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This happens when a boss isn't just big, but forms the focus of an entire section of the level, playing the part of both scenery, boss, and sometimes also Sub Boss. It can be considered largely as a thematic way of tying a sequence of opponents and obstacles together using a common theme.
In scrolling shooters, the path will usually loop around the boss, past various gun turrets, Mook Makers and other dangers, before leading to the core, command centre or similar. The boss might at first be seen in the background, before flying on-screen.
When the same thing happens in a platform game, the result is the Colossus Climb.
The slow pan on the Star Destroyer in Star Wars Episode IV may be the inspiration. When it first came out in 1977, many people watching wondered "When is this ship going to end?" The producers of Blakes Seven thought "We're never going to beat this on the budget of a Police Procedural".
- From the beginning of the series, Ace Combat, has had vast aircraft bristling with weaponry to take down. The first game had its flying fortress and 2 had the XB-10 "Big Bad Mama," a large bomber similar to the Hresvelgr. In 5 there's the Arkbird [and arguably also the SOLG], in Zero it's the Hresvelgr, in X Gleipnir, and in 6 the Aigaion.
- The Scinfaxi and Hrimfaxi submarines in 5 also count, as they are (eventually) the focus of their respective levels; each is also an aircraft carrier with separately targetable anti-aircraft weapons, and burst missiles that will kill you unless your altitude is at 5,000 feet or higher.
- Rogue Squadron II opens with an attack on the Death Star, consisting of fighting gun turrets, fighters, and then a final trench run.
- And ends with taking out the second Death Star's reactor.
- And then there's the two missions where you must destroy Star Destroyers, one of which has you destroying two of them.
- Rogue Squadron III has you killing Super Star Destroyers, including the Executor, the only Super Star Destroyer to appear in the movies.
- X-Wing Alliance's final missions have you take the Millennium Falcon into battle against the second Death Star, and the very last mission, you get to go inside, just like the movie.
- X-Wing vs TIE Fighter, and its expansion, Balance of Power had scenarios built around this premise: Turkey Shoots. Pretty much every class of capital ship would hyperspace in one at a time starting with Corvettes, with the idea being to slaughter each ship before tackling the next, bigger ship. Balance of Power's Turkey Shoot culminated with you and your squadron, fatigued from everything that had come before, attempting to take down a Super Star Destroyer.
- Free Space is famous for having truly enormous warships that utterly dwarf the player's fighter. The crowning example here is the six kilometer long Sathanas-class juggernaut, so huge that humanity's own Fenris-class cruisers can fit in its fighterbay! Generally, unless you're flying a bomber armed with anti-capship torpedos (and even then it can take a while), these warships are near-impossible to take down on your own, and your job is to disable their turrets and Wave Motion Guns so your own warships can tackle them.
- Any mission in which you had to attack an enemy zeppelin in Crimson Skies counts.
- Il-2 Sturmovik has both literal (in Pacific Fighters) and figurative examples (attacking large bomber squadrons, etc.).
First Person Shooter
- Haze's entire final level consists of an attack on a giant tracked Land Carrier, first outside, then inside and finally onto the deck and into the bridge tower.
- The first Call of Duty has a literal battleship raid, in which your character and Captain Price needed to inflitrate the Tirpitz to sabotage it.
- Unreal Tournament 2004 has an Assault level which invokes this trope and plays it right.
- Battlefield 2142's Titan dropships are Airborne Aircraft Carriers that can be sabotaged for instant victory.
- In Halo: Reach's The Long Night of Solace, you raid and destroy a Covenant corvette and supercarrier.
Role Playing Games
- The final boss of the first Kingdom Hearts game summons an absolutely enormous Heartless for his final form, and the player has to take it apart piece-by-piece before they can finish him.
- Kingdom Hearts II does this in two of the Gummi Ship levels and, again, the Final Boss. The first Gummi Ship version centers around a flying Heartless pirate-ship... blasting off its huge arsenal of different cannons and such takes up a lot of time, and towards the end, you have a chance at destroying it entirely - you don't HAVE to, but it's worth a buttload of points. Then there's Assault of the Dreadnaught, where you take on an even bigger Nobody ship, even flying inside it and blasting at the core.
