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Video Game Examples
- Your Ugly Cute Minions in Overlord, who even get their own DS spin-off.
- The Sharpclaw Tribe in Star Fox Adventures.
- The Octoroks and the Moblins/Bokoblins in The Legend of Zelda have been iconic with a fair amount of merchandise. Bokoblins even got an amiibo for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
- The Arctic Warfare soldiers in the original Metal Gear Solid. While the game has other types of enemy soldiers, the arctic variants are the only ones that appear in the VR missions and are used to represent the original MGS in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus. Even Genola, a giant genome soldier who appears in the VR missions added in Metal Gear Solid: Integral and Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, is dressed in arctic warfare gear.
- Metroids. Although they are generally Elite Mooks at the very least when they appear.
- Mega Man Legends featured Tron Bonne and her army of Servbots, little smiley-faced Lego men who obey her every instruction (although not always to the letter). They behave like children (Tron even refers to them as her kids), generally getting into trouble and making mischief, and when Mega Man faces them on the field of battle (usually piloting the Bonne Family's latest generation of mayhem-making machine), the little guys themselves can't actually be destroyed. Although you can kick them for health, if you're feeling mean. Whenever Tron appears in a crossover game her Servbots are guaranteed to be somewhere nearby.
- The Kittens from Tail Concerto and Poulets from SkyGunner are practically Expies of Servbots, all legions of childlike, invincible minions who pilot the villains' battle machines. Of course, Kittens are the only ones who aren't robots, and you are tasked with actually removing them from the battlefield...which involves shooting them with a bubble gun and teleporting them back to the police station.
- Shadow Heartless, the single weakest enemies of the Kingdom Hearts series. It helps that they're adorable. There's also the Soldier, the second-weakest Heartless and most well-known example of the Emblem Heartless with several variations to go with it. With the release of Dream Drop Distance, the Meow Wow Spirit has become a second mascot, representing Dream Eaters at large.
- Rabites from the World of Mana series: Small, legless creatures with rabbit-like ears, a cottonpuff tail, and at their higher levels especially, one mean bite. Some entries in the series even allow you to have a Rabite as your own sidekick.
- Rune Factory has the Woolies, adorable bipedal sheep. Since the series a spin-off of Harvest Moon with monster battles and exploration added, the woolies can actually be tamed and used as a source of wool.
- Dark Souls has the Black Knights◊, who dominate official artwork and promotional material.
- Monster Hunter has one monster grace the cover per game.
- Rathalos for the original Monster Hunter (and Felynes also for the entire series), Azure Rathalos for 3 Ultimate's Western release, Seregios for the Japanese and European release of 4 Ultimate, Tigrex for Freedom 2, Nargacuga for Freedom Unite, Brachydios for the Japanese version of 3 Ultimate, Lagiacrus for 3, Zinogre for Portable 3rd, Gore Magala for Monster Hunter 4 and the American release of 4 Ultimate (It also represents the Monster Hunter franchise as a whole in Sonic The Hedgehog Mega Man Worlds Unite) and Kushala Daora for 2, making it the first Elder Dragon to grace a game cover.
- Rathalos and Rathian serve as this for the series in general, having appeared in every game in the series and being subject to tons of merchandise, as well as the Yian Kut-Ku. There's also the Felynes and Melynxes, who have become popular enough that they make more non-mook appearances than mook appearances, though they're definitely still mooks.
Beat Em Up
- The Dragon Quest franchise's Slimes, which subvert prior RPG depictions of the Blob Monster by being teardrop-shaped and having large goofy smiles on their faces. The regular blue slimes are the first enemies encountered in the games and one of the weakest; however, they come in a a plethora of variations including the nigh-indestructible Metal Slime and the gigantic King Slime. They are probably one of the most well-recognized RPG monsters in gaming history, spawning tons of merchandise (in Japan, at least). There's even a DS title starring one: Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime.
- The Dragon Quest VI remake also retooled monster recruiting, limiting it to a handful of specific slimes (and one dragon).
- In the Dragon Quest Monsters games, there is a whole (elemental) family just for all the different types of slimes in the series.
- Second to the Slimes are the Platypunks, who show up in the more recent Itadaki Street games as playable characters.
- Final Fantasy has no shortage of these.
- The classic titles feature Tonberry, a little green-skinned hooded guy, Cactuar, a running cactus, and Malboro, a giant stinky plant; Final Fantasy XI features its own take on Goblins, and the little Mandragora people. All of these have been immortalized in plushie form.
