The Goomba

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Don't you just want to pat the cute little guy on the head (with your feet)?

"It says right here: 'Goombas are underlings of underlings.' ...That is totally rude!"

A type of Video Game Character. This is that one enemy that will always be encountered in the first level (and usually, but not always, as the very first enemy in the game), has a simple movement pattern, and is reassuringly easy to beat. They are the meekest and mildest of Mooks, and are the very first entries in the Sorting Algorithm of Evil. Stomping or blasting one of these guys for the first time marks the moment where the person holding the controller really starts playing the game. Basically they're here to help you learn how to attack, and to spoon-feed you your first few EXP.

In old-school RPGs, this will usually have a Slime or Slime-like monster, although Goblins are not unheard of. See also Rat Stomp. Is usually victim to becoming an Underground Monkey. Oftentimes their lowly cannon-fodder status is subverted by making Underground Monkey versions be the rarest (and sometimes toughest) enemies in the game - see Metal Slime. Sometimes they are dangerous because of the sheer number of them. If being attacked by one takes one hitpoint, then being met by 100 poses a problem. If any monsters are recruitable, expect this to be the Joke Character, maybe the Lethal Joke Character.

Often serves as practice fodder leading up to the Warmup Boss. If they become numerous enough, they can also become Mascot Mooks. A Goomba-type enemy is often a Waddling Head. Compare Com Mons, Mooks. Contrast Demonic Spiders.

Watch out, because they might turn out to be Not So Harmless towards the end of the game. (see also Magikarp Power)

Note: the term "goombah" is still a live piece of offensive slang in the Northeast of the U.S.; use with caution around Italians stronger or meaner than you are (unless they are gamers, but especially if they're plumbers), or if you just plain don't want to be a jerk.

Examples of The Goomba include:

Action Adventure

  • Octoroks fulfill this function in many Zelda games. Chu Chus seem to have joined them, as of late.
  • Critters in Cave Story. They do get the Underground Monkey treatment and become progressively more dangerous the farther you get in the game.
  • When you first enter the Guidance Gate in La-Mulana, the skeleton is the first type of enemy that you encounter. Skeletons, like bats, occur throughout the ruins; they do become tougher in later levels. They take more than one hit to destroy without a certain item you can't obtain until fairly late in the game.
  • The Tower of Druaga has green slimes as the only type of enemy on the first floor. Namco X Capcom does a little Lampshade Hanging when they turn up at the start of the Tower of Druaga chapter.

Fighting Game

  • The basic Primids from the Subspace Emissary in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
    • And the original Goombas themselves!

First-Person Shooter

  • Any grunt-type soldier in a shooter game.
    • A particular example is Stormtroopers in most Star Wars games; in prequel-era games, Battle Droids typically fulfill the same role.
    • The alien species actually called grunts in Halo.
    • The Combine "civil protection" in Half-Life 2 though their power differs slightly depending on the gun they've got (either a 9mm pistol or 9mm sub machine gun). All of them, however, go down in two shots from the weakest gun in the game.
  • Zombies and imps in Doom.
  • Zombies from the first Half-Life 1. Their claws and bites hurt quite a bit, but they're very, very slow.
    • Headcrabs are more fitting: they're small, die in one hit from any weapon, do pathetic damage and are some of the first dangerous things you encounter in the game. They're also seriously terrifying.
  • The Class 1 Drone robot in Descent.
  • Beheaded rocketeers and Gnaars in Serious Sam I.
  • Rather subverted in Unreal. The first enemies you come across are the Brutes, tough hulking monstrosities with weapons that deal splash damage. Later in the game their inability to move quickly and dodge your fire make them die fairly quickly, but when you encounter them the first time you're armed with nothing but two peashooters and you have very little armor, and it's quite possible to get killed by them. The second enemy you encounter (the tentacle plant), however, definitely counts, as you can dodge its shots indefinitely and it goes down if you sneeze at it.
  • Scout bots in Team Fortress 2's Mann vs. Machines mode are a demonstration of why charging in the open as a Scout is a bad idea. They are a little challenging to hit with bullets due to their fast and erratic movements and small hitboxes but barely do any damage at medium to long range and get mowed down by sentry guns and explosives.

Maze Game

  • Wizard of Wor has every stage begin with Burwors, which don't move too fast and can't turn invisible.


