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Nocturnal Mooks

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Cobra's Night Vipers like to watch you when you sleep.

Nocturnal Mooks, naturally, only appear in the dark of night. Often several stages deadlier than their daytime brethren, the darkness surrounding the hero adds to the problem as they attempt to locate and slay the foul beasts within. They often tend to be Elite Mooks.

Often added to improve tension and attentiveness of the viewer. See also Darkness Equals Death and Nice Day, Deadly Night.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, zombies, vampires, and Pillar Men all have a weakness to sunlight, necessitating that they act at night.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Nosferatu:
    • Early on in the film, the protagonist is staying the night in an isolated village and is told not to go out, as there's a werewolf on the prowl. He disbelieves them at first, but the film then shows it. Unfortunately, the effect is spoiled for modern viewers who will instantly recognize the "werewolf" as a hyena.
    • And then of course there's the Count himself who never goes out by daylight...

  • In The Faerie Queene, the castle of the Evil Sorcerer Busirane is flooded with all sorts of masked evil-doers during the night. Allegorically, each one represents the types of evil Spenser saw as a result of the illicit actions people perform under the cover of darkness.
  • I Am Legend: The vampires qualify as this to Neville, the "hero". While he is himself a sort of inversion from the vampires' perspective; moving about during the daytime with ease to gather supplies and other necessary items, resetting traps and such for the vampires to fall into during the night.
  • Temeraire: One notable advantage that the French aerial corps has over the British is the Fleur-de-Nuit breed of dragon, which is nocturnal and capable of seeing in the dark with its enormous eyes. This lets them perform nighttime raids without hindrance, though conversely their adaptations mean Fleur-de-Nuits can't be used during the day.
  • In Tolkien's Legendarium, the orcs, trolls and other assorted evil creatures operate mostly at night, partly because they can see in the dark while their victims can't, but largely because most of them are weakened by direct sunlight. Sauron spread a sorcerous cloud to allow his armies to fight at Gondor, and its early dispersal played a large part in the rout. Although the weakness to sunlight was mentioned in the film version, the battle happened in full daylight from beginning to end.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: The Orcs led by Adar always attack only at night, and during the day they have to cover themselves from the sun. The battle for the Southlands happened in the night.
  • Many of the monsters in Supernatural appear at night, such as werewolves which only appear when the moon is out and vampires who avoid the sunlight.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Can easily come into play in Dungeons & Dragons, where regardless of edition humans inevitably have the worst night vision in existence whereas virtually every other type of creature gets along by starlight at most or even in complete and utter darkness just fine. It's not that the monsters are necessarily obliged to be nocturnal (although some do take additional penalties in daylight) — it's that smart monsters have no reason whatsoever not to make full use of the edge nighttime or the darkness of their own underground homes grant them.

    Video Games 
  • In Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, when night falls, enemies have twice as much health as they do in the daytime, and the normally safe towns become populated with zombies.
  • In Dead Rising, the zombies get glowing eyes and a large number increase at night. Good times.
  • Donkey Kong 64: Fungi Forest has certain enemies, like skeletal Kremlings and some mooks dressing like ghosts, that only appear at night, to replace daytime-exclusive enemies.
  • Dragon Quest uses this in a lot of games from III on. The roster of enemies tends to vary wildly between day and night, and night-dwelling monsters are often tougher to fight.
  • A core gameplay mechanic of Dying Light are the volatile zombies that only appear at night. Unlike the normal daytime zombies, the volatiles are fast, tough, can track you like a bloodhound, and can kill you in two to three strikes. They turn the game from a first-person melee game into a first-person stealth game.
  • In Far Cry Primal, hardier and more dangerous animals come out at night, including pack-hunting wolves.
  • Final Fantasy XII uses something mechanically similar, but using the flavor of weather conditions. Many mooks will only attack you if the weather's right.
  • The Legend of Zelda has many types of enemies that only come out at night, but the ones that come out during the day are to be no less annoying.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: The Stalchildren of Hyrule Field only pop up during night, and only during the past era (during day in the past era, the main threat is the Peahats instead, as they sleep during night; in the future, the field is largely empty). Skeletons from the ground, able to appear no matter where you run. Kill them, more pop up. Kill more... and a GIANT one pops up.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Certain beasts only show up at night in Hyrule Field.
    • Once again in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, skeletal versions of Bokoblins, Moblins, and Lizalfos show up at night, and the bones of Stalnoxes, which lie dormant during daylight, reanimate once the sun sets.
  • In Minecraft, most Mooks only come out at night or in dark caves, and burn or turn passive in sunlight. It's made Worse by the fact that the game completely averts Hollywood Darkness. Notably though, Creepers are completely unaffected by sunlight and will attack you during the day.
  • In Mother 3, the enemies in the graveyard only appear at night. Since the time of day is driven by the plot in this game, you only get these enemies at pre-determined points in the game, most notably the beginning of Chapter 2. Likewise, Mr. Batty will only appear in the Sunshine Forest at night.
  • Pikmin: Played with. Most members of the grubdog family are only active at night (unless provoked), but you only have a chance to fight them in the daytime when they're asleep, as you leave the planet every night.
  • Pok√©mon:
    • The games use the idea of certain species being found depending on the time of day in generations II, IV and VII. The most obvious representative of Pokemon that show up at night is the Hoothoot line, based on owls, but there's also the Spinarak line (spiders), the Rattata line (rats), a good number of Dark-type and Ghost-type Pokemon, and others.
    • In generations II and IV, the trainer class called Policeman can only be fought at night. Dialogue suggests they think that if you're up at night, you're up to no good.
  • Psychonauts has certain beasts appear in the real world when it is nighttime - particularly noticeable are the Pyrokinetic Cougars, who like to stake out previously safe zones.
  • In the Quest for Glory games, wandering around at night is suicide at the beginning. However, once you gain enough experience, the nocturnal mooks start showing up during the day as well.
  • In Red Faction: Guerrilla, if you happen to be in the Badlands at night, the Marauders will spawn in much larger numbers, even appearing in vehicles.
  • The Imps in Rule of Rose are usually accompanied by darkness. They are mostly met in the badly lit parts of the airship, and when the power goes down they start appearing almost everywhere. Likewise, in the final chapter orphanage there's no fear of enemies until the sun goes down. After that, you can't spit without hitting an Imp.
  • Shantae (2002) has enemies become much more dangerous at night.
  • In Terraria, most of the dangerous things come out at night, at least before you reach Hardmode. Also, many bosses can only be fought at night (and some of them will gain the ability to instakill you or get away if you don't kill them by dawn.
  • Touhou: In Gensokyo, while they can be seen during the day, youkai are most often seen at night because they tend to be nocturnal.
  • Valheim: The more dangerous enemies spawn at night, especially once you start defeating Forsaken and these get more powerful. Not for nothing does the game warn you that going out at night is a bad idea.
  • Warcraft III:
    • While the game doesn't have Nocturnal Mooks as such, the Night Elves are more dangerous at night, due to their vision not decreasing like other factions and some of their units automatically turning invisible when immobile.
    • While most neutral monsters fall asleep at night, allowing sneak attacks, there are some that remain awake and alert their comrades.
    • And combining the traits, some enemies like the bandits and Murloc Nightcrawlers are invisible at night and wake up their buddies if you try to sneak up on them.
  • The Witcher loves this trope. The vast majority of monsters will refuse to show themselves in daylight, to the point that most areas in the day are classified as "safe" zones, with visitable vendors, shops, inns and townspeople. At night all citizens but Geralt and the guards (if any) are locked up inside their homes and inns as beasts roam the countryside/city, attacking all those who are in their way.
    • For example, the first chapter in the game has Geralt visiting the outskirts of Vizima, arriving during the night only to be attacked by a pack of barghests. Continuing, Geralt can be attacked by Ghouls, Drowners and The Beast, none of which appear during the daytime.
      • In later acts, he makes many trips through the Swamp Cemetery, where this trope is somewhat averted; the place is dangerous even during daytime, but at night you can't walk two feet without tripping over a monster.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! BAM, the first villains you face are the Ghouls, who ambush you at night.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour, evil duelists ambush you at night and challenge you to soul-stealing Shadow Games. Losing means Game Over.

    Western Animation 
  • In G.I. Joe, Cobra's Night Vipers (pictured above) are elite troops that live in windowless barracks with no interior lights and are constantly trained in stealth and darkness, almost never seeing the time of day. Their helmets have built in night vision and sound enhancing capabilities, and their suits as a whole are made to make them invisible to radar. However, they do have the weakness of being easily blinded if someone manages to shine a bright light into their face, as a result of living in complete darkness.