Created By: UnobligatoryStunfisk on July 7, 2011 Last Edited By: Arivne on April 7, 2014
Troped

Throw The Mook At Them

A Game Mechanic that involves chucking Mooks at things, usually used in Boss Fights.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Up for Grabs, Seen It a Million Times, Needs More Examples
Thesis 

Basically, when a boss has a weakness based on his accompanying mooks being used against him. It can come in various forms, such as that the mooks are thrown back at the boss or that their attacks are reflected onto him. Please note that it only fits the trope if the mooks are directly beneficial to the player. It is not a weakness if they just refill your life bar or keep you separated from the boss (defeating them leading up to a chance to hit the boss).

Note: In boss fights, the mooks have to be thrown or punted (or launched from a cannon/catapult/etc.) in order to count for this trope. Mooks being "mind controlled" into attacking it's Boss is Helpful Mook. controlling the mooks to attack the boss is Big Dumb Body.

Outside bosses, some puzzles provide you with mooks for you to use as bombs to destroy objects or walls if they are Action Bombs. There are obviously other ingenious variations of this, like them being normal mooks that you can throw to other mooks to make them both fall off a ledge or simply just damage them.

The mooks in both cases here are often Respawning Enemies. Because if they don't respawn, it would render the puzzle/boss a Marathon Boss at best, or at worse, render it Unwinnable.

Sister trope of Boss Arena Idiocy. Compare Playing Tennis with the Boss for when the boss' attacks can be thrown back at them. Subtrope of Tactical Suicide Boss, since the boss would be invincible if it didn't have/spawn minions around. Related to Flunky Boss, it's also listed there as a "variation".

Compare Surrounded by Idiots, where someone is done in by the incompetence of their mooks.

Examples

Action Adventure

Action Game
  • Silhouette Mirage: Enemies in this game display either of the two attributes, Silhouette and Mirage. Silhouette-attribute energy is harmful to Mirage enemies and vice versa.
    • You fight Delia, a Mirage boss, in a room where the two are out of reach of each other. The only thing he does is fill his mana meter by inhaling the Mirage soup in the huge pot and use a long-range special attack. And the only way to damage him is to poison the soup by chucking Silhouette cooks into the soup.
    • Gargantuan gathers energy by absorbing same-attribute matter from the outside. If it absorbs matter with different attributes, it will take damage and change its attribute. The player character wonders where to find the "matter", but as soon as the battle begins, mooks of the both attributes start appearing...
    • Geluve has the ability to possess mooks and use them as her "arms". The only way to do damage to her is to blast her arms. The game has a Game-Breaking Bug in which she will not summon new mooks.
  • In Devil May Cry 4, Mission 9 has The Containment Room. The "boss" is the glass which separates you and Agnus, and the mooks are Gladius—basically Flying Lizard Swords. You can go ahead and attack the glass itself, but you will do very little damage. the trick here is grab the critters with Buster and aim at the glass to throw it there.
  • In God of War, some Mooks can be thrown to other Mooks For Massive Damage when you use your Grapple Move against them, Kratos will automatically aim at the closest other Mook in front of him, with the "targeting reticule" being a Pillar of Light.

Action RPG
  • Solatorobo: The main gameplay mechanic is to damage enemies by hurling them into each other.
    • The giant shade spawns mooks that are easily stunned and thrown back.
    • When fighting the sacred bird boss, it will fly out of reach laying eggs, which can be thrown at it once it comes back down.

Beat 'em Up
  • The SNES version of Turtles In Time features a boss battle like this, against Shredder, at the end of the Technodrome level. Shredder sits safely in the cockpit of a crab canon, where the turtles can't reach him. So they chuck his own soldiers at him, literally reducing them to cannon fodder.

Eastern RPG
  • Recettear features several bosses that end up having mooks as their main downfall.

Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game
  • Very common in World of Warcraft. For example, Tortos, a giant turtle, uses a powerful breath attack every once in a while, which can only be interrupted by killing smaller turtles and then kicking their shells into the boss.