- Moreover, it seems that they attempt to add a new one with each iteration. Final Fantasy I introduced Goblins. Malboros came into play in Final Fantasy II, with Chocobos expanding into battles in later titles. Final Fantasy III saw the first appearance of Moogles. In Final Fantasy IV there was the debut of the Zus. Final Fantasy V brought Tonberries and Magic Pots to the world. Final Fantasy VI was where Cactuars made their introduction.
- Bombs, who even made a cameo appearance in Kingdom Hearts II.
- The Poo Snake from Blue Dragon was an intentional attempt to create one of these, because of the Cliché Storm theme. It worked - you can recruit one named Poopie in the sequel. They're basically Slimes, with all their Underground Monkeys.
- And the Punis, the Slimes-by-another-name of the Atelier series.
- Shin Megami Tensei has Jack Frost, who is the spirit of winter as a cute snowman dressed up like a clown. He has a bunch of related "Frost" type characters in each game to go along with him, such as his Distaff Counterpart Strawberry Frost and Evil Twin Black Frost. There's also Bonus Boss King Frost.
- To a lesser extent is Cerberus, who is usually the player's first summonable demon in every game. Because the novel the series was based on had Cerberus as the main character's most dependable demon ally. Though this Cerberus is actually a white lion with a dragon tail instead of a hellhound (Cerberus is often depicted with 3 heads modernly, the number is inconsistent in the myths).
- Also to a lesser extent is the Pixie, being probably as close to a Cute Monster Girl that you can get from MegaTen.
- Mara is also a pretty famous recurring demon, by virtue of being a giant Gag Penis.
- Alice also applies, though less of a masoct mook and more of a mascot horror.
- The radish-like Kopins from the Luminous Arc series.
- The Phantasy Star games had Rappies (known as Chirpers, Warblers and Squawkers in Phantasy Star III). They're become especially prominent in Phantasy Star Online 2, where they've gained a Super-Deformed appearance, and have numerous weapons and costumes featuring them.
- EarthBound and the rest of the Mother saga have the Starmen, sort of. A Final Starman is featured on the EarthBound cover, though the encounter depicted there does not exactly occur in the game itself. Also, the Pigmask Army in MOTHER 3.
- Pikachu from Pokémon is a classic example. A rare mon who only appeared in one to two areas each in the entire original game, it quickly became an Ensemble Darkhorse, and Nintendo noticed.
- Dogoos (slimes with dog-like features) are the most readily-recognizable enemy in the Neptunia series.
First Person Shooter
- The brain-devouring, body-possessing Headcrabs from the Half-Life series have been merchandised as plushies and even hats. (Someone in the game itself even keeps a Headcrab as a pet.)
- Duke Nukem has the pig cops, who, since their appearance in Duke Nukem 3D, have proven to be the most popular enemies; since that game, they've appeared in many spin-offs of the main series.
- The Boomer in the Left 4 Dead franchise has gotten popular enough to have Valve's store sell a plushie of the said bloated special infected, complete with sounds it makes in the game if you press the boils on its belly. Plushies of the other special infected are in the works.
- Descent had two of these, owing to their at-the-time unique designs: The Class One Drone◊ and the Medium Lifter◊. A recolored Medium Lifter was on the Box Art for ''Descent 2''◊ (although the Medium Lifter was replaced by the similar-looking Diamond Claw◊ for Descent 2), and the Class One Drones were in a few places in Descent 3.
- The Big Daddies for the first two BioShock games, specially the Bouncer. The Little Sisters, too, even if they're not Mooks.
- The Cacodemon from Doom.
- Psychos from Borderlands and Borderlands 2. They're on the cover of both games for a reason. The second game even features a heroic Psycho as a playable character.
- The Helghast soldier from Killzone. In fact in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale the one representing Killzone is their Colonel Badass leader, Colonel Mael Radec.
- The Chimera Hybrid is this for Resistance.
- Imperial Stormtroopers are among many contenders to the title of The Star Wars Mascot, but in the Dark Forces Saga, they appear and the other guys (Yoda, Darth Vader, R2D2 etc) don't. So this makes the Stormtroopers de facto mascot mooks of the series.
- The Headless Kamikazes for Serious Sam. They were even the focus of the first trailer for Serious Sam 3.
- The Panzerhund from Wolfenstein: The New Order. By the virtue of being both unique and menacing, it is featured heavily in trailers, promotional artwork, the game's booth on E3◊, and as a collector's edition bonus. And it's also now also available as papercraft!
