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Pińata Enemy
"I'm gonna beat you 'till candy comes out!"
Jack, Mass Effect 3

An enemy target or victim in a video game sought out by the player because they are (relatively) easy to kill and have a very high payout.

Related to the Metal Slime, in that they are often elusive to find, but without the Slimes' annoying tendency to end its battle without getting killed in the process. To a certain extent, the opposite of Goddamned Bats; you want to see these guys. Differs from Money Spider, in that they seem to be in the game specifically to be killed for loot.

Some examples of Chest Monster are also these, dropping their "contents" upon death.


Examples:

  • Not counting mods that deconstruct the trope, Descent has supervisor droids (or other specially set units) that drop powerups such as invulnerability or a large amount of shields. The ones found in a Secret Level are a bit more deadly, which instead release rather dangerous enemies instead of the desired items, but destroying these subenemies results in the items that you wanted.
  • Most of the Dragon Quest series has golems made of solid gold which dispense a college fund on death.
  • The gold golem in Nethack, similar to the ones in the previous entry.
  • Various types of creeping coins in Angband and Wizardry.
  • The Rikti portals spawned by Communications Officers in City of Heroes are like this; they're inanimate objects with no attacks that give large amounts of XP and influence (the game's money) when defeated. The drawback is, naturally, that they spew out enemies while you're beating on them.
    • They've changed this—now, it's, the Communications Officers themselves who give the huge payout. And it's possible with the right powers to drop them before they can summon their portals.
    • Trying to keep players using the mission-designing system from stocking "farm" missions entirely with Pinata Enemies is an ongoing struggle for the developers.
  • The "Entrees" gang in the River City Ransom remake.
    • In the original, the second encounter with Benny and Clyde. They keep respawning, give out a lot of money, and by that point in the game you can easily build up enough stat gain to defeat them in a couple of blows every time.
  • In the Super Mario Bros. games, particularly the 3-D ones, the Moneybags monster will drop a lot of coins, 1-ups, or Star Bits depending on the game.
  • Werebats in Phantasy Star. They give out a lot of gold and experience near the beginning of the game, and are relatively weak for their rewards.
  • The Rappies in Phantasy Star Online and its sequel. They don't attack much (Or at all) unlike their more common relatives and can drop large amounts of money and valuable items when defeated.
    • The latter game also has the Mesetan and Takamikazuchi, which grant absurd amounts of meseta and EXP respectively. However, they're several magnitudes rarer then the aforementioned Rappy, to the point where you can easily go countless hours without running into either.
  • ChuChus drop delicious Chu Jelly, especially the rare ones on The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, which either act as super potion or can be sold for an enormous amount.
    • Going back to the first The Legend of Zelda game, players quickly learned that the best place to go for lots of rupees was the Tektite canyon two screens right of the origin.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Wallmasters leave you a crazy amount of rupees. However, whether or not it's worth it is debatable: if they catch you, it's back to the temple entrance for you, and OOT is the poster child for Money for Nothing.
  • In the Final Fantasy games, the Mover enemies usually give absolutely ridiculous amounts of both money and experience, being a rare and powerful monster usually stalking the final dungeon, so that the player can have quick and fairly easy access to power and resources at or after the endgame.
    • Depending on the game, though, Movers can be very difficult (Crisis Core is the worst with this). Cactuars sometimes fit the trope, though, since they often give a ton of cash and ability points, and can usually be dispatched fairly easily as long as you have the right skills.
    • Mimics in the Bonus Dungeon of Final Fantasy X are worth the danger (you can't escape from a battle with one) because they drop 50,000 Gil - or twice that with the right weapon ability equipped.
    • In the original game, Lit2/Bolt 2 makes the Wizards/Piscodaemons in Marsh Cave these, as one casting can wipe out the entire group for a very sizeable amount of gil and XP.
    • Final Fantasy V has the Zu, an enemy that appears in the overworld near a town less than 1/8 of the way through the game. It has a bit more HP than the other monsters nearby and doesn't reward significantly more XP or gold for killing it, but it has Elixirs (which completely refill 1 character's HP/MP) as both a stealable item and a random drop, at a fairly high rate.