- This happens several times in Skies of Arcadia, and fittingly so since the game's about Sky Pirates.
- The Giant of Bab-il from Final Fantasy IV.
- And who can forget the Phantom Train from Final Fantasy VI? The entire area you fight through is pretty much the boss itself. And you get to suplex it at the end.
- Though you don't actually fight it, and play no direct role in its destruction, Herakles from Tales of Vesperia counts.
- The final area of Xenogears takes place within Deus after it has grown to roughly the size of a mountain.
- This is done to Bahamut in the final part of Final Fantasy XII.
- In Maple Story, one of the bosses, Krexel, is a giant tree that makes up the whole map. You fight it by standing on its roots.
- In Final Fantasy X, the airship Fahrenheit goes one-on-one with the colossal abomination Sin. But first, the airship has to fly dangerously close to the beast, so the player party can weaken specific spots on its limbs and body and allow the Fahrenheit to target them.
- The entirety of Mothership Zeta consists of trashing a starship, killing most of its crew, and then using its Wave Motion Gun to fry another mothership.
- Mostly by yourself.
- The evil giant airship Dreadnaught in Final Fantasy II.
Shoot Em Ups
- R-Type can be considered trope maker, with stage 3 of most games in the series taken up by a fight with a giant battleship, or several in some cases. In fact, the third stage of R-Type Final just happens to be called "Battleship Raid".
- And parodied in the Konami shooter Parodius - half an entire level based around a battleship with giant Moai heads wearing sunglasses (and named, in the English language versions anyway, "Captain Kebab").
- X Multiply, another shooter by IREM similar to R-Type but set into a human body, features in stage 2 a fight against not a battleship, but, given the organic nature of the enemies, some kind of huge monstrosity with a detachable almost-human head that becomes the true boss of the stage.
- Ikaruga's fourth stage consists entirely of the approach and engagement of the gigantic flying fortess Misago.
- Steel Empire (Empire of Steel in Europe) features two levels over half of which are taken up by four giant bosses: in Sky District Zektor, it's the Empire's Floating Fortress and one of their Aero Gunships, while in Damd City it's two Gunships. In a row.
- Bio-Hazard Battle had the sixth stage, a space shuttle... Or so it seemed, as its organic interior started getting exposed as its weaponry took damage.
- In Star Fox 64, the battle on Katina is focused entirely on defeating a vast flying saucer with four Mook Makers and a central core. It's one-upped by Bolse, a defence station so huge the entire level is set on one side of it. Also the bos Macbeth; that level was titled "The Forever Train" for a reason.
- More or less the entire point of Uridium.
- In Abadox and Sidewinder 2 this trope is extended to the entire game being one gigantic boss.
- Z-Out's final level was a giant living alien battleship.
- Usually every iteration of the Panzer Dragoon series has a stage or two comprised of nothing but huge airships which were usually the boss or sub-boss of a previous stage. They've been debuffed for your convenience, however.
- UN Squadron featured two such levels, one an actual battleship, the other a land carrier.
- The final stage of the obscure arcade original (and the SNES version) pits you against a multiple-screen battleship.
- The Spiritual Successor, Carrier Air Wing, featured a battle against a drydocked carrier, plus a battle against a fortress, with the final stage being to take down a massive rocket, a space shuttle attached to the rocket carrying a Kill Sat, and finally the Satellite itself. There was also a level where you blew up a regular fortress, but it played the same way.
- The first two games in the Strikers 1945 series both feature giant airships attacked from tail to nose, with both unfolding to deploy gun batteries and other weapon systems. The first game also has an actual battleship boss, while the second has an aircraft carrier.
- Metal Slug 4 features a battle against the multi-screen gondola of a giant airship.