Massively Multiplayer Online RPG
- The Murlocs from World of Warcraft. They got their own song, and are sold as plushie toys. Most famous critter in the game, mostly due to the sound it makes when it attacks. Players can even get baby murlocs as pets and they are often part the annual Blizzcon events.
- Fallens and Goatmen are the better known enemies of the Diablo franchise, appearing in all 3 games.
- The Porings, Ragnarok Online's expies of the Dragon Quest Slime.
- MapleStory has the Orange Mushroom, but a number of other cute monsters, such as Slimes and Pigs, are prominent in the game.
- Elsword has Phorus, walking critters that can talk with William (early game boss and appearing upon getting dud items) being the most famous of them. Events in the game often have costumed ones to defeat for their quests. And we have their ancestors the Ancient Phorus which are quadped firebreathers, now available in mount form.
- La Tale has the prrings and their palette swaps, the original of which is the first monster you fight. They were so popular that they were later made available as a pet. The shaggies are also popular, with some players actually trying to make real world replicas of their Vendor Trash drop - the shaggy doll.
- Fly FF has the aibatts, cute flying eye creatures.
- Wizard101 has Gobblers which are ExtremeOmnivores and featured in many of the cartoon depictions. There is even a gobbler Piñata in game.
- Anarchy Online has the leets: small, fuzzy creatures about the size of a shoe that speak exclusively in Leet Lingo.
- The Rascal Rabbits in Seal Online are white bunnies with a bloody cleaver, a Slasher Smile, and visible buttocks. Although it is a literal Killer Rabbit, only the gladiator variant is really dangerous. There are also other potential mascot mooks like piyas and beanies but not as prominent as the Rascal Rabbits.
- Though numerous creatures in the Kingdom of Loathing are revered by various members of the community, including bugbears, ninja snowmen, and the vicious gnauga, only the sabre-toothed lime, a low-level monster found only in the Daily Dungeon and generally regarded as the "base" level of combat familiar, can truly be considered the game's mascot mook.
- Dig Dug has the Pooka, a red round balloon thing wearing goggles. Reportedly, a lot of merchandise was made off of this mook, plus you can unlock one as a playable multiplayer character in Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness, and one was even factored into the storyline of the first Pac-Man World as one of the rescuable friends. They even make appearances as enemies in Super Smash Bros. in the Namco-developed 4th title.
- The ghosts from Pac-Man.
- Goombas and Koopa Troopas from the Super Mario Bros. series have evolved into this over the years. Goombas are even a Trope Namer for basic early game enemy. This is also the case with many other enemies in the series such as Bob-Ombs, Lakitus, Chain Chomps, Piranha Plants, Boos, and Shy Guys. The latter two especially in the Luigi's Mansion and Yoshi's Island games respectively. Several of these became characters and playable party members in Paper Mario 1 and The Thousand-Year Door.
- Metall (or Mettool, or however you spell it) from Mega Man. Sniper Joes, although they're mainly locked into the Classic series. In exchange, not a single one of those games doesn't feature some variant of them.
- Metalls are a popular recurring enemy in Mega Man Battle Network, but the anime turned the Pop-Up virus into a Breakout Mook Character of sorts; the heroes reprogram one of the Pop-Ups into an ally named Rush, whose special ability basically involves popping into the real world to lend help, and he gets a fair bit of focus for what is otherwise a somewhat-known, mildly annoying enemy in the original games.
- The trouble-making, gold obsessed, Koma Pigs from Tomba!
- The Pipo Monkeys from the Ape Escape games. In fact, your objective is to capture them.
- The Biankies of Viewtiful Joe, who also resemble the Putties of Power Rangers.
- The Dopefish from Commander Keen is iconic enough to be the subject of many Easter Eggs from a wide variety of other games.
- The Hoodmongers from Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc. It should be noted that there is nothing cute, adorable, or "wuvable" about them; they're basically potato sacks with large hats and shotguns. They're the Heartless of fairy-like creatures that have been Mind Raped, so there's a certain element of pity. They're also comically stupid, even more so than the Space Pirates. And eventually you get the ability to repair their damaged minds and restore them to what they once were.
