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Multiple large-scale fights in a row. Most common with a boss who morphs in shape (where multiple areas must be disabled to do real damage on the controlling target, see also: One-Winged Angel) although sometimes happens with separate bosses. The game may or may not be nice enough to replenish your health in between the fights, but a major danger is using important items or techniques too early in the fight. With sequential bosses that are multiple fights against the same creature, occasionally the game will try to trick you into thinking that the first fight was the only one, showing victory animations and so on.

This trope is VERY common with Final Bosses. The number of stages will often be three.

If you're fighting multiple bosses at the same time, then that's a different story. Needless to say, Crystal Dragon Jesus help you if you have Sequential Dual Bosses, though those are blessedly rare for now...

Compare Boss Rush when fighting more than one enemy in a sequential order.

Examples of Sequential Boss include:
  • The Final Fantasy series seems fond of these, having them for practically every Final Boss starting with Final Fantasy IV.
    • Final Fantasy IV later on barely has any bosses fought on their own or just once. Two of the Fiends have you fight their minions right before them, as does Golbez when you first fight him for real. The Fiend Boss Rush, as well.
    • Archeoavis from Final Fantasy V is an interesting example. It appears as if he only has two forms - his only noticeable form change happens towards the end when he dies and comes back to life. However, if you keep careful watch of his health with Scan or use a particular instant death spell that surprisingly works on him, you'll realize that he actually has four forms. The other two forms are easy to miss because they all use the exact same sprite, and when one form is killed, there is no visual indication that it has died (except for the aforementioned last form).

      Each of the forms are about equally strong, but have different elemental weaknesses and special attacks. The boss also starts out with low resistance to magic, but gets more and more resistant to it. Its last form has low physical defense but high magic defense, thus necessitating you bring physical and magical attacks.
    • Exdeath from the previously mentioned game is the first Final Boss truly fought sequentially (as the fight against Zemus was a cutscene battle), and, amusingly enough, his final form can be skipped altogether with the use of a certain Job class's abilities in a certain manner (Chemist in the pre-GBA versions, and Cannoneer in the GBA release).
    • Kefka of Final Fantasy VI has four forms, the first three having Cognizant Limbs.
    • Ultimecia, the Final Boss from Final Fantasy VIII, starts relatively normal and quickly moves into sheer insanity. The distinct stages of the battle: 1) Fights our heroes in human form, 2) Summons her badass Guardian Force to duke it out with you, 3) orders said Guardian Force to show you his true power, gaining new abilities and Crowning Music of Awesome, 4) merges with said, Guardian Force, 5) continues to attack you after having her new body chopped down to nearly-human size, 6) appears to die, only to reappear in One-Winged Angel form, and finally 7) the One-Winged Angel form with an ultimate attack (though not terribly ultimate, really.) Even by the standards of the Final Fantasy series, the fight sets a new level for sheer spectacle.
  • The Naughty Sorceress, in the MMORPG Kingdom of Loathing. Your character even exclaims at the last form, as a Lampshade Hanging: "Dang it!" you shout. "How many times do I have to kill you? This battle has taken over a half an hour and there's no save point!"
    • Also parodied in the battle against Ed the Undying, a mummy who has to be defeated seven times in a row and, as the name suggests, doesn't actually die, he's just too damaged to keep fighting. Ironically, each time you fight him, he has less HP than the previous time, to a ridiculously low amount in the last form. Shown as just his skull loosely attached to his arm.
  • The final boss of Donkey Kong Country is King K. Rool. After you defeat him, fake credits roll by. After the credits, the boss gets up for a second go.
  • In Earthbound, there is a boss called Carbon Dog. After you defeat him, he changes into Diamond Dog and you must defeat him again.
    • Also, the final fight has three forms.
    • Much earlier in the game, you face the second boss, Franky. After admitting defeat, he immediately sends in his creation, Frankystein Mark II to finish you off.
  • Several times in the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
    • Sonic 2 ended with a fight against Silver Sonic, and then Robotnik's Humongous Mecha. With no rings for either fight.
    • In Sonic 3, Launch Base Zone ends with three fights against Robotnik, in three different vehicles, with nothing but a cutscene between them.
      Oddly, when the this level is played as part of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, you only fight two of these bosses. Sonic and Tails skip the third, while Knuckles skips the first.
    • In Sonic and Knuckles, Death Egg Zone ends with a fight against a Puzzle Boss, then a two-stage fight against the Egg-Mech, and finally a bit where you have to destroy Robotnik's escape pod. (Sonic can also fight a True Final Boss immediately after this, but it's counted as a separate level.) Whereas Knuckles' game ends in Sky Sanctuary Zone, fighting Mecha Sonic and then Super Mecha Sonic.
    • Sonic Adventure does it weird: once you've depleted the final boss's life meter... it comes back with another life meter. It's a bit tougher, but otherwise nothing's changed except the music.
    • In Sonic Adventure 2, the player must fight the Biolizard directly before the FinalHazard. However, the two battles are not particularly connected other than being sequential, and how well you do on the Biolizard has no bearing on the difficulty of the FinalHazard. Similarly, you face the Egg Golem with Sonic immediately after battling King Boom Boo with Knuckles.
    • Sonic Heroes plays it straight with Metal Madness/Metal Overlord, a four-stage boss.
  • In Metal Gear Solid, the player must fight Liquid Snake both in and on top of Metal Gear REX sequentially.
    • Similarly, in Metal Gear Solid 2, Raiden must fight a number of Metal Gear RAYs (the number depends on the difficulty selected); after a long (and confusing) cutscene, the player must fight Solidus Snake. Without skipping anything, the whole thing probably takes upwards of a half hour.
    • Finally, Metal Gear Solid 3 had Volgin, who did. Not. Give. Up. First, you fight him hand to hand. Then he jumps in the Shagohod and chases you as you escape in a motorcycle. Then you blow up a bridge to sink the Shagohod into a river. Then it rises out of the river, and you strafe it in the motorcycle. Then you run around on foot, as in previous (or rather future) fights with Metal Gear.
