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Mook Debut Cutscene

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In some action games, there are many different kinds of Mooks and you're often too absorbed into the action to notice you meet a certain type for the first time. So if the developers really want to make sure you notice them and don't forget them, what should they do? Well, make a special presentation for each one of them! Or at least a good part of them.

Thus, the unsuspecting player will often run in a seemingly deserted area and be interrupted by a cutscene. Cue a mook appearing stylishly from nowhere and maybe doing some threatening moves before the fight begins. The sequence is usually wordless but may feature a warcry of some sort. Naturally Elite Mooks tend to have a debut scene more often than minor mooks.

Will often overlap with Boss Subtitles, but not always.

Compare Degraded Boss, where an enemy is a boss at first but reappears as a regular enemy later.

And remember: Please do not even think about trying to list boss debuts in examples, as bosses usually get their own introductory cutscenes by default.

Video Game Examples:

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     Action Adventure  

  • Ōkami introduces mooks with a short entrance scene followed by a scroll identifying the mook by name, except for a few late mooks (mostly variants of previously encountered ones).
  • In Jedi Outcast, when you first encounter a Reborn (artificially-empowered Force users; far more badass than most Imperial Mooks, though nothing compared to those who properly learned Jedi and Sith techniques), you get a brief cutscene of his arrival.
  • In Batman: Arkham City, the first time you meet a new kind of mook, the camera zooms in and Batman describes the new enemy.
  • In Killer7, upon first encountering any type of Heaven Smile, the screen zooms in and the name is displayed for a short time.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has a cutscene to introduce one of the decrepit, stationary Guardians blocking one of the routes to a Shrine. It's only after you complete the Great Plateau section that you find out about their significance to the plot. Also, the Zora's Domain section tasks you with retrieving Shock Arrows used by a Lynel, who gets an introductory cutscene (though you can encounter other Lynels before this point).
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid: Zero Mission: When you first enter Tourian, there's a short cutscene of Metroids draining a space pirate of its energy.
    • Metroid Prime: The game uses cutscenes to introduce bosses, mid-bosses, and major enemies such as space pirates, baby Sheegoths, beam troopers, and the Metroids themselves. However, the only time you'll see any text is if you use the Scan Visor.
  • In Ittle Dew, all enemies (plus some statues) have a short dialogue with Ittle and Tippsie when they're first encountered.
  • In Skylanders, the first time you encounter a new enemy type in Story mode the camera cuts to the enemy in question and displays their name with a brief, slightly witty description attached. E.g, "Drow Spearman: Watch out for the pointy end." They removed the brief description in Swap Force, brought it back for only trappable enemies in Trap Team, and did comical cutscenes for Superchargers and Imaginators.
  • Geist introduces the Spirit Hunters, the topmost Elite Mooks of the game, via a cutscene. They are capable of seeing ghosts and harming them with their weapons, and can also slow down time to catch up with the ghosts' speedy movement. When you, a ghost yourself, meet them for the first time, the only thing you can do is run away for your life. The second time, you're possessing Rourke, who is equipped with Spirit Hunter gear, allowing you to evenly fight them.
  • The very first Mini-Mecha encountered in Carrion is introduced at the end of the Leviathan Reef Base in a cutscene that zooms over to it walking around in a rather large and otherwise deserted room.
  • Psychonauts 2 introduces each new enemy and each boss with a cutscene displaying their name and some brief notes describing what they are or what they do.

     Beat Em Up  
  • Double Dragon Neon has this for most mooks and bosses. They usually come with a descriptive title too.
  • Grabbed by the Ghoulies introduces the first of each type of enemy with a brief close-up accompanied by their name.
  • All enemies from Hidden Dragon: Legend are introduced with a short clip, including their names and ranks. The Swordsman and Archer mooks notably debuts in the same level, their intro cutscenes playing back-to-back.
  • Spyborgs have one of these every time a new enemy appears, even the basic low-level goomba.
  • Streets of Rage 4 does this for the first time in the series. An Elite Mook or Boss in Mook's Clothing is introduced either demonstrating their attacks on an object, or by injuring nearby mook(s).

