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Stealthy Mook

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Mooks come in all sizes and varieties, from large to small, regular to elite, and can come from all walks of life.

But one variety of Mook is often unseen. Stealth Mooks are essentially mooks that have some form of stealth ability. The extent and nature of this ability can range from simply blending into their environment really well to being absolutely undetectable until they fire at you, and be a result of magic, technology, good use of the terrain, or anything else. Oftentimes, you'll need a special tactic/item/etc to deal with this kind of mook.

Any kind of Mook can be a stealth Mook, so there is plenty of overlap with other Mook types. A Lightning Bruiser Elite Mook in a video game can be combined with Stealth Mook to make Demonic Spiders, while a weak person that's merely hard to find may count as Goddamned Bats.

Very likely to be a Ninja of sort, and it is very common in video games. Please be aware that stealth must be an integral part of what the Mook is: a regular Mook using Geo Effects on one occasion to remain unseen is not this trope, but a Mook who does it all the time would be.

In addition, the Mook doesn't even have to fight for an example to count; an unarmed scout would readily fall under this as long as they consistently try to remain hidden.

Supertrope to Ambushing Enemy, which hides out of sight until its target draws near it. Compare The Sneaky Guy. Contrast with Patrolling Mook, whose job is to detect enemies, not stay hidden from them. Compare Invisible Monsters who don't have to be sneaky to be hard to detect.


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  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess:
    • Poes are only visible at night, and even then, only their lantern is visible. Using the wolf's senses reveals that they're holding the lantern with their feet, and a very, very big scythe with their hands.
    • Ghost Rats aren't visible normally, their presence only revealed when Link slows down to a crawl while Midna starts twitching and brushing herself off. Using the senses reveals that you are swarming with the things, sure to raise any first-timer's heartrate.

    Action Game 
  • Bubble Tanks 3 has certain enemies with stealth capability, allowing them to turn invisible. It doesn't help them that much against homing projectiles which will still home in on them.
  • Gatling Gears has a rather annoying stealth soldier enemy that will turn invisible, then appear somewhere else and fire a shot at your walker mech.
  • Grid Warrior: Most virus-element enemies have a stealth ability that prevents them from being detected on the minimap, but they are still visible on the screen. You can disable this stealth via using certain light-element weaponry and abilities.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Borderlands 2: Stalkers turn invisible and try to sneak up on you when you fight them.
  • Call of Duty: World at War: Banzai Chargers make extensive use of camouflage, and prefer to hide and ambush, then melee Marines rather than open fire on them head on, unlike regular Japanese soldiers.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Belltower Sneakers have the invisibility aug. Luckily, they are Fragile Speedsters, and can be taken down with ease.
  • Doom:
    • The Specters are partially invisible versions of the pink Demons. This ability is not true invisibility (except in dark rooms) but is enough to trip up a player if they're not totally observant.
    • Brutal Doom one-ups the classic Specter by making them almost entirely invisible, with their glowing eyes being the only thing to give away their presence.
  • Far Cry 4 has Hunters. Unlike regular Mooks, they can only be tagged for a few seconds before their icon disappears again, and they can see Ajay even while he is hiding in brush. They can also charm animals, which makes releasing captive beasts a much trickier method of dealing with outposts.
  • F.E.A.R.:
    • Replica Assassins series are equipped with invisibility cloaks and usually hide in dark rooms or cling to walls and ceilings before ambushing the player. Sometimes these cloaks let out bursts of lightning that helps the player pinpoint the Assassins' locations.
    • The non-canon Vivendi expansions have the Shades, essentially paranormal versions of Assassins. Shades have barely visible outlines and red glowing eyes. The invisibility is severely diminished if you land a shot on a Shade, as the bullet mark will leave a very visible ashen grey patch on its skin.
  • Half-Life: The female Black Ops assassins use silenced pistols and never speak, and on Hard difficulty they use cloaking fields which make them partially invisible.
  • Halo: Elite occasionally come with Active Camouflage. Sometimes they just use it to escape an engagement, but more often than not, they use it to get up close to the player with a Plasma Sword and strike at close range. In Halo 3, some Brutes also come with Active Camouflage.
  • Metroid Prime:
    • Shriekbats (and Ice Shriekbats) are hard-to-see colonies of bats which hang from doorways and divebomb Samus if you get too close (not to be confused with Flickerbats from the same game, which are actually invisible, but fly around open areas and are more for decoration).
    • The unique Cloaked Drone, which is constantly invisible (aside from the glow its weapons produce), which also makes it the only enemy which can't be scanned.
    • The Chozo Ghosts have the ability to turn invisible as they move about, making them hard to shoot until you find the X-Ray Visor (which shows invisible enemies).
    • Shadow Pirates come equipped with cloaking devices, the trade-off being no ranged weapons due to the cloak's high energy requirement, forcing them to rely on their wrist-mounted scythes. They can be tracked with the Thermal and X-ray visors.
  • PAYDAY 2: Cloakers are not technically invisible but they have a knack for hiding in places inaccessible by the players in order to ambush them for an instant Non-Lethal K.O..
  • System Shock has cyborg-assassins who lurk silently in the dark areas, waiting to toss deadly shurikens at you. You will probably have a few lodged in your body before you can find them. There are also mutants on the engineering level who can be seen only as scenery distortions that toss psychic projectiles at you.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Darktide: Scab Snipers are the only Specialist enemy that make no sound cues until they attack, often making them hard to detect until their Laser Sight appears. They do have some voice lines and some very overly-dramatic death screeches, but you generally won't hear them most of the time.

