DAN 004 wuz ere takin over ur druft
This is any type of character in a Video Game
whose presence on the battlefield offers "moral support" (may or may not be related to Morale Mechanic
) 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
. If he can
heal or buff, that'd be a bonus. They may also occasionally be Enemy Summoners
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
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. Compare also Mook Medic
for another type of supporting Mook.
For cases where the morale benefit is bestowed from a stationary source, see Field Power Effect
Video Game Examples
Beat 'em Up
- 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 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).
- The Alto Angelos in Devil May Cry 4 are definitely this to Bianco Angelos. Being led by an Alto significantly improves their coordination and increases their agressiveness; any good strategy guide will recommend to take the Alto down first in those fights.
- Hyrule Warriors has rally captains appear in certain missions in Adventure Mode. These captains instantly boost the morale of every enemy on the field, including giant bosses. Defeating them instantly reverts the morale back to normal, which is a necessity when going up against the aforementioned giant bosses.
- In TRON 2.0, 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.
- Elsword: the Glitter Commander can command nearby Glitter Troops into making a strong and nigh impenetrable formation: the Protectors on the front blocking advances and frontal attacks with their shields, the Spearmen sticking their spears to the air, anticipating aerial attacks, and the Snipers doing long-range attacks from behind the formation. Occasionally the Pounders may also help with their hammers to create mini quakes that throw their enemies off balance.
- 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.
- Dawn of War: the Tau faction features the Ethereal Commander, which provides a morale bonus for all Tau units. The Imperial Guard allows squads to purchase Commissars that provide a similar bonus.
- In the second game, the tyranid hive lord is a giant killing machine but boosting nearby tyranids is his (its?) real strength. Once he learns to summon Elite Mooks... let's say the tyranid campaign is probably the easiest of the six.
- Having a sergeant (or assimilated unit) in a squad gives a bonus to morale (Space Marine and Imperial Guard Sergeants, Ork Nobs, Eldar Archons) or health (Chaos Aspiring Champions). In Winter Assault, a mission requires you to brainwash Guardsman squads, which can't be done if there's a Sergeant in it. Orks also get a morale bonus by attaching a Big Mek (who can be upgraded to have a damage reducing aura) or Warboss, while Space Marine Force Commanders and Chaos Lords get upgrades that passively increase the damage of friendly units around them.
- Warcraft III:
- The Kodo Beast unit has a passive ability called "War Drums", which is essentially an aura that makes surrounding orc units deal more damege to their opponents.
- Many Hero Units have some kind of passive ability that works like this. The Tauren Chieftain's Endurance Aura increases movement and attack speed, the Paladin's Devotion Aura increases armor, etc.
- Hurlock Alphas in Dragon Age: Origins provide some nasty buffs for their lesser Darkspawn subordinates.
- The Toad Lady from Final Fantasy IV. She appears with a six toads that cast the Toad spell at her command...only at her command. And since they have no other abilities, taking her down renders them completely harmless.
- The games Civilization IV and V feature "Great Generals." In IV, the Great General can be attached to a unit to give him better upgrades and status buffs. In V the Great General gives status buffs to units within a couple tiles. In both games, the Great General doesn't fight by himself and is killed if attacked by himself.
- Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time
- Lesser example with the Pianist Zombies in the Wild West levels; with their piano they can command other zombies to dance and switch the lanes they're walking on, potentially screwing with your strategy. Kill them and the zombies will stop moving around.
- Later, the game introduces Zombie Kings for the Dark Ages levels. When they're present, they can turn Peasant Zombies into durable Knight Zombies. The kings themselves don't fight; when there are no other zombies aside from themselves, they'll instantly die.
- Battle for Wesnoth units with the leadership ability make adjacent lower-level allies deal more damage.
- This is how the "CO Zone" mechanic works in Advance Wars: Days Of Ruin. It's only excepted by Tabitha, who needs to rack up some damage before she can expand her Zone beyond the lone unit she's in.
- Angels have this effect in the Heroes of Might and Magic series. If a player has angels or archangels on the field, all of the other units controlled by that player get an automatic boost to their morale stat, which gives them a chance to attack twice in one turn.
- Warfare 1917 and Warfare 1944. An Officer provides a damage bonus to any friendly troops near them and increases the overall morale of his side's troops.
Non-Video Game Examples
- 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.
- In Warhammer 40K, more powerful Tyranids can control and direct the less intelligent weaker ones, making them more dangerous.
- Magic: The Gathering has two major types.
- There is a general type of creature informally referred to by both creators and players as a "Lord". Typically, the name applies to a creature that grants a bonus to the power and toughness (attack and defense) of all creatures of its own race or class (but not to itself), as well as granting an additional ability that varies from Lord to Lord. For instance, Knight Exemplar grants a P/T boost to all other Knights, and also makes them indestructible. Variations exist; for instance, Lord of the Unreal is a human, but functions as an Illusion Lord, as he gives a P/T boost to Illusions and also makes them immune to their opponents' spells and abilities.
- The Slivers could be considered an entire species of Lords/Mook Commanders that recursively enhance each other; with incredibly rare exceptions, every Sliver grants bonuses to all other Slivers.
- Erfworld, because its fantasy setting is based on Strategy Games, mentions commander units that bolster nearby allies.