     First Person Shooter  

  • Dead Island introduces new zombie types in the game via this trope.
  • Whenever a level in the Descent games would feature a new robot, before the level starts an info screen showing the robot and some data on it would appear.
  • Doom:
    • Doom³ has this happen. When a new Mook shows up, a cutscene will kick in to let you know. This is only for demons, not zombies(except for the Commando). The Trite, the Cacodemon, and the Cherub, have no introduction cutscenes.
    • Doom (2016) also does this, albeit sparingly: the Imp, Pinky and Mancubus all get dramatic introductions.
  • Fashion Police Squad: The fashion criminal Mooks are often introduced in a cutscene where they walk into the area, followed by a scene that displays their code name and fashion crime (like Dull Suits being "Too Drab", Neon Brahs being "Too Flashy", Tourists having "Socks With Sandals", etc) while they give off a quote of their own.
  • New mook types in KISS: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child are heralded in cutscenes, complete with their names showing up at the bottom of the screen.
  • Quake IV:
    • The Harvester (an Elite Mook for vehicle sections) is introduced in the "Aqueducts Annex" level. At the beginning, Kane is in a hovertank, and after exiting a tunnel, he sees two hovertanks near a hole. Cue one making light work with them before setting its sights on Kane.
    • The Stream Protector is introduced after Kane disables the Tetranode while still a human: two of them, in fact, crawl from the ceilings of the area Kane's in, and then proceed to attack him.
    • The Gladiator is first featured in Perimeter Defense Station, but with a twist: From an Unbroken First-Person Perspective, a marine on a separated lower-level stands in awe over how huge a Gladiator is and tries to fight them, only to be killed by the Gladiator's railgun. You eventually get to fight this Gladiator yourself.
    • The Strogg Medic is introduced in the Strogg Medical Facility first during the Stroggification scene as just a servant working on him. But the proper introduction comes after Kane and Rhino Squad Medic Jeremiah Anderson are in an operations room. Anderson goes to check a computer, and the glass doors of the are he's in close, then a Medic attacks from behind, killing or disabling him, before setting his sight on Kane.
    • The Tactical Strogg are introduced in the Dispersal Facility level, hiding behind obstacles as they get notice of Kane's presence and communicate to one another over radio about sighting him.
    • The Recomposition Center level introduces the Light Tank. After activating the barrel transference process, Kane exits this area and returns to the outside area, where a Tank waits in ambush. The Tank clubs a guard who happens to be in their way, bats an Exploding Barrel towards Kane, and the battle begins.
    • Finally, the Data Storage Security level introduces the Iron Maiden. After reactivating the Torso Unit, Kane goes near a pod containing what looks like a dead woman. Then said woman awakens and proceeds to attack him and his two escorts.

     Hack And Slash  
  • Enemies and bosses in Bayonetta and its sequel have (usually brief) introductory cutscenes that transition smoothly to an illustration of them in the Book of Angels with their name, rank, and sphere of influence beneath. The sequel introduces demonic enemies and bosses, whose illustrations instead come from the Book of Demons.
  • The Wonderful 101 has statistics pop up every time a new enemy or boss is introduced, showing tons of (ultimately useless) information about them: their title, gauges measuring their speed, power, and wisdom, a 3D turnaround of their weapons, a diagram showing their height and weight, a scale measuring their "danger quotient", a red circle highlighting their energy source, a closeup on part of their body, and even a scan of their footprints (regardless of if the enemy has feet).
  • Nearly every single enemy in the Devil May Cry series has a special introductory cutscene. The first game has a gimmick wherein the enemies' attack at the end of the cutscene actually transitions into an immediate attack in-game that damages Dante if he doesn't dodge. Said gimmick is no longer present in later games, however. DmC: Devil May Cry introduced the trend of showing the names after a dramatic pause, which is implemented again in Devil May Cry 5, though minor enemies also have some sort of descriptive titles in that game.
  • Done in God of War, though the cutscenes aren't always without dialogue, like the first one introducing the minotaurs (which involves two soldiers trying to outrun the monsters).
  • Gauntlet Legends!
  • Dante's Inferno has enemies (usually the various "sin demons") introduced by cutscenes.
  • In No More Heroes III, each new appearing mook gets an introduction card with their name, description title, and Travis and Jeanne commentating on their looks, or warning their style of attack.
  • In Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams, whenever a new type of Genma appear you'll see a brief cutscene introducing said creature. In some cases, it will be followed by a written text about how to deal with it.
  • Astral Chain, being from the same developers as Bayonetta have these for each enemy, be it big or small, along with a robotic voice to introduce each of them.

     Platform Game  

  • In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, stages with a Super Ability will introduce the appropriate mooks this way (with the exception of Super Bonkers, who is a miniboss).
  • Spongebob Squarepants Battle For Bikini Bottom contained brief cutscenes of most robots when you first encounter them, as well as them showcasing their fighting techniques against harmless NPCs or other targets.

     Puzzle Game  

  • Deadly Rooms of Death does this a couple of times: Aumtlich in The City Beneath (this enemy type is itself plot-critical) and Gentryii in The Second Sky (their introduction coincides with that of an important NPC, Arky).

     Real Time Strategy  

  • Dawn of War also does it for your own units in some cases (in the first two games, which had linear missions).
  • In Warcraft 3, several enemies are introduced in this way (of the "What the hell is that?" "Kill it first, we'll study it later" variety). Sometimes your own units are introduced by showing how they work (Crypt Fiends show up on the first level where the enemy has flying units, their intro shows them webbing the flyers to the ground).
  • Starcraft II: Most of your units, to a greater or lesser extent, have a campaign mission specifically tailored to them, and chances are that you'll see a demonstration of the unit's capabilities either during the briefing or at the beginning of the mission. Sometimes, especially in Heart of the Swarm, these are even playable; the seven "evolution missions" in the game introduce you to two variations of one of your core units and let you take them out for a spin, pitting your ravening minions against hapless Dominion troops before deciding which of the two you want to keep.
  • Inverted in Empires of the Undergrowth; when your ants meet a new type of enemy creature, the narrator talks about what they found and what that creature does.
  • Halo Wars has a few:
    • The Covenant Locust gets an in-game introduction cutscene in the sixth mission (though they can be encountered in the fourth mission).
    • The Flood and many of their units are introduced in an in-game cutscene.
    • Sentinels are introduced in a pre-rendered cutscene prior to the eleventh mission where they are first encountered.

     Role Playing Game  

  • In Crisis Core, there is a cutscene played when Zack and Cloud are riding in Cissnei's motorbike to Gongaga, and they're confronted by Genesis. Some stuff that (sort of) makes sense in context involving a Genesis copy eating Zack's hair, and it causes a genetic mutation in said copy which results in him spouting grotesque spindly legs from his back. That enemy type isn't encountered again in the main game, but several variations appear in side-missions from that point on.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The first time you meet geth, husks (both on Eden Prime) and Collectors are all during cutscenes. Interestingly, in the first game, since you can do most of the story missions in any order, the two subtypes of geth, the large Prime units and wall-clinging Hopper units have debut cutscenes every time you run into them.
    • In the third game, the ordinary Cerberus troopers are first introduced on Mars attempting to interrogate Alliance personnel in a cutscene, and on Sur'Kesh, you're introduced first to the Cerberus Engineer in a cutscene laying down a turret to delay you, and then to the Atlas mech in a cutscene as the boss of that level. (However, the effect is somewhat ruined if you played either the Eden Prime DLC mission or the Grissom Academy mission before doing Sur'Kesh, both of which have Cerberus Engineers and Atlas Mechs without cutscenes, which can make players bemused at the build-up they receive on Sur'Kesh.)
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning does this with many of the larger mooks. Annoyingly, the same enemy will generally get introduced in this manner in several zones.
  • Fable has a few, including a memorable one for balverines.
  • Monster Hunter: While most games limit the introductory cut-scenes to large monsters (which are classified as bosses or minibosses), on rare occasions they'll also show a custscene introducing a new small monster. Monster Hunter 4, for example, does this with the Konchu and later with the Zamite.

     Third Person Shooter  

  • The first Max Payne game does this during the very first level when you meet the V-heads, but it acts more as a kind of inverted Establishing Character Moment for Max, who identifies himself as a cop and demands the junkie surrender. The contrast to his conduct in the rest of the game could scarcely be more stark; heck, his voice is even noticeably higher and less gravelly!
  • Space Marine: new types of Orks (and later the forces of Chaos) are introduced in short cutscenes, especially the boss- and miniboss-types such as Ork Nobz.
  • Octoling and Octostriker stages in Splatoon always do this after you move on from the starting area.
  • Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls introduces each new type of Monokuma with a short video, complete with a robotic voice saying their name.
  • Red Faction: Armageddon introduces each of the different alien types with a pre-rendered cutscene, with the exception of the Tentacle and the Monolith. The Cultist SHIVA is also introduced with a cutscene, though the cutscene is in-engine instead of pre-rendered.

     Tower Defence  
  • Kingdom Rush: Vengeance has two of them:
    • The MechaDwarf MK.9s in the Clockwork Factory. On the start of the eighth wave, the right factory lights up as a platform extends and a dwarf pilot waddles in. Two mechanical arms extend into the factory, do some tinkering, and then your first giant enemy in the game slowly marches out of it.
    • The Northern Berserker in the Frozen Rapids level. At the start of the second wave, a huge viking ship sails up to the junction area, as it opens up and a hulking brute with two axes marches out towards your troops.

     Turn Based Tactics  

     Survival Horror  

  • The game Parasite Eve has several cutscenes introducing new monsters, such as the first rat you fight; immediately before you're shown the gruesome transformation the rat undergoes, but subsequent encounters just have the rat showing up without any fanfare.
  • Damn near every Resident Evil game has at least one:
    • Zombies and Hunters are both introduced with an FMV cutscene when first encountered in the original.
    • Following a creepy "Did I just see that?" glimpse of one outside a window, the first Licker you run into in Resident Evil 2 also gets its own FMV.
    • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis uses mostly in-game cutscenes to do this, such as your first encounters with the Drain Deimos and Brain Suckers and the return of the Hunters, who make their reappearance by decapitating a shambling zombie.
    • Resident Evil – Code: Veronica gives Zombies a gruesome FMV debut where they start crawling out of shallow graves and grabbing at Claire. Your first Bandersnatch gets both this and a Coup de Grâce cutscene, and reappears as a Degraded Boss later.
    • Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5 usually introduce minor enemies simply by having the camera zero in on one just before it goes on the attack. Your first Ganado and Majini are given their own cutscenes with dialogue and everything (both types of enemies are capable of speech). The Giant Mooks Dr. Salvador and Garrador are also introduced this way, as are the Plagas.
  • Used in Cold Fear with basically every enemy.
  • Everytime you meet a new enemy in The Suffering, a cutscene will show them slithering out of the environment.

     Wide-Open Sandbox  

  • Sunset Overdrive has this for each and every enemy in the game, utilizing an 80s-style freeze-frame so you know that they mean business. Taken even further by using the same technique for major characters!
  • Grand Theft Auto III's Kingdom Come mission introduces the one-time SPANKed-up madmen through a cutscene, even with a message reading SPANKED-up madmen!


Video Example(s):


Quake IV Gunner Debut

The Strogg Gunner is introduced, calling attention to their grenade attack that should be avoided.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / MookDebutCutscene

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