"Are you feeling the pressure? You're alone in a room, your friends have been picked off one by one...now it's just you and him!
The Mook Horror Show is a scene that plays out like a horror
film but casts the hero as the monster. Depending on the hero, it could involve Let's Split Up, Gang
and slinking through shadows, a Five Rounds Rapid
followed by a frantic retreat, or any other situation that attempts to show how cool the hero is by emphasizing the terror of his foes.
Unless we're looking at an Anti-Hero
, Sociopathic Hero
, or Designated Hero
, the mooks probably
aren't being slaughtered in horrifying ways,
unless they happen to be intelligent robots, aliens, or monsters
. If the minions are human, this sort of conduct will probably be bad for the hero's publicity
This trope is a frequent component of the Roaring Rampage of Revenge
and often overlaps with Villainous Valour
. Sometimes used to demonstrate that Dark Is Not Evil
. It's often a key component of the Terror Hero
's act. May also be invoked by a hero to Pay Evil unto Evil
to a villain who enjoys subjecting others to this type of thing to give them a taste of their own medicine. They may also play it up for various reasons. Among others, they're probably going to not fight you at 100% if they're too busy screaming in blind terror of you.
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Anime and Manga
- Batman is fond of doing this. Emphasized in The Dark Knight Saga.
- Striking fear into criminals is kind of Batman's whole shtick, to the point that a yellow ring tried to conscript him into the Sinestro Corps, which is powered by fear. In other words, the ring decided that Batman was the scariest thing in the entire space sector.
- And the only reason it didn't take was because it detected previous contact with a green ring.
- Later, during Blackest Night, a Sinestro Corps ring decided to settle for Scarecrow. Granted, Batman was going on his exodus through time during that event, so the ring wasn't able to try for the Caped Crusader again.
- It's easy to forget because of his family-friendly portrayals, but Spider-Man sometimes comes across this way, especially when he intervenes in muggings. Just imagine how you'd react to a gruesomely contorting silhouette with wide, staring eyes scuttling down the wall at you...
- One particular Spider-Man instance, he was fighting a costumed mercenary in a secure medical facility. The mercenary didn't realize that he was out-matched, until Spidey tore a reinforced steel fire door from the wall and threw it at him. Effortlessly. After that, the mercenary was fleeing in terror. Ordinary opponents generally don't realize what the "friendly neighborhood" Spider-Man is capable of.
- There's another bit where one of his enemies has hired a professional merc team to take Spider-Man out. They "chase" him into Central Park and, while the leader is giving a rousing speech about how Spider-Man's rep had to be overblown and that he was just an amateur and to play by the numbers, Spider-Man is taking out each of the other mercs behind the leader one at a time, while they're traveling in a tight formation and looking just about every direction except the one that matters (up). The leader ends his speech to turn around and gauge its impact on his men only to find them all gone... and then he goes berserk. Spider-Man ends up leaving the unconscious mercs webbed up around the house of the enemy who'd hired them. Think it was the Chameleon... he freaked out.
- On his Anti-Hero days, Venom has this trope even more strongly. He even threatens to eat your brains! Backfired once, though. Rescuing an innocent girl from perceived danger? Okay, cool. Being a giant slime monster with foot long teeth gave the girl horrible nightmares.
- Titania was on the receiving end of one of these during the Secret Wars. Coming fresh off of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown of She Hulk, Titania was feeling pretty smug and superior... and then Spider-Man showed her just what smug and superior really meant, by using his agility to dodge all of her attacks and his strength to dispense lots of punishment. It culminated in Spidey tossing her through a wall and over a cliff casually, and Titania having a phobia about facing the web-slinger that lasted for years.
- Rob Liefeld's Prophet character did this a couple times. Once to be like Batman and once to be like Rambo.
- The Punisher
- Annual issue of The Punisher MAX shows the story from the POV of an arsonist, being pursued by the Punisher through Manhattan. It never once gave the Punisher's perspective; he was presented as simply an unstoppable force that the criminal just couldn't get away from.
- Arguably, Punisher is on the receiving end of this when he goes up against Daken in Dark Reign. He survives the battle for several hours only because Daken finds Punisher's efforts at stopping him with mere bullets to be entertaining. Daken slowly dismantles Punisher over that time, then gets sick of it and reduces him to a pile of severed body parts tumbling down into the sewer with a few quick blows.
- Even Supes gets in on the act from time to time. If he's mad or in a big hurry, he will forcefully remind his enemies just how powerful he really is. At this point, be prepared to see dozens of near Physical God villains run for the hills.
- Once done when an enemy had made him very sick. He reminds the villains that he now cannot control the force of his blows. Yes, that's right, Superman is so awesome that making him sick only makes him more dangerous.
- The animated movie Superman vs. the Elite has Superman doing this to the Elite to show them why a superhero shouldn't kill people. The result is downright terrifying.
Superman *thankfully, he's lying*: He went into orbit at mach 7. If you had super hearing, any second you will hear the... (Beat) Pop!
- Much like the film adaptation, The Crow is set up somewhat like this.
- Sometimes used with The Phantom - even more than Batman, he is a Bad Ass Normal who depends on the mooks thinking him a supernatural menace, so it fits.
- Scrooge in Don Rosa's The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck is often quite good in scaring the shit out of his enemies.
- The most egregious examples come from the ending chapter and a side story: in the ending chapter the Beagle Boys, numbering eight with Granpa Beagle, are running from the Money Bin with some stolen money, only to discover that they're being chased by SCROOGE, causing Granpa Beagle (then the only one to have met him before) to faint in terror before Scrooge effortlessly knocking them out while complaining of old age; in a side story set in Klondike a group of mooks who had already faced him once learns they can steal Scrooge's minerary concession if they prevent him from talking with Goldie, decides to beat him up and give him to the Mounties (It Makes Sense in Context), but upon learning there's only two dozen of them they try and search for some other people.
- Super Soldier Tyke Bomb X-23 inflicts more than a few of these. Wiry teenage girl (or worse, skinny pre-teen) she may be, but a trained assassin with a fearsome Healing Factor and implanted Absurdly Sharp Blades is what nightmares are made of... assuming you live. And that is when she is not hopped up on the Trigger Scent(tm).
- Probably the most epic example comes from X-Force: After having been recaptured by Kimura and tortured, Laura makes her escape by flooding the entire base with the trigger scent via the sprinkler system. Even Kimura, who Laura can't even harm to begin with, responded with an Oh, Crap. We should probably also mention that Laura only has one arm at the time thanks to Kimura doing some work on her with a chainsaw before she got loose.
- Come to think of it, her progenitor has a few of these under his own belt.
- One of the most notorious events happened during the Hellfire Club's abduction of Jean Grey/Phoenix. All the other X-Men were either captured or incapacitated, Wolvie's sent down a storm drain in a flood. He washes up in the basement, and proceeds to stealthily go up level by level, since even HE can't fight the whole club at once. "Stealthy", in this case, meaning "gut everyone in the room before they can make noise." He gives an utterly terrifying description of what he and his claws can do to one poor schlub, grabs him up to start interrogating him, and mentally notes to himself that he's toned down since joining the X-Men, since he actually let this one live long enough to even answer his questions. AFTER, it must be reminded, he just eviscerated a few dozen other guards on the way up. This scene also shows up in the animated series — the series obviously cut out the slaughter but still had Wolverine telling the mook that his adamantium claws could cut through the mook's armor like a hot knife through butter and implying that they could do worse to flesh.
- Sin City loves this trope. Wallace, Miho, and Marv have all inspired a great deal of dread in their enemies.
- When Marv killed the police death-squad goons at the Farm after they had just blown away his parole officer Lucille, he faced the last one and said "That there is one damn fine coat you're wearing." The next page showed him chasing the guy down with a hatchet while cackling like a lunatic.
- Miho had an entire mob family quaking in fear throughout Family Values. She even intimidated one mook into killing his own brother.
- Wallace had a guild of assassins running scared to the point where the mob boss running the organization decided just to leave him alone and not try to get revenge.
- In Watchmen, the scene in Rorschach's backstory in which the kidnapper comes home plays out something like this.
