Smash! Smash! Smash! Mwahahahahahahaha!
The Smash Mook is the most single-minded enemy in the history of Role Playing Games
or Video Games
). All it does is direct attacks without any real strategy.
Whether it's an ogre
, a giant
, a troll
, a cyclops, a Golem
, a walking statue, or a robot that looks like one of these, you can expect few, if any, fancy tricks when fighting it. It may be a major threat, or a minor one, but they all fight the same way, smashing, smashing, and smashing.
What sets these apart from most enemies, whether regular enemies, Goddamned Bats
, bosses, or a Boss in Mook Clothing
, is the lack of variety. You encounter this enemy, you can expect these three traits. Nothing more, nothing less
- Great durability- either through an unusually high HP count or unusually high defense. Or both.
- Does a considerable (if not threatening) amount of damage with even its weakest attack (if applicable)
- Does have a variety when it comes to attacks, but the attacks come in approximately six forms, all similar enough that you'd hardly notice if an A.I. Roulette was running:
Don't expect anything fancy like magic, status effects, stat boosting, or acrobatic dodging and jumping (if applicable - but, again, with this trope, it almost never is)- apart from magic that improves its ability to smash things or take hits.
Now these enemies can be quite common in a game, and players often face two or three at once, so don't expect them to be too much tougher than a regular enemy. Once in a rare while one will be tough enough to be a Boss in Mook Clothing
, but you're likely to just find one or two such enemies in any game, while there can easily be half a dozen kinds of the moderately strong form of this enemy.
Compared Giant Mook
(although even those allow some variety in their attacks), Damage-Sponge Boss
, When All You Have Is a Hammer
This used to be called "The Ogre", but that name was gobbled up by Our Ogres Are Hungrier.
- Magic: The Gathering tends to put these in red and green; if they have an ability, it will be trample, meaning that if the creature that's blocking them is small enough, they will smash right through and hit the player behind it too.
- Or it will have haste, so it doesn't have to wait before it smashes.
- And, in VERY rare cases, it will have both at the same time.
- The Trolls in The Lord of the Rings were probably the archetype of the "modern" Ogre (although in The Hobbit they do show some degree of intelligence and cunning). This is even more apparent in the movies and subsequent video games, where all trolls are modeled specifically this way.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- The Ogre, the epitome of this trope if you go strictly by the moves listed in the monster manuals (imaginative Game Masters can make them more cunning). Giants, especially hill giants, fill this niche for higher-level adventures; they also get to throw rocks. Averted with frost giant jarls, who have access to Black Magic (thanks to levels as Blackguard, which is the Evil Counterpart to The Paladin), and storm giants, who carry bows and use a handful of spell-like abilities.
- Many monsters, and PC classes fit the bill here.
- Even in the new fourth edition, where even Kobolds have four or five game-altering techniques apiece, the Ogres still just mostly have variations on 'hit with club' or 'hit with club a lot'. (Although one has 'hit with flail' and another has 'hit with javelin and then hit with club'.)
- Monsters in 4e are sorted by roles; Soldiers are durable but don't hit very hard, Skirmishers are mobile, Artillery are ranged and so forth. Smash Mooks tend to be listed as Brutes, who are very durable and don't hit very often, but hit hard when they do — and sometimes Elite Brutes for those that smash really hard.
- Many armies in Warhammer have a unit of a very large allied species whose basic job is to hit things really hard and soak up damage. The Ogre Kingdoms, of course, are almost entirely this.
- Da Orcs have acid-vomiting, regenerating Trolls.
- They also have Giants, which used to have a list of Special Attacks that matched the list at the top of the page almost exactly. Except they could eat people, too.
- The Lizardmen have the Kroxigors, who function as construction workers and heavy lifters out of battle.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- Ogryns (which are really Ogres IN SPACE) fill a similar function, in addition to being among the few decent hand-to-hand fighters in the Imperial Guard. They are armed with Ripper Guns: giant shotguns designed specifically to not break when the Ogryn inevitably reaches close combat range and starts hitting people with it.
- The Tyranids and Orks are both certainly capable of building armies that amount to Smash Mooks galore.
- Krekka from BIONICLE.
: Krekka! You just woke up every Toa for kios
around. A Toa of Fire has spotted your team and you're about to be the guest of honor at a Dark Hunter bake. What are you going to do?
