Enemy Summoner

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search
When in doubt, call your friends!

An enemy who casts spells which bring additional enemies into combat, while causing some damage itself. Sometimes the summoned enemies are just Mooks; in other cases, they are as powerful enemies as the summoner. Can get very dangerous for the player if those enemies are summoners themselves. Might be an enemy version of The Beast Master, depending on who or what is being brought out.

See also the Mook Maker, who doesn't do anything to hurt the player except churn out an endless series of Mooks, and the Flunky Boss, who may summon weaker allies as part of a Boss Battle. Some Enemy Summoners go as far as to summon Mook Makers.

The ability to create large amounts of enemies can make them Demonic Spiders or Goddamned Bats. They are a common candidate to be Metal Slime, since you have to kill them fast or the sheer amount of summoned opponents will overwhelm you, so you don't have many opportunities to steal.

Examples of Enemy Summoner include:


Action-Adventure Games[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Happens all the time in the Zelda games - for example, the Mighty Wizzrobe in The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker.
  • Vincent Van Gore of Luigi's Mansion. According to Dr E. Gadd, he is the source of all the ghosts you have been fighting. He will force you to fight several rounds of identical ghosts, which he summons from his paintings. Eventually you will be allowed to ghostbuster on him.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum features several boss encounters (in particular, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and the Joker) in which your foe unleashes a gang of enemies into the fray.
  • The gargoyles in The Haunted Mansion summon smaller, faster enemies, which is one of the qualities that makes them Demonic Spiders.

Beat Em Ups[edit | hide]

  • Executioners: The third level boss Blobba The Butt can spit out two Fat Snakes to help him out against you. The fourth level boss Mega-Midget(s) can cry out "Midgets, attack!" and bring in four or six Midget-Men to help him out.

Card Games[edit | hide]

  • The Pokémon TCG has some cards with a "look for friends" move, allowing the player to search their deck for (varying from card to card) look for more Pokémon of the same species, elemental type or some other descriptor.
  • There are loads of Magic: The Gathering cards that make token creatures when they come into play, create token creatures when you want them to, or let you look through your library for more creature cards.

First-Person Shooter[edit | hide]

  • The Heresiarch boss from Hexen summons Dark Bishops to aid him in battle when his health is low.
    • D'Sparil, the final boss of Heretic, in addition to blasting you with his staff in the second phase of the final battle with him, will summon his Disciples against you two at a time.
  • In Doom II, the "Pain Elemental" spits "Lost Souls" (weaker enemies) at you. The "Arch-vile" actually resurrects dead monsters and has one of the strongest attacks in the game.
    • In Doom 3, although the Archvile doesn't resurrect monsters (since they don't leave corpses), it can summon indeterminate numbers of Mooks, including Boss in Mook Clothing enemies such as Hell Knights.
  • Giant Gasbag in Unreal, which belches out fireballs and smaller Gasbags.
  • The first Antlion Guard encountered in Half-Life 2 periodically summons three or four regular Antlions from the sand to attack the player while attacking itself. Mercifully, as they are goddamned hard to kill even alone, it is the only Guard to do so.
  • The first boss in Red Steel 2, Paine, would occasionally summon a pair of machine-gun wielding mooks to chip away at your backside. Made worse because he usually doesn it when he's just knocked you down so you have to watch him do it while unable to move.
  • In the Left 4 Dead series, the "Boomer" Special Infected can puke or explode near the Survivors, spraying them with bile that obscures their vision and quickly summons a horde.

Hack and Slash[edit | hide]

  • Sand Maggots in Diablo II which spit poison and lay eggs.
    • Vile Mothers in Act 4 can create an unlimited (Sand Maggots at least can only lay a limited amount of eggs) amount of Vile Childs apart from hitting you with their claws. Besides, they have cold resistance, so you can't use cold attacks to stop them from moving. On top of that, in the River of Flame you may be attacked by BOTH Sand Maggots and Vile Mothers. Expect VERY long fights.
    • Diablo II is full of a variant of this, where they start with a full complement of units and resurrect them whenever you kill one. Unless you raise it as a skeleton, make the corpse explode, or freeze it and smash the remains or in some way make it Deader Than Dead.
    • Nihlathak in the expansion pack who would summon monsters, then corpse explode them if you killed them.
  • Diablo III introduces the Wretched Mothers in Act I. They vomit on the ground, causing a Risen to spawn.
  • Cerebuses in the first God of War would occasionally spit out Cerebus Puppies, which in time could grow into full grown Cerebuses. One of the harder portions of the game was a battle against three of them where the whole point was to kill them all before you got overwhelmed through sheer numbers.