  • Essentially every Mega Man game, from the first game up to the recent Mega Man ZX, has had this type of final boss.
    • Dr. Wily (switched ships)
    • Sigma (switched bodies)
    • Any one of the final bosses from the Zero series.
    • Although the Battle Network and Star Force games instead opt for upgraded versions of each boss you can fight as you progress through the game (usually about 3-5 forms, give or take), and you rarely actually fight them in sequence.
      Though Starforce 3 does have a particularly nasty one in the postgame, in which you fight Dread Joker R and Acid Ace R in direct succession, without any chance to rest or heal.
  • Pokémon:
  • Metroid series
    • The final boss of Metroid Prime has two phases: the first phase is basically the same thing with increasing shifts to different weaknesses, and the second phase requires you to switch visors to locate the phasing Prime and blast it with the Phazon Beam.
    • Finally, in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, you fight Aurora 313 right after putting down Dark Samus. 313 itself has two forms: complete and floating severed head.
    • Mother Brain from Super Metroid has 3 different phases. First you fight her like in the first game, as just the brain protected by turrets and zeebetite barriers. After you beat her and examine the body, she rises out of the floor on a robotic body. After dealing enough damage to her, she'll use an extremely powerful attack to reduce you to low health, after which the Metroid hatchling shows up to save the day. But then she comes back to life again and you have to beat the crap out of her again, this time armed with the Hyper Beam. And then you have to escape the planet before it blows up.
    • Pretty much every major boss in Metroid Prime 2 Echoes plays this one straight.
  • All three Ninja Gaiden games for the NES had multi-form bosses in the final battle, usually consisting of three separate phases.
  • Castlevania series:
    • Just about every Castlevania game ends with a two-stage Dracula battle. Typically, the first half is against Dracula in a humanoid form, and the second is a hulking, demonic form called "True Dracula". Castlevania III went even further, with a two-stage Grim Reaper battle and a three-stage Dracula battle; both versions of Stage 7 end with the Mummies, Cyclops and Gargoyle being released from coffins in succession by the Evil Flame.
    • The exception is Symphony of the Night... where, due to its flashback prologue, the game begins with the two-stage Dracula battle from Rondo of Blood.
      Except Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, which gives you the same two forms as in Rondo of Blood, but then gives you the TRUE FORM (and despair!) for a THIRD Dracula fight.
    • Another strange example is in Order Of Ecclesia, where Dracula does have two forms, but instead of the second form being a demon thing, the second form renders the first form in 3-D.
      It's rather telling that Dracula walking around to fight you instead of teleporting with predictable attacks is somehow far more terrifying than any of his One Winged Angels.
    • Aria of Sorrow had a two-stage fight with Graham for the normal ending. Beating him with the three souls that best represent Dracula's powers (Giant Bat, Succubus, and Flame Demon) equipped let you progress further in the game to fight Chaos so you don't turn into Dracula (losing to him causes exactly that to happen) in another two-stage battle.
  • Kirby games will have anything from two-to-four boss battles in a row for the Final Confrontation.
    • To say nothing of the Arena (mini-)game in Kirby Superstar, which is a Boss Rush with extremely limited healing.
    • Superstar Ultra had the Arena, as well as introducing a game called Helper to Hero, which is basically the Arena, but using the Helpers for each copy power instead of Kirby.
    • And the True Arena from Superstar Ultra, a Nintendo Hard ten-round Boss Rush with all of the upgraded "Revenge" bosses from Revenge of the King, as well as Masked Dedede, Wham-Bam Jewel, Galacta Knight, and the brand-new Marx Soul with even less healing than the first Arena.
    • Kirby's Dreamland 3 is a notable example. The last boss, DeDeDe, is identical to the last boss of the previous game, except he doesn't Turn Red, but after you put his life to zero, he starts flying and has attacks made of Nightmare Fuel. If you had all the Heart-Stars when you beat him, you unlock the True Final Boss. You get to go to a previous level to heal, but most gamers won't remember that. Once you enter, you fight Dark Matter, the last boss of the previous game, but it was pretty obvious you had to fight him. After you finally defeat him, the screen flashes and the True True Final Boss appears out of nowhere, and is pretty much made of Nightmare Fuel. He splits parts of himself open to shoot blood at you, and he could do it from the background, causing the blood to hit the screen. After you take all his HP down, his Iris rips out in incredibly gory manner and you have to fight him again, and this time he's bleeding and chases you. And this is a KIRBY game.
    • Two to four forms? Have you ever seen the final battles of Kirby and the Amazing Mirror? There are indeed four different forms ( including the fight with Dark Metaknight but the second of those must be defeated four times over. Four times!!
  • La-Mulana raises the roof with a five-stage final boss battle. With no saves or health recharges.
  • Freeware game Karoshi also had a five-stage final boss... or rather, five final boss stages.
    • The sequel, Karoshi 2, has four different final boss segments in the game, the first of which has you against the final boss eight times in a row, each in a different way. Talk about an extended ending!
  • The Dragon Quest series is even more fond of this than the Final Fantasy series; three of the first four Big Bads were sequential boss fights.
    • In the original Dragon Warrior game for the NES, when you first fight the Dragonlord, he has a humanoid appearance. When you beat him, he morphs into his much tougher true dragon form.
    • In the final boss level of Dragon Quest III (or Dragon Warrior III in the states), first the party must fight Barabombus, with heavy defense but weak attack, then Baragonus, with high attack and no defense, then the party must face Zoma, the Final Boss (though you can fight several heretofore unreferenced bosses when you beat the game once.)
    • Dragon Warrior IV is pretty much the most iconic example of this entire trope, with the final fight against Necrosaro, a seven-part boss battle where he starts by looking like prior boss Estark, only for the player to hack off his arms one by one, followed by his head, after which he simply grows a new face on his stomach, and regrows all his limbs... including his head. Needless to say, just about every change to his body corresponds to changes in his tactics.
  • In the Original SNES Romancing SaGa, you had to fight the Final Boss's minions one by one and then fight all 3 at once all in the same place before confronting the final boss. This is used in the Play Station 2 remake but you only have to fight one battle near the final boss's chamber instead of 4 unless you defeated them all in the final dungeon individually to get their treasures; then it will just be like the original, but just more spanned out across a dungeon. The final boss in the Play Station 2 remake is sequential, unlike the original.
  • Saga Frontier, the PS 1 iteration of the Romancing SaGa series, had several of these, most notably Lute's final boss, a giant mech that slowly fell apart as you fought it. Others include Blue's fight with Satan, who would continually switch between two different forms, and T260's battle with Genocide Heart. The sub-boss fights in Red's story where the party goes to an alternate dimension may also count.
  • Unlimited Saga: In addition to the Antagonist of the Scenario, you also have to fight Chaos immediately afterward (4 forms), you do recover some HP and LP, and that isn't even covering Mythe's Scenario: Where you have to fight a Sequential Boss and then another powerful boss before even fighting Chaos.
  • A rare midgame boss with this tendency comes from Gunstar Heroes: the infamous Seven Force. The name says it all (although you only have to beat four of them on Easy).
  • At the end of Cave Story, you fight Misery, then fight Big Bad The Doctor, who is himself a two-part boss fight, then fight the real final boss, who's backed up with two flunkies. There's no saving or recovery between, but if you know how, it's possible to get partially healed right before the last one.
    • The Bonus Level of Hell is even worse: You fight the Heavy Press, which can do a lot of damage if you mess up, and instantly kill you in its death throes, then get some decidedly-less-than-generous Suspicious Videogame Generosity before going on to the secret final boss, which has four stages, each one of which can kill you in under six hits with a Boss Arena Recovery that's more likely to cause more damage than it is to heal you, and all of this is at the end of the longest and hardest level in the game without a save point.
  • The battle against Luca Blight in Suikoden II is an infamous example, though slightly subverted in that it is three of your parties battling ONE insanely powerful man.
  • Ranma ½ Hard Battle had one of the more sensical versions of this trope. The first of the final bosses is Pantyhose Taro in his human form. After you beat him, you then fight him again, this time in his Cursed with Awesome form.
  • In Chrono Trigger, Lavos tends to be thought of as more of an example than it really is. Lavos's Boss Rush form and first real form (which, depending on your method of entry, are skippable) are fought with no breaks to save, but have breaks to use healing items. Then you get a break to save, use healing items, and even go back to the rest of the game without having to re-fight the first forms when you come back. So you have plenty of opportunities to heal; only the last two forms are truly sequential, which means it's no worse than your standard One-Winged Angel.
    • Meanwhile, the Black Omen's end is a perfect example of this trope, with three back-to-back bosses that then feed you into Lavos's Boss Rush form on top of that.
      • Fortunately, if you can manage to beat the Black Omen, you'll tear through Lavos' Boss Rush like tissue paper.
  • Chrono Cross features the Dragon God/Fused Dragons who has seven different forms (though they all look the same): one form for each Elemental Color in the game, except White, which gets two forms.
  • Xenogears has tons of these sequences. By far the worst is the battle with Ramsus and Miang's gears on Disc 2. The first boss has the ability to reduce all your gears to 1 HP instantly, forcing you to waste fuel healing, and is followed by one of the HARDEST bosses in the game, with no chance to recover.
  • Super Robot Wars loves this, sometimes having both kinds at the same time.
    • One level of Original Generation 2 has you fighting Axel Almar, Sikalog, Aguija (Sikalog and Aguika fight together), and finally Wendolo.
    • Try the Final level of D; You first have to defeat Ignus and his units, then Aquila and the reinforcements he brings. Then, in the second half of the mission, you have to defeat both Contagio and Umbra, who regain their HP when they are below 1/3 of their HP, and then you have to fight the machines of the 5 enemy generals all at once in addition to the final boss. By the way, you have to fight the final boss twice; he gains reinforcements after he is defeated the first time.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy':
    • The Guy has two forms with six increasingly overpowered methods of attack. The game actually tries to trick you into thinking you've won halfway through, right before it gets insane.
    • The Koopa Clown Car fight earlier in the game pits you against Bowser, Wart and Wily in sequence.
  • The last couple installations of the Shutokou Battle/Tokyo Xtreme Racer series actually feature multi-stage bosses in a racing game. Though most of the races you participate in are simple one-on-one matches, some may have you taking on multiple opponents: you may be competing against a leader of a racing crew and, once you have him halfway beat, suddenly find yourself confronted with a second, equally high-powered member of the racing crew which will help give your original opponent an increased advantage. Since beating opponents requires you to drain their "battle meter" by gaining a large enough lead, throwing in a second rival with a fresh battle meter midway through a race can complicate things significantly.
  • Both Ansem from Kingdom Hearts and Xemnas from the sequel use this trope. Marluxia from Chain of Memories is a weaker example.
    Xemnas, in particular, is overkill. The first stage of the fight have time to save and go elsewhere afterward, but it's completely back-to-back from then on. First there's the rush to Xemnas' floating fortress thing, then the two turbines, then the core, then Armored King Xemnas one, then an attack on Xemnas' dragon mecha, then another round with Armored King Xemnas, then finally one final fight with Xemnas himself, in Twilight form. No, not that Twilight...
    Ansem may just be worse if you include the fact that you can't save between the fights despite only having 7 (including a thunder-spamming phallic face monster) or 10 if you include the fights with the heartless to get you comrades back.
    Most of the finale of KHII was a bunch of minigames. The only real bosses after the final savepoint were Xemnas' three forms, two of which look and behave almost identically.
  • Xion in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.
  • As mentioned on the One-Winged Angel page, the final boss of Persona 3 has a whopping thirteen forms (not counting the human form the main characters knew him as earlier in the game). While the first twelve forms are relatively easy to defeat (differing mainly in their elemental weaknesses), the final form is quite difficult and can take at least half an hour to defeat for those who aren't using some sort of Game Breaker.