Platform Game
  • Various games of the Yoshi's Island series have bosses that do this, all of which can be eaten to make eggs, which in turn can hurt the boss.
  • Super Mario 64 DS has only Yoshi as a playable character at the start. As such, he cannot punch enemies, but he can swallow them to stock up on eggs to throw. Both King Bob-omb and Goomboss could not be beaten if they did not have their respective mooks to fuel Yoshi for eggs. If anyone other than Yoshi fights Goomboss, the fight will be slightly different in that you have to punch Goombas into Goomboss in order to hurt him.
  • Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 features the Bouldergeist, a ghost that encases itself within stone. Normally it would be invincible to Mario's attacks. However, during the fight it will occasionally throw a black rock at Mario, which will become a Bomb Boo, which in turn Mario can use against the Bouldergeist to break apart his stone casing. When it reaches its vulnerable phase, guess what it still intentionally spawns?
  • Super Mario World: The only way to hurt Bowser is to kick the Mecha Koopas he sends out up so they land on his head. Furthermore, you can pick up and throw Goombas, Mechakoopas, Buzzy Beetles and Koopa Troopa shells at any other regular Mook to kill them.
  • Wario World: The Angler Mangler miniboss is completely invulnerable save for its lure, which dangles out of reach. Thr trick is to wait for it to summon a Barrel Buster mook, stun it, and do a Spinning Piledriver under the lure, which sends it flying up, hitting the lure.
  • For obvious reasons, the Kirby games frequently feature bosses that spawn mooks for the player to hurl back at them using Kirby's default powers, most notably Kracko. Some of the games where Kirby steals enemies' abilities use a variant in which some bosses that spawn enemies with especially suitable powers. However, there are plenty of subversions featuring bosses who spawn mooks that give the player useless powers like Sleep or powers that are utterly ineffective in that particular battle.
    • Kirby's bread and butter abilities include inhaling an enemy and spitting it to another (when he doesn't copy that enemy).
  • In Mega Man 7's Wily Stages, one method for defeating the turtle tank boss involves using the Danger Wrap weapon to bounce its mini-turtle mooks into is beak For Massive Damage. However, most players find it more practical to defeat the boss more conventionally.
  • Mega Man ZX Advent: A partial example - Hedgeshock can summon robot mouse flunkies. He can normally be hurt by anything, but there's an achievement for using nothing but the mouse flunkies to hurt her - by knocking them at her with the right powerup.
  • The fan game Mushroom Kingdom Fusion occasionally offers variants of its source games' bosses who veer into this, such as a version of Mouser who tosses Bob-omb enemies or a variant of King Totomesu with lots of hit points and an unusual vulnerability to the exploding Koopa variants that spawn endlessly during the battle.
  • In the Darkwing Duck NES game, Moliarity will always leap to a different tier of the arena to prevent the player from shooting him. However, if the player to disable his flamethrower tower enemies, the usually evasive Moliarity will arrive to fix the device, giving the player an opportunity to take potshots at him for as long as the repairs take.

Puzzle Game
  • Mischief Makers: Your only attack is throwing. A bit different in that instead of throwing mooks at the boss... You just chuck the boss, the boss's weapons, it's projectiles or it's own FISTS at it . The Climax Boss has you throw nice phrases at it for some reason. You have to find the right ones, shake em to turn em nice, and chuck it.

Stealth Game
  • In Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions, Puzzle mission 2 involves you having to play "domino" by pushing a Mook soldier off a VR ledge in order to kill the two Mooks below him who in turn fall onto another pair of mooks and so on until they're all dead. Note that failing to chain the domino effect makes the mission Unwinnable and you have to restart.
Community Feedback Replies: 66
  • July 7, 2011
    JonnyB
    Some of the bosses in Zuma's Revenge are like this. The only way you can kill the boss is to damage the mooks.
  • July 7, 2011
    Bisected8
    Compare Playing Tennis With The Boss for when the boss' attacks can be thrown back at them.

    • Early on in the final boss battle of Beyond Good And Evil, you can launch the mooks that are disguised as P'jey at it.
  • July 7, 2011
    elwoz
    I Thought It Meant a Big Bad, not necessarily from a video game, who is done in by the incompetence of their mooks. There's gotta be a title that makes it clearer this is a video game thing.
  • July 7, 2011
    Darthcaliber
    Super Mario World: The only way to hurt Bowser is to kick the Mecha Koopas he sends out up so they land on his head
  • July 8, 2011
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    IIRC there was a video game called Star Blazers where the level boss was a tank that was faster than you, so the only way to take it out was to get the enemy to do the dirty work themselves via friendly fire.
  • July 8, 2011
    MiinU
    Video games

    • The SNES version of Turtles In Time features a boss battle like this, against Shredder, at the end of the Technodrome level. Shredder sits safely in the cockpit of a crab canon, where the turtles can't reach him. So they chuck his own soldiers at him, literally reducing them to canon fodder.
  • January 20, 2013
    morenohijazo
    ^^^^ Do we have somewhere a trope like that, by the way?
  • January 20, 2013
    Someoneman
    Subtrope of Tactical Suicide Boss, since the boss would be invincible if it didn't spawn minions.
  • January 20, 2013
    Astaroth
    Would the trope elwoz is thinking of be Surrounded By Idiots, or some subtrope of that?