Krekka: Smash him?
- Final Fantasy series:
- Final Fantasy I based most of its monsters from D&D (just later changed the names of those which were actually trademarked), and the ogre was the first enemy of this kind that you faced in the game.
- Final Fantasy VI has a monster palatte type called "Gigas". The difference between a gigas and an ogre is apparently "hits with fist" as opposed to "hits with club".
- Acroliths in Final Fantasy XI. They either hit things, hit lots of things, or hit things really hard.
- A boss example would be the Wendigo from Final Fantasy X. After you blow away the heal-bot beast tamers following it, all it does is punch. Punch hard enough to knock out even Wakka or Auron in one hit. This is not a Puzzle Boss; just cast Blind on it and pray.
- Final Fantasies in general have a subversion in the Behemoth enemy, a colossal, purple horned beast that hits like a train and has more hitpoints than the moon. Very occasionally, they'll have some weak magic just for variety, but usually you don't realize they aren't just a standard smash mook until they cast Meteor on your whole party when they die- or worse, to counter any magic you use on them!
- Zus, the resident giant flyers of the franchise, don't have any special attacks to speak of, but they hit hard.
- Ogres from the D&D game Icewind Dale are typical - "Me will crush you! Crush you to goo!"
- They also do this in Baldur's Gate.
- The Throne of Bhaal expansion also has Fire Giants.
- The Ogre Battle series, of course. The Ogres are massive, hammer-wielding brutes who come to the human world from the Netherworld when summoned, along with goblins, gorgons, and other such demonic creatures. Oddly enough, the only game to actually feature Ogres is the 64 version...
- Golems are equally simplistic. From their first appearance in March of the Black Queen, all they do is throw particularly heavy punches. You can even recruit them fairly early on, giving you the potential for squads filled with these powerful constructs. (The downside is that they're incredibly fragile.)
- Dragon Quest games love this type. There are easily a dozen kinds in a few games, even if a lot are Palette Swaps.
- The page image is the Cyclops, an end-game mook from Dragon Quest II. Though many (if not most) of the enemies in this game are simple-minded damage machines, the Cyclops (and worse, the Gigantes) is a true embodiment of the trope. Only one attack, hits with a club for massive damage, has large amounts of HP...and little else.
- Kingdom Hearts - every breed of enemy you encounter has at least one of these:
- The Large Body Heartless is the most frequent. They do have some speedy moves, but that's not against this trope, and it's necessary, as they would be too easy to avoid otherwise.
- In the other games, there's the Berserker Nobody in Kingdom Hearts II, the Bruiser Unversed in Birth by Sleep, and the Kooma Panda Dream Eater in 3D.
- Also, the Ogres/Trolls on Ninja Gaiden. They have a vague appearance, but they fit the description.
- Zelda series:
- Moblins are only there for collision damage, they'll shake things up with a projectile. But they truly fit this trope in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, when all they do is pace back and forth in narrow corridors and charge Link if they see/hear him. The large Moblin at the end of the maze carries a club, and the only difference is that the attack sends shockwaves through the ground to hurt you from a distance.
- Even closer to the essence of this trope are the Iron Knuckles from Ocarina of Time, whose battle strategy consists solely of hitting Link with a giant axe. In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, sword/mace wielding Darknuts fill this role.
- Played straight in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. You're ambushed by pirates on your way back to the Ocean Sanctuary. You fight them in the train carriage, and they come in waves. One wave is a single Smash Mook; it pulls its arm back, prepares to swing, and then after a long time, it finally swings its club. The damage it does is monstrous, so it's best to play it safe.
- Berserkers in Gears of War. They see you, then what do they do? Charge straight at you. If they don't do an insta-kill, they will follow up in a matter of seconds. But they have nigh-invulnerability, powerful attacks and very predictable one-track attacks.
- Super Mario Bros. series
- Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga has The Clumph in Joke's End, and of course Queen Bean, who has the added bonus of being able to spawn additional mooks.
- Then there's Kent C. Koopa from Paper Mario.
- The Clubba in Paper Mario fits well. Its attacks include "club once for lots of damage" and "club three times for normal damage".
- Bouldergeist in Super Mario Galaxy, who only ever uses physical attacks and literally cannot move from the centre of the arena.