  • The rare Ring Box enemy from zOMG! drops several rings when defeated. You just need to catch its attention first.
    • Duneslam may also count as this, since people farm him intensively for orbs and rings.
  • To some extent, the Countess in Diablo II may qualify for this. The first time you kill her, her spirit (in gaseous form) floats into a chest in the middle of the room, which pops open and dumps out several dozen piles of gold.
    • With the most recent patch, even in subsequent battles, on higher difficulties she has a better chance of dropping runes than most enemies, and probably the best chance proportional to the amount of effort needed to find and kill her. In addition to being useful in their own right, runes have also become the standard trade commodity of the Battle.net community.
    • Pindleskin was not intended to be this, if being patched is any indication, but before then it could drop the most powerful items in the game.
    • The Treasure Goblins from Diablo III also qualify as this sometimes, but if you don't kill them quickly, they'll open a portal and escape you.
  • Despite being more powerful than the average enemy, the Dragon in the Temple of Earth from Tales of Symphonia qualifies because it's still relatively easy to defeat (maybe not on your initial trip, but definitely gets to that point long before the end of the game) and has an insane payoff, made even more insane when you get an item that effectively doubles the monetary output from battles. And there's a sidequest that requires the donation of copious amounts of money. Guess which enemy you'll be facing repeatedly?
    • Apparently the amount of money the dragon drops was a bug (someone misplaced a decimal point, turning 1000 into 10000), evidenced by the payoff being significantly lower in the PS2 Updated Re-release...not that anyone outside Japan got to know that firsthand.
    • Its cousin, the Gold Dragon, however, drops enough money in all versions of the game to be the go-to monster for gald farming as soon it's available.
  • Luigi's Mansion had specific blue Palette Swaps of the standard ghost who only appears in set places once, never to return whether caught or not. Of course these dispense mucho moolah.
    • There are also Golden Mice, which appear only in certain areas and give off tons of money, as well as being instantly vacuumed up with one suction.
  • Not money per se, but the Nutkins in Final Fantasy V, are easy creatures to fight, being found in the woods just outside the first temple (second dungeon). What makes them valuable is if you fight three of them at once, they dispense 2 ABP instead of the 1 that most fights in the first half of the game grant. Given their extreme ease to defeat and high appearance rate (nearly 50% of encounters in these woods will be against 3 Nutkin) it's pretty much the best place to power up your classes for a long time.
    • The best place to train in Final Fantasy V, however, is undoubtedly the Ship Graveyard. Go back after you've cleared Lv.14 or so, and you can basically OHKO all enemies. The battles give 1-3 ABP each. REALLY easy place to level up jobs.
  • Bravely Default has Gobblers, which drop 5000 pg each, and Guzzlers, which drop 333 JP each (so defeating a party of three of the latter will hit the cap for JP gain within a single battle). They also have very high defense and tend to flee from battle, and the Guzzlers can inflict all sorts of status effects on you. Overlaps with Metal Slime.
  • Fobbies in EarthBound. They're extremely weak, their attacks almost always backfire, and they're worth a buttload of experience points. You can even use PSI Magnet Omega to get a lot of PP from them.
    • Fobbies are good but the Criminal Caterpillar in the Dusty Dunes Desert and the Master Criminal Worm in Scaraba give out ridiculous amounts of EXP. They're a pain if you actually have to fight them but late game they run from you and if you sneak up behind them, you may not even have to fight them at all to get the EXP.
  • Beefy bodyguard bats in the early game of Kingdom of Loathing. Normally you only get to kill a few before you run into the Boss Bat and close that area, but there are ways around this...
  • The original Mega Man X has a cameo from a classic series enemy...which is pretty much an instant one-up. And it respawns the moment you walk off the screen!
  • Secret of Mana has Embermen. They appear only in the Palace of Darkness and a very select few other screens, but they give in the thousands of experience per kill...and, oh yeah, they're Mook Makers. You take it from there.
  • There's also the Pig Noise from The World Ends with You. These Noise provide treasure every single time you kill them, but they will run unless you use the right Pin to kill them. This is made much easier because, for some reason, they have no magic resistence to your partner's attacks.
  • The Golden GUN units in Sonic Adventure 2 teleport in at specific locations if you get close, and then teleport away if you don't kill them in time. They are worth 1,000 points, so you might want to consider memorizing their locations if you want to get those A ranks.
  • MapleStory has the Leprechaun, whose name alone should be a no brainer. What makes these guys interesting is that they don't attack, they don't move, they drop stuff twice before dying, they're fairly easy to kill at around Lv. 50 or so, and most of the time they spawn so close together that you can kill one while waiting for another to spawn. One could theoretically camp here and make a million mesos in about an hour, except that most of the maps they spawn on also spawn a type of ghost monster that's significantly less impressive (often taking away a Leprechaun's spawn); save for one which can randomly spawn the Headless Horseman.
  • Super Mario Galaxy has invisible enemies, called Starbags, which are full of star bits. you can follow their footprints to find them, and when you stun them they even look like money bags with legs.
  • Certain raid bosses in World of Warcraft have been specifically referred to as "loot pińatas" due to the ease of killing them compared to the amount of gold/loot they drop. Onyxia in particular acquired this reputation, as she was possible to solo as early as level 70 and dropped a comparably large amount of gold for the effort. Her reboot as a level 80 boss made this slightly harder. Grobbulus from the original Naxxramas was also widely considered "free loot" after the Beef Gate Patchwerk encounter.
    • World of Warcraft also has the rare mobs, which tend to be only marginally tougher than normal enemies and drop superior quality loot.
  • Parodied in The Bard's Tale where you kill a common wolf and it spews forth all sorts of goodies followed by a brief dialogue between the bard and the narrator.
  • In Time Crisis, some harmless "bonus enemies" will pop up from time to time. Shooting one will yield a timer bonus. In Time Crisis II, shooting a bonus enemy yields 5,000 points.
    • In Time Crisis III and IV, they give you ammo for your special weapons instead. However, since then they are capable of actually hurting you.
  • Not even Pokémon can evade having one of these. Whenever you see a bush shaking anywhere in Unova, it usually means an Audino got lost and is ripe for the pummeling. They give disproportionately large amounts of EXP compared to the rest of the local fauna.
    • Even lampshaded by an NPC near the first area you can encounter them in. They effectively tell you straight up that Audino is an EXP cow. Victini is also another case of this...for those who got the Liberty Pass, anyway.
    • In X and Y, Audino can be caught in the wild but are harder to get in this generation. However if you fight trainers enough in the Battle Chateau and obtain at least Duke/Duchess title, you can then find Furisode Girls there, who use nothing but Audino. Pokémon owned by trainers give off more EXP than ones in the wild. In fact, if you have at least Duke/Duchess rank, you write a Red Writ of Challenge to increase the level of the other trainer's Pokémon by 20 so that the Duchess Furisode Girls have three Level 65 Audino (or two level 55 Audino, for the Marchioness-ranked Furisode Girls), equip the Lucky Egg to your Pokémon, and use a Level 3 Exp O-Power on yourself before the fight (Or get someone else to give it to you), you can get around 20000 Experience per Audino.
    • Blisseys are an even better source of EXP, as they give out twice the EXP as Audinos! However, good luck finding somebody who has one, let alone defeating one. In Black 2 and White 2, there is a Nurse on Twist Mountain with one at Level 62.
      • On a similar vein, the Pokémon Breeders in the Black Tower/White Treehollow. Although there's only two per level, and you'll have to dodge other trainers to find them, they have at least two members of the Chansey family, making them perfect for leveling up if you're training a physical-based mon.
      • In the Gen V games, there's a chance of the Big Stadium or Small Court in Nimbasa City having a Doctor or Nurse, who will have an Audino in Black or White, or a Chansey in Black 2 or White 2. The trainers there also aren't set until you enter the building, so you can keep resetting and going in until they appear.
