Desperation Mode is a state that the bosses of the Rosenkreuzstilette series enters once their HP gauge reaches the halfway point (fourteen or below HP). This is indicated when the bosses' HP gauge changes from blue to red. During this state, the bosses will use a different, more complex and stronger strategy then before when their HP was above the halfway point, making then harder to avoid and much more likely to hit the player's character. A few bosses, most notably the fortress bosses, assume another form.
Rosenkreuzstilette & ~Grollschwert~
In Rosenkreuzstilette, Spiritia does not any Desperation attacks per se, but when she uses the Grollschwert after losing half or more of her HP, the Grollschwert's attack range widens and increases in power. It can also penetrate an enemy's shield during Desperation Mode during this time.
In Rosenkreuzstilette ~Grollschwert~, before her defeat, Lilli gives her a Cross Tank that fully revitalizes her. Spiritia will use three copied abilities from Freudia, Trauare, and Luste. If the player is on the ground, Spiritia will use Freudenstachel against the player. If the player performs wall kicks, she will fire a Lustatem shot to shoot down the player. If the player is out of Lustatem's range, Spiritia will charge up her Klageharnisch and create a pillar of water.
As with the Opening Stage, Freudia makes no changes in her attack pattern. This is also the case in her own stage.
Luste will fire more Lustatem shots when she jumps in the air and fires eight Lustatem shots in every direction multiple times when she stands still. When Luste jumps over the player during Desperation Mode as the player makes an attempt to get close to her, she will fire a massive Lustatem shot as she jumps.
In Rosenkreuzstilette, Grolla will release more shockwaves from her Grollschwert that covers a wider area and she will jump high into the air and release multiple laser-like slashes that covers much of the screen. She no longer attempts to charge into the player.
In Rosenkreuzstilette ~Grollschwert~, her charge attacks becomes as powerful as her third Grollschwert slash.
Sichte will fire two emerald shard with each shot and she will use Die geplante Zukunft regardless of the distance between her and the player. As she uses Die geplante Zukunft, she will create knives out of the thin air that will zero-in on the player.
Every time Liebea hops, a gust of wind is created to push the player away from her. Sometimes she will fire pink-color shots at the player and jump over the player.
Schwer-Muta Casasola Merkle
The Demon's Wall will send out more Living Crosses and energy balls at the player, and the energy balls will get slightly bigger as well.
The small glass shards will form together at a point where the shards will zero-in on the player's location. After the smaller shards have been destroyed, the large glass shards will form and follow the player.
Raimund Seyfarth will confront the player directly. If the player attacks him while he is moving back and forth, he will lash out a counter-attack similar to Grolla's Desperation Mode from his Grassense. He will send his Grollschwert to crush the player from above in massive proportions.
Count Michael Zeppelin
Graf Zeppelin will assume his demon form upon reaching Desperation Mode.
The Webmaster Spider will descend from the chains much quicker and release more miniature versions of itself.
The Deviled Egg will reverse the gravity of the area often, though actual pattern that it split itself is the same as it was in normal gravity.
Upon the first form's defeat, it will assume its second form.
Iris Zeppelin (Final Stage)
When she flies into the trees, she can come down to the middle of the field and shoot many slow moving leaf shurikens at the player.
Just like in the original Rosenkreuzstilette, Zorne will create red-color Zornesbombe that has a wider explosion range then the black ones. During her Desperation Mode, a pink Zorne Robot will appear in the background and support Zorne by wheeling around and tossing its own bombs onto the player's level. In more recent versions, her wall kick will cause flames to erupt from the ground, and, if Trauare hasn't been defeated yet, she will call Trau after which they will perform their combination attack in the middle of the arena where Trau will summon a firey version of her fully-charged Klageharnisch with Zorne throwing several red-colored Zornesbombes from the center.