    The final boss could technically be said to have fourteen forms, though his first form isn't usually counted since it doesn't do anything but smile arrogantly and wait for you to kill it. As for his human form, he has two of those, as well as another non-human form.
  • The Legend of Zelda has somewhat of a tradition of the final boss being a sequential one.
    • Ganondorf in Ocarina of Time is a bit of an exception since there is an escape sequence between his two forms. Twinrova before him however is two forms right after each other.
    • Twilight Princess does this for pretty much every boss, in some cases even tricking you (and Link) into thinking the battle is over. Zant himself is a personified Boss Rush with minor variations. Played for laughs with Armogohma, whose second form (his eye on legs) runs away to a sillier version of the boss music and dies very easily. The final boss has four different forms.
    • The final battle with Majora from Majora's Mask features three forms, named "Majora's Mask," "Majora's Incarnation," and "Majora's Wrath".
    • Dethl in Link's Awakening probably takes the prize, having six forms (although the last two forms can be one-shotted with the right weapons).
    • Veran from Oracle of Ages probably comes second after Dethl, and none of her forms are one-hits. You have to fight Veran-possessing-Ambi, Veran's "True Form (and despair!)", and her final battle (in which she shapeshifts between three forms), one after the other, without healing. And if it's a linked game, you then go on to face Twinrova and Ganon! Hooray!
  • Uncle Rupee in Freshly Picked Tingles Rosy Rupeeland has a normal form, a green powered up form, an orange powered up form, a red powered up form and finally a giant rupee head form.
  • Mega Man Battle Network series:
    • Anytime in enemy navis decided to gang up on the player, they have each battle after the last one is killed. While HP isn't restored, used chips are returned to the player's folder (which is done anyways after every fight). Disappointingly, the series never has two navis fought at the time.
      However the fights are not necessarily harder, they just change up the gameplay (requires hacking of course). While Damage is unavoidable unless you have great dodging skills or an abundance of damage evading tricks like invisible, it does make certain chips like Airhockey and Colonel force a LOT more damaging because the excess shots are not wasted.
    • The bosses for Battle Networks 2, 3 and 4 are double fights-- in 2, Copy Bass and then Gospel, in 3, Bass and then Alpha, and in 4, Dark Mega Man and then Duo (though you heal in between, you can't save). However, since the first fights are always easier (though not by too much), this may not entirely qualify.
  • Several bosses in Contra 4.
    • Lance in Contra: Shattered Soldier. And Mission 6 consists almost entirely of a sequential boss fight against the Relic of Morai's many forms. If you complete the game up to here with an S ranking, you get to fight the disappointingly easy Perfect Run Final Boss.
  • Skies of Arcadia's three final bosses are like this, with a variation - the first and third forms are fought on foot, while the middle form is a ship battle.
  • Legend of Dragoon went a little crazy with its Sequential Boss. Minor bosses like Urobolus and Doel have a few forms. Melbu Frahma goes through six generations, four of which fight back hard, and still needs a cutscene to actually die.
    • Urobolus doesn't really go through multiple forms, it just changes it's attacks for a few rounds. And Doel is hardly a minor boss: he's the full out Climax Boss of Disc 1! Not to mention his first form dies in about three hits and can't do much damage. However, since you have to fight the Kongol in the hallway outside of Doel's chamber first (although after you can run all the way back to the save point), he still counts.
  • Enchanted Arms makes its Final Boss the Infinity Devil Golem just as tough as Melbu Frama above. It also has a Healing Factor.
  • City of Heroes does this once with Snaptooth, a particularly nasty member of the Red Caps who only appears during the special holiday missions. In the Valentine's event, he first appears in the mission as a Lieutenant class Red Cap and is not very tough. Upon nearly being defeated, he pulls the trick that they sometimes pull and drives into the ground, only to pop back out larger and tougher as a Boss class. Then when he is nearly defeated again, he pulls the stunt for a second time and pops back out being even bigger and now an Elite Boss.
    • Interestingly, he doesn't do this in the Rescue Baby New Year mission. There he is already in his Elite Boss form and only needs to be defeated once.
  • Ridiculously done in Naruto: Path of the Ninja. You fight the Sound Ninja trio four times in a row, first with Sakura and Lee, then just Sakura, then Sakura and Shikamaru, and finally Sakura and Sasuke. They finally run off after that, or else they probably would've brought in every other character to fight with Sakura.
  • Super Smash Bros Brawl has an interesting variation in the Subspace Emissary: You fight the same boss twice, but with different characters. The second encounter is its own level though, so you're granted full stocks for round two and don't need to start the first round again if you fail.
  • World of Warcraft has pretty much all variations imaginable. The longest sequence is the Dark Portal dungeon, a retelling of a historical keypoint. The enemies come from portals, each of which is linked to a mini boss, with each sixth being linked to a real boss. The players have little time to rest between portals, although they are given a generous breather after each major boss, the ability to summon a guard to distract the enemies, and finally the quest target can take some beating if necessary. But since the portals open in a preset interval, you do need to keep up.
    • The Violet Hold instance in the newest expansion is almost exactly the same, except that the two first major bosses are random (the final boss is always the same).
    • Another variation is an event where a single player takes control over a demon to destroy the protective barrier around a demon portal. The catch here is that for the first two bosses, control is transferred after their defeat, forcing the player to adapt a new playstyle each. The third demon then fights 3 bosses in a row, while the other two have to deal with waves of mooks first.
    • Many raid bosses and just about all Final Bosses in the game are sequential. Two or more of the following are just about guaranteed: an adds phase, a flying/underground/hidden phase (during which the boss may or may not be attackable), an escalating pattern of attacks, a One-Winged Angel phase, and a timed phase where you must kill the boss before the encounter becomes unwinnable.
