The Faker Invader [Dark Souls 2]
We’re cheating here, but Maldron The Assassin is one of the strangest enemies to ever appear in a video game — and technically, he appears twice. Maldron is a special Red Invader, an AI-controlled named character that is scripted to appear once in a Dark Souls game. This guy spawns at least twice; once in Brume Tower, and once in the frozen city of Eleum Loyce. If you play either of the two DLC areas, you’re going to run into this guy. But there’s a reason you might not even know what’s happening when you encounter him.
Maldron The Assassin is a special red invader that uses a unique item called a Silver Talisman. This infamous item is well-known to multiplayer fans of DS2 — using it transforms you into an in-game object to blend in with the environment. You can turn into a vase, for example. Maldron uses it to full effect, hiding and waiting for the player to turn away. When you do, he’ll backstab you for an instant kill. Revealing and fighting Maldron isn’t good enough either — he’ll retreat and hide somewhere else. For being one of the most obnoxious enemies in any game ever, he gets a spot on this list.
Zombie Goombas [Dying Light]
One of the strangest Easter eggs in any game is the Mario homage in Dying Light. Built with in-game assets to mirror the side-scrolling first level of Super Mario Bros., you’ll parkour through a first-person version that’s still completely flat. It’s absurd, but it’s the enemies that are truly terrifying.
The level is populated by zombie goombas — tiny little zombies with brown mushroom-shaped hats. These super-deformed enemies are some of the weirdest creations we’ve ever seen. These are the creations of a developer let loose from all sense of reason or propriety. They’re hilarious in a kind of ‘first game project’ kind of way, and thrown together so haphazardly, we can’t help but smile. This is all intentionally weird, but did the world really need these terrifyingly deformed simulacra of famous Mario monsters?
The answer is yes.
Coming up with a list of secret enemies actually turned out to be a lot harder than I originally anticipated. Secret enemies are pretty rare in video games — especially secret enemies that you have to work to find. One area we didn’t really explore is JRPGs. There are a ton we missed from JRPGs, so maybe we’ll have to return to this topic again in the future.