- Dr. Manhattan does this in the Vietnam War where he effortlessly vaporizes Vietcong as he rolls.
- Rorschach actually outdoes Dr. Manhattan in this during the riots. Where as the rioters argued with Dr. Manhattan, the people left immediately when Rorschach just made his presences known to them.
- In Astro City, a small-time crook sees the superhero Jack-in-the-Box change into his civilian clothes. At first he thinks he's struck gold by discovering this potentially valuable information, but then starts to imagine all the ways in which selling the info could go wrong, including nightmares of being pursued by Jack (a light-hearted-yet-potentially-scary Spider-Man Expy). He eventually gets so stressed out he leaves town without revealing the secret to anyone.
- This is also used by the Confessor, a Batman Expy who relies on the fear he gets from mooks. Justified for the first Confessor, who was actually a vampire with all of the associated powers.
- Xadhoom is one of the very few people in a Disney comic allowed to break the Thou Shall Not Kill rule... And boy does she take advantage of it every time she meets the Evronians.
- The Spectre does this as his shtick in most incarnations. Unlike many comic book supers, he is perfectly willing to kill and often does, and usually has the reality warping powers to make the event horrific and terrifying for the evil-doers.
- Whenever any Ghost Rider loses control on his Spirit of Vengeance, expect this trope to be played in full force. Johnny and Danny have theirs on more tight leash, so it's rarer for them. Robbie has less control and so far all we seen of him as All New Ghost Rider feels like watching Slasher Movie except every victim is a criminal.
- The 2000 AD series Jaegir is set in the universe of Rogue Trooper. Jaegir was once a soldier stationed on Nu Earth, and she remembers Rogue as, in her own words, a "blue demon" who tore through her comrades, ripping their throats out, while his allies' ghosts laughed and joked.
- One Transformers fanfiction used this trope when Sunstreaker, believing that the Decepticons had captured his brother, assaulted the Decepticon base by himself and brutally murdered many, many mooks in a way that impressed many of the 'Cons watching security footage of the attack in progress. As one Decepticon put it, "Why isn't this guy a Decepticon? Seriously, why did we never recruit him?"
- The Firefly fic Forward has a scene showing the mooks' perspective when River is carving through them. She isn't shown as cute or adorable; she's portrayed as insane and terrifying.
- Happens in The Legend of Spyro: A New Dawn when Cynder cleves her way through a Gargoyle outpost in her Superpowered Evil Side. It was written this way to show how destructive and sadistic Cynder's Dark Form was.
- In Tiberium Wars, the introductions of the Nod and GDI commandos are both cases of this. The Nod commando's initial appearance is as an untrackable, cloaked, and impossibly precise killing machine gunning down whole GDI squads by herself. The GDI commando, meanwhile, is an unkillable juggernaut with superhuman strength and a railgun capable of blowing soldiers to ribbons, but is still a surprisingly clever tactician who outwits and outguns his opponents.
- In XCOM Second Contact, the initial (hostile) contact between Turians and Humans abruptly switches to the Turian perspective at several points. The Turians against a human XCOM squad that breaches the bridge of one of their ships find themselves fighting against plasma weaponry and psychic powers. It doesn't go well for the Turians.
- In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Smallville fic Stakes and Fenceposts, Clark Kent is portrayed this way to the Buffy-verse villains and heroes. It gets to the point where The First Evil stacks the odds overwhelmingly in Caleb's favor: surrounding the city in a forcefield so Clark can't leave and the sun is blocked out so he can't recharge, triggering an earthquake and other disasters so Clark has to rescue the citizens and tire himself out, mutating Caleb into an Eldritch Abomination with incredible strength, speed, durability, and magically toxic Sinister Scythe Combat Tentacles, magically making Caleb untouchable to Clark's blows and immune to his heat vision, and backing him up with an army of vampires all armed with kryptonite swords and machine guns loaded with kryptonite bullets. Despite this incredible advantage, Clark annihilates the vampires before they have a chance to come near him, and takes down Caleb with a combination of his powers and wits. Caleb gets an inner monologue where he expresses how utterly outclassed and terrified he is, and without the advantages he would have died in a instant, considering Clark the real monster. Buffy and the others, watching from a safe distance, are terrified as well. The First also made one huge mistake: It didn't know Clark can fly.
- Likewise, in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Power Girl fanfic Origin Story, fugitive Kryptonian Alex Harris's fight against the Thunderbolts acts as one between Venom struggling to contain her and Moonstone's panicked thoughts of how Alex is going to kill them all.
- This video shows Batman through the eyes of inexperienced thugs, much like many of the other examples on this page.
- Xander in The Pride of Sunnydale is treated like a combination of the Terminator and Jason Vorhees by vampires, including silently killing them while others have their back turned.
- Chapter 8 of Ace Combat: Wings of Unity treats us to an entire Exile army group being all but exterminated by the combined magic of none other than Princesses Celestia and Luna. The narration (thankfully) doesn't go into excessive detail...but we're still treated to a scene where all but four pegasi are either vaporized as they scream in agony, or slammed against a mountain when they try to retreat. All of this is seen from the Exile's perspective, only shifting back to the heroes once the magical onslaught ends.
- And those four survivors? They're later ambushed and brutally killed by an as-yet-unnamed pegasus, with the last one begging for his life before being killed via Neck Snap.
- Pops up near the end of Waterworld, when the Mariner boards the Smoker vessel. After murdering one of them, a group of Smokers start hunting him throughout the ship. He slowly picks them off in a segment interspersed with scenes of the Morality Pet bragging about how the Mariner will kill them all.
- Kill Bill: The Bride's battle against the Crazy 88, in which she utterly spanks them. (literally, in one case) It's nearly 20 minutes long!
- Commando, especially the toolshed scene.
- Similarly, pretty much any Steven Seagal film. Case in point, Hard to Kill. Yeah, the bad guys killed his wife and put him in a seven-year coma, but the way Mason Storm stalks and kills them one by one, taunting them the whole time, you can't help but pity them. Especially the one he runs down and publicly executes with a neck-snap in front of all of Chinatown and his own son.
- In the Iron Man film, Tony's escape from the cave in a huge, unstoppable suit of powered armor is played out a bit like a monster movie. He does it again when he goes back to Afghanistan and kills all the terrorists with his new upgraded armor.
- The first appearance of the Hulk in The Incredible Hulk is deliberately done in this way.
- In The Scorpion King, the hero uses a sandstorm to force a bunch of Mooks into a cave, where he kills them one by one.
- Who could forget the opening hit scene of Leon, The Professional? Leon knocks off the drug henchmen one by one - pointblank headshot, garrotte from the ceiling panel, pulled over the stairwell by a necktie, numerous unseen shootings - without anyone (mooks or viewer) ever laying eyes on him. "Those bastards blocked both the exits," mutters the kingpin, when seeing one of his mooks hanging by the neck on CCTV. (He ends up with a knife to his throat, produced by a disembodied arm out of shadow.)
- 28 Days Later, once the character snaps, plays very much like this trope — up to him doing Offscreen Teleportation.
- In Batman Begins, some of Batman's first attacks on criminals are filmed this way. Not to mention their POV of him gliding over the city while they are under the effects of the Fear Toxin. Plus the scene of him interrogating Jonathan Crane, a.k.a. Scarecrow, who at the moment was being Hoist by His Own Petard.
- This is exemplified by Bruce's statement of intent when he enters the League's headquarters:
Bruce: I seek the means to fight injustice, to turn fear against those who prey on the fearful.
- The opening scene of Tim Burton's Batman.
- The intro of Ninja Assassin is a textbook example. Except it's not the hero who's acting the part of the monster.
- Serenity: River's rampage in the Maidenhead bar is definitely one of these.
- The assassination attempt on Moses in Red.
- Hit-Girl of Kick-Ass, particularly during her night-vision FPS shootout scene where she's shooting gangsters left and right as they're unable to see her under cover of darkness. Done again in Frank D'Amico's penthouse when she prepares to shoot a cowering mook on the floor, runs out of bullets and runs to the kitchen. The mook stands some distance away and unloads automatic fire on the spot she's hiding in, lowers his gun and looks away in assumed success, and gets a pair of flying kitchen knives in the chest.
