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"That looks distinctly like a target. And here we have a bull. Hmm... I think I get the idea now!"

A boss, usually four-legged and ferocious, roars and charges at your character, but you can avoid its attack by jumping out of its way and letting it pass you by (saying "¡Olé!" is optional). Unfortunately, it then turns around and charges at you again. And again. And again...

This is a Bullfight Boss. After charging at you, it is usually vulnerable for a few moments before regaining its senses. Sometimes, it throws a couple long-range attacks at you before charging again. Sometimes, it tires out after charging several times and is vulnerable, or may include this type of attack in its attack pattern. Sometimes, it has a weak spot on top of it which you must hit as you are sailing over it. And sometimes, the only way to beat it is through Deadly Dodging. Usually an easy boss to fight. If it's an actual bull, you can probably puzzle out the color of the item needed to provoke it into charging.

Related to the second type of Puzzle Boss.

Examples of Bullfight Boss include:

Action Adventure Games

  • The Moblin leader miniboss from The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.
    • A miniboss fight against an armored Goron in Twilight Princess, as does the boss fight against Fyrus.
    • The best example from Twilight Princess are the two fights on a bridge against the Bulbin King. And there is also Ganon's monstrous form. Somewhat of a variant since rather than dodging you have to meet him head on and wrestle him to the ground before attacking.
    • Ironically, the Majoras Mask fight against Goht, the Masked Mechanical Bull, is not this, but Chasing Your Tail.
    • Majoras Mask does have a Bullfight Boss, though: the Garo Master miniboss.
    • The underground centipedes in Skyward Sword appear to be Chasing Your Tail enemies, but they also charge and will stun themselves if they charge into a wall. One boss is a golem that swings giant swords at you; if it misses you with a certain attack, its swords get stuck in the ground, allowing you to attack its arms.
  • The 11th and 14th Colossus in Shadow of the Colossus can be for a short while, but you can't damage them that way, and it's very risky as they will stun-lock you as soon as they get a single hit in.
  • The Globe Holder from Ecco: The Tides of Time had elements of this in the second phase, and Defender of the Future features a great white shark as the bull.
  • Oni (both red and blue) and the appropriately-named Bull Charger in Okami. If you try to attack them head-on, you can't damage them and you're likely to get smacked senseless, but if you attack from behind or hit them when they've dropped their masks, you can take them down fairly easily.
  • The Gargantuans of Overlord II are fought in this way. Lampshaded by the Imperial Centurions, who note that their vision might need a bit of work but still calls them a marvel of modern warfare.
  • There is a boss, the jailer, in Darksiders who looks like one of the "get them to hit the pillars" type bosses. Thankfully this is an inversion. Pillars will crumple, but it's not necessary to beat the boss.
  • The "white assassin" in Mirrors Edge is best defeated by evading all attacks and striking from behind.
  • The Borhek from Star Wars: Bounty Hunter.



Action Games

  • One of The Lord of the Rings games had a boss fight against Lurtz, who was invulnerable until he swung at you and got his sword stuck in a statue, at which point you could attack him. There's also a later fight against orcs on wargs—you can only do a little bit of damage to them until the wargs rear up to attack you, at which point you can run in and slash at their belly.
  • In Orphen: Scion of Sorcery, one boss literally plays on this trope. It involves a Minotaur-like boss charging at you and knocking you back, eventually knocking you down a hole to your death, which is a Game Over. And unless you have perfect timing to knock him back with a sword, this battle can end very quickly.
  • The first Spider-Man game for the PS 1 featured a fight against Rhino. True to form, his primary attack consisted of a charge. The key to victory was positioning yourself so that each charge would either cause him to get his horn stuck in a wall - giving you a few seconds to hit him from behind - or charge directly into a big power generator.
    • This is the tactic for fighting Rhino is basically any Spider-Man game, mind you.

Beat Em Ups

  • Several bosses in God Hand do this, notably Elvis and Bruce (of the Three Evil Stooges).
  • The stage 3 boss from Streets of Rage.

Fighting Games

  • Most bosses in Super Smash Bros Brawl Subspace Emissary, while not entirely based on this, will do it every once in a while as part of their routine.
  • In Astro Boy Omega Factor for the GBA, Astro Boy had to fight the Blue Knight this way. Every time you crossed you had to press A in time to parry his charge, with the window (and recovery times) shrinking until it devolved into near Button Mashing. Don't miss.
  • In Street Fighter, El Fuerte can be played this way - he's got two versions of a charge that can end in any of four attacks, or be canceled in two ways, he has a separate running chest slam attack, and he's a Wall Jumper.

First-Person Shooter

  • Metroid Prime: the Plated Beetle mini-boss/enemy, and the second half of the Ridley boss fight.
    • The first boss of Metroid Fusion as well.
      • Several of the (boss) fights in Fusion could easily degenerate into bullfights, most notably the golden space pirates and SA-X.
    • The Phazon Seed boss in Bryyo also does this a little bit in Metroid Prime 3. Ditto for the Elysia Leviathan guardian in one of his forms, and hunter Ghor. Not to mention the final boss...
    • You'll be doing a lot of bullfighting in the Torvus Bog section of Metroid Prime 2 and the early parts of Metroid Prime 1's Phendrana Drifts. Both the grenchler and Baby Sheegoth enemies and the Grapple Guardian, keep their vulnerable backs to you unless you goad them into charging (or grabbing electrified pillars, in the Guardian's case). The Alpha Blogg also reveals its weak point while charging, with a twist: it's on the front, and it opens about halfway through the charge (which hurts a lot, so it can be a hard battle before you get the timing right).
  • Several bosses in Star Trek Elite Force II are like this.
  • Atlas aka Fontaine from Bioshock. Which led to some disgruntlement amongst folks who hoped the final boss would be more "epic."
    • Also, the drill-endowed Big Daddies.
  • Hunters from Halo. They're not four-legged, and they do have a ranged attack, but the primary way of fighting them is matador-style.
  • The Antlion Guards from Half-Life 2.
  • The Were-bulls in Serious Sam charge at you full speed, but take a while to turn, making it possible to sidestep them to avoid getting hit. In fact, one of the best ways to take them out without using a lot of ammo is to use the chainsaw, sidestep out of the way at the last second and slash them as they run past. Rinse and repeat.
  • The Maulotaurs from the Doom spinoffs Heretic and Hexen are almost literally bulls that charge at the player. They still have quite a fierce long-range attack, using their fiery hammers.
  • In the 2009 Wolfenstein, the Altered is immune to all conventional weaponry, forcing B.J. to get him to run into a series of electrical pillars around the arena. Once they are destroyed, the Black Sun portal he came in through collapses and pulls him back inside, killing him.
  • The Charger in Left 4 Dead 2. You most definitely do NOT want to be in his way when he charges towards you.
  • In Team Fortress 2, the Demoman's Chargin' Targe and Splendid Screen essentially allows him to become one of these.
  • Though not bosses, the Fiends from Quake are typically fought in this manner, as their leap attack leaves them immobile and vulnerable for a couple of seconds if they miss. The typical strategy (when not simply mowing them down with the Super Nailgun) is to get far away from the Fiend, sidestep out of the way when it leaps at you, blast it with the Nailgun or Super Shotgun, and then back away to repeat the process.

Light Gun Games

  • The highway battle in Silent Scope. Sniper on foot versus bad guy in hijacked semi truck. The goal is to headshot him through the windscreen before he gets to you, as each near-miss pass costs a life square, but simply rapid-firing as quick as you can go will eventually get him.

Mecha Games


  • Icehowl the Yeti in World of Warcraft does this every so often. If he tramples anyone, the victim dies and he goes into a rage, but if he misses he crashes into the wall and becomes more vulnerable. Especially in the heroic mode this pretty much decides the battle.


