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Airborne Mook

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And you thought mosquitos were annoying...
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Simply put, a Mook that flies, floats, or hovers, due to either having wings, a propulsion system, or supernatural powers. They like to stay out of the player's reach, and will attack from their advantageous position. Furthermore, due to their freedom in the air, they tend to dodge rather well.

Because of this, they are often used as Goddamned Bats, relatively weak enemies that use their speed and agility to harass the player until they go down, especially in games where your character has Denial of Diagonal Attack or takes Knockback (see Ledge Bats for this case). Can be a type of Kung Fu-Proof Mook if they're especially hard to hit normally.

These guys usually tend to do one of the following:

  • Try to knock the player back via Collision Damage or dive-bomb into them.
  • Stay out of the player's reach and shoot them or drop bombs (or other Mooks) from above.
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Airborne Mooks in Platform Games, usually those that try to knock the player over, are considered a huge annoyance, especially if they're the kind whose sole purpose is to knock the player into a Bottomless Pit. However, if you can Goomba Springboard off of them they can be used to cross Bottomless Pits.

Airborne Mooks in FPS games or Action games may be smart enough to strafe around the player, making them harder to hit. Other than that, they use the same strategies above.

RPG games will tend to have these guys as high-speed and low hit points. They'll usually be a pain in the ass to hit, but easy to take out. In the case where they do have high Hit Points and a high evade rate (and maybe some very damaging attacks), you're fighting a Demonic Spider.

If these things appear in a Tower Defence game (especially those where you have to divert the mooks' path), they'll usually have the ability to take a short cut and fly over your towers to their goal. Certain types of towers will not work on them either.

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Your best bet against an Airborne Mook is, obviously, to use an Anti-Air attack against them, as they'll usually be weak to it or are unable to avoid it. If such attacks are not available, then a ranged attack will do. In certain cases, it may also be possible to remove their wings with specific attacks, turning these mooks into ground-bound versions of themselves.


Examples

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    Action Adventure 
  • Alan Wake had the Taken Crows, which were obviously extremely weak, but attacked in whole swarms to compensate. Alan Wake's American Nightmare had replaced them with Taken that could temporarily turn themselves into swarm of crows.
  • American McGee's Alice:
    • The original game has only the insectoid Bolterlfies as its flying mooks. Its sequel Alice: Madness Returns has much greater variety. Besides Bolterfly-like enemies, there are also the Drifting Ruins, which fire shots that crystallize into spikes when they hit the ground, and the Bitch Babies, which literally vomit acid down you and can have it reflected right back at them.
    • Madness Returns also had the Samurai Wasps: an entire class of Airborne Mooks with regular katana Wasps, the ranged archer Wasps and the elite Naginata-wielding Daimyo Wasps. There was also originally supposed to be a Wasp Queen as a level’s boss, but time constraints had forced it to be removed alongside the bosses of all other levels besides the the last one.
  • Bionic Commando: The helicopter-pack soldiers.
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2: The Harpies fly around and attack the protagonist with spears. His Finishing Move on them has them impaled on their own weapon.
  • One of the enemy types in Cryostasis: Sleep Of Reason has grown large, moth-like wings and strafes around a lot, making them hard to hit.
  • Devil May Cry generally has one or more of those per game.
    • Devil May Cry 3 has the feminine Fallen Angels, which shield themselves from attacks with their white wings. They have to have them shattered while in flight to bring them down to the ground, then defeated before having time to regenerate them.
    • Of note are the Bianco Angelos and Alto Angelos (White Angels and High Angels in Broken Italian) in Devil May Cry 4, which combined this trope with Shield-Bearing Mook: their wings could also fold together as a shield.
  • Festers Quest: The floating eyeballs and Beholders on the spaceship.
  • Goblet Grotto had the “mosquitoes” (which looked like football-sized cross between mosquito and a fly) and the 1.5 meter tall albatrosses, which attacked with the two daggers they held in their paws.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Plenty of those in the earlier games. There are pixies, which strafe around and throw magical projectiles, Billywigs (effectively just very large flying mosquitoes), small Books That Bite that ambush you from certain bookshelves (as opposed to large ones that shoot spells and act like mini-bosses) and more.
    • The third PS2 game had flying torches and self-moving fireballs, only around in the Hermione levels, as she was the only one who had the freezing spell needed to deal with them.
  • Killer Is Dead had the Wire drones, which would fly around and pepper you with gunfire while you’re busy fighting regular Wires on the ground. They’re more of a nuisance due to protagonist being Made of Iron, however, and are quickly shot down with his Arm Cannon.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Lollipop Chainsaw had the magical flying zombies later in the game.
  • Madagascar:
    • The first film’s game on Game Boy Advance has the city pigeons suicidal enough to attack a lion.
    • Madagascar 2 Escape To Africa's tie-in game has the vultures, which are a One-Hit-Point Wonder and easy to deal with, if not the fact they often attack just as you begin balancing on ledges and can cause you to fall off.
  • Neopets: The Darkest Faerie had the ranged Minion Archers and melee Minion Grunts.
  • Ninja Gaiden: The goddamned birds cause heavy damage, if not knock the player into a pit.
  • Remember Me: The AV-48S Seraphim security robots fly safely beyond the reach of your melee attacks and fire energy projectiles. They’re also protected with shields most of the time, forcing you to time the long-range Spammer shots to when they lower it to get it recharged. Luckily, they’re also Glass Cannon|s and are destroyed with just two Junk Shots.
  • Shrek the Third: The Dragonlings in the tie-in game. Subverted in that most of them still fly low enough to be within reach of Shrek’s fists or Arthur’s sword. An elite white dragonling doesn’t make that mistake, however, and will only come down right before attacking.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine had the Chaos Plague Drones, which were powered by a bound Nurgle demon and equipped with machine guns.

    Action RPGs 
  • Borderlands had the Rakk, which were hard to hit in the air due to their attack patterns, but could be comfortably killed with shotguns once they dived down to attack you. Borderlands 2 also added the Hyperion Surveyor drones, whose main purpose was to repair the Loaders on the ground and occasionally hit back at you with weak electrical attacks.
    • Borderlands 2 also had the JET Loader, which was effectively the basic GUN Loader capable of temporarily transforming into a jet and attacking from the air. They weren’t much of a challenge … but same couldn’t be said about the miniature version that came out of some ammo chests. Its reduced health was more than offset by always having shielding and being much harder to hit.
  • The alien drones in The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. They will frequently strafe around and either heal their allies on the ground or levitate you or the squadmates off the ground with the short-range beam, allowing other aliens to pump you full of plasma.
  • The Giant Mosquitoes in the Blighttown swamp in Dark Souls. Hard to hit, annoying things. They're easily killed by the even the weakest of attacks but here is the kicker; They endlessly respawn.
  • Kingdom Hearts had plenty of those. One of its traditions has been that mage enemies (whether Heartless or Unversed) are hovering sphere-like enemies that cast from their chosen element and have two part names. First part is their colour, second is either type of song (Heartless) or a spice (Unversed).
  • Vespoids in the Monster Hunter series. They are essentially giant wasps that hover just out of reach of many of the game's weapons, before darting in, jabbing you with a stinger, and retreating. Couple this with the fact that the stinger can inflict paralysis on you, and will seemingly always do this when you're low on health/fighting a boss level enemy, and you will soon come to hate them.
    • Also, they nearly always shatter when you DO kill them, leaving absolutely nothing to loot, making the whole exercise of killing them completely pointless (fortunately, Poison works fine if you need a body to carve).
    • The fact that the developers have included quests based entirely on slaying large numbers of these things (an early quest has you slay 20. At this point in the game, it takes 3-5 hits to kill one of the things!) also accentuates the utter irritation they bring. However, at least they spawn almost infinitely in certain places, so you don't have to go looking everywhere for them.
  • NieR had robotic drones which attacked you with lightning and some sort of magic bullets.
  • Tokyo Jungle at first simply has pigeons and crows as little more than tiny snacks for predators. Eventually, however, prehistoric animals will begin to re-evolve. This includes Archaeopteryx Meganeura, which are still not too dangerous. The same cannot be said about Pteranodon.
  • Turgor had the crow-like monsters appear when you’ve used up too much Color in a given area. What made them really dangerous was the fact they seldom flew freely. Instead, they pretended to be regular sprigs of Color, only revealing themselves when you’ve uprooted them.

    First Person Shooter 
  • The 2005 version of Area 51 had the translucent, spherical aliens that floated in the air.
  • BioShock:
    • BioShock and BioShock 2 had the security drones, which flew around thanks to having helicopter rotors, had either machine guns or rocket launchers were activated if you stayed too long in front of the security cameras on some levels. However, they became your allies if you managed to hack the security cameras, and BioShock 2 allowed Delta to have the drone itself with a Hacking Dart.
    • The Mosquitoes in Bioshock Infinite wil attack you on sight and have a chaingun instead of regular machine gun, but are otherwise the same. Friendly ones could also be summoned by Elizabeth from other dimensions throught the use of Tears.
  • Dark Forces had the Imperial probes much like in the films, which flew around and attacked with electric shocks. There also were the Dark Troopers, which spent most of their time in the air due to having jet packs, were tough to kill and were always equipped with heavy weapons.
  • Cacodemons, Lost Souls, and Pain Elementals (which spawn Lost Souls) in Doom.
  • Halo has the jump/jet-packing Elite Rangers and Brute Jumpers, as well as the robotic Sentinels and insectoid Drones. Halo 4 adds Ranger variants of the Jackals and Grunts.
  • Half-Life 2 had the Manhacks – small drones deployed by Overwatch, whose only function was close the distance and cut you up while they’re shooting at you. There are also the Combine Choppers and Gunships, though these are either bosses or justified Boss in Mook Clothing.
  • The iconic Helghast attack drones in every Killzone game since the second one.
  • The Harpies from Serious Sam, and the Flying Kleers, Floaters, Hellchicks, and Levitators from Serious Sam 2. They all possess projectile attacks, whether they be fireballs (Flying Kleers), energy projectiles (Harpies, Floaters, Levitators) or bats (Hellchicks).
  • System Shock had certain unlucky members of the crew mutated by SHODAN into some sort of a completely transparent flying ray. Besides being agile and difficult to spot, these also spat acid.
  • The so-called Electricians in You Are Empty. Basically, they were the zombies with helicopter-like blades on their back that would fly dive down and attack you with their arc welder.

