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Helpful Mook
Most Mooks 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.
  • 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 plant life.
      • One Fishing Lakitu holds out a 1-Up mushroom for you. He'll try to kill you after you grab it, but it still means the most he can do is break even.
  • 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 Pokemon 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.
    • Pokemon 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.
  • The Muddy Buddy in Yoshi's Island. When Yoshi hops on it, it coats his feet in mud, allowing him to walk on top of spikes.

Examples of the Accidentally Assisting:

  • There's an insectoid enemy in Metroid Prime 3 that latches on to Samus while she's in Morph Ball mode and lift her up, carrying her to new areas. You just have to shake them off before another, nearby critter tries to eat you.
    • Many Metroid games require you to use enemies frozen with the ice beam as platforms to progress at some point. Metroid Prime also has harmless critters with a convenient "magnetic signature" floating over a few gaps, allowing you to swing across with the grapple beam.
  • Xenogears has repair Gears that show up to heal their comrades. Kill their comrades and they'll repair you for free. How nice.
    • There are also Genuinely Gentile versions that appear on the world map and act as Gear shops, allowing you to repair, refuel, and buy new parts. You even have the option of fighting them if you want (by saying "I don't trust you"), but after you win it's removed from the map.
  • Final Fantasy XII has the Happy Bunny type enemy, an adorable looking monster that usually won't attack you except in self-defense. They heal any injured creatures near them, which is helpful if you're the one hurt, but annoying if they're healing your enemies.
    • It's worse when they heal foes since they will use better spells or items on enemies and use cheaper versions on your party.
  • Final Fantasy VIII had the bonus boss Diablo, which could be made to Curaga you by casting its own Demi on it. It had to be drawn, and then cast, instead of cast direct though.
  • The Tricker/Li'l Murderer enemy from Final Fantasy IV only uses Scan on itself to show it's weak against lightning. If you use a lightning spell on it, it will rain the hurt down on you. But if you don't, it'll just keep casting Scan until it's dead.
    • To be specific, it will attack solely with high-powered lightning spells. It still retains its weakness however, so if you use a Lunar Curtain to give your party Reflect status, it'll only murder itself.
  • Kingdom of Loathing's Aeris parody will usually try to attack you, but every so often heal you instead "out of habit". This becomes even more useful once you get dexterous enough to dodge all of her normal attacks, since her healing move can't miss, meaning you can intentionally prolong the fight, easily getting over 100 HP healed.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario 64 has the flipper enemies, which would launch you into the air many times higher than you could jump. Usually harmless, but it might hurt if you don't land in water or a higher surface.
      • Also present is this glitch, which allows you to get through unopened gates by having alerted Bob-ombs push you through them.
    Motherfucker Mike: Thanks, asshole!
    • In Super Mario RPG, the pirates hurt each other more than you hurt them.
    • Super Mario Bros. 2 has a level in which you need to ride on Birdo's egg to progress. The same Birdo used to be a miniboss in earlier levels.
    • Koopa Troopas again, in Mario Clash! While they could hurt you, they were ineffective, and throwing their shells was the only way to defeat every enemy except them. Even the Goombas were tougher!
    • Super Mario Galaxy is absolutely full of these. Cataquacks launch Mario into the air, Bullet Bills can be tricked into blowing up certain objects, Koopas are almost completely harmless and yield a shell upon defeat (used for Mario's only ranged attack without a power-up), some Topmen have springs Mario can jump off of, Bob-Ombs can be thrown after being defeated...
    • In Super Mario 3D Land, one of the Rocky Wrenches in World 8-3 will throw coins at you instead of its signature wrenches.
    • There are potted Piranha Plants in Super Mario 3D World that will attack you just like any other Piranha Plant in the game, but if you grab them as items, they will eat any other enemy that moves in front of you (including other players).
  • Bubbles in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past are dreaded for being fast-moving and Nigh Invulnerable, but if you sprinkle magic powder on them, they'll transform into a healing fairy. Thus, the neophyte looks upon them with revulsion, and the knowledgable player with glee.
    • In addition, the hidden bats in caves will attempt to "curse" you, but instead giving you a beneficial effect. For example, they will curse you to have to lug around twice as many bombs (double bomb capacity) or that your magic will be reduced by half (actually reduces your magic costs by half, making you effectively have double magic).
    • In The Wind Waker, Moblins carry halberds that are easily three times as tall as Link. And they are so bad at using them that they will regularly miss Link altogether and hit the mook standing next to them, knocking them clean off their feet. They then waste two seconds staring at the guy they knocked over.
      • Darknuts can be induced to smack any enemies near them at will by simply performing a spin attack, which they'll imitate regardless of whether you're range of them or not.
    • In Link's Awakening, the Mad Batters return to increase your bombs, magic powder, and arrow capacity. Bubbles can also be transformed as before, but with the boomerang instead of magic powder.
