Created By: Lyendith on June 1, 2013 Last Edited By: N1KF on March 22, 2015

Hard Mode Mook

A type of enemy that appears only in higher difficulties

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Nowadays, a game is pretty much required to have a solid replay value to be well received. Having multiple difficulty levels is a simple way to prolong the life of the game, but then Numerical Hard is to be avoided at all costs. So a common way of increasing difficulty is to put the player against tough mooks earlier and more frequently in the game.

And then there are games who not only do that, but create news enemies that you will meet only in difficulties above normal, thus surprising players who thought they had already fought everything. Of course, expect these enemies to be Demonic Spiders or Boss in Mook Clothing.

Some games make it so that some tough enemies don't appear in diffculties below normal, but then it's more a case of Easy-Mode Mockery.

Compare Level Scaling, which has a similar effect but minus the difficulty setting angle. Also compare Replacement Mooks, a sort of narrative equivalent, and Underground Monkey.


Examples:

Action Adventure
  • In the original The Legend of Zelda game, Red Bubbles (which take away your sword permanently if they hit you) only appear in the Second Quest (that game's version of a Hard difficulty).

Action Game
  • In Lollipop Chainsaw, there are named zombies you need to slay to complete an album, and some of them only appear on harder difficulties: [1]
  • Ninja Gaiden Black, and by extension Sigma, has the Ryu clones, mini-bosses who appear unexpectedly where you fought common enemies in Normal mode. Then in Very Hard, you meet a new type of Black Spider ninjas throwing Fuuma Shurikens at you. And then in Master Ninja mode you meet yet another type with swords that literally burn you when they hit you. Hard mode and above also put you against tougher versions of the cops and soldiers, specially immune to some of your techniques.
  • Bayonetta: Gracious and Glorious are more powerful versions of Grace and Glory that appear on higher difficulties.

Action RPG
  • Inverted in Diablo II. In Nightmare and Hell difficulties, most of the normal enemies in Act V are replaced with "Guest Monsters". These are more powerful versions of monsters seen during all 5 acts of the game, sometimes with different names. Guest Monsters often have some palette shifts, and a few have new skills or abilities as well.

First-Person Shooter
  • In the first episode of Redneck Rampage, Hulk Guards only appear on higher difficulty levels.
  • A variant in Blood: the appearance of mini-boss (degraded boss) enemies depends on the difficulty level. On the easier modes, only the first boss, the Stone Gargoyle reappears as a mook regularly, and the second one, Shial the giant spider, does so once or twice per game. On the harder modes, Shial becomes a regular encounter, and also Cerberus, the third boss (who had no mook appearances on the easier modes) appears once or twice as a mook.

MMORPG
  • Star Trek Online: The PVE raid "The Breach" has a stage where you have to blow up structural integrity field nodes on the exterior of a Voth fortress-ship. In the "elite" version of the raid, the field nodes are guarded by a Bulwark-class battleship in addition to the beam and missile turrets they have on normal.

Platform Game
  • The Game Boy version of Daffy Duck: The Marvin Missions had a special series of hard levels that you can play though if you beat the first screen on a Speed Run. These levels feature a few enemies that don't appear in a normal playthrough.
  • In Kirby's Dream Land, the Hard mode replaces the mooks and bosses with the stronger counterparta of themselves. This is repeated in Kirby Super Star Ultra with Revenge of the King being the harder version of Spring Breeze (and both are homages to Kirby's Dream Land).
  • Super Mario Bros. 1 downplays this, as beetles show up in the regular games, but when you play the New Game+, which is replaying the normal games but harder, goombas are replaced with beetles.
  • In Super Mario Bros Crossover, it's possible to change the settings to replace the Goombas with not only Buzzy Beetles (as in the original game's second quest) but also with Spinies and with a completely new-to-the-original-game enemy, Spike Tops (which act as both Spinies and Buzzy Beetles at once).
  • Jazz Jackrabbit allows the level author to mark any enemy as requiring a specific difficulty.

Role-Playing Game
  • Most of the enemies in Phantasy Star Online Episode 1 get replaced in Ultimate Difficulty by different enemies with the same basic behavior, but are usually faster, stronger, and possibly have a new elemental affinity or attacks.