  • Jak II: Renegade has cloakers, Metal Heads that are the subject of one mission and also take part in the invasion of Haven City. They are transparent with the main signs of their presence being their glowing eyes, the (ironically-named) Skull Gem in their chest, and the shots they occasionally fire. The invisibility disappears after they take a certain amount of damage. The aforementioned mission also has a few unique spyder gunners (not a typo) which are invisible.
  • Mega Man Zero 4: In the Hibernation Chamber stage, if you set the weather into snowing, some of the Variant Claw mooks may try to hide beneath the snow pile and ambush you when you get close.
  • Mega Man ZX Advent: The Inviz mook in the Floating Ruins stage can periodically turn invisible, only going visible to shoot at you.
  • Plazma Burst 2 has a level filled with invisible enemy commandos armed with invisible swords. You only know they're there when they start slashing you.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Command & Conquer: Generals has the Pathfinder snipers for the USA, who remain hidden even while firing.
  • Dawn of War: Every faction has one type of invisible unit, often the most basic one for game balance: Space Marine Scouts and Skull Probes, Dark Eldar Mandrakes, Tau Stealthsuits (and the Devilfish, an invisible APC) and Chaos Cultists. Others use their invisible units as assassins, like the Eldar Rangers, the orks' diminutive Gretchin (the ork Worker Unit) and Tankbustaz, Sisters' Death Cultists or the Imperial Guard's Vindicare. The Necrons don't have an invisible unit, as one of the Necron Lord's wargear choices makes all units and buildings around him invisible.
  • Empire Earth: Vikings, Sharpshooters and Snipers are invisible (even when firing) until a unit gets close to them. The former is a melee unit, which isn't much of a problem, and the latter two emit a big cloud of smoke when shooting.
  • Iron Marines has the Alpha Fenrirs. They have the ability to cloak, making them invisible to units and towers and must be revealed by tapping on them to select them. Also, if they manage to hit a unit while cloaked, it does massive damageenough to One-Hit Kill or two-shot almost all ranged units and heroes on Normal. Thankfully, you will always hear a snarling howl whenever one spawns on the map.
  • Mud And Blood: Brandenburg Infiltrators can only be spotted by your normal troops if they are very close, and might even pop up near one of your soldiers and spray them to death with point blank pistol fire. Luckily, your Scouts and Snipers easily spot them.
  • StarCraft: Protoss Dark Templar and Observers are permanently invisible, while Terran Ghosts and Wraiths/Banshees use energy to do so. In the first game, the Protoss Arbiter turns all friendly units around it invisible, a role taken over by the Mothership in the second. All Zerg units are invisible when burrowed, but only the Lurker can attack while burrowed, and only Roaches and Infestors can move while buried.
  • Warcraft:
    • Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness:
      • Gnomish Submarines and Giant Turtles are completely invisible if they're out of sight of an enemy flying unit, sub, or tower. Their attacks make it look like the water itself is throwing explosive torpedoes at your ships until you get a flying unit or one of your own subs over to reveal them.
      • Subverted with Goblin Sappers/Demolition Squads. Casting Invisibility on them kills them instantly due to the Game-Breaker nature of the combo.
    • Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos:
      • Some Night Elf units (such as the Archer and the Huntress) have an ability named "Shadowmeld", which turns them invisible during the night unless they move.
      • The Undead Shade is a permanently invisible unit that can see other invisible units, made from the ghost of an acolyte.
      • The Alliance's sorceresses can make any unit invisible for a while, but any action other than moving or breaks the spell.

