"He does not have to earn my loyalty, Captain. He has had it from the moment I was conceived. I am a Jem'Hadar. He is a Vorta. It is the order of things."
"Do you really want to give up your life for the 'order of things'?"
"It's not my life to give up, Captain– and it never was."
who have been enslaved, and sometimes considered Meat Puppets
. If they aren't brainwashed they normally rebel, if only in small numbers (due to fear). Normally played to tug at those tug-proof heartstrings. Nine times out of 10, the brainwashed version won't rebel, and any supporting characters are depressed by their existence. These mooks are normally controlled by the Big Bad
or are part of a Hive Mind
, and rarely do things willingly. Slaves enthralled by More Than Mind Control
are less likely to rebel, even against a perniciously Bad Boss
, and may even Hannibal Lecture
other characters about their suitability for slavery. If they aren't used depressingly, expect them to be comic relief. They can be pushovers or bosses, but they share the fact that they have about as much free will as a zombie. If they rebel, it will be in small numbers normally. On rare occasions they will be a boss, but rarely The Dragon
and never the Big Bad
Subtrope of Forced Into Evil
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- The Boosted Men of Gundam SEED were kept under control by drugs, classified as equipment, and considered even more expendable than the rest of the Earth Alliance Forces. The Extended in Gundam SEED Destiny are conditioned to be emotionally dependent on their commander Neo and will die without regular treatment that only the Earth Forces can provide.
- Most of Emperor Lelouch's forces in Code Geass.
- In Pokémon Special, we're not exactly sure what is up with the Galatic Mooks, as for some reason do they not only look exactly the same, they have their own weird language and seem to move as one entity. They don't seem to be anything more than mindless dolls.
- YuYu Hakusho has Cultivated Humans.
- In the Batman comics, Poison Ivy often uses spores to create a mind controlled army of mooks. During the Hush storyline, she even uses kryptonite infused spores to turn Superman into a slave mook.
- Parademons are this to Darkseid. They dare not disobey Darkseid, and will gladly pursue death in by the hands of their enemies.
- In Spirou and Fantasio, Mad Scientist Zorglub has an army of brainwashed 'Zorgmen' to do his bidding.
- A Growing Affection has Shozokus, ninjas who swear (some willingly, others not so much) a number of oaths that will kill them if the oaths are violated. Among them, keep the fact that you are a Shozoku secret, obey the Big Bad's orders, obey his Dragons' orders unless they contradict his orders, and don't use ninjutsu on civilians unless specifically ordered.
- Alexia's minions in The Return since they are her Mind Raped and brain washed daughter Succubae.
- Xerxes' army in 300 is mostly comprised of slaves.
- A movie version of this is the Evil Dead deadites, which are possessed (in the first two films).
- The Clones in Star Wars prequels. They're designed to be completely loyal, more intelligent meat-droids who obey orders without question. Nonetheless, they're still quite human, forming family bonds and enjoying their lot in life while serving with their Jedi generals. When Order 66 comes out, virtually all of them obeyed. The troopers who disobeyed the order were commandos or delta units, clones specifically designed to be more independent minded due to the more complex missions they're assigned.
- The original, permanently-hairy Lycans from the Underworld movies were utilized as this trope by medieval-era vampires.
- Controllers in Animorphs, since the Yeerks are sentient parasites that take over a host's body, including essentially the entire population of Gedds, Hork-Bajir, and Taxxons (though Taxxons are willing slaves).
- In Tom Kratman's Caliphate, the Janissaries are young non-Muslim boys taken from their families and brought up in Islam to serve as the Caliphate's armed forces, much like the Real Life version that served the Ottoman Empire.
- Codex Alera has the Immortals, slaves wearing “Discipline Collars” that give pleasure when obeying orders and pain when disobeying. They've worn those collars their entire lives, making them utterly loyal to their master and more animal than man.
- In Alan Dean Foster's The Damned series, the "allied species" (don't kid yourself) of the telepathic Amplitur have been so heavily brainwashed that they happily throw themselves into battle in order to promote the Amplitur's "purpose", and will never refuse an order... sorry, never refuse a "polite request" (again, don't kid yourself) from an Amplitur. Ever. It never occurs to them to even consider refusing any such orders... sorry again, "polite requests".
- Draka janissaries are slave troops used in attrition situations, such as anti-partisan work or trench assaults. They tend to join and fight freely for perks like the right to pillage, and for the limited social mobility it offers individual janissaries within the brutal Drakan hierarchy.
- In The Lord of the Rings, when Frodo and Sam are infiltrated into Mordor, a regiment of orcs turns out to be conscripts.
- This is the case for most of Sauron's mooks, actually- "he had few servants, but many slaves". In fact, Mordor's formidable natural and man-made barriers are there at least as much to keep Sauron's minions in as they are to keep his enemies out. Even the Nazgűl themselves only serve because their Rings of Power turned them into little more than extensions of the Dark Lord's will.
- From Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, Lord Shadowspawn's Pawns are human Force-sensitives who have been effectively lobotomized and implanted with telepathic receptors that allow him to control and speak through them remotely. Then it turns out that Shadowspawn (or rather, Shadow's Pawn), is a Pawn himself. The real mastermind is the frail but powerful Cronal.
- New Jedi Order brings us the Chazrach, reptilian slave soldiers of the Yuuzhan Vong. They're an almost tragic case in that they started out as conquered subjects of the Vong, and over the centuries, underwent progressive genetic "shaping" that eventually rendered them little more than mindless automatons, with no greater instinct beyond fighting for their masters. As Jedi Master Lar Le'ung puts it, "They have no free will, so do not try to reason with them". It later turns out that Supreme Overlord Shimmra, the supposed Big Bad of the story, is in fact something similar to his Force-sensitive evil Jester Onimi, though this is through Mind Control rather than genetic manipulation. That said, it is implied that the real Shimmra was actually every bit as evil and bloodthirsty as he appeared to be, so his Karmic Death is well deserved.
- The Winkies in The Wizard of Oz, stated in the original book, though only alluded to in the movie (the "hail to Dorothy, the wicked witch is dead!" scene).
- Both the Brainwashed and the normal variety show up in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Some are mooks of weekly villains like the giant worm demon thing in Bad Eggs' baby-controlled people and some are the season's Big Bad's. Spike becomes one of the brainwashed types in Season 7 due to the First. Some of the mooks are only so because of the Big Bad being a very Bad Boss.
- The Robo-Men in Doctor Who. After the Daleks invaded Earth, the Robo-Men were created by the as police/enforcers. They wore cybernetic helmets which could not be removed without killing them. Not to be confused with the Cybermen, who also use headsets to enslave humans prior to Cyber-conversion.
- Near the end of season 1 of Falling Skies, it's revealed that the apparent Big Bads, the Skitters, are actually a race of Slave Mooks controlled by the Overlords.
- The Shocker combatants in the original Kamen Rider are implied to be this, due to Shocker's tendency to kidnap, alter, and brainwash people into serving them.
- Stargate SG-1: The armies of the Goa'uld are made up exclusively of slave mooks of one sort or another. By far the most common variety is the Jaffa, though a Goa'uld near defeat will sometimes use humans instead.
- The Jem'Hadar in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Interestingly, it is shown that the Jem'Hadar fully worship the founders, and rebelling against them is rare. However, they tend to distrust their Vorta overseers and rebelling against them is not as rare. Most Jem'Hadar remain loyal to the Vorta however, because it is the order of things.
- The Borg also fit this to some extent as well, in the brainwashed/Hive Mind sense. They really stepped into it by the time of Star Trek: Voyager, and in the episode "Unimatrix Zero", there's a "Borg Resistance", as it were, that initially operates in an unconscious shared dream world.
- Invoked Trope in the French national anthem:
What do they want this horde of slaves
Of traitors and conspiratorial kings?
Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors,
Bear or hold back your blows!
Spare these sorry victims,
Arming against us with regrets.
- The Iron Ring, a network of slavers from the Mystara setting, reduces some of its victims to a state of berserk insanity, then uses them as expendable human guard-dogs.
- Grand Warlord Voss from Sentinels Of The Multiverse has a army full of them. His evil plan is to go to other planets, concur them using his slave mook army, then add that planet's citizens to said slave mook army, then go to an othe rplanet and do the whole process again.
- The Skaven faction of Warhammer uses slaves (of their own species) as expendable troops. So expendable that they have a special rule allowing the player to shoot at them in melee in the hope that the shots will kill their enemies. Skavenslaves elicit little of the sympathy often associated with this trope, however, as the Skaven are so prone to screwing each other over that the slaves would willingly enslave their masters at the drop of a hat, and are just as scheming and nasty as any other Skaven.
- Back when Chaos Dwarfs had a list, they could field multiple units from the Orcs and Goblins list as slaves. The biggest and surliest of the Orcs, Black Orcs, were created when the Chaos Dwarfs tried to develop a more durable and intelligent Orc slave; it did not work out well for them.
- The Jopall Indentured Squadrons in Warhammer 40,000 are indebted to their world's government from the moment they're born (as is everyone born on Jopall). Military service is one of the fastest (not to mention riskiest) ways to earn their freedom.