Shoot 'em Up

Wide Open Sandbox
  • In Terraria, Hard Mode adds new monsters from The Corruption: [2]


Community Feedback Replies: 25
  • June 1, 2013
    Koveras
    I am not sure I have any actual mook examples, but I'll give you this:

  • June 1, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    Did a quick Google search to try to find some examples:

  • June 2, 2013
    NESBoy
    The Game Boy version of Daffy Duck: The Marvin Missions had a special series of hard levels that you can play though if you beat the first screen on a Speed Run. These levels feature a few enemies that don't appear in a normal playthrough.
  • June 2, 2013
    KingZeal
    In the original The Legend Of Zelda game, Red Bubbles (which take away your sword permanently if they hit you) only appear in the Second Quest (that game's version of a Hard difficulty).
  • June 4, 2013
    aurora369
    In the first episode of Redneck Rampage, Hulk Guards only appear on higher difficulty levels.
  • June 5, 2013
    Larkmarn
    • Most of the enemies in Phantasy Star Online Episode 1 get replaced in Ultimate Difficulty by different enemies with the same basic behavior, but are usually faster, stronger, and possibly have a new elemental affinity or attacks.
  • June 5, 2013
    StarSword
    Compare Level Scaling, which has a similar effect but minus the difficulty setting angle.
  • June 5, 2013
    NateTheGreat
    A related phenomenon is the presence of the more powerful varieties of enemy earlier in the game on the harder modes. This happens in Commander Keen 4 and Ocarina of time Master Quest, among other places.

  • June 5, 2013
    KingZeal
    May be related to Replacement Mooks.
  • June 6, 2013
    StarSword
    Needs example sorting.
  • March 18, 2014
    Lyendith
    I had totally forgotten I had created this... Just remembered today.

    I don't know if it's launchable since there are no hats, but, well, if you have other examples...
  • March 18, 2014
    DAN004
    Would Bonus Dungeon mooks count?
  • March 21, 2014
    JesseMB27
    Bayonetta: Gracious and Glorious are more powerful versions of Grace and Glory that appear on higher difficulties.
  • March 24, 2014
    aurora369
    Appearance of mini-boss (degraded boss) enemies in Blood depends on the difficulty level. On the easier modes, only the first boss, the Stone Gargoyle reappears as a mook regularly, and the second one, Shial the giant spider, does so once or twice per game. On the harder modes, Shial becomes a regular encounter, and also Cerberus, the third boss (who had no mook appearances on the easier modes) appears once or twice as a mook.
  • April 6, 2014
    Lyendith
    ^^^ I guess that might count, since they usually have a higher difficulty than standard dungeons. =O
  • April 6, 2014
    Kayube
    In Super Mario Bros Crossover, it's possible to change the settings to replace the Goombas with not only Buzzy Beetles (as in the original game's second quest) but also with Spinies and with a completely new-to-the-original-game enemy, Spike Tops (which act as both Spinies and Buzzy Beetles at once).
  • April 6, 2014
    DAN004
    Compare Underground Monkey

  • April 6, 2014
    StarSword
    MMORPG:
    • Star Trek Online: The PVE raid "The Breach" has a stage where you have to blow up structural integrity field nodes on the exterior of a Voth fortress-ship. In the "elite" version of the raid, the field nodes are guarded by a Bulwark-class battleship in addition to the beam and missile turrets they have on normal.
  • April 6, 2014
    morenohijazo
    I don't know if this fits...

    • ┬┐Inverted? in Diablo 2. In Nightmare and Hell difficulties, most of the normal enemies in Act V are replaced with "Guest Monsters". These are more powerful versions of monsters seen during all 5 acts of the game, sometimes with different names. Guest Monsters often have some palette shifts, and a few have new skills or abilities as well.
  • April 10, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    Namespaced a couple examples + did some formatting.
  • December 31, 2014
    DAN004
    Pmub
  • January 1, 2015
    DragonQuestZ
    • Super Mario Bros 1 downplays this, as beetles show up in the regular games, but when you play the New Game Plus, which is replaying the normal games but harder, goombas are replaced with beetles.
  • January 1, 2015
    henke37
    • Jazz Jackrabbit allows the level author to mark any enemy as requiring a specific difficulty.
  • February 12, 2015
    ZuTheSkunk
  • March 21, 2015
    DAN004
    Bump.

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