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File:Mega Man 2 Mecha Dragon.gif

"And I'm living each day like I'm running away from something..."


Louis: Run, or shoot!?!

Bill: BOTH!

Quite simply, a boss that chases you and that you can't get around. One way to invert the Get Back Here Boss, and a boss version of Advancing Wall of Doom. Usually, but not always, found in 2-D games. As with an Advancing Wall of Doom, this kind of boss is frequently accompanied by additional hazards for it to chase or squash you into. It may also fire projectiles or attack in other ways. As this kind of boss typically takes up a large portion of the screen, it is very common for only a small area to be vulnerable. These bosses typically either have a looping, indefinitely long track on which to pursue you, or an effective time limit in that there's some sort of hazard towards which they are driving you.

This kind of boss comes in (at least) two main types:

  • A boss that you fight and defeat while it chases you.
  • A boss that you don't fight while it chases you, but eventually stops moving, at which point you fight it.

Compare the Escape Sequence, which features an advancing creature that isn't a boss. A Minecart Madness boss fight usually has this kind of boss.

Examples of bosses you have to fight while fleeing:

  • Armored Core 4 One mission places you in a tunnel. In front of you, the Giant Mecha you have to destroy; a massive, tank-like thing that fills the tunnel so there's no way past it. Behind you, the colony in which the player character resides, which you have to protect by destroying aforementioned tank before it gets to the end of the tunnel and razes the place.
  • Digital Devil Saga 2: The jailer. He was annoying, and creepy as hell with his pelvic thrusting.
  • Dynamite Headdy: Twin Freaks is a weird-looking machine with a giant reversible face that chases you through a looping Death Course of walls and spikes. Another example (somewhat more marginal) is the Super Finagler, the miniboss in the very next segment, a machine that shoots at you as you ride a moving platform upward through a gauntlet of traps.
    • Then, The Finagler goes apeshit and starts chasing you and Trouble Bruin down a corridor, and it shoots at you as Bruin tries to cling to you attempting to slow you down.
  • Terraria has the battle against the aptly-named Wall of Flesh: should you focus too much on running away and not kill it in time, it will eventually push you into the edge of the world, killing you. It also crosses over with an Advancing Wall of Doom.
  • Final Fantasy
    • Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy XII both have a boss called Demon Wall.
      • Final Fantasy VII averts this trope by having a Demon Wall boss, but it doesn't advance on you.
    • Final Fantasy VIII has X-ATM092, the spider robot, which only has to be fought when it first appears. After that, it chases you, and you have to fight it if it catches you. If you're strong enough, you can destroy it by fighting it enough, but you're rewarded based on how few times you fight it, and destroying it deprives you of watching a really cool cutscene.
    • Tonberries or Pugs are this in some iterations—they advance on you and then pull their Chef's Knives to "doink" you to death in one or two hits.
    • Secret of Mana also has a version of it. Take too long or kill the eyes, and it'll start pushing you into the only instant-death trap in the entire game. (It has a Palette Swap, but it doesn't advance.)
  • In Onimusha 2, the final boss's One-Winged Angel form is basically this; the boss alternates chasing behind you in an endless landscape and shooting you with a myriad of demon-based projectiles. He's easy to escape from, but if he ever manages to catch up with you, it's basically instant death.