She will fill the screen with water, then go to the top and shoot a shockwave at the player. She then goes diagonally to the other side and shoots another shockwave, then to the other side bottom and shoots another shockwave. She then will create a typhoon around her that sucks the player towards her and shoots four fish to home in on the player. Finally, she stands on one side while many spikes (not instant death) and ice blocks rush at the player. The ice blocks cannot kill the player. After this, the pattern repeats. If Zorne hasn't been defeated yet, Trau will call her and they will perform their combination attack where Trau orders Zorne to lay several heart-shaped bombs at the player's original locations and detonate them one at a time.
A bunch of blocks will start to levitate to the top of the screen. Luste flies off the screen, the drops high on the screen in a random location. She shoots a bunch of narrow Lustatem shots shots below her, and then shoots a bunch of more narrow Lustatem shots above her. She then flies off and repeats this. As she gets lower on heath, more blocks appear.
Grolla will release more, multidirectional Grollschwert shockwaves during Desperation Mode. Just like in the original game, she will jump high into the air and release multiple laser-like slashes that covers much of the screen. In more recent versions, she will create small, transparent beams across different parts of the screen before creating laser-like slashes in their place.
Sichte will fire more emerald shots, and also slow down or speed up time, and, depending on which Roman numeral on the clock in the background is lit, will throw down the number of knives based on that Roman numeral. In more recent versions, she will stop time, leap in the air, and come back down with a giant block after resuming time.
Liebea will create small winds that attempt to push the player away from her every time she does her Liebessturm chant. She will also rain down many pink bullets before leaping over to the other side. In the final version, when she does her eight-way Liebesfunke, she will create two clones to attack instead of her. When she shoots the magnets with Liebesmagneto, she will shoot on down, that the player has to jump. When she does the large jump and uses Liebessturm, two tornadoes come out on the sides rather then one attacking the player.
Schwer-Muta Casasola Merkle
She will drop a large Zeppy in the middle of the screen, shown by a larger warning sign. When she comes out of the pipes, two clones shoot barrier shots from the top of the screen, which go in a spiral pattern.
When she shoots the two pentagrams, instead of the fire slash, she will create a large sword which shoots a shockwave. The only way to dodge this is by standing right next to her. She will also use the charge attack twice in a row.
Immediately after entering desperation mode Karl will heal himself fully with a piece of meat. After this his whip slashes will produce fireballs similar to Chistopher Belmont and when he throws axes he'll throw three at once. He'll stop doing the Cross Boomerang at this time to instead use Dark Inferno a recurring attack from the Castlevania series typically used by Dracula.
In the battle in her stage, Eifer will start creating two sets of the spreading energy balls instead of one. When she does her Freudenstachel-like attack, she will create clones of herself to shoot at the player.
When she jumps at the player, rocks erupt from the ground. If the player is stunned she uses the grapple attack. She then does three quick jumps that attempt to hit the player. All of these create shockwaves. After the third, she charges and attempts to grapple. If any shockwave stuns the player, she uses the grapple attack.
Lecht & Rink Refraktia
They get a new attack where they both go to the middle of the screen and create four clones. Two of them will be solid, and those will shoot lasers. Then the clones shift around and two more shoot lasers. Then all four shoot lasers.
Count Michael Zeppelin
He will start to shoot the blue lasers from his stage after an attack cycle. The player must go under the platforms. He will also shoot five fireballs instead of three.
The Dark Devil will gain a new attack where it phases out of the arena and shoot body parts from both sides of the screen while creating a wind effect.
Iris Machine II
The Iris Machine II will enter it's second phase where it gains a new crushing attack that creates bouncing projectiles upon contact with the ground. After that it will use the same projectile aimed at the player attack the first form did and repeat this whole process.
Spiritia Rosenberg & Iris Zeppelin
These two bosses share a larger health bar. When it drops to half, Spiritia switches out and Iris switches in.
- Desperation Mode alludes to Overdrive Mode that bosses from Mega Man X8 undertakes when they are nearly defeated.
- Freudia Neuwahl is the only boss in Rosenkreuzstilette that does not charge her strategy during Desperation Mode.