- The ogres of Jade Empire. Elephant and Rhino Demons as well.
- Blunderbores, Wendigo and Thorned Hulks from Diablo II.
- El Gigante in Resident Evil 4 is Nigh Invulnerable and can smash you to death if you're not careful.
- Ustanak from Resident Evil 6 has two priorities: Smash Jake, and smash anything that stands between him and Jake. And he's more than strong enough to do it.
(Ustanak throws a car high enough into the air to run under it before it hits the ground)
Jake: Son of a bitch, he's strong!
- The Ogre F.O.E. from Etrian Odyssey has only one attack: hit one of your guys hard. It will kill one or zero characters per turn. Your healer can resurrect one character per turn. It is mathematically impossible to lose to, but boy will you burn through a lot of resources trying to kill it.
- Guild Wars:
- The Jotun are gigantic club-wielding loincloth-wearing humanoids.
- The Giants of the same series are actually smaller and don't use melee weapons. They DO throw rocks and knock you down by stomping the ground, though.
- Headless monsters in Final Fantasy Tactics A2. They can hit, charge a turn for a double strength hit or occasionally use Ground Shaker to hit multiple characters in a line. Behemoths are mainly there to hit hard too, but they also have Cross Counter which makes them a bit trickier (it deals double damage on enemies with a counter skill and negates the counter).
- Ogres in Battle for Wesnoth. Trolls also apply, but at least they regenerate. Heck, most melee-only units with one attack option are this, whether a lowly Orcish Grunt or a high-level Loyalist Royal Guard. Some do have minor ranged attacks, though, just as most ranged units have minor melee attacks. Some also have different damage type options.
- Fate/stay night series:
- Servant Berserker embraces this trope. His "Mad Enhancement" skill boosts all of his stats at the cost of leaving him too insane to use any of his other skills, leaving 'hit it very very hard' as his only option as far as attacks go. He can, however, hit so hard that even if you dodge the air pressure can still kill you. While a Servant's Noble Phantasm is normally a powerful magic weapon, his "God Hand" is his own body and lets him No Sell just about anything you throw at him (he wields a random slab of rock instead).
Averted by the Berserker of Fate/Zero, whose "Eternal Arms Mastery" ability prevents him from losing his weapon skills due to mental influence (including Mad Enhancement). He also has the ability to turn any item he holds, including machine guns and broken telephone poles, into a low-ranked Noble Phantasm, or even steal Noble Phantasms from other Servants and use them at the Rank they originally were.
- Played entirely straight with the Trolls in Valkyrie Profile 2, sans for the fact they also slowly regenerate. All they do is hit you with their clubs and soak an annoying amount of damage.
- Warcraft series.
- Knights in Warcraft 3, one of the few units in the game with no abilities whatsoever. They just have high speeds, high armor and a strong attack, and all they do is move and attack. No druidic spells or stealth like Night Elven units, no self-healing abilities like Undead units, no pillage or physical abilities like many Orc units, no arcane tricks like the Blood Elves, and no guns-&-rocketry-based gimmicks like the Dwarves. Even the Knights' early-game counterparts, the humble Footmen, have a special ability, Defend.
- Although if you think about it, their speed is their gimmick. Just about every other unit has the same speed levels, hence a knight can easily be used for hit-and-run raids and retreating more effectively.
- Also, several creeps and mercenaries are this, though at the same time, a lot of them do possess spells or abilities and are not afraid to use them.
- Ogres are quite common enemies in World of Warcraft. Whether they're lv.20 or 70 all they do is hit you with something ("Me smash! You die!"). Then again, so do most normal mobs in the game (although most humanoid enemies tend to have at least some variety). Sometimes they have disarm, knockback or cleave attacks, but then they are usually recognizable for having a different model. Lower level of this type of mobs do nothing but autoattacking you, and they start adding more varieties to the attacks as you progress the dungeon levels such by adding interrupt, stun, mortal strike, whirlwind, enrage, or add some magic to the attacks.
- As an example for an actual boss, Patchwerk. He begins the Construct Quarter of Naxxramas and is one of the toughest fights in the place. Naxxramas also used to be the toughest instance around. What does he do? He hits hard. Really hard. And he hits someone else besides the tank hard. Really hard. No raid damage, no aggro dumping, no complicated phases, no mind control, no adds... nothing. It's hard to even pull aggro.
