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Monster Allies

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Where monsters in RPGs can be recruited to fight alongside the heroes. Allied monsters can be individual characters (Paper Mario) or not (the Dragon Quest series to an extent). In the latter case it's common for the monsters to appear "in the wild" as enemies that must be captured or tamed before they will join the player.

There is usually a Slime/Goomba type Mascot Mook monster that can/will join earlier than other monster allies; they're quite likely to be a Lethal Joke Character.

A subtrope of Mons (although the concept pre-dates it). Please note that this is the case where the heroes always have HP whether or not the Monster Allies do, and frequently enough, the hero(es) is/are (a) designated survivor(s). A nonsentient Monster Ally will usually be a Pet Monstrosity. Monsters who are in fact the main characters are Monster Adventurers.

Compare Breakout Mook Character for mooks that gain the same standing as the player characters, if not actually playable.


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    Action & Adventure 
  • Legacy of the Wizard: Pochi, the heroic Worzen family's pet, is a dog-sized, dino-like monster who is more than willing to venture into the dungeon levels and kill other monsters alongside its owners.

    Beat Em Up 

    First Person Shooter 
  • In Half-Life 2 you can temporarily befriend and get help in storming an enemy facility from the previously hostile Antlions with the aid of some special pheromones.
  • In a brief moment in Halo 3, the Flood ally with Master Chief and the Arbiter in a desperate attempt to stop the Prophet of Truth from firing the Halo rings.
  • Most modern source-ports of Doom include a feature from the now-defunct MBF (Marine's Best Friend) port: friendly monsters. You can spawn these in by console, and they'll essentially target other monsters and follow you around. Results can vary; there's not much point to spawning in a regular zombie soldier, owing to how weak they are, but nothing's more satisfying than leading a Cyberdemon through a level and watching it wreak destruction on hordes of weaker monsters.
  • In Deep Rock Galactic, the Beast Tamer perk lets you a Glyphid Grunt, making it turn on its fellow bugs until it dies, and giving it more health and (at higher perk levels) more damage.

    Hack And Slash 
  • In Diablo II, Necromancer class can create skeletons out of fallen enemies to fight alongside him. Until he learns the Revive spell, which is the pinnacle of necromancy because it animates a creature in a way that gives it access to all the intelligence it had in life but gives control to the Necromancer, they all turn into humanoid, human-sized skeletons—even if they were previously foot-tall imp demons. Or a cloud of flies. Or a ghost, or a bug. At least the imps might have bones.
    • This is apparently justified by Necromancers not actually using the bones of a defeated enemy for creating the skeleton, but rather just using the dead energy of it to convert the corpse into dust, and that dust into bones. Then he jams a ghost into the "skeleton".
  • In American McGee's Alice, the heroine can use the Devil's Dice to summon demons to help her. (However, they may attack Alice if there's nothing else for them to fight.)
  • Bayonetta's most potent attacks involve summoning demons from hell, and are used to finish off Boss Battles in the game.
  • In Path of Exile the Raise Spectre spell resurrects a fallen non-boss enemy's corpse into a ghostly version of the enemy under your control. While it doesn't gain any of the affixes it would've had if it was a Magic or Rare monster, it retains all the original abilities it's had. Because their strength is tied to the monster level of the corpse, finding max level corpses of specific enemies is offered as a player service.

    Maze Game 
  • The monsters in Sabrewulf (the 2004 release for GBA) don't quite fit this, but go here better than under Mons—they're treated as tools that happen to be living (e.g. a large sleeping creature that functions as a trampoline, or a Chinese dragon that can be used as a platform.) Learning to command them takes many years of training, so the main character is the only person in the game who's shown to use them. Unusually for this trope, however, a clear distinction is made between "good creatures" used exclusively by you and "bad creatures" that accompany the titular beast.

  • Some Castlevania games allow you to recruit familiars, with some of them being regular monsters from the game such as imps, devils, and living swords.
  • In Castlevania: Symphony of the Night you can encounter Flea Men riding White Dragons. If you manage to destroy just the Flea Man, the White Dragon will follow you around the room and attack other monsters out of gratitude. The creature can't follow you out of the room though, limiting the usefulness of this to little beyond an Easter Egg and and making a skeletal dragon seem surprisingly cute.

  • World of Warcraft
    • The entire Hunter class from revolves around this, though they can only tame one class of monsters, beasts. Warlocks do a similiar thing with demons except they have less options and only command a total of five demon types permanently, though they can also enslave most other demons for a limited time and can summon two more powerful demons that may escape their control.
    • Some pets you can gain are monsters too, like raptors, sharks, automations, elementals, and some of the Battle Pets.
  • Mabinogi has several ways to get Monster Allies. The simplest is through the Pets premium-purchase feature. Pets have a limited daily summon time; and are subject to simplified versions of the aging, levelling, and skill mechanics. Pets can also be used as player characters, within the daily summon time limit; but can only interact with animal NPCs (two as of this edit). In the G3 expansion, the Dark Knight was released with the "Control of Chaos" skill; which allows limited, temporary control over any monster, with some skill-level based restrictions. As of G7, the Pet Taming skill allows all players to gain a similar ability.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE. It's a series staple.
  • Lime the slime in Lunia, an unlockable Player Character.