  • La-Mulana: Viy is a monster so huge that only its Cyclops-like face fits on the screen, and it chases you upward through an endless shaft with platforms in it, firing an endless barrage of small shots and the occasional half-screen-wide laser.
    • The Mini Boss Algol is a more typical example, advancing to the right until you kill it or run away. The latter is the only option if you're missing a certain item.
  • L.A. Noire has a later mission where a mobster in a bulldozer is trying to kill you, and chasing you through a movie set. To defeat him, you must use the tried and tested "run a bit, shoot a bit, repeat", method as stated here.
  • Most of the bosses in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team and Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam have an attack where they start chasing the heroes. While it varies on how they're chased, it usually consists of evading attacks until the opponents tires themselves out.
  • Mega Man 6 has Metonger Z, which fights the player on a scrolling floor. Both Wily Machine forms (but not the Wily Capsule) from the same game may also technicaly count.
    • Mega Man 7 has the HannyaNED at the end of Wily Stage 3, which chases the player down an endless corridor.
    • Mega Man 8 Bit Deathmatch has the Guts-Dozer, which also chases the player down an endless path.
  • Mega Man Zero 2 has you fight Fefnir after he turns into a tank and he chases you forever to the left. You can hit him in the head, but you should really consider disabling the four fire guns and the treads first to simplify the battle.
  • Metal Slug
    • Metal Slug 2 has one of these in the Egyptian-themed level. The boss is a huge mechanical snake-thing that keeps following you up a huge stone pillar you must climb. Very annoying as one of its attacks is a huge laser that covers most of the screen.
    • Metal Slug 3 has the giant crab boss in the first level.
    • Metal Slug 6 has that goddamned Brain In a Jar Humongous Mecha boss.
  • Mischief Makers Cerberus Alpha is a multi-phase boss, the first phase of which is fought while being chased, with the Humongous Mecha chasing you while you're riding on a cat. The other phases of the fight include chasing after the boss from behind and fighting the pilot himself while his steed keeps moving independently.
  • Resident Evil 2: The giant alligator. If you get cornered at the end of the corridor, it automatically swallows you whole.
    • Resident Evil 4: In one sequence El Gigante chases Leon down a narrow gorge. You can shoot the supports out from platforms to drop boulders on him, or you can just run away and fight him when you reach the end. You don't actually have to fight him at all here, in fact.
  • Silent Hill 2: The Pyramid Head chase in the hospital basement. You can't beat him, but on Hard mode, you do have to shoot him to slow him down.
  • Sonic 3 and Knuckles: The final boss (unless you have all seven Chaos Emeralds) is the Great Eggman Robo, Eggman in a Humongous Mecha. The second phase of this fight has him chasing you across the exterior of the Death Egg, which is collapsing behind you. This apparently isn't enough of a threat on its own, though, as Eggman periodically shoots flames and ridiculously huge laser beams at you.
    • Another example from the same game is the boss of Sandopolis Zone, Egg Golem (no, not that one), a lumbering mechanical statue that shoots lasers from its eye while slowly marching forward. You can only run so far from this one: If you take too long, it pancakes you into the wall at the other end of the room.
    • Yet another Sonic example, albeit a rather strange one, is the boss of Stardust Speedway in Sonic CD. You race with Metal Sonic to reach the (booby-trapped) finish line while Eggman follows close behind you continuously firing a death ray. Fall too far behind Metal Sonic and the beam kills you instantly. (One could consider the death trap awaiting the loser of the race to be this trope going in the opposite direction.)
  • Spider Man and X-Men in Arcade's Revenge Wolverine's second level is a fight against Juggernaut. If he catches up with you, you die. Reportedly, he can be defeated by cutting the ropes suspending numerous anvils from the ceiling so that they land on him. In practice, he typically catches up before you can slash your way through one of the many breakable walls.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl features Meta-Ridley as a boss you fight while it chases the Falcon Flyer, which you're standing on, as it makes its way out of the Bomb Factory. Meta-Ridley, however, doesn't so much attack you as he does the craft in general, with you happening to be in the line of fire.
    • This doesn't seem like a big deal, until you see his attack where he slams the ship downward into the abyss. Of course, going too far off-screen in Super Smash Bros. is the only way to die, and your character almost always sticks to platforms when not airborne or attacked, despite the fact that the platform is being moved downward. Thus, it's basically a One-Hit Kill.
    • And, the Porky statue, who chases you slowly.
  • Super Metroid has Crocomire, who periodically steps towards Samus, forcing her towards a wall of spikes. The trope is played with because in order to defeat Crocomire, you have to hit it in its mouth, which causes it to step back, until it falls into a pit of acid.
  • Yoshis Island has Sluggy the Unshaven, which pushes you off the stage if you don't hit its heart multiple times.
    • The final battle against a godzilla sized Baby Bowser could also be seen as this, only he is in the background slowly trudging towards you while you throw gigantic eggs to keep him at bay.
  • In Apocalypse, the third horseman, War, grows to 50 feet tall and chases you for the second half of the battle. To stop him, you must shoot the Exploding Barrels along the roadside.
  • The stage 2 sub-boss in Journey to Silius is a Humongous Mecha that advances towards you and will crush you if you don't destroy it fast enough.
  • In Kirby's Dreamland 3, the first boss is Whispy Woods, who initially spits fruit that you can spit back at him as well as air bullets, and is just as easy as in any other Kirby game, big deal. Then once he Turns Red and gets his evil grinning face, he becomes this and starts chasing you, spitting rotten fruit at you along the way. Still easy, fortunately.
    • Similarly, Kirby Squeak Squad gives us Yadogaine, which also chases after Kirby and can be damaged during this sequence as well. It's very notable that both Yadogaine and KDL3 Whispy's second phase have endless paths that don't stop until they're both defeated.
    • HR-E from Kirby 64 The Crystal Shards counts as well. The only notable difference is that if you take too long to defeat it, you'll come to the edge of the platform and be forced to jump off it and cost yourself a 1-UP.
  • Donkey Kong Country 2 has one level where when playing as Rambi you encounter King Zing, a giant Zinger that chases you all the way to the end of the level. However you can get around him either by letting him hit you (if you can survive a hit that is), then use your few seconds of invulnerability to get behind him, or using a small red Zinger to bounce up and over him while he passes you by. King Zing is scripted to continuously move forward to the end of the level so he won't come back to bother you, and once he reaches the end he disappears if he's not on your screen.

