Follow TV Tropes


Boss in Mook Clothing

Go To

This is a gameplay trope, not a narrative trope. Unless the character a) has specs mentioned in some way, and b) is explicitly stated to not be a boss, then no story examples are valid. This trope is also therefore not possible in real life.

"Let's be very careful here. We don't want to see him... (fight woosh) Uhhh, oh no! IT'S HIIIIM."
"Final Fantasy (NES) RMSCRT part 17a of 19"note , regarding Warmech.

Mooks in video games typically aren't supposed to be too hard on their own. They are usually just there to soften up the heroes before the Boss Battle of a level (usually) or to make safely getting past other obstacles more difficult. But there are exceptions, enemies that are annoying, dangerous, and/or powerful. This trope is the top tier of these, enemies that are so powerful, you wouldn't be blamed for mistaking them for bosses (hence the trope name).

For example, let's say you are playing an Eastern RPG. You're walking along on your quest to save the world, when you run into a Random Encounter with a three-headed, skeletal dragon. You're 12 levels higher than the average enemy here, so just give it a few attacks, and it should be over with.

But not only is it still standing after three turns, but most of your party has lost over half their health. So you don't hold back. You launch your best spells and special attacks at it, using your healer's super expensive full party heal spell. Eventually, it goes down, but not before you had to resurrect the mage twice, and you had to use up two-thirds of your total magic point pool. Time to warp to the nearest Trauma Inn.

In order to determine if a regular enemy qualifies, it must have at least two of the following traits. It can be any of these traits, but it must have two or more.

  • It is a lot more durable than a regular enemy. This is usually through HP, but it can also have extremely high defense or evasion (similar to a Metal Slime, and may even be a particularly aggressive one) if such stats exist.
  • It does a lot more damage than a regular enemy (moot if the protagonist is a One-Hit-Point Wonder) and is quite capable of Total Party Kills. Can also have attacks that are difficult to avoid (whether or not dodging is based on skill or chance).
  • Requires a lot more strategy to defeat than a regular enemy. (The Useless Useful Spell is almost certainly useless here, unless used as an Outside-the-Box Tactic.)
  • Has at least one of the following points, but one of the above must still be included to count:
    • Has a lot of varied attacks compared to regular enemies.
    • Has the ability to inflict many status effects on you, sometimes multiple effects at once.
    • Has an entrance like a boss or mid-boss, but is not in a designated Boss Room and/or has no Life Meter.
    • Does not respawn the first few times you meet it (assuming the game has respawns), but is still not in a designated boss area.
    • Gives you either a lot of rewards for your effort or barely any at all.
    • Appears by itself, or with a few small enemies that can be wiped out easily.

Compare and contrast Demonic Spiders, which tends to be a common enemy, whereas a Boss in Mook Clothing tends to be fairly uncommon. Compare Smash Mook, That One Boss, Kung Fu-Proof Mook, Mini-Boss. Contrast Goddamned Bats, King Mook, Mook Promotion, Anticlimax Boss, Degraded Boss, Level in Boss Clothing, Killer Rabbit, and Fake Ultimate Mook.

Not to be confused with Optional Boss or Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.

Before Editing: Check to see if Elite Mook or King Mook is a better fit for your example.


    open/close all folders 

  • The Alpha Sections in Beyond Good & Evil; and they're everywhere. While they do have a multitude of weaknesses and tricks that can be used to take them out easily, taking them head-on is almost guaranteed to end in your ownage. They have mines, lasers, and hammers that deal tons of damage, and they have shields that make them extremely hard to hit. Luckily, you can sneak past them most of the time.
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has Kunekune, which is encountered via a hidden Easter Egg in the game. Said enemy is very formidable: Merely looking at it is so horrifying that it inflicts Curse on you (which cuts HP and MP in half) and deals constant damage, stunlocking you to death extremely quickly without it even having to touch you. To make matters worse, you will have to fight this enemy over and over again if you plan on getting 100% Completion.
  • The Guardian (also known as the Final Guard in later games) from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. They protect the room to Dracula (poorly, since there is the way below), but they are still really tough to beat (barring Game-Breaker methods).
    • And the Cthulhu when you first encounter it in the Marble Gallery. They only guard a way back to the entrance but they are very difficult at this point in the game. They are easy when you encounter them in the Inverted Castle though, since this is much later in the game.
    • Victory Armor from Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance. It's a pushover when you meet it just before Death, but until then, watch out.
    • The Devil from Castlevania: Circle of the Moon. So much so that the final room of The Arena (a series of fights with large groups of Demonic Spiders with no magic) is populated only by a single Devil.
    • Castlevania: Rondo of Blood has a few. There is an armour type knight very similar to the later Guardian that can do heavy damage. In one level, there are two at once, in a tiny room with little breathing room. Better hope you have enough hearts to item crash! And in Stage 5, there is a painting that moves. If you get hit by it, it somehow catches you and then snaps in half, instantly killing your character. Just keep attacking it from a distance as it flies around the room or you're fucked.
  • The Koshas from Donkey Kong 64 are immune to almost all attacks, wield gigantic spiked clubs that can deal twice the normal damage with just one hit, and in Crystal Caves, a giant one causes level-wide tremors that make debris and stalactites fall all over the place.
  • In Goof Troop, Cannons. Since they show up at least once per level, typically require the same combat strategy as bosses, and use increasingly difficult rooms to fight in, one could see them as unofficial mini-bosses.
  • The Dust Men mecha conduits in inFAMOUS are two stories tall, have attacks involving chucking fiery projectiles the size of cars and an equally fiery Gatling gun, and are armored HP on legs that take a good five-to-ten minutes to kill. The first time you see one, you fight it alone on an empty field...but after that, they populate the game world, and are often surrounded by boatloads of other enemies and distractions. One particularly harrowing Hold the Line mission involves fighting off two at once while two dozen other Dust Men pepper you with gunfire around them.
  • The Last of Us has Bloaters, heavily armored, extremely accurate when throwing things at you, and can waste you in two hits if you're not careful. And in one hit if you get into melee.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Some enemies you don't encounter until later in the game (blue Darknuts, blue Wizzrobes) can be tougher than some of the early game bosses like Aquamentus and Manhandla.
    • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link: This is the primary reason for the game's difficulty: there are more of these in this one game than there are in the entire series. Iron Knuckles require twitch reflexes both to survive their attacks and get past their shields, but the hardest are the Eagle Knights in the Great Palace: they are similar to the Iron Knuckles, but both red and blue ones can cast sword beams at you, and they can leap over you. At full attack level, the Red versions take two to three hits to kill and the blue ones five to six. They usually appear in a place where it is very difficult to run away from them.
    • Darknuts and Iron Knuckles are this when they aren't used as bosses or mini-bosses themselves. Both Twilight Princess and The Wind Waker feature Multi-Mook Melees that end in fights against three Darknuts, and they're more difficult than the final bosses. However, in Twilight Princess, if you have the Magic Armor that eats money, or Wind Waker's Magic Armor that eats magic and a few blue or green potions, you're pretty well set.
    • The Ball and Chain Soldiers of A Link to the Past can be this thanks to their high health and hard-to-dodge weapon. In fact, the first one is treated as a miniboss. A Link Between Worlds even includes one with a flaming ball and chain in a final dungeon Boss Rush where the other three you fight were the official bosses of their previous dungeons.
    • Lynels are recurring enemies harkening back to the first game, and are among the most difficult of the common enemies wherever they appear, to the point that one will kill you outright early in the game, but The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is where they start earning this status. These lion-centaurs roam eastern Death Mountain, and it's a far better idea to run away from them than to try and fight them. They have an absurd amount of HP, taking eight hits from the golden Master Sword to kill. They're practically immune to being stunned and aren't stunned on hit. They also deal immense damage with their flame breath that has a very far reach, and they'll continue using the fire breath even when you're out of reach so you can't immediately run back in. Stay away. Far away.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes:
      • ReDeads not only have high health, but can also emit a scream with a large radius to stun you, then latch onto you and leech your health away. You won't be able to do anything until your teammates intervene (that is, if they aren't stunned as well). It doesn't help that at one point you have to face four of these nightmares at once. (This goes for every game they're in, minus the part where you get teammates. Have fun!)
      • There's also the Aeralfos in the final two levels. In addition to flying too high for you to hit even with a max-height totem, they very rarely come down, and when they do, they pull off a hard to avoid Three-Strike Combo. You then only have a narrow window to strike them from behind before they take to the air again. Worst of all, they come in packs, and will attack in tandem, making it even harder to avoid being hit.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:
      • Lynels return in the game, making their first appearance in a 3D Zelda game, and take several more levels in badass. They are extremely fast, powerful, and durable. Their attack patterns are more complex and varied than normal field bosses and have AI much harder to exploit: They're near perfect archers and can even hit you behind cover by raining arrows on you, they run faster than you even on horseback and when you finally start whittling them down they gain even more attacks, including many that don't give good opportunities to counter attack. In a curious case of this trope, the Mook Clothing actually has gameplay ramifications and they don't work out in your favor: Unlike the much weaker and dumber Hinox or Talus boss monsters, a Lynel and all of its drops will be incinerated by a single Ancient Arrow, making them worthless on the beasts: You get no drops and you don't even get the fun of challenging them. Enemies having boss subtitles, meanwhile, simply take greatly increased damage and still give all their drops.
      • All monsters in Breath of the Wild have a tierarchy (most of which are represented by colour), except for the Molduga, Yiga Clan, the Guardians and the Final Boss. If you take out enough normal monsters, then when they are respawned by the blood moon, their replacements will be of a higher tier. Field bosses have fixed tiers for their spawn locations, and never get beefed up. Because Lynels are considered normal enemies by the game, they are improved based on their defeats. Most normal monsters also have silver varieties that start to spawn after you taken out enough of the monster in question, whereas field bosses do not; furthermore, the Master Trials DLC introduces gold varieties, as every common monster is beefed up a tier. Lynels have Silver and Gold varieties.
    • Hyrule Warriors: Upper-tier Elite Mooks in later Story and Adventure Mode missions have golden auras that increase their health/damage resistance by something like 4x or even more. Apply this to a monster with tricky Weak Point Smash openings (Moblins, Dinolfos), and you'll be in for a slog battle more draining than a good number of story character commanders in the same map. Goes double for Twilight Princess map battles in Adventure Mode, where they'll be inflicting more damage than most commanders, too. And God forbid you meet any enemies with red auras. They're not only powerful, but almost completely immune to flinching when attacked.
  • Luigi's Mansion 3: The Hammer with boxing gloves is fought in the Fitness Center. It can block Strobulb flashes (your only way to make ghosts vulnerable to your Poltergust) with its gloves and unlike other Hammers, it pursues you throughout the room, giving you only a split second to dodge its punching attacks. To defeat it, you have to bait another Hammer into throwing a weight at it, thus making it dizzy and vulnerable to the Strobulb, but there's not much to indicate that.
  • Psychonauts 2 introduces some enemies that are tough enough they're first fought as mini-bosses:
    • Panic Attacks are skinny, spiny enemies that move fast and hit hard with projectile attacks, swings with their scythe-like arms, and a Doppelgänger Spin attack. In fact they're so fast, you need to slow them down with Time Bubble to get a chance at getting a hit in.
    • Judges are hulking figures dressed in robes and a powdered wig that represent a person's insecurities and fears of being judged. They're fairly tough, and attack with oversized gavels that do quite a bit of damage. Fortunately you can use telekinesis to steal their gavels and throw them at them, but this will cause them to briefly switch to attacking from range by throwing legal briefs at Raz before respawning their hammers.
  • Blue Dragon, the Aquamantis homage from 3D Dot Game Heroes. It does ridiculous amounts of damage and can take a few hits to boot. The good news is it rarely shows up, the bad news is it can show virtually anywhere.

    Action Game 
  • In Anarchy Reigns, there is a survival mode that pits you and two others (possibly CPU) against 10 waves of assorted Mooks from single player. But there is one unique one... And it's... the Bar-Bot from the cutscenes. The one that was the Butt-Monkey of said cutscenes. Here's something interesting, the Bar-Bot will kick your ass. You remember the Cybrid Joes? These are ten times worse. They move faster, hit harder and have a lot more health. To top it off, they have THEIR OWN RAMPAGE MODE. Many a player has fallen short of the finish line fighting these guys. But it gets better! In Mad Survival, a harder DLC edition of survival, the fifth wave pits you up against two Maxes and three Bar-Bots at once. Have fun!
  • Bayonetta has the enemy duo known as Gracious and Glorious. While they don't have a huge amount of health or hit extremely hard, they make up for it in sheer speed: the two of them can easily hit and combo you, and it's difficult to keep pummelling them even after you've gotten some solid hits in because they can break out of your combos so easily. To make matters worse, it's impossible to use Witch Time against them through normal methods. Oh, and expect to face off with Gracious and Glorious more frequently on Hard difficulty and above.
  • The Hellknights from Deception 3 are this trope. These guys are almost indestructible — taking only 1 point of damage from anything that doesn't ignore protection, they're immune to the effects of the summon ring, they have a long distance rush attack where they practically fly at you and a single swipe from their scythe will rip out large chunks of your health. A last kicker is they can also teleport. Most bosses in the game aren't even close to matching the deadliness of a Hellknight. Good thing there's only a handful of them. The most dangerous individual in the game (after yourself) is a Hellknight that's been given even better stats and some extra powers, who only shows up in the final challenge stage.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • The Shadow monsters in the original Devil May Cry. While not quite as difficult as the actual bosses (most of which are That One Boss), they qualify in every other respect and would be difficult bosses in most games. In their default form, Shadows are terrifying Lightning Bruisers with immunity to melee attacks, forcing you to use guns to damage them. Once a Shadow takes enough damage it exposes its core, which is instead Immune to Bullets and can only be damaged by melee attacks.note  But even when you deal fatal damage to a Shadow, it doesn't die immediately. It Turns Red and continues attacking you for a short time.
    • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening Double Subverted with the Hell Vanguard. Initially, you fight him on level two as a proper boss fight. Some stages later, Hell Vanguards appear regularly in the middle of levels as if they're regular foes. In some instances, you fight two of them at once, and Hell Vanguards are not the kind of enemy you want to fight two-on-one. In Bloody Palace mode, there are levels where you can fight three of them at once. When a game turns an earlier boss into an Mini-Boss for kicks, you know it wants to murder your ass.
    • Devil May Cry 4:
      • The Alto Angelo armors are Tough, fast and hard-hitting, and are almost always in packs with their Bianco Angelo lesser versions. Fortunately, there is a trick to clean house fast (deflecting their Combined Energy Attack back at them, which kills them and the Biancos instantly and earns you an instant SSS rank), and paying Homage to Zangief with the Devil Triggered Buster against them is always a satisfying payoff.
      • The Blitz enemies spend most of their time encased in a lightning shield which hurts Dante/Nero should they melee attack them whilst it's up, leaving you to spam the weak ranged moves to get rid of the shield. They also love to teleport around the arena in a ball of lightning, are invincible whilst doing so, and will appear and strike without warning, sometimes right in front of you. Thankfully in story you only have to deal with one at a time, but in the Bloody Palace survival mode, you have to deal with 2 at once. The only thing that makes these guys even slightly easier is that because they're blind they sometimes attack anything that fights in the room. Then if you take them down to a certain level of health, but don't do enough damage to finish them them during their shield down phase, it Turns Red and in addition to normal attacking at even greater speeds, will find great joy in trying to spear you with their horns, and blow up with you impaled on them (thankfully, like all DMC grabs, this can be broken by entering DT mode).
    • DmC: Devil May Cry:
      • Dreamrunners are actually Palette Swap offshoot of an actual boss, Drekavac. These ninjas can and will block everything you shoot at them, sometimes even reflecting them, are damn fast, and when comboed can suddenly break out of your combo and counter you with nigh-undodgeable attacks. Fighting them in harder difficulty modes where you'll see them together with other enemies, sometimes OTHER Dreamrunners, and especially in Hell and Hell where you're a One-Hit-Point Wonder, is a nightmare.
      • The Witch. Annoying enough in lower difficulty thanks to their shield which can only broken with Angel weapons, and that they can teleport as well as shoot homing attacks, and worst of all, they can transfer their shield to another enemy, but in hard mode where they'll get paired with the WORST enemies (including said Dreamrunners), you'll be pulling your hair out. Their only slight saving grace is that they are relatively rare.
  • In God Hand:
    • Sometimes, when you kill an enemy, a demon jumps out. Now normally these are no rougher than the standard Giant Mook, although they can really suck if you're low on health. But after Level Four, there is a chance that when you kill an enemy, one of the Four-Armed Demons will emerge. The first one you met in the game got its own cutscene. They have a beam attack, deal great damage, and carry a massive trident. If at all possible, run for your freaking life.
    • One of the Elite Mooks is Tiger Joe, an eyepatch wearing man who fights using a wide variety of kicks and kick combos, as well as a rising uppercut that he loves to use as a counter attack. He's also capable of ducking much like you can. Fortunately, you are able to skip him in his first two appearances, although his last appearance has him as a mandatory battle, and to make matters even worse, he is accompanied by an an army of other Elite Mooks, and spawns a four-armed demon upon defeat.
    • The Sensei. Like demons, these samurai-wannabes have unique health bars and the first one got a cutscene. Deadly reach, pretty damn resilient and powerful. Consider them a That One Boss Preview — if you have difficulty with them, their Old Master, the Great Sensei, will eliminate you with very little effort.
  • Praetors in Implosion are oversized Smash Mooks that knock you down with an high-damage charge before they pound you. They're bright pink, never a good thing in this game because it means they're carrying a regenerating shield on top of their considerable health. They're also fast, and can turn around to smack you even if you manage to slow them up with Bullet Time. InescapableAmbushes happen a lot in Implosion , so at one point you'll find yourself locked in an area with three Praetors at once. Fortunately the game helps you out with some Suspicious Video-Game Generosity.
  • Ninja Gaiden Black has the Vigoorian Berserkers. They have a crapton of health, don't flinch easily and turn red after a certain amount of damage. All of their attacks are very damaging and guard breaking (except in the PS3 version Sigma where you can block the first attack), and while not exceptionally fast, they are certainly not slow. When you fight two or three of them, the others will keep their distance, which would be very nice of them if they didn't create magic landmines under your feet while you're fighting. Oh, and needless to say, they will make you pay dearly for trying to spam the Flying Swallow (a fast, medium range diving attack).

    Beat Em Up 
  • Likewise for Double Dragon, the Abobo. These guys are tough, can spam slaps that make it difficult to close in on them and they can throw you far which is especially dangerous as they often show up near bottomless pits or lakes.
  • Dragon's Crown has the Assassins, which are rare, Elite Mook versions of the pirates. They move faster, hit harder, resist all elements, and could Teleport Spam, Blade Spam, Back Stab, and get you All Webbed Up. Having the misfortune to face two of them in a dark room is a common way to have an Labyrinth of Chaos run cut short.
  • In Final Fight the Andore family serve this purpose. Andore Juniors are just considered Smash Mooks of sorts, but starting with Sr.'s and above are horrible. Stage 3 even has two (or three if there are 2 players; the third Andore is called Uncle) called Father and Grandpa which serve as a Mini-Boss but nothing to indicate that they were any more than just mooks.

    Card Game 
  • KanColle's Battleship Re-classes can attack in every combat phase, something no single one of your units can do. Furthermore, they are Masters of All - outsize health, double that of the other normal enemy battleships, better firepower, more planes than the non-boss carriers and stronger torpedoes than the torpedo cruisers. The mook part comes from how more than one can appear in an encounter.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction:
    • After the Neo Ghouls leave town, every NPC in Domino becomes a very hard match, especially Hanasaki.
    • Duke Devlin, who doesn't even consider himself a duelist, is one of the toughest opponents early on and can even give you trouble in the endgame. His lategame strategy revolves around using Soul of the Pure, Hourglass of Life, and Darkness Approaches to repeatedly power up his monsters and heal the LP cost for its effects. He also carries cards like Raigeki, which wipes out your field.
  • In other Yu-Gi-Oh video game adaptations, you may occasionally run into an extra who happens to be running an uncannily competent deck which can easily trounce you despite it being an early part of the game where your supply to cards and ability to create good decks is lacking. An example includes Angie from Stardust Accelerator, running a slightly watered-down (but still fearsome) version of a Deck that topped tournaments at the time of the game's release. Another example is Minegishi from Over the Nexus, who uses a strong Anti-Meta Chaos Deck. And he appears at the very beginning of the game.

    Fighting Game 
  • In Evil Zone, Kakurine isn't a boss but she sure fights like one! The computer is incredible at spamming blocks with her plus her attacks have great priority and speed with a respectable amount of damage. Expect to continue a lot when fighting her.
  • When doing an arcade run in Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code, if certain conditions are met, you may be interrupted by Archetype Earth (with "a new challenger appears" indicator as though another player decided to challenge you). In this situation, she is an SNK Boss, packing the Eclipse Style (whereas normally you only can use Crescent, Half-moon and Full-moon styles) which gives her automatic super meter gain and 0-cost supers, many of which travel the entire screen. Your only saving grace is that losing to her this way doesn't end your arcade run.
  • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS: Smash Run mode usually spawns manageable enemies, or strong enemies with an exploitable weakness. However, five enemies can ruin the players day if the game decides to spawn them; in order of lethality, Bonkers, Reapers, Bulborbs, Darknuts, and Clubberskulls. Out of all of them, only Reapers aren't immune to knockback, and each of them can hit hard enough to the point where a character who started at 0% damage will find themselves flying offscreen in seconds if they're not careful. None of them are required to be defeated, but expect more to show up if just one is encountered.