    Multiplayer Online Battle Arena 
  • Chen from Dota 2 lets one of his abilities allow him to take control of creeps. He's one of the hardest heroes to play because his playstyle requires microing him and his multiple units to be any good, but a well-played Chen is one of the best early-game heroes in the game thanks to the starting strength of neutral creeps. Enchantress also has the ability to take control of creeps, but only one at a time. Helm of the Dominator is an item that also lets any hero take control of one creep unit.
  • Heroes of the Storm has several mercenary creeps that can be beaten to submission and fight for your side. Certain maps also let your side summon monsters by fulfilling certain objectives. The Haunted Mines map lets players summon a Grave Golem by collecting skulls in the mines.

    Platform Game 
  • Kirby:
    • In Kirby Super Star, Kirby can sacrifice one of his copy abilities to create a helper (a Palette Swap of one of the enemies Kirby got the ability from) controllable by the second player.
    • Kirby Star Allies brings back the gimmick, only instead of sacrificing a copy ability, Kirby tosses a Friend Heart to an enemy and makes them a friend. It works on mini-bosses and even some bosses as well.

    Puzzle Game 
  • Puzzle Quest: Some companions fall under this, and you can capture some monsters to use as mounts.
  • Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition shifts the usual Puzzle and Dragons Mons formula to this by virtue of the fact that Mario and Luigi are explicitly the main characters and one of them must be set as Leader over a team of Goombas, Koopas, and assorted other Mario series enemies.

    Real Time Strategy 

  • Dungeon Crawl has summoners, wands and spells of temporary enslavement, and scrolls of creature creation for temporary allies. Closest to the trope, however, is with Hill Orc Priests, who have a chance to convert other orcs they come across to friendly.
  • Brogue has wands of domination, but there also exists chained and caged monsters within the dungeon that pledge their loyalty when rescued.
  • Elona. You can gain permanent allies by dominating existing creatures , nearly killing an existing creature and then throwing a Poke ball at it, or reading scrolls of ally to summon an already allied creature; how many you can keep in your party at once depends on your charisma. Then, because of the sort of game it is, you can then proceed to mix and match their abilities with Gene Engineering. Or sell them. Or put them out to pasture. Or pursue a romantic relationship with them.
  • In Nethack most players start out with a pet kitten or puppy, while knight starts with a pet horse. You can tame a wild cat or dog by throwing a tripe rationnote  at them, and tame a wild pony or horse by throwing an apple or carrot at it. You can tame monsters in general by reading a scroll of taming, casting the taming spell, or by playing a magic harp.