MMORPGs[edit | hide]

  • A huge number of the bosses from World of Warcraft in a variety of ways, ranging from simple summoning to calling for help to splitting themselves into smaller pieces to creating dozens of illusions of themselves, to taking control of some players' bodies and making them help.
    • In addition, many basic mobs will, after being reduced to low health, either shout for nearby mobs to assist, or run and look for them.
    • Regular mobs also sometimes summon aid, normally in the form of demons or undead. Given that the expansions packs have focused on these (BC and Wrath respectively) they're found in a few instances. They are generally the cause of wipes to groups not aware of them.
  • Some City of Heroes examples: Banished Pantheon Death Shamans, Rikti Communications Officers, Malta Operation Engineers, and Carnival of Shadows Master Illusionists.
  • In Dungeon Fighters Online, there is an entire dungeon made of enemy summoners. Even the boss. Add to the fact that the 'highest' level of summoner in the dungeon can summon more summoners, which summon more summoners... So... Yeah.
  • Guild Wars has varying forms of this. In the most basic forms, Necromancer and Ritualist enemies can summon hordes of enemies using the same skills available to the player.

Platformers[edit | hide]

  • In Super Mario World, some of the Chargin' Chucks can inexplicably summon Super Koopas to bedevil you.
    • Magikoopas, who debuted in that game, can fire blasts of hero-damaging magic that can also transform ordinary blocks into minor enemies on contact.
      • A Magikoopa also appeared as a boss in Super Mario RPG. This one would summon one of several powerful creatures to hide behind, and you would have to beat them in order to attack the Magikoopa himself. Fortunately, this Magikoopa wouldn't attack you while one of his monsters was in play.
  • The Grim Reaper in Kid Icarus. Don't let him spot you, or he'll summon a wave of Goddamned Bats upon you.
  • There is an enemy jester in Taito's The New Zealand Story who continuously summons random enemies. He doesn't attack or harm directly the player, however.
  • In general, all the bosses from the Kirby series summon something that attacks you; this is to give you some ammunition against them to keep the fight from being Unwinnable.
  • A flying boss in Dynamite Headdy summons little choppers, the choppers drop bombs, and the bombs explode into bullets. Whew.

Puzzle Games[edit | hide]

  • Insaniquarium's final boss is this. He summons all of the other monsters, one or two at a time. Some can be killed with one shot, making them Mooks, but others are very hard to kill. He is, however, not dangerous in his own right.

Real-Time Strategy[edit | hide]

  • The Queen in StarCraft has the ability to kill any organic enemy unit by spitting eggs into them. The eggs hatch into 2 Broodlings, killing the unit in the process. Able to kill Goliaths (mecha-units) and tanks through the explanation that the pilots are organic. Doesn't explain why the mecha explodes...
    • It's a very explosive birth, that probably, in lore, destroys the mecha enough, and that's the only death animation the units have.
  • Necromancers from Warcraft 3, which can summon lots of skeletons from nearby corpses if they're allowed to survive for too long, apart from also contributing their own (fairly weak) ranged attacks, and casting powerful buffs or debuffs on friendly and enemy units respectively. Fortunately, the Necromancers themselves are pretty frail, easily taken out by ranged units, siege units and anti-casters, and the skeletons are pretty easy to dispel.
    • This can get hilariously out of control in mods where skeletons can summon skeletons or where skeletons leave corpses (or both).
  • This is what Yorick is going to be when he is on the enemy team, as all of his abilities summon ghouls that will relentlessly chase the nearest enemy player. Well, except his ultimate ability, which creates a clone of one of his allies that said ally can control for 10 seconds if they die.