- Waddle Dee from the Kirby series: little toddling red creatures that somewhat resemble Kirby, aside from their pear shaped face and lack of a mouth. They are the weakest enemy in most of the games, more likely to serve as ammo for Kirby to spit at other enemies than a genuine threat, however they can also be found wielding a variety of weapons, or piloting vehicles of various types. Starting around Kirby Super Star and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, "specific" Waddle Dees started becoming characters, and now Waddle Dee are just as likely to appear as allies as they are enemies in Kirby games.
- Moos from the Klonoa series are big round creatures known for their Cat Smile and spacey expression (they sort of resemble a cross between a cat, a rabbit, and a Waddle Dee). They like to mill around aimlessly, waiting for Klonoa to use them as either a springboard or a missile. Their inherent harmlessness and ditzyness coupled with their adorable appearance easily makes Moos one of the most recognizable creatures in the franchise.
- The Mafia goons from A Hat In Time. Mafia become face of game, maybe take over job for little hat girl. Maybe Mafia dress up as small mustache girl as well. Sell game as "A Mafia in Mafia." Everybody play! Maybe more profitable than fish...
- The DROD roaches are quite adorable, even if they are mowed down by the tens of thousands. They are also among the most notable elements in DROD, and the inexplicable cuteness of roaches is pointed out at every turn. Seeps are even cuter. This would be because they have a tendency to show up in extremely difficult puzzles.
- The bullet-spewing turrets of Portal have their own life-sized plushies.
- Animal Crossing doesn't really have "Mooks," per se, but the adorable, blank-faced, wiggling Gyroids are as iconic of the series as the cute little characters themselves. City Folk even introduces a Gyroid character named Lloid who runs the Auction House, for no other reason than Gyroids are adorable. Not bad for a little clay fire hydrant.
- Minecraft has Creepers: strange bush monsters with more advanced AI than other Mooks, and a tendency to ruin player creations by exploding on them, making them the most well known mook in the game, and the game's mascot.
- Monster Rancher actually has six mascot monsters—although they vary in prominence, they are the six species most associated with the franchise (probably due to their prominence in the anime). "Officially," the series' mascot is eyeball-monster Suezo, but pudgy penguin-like monster Mocchi is often used more prominently in the games' art and advertising. Tiger the blue wolf is also used prominently in the advertising, and Hare is especially popular in Japan. Finally, there are rock-monster Golem and Cute Monster Girl Pixie rounding off the list of series mascots.
Shoot 'Em Up
- Kiki Kai Kai has the Puka Pukas, which are cute, sock-puppet like ghosts which wear hitaikakushi on their heads.
- Touhou also had a visually identical enemy to the above in the Bakebake, but around the later games fairies began to take their place, to the point that the former vanished entierly. Without them, the games would be grueling exercise of Boss Rushes. There are two spin-offs whose main character is/are fairy: the manga Eastern and Little Nature Deity featuring three mischievous fairy, and the Gaiden Game Fairy Wars, starring a well-known ice fairy fighting the aforementioned mischief makers; indeed, fairies are just as likely to be allies as they are to be foes.
- Kedamas (balls of fluff with cartoonish expressions) are sometimes used but have caught on with fan artists almost as much as the fairies.
- Xevious has the Bacura, spinning gray Invincible Minor Minion square panels. They didn't achieve Mascot status and were actually unnamed until their cameo appearances in Namco's Tales Series, where they actually appeared in various different roles, and even with Underground Monkey variants. They eventually also appeared in Ace Combat and even the 3DS entry into the Super Smash Bros. series as enemies in Smash Run, as it was developed by Namco.
- Pyramid Head and the nurses from Silent Hill are easily the most recognized monsters from the series. The latter have managed to appear in almost every game to date.
- Resident Evil:
- Dungeons & Dragons has numerous examples. When D&D 3.5 was partially open-sourced, some monsters such as the beholder and mind flayer were even set aside as "Product Identity."
- The Pathfinder RPG's crazy, singing, pyromaniac Goblins have become this since the first adventure path.
- Exalted has the Blood Apes, the go-to demon summon for breaking skulls.
- The Gamma World retroclone Mutant Future has the spidergoats.
- The basic Space Marine of Warhammer 40,000.
- The UrbanMech of BattleTech. Short, slow, not all that strong, and absurdly popular to the point of being the second or third most identifiable 'Mech in the game, just behind the Atlas and the Timber Wolf. Current MechWarrior license holder Pirahna Games noticed this and responded by dedicating an entire update to it.
