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Bombardier Mook

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"These airborne menaces used to ride their clouds exclusively as Bowser's henchmen. They typically hover just out of Mario's reach and hurl Spinies with irritating precision."
Lakitu Trophy Description, Super Smash Bros. Melee

Flying enemies are a long-time staple in video games, and several distinct subtypes and trends occur within this group. While they often simply fly along present paths or swoop down at players from on high, many instead opt to stay well above the player and drop objects down on their heads.

A Bombardier Mook's payloads can vary considerably in nature and how they affect play, although simple damaging projectiles are the most common type. Explosive ammunition is fairly common, and it's also far from unheard of for these guys to toss smaller Mooks down to the ground, in which case this may overlap with Drone Deployer.

Bombardier Mooks are often much trickier to deal with than regular flying Airborne Mooks. Most flying enemies need to come in contact with the player to damage them, which means they must periodically enter their melee range and thus make themselves vulnerable to attack as well. Bombardier Mooks do not have this weakness and can spend their time circling well above the player's range, dropping their projectiles and safe from retribution. Some may be completely invulnerable in this manner, but it's more common for players to have one or two specialized tools, such as special powers or a long-range attack, that may let them bring Bombardier Mooks down to more manageable heights. Another common weakness is that these guys rarely have any significant physical attacks of their own, and may become entirely helpless once in close range.

Another limitation of Bombardier Mooks is that they're typically limited to attacking targets directly beneath them — they don't usually have much horizontal range and need to either position themselves to be above the player before attacking or wait for them to pass beneath their position. This gives players a degree of freedom in dodging their attacks. To make up for this, a Bombardier Mook's projectiles may be more powerful than standard attacks, may deal Splash Damage of some kind, or may be found in large concentrations that will force players to constantly keep moving to avoid the dropping payloads.

Subtrope of Airborne Mook. See also Death from Above. For cases where a Bombardier Mook is deadly from overhead but helpless at close range, see Crippling Overspecialization.


    open/close all folders 

  • Castlevania: Some enemies fly around, coming in from off-screen, and attack by throwing spears at that protagonist.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Giant Fist: The jetpack enemies that appear throughout the Milles City and Mars Corp stages. They hover around left to right, frequently dropping grenades while The Men in Black run interference on the ground. Feasibly one could throw the grenade back if playing Zophy, or otherwise repel it for other characters, but the influx of ground forces and the stunning effect of the grenades mean you're likely going to eat sequential explosions.
  • Hollow Knight:
    • Volatile Gruzzers are so swollen with the Infection that blobs of infected fluids constantly fall out of their bodies, harming whatever happens to be below them as they fly aimlessly around.
    • Fluke Zotelings float slowly up and out of sight after emerging from the ground, dropping loads of acid as they go.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Zirros, an uncommon enemy type mostly found in early 2D titles, are flying creatures resembling mushrooms with wings and attack exclusively by spitting bombs at Link. They normally stay well above Link's head, dipping down only to deliver a payload, and will retreat if Link approaches them, making dealing with them tricky.
    • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link:
      • Boons are giant flies that buzz along with rocks clutched in their legs. When Link comes along, they drop their loads in an attempt to hit him.
      • Moas, flying eyeball enemies, have a variant found in some palaces that doesn't attack directly, but instead flies at a steady height above Link's reach and drops fire behind itself as it goes. These can only be reached and taken out by using the Jump spell.
      • A variant. Some Geru stand atop tall walls and throw boulders down towards Link. Due to how high up they are, they can only be harmed by using the Thunder spell; otherwise, Link can only try to dodge the rocks.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening:
      • In Toronbo Shores, there's a monkey that sits in a palm tree and throws coconuts down at you. If you hang around for long enough, it will throw a bomb as well. Its high perch means it cannot be reached by Link, but he can charge into the tree to knock the monkey down and send it scurrying away.
      • Winged Bone Putters, found in the Color Dungeon in the remakes, don't attack Link directly, but instead randomly drop bombs around the rooms they're found in.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: During the wagon Escort Mission, kargaroks fly overhead with bombs clutched in their claws that they try to drop on the wagon. Link must shoot them down with his bow and arrows to prevent this, as they won't come down into melee range.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Hroks are stork-like enemies that perch on trees and fly off towards Link when they spot him, staying high above his reach and regurgitating large rocks in an attempt to crush him. In the early game, they're entirely impossible to harm once they get into the air — they never drop low enough for Link to reach, and can only be dealt with preemptively by dropping bombs on them when they're still roosting — but become more manageable once Link gets the bow and arrows.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: Keeleons float high in the air and periodically drop bombs down toward Link. Link must use the Fire or Ice rods to take them out, as their attacks are the only ones that reach high enough to actually touch the floating creatures.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: The batlike Aerocudas are often encountered carrying items such as rocks, barrels, snowballs, or other monsters to drop on Link. In combat, they prioritize grabbing loose rocks and similar items as ammo when these are available over simply dive-bombing Link.

    Action Games 
  • Heavy Weapon: The majority of the enemies are aircraft that fly past and drop bombs of various sorts onto you.
    • The first one is the regular unguided bombs dropped by Bravski Jet Fighters, Spetzank Bombers, Kriznek Carpet Bombers, and the Barskov Munitions Blimps.
    • You also have Nikzov Jet Fighter's laser-guided bombs that track you while falling down.
    • Then there's the Vorskat Delta Bomber's frag bombs that explode into four shots when they hit the ground.
    • Another bomb is the armored bombs, which are unguided bombs but with stronger armor. They are used by the Shiznik Delta Fighter and the Frinska Heavy Bomber.
    • Last but not least, you have the Havanski Atomic Bomber and its Fatboy bombs, and are the most deadly because letting their bombs hit the ground will instantly nuke your tank.
    • Fortunately, your tank can aim anywhere on the screen to shoot them and their bombs down (especially the last one, which is a One-Hit Kill if the bombs hit the ground).

    Fighting Games 
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl: Buckots are robotic enemies that fly with propellers on their tops and carry around buckets of red-hot metal bricks that they dump on top of fighters as their sole means of attack.

  • The Adventures of Lomax: There are enemies in the first world who fly in balloons and throw bombs at you.
  • Donkey Kong Country:
    • Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!: Karbines are owls armed with cannons. They appear only in the level Fireball Frenzy, where they hover in the background and periodically launch fireballs at the kongs. They cannot be defeated and are found in large numbers, forcing the kongs to constantly keep moving to avoid them.
    • Donkey Kong Country Returns: Kowalees are purple koalas that fly around on helicopter-bladed contraptions and attack by throwing bombs down at the Kongs. As they're too large to jump over, they must be defeated by throwing their bombs back at them before they explode.
  • Hey! Pikmin:
    • Fireflinger Groinks stay permanently in the background, and attack by flinging fireballs towards the screen. They're found in only two areas, where they pelt the foreground with a constant barrage of fiery missiles that Olimar must avoid while also dealing with terrain obstacles and regular enemies.
    • Spornets are flying enemies that hover over your Pikmin and drop toxic spores on their heads.
  • Khimera: Destroy All Monster Girls: Kiran, a Flying Broomstick-using Cute Witch enemy who lobs potions at Chelshia. In the Monster Compendium of Nyazione's notebooks, she's called "Littering Witch" with a Specialty of "Dropping Things".
  • Kirby's Epic Yarn: Ookis are monkey-like creatures that hang from trees. In levels where Kirby is transformed into a tank, they throw apples, which deal damage. However, in other levels they throw beads, making them helpful instead of a threat.
  • Mega Man (Classic): Pipis are robotic birds that carry and drop eggs that, if they hit the ground, break into eight or so Copipis, which then fly at Mega Man. Mega Man 7 has the Delupipi, an upgraded version that drops an even bigger egg.
  • Oddworld: Flying sligs have a helicopter rotor attached to their tail rather than mechanical legs of other sligs. This allows for them to move in more than just horizontal directions like ground sligs and go up and down or diagonally. Their weapon of choice? Grenades. Lots and lots of grenades.
  • The Shantae series: Eagle Man Bombers fly in the sky above Shantae and drop bombs on Shantae:
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2: The Nebula enemy is a flying robot that inhabits Sky Chase Zone. If Sonic or Tails gets underneath it, it drops spiked balls.
    • Sonic Adventure 2 has the Bomb Beetle, which is a robotic beetle that drops bombs. The bombs it drops can be picked up and thrown at other enemies, but they explode quickly, so you'll have to throw them fast.
    • Sonic Heroes has the Bomb Flapper, a flying robot enemy that drops bombs. These bombs cannot be picked up and thrown at other enemies, but an ideal way to attack the Bomb Flapper is to shoot it out of the sky by using the Thunder Shoot move from the Flight member of your team, then destroy it with the Speed or Power member. If your Flight member is upgraded to Level 2, then they can destroy the Bomb Flapper with one Thunder Shoot.
    • Sonic Lost World has the Mantas, a flying robot enemy that drops flaming bombs on the grind rails ahead of Sonic in Lava Mountain Zone 2. Nebulas also reappear in the game.
    • Sonic Forces has the Valkeens, note  bird enemies that appear in Mortar Canyon which cannot be destroyed and can only be avoided. Nebulas also once again reappear in the game.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom has two such mooks:
    • The Chuck robot, first encountered in Downtown Bikini Bottom, is a flying robot that lobs explosive warheads at you, and they tend to be located in areas where Bottomless Pits are common. Their aim is very accurate, requiring the player to trick their throwing arc in another direction to approach them.
    • The Monsoon robot, first encountered in Goo Lagoon, is an unusual example in that, instead of explosives and projectiles, they summon thunderclouds that hover towards you and zap you with lightning. They levitate just out of reach and can only be taken down with air-based attacks.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros.: Lakitus are the most common and iconic example of this in the franchise. They don't attack Mario outright, but instead sit on clouds a good way above Mario's jump range and toss an endless supply of Spiny Eggs, which turn into the eponymous enemies on landing. New Super Mario Bros. U introduces a variant that tosses Piranha Pods instead.
    • Super Mario Bros. 2: Albatosses are large birds that carry Bob-ombs in their talons, dropping them when they pass above a player.
    • Super Mario Bros. 3 introduces Paragoombas, flying versions of the common Goombas, drop loads of Mini-Goombas on top of Mario, which will try to latch onto him to slow and weigh him down.
    • Super Mario World introduces the Amazing Flyin' Hammer Bros. While most Hammer Bros. enemies perch on reachable ledges from which to toss hammers, fireballs, boomerangs, or whatever else at Mario, the Amazing Flyin' Hammer Bros. sit on flying platforms well above jumping range and toss endless streams of hammers over their sides and to the ground below.
    • Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel have Cluckbooms, chicken-like mooks that drop bombs on Mario and Luigi.
    • Yoshi's Story: Black-robed Propeller Shy Guys fly around carrying either bombs or large spiked stones, both of which they will try to drop on Yoshi's head.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures games:

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Command & Conquer:
    • Command & Conquer: Red Alert: The Soviet Mig is a jet bomber that drops all its bombs on the same target, and is fast enough that it can avoid most fixed Anti-Air defenses. The Yak deals less damage, but does so over a wider area, making it a better infantry killer.
    • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3:
      • Vindicator bombers are close air-support bombers that drop two or three precision-guided bombs on their target, then return to base to reload. They're surprisingly tough and fast enough to survive at least all the way to the target, making groups of Vindicators the equivalent of an anti-structure sniper rifle.
      • Century Bombers drop a line of bombs in front and behind the target, making them excellent at destroying buildings but easily evaded by ground units. They can also carry up to five infantry units each and paradrop them.
      • Aircraft Carriers are actually Drone Deployers who send half a dozen drones to unleash a single bomb on a target. The drones can be shot down (though they're replaced for free in the next wave), but have a bad case of Hero-Tracking Failure (just moving in a straight line is enough to evade their attacks), making them better-suited to attacking buildings.
      • Kirov airships are something of a Soviet Mascot Mook, being a Mighty Glacier zeppelin that drops bombs directly above its target. Despite the huge damage, self-repair, and ability to move faster while damaging themselves, their very low speed makes them easy prey for dedicated Anti-Air units.
      • The Soviets use more conventional Badger bombers to drop loads of toxic chemicals on the battlefield to instakill infantry. When ordered to attack buildings, Natasha instead paints it with a laser until a Badger drops a bomb on it.
    • Command & Conquer: Generals:
      • The Aurora bomber goes so fast that it's effectively invulnerable until it drops its payload, at which point it becomes very fragile indeed. It's also the single most expensive unit in the game.
      • The Americans can drop different payloads via specialized bombers such as propaganda leaflets to stop enemies from firing in an area or a Fuel Air Bomb (essentially a nuke).
      • The GLA can use a Generals power to call in a massive anthrax bomb at a target point.
  • Dawn of War: Soulstorm:
    • The Imperial Guard gets a Marauder bomber as its air unit, which can perform bombing runs using incendiary, krak, or smoke bombs, but otherwise uses its guns to defend itself.
    • The ork Fighta-Bomma is a flying artillery unit, slowly firing highly-inaccurate Grot Bombs at targets from very long distances.
  • Empire Earth:
    • In the first game, Bombers unleash a string of bombs and then return to base to reload, while Fighter/Bombers can attack both air and surface units until they run out of fuel and return to an airport.
    • Empire Earth II: Bombers are divided into two categories: Tactical (best against units) and Strategic (best against buildings) and have a limited stock of bombs that drop two at a time, so they can be used for longer bombing runs.
    • In both games, Nuclear Bombers are much more fragile than bombers and only carry a single bomb that one-hit kills most units and defenses.
  • Iron Marines:
    • The Blightmother is a large flying unit that throws toxic goop balls that explode into toxic goop patches which deal Damage Over Time in an Area of Effect. When killed, she also explodes into a few Fellwings (that aren't this trope, as their attacks don't explode).
    • Grav Carriers are flying vehicle units that throw gravity well bombs, which affect your troops in a similar manner to the Blightmother's toxic goop balls — except that the gravity wells last longer.
  • Kingdom Rush: Vengeance: Gryphon Bombardiers are gryphon-riding dwarves that fly over ground-based attacks and throw Splash Damage bombs at your troops.
  • Pikmin 2: Careening Dirigibugs are hovering creatures that cannot attack Pikmin directly, and instead produce an endless supply of bomb-rocks from their mouths to toss at Olimar and Pikmin mobs below. They must have their balloons popped by Yellow Pikmin — other Pikmin types cannot be thrown high enough to reach them — to bring them to the ground where they can be dealt with.
