This article possibly contains original research .(August 2014)
In video games, a boss is a significant computer-controlled enemy.A fight with a boss character is commonly referred to as a boss battle or boss fight. Bosses are generally far stronger than other opponents the player has faced up to that point and winning requires a greater knowledge of the game's mechanics. Boss battles are generally seen at climax points of particular sections of games, such as at the end of a level or stage or guarding a specific objective. A miniboss is a boss weaker or less significant than the main boss in the same area or level, though more powerful than the standard enemies and often fought alongside them. A superboss (sometimes 'secret' or 'hidden' boss) is generally much more powerful than the bosses encountered as part of the main game's plot and often an optional encounter. A final boss is often the main antagonist of a game's story and the defeat of that character provides a positive conclusion to the game. A boss rush is a stage where the player faces multiple previous bosses again in succession.
For example, in a run 'n' gun video game all regular enemies might use pistols while the boss uses a tank. A boss enemy is quite often larger in size than other enemies and the player character.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, and are commonly previously established antagonists in the plot of the video game. Action-adventures, beat 'em ups, fighting games, platformers, role-playing video games (RPGs) and shooter 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 video game to feature a boss fight was the 1975 RPG title dnd .
The concept has expanded to new genres, like rhythm games, where there may be a "boss song" that is more difficult. In MOBA games, defeating a map boss usually requires help from the other players, but it brings various benefits to the team, such as buffs or lane push power.Some games, such as Cuphead and Warning Forever , are centered around continual boss fights.
The origin of naming the final enemy in a level or game a "boss" cannot be readily traced, but Kotaku points to the term coming from the crime boss of a criminal gang.A precursor to video game boss fights is Bruce Lee's Hong Kong martial arts films, including The Big Boss (1971), where Lee fights a criminal gang before battling the big boss and Game of Death (1972), where Lee fights a different boss on each level of a pagoda, which later inspired the boss battles of martial arts action games such as beat 'em ups. Another precursor is tabletop role-playing games starting with Dungeons & Dragons (1974), where in a typical dungeon campaign there would be one powerful enemy acting as the boss of the weaker minions that players would face beforehand, in the same sense as a crime boss, which later inspired the boss battles of role-playing video games.
The first interactive video game to feature a boss was dnd , a 1975 role-playing video game for the PLATO system.One of the earliest dungeon crawls, dnd implemented many of the core concepts of Dungeons & Dragons. The objective of the game is to retrieve an "Orb" from the bottommost dungeon. 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.
In 1980, boss battles appeared in several arcade action games. In March 1980, Sega released Samurai, a jidaigeki-themed martial arts action game where the player samurai fights a number of swordsmen before confronting a more powerful boss samurai.SNK's Sasuke vs. Commander, released in October 1980, is a ninja-themed shooting game where the player character fights enemy ninjas before confronting bosses with various ninjutsu attacks and enemy patterns. Phoenix , released in December 1980, is a fixed shooter where the player ship must fight a giant mothership boss in the fifth and final level. Namco's shoot 'em up Galaga (1981) used the term "boss" for a stronger type of enemy, while Namco's vertical scrolling shooter Xevious (1982) had level bosses.
In side-scrolling character action games such as beat 'em ups, Irem's 1984 arcade game Kung-Fu Master established the end-of-level boss battle structure used in these games, with the player character progressing through levels (represented by floors of a temple) and fighting a boss character at the end of each level;in turn, this end-of-level boss battle structure was adapted from the Bruce Lee film Game of Death, where Lee's character fights a different boss character on each floor as he ascends a pagoda. The game was distinctive for giving both the player character and each boss a health meter, which leads to the game temporarily becoming a one-on-one fighting game during boss battles, a concept that Kung-Fu Master designer Takashi Nishiyama later expanded on when he created the fighting game Street Fighter (1987) at Capcom. The term "boss" was used in reference to the game's final boss by Mike Roberts in a review of the game published in the May 1985 issue of British magazine Computer Gamer , while he used the term "super baddies" for the end-of-level bosses.
Sega's arcade game Fantasy Zone (1986) popularized the concept of a boss rush, a stage where the player faces multiple previous bosses again in succession.American magazine Nintendo Power has been credited with popularizing the term "boss" for video games around 1988.