  • January 20, 2013
    captainpat
    Please rewrite the description without the scenario bit. That's an Example As A Thesis. You don't need an example in your trope description when you have an example section right below it.

  • January 21, 2013
    Arivne
    Namespaced and italicized the work titles in the OP.
  • January 21, 2013
    staritecollecter
    In many Kirby games, some bosses release mooks that you can spit at the boss.
  • January 21, 2013
    elwoz
    @Astaroth: Yeah, Surrounded By Idiots covers what I was thinking of nicely -- but my point was that this needs a better title so it doesn't sound like it's the same thing. It needs a title that indicates that it's specifically about a type of boss battle.
  • September 2, 2013
    LordGro
    Please, don't ever put Exactly What It Says On The Tin in the laconic or the description. (Don't pothole it either.) It's hugely annoying.
  • September 2, 2013
    Chabal2
    • Solatorobo: The main gameplay mechanic is to damage enemies by hurling them into each other.
      • The giant shade spawns mooks that are easily stunned and thrown back.
      • When fighting the sacred bird boss, it will fly out of reach laying eggs, which can be thrown at it once it comes back down.
    • Wario World: The Angler Mangler miniboss is completely invulnerable save for its lure, which dangles out of reach. Thr trick is to wait for it to summon a Barrel Buster mook, stun it, and do a Spinning Piledriver under the lure, which sends it flying up, hitting the lure.
  • September 2, 2013
    DAN004
  • September 8, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ THAT. FREAKING THAT. though not a big fan of snowclones, this has to be the most fitting one. since this is usually what you have to do in this trope either way. the OP won't even need to remove the current laconic that way.
  • September 8, 2013
    Poko907
    I third "Throw The Mook At Them".
  • September 8, 2013
    KarjamP
    Not only is this a subtrope of Flunky Boss, it's also listed there as a "variation".

    Take that, if you will.
  • September 8, 2013
    DracMonster
    Throw The Mook At Them wins TV tropes forever. Fourthed.
  • September 8, 2013
    LordGro
    Exactly What It Says On The Tin does not belong into any trope description, much less a laconic definition.
  • September 8, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ i meant the YKTTW.

    @Karjam P -- flunky bosses don't usually have their own mooks as a weakness. hell they act as buffs to it forcing you to Shoot The Medic First, more often than not.
  • September 8, 2013
    LordGro
    @ShanghaiSlave: Just realized I posted about the laconic twice. Anyway, the laconic needs to be changed. Laconic Wiki is supposed to be a serious tool, not another opportunity for trying to be funny. Changed it.
  • September 8, 2013
    KarjamP
    Shanghai Slave, read the trope again.

    The first "variation" states:
    • Taking advantage of these extra baddies may be required to beat the boss. For example, the game may require you to take them out before you can even hit the boss at all, or you may have to trick them into attacking their leader.

    Not saying we SHOUDN'T have this trope. Just saying this is a subtrope of Flunky Boss.
  • September 8, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ... then you should have said that in the first place instead of wording it ambiguously. it was clear to me this was a subtrope the moment i saw the throw the mook comment.
  • September 8, 2013
    Momochi
    Playing Tennis With The Boss is now named Tennis Boss.
    • Silhouette Mirage: Enemies in this game display either of the two attributes, Silhouette and Mirage. Silhouette-attribute energy is harmful to Mirage enemies and vice versa.
      • You fight Delia, a Mirage boss, in a room where the two are out of reach of each other. The only thing he does is fill his mana meter by inhaling the Mirage soup in the huge pot and use a long-range special attack. And the only way to damage him is to poison the soup by chucking Silhouette cooks into the soup.
      • Gargantuan gathers energy by absorbing same-attribute matter from the outside. If it absorbs matter with different attributes, it will take damage and change its attribute. The player character wonders where to find the "matter", but as soon as the battle begins, mooks of the both attributes start appearing...
      • Geluve has the ability to possess mooks and use them as her "arms". The only way to do damage to her is to blast her arms. The game has a Game Breaking Bug in which she will not summon new mooks.
  • September 9, 2013
    Arivne
    Corrected the three Example Indentation violations in the examples.
  • September 9, 2013
    DAN004
    ...Though, the problem with my own title is that it can be confused with throwing the mook at another mook - Unless we wanna count that too, that is.
  • September 9, 2013
    TheHandle
  • September 9, 2013
    DAN004
    Would this be a subtrope of Fastball Special then?
  • September 9, 2013
    DAN004
    BTW
    • Mega Man ZX Advent: A partial example - Hedgeshock can summon robot mouse flunkies. He can normally be hurt by anything, but there's an achievement for using nothing but the mouse flunkies to hurt her - by knocking them at her with the right powerup.
  • September 9, 2013
    Snicka
    Throw The Mook At Them. Definitely. Somebody please rename it.
  • September 9, 2013
    LordGro
    ^ Throw The Mook At Them is bad because it suggests the mooks are being used against a number of indefinite enemies. But the description definitely says it is about a (i.e. usually a single) boss enemy. Thusly, the name misrepresents the trope.