- Big Daddy's more literal "show", the warehouse massacre, witnessed by Chris via a hidden cam is unsurprisingly terrifying from his point of view. Whilst more subdued in his reaction, his father is still clearly shaken by what he sees.
Frank D'Amico: "Who the hell is this guy?!"''
- Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom Menace shows the Trade Federation leaders panicking as the implacable Jedi make their way to the bridge, mowing down any droids they send against them.
- Robocop has shades of this. He is effectively bullet-proof, slow but nigh-unstopabble, more machine than man, and has perfect aim. Most bad guys try to run while Robocop walks after them like a typical horror movie villain. His early arrests of Emil and Clarence in RoboCop (1987) both emphasise their utter helplessness when face-to-face with him.
- At the end of the remake of Bangkok Dangerous Joo stalks and efficiently kills many gangsters as they grow increasingly jumpy and frantic.
- In Desperado, the opening scene has El Mariachi's character reintroduced this way as Buscemi narrates over one of these.
- Dead Mans Shoes follows the victims whenever the main character confronts them.
- Sucker Punch
- When Babydoll kills two of the demon samurai, the third is shown hesitating and trembling. When he finally draws his katana and charges, she kills him in a Single-Stroke Battle.
- In the WWI sequence, two German soldiers spot Babydoll walking toward them and try desperately to set up and load a massive lewis gun, but fail and are cut down. After he crashes, the German courier tries to ward off Babydoll with his gun, and is shocked when she deflects his bullets while marching toward him.
- A scene in Air Force One stages a shootout in the baggage hold of the eponymous plane; it's entirely from the perspective of the Russian baddies, while the hero, the President, is seen only as a vague silhouette delivering death to the terrified mooks.
- The James Bond films rarely go here due to the necessity of keeping Bond a positive character. There have been exceptions:
- Prof. Dent's execution in Dr. No.
- After Bond sends a mook on skis careening over a cliff in On Her Majestys Secret Service, the camera stays on the mook as he takes his long, final, fall to his death.
- The death scream uttered by the unnamed villain whose parachute Bond steals at the start of Moonraker is one of the most disturbing sounds ever heard in cinema.
- The way Bond kills the bald man (i.e. the expy Blofeld) at the start of For Your Eyes Only could trigger this trope in anyone with claustrophobia.
- Dr. Kaufman, in Tomorrow Never Dies, is one of the only characters in the Bond film canon to be heard begging for his life before 007 kills him anyway.
- A very subtle one occurs in the 2006 version of Casino Royale. When Bond shoots the corrupt section chief in his office, for a split second a close-up of a photograph on the man's desk is shown - an image showing him with his family.
- In Resident Evil: Apocalypse the S.T.A.R.S. squad who are targeted by Nemesis who massacres all of them, except for the taxi driver who is spared.
- Early in The Shadow, some mooks have fitted an old man with cement shoes and are about to drop him into a river when the title character shows up and picks them off unseen, taunting them with wisecracks and his signature laugh as he goes.
- In The Rookie, Charlie Sheen's character instantly switches from coward to badass when his partner (Clint Eastwood) is kidnapped. The trope kicks in when he enters a bar in which he previously had the shit beaten out of him. First he breathes fire on the bartender, beats up half the patrons and fires off several rounds from his gun - at this point, the patrons are standing in stunned silence. Then he trashes the place and sets fire to it, at which point they all flee in terror.
- In The Long Kiss Goodnight, Charlie's rampage through the farmhouse is told from Mitch's point of view. Being locked in the basement, he can only hear it.
- In Act of Valor, all of the major gunfights the SEALs get in invoke this on the part of the terrorists/cartel soldiers. The parts shown from their perspective as they (try to) fight the SEALs shows them facing deadly squads of elite soldiers who are slipping among their positions in total silence, snipers picking off their men as they try to flee, and deadly-coordinated SEALs cutting down their troops with precise shots.
- Joey's actions in Rolling Vengeance tends to play out this way. We hardly get any shots of him inside the truck, while his victims flee desperately in terror from him. The truck itself is demonic-looking, completely with flames spewing out its exhaust pipes and a giant drill on the front. This could just have easily been a horror movie if the monster truck was driven by a villain instead.
- X-Men: First Class:
- What the CIA agents and guards experience when their compound is assaulted by the Hellfire Club.
- And the Soviet soldiers suddenly attacked by barbed wire.
- In Discworld, Rincewind uses The Luggage to terrorize his foes. Or rather, he hides while the Luggage... entertains itself.
- In Thud!, there is a brief section about some dwarfs in a cave, when suddenly, a pale, bloody human with a sword and axe stands on a rise above them... And it says, Is that my cow?
- In Jingo!, Reg Shoe's attack on some enemy soldiers is narrated this way.
- In NightWatch! you see Reg's transformation into a zombie... him refusing to die after being shot (with arrows) seven or eight times in the chest at point blank range. The archers don't take it well.
- Likewise for criminals with the bad fortune to cross paths with Angua.
- There's one scene that plays like this in book seven of Safehold series when Merlin/Dialydd attacks barge full of Inquisitors who killed his friend. The entire scene is narrated from perspective of one of the Inquisitors and it shows the reader just how scary Merlin can be if he turns off his internal limits.
- Anita Blake is this to vampires as told by Jean-Claude, who is the Master Vampire of St.Louis. "To us, you are the boogeyman who snatches young foolish vampires." Or something like that. And when she executed a were serial killer in the middle of a mall in front of small children who looked horrified that she was going to kill him after she strolled up to him in the food court. Then she snaps at a werewolf who annoyed her on the phone, who breaks down in tears and blubbers for her not to kill her. It helps she's a licensed Executioner who can kill vampires and weres legally. Oh, and one of the most powerful necromancers in the United States.
- It's even worse with Edward, the Badass Normal vampire hunter that Anita occasionally works with. Vampires call her The Executioner since she's killed so many of their kind, but they just call him Death.
- In the Dale Brown novels, this generally occurs when Tin Men or CIDs are around and there're no anti-tank weapons in the enemy's reach.
- Several Honor Harrington books have the thoughts of various Peep or Solarian officers about to be on the receiving end of a Manticore Missile Massacre, usually because their CO is too dumb, arrogant, or incredulous to realize that they're about to be ripped apart by said Massacre. And, of course, vice versa.
- Pulp Magazine heroes The Shadow and The Spider lived for this. It's not surprising that these two were the primary inspiration for the Batman.
- At the end of The Demon Breed by James H Schmitz, the story is retold from the aliens' point of view, and we see just how badly the Action Girl protagonist ended up scaring them.
There seemed to be nothing they could do to check her. She came and went as she chose, whether in the sea or in the dense floating forests, and was traceless as a ghost. Moreover, those who had the misfortune of encountering her did not report the fact. They simply disappeared.
- The final chapter of John Gardner's novel Grendel is more of a Boss Horror Show, with Beowulf coming off as cruel and sadistic as he mortally wounds the main character by ripping off his arm.
- The Reynard Cycle: In The Baron of Maleperduys, a particularly likable Calvarian foot soldier wakes up after a battle, only to discover that he and many of his fellow mooks have been taken prisoner by Reynard, who is going to hang the majority of them, and then feed their corpses to Tiecelin's Shrikes.
- Jack Fleming from The Vampire Files has employed this trope occasionally, using his vampiric powers to feign a haunting in an early novel and to completely scare the crap out of gangsters in his later, grimmer adventures.
- In The Dresden Files, the title character starts as a rather pitiable wizard trying to work his way out of professional disgrace. Several books and a pile of supernatural bodies later, he suddenly finds his opponents backing down or outright fleeing rather than face him, and is several times rather abruptly reminded of what he looks like from his enemies' point of view. The books are narrated in the first person so we never get to see it, but it's discussed several times.