Turn Based Strategy
- Prinnies from the Disgaea series are condemned souls forced to work off their afterlife sentence in the hopes of being reincarnated as something not a Prinny in their next life. They also happen to be adorable little patchwork penguins who are good with knives, explode when thrown and are contractually obligated to use "dood!" in every line they say. Of course, this being Disgaea we're talking about, the fact that they're Mooks puts them squarely under the player's command. They do show up as enemies, but not nearly as often as some other monster types, and when they do, it's generally in the tutorial levels or joke levels that expect the player to take full advantage of their volatile nature.
- Prinnies are beloved enough to star in their own nigh-Platform Hell PSP game (much to the consternation of the heroine of a cancelled game who's stuck doing cameos), appropriately called Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?. You get a thousand lives at the start.
- The Mooscues from Eternal Eyes. In addition to being one of the first allies you get in the game, and one of the earliest you fight, they also feature in the game's loading screens and have a prominent role in the intro.
- Frogzards in AdventureQuest and Sneevils in DragonFable.
- A Dev made non-canon magazine suggests that they evolved from each other.
- Fyoras in Geneforge are this, Monster Allies, and the commonest of Com Mons all rolled into one. Physically, they're fire-spitting bipedal lizards—mentally, they're dogs, and in one ending of game 2 the main character is shown passing time in prison by teaching one to roll over for treats.
- Mud crabs in The Elder Scrolls games. While they're not even a threat to starting players and go down easily, they still have the honour of being famous for starring one as, inexplicibly, a merchant in Morrowind, and as a topic of discussion amongst NPCs that quickly spawned memes in Oblivion.
- Dungeons of Dredmor has the Diggles, weird little drill-nosed creatures that look like a cross between a mole and a penguin. The Expansion Pack Sequel even features a skill tree that turns you into a Were-Diggle.
- The Fallout series has Radroaches from among the weaker early-game mooks, and Super Mutants from among the stronger late-game mooks.
Non-Video Game Examples
Anime & Manga
- Zakus are almost as iconic as the Gundam itself, with or without the red paint, antenna and 3x boost to everything. And if you fuse them with Servbots, you get the Zakos from SD Gundam Force.
- The Acguy, a ridiculously obscure Zeon mobile suit, is similarly adored in many places, often accompanying the Zaku. This has led to the custom variants, the Bearguy and its successor Bearguy III, appearing in both Gunpla fighting series.
- Even when the designs of the Gundams are changed from formula (Turn A Gundam, to a lesser extent Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn), the resident Zaku expies will retain the traditional designs.
- Although Mazinger Z basically used a Monster of the Week formula, two of Mazinger's first opponents: Garada K7, a skull-faced Mechanical Beast with two detachable scythes on its head; and Doublas M2, a beast with two serpentine laser-shooting heads, are among the most iconic, and show up in just about every adaptation and Super Robot Wars game (even if no other Mechanical Beasts appear).
- In Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, Turtle King was the first opponent the Five-Man Band faced. In all adaptations and remakes have been done since, Turtle King always shows up, and usually he is the first Mechanical Monster than The Dragon sends.
- The Tower of Druaga has the ropers, possibly chosen because they don't really look at all marketable.
- Despicable Me: The Minions even have their own Facebook Page, and appear in more marketing than any of the lead characters. They even got their own movie.
- Star Wars: Stormtroopers exist only to be mowed down and demonstrate that yes, it is possible to be incapable of hitting the broad side of a barn, but where would Star Wars be without them? They even managed to put them into the prequel trilogy, in the form of the Clone Troopers. And then there's the Death Troopers, the Elite Mooks capable of scoring numerous kills while being a menacing Mascot Mook.
- Doctor Who has the Daleks, the most toyetic heartless, genocidal, world-destroying engines of destruction you'll ever meet.
- The Ultra Series has several mascot monsters for each entry.
- The Kamen Rider franchise has the Shocker Soldiers, the grunts from the original series, who returned in Kamen Rider Decade to lead up to the big teamup movie, and then there was their use in the Kamen Rider OOO teamup net movies... their wacky 'Yee!' noises and hand movements made them good for comedy fodder, to the point that by now it's awkward to watch them in an actual Shocker-related movie. They're basically Kamen Rider's Pikachu by now, and here they are with knives. Attacking people. People we like. You don't see that every day anymore!
- Bogey from Kid Radd was just one of a billion such Bogies in the game, and was likely a Captain Ersatz of Goombas and/or Metools.
- The Imps from Homestuck Even though their appearances have been few and far between in the past year, their reactions and expressions in general were more than enough to win the hearts of the readers.