    Or you might consider broadening the trope so it's about using mooks against any enemies, not just bosses.
  • September 11, 2013
    Arivne
    I just realized that My Mooks Are My Weakness is actually an illegal title because it sounds like a line of dialog and thus violates No New Stock Phrases. Avoid the wrath of Fast Eddie - don't use personal pronouns (I, me, we, us, my, our and sometimes "you" and "your") in your trope titles!

    I have changed the name to His Mooks Are His Weakness to make it legal. It can be changed if desired.

    Use His Mooks Against Him? (because the description doesn't limit the attack to throwing the mook)
  • September 11, 2013
    OmarKarindu
    I feel that the name needs to indicate it's a trope about videogame bosses and their weaknesses, so maybe Mook Backfire Boss or Mook Based Boss Weakness?

    • For obvious reasons, the Franchise/Kirby games frequently feature bosses that spawn mooks for the player to hurl back at them using Kirby's default powers, most notably Kracko. Some of the games where Kirby steals enemies' abilities use a variant in which some bosses that spawn enemies with especially suitable powers. However, there are plenty of subversions featuring bosses who spawn mooks that give the player useless powers like Sleep or powers that are utterly ineffective in that particular battle.
    • In Mega Man 7's Wily Stages, one mthod for defeating the turtle tank boss involves using the Danger Wrap weapon to bounce its mini-turtle mooks into is beak For Massive Damage. However, most players find it more practical to defeat the boss more conventionally.
    • The fan game Mushroom Kingdom Fusion occasionally offers variants of its source games' bosses who veer into this, such as a version of Mouser who tosses Bob-omb enemies or a variant of King Totomesu with lots of hit points and an unusual vulnerability to the exploding Koopa variants that spawn endlessly during the battle.
    • In the Darkwing Duck NES game, Moliarity will always leap to a different tier of the arena to prevent the player from shooting him. However, if the player to disable his flamethrower tower enemies, the usually evasive Moliarity will arrive to fix the device, giving the player an opportunity to take potshots at him for as long as the repairs take.
  • September 11, 2013
    Chernoskill
    • In Call Of Cthulhu Dark Corners Of The Earth, the last boss Mother Hydra can only be defeated by mind controlling one of the Deep Ones that are spawned in the area and using the creature to damage her, then repeat the procedure multiple times until she's defeated.
  • September 11, 2013
    DAN004
    See? Lord Gro points out the problem with my title. :P