- The Desert Orcs in Age Of War were the only faction that didn’t have catapults. Instead, they used slaves that were brainwashed into carrying an explosive barrel to the enemy fortress.
- The Titan Monsters in Batman: Arkham Asylum may be this, but Poison Ivy's minions are this for sure, as they are mind controlled.
- The Bureau: XCOM Declassified had the Sectoid aliens, which were enslaved by the Outsider race to act as pure cannon fodder, with mind control collars used to ensure their obedience. They are always only armed with pistols and are the only unit with less health than your soldiers.
- In XCOM: Enemy Unknown, all but one of the alien species you fight are slave mooks. Some are genetically modified to the point where they too stupid to function without their masters' oversight. Their masters' MO is to invade planets in the hopes of accelerating that species' technological and genetic development. Those who fail to become psychic super-soldiers in response are overrun, and forcibly devolved into mooks for the next invasion/experiment. Whether humanity passes this test is up to the player.
- In Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge, Yuri's Resource Gathering is handled by the slave miner, a mobile ore refinery which travels to ore fields and has slaves come out and shovel ore into it. When the refinery is destroyed, the miners will defect to your side, but seeing as how they're emaciated, shirtless, and armed only with shovels, they're roughly on par with the Technician unit from the early Command & Conquer games (unless they somehow reach Elite...). Also, any enemy unit that Yuri's faction mind controls will revert back to the original owner once the mind controller is destroyed, with the exception of the Psychic Dominator and the units it nabs.
- Ghost Drones in The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena are human prisoners who are captured by Athena Company, cut open, and have cybernetic implants shoved into their organs and brain, the goal being to create an army of mindless combat drones to sell off to the highest bidder. They're not particularly tough (their guns are a bit weaker than a basic assault rifle, and it only takes a couple assault rifle bullets to drop them), but since their weapon is attached to their arm you can't steal it from them after you kill them.) In the last level they Turned Against Their Masters thanks to some hacking of the ship's computer by Riddick's kid sidekick.
- Doom has its zombies, slaves to Hell.
- Quite a few enemy soldiers in Drakengard are kidnapped, press-ganged unfortunates. This includes the children...
- In Fallout 3, Clover would count as this.
- In Final Fantasy XIII, the fal'Cie are only motivated to fulfill their Focus (orders from the boss) by the threat of becoming a Cie'th, a zombie-like monster. On other hand, their reward is to be turned into a crystal statue.
- In Fire Emblem, this plays a part in most games: At least one unit per game is working for the bad guys against his will, but talking to him with a certain character will convince him to join your side.
- Essentially every Combine enemy in Half-Life 2 except the Advisors (probably)—including some of the vehicles. The humanoid ones are explicitly the brainwashed type, while the vehicles may be brainwashed, a hive mind, or no longer possessing the biological ability to think.
- Like the Flood example above, the headcrab zombies are the same. The most disturbing moments are when you can hear muffled screams for help and prayers to god from the human.
- But the best example in both games was the Vortigaunts, who were known as “alien slaves” in the first game, and winning the first game freed them, allowing them to join the good guys in the second.
- Depending on how heavily brainwashed they are, the Covenant in Halo. By the end of the second game, a full-scale civil war has ensued between the Elites and Brutes of the Covenant, with Grunts caught on both sides.
- Of the Covenant, the Grunts are the most obviously enslaved species. They are at the very bottom of the Covenant Hierarchy, even below the hired mercenaries. They're used for all the menial tasks and militarily are are used en masse due to their apparent large population and high reproductive rate. Killing a Grunt isn't even a crime among the Covenant races.
- The Flood Combat and Carrier forms. The host bodies don't WANT to be that, but they are forced to by the Infection Form infesting them.
- Engineers are Actual Pacifist biological supercomputers. So what does the Covenant do? Wire them up with bombs and force them to help the war effort. In ODST, you get an achievement for either not killing any engineers of your own free will as the Rookie, or by killing all of them (a freed engineer, Vergil is actually the MacGuffin of the game). In Reach, their servitude is not explored, and you just shoot them.
- The Dungeons of Heroes of Might and Magic III and V have this: in III, it's the naturally blind Troglodytes, who are implied to hardly ever be allowed to lead, though a large proportion of their Heroes are in fact Troglodytes, including Shakti, one of the best heroes in the game on short maps. In V, the Minotaurs are downgraded to a more clear example of this (in III they were Elite Mooks). Also, the Goblins in V, to a rather absurd extent.
- Mass Effect has the Husks, slave mooks created using Reaper technology. They impale the corpses of their humans on 'dragon's teeth', which gradually turn them into mecha-zombies. The second game adds more variants, and the third introduces husks made from other species.
- In fact, anyone at all that has had extended contact with the Reapers will eventually become indoctrinated by them; this process was the first step in creating the Collectors from Mass Effect 2, who started out as indoctrinated Protheans before being reduced to mindless, sexless, nigh-identical slave mooks by millenia of experimentation.
- A non-Reaper-related example would be the colonists at Feros under the Thorian's mind control.
- In Mass Effect 3, Cerberus's mooks are primarily kidnapped human refugees stuffed full with cybernetics. Not surprisingly, they're also all indoctrinated by the Reapers.
- While the "heretic" geth serve the Reapers willingly, the "true" geth have to be forcibly controlled by Reaper code.
- Many of the genome soldiers and nanomachine-enhanced military personnel in the Metal Gear series.
- Metroid Prime's Space Pirate militia are disposable. One fully-charged shot will kill them, and they're not terribly smart. They are made up of criminals and captured slaves, disobedient militia are what the Space Pirate's rations are made of.
- In Shadow the Hedgehog, the Robot Shadows count.
- Knights of the Old Republic has, on one level, insane Selkath who serve this function. They're brainwashed by a massive firaxan shark.
- Lizard people in the Spider-Man 3 video game.
- Creator/Bungie's Marathon series had the Pfhor, heading a slaver empire whose thralls include Restraining Bolted S'pht cyborgs, captured AIs, the Drinniol… And you.
- The Sonic the Hedgehog series has Dr. Robotnik's Mecha-Mooks the Badniks, which are powered by the animals trapped inside them.
- Spider-Man: Web of Shadows has the symbiotes, which Spidey kills without any What the Hell, Hero? speeches.
- Most of the hybrids in System Shock 2. Some of them even have enough of a mind left to shout things like "I'm sorry!" and "Kill me!" at you.
- Some instances in World of Warcraft have these. Slave Pens and Steamvaults sping to mind. Both have enslaved Broken commanded by Naga slavemasters. Killing the slavemasters frees the slaves, causing them to stop attacking the players, thank them, and run away.
- All of the mad Witch Doctor Zalazane's henchmen are actually Darkspear trolls that have been enslaved by his magic. According to the site most of the Darkspear's population is under Zalazane's sway. It is not yet revealed whether it is possible to reverse this.
- Star Control II reveals that any race the Ur-Quan defeat have to chose between permanently being trapped on their home planet as fallow slaves, or becoming this trope as war slaves.
- The Kua-Toa of Tales From My D&D Campaign rely heavily on various slave races to serve as foot soldiers in their Enemy Civil War. Not as much used in battles with the land nations, due to the fact that the Kua are one of only two truly amphibious races in this setting (and the other one was all but wiped out). All other aquatic races die if they go more than a few hours out of water, unless someone uses magic to keep them alive. The heroes do once or twice encounter Kua slave forces, and generally spare them when they can.
- Ben 10: Alien Force the DNAliens are parasitic aliens that latch on a hosts turning it into a DNAlien. The Highbreed use them as their standard Mooks and treat them with disdain.
- In Winx Club, Valtor's minions are made up of brainwashed mermaids and witches.
- The most famous examples in Islam are the Caliphate's ghilman (who murdered four Caliphs in a row), Egypt's Mamelukes (Kypchaks who took over the government), and the Turkish Janissaries (well, not slaves, but at first they were kidnapped Christian children; more Tykebombs, then). They weren't mooks, though, their employers certainly wouldn't have put with their disloyalty if they weren't good at what they did.
- Well, later Ottoman Sultans were fed up by their disloyalty and the fact that they were becoming technologically obsolete. The disbandment of Janissaries took five Sultans because they would revolt and kill the Sultans opposing them.
- The Mamelukes were really more of warrior caste than this trope, though. Them taking over Mameluke Egypt was probably the best thing that could have ever happened to it also. Baybars, the most significant of the Mameluke sultans, is regarded as a hero throughout the Muslim world not only for his piety and good governance, but also essentially for saving the Muslim world at the time from the Mongols, who had pretty much steamrolled Baghdad, which was the heart of the Islamic world before its fall transferred that role to Cairo.
- Conscripts of any country may or may not be considered and/or consider themselves this.
- Child soldiers.
- In Dorian Greece, the Athenians used slaves as police officers. This was done because the fact that they belonged to the city and not to any individual made them free of the complicated political and family affiliations that would have made free citizens ineffective in the web of complex allegiances that made Athen's domestic politics.
- Crash Course: World History describes this as a "strategy that has been attempted over and over and has worked exactly zero times. ...Unless you're the Mongols."
- Galley slaves
- Sailors pressed into service by press gangs.