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General Zelda Boss Repetition - Good or Bad?


Jul 1, 2012
The recent Imprisoned thread got me thinking about the bosses that generally reoccur more than once in said game. Now i would think that this brings both pros and cons, and that's what I'd like to discuss in this thread.

Bosses are the series' weakpoint in my eyes, now having bosses making more than one appearance can really decrease that sense of variety. However, on the plus side it can build up a boss and give it a backbonee. Having a boss reappear, but this time stronger, can make a meaningless boss somewhat more important. Instead of a boss just being a one off fight, it could be growing threat in which we have to encounter multiple times - not necessarily a villain but an actual sub threat.

Now this is just a very brief overview on what I think, but I want to know that you guys think about bosses that we encounter on multiple occasions and whether it should be used in the future.


Jan 10, 2011
On the midnight Spirit Train going anywhere
Depends. I can be good and it can be bad. In the original Zelda, it was bad. Bosses were exact copy/paste when re-used, only they'd be marginally tougher (except Aquamentus for whatever reason), and there was no justifiable reason in terms of the plot. In TP and SS, it was good. King Bulblin came back numerous times, and each time was pretty damn cool, and the same goes for Ghirahim & The Imprisoned. This is partially due to gameplay mechanics either changing or being added onto, but it's mostly because they had plot relevance, especially Ghirahim and The Imprisoned. I'll go on record and say the third Imprisoned fight was a bit unnecessary (and a bit underwhelming), but other than that, the re-usage worked well.

...That's about all I have to say on the subject.


The Good Samaritan
Mar 20, 2012
Canberra, Australia
It really depends, but in general terms, it's mostly bad. Players want something new, unique and creative. Not something that they've seen over and over again. But there have been bosses that have repeated numerous times and are still enjoyable to fight with. I'll take Gohma for example. Though she's not the best boss, she's appeared many times throughout the series. I think some of her more notable forms (IMO) have been in Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. Even though she's the same boss in each game, it's almost as if it's a new experience each and every time you fight her.

An example where repetition in bosses wasn't so great, would have to be with Ghirahim and The Imprisoned. Ghirahim barely changed each time Link fought him. The only recognizable change was his transformation right before the resurrection of Demise. Other times the battles were nearly identical to one another. The Imprisoned was even worse. As if slashing his toes weren't enough, you had to slash his fingers as well. On top of it all, Link had to knock him down with a bomb utilizing the Groosenator. Sure, that sounds like there's barely any repetition at all, but where's the excitement? Drive? It was lacking, and if you're going to have a boss that repeats, at least attempt to make the battles interesting. The Imprisoned fights seemed very tedious to me, and more of a chore than a fight.

In all, if the Zelda franchise wants to have a boss that repeats itself many times, so be it. I just hope they realize that they're taking somewhat of a risk by doing so.

Twilight King

The Actual Hero of Time
Jun 17, 2013
I actually like reappearances.... IF the boss gets harder and only reappears for a good reason, much like with Girahim in SS. The Imprisoned just annoyed me because it seemed like a filler that only broke free of its bonds AS SOON AS YOU WALKED INTO THE FREAKING TEMPLE OF HYLIA. So yeah. It all really depends on the context that they are reused in.

The Jade Fist

Kung Fu Master
Jul 17, 2012
Reusing bosses is bad. That is all.

I both agree and disagree.

Reusing is bad, but having it be a rematch is another thing.

Its like if Shadow Link was waiting for you in ganon's tower for a rematch.

Or some sentient boss, you know a person you actually fought against, not just some monster to be slain, came back to kill Link for humiliating him in defeat.

Copy pasted boss gauntlet like in WW perhaps not the best use (though fighting them in black and white was kinda cool).


Mad haters lmao
May 26, 2010
Hylian Champion
Or some sentient boss, you know a person you actually fought against, not just some monster to be slain, came back to kill Link for humiliating him in defeat.

Oh yeah, definitely. This kind of thing is what I love to see - an entity trying to get revenge. Ghirahim was ****ing with Link the entire time up until his final encounter when he finally got series.