  • Total War: Warhammer:
    • Dwarven Gyrobombers are helicopter-like machines that carry payloads of bombs they drop straight down and are especially effective against massed infantry. Their usefulness drops sharply once their bombs are expended — they're reasonably tough but aren't suited for melee and lack ranged weaponry.
    • Lizardman Terradon Riders, in addition to a javelin attack, carry large rocks in their talons that they can deliver in a bombing run once per battle.
    • Downplayed with Flamespyre Phoenixes. They can drop a barrage of fiery projectiles while flying in a straight line, a technique particularly useful against massed infantry, but are otherwise mainly intended to be mobile melee fighters.
    • The Empress Crowmen, the unique Regiment of Renown of the Cathayan Crowmen unit, can launch a salvo of grenades while in flight to cause a wide field of minor explosions below themselves.
  • Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos: Dwarven Flying Machines can be retrofitted with the ability to drop bombs on enemies. They're more effective against structures, but even then they don't do much damage, as Flying Machines are intended to be used in swarms.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Chrono Trigger: Inverted. Robo and Frog share the Dual-Tech "Bombing Run," wherein Robo stocks Frog up with bombs and throws him in the air. Frog streaks through the air and drops the bombs on a horizontal line of enemies.
  • Conqueror's Blade has two units, the Zykalian Militia and the Shenji Grenadiers, who throw grenades. A lot of grenades. Only difference is that they can't fly.
  • Mario & Luigi:
    • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time: Fly Guys carry large bombs, and during battle will try to drop these on Mario or Luigi's head.
    • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story: When fighting other enemies in Peach's castle, Bowser will sometimes be faced with Dark Fawful Bombs, supersized Bob-ombs carried in the air by a pair of fawfulized Fly Guys flying above the reach of his attacks. They will try to drop the bomb on Bowser's head to damage him, unless Bowser inhales them before they do this and causes the bomb to be dropped on the other enemies instead.
  • Mass Effect 3: The Geth Bomber is a flying drone added to multiplayer via a patch. It flies around dropping bombs if it finds a player character. As the only flying character in the game, it ignores low cover and the large blast radius of its bombs makes it dangerous in confined areas.
  • Monster Hunter: World: Bazelgeuse is a wyvern that hunts by flying over its prey and scattering its explosive scales over the ground below, swooping down afterwards to prey on whatever died in the blast. It prefers to open fights with a bombing run of this sort, often not even landing, but unlike other examples of this trope, it's a formidable fighter and just as dangerous up close as when flying overhead.
  • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: Bombirdier is a stork-like Pokémon themed around carrying around heavy objects, which it holds in an "apron" made from its own feathers, and dropping them on people and Pokémon below. Its ability, Rocky Payload, boosts the power of Rock-type moves to represent it dropping boulders around people's ears.

    Run and Gun 
  • Metal Shinobi Assassin has robotic lanterns that attack by floating above you and dropping exploding projectiles.

  • Deep Rock Galactic: Mactera Goo Bombers are flying insects that chuck balls of goo that slow targets down on contact, and can also perform a carpet-bombing-like maneuver to cover a large area in goo.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000: The undersides of Harpies, a type of winged Tyranid organism, are covered in specialized cysts that can create explosive spore mines to be dropped on enemy infantry while the Harpy flies overhead.
  • Warhammer Fantasy: Lizardman Terradon Riders go into battle carrying large rocks in their talons, giving them a once-a-battle ability to bombard ground-bound units with a hail of stones.