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Occasionally, developers will create a boss fight in which the boss is so massive that there is no way for it to move around. Rule of Cool only helps so much.

They solve this problem by sticking it in the middle of the arena. The player character will have to run about the arena while the enormous boss will pivot to face the character, and occasionally attack. Common attacks for the boss include at least one way for it to reduce the player's running room. A subtrope of Stationary Boss.

Not to be confused with Climax Boss, who's pivotal to the plot.

Examples of Pivotal Boss include:


  • Sepulcher in Silent Hill Homecoming works this way.
  • The first two bosses in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
  • The MCP fight in Kingdom Hearts II is odd about this: There are two bosses, Sark and the MCP, and the one that you can kill permanently is pivotal.
  • Amorbis in Metroid Prime 2 can upgrade into one.
    • Parasite Queen in Metroid Prime 1 works this way.
    • So does Flaaghra, the boss of the Chozo Ruins.
    • Emperor Ing's first and second forms in Echoes.
  • Clotho in God of War 2.
    • Also Hades in God of War 3 in the final stage of the fight.
  • Mysterio in the PlayStation 1 Spider-Man game, who grows to an enormous size for the fight.
  • The Orochi in Okami fights like this.
  • The final boss fight with Sigma in Mega Man X7 is styled like this, but with ascending platforms instead of a circular arena.
  • A few of Eggman's robots in the 3D Sonic the Hedgehog games do this.
    • The Ghost Kraken from Sonic Rush Adventure is in one place, and constantly turns to face you. There's more though.
  • Bowser in Super Mario Sunshine. Not so much his other games.
  • Bouldergeist, King Kaliente, Tarantox and Undergrunt Gunner in Super Mario Galaxy some you face multiple times.
    • In Super Mario Galaxy 2, Megahammer and Squizzard in the main game and King Kaliente and Bouldergeist in the Boss Rush. The Boomsday Machine is a subversion; it starts out like this, but becomes mobile when it Turns Red.
  • Jumbo Champloon in "Little Kings Story"
  • The great guardian in Eternal Darkness. All three.
  • World of Warcraft loves this kind of boss fight. Ragnaros, C'thun, Kil'jaedan, and Yogg-Saron all work this way.
    • Ragnaros' revamp subverts this: mostly he sits in a volcano just like his old incarnation. But in heroic mode, if you sufficiently piss him off, he gets up and starts walking around. And murders the shit out of everybody.
  • 9 out of the 11 bosses in Gauntlet (1985 video game): Dark Legacy are like this, although most of them except the Genie are stuck in the back of the arena rather than the center.
  • Ninja Gaiden's resident giant tentacle monster is one of these. You fight it several times throughout the game.
  • Despite being much smaller than most examples, the Angel Smile from Killer 7 is pivotal.
  • Magic Carpet 2 had such an ending boss. You only saw him from the waist up, in the center of his mountain fortress. Due to the game mechanics, immobility meant he was unable to finish you off unless you happened to build your castle close to where he appeared.
  • The Factory boss in Beyond Good and Evil. The way to win is to actually get yourself and your partner on opposite sides of it, and attack it that way.
  • The first fight against Red in Spyro the Dragon: A Hero's Tail. He can both expand and decrease the size of the arena by using either ice magic (to expand it) or fire magic (to melt the ice).
  • Yiazmat is the biggest enemy in Final Fantasy XII, but unlike the other giant-wyrm bosses (ie. Fafnir, Behemoth King, Hellwyrm) is in an arena barely bigger than him. Playing this trope dead-straight, if you run around to the back of him, he can turn to face you faster than should be physically possible.
    • Hell Wyrm has the misfortune of living inside a massive room inside an underground dungeon filled with small hallways, meaning that he physically cannot leave the room. And you walk all the way down here to kill the poor bastard.
  • The first boss in Conduit 2 is the Leviathan, a gigantic sea serpent who turns to attack the deep-ocean platform you're on.
  • Except for one attack, Nightmare does this.
  • One level of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Xbox game did this with the final boss of the segment. You were running around on catwalks throwing Exploding Barrels at it as it swiped at you with its arms.
  • In Portal 2, Wheatley does this while throwing bombs at the player.
  • In the Playstation/Nintendo 64/Dreamcast Spider-Man video game, Mysterio is this trope.
  • Chthon from Quake.
  • Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Robot is an inversion - you run around on a relatively small platform and it moves around you.
  • The first boss in Brutal Legend is an example, it's a giant worm that sits in the center of the boss arena and tries to eat you as you race around in your car.
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