But I hate to see stuff like Imprisoned which is nothing but pure filler. Yeah, the seal was weakened, but do we have to be exposed to the same thing each and every time? I don't think so.
I never used to mind bosses coming back if it was only once, and the only one i can think of is Phantom Ganon in Wind Waker. I didnt mind this becuase the first battle is rather brief, the second battle is so much more, its harder, forces you to attack differently and is somewhat a puzzle in navigating the rooms, its a lot different from the first encounter and more intense, so i like that about it. but with games like Skyward sword where bosses come back with only a lick of paint (if we're lucky like Scervo) and do nothing new from last time and re-appear for no reason at all like Moldarach in the skipper's house, there is just no need, especially when the boss design is bad. Knowing id have to fight the imprisoned nearly every time i went to Faron in SS made me not want to progress through the game and it was a huge annoyance when i actually went to fight it. one or two bosses can come back once but in games lik SS the boss repitiion was out of control, 5 bosses came back at least twice with 2 coming back 3 times and only one being majorly different (3rd debbie) it was atrocious...

so yeah, i dont mind bosses coming back, as long as a large number dont return for no reason with no change, WW gets it right for its returners, more like that please if at all. I'd still like to see new bosses each time.


May 18, 2013
They should only reuse early bosses if they are used as minibossess for later dungeons.


That 3D Guy
May 25, 2013
I think it's cheeeeeeaaaappp. Saves memory in the game as they don't need to use as many models :P But yeah, it can get boring, and stupid.

It's like having eggs for breakfast for about a week.


Soldier of Ikana
Jul 26, 2012
Stone Tower Temple
I think it could be both a good and a bad thing. It just depends on the circumstances. I think that it if you make the boss who's reappearing stronger than before and change up the way you fight him, make him more of a challenge than he was before, than its not a bad thing to reuse a boss. But if you don't add some variety to the mix, and you only reuse bosses, the fans will get bored very quickly.


The Fierce Deity
Jan 16, 2013
Inside the Moon
It can be good. There have been some good repeat fights and boss rushes over the years.

There's what they did in the first LoZ: make bosses either more difficult, or make them a mini-boss in a future dungeon. It might not work well for bug flashy bosses, but the upgraded and varied forms of Ghoma and the others made for a simple and challenging game. It was well-implemented, and I found the game enjoyably challenging.

There's also optional boss rushes. These allow you to fight the bosses in one epic rush. It can be fun to blow time, get a trophy, or simply relive an epic fight. The only problem could be if there's little option for variation like in SS, or if it's somehow required to beat the game. A required boss rush is just annoying.

There's even a way to do a required boss rush right. Let's say each boss is tailored to be very short. You have to quickly switch techniques to battle each one in one long-but-not-too-long fight.

There, it is possible for repeat bosses and rushes to work, but they are often made annoying and repetitive, so it really depends on the game.


There you are! You monsters!
Forum Volunteer
Feb 8, 2011
Neither good nor bad; egregious and desperate, rather.

I don't want to have to toil through the same bosses more than twice just to move on to the next sequence of a Zelda title, or any game for that matter. Think back to the headache that is The Imprisoned: Sure, it had little additions here and there, but the goal was always the same no matter what. If the beastie made it to the top, then that was it. Link had to drive the Sealing Spike into its head three times before "time" ran out. That's one of the most bothersome aspects of this battle--since when do Zelda bosses need to be stopped/defeated by a certain time? No, Nintendo, you just don't do that to this franchise.

Ghirahim is also somewhat at fault there, I suppose. His second fight was almost exactly like the first, but with very minor additional attacks added in. Howbeit, the third amounted to what was and is a very epic battle to the death with little room to maneuver on the platform.

Now, when I'm playing a Zelda game I expect to see original boss fights strewn within the story. Whether it's a dungeon or overworld boss, I really don't care. I simply don't want to see the same guy that Link fought two dungeons ago. After awhile they grow completely predictable, and it feels like a rehash of the encounter that transpired only a short time before then. Even if it comes to "beefing them up", the result isn't nearly enjoyable as the original battle may have seemed. To make a worthwhile repeated boss, you have to take them out of the plane where they first appeared and then give them new attacks [not just more attacks] to establish a new experience with them. Scervo and Deadfuse could learn from that, alongside the other two mentioned before...
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Darkest of all Dark Links
Oct 28, 2012
I'd disagree with you. I think the bosses are one of the best things the series has to offer. But anyway, re-using them isn't inherently good or bad. I'd say it's only bad when it replaces unique bosses. But otherwise it's good. Take Skyward Sword, for example. It has 14 bosses. 5 of them are repeats. That still leaves 9 unique bosses, which is a reasonable amount, so no harm done.

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