    Platform Games 
  • Alien Hominid has helicopters and jetpack guys, both of which can take a lot of damage.
  • Alien Soldier starts off with the bugs that fly around in circles if you get close, fire a few shots and explode. Ranger and Homing traits counter them though.
    • It also has bomb-dropping birds. These get an advantage in the more claustrophobic areas, where the walls can shield them.
    • One part of the game features drones that travel in long lines and explode into suicide bullets. Thankfully, Bullet Catch ability turns those into health.
  • Arcuz, by Armor Games, has Hornets, which can only be hit mid-jump. Same goes for the bats in the sequel.
  • Axiom Verge has the fly-like enemies who dive down on the player, then retreat away from their line of fire, before coming back for another go.
  • Bug also had at least one in each level, and they were usually very annoying to defeat.
  • Castlevania gives us the gorgon heads. They don't usually turn you to stone, but they do fly in a sine wave when you're on platforms. If the platforms are moving, they becomes Demonic Spiders rather quickly.
    • A lot of the flying demon enemies in the future 2D entries also do this. The sheer amount of mid-air enemies makes the Axe subweapon very good in these.
  • Chasm features several varieties of ghosts, giant wasps, Imps who attack the player with hammers, and the dragonling creatures who spit out a Spread Shot of fireballs.
  • Commander Keen 4 has Skypests. Can't shoot them, can only crush them with your pogo stick when they land.
  • In Death's Gambit, you'll often encounter floating crystals that pulse shockwaves around themselves. Garde Tum has drones that fire actual lasers. There are also semi-examples, like the ghostly cultists who merely lack legs and so float off the ground instead, and the Aldwynn Ascended, whose powers allow them to briefly sprout wings and fly up high, only to dive down for a devastating attack.
  • Diseviled features the Demon Bats, and their tougher cousins, the Demon Flyers. They will fly around the general area, before swooping towards the hero. Fireballs make short work of them, with only one hit needed before they fall.
  • Distorted Travesty 3 is filled with these, everything from Castlevania's Gorgon Heads, to Mario's Lakitus. Among the first such enemies to appear are these bomb dropping helicopter bots.
  • Neckies in Donkey Kong Country; Zingers, Flitters, Mini Neckies, and Kloak in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest; Knik-Knaks in Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!; and owl-like Hootzs in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
  • Elephant Quest features the so-called Repulsers, Zippers, and Chasers.
  • Eternal Daughter had many of those, including extremely fast bats and the circle-flying jungle parrots. The jungle also had continuously falling leaves, which had pygmies on them. Cute as it was, a collision with them inflicted a sizeable amount of damage.
  • Garden Gnome Carnage has sleighs. They float, and some of them drop gift-clad parachuting elves on you, but on the other hand, they can be helpful as they explode like a brick when they hit the ground, likely taking out some elves in the process.
    • In the Garden Gnome Carnage spin-off Hyper Princess Pitch, they return. They shoot projectiles at you, and some of them only fly by, leaving you only short time to kill them, while others stay around and you have to destroy them.
  • Gunstar Heroes has jetpack soldiers that drop bombs in Orange's stage.
  • Journey to Silius has various robotic bats, hovering Xenomorph-like bots, and the "HumpBot".
  • Iji had the Skysmasher drones in its last level. Not only did their flying pattern make them hard to hit normally, but they also did something no other enemy could – their Shocksplinter projectile was fired alongside the ground. Thus, the ducking move, normally foolproof against explosive projectiles, was 100% useless.
  • Magical Whip: Wizards of Phantasmal Forest has bats, ghosts, jack-o'-lanterns, and dangling spiders. In fact, only knights and slimes are earthbound. It's a good thing some levels have infinite midair jump power-ups hidden in them!
  • The Mega Man (Classic) series had many Mecha-Mooks that could fly. Some of the more irritating ones were "Pipi", a robotic bird carrying an egg which it drops. If the egg hits the ground, it would break into 8 or so mini-birds, which would then fly at Mega Man. Especially annoying were those "things" that lived in Bottomless Pits which popped out from them as you jumped over, knocking you backwards and into the pit.
  • Metroid Prime features flying space pirates. And, of course, wasps!
  • Mercenary Kings had several airborne robot enemies. Some are rather weak and more of an annoyance, (Flyer, Ghost) but the Bomber and the Copter Turret are both very powerful.
  • Metal Slug has the dangerously annoying helicopters and missile aircrafts.
  • Ninja Senki features one in every level group. The ghosts in sections 1 & 2, Purple Flames (these fly high and drop small flames onto the ground) at sections 3 & 4, demon heads going in circles around you on sections 5 & 6, etc., etc.
  • There are multiple varieties of these in Salt and Sanctuary.
  • web-based Shadowless features classical randomly flying bats.
  • Smurf: Rescue In Gargamel's Castle has hawks and bats that you must avoid, since you cannot destroy them.
  • Snailiad has, among others, the Sky Viper, Chirpy, Batty Bat, and Ghost Dandelion.
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog series has quite a few, like the Buzz Bombers and Buzzers. They tended to fly within Sonic's attack range, though, and most are rather easily dispatched.
  • The eagles in 1983's Spike's Peak.
  • Starbound has several flying, ranged enemy types.
  • The Super Mario Bros. games have several:
    • Lakitu fly on clouds out of normal range and drop spinies onto the player.
    • Koopa Paratroopas are flying versions of the regular Mooks; they lose their wings and fall to earth if Mario jumps on them, becoming regular Koopa Troopas.
    • Paragoombas are winged versions of the Goombas, another common type of Mook, that first appeared in Super Mario Bros. 3. Yellow ones fly high overhead to avoid Mario's attacks, while dropping Micro-Goombas that stick onto Mario and weigh him down. They also lose their wings when jumped on.
    • Infinite Adaptive Mario, a Java remake with self-adjusting difficulty, contains Para-Bullet Bills.
    • Super Mario Maker has Para-anything. Any enemy in the game can have wings if you wish so. Including Bowser himself.
  • Terraria has a number of them, including demonic eyes and eaters of souls.
  • In Underhero, purple butterflies are an early one. They attack by dive-bombing the player, and are attacked with slingshots.