Roguelike[edit | hide]

  • The monster spell Summon Nasties; the bane of every Nethack game (Archons, Archons and more Archons on the Elemental Plane Of Air).
    • Before that, any minor-level demon encounter has the potential to end with the player suddenly fighting Demogorgon.
    • Demons in general can sometimes gate in a co-aligned demon every time they attempt an attack, which in turn can gate in more. Special mention goes to vrocks, who has six attacks per turn (so it has a larger chance to gate in things) and is sufficiently low levelled that they mostly only gate in more vrocks, who in turn can gate in more vrocks, and so on and so forth.
  • Angband has many, many different types of hostile summoners. They include the quylthulgs, which are invisible, cold-blooded (so they aren't visible with infravision) fleshmounds that every turn either summon one or more monsters or teleport themselves around. A character who cannot see invisible things will have quite a problem stopping new monsters from appearing seemingly out of the blue.
    • There are also many types of monsters that can chain-summon. For example, greater demons summon other greater demons of any type, including more powerful types that summon even more. Battles involving multiple demons tend to get epic.
      • Of course, there is also the demonic quylthulg that summons exclusively greater demons.
    • Breeders are a related concept. These monsters do not use summon magic but rather reproduce themselves extremely quickly. Things like white lice can easily take over the level if they are not stopped before the numbers reach a point where more new lice are born each turn than the player can potentially kill in the same span of time.
  • ADOM features many summoners, but Blink Dogs are notable as they summon more blink dogs and can teleport at will.
    • Werewolf lords in particular can summon werewolves, which are also summoners. A large room can be filled in 3-5 turns. Werewolf kings, though rare, can summon said werewolf lords. Couple that with the "uberjackal effect" (see below) and you have problems.
    • The monster levelling system (amount of [monster] killed determines strength of new [monster]) means that once you've cleared out two or three packs of the same summon, any further summons will become stronger. Much stronger. This is supposed to be Anti-Poopsocking, but instead upgrades summoners from 'annoying' to 'kill on sight'/'avoid'.
  • Firework Artisans in Izuna Legend of the Unemployed Ninja will sometimes create Bombs to back them up. The Bombs are very easy to bring down, but one hit will cause them to explode, dealing heavy damage to Izuna if she's within the blast radius.

Role-Playing Games[edit | hide]