      • Perhaps the most memorable example is Kael'thas Sunstrider, final boss of Tempest Keep in the Burning Crusade expansion, with no less than five distinct phases. First, you fight his four bodyguards one after another, then he animates a number of weapons to fight you, then he revives the bodyguards all at once. Only after their second demise do you actually get to fight him, and he himself goes into a Phlebotinum Overload phase when reduced to half health.
      • The Black Knight is perhaps the most straightforward example of the One-Winged Angel variant: He has to be killed three times, going from an undead to a skeleton to a ghost. Note that this battle is also after what could be considered a sequential battle comprised of three random bosses, which in tu- Oh, screw it. The entire instance is one damn sequence from beginning to end.
        • The final showdown with Deathwing in the finale of the Cataclysm expansion takes place over two separate encounters, each with multiple phases with different mechanics and loot.
  • Runescape has a few of these:
    • The Dream Mentor quest boss has 4 forms which represent different aspects of Cyrisus' fear of combat.
    • The Recipe for Disaster quest has 6 sequential bosses at the end, although you can leave between battles.
    • The Kalphite Queen, a high-level raid boss, has 2 forms, an armored beetle that is immune to ranged and magic attacks, and a flying wasp that is (mostly) immune to melee attacks.
  • Tales of Symphonia contains a rather infamous string of three sequential bosses at the climax of its fake ending (in actuality only about a third of the way through the game.) First up is Remiel, who tries to eliminate the party after sealing Colette's soul. He's reasonably challenging, but no harder than an average boss up until that point. Once you deal with him, Kratos reappears just in time to announce that he's been stringing you along the whole time and that he intends to deliver Colette to his superiors. While not set up as a Hopeless Boss Fight, he would be extremely difficult to overcome with a fresh party, let alone one that's just finished a previous boss fight. Then, just to add insult to injury, whether or not the party manages to defeat him, his boss shows up and utterly destroys the party in a true Hopeless Boss Fight. Naturally, there's no way to save or heal in between any of these encounters.
    • Done properly at the next fake ending with a Dual Boss (Pronyma and the two Idun) followed by a fight with the Big Bad, Yggdrassil, which doesn't actually lead to any closure, as he leaves when you knock off a quarter of his max HP. And again in the real finale, with two forms of Mithos.
    • This trick is also pulled at the Wind Seal where the party must fight a boss in order for Colette to release the seal. This battle, while not very hard, can be draining on your items. As the party is exiting the dungeon, Sheena attacks the party for a second, more difficult fight that is made harder due to the fact that you likely used many healing items earlier. Of course, this sequence would not be mentioned on this page if there was a save point present between the two points, so have fun fighting the first boss again if you lose to Sheena.
      • What makes this one truly maddening is that Sheena jumps you when you approach the exit, which is only a few meters from the save point that you could have used if she didn't jump you!
  • Tales of Graces has two of them: In the penultimate dungeon, you have to fight Lambda Richard and then Emeraude. Lambda Richard is That One Boss, but Emeraude is surprisingly easy, despite her constant teleporting around. Then in the final dungeon you first fight Lambda Richard (again) and finally Lambda Angelus.
  • Green from Gunstar Heroes is pretty much the grandmaster of this trope, boasting a grand total of seven forms with the power of his transforming mech, Seven Force. Sure, you only have to face a couple of them on easy, but harder difficulties have you facing the full set, back to back. He comes back later on using all the forms in conjunction with each other, but this one plays out more like a standard boss battle.
  • In Gradius Galaxies, the first mid-boss of Stage 8 fights you three times, getting repairs and upgrades for its second and third forms.
  • Baten Kaitos combines this with the Dual Boss to have you fight the three generals all at the same time - and then again immediately afterwards with no time to heal/save.
    • Baten Kaitos also had the final boss, Malpercio.
    • Malpercio isn't quite an example, as there is a save point you can use between forms.
  • The Challenge missions in Trauma Center: New Blood would have you operate on multiple patients in a row, with the vitals from the last carrying over to the next. Sort of justified in that it's supposed to be a VR simulation, not real operations.
  • Aquaria's final boss, The Creator, fits this trope to a T. First, he appears as a 'perfect' humanoid figure sitting on a throne. Then, his face falls off and he grows tentacles and chases you. Then, he turns into a monster, flees, and you have to track him down by listening to the background music. Then, he becomes a 'lite' version of the first form, which you defeat by singing in the correct sequence. When you win there, he falls on his side and it looks like you've won (riiiiiiiiight) but then you're warped to the final battlefield and have to face him as he truly is: a god.
  • The final book of Odin Sphere, Armageddon, is a series of five boss fights. Good thing there's five playable characters, huh?
  • Wario Land The Shake Dimension's Final Boss (The Shake King) has multiple stages in the battle, with two or three stages in the first battle, each adding a few more attacks, then straight after the real final battle with the deadly energy beam and lightning attacks found normally aganst One-Winged Angel type final bosses.
  • Dark Cloud: The Dark Genie, the final boss.
  • There was a slight aversion of this trope in Star Wars:Knights of the Old Republic, in the final battle with Darth Malak. After storming his personal space station (which is huge), fighting through the expected mooks, and a boss battle just before finally facing Darth Malak himself. He as a few tricks up his sleeve. Namely a group of 8 pods containing captive Jedi. Whenever you get close to killing him, he will go drain one of them, and come back with full health and force power. Giving him eight lives with which to fight you with. This would be VERY aggravating... if you couldn't use them too.
  • In the first God of War game, you fight Ares. Then he sucks you into a portal where you find your "family" and must donate your health to them while being attacked by versions of yourself. THEN, you fight Ares again, only without any of your upgraded weapons or magic.
  • The final bosses in the first three Rayman games were sequential.
    • Rayman: Mr. Dark assaults you for a bit, then disappears and sics three mash-ups of the previous bosses on you.
    • Rayman 2: You fight Golgroth on the Crow's Nest, then both of you fall into a lava-filled chamber for Round 2.
    • Rayman 3: The battle against Reflux gets a bit ridiculous. First, you fight his normal form, then he transforms into a giant, warty monster. After that, he grows some wings and you have to work your way up to his level and shoot missles at him. Then, you have a dogfight with him and, finally, use the same plane to kill a ton of Hoodlums before they regenerate his health.
