Boss (video gaming)

A boss fight from Guacamelee, in which the player characters (the two characters in luchador outfits) must keep ahead of the giant rampaging creature on the left while dodging obstacles and other enemies.

In video gaming, a boss is a significant computer-controlled enemy.[1] A fight with a boss character is commonly referred to as a boss battle or boss fight. Boss battles are generally seen at a climax of a particular section of the game, usually at the end of a stage or level, or guarding a specific objective, and the boss enemy is generally far stronger than the opponents the player has faced up to that point. For example, in a combat game all regular enemies might use pistols while the boss uses a machine gun.[2] A boss enemy is quite often larger in size than other enemies and the player character.[3] At times, bosses are very hard, even impossible to defeat without being adequately prepared and/or knowing the correct fighting approach. Bosses take strategy and special knowledge to defeat, such as how to attack weak points or avoiding specific attacks. A final boss is often the main antagonist of a game's story.

History

The first interactive game to feature a boss was dnd, a 1975 role-playing video game for the PLATO system.[4][5] One of the earliest dungeon crawls, dnd implemented many of the core concepts behind Dungeons & Dragons.[5] The objective of the game is to retrieve an "Orb" from the bottommost dungeon.[6] The orb is kept in a treasure room guarded by a high-level enemy named the Gold Dragon. Only by defeating the Dragon can the player claim the orb, complete the game, and be eligible to appear on the high score list.[4]

A 1980 example is the fixed shooter Phoenix, wherein the player ship must fight a giant mothership in the fifth and final level.[7]

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