  • The Rhino does this in every Spider-Man game ever with him in it. As I recall, he also gets his horn stuck in walls sometimes.

Platform Games

  • El Odio from Psychonauts is a literal bullfight boss; you even have to stab him with banderillas. But then subverted halfway through the fight, when the real boss, the matador, appears, forcing you to fight him while protecting the bull.
    • The Brain Tank has the same habit of charging the player. Unfortunately, it also has a confusion attack, which messes with the controls so that you dodge into the path of the tank.
  • Topmaniac from Super Mario Galaxy.
    • Bowser in Super Mario Bros 3 is a vertical bullfight boss, continually crashing into the floor until he breaks through.
      • The Bowser fights in Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 are similar, the first case being tricking him into smashing the glass covering the core of his generators, and the second being getting his fist stuck in the planet before smashing a meteor into him.
    • Rollodillo in Galaxy 2 will try to steamroll you, but leaves himself open from dizziness after you dodge it, allowing you to get a hit in on his butt.
  • Mega Man 2 has Heat Man.
    • A common complaint about Mega Man X 3 is how many of its Mavericks use this fighting style. One particularly bad boss at this was Blizzard Buffalo, who has a glitch that forces him to dash in the opposite direction if you jump just as he's about to charge.
    • There's also Dive Man from Mega Man 4 who can often stop his charges early, as well as Hard Man and Concrete Man from Mega Man 3 and 9, being vertical bullfight bosses.
  • The penguin, the first boss of Fancy Pants Adventures. It even holds its fins up like horns.
  • One of the bosses for the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was a robo-warthog that could only be damaged after it charged into the wall. And the very first boss in the 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is, if not an example, then at least a close relative.
  • Bugs Bunny: Lost in Time and Bugs Bunny: Rabbit Rampage - surprise, it's a battle with the Bull from "Bully for Bugs."
  • Conkers Bad Fur Day has a fight with a bull early on. You have to lead him into ramming targets, one of which he gets stuck on so you can hop on and ride him.
  • Several bosses in the first two Wario Land games.
    • The final boss of Wario Land: Shake It!! for the Wii charges at you, but crashes if you bounce on his head once or twice as he does.
  • This is the easiest way to defeat Hulk Davidson in Viewtiful Joe (though not the fastest). Dodge three axe swings. Jump onto a platform once he begins his charge animation. Jump down and hit him until he recovers from his daze. Lead him closer to the center to make the dodging easier (optional), and repeat.
  • Taz in Escape from Mars features a literal bullfight boss, but otherwise requires a different strategy.
  • Buzz from Spyro: Year of the Dragon.
  • Egg Hornet and E-101 Mk. 2 from Sonic Adventure
  • The Tyrannosaurus Rex in Tomb Raider Anniversary attacks this way and is killed with Deadly Dodging.
    • Because of the game's Enrage feature, where when you shoot a monster enough times, they will charge at you. Combined with the Adrenaline Dodge feature it turned EVERY monster fight - be it bosses or regular animals - into a Bullfight Boss.
  • "Bull" the razorback boar from Ty the Tasmanian Tiger is fought this way, coupled with Deadly Dodging. Considering he's the size of a small house, you really don't have much choice. He's also smart enough to skid to a halt if the player moves out of the way too soon.
  • Banjo-Kazooie has this for the first stage of the Final Boss fight.
  • In 102 Dalamations there are a couple of toys like this - some clowns that roll at you and some penguins that slide at you. The penguins are much faster than the clowns and attack from further away, so they're harder to kill.
  • SNES game Asterix & Obelix had the eponymous two fight against an actual bull. Combining it with deadly dodging.
  • Ape Escape 2 has a T-rex that did this. You had to make him crash into the wall to damage him.
    • You also fight mechanic bulls in at least two missions. You can either make them get tired (yeah, a machine getting tired), then hit them, or outrun them to get their backs and hit them, which ends being faster.
  • An enemy in Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands does this.
  • Subverted in Donkey Kong 64 during Chunky's turn in the final boss fight, where when the boss charges at you, Chunky counters by punching him really hard.
  • In Donkey Kong Country Returns, Mugly and Thugly are exactly this.
  • Bug!! featured a bullfight mook in the first stage, a beetle of sorts. Not particularly dangerous, one hit stripped it down to its boxer shorts and made it useless. Other than that, the yeti boss qualifies in three of its attack patterns.
  • In Nitrome's "Super Treadmill", the final level is a boss fight with Uncle Rico, whose attack pattern is strictly this. Since the main goal of the game is to not get too close to either side of the screen, it's best to avoid him. Stomps on his head is the weak point.

