Video Game Syndrome and Boss to Minion Progression

Posted by Gia Manry on Jun 12, 2010 in Fandom, Videogames |


In certain video games, there’s a phenomenon I’m going to call “Boss to Minion Progression” (or you may know it on TVTropes as Degraded Boss) in which an early level’s boss reappears– weaker, and perhaps a different color –as a regular-occurring baddie in a later level. Nearly every Final Fantasy has had this, along with games like Castlevania, beat-’em-ups like Double Dragon and Streets of Rage, a bunch of the Legend of Zelda games…it’s pretty common.

As it happens, this particular phenomenon doesn’t appear very often in real life. In spite of this, while I was snorkeling off the coast of Maui this morning, I kept anticipating seeing a white-tipped reef shark– a creature I spotted just once snorkeling in the same location over a year go. I’d seen one once, so now surely they would be everywhere, my subconscious brain seemed to think.

There are other areas of life where a regular gamer might expect something similar to occur but it simply…doesn’t:

  • Work bosses: you leave your old company and its jerk boss, thinking that the next time you meet someone like him/her, they’ll be working for YOU.
  • Botany: surely after you’ve grown one orchid you can grow ’em all. Right?
  • Airports: protip, “I already went through [airport notorious for overzealous security] on the way here!” is not an excuse to skip airport security. Just FYI.
  • I suppose it’s just as well that my snorkeling and scuba diving isn’t much like video game boss fights. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to see what boss would come after a shark.

    Gia Manry is a professional writer specializing in geek culture. She currently writes primarily for Anime News Network, but also likes being followed on Twitter. She can be contacted via her website.


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