  • Okami's example of this trope is Yami, who you fight five times, all the while regaining your Celestial Brush techniques, which Yami zapped out of Amaterasu at the start of the fight. It has to be mentioned though, that Yami's first four forms aren't that different, being a different varity of ball each time. Actually, thinking about it, his fifth form isn't that different either, Yami just has a freaking large claw hanging out the front.
  • Both Strikers 1945 games (a.k.a just 1945 I & II) had sequential bosses ending each level. In the early levels they usually had two stages (first a regular battleship, tank, airplane and such, which then transforms to a Humongous Mecha), later bosses usually have 3 or 4 stages (transforming from a mech to two smaller mechs and so on).
    • In general, Psikyo loved using this trope. Games in their library that don't have any are the exception, rather than the rule.
  • Bowser has been this type of boss on multiple occasions. Sort of happened in the first Paper Mario, but not really, because there was a save point in between (and in a game that doesn't allow you to save after beating the final boss, too). More commonly, however, this is the case in the story mode of the Mario Party games.
  • The Mario RPGs all seem to love this trope.
    • Super Mario RPG at the end has you fight Smithy, then a stronger version of Smithy. There is also the Czar Dragon, who changes from a typical fire dragon to a skeletal dragon after you beat on him enough.
    • The final boss of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga also has two forms, but you begin the second form with 1 HP on each of your characters.
    • Partners In Time has three boss fights in a row at the end.
    • In Paper Mario the Thousand Year Door, you fight Grodus directly before Bowser, with no chance to heal. Fortunately, leveling up in between restores your health entirely and there *is* a third boss right after (with two stages), but at least you get the chance to heal and save (or even go back out and do some sidequests) before you tackle that one.
    • Bowser's Inside Story has a variation of this with the final boss, alternating between Bowser and the Bros at least twice.
  • And then there's the final boss battle against Bowser at the end of Super Mario Galaxy, which starts of with Bowser turning into a rock (which later inspired the rock power-up from the sequel) and charging at you, and Mario/Luigi actually had to spin his face to defeat him, then Bowser curls up into his shell and starts charging at you again, but this time, because of the spikes on his shell, Mario/Luigi actually had to slap rubber plants onto Bowser to knock him out, and finally Bowser starts chasing you, and as a result you have to lure him into a puddle of lava to make his tail catch fire, then spin him to take him down completely!
    • Super Mario Galaxy 2 had a few of these as well, the final battle for example had 2 parts. And there was also the Boss Blitz Galaxy which strung together 5 or 6 boss battles in a row.
    • And the final Bowser battle in Super Mario 3D Land, where Mario and Bowser start chasing each other through the hallways of the castle. During the fight, Bowser mostly resorts to shooting fire out of his mouth, and then for some reason he starts throwing barrels at Mario. The remainder of the battle has Bowser shooting plasma jets at Mario, before finally being thrown into a pit of lava and being hit on the head by a boulder mid-air.
  • The final boss of Wild Arms 3 takes this Serial Escalation. Its final boss has a whopping eleven forms.
  • The final battle with Dr. Tongue in Zombies Ate My Neighbors includes two forms: one against the spider form fought in a previous level, and one where he turns into a giant head.
  • Rogue Galaxy's final boss has something like seven ten forms, where the first six need to be fought one-on-one with each character.
    • Mother has two forms, then the Demon Battleship has EIGHT separate battles, one-on-one duels between every member of your party and one part of the final boss. If you screw up even ONCE, you have to do the whole damn thing all over again. ARGH.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom
    • Final boss Onslaught of the first game is just plain insane.
      The first form is as tall as the screen, will teleport away whenever you try to hit him (specially if you try using a super-combo), and all his attacks are as powerful as super-combos.
      If you manage to beat the first form, he becomes even bigger, with his body floating at the background. You can't hit the body, you must aim for the small head, which usually requires super-jumps. Also, your health was not replenished after the first form.
    • The sequel game had the demon Abyss, who had three forms to defeat, each with different attack styles and weaknesses.
  • Subverted and parodied in the first Blood Rayne game. The final boss of Act 2 is a 10-foot tall Nazi cyborg. After you drain his health bar to zero and he collapses, he stands back up again, raises his arms high into the air, and screams "You can't defeat me THAT easily!"... then promptly falls over dead. Rayne even makes a snarky comment about this.
  • Particularly annoying in Red Faction 2. The final boss is your Super Soldier commander piloting a Mini-Mecha. The mecha has an insane amount of health but its weapons are only of average power. After you blow it up, the boss jumps out to fight you on foot. The annoying part is that he fights with a one-hit-kill railgun, so if he manages to shoot you just once, you die and have to restart the level and fight the mech suit all over again (including sitting through the unskippable pre-boss cutscene).
  • Radiant Silvergun has tons of them. One boss is where all its parts are sequential, some bosses themselves are sequential and near the end of the game, you'll fight several bosses (some being sequential themselves) in a row without stages being in between them.
  • All of the Wii One Piece games have at least one of those.
    • Unlimited Adventure has two. You fight against Rob Lucci twice in a row (once in human form and once in leopard form). Then, at the end of the game, you fight the Evil Guardian, who upon defeat transforms into the Evil Master Beast.
    • Unlimited Cruise Episode 1 has a fight against the cowardly Spandam and a bunch of Marine flunkies, followed immediately by a fight against Aokiji.
    • Unlimited Cruise Episode 2 has one of these for its final fight. After defeating Yami's first form (a large golemlike creature), he transforms into a much nastier creature composed of tree roots and darkness.
  • Mana Khemia Alchemists of Al Revis features a combination of Flunky Boss and Sequential Boss. Frequently in the Sidequests, some Bosses are fought this way, where the player has to fight through a sequence of normal enemies before the Boss. For an example in the storyline, there's the very first Boss who is fought in the same way.
  • .hack has Corbenik, who may well take the cake for most bizarre forms ever: he starts out as a giant seed, then he turns into a leaf, and when that doesn't work he becomes a Giant Eye of Doom.
  • Played oddly straight in Ace Combat Zero the Belkan War. Solo Wing Pixy's Morgan starts the fight off firing its laser. When it gets damaged enough, it drops the Frickin' Laser Beams and switches to the Multi-Purpose Burst Missile. For the third stage it drops the MPBM too, but starts using an ECM system that forces you to attack it from the front in order to damage it.
  • All of the Star Fox games seem to do this quite often.
  • At the end of the first Golden Sun, you must first fight Saturos and Menardi and then, after a short (by Golden Sun standards) cut scene, fight the two of them combined into a two-headed dragon. The inability to heal or replenish PP in between battles is the main reason the second battle is difficult at all, with the actual boss being weaker than the ones that proceed it.
    • Primarily there because there are two targets to fight, something that you definitely were not expecting and to top it off, they both are loaded with very strong moves. Have fun trying to take them down all the way.
    • And then the end boss of The Lost Age, a dragon with three heads, which die one at a time, and which uses stronger attacks the fewer heads it has. And it's made of the heroes' parents. Oh shi-
  • The boss battle with Poison Ivy in Batman: Arkham Asylum actually has a checkpoint when you get midway through defeating her.
  • Zuma's Revenge. First, you have to extinguish some torches while not dying. Then, you have to fight his chef. Then, you get Fake Credits dumped on you, which then happens to have the REAL final boss drop onto it. Then, when you've got him halfway down, he's replaced by an evil bat thing. And then, just to rub salt in your wounds, you go through a Mirror Battle. Thankfully, if you've beaten the levels before this sequence, this probably will be a piece of cake.
  • Cue Ball/Parcs in Undercover Cops. First, you fight his human disguise along with a few Mooks. After half of his lifebar is gone, his skin gets damaged and you fight his robotic form as he attempt to throw you in a trash compactor.
  • Every boss in Gundemonium Recollection has at least two forms, but the final boss has an amazing eleven. The eleventh is fortunately the True Final Boss and is only triggered under certain conditions, but you do have to deal with the rest on every playthrough, either by defeating them or managing to stay alive until the timer empties.
  • The final boss of Digital Devil Saga 2 has five different forms, each aligned with a different element.
  • You fight Irenicus in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn three times. First you fight him at Spellhold, then a bit later you fight him in the trees of Suldanessellar and finally you fight him in Hell in demon form. After all this, the final cutscene shows his magic poofing as he gets dogpiled into a pit of lava. Toasty.
  • The standalone mod/emulator Scoredoom invokes this in the face when it comes to the boss fights. Whereas before in vanilla Doom the player would have to take down a heavily armed and incredibly tough monster at the end of the episode, Scoredoom has the corpse give a handful of ammo and health refills before respawning it as another, usually harder form. As the forms are usually (although not always) unconnected this could be a one-level Boss Game, the but the fact that the last level of the last (original) episode consists of around ten of the boss monsters back to back makes it obvious why the ammo, health and power of some of the guns were increased to compensate.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh Reshef of Destruction for the GBA is littered with sequential battles, made worse in that the only way to replenish your health is to go back to the save point, which will reset many of the sequential encounters. The final battle against Big Bad Sol Chevalsky and Bigger Bad Reshef is especially cruel, as you have to batter your way past a combined 60,000 life points versus only 8,000 of your own, plus both opponents' decks have numerous ways to kill you in only a couple turns.
    • Many sequential bosses are in the Yu-Gi-Oh video games, for example, in Worldwide Edition, after beating all the Steves, the player heads to a pyramid where they fight Tea, then two random Steves, then Joey, followed by a final battle with Melvin. If the player loses any of these duels, they are sent back to the start of the pyramid, but luckily, unlike Reshef Of Destruction, the player's Life Points will refill after every duel.
    • Stardust Accelerator also has one in the form of Four Clones of yourself, unfortunately, this fight goes back to the Reshef Of Destruction rules of not having your Life Points restored to normal between duels, also comes with the fun of each one having an extremely powerful deck.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Arcade Game ends with you fighting General Traag, Kraing, and Shredder, all in a row--though the latter two fights are fought in a final boss room that is actually considered a new stage on the NES version. All the Turtles Beat 'em Ups from the 80's and 90's have Shredder immidiately follow Kraing, actually...
  • The Ball Revamped series typically has a boss fight at the end of each game, and in the case of BR4, in the middle. Each boss generally has multiple forms with minor differences between them -- Usually, each one adds something new to look out for. You need to reach the exit a number of times, usually 20, to destroy it entirely, and at certain numbers, it will change forms.
    • Ball Revamped 2 has Master Square, who moves in sequence with the exit.
      1. First he's just by himself. We occasionally throws white rectangles. Very easy.
      2. After a few hits a block is introduced which causes a ton of lasers to shoot at you if you touch it. Still very easy, because it's out of the way.
      3. A while later, a giant switch gate appears. You need to press the switch to get to him. Starts to get difficult here. By this point, the white rectangles have noticeably increased in frequency.
    • Ball revamped 3A has a big triangle for its boss. The triangle spins, and on one of its corners is the exit.
      1. Extremely easy. No extra obstacles.
      2. Begins to shoot missiles from one of the vacant corners after five hits. Still quite easy.
      3. At ten hits, three extra blocks appear to impede you. Fairly difficult here.
      4. Finally, at fifteen hits, it will begin to shoot lasers from its remaining vacant corner. These lasers are very irritating. This stage is HARD.
    • Ball Revamped 3G really takes the cake. The boss has an astounding array of different forms.
      1. This is a weird star shape. The exit goes spinning around it in a flower shape. Starts off already difficult because the flower shape is unpredictable and it moves quickly.
      2. It sends out some red spikes about once every two seconds after about three hits.
      3. In addition to the previous, it will shoot blue missiles. This is insanely hard.
      4. It morphs into a square with the exit moving about over its surface, moving around the room in a square pattern. Not hard, but the exit can be difficult to reach.
      5. After a few hits, it rearranges itself into a pinwheel shape and begins spinning rapidly. This one's unpredictable, but goes down with one hit. The exit does the same thing as before.
      6. It rearranges into the square from before, but is still spinning rapidly. Once again, the exit keeps on doing its thing.
      7. Eventually it morphs into a triangle that looks similar to the one from BR3. It's spinning like the one from BR3, but it has a rotating laser on each point instead. The exit is near the bottom of the screen. Still, not too bad.
      8. Four hits later, it turns into a 6-point star, and that means SIX rotating lasers. Very difficult, but good thing it can only take one hit.
      9. This time you get a ball-machine thing that looks vaguely similar to you. It's a little above the exit. Very easy... For now.
      10. It shoots missiles in curvy shapes in all directions, but it's quite slow.
      11. The missiles suddenly become a great deal faster. This is where it gets hard.
      12. Finally, it forgets about the missiles, puts out an antenna, and instead goes for a Crosshair Aware thing.
    • Ball Revamped 4 has a non-sequential final boss, but has a sequential midboss. It's a pentagon that moves in a way similar to Master Square from BR2.
      1. Easy
      2. Starts shooting missiles at you. Still easy.
      3. THE SCREEN STARTS ROTATING!!!!!!!!
      4. It starts rotating in jumps instead of continuously.
    • Ball Revamped 5's final boss is technically sequential, with 3 stages, but the only difference between them is how fast they are and how often they blink red.
  • Raiden is pretty fond of these. Every boss has multiple stages of combat based on difficulty. You transition between sequences by blasting the crap out of it and causing things to explode. After exploding, what's left of the boss transforms and resumes combat. This can happen up to ten times in later games like Raiden IV.
  • Based on how well you're doing, Triggerheart Exelica bosses can go from one phase to up to five phases. The better equipped you are (More lives, bombs, point items, and score), the harder it gets.
  • Touhou bosses always have multiple life bars, one for each bullet pattern they shoot. Early bosses usually have at most 4, whereas final bosses have many: Kaguya Houraisan from the eighth game, for example, has 10 life bars on every difficulty, plus five optional Last Spells after that.
  • The final boss of Gungrave: Overdose has two phases. In the first phase the boss is protected by a barrier, which your character must break through by destroying the three generators that flank the room. With the barrier gone the boss moves to the second phase by creating some sort of bizarre space and decides to get dangerous by using time-based attacks against your character.
  • Final Boss Chelsea from Bunny Must Die has a whopping seven distinct stages. From the same game, Septentrion Pleiades has five stages, but this fight happens back to back with possessed Bunny, who also has three stages and is directly followed by yet another three-stage boss (whose second stage is fortunately unbeatable). The game even gives you an award if you manage to finish all those fights without ever running out of HP.
  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 has these for ALL their boss fights. In order:
    • Kakashi vs Naruto and Sakura: A battle in the training field in standard play, followed up by a lake area where he shoots Water Dragons. If you avoid them or have Sakura knock him off his high point, he shoot fireballs and guns you down with Lightning Blades.
    • Deidara vs Gaara: A battle on top of the Kazekage's Mansion, dodging his explosive birds and spiders, waiting for opportunities to knock him off his bird and open a gourd of sandy whoopass. When you take a healthy chunk of his HP, an aerial chase ensues, where you have to again avoid his fire and pelt him with Sand Shuriken.
    • Sasori vs Sakura and Chiyo
    • Orochimaru vs Naruto: Again, fairly normal until Naruto goes Four-Tailed Fox on Snaky. Beam Spam ensues.
  • The Family Guy video game for X Box and Playstation2 had the Giant Chicken as the final boss, naturally. The battle takes place in seven different areas, with the chicken gaining additional abilities between most of the scenery changes.
  • The final boss of Rainbow Islands is a giant bubble dragon that turns into a skeleton after defeat. The skeleton's bones crumble and the remaining skull is a giant Skel-Monsta which you have to defeat.
  • Parodied in the web game Chibi Knight: after you defeat the last boss, the Demon Beast, he explodes and you have to fight what's left of him, the Demon Eye. However, it does absolutely nothing and you can kick it around as you please before it dies!
  • Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne: Yoyogi Park has two bosses back to back; Sakahagi sics Girimekhala on you, and then takes you on himself after it fails to finish you off. You get no chance to heal in between the two, but fortunately, Sakahagi isn't as hard as Girimekhala, and can easily be taken down in two turns.
  • The Final Boss of In the Hunt is a giant warhead rocket. The first segment spawns weak submarines, the second fires out lots of INDESTRUCTIBLE mines that block shots (in a game where most enemy projectiles in the game are destructible, this is bad news), the third shoots out massive rockets, and the fourth does the mine storm AGAIN. Finally, you get to the main warhead that spams missiles. If you had used any continues before this, you will get the good ending, otherwise, the bomb blows up along with your submarine.
  • Rock Man 4 Minus Infinity:
    • After you knock Pharaoh Man down to a low amount of HP in his stage, he goes berserk, destroying his arena in the process. He then receives power from the pyramid to heal himself, activates the pyramid's curse and fights you again.
    • After beating Proto Sniper Joe, he blows up and turns into 2 Sniper Joes.
    • After beating Shadow Mega Man, he steals 4 of your weapons to become a more complete Mirror Boss.
  • Quake 2's final boss has two forms: the Makron riding some sort of monstrous cyborg mount, and then the Makron alone (with several weapons he wasn't using when mounted).
    • Heretic's final boss uses the same idea: D'Sparil starts out riding a fire-breathing serpent, then after you kill the mount he falls off and starts teleporting around, summoning monsters, and shooting stuff.
  • A classic example: the last three fights in Legend of Heroes VI FC.
  • A couple of bosses in Asura's Wrath are like this, if not almost all of them, technically. The best examples are Gohma Vlitra and it's core, and Chakravartin.
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