  • Rats in most Western RPGs and MMORPGs.
    • Final Fantasy XI has a few different mobs you first encounter, all dependent on your starting nation; these would include bees, worms, bunnies... and walking onions.
    • World of Warcraft doesn't have rats as enemies, although kobolds are somewhat rat-like... but they only serve as The Goomba in the human starting zone, where they share the dubious honor with wolves and bandits. Some other starting zone enemies are a subversion as the essentially same type can be encountered again much later, such as the forest trolls in the blood elf zones that also inhabit the Zul'Aman raid instance.
  • City of Villains has the Snakes, which are naga-like humanoids. By level 10, you'll be thoroughly sick of fighting them, and won't see them again... until the late 40s, where one set of missions sends you back to the starting zone to fight Elder Snakes and their goddess, who are proportionately much tougher.
    • City of Heroes has the Hellions and Skulls- two street gangs, one a group of Satanists, the other a death cult. Both are explicitly at the bottom of the heap in both games.
    • But both games have the weakest enemies of all in the tutorials; heroes fight hooligans hopped up on what barely counts as Psycho Serum (but which turns out to be plot related) while villains practice their punches on prisoners and guards as they escape the Zig.
  • In Guild Wars, river skales fill this role in Prophecies, and mantids do the same in Factions.
  • Ace Online/Air Rivals starts you out by hunting completely mostly harmless giant bugs. It isn't until you bump into the I-Gear Early Types near the end of the starting mission set that a fairly competent opponent appears.
  • Circle MUD had the 'beastly fido', which almost all of it's inheritors kept.
  • Gnolls are the very first enemy you fight in the prologue of Vindictus. Your first mission, however, pits you against Wood Men, who attack much like the gnolls.
    • Another Nexon game, Maple Story has the Mushroom and its variations, and (to a lesser extent) Snails and Slimes.
  • EVE Online has this, if you're running Level 1 and 2 missions with a Destroyer. The enemy frigates you'll be shooting as part of these missions will go down pretty damn quick.

Platform Game

  • Of course, the Goombas of Super Mario Bros..
    • It was recently revealed that they were actually created at the end of the first game's development, because the other main recurring enemy, the Koopa Troopas, required a two-step process to defeat, and the developers wanted to give players something simpler to defeat. (Ironically, in some of the newer games, Koopa Troopas are even weaker than Goombas!) Even Satoru Iwata, the current Nintendo president, was shocked at the fact that one of the most iconic Mario enemies was created last.
    • Shy Guys in Super Mario Bros. 2 and Yoshi's Island (the actual Goombas show up later in Yoshi's Island, but are a bit tougher than normal).
    • In Super Mario World, Rex took the Goomba spot (though each Rex took two hits to defeat), sharing it with unshelled Koopa Troopas. The Goombas did not show up early in the game, and when they did, they looked completely different and didn't go down with one Goomba Stomp. The Japanese version of World gave these Goombas a slightly different name (Kuribon) than the standard ones (Kuribo), so perhaps those Goombas are a different species of Goombas. Some fans call them "Round Goombas".
    • Don't forget the first monsters in Wario Land, the Gooms, which are completely unable to even hurt you.
    • Shellcreepers from Mario Bros. were The Goombas before there were Goombas.
    • Each of the games in the Mario & Luigi series puts its own unique spin on the Goomba.
      • The first game, Superstar Saga, takes place in the Mushroom Kingdom's neighboring country, the Beanbean Kingdom, where everything is bean-themed instead of mushroom-themed. Their Goomba equivalent is the Beanie, a creature who looks like a bean with a face and two feet. Actual Goombas also appear in the game as training bosses. It should be noted that the actual weakest enemies in the game are Fighter Flies, who live on the border between the two kingdoms.
      • The second game, Partners in Time, takes place during an Alien Invasion. The weakest enemies in the game are alien Goombas called Shrooblets. Actual Goombas also appear later on, once again being tougher than normal.
      • The third game, Bowser's Inside Story, is a Fantastic Voyage through Bowser's body. The weakest enemies inside Bowser are single-celled Goombas called Goombules. The weakest enemies outside Bowser are Chuboombas, chubby Goombas who love candy. Actual Goombas also appear as Summon Magic.
  • Waddle Dees from Kirby. Broom Hatters, too.
  • Metools from Mega Man and its sequel series/BN universe spinoffs. Unique in that it's almost an Invincible Minor Minion. Sniper Joes from the classic games only may also count.
  • Zombies and/or skeletons in Castlevania.
    • Zombies are solidly this, and so are skeletons for most of the series, but in the very first game skeletons are more of a medium-threat enemy, first showing up in the third stage and requiring significantly more skill to kill or get around than most of what you've faced so far. They're common enough to be Goombas in the fifth stage, though.
  • Gnawties, Neeks, Sneeks and Awks in the Donkey Kong Country games. The Kritters/Klomps/Kobbles/Tiki Goons aren't much stronger (though Diddy's peanuts in the Co-Op Multiplayer can stun the Tiki Goons, while they just kill the Awks outright); they're the Koopa Troopas of the series.
    • Also, the first kremlings you fight in Donkey Kong 64, which are before the first level, as well as the beavers.
  • Yorps in Commander Keen Episode 1, which can't damage you themselves. The only way they can kill you is to push you into something dangerous. A similarly harmless enemy in Episode 2, the Scrubs, can actually be helpful as they can be ridden upon to access areas you otherwise couldn't. (they can climb up walls)
  • Motora/Motobug from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. The jump to 3D also gave us Blue Ma Djinns, EggPawns, Black Arms Soldiers, |Egg Gunners, Egg Fighters and Nightmares among others.
  • The Ghulibas in Eversion resemble Goombas at first; the file that contains their graphics is even called 'goomba'. In later stages the resemblance diminishes as they move faster and in X-8 after the 1.7.3 update, they regenerate after a short time.
  • Zoomers and Geemers in most Metroid games.
  • Snakes in Spelunky. Yes, stomping on them works just fine.
  • Regular Moos in the Klonoa series.
  • Yellow beetles in Bug!!. They're the first enemy Bug faces, are slow, have no special ability, and take one hit to die.
  • Cosmos Cosmic Adventure has small red enemies which just walk around and are defeated by a single stomp.
  • Owls in The Great Giana Sisters, which look almost identical to Goombas.
  • Athena has the green slime enemies that do nothing but wander back and forth.
  • Plodder, a common enemy in early levels of FHBG. Plodder looked far more like a Super Mario Bros. Goomba in the NES version, and it was redesigned in part because Let's Play videos showed people getting confused that they couldn't Goomba Stomp an enemy that had not been stunned.

Puzzle Game

  • Snakeys from the Adventures of Lolo trilogy are the only completely harmless foes that Lolo will face. They don't move, they don't shoot anything, and you won't die if you touch them.
  • Noggles in Kickle Cubicle move around quite slowly, and, unlike other enemies in the game, can be turned into ice cubes to push around.

