The lighting shifts. The background music drops to a bass-laden riff. A doorway lies beyond a quiet room filled with ammo and health packs.
It can only mean one thing: boss battle.
We refuse to grow tired of this well-worn video game mechanic. Hours of our life have been spent figuring out weak spots and tactics, countless controllers flung across rooms as the final inches of our health bar bleed away. And it seems we're not alone in revelling in the challenge.
Minneapolis-based gallery Light Grey Art Lab has called upon the talents of over 115 artists for its bad guy-themed exhibit, Boss Rush! Some of the most memorable villainous show downs have been commemorated, from Zelda foes to Fable, Mortal Kombat opponents to Mario moments.
We've picked out a few of our favourites below, with a selection of prints available from the Light Grey Art Lab online store.
Saving the day never looked quite so glorious.