Bosses are one of the most important elements of a video game. They act as a very powerful enemy that usually take many hits or a different/unusual tactic to defeat. Bosses include the likes of Bowser from Super Mario Bros. and Ganon from The Legend of Zelda.

Types of Bosses

There a variety of bosses in games that serve various purposes.

  • Mini-boss - these bosses are often powerful versions of enemies that block progression in the current level. Sometimes, they can be bypassed in their entirety. Their defeat doesn't usually affect the story and often net few rewards. Sometimes they become standard enemies later in the game. Examples: Yellow Devil in the Mega Man series, Boom-Boom in Mario,
  • Stage boss - these bosses are what are normally considered bosses. They are very powerful and block progression to the next world. Examples: Koopalings, Robot Masters, Ridley, Gym Leaders
  • Rivals- these bosses are characters that are named and recur throughout the game to challenge the player. Each fight with the Rival generally has the same basis but progressively gets harder. Examples: Shadow Mario in SMS, your rival in Pokémon, Ghirahim in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • Final Boss - The final boss is the last fight required to beat the game. These bosses are often the most powerful enemy in the game, requiring different mechanics to defeat it. They also take place across multiple stages. Examples include Bowser in Mario, Mother Brain, Ganon in  Zelda and the Champion in Pokemon
  • Secret Boss - Secret Bosses are bosses that the player only fights if he goes off the beaten path, usually in some side quest. Some secret bosses are even more powerful that the final boss. They are more often found in RPGs than other genres. They often reward the player with very nice gear and possibly new skills

Boss Rush

Boss Rush (somes called a Boss Gauntlet) is a mode in certain games where the player must face each Boss, one after the other with maybe a restoration room in between each fight. They are very challenging and are usually optional side quests.

Notable Bosses

Mario Bosses

The Legend of Zelda Bosses

Kirby Bosses

Metroid Bosses

Pikmin Bosses

Super Smash Bros.

Other series

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