Role-Playing Game

  • Slimes in Dragon Quest. God help you if you ran into a Babble before level 5, though.
  • Rattata and Pidgey from the Generation I (Kanto region) Pokémon games and their Game Boy Advance remakes.
    • Sentret and Hoothoot (Pidgey and Rattata also appear; Hoothoot is basically the nighttime counterpart to the diurnal Pidgey) from the Generation II (Johto) and their Nintendo DS remakes.
    • Poochyena and Zigzagoon from the Generation III (Hoenn).
    • Starly and Bidoof (Hoothoot also appears, still nocturnal, though with a smaller range than Starly) from Generation IV (Sinnoh).
      • Subverted as Starly eventually evolve into one of the stronger mons of the Gen. IV unlike most mons you can get at the start of the Pokémon games.
    • See also Com Mons. And Magikarp Power for that matter.
    • Most of these also qualify as Goddamned Bats. Oh yeah...Zubat.
  • The imp/goblin (depending on the translation you're using) is usually one of the first enemies you meet in a Final Fantasy game.
  • Runaway Dogs, Coil Snakes and Spiteful Crows in EarthBound.
  • Multiple examples throughout the Kingdom Hearts series:
    • In the original and following games, Shadows are the weakest Heartless.
      • Their powered up counterparts are the Neo-shadows, which are bigger and tougher.
    • The Nobody equivalent in Kingdom Hearts II is the Dusk.
    • The Unversed version of this in Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep is called a Flood. It feeds off irritation.
  • Rabites in the World of Mana series.
  • The Goombas of Wizardry VII: Crusaders of the Dark Savant consist mainly of slimes, birds, bugs, and plant-like creatures called phoots. Somewhat subverted in that later variants of these enemies range from annoying (spectral ravens) to incredibly dangerous even to advanced parties (shadow crusts, fire crows, bear weevils, mantraphoots).
  • Both Icewind Dale games tend to pit you against goblins as the first enemies that you have to fight. Of course, if your party is only level one at that moment, they are actually a fair match.
    • Baldur's Gate on the other hand, faced you off against diseased gibberlings (easy) and Wolves (much tougher).
  • Mudcrabs in The Elder Scrolls games.
    • Also (giant) rats, especially in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
    • The rat is the first enemy if you are starting in a dungeon. In Morrowind, it depends on were you go first.
  • Very Very Empties are the weakest enemies in Eternal Sonata... as long as they don't duck into any shadows. As such, your encounters with them en route to Tenuto are in combat fields without shadows. Indeed, the first encounter is a very basic combat tutorial.
  • Both Fable I and Fable II use beetles. Both times they are also used in the "tutorial" (Guild Woods and the warehouse/Tomb)
  • Radroaches in Fallout 3.
  • Bandits in Fire Emblem. They're unusual in that they have plenty of HP and are able to inflict quite a bit of damage with each blow, but the axes they use are heavy and inaccurate, and most of your starting army can wield light and accurate swords. Later games gave swords the advantage in the weapon triangle, favoring the player even more.
  • Any and all "soldier" type enemies in Final Fantasy games, with the notable exception of the Imperial Troops in Final Fantasy II.
  • The Maya type enemies in Persona 3. Most have several elemental weaknesses, low hit points and stats, useless skills and generally die in one or two hits.
  • Navy Jr. in Dubloon. First time you meet them while raiding Navi's ship, they are a little tougher than usual but pose no bigger challenge. By the time you meet them later in Navy HQ, they are so weak critical hits done to them with physical attacks will probably approach 1000.
  • The green slimes of Shining in the Darkness.
  • Eye Goo in Breath of Fire 3. Just beware of the Goo King...
  • Every act of Diablo 2 had one set of these buggers: The Fallen in act 1, the Mummies in act 2, the Pygmies in act 3, Oblivion Knights in act 4 (not particularly weak, but they still fit the pattern, in the context of act 4), and the Minions (the short, hunchback pig-men with spikes on their backs) in act 5.
  • Slimes in Hydlide.
  • Insectors in SD Snatcher.
  • Dark Souls has the Hollow Warriors in the Undead Burg. Easy to fight with their predictable movesets and large openings, they are nonetheless dangerous in groups.

Shoot Em Up

  • The enemy choppers in Twin Cobra and Twin Cobra II.
  • Hominov Prop Planes in Heavy Weapon. These things take one hit to explode, but unlike another Mook that also dies in one hit, this thing has no weaponry at all.

Simulation Game

  • Whirlms from Viva Pinata are not enemies, but stupidly easy to tame.

Tabletop Games

  • Many Dungeons & Dragons DMs use goblins or kobolds as the PCs' very first enemies. That said, if the DM uses their abilities—sneaking and trapmaking, respectively—to their fullest (which few do), they can be very challenging indeed.
    • On the topic of kobolds, Crossfire RPG runs with most old D&D and classic MUDs' features. It has large insects, especially ants as the practice monster. There's also standard kobold, the weakest of goblin types -- they're easier to kill than ants. And then there's the 'unusual kobold' filling the role of the "superpowered Metal Slime Underground Monkey" subversion, with some ten thousand hit points and complete immunity to physical damage. They don't actually show up anywhere in the default mapset, however.
    • Thus answering Lil Wayne's question, "What's a Goomba to a Goblin?"


  • Winston "The Rookie Killer" Payne fills this role in the Ace Attorney series, getting soundly trounced in each game's first case. He gets more pathetic with every game. His hair also gets sillier with each passing game.
  • The White Mouse from Mousehunt, being one of the weakest mice and also one of the first mice that you can catch. It also serves as the Mascot Mook, and has an Underground Monkey variant of it (the stronger Mutated White mouse).

Non-video game examples

Web Comics

Anime and Manga

  • Zaku and its clones in Mobile Suit Gundam multi-verse. Ramba Rai's infamous "No Zaku" is showing that the story's has moved pass the basic level for Amuro.