- He lampshades this himself in Turn Coat. He is facing no less than five Wardens and three members of the Senior Council and they are afraid to fight him. Then he remembers something... "They were dealing with something far more dangerous than me, Harry Dresden, whose battered old Volkswagen was currently in the city impound. They were dealing with the potential demonic dark lord nightmare warlock they'd been busy fearing since I turned sixteen. They were dealing with the wizard who had faced the Heirs of Kemmler riding a zombie dinosaur, and emerged victorious from a fight that had flattened Morgan and Captain Luccio before they had even reached it. They were dealing with the man who had dropped a challenge to the entire Senior Council, and who had then actually showed, apparently willing to fight-on the shores of an entirely too creepy island in the middle of a freshwater sea."
- In a short story focused on Karrin Murphy, she thinks a bit about Harry and how he's a nice guy, weird and goofy and eccentric, but his magical knowledge can sometimes seem like Sherlock Scans, and when he needs to deal with something that can survive being thrown through a city block, he can do the throwing.
- It's from the novella "Aftermath", which takes place hours after the events of "Changes". To wit:
Murphy "Watching Dresden operate was usually one of two things: mildly amusing or positively terrifying. on a scene, his whole personal manner always made me think of autistic kids. He never met anyone's eyes for more than a flickering second. He moved with the sort of exaggerated caution of someone who was several sizes larger than normal, keeping his hands and arms in close to his body. He spoke a little bit softly, as if apologizing for the resonant baritone of his voice.
But when something caught his attention, he changed. His dark, intelligent eyes would glitter, and his gaze became something so intense it could start a fire. During the situations that changed from investigation to desperate struggle, his whole being shifted in the same way. His stance widened, becoming more aggressive and confident, and his voice rose up to become a ringing trumpet that could have been clearly heard from opposite ends of a football stadium.
Quirky nerd, gone. Terrifying icon, present.
- Lampshaded in Skin Games: Michael points out that the last time someone threatened Harry's daughter, Harry killed the entirety of the Red Court, one of the three major powers in the world, akin to killing everyone in the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Even monsters would have to think twice about making that threat again.
- The title character of the Stephen King novel Dolan's Cadillac seeks revenge against the title character, who ordered a hit on his wife. To this end he quits his job as a teacher and becomes a road worker in order to set a trap for Dolan when he passes by in his you know what. He digs a large hole and covers it with a weak stretch of road so that the Cadillac plunges into it. He then taunts Dolan for a while before filling up the hole.
- David Gemmell characters tend to get at least one chapter narrating their pursuit or onslaught from the perspective of minor villains, bandits or so on. The gold standard would be the opening of Hero in the Shadows, which details a band of raiders meeting their ends at the hands of an ageing Waylander.
- The Wardstone Chronicles: In Book 6, the protagonists are forced into an Enemy Mine situation with the Witches. As they are travelling to Greece, their ship is attacked by pirates. The heroes react by unleashing the army of Axe Crazy, blood-thirsty witches on them, and a hilariously one-sided fight ensues.
- In the Witcher Saga, Ciri mows down a squad of bad guys after luring them onto a frozen lake. In thick fog. She has skates.
- The short story The Illustrated Biography of Lord Grimm by Daryl Gregory, showing the POV of those who happen to be living in a country ruled by a supervillian when it's 'invaded' for the umpteenth time by American superheroes...What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?
Live Action TV
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- In the Dracula episode, we see a vampire running madly through a graveyard... and then we realize he's running from Buffy.
- Another example is in "Pangs" which opens with a handsome fresh-faced youth with Victim of the Week written all over him creeping through The Lost Woods, then starting in fear as he comes face-to-face with the Big Bad Buffy. Buffy punches him, whereupon he vamps into Game Face.
- "This Year's Girl". While in a coma Faith has nightmares that resemble a Slasher Movie, in which she's an innocent girl being stalked by Buffy, portrayed as a cold-blooded, implacable Knife Nut. This does not improve Faith's disposition when she wakes up from said coma.
- In The X-Files, one episode opens with a teenage boy fleeing some off-camera pursuer, frantically yelling for help. It's to no avail, as his pursuer catches up and kills him... with a stake to the chest. It's Mulder, and he was vampire hunting.
- In an episode of the 2010 series Human Target, a plan to infiltrate the well-guarded mansion of a tycoon with Ilsa's help goes awry, and Ilsa is captured. Chance, thanks to his Unresolved Sexual Tension with her, single-handedly goes to rescue her, mowing down the tycoon's mercenary army. All this is shown from the viewpoint of the tycoon and his Dragon, whose faces get more horrified at the closing sounds of gunshots, screams, and shouts of "he's unstoppable". Chance then bursts into the room and guns down the rest of the Mooks. All with a pistol.
- Chance is not unique in this regard, although he is the best. Guerrero's name is enough to scare the wits out of any criminal or even a mob boss, and the guy himself looks like a Hollywood Nerd. Baptiste is also just as Bad Ass, which makes sense, since all of them went through the same school.
- An episode of Charmed opens with a young boy walking to an ice cream van in a dark alley.
Ice cream man: Would you like some ice cream, little one?
Young boy: Yeah.
Ice cream man: You didn't say "please".
Young boy: *screams before opening credits*
- Later, we learn that the ice cream van is a trap set against prepubescent demons.
- The opening of Doctor Who episode "A Good Man Goes To War" invokes this on behalf of the villains, as they prepare for an imminent attack by The Doctor. One scene has the Cybermen deal with an off-screen attack destroying parts of their base. "Intruder level 11! Seal off levels 12, 13, and 14! Intruder level 15!" Although it turns out the attacker is not The Doctor, but, in fact, "The Last Centurion" Rory Williams.
- Lampshaded later when River Song calls out the Doctor on this ("You make them so afraid.") as a violation of the ideals he set out with.
- A more subtle version is invoked by the Eleventh Doctor in The Wedding of River Song.
"Imagine you were dying. Imagine you were afraid and a long way from home and in terrible pain. And just when you thought it couldn't get worse, you looked up and saw the face of the devil himself."
- We then see that the entire scene has been shown from the point of view of a damaged Dalek, who starts screaming "EMER-GEN-CY! EMER-GEN-CY!"
- The Dalek POV shots in "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" - when the Doctor is just about to get the upper hand over the Daleks, we're suddenly in a Dalek's head for the scene as the First Doctor stares it with a Psychotic Smirk and we know he's done something very clever.
- In "The Pandorica Opens", the Doctor recounts a fairy-tale:
The Doctor: There was a goblin, or a... trickster. Or a warrior. A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or... reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world. (It's him.)
- In the season six episode of Stargate SG-1 "The Other Guys," when SG-1 is attacking the Jaffa guarding the stargate O'Neill, Carter and Jonas use the standard "shoot them with zats" approach, but Teal'c instead waits for a Jaffa to run past him and erupts out of a lake and drags the Jaffa down into the water.
- In the final season of 24, possibly the crowning moment of Jack Bauer's Roaring Rampage of Revenge was the scene where he stops traffic in an underground carpark and proceeds to tear his way through a small army of mooks while wearing head-to-toe body armous and a big black goalie mask.
- Another moment comes from the end of the same episode which shows the aftermath of a roomful of mooks that Jack has massacred in horrific ways including The Dragon, with only one survivor left.
- An early episode of Angel opens with a demon fleeing from a "rogue demon hunter" on a motorcycle. In a comedic twist, it turns out it's Wesley.
- The series finale of Spartacus: Blood and Sand opens with Gannicus and an offscreen accompaniment of warriors slaughtering a hapless bunch of Romans, leaving one alive to tell the tale.
- He's Michael Westen! There are only four of us!
- The Megas The Quick and the Blue has Quickman becoming increasingly aware of how boned he is, but won't back down.
- To wit: He sees Megaman as nothing less than the unstoppable avatar of death itself. (Is what they say true? Does death wear blue? Can he fall?)
- The Megas seem to like this one. Flashman believes that fighting Megaman would be futile. Gemin Eye is about Gemini man trying to bodyguard himself from Megaman.
- Disturbed's song Indestructible is all about this. The narrator describes himself as a "terror to behold".
- Wrestlers like The Undertaker and Sting during face runs will often have segments or promos that count as this, with the various mind games and scare tactics they use to scare the living hell out of their heel adversaries. Depending on execution, these segments could range from total Narm, to Crowning Moment Of Awesome.