  • Breath of Fire IV has a sequence where you must defeat a guard before he calls for backup.
  • Quite a few enemies in Golden Sun will "look for allies".
  • Some enemies is Skies of Arcadia summon more of themselves.
    • The Gamecube version which had bonus content had a load of tough optional bosses, two of which used this trick.
  • The bell-like Dead Ringers of Dragon Quest VIII, who can summon up to eight of themselves.
    • Dragon Quest III had the Goopi, who could (and did) call for more and more of themselves as you killed them. It made them great for Level Grinding, except when they randomly called out a much-tougher Granite Titan.
    • And starting from Dragon Quest IV on, the player can run into groups of seemingly ordinary slimes during the mid-game... that can call in their friends. Lots of friends. And then they can fuse into a King Slime...
    • Dragon Quest VIII seems to have a lot of enemies who can summon more of their kin (including the Dead Ringers' earlier variant, Magic Dumbells, who can even level themselves up) or revive monsters that you've already killed in the current battle (either by casting Zing/Kazing to resurrect one, or sacrificing themselves with Kerplunk to revive every other monster in the battle).
  • There were a lot of them in EarthBound.
    • When calling other friends into the battle, similar enemies appearing on the screen are given names with sequential letters after them (A to Z). To demonstrate an extreme case of this, this troper once had to fight a "Mobile Sprout L" in Peaceful Rest Valley, after starting the fight with only two Mobile Sprouts.
  • Final Fantasy XI has a lot of these, but a special mention has to go out to those enemies of the Summoner job class. The basic cannon fodder can only summon elementals, but the Elite Mooks can summon the elemental Avatars, and have access to the 2-Hour Astral Flow, which has that Avatar deal enough damage to pretty much One-Hit Kill anyone even remotely close to that Avatar. Thankfully, they can be slept beforehand, but they still can cause wipes in Dynamis, that's for sure.
  • The Swamp Witches from Dungeon Siege, infamous for summoning Swamp Creatures with 1000 HP, sometimes several at a time!
  • Ginormo Sword has the Necromancer boss, who summons various enemies previously seen in the area he's the boss for.
  • Spiderweb Software's Exile series had the ability to nest summons many times over. The mooks popped through the various Summon Monster spells (or even snazzier Soul Crystal Simulacrums) were quite likely to take the tactic and run with it. Summon a Demon, and you'll soon have it summon an Imp, which in turn summons a rat. The map would quickly get extremely cluttered as both sides formed solid barriers of mooks between their respective casters, which only judicious (and satisfying!) use of area of effect spells could hope to resolve.
    • The first three games of the Avernum remake series had a similar problem. The Arcane Summon spell would summon a handful of high-level monsters to fight for you. One of the possible results was the Vampire Lord monster, who could cast Arcane Summon.
      • In the last three games, you have a limit on your summons (a maximum of two in Avernum 6). The enemy doesn't. Any battle with an enemy mage quickly turns into a long and tiring one (especially if your warriors need to be next to the mage to do any real damage).
    • Also from Spiderweb Software, the Geneforge series' summoners could, unlike the players, shape their creations during combat.
  • In a relatively rare sci-fi example, Fallout 2, the Military Base features entirely optional boss Melchior. He summons monsters of diminishing strength before joining battle himself. A determined and confident player often lets him, as he eventually runs out, meaning you get experience for all the monsters killed.
    • The Master in Fallout 1 does the same with his Nightkin Hallucinations.
  • The Shadow Guards from The Force Unleashed periodically summon squads of cloaked Shadowtroopers in mid-battle.
  • Some enemies in The Last Remnant have the tendency to call for Reinforcements.
  • The jellyfish noise in The World Ends With You have an annoying habit of replicating themselves. There's a 50% percent chance the one they spawn won't be able to divide and they're weak but it's still pretty easy to get bogged down in the things.
  • Several enemies in Persona 4. One minor boss has no special abilities other than summoning copies of itself.
  • Some of the level III Yarhi in Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings have the ability to do this, as well as The Judge of Wings/Mydia. However, when you've got those particular Yarhi on your side, the ability vanishes.
  • In Mana Khemia, several student enemies can summon their manas to fight alongside them, most notably Renee, but they can only summon once.
  • In the Grandia there are many different types of slime, all of which can split themselves into multiple slimes which can then multiply. Unless you use a critical hit on the slimes attempting this then having an unending supply of slimes to kill can be extremely irritating or even fatal.
  • The Dread Refs in Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, you'll fight necromancers and other summon-happy sorcerers who (while usually quite squishy) can be frustratingly evasive - summoning another demon the instant you defeat the first one or it times out. These mages always summon at the begining of combat, and then switch to running away while spamming damage and status effect magic at you. Fighting groups of summoners in twisty, narrow dungeons can be harrowing.
    • Worse yet (depending on your character build) are the high level skeletons, which carry high-end claymores, and summon (and re-summon) a lower-tier skeleton. While a fight against a summoning mage can be over quickly if you get past their summon and shut them down, Skeleton Champions are Made of Iron, and their pet skeletons are dangerous in their own right, and easy to confuse for the Champion in the heat of battle meaning you could inflict the killing blow; and rather than taste victory, another skeleton is instantly spawned and the battle carries on.
  • Several types of demons encountered in Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne will summon allies of the same type, if the enemy party has slots open for them. Or even if it doesn't.
  • Some enemies in Phantasy Star IV, like the Tower series, could call in satellite enemies into battle. Then there was the Infantworm, which if a single one was left alive out of the group, would run away and summon Mom.
  • Radiant Historia has several of them, ranging from soldiers to mushrooms.

Shoot Em Up[edit | hide]

  • The secret form of Rusted dragon and Perpetual Calendar does this in Hellsinker.

Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Dungeons & Dragons has quite a few monsters which can use the Gate spell to bring allies to their side, notably demons, devils and celestial beings.
  • A cursed villain from the Ravenloft supplement Carnival is afflicted with this trope. He's not so lucky as to summon the freakish little Mooks he calls upon; rather, they bud off his flesh as corporeal manifestations of his evil thoughts and emotions.
  • Necron Tomb Spyders in Warhammer 40,000 could manufacture scarab swarms in battle, while some of the beasts in a Tyranid swarm can generate and expel Spore Mines.

Turn-Based Strategy[edit | hide]

  • Later chapters of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn have the enemies abusing their uber Warp staff to summon in reinforcements. Even without magic staff, Fire Emblem bosses have a habit of bringing out reinforcements from no where.

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Some species of ant are attracted by the chemicals that their species releases into the air upon death.
    • Perhaps inspired by that, the Tyranid Lictor not only releases a pheremone trail for the lesser Tyranid creatures to follow, but also releases a stronger trail when there is more resistance.
  • Some extremely unpleasant species of tropical South American wasps will squirt their venom onto large animals (including humans), partly to harm said intruders, and partly to summon reinforcements (who are drawn by the scent of attack pheromones in the venom). These same wasps can also whip their sisters into an attacking frenzy simply by drumming their abdomens on the walls of their own nests.