exist in video games for one reason and one reason only: to make your life hard (and your death easy)
. They touch you
, they spit stuff at you
, they push you around...
However, sometimes the designers mix things up at bit, and you'll run into a Helpful Mook
. While they look like mooks, walk like mooks, and talk like mooks—they even generally show up on your Enemy Scan
as a baddie—these guys aren't as dangerous as their companions. They generally come in two flavors:
- The Genuinely Gentle: Though they have all the traits of Mooks, these guys wouldn't hurt a fly. They do beneficial things for you when you encounter them, such as heal you, give you useful items, and other handy things. Unless they're made to be abused, attacking these guys is one of the purest forms of Videogame Cruelty Potential there is—What the Hell, Player? However, they may be prone to making you shout, "Stop Helping Me!!"
- The Accidentally Assisting: The Minions With An F In Evil of the mook world, these guys may attempt to menace you, but end up going about things the wrong way. Either you can trick them into helping you instead of the bad guys, their "attacks" actually end up doing something useful for you like helping you get to a place you need to be, or you can climb on them. Common in puzzle platformers.
May be used as a form of Fairy Battle
. Compare Savage Setpiece
Examples of the Genuinely Gentle:
- The Walking Bushie enemy in Mother 3. They cast healing PSI on your party and then run away. The enemy guide on Starmen.net even says: "Don't be a jerk and attack it or anything."
- In the first Mother game, there was an enemy that looked like a pair of floating Gracho Marx glasses. If you let it, it would eventually say "Hello!" And flee the battle... Giving you more XP than you would get for killing it. Better yet? You find this in one of the first areas you go to.
- The Mamuta in the Pikmin games. While you can attack them —and you have to do so to get one treasure in Pikmin 2—, all they do is smash your Pikmin into the ground... instantly transforming them to the highest, "flower" level.
- They can do real damage, though only by pure accident, if you have yellow Pikmin armed with bomb-rocks get stomped. Oops on the level of 100 dead Pikmin and the hapless Mamuta.
- They can hurt Olimar, too, but you have to get all up in its grill to do so. Which, of course, you kind of have to to pick all the flower Pikmin he smashed into the ground.
- The Zebon enemy in Kirby's Dreamland 3 and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is considered a mook by both games. While it does eat Kirby, it promptly spits him back out again with great force—propelling him to heights he can't reach otherwise, with enough speed to defeat any other mooks in his way.
- Pixies in Final Fantasy XI will heal players who don't attack them.
- The Nurses from NetHack deal very little damage with their attacks normally... but if you disrobe while fighting them, their attacks start to heal you instead.
- And in one of the more disturbing examples of Videogame Cruelty Potential, canning their dead body produces one of the game's most potent healing items, a (blessed) tin of nurse meat, though human characters will get a large Luck penalty and become even more hated by monsters if they ever use it.
- Dr. Arewo Stein in Wario Land 4. He almost exclusively appears in bonus rooms, and he can be knocked around and thrown like any enemy, but he can't be killed. It's usually necessary to use him as a projectile to solve the rooms' puzzles.
- The first Wario Land had the Wanderin' Goom; it had no way to hurt you but you could still kill it for a coin.
- Kingdom Hearts has the White Mushrooms, and if you hit them with the right spell three times (e.g. if they are shivering, use Fire magic on them), they will drop a lot of magic orbs, a specific 'Arts' item for the magic you used and sometimes a rare item or two.
- In the first Jafar battle in Kingdom Hearts 1, Genie is controlled by Jafar and commanded to attack you, but for the most part he's just a helpful mook; his attacks don't do very much damage and make HP orbs appear all around you so that you can recover the health quickly.
- Rippers are enemies that are found in many Metroid games, typically in tall vertical rooms flying in a horizontal path between the walls. Although they will hurt you if you collide with them, their primary purpose is to be frozen by the ice beam and function as makeshift platforms.
- Super Metroid had the Shacktool, a digging robot in one room. While it could hurt you if you stood in the way of its blades, it was actually helpful as it would dig up an item for you.
- Breath of Fire 3 has an enemy called 'Drak' in the Desert of Death, which is 'paralyzed by the heat' when you encounter it. If you heal its paralysis, it will cast a very powerful healing spell (which you can learn) on one of your allies and then flee the battle.
- Give certain rare enemies in Final Fantasy IX a particular item and they grant a large amount of AP. Plus, find and "help" them all, and Bonus Boss Ozma becomes vulnerable to Shadow-elemental magic, meaning when he uses only such spell that hits both parties, he damages himself instead of healing himself. He also becomes targettable by normal physical attacks.
- The Magic Pots in Final Fantasy V work the same way in terms of AP, though there's no reward for finding them all.
- Whereas most moving objects on the screen are deadly to touch, the Green Ball in Q*bert gives a point bonus and briefly stops time... as long as you jump on top of it. Getting hit in the head with a Green Ball will still cost Q*bert a life.
- In Final Fantasy II, there are enemies called Green Souls, which will constantly cast Cure VI on your party members, won't attack, and they absorb all magic. The only way to beat them (but why would you want to? It's free healing!) is with physical attacks.
- In Red Faction, the medics employed by Ultor will heal you whenever you need it. And yet it gives such great pleasure to put a bullet in their alarm-setting heads once they do. Even if you don't intend to kill them though, they have an annoying habit of running into the line of fire.
- The Camelia Smiles in Killer7. They run screaming when they see you, but if you hit their weak spot, you get massive amounts of blood. According to Iwazaru, they're traitors to the Heaven Smiles.
- Super Mario Bros.:
- Koopa Troopas In Super Mario 64. They can't even hurt Mario, in fact running way from him, and you could ride their shell after defeating them. They make Goombas look like super soldiers.
- Super Mario Bros. 3 gives us parabeetles, a tribute to Super Mario Bros. 2's albatoss. Both can be ridden, though parabeetles form an arc when you ride on them. Moreover, they can be killed if you whip your tail at them, or while on them. Because of this, they can still be Demonic Spiders, since the one level they're in becomes That One Level without the ability to control your descent, from the same power-ups.
- Super Mario World has dolphins, who jump up out of the water and act as moving platforms. In the Japanese version they could be eaten by Yoshi- this was removed in the English one, as much from Values Dissonance as eating them could make levels Unwinnable.
- It should be noted that the dolphins wear scuba masks, as do any type of Mook in the Mario series that cannot harm you and act more as moving platforms. Other examples are Dorrie from Super Mario 64 (though it only wears the scuba mask in the DS version), and the giant flying manta rays in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. In the sky. In a jungle-themed level.
- The game also has Mega Moles as well, giant versions of Monty Moles. Whilst they do have Collision Damage if you walk into them, if you jump on top you get a free ride, and this is needed to cover some pits with ferocious plantlife.
- A good amount of the random foes in Klonoa probably qualify, as even though they hurt you by touching you, they are not overly aggressive, and are necessary stepping stones to higher areas, or as ammunition against more aggressive foes.
- In Vivendi Universal's The Hobbit, the final level has a rather intimidating looking orc hidden behind a wall. If you walk up to him, he will tell you that he is tired of the fighting, and won't hurt you (you can't hurt him either). He also has a handy supply of healing mushrooms scattered all around him.
- In Mega Man X: Command Mission, there is the Preon Nurse. If you kill all the enemies in the group but her, she will surrender, heal your characters and leave, and even thanks you for sparing her. And you will still net the items that drop when you kill her. However, Video Game Cruelty Potential arises because you can kill her before the turn she uses to escape comes up.
- In Kirby's Epic Yarn, the Waddle Dees simply bump into you for no damage. The also tend to fall down and make a squeaky noise. In some areas, you can step on their heads to jump to new heights.
- In Pokémon Black and White, you have the Pokémon Audino. They drop mountains of exp, and will often use Heal Pulse on you, which recovers your health. Even in-game it's noted how helpful they are. They've become a fan-favorite because of this and most people feel bad for Audino-grinding afterwards.
- Not to mention Concordia and Anthea, the "godesses" of Team Plasma who heal your Pokémon and provide crucial exposition about the guy you're about to face.
- Similarly, Black and White introduced Nurses and Doctors; trainers who act like a Pokemon center visit after defeating them, and every time you talk to them thereafter. Very useful, since they usually show up about halfway into a dungeon, and aren't very difficult to defeat.
- Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire often have the last mook of the building the local Villain Team sieged tell you where they would go next and say that you shouldn't try to follow them... because they were just about to own you with their two Zubat per member.
- In the Pokémon Rumble series, the only move Audino uses when it's encountered as an enemy is Heal Pulse, which makes them a convenient way to restore your HP, as you can easily outdamage any healing they give to your enemies in the process.
- Bug! has chameleons in the desert stage. They would grab Bug by their tongue and eat him... and then spit him out onto a higher platform without any harm, sometimes required to get to certain areas in the level. You could still choose to kill them, though.
- In the first The Legend of Zelda, blue Bubbles (which only appear in the second quest) do not damage Link at all. Their only function is to remove the "no sword use" curse that pink Bubbles can inflict on Link.
- In BloodRayne, instead of just killing the mooks, Rayne is able to feed on them by drinking their blood, which restores her health. She is a dhampyr, after all.
- Moreover, there are some enemies who carry no weapons and only serve to provide health.
Examples of the Accidentally Assisting: