One. Just one. One red Snifit. In the entire game
, this is the only red Snifit. Seriously. What the hell?
A video game trope you've seen a million times
: an enemy, just a plain old enemy that inexplicably turns up only once in the entire game. You wonder why the developers coded it; you wonder if it was partially Dummied Out
. Sometimes it's just there to provide a special challenge for anyone trying for 100% Completion
. Sometimes it's there because it exists to fit a unique circumstance in a level or sidequest. Whatever the reason, it's unremarkable in most respects except that it's just there the one time.
There are two types of this, broadly speaking: enemies who appear only once in an entire game, and those who appear a very few times in only a single level or screen of a game. For whatever reason, Metroidvania
games seem prone to containing Unique Enemies. Mods
and romhacks will often feature this enemy more often, especially if it has a good gimmick.
Please try to avoid listing minibosses and so forth here; these enemies are notable primarily because they're regular enemies who could by all rights turn up at various points in the game but don't.
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- In Armored Armadillo's stage in Mega Man X 1, there is exactly one batton (the bat-type enemy from the classic series) among the newer, skeletal bats. Notable in that this one Randomly Drops high-potency medicines very frequently, so it can be used to farm for life ups.
- In Mega Man 5, there are two enemies that show up at the end of the first fortress stage that simply circle around Mega Man until you either enter the boss gate or shoot at them until they go away. They don't appear anywhere else in the game.
- Mega Man 7 has a few, especially in Shade Man's stage. In particular, there are werewolf enemies that show up in a few rooms, but only two of them are in a place where they can actually transform into wolves (the rest stay in their humanoid knight-like form).
- The third stage of Journey To Silius has the Personal Space Invader known as HumpBot, which fortunately only appears about four times, and is not seen in any other stage.
- Super C, the NES version of Super Contra, has a single grenade throwing enemy soldier that appears only once in the first stage and is never seen again in any other stage. In contrast, the arcade version has at least three grenade throwers in the first stage.
- In the NES version of Punch-Out!!, King Hippo is the only boxer without a Head Swap.
- Cave Story
- The Giant Jellyfish shows up on a single screen just to provide an Item Drop without the usual Boss Battle. Oddly enough, you must kill it multiple times.
- Cave Story also has the mimic door and chinfish (mentioned in the closing credits as the "only one."), both of which appear once near the start but never again in the game. Basil, an invincible enemy that can one-hit-kill you, only shows up in the undamaged Egg Corridor (although it functions more like a deadly room feature than an enemy), and an exploding green cloud only appears in the ruined Egg Corridor. The Gravekeeper is another unique enemy of no greater significance. Giant Pingon in the same area is also an unique enemy.
- Many enemies in PS2 Shinobi appear only in bossfights, and they're often a tiny flyer themed with the boss, including fire-breathing heads for Homura, giant snakes for Kurokuda, laser-spitting masks for Yatsurao, shikigami for Ageha and sentient paper charms for Hiruko.
- The arcade version of Contra, on the hard and Harder Than Hard difficulty settings, has a pair of scuba divers that jump out of the water and attack you with knives at the beginning of the game, and they are never seen again.
- Streets of Rage 2 has a number of regular Mooks that have names unique to their respective sprite-palette combos. Examples include a Joseph named "Talk" and a Donovan named "U-3". Killing such mooks will net juicy point bonuses (useful for racking up extends).
- The NES version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game
- This turtle-riffic game had three unique enemies in one entire stage. The Shogun's stage had Robot Gorilla Ninjas, Robot Scorpions, and Robot Tigers that came to life out of door paintings. After beating these things they never show up again throughout the rest of the game.
- The snow level earlier in the game had some as well; the hopping mechs disguised as snowmen, snowball-throwing Foot ninjas, and an invincible snow plow.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles The Manhattan Project had most enemies that aren't Foot Soldiers or Stone Warriors have only a few appearances: electric mines partway through Stage 2's first half, the small helicopter drones from the Arcade and first cartoon only show up halfway through Stage 6, Stage 8 introduces small robot heads that shoot lasers at you, and that's only the tip of the iceberg.
- In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time penultimate level, Starbase, there is a robot moving up and down who fires lasers at you. It takes one hit to kill, and no more appear.
- The NES/XBLA version of Bionic Commando has lots of these, including the the helipack-equipped Barrier Soldiers in Area 5, the barrel throwers and Remote Control Soldiers in Area 6, the Mobile Cannons and Helicopters in Area 7, the blue bomb-throwing paratroopers in Area 8 (even better, these are only found in the US and PAL versions), a red version of said bomb-thrower at the beginning of Area 2, and the Construction Soldiers in Area 11.
- The NES Batman game has a red ninja waiting to attack you right before the first boss.
- Lollipop Chainsaw has the named zombies... while some are mini-bosses, most are just slightly stronger mooks. They give more experience and bonuses once killed.
- The Legend of Zelda
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
- This game has a blimp-like creature that splits into multiple smaller enemies by the shore of Lake Hylia...and nowhere else.
- In the same game, the Lynels from the first game appear as but one group of three at the top of Dark Mountain near Ganon's Tower.
- From the Forest Temple in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess comes a lone medium-sized Skulltulla that dangles over one bridge in one room. Kill it, and it's gone forever.
- Link's Awakening
- Takkuri, a large bird that divebombs Link and steals Rupees or items from him, is an enemy type in some games but a unique enemy in Link's Awakening and Majora's Mask.
- From the same game is a monkey that lives in one tree on the beach and throws coconuts at you.
- There is also... Kirby. Yes, that Kirby. As an enemy. He only appears in a single room in the Eagle's Tower dungeon.
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
- There's a single Blue ChuChu in one small room in the Great Bay Temple. As like other ChuChus it poses almost no threat, but unlike other ChuChus it doesn't contain an item, its sole function is to be frozen for use as a platform.
- Majora's Mask has one Peahat hidden in a pit in Termina Field; kill it for a Piece of Heart and you've never got to fight another one. This wouldn't be so unusual had the previous game not featured numerous Peahats of the same type in similar areas.
- Similarly, normal Poes are only found in one room of the Stone Tower Temple, and a solitary 'normal' (as opposed to Business Scrubs and Mad Scrubs) Deku Scrub enemy is found in the Swamp Spider House. Both of these were a lot more numerous in Ocarina Of Time.
- Majora's Mask also has only two Eyegores, who have the odd distinction of being unique from each other - One fires lasers from it's eyes while the other doesn't.
- The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap has a single Blue Tektite in its overworld.
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
- The Composer Brothers, which are strange Poe-like enemies that only appear if you open their graves in Kakariko Graveyard. It's entirely optional, and are one of very few enemies to speak with you after being defeated. (However, they have some minor plot significance.)
- The Anubis enemy is only seen in one or two rooms of the Child Link half of the Spirit Temple, and the Tailpasaran is only found in one corridor of Jabu Jabu's Belly.
- In Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, just before you fight the final boss battles you walk through a room with in which a giant 'Bot' will appear from nowhere above your head. Given by this point in the game you've learned to upthrust with your sword, and the thing can be broken up with one hit, it's surprising that it hasn't appeared any earlier.
- The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass had the Pols Voice, which only showed up twice in very specific places in the Temple of Courage. This trope is very common in Zelda games.
- Startropics Has Squidos, enemies that only appear in one room in the game. To top it off, they appear shortly after you acquire a Smart Bomb attack, so you probably won't be seeing them for very long.
- The Tomb Raider games do this a lot, but then as it takes place all around the world this is a given. Most enemies, such as the Dinosaurs in Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider III, Tigers in Tomb Raider II and the giant Statues in Tomb Raider III are fought frequently in single levels but nowhere else. There is, however, only a single Hammerhead Shark that appears in The Last Revelation that can't be killed as there's no underwater weaponry in that game, unlike the others.
- There's an enemy named Mizzo in Super Smash Bros. Brawl that looks like a marionette in a tank. He's only seen once in the game in Adventure mode, but it has a trophy... that details just how there's only one of him in the whole game.
First Person Shooter
- Half-Life series.
- In Half-Life 2, the Claw Scanners appear in a couple of chapters and don't appear again until late in Episode 2.
- In the original Half-Life, the Black Ops assassins only appear in two rooms in the entire game, and even then only in groups of three. In Opposing Force, they're more common and have more variations, but only slightly so.
- The alien auto-cannon. One appears in one corridor in the original game, having been set up by Alien Grunts, and nowhere else.
- Game specific example: while common in the last levels of the original game, the Alien Controllers only appear once in Opposing Force. Also, there is exactly one enemy Apache here, while in the original Half-Life, there were up to five.
- The Antlion Guardian in Episode 2. Essentially a Palette Swap of the the normal Antlion Guard, it's only encountered once in the entire game. While it is much stronger than normal enemy, it's not really powerful enough to be called a boss.
- Halo: Combat Evolved
- In only one room in the final level do you encounter cloaked Flood.
- Halo 2
- "Gravemind" had the "Honor Guard Councillor", which was actually a glitched Zealot Elite. This is the only Zealot fought on difficulties lower than Legendary. This is also the only level where Spec-Ops Elites appear as enemies.
- "Quarantine Zone" has a single Sentinel that shoots with Needler rounds instead of the Sentinel Beam. According to one of the programmers, it was a rejected concept they forgot to remove.
- "Cairo Station" has a pair of Elites dual-wielding plasma pistols at the beginning, an uncloaked Stealth Elite, and an Elite wielding both a Plasma Rifle and Needler at the end.
- At the end of the underwater passage on "Regret", you encounter a group of stealth-cloaked Grunts, which are never seen again.
- Halo 3: ODST has an NMPD officer who turns on the Rookie because He Knows Too Much on "Data Hive". This is the only time in the entire series that you have to fight a human enemy. "Data Hive" is also the only time in campaign where there are gold-colored Drones, who are apparently adolescent leaders.
- Halo: Reach
- In every level of this prequel, there is a special hidden Elite who will randomly appear out of nowhere in certain areas if you're fast enough in playing the level. These Elites, nicknamed "BOBs", give you a load of points when killed (to add to your credits if scoring is turned on) and a special medal if your Xbox Live account is linked to Bungie's site, but if you don't kill them fast enough they will disappear. BOBs come in two flavors: Gold Spec-Ops Rangers and completely white, random model Elites, similar to the aforementioned Honor Guard Councillor. The second variety's white coloration is due to a spawning error where the game "forgets" to add the correct color to the Elite character model.
- There's one point early in the game where you fight a pair of King Kong-sized lizard-gorillas (referred to as Guta), who are basically part of Reach's local wildlife. They're tougher than normal infantry, but not so tough that you could call them a boss battle or anything. They're never seen or heard of again afterwards, making the whole encounter something of a Big Lipped Alligator Moment.
- Similar to the BOBs, the first level contains a lone Stealth Elite (different color than the cloaked Spec-Ops Elites encountered later) nicknamed "Bill", which can be spotted just before the moas first appear. If killed, it drops a data pad that can be read. This also may be a leftover from a dummied-out objective.
- The first-person shooter Ubersoldier features a single flamethrower-toting, gas mask-wearing soldier in the final level. He can be killed quickly, and never appears anywhere else.
- Serious Sam II (the Xbox port at least) has exactly one ork (which has a different design) that use the plasma pistol as a weapon. It only appears in a secret arena of the sewer level.
- In Marathon 2: Durandal, the "mother of all Cyborgs" only appears once, on the level "Sorry Don't Make It So". In Infinity, it became a recurring (but rare) enemy, and they were even more common in the EVIL Game Mod.
- In the first Marathon, the Drinniols were only used twice in the entire game, on "The Rose" and "Blaspheme Quarantine". They also had a Dummied Out orange Palette Swap, which may have been the source of the "A Good Way To Die" Secret Level rumors. Better yet are the hostile Attack Drones with grenade launchers, that only appear in one level, "Beware of Low-Flying Defense Drones".
- Marathon Infinity has several of these, due to its ability to use separate physics models for individual levels. For example, in Confound Delivery, there's a Juggernaut that fires bouncing grenades rather than the usual homing missiles. The Vidmaster's Challenge version of "If I Had a Rocket Launcher" is the only level to feature VacBOB Simulacrums. In the final level of the Game Mod EVIL, there's two Giant Mook versions of the Mystics, and in earlier levels, you face a giant Devlin, as well as completely invisible one guarding a nest of mini-Devlins, and a Sentry Gun that shoots a weird oversized plasma projectile.
- Only 12 enemy Nanosuit Soldiers appear throughout the entire game. While this somewhat makes sense from a storyline perspective (Nanosuits costs about 1 million dollars each), it's a bit underwhelming from a gameplay perspective since they're only about as tough as a Covenant Elite, so they could have easily been used more often without being unbalanced, especially in the later levels.
- There's a type of alien trooper that has a different head crest and is equipped with a freeze ray instead of an ice gun. There are only about 3 or 4 of them in the entire game. Again, they're a fairly standard enemy, so it's not like they make up for their rarity by being much tougher than normal or anything like that.
- In the 2009 Wolfenstein, Elite Mooks are extremely rare, especially when you consider that they're only slightly tougher than regular enemy soldiers. For example, there are only about 8 Elite Guards in the entire game, or only about 9 Flamethrower Soldiers in the entire game.
- The "Bouncer" Big Daddy enemy that serves as the mascot of Bioshock is actually only fought twice; once on the second level and once on the final level. All other Bouncer-type Big Daddies encountered in the game are the Elite variant, which uses a different character model (though one can revisit the second level and fight more plain Bouncers).
- Bioshock Infinite has exactly one Vox-Populi-aligned Handyman in the main game, all others belong to the Founders.
- There's also exactly one Sniper fighting for Slate's heroes, and one Sniper fighting for the founders. All others fight for the Vox-Populi.
- Pathways Into Darkness, not including boss-type enemies, has the invincible Green Oozes on "Warning: Earthquake Zone", the flying rats and flying lizards on "See in the Dark" and "Watch Your Step", respectively, and the invisible Wraiths from A Plague of Demons and electrical orbs in the Labyrinth that are not seen again until the Multi-Mook Melee at the end of the game.
- Cassandra's Bodyguard Babes seen during Mission 1-3 in Perfect Dark and in the Bonus Stage "Mr. Blonde's Revenge". They make up a fairly large number of enemies in the former and are almost all the enemies in the latter, but otherwise are never seen.
- In Killzone 2, only several Elite Shock Troopers are fought, all in the third-to-last level. In Killzone 3 only two of these guys show up in the entire game, as part of the first wave of enemies at the beginning of the last level. It's entirely possible for your allies to gun them down before you even notice them. Killzone 3 also has the Capture Troopers and Hazmat Troopers, Chairman Stahl's personal elites who show up frequently in cutscenes but are only seen a handful of times in the game.
- Left 4 Dead 2
- The game occasionally spawns Jimmy Gibbs Jr. at the finale of Dead Center. He's basically a extra-tough version of the hazmat zombies.
- Hazmat zombies are one of the "Uncommon" Infected that act as this - zombies that only appear in one campaign and have some attribute changed from normal zombies (aforementioned hazmat zombies are immune to fire, fallen Survivor runs away and drops items on death, clowns attract small hordes, mudmen move faster and blind players, workers ignore pipe bombs, and riot zombies are immune to attacks from the front).
- The first Tank in The Sacrifice looks different from the other Tanks in the game - bald and with the USMC logo tattooed on his chest where every other Tank has a rather large wound. There's otherwise nothing different from this one and all the others.
- The first level of The Passing is the only place where you will encounter the bride Witch.
- The first Red Faction's one-time non-boss enemies include the APC after leaving Mine M4, the Riot Guards in the barracks, the Ultor Combat Drone in the shuttle bay area, and the adult Rock Worm near the end of Capek's Zoo.
- Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy has quite a few enemies that appear in only one or two levels, though a lot of them function more as bosses than as mooks. One of the most unique cases is a specific mercenary in the Nar Kreeta level, the only one in the game that drops a key on death (every other key the player needs drops from Imperial officers) and has the voice of a stormtrooper instead of the normal merc voice.
- Super Metroid
- This game has a few in Maridia, mostly for functional reasons: In one corridor, a bizarre walker carves a path through a wall for the player. Later in the same segment, a corridor contains a squirming pile of white...things to help show off one of the abilities of Samus' new found equipment.
- Maridia also has a large turtle-like creature accompanied by little baby turtles. Its purpose is to help reach a missile pack that would otherwise require Space Jump (which you only get later) to reach. There's also the mysterious orange Zoomer in crateria, which looks like a normal Zoomer exept it's orange, only appears in one room in a place you can't reach, and keeps following you around as you move. It can be killed with the Wave Beam, just as easily as any other Zoomer.
- The Dachora and Etecoons can be saved at the end of the game by entering a side room and shooting the wall. No reason other than to help those who helped you. They actually appear again in Metroid: Fusion.
- Metroid Prime
- Ice Shriekbats are a famous one-time scan. They only appear in one room in the entire game, they look just like a very common enemy you've already scanned, and they disappear as soon as you get a nearby suit upgrade and never appear again, making it impossible to fill your logbook if you missed them. There are several other one-time scans in this series, too. Thankfully, this is changed in the PAL version.
- There's also Ice Parasites that only appear in two rooms and disappear from the game, but luckily they'e not quite as easy to miss as the Shriekbats (for one, they don't fly at you and explode on your face as soon as you get close). Same with the Aqua Drones, which appear in one room and disappear after that.
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes has the Lightbringers, which are living, walking safe zones that crawl on walls. Interesting game mechanic that could have been used in a lot of places... but no, you only got to see three of them in a room near the beginning of the game, and they're gone when you come back later.
- Metroid Prime 3 has a frustrating few, including the incredibly hard to scan gel ray.
- Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow has a couple of ordinary enemies who appear in just one room to frustrate 100% Completion, such as the super-fast flying fish enemy that requires a TimeStopper from another Unique Enemy, the Chronomage, just to see and defeat. There's also the almost harmless Tsuchinko enemy, which is an in-joke on a Japanese cryptid/urban legend.
- Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow also has a few unique enemies. Three are of the "special requirement to find" (Mothman, Winged Humanoid and Yeti) variety, and there are several others that just happen to have one spawn location in the entire game (such as the Alura Une and the Wakwak Tree).
- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
- The Dodo bird, who appears in one room and runs for its life the moment it sees you...with good reason, too, as killing it gives you a chance at an Infinity+1 Sword drop.
- Symphony actually has loads, especially if you consider enemies that appear more than once, but never outside of the one room they're found in.
- The dodo above re-appears in Portrait of Ruin in a single room... sometimes. It's pretty much random. There are also a few others. Sand Worms in the desert levels only appear once and never re-appear once killed, and there are two palette swapped kinds. A ghoul king only appears after killing ghouls in certain rooms after a certain time, and the giant ghost only appears in a single room after killing ghosts for a certain time. Aside from the sandworms, they're required for sidequests.
- Oddly, the Stone Rose/Man-eating Plant which is fairly common in later games only appears in one spot in Stage 1 of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, as well as the hunchback in Stage 3 who tries to steal your subweapon.
- The glass skeletons only appear in one room in Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance. They seem to be there to give nice exp. Also, the aptly-named Rare Ghost, which only has a 20% chance of appearing in one of a few rooms. It is entirely possible to go through the game without even seeing one.
- Devil in Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, an absolutely vicious Boss in Mook Clothing that can drop the best healing item in the game, is found only at the top of the Clock Tower.
- Most of the room-specific enemies in La-Mulana are really minibosses, but there are a few exceptions: Thunderbird in Tower of Ruin, a large white thing that fires lightning downwards; Ba in the Confusion Gate, which looks and acts like a larger version of the Goddamned Bats La-Mulana players all know and hate; and Spriggan in the Chamber of Extinction's upper area, a giant which the player needs to turn into a stepping stone to a higher platform.
- World of Warcraft
- WoW has a few of these. In Utgarde Keep, you encounter several protodrakes but only one with a rider. Gundrak has the Drakkari Inciter, a weak enemy who only appears once in a group of two more common enemy.
- On a different note, Rare enemies (marked with a silver frame) only appear once every several hours (or randomly in instances) and are generally killed quickly since they drop very useful items.
- Most dinosaurs aren't (at least commonly) found outside of Un'goro Crater.
- There are extremely few shark mobs in the entire game.
- Undead Quilboar are only found in Razorfen Downs.
- Lord Marrowgar was initially the only Bone Wraith ever shown. As of Cataclysm, Marrowgar has received a brother bone wraith. Earthrager Ptah.
- Lord Rhyolith has a unique model in his first form, although his One-Winged Angel form in Phase 2 is shared by an add in the Amber-Shaper Un'Sok encounter in the Heart of Fear.
- In EverQuest II, in the older zones more so than the newer ones, 'named' monsters would sometimes have a 'placeholder'. This placeholder doesn't usually have any unique abilities or loot drops, it's just a mook with a unique name.
- Super Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros. 1
- The single Red Snifit in Super Mario Bros. 2 (which shows up in one room of 3-3). Got its own page.
- Super Mario Bros. 3
- The shoe-wearing Goombas appear in only World 5-3 of Super Mario Bros. 3.
- The game has a lot of these enemies, including the Spiny Cheep-Cheep and a lone fire-breathing Nipper (both found in World 7).
- The Parabeetles are only found in one level of World 5. It seems they were planned to be in more levels, according to the screenshot of a deleted level on the box. There's also a green version in some of the Dummied Out levels.
- The Fire Brothers are only encountered in a secret part of the World 2 map, carrying the third Warp Whistle, and as a solitary individual in one of the Hand Trap stages in World 8.
- The laser statues in Bowser's Castle.
- The Angry Sun in an unnumbered stage of World 2 and World 8-2.
- Super Mario World
- The game had one level with a Lakitu that taunts you with a 1-up mushroom on a fishing pole. Despite its rarity, the fishing pole has since become an Iconic Item for Lakitus in spinoff games, most notably Mario Kart.
- There's also the Fishin' Boo, a rare ghost Lakitu that follows Mario with a flame on a fishing rod. It only appeared for a short while in the first room of the Choco Island Ghost House. The same stage also had a few ghosts that turned into solid blocks when Mario looked at them.
- One Ghost House also had a degraded version of the Big Boo.
- The Torpedo Teds of the Soda Lake level. They appeared in bunches, but thankfully, just in that one level. It's a hidden level too (which leads to Star Road), so it's likely the first time you'll see them is in the ending roll call.
- Each alternately-colored Yoshi appears in only one or two Star Road levels. (You can turn any Yoshi blue in the SNES version if you find Yoshi Wings.) The Game Boy Advance remake changed this so that after you unlock them at the Star Road, the Yoshi Eggs can be any of the four colors depending on what powerup held at the time.
- Super Mario World has the Ninji enemy from Super Mario Bros. 2 show up only in the last hallway of Bowser's Castle.
- Yoshi's Island
- This work provides many examples that appear in only one castle or fortress stage. Georgette Jelly is exclusive to 5-4, Lemon Drops are only ever seen in one room of 3-4 (aside from the one Lemon Drop that Kamek enchants to create the boss of 1-8), Aqua Lakitu is found only in a side path of 3-8, Piro Dangle is found only in one optional room in 1-4, the 32x32 variant of the Milde enemy is never seen outside of a secret room in 4-8 and the 4-4 boss battle, and one room of 5-8 contains the only Bouncing Bullet Bill Blaster in the game. Grim Leecher is found only in a couple places in Extra 4. Yoshi's Story is similar, with enemies like Blindfold Boo and Barbecue Guy only appearing in one stage. Because all bosses in Yoshi's Island are of the Giant Mook variety (after a Make My Monster Grow sequence), many are based on enemies that appear in the boss's level (long enough to "establish" them as monsters) and nowhere else.
- As a bit of an Easter egg, killing the one and only Chain Chomp in Yoshi's Island (which requires the use of an item, since he can't be eaten, stomped, or killed with an egg) reveals a hidden message block.
- The level 'Monkey's Favourite Lake' has Barney Bubble, a strange purple creature that blows bubbles when you stomp on it. Only two appear at the very end of the level and nowhere else.
- And Muddy Buddy, which only shows up once in 5-4. It does appear in one of the secret levels added to the GBA version.
- Super Mario 64
- In Cool Mountain, on the longest bridge, there are two Jumping Snowmen, which appear nowhere else in the game.
- This platforming adventure includes a killer piano in Big Boo's Haunt that attacks when you get near it and can't be killed.
- Hazy Maze cave is the only level to contain Swoopers.
- And a solitary Chain Chomp in Bomb-Omb Battlefield which you must set free to get a star.
- Within Lethal Lava Land, there the only two Big Bullies, both of which contain a power star.
- Bubbas (large fish that will eat you) are only found in Tiny Huge Island, on the Huge Side.
- The Tox Boxes, Pokeys, Grindels/Spindels and Klepto the Condor only appear in Shifting Sand Land.
- On an icy arena within Snowman's Land, there lies the only Chill Bully. He is identical in every way to Big Bullies, other than visually.
- In Super Mario 64 DS, the only Manta Ray, Shark, and two Cheep Cheeps in the entire game appear in Dire Dire Docks, at the very beginning, near the whirlpool.
- Super Mario Galaxy
- The lone Grand Goomba, which is too big to jump on.
- Galaxy also features only two giant jellyfish enemies in the whole game.
- New Super Mario Bros. series
- The King Bill appears in only one level each in New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. U (9-8 and 5-Secret, respectively).
- Also appearing in only one level: the Fliprus from the latter game, giving 4-Secret its name and not showing up in any other levels.
- So far, there has only been one blue shelled Koopa in the entire New series, and its not even in a main game: It's found in the ice-themed multiplayer stage of the first New game.
- In the game New Super Mario Bros. 2, the only Sledge Bro appears in level 2-2.
- Super Mario 3D games:
- Super Mario 3D World has a few, most notably the Charvaargh, which shows up only in the final section of the last regular level in the main game. There is also the Fuzzler, which is exclusive to 3-7. Brolders are found only in the fourth castle stage and a couple of enemy blockades.
- Kirby's Dream Land 3 has two instances. The first is Polof, a rabbit-like creature that appears in one level of Sand Canyon, and disappears into a background wall when you approach. Though this one actually has a purpose: That spot where it vanishes is a secret door leading to a room filled with items. The Polof is still missing, though. The second is Batamon, which appears in a few levels and looks a lot like Kirby. Usually there's no way to engage them directly, though in one level there's a secret where you can. There are also certain copy abilities that'll let you destroy them from a distance, but there's no discernible reason to do so.
- Kirby 64 also has the waddling grey enemies, N-Z. They serve as a replacement for the Waddle Dees in the rest of the series (since Waddle Dee is a friend now), and are all set up to be the game's Goomba... ...and then they don't appear anywhere in the game outside of the first level, and the very last section of the last level.
- In Kirby's Adventure, Rolling Turtle (Phan Phan in the remake) is only found in level 4-4. The only other time you find it is 7-2, which is a Miniboss Rush level.
- Kirby and the Amazing Mirror has a single Squishy tucked away in a water-filled area in Moonlight Mansion.
- Wario Land: Shake It!
- Buccaneros only ever appear once in the tutorial level... and maybe very rarely late in the battle with Large Fry.
- Also, the evil treasure chests that eat Wario only appear three times in the level Boogie Mansion, are blasted open to get treasure, and don't respawn.
- Every level in Wario World except for Greenhorn Forest has at least one enemy unique to it.
- Many examples in Donkey Kong Country 3, often serving as a level's gimmick (However, most of these enemies are seen more than once in the Game Boy game Donkey Kong Land 3, which is based off of DKC3):
- Bazza the barracuda shows up in only one of the game's many underwater levels, serving more as barricades to bypass than enemies. The Game Boy Advance remake includes them in some bonus levels, however.
- The bird enemy Swoopy serves a similar purpose in one of the game's bonus levels. However, you can find just one other Swoopy in one of the early tree-themed levels.
- Lemguins appear only in the last level of K3, popping out of holes and sliding towards you.
- Karbines serve as indestructible enemies in the first factory level, hiding in the background while shooting fireballs at you. Similarly, Krosshair from Krack Shot Kroc does this, except from the fourth-wall side of the screen. Although you play as Krosshair in one of that level's bonus stages.
- Kuchuka is a purple barrel that chucks bombs at you, appearing only in the level Pot Hole Panic.
- Pink versions of the enemy Koin show up in one of the levels in the last world, attempting to push you off ledges with their trash-can lid shields.
- Minkeys—little monkeys that chuck notes at you from behind barrel-shields—are only seen in one of the second world's levels though, like Bazza above, they made an additional appearance in one of the remake's extra levels.
- Gleamin' Bream, whose only purpose is to light up dark areas, in "Floodlit Fish".
- Finally, the remake adds in a ground-based version of the TNT barrel Klasp, which act similar to the Klobba enemy.
- The original Donkey Kong Country had the Rockkrocs in "Stop & Go Station", and the almost completely invincible gray Krushas in "Platform Perils".
- Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest had:
- The invincible Snapjaw, found in Rise to the Challenge levels "Slime Climb" and "Clapper's Cavern".
- The Cat-O-9-Tails, which appears in only three levels, one of which has to be unlocked.
- The rollercoaster riding Klank in "Target Terror" and "Rickety Race".
- Kackle from "Haunted Hall", another Minecart Madness level.
- The ghostly Mini-Neckies that show up during the Kreepy Krow boss battle.
- The faster, pink Krunchas found in "Castle Crush" and "Clapper's Cavern".
- The black variation of the Klobber only appears in Black Ice Battle and Chain Link Chamber. When they bump into you, they take lives from your inventory.
- Donkey Kong 64
- The Killer Tomatoes. They only appear in one specific area of Fungi Forest, and after you kill them, they're gone for good. The toy-themed enemies in Frantic Factory are also very rare.
- There's also the unnamed, clam-like monsters that are found in a treasure chest only Tiny can enter in Gloomy Galleon, and the Red Kritters that only appear in minigames.
- The beaver creatures are basically The Goomba for this game. However Crystal Caves is the only place you can find them with yellow fur.
- The Politician, a Giant Mook fought at the end of Level 6 in Prince of Persia. This isn't technically a boss, as he is only slightly tougher than the regular Mooks. He was made into a proper boss in the SNES version, and replaced by the tougher Gatekeeper boss in the XBLA remake.
- The first enemy of Level 8 also qualifies. He looks like every other guard but has different AI. Including the fact that he'll never move towards you, so you really have to learn how to step forward and parry.
- The Neo Geo platformer Top Hunter has two unique enemies in the wind stage: a Tatoo guy who dies in one hit and a walking detonator that will eventually go away if you ignore it.
- Many enemies in Mr. Gimmick are encountered only once.
- Two Klobbers, which debuted in Donkey Kong Country 2, make a random appearance in one level in DK: Jungle Climber.
- Lots of things in I Wanna Be the Guy only show up in one particular place, usually to punishing you for a completely logical action with a Big Lipped Alligator Moment. These include Ryu, a plane, and the Red Snifit himself, armed with a BFG.
- The 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog has two enemies that each only occur once: Burrobot, in Labyrinth Zone, and Bomb, in Sky Base Zone.
- Target: Terror's Tanker level has a pair of ninjas with nunchucks that deflect your bullets, which are found nowhere else in the game.
- At the end of the first stage of Time Crisis II, after the semi crashes, a group of gray soldiers with rocket launchers attacks you. Nowhere else do the gray soldiers wield rocket launchers. Also, during the first Boss Battle and nowhere else, there are Aqua Ninjas that periodically jump out of the water. The first game also had knife-throwing guards during the Disc One Final Boss battle, which became recurring enemies in later games.
- In the default second level of Star Fox 64, there's a two-legged robot enemy that jumps up and down on an asteroid, shooting lasers at you (Nintendo's official guide calls it a "Hop Bot"). You shoot it. It dies. Never seen again.
- In NetHack, shades and skeletons are moderately-powerful undead who only appear on the level dubbed "Orcus Town".
Role Playing Game
- MOTHER 3
- The game has Negative Man, a rather unremarkable and comically-underpowered Joke Character enemy who has a rare drop.
- He's just the most well known. There's also Fish Roe Man, Soot Dumpling, Mystery Metal Monkey, Bright Smile, Top Dogfish... There's nearly a dozen more with completely unique sprites that many players may never see hidden in the game. Mother 3 lives this trope.
- Several times in the Fallout series, even if they're basically just reskins or renames of vanilla mooks.
- Fallout 3
- At the bottom Fallout 3's Vault 106, you encounter an apparently non-insane Survivor who has the same voice and model as the Raiders, but wears a labcoat and is equipped with a Stealth Boy.
- In an encampment east of the Chryslus building, one of the few unique unnamed enemies can be found; a Raider wearing Enclave Power Armor and an Eyebot Helmet.
- Mothership Zeta has only two Experimental Drones, who in turn carry the only two copies of the EX-B Drone Cannon.
- The Broken Steel Mobile Base Crawler contains the sole Enclave Doctor in the game, who doesn't even fight back, only flees.
- There is only one living female Talon Company Merc in the game, in the bunker of Fort Bannister. All other female Mercs are found as corpses.
- Radroaches are incredibly rare in Fallout: New Vegas. Which is odd, since they were the Goddamned Bats of Fallout 3. But fear not, the Giant Mantis is here to take up the mantle.
- Fallout New Vegas also has:
- The Nightkin Sniper on Black Mountain, who, contrary to its name, does not wield a sniper rifle, but the unique missile launcher named Annabelle.
- Three Little Green Men aliens found near a crashed recon craft similar to the one from Mothership Zeta, and only if your character has the Wild Wasteland trait.
- The two Unnaturally Large Sized Rodents in the East Central Sewers, which otherwise have the same stats as normal Giant Rats.
- The Giant Evolved Centaur in the Devil's Throat.
- In Lonesome Road, the optional Courier's Mile is the only place where Irradiated Marked Men can be found. These have much higher HP than the normal Marked Men, and an enhanced Healing Factor thanks to the high radiation.
- The female Lobotomites in the X-8 Research Center from Old World Blues. Once killed, these do not respawn, unlike the randomly spawning male Lobotomites.
- The three White Legs Sappers in Honest Hearts, who only appear during the sidequest "The Treacherous Road".
- Mario RPGs
- Super Mario RPG
- This RPG has the Ribite, a Palette Swap of the Frogog fought in the first world. It's found only in a hidden cave in Land's End, the fifth world... On top of that, it doesn't appear on the field screen either.
- A creature called Drill Bit (a recolor of an earlier enemy named Jabit) appears after beating Smithy's first form as an NPC, and nowhere else (they apparently just started production on them when Mario and co. invaded The Factory).
- The weird flying jellyfish-like creatures (named only in the manual as "Sentinels") that patrol Tubba Blubba's Castle in the original Paper Mario. They can't be fought, and only act as Mook Bouncers.
- Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
- In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, there is a type of Yux that you only run into once, guarding Grodus's office; it is by itself in the room and doesn't respawn.
- Some of the enemies in the Glitz Pit and Pit of 100 Trials.
- In Super Paper Mario, most of the space enemies are justifiably never seen outside of Chapter 4. The eel-like creatures are, however it's implied they could basically live anywhere.
- The Elite Goombule of Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. Only two are ever encountered, directly after unlocking the Green Shell attack. The Player's Guide doesn't even bother listing them in the Enemy Compendium.
- Mario & Luigi: Dream Team has a single Monolift R roaming around Mount Pajamaja. One the one hand, it does respawn if you kill it (but only after a specific amount of time each time, which is why they have Expert Challenges connected to them like more common enemies). On the other, the only other enemies in the area where you can find it are Viruses, which are only joined in battles with other Viruses.
