Games need challenges. In most cases, challenges come in the form of an enemy that the player will need to dispatch. After a million years of game design, its not really that big of a surprise to see a few of the same enemies appearing in nearly every game on the market. But some foul beasts go above and beyond that.
Some creatures appear in games so often you'd think there is some sort of issue with overpopulation. Others appear just out of necessity, and some even appear thanks to the world we live in for real. This might all sound very confusing, but as long as you read on you'll understand what I mean.
The Classic Mimic
Is it just me, or are carpenters in cahoots with the hordes of Mimics stationed in random dungeons all around the gaming world? In every game that has a treasure chest you can be sure you'll find at least one treasure chest that is just waiting to attack you. I'm starting to think carpenters are making them just to kill wary adventurers.
After appearing in so many games over the years, you would think the design of the Mimic would have gotten old by now. But that's the thing about Mimics; they can literally be anything, and game designers have been known to take great advantage of this. From Rayman Origins to the Half Life series, there are no shortages of good Mimics.
Now you know, they only fight because they fear death.
The two games mentioned above are actually perfect examples of the Mimic trope being used to great effect in their respective games. In Rayman Origins, a poor, lowly Mimic knows exactly what is going to happen to it. Instead of letting itself get opened and it's insides plundered, the Mimic actually tries to escape.
What follows is a special level dedicated entirely to chasing the Mimic so you can get at its delicious, meaty, loot insides. And then there's the Half Life games. While they can't be considered true Mimics because they're not alive, they at least get the job done. And that job is getting you killed in a really stupid way.
Bombs shaped like medkits. Perfect.
After a big fight you'll more than likely be low on health. You see a healing station off in the distance. Oh my, your luck is finally looking up! You rush over to the healing station so fast you neglect to notice the sparks spraying out of the medkit on the wall. You press the button and bam, it explodes in your face, more than likely killing you.
The Faceless Soldier
Call it a symptom of the times we live in, but nearly every game has the faceless soldier barreling down on you and your group of merry adventurers. The reason is simple enough; not everyone can have a backstory. There's simply no way a group of developers or writers could flesh out every single character in a game.
This was a Summer job for him. He was just trying to pay for his daughter's birthday.
But things can still get rather silly when it comes to faceless soldiers. Just look at the Uncharted series. Over the span of what I can only assume was a few years, our hero Nathan Drake has killed the equivalent of a small town in each one of his games. Nathan Drake is only an example though, he's certainly not the odd one out when it comes to the action genre.
But one game does shine brightly in the world of faceless soldiers and mercenaries. And that game was originally on the PSP. Of course its on the PS3 and Xbox 360 now, but Metal gear Solid: Peace Walker was a huge triumph for all those poor people ruthlessly gunned down in so many games before them.
Welp. I guess this is happening now.
This achievement was won through the Fulton recovery system used throughout the game. Instead of just knocking out or killing all the thugs around you, you were given the option to use a balloon transportation system to take every single faceless soldier off the battlefield. Every one you grabbed was given a name and a short story.
Past that there's not much, but it was a pretty big thing for the Playstation Portable.
Big Old Nasty Rats
Rats eat up an estimated 60% of the world's food supply every year. The little mongrels are eating more of our own food than we are! The keyword there is little. Most rats don't get more than a foot long including the tail. So when it comes to the rats in your average fantasy game, it's amazing that the world has any food to go around at all.
KILL IT KILL IT KILL IT KILL IT!
Namely, the Elder Scrolls series. I'm not exaggerating when I say the rats were nearly as big as the main character themselves. They were almost never a problem for the player, but every once in a while you would find yourself locked in a room with about a dozen of them. If you weren't ready for them they might actually be able to take you down.
In the later Elder Scrolls games (like Skyrim) the rats were replaced with skeevers. They were essentially just even larger rats that gave developers a reason to throw down a lot more bear traps than there used to be. A game that did turn the giant rat trope on its head was Duke Nukem Forever (of all games).
A shout out to Moby Games for getting far enough into the game to take this image.
Instead of bring in giant mutated rats to dispatch the old, worn down Duke, the game instead decided to shrink Duke Nukem down and make him fight regular sized rats which were then considered giant rats due to Duke's shrunken size. So Duke Nukem Forever did try something new after all!
Your Own Team
In a world where games have become more connected online, there is only one truth you should learn before you join in: people are just jerks all the time. Type "game trolling" or "griefing" into Youtube and you'll find a million billion results ranging from the incredibly mean-spirited to the incredibly hilarious and mean-spirited.
There was a gate here but it's gone now
So the most prolific enemy of the gaming world isn't even an enemy to begin with. It was man! You can join a game online that doesn't even have an enemy or defined goals and you'll still find someone looking to screw you over. A good example would be the Animal Crossing series; a fun loving town simulator from Nintendo. What could possibly go wrong?
Hackers; that is what could go wrong. You let someone into your town in the hopes of getting new items or visitors. Instead all of the buildings in your town are completely blocked off forever and all the townspeople are swearing at you like they were replaced with body snatching sailors.
Friendly fire is never as friendly as the name implies
And then comes the Call of Duty series. A game that gives you the ability to explode a few seconds after death just wasn't good enough people needed to explode faster and in larger quantities. this was achieved by using a glitch with the Javelin weapon. Upon death the javelin would explode, killing everyone nearby you.
This was used by huge amounts of players and angered even more. So remember everyone, when Black Ops 2 comes out this year, you'll be playing along side people that think taking everyone out with them in a fiery explosion is actually a valid strategy when it comes to fighting a war. HAVE FUN.
There are plenty of other monsters and baddies out there invading every game you play. Certainly they weren't all mentioned here. What are some of your favorites? Which ones do you dislike? Why not talk about them in the comments below? As always, thanks for reading.