    Puzzle Game 
  • The Magic Circle has the Whirlybirds, flying robots who can't be trapped. Once you gain the flight power, you can edit any mook in the game to be airborne.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising features Enemy Recon Choppers, Apaches and alien light flyers. Note that the Species was originally meant to be purely land-based; the forms they evolved for aircraft are usually very weakly armored.
  • Pikmin:
    • Shearwigs are relatives of the common Sheargrub enemies with wings, allowing them to fly above the Pikmin's reach.
    • Puffy and Withering Blowhogs, unlike the other two Blowhog varieties, are filled with air and float above easy fighting range.
    • The wasp-like Scornets fly all the time, and Winged Pikmin are needed to fight them effectively.
    • The Winged Pikmin can be considered a variant of this under the player's control, being by and large vanilla Pikmin but with wings, allowing them to tackle airborne foes and move directly over obstacles such as walls, cliffs and bodies of water.
  • Warcraft III:
    • Night Elf Archers can learn the Hippogryph Taming skill, which lets them hitch a ride on a hippogryph, combining a fragile ranged unit with a melee flyer to become the main ranged air unit. In the expansion, it's made reversible, which means any flying enemies will now be facing lots of arrows from below and big nasty claws above.
    • The Obsidian Statue is a weak Support Party Member (a hovering statue that refills allies health or mana and does laughable damage), but it can become a Destroyer, a very powerful flying monster that has to eat magic to fuel its more destructive attacks and is immune to magic (this one is irreversible, however).

