Mechanical Monster

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"And the master of the Goblin forge-smiths offered the king to create a brilliant Golden Army. Seventy times Seventy soldiers that would never know fear, or hunger...or remorse."
Tale of the Golden Army, Hellboy II: The Golden Army

So your Mecha-Mooks aren't cutting it? What's the next logical step up from taking the already impressive stamina, loyalty, and destructive power of a mechanical henchman?

Simply, you go absolutely off the wall with them. Where the mecha-mook will be a dime a thousand, you'll see only a few, or only one, Mechanical Monster. This may be due to limited resources or simply because everyone involved in making it is no longer amongst the living. They are always improbably hard to stop, incredibly persistent, never need to recharge and always, always terrifying to look at. Very likely to be the big bad's Dragon, and often times much tougher to kill.

It should also be noted, that while the Mecha-mooks often are fragile, incompetent, and generally gentle at their jobs, expect the Mechanical Monster to be a far less kind to its prey. Slashing, stabbing, soul stealing to fuel their infernal engines, and loud noises are all par for the course.

See also Homicide Machines, Our Monsters Are Different, Robeast.

Examples of Mechanical Monster include:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • Batman has a robot dinosaur in the Trophy Room of the Batcave; a souvenir of a case called "Dinosaur Island".
  • In Marvel's toy tie-in comic The Starriors, the title characters are about evenly split between semi-humanoid robots and animal and dinosaur-shaped ones. They're all perfectly sentient.

Films -- Live-Action

  • The titular Golden Army from Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Saved from being simple mecha-mooks by their sheer hardiness. And a self-repair function.
  • The villains from Nine fit the bill, and all of them are appropriately horrific.
  • The giant Harvester from Terminator Salvation would most definitely count, as would the semi-humanoid tanks from the earlier movies.
  • Mecha-Godzilla anyone? A metal doppleganger of Godzilla that was twice as deadly.
  • Maximillian from The Black Hole pretty much takes this to horror territory.
  • In Red Sonja, the bad guys unleash a killing machine in the form of a robotic alligator. It's completely invulnerable to the heroes' weapons, except for the eyes, which they carve out.
  • The most realistic examples may be the small attack "bugs" from Runaway, whose compact six-legged design was based on real state-of-the-art robotic prototypes of the time. Not as formidable-looking as others on this page, but their Zerg Rush tactics and acid-injectors make up for it.
  • The Droideka model of battle droid from Star Wars (the prequel trilogy) is this. These fun bots often give the Jedi a run for their money.

Live-Action TV

  • Not a straight example, but the Smoke Monster on Lost mixes mechanical noises (cranking, whirring) in with its biological noises (roaring, growling). Because it has no moving parts (being an amorphous cloud of black vapor), it is not clear where any of these noises are coming from. The most popular Fanon theory is that it generates these noises arbitrarily to frighten people.
    • Quite remarkable, considering that it was born before the machines that generate such noises were invented. It's more probable that the creators hadn't decided the monster's true nature when they thought up its properties, and added the machine noises for a combined Red Herring and unnerving effect.
      • It was, however, on the Island when such machines were used, so it would have been able to observe them.
  • If the smoke monster counts, then its grandfather Rover from The Prisoner deserves a mention too. It's a white floating plastic sphere, and acts as a security device for The Village, but it's also alive somehow; it roars and groans and has a mind of its own, even killing the wrong person once.

