Boss Monsters

Boss Monsters

A more powerful enemy the players have to overcome to reach certain goals in the game.

Sometimes defeating the Boss Monster can be a goal in itself, but usually Boss Monsters are used as subgoals in the game and the high-level goal is of another type of goal. Boss Monsters are almost always used to structure the progress of the game.

Example: The games in The Legend of Zelda series are almost totally structured around defeating Boss Monsters in order to progress in the game and to reach the high-level goals of the game.

Using the pattern

Defeating the Boss Monster typically uses Eliminate modulated with some version of Overcome goal patterns. For example, in a tabletop roleplaying game, defeating the evil dragon guarding the princess consists of several rounds of tests of skills and attributes of the players until the dragon is dead. As previously mentioned, the Boss Monster is used as a subgoal to signify reaching a high-level goal, as is the case in the previous roleplaying example:Eliminating the dragon is a subgoal for Rescuing the princess. It is common for Boss Monsters to have some form of Achilles' Heel that allows players to have an easier way to defeat them.

Boss Monsters are usually an integral part of Narrative Structures and sometimes they are the main motivation for the player to progress in the game. That is why there is a need to carefully consider how to fit the nature, history, abilities, and even the audiovisual representation of the Boss Monsters to the Alternative Reality of the game.


Boss Monsters are used to structure the progress in the Hierarchy of Goals so that Higher-Level Closures as Gameplay Progresses occur, and they typically signify the end of Levels. Defeating the Boss Monster creates a more significant closure associated with the progress in the game. The Boss Monster can be used to modulate the Tension in the overall game and is a natural part in the Narrative Structure of the game, as it can be seen as an end climax for a narrative section.


Instantiates: Overcome, Tension, Higher-Level Closures as Gameplay Progresses

Modulates: Rescue, Levels

Instantiated by: Eliminate

Modulated by: Achilles' Heels

Potentially conflicting with: