Mook Commander
Mooks become more aggressive with him on the field


(permanent link) added: 2011-07-10 18:30:56 sponsor: Stratadrake (last reply: 2014-06-10 22:38:54)

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Title brainstorming: Mook Commander, Commander Unit, Walking Field Power Effect


This is any type of character in a Video Game whose presence on the battlefield offers "moral support" to his comrades, enabling them to fight stronger, faster, better than they normally do on their own.

Unlike other enemy support units, the Commander does not actively assist his comrades, like by casting Status Buffs or healing spells -- his very presence on the battlefield is a status buff in and of itself; or phrased another way, the Commander is essentially a Walking Field Power Effect.

In Strategy Games, these benefits will go above and beyond issuing normal orders to selected groups of units.

The Mook Commander by himself may or may not be distinguishable from his underlings -- some Commanders are already Elite Mooks to begin with, while others are merely ordinary Mooks with special HUD designations. Either way, the Commander should be considered a primary target on the battlefield, because destroying him first will dispel whatever positive effect he bestows on his allies. However, the ability to effectively attack the Commander in the first place varies by game, because depending on the number of subordinates in his group and exactly what benefits he provides to them, a single Commander can potentially upgrade a flock of Goddamned Bats into a pack of ravenous Demonic Spiders.

A Sub-Trope of the Mook Lieutenant, applied as a gameplay mechanic. Compare and contrast the Hero Unit, which is less about their status-buffing effects and more about their plot importance and/or non-expendability.

For cases where the morale benefit is bestowed from a stationary source, see Field Power Effect.


Strategy games

  • In Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, Nod's basic Infantry squads can be upgraded to have a "Confessor" in the squad who will improve the combat power of not only the squad's members, but all nearby units. The combat buff ability was reused for the Black Hand faction in the Kane's Wrath Expansion Pack in the form of "Confessor Cabals" (entire squads of Confessors), the Purifier (a Mech with flamethrowers on it) and the Voice of Kane (a statue of Nod's leader).

  • Warzone 2100 allows the player to develop and utilize a "Command Turret" on the battlefield -- while its only effect as a weapon is Scratch Damage, it offers a few improvements over manual unit grouping, such as an accuracy boost for all attached units and the ability to call in covering fire from stationary artillery batteries back at base.

Tabletop games

  • Many older wargames had leaders as separate units; when stacked with a troop unit they could improve its morale or grant other abilities; alternately, some systems used a "command radius" giving bonuses to any unit within a certain distance of the leader. In some cases the presence of a leader was necessary for the troop unit to be able to move or attack, so leaders had to move around the board "picking up" units.

Other game genres

  • In the first Drakengard, enemies with a yellow dot next to their Life Meter are designated squad commanders (some of which may be Elite Mooks). The more commanders that are present in a given fight, the more aggressively they (and other Mooks) attack.

  • In one adaptation of TRON for the Intellivision game console, after reaching a certain score threshold dark blue Commander units start appearing on the board, and all other opponents move and attack faster until the Commander is defeated.

  • In Zone of the Enders 2, some enemies have a glowing "COMMANDER" designation, which allows them to activate a party formation with nearby units, giving the other units a noticeable boost in attack and defense power (and overall aggressiveness).

Other media

  • Erfworld, because its fantasy setting is based on Strategy Games, mentions commander units that bolster nearby allies.
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