In fact, give the tanks 3-5 seconds before the fight to build some aggro, and make sure you're not a flimsy rogue or, God forbid, a Deathknight, and you don't have to worry about pulling aggro AT ALL. The fight is usually described as a 'tank and spank damage race', seeing as he will go into hard enrage mode after six minutes. It gets even more ridiculous when he passes 5% of his health (and he has A LOT) - he Frenzies, which increases attack speed, attack power... You get the picture.
- In Batman: Arkham City the first boss is a guy called Mister Hammer - a one armed gaint with a sledge hammer whose sole aim is to crush you into a fine red mist.
- In the original, the Titan-infected thugs fit this trope to a T, right down to having a meaner boss version in Bane.
- One of RuneScape's greatest flaws, and what makes it different from World of Warcraft above, is that all bosses for a long time were this... and all monsters behave like that. Monsters attack you until you die, they die, or they can't get to you if they're solely melee monsters. They had only up to three options: Smash with melee, shoot projectiles, shoot magic, and the only thing that changed was power. Tz Tok-Jad, the strongest boss of the times, level 702 (players get up to 138 maximum as a comparison) does only the two latter, the former if you stand next to him, and summons healers once at half health, what is unique. The fight is degenerated to switching invulnerability-giving protection prayers in time to protect against missiles and magic respectively. The next strongest boss, the Corporeal Beast, is a breakthrough due to its ability to target an area, from which players have to run away. The Barrelchest, a robot-like being with eyes and brain in a glass dome controlling it, also only smashes the player with his (?) anchor. The fact he bypasses prayers and can hit the ground to produce damage to the player makes the battle a damage race. The new generation of bosses, in form of Dungeoneering, has most bosses have some gimmick to avert this trope. The result isn't really a success. It does invert the trope, though - Astea Frostweb summons spiders, uses prayers and freezes the player in place to walk away, all of which are player-accessible tactics everywhere else, while the player is generally just trying to mangle her with weapons. On the other side, bosses like the Rammernaut, the behemoths sans Stomp, Plane-Freezer Lakhrahnaz and pretty much any boss that requires a method to make him vulnerable rather than having a special attack play this straight.
- Left 4 Dead series:
- The Tank in fits this trope to a T. His attacks include a smash, an over-head smash, or - to REALLY mix things up - he can hurl cars and other debris at you. Oh, and he has the highest health point value in the entire game. When lit on fire in Campaign mode, the Tank's running speed doubles.
- The Charger has two attacks: he can punch things or charge at them. Players can add some variety by using the charge to knock people out of windows and off bridges, but that's about the extent of it.
- While the Trolls in City of Heroes could all qualify as this, the Supa Troll takes the cake. They spawn during a certain event and if left unchallenged, will run around the map and smash anything and everything until something smashes it back. If high level heroes are on the map, they can be stopped at the spawn point, but if there are none, then the low level heroes run the risk of being pummeled.
- Every Ultima from the first to the last. At least Ultima IX gave you an amusing opportunity to trick one.
- Super Mutants in the Fallout series, with a few notable exceptions. Especially the completely dumb, fire hydrant polearm-wielding Behemoths in Fallout 3.
- The Elder Scrolls:
- Minotaurs, giants, and Ogres
- Also Daedroths in Oblivion, though they were quite different in previous installments.
- Trolls act as a faster, and much more lethal version of this trope. Also, in response to the above comment about Daedroths, Xivilai are similar in many respects to the Daggerfall version of the Daedroth.
- The G I A N T S mod for Morrowind added bigger varieties of this trope. Much bigger. They had different names and dressed in different clothes, but they had those basic attacks, and harder. There have been mumblings and rumblings about porting this to Oblivion.
- Martigen's Monster Mod (Google it, links to downloads have a short life expectancy) injects giants and a variety of other nasties, including giant goblins.
- Skyrim had giants that would, quite literally, smash you to the moon. They also had a punch attack and a sweep attack, for variety's sake.
- Dark Titans from Sonic Unleashed are such classic Ogres that they perfectly mimic the feeling of a giant monster beating on your skull. There is little in the game more satisfying than maxing out your strength and combos then beating them to death.
- Averted in Super Robot Wars OG Saga Endless Frontier. There are two types of ogre in fantasy realm of Elfatale, the Studious Ogre and Nerdious Ogre. Both wear geeky glasses and carry a magic tome, they also dress in casual cloth.
- Any kind of golem in the Castlevania games. Iron Golems are a step up to Metal Slime territory.
- The Gargantuar in Plants vs. Zombies. Usually does nothing else other than advance slowly and smash your plants flat with a held object. Slightly subverted though, as he does have a secondary "attack" where he throws a fast but weak Mook into you defences once he gets down to 1/2 his health.
- In Mini Robot Wars, an Expy of the above game, most Machines that don't shoot do this. Special mention goes to the Giant and Titan, expies of the Gargantuar, except the latter will smash up to THREE minirobots at one go!
- Orcs and ogres in Angband rely on simple hit-to-hurt melee attacks and lots of them, as do many kinds of trolls (others use claw and bite attacks). They tend to appear in groups.
- Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones had this with the Cyclopes. They were absolutely huge and had the most HP of anything in the game, barring the final boss. They'd be considered Goddamned Bats- what with their high defense, attack and resistance to magic- if 1: They didn't miss 80% of their attacks. and 2: You didn't have a bishop in your party.
- Dragon Age has several of these, most notably the ogres themselves (which, for some variety, can kick people attacking from behind or pick up their main target and crush it in their grip), but also war golems and any humanoid wielding a sword and shield or a two-handed weapon.
- A few missions in Drakengard have ogres that fit this trope well. They're made slightly more interesting in the sequel, in that they require a specific strategy to effectively kill (a strategy that consists of "jump and hit it in the head"), and you also get a party member who's particularly good at killing them.
- Tauros of Pokémon can learn seven different moves that translate to "ram into things until they faint."
- Golems in Tales of Phantasia are a clear cut example with very high hit points and attacks that typically knock back or stun your party. Usually act as meat shields to mage enemies, who take full advantage of your inability to get past the golems to hit/interrupt them.
- The Purr Lin in Turok 2.
- The Gruntlings in Banjo-Kazooie.
- Tyrant T-103, aka Trenchcoat Man, aka Mr. X, in Resident Evil 2. Smashes walls, security cameras, and of course, heroes.
- A Smash Boss in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn takes the form of the five Ogre Titans. Each one is different colored and different sized depending on how strong they are, but all they ever try to do to you is beat you up with giant axes. Gotta give them credit for trying, though; the last, largest one, takes a damn long time to kill (only Dullahan has more HP), and is so large it has to take a step back to hit you with its axe.
- Drinniols in Marathon.
- Brutes in the Halo series, especially when they go berserk.
- Bolo/Abobo, Burnov, and Abore in the Double Dragon series.
- Rockman 4 Minus Infinity has the Jumbig. High HP, knockback with Collision Damage, and a missile attack.
- The basic brutes in Saints Row The Third.
- Mass Effect 3 has Reaper-created Turian/Krogan hybrid monsters called - quite creatively - Brutes. Ironically, the whole point of adding Turians to the monsters' mix was so it would have a keen tactical mind, but presumably charging straight at your enemies to smash them is a fairly good tactic when you're Nigh Invulnerable and they didn't give you a gun.
- Sengoku Basara has Honda Tadakatsu. Most characters in Sengoku Basara have a basic attack combo and four special attacks that offer different ways to attack people (such as ranged attacks, Flash Step, or attacks with different areas-of-effect). Tadakatsu is unique in that most of his special attacks are non-offensive: Instead, they activate different 'modes' that give him different ways to use his basic attack combo to slap enemies silly. This lack of flexibility is used for Competitive Balance as Tadakatsu is otherwise a Lightning Bruiser.
- Xu Chu in Dynasty Warriors is this no matter what game he appears in. He is never a commander and is always a subordinate to Cao Cao, so he will often be an enemy on the field to those who oppose the Kingdom of Wei. He has two primary tactics: swing his club to send enemies over the horizon, or smash the ground either with his club or himself to do area of effect damage. Almost everything he does is a variation of those two tactics, but don't underestimate them or his pleasant, simple-minded demeanor—he is freakishly strong and was rightly feared for being one of the primary causes of death by Collision Damage in the fourth installment of the game, where being nailed by a flying body could kill even the toughest general.