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Basic Trope: The difficulty of bosses in a Video Game is significantly different from that of the rest of the game.

  • Straight
    • Mario-type: The bosses are much easier than the levels.
    • Kirby-type: The bosses are much harder than the levels.
  • Exaggerated
  • Justified
    • Mario-type:
      • The boss is a weak but brilliant and charismatic Big Bad who is protected by his legion of Mooks and deviously constructed Death Course.
      • The game is based around navigation and platforming, and not around combat. The bosses are simply there to signify the end of a level.
      • Alternatively, the game is a Bullet Hell shooter. It's significantly easier to avoid intricate bullet patterns from one enemy rather than sprays of bullets from several.
    • Kirby-type:
  • Inverted: Mario-type and Kirby-type are inversions of each other.
  • Subverted
  • Double Subverted
  • Parodied
    • Mario-type: A Platform Hell game has humorously easy bosses like ordinary goldfish, rubber ducks, etc.
    • Kirby-type: A Nintendo Hard Boss Game has areas between the bosses that are substantial, but pointlessly easy.
  • Deconstructed
    • Mario-type: The boss has an inferiority complex that leads to suicidal tendencies. When you fight him, he refuses to fight back and begs you to finish him. When the player beats him (if the player beats him), it's a genuine Tear Jerker.
    • Kirby-type: The boss's minions are on strike and do nothing to stop you on your way to the boss. While you're busy with him, they terrorize the countryside, and one of them becomes the next Big Bad.
  • Reconstructed
    • Mario-type: ...but when he finds out that you're actually going to go through with it, he has a Freak-Out and tries to take you out with all he's got!...only to be taken out in half a second.
    • Kirby-type: ...only for the first Big Bad to beat the arising boss and take control of his gang (and former minions).
  • Zig Zagged: There are lots of bosses in the game. Some are hard, some are easy, some are all but impossible, some are too easy....
  • Averted: The bosses are more challenging than the rest of the game, to a reasonable extent. Or as challenging as the levels themselves.
  • Enforced:
    • Mario-type: "The player just went through hell to get to the end of the level, right? Let's make the bosses really easy so they don't break their controllers.
    • Kirby-type: "Sure, the levels look pretty, but it's the bosses that'll stick in the players mind. So make the levels easy so they can get to the super-tough bosses, where the real fun lies."
  • Lampshaded
    • Mario-type: "You seem incredibly weak compared to what I had to go through to get to you."
    • Kirby-type: "If you're such a Badass, why did you hire such wimps to guard you?"
  • Invoked
    • Mario-type: "The Hero will never defeat me if he can't get past all my guards and traps!"
    • Kirby-type: "I can't trust my Mooks to take care of this guy. It's time to take matters into my own hands."
  • Defied
    • Mario-type: A Recurring Boss is fought early on, and doesn't put up much of a fight. He comes back, having sworn vengeance and taken several levels in badass, to become That One Boss.
    • Kirby-type: A very tough boss battle is fought...for a few seconds or turns. The boss then escapes so he can stay alive and see his Evil Plan come to fruition.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed:
    • Mario-type: "Oh man, after that level, the boss music has never sounded so sweet."
    • Kirby-type: "Oh crap. That's the boss music."

Back to Boss Dissonance

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