- The second half of the final mission of the vastly superior Metal Slug 3 is effectively one of these, taking you through the Alien mothership. Once you escape with whichever character was taken captive, Rootmarks, the Final Boss, attempts revenge by latching on to your Metal Slug and mind-storming you to death.
- Spiderman, a movie tie-in game for the Play Station 2 had a level where you fight an automated Humongous Mecha inside an OsCorp research facility. It's the size of a small oceangoing warship.
- In Mushihime-sama, in a tribute to R-Type, the third stage is spent destroying an entire (insectoid) battleship piece by piece.
- Similarly, you do the same in the 5th mission of Phalanx.
- Terminal Velocity, a little-remembered 3D space shooter, has the Moon Dagger level. It's not so much a giant space battleship, as an extremely giant planet-killing cruise missile with self-defense capability and an escort fleet. You kill it on it's way to Earth.
- In the Darius series, we have Darius Gaiden 's aptly-named Titanic Lance, who is six screens long, and G-Darius 's Queen Fossil, who is so huge that you destroy her section by section. "Huge Battleships" indeed. The latter is unusual in that in G-Darius, you normally decide a sub-route partway through the level; in Queen Fossil's stage, you decide it at the start of her boss battle, and that determines what side you dismantle her from.
- Don't forget her twin counterpart battleship, Fire Fossil.
- The 1942 series had several battleship raids, generally against actual battleships, with the occasional aircraft carrier.
- The final stage of the third chapter of Tyrian pits the player against an entire warfleet. Most of the capital ships are immune to fire, and serve as scenery. You have to weave between them, avoiding or destroying turrets and fighter escorts while you head for the flagship.
- Likewise, the last stage of Axelay includes several large enemy ships with turrets and bridges that can be destroyed, and you fly between them, all the while taking out smaller fighters buzzing around them. Then you enter the mothership...
- Thunder Force III. After clear all five planets, the sixth stage pits the player against the Cerberus battleship. Another Cerberus appears in IV and once more in VI.
- In Thunder Force VI there's a whole stage of battleships.
- The Death And Return of Superman used this to play out a scene in the comic storyline where Superboy had to stop a missile flying towards Metropolis.
- Obscure Macross shoot-em-up, Macross: Scrambled Valkyrie, features an entire stage fighting against a single enormous battleship. The stage boss, though, is a different aircraft.
- Stage 2 of Space Megaforce.
- Several bosses (especially Phase 2) in Chaos Field, which is also a Boss Game.
- The vast majority of Stage 3 in RefleX is spent fighting ZODIAC Sagittarius, an absolutely gigantic battleship, as well as what amounts to an entire battle fleet.
- The second stage of Earth Defense Force subverts this. Halfway through, the music briefly stops as if a boss is going to show up, then a giant Airborne Aircraft Carrier appears, but the music changes back to normal, indicating that this is not the boss. When you reach the front end of the carrier, it launches the real boss.
- The Sega Master System game Bomber Raid did this for all its bosses.
- In Robo Aleste, Stage 3 spends quite a while hovering over a long train plowing its way through a snowy landscape. The airship in Stage 5 is another example.
- The (literal) Battleship boss in Heavy Weapon is a miniature variant, it has destructible gun turrets, but the main weak spot is the control tower.
- Stage 4 of Sol-Feace is based around an enemy battleship "approaching fast!"
- Played straight with the six boss of the game Blazing Star, a huge space battleship.
- The arcade game USAAF Mustang played this trope twice: first with a Japanese submarine that launched missiles while submerged (something that in Real Life did not exist, at least in World War II and in the Imperial Japanese Navy) and later with the also Japanese battleship Yamato.
Third Person Shooter
- The PS2 game based on Transformers Armada has part of a level set on an aircraft carrier. Once the control room has been found, the whole carrier transforms into Tidal Wave, a Deception. Well, this is Transformers, after all. If you've seen the show you know what's coming, but if you haven't it'll give you quite a start.
- That may also be considered a Colossus Climb.
- Transformers: War for Cybertron has two such bosses, one an Autobot and one a Decepticon, who each serve as the Final Boss and stretch over the final two missions of the opposing faction's Campaign Mode.
- In the penultimate mission of the Decepticon campaign, Soundwave reports that he has detected a massive Autobot warship closing on the Decepticon's position. Immediately upon the ship's arrival, Megatron realizes that the ship is actually the alt-mode of Omega Supreme. Megatron, Soundwave, and Breakdown then spend the remainder of that mission trying to avoid getting killed by it, and finally return the favor in the next one.
- In the Autobot campaign, the penultimate mission begins with the three Aerialbots, Silverbolt, Air Raid, and Jetfire, leading an aerial assault against the Decepticon space station. After getting inside the station and fighting their way through dozens upon dozens of Decepticon Mooks on their way to the control room, they realize that their entire mission has been a Colossus Climb as the station itself is the alt-mode of Trypticon. The remainder of that mission has the three Aerialbots causing Trypticon to crash-land on the surface of Cybertron, where Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Ironhide spend the entirety of the final mission battling him.
- All of the gameplay in the classic video game The Dreadnaught Factor is this trope. You fly a small fighter, making several passes over a huge dreadnaught, taking out turrets, exhaust ports, etc, until you blow it up, or it reaches Earth.
- Armored Core: For Answer: Arms Fort Spirit of Motherwill.
- Most Arms Forts count, especially Answerer and Great Wall. Cabracan's more a straight-up Mook Maker, though.
- Another Century's Episode 2: One mission pit player against a large submarine, with several parts like main cannons and launching catapult can be destroyed (after you get those barrier generator, of cause!).
- Chrome Hounds: Unidentified Weapon Appears.
- Zone of the Enders: the 2nd Runner features two versions, a pursuit of a massive train, and a mission where you take down an entire fleet of battleships.
- Star Wars Battlefront 2 has missions set in space where the ultimate goal is to disable the enemy's capital ship. This can be done either by hopping into a bomber and destroying key systems from the outside or by landing in the hanger bay and taking them out from the inside.
- The finale of Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow combines this with Unexpected Shmup Level.
Turn Based Strategy
- An entire chapter of Disgaea is dedicated to your group infiltrating the Battleship Gargantua.
- Valkyria Chronicles had the Marmotah, which was literally a gigantic battleship on threads, with a Wave Motion Gun picked up along the way. The last two stages require you to have your troops try and board the ship, which serves as the entire level to fight the Final Boss.
- Inverted in Sakura Wars V: So Long, My Love. The battleship/carrier in question occupies the entire battlefield, and is large enough to divide it into four areas (port, starboard, deck, and hanger). It's a rather intimidating sight, pouring AA fire just outside the actual mission area in the opening cinematic, with an elite escort covering the close-in weakpoints that its own guns can't reach. The only catch is that the ship is the Ahab, the Star Division's mothership, it's already lost two of its four engines by the time the mission starts (and the remaining two are on fire), and you're the elite escort charged with protecting it from an endless stream of mooks until you can gain enough altitude to outrun them. Good luck.
- Advance Wars: Days of Ruin has an entire mission dedicated to this, in which your army fights the opponent's army on the wing of the gargantuan Great Owl. While it's in flight.
- Final Fantasy Tactics a 2: The final boss.
Other Action Games
- After its jump to the Playstation, the Mega Man X series overdosed on these.
- The majority of the Ocean stage in X5 is a series of long fights against a giant submarine mech.
- The entirety of the Weapons Center stage in X6 is spent dodging the shots of a giant mech in the background while cutting the cables that power it.
- The Radio Tower stage in X7 is spent climbing up while avoiding the attacks of a giant bug mech, then fighting it.
- The Central Valley stage in X8 is spent running away form a giant mech, fighting it, chasing it, then fighting it again.
- Kirby Super Star: "Revenge of Meta Knight" is basically an entire subgame based on bringing down the Halberd, a huge battleship. "Milky Way Wishes" has a Shoot'Em Up section for the penultimate boss, which is even bigger than the Halberd.
