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An enemy who casts spells which bring additional enemies into combat, while causing some damage itself. Sometimes the summoned enemies are just Mooks
; in other cases, they are as powerful enemies as the summoner. Can get very dangerous for the player if those enemies are summoners themselves. Might be an enemy version of The Beastmaster
or The Minion Master
, depending on who or what is being brought out.
See also the Mook Maker
, who doesn't do anything to hurt the player except churn out an endless series of Mooks
, and the Flunky Boss
, who may summon weaker allies as part of a Boss Battle
, and Patrolling Mook
, which does the same thing only if it spots the player. Some Enemy Summoners go as far as to summon Mook Makers.
The ability to create large amounts of enemies can make them Demonic Spiders
or Goddamned Bats
. They are a common candidate to be Metal Slime
, since you have to kill them fast
or the sheer amount of summoned opponents will overwhelm you, so you don't have many opportunities to steal
may be a subtrope of this.
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Beat Em Ups
- Executioners: The third level boss Blobba The Butt can spit out two Fat Snakes to help him out against you. The fourth level boss Mega-Midget(s) can cry out "Midgets, attack!" and bring in four or six Midget-Men to help him out.
- The Pokémon TCG has some cards with a "look for friends" move, allowing the player to search their deck for (varying from card to card) look for more Pokémon of the same species, elemental type or some other descriptor.
- There are loads of Magic: The Gathering cards that make token creatures when they come into play, create token creatures when you want them to, or let you look through your library for more creature cards.
- The Heresiarch boss from Hexen summons Dark Bishops to aid him in battle when his health is low.
- D'Sparil, the final boss of Heretic, in addition to blasting you with his staff in the second phase of the final battle with him, will summon his Disciples against you two at a time.
- In Doom II, the "Pain Elemental" spits "Lost Souls" (weaker enemies) at you. The "Arch-vile" actually resurrects dead monsters and has one of the strongest attacks in the game.
- In Doom 3, although the Archvile doesn't resurrect monsters (since they don't leave corpses), it can summon indeterminate numbers of mooks, including Boss in Mook Clothing enemies such as Hell Knights.
- Giant Gasbag in Unreal, which belches out fireballs and smaller Gasbags.
- The first Antlion Guard encountered in Half-Life 2 periodically summons three or four regular Antlions from the sand to attack the player while attacking itself. Mercifully, as they are goddamned hard to kill even alone, it is the only Guard to do so.
- The first boss in Red Steel 2, Paine, would occasionally summon a pair of machine-gun wielding mooks to chip away at your backside. Made worse because he usually doesn it when he's just knocked you down so you have to watch him do it while unable to move.
- In the Left 4 Dead series, the "Boomer" Special Infected can puke or explode near the Survivors, spraying them with bile that obscures their vision and quickly summons a horde.
- F.E.A.R. 3 brings us the Phase Caster, an Armacham soldier in Powered Armor wielding an arc beam gun who has the ability to teleport soldiers into battle.
- Certain Elite Guards in Wolfenstein (2009) are capable of resurrecting dead Mooks. The resulting Despoiled are far more powerful adversaries than the infantry they were originally.
- The Ground Zero Expansion Pack for Quake II introduced Medic Commanders, an Elite Mook version of the Medic capable of periodically summoning additional Strogg, while also retaining the vanilla version's Mook Medic abilities. Made worse by the fact it can summon, among other things, standard Medics as well.
Hack and Slash
- Sand Maggots in Diablo II which spit poison and lay eggs.
- Vile Mothers in Act 4 can create an unlimited (Sand Maggots at least can only lay a limited amount of eggs) amount of Vile Childs apart from hitting you with their claws. Besides, they have cold resistance, so you can't use cold attacks to stop them from moving. On top of that, in the River of Flame you may be attacked by BOTH Sand Maggots and Vile Mothers. Expect VERY long fights.
- Diablo II is full of a variant of enemies like this, where they start with a full complement of units and resurrect them whenever you kill one. Unless you raise it as a skeleton, make the corpse explode, or freeze it and smash the remains or in some way make it Deader Than Dead.
- Nihlathak in the expansion pack who would summon monsters, then corpse explode them if you killed them.