- A picture perfect version of this was in TNA, when Sting, Fortune and Kurt Angle teamed up to do this to Immortal on the July 14th episode. The former had the other five dress up as Monster Clowns and pick off Immortal one by one. Gunner even attempted to invoke Final Boy in the end, but it didn't work. During Sting's title match with Mr. Anderson, Bully Ray showed up to try and help Anderson win, but then Angle, still in clown gear, appears and takes him out. The lights go out and Anderson finds him alone in the ring, Kurt standing on the entrance ramp, leaving Anderson in a panic that lets Sting win.
- "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!" Listen to the opening here
- This is Exalted, from the right (wrong) perspective. Normal people are called "Extras" for a reason, and playing a campaign as Heroic Mortals is more a question of "what kills you and how" than anything else.
- To normal people, the lowest forms of supernatural beings - Hungry Ghosts, Commoner Fae, First Circle Demons, Lesser Gods and Elemental Spirits, Enlightened Mortals - are nigh-unstoppable monsters. Terrestrial Exalted are elemental super-soldiers designed to brutally slaughter the aforementioned "monsters" in droves - and said super-soldiers are in turn little more than mooks to experienced Celestial Exalts.
- The scene where the ninja slaughters the guards in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. It makes a point of zooming in on one mook's face as he fires blindly at the invisible thing slaughtering his comrades so the player can see the absolute fear in his eyes, before said invisible thing runs him through and leaves him bleeding to death on the floor.
- In Alone In The Dark 3 Edward Carnby bursts out of his grave miraculously alive and well, causing the undead guy who had just finished burying him to flee in terror.
- This is the inevitable fate of a good Stealth-Based Game player's enemies.
- Pretty much the only purpose of Waddle Dee is to be cannon fodder for Kirby's latest destructive ability. Except for those armed with spears or parasols, their only way of hurting Kirby is to bump into him. And they often panic and try to escape, given the chance. This is taken Up to Eleven in Revenge of Meta Knight, where the Midshipman Waddle Dee's only role in the plot is to freak out at how powerful and unstoppable Kirby is.
- In the game The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay there are a few instances in the course of the game which turn the situation into this for the guards in the prison. But none so much as the moment when Riddick gets into a fully kitted out battle armour with chainguns, rockets...
- The intro to an SD Gundam G-Generation game featured a bunch of Zakus getting hunted and killed, Predator-style, by the Gundam Deathscythe.
- The Metroid Prime series highlights it if you read some of the Space Pirate's mission logs, increasingly desperate recordings of how "the Hunter" is tearing through their forcesnote . This monster is of course Samus Aran, the player character.
- Prototype has its main character Alex Mercer pull more than a few horror-movie tricks in cutscenes, just in case his powers weren't already scary enough in-game. They include Offscreen Teleportation, shrugging off being riddled with lead, leaving fingerprints and footprints in his targets' blood after he's done with them, popping back up after being "killed", mimicking people without inducing suspicion until he feels like it, and being oddly nonchalant about an enormous bullet hole in his face.
- Hell, the intro features him tearing apart an entire Blackwatch squad, rather easily.
- Moreover, the fact that you can later have people gunned down by accusing them of being you demonstrates the panic and paranoia you sow among the mooks even outside of your murderous rampages.
- And if you sneak into an army base, you can orchestrate it yourself, silently consuming and taking their places one by one, until there are none left.
- Oh, as if watching your buddy get lassoed from across the room, yo-yo'd to death, and his liquefied remains getting slurped up through a proboscis sticking from a hoodie-wearing nobody's stomach wasn't worrisome enough. The fact that said nobody's Immune to Bullets is just gravy.
- And then the sequel swaps out the From Nobody to Nightmare protagonist for a Scary Black Man Papa Wolf whose raw, vengeance-driven fury looks like something Kratos might invoke. Now give him an even better ability to disguise himself, new powers that include turning mooks into living hand grenades, the ability to rip vehicle-mounted weapons from their mounts and use them against his enemies and a tendril power that strings their mutilated bodies up to walls and buildings and...Oh, boy.
- In the sequel to No More Heroes, Travis' new Dark Side move allows him to transform into a tiger. While you're in this form, Mooks go from trying to beat ten shades of shit out of you to tripping over themselves in their efforts to get the hell away.
- The first No More Heroes has a similar Dark Side mode: the screen turns black-and-white (except for red for Travis's katana and the inevitable bloodshed) and all mooks in the area start cowaring away from Travis as he walks menacingly towards them and systematically murders them for the duration of the mode.
- Far Cry 2 turns into this once you get a decent reputation. Just listen to the Enemy Chatter.
"Oh God, it's HIM! What do we do!?"
- Even more in Far Cry 3, since the protagonist is either drug or real magic powered killing machine who escaped sure death numerous times.
- Even if your reputation is low, foes tend to panic if they find a body and fail to find the killer.
"FUCK, its Jason!!!"
- And in Far Cry 4, the only thing more terrifying than the Son of Mohan is the two-ton bullet-proof walking tank of death that he brought to play. Press F to make the elephant grab the nearest soldier with their trunk and slam his body into the ground. Or hold shift to ram the elephant into a car with enough force to kill everyone inside.
- Also, multiplayer Hunters have the power to turn invisible, use elemental powers, and can summon eagles / bears / elephants. If you're currently playing a golden path mook and your enemy isn't a noob, you may beg for mercy now.
Narrator: Fun Fact: Elephants love the taste of blood.
- In the third God of War game, you get to witness (and control via Quick Time Event) Kratos brutally killing Poseidon from the latter's POV. It's every bit as disturbing as it sounds.
- This is a staple of the Batman Arkham Series' "Invisible Predator" sections, where Batman takes on groups of armed enemies by stealthily picking them off one by one. As the fights wear on, the mooks get more and more terrified (you can even check their elevated heart rates via Detective Vision) and start behaving more erratically. And to make matters worse, their boss is often there to berate them via loudspeaker for their failure (Joker being the worst of the lot since, as seen by the page quote, he actually seems to ENJOY pointing out how utterly screwed his men are).
- A video game mechanic in the Batman Begins games has you messing with the enemies' environment (using batarangs to break the lights, opening steam valves, activating heavy machinery, or simply performing stealth takedowns on their fellow mooks when they're not looking). When you max out their fear meter, you get a Crowning Moment of Awesome as Batman automatically steps out into the open as you see, from the mook's POV, a terrifying glowy-eyed demonic Bat Man.
- Max Payne gets like this by the end. There's nothing like tearing through a building of guards and hearing their boss respond to their messages over the PA, "What do you mean, 'he's unstoppable'?"
- This happens in parts of 2 with Mona as the killer.
- At one point in 3 at the tail end of tearing through a base full of Elite Mook bad-guys, one of them drops his gun, drops to his knees and begs for mercy. There's also a minor mook-on-mook variation when Max lets Serrano loose on the doctor.
- An interesting point to Devil May Cry 4 switching away from Dante's perspective from the first half lets the player see the beloved hero as presumably everyone else does; a cocky, stylish, unstoppable killing machine that does not consider you a threat in any way and is wholly justified in doing so. Dante proving That One Boss, far and away more dangerous than anything else Nero goes up against, lets the player see what it's like being on the receiving end of Dante's Showy Invincible Hero shenanigans.
- The opening cutscene really serves to sell this. A mysterious man in a red coat smashes through the ceiling, murders your leader, and then assaults an army of trained swordsmen and slaughters the lot of them. He barely speaks, and when he does, it's only to mock you. When you shoot at him, he shoots your bullets out of the air. And this is the guy you played as in the last few games.
- Assassins Creed II has two separate instances where Ezio's main targets, Templars, are heard talking about Ezio. The first man is completely paranoid, trying to talk himself into calming down ("He'll... he'll leave. He'll get bored, I'm sure...") and surrounding himself with guards. The second has a near-panic attack when he finds out that Ezio is simply in the same city that he is.
- While Ezio had yet to establish his reputation as a supernatural combatant, both targets had actually been in Ezio's presence — the first had been one of the would-be killers of the Medici brothers, the second when Ezio trailed a conspirator to a secret meeting only to be revealed and escape — so they knew already how close he had come to them before; in the time between the targets he'd also developed a reputation as the Assassin.
