10 Gaming Boss Fight Tropes That Need To Die

Punch him three times in the weak spot, we know...

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Ninth Sister Boss Fight

The humble Boss Fight is as intrinsic to gaming as the 'jump' button (and blowing on cartridges).

From the early, formative years of Atari and Intellivision, through to the heyday of Nintendo, Sega and beyond, gamers have always tested their skills and claimed playground bragging rights by defeating bosses, usually at the end of a level or stage.

The structure is as familiar to players as the buttons beneath their thumbs: get to the end of a level, defeat a boss, rinse and repeat until the darkness has been lifted and/or the princess saved. The actual fights themselves are similarly predictable, and are usually heralded by a door slamming shut behind a player and the music changing.

While the gaming landscape has evolved exponentially with each new console generation, with the likes of Sony, Microsoft and - yes - even Nintendo putting more power than ever before in the palm of players' hands, boss fights have, sadly, failed to follow suit in the innovation stakes, sticking instead to tried and tested formula for thirty years or more.

Whilst this familiarity can often be a good thing, there are certain boss fight tropes which simply need to die.

10. Insta-Death

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Ninth Sister Boss Fight

Games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne have conditioned modern day players to expect a challenge. There is a certain school of thought among players that believes if a game is not as hard as all hell, it's either (a) not worth playing, or (b) a Nintendo game.

That said, even the most masochistic player out there will tell you that bosses who can kill you in literally one hit simply have to go.

Take Final Fantasy VII's Tonberry, for example.

Here you have an enemy who, whilst small in stature and arguably pretty adorable to behold, can decimate your entire party with as much effort as casually swatting away a pesky fly. He is truly a nightmare, and could definitely be said to be somewhat unfair, despite the fact that he can - rather obviously - be beaten in the end.

There is, however, a subtle yet crucial difference between one-hit-kill bosses, and enemies in RPGs such as the Xenoblade series, who can kill you easily since they are of a much higher level and are not meant to be tackled early in the game.

These are the exception though, and the truly unfair, insta-death bosses can - quite frankly - do one.


Jedi Knight, last son of Krypton, backwards-compatible gaming nerd, Dark Knight of Teesside...