  • Cataclysm: Shady Zombies are invisible unless they're in light or right next to you. They also travel in packs, so you can't know if you're done with them unless you have a flashlight handy.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition is the first game in the series that allows enemy rogues to use the Stealth skill to disappear from view at the start of combat and circle around your frontline fighters to Back Stab your mages and archers. While they can, with some skill, be spotted and forced out of stealth with a manual unaimed attack, they cannot be targeted by spells, abilities, and party AI while sneaking.
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout and Fallout: New Vegas have Nightkin using Stealth Boys, which make them invisible. They aren't too hard to see close-up, but you can't target them with V.A.T.S. except in New Vegas if you have ED-E's companion perk.
    • Fallout 3: The Operation: Anchorage DLC has Chinese soldiers equipped with stealth suits that do pretty much the same thing. In fact, Stealth Boys were reverse-engineered from the Chinese stealth armor.
    • Fallout: New Vegas: Part of Lily Bowen's quest involves investigating night stalkers that have gained cloaking abilities. Turns out to be an unexpected result of them chewing on a dead Nightkin's Stealth Boy. More invisible night stalkers show up in Old World Blues in the X-13 labs, one of several experiments involving stealth.
  • Mass Effect features Geth Hunters who use Visible Invisibility to close in on the player with their Short Range Shotguns. The third game also introduces Cerberus Phantoms, who also have the same cloaking ability, but are equipped with swords that can One-Hit KO any playable character. Both of them, however, are at least Elite Mooks, if not outright Mini Bosses.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: Foglets tend to make themselves invisible before attacking their victim.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • Arc Angle has a stealth plane-like enemy in one of the final stages. Normally, the bullets produced by your "attack" (a cone of light that gradually turns bullets within into your own, which home back onto the enemy that fired it out) will not track them down — but thankfully their stealth is also disabled by said cone of light as long as they're caught in it.

    Stealth-Based Game 
  • Assassin's Creed:
    • Assassin's Creed: Revelations: The Stalkers try to approach Ezio in the crowd undetected and stab him In the Back, dealing serious damage, before escaping. The only defense is to pay attention to ominous background sound effects that play when a Stalker is near and using Ezio's super vision to spot them in the crowd. However, in some games they do have distinctive dress (the ones from Assassin's Creed Revelations have unique hats, for example) that differentiates them from the people around them, but it's difficult to spot in a crowded street.
    • Assassin's Creed Rogue features a different variation of the Stalkers from Revelations. These ones lie in wait in various hiding places that Shay would normally use—haystacks, brush, benches, even rooftops from which they can air assassinate the player—and wait for the player to approach before they strike. They can be detected by ominous whispering noises, and activating Eagle Vision will display a proximity/direction sensor that allows the player to track them down and kill them first.

    Survival Horror 
  • Luigi's Mansion:
    • Luigi's Mansion: There are two rooms in the game that feature ghosts that are completely invisible, save for their reflections in a mirror and their shadows on the projection screen.
    • Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon: The Sneakers are ghosts who go behind Luigi while invisible in order to scare him while he's in the middle of sucking up other ghosts.
    • Luigi's Mansion 3: Slinkers act much like Sneakers from Dark Moon. They're prone to approaching Luigi to hound and then grab him, inflicting damage during the time they do so. If a Toad is around, they can sometimes use him as a hostage.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Mega Man Legends: The Blue Sharukurusu in the Lake Ruins. As if the regular green versions weren't tough enough already, these blue ones will remain invisible until they are near you. Which is probably a few seconds away from impaling you. Nothings screams "Nightmare Fuel" when you hear Reaverbot footsteps and you can't see the enemy until it's too late...

