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Some become famous in the process, and the result is a Mascot Mook.
This enemy is a spotlight stealer compared to the rest of a game's bestiary, combining the ubiquity of the Mook with the iconic appeal of the Mascot, becoming their very own symbol or icon of the series in the process.
What makes a Mascot Mook so memorable? Perhaps there's a certain charm about this creature's design, or maybe its Fun Size, which prompts a smile across the player's face every time one of these pops up -- despite how often they will suddenly pop up or how many of them the player will slaughter throughout the game.
Whatever the case, these Mooks have somehow become just as vital to the series as a whole as your core party members are to the narrative of each separate installment. Fans silently expect this Mook to appear somewhere in each and every installment (often in multiple versions), simply because it always has, and no new game would be fit for release without its appearance.
- Your Ugly Cute Minions in Overlord, who even get their own DS spin-off.
- The Sharpclaw Tribe in Star Fox Adventures.
- The Bokoblins in The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword.
- Mega Man Legends featured Tron Bonne and her army of Servbots, little smiley-faced Lego men who obey her every instruction (although not always to the letter). They behave like children (Tron even refers to them as her kids), generally getting into trouble and making mischief, and when Mega Man faces them on the field of battle (usually piloting the Bonne Family's latest generation of mayhem-making machine), the little guys themselves can't actually be destroyed. Although you can kick them for health, if you're feeling mean.
- The Kittens from Tail Concerto and Poulets from Sky Gunner are practically Expies of Servbots, all legions of childlike, invincible minions who pilot the villains' battle machines. Of course, Kittens are the only ones who aren't robots, and you are tasked with actually removing them from the battlefield...which involves shooting them with a bubble gun and teleporting them back to the police station.
- Shadow Heartless, the single weakest enemies of the Kingdom Hearts series. It helps that they're adorable.
- Rabites from the Mana series: Small, legless creatures with rabbit-like ears, a cottonpuff tail, and at their higher levels especially, one mean bite. Some entries in the series even allow you to have a Rabite as your own sidekick.
- Rune Factory has the Woolies, adorable bipedal sheep. Since the series a spin-off of Harvest Moon with monster battles and exploration added, the woolies can actually be tamed and used as a source of wool.
- Dark Souls has the Black Knights, who dominate official artwork and promotional material.
Anime & Manga
- Zakus are arguably almost as iconic as the Gundam itself, with or without the red paint, antenna and 3x boost to everything. And if you fuse them with Servbots, you get the Zakos from SD Gundam Force.
- Although Mazinger Z basically used a Monster of the Week formula, two of Mazinger's first opponents: Garada K7, a skull-faced Mechanical Beast with two detachable scythes on its head; and Doublas M2, a beast with two serpentine laser-shooting heads, are among the most iconic, and show up in just about every adaptation and Super Robot Wars game (even if no other Mechanical Beasts appear).
- The Tower of Druaga has the ropers, possibly chosen because they don't really look at all marketable.
- The Dragon Quest franchise features Slimes, which are smiley-faced blobs of blue goo, the single weakest foes in the entire game (albeit with a plethora of variations including the nigh-indestructible Metal Slime and the gigantic King Slime) and probably one of the most well-recognized RPG monsters in gaming history, spawning tons of merchandise (in Japan, at least). There's even a DS title starring one: Dragon Quest Heroes Rocket Slime.
- The Dragon Quest VI remake also retooled monster recruiting, limiting it to a handful of specific slimes (and one dragon).
- Second to the Slimes are the Drackies, flying black bats which are also low-level enemies.
- Final Fantasy has no shortage of these. The classic titles feature Tonberry, a little green-skinned hooded guy, Cactuar, a running cactus, and Malboro, a giant stinky plant; Final Fantasy XI features its own take on Goblins, and the little Mandragora people. All of these have been immortalized in plushie form.
- Moreover, it seems that they attempt to add a new one with each iteration. Final Fantasy I introduced Goblins. Marlboros came into play in Final Fantasy II, with Chocobos expanding into battles in later titles. Final Fantasy III saw the first appearance of Moogles. In Final Fantasy IV there was the debut of the Zus. Final Fantasy V brought Tonberries and Magic Pots to the world. Final Fantasy VI was where Cactuars made their introduction. At this point, you could stock a game purely with recurring mooks from the Final Fantasy series. Oh, wait, they have - the Chocobo series.
- The Poo Snake from Blue Dragon was an intentional attempt to create one of these, because of the Cliché Storm theme. It worked - you can recruit one named Poopie in the sequel. They're basically Slimes, with all their Underground Monkeys.
- And the Punis, the Slimes-by-another-name of the Atelier Series.
- Shin Megami Tensei has Jack Frost, who is the spirit of winter as a cute snowman dressed up like a clown. He has a bunch of related "Frost" type characters in each game to go along with him, such as his Distaff Counterpart Strawberry Frost and Evil Twin Black Frost. Not to mention Bonus Boss King Frost.