- In both the first game and the second, guards will throw down their weapons and flee in absolute terror after watching AltaÔr or Ezio tear apart their comrades without so much as being scratched in return.
- In the case of the second target, it is all the more satisfying, considering you're sitting on the ledge right above him.
- Or, in the case of the first, the game encourages you to hide inside the well he's currently pacing around.
- A commonly heard reaction to seeing Connor in the third game is "Oh, Hell. We're gonna' need some help!" Said Redcoats could end up torn to pieces in seconds. It is also entirely possible to leave a few bodies hanging from the branches of trees in your wake, or thin their numbers by luring a bear to them.
- Enemies in Metal Slug often scream and run away when they see you coming. They do this automatically if you use a continue.
- The first game pulls this off on the player in the ending: A surviving enemy tosses a paper airplane, and the view follows it as it flies through the game's stages... littered with the bodies of the scores of soldiers you've slaughtered over the course of the game.
- One of the trailers for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II shows the chained-up Starkiller about to be executed by Imperial stormtroopers. He uses the Force to free himself and knock out the lights. The guards start looking around, shooting at any shadow in near-total darkness, while Starkiller picks them off one-by-one. The last guard starts backing off towards the door, his every shot deflected, until Starkiller impales him with his lightsabers.
- In the very first Medal of Honor game, if you blew your cover in the U-Boat mission, Kriegsmarine officers would yell, "It's Jimmy Patterson!" and attempt to mow you down in a panic.
- A simple but nonetheless notable game feature in City of Heroes. Sometimes an assassin's strike from a stalker will "terrify" enemies nearby, stopping them from fleeing.
- Shadow Complex, definitely. You are just this one random guy who is going through the base and slowly taking it out. Many of the guards at first are like "it's just one guy" but later on they realise how much damage he's doing. And then there's the ways to kill enemies - normally, sneak fisticuffs, headshots, grenades, missiles, ground pounds, environmental factors... all while you slowly advance from civilian to a Power Armoured badass.
- In Halo games the grunts will say things like "He's everywhere!" and run away when you kill a lot of them at once. The books also go into grunt points of view every so often, and they tend to be exactly that scared if not more so.
- Additionally, Covenant troops often are heard referring to the Master Chief and his fellow Spartans as "demons", both in and out of the games.
- In Bionic Commando, Area 12's baddies go into a panic when they spot SuperJoe.
- Scarface: The World is Yours sometimes requires this if the player wants 100% Completion. Shoot ten out of twelve gang members who hang out at the gas station? The last two frantically run away. Many times Tony ends up mowing them down as they are trying to hijack a car and flee.
- In the Mass Effect 2 DLC Arrival, the Project guards pretty much start panicking the second Shepard wakes up and then starts slaughtering his/her way through the entire complex by him/herself.
Readings indicate that Shepard is resisting the sedatives. Must be a glitch in the system...Oh shit
! It's not a glitch. SECURITY!
- Even before that, during the Korlus mission, you tap into the Blue Suns' radio early on, letting you listen to their increasing panic as you slaughter your way through their base.
- Any mission that involves the Eclipse or Blue Suns mercs tends to have com chatter from their bosses getting more and more freaked out as Shepard and co. effortlessly end everyone in their way. The Blood Pack on the other hand...
- There's also strong indication that this is how the Omega mercenaries viewed Archangel.
- Of the three gang leaders only Garm (the Blood Knight Krogan in charge of the Blood Pack) isn't freaked out by how close Archangel has come to killing him. The other two are really pissed and afraid by his attempts on their lives, not to mention desperate enough to team up.
- Also during Arrival, during the fight for Object Rho, particularly notable if you're going for the "Last Stand" achievement.
- The tradition is continued in the Mass Effect 3 DLC Citadel as you slaughter your way through the Mysterious Figure's army of mercenaries.
Random Merc Chatter: Guys, I think we chose the wrong Shepard!
- This time it's also extended to Shepard's crew. Note, in this DLC, the entire ME3 crew + Wrex are participating in the slaughter, which consist of some of the most badass people in the galaxy, though, as usual, only two are actually in your squad.
Random Merc Chatter
: But they've got a krogan
! Why don't we have a krogan?
Random Merc Chatter
: I think that turian with him/her is Archangel
. How the hell are we supposed to kill him?
- Additionally in the combat mission on Mars, Cerberus mooks (humans enhanced with Reaper augmentations) will exclaim "Holy Shit! Its Shepard!" when Shepard attacks.
- The revelation that the mooks have been indoctrinated and can no longer fear for themselves implies that their Reaper masters are as scared of Shepard. This is pretty much confirmed in the Leviathan DLC.
- In the Multiplayer, the Cerberus troops start off professional, but as you kill more and more of them they get decidedly less so. For instance, earlier on, they'll say "Taking casualties" in a calm, professional manner. As you slaughter more of them, they'll scream that same line in panicked terror.
- Happens in StarCraft when fighting the Zerg. The cinematic The Amerigo makes especially heavy use of this, and in the tie-in comic books, Marines often panic when fighting them.
- StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, especially, takes the trope to a whole new level, thanks to Kerrigan becoming a Game Breaker / Humanoid Abomination / One-Woman Army in addition to still leading the Swarm. Not to mention that, while no longer as villainous as before, she is still remembered by her enemies as one of the biggest mass-murderers in the Starcraft universe...
- A mission actually has Kerrigan teaming up with Raynor's Raiders to free Jim Raynor from a high security prison spaceship. Horner suggest to send Ghost Agents (or Tosh and a spec-ops squad) for stealth, but Kerrigan tells him not to bother. She then proceeds to gracefully waltz in through the front door, wave of Zerg following her. Nightmares ensue for the Dominion forces keeping the spaceship.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, according to Boxcars, the Powder Gangers view The Courier as an equivalent to The Grim Reaper
- Joshua Graham has this effect on both Ceaser's legion (for the mere thought he might still be alive) and the White Legs (he is the reason they haven't overrun Zion)
- You can invoke this if you have the Terrifying Presence perk.
- Sam Fisher in Splinter Cell gets this sometimes. Especially prominent in Conviction, where the enemies are occasionally people Sam likely trained and know exactly what he's capable of. Even the less professional mercenaries can be heard loudly challenging Fisher in order to psych themselves up. To bad it also gives away their positions, and is just irritating enough for the player to want to kill them to shut them up.
- In Chaos Theory, doing things around mooks like whistling in the dark, destroying lights, knocking their comrades out/killing them and leaving the bodies for them to find and throwing cans and bottles around gradually builds the enemy's fear to the point where they fire blindly at where they last heard the noise or run away screaming. The interrogations also generally have Sam using threats of bodily harm to scare mooks into giving up information.
Sam: (After being asked if he is a spy) Yeah, the real kind, not the tuxedo kind. I'm the kind that makes you bleed all over your Andretti unless you give me information!
Mook: Oh, God!
- Star Fox 64 has the Area 6 mission, a difficult but target-rich stage in which the four Arwings and support ship of the StarFox team blasts their way through Venom's fleet and orbital defenses. The whole time you're listening to Enemy Chatter, which becomes increasingly desperate as they throw everything they've got your way and nothing stops you.
Caiman: They're through the second line!
Commander: Fire! FIRE! Don't let them through!
- In Ace Combat 5, the Enemy Chatter turns from confident to panicked after the death of Chopper as the player's squadron fight all the more fiercely.
- And after the sinking of the Hrimfaxi, the Yuktobanians begin calling the squadron the Demons of Razgriz. Its not a nickname either; the bad guys seemingly believe the squadron to be real demons. They eventually decide to play up on this, painting their jets black and calling themselves The Ghosts of Razgriz.
- In the Deus Ex: Human Revolution DLC "The Missing Link," the Belltower soldiers will become gradually more and more terrified of Jensen as he pushes through the ship and Rifleman Bank Station, cutting down and shooting and blowing them up as he goes, and they know they can't stop him.
