon II. This guy is much more resilient than previous opponents, frequently counter-attacks with low kicks, and the first time you encounter him, there's no room to dodge; at least you can throw him off the building if you're skilled. You'll be facing him as a Demonic Spider Mook many more times in the following missions. In II, he's equipped with nunchucks and almost constantly jumpkicks, and has the ability to knock you into the Bottomless Pit this time.
  • MadWorld has a pair of That One Mini-Boss. The second actually is a pair, the Cyber Slicers, a pair of robots in the main Shout Out level who have enhanced defense and range, attack simultaneously, coordinate with the Mooks, and will stay back if you near an environment hazard, or chase you to the ends of the earth if you don't. But the most universally reviled Mini-Boss is the aptly named Death Blade. This Grim Reaper wannabe can instantly kill you if he touches you with his scythe, which may not be that hard, as his roller blades make him faster than you, and the scythe has pretty good reach. He doesn't coordinate his attacks to the extent of the Cyber Slicers, but it's still just as bad, because if it does happen, the standard zombies will grab you and trigger a weapons clash in which you have to shake yourself free, but the shaking isn't always recognized and you still die. The best approach to killing him is to hit him with an exploding barrel (there are exactly enough in the level to get the achievement for doing this to him several times).
    • Notably, the Cyber Slicers and Death Blade are the only mini-bosses to not return for the mini-Boss Rush immediately before the final boss.
    • In terms of bosses proper, Frank and The Shamans. The former is a Mighty Glacier with surprisingly tricky timing to make dodges against, the ability to heal himself, and the fact the lower part of his arena is flooded, meaning falling down leaves you vulnerable to a devastating electric attack. Doesn't help that damaging Frank while he heals requires you to put yourself at risk for said attack. The latter is a Flunky Boss based around dealing with the summoned enemies and fighting the pack leader as he moves around the map. The pack leader has a rather fast rush attack, the Power Struggle is rather difficult to pull off, and gets harder the lower the pack leader's health is, and the minions can do a particularly annoying wheel attack with Hitboxes bigger than the attack would seem. Their levels are right next to each other, by the way, so good luck.
  • Asura's Wrath is a relatively easy game game on normal difficulty if you know what you're doing, but even for a final boss Vlitra's Core does a ridiculous amount of damage and attacks that aren't just extremely hard to dodge in a game where dodging can save you greatly but also have counters that flash faster than you can reasonably react, forcing you to simply pound the buttons and hope you hit the right one. When equipping the Mortal gauge, which Nerfs Asura and lowers his health greatly, EVERY big boss fight becomes this, with Yasha being the first to truly make people tear out their hair and break their controllers in frustration. And each difficulty makes the boss fights even harder than the previous one.
  • Executioners: It's hard to say which bosses of the 9 levels would qualify for this trope. Mega-Midget(s) of level 4 is one, because he can summon a group of Midget-Men to harass you, and has the "Midget Power!" attack, in which he flies like Superman to try to grab you, and as soon as he goes off-screen, he'll try to stomp on you from above. You must dodge his grab and stomp, grab him just before he can punch you, and punch him up to stand a chance. Blade-Rumbler of level 7 is one, because he has a stomp attack he telegraphs by yelling "Let's Rumble!" and you must jump to avoid taking damage. He can throw some bladed weapon that flies pretty fast and pretty weirdly and I don't know if dodging it is even possible. To stand a chance against him, you must put moderate distance between him and you, avoid getting hit by his bladed(?) fist, grab him just before he can punch you, and punch him up!
  • The Doctor from Shank 2. He's incredibly fast, his attacks usually do major damage, and he's super tough. He can also heal himself. Admittedly, he's not quite as bad if you just spam him with the shotgun, but even then he's still harder than the actual final boss. If you're legitimately playing the game on hard mode, he's a nightmare.
  • Catwoman in Batman Returns for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. She's faster than you, has a longer reach than you, has annoying tendency to constantly backflip (which renders her invulnerable) and camp out over your body after she knocks you down so she can get in a free hit after you get up, and the first time you fight her she has a dashing slash attack that can kill you in two hits. If she's hanging out in one of the corners of the arena on the same side you are when the attack starts, it's pretty easy to dodge, but anywhere else is mostly down to luck whether or not you get hit.
  • Gnarly Gnome, the boss of Area 2 in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. He constantly teleports around the stage, and you can only get one or two (three if you're lucky and qucik) hits on him. As if that wasn't bad enough, his weapon of choice, a rake, has some good range on him, and it can deal a lot of damage. To add on to that, once he reaches half-health, he starts teleporting rapidly, meaning you'll be seeing lots of copies of him before he quickly attacks you. And to make things even worse, he has two ranged attacks that are difficult to see coming. And this is only the second boss of the game.
  • Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage has Muzzoid, a robot that takes lots of hits to start showing damage, has relatively few parts to be hit, depletes the player's HP pretty easily when he strikes, and to make the fight annoying along with difficult, is frequently jumping around, with one leaping attack that drops the player on the ground.
  • Yakuza, specifically Yakuza Kiwami:
    • Futoshi Shimano in Chapter 3. He's a Moveset Clone of Mr. Shakedown, but while he doesn't have their insane strength, he's still pretty durable and doesn't flinch while using most of his attacks, so trading hits won't get you very far. He's fairly simple to wear down if you wait for him to attack... but then he start regenerating health. If you didn't unlock Essence of Extreme Rush, this fight is going to take way longer than it should. If you didn't stock up on healing items before starting the chapter, you're doubly screwed.
    • Shindo in Chapter 7. Not only is he a blade-wielding boss, he's a blade-wielding boss with a bunch of uninterruptable attacks. Even dodging short of Rush style is difficult because his attacks have good reach and a wide arc. If you didn't invest in anti-weapon skills or at least stocked up on some decent weapons to use for your own, he will give you a bad time.
    • The Pre-Final Boss, Kyohei Jingu, is not too difficult on his own, but he's also a Flunky Boss and a "Get Back Here!" Boss. His first phase has you chase after him while he sends plenty of armed goons to shoot at you. Then you get to his second phase, where it's not the boss's guns and explosives you have to worry about the most, it's his two Elite Mooks. They're also armed with guns, can take a lot of hits and will block and counter nearly all your attacks. Oh, and if you knock them both out, they'll immediately recover and start attacking you with knives. Even with Tiger Drop, they'll be a pain in the ass to beat before you can start focusing on the actual boss.
  • Kung Fu Chivalry's fifth boss is one of the most frustrating, due to propensity to spam his Air Dash Attack, which can stunlock the player to death. The only recourse is to spam your own special attacks, which requires a fair amount of dexterity.


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