"Every first-person game seems to have these tiny little enemies that hop at your face, are hard to hit and, worst of all, are unsatisfying to kill."
They probably ain't gonna kill
you like them Demonic Spiders
over there, but they're certainly going to harass you and slow you down, making it easier for something else
to kill you.
Almost every video game has them. These are the enemies that are just a speed bump, even if they are not outright dangerous. They're not difficult to defeat, but because of the frequency with which they appear, they can become a significant hindrance to the player, and they usually don't give you enough of a reward to make fighting them truly worth it, either. Even the explosion
made by killing them is paltry compared to other enemies.
They're the goddamn bats, man.
A key trait is that they generally don't pose too large of a threat on their own; they're more annoying than deadly. When an enemy starts posing an actual threat, then it's a case of Demonic Spiders
and, in extreme cases, the Boss in Mook Clothing
Note that this designation applies to any
type of non-threatening enemy
whose purpose is to stall and harass the player. Goddamned Bats are common in Platformers
, where they enjoy disturbing precision jumping.
They don't have to be bats. The best definition of the Goddamned Bats trope is that they are not only common enemies that will swamp you, and they are not only disgustingly easy to kill on their own, but they are also unsatisfying to fight - they take no skill to defeat, in RPGs
they don't provide much (if any) experience or gold when beaten, and they aren't even particularly interesting as enemies, and are sometimes flat-out annoying. A famous example of this are the Zubats in the Pokemon series.
Other following factors can contribute to a game having Goddamned Bats:
Occasionally, Goddamned Bats can be a result of the setting; for example, a water level
can inadvertently graft Goddamned Bats characteristics onto any
enemy if the game has poor movement controls
See Goddamned Boss
for bosses with these characteristics. Compare The Usual Adversaries
. For literal bats that God has damned, see Bat out of Hell
Anime and Manga
- One Piece has Gecko Moria whose main method of 'attack' is to hide behind a cloud of regenerating shadow bats as hard as bricks and run away when his opponent's not looking. Cue the protagonist spending the entire fight wandering around the forest looking for his enemy.
- The White Zetsu from Naruto are this in straight-up battle, due to their main skills being infiltration and assassination.
- Piranhas became this in an episode of River Monsters, in which Jeremy constantly caught piranhas, when he wasn't just having his bait stolen.
- In Community, the hippies act as this when the group plays an important video game created by Pierce's elitist father.
- A Tom Slick cartoon had Tom in Transylvanian race and he quips "Oh, rats! Bats!" upon beeing attacked by the winged creatures.
- Scooby-Doo and his teenage buddies are constantly beseiged by bats. In "Decoy For A Dognapper," Shaggy and Velma are flailing away trying to avoid a flock of bats and Shaggy quips that they'd call that dance "the Batusi!"
- The Danger Mouse episode "Duckula Meets Frankenstoat" has Dr. Frankenstoat having created a machine that will make a flock of bats—a flock of cricket bats with vampire wings.