- Various levels in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, but the Wing Fortress stage in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is probably the most well-known.
- This was also done in Sonic & Knuckles, the Flying Battery Zone. In homage to Sonic 2, it also had a near direct copy of the Wing Fortress' boss segment as a pre-boss.
- As well as the Sky Chase parts of Sonic and Tails' stories in Sonic Adventure, where you fly around, over, under and finally onto the titanic Egg Carrier.
- In Super Mario Bros. 3 and its 16-bit remake, the Koopalings were inside big, wooden, flying battleships. Then in World 8, there were sea-bound battleships and large tanks.
- Seeing as how they are destroyed at the end, the fortress levels all count as well, and also Megaleg in Super Mario Galaxy.
- Jazz Jackrabbit's Twin Mega Battleships.
- In Naval Ops: Warship Gunner and its later sequel Naval Ops : Commander, this trope happened every other level, with a boss in the form of a colossal 'supership' of some kind. They came in a variety of flavors, from giant submarines to colossal landing ships to to a supership armed with a Wave Motion Gun.
- Humorously, this can be inverted by the player who with a well designed (battle)ship of their own can effectively destroy entire enemy fleets (including bosses) single-handed.
- In the latest game, this can be done with a Frigate by giving it a high enough speed and shields against lasers.
- Humorously, this can be inverted by the player who with a well designed (battle)ship of their own can effectively destroy entire enemy fleets (including bosses) single-handed.
- Shinobi III for the Sega Genesis has the final level involving you infiltrating the final boss's armed floating platform amidst a moonlit night sky and into its mechanical depths, leading up to the final showdown with the boss himself. It's really pretty damn awesome. You have to play it to believe it.
- Storming into the Martian Mothership from Metal Slug 3 certainly counts. We actually fight and destroy the ship's Planet Buster before entering, recreating the Final Boss of Metal Slug 2.
- Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon includes an epic sequence where the protagonists join forces with every ally they could round up to take on a mountain-sized Golem. After flooding a canyon to halt its movement (the thing's so big its stride lets it circle the globe in 24 hours), you fly all around this beast attacking targets of opportunity while your NPC allies rain hell on it from the background, cluminating in flying right down its throat to destroy its heart. And after all that, it turns out to be a Heads I Win, Tails You Lose scenario, setting up the showdown with the Big Bad.
- Omega Fighter consists entirely of this.
- Hard Corps: Uprising takes this Up to Eleven thanks to Daisuke Ishiwatari. To explain it in detail would spoil the game because it's the final level, but for the sake of awesomeness, look below at your own risk.
- You start out riding on motorcycles, dodging the ship's lasers. Once all enemies are beaten, you fly off a ramp AND MANAGE TO SOMEHOW LAND ON THE BACK OF THE SHIP ITSELF (emphasis on somehow). Even then, you must now make it through enemies while dodging more lasers that destroy the areas it touches (a la Final Fortress). THEN, sections of the ship start coming down to crush you, and while doing so you must dodge more lasers while hopping on rockets to reach the ship's engine. After destroying the engine, you take an elevator all the way up to the front of the ship, where you fight Tiberius. After beating him once, he transforms into a huge monster that, when beaten, crushes a hole inside of the ship, causing you to go careening to your doom, until your helicopter saves you. While this is happening, the destruction you caused earlier has caused the ship to collapse, and then you find out that the fight is not over, as Tiberius suddenly grows wings and knocks you off of your helicopter. You must now fight Tiberius one last time on the FALLING DEBRIS OF THE SHIP YOU JUST DESTROYED.
- Stage 2 in Contra: Shattered Soldier. In the first half, you fight a giant amphibious aircraft, similar to the motorcycle section of Stage 4 in Contra III, in the second, you raid a battle train. Also, the Crawler Tank boss at the end of Stage 3.
- The boss fight of the Bubbly Clouds level in Adventures of Tom Sawyer is an Unexpected Shmup Level against a zeppelin.
- One stage of the final raid against Deathwing involves fighting him while on his back in midair.