- Diablo III introduces the Wretched Mothers in Act I. They vomit on the ground, causing a Risen to spawn.
- Cerebuses in the first God of War would occasionally spit out Cerebus Puppies, which in time could grow into full grown Cerebuses. One of the harder portions of the game was a battle against three of them where the whole point was to kill them all before you got overwhelmed through sheer numbers.
- A huge number of the bosses from World of Warcraft in a variety of ways, ranging from simple summoning to calling for help to splitting themselves into smaller pieces to creating dozens of illusions of themselves, to taking control of some players' bodies and making them help.
- In addition, many basic mobs will, after being reduced to low health, either shout for nearby mobs to assist, or run and look for them.
- Regular mobs also sometimes summon aid, normally in the form of demons or undead. Given that the expansions packs have focused on these (BC and Wrath respectively) they're found in a few instances. They are generally the cause of wipes to groups not aware of them.
- Some City of Heroes examples: Banished Pantheon Death Shamans, Rikti Communications Officers, Malta Operation Engineers, and Carnival of Shadows Master Illusionists.
- In Dungeon Fighters Online, there is an entire dungeon made of enemy summoners. Even the boss. Add to the fact that the 'highest' level of summoner in the dungeon can summon more summoners, which summon more summoners... So... Yeah.
- Guild Wars has varying forms of this. In the most basic forms, Necromancer and Ritualist enemies can summon hordes of enemies using the same skills available to the player.
- RuneScape has several of these:
- Astea Frostweb summons ice spiders to assist her.
- Her husband Lexicus Runewright will summon flying books to harass players using all combat styles.
- The Necrolords periodically summon skeletons to attack their enemies.
- Mercenary leaders call in their subordinates to deal with intruders.
- Bork summons Ork Legions to help him.
- Summoner is among the horde of trolls trying to invade a human town; he summons some of the things that players can summon.
- Nechryael summon flying death spawns to harass their foes.
- Strongbones is an undead goblin priest who summons multiple skoblins to fight the player who disturbs his rest.
- In Super Mario World, some of the Chargin' Chucks can inexplicably summon Super Koopas to bedevil you.
- In a slight variation, there's a type of underwater Chuck that will wake up EVERY Rip Van Fish in a stage. They wake up based on your proximity anyway, and chase you around, but this enemy prevents any possibility of sneaking by as they nap.
- Magikoopas, who debuted in that game, can fire blasts of hero-damaging magic that can also transform ordinary blocks into minor enemies on contact.
- A Magikoopa also appeared as a boss in Super Mario RPG. This one would summon one of several powerful creatures to hide behind, and you would have to beat them in order to attack the Magikoopa himself. Fortunately, this Magikoopa wouldn't attack you while one of his monsters was in play.
- The Grim Reaper in Kid Icarus. Don't let him spot you, or he'll summon a wave of Goddamned Bats upon you.
- There is an enemy jester in Taito's The New Zealand Story who continuously summons random enemies. He doesn't attack or harm directly the player, however.
- In general, all the bosses from the Kirby series summon something that attacks you; this is to give you some ammunition against them to keep the fight from being unwinnable.
- A flying boss in Dynamite Headdy summons little choppers, the choppers drop bombs, and the bombs explode into bullets. Whew.
- Insaniquarium's final boss is this. He summons all of the other monsters, one or two at a time. Some can be killed with one shot, making them Mooks, but others are very hard to kill. He is, however, not dangerous in his own right.
- The Queen in Starcraft has the ability to kill any organic enemy unit by spitting eggs into them. The eggs hatch into 2 Broodlings, killing the unit in the process. Able to kill Goliaths (mecha-units) and tanks through the explanation that the pilots are organic. Doesn't explain why the mecha explodes...
- It's a very explosive birth, that probably, in lore, destroys the mecha enough, and that's the only death animation the units have.
- Necromancers from War Craft III, which can summon lots of skeletons from nearby corpses if they're allowed to survive for too long, apart from also contributing their own (fairly weak) ranged attacks, and casting powerful buffs or debuffs on friendly and enemy units respectively. Fortunately, the Necromancers themselves are pretty frail, easily taken out by ranged units, siege units and anti-casters, and the skeletons are pretty easy to dispel.