Bosses are usually more difficult than regular enemies, can sustain more damage and are generally found at the end of a level or area. [ citation needed ]While most games include a mixture of boss opponents and regular opponents, some games have only regular opponents and some games have only bosses (e.g. Shadow of the Colossus ). Some bosses are encountered several times through a single game, typically with alternate attacks and a different strategy required to defeat it each time. A boss battle can also be made more challenging if the boss in question becomes progressively stronger and/or less vulnerable as their health decreases, requiring players to use different strategies to win. Some bosses may contain or be composed of smaller parts that can be destroyed by the player in battle, which may or may not grant an advantage. In games such as Doom and Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia , an enemy may be introduced via a boss battle, but later appear as a regular enemy, after the player has become stronger or had a chance to find more powerful weaponry.
The Legend of Zelda series and games inspired by it are recognized for having dungeons with bosses that are specifically vulnerable to a special item that is located within that dungeon. The player typically acquires this item while exploring the dungeon and is given opportunity to learn to use it to solve puzzles or defeat weaker enemies before facing the boss character.
Boss battles are typically seen as dramatic events. As such, they are usually characterized by unique music and cutscenes before and after the boss battle. Recurring bosses and final bosses may have their own specific theme music to distinguish them from other boss battles. This concept extends beyond combat-oriented video games. For example, a number of titles in the Dance Dance Revolution rhythm game series contain "boss songs" that are called "bosses" because they are exceptionally difficult to perform on.
In combat-focused games, a boss may summon additional enemies or minions or simply "adds", for players to fight alongside the boss. These additional enemies may distract from the boss battle or give time for the boss to regenerate health, but may also give the player opportunity to regain health and ammo to continue the boss fight.
A miniboss, also known as a "middle boss", "mid-boss", "half-boss", "sub-boss" [ citation needed ] Others may be a recurring version of a previous boss, who is either weaker than previously encountered or is less of a challenge later in the game due to character or equipment progression. Other video game characters who usually take the role of a miniboss are the Koopalings ( Super Mario series), Vile ( Mega Man X series), Allen O'Neil ( Metal Slug ) and Dark Link ( The Legend of Zelda series, though he appears as a final boss in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link ). There is also a subtype nicknamed the "Wolfpack Boss", for its similarity to a pack of wolves, often consisting of a group of strong normal enemies that are easy to defeat on their own, but a group of them can be as difficult as a boss battle.or "semi-boss", is a boss weaker or less significant than the main boss in the same area or level. Some minibosses are stronger versions of regular enemies, as in the Kirby games.
A superboss is a type of boss most commonly found in role-playing video games. They are considered optional enemies and do not have to be defeated to complete the game. However, not all optional bosses are superbosses. They are generally much more powerful than the bosses encountered as part of the main game's plot or quest, more difficult even than the final boss and often the player is required to complete a sidequest or the entire game to fight the superboss. For example, in Final Fantasy VII , the player may choose to seek out and fight the Ruby and Emerald Weapons. Some superbosses will take the place of the final boss if certain requirements are met. This is common in fighting games such as Akuma in Super Street Fighter II Turbo . Some superbosses can also yield special items or skills that cannot be found any other way that can give a player a significant advantage during playthrough of the rest of the game, such as added experience or an extremely powerful weapon. For example, the "raid bosses" from Borderlands 2 give rare loot unavailable anywhere else. Some superbosses in online games have an immense amount of health and must be defeated within a time limit by having a large number of players or parties working together to defeat the boss. Examples of such superbosses can be found in games like Shadow Fight 2 and Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes . Toby Fox's games Undertale and Deltarune both feature superbosses in the form of Sans the Skeleton (only accessible by making it to the end of Undertale's "Genocide Route") and Jevil (only accessible by locating a set of keys to free him from a prison cell), respectively. Some major video game series have recurring superbosses such as the Ultima Weapon and Omega Weapon in Final Fantasy .
The final boss, last boss or end boss, [ citation needed ]is typically present at or near the end of a game, with completion of the game's storyline usually following victory in the battle. The final boss is usually the main antagonist of the game; however, there are exceptions, such as in Conker's Bad Fur Day , where the final boss is the antagonist's alien pet. Final bosses are generally larger, more detailed and better animated than lesser enemies, often in order to inspire a feeling of grandeur and special significance from the encounter.
In some games, a hidden boss, referred to as the "true" final boss, is present. These bosses only appear after the completion of specific additional levels, choosing specific dialogue options or after obtaining a particular item or set of items, such as the Chaos Emeralds in the Sonic the Hedgehog series or doing a series of tasks in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker . These bosses are generally more difficult to defeat. In games with a "true" final boss, victory leads to either a better ending or a more detailed version of the regular ending. Examples of a "true final boss" include the Radiance in Hollow Knight , Indalecio in Star Ocean: The Second Story , the Moon Presence in Bloodborne and Zero in Kirby's Dream Land 3 .
