Boss (video gaming)

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

In video games, 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 level or stage, or guarding a specific objective; the boss enemy is generally far stronger than the opponents the player has faced up to that point, and is usually faced solo. A miniboss is a boss weaker or less significant than the main boss in the same area or level.. A superboss is generally much more powerful than the bosses encountered as part of the main game's plot and often optional to encounter. A final boss is often the main antagonist of a game's story and the defeat of that character provides ultimate satisfaction to the game player.

For example, in a combat game all regular enemies might use pistols while the boss uses a machine gun.[2][failed verification] 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 avoid specific attacks.

Bosses are common in many genres of video games, but they are especially common in story-driven titles. RPGs, FPSs, platform games, and fighting games are particularly associated with boss battles. They may be less common in puzzle games, card video games, sports games, and simulation games. The first game to feature a boss fight was the 1975 RPG dnd. The concept has expanded to new genres, like rhythm games, where there may be a "boss song" that is more difficult.

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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