- Throughout the Pokémon series, there have been several non-legendary species of which only one is available to the player, whether in the wild or through NPC interaction. Notably, some of these species become more common in later Generations.
- Generation I
- The three starter Pokemon (Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle) can only be obtained from Prof. Oak. Other unique species include the three fossil Pokemon (Kabuto, Omanyte, and Aerodactyl), Snorlax, Farfetch'd, and Lapras.
- In Yellow, Pikachu is your starter, and cannot be encountered in the wild.
- In the Johto games, there's exactly one Sudowoodo you can fight. Snorlax is a Unique Enemy again as well, this time with only one instead of two, since Red has the other.
- Generation III
- This could be applied to some of the trainer classes as well, such as the two (and only two, period) police officers in the second generation and their remakes, which can't be challenged to a rematch, and Game Freak game designer and programmer Shigeki Morimoto has a Creator Cameo in Pokémon Black and White with the unique class of GAME FREAK, named after his employer.
- Xenosaga Episode I has the Wyrm enemy, which only shows up once during the Gnosis attack on the Foundation, cannot be refought, and tends to flee.
- Xenoblade tends to have a few "Notorious Monsters" per questing area. They tend to look exaclty like certain creatures from that area, but with buffed-up stats. Oh, and when you fight them, one of the best songs in the game starts to play...
- Final Fantasy
- Neo Garula from Final Fantasy V counts, as it can only be encountered once in the game (and even then, not guaranteed).
- Sp Forces/Imperial Elite in Final Fantasy VI only appear if you agree to test your strength against Gestahl's bodyguards during the banquet scene.
- Final Fantasy VII has a fair number of them all over the place. Although many are palette swaps, special mention should go to the unique Elfadunks and Heavy Tank. Elfadunks are tiny elephants found only on the beaches near the Chocobo Ranch, somewhere you'll never need to go. Heavy Tanks are found only in a single screen near the Gongaga Reactor, but at least you can find Titan there.
- Final Fantasy VIII has enemies called Slappers, monsters in hockey gear that only appear on the hockey court in Galbadia Garden. They don't even get a trading card.
- Final Fantasy XII has quite a few.
- The 80 rare game are exactly that—rare. Generally there is only one zone in the game they will spawn in, they will only spawn one at a time, and they have varying spawn conditions, ranging from simple ones like "30% chance on zone entry" to ridiculous ones like "spawn separate monster, aggro it, lure it to completely random and unmarked part of the map, and rare game will spawn." As for respawning them, a few simply require the normal monster respawn and then fulfilling their spawn conditions again, some require you to leave the entire area and return before you try again, and thirty of them do not spawn again. You kill them, that's it.
- The Elementals and entites operate on the same principle.
- Then there are simply enemies who are completely normal, but for whatever reason, there's only one spawn point for them in the entire game—prominent examples are the Darkmare in the Stilshrine of Miriam, the Emperor Aevis in Paramina Rift, and most infamously, the Giza Plains Wildsnake. Weakest of the snakes, does not spawn until you get to its hiding point, completely unremarkable to fight—and its drop is required to make the Infinity+1 Sword.
- In Super Robot Wars W there's a variation of Beastman Deathhell that only appears in chapter 25 (And only one of them, surrounded by several normal ones). What makes him so special? Instead of having his Dual Wielding attack, his Nipplebeams have a really high range. While it makes sense to face a sniper enemy on this chapter (The hero team is trapped in the Space Wolf planet's high gravity and thus can't move, leaving them unable to escape long-ranged attacks), this super-Deathhell is never referenced in dialogue and there isn't a need for him to exist (The battleships do his job fine).
- One room in Chrono Trigger's Black Omen is the only place you'll ever meet four Aliens (Ghajs in the remake); significant because they're one of the few enemies you can charm for Magic Tabs.
- Mass Effect 2 has a technician. One technician. You fight him during Jack's recruitment mission, inside the room where the switch to release Jack from her cell is. He has the dubious honor of being by far the weakest enemy in the game—he has ridiculously low health, has only low shielding on higher difficulty levels, has no powers, and wields the weakest pistol in the game. Even on Insanity, you can pretty much defeat him by walking up to him and punching him in the face a couple of times (assuming your squadmates don't get him first).
- There's also the Bounty Hunter enemy on Thane's recruitment mission. Notably, he's the only krogan in the entire game who doesn't use a shotgun (he uses a Carnifex) and is also the only one to use energy shields instead of biotic barriers or armor (though he does have armor as well).
- Several other enemies also count, even though they're just mission specific reskins of regular enemies, like Batarian Troopers, Sisterhood Initiates, and Freelancers.
- Mass Effect 3 has three examples of this related to decisions earlier in the series. In the second game, if you betrayed Samara for Morinth, then Morinth appears as a Banshee on the final mission. Also in the second game, if Legion was given to Cerberus instead of recruited as a party member, it is encountered as an enemy at the Cerberus Headquarters. In the third game, if the Grissom Academy mission was never completed, Jack will be indoctrinated and killed as a Phantom, also at Cerberus HQ. All of these enemies are identical to regular enemies gameplay wise, with the only difference being their name and, in Legion's case, a different model.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim features a couple examples of enemies unique to their dungeon/quest. One is the Afflicted, the vomit-spewing worshippers of Peryite. (Afflicted may randomly appear in the wild, so to speak, but they're extremely rare and their obvious purpose is to guide you to said sidequest.) Another example, made stranger by the fact that there's no clear in-story explanation, is the Corrupted Shades in the quest The Break of Dawn. They were explicitly created by a necromancer, but he's far from the only necromancer in the game, and all others use either ghosts, zombies, or Draugr. The Doylist explanation might be that the quest is given to you by Meridia, a Daedric Prince who despises necromancy and the undead, and if the player fought more standard enemies (that didn't collapse into puddles upon death as the Shades do), they could themselves use necromancy within the quest.
Shoot Em Up
Stealth Based Game
- There are a few unique enemies in the Thief series:
- There is only one Hammerite novice in the entire series, appearing in the Thief: The Dark Project level "Break from Cragscleft Prison".
- Thief II
- The level "Precious Cargo" features the only Mechanist frogman in the game. He has protective headgear, a portable light source, and a crossbow, making him extremely dangerous.
- The standard Mechanist worker only appears in the Thief II level "Framed", but another one appears as a ghostly apparition later in the game, and there is also a character who is simply a Head Swap of the worker.
- The Spider Bot also appears only in the level "Sabotage at Soulforge".
- Tree Beasts, appear (suddenly!) in only one section of the level "Trail of Blood", and in the Thief: Deadly Shadows level "Into the Pagan Sanctuary".
Real Time Strategy
- In the original Pikmin, there was a powerful enemy called the Smoky Progg who would only appear during the first half of the game in the penultimate stage, in an egg. Notably, killing it gave you the highest Pikmin-producing item in the series, sprouting a full 100. It's shown alongside the other enemies during the end credits, confusing many players who missed it.
- There's also only one Goolix and Mamuta in the standard mode, both of which are found in the exact same location, but on different days. There is at least a Mamuta in the challenge mode, however the Goolix gets no such luck.
- Pikmin 2
- There is a single Toady Bloyster in the Perplexing Pool that holds a treasure. It's the only one you fight in the main game. You fight its bigger boss relative more times than this creature.
- There are also orange bugs called Ujadani that appear every 30 days in Wistful Wild starting with Day 31.
- In Aztec Wars, you begin the first campaign mission with two catapults. This unit never appears anywhere else in the game (neither in the campaign nor standalone missions) and cannot ever be built.
- Starcraft II one mission has player control the Odin, a massive mech that's an engine of destruction. This unit cannot be built, as it is a Super Prototype of the Thor unit.
- In Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun Firestorm the final mission has the player face a Humongous Mecha the Core Defender which is huge and super hard to kill.
- WarCraft III, several missions are filled with powerful creeps that can be considered as hero units, and boss fights.
Turn Based Strategy
- Fire Emblem
- Corsairs, which only appear in one chapter of The Blazing Blade and are effectively the same thing as Pirates, down to the same sprite. The only difference: If you hack a Corsair in your team, they can't Promote.
- In Blazing Blade most enemies are male, apart from representatives of classes that are Always Female like Troubadors. There are three exceptions to this in the entire game: a lone female Sniper in "Valorous Roland" and a pair of female Druids seen in the Hector Hard Mode and only the Hector Hard Mode version of "Cog of Destiny." The Sniper isn't anything special, but the Druids are real bosses in mook clothing, as they're packing status-ailment inflicting staves and have suck a high Magic stat that their attack range for them is 20 tiles!
- To add another exception to that list, the nomads in The Dread Isle (HHM) have unique sprites as well.
- Odium has the Hornets (green insectoids) and Harvesters (scythe-handed maniacs) - mundane enemies in every respect, save that they only pop up in one combat. Granted, some other enemies pop up in only two or three, so it's not that unusual.
- Shining Force has a pair of Dire Clowns found exclusively in the circus tent, the Laser Eye (which is more of a Boss in Mook Clothing, seeing how you don't even need to destroy it), and an Evil Doll that knows Heal instead of Freeze found only in the Balbazak fight.
- The Replica Assassins are only fought in the levels "Watchers" and "Point of Entry" (a total of 8 or 9 in the entire game), and one has a brief cameo in "Exeunt Omnes".
- The Replica Snipers. They are identical (same health, same weapons...) to the regular Replica soldiers, except for their completely unique suit, and they only appear once: about 8 of them attack you on a roof during the level "Urban Decay", after that they don't appear anymore, not even in the expansion packs.
- Resident Evil
- In some versions of the original Resident Evil (specifically the Director's Cut and Deadly Silence), the player gets to fight a zombie version of one of his character's S.T.A.R.S. teammate (specifically Forest Speyer). He also appears as an explosive-rigged zombie in the "One Dangerous Zombie" mode of the Gamecube remake, and killing or being grabbed by him causes instant death for the player character.
- There is only one giant moth in the entirety of Resident Evil 2, in an optional out-of-the-way room in the lab basement. Screenshots of the beta (not RE 1.5) showed more of them in other locations, such as the power room.
- In Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, you're only guaranteed to run into two of the Gamma-type Hunters (the froglike ones). There's a 50/50 chance of encountering two more on a walkway in the park.
- Resident Evil: Code: Veronica has the poison moths in that one corridor, which you unfortunately have to traverse multiple times. When you revisit the area as Chris, they're gone, replaced by zombies. Earlier, in the passage to the seaplane port, several of the men comprising Wesker's private army can be found in zombie form. They're mostly notable for the light coming off their night vision goggles.
- Among the game's already rare Garradors (a total of four), Resident Evil 4 has only one Heavy Armored Garrador. The Armaduras (not to be confused with the armor suits that strike once, then collapse) only appear in a single room of the Castle. Novistadors normally are either invisible or airborne, but not both; however, there is a lone invisible flying individual in the Nest Tower; after you kill it, it's gone forever. Also, don't forget the Oven Man.
- Any GM of a Table Top Role Playing Game should follow this trope. Regardless of genre, relying only on unmodified mooks without giving them a personality, motivation, and their own unique tricks is generally a very bad idea and a quick way to bore players. Additionally, generally an NPC should be unique, even if it's just one quirk to make them stand out. There are very, very few exceptions, such as an All Flesh Must Be Eaten game where the GM wants to use just a single type of zombie and a world without other humans aside from the Player Characters. Even that is not recommended by the game system.
- Pathfinder adventure paths always feature unique enemies almost every step of the way, along with the regular kind. So did too many Dungeons & Dragons adventures to list.
- Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 armies feature many unique characters which will fit this trope when your opponent fields them. Additionally, they can often build their own custom model and equip it as they see fit, meaning that enemy is truly unique since no one has built and painted their model just that way. This occurs in many miniatures games which have unique characters and heroes as usable units. Because these creatures are unique heroes of their faction, you can generally only field one of them. They can wind up in a Mirror Match.