- Notably, they're just as terrified when he's getting around totally unseen. It's made very clear that it's still a Mook Horror Show to them, because Adam is a heavily-augmented super-soldier who, upon being forcibly woken from cryo-sleep, managed to kill five armed soldiers single-handedly after being surrounded and it still took eight more soldiers to bring him down. Now he's loose in the complex, he has all his gear back, and they don't know where he is. Hell, even if you keep a low body count, the soldiers will remark that that just means Jensen is "more resourceful and more dangerous".
- The extensive Enemy Chatter in Titanfall make it clear that this is in full effect for the hapless Grunts. The mix of shock and terror in the grunt's voice after his squad gets wiped out can catch you off guard, and if you corner them with your titan they sometimes drop their weapons or go into the fetal position. If you kill a grunt dragging his injured comrade to cover the other freaks out
- In Project Sylpheed, Katana becomes this for the ADAN forces. He begins the game as a rookie who is barely able to take out a small enemy cruiser. A few weapon upgrades and some player experience later, he can (and if you want all the achievements, will) be the most effective weapon on his side, tearing through enemy fleets and having entire fighter squadrons directed his way, with most of the enemy ace squadrons either dead or resigned to not being able to touch him.
- While his status as a hero is questionable at best, it's practically a given that Jackie Estacado from The Darkness rips apart his opponents with complete animal brutality. By the end of the first game, all the mooks beg desperately for Jackie to spare their lives. This is even more noticeable in the sequel, which has you performing deeper levels of brutality.
- Team Fortress 2: In the "Meet the Spy" promotional video, the BLU team are the mooks trying to figure out which one of them is the RED Spy.
- Diablo III has a scene where the men in Maghda's Coven are hinted to see your character fighting them as this when you go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against them following Deckard Cain's death:
Coven Member: He's/She's unstoppable! No mortal could slaughter our brethren with such ease!
- A journal you find in Act II called "The Feared Hero" confirms that the remnants of Maghda's coven are scared shitless of you:
Dark Cultist: We camp, lying in wait for a hero of incredible prowess. My gut churns with the suspicion that we are simply fodder. I have heard tales of this hero wading through our ranks, slaughtering us as if we were children. I will not sleep again tonight, I fear.
- In Half-Life 2: Episode 2, the G-Man coldly and bluntly tells you that the Vortigaunts, aliens from the first game that were aggressive toward you, but are now your friends in the sequels, barely had any experience with humanity, with their first experience being "a crowbar coming at them from a steel corridor".
- In Sleeping Dogs, Wei Shen can cause any enemies around him in a fist fight to flinch by grabbing one of their friends and breaking their leg with a stomp to the side of the knee. He can also use the environment to do things like set mooks on fire, impale them on hooks or electrocute them. Typically, the drug bust side missions involve beating down a certain number of guards to hack surveillance devices and end when any remaining guards run for their lives.
- In Mark Of The Ninja, this actually works as a gameplay mechanic. Usually, when a guard comes across a dead body, or sees you attack one of his fellows, he sounds the alarm. However, certain particularly brutal kills (such as hanging guards with the chain you use as a Grappling-Hook Pistol, hitting them with a portable spike trap or feeding them to flesh-eating bugs) causes an enemy to enter a terrified state where they can't sound the alert, just scream helplessly and fire blindly, often mowing down other enemies. More generally, you are a blade-wielding Stealth Expert sneaking about casually dismembering the mooks in horrible fashion. Really, it's Mook Horror Show: The Game.
- Corvo from Dishonored. Using the Flash Step power to get behind an enemy makes them wonder "where'd he go?", and then you can strangle them unconsious, slit their throat, shoot them in the back, or feed them to a swarm of rats, and if you're good enough at sneaking about, you can do all that without them seeing much more than your terrifying visage and their life flashing before their eyes. That skull mask he's wearing is enough to reduce most bystanders to tears. And that's not even mentioning that you can use severed body parts as thrown weapons.
- The idle chatter that the assassins have make it absolutely clear they're scared by how skillful Corvo is. God only knows what the ordinary mooks think of him, seeing as they don't have access to supernatural powers.
- The waterwraith in Pikmin 2 is a rare example of a boss horror show. Throughout the dungeon, the waterwraith has been terrorizing you with its relentless chase. It's completely invincible, and will kill any pikmin on contact, all while making an unholy gargling noise. Most players consider it the scariest thing in a game with no shortage of horror (seriously, look how long its page is. What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?) But on the final floor, where you have to face it as a boss, you have purple pikmin with you now. It is terrified of that "thud" sound that they make when thrown. Once you get it into its second phase, it is completely incapable of harming you. Its only movements are to either run the hell away, or to cower in fear of that noise.
- The opening of Shadow Hearts Covenant involves a unit of German soldiers invading the French village of Domremy. They enter the church, only to hear something taking out the rest of the unit outside. Then a massive, winged demon smashes through the window and proceeds to mop the floor with them. The last thing you see is the demon casually strolling away, and transforming back into beloved protagonist, Yuri.
- The preview trailers for Krieg the Psycho, the sixth confirmed playable character in Borderlands 2, show bandits being obliterated by his hulking silhouette in a dark crimson area, particularly as part of experiments being used on him.
- In The Last of Us, Joel and Ellie, as they trek across America, begin to get a reputation as the "crazy old man and girl" who are unstoppable killing machines. In fact, in a sequence near the end of the game, when Joel is noticed, the human enemies start running away rather than rush in and attempt to gang up like they have done up to that point.
- This is done in Spec Ops: The Line, only there is no Hero. First, there are the scared cries of enemy combatants during battle. Later, in one scene, a character is shown dying of terrible burns to the airway from a white phosphorous attack you dropped on him. With eyes wide with terror, he just gargles out, "Why?" Near the end game, there is a whole memorial to all the men who've been killed. It's covered in dog tags and American flags. The pictures of the Player Character and the support NPC are found on it. The grief and hate is nearly palpable.
- Lara Croft does this in Tomb Raider (2013). By about the midpoint of the game mooks give a collective Oh, Crap when they see her coming. Especially when she picks up the grenade launcher, and beginning with her assault on the Solarii compound to rescue Alex and the others Lara begins actively hunting them down.
- If you take the violent route in Iji (straining poor Iji's already fragile sanity), you can read the logs the enemies leave behind. They vary between fear of the grunts, astonishment, and anger of the officers struggling to maintain the discipline.
- Even in a Pacifist Run you'll find logs freaking out over this human anomaly just waltzing through the aliens' defenses without even killing anything (plus the fact that Iji is likely holding onto enough weapons and ammo to supply a small army.)
- In Dead Space 3, after Isaac Clarke's love interest, Ellie, is apparently killed the scared man who had until that point just been desperately trying to survive goes away for awhile, as Isaac begins relentlessly slaughtering his way through Necromorph and Unitologist alike. The Unitologist radio chatter reveals their panic, because no matter what they throw at Clarke, he won't stop coming.
- Transformers: Fall of Cybertron features Grimlock's levels, which feel very much like playing as the horror movie monster. His alternate mode is a robotic fire-breathing Tyrannosaurus rex, gigantic even by Transformer standards and completely unlike anything ever seen or conceived of on Cybertron. He's also got a reputation planet-wide as an anger-fueled berserker, and nearly impossible to control even for the long-suffering Optimus Prime. Battle-hardened Decepticons collectively go into blabbering panic at the sight of him, and even rocket launchers and laser cannons hardly faze him. His finishing moves include ramming a twenty-foot-long sword (larger than his enemies are tall!) through their chests or heads, crushing them underfoot, biting them in half, melting them to slag with his fire breath, or just beating on Decepticons with other Decepticons.
- At the start of Breath Of Fire 3, you play as an awaken dragon pup, and burn your way through a bunch of mine workers trying to capture you.
- In Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, Ryu turns into a Deadly Upgrade dragon form, Odjn, then wipes the floor with Bosch and his mooks. After that, every time you turn Ryu into the dragon, even bosses go down in a few hits.
- Occasionally, That One Player becomes this to their gaming community. For instance, Dslyecxi, founder of Arma clan Shack Tactical, is treated as a terrifying specter of a man who can approach, make a kill, and escape without warning. Name-dropping him in a match is a great way to suddenly cause the other side to start making mistakes out of fear of him and his reputation. There's also been a few cases where he panicked the other team so badly just by his presence that they started killing each other by mistake trying to kill him. Please note that in this instance, he had been confirmed down and out in the game for several minutes and they were still causing friendly fire casualties because they thought they were shooting Dslyecxi and not each other.
- Valkyria Chronicles' chapter 4 battle has as its victory cutscene the heroes raising a drawbridge underneath an Imperial armor company. There's shots of the enemy tanks scrabbling to stay on the bridge and an infantryman hanging onto the bridge for dear life before the slope becomes too steep and they fall off.
- The introductory cinematic for the Raptor in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Console) consists of a terrified hunter running for his life while being pursued by a pack of raptors, an Aliens-style motion detector/radar screen indicating just how screwed he is.
- Schlock Mercenary: Schlock, being bulletproof, super-strong, fond of heavy ordnance, habitually eating his enemies and not at all humanoid, naturally gets this treatment sometimes.
- Nowhere more so than in Schlocktoberfest 2001. It starts as a horror movie cliche when Diamond Bugs easily tear through armor, and then reverses when they face the "regenerating zombie cannibal!". Compounded by the fact that the enemies are depicted as children and he has at least quadrupled his size and strength by consuming his fallen comrades' bodies, and preserving their heads in jars.
- Dan, of Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures , does this to Regina, starting about here, for the next four pages.
- Mushroom Go, being about a group of pirates in the Mushroom Kingdom, treats Mario this way. His only appearance to date was in a flashback told by Captain Martello. He crippled her Hammer Brother father for life and incinerated his partner. The way she describes him makes him seem like a terrifying, one-man-army, monster, which to the Koopa Troop, he kinda is.
- In Skin Deep, seriously ticking off a bugbear can create this trope very quickly.
- If you make Superman in DCAU angry enough, he may do this.
- Shades of this in the portrayal of "The Night Watcher," Raphael's vigilante persona in the fourth Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.
- One episode of The Venture Bros. started out this way by showing what Brock Sampson in action looks like through the eyes of a rookie henchman. After the rookie's corpse is used as a test subject in Dr. Venture's reanimation experiments, Brock must deal with the guilt of accepting that the disposable mooks he's been killing are generally decent people.
- In an episode of Megas XLR, "Coop D'Etat," an army of giant robots follow Megas into a large cloud and are picked off one by one. One of the robots even trembles in fear.
- Several Samurai Jack episodes were told through the eyes of sympathetic characters attempting to kill Jack. Jack is just as unstoppable in those episodes as any others.
- At the end of the Three Episode Pilot, Jack has single-handedly decimated a horde of insectoid Mecha-Mooks, ending with one of the robots surrounding him taking a single step away from the samurai covered in the Symbolic Blood of his enemies. "No. There is no escape." Violent action ensues.
- In the Ben 10 episode "Last Laugh", the main villain, Zombozo, has one of the most ironic examples of this trope: after tormenting Ben the entire episode through Mind Rape, he finally pushes Ben too far by threatening his cousin, causing Ben to become Ghostfreak and invoke this trope to literally scare Zombozo to death.
- Happens to the same villain again at the hands of Gwen in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien when he tries to kill her aunt right in front of her. Gwen replies by going One-Winged Angel and terrifying the living heck out of him.
- Ben actually has mutiple scenes in all series where he displays this trope: in one episode of the original series, he attacked two mooks in his Ripjaw mode in a typical Jawesque fashion; Alien Force and Ultimate Alien have scenes such as when he threaten people as Rath (though Rath's behaviour make it more comical), and the list goes on.
- Though it didn't involve a villain, Ben 10: Alien Force also had a full episode with Ben doing this to his own allies as part of a test to see how good they had become. For the whole episode, they were trapped on a space station with Ben doing several times Offscreen Teleportation and beating them up in various form while mocking them with a Psychotic Smirk. It was creepy as hell.
- In the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "The Avatar State," Aang has a nightmare where he sees himself in the Avatar state, and realizes just how terrifying an opponent he is to his enemies when he unloads the whup-ass.
- In Beast Wars Optimus Primal, of all bots, pulls this in "Gorilla Warfare", when he's hit by a virus that was supposed to turn him into a coward. Instead, it made him a devoid-of-fear berserker who rampaged through the Predacon base, subjecting Taratulas and Waspinator to this trope.
- On Teen Titans, Raven once invoked this trope on Dr. Light by accident, because her self-control was slipping and her dark/angry half-demon side got out of control. Given a funny Continuity Nod later in the series, when a gleefully-gloating Dr. Light suddenly found himself facing Raven again, and immediately surrendered and asked to be taken to jail.
- In Gargoyles, the Manhattan Clan often invokes this trope.
- The very first episode of ∆on Flux casts the title character in this light, slaughtering masked mooks left and right to levels reaching almost parody. And then the masks come off, the families come to collect the bodies...
- One of the early shorts (before the series was made) begins with Aeon moving down dozens of enemy, and then the narrative abandons her to focus on one soldier's painful dying moments after being shot down.
- The opening sequence of Batman: The Animated Series follows in the same vein as other Batman media.
- The best in episode example is in "The Trial," when Batman escapes his straitjacket after the light is broken the villains are in a dark room lit only by Two-Face's lighter. Batman, in the exact dark environment where he is next to invincible, circles around the edges of the room, outside the lighter's light, and grabs the villains one by one. The Joker finally says it is okay to panic when he notices Harley suspended from the ceiling and bound with the straitjacket Batman had just escaped from. To make things worse for the villains, Harley was the one who was holding onto Batman's utility belt.
- The Man Who Killed Batman plays some variants when humble mook Sid the Squid gains the Red Baron title ''The man who killed Batman'': First, False Friend mook Eddie G. sets up Sid as the bait in an effort to avoid this trope with the Batman, so Sid is chased by a Terror Hero. Sid is saved by his own stupidity, then is taken to a Bad-Guy Bar to celebrate how he killed Batman, when some Bit Part Bad Guys Gang Bangers challenge him for the title of The toughest guy in Gotham. Cue a Bar Brawl. Sid is saved by the police, and is menaced by Harvey Bullock with a little Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique. Sid is saved by a lawyer who turns out to be Harley Quinn who leads Sid to the Joker, who puts Sid in a Death Trap. Sid escapes by a Deus ex Machina then Sid decides to ask The Don Rupert Thorne for help, who suspects Sid is trying to pull a Scheherezade Gambit and decides Sid has outlived his usefulness. Sid is ultimately saved by Batman, who finally plays this trope straight on Thorne's gang, and he sends Sid to Jail.
- Bulkhead pulls this in Transformers Prime with MECH Mooks.
- Predaking, having learned that the 'Cons engineered the destruction of his brethren, goes on a rampage inside the warship. The Vehicons try their best, but they're little more than an annoyance.
- In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Hank Pym's introductory scene and Establishing Character Moment as a nice guy unless you push him too far introduces him peacefully conducting experiments, until he's threatened by a team of badass mercenaries. At this point, he shrinks himself and shows how dangerous that power can be by taking out the group one by one, essentially invisible, causing all of them to totally lose their composure and freak out. The whole scene is inspired by a scene in Predator (with Hank standing in for the Predator).
- In Lilo & Stitch, Stitch's escape scene in the first part plays out this way.
- Being a pastiche of Batman and The Shadow, Darkwing Duck tries very hard to pull this trope off. He usually fails, but on occasions, he does succeeds quite well.
- In Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Spider-Man becomes this when wearing the black suit. Despite how hilariously hammy his dialogue was, you could still see the fear in Shocker's eyes as Spidey was literally hunting him down with the intention of killing him.
- Used in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) with Splinter. His appearance in Shredder's chamber is heralded by a panicked-looking Foot Mook falling into the room and being dragged back into darkness and a pair of Glowing Eyes of Doom.
- Given the Urpneys immense Sympathetic P.O.V. (and how cowardly they were on top of it), slapstick variations were fairly common in The Dreamstone. They even tried to make the cutesy heroes look as menacing as possible in many cases. "The Dream Beam Invasion" is a rare case of using the trope and then reversing it back onto the heroes straight afterwards.