    First Person Shooter 
  • In BioShock, certain machine gun-wielding enemies in Apollo Square have as much or MORE health as the game's major bosses, but are otherwise completely undistinguishable from the regular machine gun-wielding enemies who have much less health.
    • Leadhead splicers are supposedly resistant to bullets, so other weapons should still be effective.
    • Then there is the matter of "Rose" a spider splicer with several times more health than other spider splicers. She is the first splicer you see and is virtually unkillable in one encounter, only becoming vulnerable later after she lures you into a trap.
    • BioShock Infinite also has this but in a different way — there is only really one enemy that's treated as a miniboss, and that's the Siren. Firemen, Zealots, Motorized Patriots, and Handymen all get their introductory fight but then appear right along with other mooks. Zealots (also known as Crows) like to try and sneak attack you, and their bird forms are easy to glance over. Beasts deal in explosive weapons and have metal armor that makes them much harder to kill than standard mooks, but don't even count as heavy hitters like the rest of the mentioned foes, so at least you can use Possession to quickly kill them.
  • Borderlands 2:
    • The game has the Badass Pyro Threshers. Threshers are already pains in the ass to kill, and badasses are immensely more powerful than the bog standard Mook. Combining one and the other makes an almost ludicrously powerful flaming sandworm that has a truly ridiculous amount of HP and can down a character just by erupting out of the ground.
    • Varkids can evolve by putting themselves in pods in the middle of a battle. Let an Ultimate Badass Varkid do that and what do you get? Vermivorous the Invincible, who could be called "Crawmerax III" or "Terramorphous II" seeing how much of a pain he is.
    • The Goliath enemies. Shooting their helmet off sends them into a rage where they will attack enemy and ally alike. This can be useful to rid an area of enemies, but with each enemy they take out, they restore their health and ascend to a new level of anger until they become GOD-liaths. The level increase can be so huge that it displays a skull next to their level, indicating the player's level is too low to even put a dent in them.
    • Rabid Skags and Stalkers. They do not register as Badasses but more often than not they are much more of a danger due to their speed and power. You are practically guaranteed to do down in Fight For Your Life mode at least once when facing even one of them. Technically every enemy type has one (Angelic Guards, Juggernauts, Bullyrots, to name a few) but they are either clearly badasses (Juggs) or are only mildly more dangerous than their counterparts. A single Rabid can harass a team of four if left unchecked, and they rarely spawn alone...
  • Deep Rock Galactic has Bulk Detonators, lumbering behemoths that can unleash fiery shockwaves for huge amounts of damage, and go up in a cataclysmic fireball when killed. Even though they have the same amount of health as a Dreadnought, the game's standard "boss" entity, Bulk Detonators don't have health bars that appear on your HUD — instead, they're considered a type of special enemy that might get drawn into the AI's "deck" to appear during swarms, like Web Spitters and Wardens. While Bulk Detonators are a lot rarer than those standard special enemies, this status means there's no upper limit on how many of these walking nukes can be on the map at once, so if you're especially unlucky you might see multiple Bulk Detonators approaching at once. And if the mission has the "Elite Enemies" mutator active, you may indeed encounter Elite Bulk Detonators with boosted health, damage and speed.
  • Descent had Fusion Hulks, gigantic versions of the Hulk armed with the most powerful primary weapon in the game, the Fusion Cannon. They have a ton of health (being one of only three things in the game that can tank a direct hit by a Mega Missile, and the other two are explicit bosses), and a single shot from the cannons can bring you down to half health, regardless of difficulty. Fortunately, they are almost always alone or in pairs at the worst, but there is a Mook Maker in one of the final levels that generates one of them every six seconds. Descent 2 introduced a similar idea, with the robot affectionately dubbed the Red Fatty Jr. Another miniboss — while the projectiles it fires aren't half as damaging as the Fusion Hulk's, it has even more HP — the most out of any non-boss enemy in Descent 1 and 2.
    • Descent 1 also has the Red Hulks. While they don't have quite as many hitpoints as the Fusion Hulks and their homing missiles don't do as much damage as the latter's fusion cannons, they fire them in salvos on higher difficulty levels. And, obviously they home in on you. They're also smaller targets than the fusion hulks, and appear much earlier in the game when you don't have as many powerful weapons.
    • Another example from Descent 2 is the Boarshead, which fires volleys of Smart Missiles, which can often kill you in seconds even with maximum shields.
    • In the Descent 2 Vertigo Expansion Pack, the MAX droid fires homing flash missiles — considered by most players to be the most annoying type of weapon in the game, which were originally only wielded by the level 16 boss in the main Descent 2 campaign. There's also the SPIKE, which comes equipped with a nasty Omega Cannon.
    • During the later levels of Descent 3, there are some tank-like enemies in outdoor areas which fire Mega Missiles (notable for being the only non-boss enemies in the entire franchise to wield these weapons).
  • From the Doom series:
    • Arch-Viles from Doom II. These bastards have the longest attack range out of any monsters, and will attack you as soon as you step into their line of sight. Not only does it shaves off 70% of your health and armor and propels you upwards, it is also hitscan, so they only way you can circumvent the Arch-Vile's attack is to haul ass immediately to cover. They can also resurrect dead monsters as often as every time their sprite changes, with the exception of Cyberdemons, Spider Masterminds, and mercifully, other Arch-Viles. They are the fastest moving enemies in the game as well, meaning they can quickly get themselves in position to attack you. They also have the lowest pain chance of any enemy, meaning if there's nowhere to hide, it's very hard to interrupt its attack by making it flinch, as even a point-blank shot from the venerable Super Shotgun only works 78% of the time. Oh, and their toughness (700 HP) is approaching 3/4 that of a Baron of Hell (1000 HP), two of which showed up as the Boss Battle of Doom's first episode before showing up as a Degraded Boss in various levels in Doom and Doom II thereafter. Thankfully though they do have a maximum range, and are unable to attack if you're over a certain distance away. Unless you hit them first, in which case they will immediate retaliate against your aggression with increased range (896 to 1024 map units). The only other saving grace is that if another monster accidentally hits them, the Arch-vile will immediately target that other monster and attack it instead, possibly buying you some time, althought the other monster won't attack it back.
    • The stand-alone source port mod Scoredoom has quite a big variety of these type of enemies, with many of the superboss enemies (each one having 6000 hitpoints, with the Superdemon having only 4000) being much worse than the UDoom Endbosses.
    • The Game Mod Brutal Doom and mod-of-the-mod Project Brutality brings many otherwise medium-level enemies to miniboss status, and you encounter them all the friggin' time. The Barons of Hell and Hell Knights, in particular, get a lot more health, double damage and an alternate attack that lets them deal triple the firepower.
    • Hell Knights in Doom 3 are that particular game's answer to the Barons of Hell. And just like the original, you fight a pair of them before warping into hell. This time, you probably have the BFG, although you lose it shortly after.
    • Bruisers in Resurrection of Evil - take a Hell Knight, cross him with a Mancubus, and then stand the hell back.
    • Doom (2016) has Hell Knights and Barons of Hell. No longer they are lumbering, slow-moving behemoths, these guys can now rapidly close the distance between you with crushing stomps and screen-shaking shockwaves, are much tougher to kill, and can easily kill an unprepared player.
    • Doom Eternal introduces the Marauder, a Lightning Bruiser who can and will kick your ass to Hell and back unless you are absolutely prepared to deal with him. He moves around like a murderous jumping bean, can block all of the Slayer's and other demons' attacks most of the time, and can slice and dice you with his battleaxe -– usually by throwing axe beams, sometimes running up and using the axe itself, of which the latter is the only time he drops his guard -– or blast you to pieces with his own Super Shotgun if you're close enough. And once they start showing up as regular enemies, this trope comes to play.
    • The Archvile is still this trope in Eternal. Hard to kill, can fight really well, and buffs nearby enemies.
    • The Tyrant might not be as badass as the Cyberdemon, but has a ton of health and will remind careless players he is still a Cyberdemon variant with his rockets. Like the original Archviles, the most common tactic against them is using the BFG (or the Crucible).
  • Entry Point (Roblox) has the SWAT Van Turret in "The Score", only avaliable from the Freelance Heists expansion. Not only does it hit hard with its turret, it also is very tanky due to its hitbox being located only at the turret, and it's hard to take it down unless you brough a CH-A or a Thumper.
  • The titular Blood Dragons of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. They have lots of health, deal a lot of damage with their Eye Beams, require a lot of strategy thanks to having a small weakpoint on its torso (and considering that they're bent down when they're not firing their Eye Beams), it IS hard to hit that. They can spawn randomly around the map, and are the only enemies that have a marker and a Life Meter appear whenever they are in the vicinity.
  • Halo:
    • Hunters, who have consistently grown tougher, stronger, faster, and smarter in each new game:
      • In the original Halo: Combat Evolved, the Hunters were actually ridiculously easy compared to other foes once you know how to deal with them, which is especially evident on the hardest difficulty, where even the lowliest Elite is a dangerous threat. Simply get close to the Hunter, wait for it to try to melee, dodge and circle around to its back and put a single pistol or shotgun round into the exposed flesh, which brings them down in a single stroke. However, they fixed this from Halo 2 onward; Hunters now have an attack designed specifically to crush players standing directly behind them, and even if you have a power weapon, it will usually take multiple shots into their unarmored areas to kill them (as opposed to just one shot from any precision weapon like in CE).
      • By Halo: Reach Hunters had reached some sort of Boss in Mook Clothing nirvana. They take ridiculous amounts of ammunition to kill, are near impossible to get behind no matter how much you run, jump or even jetpack over them, can potentially kill you in one hit even on Normal, and are just a lot faster, tougher, and quicker than they ever were before. The best bet is to sit as far away as possible and spam rockets at them, which isn't always an option. Even going up behind them and shooting their exposed backs with the shotgun takes 3-4 hits on Heroic, and more on Legendary. And since they'll turn around and take Extreme Mêlée Revenge on you as soon as you fire once, and your shotgun is a close-range pump-action weapon... Even plasma grenades are significantly reduced in effectiveness, because the Hunters can catch them on the shield.
      • And if that wasn't enough, Hunters become even more powerful in Halo 5: Guardians, to the point where it's nearly impossible to beat them one-on-one unless you have a lot of explosives handy. Otherwise, you're probably going to need your entire fireteam to take them down.
    • Other examples introduced in the original trilogy include the gold Elite Zealots in Halo: Combat Evolved (which will slice and dice anything that gets too close) and the silver-white Ultra Elites in Halo 2 (especially in the Arbiter Mausoleum, aka the "Breaking Benjamin Room" Multi-Mook Melee), and the Brute Chieftains in Halo 3 (who have one-hit-kill hammers and shields that make them temporarily invincible to all damage). All three have stayed this way through the entirety of the franchise (even if the Zealots are now dark-purple).
    • In Halo: Reach's third mission, another pseudo-boss encounter involves a pair of indigenous giant reptilian/monkey-like creatures called Gutas who you find in the middle of stomping on various Grunts, which are not seen anywhere else in the game, and are surprisingly dangerous if you actually do grab their attention. Reach also introduces the gold Elite Generals and marks the return of the Elite Zealots (now improved and purple).
    • In Halo 5: Guardians, the Promethean Knights have been upgraded to being the Promethean version of Hunters.
  • Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi:
    • Greater Vampires have more detailed and unique designs than other enemies, do far more damage, and have far more health, but you'll find them lying around regular rooms, so you might not realise how tough they really are and how essential it is to Stake them while they're in the coffin.
    • Demons. Really fast, really strong, soak up bullets like a sponge does water. One could be in any room. You'll learn to be very afraid when you see one. And then there are the times when you fight MORE THAN ONE AT ONCE.
  • In Perfect Dark Zero, at the beginning of the Trinity Infiltration mission, you fight "The Brothers", a Fat and Skinny duo in cowboy-like uniforms who can take about five times more punishment than normal enemies despite not wearing armor, and are armed with Laptop Guns, which they can throw out as turrets, with DY-357's as a secondary weapon.
  • Quake:
    • The Shamblers in Quake. Horrific Yeti-type monster with a ton of HP, resistance to stunning and explosive damage, a nasty close-up claw attack, and a lethal line-of-sight lightning attack, similar to the Archvile's flame attack in Doom II. The spideresque Vores too, which appear as a sort of Mini-Boss at the end of the second episode. Their homing exploding spiked ball attack is nigh-impossible to dodge, and would chase you at high speed through winding corridors. You had better know the level like the back of your hand and hope you don't run into any obstacles.
    • Quake II and Quake IV have the Tanks, which themselves have an Elite Mook variation, Gladiators, Harvesters, Iron Maidens(Q4), Stream Protectors, Heavy Hover Tanks(Tank plus Assault Commander from Duke Nukem 3D), etc. One room near the end of Q4 is a Multi-Mook Melee with these types of enemies.
    • The Super Tank, and the Hornet/Tankflyer, which may be considered King Mooks that reappear as Degraded Bosses.
    • The Quake III: Arena Mod "Hunt" subverts it by having no actual bosses. But out of the three types of monsters, the Titans are definitely the closest thing you can get. Though they are complete raving lunatics and will attack their own team, including other Titans. The best strategy for these guys is to snipe from afar or to hit them with the BFG. The mod itself is so customizable that it's simple to make EVERY SINGLE ENEMY like this.
    • The Q4 version of the Gladiator was probably the worst regular enemy in that game, other than maybe the Heavy Hover Tank. Made of Iron, Deflector Shields, deadly Super Nailgun, and its railgun was a lot more unpredictable and harder to dodge. And it only deactivates its shield when it's about to fire the railgun.
  • Khnums from Serious Sam 3: BFE are big enough to stomp you into jelly, and they soak up rockets and C4 like they're going out of style. (They're also Immune to Bullets.) They lob handfuls of fireballs which move extremely fast and decimate your health and armor. As if that wasn't bad enough, they have the brains to Lead the Target and dodge incoming fire. And despite all this, you will encounter groups of them in the later levels of the game, even in the middle of Multi-Mook Melees and War Sequences.
  • The Inquisitors in Strife have as many hit points as some of the bosses, can fly, and their grenades deal tremendous damage. There's only a handful in the game, thankfully.
  • Purr-Linn Juggernauts, Lords of the Flesh, Mantid Soldiers, and Elite Primagen Troopers in Turok 2. All are Made of Iron, have small weak points, and attack with deadly plasma bolts. The Juggernauts and Flesh Lords are also Demonic Spiders, due to their unusual agility for their size.
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order and Wolfenstein: The Old Blood have the Ubersoldaten or Super Soldiers, which are cyborgs created by Wilhelm "Deathshead" Strasse that utilize advanced tech. Armed with either the MG 46 or MG 60 machine guns which can deal a ton of damage, they can also absorb a ton of damage as well. What's more, they're rather common enemies, being encountered early on in both titles, with The Old Blood in particular forcing the player to get creative in taking them out.

    Hack And Slash 
  • Bujingai has several minibosses in the forms of demonic "Overlords" of Tears, Sin, Despair, and Pain. They look like any other demon, except for the facts that they're the only enemies aside from the final boss to have a counter meter like you do and that whenever you see one you're immediately trapped in that area.
  • The Oblivion Knights in Diablo II and the minions of Destruction in the expansion. The first acting a lot like a boss would: commanding large armies of minions while bombing you with powerful attacks and curses, while the second is powerful enough to take out a player character 1 on 1. Yes, both are normal creatures. God help you if you meet a unique variant (and you WILL). Luckily, they only appear directly before the boss battle of their respective acts. Interestingly in the first Diablo game, the eponymous Final Boss of the game is treated as a regular mook known simply as "The Dark Lord".
  • In Dynasty Warriors, there's Lu Bu. Especially if you're playing the older games. Since by the time you fought him, the only non generic officers you might have fought by the time you reach him is Zhang Jiao and possibly Zhang Liao, he doesn't seem like he'd be that much of a challenge. The game is at least nice enough to tell you to don't pursue Lu Bu...most of the time.
  • In The Surge, the first appearance of the MG Gorgon suits counts. In the second area of the game, four non-respawning security guards can be encountered. They take next to no damage from your strikes, but wield staffs that do more damage than the first boss and attack faster than anything you've encountered so far. They're likely to open a fight with a paralyzing shot from their Shoulder Cannon, which is Exclusive Enemy Equipment. And they're only found in two locations, so you fight them in pairs. Killing all four and severing the correct limbs nets you the MG Gorgon armor and Negotiator staff.