    Role Playing Game 
  • The Shin Megami Tensei games might be the Ur-Example of this trope in Eastern JRPG, where the main character usually fights alongside his demonic recruits; depending on the game, if he falls in battle, it's Game Over.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest V: Certain monsters can be recruited, though the chance for this is rather low and you can only have up to three of a monster type. They also have level caps, making most of them Crutch Characters that are useless after a certain point, though they sometimes have useful spells.
    • Dragon Quest VI: The Updated Re-release removes DQV's recruitment system (which required one character to be the Monster Master class), instead adding several recruitable slimes of every type. The game also lets you recruit Lizzie, a dragon/dinosaur creature whose recovery (she was killed by Terry in an earlier Anticlimax Boss fight) goes unexplained. She starts out with a very powerful class that gives her a lot of breath weapons, and unlike the slimes who only have one or two lines of dialogue, she actually responds to events the way human characters do.
  • Paper Mario and its sequel, arguably. The line defining "monster" in those games are quite blurred. Many of the partners that join Mario belong to the classic enemy types like Goombas and Koopas, but there exist both friendly and enemies of these. In some cases enemies don't even exist in that particular game. (Cheep-Cheeps and Boos in the first, for instance)
    • While all your allies in the first game are based on classic Mario enemies and have attacks along the same theme, the second game mixes it up with a few characters of species previously seen as non-hostile NPC characters, never seen before at all, or a former member of the Quirky Miniboss Squad.
  • Several Lufia games have AI-controlled Monster Allies.
    • Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals has "capsule monsters", a small group of monsters—each with their own element—that can be found outside of combat and recruited.
    • Lufia: the Legend Returns has Mousse, who's a permanent fixture in your party once he joins and automatically acts every turn, as an exception to the "one person per column" battle system. The Egg Dragon is a second potential example.
    • Lufia: The Ruins of Lore allows you to capture and train any regular monster and teach them skills from other captured monsters.
  • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World allows you to tame and use up to two monsters in your party lineup.
    • You can have up to 4 in your party at a time, and can fight with up to three of them, providing there is still a main character for the player to control. Monsters usually act on their own and attack whatever enemy they darn well please, but the in-battle menu allows the player to control on-the-fly what spells they cast (if they know any), and the Strategy sub-menu lets the player position them further or closer to the action and even order them to defend other characters. What's more, they level up and can even "evolve" into more powerful variations of their family.
    • Narikiri Dungeon X expands on the concept further, by allowing you to tame practically any enemy (Final boss included), allows you replace all of your standard party members with them, and lets you assume direct control of them, as well.
  • Kinda subverted in Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura - characters with a high enough Persuasion skill can get "Gar, World's Smartest Orc" - who turns out to be an upper-class human who takes after a distant, presumably orcish ancestor.
  • Taken to its logical end in Planescape: Torment by making everyone who can join your party a monster (or at least, non PC race) of some sort.
    • Except Ignus, who's... off for other reasons.
  • Infinite Undiscovery had Gustav, the pet bear of the Rebellious Princess (who happened to look like every other bear enemy, but red) while several Suikoden games allowed you to recruit intelligent monsters as allies (sometimes as part of the 108, sometimes not). In both these cases, the powerful monster PC takes up two character slots because of its size and strength.
  • In The Final Fantasy Legend and its sequel, monsters are a playable race and can change into other enemy monster types by eating meat dropped after battle. You can even compose your entire party of monsters, though in practice it makes for a much more difficult experience.
  • The Geneforge series has as one of its premises the techno/magical art of Shaping, so the player, depending on class, can create at least one to use as a decoy, or surround themselves with a horde of them. Upgrading skills gets you more, bigger, monsters and more variety. In most of the games, your only permanent party members are your creations. They don't have their own personality, but you can name them and treat them as pets, or just use them disposably.
    • In some of the games, at least one path will allow you to gain a rogue Creation ally if your diplomacy skill is high enough. They have personalities of their own, and you may or may not have to defeat them in battle.
  • In Legend of Mana it's possible to obtain just about any non-Boss monster as a pet through one of two methods: either finding a Monster Egg, which will hatch into a random monster of that type, or by "recruiting" a Demi-Human monster in a certain zone (this requires having a certain mana level in that zone).
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Throughout the series, casting the appropriate "Command" spell on an enemy will make that enemy fight on your side for the duration of the spell. "Command Creature" in particular allows you to take control of enemy animals and monsters.
    • In Morrowind, completing a certain quest for the wizard Baladas Demnevanni will net you his one-of-a-kind Dwemer Shock Centurion as a permanent follower. It will follow you around until it is destroyed.
    • Oblivion includes this with both the Frostcrag Spire DLC and the Shivering Isles expansion. The Spire gives you the ability to create Atronachs who will serve as your familiar until either dismissed or killed, while Shivering Isles allies you with non-hostile Gnarls near the end of the main quest. You can also get Golden Saint or Dark Seducer escorts once you've finished Shivering Isles, though you can't take them into anywhere that isn't a part of the Isles.
  • The Spirit Dream Eaters in Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] serve as your party members and are the primary source of your new commands and abilities. They can created using dream pieces found in any of a great number of ways and have a pet aspect to them, being able to name, pet, feed, and play with them if you wish.
  • In Might & Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer you could recruit into party a dragon (or even several, there were a total of four recruitable dragons in the game), while in most cases it required the player to fight their way through hostile members of their race first (which was not easy since they were one of the toughest monsters in the game) the prize was well worth the effort since such dragon was by far the strongest possible party member.
  • Unchained Blades has monsters in dungeons that you can "Unchain" (get them weak enough to go into Unchained status) and recruit into your party as "Followers". In this game's case, you can attach up to four Followers to their "Masters" (main party members), and the Followers can have up to three associated Animas (elements) that will allow their Masters to use special skills. The Followers will also occasionally perform follow-up attacks in battle, and take or deflect attacks targeted at their Master.
  • Elden Ring lets you acquire Spirit Ashes that lets you summon ghosts of enemy units to assist you in battle in certain areas, mainly boss arenas. They're meant to be a single-player replacement to player summons, as you can't use both at the same time. Many Spirit Ashes can be found throughout the world, and the more powerful ones require more FP to summon. Their strength can be upgraded using Grave or Ghost Gloveworts.
  • The PAL/Japanese/HD remastered version of Final Fantasy X-2 lets you recruit monsters to fight in your place with some restrictions; monsters are under AI control so they can't be given orders in battle. There's also a size limit that determines how many monsters you can have active in a fight. Three small sized monsters is the max you can have out, a medium sized monster can have only one small monster fighting alongside it, and large monsters take up the whole roster so they're forced to fight solo.