    • Rich Boys, Ladies, and the like give you tons of cash after beating them. In R/S/E, there's a Rich Boy on the third route of the game that gives you $1400 after beating him, 10 times the amount most trainers at that point are giving out. They're also usually pretty weak trainers overall.
      • A natural extension of this can be found in the post-game in Undella Town, where you fight The Riches, a whole family of comically-weak-to-pretty-hard trainers that you fight gauntlet style, with a new family member showing up every day till there are six. It can be pretty hard later on, but each member of the family gives you over twelve thousand cash each.
    • Gym trainers can become this in any of the games for a Mon of the right type. About to face a gym full of trainers with Flying type Pokemon? Better get your Electric or Rock type ready. Bonus points if you give them an Amulet Coin (double money) or a Lucky Egg in Gen V (extra experience) to hold. Beware though, the Gym leader will often have at least one Pokemon with a secondary type strong against the one you have been cleaning house with.
  • Numemon is this is Digimon World 3. They take a lot to kill, but are otherwise weak, and pack a ton of experience. The Numemon in the Asuka Jungle Shrine pack as much experience as some of the late Amaterasu Mooks. The ones in the Amaterasu Jungle Shrine pack more experience than any other Mook in the game.
  • The Board Game Arkham Horror has the Mi-go, a fairly weak enemy that gives you a unique item when killed.
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn has the standard mooks of the last stage, the Tua Soldiers. While they have decent attacks and will heal themselves, they are worth a truckload of experience and they'll always drop the Water of Life, a much-valued reviving item. To further sweeten the deal, they are completely outside the game's Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors system in that they're weak to all the elements. This means that Djinni kills—which give you an additional 50% of the experience if you finish off your enemy with a Djinni of the element that it's weak against—are ridiculously easy to achieve. A standard group of three is worth almost the same amount of experience as some of the weaker bosses if killed in this way, and it's easy to level up your party by five or six levels in thirty minutes.
  • Dark Souls has the Forest Hunters and Darkmoon soldiers, quick sources of souls, and a respawning Titanite demon, which drops the otherwise limited in number Demon Titanite, used to upgrade powerful boss weapons.
  • In X-Men Legends 2, you get Limit Break powers called Xtreme once you fill up your Xtreme meter, but you probably have to do a second playthrough to get your secondary ones. Gambit's secondary Xtreme is called Prince of Thieves, and Toad's is called Plunder. These increase the drop rate of health, energy, and techbits for a limited time (often Money for Nothing, but they can buy some useful items). Effectively turning all your enemies into this.
    • In the Ultimate Alliance (spiritual sequel) games certain characters have "extra loot drops" as a passive ability.
  • The flying cats in Keith Courage In Alpha Zones are the best resource for money grinding, especially given that killing sixteen of them will spawn a golden version with a more valuable drop.
  • Some enemies in Bubble Tanks 2 are like this- they don't attack and drop a lot of bubbles. They usually tend to appear in an adjacent bubble if the player took too much damage (where taking damage meant losing experience points).
  • Drug dealers in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Each drops around $2000 (and pistol ammo) when killed, generally spawn alone, and after an early mission are extremely common, making them a valuable source of income early in the game.
  • The Zombie Island of Doctor Ned in Borderlands has Corpse Eaters, airborne enemies that are numerous, very easy to kill with minimal threat, and provide an absurd amount of experience for their challenge, making them excellent to level up weapon profiencies on.
  • In Borderlands 2, any location on a map with a guaranteed Badass spawn is an easy farm point; most of these enemies are indeed tougher than their common brethren, but not enough to be anything more than an Elite Mook at best. They also offer better experience than normal enemies and tend to drop one or more items of at least green rarity, and a particularly profitable Badass kill looks like lens flare on shiny confetti. Many Badasses will come out of small huts, most of which are small, otherwise impervious bunkers that can be improved by the addition of a grenade. Alternately, since many named bosses respawn, some of the simpler or weaker bosses can be farmed for useful equipment (for instance, the Hodunk-Zaford showdown bosses are relatively easy fights who can be farmed for two completely different but highly desired weapons).