The term "Foozle" is used to describe a cliché final boss that exists only to act as the final problem before a player can complete the game.Scorpia stated in 1994 that "about 98% of all role-playing video games can be summed up as follows: 'We go out and bash on critters until we're strong enough to go bash on Foozle.'"
A player character is a fictional character in a video game or tabletop role-playing game whose actions are controlled by a player rather than the rules of the game. The characters that are not controlled by a player are called non-player characters (NPCs). The actions of non-player characters are typically handled by the game itself in video games, or according to rules followed by a gamemaster refereeing tabletop role-playing games. The player character functions as a fictional, alternate body for the player controlling the character.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is an action role-playing video game with platforming elements. This second installment in The Legend of Zelda series was developed and published by Nintendo for the Family Computer Disk System on January 14, 1987. This is less than one year after the Japanese release, and seven months before the North American release, of the original The Legend of Zelda. Zelda II was released in North America and the PAL region for the Nintendo Entertainment System in late 1988, almost two years after its initial release in Japan.
A role-playing video game is a video game genre where the player controls the actions of a character immersed in some well-defined world, usually involving some form of character development by way of recording statistics. Many role-playing video games have origins in tabletop role-playing games and use much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. Other major similarities with pen-and-paper games include developed story-telling and narrative elements, player character development, complexity, as well as replay value and immersion. The electronic medium removes the necessity for a gamemaster and increases combat resolution speed. RPGs have evolved from simple text-based console-window games into visually rich 3D experiences.
An action game is a video game genre that emphasizes physical challenges, including hand–eye coordination and reaction-time. The genre includes a large variety of sub-genres, such as fighting games, beat 'em ups, shooter games and platform games. Multiplayer online battle arena and some real-time strategy games are also considered action games.
Pools of Darkness is a role-playing video game published by Strategic Simulations in 1991. The cover art and introduction screen shows a female drow. It is the fourth entry in the Pool of Radiance series of Gold Box games, and the story is a continuation of the events after Secret of the Silver Blades. The novel loosely based on the game was released in 1992. Like the previous games in the series, it is set in the Forgotten Realms, a campaign setting from Dungeons & Dragons. Players must stop an invasion from an evil god, eventually traveling to other dimensions to confront his lieutenants.
Kung-Fu Master, known as Spartan X in Japan, is a side-scrolling beat 'em up game developed by Irem as an arcade game in 1984, and distributed by Data East in North America. Designed by Takashi Nishiyama, the game was based on Hong Kong martial arts films. It is loosely adapted from the Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung film Wheels on Meals (1984), called Spartan X in Japan, with the protagonist Thomas named after Jackie Chan's character in the film. However, the game is more heavily inspired by the Bruce Lee film Game of Death (1972), which was the basis for the game's concept. Nishiyama, who had previously designed the side-scrolling shooter Moon Patrol (1982), combined fighting elements with a shoot 'em up gameplay rhythm. Irem and Data East exported the game to the West without the Spartan X license.
Ultima III: Exodus is the third game in the series of Ultima role-playing video games. Exodus is also the name of the game's principal antagonist. It is the final installment in the "Age of Darkness" trilogy. Released in 1983, it was the first Ultima game published by Origin Systems. Originally developed for the Apple II, Exodus was eventually ported to 13 other platforms, including a NES/Famicom remake.
Might and Magic II: Gates to Another World is a role-playing video game developed and published by New World Computing in 1988. It is the sequel to Might and Magic Book One: The Secret of the Inner Sanctum.
LCD games are electronic games played on an LCD screen. Since the release of the Zelda Game & Watch game in August 1989, several LCD games based upon the theme of The Legend of Zelda have been licensed by Nintendo to be released for both Japanese and foreign markets. While Zelda was both developed and manufactured by Nintendo, later LCD games would only be licensed by Nintendo. The Legend of Zelda game watch is an LCD wristwatch game produced by Nelsonic as part of their Nelsonic Game Watch series, and Zelda no Densetsu: Kamigami no Triforce is an LCD fighting video game licensed by Nintendo and produced by Epoch Co. for the Barcode Battler II platform, and released only in Japan.
Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara is an arcade game developed and published by Capcom in 1996 as a sequel to Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom. The game is set in the Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting of Mystara.
Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom, published in 1994, is the first of two arcade games created by Capcom based on the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop role-playing game and set in the Mystara campaign setting. It is a side scrolling beat 'em up with some role-playing video game elements for one to four players. The game was also released on the Sega Saturn, packaged with its sequel, Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara, under the title Dungeons & Dragons Collection, although the Saturn version limited the gameplay to only two players. In 2013, both games were re-released for modern platforms as Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara.
Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland is an adventure video game developed by Vanpool and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS handheld game console. It was released in Japan in September 2006, and in Europe in September 2007.
Beat 'em up is a video game genre featuring hand-to-hand combat between the protagonist and an improbably large number of opponents. Traditional beat 'em ups take place in scrolling, two-dimensional (2D) levels, while a number of modern games feature more open three-dimensional (3D) environments with yet larger numbers of enemies. The gameplay tends to follow arcade genre conventions, such as being simple to learn but difficult to master, and the combat system tends to be more highly developed than other side-scrolling action games. Two-player cooperative gameplay and multiple player characters are also hallmarks of the genre. Most of these games take place in urban settings and feature crime-fighting and revenge-based plots, though some games may employ historical, science fiction or fantasy themes.
Champions of Krynn is role-playing video game, the first in a three-part series of Dragonlance Advanced Dungeons & Dragons "Gold Box" games. The game was released in 1990. The highest graphics setting supported in the MS-DOS version was EGA graphics. It also supported the Adlib sound card and either a mouse or joystick.
Health is an attribute in a video game or tabletop game that determines the maximum amount of damage or loss of stamina that a character or object can take before dying or losing consciousness. In role-playing games, this typically takes the form of hit points (HP), a numerical attribute representing the health of a character or object. The game character can be a player character, a boss, or a mob. Health can also be attributed to destructible elements of the game environment or inanimate objects such as vehicles and their individual parts. In video games, health is often represented by visual elements such as a numerical fraction, a health bar or a series of small icons, though it may also be represented acoustically, such as through a character's heartbeat.
Telengard is a 1982 role-playing dungeon crawler video game developed by Daniel Lawrence and published by Avalon Hill. The player explores a dungeon, fights monsters with magic, and avoids traps in real-time without any set mission other than surviving. Lawrence first wrote the game as DND, a 1976 version of Dungeons & Dragons for the DECsystem-10 mainframe computer. He continued to develop DND at Purdue University as a hobby, rewrote the game for the Commodore PET 2001 after 1978, and ported it to Apple II+, TRS-80, and Atari 800 platforms before Avalon Hill found the game at a convention and licensed it for distribution. Its Commodore 64 release was the most popular. Reviewers noted Telengard's similarity to Dungeons and Dragons. RPG historian Shannon Appelcline noted the game as one of the first professionally produced computer role-playing games, and Gamasutra's Barton considered Telengard consequential in what he deemed "The Silver Age" of computer role-playing games preceding the golden age of the late 1980s. Some of the game's dungeon features, such as altars, fountains, teleportation cubes, and thrones, were adopted by later games such as Tunnels of Doom (1982).
Magic: The Gathering is a video game published by MicroProse in April 1997 based on the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering. It is often referred to as Shandalar after the plane of Shandalar, where the game takes place. The player must travel the land and fight random enemies to gain cards, and defeat five wizards representing the five colors. The player must prevent one color from gaining too much power, and defeat the planeswalker Arzakon, who has a deck of all five colors. Adventure and role-playing elements are present, including inventory, gold, towns, dungeons, random battles, and character progression in the form of new abilities and a higher life point total. An oversized version of Aswan Jaguar was included in the game box.
An overworld is, in a broad sense, commonly an area within a video game that interconnects all its levels or locations. They are mostly common in role-playing games, though this does not exclude other video game genres, such as some platformers and strategy games.
This list includes terms used in video games and the video game industry, as well as slang used by players.
Wayward Souls is an action-adventure video game developed by American indie studio Rocketcat Games. It is a follow-up and spiritual successor to their Mage Gauntlet title. It was released on April 24, 2014 for iOS, and May 1, 2014 for Android. A Microsoft Windows version was later released through the Steam website on August 28, 2019. The gameplay resembles that of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past crossed with the randomly generated dungeons of a roguelike and the escalating challenge of the Dark Souls series. Rocketcat has continued to update the game since its launch, adding new playable characters and increasing the base price of the game. Currently, the game has six playable characters.