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In a Cat-and-Mouse Boss, there is a narrow passage, and the Boss is invincible, The Hero suddenly finds themselves running for their lives, dodging assorted things and whatnot while running from the boss. But hey! What's that in the distance? A cheesy gimmick that'll hurt the boss!? The tables have been turned, and the boss is now running for their lives, giving our Hero a chance to pummel him. At the end of the corridor, the worst happens; the Boss is powered up and the Hero's weapon is useless. The tables have been turned once more, and the Hero finds himself running again. After a few games of cat-and-mouse, the Boss dies for good.

The videogame equivalent of Zig-Zagging Trope. A subtrope of Puzzle Boss. Compare Chasing Your Tail.

Examples of Cat and Mouse Boss include:
  • In Crash Bandicoot the Wrath of Cortex, there's a mutated, flaming version of Crunch. Crash must run away from Crunch for a while, and soon finds a FLUDD-like waterpack, reversing the scenario.
  • The whole game of Pac-Man.
  • King Boom Boo from Sonic Adventure 2 falls under this category.
  • A great many bosses in Zelda go along the following: You're in a large, round room. There is a large boss, who chases you around that room. Either you have to outrun the boss and hit him from behind, grab a nearby object and throw at him, or both, with examples such as Great Dodongo and Big Octorok from The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, and Goht from The Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask.
  • The Itchy & Scratchy Game tends to include this trope. Your character - the mouse, Itchy - and the main antagonist - the cat, Scratchy - run around the non-boss levels, after and from each other, while you both amass and deplete weapons of cartoon violence to use against each other.
  • Fighting the Ice Queen in Stonekeep can turn into one of these games. As noted.
  • Scud from the Genesis and SNES version of Toy Story.
  • The last boss of Psychonauts, except that you don't have to actually do anything to make it vulnerable, just wait for your Eleventh-Hour Superpower to recharge.
  • The final level of the Playable Epilogue in Ecco the Dolphin: Tides of Time. The Vortex Queen is now in an invincible larval state and trying to reach the Time Machine to personally mess up the timeline you just spent the whole game fixing. You have to chase her through the ruins without her seeing you, or else SMACK. And then you realize you have to trick her into forcing open doors for you too...
  • Not sure if it qualifies, but what about Meta Ridley early in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption? While Samus is morph-balling about Norion to get to generators he shows up and blocks her way, trying more or less to eat her, which requires her to drop bombs to get him off, ultimately culminating in the falling battle toward the end.
  • Begoniax from Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc. Usually she chases you around with a fork, but when you manage to splash some magic potion on her to turn her into a frog, the tables are turned and you chase her around to get some hits in.
  • The RedEye King from Star Fox Adventures. It took place in a square hallway, and woe betide you if you accidentally ran too far ahead or didn't know which way he was coming from. Beating him involved hiding in holes in the wall, picking up a bomb, and then stepping on a switch in the floor that would cause electricity to literally burst out of the walls and zap that sucker good. And then you had to hit him in the face with the bomb, and run for your life because as soon as he was hit, he was up and after your blood again.
  • In Deus Ex Human Revolution, the fight against Yelena Federova roughly fits into this. She'll start by chasing after you several times to launch a nasty AOE attack. Afterwards, she'll cloak herself and retreat until she's charged up again.
  • The final Bowser battle of Super Mario 3D Land.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater, the sniper battle against The End would qualify as a variation of a cat & mouse boss, in that Snake and his opponent are each attempting to get the other in their sights, while remaining unseen themselves.
  • In the Wrath of the Lich King expansion of World of Warcraft, the "cat" is the Lich King himself, chasing you down a hallway. This sequence is used to make clear to you that the Lich King is probably too powerful to beat.
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