- To a lesser extent is Cerberus, who is usually the player's first summonable demon in every game. Because the novel the series was based on had Cerberus as the main character's most dependable demon ally. Though this Cerberus is actually a white lion with a dragon tail instead of a hellhound (Cerberus is often depecticed with 3 heads modernly, the number is inconsistent in the myths).
- Also to a lesser extent is the Pixie, being probably as close to a Cute Monster Girl that you can get from Mega Ten.
- The radish-like Kopins from the Luminous Arc series.
- The Phantasy Star games had Rappies (known as Chirpers, Warblers and Squawkers in Phantasy Star III).
- Earthbound and the rest of the Mother saga have the Starmen, sort of. One Starman is even featured on the Earthbound cover.
- The Pigmask Army in Mother 3.
- Pikachu from Pokémon is a strange example. A rare Mon who only appeared in two areas in the entire original game became an Ensemble Darkhorse, and Nintendo noticed.
- Stormtroopers exist only to be mowed down en masse and demonstrate that yes, it is possible to be incapable of hitting the broad side of a barn, but where would Star Wars be without them?
- They even managed to put them into the prequel trilogy, in the form of the Clone Troopers.
- The Terminator might also count here. While the ones we see in the movies were specially tasked as infiltrators, we see that the footsoldiers of Skynet were the very same cyborgs, sans skin.
First Person Shooter
- The brain-devouring, body-possessing Headcrabs from the Half Life series have been merchandised as plushies and even hats. (Someone in the game itself even keeps a Headcrab as a pet.)
- Duke Nukem has the pig cops, who, since their appearance in Duke Nukem 3D, have proven to be the most popular enemies; since that game, they've appeared in many spin-offs of the main series.
- The Boomer in the Left 4 Dead franchise has gotten popular enough to have Valve's store sell a plushie of the said bloated special infected, complete with sounds it makes in the game if you press the boils on its belly. Plushies of the other special infected are in the works.
- Descent had two of these, owing to their at-the-time unique designs: The Class One Drone and the Medium Lifter. A recolored Medium Lifter was on the Box Art for Descent 2 (although the Medium Lifter was replaced by the similar-looking Diamond Claw for Descent 2), and the Class One Drones were in a few places in Descent 3.
- The Cacodemon from Doom.
Live Action TV
- Who could forget the Daleks? The most toyetic heartless, genocidal, world-destroying engines of destruction you'll ever meet.
- The Ultra Series has several mascot monsters for each entry.
- The Kamen Rider franchise has the Shocker Soldiers, the grunts from the original series, who returned in Kamen Rider Decade to lead up to the big teamup movie, and then there was their use in the Kamen Rider OOO teamup net movies... their wacky 'Yee!' noises and hand movements made them good for comedy fodder, to the point that by now it's awkward to watch them in an actual Shocker-related movie. They're basically Kamen Rider's Pikachu by now, and here they are with knives. Attacking people. People we like. You don't see that every day anymore!
Massively Multiplayer Online RPG
- The Murlocs from World of Warcraft. They got their own song, and are sold as plushy toys. Most famous critter in the game, mostly due to the sound it makes when it attacks.
- Fallens and Goatmen are the better known enemies of the Diablo franchise. appearing in all 3 games.
- The Porings, Ragnarok Online's expies of the Dragon Quest Slime.
- Maple Story has a the Orange Mushroom, but a number of other cute monsters, such as Slimes and Pigs, are prominent in the game.
- La Tale has the prrings and their palette swaps, the original of which is the first monster you fight. They were so popular that they were later made available as a pet. The shaggies are also popular, with some players actually trying to make real world replicas of their Vendor Trash drop - the shaggy doll.
- Fly FF has the aibatts, cute flying eye creatures which are arguably the most beloved enemies in the game.
- Wizard 101 has Gobblers which are ExtremeOmnivores and featured in many of the cartoon depictions. There is even a gobbler Piñata in game.
- Dig Dug brigs us Pooka, a red round thing wearing goggles. Reportedly, a lot of merchandise was made off of this mook, plus you can unlock one as a playable multiplayer character in Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness, and one was even factored into the storyline of the first Pac-Man World as one of the rescuable friends.
- The ghosts from Pac-Man.
- Goombas and Koopa Troopas from the Super Mario Bros.. series have evolved into this over the years, more so with Koopa Troopas owing to their Anthropomorphic Shift. Nowadays a Mario game is far more likely to feature Goombas and Koopa Troopas as sympathetic allies than stompable monsters. (Not so much with the Piranha Plant.) You have them as party members in Paper Mario 1 and 2, and in any game where Bowser is on your side, especially Bowser's Inside Story.