  • Atlantica Online's dungeons have, rare enemies that for all intents and purposes are almost as strong as a boss and share their immunity to stuns and other incapacitating effects. Their loot doesn't compensate for the trouble at all, and with a few exceptions they aren't relevant to any quest either.
  • Battle Stations features a few of these. When exploring, a higher level player may encounter such enemies as the Royo Skycutter or worse, the Hydra. These creatures are almost impossible to beat by players in the level ranges for which they appear.
  • In Dynasty Warriors Online, there are a few ways this comes into play, all of them more YMMV ways to think of them as mooks.
    • Players, when they set up correctly, and completely take you by surprise when you go in to attack, such as being able to murder your tanking setup in one hit, or having rendered themselves immune to flinching beforehand, meaning that when you attacked they could just turn and bring out the pain, or by using an item that allows them to change their move-set, but not their stats, allowing them to attack you in a way you didn't see coming.
    • If you have yet to face a general, the characters from the original games rather than a created character, you may be surprised on how much damage they can take, dish out, and the fact that they don't flinch to almost (or sometimes) all of your attacks. Aside from their battle aura, you may fully mistake them for another player, meaning that they seem so very mookish. It doesn't help that using specific items, players can temporarily turn into them.
  • EverQuest:
    • Monsters way more powerful than their level (shown prosaically through the /consider command) indicated, many a newbie and soloer have died to undercons over the years. In the game's early days almost every mob was an undercon after level 20, meaning that unless a player was a dedicated solo class, they had to group to progress.
    • Holly Windstalker was a particularly notorious example. Not only did she undercon, but she appeared to be a friendly, fairly weak NPC innocently wandering a low-level zone. She would also immediately aggro if the character was an "evil" class or caught harassing the local wildlife (which the zone was full of, most of them aggressive on their own), making her this trope, a Wake-Up Call Boss and That One Boss all combined. Her nickname was "the bitch" for a reason.
  • Gaia Online's MMO zOMG! has the Mask of Death and Rebirth enemies in the Ruins. As you attack a Mask, it cycles through three forms, each of which has a large health meter and a supply of status-inducing Eye Beams. Use Iron Will? Even at maximum rage, the Mask can overcome it. Bring friends? So did it. And not only do they spawn in areas you need to go through to finish the plot, but the plot itself includes a farming quest for Jewel Eyes. Have fun with that!
  • Guild Wars:
    • The Stone Summit mobs in the elite dungeon Slaver's Exile. Unlike the haphazard build of many enemies, these have strong and coordinated builds with multiple resurrection skills. On top of that, they possess all the usual monster perks like having effectively infinite energy and being almost half again your level, reducing the damage they take and increasing the damage you take. Expanded with the Guild Wars: Beyond updates. New questlines introduce new mooks throughout Cantha and Kryta who have the same perks as the Exiled Stone Summit.
    • ArenaNet's definition of "boss" means that many of the final bosses in campaigns and dungeons are easily mistaken for regular mooks. They are deemed "boss-like foes", which means while they enjoy all the perks of being a boss (double damage and unique abilities), the player cannot copy their skills and they lack the signature boss aura.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has the Baiowulf, which is an Ultra Rare encounter, and the only thing in the game which drops the incredibly valuable Talisman of Baio. It also has triple the stats of any other encounter in the area. It's still a pushover if you're backtracking, but encountering it when you first unlock the area means you're likely to get beaten up by it. Adventurers in the undersea zone Octopus's Garden should be wary of the moister oyster, a super-tough monster with substantial resistance to all types of damage encountered there on a semi-rare basis.
  • Plenty of variations on this theme appear in The Lord of the Rings Online. There are areas of the open world map designed to be tackled by groups rather than single players; a solo player who stumbles into them will find ordinary on-level mooks are extremely difficult to kill. (This is usually achieved by giving them much, much more HP than ordinary mobs as well as nastier attacks.) The game also generates rare, uniquely-named wandering mobs that are much tougher than ordinary landscape creatures. Most of these don't look any different than ordinary mooks, though, so they can be a nasty surprise to the inattentive player.
  • All over the place in MapleStory, as well as Fluffy the Terrible, as most enemies look either harmless, cute, or similar to another enemy. There are often also one or two much more deadly enemies in areas filled with more level friendly enemies. This would be a lot less egregious if there was a way to tell how strong an enemy is in-game other then letting it hit you.
  • Perfect World seems to love dropping the occasional level 100 monster in relatively low-level areas, but it's inverted with Kun Kun. Instead of looking like a regular mook and being far, far stronger than one, he is level 100, completely immune to magic, with full boss embroidery around his name, and runs for the hills when attacked. The only way you can die while fighting Kun Kun is being led by him into one of the several enormous groups of giant, venomous spiders roaming around the area. This doesn't stop players from talking about him like he's the strongest thing in the game.
  • RuneScape:
    • The game has a skill called Dungeoneering in which the player travels through a cave called Daemonheim fighting monsters. Sometimes, it seems, that monsters and their levels are random, which means you'll find an ordinary looking mook who is severely overpowered. For example, a level 95 Giant Rat (who are usually level 2).
    • Tormented Demons spawn with a flame shield that has to be removed with a specific demon-slaying sword, swap around protection prayers to block your attack style, and can hit incredibly hard.
    • The Glacors fit the bill perfectly. They have loads of health, can only be feasibly killed with fire magic, summon flunkies around half health, and take on a passive buff from the final flunky you kill.
    • The Rune Dragons. Whereas both the Glacors and the Tormented Demons originally appear as quest bosses, the Rune Dragons are not alluded to anywhere in-game outside of the area where they can be foughtnote  Despite not being a boss of any sort themselves, they have a three-phase fight, which features a first phase in which they are nearly impervious to all attacks except for one specific difficult-to-obtain type of crossbow bolt, a second phase in which they are completely invulnerable to melee damage and gain a heavy-hitting area-of-effect attack which is only partially blocked by dragonfire-protecting items, and a third phase in which the damage they deal increases exponentially the longer you take to beat them, resulting in attacks that can take out even high-level players in a single blow if you dawdle too much. And their Elite forms have a small chance of spawning every time you kill a lesser one, which have significantly higher life bars and deal even higher damage.
    • Lava Strykewyrms are much tougher than the other kinds of strykewyrm. They have much higher stats than regular Strykewyrms, they can use all three combat styles, and they have an improved version of the strykewyrm digging attack that is harder to dodge because it instantly drags you on top of them instead of them moving towards you. Fighting Lava Strykewyrms is also much more dangerous because they are only found in the wilderness where other players can attack you and continuing is more painful than normal. Plus, when killing Lava Strykewyms, there's a chance that a boss version called the Wildy Wyrm will appear, although it doesn't become aggressive until a player deliberately provokes it.
    • Many of the monsters listed on DemonicSpiders.Rune Scape are also this.
    • Old School has a literal Killer Rabbit which has a combat level of 2 like regular rabbits...except that its actual stats would have given it a real combat level of 872.
  • Spiral Knights has Trojans and Deadnaughts. Both of them carry shields which make them impervious to frontal attacks(apart from bombs). The former is almost impossible to shield push(which, starting from Tier 2, becomes vital to your survival), hits like a truck and can inflict Shock on you with its Area of Effect attack. The latter looks almost puny by comparison... until you realize it can revive fallen Zombies/Bombies. Both of them appear very infrequently.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic:
    • The game has three separate classifications of enemies tougher than standard-issue mooks: Strong, Elite, and Champion. Strong enemies are usually found alone, as opposed to packs of three for basic foes, and put up a significant fight. It's not uncommon for one to take out a player who made a particular blunder or aggroed one enemy too many. Elites are almost always isolated fights in open zones (in instanced Heroic and Flashpoint zones, which are meant for groups, Elites are the basic enemy), and are in many cases more difficult than actual bosses; indeed, most bosses are elite-grade. Champions exist for two reasons — as a challenge for groups, or to obliterate players who wander into the opposite faction's territory.
    • There's also the fun variation where you attack a Strong or Elite standing on their own... only to discover his Strong/Elite friend(s), who had been either standing out of sight or only appeared when you attacked.
  • Ultima Online had a fair amount of these. Their were a limited number of sprites for monsters and many monsters used the same sprite with a palette swap. For instance, one player could handily dispatch an air elemental. A team of experienced players could take down a blood elemental. An acid elemental was a sort of walking nuke and would occasionally kite a player into the wilderness where it would slaughter unsuspecting travelers and haunt the dreams of children until the server reset. And there were at least four different creatures that used the demon sprite, ranging from minor demons that weren't especially horrid, to the Balron (not to be mistaken for the similar yet distinct Balrog), which had one of the highest hit point totals in the game and could outrun a mounted player in a straight run. Which didn't stop someone from soloing them for fun. While riding a Llama.
  • Warhammer Online loves this trope. Fighting a bunch of nameless mooks? Well odds are there will be one in that pack wandering around somewhere who is a champion which means many more HP and hits a lot harder. They also tend to be physically identical to the nameless mooks.
  • Wildstar features 'Prime' rank foes, which are much more powerful than comparable foes in a given area. Not only do they typically have much larger and more powerful telegraph attacks than a normal enemy, they also possess layers of "Interrupt Armor" that makes it almost impossible for a solo player (or an uncoordinated team) to disrupt their attacks and expose their weaknesses. Prime foes look identical to their more common brethren, save for a red glow. You encounter them as early as the second zone you visit, and if you fail to recognize that "red glow = bad", they will kill you.
  • World of Warcraft has its own classification for such monsters: elite, marked by a golden dragon around their character portrait. While these monsters mostly show up in dungeons intended for groups of players, some of them are found in the open world and can quickly kill unsuspecting players. To make matters worse, while they are always tougher than normal mobs of the same level, how much so is very inconsistent. They range from "a challenge to defeat solo" to "hopeless without a group". This can be frustrating to new players.
    • Hogger, a level 11 gnoll and the first elite many players encountered, is likely the most famous of these. His reputation as a newbie killer has been immortalized by such easter eggs as his own statistic tracked by the game: Deaths by Hogger. In Cataclysm, he was made into the new endboss of the Stormwind Stockade dungeon; this turned him from a Boss In Mook Clothing into a King Mook.
    • Devilsaurs, Tyrannosaurid-like enemies that patrol a certain zone. Unlike other giant enemies, their movement isn't easy to hear, earning them a reputation of being sneaky. Among them was a rare elite King Mook named King Mosh, who was very difficult to solo even for players ten levels above him — the Boss of this whole race of Bosses In Mook Clothing. He was reworked into a normal rare in Cataclysm.
    • Sons of Arugal, scoring bonus points for looking a lot like regular enemies in the same area, but being as tough as their brothers found in a nearby dungeon. And being ten levels higher than anything else in the area. Fortunately, their numbers were cut back somewhat in a patch and later removed in Cataclysm.
    • Fel Reavers, being seventy-feet tall mechanical constructs that blot out the horizon, sound like a freight train piling into a factory of tubas, and shake the landscape for yards around with every step. For all their noisy broadcasting of their every step, players in Hellfire Peninsula learned to dread every moment when one might appear behind them. As an aside, for a brief period during the beta, the Fel Reavers' models accidentally switched to that of the (much smaller) regular bear; both hilarity and frustration ensued. The Fel Reaver's horrifying roar also broke stealth in a massive range. Cue a dozen regular mobs turning their sights on a suddenly visible rogue who was sneaking past them.
    • Monsters can also be "rare" (marked by a silver dragon with no wings), only spawning once every several hours, give special loot, and are often tougher than those around them. The two types may be combined to make "elite rares" (whose silver dragon has wings), which could be both very strong for their zone, and so rare no-one knew how to fight them. One good example was Zaricotl, though he was later nerfed into a normal rare. Elite and terrifyingly overleveled for the zone, this vulture could kill players with ease, and to add insult to injury, afterwards he would emote "Zaricotl seems much calmer now that it has eaten the remains of (player name)" and become temporarily non-aggressive. He's not content with killing you, he also devours your corpse.
    • Most giants in the game are elites patrolling a wide zone. There are a quite a few Sea Giants wandering around Desolace, but the waters of Feralas and Tanaris have armies of them patrolling the beaches.
    • Garginox, the flesh giant in the Eastern Plaguelands. He patrols a single area for no apparent reason other than to keep players on their toes. He's got nearly 28000 health and has dungeon endboss-like damage output. Worse, the area he's in is a questing area, and if you happen to be looking in the wrong direction, turns out he's much quicker and quieter than his mountainous size would imply.
    • Although few and far between, regular nonelite mooks displaying this are not unheard of. As an example, the now removed Scalding and Boiling elementals were a nightmare to kill as a mage, since they were immune to Frost and ungodly resistant to Fire. Scalding elementals also had a powerful instant spell dealing heavy fire damage and stunning the target. Another elemental example, the nonelite rare Eck'alom (now nerfed) had a Freeze spell, a stun lasting 12 seconds, inflicting continuous damage and not breaking on damage — 12 seconds being more than enough to kill any player approximately its own level.