  • In The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning, the level Dante's Freezer is full of these. There are two kinds of enemies, apes and ice soldiers, and since they are at war with each other, they'll often show up to kill each other in the middle of a battle. One notable instance is when you come across a huge fortress stuffed full of ice soldiers, but before they even see you, an ape runs over and blows the ENTIRE thing up, killing everyone (including himself). Dreadwings also have a habit of dropping bombs on hordes of ice soldiers even while you're still fighting them.
  • Similar to the Link to the Past example, in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, several creepy looking ghosts will "curse" you with new special abilities like folding into an airplane, or being able to turn sidewise. They are very pleased with themselves and don't seem to even realize how helpful they are. It's implied that the ghosts are the original four heroes that sealed away the Shadow Queen, and are cursed to curse others. They each apparently came up with the idea to only tell a great hero how to open them, and then "curse" them with something helpful.
  • In the obscure Nintendo 64 platformer Rocket: Robot on Wheels, there are mushroom (and marshmallow) enemies that roll and grab on to you. While they can't hurt you, they do make it impossible to walk, and you can only jump slightly. However, if you jump three times in quick succession, they spit you out, letting you jump extremely high.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, the Marble Garden Zone has enemies that disguise themselves as spikes and shoot out projectiles when you get close. However, the spikes aren't really spikes, but bendy rubber ones that act as springs.
    • Also, rarely in the earlier games but prevalent from Adventure and on, you will often have enemies that float around waiting to be killed by Sonic's homing attack, so Sonic can use the momentum to reach other parts of the stage. In certain games, they will even respawn if you somehow fail the jumps.
  • Succubi and Incubi in NetHack have a variety of positive and negative effects that happen if you let them disrobe you. However, for a decently-leveled character, the negative effects are easily remedied, while the positive effects are very good.
  • Every single transformation causing enemy in Wario Land 2 and after. They have various attacks and what not, but the attacks do not physically harm Wario, just transforming him in some (often helpful) way. You've got enemies that set him on fire so he can smash fire blocks, enemies that flatten him so he can go through small passages and vampire bats which turn him into a vampire with flight and invincibility powers.
  • The famous Platform Hell Super Mario World ROM Hack Super Kaizo World has stages where you have to use a walking cactus enemy to ferry you across a bed of killer plants ("MOVE FASTER, POKEY!!!") or jump on one Bullet Bill after another to make it across an incredibly wide Bottomless Pit.
    • On a related note, those aforementioned Dolphins? Yeah, they can kill you. Or rather, push you into obstacles that can.
  • Due to how aggressively the AI functions in Phantom Brave, by standing atop the enemy there's a nearly 50/50 chance they'll attack/steal from you or their friend. Can be a big lifesaver late in the game when you place a 'small' unit atop a 'large' type enemy with more body space for the AI to accidentally target. This is true even of some area effect skills which are more horizontal than vertical, or attack skills which have a very small range of effect (like the vase primary attack) but are counted as capable of attacking multiple foes.
  • Part of Wild9's gooey overall platforming mechanic was gumming up the works of various traps by oh-so-helpfully lifting random foes into them until the traps stopped working. Some traps didn't, however, and the respawning enemies represented merely a temporary stepping stone.
  • A number of bosses in World of Warcraft summon minions who are the only way to defeat them. For one example, Grand Widow Faerlina's servants will dispel her powerful frenzy mode if killed next to her.
    • In the original (unexpanded) World of Warcraft, when Ragnaros in Molten Core was the final boss, some players discovered that some of the mobs from the nearby Blackrock Spire instance could be mind-controlled and would provide a significant fire resistance buff, which is very useful for the Ragnaros encounter. It is unclear whether this usage was intentional on blizzard's part.
  • Vultures, dragonflies and flying beetles in the Donkey Kong Country games are usually there for you to bounce off of and reach something out of normal jumping distance.
  • The enemies in Boulder Dash (and other game clones) help to open up spaces, when they explode on death.
  • The enemies in the Wii version of A Boy and His Blob. Some of them help to hold down Pressure Plates, some of them throw you while being in a bubble, some of them kill other enemies or crush walls. Finally, you can ride on top of some of them if they have an Anvil on Head.
  • In Devil May Cry 4, you've got a Blitz, painful to deal with Mini-Boss, who is, however, blind, and thus it can accidentally hurt other enemies.
    • Also, Angelos, Gladii and Basilisks will fight with other demons and vice versa which can be helpful(Although it happens only in Legendary Dark Knight Mode, PC only, with literally one exception in mission 17, where two Alto Angelos confront a Faust).
  • Doctor in Contra Hard Corps summons Mix-and-Match Critters if you choose to fight him. One of them is a cute tiny flower which gives you several weapons.
  • The rocket zombie, a popular enemy in Doom modding. They tend to be more dangerous for foes than for the player due to their frequency of friendly fire and splash damage.
    • For that matter, almost every monster in Doom can be made to serve this purpose with careful play; most monsters can be manipulated into inflicting friendly fire, and will retaliate in kind if attacked by another baddie. Manipulating this is important on the highest difficulty settings.
  • Stretching the definition of Mook—while Feral Chaos in Dissidia: Final Fantasy most definitely wants the player dead (as well as the rest of existence), his summon, Shinryu, is a little more ambiguous—all of his "helping" of Chaos can be either nullified or turned around to hurt Chaos, really badly, and with ease. Thank you, Shinryu, for locked 9999 Bravery, couldn't have done it without you. It makes sense when you realize that by the time the player fights Feral Chaos, Shinryu as a character really does hate him and probably would like to see him dead.
  • In the monster hunter series, since the various mooks can deal scratch damage, they may ultimately assist you in killing huge enemies and even their own leader.
  • Robots in Stealth Bastard can push down Pressure Plates and block laser beams.
  • In Ōkami and its sequel, there are times you wear a (literally) Paper-Thin Disguise. Any NPC you encounter while you do this that would normally treat you as an enemy while you're wearing the disguise will help you get wherever you need to go. There is also an element of Type 1 in that in certain dungeons in both games, imp merchants will appear to sell you goods before you go to fight bosses.
  • Rayman Origins has bird enemies that Blow You Away. They can keep you off platforms and push you around... but sometimes they'll help you reach high areas you couldn't before.
    • There are also dragon waiters whose trays you can ride and use as platforms, but will breathe fire at you or kick you if you approach them from the side.
  • Resident Evil 4 introduced mooks who toss firecrackers, which has roughly the same damage and blast radius of a Hand Grenade. However because of the way the game has set it up, it will only deal damage to the player if it landed right under their feet, otherwise your character will casually shrug it off by covering his face. The enemies, unfortunately, don't know this trick, and will often have a whole pack of them blown to pieces by their clumsy comrade without the player lifting a finger.
    • And, if you manage to hit their firecracker, it'll explode instantly, making him a very useful mobile Explosive Barrel.
    • And then there's the RPG mooks. Sure, it deals a lot of damage, but when you've realised that it has the same property of a grenade, which makes you safe as long as you are 2 inches away from the blast, it quickly became a conventional way to take down the Giant Mooks, much to their dismay.
    • The Giant Mooks themselves are arguably even worse. While Resident Evil 5's Executioner Majini and Gattlin Majini are menacing, their attacks tend to hurt their minions more than the player, who can easily dodge much of it by casually strifing sideways.
  • Left 4 Dead 2 while the clown infected does attract other infected, they mostly follow the clown first. This makes it easier for you to shoot them all in a tight group.
  • The haunted burger enemies in Ninja Baseball Bat Man. While they can damage you, you can "beat" them by hitting them once, making their eyes fall off, and they become harmless. After which pressing the attack button when near them will have your character eat them for a decent amount of health!
  • In Iji there are several occasions in which you can trick an enemy into firing a rocket at a breakable wall or at you to access a secret. There's no specific enemy for this, but it usually happens with Tasen Soldiers.
  • In Bubble Trouble, most of the enemies can push bubbles at the hero and attempt to squish him. However, their bubble-pushing can also kill other enemies, or even pick up bonus bubbles that drift up from the bottom of the screen.
    • There's also Normal the Shark, who tries to spit bubbles to ensnare the hero. However, his bubbles can ensnare another enemy instead, or even himself.
  • Something series
    • The entire gimmick of Punches on Cold Ice. Mario has to be punched by the Punches in order to cross the vast gaps in the level.
    • The gimmick of spin-jumping on Torpedo Ted is used in Pain Fortress and Crazy Night.
  • Mega Man X occasionally has enemies that provide more help than harm: the Pararoid V-1 mechaniloid drone, for instance, attempts to latch on to X's head, but does no damage. Instead, it takes over the function for one of the action buttons and effectively mashes that button until it's shaken off. Constant dashing and non-stop jumping are rather annoying, if fairly harmless. However, about a third of the time, the Pararoid will instead provide X with non-stop rapid-fire buster shots while not limiting his movement or agility (as only one drone at a time may latch on to X). If you get 'infected' with one of these particular drones, feel free to park X next to a Giant Mook and have a good laugh at how quickly you can blow through the many enemies with no Mercy Invincibility against standard shots.
  • In Dark Souls II there are a few obstacles, mostly in Aldia's Keep, that can only be circumvented by tricking Giant Mooks into smashing them.

Heavily Armored MookMooksInvincible Minor Minion
Giant MookVillainsHenchmen Race

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