Role-Playing Games

  • One game, known in the US as Exile when they changed all of the drug references from the Hashashain character to poison (which healed you !) had this with its crusader boss, who was ludicrously easy due to a conveniently placed floating platform which meant all one had to do was stab down repeatably as he charged back and forth under your sword.
  • Amusingly fitting is Taurus Fire, an anthropomorphic bull boss from Mega Man Star Force who attacks frequently... By charging you. It's a pathetically easy attack to avoid due to its rather long start-up as well as the combat design of the series requiring that to not get run over you merely have to press left or right... Once.
  • Nearly every boss in the SNES game EVO Search for Eden was fought this way, but this may have more to do with the game being Nintendo Hard than this trope, however. The first boss does play this completely straight, however.
  • The Orc leader in Champions of Norrath.
  • The bull rancor boss in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is significantly easier if you fight it this way.
  • The Monster Hunter franchise is all about fighting huge-ass beasts that can fling you around like a ragdoll without the proper skills, items and equipment. One early-stage monster, the Bulldrome, is basically this trope. Later bosses, however, mix it up in different ways: some will charge at you, do a skid turn and charge again before you can attack; others recover too fast to take advantage of their moment weakness (you need to exploit other movements and not attack when they charge); and there are a couple of monsters for which you have to watch their body language so you know when to dodge (the actual attack is too fast to dodge).
    • This is actually the best possible strategy to fight the notorious Tigrex. Remember that gigantic tiger/T-rex/dragon hybrid? It has such a bad temper that its charge is an almost surefire One-Hit Kill. But time it so that it'll charge headlong into a wall and it'll get its teeth stuck, giving you a very clear shot at him and most possibly a valuable drop. This is also the key in many big Dragons like Mono- and Diablos.
    • Tri introduces the Barroth, who fits this trope to a "t". It comes in very early in the game.
    • There are even normal enemies, such as Bullfangos and Rhenoplos, that behave like this.
  • Xain in Legend of Legaia is Minotaur who attacks the support pillar holding up the ledge on which an underground town had been built (by charging at it head-first over and over). The party has to stop him before he is successful. During the fight, he employs several standard Bullfight Boss attacks and tactics during the fight.
  • Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne has a variation with the fight with Matador. His schtick is to buff his evasion and aim to max, leading to a loss of valuable Press Turns in either debuffing him or risking missing him at all. There's a reason he's the poster boy for Atlus' That One Boss page.
  • Kingdom Hearts II features an enemy called a Hotrod. It repeatedly charges at its target several times until it gets tired. It is implemented unusually as it is possible to block its attack if there's only one of them, but the game encourages the player to dodge it.
  • Dead Island has aptly named Rams, a large type of zombie who attacks with, you guessed it, charges. The only way (or at least most effective way) to defeat it is to dodge its charge at the last minute and attack it's back, the only spot which takes more than 1 damage.

Shoot Em Ups

  • The first level boss in Wild West C.O.W.boys of Moo Mesa is even literally A Load of Bull, but then again, so is everyone else in the game.
  • Several story mode spellcards from the Touhou Project fighting games were like this: Marisa's "Stardust Reverie" and Remilia's "Bad Lady Scramble" in Immaterial and Missing Power; Iku's "Acanthodii of the Thunder Clouds," Remilia's "Bombard Night," and Aya's "Sarutahiko's Guidance" in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody.
    • Even the Danmaku games do this: Shikigami "Ran Yakumo" has one of the two bosses spinning around the screen, occasionally locking in on your character's position.
    • There's also Marisa's Last Word spellcard from Imperishable Night, "Blazing Star," in which she turns herself into a giant laser comet and launches herself at you. Sort of subverted in that you can't hit her, and because it's a Last Word, you can't bomb to escape; your only option is timing it out.
    • Double Spoiler gives Reimu "Fantasy Dimensional Rift", Suika "Missing Power", and Koishi "DNA's Flaw". Though that last one only has it as a relatively minor element.
    • The second-to-last spellcard of Fairy Wars, "Fairy Overdrive", can work this way if Luna is the lead boss.
  • Several of the bosses in Stargunner fit this trope (as if the game wasn't hard enough already). Unfortunately for you, your ship's weak shields mean that getting hit by one is instant death. Hope you had some lives to spare.

Simulation Games

Sports Games

  • Bald Bull from the Punch Out series is similar, except the trick there is to take him by the horns (i.e. hit him with a jab just as he's about to unleash his Bull Charge).

Stealth-Based Games

  • Almost every Metal Gear Solid game ends with an unarmed one on one duel (there are two in MGS1). Evading and striking at the opponent's back or sides after a miss is the only way to get through these as they can usually punch out Snake with only two or three good hits.
  • Bane and the titan mooks in Batman: Arkham Asylum. Unlike many Bullfight Bosses, they're smart enough to pull up before running into the walls, unless you enrage/distract them with a batarang in the face while they're charging.

Third-Person Shooter

  • Garradors are like this in Resident Evil 4. Their only vulnerable spot is on their back, and if they hear you, they'll come charging. If you move in time, they'll end up getting their claws stuck in the wall long enough to shoot them in the back For Massive Damage. The other option is just to walk, in which case they can't hear you, and you can sneak up on them at your leisure.
  • This is also how you deal with Jaws when you first meet him in James Bond: Everything or Nothing.
  • The Berserker in Gears of War. You actually need to lead her to a door, so she bashes it in with her charge, allowing you to take the fight outside. Where you shoot her with a massive space-laser...
    • At least the first two aren't. The third one can be ridiculously easy, especially since you face her in confined quarters. This is supposedly to make maneuvering to avoid her attacks harder... but it really just means you can make her charge right off the back of the train.
  • Most enemy types in Oni have some sort of charging attack which can be anticipated and dodged, leading to an easy counterattack. For the more powerful enemies, these attacks are unblockable and dodging is the only defense.
  • Sam from Red Dead Revolver is fought like this. Initially, you can use the tables on the bar floor to knock him off balance, than using the showgirls stage when you run out of tables.
  • Brutes in Dead Space should be treated like this (with liberal use of Stasis) until you remove a limb, whereupon it becomes Playing Tennis With the Boss. Killing one without taking damage in Dead Space 2 earns the "Brute Juke" achievement.
  • In Mega Man Legends 2 a few undamageable elephant reverbots in one room can only be beaten by luring them into holes in the floor. You also need to jump over the holes or the elephant reaverbots will stop short.

Wide Open Sandbox

  • Russell from Bully is a textbook example. He even paws the ground with his feet before charging.
    • And the Bullworth Bulls mascot also embodies this.

Real Life

  • Happens quite often in foil fencing. Two fencers will run at each other and try to score a point. The director will have to decide who attacked first, and therefore got the point. The director often has to throw out the point.
    • Unless it's epee, in which case he just awards the point to both.
  • In bullfighting: bulls.
  • Actually, a pretty good war strategy is to make the enemy send all their firepower somewhere critical, and evacuate everything. Then, when they have absolutely no manner of defense, you hit them with your weapons until they surrender.