Examples of bosses that chase you to where you can fight them

  • Battletoads In the 11th stage, you control a motorized vehicle called a 'Clinger-Winger' as a Hypno Orb runs around and tries to catch up to you while you attempt to cut around corners and outspeed it. Notice how I said 'attempt.' Eventually, though, the orb stops chasing you and fights you.
  • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia has Brachyura, a Giant Enemy Crab that chases you up a lighthouse before you reach the top to crush him with an elevator. Widely considered to be That One Boss.
    • Interestingly, the bestiary shows that Brachyura does have a health bar, however, it's impossible to kill prematurely, as going back on a New Game+ reveals.
    • Portrait of Ruin has a very early meeting with the Behemoth, which at this stage is unkillable and must tear down a wall in order to let you advance; you fight him later as the second boss.
      • The Behemoth originally appeared in Rondo of Blood as a Mini Boss example of this. Except that in that game, you could kill it.
  • In Resident Evil Code Veronica, the Steve Burnside "boss" fight. You just have to run to the door really fast while shooting him, or his poleaxe swings will kill you in two hits.
    • Uroboros Wesker from Resident Evil 5. When the battle starts, he chases you down, and will fling you into the nearby lava if he touches you. After you solve a bit of a puzzle involving boulder-punching, the fight proper starts.
  • Gears of War: The Berserkers fit this pattern, as you can't kill them until they are outdoors, and many of the segments begin indoors and consist of trying to get outdoors in order to kill them - simply running away isn't enough, however, and they must be killed.
  • Ikaruga The Chapter 3 Mini Boss.
  • In the Hunt has the living statue boss which chases your submarine up a seabed ruin. Completely impervious to your submarine's weapons, you had to use the floating stone blocks at the top of the arena in order to defeat him.
  • Kirby Super Star Heavy Lobster pursues you through a long corridor inside the Halberd, during which time you must dodge walls to avoid being crushed. At the end of this sequence, you get to face Heavy Lobster in the open.
  • Kirby Mass Attack has the frozen dinosaur in the Dedede resort level and the shadow in the haunted house.Eventually, the former is dropped and buried under an avalanche, and the latter is punched out by a giant Kirby living statue.
  • Mega Man 2 The most iconic example (and, for a great many gamers, probably the most iconic Advancing Wall of Boss, period) is the giant robot dragon, pictured at the top of the page, which chases you over a long series of tiny platforms over a void and then turns into a standard boss fight once you reach a group of three platforms at the end of this chain.
  • Mega Man Legends: The giant boss boat at the end of a hard water fight is this, it chases you while firing streams of missiles. You can't injure it until you get to a small lake at the end of a river you travel along. Before this though you do get the option of retreating to restore your own boats health (considering how hard the fight was just to get to this point you might want to retreat before going to the boss battle.)
  • New Super Mario Bros Wii The final boss is this. You don't fight Bowser exactly, just try to escape him until you hit the actually useful switch at the end.
  • Paper Mario has Tubba Blubba. Tubba is invincible and chases you throughout his castle, until you find his removed heart and beat it
    • In Super Paper Mario, Mimi will pursue Mario around the basement rooms of Merlee's mansion in her gigantic creepy spider form. If she catches up to Mario, she'll start rapidly spitting rubies at him. She cannot be defeated until Mario is cornered in the women's restroom.
  • Psychonauts: The Lungfish chases you for a while along a fixed track in Jaws First Person Perspective, and then you fight it.
  • Rayman 2: The Guardian of the Cave of Bad Dreams works rather like the Lungfish, although in the second phase your goal is not actually to harm him directly but to make your way through the final stretch of the level by turning the skulls he spits at you into temporary platforms.
  • Rocket Knight Adventures: At one point Axel Gear hops into a Humongous Mecha. Eventually you find one of your own and fight him, but before that you have to spend a good-sized stretch fleeing from him through a series of tunnels and trying not to get crushed.
  • The Mega Man-inspired doujin platformer Rosenkreuzstilette has the Cross Wall in Sepperin's Castle, with the chase being incredibly similar to the aforementioned dragon from Mega Man 2.
  • Tales of Graces: The Fendel army sicks an Avakum mech on your characters, at which point you can't defeat it. However, when you take the first left and follow the road to the end; you will eventually fight it.
  • An inversion at the very end of the Game Boy game Gradius: The Interstellar Assault. The boss runs away from you, and you have to chase it, both of you weaving through a debris field until it stops to actually fight back.
  • The Cross Wall in Rosenkreuzstilette. Once you get to the end of the path, you get to destroy it. Then again, there's a reason why it's an Expy of the Mecha Dragon in Mega Man 2.

