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A videogame battle (or Boss Battle) that occurs with the player's footing restricted to a set of Floating Platforms above some hazard. The opponent's attacks may or may not be much of a threat were the player to face them on level ground, but the real challenge to meet here is simply to avoid falling off in the process: One false step, or the slightest Knockback at the wrong moment can quickly send you down off the screen into whatever awaits below (usually a Bottomless Pit or Spikes of Doom). Thus, victory all but requires a No Damage Run, regardless of whether your protagonist would otherwise be a One-Hit-Point Wonder.

Alternatively, instead of causing an instant death some games may provide a Non Lethal Bottomless Pit instead, or falling down may simply drop you into a room below where you have to find a way to climb back up before you can resume fighting. However, falling off must still occur a penalty: Perhaps you receive damage from the fall; maybe the boss will taunt your lack of platforming prowess by hurling long-range attacks at you while you're scrambling to get back up within range. Sometimes it's simply a long and tedious climb just to get back up there at all. Or, at the most Nintendo Hard extreme of the spectrum, sometimes falling down exits the battle entirely, causing it to start over from the top (with the boss's HP fully replenished) once you're back onto the platforms to fight the boss on.

If there are a large number of platforms to stand on at first, chances are good the boss will actively attack and destroy at least one of them when he Turns Red. Alternatively, if the boss does this throughout the entire battle, it creates Boss Arena Urgency.

Note that the platforms must be relatively small in size to limit the player's available footing; if the platform is large enough to allow unhindered player movement, the player may as well be fighting the boss on level ground to begin with -- indeed, many a standard Boss Room are simply large open arenas, even when bordered by some kind of hazard.

The frustration caused by repeatedly falling off makes this an infamous variety of Goddamned Boss.

See also High Altitude Battle and High Speed Battle, which can overlap. Can also be combined with Temporary Platforms, conveyor belts or ice blocks for extra Nintendo Hard bonus points.

Examples of Platform Battle include:
  • The first Wily boss in Mega Man 2, as pictured above.
  • Three boss battles in Cave Story.
    • The battle against The Core, although it isn't difficult to climb back up, the lower half of the room is filled with water, threatening to drown the player.
    • The game's Final Boss can only be attacked by standing on the boss's moving platforms (or using the jetpack), which is also right in line with the boss's own attacks.
    • In the final phase of the game's Bonus Boss, the floor fills with (non lethal) spikes, requiring the player to finish the boss off on a set of platforms that rotate around the boss himself, while fending off all sorts of flying flunkies.
      • Not quite. Since the spikes don't cause instant death, one common (and fast) strategy is to achieve a near-No Damage Run of the stage and his other three forms and then stand in the spikes below him and fire Super Missiles upwards until he dies.
  • Several bosses in I Wanna Be the Guy:
    • Mecha Birdo, where the only platforms are the large projectiles the boss shoots.
    • Zangkried, after he Turns Red, paying tribute to the Kraid battle from Super Metroid.
    • Late in the game the player encounters the "Dragon Devil" which combines the Mega Man series's Dragon boss with its original That One Boss, Yellow Devil.
  • The battles against Big Boo in Kaizo Mario World, for both the original ROM hack and its official sequel.
  • A few battles from La-Mulana:
    • The battle against Bahamut takes place over water; the only safe footing is a boat that moves from one side of the room to another.
    • The room guardian in the Confusion Gate occupies a room with extremely small platforms. Though the boss moves slowly and only fires an occasional projectile as its attack, falling lands the player in the room below, ending the battle and requiring a long trek from the Tower of the Goddess for another chance at the battle.
  • From the Metroid series:
    • The battle against Kraid in Super Metroid; at first Samus has only a ledge near the door to stand on, but once he reveals his full form, the player must climb platforms (including the ones he shoots out) to get within range of his weak point. Falling off may land Samus in damaging spikes or cause her to receive Collision Damage from Kraid.
    • To a lesser extent, the battles against Mother Brain tend to take place on relatively small platforms, while dodging the various turrets that threaten to knock her off into the lava below.
  • The rematch against Ludwig Von Koopa in New Super Mario Bros Wii takes place on three moving platforms, with Ludwig occupying one of them.
  • In Super Mario World battles against the Reznor minibosses always end up on moving platforms... or in hot lava death.
  • Several Sonic the Hedgehog games have this, especially the 3D ones. A notable example is the Egg Golem boss from Sonic Adventure 2, where the boss is positioned in the center of a floating ring of platforms with quicksand below. Falling down there in Sonic's version of the boss isn't immediately fatal, but Eggman's mech will sink if it comes in contact with the sand instead of one of the lower platforms.
  • Most Wario Land 2 and 3 bosses, because falling down and having to redo part of the level is the only punishment the game could give Wario due to his complete invincibility to any damage. Basically, each boss would have one attack which is basically to throw Wario out the arena and have him find his way back. Some more normal examples are the last real boss in Wario Land, fought on an invisible floor only the boss can stand on (so Wario has to jump on the boss repeatedly) as well as the Psycho Beaver and Mutant Mouse bosses in the sequel.
  • Ys has this in spades, especially final bosses. During the battle with Dark Fact, a piece of the platform disappears everytime you hit him.
  • Fluffy XR-9 in An Untitled Story is fought on three platforms that descend when stepped upon, all suspended over a Non Lethal Bottomless Pits. The second form of FinalBoss is the same, but replaces unstable platforms with double-jump clusters (yep, you will be continually jumping during the battle).
  • In Castlevania III Draculas Curse, Dracula's final form pulls up platforms from the floor and causes them to circle around him.
  • In Donkey Kong 64, Mad Jack is fought in an arena of 16 large platforms, arranged in a grid. The platforms aren't too small, but Tiny Kong must constantly jump from one to another to avoid being flattened by the boss chasing after them.
  • In World of Warcraft, one fight in Deepholm involves jumping among floating stones to lay a beatdown on the dragon Aeosera. Falling off isn't instantly lethal but it's quite possible to die during the struggle and a fall means jumping your way back up to the fight.
    • You can also somewhat artificially Invoked Trope this by dueling with someone who has a knockback on some ridiculously small rock floating above some abyss. There's even a mage talent that basically knocks back everything near them when you hit them.
  • The battle against Ganondorf in The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time takes place in the upper level of a room, and Ganondorf can destroy various parts of the flooringwith his version of a Ground Pound attack -- the more damage the arena takes, the more difficult it is to approach the boss to attack him.
  • In Bubsy, Chapter 12 "Claws For Alarm", Bubsy must fight a UFO boss while maintaining his footing on a log raft floating in the river, while -- one false step and the battle ends with Super Drowning Skills. This is combined with Boss Arena Urgency, as the boss's missiles damage the raft one log at a time.
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