Tabletop Games

  • Whathammer 40000 has many. Many, many, many.
    • The Dark Eldar Talos from Warhammer 40,000 is a heavily armored floating mechanical scorpion acting as their version of a tank that grabs people off the battlefield and pulls them inside itself to slowly torture them to death, which powers its systems and weapons with their agony and souls. On the outside it has various torture implements acting as claws to restrain other victims, then torture and kill them to remove their souls. It also has a cannon in the shape of a tail that fires incredibly corrosive bio-acid.
    • The Necrons have the Tomb Stalker, a giant metal centipede with two guns that fire beams of energy that flay you molecule by molecule. If that wasn't enough, it can become incorporeal in order to pursue its targets directly through the labyrinthine halls of the Necron crypts it guards. It can also sense you coming from literal miles away.
  • Some of Magic: The Gathering's more impressive artifact creatures easily qualify as this rather than the standard Mecha-Mooks of dragon engines and myr.
    • The main villains of the series, the Phyrexians, have the purpose in life of turning all living things in existence into this, and are these themselves.
  • Well, in Dungeons & Dragons there are several "constructs" that fit this category, most notably the Hellfire Engine, a Giant Mecha made out of cold iron and powered by (as well as shooting) hellfire and the Anaxim, basically the twisted mechanical abortion produced by a god of the forge getting a little too crazy.
  • Warjacks in the Iron Kingdoms are large (seven to twelve feet tall) steam-powered robots used to protect and assist the setting's Not-So-Squishy Wizards.
  • In Mortasheen, the genocidal villain civilization of Wreathe has 9 of these called Celestial Engines, all of them named and themed after planets, as well as the model for all Wreathe's Mecha-Mooks.
  • Whenever you want to tell your players to go f*** themselves in your Gamma World game, you use the setting's mechanical equivalent to the Tarrasque the Death Machine


  • The Chain Chomps from the Super Mario Bros. games.
  • The alien Hunter from Crysis is this qualified with a Quadruped Terror. It's a house-sized Humongous Mecha with a decidedly inhuman design (looking more like a deep-sea crustacean), bristling with Freeze Rays and Wave Motion Guns. It also has several moving parts on its front, which seem to be there only because they look threatening. Also, it can roar.
  • The Banjo-Tooie boss Weldar is this trope, albeit in a very unconventional way. Namely, the fact that he is a giant killer welding torch who can electrify the floor.
  • The ROB line in Chrono Trigger could be a good example of these. Also, Lavos' core seemed very Mecha-esque.
  • Mega Man, being a robot-based series, has its share of these, mostly as Wily Fortress bosses, most notably The Yellow Devil and all the other Devil series robots.
  • Omega Weapon from the Final Fantasy franchise is often depicted as this. Other times he's a bio-mechanical monster.
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow has a giant robot scorpion Brain In a Jar built by Doctor Frankenstein.
  • The FuzzBomb from Agent USA used to be a normal television set, until an experiment Gone Horribly Wrong gave it malevolent sentience (with angry eyes!), and it's now trying to turn everyone in the entire United States into mindless, walking TV static.
  • Most players wouldn't know what the second boss (Aeshi Nero) of Metal Slug 2/X is when they first see it. It's a giant robotic cobra.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots: The Gekko are as much life-form as machine; they're about as smart as an animal, make appropriate sounds when they're in distress, and, of course, have organic legs. They also follow the basic use of the Mechanical Monster trope in that they are much more dangerous and intimidating than a simple robot would be.
  • Among the many Dwemer Animunculi you run into in The Elder Scrolls series, there is always at least one type of these. In Morrowind, you had Steam Centurions. In Skyrim there are Dwemer Centurions. These things are rare, difficult to kill and can end your quest in a few hits if you are careless. And as if that was bad enough, Skyrim also has the Dwemer Centurion Master. They are twice the size of their lesser brethren and naturally their armor and killing power are doubled.
  • The Frost Orca from Mini Robot Wars is a large, whale-submarine bot that spits out deadly ice balls, has a TON of health, is more tenacious than the regular mooks, and acts as a Boss in Mook Clothing. It also practices good dental hygiene.
  • Scarabs in the Halo series are controlled by the same Worm That Walks that composes the Hunters, and have an organic roaring sound.
  • The Harvester Spider Tanks in Quake 4 seem to be partially organic like the aforementioned Scarabs, by the sounds they make.
  • The Meka Dragon in the Wonder Boy series.
  • Descent 3 has the Homunculus, which looks like a mechanical version of the Rancor from Return of the Jedi.
  • The Mechon in Xenoblade are all walking machines of death and mayhem, but they couldn't be called monsters, at least not individually. Some of them are larger and have faces. The faced Mechon are the ones who could be called monsters but they aren't really machines.


Western Animation