- Metall (or Mettool, or however you spell it) from the classic Mega Man games also qualifies, appearing in every game in the series and making cameos in several non-Classic entries. (Bomb Bonne of Mega Man Legends even bears a strong resemblance to the classic helmeted enemy.)
- They're not just classic enemies, the only Mega Man X games they haven't appeared in are 2 and 3, and they haven't appeared in the first three Zero games. They appeared everywhere else. They did appear in the Mega Man Zero games if you used a Cyber Elf that transformed all the enemies in any stage into Metts.
- Sniper Joes, although they're mainly locked into the Classic series. In exchange, not a single one of those games doesn't feature some variant of them.
- Moo from the Klonoa series is a big round blank-faced creature that mills around aimlessly, waiting for Klonoa to use it as either a springboard or a missile. Their inherent harmlessness coupled with their adorable appearance easily makes Moo the second-most recognizable character in the franchise (not that there are many who would recognize Klonoa in the first place, mind you).
- Every enemy in the Kirby games (besides some Final Bosses) counts as one of these. From the toddling Waddle Dees to the invincible Gordos, to the scowling pink Bronto Burts.
- The Pipo Monkeys from the Ape Escape games. No need to say why. In fact, your objective is to capture them!
- The Biankies of Viewtiful Joe, who also resemble the Putties of Power Rangers.
- The Dopefish from Commander Keen is iconic enough to be the subject of many Easter Eggs from a wide variety of other games.
- The Hoodmongers from Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc. It should be noted that there is nothing cute, adorable, or "wuvable" about them; they're basically potato sacks with large hats and shotguns.
- The DROD roaches are quite adorable, even if they are mowed down by the tens of thousands. They are also among the most notable elements in DROD, and the inexplicable cuteness of roaches is pointed out at every turn.
- Seeps are even cuter, and arguably more memorable. This would be because they have a tendency to show up in extremely difficult puzzles.
- Animal Crossing doesn't really have "Mooks," per se, but the adorable, blank-faced, wiggling Gyroids are as iconic of the series as the cute little characters themselves. City Folk even introduces a Gyroid character named Lloid who runs the Auction House, for no other reason than Gyroids are adorable. Not bad for a little clay fire hydrant.
- Minecraft has Creepers, strange bush monsters with more advanced AI than other Mooks, and a tendency to Ruin player creations by Exploding on them. Top grade Demonic Spider material? Yes. The most well known Mook in the game, and the game's mascot? Yes.
- Pyramid Head and the nurses from Silent Hill are easily the most recognized monsters from the series. The latter have managed to appear in almost every game to date.
- Dungeons and Dragons has numerous examples. When D&D 3.5 was partially open-sourced, some monsters such as the beholder and mind flayer were even set aside as "Product Identity."
- The Pathfinder RPG's crazy, singing, pyromaniac Goblins have become this since the first adventure path.
- Exalted has the Blood Apes, the go-to demon summon for breaking skulls.
- The Gamma World retroclone Mutant Future has the spidergoats.
Turn Based Strategy
- Prinnies from the Disgaea series are condemned souls forced to work off their afterlife sentence in the hopes of being reincarnated as something not a Prinny in their next life. They also happen to be adorable little patchwork penguins who are good with knives, explode when thrown and like saying "dood!". Of course, this being Disgaea we're talking about, the fact that they're Mooks puts them squarely under the player's command. They do show up as enemies, but not nearly as often as some other monster types, and when they do, it's generally in the tutorial levels or joke levels that expect the player to take full advantage of their volatile nature.
- Prinnies are beloved enough to star in their own nigh-Platform Hell PSP game (much to the consternation of the heroine of a cancelled game who's stuck doing cameos), appropriately called Prinny. You get a thousand lives at the start.
- Bogey from Kid Radd was just one of a billion such Bogies in the game, and was likely a Captain Ersatz of Goombas and/or Metools.
- Who could forget the Imps from Homestuck? Even though their appearances have been few and far between in the past year, their reactions and expressions in general were more than enough to win the hearts of the readers.
- The Battle Droids in Star Wars: The Clone Wars come off almost as expies of Prinnies, down to their pessimistic outlook and general disposability.
- Frogzards in Adventure Quest and Sneevils in Dragon Fable.
- A Dev made non-canon magazine suggests that they evolved from each other.
- Fyoras in Geneforge are this, Monster Allies, and the commonest of Com Mons all rolled into one. Physically, they're fire-spitting bipedal lizards--mentally, they're dogs, and in one ending of game 2 the main character is shown passing time in prison by teaching one to roll over for treats.
- Mud crabs in The Elder Scrolls games. While they're not even a threat to starting players and go down easily, they still have the honour of being famous for starring one as, inexplicibly, a merchant in Morrowind, and as a topic of discussion amongst NPCs that quickly spawned memes in Oblivion.
- Big Daddies from Bioshock.
- Dungeons of Dredmor has the Diggles, weird little drill-nosed creatures that look like a cross between a mole and a penguin.