- This can get hilariously out of control in mods where skeletons can summon skeletons or where skeletons leave corpses (or both).
- This is what Yorick is going to be when he is on the enemy team, as all of his abilities summon ghouls that will relentlessly chase the nearest enemy player. Well, except his ultimate ability, which creates a clone of one of his allies that said ally can control for 10 seconds if they die.
- The monster spell Summon Nasties; the bane of every Nethack game (Archons, Archons and more Archons on the Elemental Plane Of Air).
- Before that, any minor-level demon encounter has the potential to end with the player suddenly fighting Demogorgon.
- Demons in general can sometimes gate in a co-aligned demon every time they attempt an attack, which in turn can gate in more. Special mention goes to vrocks, who has six attacks per turn (so it has a larger chance to gate in things) and is sufficiently low levelled that they mostly only gate in more vrocks, who in turn can gate in more vrocks, and so on and so forth.
- Angband has many, many different types of hostile summoners. They include the quylthulgs, which are invisible, cold-blooded (so they aren't visible with infravision) fleshmounds that every turn either summon one or more monsters or teleport themselves around. A character who cannot see invisible things will have quite a problem stopping new monsters from appearing seemingly out of the blue.
- There are also many types of monsters that can chain-summon. For example, greater demons summon other greater demons of any type, including more powerful types that summon even more. Battles involving multiple demons tend to get epic. There is also the demonic quylthulg that summons exclusively greater demons.
- Breeders are a related concept. These monsters do not use summon magic but rather reproduce themselves extremely quickly. Things like white lice can easily take over the level if they are not stopped before the numbers reach a point where more new lice are born each turn than the player can potentially kill in the same span of time.
- ADOM features many summoners. The monster levelling system (amount of [monster] killed determines strength of new [monster]) means that once you've cleared out two or three packs of the same summon, any further summons will become stronger. Much stronger. This is supposed to be Anti-Grinding, but instead upgrades summoners from 'annoying' to 'kill on sight'/'avoid'.
- Werecreatures can generally summon ordinary creature of their type. Werewolf lords can summon werewolves, which are also summoners. A large room can be filled in 3-5 turns. Werewolf kings, though rare, can summon said werewolf lords.
- Blink Dogs are notable as they summon more blink dogs and can teleport at will.
- Spellcasters can often summon: black wizards summon random creatures, necromancers summon undead, liches summon either depending on type, drow wizards and priestesses summon spiders, Chaos-aligned wizards summon Chaos creatures.
- Merchants can summon additional muscle (thugs or in one case muscular dwarves) if the player is foolish/unlucky/overpowered enough to cross them.
- Several bosses also do it, most obviously Yulgash the Master Summoner.
- Like in Angband, there are also breeders, which reproduce quickly — especially when a gremlin is hit by a water trap.
- Firework Artisans in Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja will sometimes create Bombs to back them up. The Bombs are very easy to bring down, but one hit will cause them to explode, dealing heavy damage to Izuna if she's within the blast radius.
- In the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon series, any Pokemon with the Illuminate ability will cause an enemy Pokemon to appear somewhere on the floor whenever it's damaged by an attack. This includes Pokemon on your side, which makes bringing them along a good or bad thing depending on whether or not you feel like potentially having to fight hordes of enemies.
- Necromancers in Dwarf Fortress can raise any corpses and parts of corpses left lying around... and currectly, they can re-raise them any time the player succeeds in putting them down. Very little short of Boatmurdered-style doomsday weapons will permanently get rid of them unless you kill the necromancer.
- Breath of Fire IV has a sequence where you must defeat a guard before he calls for backup.
- Quite a few enemies in Golden Sun will "look for allies".
- Some enemies is Skies of Arcadia summon more of themselves.
- The Gamecube version which had bonus content had a load of tough optional bosses, two of which used this trick.
- The bell-like Dead Ringers of Dragon Quest VIII, who can summon up to eight of themselves.
- Dragon Quest III had the Goopi, who could (and did) call for more and more of themselves as you killed them. It made them great for Level Grinding, except when they randomly called out a much-tougher Granite Titan.
- And starting from Dragon Quest IV on, the player can run into groups of seemingly ordinary slimes during the mid-game... that can call in their friends. Lots of friends. And then they can fuse into a King Slime...
- Dragon Quest VIII seems to have a lot of enemies who can summon more of their kin (including the Dead Ringers' earlier variant, Magic Dumbells, who can even level themselves up) or revive monsters that you've already killed in the current battle (either by casting Zing/Kazing to resurrect one, or sacrificing themselves with Kerplunk to revive every other monster in the battle).
- There were a lot of them in Earthbound. Special mention must be made of the Loaded Dice, who only could summon other monsters - they had no other abilities.
- Final Fantasy XI has a lot of these, but a special mention has to go out to those enemies of the Summoner job class. The basic cannon fodder can only summon elementals, but the Elite Mooks can summon the elemental Avatars, and have access to the 2-Hour Astral Flow, which has that Avatar deal enough damage to pretty much One-Hit Kill anyone even remotely close to that Avatar. Thankfully, they can be slept beforehand, but they still can cause wipes in Dynamis, that's for sure.
- The Swamp Witches from Dungeon Siege, infamous for summoning Swamp Creatures with 1000 HP, sometimes several at a time!
- Ginormo Sword has the Necromancer boss, who summons various enemies previously seen in the area he's the boss for.
- Spiderweb Software's Exile series had the ability to nest summons many times over. The mooks popped through the various Summon Monster spells (or even snazzier Soul Crystal Simulacrums) were quite likely to take the tactic and run with it. Summon a Demon, and you'll soon have it summon an Imp, which in turn summons a rat. The map would quickly get extremely cluttered as both sides formed solid barriers of mooks between their respective casters, which only judicious (and satisfying!) use of area of effect spells could hope to resolve.
- The first three games of the Avernum remake series had a similar problem. The Arcane Summon spell would summon a handful of high-level monsters to fight for you. One of the possible results was the Vampire Lord monster, who could cast Arcane Summon.
- In the last three games, you have a limit on your summons (a maximum of two in Avernum 6). The enemy doesn't. Any battle with an enemy mage quickly turns into a long and tiring one (especially if your warriors need to be next to the mage to do any real damage).
- Also from Spiderweb Software, the Geneforge series' summoners could, unlike the players, shape their creations during combat.
- In a relatively rare sci-fi example, Fallout 2, the Military Base features entirely optional boss Melchior. He summons monsters of diminishing strength before joining battle himself. A determined and confident player often lets him, as he eventually runs out, meaning you get experience for all the monsters killed.
- The Master in Fallout 1 does the same with his Nightkin Hallucinations.
- The Shadow Guards from The Force Unleashed periodically summon squads of cloaked Shadowtroopers in mid-battle.
- Some enemies in The Last Remnant have the tendency to call for Reinforcements.
- The jellyfish noise in The World Ends with You have an annoying habit of replicating themselves. There's a 50% percent chance the one they spawn won't be able to divide and they're weak but it's still pretty easy to get bogged down in the things.
- Several enemies in Persona 4. One minor boss has no special abilities other than summoning copies of itself.
- Some of the level III Yarhi in Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings have the ability to do this, as well as The Judge of Wings/Mydia. However, when you've got those particular Yarhi on your side, the ability vanishes.
- In Mana Khemia, several student enemies can summon their manas to fight alongside them, most notably Renee, but they can only summon once.
- In the Grandia there are many different types of slime, all of which can split themselves into multiple slimes which can then multiply. Unless you use a critical hit on the slimes attempting this then having an unending supply of slimes to kill can be extremely irritating or even fatal.
- The Dread Refs in Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden.
- In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, you'll fight necromancers and other summon-happy sorcerers who (while usually quite squishy) can be frustratingly evasive - summoning another demon the instant you defeat the first one or it times out. These mages always summon at the begining of combat, and then switch to running away while spamming damage and status effect magic at you. Fighting groups of summoners in twisty, narrow dungeons can be harrowing.
- Worse yet (depending on your character build) are the high level skeletons, which carry high-end claymores, and summon (and re-summon) a lower-tier skeleton. While a fight against a summoning mage can be over quickly if you get past their summon and shut them down, Skeleton Champions are Made of Iron, and their pet skeletons are dangerous in their own right, and easy to confuse for the Champion in the heat of battle meaning you could inflict the killing blow; and rather than taste victory, another skeleton is instantly spawned and the battle carries on.
- Several types of demons encountered in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne will summon allies of the same type, if the enemy party has slots open for them. Or even if it doesn't.
- Some enemies in Phantasy Star IV, like the Tower series, could call in satellite enemies into battle. Then there was the Infantworm, which if a single one was left alive out of the group, would run away and summon Mom.
- Radiant Historia has several of them, ranging from soldiers to mushrooms.
- The Crescendo heartless in the Kingdom Hearts series can call in reinforcements if it's left alone long enough. This coupled with its ability to completely heal its allies makes it a top priority target.
- The Qurupeco has this ability in Monster Hunter 3, by imitating the calls of other monsters. It usually calls groups of small monsters, but push it enough, and there's a good chance it'll decide to call in something much worse then it is. It'll also make it a note to call any other large monsters that are already present on the map over to its location, which can make dealing with it a serious pain. There is also one creature known as a Deviljho that naturally preys on the Qurupeco. Sometimes the Qurupeco will summon one of these to deal with you, only for the Deviljho to turn right around and slaughter it.
- Mega Man X: Command Mission, the only game to operate from a purely turn-based interface, has several enemies with summon abilities. For instance Bee Bladers can summon Deerballs, while the Gold Bladers can summon Gold or Silver Mettaurs, turning the fight into a mad scramble to wipe them out before they all flee. Many smaller or weaker enemies also have the SOS ability, which summons another enemy of like type when used. Most worryingly, Bonus Boss Fivetails has this ability. This means the clones of him just keep coming and it is almost mandatory to contrive of a way to kill all of them simultaneously, as any clone can use the Annihilator Hadoken. Worst of all, A Fivetails clone can choose to simply Self Destruct to instantly wipe out one of you party members, then have one of the remaining Fivetails summon a fresh clone at full health to take the place of the fallen one.
Shoot Em Up
- The secret form of Rusted dragon and Perpetual Calendar does this.
- Technically, a large majority of enemies in the game do this. The bullets—particularly, the ones that can be slowed down and nullified with your Battle Aura—are actually microscopic spirits known as "Faint Ones". The Executors use these as well.
- The Escape Velocity series featured ships that can carry smaller fighters, many of which are decent threats by themselves. Game by game breakdown Carried ships can also be retrieved and redeployed fully healed immediately, even if they are disabled in battle. With plugins, it is possible to give a ship a fighter bay that deploys that same type of ship, often leading to a chaotic battle where only the engine limitations keep things under control.
- Dungeons & Dragons has quite a few monsters which can use the Gate spell to bring allies to their side, notably demons, devils and celestial beings.
- Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 2nd Edition also had the Deepspawn - a rubbery ball of tentacles, mouths, and eyestalks that can make a physical duplicate (though without the special abilities) of anything it's ever eaten. These duplicates could use weapons and armor to fight whatever threatened the Deepspawn.
- A cursed villain from the Ravenloft supplement Carnival is afflicted with this trope. He's not so lucky as to summon the freakish little Mooks he calls upon; rather, they bud off his flesh as corporeal manifestations of his evil thoughts and emotions.
- Necron Tomb Spyders in Warhammer 40,000 could manufacture scarab swarms in battle, while some of the beasts in a Tyranid swarm can generate and expel Spore Mines.
- Later chapters of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn have the enemies abusing their uber Warp staff to summon in reinforcements. Even without magic staff, Fire Emblem bosses have a habit of bringing out reinforcements from no where.
- Some species of ant are attracted by the chemicals that their species releases into the air upon death. Bees and wasps act the same way.
- Some extremely unpleasant species of tropical South American wasps will squirt their venom onto large animals (including humans), partly to harm said intruders, and partly to summon reinforcements (who are drawn by the scent of attack pheromones in the venom). These same wasps can also whip their sisters into an attacking frenzy simply by drumming their abdomens on the walls of their own nests.
- Though they haven't usually been attacked in modern warfare, AWACS (with the big spinning radar) planes are generally this. Due to their value, they are relatively high priority targets for opposing fighters but they have the advantage that they can easily call friendly fighters to them as they control the overall air war.