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File:Helghastdoomtroops 5771.jpg
"What the enemy cannot see, they cannot fight. What they can see, they will soon learn to fear..."

You can tell by looking at them, these are no ordinary Mooks. Every aspect of them is designed for maximum intimidation; their jackboots strike the ground with a despair-inducing tromp and their loud breathing sends chills up the enemy's spines. Their uniforms are black, possibly emblazoned with skulls, and almost always have a mask that makes them seem less human. Enemy soldiers would rather surrender than fight them, but they are trained to show no mercy. Every action they take is meant to induce Mook Horror Show in the Redshirt Army and civilian populace.

In short, scary mooks, elite or otherwise. Expect a lot of Putting on the Reich.


Trope Namer

Anime and Manga

  • Protect Gear troopers from Jin Roh (They're based on SS troops).
  • Hellsing's Iscariot Organization soldiers, who dress like klansmen.
  • ANBU in Naruto were supposed to be this. They are masked, nameless elites who carry out assassination missions and who hunt down rogue ninjas and dispose of their bodies to keep village secrets. However, they're more of an example of Early Installment Weirdness and don't really serve this trope after the arc that introduces them.

Comic Books

Fan Fiction

  • Tiberium Wars presents the Black Hand as these; when a GDI infantry squad encounters a squad, the corporal in command completely flips out in terror at the sight. Later on, when a Black hand unit ambushes a GDI convoy, the mere sight of the Hands is enough to terrify a GDI officer into paralysis.


  • While Imperial stormtroopers from Star Wars are generally considered to be just Mooks, in-universe they`re greatly feared. In fact, the reason they're armored in white is to conjure up mental images of bleached bones.
  • The movie SS Doomtrooper (which directly inspired the Ubersoldat videogame) had a Super Soldier prototype meant to be one of these. He'd have preferred to stay dead and breaks out.


  • Some might say the Snatchers and Death Eaters from Harry Potter, but there's some Fan Wank over this...
  • The Blood Pact from Gaunt's Ghosts.
  • Imperial Sardaukar from Dune. Later, the Fremen become this for Paul.


  • The narrator of Hammerfall's "Any Means Neccessary".

Tabletop Games

  • Warhammer 40000 gives us two examples, the Death Corps of Kreig for The Empire and all the Space Marine chapters (both good and evil; it's explicitly stated that they eschew camouflage in favor of scariness).
  • Mutant Chronicles Lampshades this, one unit available to most factions is the Doom Trooper. Special mention goes to the Dark Legion.

Video Games

  • Battalion Wars' Xylvanian Iron Legion. They even went so far as to make the already terrifying flamethrower emit a maddening, shrill wail.
  • Helghast from Killzone provide the image.
  • Black Ops soldiers from Half Life: Opposing Force
  • Blackwatch soldiers from Prototype. Possible infectees are shown no mercy. In Prototype 2 they're given a makeover to make them even scarier.
  • Star Wars Battlefront introduces the Dark Troopers (giant cyborg Super Soldiers) and the 501st, Palpatine's personal legion.
  • The Saboteur has Nazi version.
  • The Replica in F.E.A.R.. They're designed from the ground up to be implacable, fearless shock troops, and their armor makes them look greatly intimidating, especially when compared with ATC's baseline human soldiers.
  • Cerberus troops in Mass Effect 3.
  • Almost all the mooks in the remake of Syndicate, but especially the Elite Mooks.

Web Comics

Web Original

  • the "legions of Terror" from the Evil Overlord List, although face-concealing headgear is discouraged for security reasons.

Real Life

  • Hitler's Waffen SS is the Ur Example and Trope Codifier.
  • Napoleon's Imperial Guard.
  • British Royal Marines
  • North Ireland paratroopers. They wear their flak jackets underneath their uniforms so they look tougher.
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