    Shoot Em Up 
  • Darius:
    • Darius Gaiden allows you to capture Mini Bosses by attacking their crystal until it detaches, then touching the crystal. The miniboss will then fight for you for a short while before self-destructing.
    • G-Darius has this as an entire gameplay mechanic, expanding upon Gaiden's miniboss capture concept. Your ship has capture balls that can be fired at enemies, turning most types over to your side to fight/take damage for you. This includes Mini Bosses, but you have to first destroy their gold armor that prevents capture. You can also detonate captured enemies as a Smart Bomb or charge them up in an Alpha Beam, the size/max HP of the enemy determining their power.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Second Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons had an entire sourcebook devoted to creating monstrous characters, titled 'The Complete Book Of Humanoids'. Third Edition had a similar sourcebook named 'Savage Species'. 3.5 brought a lot of that into the Monster Manual, and Fourth Edition put it all into the back of the Monster Manual. Fifth Edition includes rules for monstrous races in Volo's Guide to Monsters.
  • Likewise, Pathfinder has rules on building characters of traditionally monstrous races like orcs, gnolls, and hobgoblins. It's up to the DM whether to limit these to memorable Non-Player Character enemies or let the players be members of these races.
    • A number of character classes can also access their own Non-Player Character allies, either temporarily through Summon Magic or as consistent features of their class: the aptly-named Summoner, for instance, has access to a highly-customizable monster ally called an eidolon, while the Spiritualist is able to manifest a phantom ally. Additionally, most arcane classes can get a familiar, which can potentially be a small monster, such as an imp or pseudodragon, while nature-oriented characters like Druids, Hunters, and Rangers are able to access an animal companion - which could be an ordinary animal like a wolf or a bear, but could also be a prehistoric creature like a sabre-tooth cat or a dinosaur.
  • The "Into the Storm" expansion for Rogue Trader allows you to employ orks or kroot in your party.
  • Monster of the Week has a player archetype called "The Monstrous" that is all about this. It's up to the player what kind of monster to be, as the rules are deliberately flexible.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • Crystal Warriors allows your characters to recruit wild monsters that they defeat, and later summon them in battle to fight. However, ones killed by magic users will just die without being recruited; a villager in the game explains this by saying that the monsters don't trust mages.
  • All of the Disgaea games let you make your own party of characters, many of which are monsters. In order to unlock a monster, you have to have defeated it in battle at least once, sometimes many times (because the cost of making monster units decreases with every member of the species you kill, and some monster classes are initially absurdly expensive) or throw them onto a base panel to capture them (only valid for non boss monsters of a decently lower level than your non-deployed units or the main character, depending on the game). They come with their own set of weapons to use, and can wear the same armor as humanoid characters.
    • This is a feature of most Nippon Ichi strategy RPGs, from La Pucelle on. In La Pucelle, enemy monsters can be directly converted into allies. In later titles, monster units are usually created from scratch by the player.
  • Fae Tactics has protagonist Peony sometimes win talismans from defeated Fae, allowing her to summon one of them as a party member for future battles. However, some Fae require more energy to summon, and even when Peony becomes capable of summoning multiple large Fae, there's a hard cap of three summoned Fae per battle.
  • Though not present in the base version of Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark, its DLC expansion Missions and Monsters enables all of the game's monster races to be recruited and customized.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics:
    • Boco, Wiegraf's chocobo, which you can rescue and let join your party.
    • The Mediator class with the Invite ability, which works on monster or human foes. They also get the 'tame' ability that automatically invites any monster brought to critical due to their attack.
    • Reis -in human shape- whose main ability is to tame dragons, but can also tame other monsters by punching.
    • Byblos, the Apanda-class demon that joins as a Guest in the final floor of the Deep Dungeon, and joins permanently if it survives.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance lets you tame monsters, but they can't join you in battle directly. Instead, the Morpher class can use their abilities.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics A2 has some monsters join you, but only as guests. Chocobo Knights can also tame the birds to use as mounts, but they cannot exist separate from their tamer or they run off.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Dragon Quest Builders has several hidden monsters who can be recruited to your towns. The sequel builds on this, featuring several who actually show up as part of the main campaign (with the townsfolk on the final island being exclusively monsters) and gives the player a craftable item to recruit regular monsters as well. The recruitable ones also have special abilities which, for obvious reasons, mean they can't be used on any of the story islands.
  • Starbound: You can use capture pods to capture smaller, weakened monsters then send them out as an ally that attacks monsters that threaten you. There are a lot of monster types due to random generation of monster attributes.