    Platform Game 
  • The Red Demon/Red Arremer from the Ghosts 'n Goblins series. It dodges your attacks with frustrating consistency, its dive attack is hard to dodge, and because of its HP, you have to dodge it a lot.
  • In Hollow Knight, Great Husk Sentries, encountered in the eastern City of Tears and the Resting Grounds, have one of the highest HP's for a non-boss enemy, are equpped with a shield that makes them very hard to hit without taking damage yourself, and their BFS strikes have long range as well as dealing double damage.
  • Iji:
    • Komato Annihilators. 4.7 metre tall death machines (good luck trying to jump over it), a wide arsenal of heavy weapons, a grab that deals 3 points of health damage, a whopping 80 health (the next-tankiest non-boss enemy has 15), and they're so massive that they can't be stunned by rapid-fire weapons. They give a huge amount of Shocksplinter ammo and Nano if killed, but often not enough to make up for the ammo you spent killing them. Cracking an Annihilator is often the safest way to deal with one, as cracked enemies can't use heavy weapons.
    • Yukabacera from the same game is a literal Boss in Mook Clothing. He looks like an ordinary Tasen Soldier, but he is even faster than Iji herself (who is supposed to be the fastest moving person in the game, mind you), has 50 health, and uses the Devastator and CFIS liberally. Thankfully, he drops ample amounts of ammo and Nano on death, and the Scrambler as well.
  • Big Eye (which resembles an '80s-style telephone on a pogo stick) from Mega Man. Sure, the game is Nintendo Hard, but these things are three times as tall and wide as Mega Man, take an immense number of hits to kill (20 buster shots), are immune to many of the boss weapons, and take off a third of Mega Man's health bar with one collision. And they hop at Mega Man with impressive speed. The only way to get away from them is to run under them when they do an extra-big hop, which happens at random. It gets a bit easier when you get Ice Man's weapon, which freezes them in place for a few seconds, allowing you to either escape, or to switch to the Mega Buster and unload. Almost every Mega Man game since then had their own Boss in Mook Clothing, but none are as notorious (or stupid-looking) as Big Eye. Ironically, the Warm-Up Boss added to the remake Mega Man Powered Up is Proto Eye, a bigger yet laughably easier version of Big Eye.
  • Examples from the Metroid series:
    • The Metroids themselves. They don't look like much, but they're a lot more agile than most enemies, are resistant to many attacks, and do a lot of damage fast once they latch onto you.
    • In several games, Ridley has a pair of souped-up pirates as his guards. They're no real threat in Metroid Fusion, but in Super Metroid, they'll trash you easily if you don't know what you're doing.
    • Super Metroid also has the armored Space Pirates encountered in Lower Norfair, who throw their limbs at Samus and leap all over the place. They can't be damaged until they're coaxed into performing a jump kick, and even then they take a ton of hits to kill. However, with a little practice it becomes easy to keep them in their vulnerable state throughout the fight. Although they respawn, Samus only has to fight them once before the door they're guarding becomes permanently unlocked and she can just jump past them any other time.
    • The Grey Space Pirates in Metroid: Zero Mission. You can usually just run past them, but there are two you must defeat in the final escape sequence. Trouble is, they're much, much harder than regular pirates. Bad enough under normal conditions; tragic if you barely scraped past the final boss, which is likely in a low-percent run, and even more so in a 100% run, where the final boss is greatly leveled up. These two bastards caused more retries and general frustration than anything else in the game until a good AI exploit was found.
    • The Golden Space Pirates in Metroid Fusion aren't as fast as Grey Pirates and have more immunities, but can only be hurt from behind. The game determines this by checking if Samus and the pirate are facing the same direction, so firing at them and quickly turning around can damage them too.
    • From the original Metroid Prime, the Baby Sheegoths, at least when you first encounter them. Can deal out huge amounts of damage, freeze you, take a serious beating, and are only vulnerable from behind. If you missed the Charge Beam earlier, you're going to break your thumb on the A button.
    • Grenchlers, the Sheegoth Expy from Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, are even worse. They do even nastier damage than the Baby Sheegoths, their lightning attacks have greater range than the Sheegoth freeze breath, they can jump up ledges, and their shells have rather wonky hit detection, making landing hits with the Dark Beam even harder than normal. Even worse, you have to fight a number of them underwater before you get the Gravity Boost.
    • The Fargul Hatcher from Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. It's in only one room in the game, and that's a good thing. It's only vulnerable while its mouth is opened—trouble is, it spews swarms of Fargul Wasps while doing this, and the wasps hunt you down. Meaning, 9 times out of 10, you'll be fighting the wasps more than the Hatcher. By the time the first swarm is dead, another will just be released. Last thing, the Hatcher itself has a ton of health.
  • Mystik Belle has a winged lich-like demon in the Detention Dungeon that has ridiculously high health for a normal enemy, plus an Orbiting Particle Shield that reflects Belle's fireballs until it is completely dispelled(after which you have only a narrow window for dealing damage), and increases in strength the lower its HP.
  • The "Obsidian Enforcers" in Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. A few of them show up in the last few levels, and although their attacks aren't any harder to dodge than the normal enemies of their type, they have approximately 1.65 metric boatloads of Hit Points. It's entirely possible to empty the entire ammunition supply of a level 1 RYNO IV into one on Challenge Mode and have it survive. They don't get a health bar like the other type of miniboss, either, which brings up the truly horrifying thought that maybe they were just intended to be regular enemies.
  • Rom Hack Rockman 4 Minus Infinity has the Jumbig, which take 127 Mega Buster shots to kill. He shows up once in every level (usually right before the actual boss), and you even have to fight off two in Wily Stage 2.
  • The red Sniper Joes in Rockman 7 EP are the equivalent of Minus Infinity's Jumbig the Death Machine. They take a lot of hits and their shield makes things worse. They give you E-Tanks and W-Tanks if you beat them.
  • Scaler has Dragon War Beasts, enormous monsters with several attacks, they're only vulnerable after performing a certain attack, and gobs of health. They're usually only found at the end of Multi-Mook Melees. However, there's also an extra-fast, camoflauging monster with high defense and HP that shows up all over the place — it's very annoying.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Dawn of War II has Tyranid Carnifexes, enormous, massively powerful creatures that will easily cleave through entire squads. There is one relatively early mission where the objective is the kill a Carnifex, and despite lacking any boss traits (special attacks and a health bar) it is just as difficult to kill. The Argus Gate mission — in which three Carnifexes attack simultaneously — without the Dreadnought is very difficult.
  • Pikmin 2:
    • The Gatling Groink uses a powerful bombing attack with a wide blast radius, capable of killing many of your Pikmin in a single hit. It can fire a long way and usually has a wide "territory," meaning it's capable of reaching your Pikmin almost anywhere. Your captains can't really kill it on their own, and it has a shield that prevents it from being attacked from the front at all. To make matters worse, its health actually begins to regenerate once you "kill" it — so it'll just come back unless you have your Pikmin quickly take it back to your ship, which does it in for good.
    • The Adult Bulbear, unlike most enemies, will actively pursue your Pikmin once it runs into them and won't stop until it's killed, and it can take quite a beating. It does the same health regeneration thing as the Gatling Groink, so you have to take it to the ship quickly, or you have to do the whole thing over again. It's also likely that you'll have to deal with Dwarf Bulbears along with the Adult, which will only increase Pikmin casualties. And in order to get 100% completion you have to, in a Challenge Mode level, defeat 3 of them without any Pikmin dying.
  • StarCraft: In Star Craft: Brood War, during the final Terran mission, the Overmind deploys the "Torrasque", a souped-up version of the Ultralisk and a Shout-Out to Dungeons & Dragons' Tarrasque. It's an appropriate Shout-Out, for the Ultralisk is already a powerful unit, able to survive multiple Siege Tank shots and One-Hit Kill a normal marine: the Torrasque simply takes these traits and ramps them up, allowing it to tank a Battlecruiser's Wave-Motion Gun and still plow through even the most fortified positions. Worse, if it is killed, the Cerebrate in control of it simply respawns it a few minutes later. This makes it all the more satisfying when you can acquire your own Torrasque in one of the first Zerg missions and send him forth to single-handedly annihilate entire Terran bases. However, this one doesn't respawn if it dies, so take care not to let it take too many Siege Tank shots if you want to keep your super-Ultralisk.
  • inTransarctica: The Viking Union's ultimate armoured train, the Minotaur, looks like every other enemy train on the strategic map. However, even if it has no special abilities, its sheer firepower and hordes of soldiers it sends against you make it significantly more difficult to defeat that other enemy trains you encounter.
  • Warcraft III: The Kul Tiras Admiral's Elite Guard in The Frozen Throne optional campaign. In appearance they are almost identical to footmen (the basic infantry in the humans), but in fact are much stronger than the heavy units like Taurens or Knights.

    Rhythm Game 
  • From the beatmania IIDX series (as of RED CS), there's Gambol Another, which has the exact same charts as the lower difficulties. The timing is so exact, that anything that isn't absolutely on target would be considered a "bad."
  • DanceDanceRevolution has several songs that are way harder than their difficulty ratings (in the older games, ranked out of 10) suggest, mainly because of stamina, hard-to-read, or simply memorization:
    • Several songs that while not that difficult at first glance, become absolutely monstrous in difficulty. Why? Because your stamina will drop faster than a lead weight while playing it. "Flashdance: What A Feeling" (Level 8 Maniac in 3rd Mix) is the first of many, followed by "Sunkiss Drop" (Level 7 Expert in SuperNOVA).
    • "Orion .78 ~civilization mix~" was a nightmarish techno remix of the original "Orion .78 (AMeuro mix)" with an insane number of steps in a really elaborate pattern, including a lot of weirdly-timed gallops and rapid steps into awkward jumps. Like its original version it was rated 9 on Heavy, making it a stark illustration of how outdated the original step rating system was, as it was almost twice as difficult.note 
    • DDRMAX: "So Deep (Perfect Sphere Remix)" from DDRMAX is also a particularly infamous one; it's a 9 on Heavy, but its filled to the brim with tiring gallops.
    • Near the end of the classic-scale era, songs that would have easily been rated 10 before were being rated 9 to accommodate the new really hard songs, and in the case of "Paranoia Hades", the Difficult chart is rated 8 despite its difficulty.
    • DDR Extreme: A couple of examples here:
      • "Cartoon Heroes (Speedy Mix)" from DDR Extreme on Singles Heavy. It is widely considered one of the most difficult 9-footers, if not the most difficult, in the entire series because it throws a wide variety of patterns at you, from gallops to crossovers to double steps to jackhammers to lengthy streams. Unless you're adept at each of these patterns, expect to fail this song over and over again. If using the DDRX rating, this would easily fall under a 14 or a 15.
      • Daikenkai Double Challenge, like its Singles Challenge counterpart, looks like a cluttered mess, except it adds step patterns that don't flow to jumps randomly placed in uncomfortable areas. Though rated a 9, this is very close to being a 10. This is averted in DDRX as the chart overhauled re-rating is a 14, nearly equal to a boss song.
      • "The least 100 seconds" Double Heavy, labeled as an 8. The crooked step patterns, combined with a very high speed makes it very easy to get thrown off. This is averted in DDRX as the chart overhauled re-rating is a 13 and later a 14 in DDRX2, nearly equal to a boss song.
  • Guitar Hero: "Calling" is one of the hardest songs in Warriors of Rock on guitar note  but based on where it's located in Quest Mode, you'd expect it to be relatively easy. At least Quickplay doesn't attempt to hide the song's brutal difficulty.
  • Pump It Up:
    • The game tends to surprise players with songs that were easy on one difficulty mode yet shockingly tough on the next level higher. This is because typically a PiU chart will not share steps between levels. In short, any song can qualify if you weren't ready for it! A few especially notable songs include:
    • "We Are" from OBG is one of the songs you start the game with. Typically songs you start the game with are easy so newbies won't be so intimidated. Instead, "We Are" is chock full of strange body motions, relentless jump-step-jump combos, and reversing (occasionally randomized) running patterns. Many players dread this song anywhere, especially early in their song set due to how fast it can drain you. Oh, and that's on easy mode: it gets worse from there!
    • "Canon D": This song is easy in normal mode which is why most people pick it as their first full-length song only to get steamrolled. Unlike in normal mode, all difficulties listed for the full song version of Canon D are actually averaged difficulties. The "level 9" version, for example, starts out around level 5 difficulty goes up a little at a time to around level 12. It's also more than twice the normal length with a difficulty spike at the end.
    • "Get This Party Started" from Premiere EX 3 is a very good example of this trope. The Normal, Hard, and Free Style charts are standard for a pop song, but Crazy and Nightmare have not only a max combo of over 660 including long notes, but also patterns that to this day are still very difficult to play through! They're so bad, rumor has it Andamiro fired the guy who made them.
    • "Fantastic Baby": Fiexta EX on 8 (hard). This isn't so much a song as a full set of drills for every skill you need on level 9. It's one of the few songs that will teach everything needed to level up, however, expect to be wiped out and/or injured until you actually get there. On the rest of the levels it's just a fun, energetic pop song.
  • The Rock Band games have these occasionally pop up in the forms of songs that are waaaayyy more difficult than their ranking indicates. The most infamous is probably the DLC song "Constant Motion", which is ranked at tier 5 out of 6, but contains what is probably the most difficult guitar solo of any song in the game (of which there are over 1000). There's also "Can't Be Tamed" which most players will probably dismiss as a cakewalk at first glance due to only being a Tier 3 and being a pop song, but the solo section is so difficult that it should at least be a Tier-4 category.