    At least it can be a redirect. I would agree, though, that it can be broadened to "throwing the mook at another". :D
  • September 13, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    Throw The Mook At The Boss then? pretty literal though...
  • September 14, 2013
    QuestionMarker
    • Very common in World Of Warcraft. For example, Instructor Razuvious can only be defeated by Mind Controlling his disciples and using their shielding techniques to soak up his attacks. In another instance, Tortos, a giant turtle, uses a powerful breath attack every once in a while, which can only be interrupted by killing smaller turtles and then kicking their shells into the boss. When attempting Mimiron's hard mode, you "accidentially" set the entire room on fire and the boss then periodically summons Emergency Fire Bots, whose attack can kill you but also clears some of the fire, giving you room to fight. Other bosses may have adds that give you the Status Buff required to kill the boss or put a debuff on the boss so he can be damaged. There's a lot of bosses that would be unbeatable if it weren't for their Mooks.
  • September 14, 2013
    Snicka
    @Lord Gro: How about simply Throw The Mook At Him? It keeps the clever pun, and is singular.
  • September 16, 2013
    LordGro
    ^ Does this trope only ever occur with bosses? I know too little about video games to judge that.
  • September 16, 2013
    Snicka
    ^ Not at all. In Super Mario World, for example, you can pick up and throw Goombas, Mechakoopas, Buzzy Beetles and Koopa Troopa shells at any other regular Mook to kill them.
  • September 17, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Well then:
    • Kirby's bread and butter abilities include inhaling an enemy and spitting it to another (when he doesn't copy that enemy).
  • September 21, 2013
    aurora369
    This is an option in Fallout 2. You can convince the Enclave soldiers accompanying the final boss, the cyborg super mutant Frank Horrigan, to turn on him. Also you can reprogram the robot turrets that surround Frank to do the same. Useful for a Pacifist Run and otherwise.
  • September 21, 2013
    LordGro
    If the trope covers all instances of using mooks against enemies (which it probably should, as I can't see any special reason to limit it to bosses), then I guess Throw The Mooks At Them is okay. The description needs to be rewritten, though.
  • December 19, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    bump. had forgotten i actually flagged this. lol.
  • December 19, 2013
    KarjamP
    His Mooks Are His Weakness still violates No New Stockphrases.

    How do you avoid having your trope name sound like a line of dialog? Here are some things to avoid:

(Emphasis added.)

In other words, just because you didn't use a first-person pronoun or a second-person pronoun doesn't mean it can't be interpreted as a dialog title.

  • December 19, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    So we're keeping Throw The Mook At Him?
  • December 20, 2013
    Arivne

  • January 21, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    Enough examples, decent description... just needs hats.

    though i kinda want to broaded to to examples where the mooks in question are not related to the boss, but just there but still useable as weapons.

    EDIT: also removed Example As Thesis

    Action Adventure
    • In Devil May Cry 4, Mission 9 has The Containment Room. The "boss" is the glass which separates you and Agnus, and the mooks are Gladius—basically Flying Lizard Swords. You can go ahead and attack the glass itself, but you will do very little damage. the trick here is grab the critters with Buster and aim at the glass to throw it there.
  • January 24, 2014
    Snicka
    If we want to include examples where Mooks are used to defeat other Mooks too (like the Super Mario World example), the description should mention that.
  • January 24, 2014
    StarSword
    Holy mackerel, that's a bad pun. :)
  • January 24, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^^ As much as i think that's a nice idea, i don't think we can just add that as this apparently isn't up for grabs or the OP is still alive.
  • January 25, 2014
    Lego3400
    Mischief Makers. Your only attack is throwing. A bit diffrent in that instead of throwing mooks at the boss... You just chuck the boss, the boss's weapons, it's projectiles or it's own FISTS at it . The Climax Boss has you throw nice phrases at it for some reason. You have to find the right ones, shake em to turn em nice, and chuck it.
  • January 26, 2014
    NESBoy
    More on Super Mario 64 DS:

    • If anyone other than Yoshi fights Goomboss, the fight will be slightly different in that you have to punch Goombas into Goomboss in order to hurt him.
  • January 30, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    Bump. Sent from my iMacro.
  • February 4, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    Bump. Sent from my iMacro.
  • February 10, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    Bump. Sent from my iMacro.
  • February 12, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    Bump. Sent from my iMacro.
  • February 12, 2014
    DAN004
  • February 12, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    I dunno. is the description enough? that's mainly the reason i'm holding it off.

    Also, "throw mooks to defeat mooks" would be under Grab Throw Move, right?

    EDIT: maybe not, throws don't literally mean actually throwing things at other things there...
  • February 12, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    Bump. Sent from my iMacro.
  • February 12, 2014
    DAN004
    Flesh the description more; it's no longer limited to just "throwing mooks at bosses". It also covers throwing them at another or at an obstacle to solve puzzles (in God Of War for example)
  • April 6, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    last example / description critique call.

    I haven't done what DAN suggested for the record.
  • April 6, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    just as a sample of the non-boss variation:

    Stealth

    • In Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions, one puzzle involves you having to play "domino" by kicking a Mook soldier in order to kill the two Mooks below him who in turn fall onto another pair of mooks and so on until they're all dead.
  • April 6, 2014
    needsanewhobby
    Probably worth noting that such a puzzle is almost always accompanied by Respawning Enemies, otherwise killing the enemies (rather than using them for whatever they are meant to be used for) would render the game Unwinnable.
  • Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=0hx63uev2jcg0nwes2va6gmv&trope=DiscardedYKTTW