  • In Civilization V, barbarians come from camps that spawn in unpopulated wilderness. Defeating the defenders of the camp and razing it gives you a gold bounty (which is far larger for the Songhai empire, and has a slight chance of also giving you a free combat unit as Germany). The Aztecs gain culture from every unit killed, meaning they can develop their society by hunting down barbarians or engaging another major civilization. Investing in the Honor social policies also lets any nation gain culture and gold benefits for each enemy defeated.
  • Rare non-game example: the Mandrels in the Doctor Who story "Nightmare of Eden". They're monsters that decompose into a highly sought-after (and very illegal) narcotic when they die.
  • Shamblers in They Bleed Pixels are the most basic enemies, but have the most HP, so they're easy to get high combos off of. In later levels, they're conspicuously placed in spots where you'll need a high combo to generate a checkpoint.
  • Blazes and Wither Skeletons in Minecraft. Blazes drop Blaze Rods, which are incredibly useful as a fuel source, crafting the brewing stand, and a potion ingredient, as well as for reaching The End. Wither Skeletons have a very rare chance of dropping Wither Skulls- it takes three of these skulls to build the Wither, a boss monster that drops the Nether Star when it dies.
  • Ragnarok Online has a few, most notably Mandragoras, which are rather low-level and cannot move. They're easy bait for ranged attacks, and fairly weak for close-range combateers too. They drop an item that's easily sold to Alchemists at a 90% chance and are found on a map directly north of a town in massive quantities (occasionally Alchemists will even park their characters right in front of the map change portal to buy this item, also in massive quantities). This is an easy way for people to make enough money to cover daily expenses early in the game.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Revenants and Entombed are pathetically weak, usually having laughably low attack power and defence (the ones in Spiritual Successor Tear Ring Saga outright have 0 in most stats), but Entombed give huge amounts of EXP on being killed. They're usually kind of rare, but the few maps where they're guaranteed to show up generally end up as Peninsulas of Power Leveling. The first floor of the Tower of Valni in Sacred Stones is one such example, as well as a DLC map full of them in Awakening.
    • Though not to the same extent as the Entombed, thieves and their promoted classes tend to give more EXP than other classes of the same level.
  • Super Mutant Behemoths in Fallout 3 carry loads of ammo, including at least one of the rare Mini Nukes each.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, lone mercenaries can be this. If they're not part of a caravan (who will all universally turn on you for shooting one of them), you can quickly stealth-kill one and effectively gain the contents of a low level player character's inventory. This will always include basic armor, a decent one-handed weapon (including the uncommon but valuable 10mm SMG), and various kinds of food and ammo. The player doesn't lose any reputation or karma for killing these mercenaries, and they're not even hostile to the player to start.
    • Similar to the Super Mutant Behemoth example above, Mini Nukes are rather rare in the Mojave and are almost never seen...except for one Boomer who spawns with three of them. This Boomer's inventory doesn't respawn the Mini Nukes if they're stolen from him, but he respawns in three days if he dies. Cue many couriers hunting and killing this one luckless bloke repeatedly so that they have a supply of Mini Nukes.
  • In Dragon Fable, some of the "titan battles" are this. The Metal Slime aspect is averted because the player can use the Dragon Rider armor, which, if it weren't exclusive to said titan battles, would be the most powerful armor in the game.
  • In a non-literary example, pupating chasmfiends from The Stormlight Archive. While wild chasmfiends are too dangerous to fit this trope, when they pupate they are effectively helpless, and all chasmfiends have a "gemheart", an enormous gemstone that grows within the chasmfiend's body.
  • Early on in Kingdom Hearts, there is a small area in Agrabah that has a chance to spawn four Black Fungi (a subspecies of the Mushrooms). Most of the time, due to their poisonous gasses and occasional invincibility, they'd be quite annoying... but they give out 96exp per Fungus, which is way more than most Heartless would give out at this point, and also have a chance to drop a Mystery Goo or a Mystery Mold. Quite worthwhile if one does not have the patience to grind with the common Heartless.

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