  • The Roguelike game Ancient Domains of Mystery has a number of these that, while rare, are extremely deadly.
    • Emperor liches are a good example; they are powerful spellcasters and can damage the player's stats, summon numerous monsters and cast Death Ray. Diamond Golems absorb every element and have very high defense. Molochs will ruin primarily melee characters or characters with very low speed. Greater titans absorb every element, too, and shoot eternium quarrels (which hit hard) from a distance. Great Karmic Wyrms cast spells, are also immune to all elements, and hitting them makes the player unluckier with each hit.
    • Water elementals, dragon turtles, and gorgons also qualify: a sufficiently tough character can pummel them to death in melee (in fact low-level gorgons are quite weak), but their breath attacks can mean instant death.
    • Parodied on this page, which describes a Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot monster with an Overly Long Name and all of the most notorious abilities of various monsters in the game.
  • Of the many, many unique monsters in the Roguelike game Angband, only Sauron and Morgoth are mandatory Boss Battles, and even they don't appear in specific Boss Rooms on the levels they guard.
    • More standard examples of bosses in mooks' clothing include the Drolem (one of the earliest max-damage poison-breathers, and one reason you don't go past 2000 feet without poison resistance; also drops a pathetically small amount of treasure), the Greater Titan (summoning, lots of HP, high-damage melee attack), and the Great Wyrm of Power (as the description says, "it can crush stars with its might").
    • A monster is represented on the screen by a letter. Each letter can represent different subclasses. So getting used to fighting one type of creature, and then seeing the same letter and thinking it's no problem only to have it turn out to be a much harder creature to kill is somewhat unnerving.
  • The Binding of Isaac:
    • Shadies, the dark versions of Fatties that appear in Dark Room. They have an unimpressive 80 HP but utilize the damage scaling mechanic typically reserved for Superbosses like Hush or Ultra Greed, so they can actually take a ton of abuse before they go down. Furthermore, their attacks are lethal, with both of their moves effectively carpet-bombing the arena with large projectiles and explosions.
    • The "Tainted" enemies, who exclusively appear during the Ascent sequence and have much more powerful attacks compared to their regular counterparts. They too have damage scaling, so they'll also take a good while to take down if you aren't overpowered or don't have bombs.
  • In Darkness Survival from Zero++ Software, players will learn of the horror that are piranhas. Found only in a room with a ton of water, piranhas hit hard and have an excessively large amount of health. Additionally they come in pack that will swarm you even if you are attacking from shore, additionally because they're always in water - inflicting poison or burning on them will barely do anything as the water washes away the poison and puts out the fire. Their only weakness is they take great damage from lightning and they're always guarding a random nice item.
  • Though a staple in most rogue-likes, Elona has a particularly nasty variety of them.
    • Adamantium Golems are green golems with incredible power, defense, health, and damage-adding abilities. Up until this point, golems merely advance in power consistently. Don't mistake them for being this game's Incredible Hulk, however, they are actually his much more indestructible rival/ally Wolverine. By the time you land a second critical hit, which seems the only thing that will actually kill them, they may've healed up the damage from the first. In the lower levels, mutants qualify, as mutants spawn with A) a random amount of limbs, and B) random equipment, 30% of the time it is magical in nature. Woe to the player who discovers a three-armed mutant with an enhanced weapon and shield. Both of these are encountered more rarely than other random monster spawns at the same level. If in a dungeon whose levels randomly generate, the best course of action to deal with an adamantium golem is to zap it with a rod of teleport, then flee up or down the stairs and come back. For the truly unlucky, any enemy in the game may spawn as a random dungeon's "last floor boss," making the Addies more terrifying still. See also quicklings, simply replace the abundance of defense with speed.
    • There is also the Shub-Niggurath, a rare spawn at about level 25+ , who is pretty tough to kill. Luckily, they are only half-assed hostile, preferring to summon other creatures to do their bidding or hit you with mind-screw sanity-altering affects, as their name would imply. They only directly attack you if you engage them in melee combat. Their biggest danger comes from the randomness of their summons, as they may summon something that will mop the floor with you, even if you're to the point you can one-shot a Shubby. Like the golem mentioned prior. Still, that's an incomprehensibly rare occurrence. More often than not they may even summon neutral or friendly NPCs who will help you fight them off. It's all chance when dealing with these, really. Then, there are those rare instances of monsters that spawn with "<>" wrapped around their names. They receive the same boosts to stats and health that other dungeon bosses receive. Enemies with "<<>>", or worse, "{}" are even more powerful, but fortunately are extremely rare.
  • Enter the Gungeon:
    • The aptly named Mimic is a Chest Monster that can be randomly encountered throughout the came, though finding one is rare. It replaces ordinary chests, and looks exactly like them, save for the occasional movements and lack of a keyhole. When interacted with or shot at, they reveal themselves to be mimics, and proceed to attack the player. Mimics are notoriously hard to kill — their high HP coupled with erratic movement patterns and high rates of fire make them difficult targets. This is magnified by the fact that the rooms in which chests are found in are the smallest rooms in the game. It's possible to escape, but Mimic are one of the few monsters in the game who can chase you through the rooms. The more valuable the chest, the more dangerous the mimic.
    • The Shelleton enemy is this, though to a minor degree. It shows up at later stages, and often spawns in rooms full of enemies. It attacks using bullet arrays and a roving laser and can take a lot of punishment before collapsing into a little skull. What's more, if the skull is not destroyed soon, the Shelleton is revived, and it has to be killed again.
  • Sipho: After the first two levels, "Alpha" zooids start appearing that have a size more comparable to bosses than anything else in their level. In epochs, they even grant mutations similarly to the bosses.

  • Destroy the Godmodder: The UOSS was summoned with a rather large charge, but no special boss designation. It has one of the longest lifespans of an entity other than the godmodder to date and wiped the floor with the PGs before three absolutely massive Elite Mooks finally took it down.

    Shoot Em Up 
  • The Web Game Enigmata 2: Genu's Revenge has four of these, which can randomly appear in a level:
    • Teramid Fragments can appear as early as the first level, and they have a ludicrous amount of health for an early-game enemy. However, they don't attack very often. There's also a blue version that is much larger, has more turrets, attacks more often and has even more hit points.
    • Nerozons (giant green and black ships) have a painful rapid machine gun, and take even longer to kill than Teramid Fragments.
    • Megazons (giant red and black ships) have 4 deadly thunder cannons that can easily rip through your shields and your armor in seconds. They have even more health than Nerozons.
    • Lastly, we have Final Guards (giant blue and grey ships). These fire a spread of slow shots in front... and said shots cannot be reflected and do continuous big damage if you keep touching them. They have more than twice the health of a Megazon, by the way.
  • Silver Surfer (1990) has a Boss in Mook Clothing at the end of each stage that doesn't contain the boss. A regular mook which just happens to be a mini-boss, taking more hits than usual, and sending extra enemies out at you.
  • A few Touhou Project stages feature a "death fairy"/"doom fairy", a single normal-looking enemy with a health bar and attacks comparable to most boss spellcards. Notable ones are one in Stage 4 of Perfect Cherry Blossom, one in the Extra stage of Imperishable Night, and two in Stage 6 of Subterranean Animism, all right before the boss. Lily White in Phantasmagoria of Flower View is not too hard to evade on her own, but when you're dodging her attacks in the middle of a fight against Shikieiki in the midst of a Level 4 attack and a crapload of portals that spawn sticks whenever a bullet passes by, you better have a bomb ready.
  • Tyrian does this often, with several levels having you take on wave after wave of boss-caliber enemies (although fortunately in most cases you don't actually have to destroy them and can just stay out of their way until they leave the screen)

    Simulation Game 
  • Ace Combat games every now and then have random enemy pilots without the distinctive aces' callsign in the target display who nevertheless prove unusually hard to hit or shake off. It's one thing for clearly demarcated aces to give you grief, and another thing for no-names to come close to, say, Yellow 13's level.
    • Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception plays with this in the mission "Operation X" that lets you go up against various Game-Breaker superfighters. The mook part comes from how they are piloted by normal, un-codenamed pilots except for Scarface One and ZOE Commander.
    • Ace Combat: Joint Assault has AEGIS ships. They look like normal cruisers from afar but their twin SAMs have a much greater lock-on range than those on normal ships. Unless you grinded, you usually won't have unlocked long-range missiles to take them out with and they will almost always fire before you can, even going full afterburner.
  • X3: Terran Conflict introduces a weapon called the Plasma Burst Generator, which averts the Video Game Flamethrowers Suck trope so hard that it turns generic Space Pirate fighters into Bosses In Mook Clothing. Many are the forum threads where new players complain that they can't win against pirates with PBGs. (Once you know to stay out from in front of them, though, they go back to being Mooks.)
  • CCG Importance Dissonance often makes Yu-Gi-Oh! games rife with this. Many games feature major characters using the same mishmashy decks that they used in the series, while random civilians are using Decks that could beat those same protagonists six times over. Stardust Accelerator is particularly heavy, since every Duelist has a rating that supposedly tells you their skill, but compare the deck of Randsborg, who has a rating of around 1200, with that of Fudagawa, a random prison guard with a rating of 741.

    Stealth Based Game 
  • The Gekko from Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Initially, they only appear in scenes where the goal is to escape (the first enemy you come across is a Gekko), but they can be fought and there are mandatory set-piece battles with them later in the game, most of which are before you get the game's specific anti-Gekko weapon.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, if you trigger an alert at the cliff near Groznyj Grad (by sniping the patrols in the base), helicopters will be sent after you. Unlike the earlier ones, these have powerful attacks and it's nearly impossible to hit them with rockets. Fortunately, these helicopters don't have to, and most likely won't be encountered. And they only spawn in areas where Snake can man a gun turret.

    Survival Horror 
  • Therazinosaurs in the first Dino Crisis are ludicrously powerful and very hard to put down with any of your conventional weapons. If you don't have any poison darts when you encounter these things, you are screwed. Worse yet, the game tricks you into thinking they're a one-off miniboss battle when first encountered, only to find out that they're a standard issue mook from that point on.
  • FEAR:
    • The game has the tough REV mechas which appear occasionally, they fire barrages of missiles, have twin miniguns and can take several shots from the rocket launcher and/or particle beam weapons. And more frequently, there's the Heavy Armor soldiers, a form of Elite Mook which has ultra-heavy Powered Armor and usually carries either a Penetrator rifle (which damages you clean through your armor) a particle cannon, or a rocket launcher. Later expansions feature ones with miniguns and riot shields. Project Origin throws Heavies with laser rifles at you, too, who can kill you in a couple of seconds if you're out in the open. Thankfully, most of the Heavy Armor soldiers are terrible shots, making them somewhat easier to kill... which just makes it even worse when you get to the ones with lasers, because, inexplicably, they have excellent aim and fast reaction time, meaning that if you don't use cover, they'll cut you to ribbons quickly. They get a lot worse in the third game: they are now equipped with shields that can absorb tremendous amounts of punishment (like two full clips of shotgun ammo at point-blank range), and they can teleport through walls, which they put to excellent use in sneaking around where you aren't looking. The only mercy is that they are no longer armed with lasers, rocket launchers, or miniguns...just the Penetrator rifle.
    • Overlapping with Demonic Spiders are the Replica Assassins, which are relatively rare and much tougher and more damaging than normal enemies in spite of their small size.
    • F.3.A.R. introduces Phase Casters, which have ridiculous shields (thankfully non-regenerating), a laser rifle similar to those used by the Heavy Armors, and they can teleport groups of soldiers into the battlefield. Very irritating.
  • The first Fear Effect has a literal example with the Brothel Guard Chief boss. He's wearing the same red-and-grey uniform as the regular brothel guards, but has a life-bar that only shows up in boss levels, and is smarter than the regular guards since he spends much of the level taking cover, in and out, from under a bed. His preferred weapons being twin Uzis can shred the player's life bar into half and he even have a One-Hit Kill move on the player which is an unskippable FMV bordering on Cutscene Incompetence (if the player accidentally shoots the prostitute on the bed, they'll be shocked at killing an innocent woman for a while - allowing the guard to leap out the bed and empty the Uzis into the player).
  • Half-Life:
    • In Half-Life, you'll encounter female assassins. While they aren't terribly hard, they do cloak and run very fast making them harder to kill than most mooks.
    • Half-Life 2 introduces the poison headcrab zombies. Have loads of HP, and can fling up to three poisonous headcrabs at you, each one capable of nullifying your HP to 1 in one bite. If you're going for a Gravity Gun only run of "We Don't Go to Ravenholm" make sure you have something heavy to throw, especially when Fast headcrab zombies are around.
    • Hunters in Half-Life 2: Episode Two are absurdly brutal, able to absorb entire clips of ammunition without flinching while constantly firing explosive fletchettes, and if they get close (which they will, as they are almost always fought in confined areas) their melee attacks will swiftly chew through Gordon's health. And the damn things travel in packs. The only respite is their crippling weakness to stuff hurled by the Gravity Gun, killed in three or four hits, or lightly tapping them with the Muscle Car downgrading them to "mere" Demonic Spiders.
    • Voltigores in Half-Life: Opposing Force. Giant Race-X monsters with ungodly health, incredibly powerful electrical attacks with area of effect damage, and the ability to self-destruct upon death. Late in the game, you come up against a massive horde of them, in a completely black sewer tunnel.
  • Crimson Heads in the REmake version of Resident Evil spawn when the player kills a zombie, but doesn't burn the corpse, or isn't lucky enough to inflict a kneecap blowout or Boom, Headshot! first. The result is that the zombie gets back up again as a creature that is even tougher than before, can run nearly as fast as the player, and has a very lethal clawing attack that can kill the player in a couple of strikes.
  • In Resident Evil 4:
    • Regenerators. They are encountered late game and can kill Leon very easily, namely with a lunging attack, and like their name suggests, they can regenerate limbs and are nigh-unkillable unless you find the thermal scope for the sniper rifle that allows you to see and kill the Plagas inside of them. The only consolation is that they are painfully slow and are rarely encountered.
  • State of Decay has a number of 'Freak' zombies, about half of which qualify as this. The SWAT and Army zombies don't really count, since they're only immune to bullets, which you'll be trying to avoid anyway, and the Bloater is slow and has a single, relatively-easy-to-escape suicide attack. The other three, however:
    • The Screamer has no arms or lower jaw, and can only stumble around slowly, but it compensates by making a loud shriek whenever it spots the player that briefly stuns any survivors in range for about two seconds (which it can repeat about every four seconds) and makes a sound exceeded in in-game volume and carrying power by that of an artillery bombardment, alerting any and all zombies within several hundred meters to the player's location. And one to four of them spawn in every infestation.
    • The Feral is almost impossible to sneak up on, can often dodge vehicles, Stun Lock the player, automatically reduce max health with every blow, and is one of only two freak types capable of bypassing the player's Heroic Second Wind for an instant kill.
    • The Juggernaut. The Feral can be run over (albeit with a little more difficulty if it manages to dodge) or executed from a distance with a firearm. Not so the Juggernaut; trying to run it over will just cause severe damage to whatever vehicle you're in and knock the Juggernaut down for a second or two (and this is the only way to knock a Juggernaut down; Ferals can be knocked over by a body shot), and it can shrug off anything short of an artillery bombardment. It can also Stun Lock, cause Maximum HP Reduction, and bypass Heroic Second Wind just like the Feral; the Juggernaut's major distinction is that unlike the Feral, which deals rapid Scratch Damage during its Stun Lock, the Juggernaut can kill in two bites.
  • String Tyrant has resin titans which have the most HP of any enemy in the game, hit the hardest and chase Mary relentlessly. They look the same as regular dolls except for a slight color change.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The first major expansion to the board game Arkham Horror features the titular Dunwich Horror. If you can't prevent its arrival then a seemingly normal monster tile is added to the game. One with a laundry list of special rules. The Dunwich Horror has tons of health, can advance your doom counter, and a deck of cards that randomize its combat stats, drawn after you enter combat with it. On one turn it takes half damage and destroys all your gear, on the next it has no special resistances but instantly kills you. Defeating it gives you any card you wish as a reward.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The Adamantine Horror, found in Monster Manual 2. It's not quite a mook, but you'd be forgiven for thinking a robot spider the size of a small dog were one, particularly given the tendency for Clockwork Horrors to move in packs. It's CR 9, which is "tough, but not world-destroyingly powerful," about the power of a frost giant. It'd be a decent miniboss encounter for a mid-level campaign — or so you'd think. The Adamantine Horror has a great 28 AC and 22 SR, none too shabby hit points and melee attacks, and three spell-like abilities, which it can activate at will: one that instantly destroys all your magic items, one that instantly disintegrates you, and one that causes one person per round to implode. Its hurling around abilities that the players don't get for another eight levels. Clockwork Horrors in general have elements of this, such as the Platinum Horror's overcharged lightning bolts, but the Adamantine Horror takes the cake — it's very rare that it won't take at least two party members and a fortune in gold down with it.
    • Dragons in 3.X were deliberately designed to be incredibly strong for their CR, so that fights with them would be more special. This is okay when the DM knows about it, but a more inexperienced DM could well attempt to use dragons as garden-variety Smash Mooks, then be shocked when it flies over to the wizard and kills him in one hit.
  • In Imperial Assault, before the official Errata in late 2015, Royal Guards were extremely powerful generic units for the overlord that spawned in pairs in any mission. They move very fast, have long reach, dealt high damage with a good chance to stun a hero, and were extremely tough to take down as long as they were next to each other thanks to a passive shared defense buff, making them a huge threat that the heroes had to deal with. And even if you did kill one, it would just cause the other one to deal more damage, and the overlord could just respawn it on the next turn since it was a generic unit. The units also ended up dominating the PVP side of the game, so FFG changed the card so that their passive buffs don't work on each other and toned down their damage output so now they are much easier to take down and much less threatening.
  • Magic: The Gathering has cards that seem like Mooks at first — not too expensive and not too strong at first sight — but are actually monstrously powerful due to certain factors (or in a certain deck build). Particularly notable is the Psychatog, which can grow monstrously powerful. And then there is a Tarmogoyf, a card so innocent-looking that many even a competent players dismissed it as irrelevant on the first glance. Even resist for a while when they are told it has proven to be one of the best, if not THE best creature in whole Magic.
  • In Pathfinder, wasp swarms at low levels can simply obliterate a low-level party. They can move as fast as the fastest PC's and fly, so they will catch everyone (it is inevitable the PC will hit difficult terrain). They are only vulnerable to Area of Effect effects and are immune to weapons, so low-level PC's have almost no effective means to damage them. PC's hit by the swarm must make a save which is very difficult for low-level squishy casters or spend their next round doing nothing but gagging; the tough characters who can generally make the save are those who usually have weapons and thus cannot harm the swarm at all. Drop a wasp swarm or two into a game before mid-levels and the chance for a Total Party Kill are quite high. Indeed, they are the Scary Stinging Swarm.
  • From Warhammer, monsters that fall under an army's Rare choices often fit this, since they can easily be more powerful than the units leading the army depending on how the lord/hero is kited out.
  • Occasionally show up in Warhammer 40,000.
    • Thousand Sons Aspiring Sorcerers that hit almost as hard as a full-blown Chaos Sorcerer despite being a squad upgrade for a Troops choice, especially with the new Force Weapon rules.
    • Incubi Klaivexes have a better offensive statline than most armies' HQ choices and some downright scary weapons.
    • Necron Pariahs who while drastically overpriced can still hack up most anything with ease.
    • Grey Knight Paladins. Two Wounds, toughness 4, 2+/5++ save, Feel No Pain, nasty weaponry...horridly expensive, but one Paladin outmatches most HQ choices.
    • Tyranid Broodlords, which 4th edition codex were an HQ choice, in the 5th edition was reduced to an upgrade to unit of genestealers. While changes in the codex have made it less dangerous overall, those didn't include its statline, which is higher than what most H Qs get, and in the 6th edition, the new universal pyskic powers it can get make it an absolute killing machine in challenges.
    • The Adeptus Custodes are an entire army of these. The basic Custodes is kitted out like an expensive character...while costing barely more than the elite mooks of other armies. This is far more pronounced in Kill Team, where an individual model's survivability becomes paramount, and Custodes are as hard to take down as commanders while not being such themselves.
  • World of Darkness is prone to this with its soak system. One encounter with Black Spiral Dancers may have your werewolfs cutting through them effortlessly; the next time, ONE Dancer may take an HOUR of combat time, if their soak rolls are good and the player's damage rolls are low.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • The lambent gunkers in Gears of War 3 qualify. At first they appear to be about as squishy as your average lambent, until you realise they have more health than anything that isn't a proper boss, no apparent weak points, a massive, arcing ranged attack that often makes cover useless, pinpoint accuracy at any distance even when they can't see where you are, and a huge melee attack that completely ignores cover. Their very presence will instantly shift the battlefield into a frantic dodge arena, and the fact that they're capable of wiping your entire squad on their own is made even more annoying by how they are almost never alone.
  • Jedi Academy: The Reborn Masters are non-unique opponents and "just" an elite version of Force-using Superpowered Mooks, but they can be more difficult than most bosses. They have practically every Jedi ability and use them more intelligently and significantly more effectively than their ordinary counterparts. They seem to have fewer hit points than bosses, but are hard to hit in the first place and can kill you quickly. If you choose the Dark Side plot, Jedi masters and swordmasters are similar as opponents.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising has a few, ESPECIALLY on higher intensities.
    • The first one you'd likely encounter is through a gate requiring intensity 5 or higher in the FIRST LEVEL, meaning it's much harder than it might be if encountered normally with a lower intensity in a later level. The Crawler is massive, and its attacks are choreographed, but they have to be dodged at the very last second. Not only that, it has a weakness on its back, the only way of damaging it. It already turns to face you if you strafe from afar to get to it and shoot, and if you do it from close up it'll spin to knock you away and deal massive damage. It becomes easier as you get better at the game and get betters, but can easily come as a nasty surprise, even being a Wake-Up Call Boss in Mook Clothing.
    • The second is the Reapers. Encountered in Chapter 4, they're a nastier upgrade from the Demonic Spiders they were in the first game. If they see you, or you touch them or attack them, they'll, as predicted, summon reapettes, which the game points out and acts as if it is the real danger. Not so. Unlike in the first game, they start chasing you too, becoming an Implacable Man. And when they reach you, their frustratingly hard to dodge Scythe swipes will take off a huge portion of your health and knock you back really far. That doesn't mean the reapettes AREN'T dangerous. They always follow, even if you dodge them once, and inflict poison.
    • In the same level, Palutena points out an inconspicuous wriggling boulder-like skull she wants you to avoid, and for good reason. Bother it (read: attack it, which is very easy to do by accident if you're using a weapon that shoots through things), and it bloats into a giant one eyed human heart with muscular skull handed arms. This is a Clubberskull; it will chase after you, unflinching from anything you throw at it, until it gets close enough to knock you a football field away. If you land safely (which is unlikely in the first level you encounter it), congratulations, it'll likely take one more hit to destroy you. They even become REQUIRED ENEMIES a few chapters later, including fighting one in a narrow hallway with no room to sidestep.
    • Later on you get the Forces of Nature equivalent to the Clubberskull: the Clobbler. It seems easy enough, looking like a happy little cherry plodding along. Bothering it at all, however, makes it bloat into an incredibly Grotesque Strawberry. Thankfully, unlike the clubberskull, there's never any time where you have to fight it head on, the situations where it is present put you in a good position to take them out unharmed, though if you're playing on Higher Intensities you should still watch out.
    • What is almost the Aurum equivalent is the Baglo, first appearing to be a normal structure, but if fired at suddenly opens up and reveals a wall of circular guns that let out a constant stream of lasers, giving you no time to fight back as you're constantly dodging and running low on stamina. And its health is on par with that of bosses. You definitely need a truly powerful weapon to take one down.
    • Then there's the Fort Oinks, truly late game mooks that end up becoming a Flunky Boss in Mook Clothing. True to form, it actually doesn't appear that much, but is considered a standard enemy despite taking a lot of damage and doing a lot of damage AND spawning a lot of enemies.
    • Lastly, on higher intensities there's the Mimicutie. You try to open a chest, Bam, Mimicutie. Instantly, they'll give Chun-Li style lightning kicks that will likely stun lock you until you go flying, at which point it spins along the ground to you to try to kick you while you're down. If you try to stay from afar, it'll just keep spinning towards you, likely too fast for you to get away so you'll try to dodge it, only to get hit when the dodge ends because the attack lasts for a while. Trying to take it down with melee likely won't work either, as you'll be stuck with the lightning kicks. Your only hope is to somehow get behind it when it's doing so, but you probably won't be doing any damage if you picked a range heavy weapon like a staff.
  • Seeroses and Gardenies in P.N.03. The former is considerably tougher than the standard mooks and has a Charged Attack that will One-Hit Kill you at your starting stats, the latter has even higher HP and will Turn Red and Beam Spam you if you take too long killing it.
  • The 3rd Birthday is a Nintendo Hard game where half the monsters you deal with are this and the other half are Goddamned Bats.
    • Rovers are only beatable with special weaponry, and even then they can stun and kill you all too easily.
    • Mudflaps, which appear late in the game, are the stuff of nightmares, being able to turn your allies into mooks, killing them in the process (and it's undodgeable and instant-kill if you're alone). If you kill them without Overdive Kill, their spirit lives on and will proceed to possess one of your soldiers to revive itself.
    • Worms are a nightmare to fight, especially when they're not alone. If you shoot their weak point with a sniper, they become more aggressive and their weak point is null from this point on. Their instant-kill attack is just the tip of the iceberg with those guys...
  • In Transformers: War for Cybertron we have Destroyers. Massive Transformers whose alt-modes are huge tanks. Think Omega Supreme Jrs. and you're on the right track. The only difficulty they're at all simple to deal with on is easy.
  • The Romanov robots in Vanquish are twice as big as the Gorgies, have high HP and durability, and are armed with missiles that blow Sam across the room and instantly send him into critical mode, sweeping Eye Beams, and a One-Hit Kill Wave-Motion Gun Chest Blaster. Later versions have dual miniguns and homing missiles, flamethrowers, or launchable drill arms.
  • Warframe has a few of these.
    • Grineer Napalm. Tough as nails, fires rockets that inflicts massive damage, can set you on fire and will knock you down. These rockets are also an Always Accurate Attack.
    • Grineer Bombard. A Napalm who doesn't set you on fire. Instead he just blasts you with a grenade launcher. Over and over.
    • Grineer Hellions. Grineer soldiers with a Jet Pack that can hover in the air (therefore out of range of your melee attacks) and attack you with a Macross Missile Massacre that can kill even the tankiest frames in seconds.
    • Grineer Heavy Gunner. A tall, gangly cyborg woman with a machine gun that can cut through your shields and health in seconds, and is quite tanky; players generally use Heavy Gunners as training dummies for their sheer resilience.
    • Corpus Nullifiers. They have a bubble disabling your powers if you're in it and protecting all allies within it from them, and this bubbles also blocks gunfire (though it shrinks if it gets hit).
    • Corpus Sapping Ospreys. Flying drones that fly very fast, are very small and thus hard to hit, and drop mines that can kill even a max leveled frame in seconds.
    • Corpus Tech. Tougher than your average corpus, armed with an energy machine gun that takes 2 seconds to wind up. If you let him live for two seconds without hiding behind terrain, you can kiss all your shields and health goodbye.
    • Infested Ancient Healers. They turn any of their allies within range into a Stone Wall. And if they spawn as Eximus Units...
    • The Corrupted (enemies from all factions under Mind Control) include Corrupted Nullifiers, Corrupted Ancients, and Corrupted Bombards.
    • Sentient anythings. They have high HP and armor, which would be trouble enough given the insane damage output they have, but what takes the cake is that once a Sentient has lost a certain percentage of their health, they gain an absolutely ridiculous ninety-five percent damage reduction to the damage type that hurt them most... which will trigger again when they lose more health for the second highest damage type, a third time for the third highest, and a fourth time for the fourth highest. All these resistances stack. In addition, an un-damaged Sentient can copy these resistances over to itself should it get the chance, and when first encountered, there is no indication how tough they are. There's barely a hint that a player should spread out their damage types at all, meaning that the first pair of generic Sentient combat drones they meet are likely to wipe the walls and floor with them. Later on players gain an abilty to reset the resistances, but that still does nothing about their boatloads of health and damage.