Other examples

  • The Avatar from Dungeon Keeper Ami has an epic battle with an ever-increaseingly desperate Ami as he attacks her dungeon. He never moves more quickly than a walk, but nothing Ami throws at him even slows him down.
  • Alundra features a boss battle where the titular character, Alundra, must run across a highbridge while being chased by Nirude who is destroying it from behind by thrusting his body against it in a forward walking motion. Also of note: the animated ending sequence for the game depicts Nirude as an Advancing Wall of Doom boss, as it appears that he's moving like a wall towards Alundra instead of like a walking human, as was seen during gameplay.
  • Contra III has something of an inversion in the boss fight in stage four. Rather than the boss chasing after you, you must constantly retreat because you are battling it while holding onto missiles being launched at it.
  • Devil May Cry has an optional example. After defeating the first boss, Phantom, in the cathedral, the next level sees you leave the room to proceed to the statue where you need to use the Pride of Lion, the key item you pick up before Phantom confronts you. But before you can get through the doors into the room where the statue's located, Phantom emerges from up the corridor behind you and chases you the rest of the way along it, lobbing a fireball every five seconds. It's possible to fight and defeat him here, but you don't have to; if you go into one of the rooms leading off from the corridor, then go back the way you came, he'll be gone and you can reach your objective unhindered
  • Final Fantasy VI The Doom Train boss fight. You don't fight a boss on the Doom Train - YOU FIGHT THE TRAIN! Your characters are constantly running in front of it, stopping only to take swings at the train behind them.
  • Sonic Advance 3 uses the Crocomire variant in one fight. If the Toy Kingdom boss advances all the way to the left, he uses an attack that covers the entire battle area and seems to be unavoidable. Every hit knocks him slightly to the right, and if knocked all the way to the right he falls off a ledge.
  • The Smurfs: Gargamel in the first SNES game is a similar example. Any contact with him is instant death, and you must throw acorns at him to force him back until he falls off his manor house's roof.
  • Super Metroid: Crocomire can be considered a variant. He keeps moving towards you, pushing you towards a spiked wall. He's also invulnerable to your weapons. However, shooting him in his weak spot causes him to retreat. Forcing him back enough causes him to fall into a pit of acid, leading to a very Family-Unfriendly Death.
  • Uncharted 2 has several examples. First is the attack helicopter which you must flee along rooftops and through a building from as it strafes you, until it blows up the building you are standing in. You get a short breather, then find a roof full of grenade launchers and fight it to the death. Then, you get the other attack helicopter that you fight on the train. This helicopter you flee from as it destroys the train cars behind you, until you lose it in a tunnel. It pops up later, as you conveniently get to a heavy machine gun on a tank being carried by the train. Finally, you have the tank, which you flee through a Tibetan village to escape, only finding a rocket launcher will allow you to defeat it.
  • Yoshis Island: Aside from Sluggy, the game also gives us the Potted Ghost, which is a wall you literally have to push back. It works very much like Crocomire.
  • One Piece a non-video game example. Luffy and his allies instigate a mass breakout from Impel Down, a giant government prison. When the Quirky Miniboss Squad proves unable to stop them, Chief Warden Magellan Turns Red, using his power to create a giant monster made of poison so vile it saturates anything that as much as touches it, bringing horrible agony to anyone too slow to get away. The rest of the encounter consists of Magellan chasing the escaping pirates up a giant staircase while their allies above are trying to get them a ship.
  • In one stage of Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 3, you and Kuroki start off bumper-to-bumper...but Akio starts off about 2.7 kilometers off behind you, and is slowly catching up to you. You can't stop the gap between you and him from closing up. You must finish the race before he outruns you. A similar setup happens in a later stage, where you have a 2-kilometer head start on another opponent.
  • Mimi from Super Paper Mario.
  • Jabless Adventure: Rutherford Goldbeard, except that you don't ever directly fight him. He sustains damage just from pursuing you, so when you reach the end of the Death Course, he's too injured to continue fighting you.
  • Todd in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
  • The second battle with Dante/Raidou in Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne. He, unlike most of the examples here, will also shoot at you whilst chasing you. And if he catches you, you're thrown into a Hopeless Boss Fight after which you must redo the puzzle you were trying to solve.
  • Spider-Man for the Play Station had Doc Ock with Carnage's Symbiote chasing you throughout the entire final level. Eventually the flames from the exploding base behind him defeat him.
  • Heavy Weapon has an Advancing Mook of Doom, the Bulldozer. You had to constantly fire at it in order to push it back, because you will instantly die regardless of shielding if it brushes against you.
  • Resistance 3 has "Satan"/"The Creature", which takes turns hunting and being hunted by you inside the coal mine. At one point you climb into a mine cart and start rolling, only for Satan to burst out the wall behind you and give chase. He can hurt you and you can hurt him, but you can't actually kill him until the next room.
  • The final portion of the Final Boss battle of Super Mario 3D Land. Think of the boulder chase sequences from Crash Bandicoot 1996, only with Bowser in place of the boulder, the setting being a bridge you can fall off from the sides, and brick blocks slowing you down.
  • World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King: The Lich King in the Halls of Reflection dungeon. Since he's the Big Bad and final raid boss for the expansion, you can't just beat him at this point, so instead you escape while fighting a stream of Mooks.
  • Clock Tower and Haunting Ground: The entire game in a nutshell. Take one resourceful-yet-(mostly)-harmless girl and leave her Alone with the Psycho Exploring the Evil Lair. Said psycho will chase her until she eventually (kind of) fights back. Rinse, lather and repeat.