    Roguelike 
  • Wide variety of them is abound in The Binding of Isaac. Many are varieties of a fly, starting from regular red flies that have tiny health and only do contact damage, all the way to fast, tough Boom Flies that explode on death. In between there are the ranged Pooters and the smaller ladybug-like things that also explode on death, but are much slower and weaker than Boom Flies.
    • There are Hofers – eyeless heads suspended in the air that spit blood and a variety that moves while doing so. Then there are relatively high-level Babies, which shoot blood and constantly teleport, and Angelic Babies which fire a Spread Shot of three. The Womb has Leeches, which charge forward through the air at ridiculously high speeds if you’re in their path, with the upgraded Explosive Leeches and Angelic Leeches (also Explosive, but are protected by an invincible fly) encountered at Satan’s level and Cathedral, respectively
  • Gloom has the flying headcrab-like things which slowly fire projectiles. You can't shoot upwards either, you'll either have to let them fly off on their own (Unholy Parish), or wait until they float down to striking distance (their homegrounds of Lightless Forest, where they are spawned from nests).
  • hets has three main varieties, and all are quite dangerous. The large flies will speed up as soon as they see you, and when chasing you, they'll follow the shortest possible distance while also bobbing up and down, to make targeting difficult. The mosquito-like enemies will freeze for a second when they see you, but then they'll immediately fly in a straight line to the place you were standing at that time, not stopping until they've hit you or some obstacle. Lastly, there are the skulls that'll float lazily until they notice you, but then will regularly fire projectiles just like your own.
  • NetHack features many flying creatures. Essentially everything represented by A, B, D, W or v (vortex) is one. All of these obviously ignore pits, beartraps, landmines and such, and easily travel over water. All of them also have good-to-great AC - Dragons and Angels because of their scales and armour, the rest because flying lets them dodge attacks easier. There are also several special cases...
    • Couatl are essentially flying feathered angelic snakes. Lawful players will practically always be friendly with them, and so have little to worry about. Neutrals and chaotics are also likely to outmatch them by the time you first encounter one, and be immune to their poisonous bite. However, everything changes if you happen to be near water - couatl will then wrap itself around you, and pull you under, which is a guaranteed insta-kill unless you manage to free yourself in the one turn between couatl wrapping itself against your body, and couatl pulling you under (and if you are heavily burdened with stuff or otherwise slow, you won't get that turn either). The only way to definitely avoid that fate near water is to either wear a ring of magical breathing (makes drowning pointless, but all your stuff still gets soaked and screwed up as a result), or to wear an oilskin cloak, which will cause couatl and other entangling creatures, like kraken, to harmlessly slip off.
    • Killer bees (use letter "a", mainly used for the similarly dangerous giant ant varieties). Frequently encountered in swarms of 10+. Their tiny size gives them AC of 0 - i.e. landing a damaging blow on them is as difficult as on someone fully encased in the basic metal armor. Worst of all, though, is their poison - up until your character gets poison resistance, it frequently amounts to an insta-kill. If you don't have it, the best thing to do about them is to immediately engrave the Elbereth ward, and attack at range until they finally die or at least go away long enough for you to retreat to another level/behind some door, all while desperately reapplying the ward to ensure it doesn't fade while you are surrounded. This is comparatively easy for Rangers and Wizards, with their powerful ranged attacks/spells, but hell for classes like Archeologist, whose best ranged option is to literally throw anything you have in your inventory at them.
    • Mind flayers and master mind flayers (h, meaning humanoid, usually used for dwarves). Being humanoid, they can open doors, wear armor and wield weapons (including ranged ones, like bows, or magical ones, like staffs) in addition to their flying. They are telepathic, and they will lock on to telepathic players, dealing damage to them at range, even if they are behind several walls in a different room. None of that is as scary as their titular ability to suck your brains out. Essentially, every melee attack of theirs has a chance to reduce your intelligence, and if it falls below 3, your last thoughts will fade away. If you kill the mind flayer with only some intelligence loss, it can be restored relatively easily with potions or a unicorn horn: however, that wouldn't heal your amnesia, forcing you to re-learn what nearly every item in your inventory does, unless you've kept notes earlier. Helmets block some of these attacks, but mind flayers get three such attacks a turn, so the helmets are not enough, even if greased (flayers' tentacles will definitely slip off, up until they manage to wear off the grease). Ranged combat is better. Genociding them with a scroll is better still.
  • The legendary bats of Spelunky, which have a great detection range, but poor pathfinding and are thankfully one-hitpoint wonders. The Jungle levels occasionally have Vampires that can turn into Bat-form to keep things fresh. Then, the Ice Cave levels have laser-firing UFOs. These also die in one hit, but their shots can irreparably destroy the platforms. Woe betide you if they manage to hit the shrine to Kali...
    • The paid Spelunky remake also has the Jungle Wasps, which are tougher and more dangerous than bats.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Arena.Xlsm, made in Microsoft Excel, had Bees, Wasps, Hornets, Bats, Vultures, Gargoyles and more. All of these are Immune to Ranged Attacks, apparently due to being able to dodge them mid-flight. This is a considerable problem, since it forces you to wait for them to come to you, even as some of them may still be able to shoot you at the same time as moving towards you. Thankfully, their immunity goes away if you manage to get them exhausted. (Though Hard Mode lets them keep their immunity).
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Morrowind has Cliff Racers, a prime example of Goddamn Bats. They appear all over the game's island setting, make an irritating sound, do little damage yet can make you flinch when they hit you, drop crappy loot, often carry diseases, come in flocks of three to ten, and their hit detection leaves a lot to be desired. They are so reviled that Bethesda took notice and, in later games, it is mentioned that one of Morrowind's Ensemble Darkhorses drove their entire species to extinction.
    • Skyrim has Dragons. They can appear randomly at any time to attack you as a Boss in Mook Clothing. They spend most of the battle flying until you've chipped away about 2/3 of their health, which forces them to land. Thankfully, you learn a Shout ("Dragonrend") that acts like an Anti-Air Brown Note to them, forcing them to land. However, it's a late-game Shout you can only learn about 3/4 of the way through the main quest. Tough luck to all you melee-only Dovahkiin out there!
  • Fallout3 had the Bloatflies, which attacked by spitting their larvae at truly unearthly speeds, and Mr. Handy - Mr. Gutsy robots, as well as Eyebots used by the Enclave.
  • Final Fantasy XII had some enemies with the flying status, which meant that you couldn't use melee attacks against them unless they were guns or bows/crossbows. Alternatively, one could just use magic on them without having to open up the inventory all the time.
    • Final Fantasy VII also had enemies with the "flying" status which could not be damaged by melee attacks. There were also bat enemies which had a 1/8 (later ones had 1/4) chance of completely avoiding a physical attack.
  • The Mario & Luigi series has them. Hammers and other low-hitting moves will not be able to hit these kinds of enemies, use your Goomba Stomp instead. Bowser from Bowser's Inside Story has it pretty rough against the (very few) airborne enemies he fights - he is unable to attack them via any of his normal attacks.
    • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team adds mooks (and bosses) that change from being airborne mooks to land based ones mid battle (and vice versa), with Flibbees going between being right way up and on the floor and upside down and in mid air. There's also Robo Drilldigger, a giant boss who has both land and sky forms (and whom is immune to the jump or hammer depending on which one is in use) and the boss Pi'illodium, who can thankfully be taken out the air and made vulnerable to ground based attacks if you destroy its wings.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Flying Assault Drones and Rocket Drones in Mass Effect. Their flying made them immune to most biotic attacks, they had some of the strongest shielding in the game and very tough weapons to boot. They land eventually, though, and could be lured to your side with a high enough Hacking skill. Ironically, the much weaker Geth Recon Drones are the first and weakest enemies you face in the game.
    • Mass Effect 2 nerfs the Rocket and Assault Drones, but allows enemy Engineers to create small drones of their own. These have very low health, but are fast and usually attempt to flank you and dislodge you from cover using their melee electric shock attack. Luckily, engineers can create their own.
    • Last but not least, Mass Effect 3 has the Harvesters. Made from a wild, non-sentient specie, these are very tough, have a powerful cannon attack and spawn more basic husks around them. The multiplayer also has the very fast Geth Bomber drones with difficult-to-dodge attacks.
  • Zubats from Pokémon, or any Flying-type for that matter, although they weren't as annoying as the bats...
    • Pokémon with the Levitate ability to dodge Ground-type attacks can count too, though Koffing/Weezing are probably the most annoying, having a high Defense, being able to poison you or blow up, and having only one weakness because Levitate removes its Ground weakness...
      • The Tynamo family is particularly nasty for this reason; its offensive stats are high enough that it can do more than stall, and its weakness to Ground attacks is annulled by its Levitate ability, effectively leaving it with none. That is, unless Gastro Acid, Entrainment, Gravity, Mummy, or Mold Breaker come out to play.

