The final boss is usually the hardest part of any video game. The entire plot of the game (if it has a plot) leads up to the destruction of the final boss. Nearly every final boss has several different forms, where he seems to be dead, but then quickly returns, often much harder than he was before. Some games have a level leading up to the final boss, while you just fight the boss immediately in others. Some well-known final bosses include Bowser (from many Mario games), Sigma (from Mega Man games), and The Shredder (from Ninja Turtles games).

There are several tried-and-tested devices used by video games regarding final bosses :

The Teaser : Sometimes the boss will appear briefly and unkillably earlier in the game, only to retreat. (A la Double Dragon, Streets Of Rage 3, Thunderforce, etc.)

Multi-stage boss : Just when you think you've finished the boss off, they return in another form (Shinobi, and Treasure games were notorious for this).

The conveniently located stock of power-ups : Whenever you stumble across a large cache of goodies in a game, you know there is a seriously tough boss just around the corner (Doom).

Chase : After disposing of a particularly tough boss, you have to shoot down his "escape pod" (or equivalent) within a set time limit. The most infuriating example of this is Rockman The Power Battle where Dr. Wiley almost always manages to evade your clutches.

Respawning henchmen : Often, the task of dodging bullets (or equivalent) was made all the more difficult by a constant stream of lesser enemies being spat onto the screen.

Some other well-known bosses are Mr. X (Streets of Rage series ... there is always an equivalent "Crime Boss" character in every scrolling beat-em-up, a tradition started by Double Dragon and carried on by Final Fight), The Spider Mastermind (Doom), Dr. Robotnik (aka Eggman), Dracula (Castlevania) and Mother Brain (Metroid).

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