    Tower Defense 
  • Bloons Tower Defense has the Camo Bloon, which appears from 4 onwards. In its initial appearance in 4, it's a specific type of Bloon around the same level as Black and White Bloons. It can't be targetted by any towers without camo detection, but it can still be popped as collateral damage from the area of effect. From 5 and on, Camo is a "trait", so it can be applied to any Bloon except MOABs. Now it can't be targetted nor hit by any towers without camo detection, even if the tower is a cannon that shoots massive explosions. The Camo Bloons will just walk away unharmed.
  • Defense Grid: The Awakening has the Lurker enemies, who can only be detected by towers if it is near them or if they're in the radius of a Command Tower to expose them. There's also Decoys who aren't this trope, but turn other enemies around them into a stealthy mook by providing them with Lurker stealth.
  • Mini Robot Wars has the Ghost and the Mole enemies. The former is an Airborne Mook that your Minirobots will not attack if not revealed, and the latter hides underground and also cannot be detected before it begins rapidly decimating your front row. Both of them are vulnerable to the Radar bot, which reveals them, and in the case of the Mole it'll also force it to ground level and stun it for good measure.
  • Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time: The Thief Zombie can turn invisible to both the plants and you, the player, to sneak past your defenses.
  • Star Fox Guard has two types of enemies known as Cloak-R and Cloak-B. Both enemies are invisible depending on which screen you're looking at, with Cloak-R being visible when viewed by your cameras, but invisible on the Gamepad's radar, while Cloak-B appears on the radar like normal, but it mostly invisible on the cameras. Since both enemies are in the Combat Class, the player needs to find and destroy them before they reach the tower in order to clear the stages they appear in.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown: The Enemy Within DLC adds Seekers, airborne robotic alien units that activate their Invisibility Cloak the moment their pod is spotted. They'll do their best to fly behind your lines and either strangle an isolated soldier (such as a Squadsight Sniper in the far back) or, failing that because the soldier has strangulation immunity or the Seeker can't reach the vulnerable soldier before the cloak runs outnote , they'll fire at them with their plasma pistol instead (and often score a Critical Hit because they're flanking the target). A Battle Scanner or the sight range of a soldier with Bioelectric Skin negates their cloak.

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • Minecraft: Creepers emit next to no noises other than the infamous hissing sound when they are about to explode (or when they are hurt), allowing them to easily catch the players off-guard. The fact that they are active in dark areas (including outdoors at night) only makes it worse. On top of that, each is an Instakill Mook at close range.

    Non-Video Game Examples 
  • Batman Begins: The League of Shadows gives their members martial arts, ideological indoctrination, and stealth as part of their training, and we see League members pop out of seemingly nowhere during Bruce Wayne's Training Montage.

Tabletop Games

  • Pathfinder:
    • Desert drakes are adept ambush predators and themed around stealth, and specialize in lurking out of view before suddenly attacking passing prey.
    • Mist drakes are very stealthy creatures, and tend to make good use of fog and cover when attacking to confuse their foes and protect themselves. That they can exhale a cloud of thick mist at will to better hide themselves and ruin sightlines doesn't harm.

Real Life

  • Guerilla fighters are these by definition.
    • Viet-Cong in the Vietnam were sometimes this to American soldiers. Going for ambushes more often than straight fights, blending into the civilian population, and having entire jungles and tunnel networks to move, hide in, and fight from, a large part of their victories came from the fact that all the US firepower didn't know where to shoot.
  • Ninjas in the feudal era Japan are much like what assassins nowadays are. All their job requires stealth and discretion.
  • Special forces, commandos, snipers, and scouts work stealthily as part of their job.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Stealth Mook, Sneaky Mook



These ghosts spend most of their time invisible, only becoming visible to scare Luigi or attack him.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / StealthyMook

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