    Shoot 'Em Ups 
  • Many enemies in Shoot Em Ups are these. Thankfully, your Player Character can fly too, so it's not really much of a threat unless they have lots of health and spam bullets.
  • Heavy Weapon has your tank on the ground, and most of your enemies in the air. There are some ground-based enemies too, which can sometimes be more annoying than the aerial ones.
  • Jaws Revenge had the helicopters, which dropped the Explosive Barrels onto your shark. However, it only took three hits at most to bring them down.
  • Stormwinds has every single enemy, which are all flying Steam Punk machines of the nation of Demo. Justified in that Demo is attempting to invade from across the ocean. A good number of them tend to be carried by huge balloons as their method of flight, shooting them there will cause them to take massive damage.

    Simulation games 
  • Ace Combat has the player swatting entire squadrons of enemy aircraft.
  • Air Force Delta also throws multiple varieties of hostile planes at you.

     Survival Horror 
  • Dead Space had the sorta-flying Infectors, which were weak but fast, and whose main purpose consisted of making more Necromorphs from the corpses lying around. Then, the Dead Space 2 Severed DLC has had the actual winged Flyer Necromorphs. Thankfully, those were also the weakest of the bunch.
    • Dead Space 3 has a Necromorph formed from the alien spore plant that is only encountered in Zero-G environment and will shoot you with its spores.
  • ObsCure and its sequel had the university girls mutated into moth-like flying enemies, which also had a habit of attacking in swarms.
  • The infamous Air Screamers and their Otherworld version, Night Flutters, in Silent Hill. They only appear when it’s dark and foggy and usually aren’t spotted until your siren starts ringing. Avoiding them is difficult because they fly faster than you and are smart enough not to fly straight to your location but will circle you and then attack. Fighting them is even worse, as they attack out of reach of melee weapons unless it’s too cramped for that (and even then, they can’t be attacked by knife at all), forcing you to waste seven Handgun bullets to bring them down.
    • Silent Hill 3 had the Pendulum, a whirring machine-like thing that flew like a helicopter with blades of rusted metal (which it eagerly used to cut you up as well, of course.) Silent Hill: Homecoming had the airborne insectoid swarms, which would cling to Alex and drain his health over time.
    • Also, Silent Hill 4 had relatively weak Mothbats, which were notable for weakness to Bug Spray and being capable of distracting the ghost of main antagonist from pursuing you.
  • The Balloons in Sir, You Are Being Hunted won't attack you, but if you get caught in their spotlights they will alert other enemies to your presence.

     Top-Down Action 
  • Full Metal Furies has the various drones, who generally use shock attacks.
  • Grid Warrior has several, usually of the Wind element. Most attacks cannot target them while they're airborne, except for lightning and ice weapons, Holy Bullets and the Flak Cannon (which does extra damage to them). Most of them have to fly low to attack the player, allowing a player without those weapons to harm them.
  • Mystic Towers had one of these in each tower. There’s a flying fungus named Fungafly, a so-called Bagfly, bird called Monobeak, jellyfish-like Stinger, Snapdragons and Verdragons, etc. There were usually slightly weaker than the land-bound enemies, but also faster and couldn't be avoided by levitating away from them.

     Tower Defence 
  • Bubble Tanks: Tower Defense has an odd variation — in this game, the flying enemies are called "Ghost" enemies. They pretty much act in the same way you'd expect a flying mook to in a Tower Defense game — by bypassing your towers.
  • Two kinds of flying enemies appear in Defense Grid: The Awakening, one of which just has more health than the other. In any case, both of them are very dangerous as they are immune to some towers, and cores stolen by them cannot be replaced.
  • Desktop Tower Defense has the appropriately-named "Flying" creep.
  • Mini Robot Wars has the Scout Helicopter, Jetpacker, Napalm Airship, Hyper Jet, Ghost and Reaper. The good news is that they do not have much health compared to land-based mooks. During the New Game+, many of the land-based enemy units get a helicopter attachment that allows them to travel in the air at a fast speed.
  • Plants vs. Zombies
    • The Balloon Zombie. If you didn’t build the Anti-Air cactus plant in time, his presence was tantamount to a Game Over.
    • The sequel introduces several- the Seagull Zombie, the Parrot Zombie, the Jetpack and Disco Jetpack zombies, and any zombie carried by the Bug Zombie. Unlike the Balloon zombie, regular plants could thankfully hit them. The Dodo Rider is an interesting case- it starts out as a grounded mook, but when it encounters ice floes or troublesome plants it flies over them until it passes the obstacle.
  • Flying Aliens in Tower Madness

    Turn Based Strategy/Tactics 
  • Age of Wonders had various flying units for each faction. Usually, they were amongst its most powerful, like the dragons, White And Dark Angels, the cat-wyvern-like thing, the air elemental and more. It helped that they were practically invulnerable to the melee attacks (unless those were the counter-attacks in response to be hit) and practically had to be wailed down with ranged units (that had a habit of missing) or the expensive magic.
  • Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. had Shrikes and Nettlers. The latter often hover high enough to require the player to actively look up with their current character to notice them.
  • Fire Emblem throws Pegasus Riders, Wyvern Riders, and, occasionally, flying monsters at the players on a regular basis.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic 3 generally had one or two flying units per race. Some, like Citadel Lightning Birds or the Tower Gargoyles, would only cover 7 squares or so, while others, like Angels, Pegassi or all dragon types, could fly to any square on the board. The Dungeon faction Harpies deserve a special mention: when upgraded, these had the “Return Back (to a starting point) After Striking” and “Enemy Doesn’t Respond To Blows” trait, which essentially made them into a ranged unit that could attack with impunity and flee if a stronger unit cornered them.
    • Heroes Of Might And Magic 5 had a smaller selection of races, but tried to give them more variety to compensate. As such, the flying units also gained more unique traits. For instance, Gryphons could fly off the map for one turn to dive down at your chosen spot in the next. If the enemy troops were still there, they would receive doubled damage from the attack.
  • Nippon Ichi strategy-RPG titles feature a variety of flying creatures, including angels, succubi, and assorted monsters.
  • Super Robot Wars includes a broad selection of flying units, both giant robots and more conventional aircrafts.
  • XCOM has Floaters and an assortment of similar aliens in the sequels.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Minecraft has a number of flying mobs. A number of them are harmless or passive (such as parrots and bats), and then there are the less harmless ones. In most cases, bringing a bow and arrows is a good idea:
    • Ghasts are large floating ghost-like jellyfish found only in the Nether and fire exploding fireballs at you. You can use melee to hit their fireballs back to them to kill them.
    • Blazes are also only found in the Nether and are capable of floating above the ground, although they usually stay around ground level. They fire less explosive fireballs at you that can't be deflected.
    • Vexes are ghostlike entities summoned by Evokers that harass you and can pass through walls, but lose health over time.
    • Phantoms are undead manta ray-like Animalistic Abominations that spawn at night in the overworld in large numbers and swoop at the player — but they only appear if the player hasn't slept for three days, since they're attracted to insomnia. Notably, they were picked in a vote for a new mob by fans who felt that the overworld had too few of this trope.
  • [PROTOTYPE] and its sequel had their protagonists so powerful that the helicopters, normally reserved for Boss Battle|s in games or at least acting as Boss in Mook Clothing, became this trope. After all, both Alex Mercer and James Heller could just jump up to their level and kick them out of the air.

    Non-video game examples 


Alternative Title(s): Flying Mook, Airborne Mooks

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