    Tower Defense 
  • The Battle Cats: Some of the Behemoth enemies, such as Crustaceous Scissorex and Pterowl Hazuku, have incredibly high stats for regular enemies, bordering on Advent boss levels. Cats with the Behemoth Slayer ability are almost required to take them down.
  • Kingdom Rush: Cerberus is considered to be one of the most powerful Mook in the game, with its titanic 6000 hit points (the highest of any Mooks), high physical armor, faster speed than your average Giant Mook, and ability to plow through your soldiers in an instant. And since the game considers it a Mini-Boss, it has the same Contractual Boss Immunity as other bosses meaning that you cannot get rid of them by simply either insta-killing them or teleport them away. Thankfully though, you will only encounter one Cerberus at a time and when you successfully kill it, it gives a hefty bounty of 350 gold that you can use to build stronger towers.
  • Mini Robot Wars: The Titan. Aside from being a modified form of the Giant (whom many players already consider a Boss In Mook Clothing), it can take much more damage, and its regular attack can instantly destroy three units in one hit! Oh, and if it gets to the end of the screen, you lose the level regardless of health. You'll need a few instant-use heavy damage weapons along with many powerful units in order to beat a single one without losses.
  • Plants vs. Zombies: The Garguantuar is easily the most powerful mook zombie. It's slow, but can crush most plants (including defensive plants), takes a shitload of damage, and can even survive a single One-Hit Kill attack. Finally, it can throw an Imp in the defenses after losing enough health. The Giga-Gargantuar in Survival: Endless is even worse, having twice as much HP. In the sequel, Gargantuars retain their huge HP and One-Hit Kill melee attacks... but are now fast instead of slow.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness has a mechanic which allows you to build bossmooks. the 'Throw' skill usually allows you to reposition enemies and allies on the map quickly, but if you throw an enemy onto the same square as another enemy, they combine their levels (keeping the class of whichever was originally highest, but learning any new skills it would have at that level). You can quickly build a very innocuous looking Lv400 monster to decimate your Lv20 party unless you exploit battlefield conditions to whittle it down while keeping out of harms way, rewarding you several dozen levels worth of experience.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Attack of Darkforce will eventually give out Sinner Shaper, Stone Mack and Plasma Boss as recurring mid- to late-game enemies. Each one takes multiple teammates and some strategy to defeat. There'll often be multiple deployed in a given level among the other Mooks, or in support of later bosses.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics:
    • Red Chocobos is a rare enemy unit with a hard-hitting attack, Chocobo Meteor.
    • Black Chocobos. Regardless of them of having low HP and speed, their Chocobo Pellet does even more damage if you can't evade it. Dragons, Tiamats, and Behemoths can also be a pain. Then there's the Baraius Hill rare battle. You get attacked by a team of dragons, tiamats, and behemoths at the same time. Accidentally getting the encounter is a valid reason for a reset.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Draco Zombies in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. These undead dragons have a boatload of HP and have very powerful attacks that can also hit from a distance if you try to send your magic users after one. They're rarely seen outside of the Lagdou Ruins, though.
    • Mystery of the Emblem and its remake features two cases: A Fire Dragon will come out of a cave in Chapter 7 if you get too close, and it's stronger than anything you've faced before, even stronger than the actual boss of the chapter! Then an Earth Dragon (the same class as the final boss of the first game) shows up in Chapter 20, and attempting to fight it is generally a recipe for suicide. There's a way to get rid of it without actually fighting it, but it requires you to defeat the actual boss of the chapter (who's no slouch) first.
    • Manakete in Binding Blade, due to their stat boosts. The first one appears as a boss, like the Draco Zombies, which is easy enough because they lack ranged attacks and he won't move from the throne, meaning your squishy mages can exploit the low Res and take him out quickly. However, by the Nabata level, there are several on the map that will move next to your aforementioned squishy mage and destroy her. The penultimate level is composed entirely of Manakete in an enclosed space, meaning they can easily target your weak units; thus, you're forced to kill at least three with each turn or take your chances.
    • The Mercenary with the Leather Shield in Ram Valley Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. The Leather Shield makes him bulkier than every other enemy on the map, and he's fast enough to double attack everyone in your party (thus giving him crazy offense for that point in the game). If none of the Ram Villagers were promoted into a Mage in order to bypass his defense, a lot of creativity and effort will need to go into taking this guy down.
    • After the timeskip in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, if any named character has been recruited, with the exceptions of Lorenz on Azure Moon, Ashe on Verdant Wind, and both on Silver Snow, they will be replaced with a "General" enemy (or "Knight of Seiros") with equivalent stats and loadout. This also applies to the Chapter 7 mock battle, where poached students will also be replaced with a "General." Aside from their different name, the replacement characters will also trigger the boss theme.
    • At the end of Azure Moon route in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Myson is one of the enemies in the final boss stage. He uses a generic Warlock model, and not particularly tough... but he's positioned in the middle of several Demonic Beasts, and packs Bohr X. Nothing quite like a 10-range HP to 1 attack in a game where permadeath is considered standard, and there's still the issue of the final boss flinging long-range fireballs at you too.
  • Sunrider has Nightmares, ancient Ryuvian Ryders that are the toughest non-boss enemies in the series. Each Nightmare has more hit points than a PACT assault carrier, maxed-out armour, maxed-out shields and very high evasion, so not only are they tough as nails but they’re also hard to hit. All of their attacks are highly accurate and highly damaging as well. And they usually come in groups of at least three, with several Ryuvian cruisers to back them up. Fortunately, they can only be encountered in optional side missions.
  • Mykene grunts in Super Robot Wars Z3: Jigoku-Hen all have double move, 12k+ HP and can deal about 4k damage and one shot Gundams/Reals.
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown has the Sectopod, a 10-meter tall Spider Tank that can utterly ruin an unprepared squad. It has the highest hit points of any enemy (including the Ethereals and Uber-Ethereal), and 'Enemy Within gives it a trait that halves all damage received. It has a massive main gun that can fire twice each turn and does more damage than anything but a MEC particle cannon. There is rarely more than one on each mission, but they are always accompanied by a cohort of Drones to repair any damage you manage to inflict. The sequel makes them even scarier, as they now have a whopping four points of armour, enough to reduce all but the most powerful attacks to Scratch Damage, and can stand up to instantly gain height advantage on any opponent it faces.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Minecraft has the Warden. It's got a melee attack strong enough to One-Hit Kill a player in anything less than full Netherite armor, a powerful ranged attack that bypasses shields and armor, and the health of all the other bosses together. Activating a (naturally-spawned) Sculk Shrieker summons it, at which point it will start hunting down anything it hears. The only way to avoid it is to stay as silent as possible, as the Warden is completely blind and relies on hearing and smell to figure out where you are. Avoiding it is the best course of action, as killing it doesn't even drop anything worthwhile.
    • Hunters start off this way — they're tough but manageable alone, but in groups, it's generally best to just get out of there — but are demoted out of this status as you get more powerful. Shortly thereafter, the Leader Hunters step in to pick up the slack.
    • Super Soldiers, at first glance, are just larger versions of the human troops the player has been slaughtering by the truckload throughout the game. Actually treating them as such results in the player's attack being interrupted with a grab, followed by some horribly damaging wrestling move and getting tossed across the room like a ragdoll. And they can follow the player up buildings like Hunters and have an innate virus detector that sounds an alert in under a second.
  • Saints Row: The Third:
    • Brutes are 8 foot tall musclebound lightning bruisers who take buckets of ammunition to kill, even with headshots, and wield heavy weapons such as flamethrowers and miniguns. The fact that they deal massive melee damage makes them a pain to deal with even after the Boss has reached endgame, since there are no upgrades to reduce melee damage.
    • The gang specialists also count early on. The Luchadores' specialist is a Mighty Glacier who wields a Grenade Spamming BFG, the Deckers' specialist is a Fragile Speedster who skates around dual wielding rather powerful SMGs and a shock hammer, and the Morningstar's specialist is a Cold Sniper whose rifle can take out a significant chunk of the player's health.
  • Wardens in Saints Row IV aren't as big as the Brutes from the previous game, but are just as dangerous. Only appearing when you gain the full wanted level, Wardens use the same abilities that you have, and take a lot of punishment to kill. Fittingly, they have their own theme when they appear.
  • Chainsaw users in Scarface: The World Is Yours. Bazooka and grenade launcher users, while also capable of One Hit Kills, at least went down in one shot from the Desert Eagle or sniper rifle, usually with dismemberment. Chainsaw guys? Multiple shots, making them fairly implacable in the otherwise fairly realistic title.
  • Terraria:
    • Wyverns. Thousands of HP, constantly home on you, high attack power, and won't stop pursuing you even if you teleport away. The console version introduces the Arch Wyverns, which are even more powerful.
    • 1.2 patch introduces various randomly spawning tough enemies in the Dungeon. Especially deadly is the Paladin, who has more HP than all pre-hardmode bosses bar the Wall of Flesh and the Eater of Worlds, sports a titanic 50 defense (more than 4x that of the Wall's 12), and deals triple digits of damage in melee and a ranged hammer attack that passes through walls.
    • The Goblin Summoner of a Hardmode Goblin Invasion has 2000 HP (where all the other goblins have only around 100), moves around a lot, and can shoot powerful shadowflame projectiles. Despite all this, she's only considered a regular enemy, dropping banners instead of trophies.
    • Pirate Captains. They look similar to other Pirates, and in the heat of battle, it's easy to not notice a Captain at first. They have 2000 HP and are armed with a machine gun and a cannon.
    • The Rune Wizard, an ultra-rare Hardmode enemy found underground. It can not only teleport, but it's also powerful enough to kill most players in a few hits, and has absurdly high contact damage.
    • The Ice Golem, a semi-rare monster that only shows up in Hardmode blizzards.
    • Eyezor of the Solar Eclipse, a zombie with a single giant eye and loads of health, gets faster as it takes damage, and shoots lasers with increasing frequency as it takes damage, Retinazer style.
    • Nailhead of the Solar Eclipse, a Pinhead expy that sports 4000 HP and sprays nails in all directions when damaged.
    • Mothron of the Solar Eclipse, a Mothra expy that has 6000 health, flies around to charge into you, and lays eggs that spawn smaller copies of itself.
    • The Headless Horseman during the Pumpkin Moon has the highest HP of any non-boss enemy in the game (10,000!).
    • The Yeti of the Frost Moon has quite a bit of hit points (3500) but hits for 160 base damage, 30 more than the Headless Horseman.
    • The Hallow, Corrupt, and Crimson Mimics are the bigger, stronger brothers of the regular Mimic: They have 3500 HP, are much more aggressive, and can even go through walls, but can drop unique weapons and accessories. You can also spawn them yourself by placing a special key in an empty chest, but you better be prepared before you do so.
  • The Enforcers in Watch_Dogs. Their durable armor, advanced weaponry and persistence to kill the player make them the most formidable enemies in the game. There's an ability to incapacitate them like regular enemies, but it's expensive.

    Non-Video Game Examples 


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Bosses In Mook Clothing, Boss In Mooks Clothing, Boss In Mook Clothes


Legendary enemy has mutated!

Damaging a Legendary enemy to below half HP will cause them to heal to full HP. Also shown is a Super Mutant yelling, "You hit like a Radroach!"

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / TurnsRed

Media sources: