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An enemy target or victim in a video game sought out by the player because they are (relatively) easy to kill and have a very high payout.

Related to the Metal Slime, in that they are often elusive to find, but without the Slimes' annoying tendency to end its battle without getting killed in the process. To a certain extent, the opposite of Goddamned Bats; you want to see these guys. Differs from Money Spider, in that they seem to be in the game specifically to be killed for loot.

Some examples of Chest Monster are also these, dropping their "contents" upon death.

Examples of Pinata Enemy include:

  • Most of the Dragon Quest series has golems made of solid gold which dispense a college fund on death.
  • The gold golem in Nethack, similar to the ones in the previous entry..
  • Various types of creeping coins in Angband and Wizardry.
  • The Rikti portals spawned by Communications Officers in City of Heroes are like this; they're inanimate objects with no attacks that give large amounts of XP and influence (the game's money) when defeated. The drawback is, naturally, that they spew out enemies while you're beating on them.
    • They've changed this--now, it's, the Communications Officers themselves who give the huge payout. And it's possible with the right powers to drop them before they can summon their portals.
    • Trying to keep players using the mission-designing system from stocking "farm" missions entirely with Pinata Enemies is an ongoing struggle for the developers.
  • The "Entrees" gang in the River City Ransom remake.
    • In the original, the second encounter with Benny and Clyde. They keep respawning, give out a lot of money, and by that point in the game you can easily build up enough stat gain to defeat them in a couple of blows every time.
  • In the Super Mario Bros. games, particularly the 3-D ones, the Moneybags monster will drop a lot of coins, 1-ups, or Star Bits depending on the game.
  • Werebats in Phantasy Star. They give out a lot of gold and experience near the beginning of the game, and are relatively weak for their rewards.
  • ChuChus in The Legend of Zelda drop delicious Chu Jelly, especially the rare ones on Twilight Princess, which either act as super potion or can be sold for an enormous amount.
    • Going back to the first Zelda game, players quickly learned that the best place to go for lots of rupees was the Tektite canyon two screens right of the origin.
  • In Ocarina of Time, Wallmasters leave you a crazy amount of rupees. However, whether or not it's worth it is debatable: if they catch you, it's back to the temple entrance for you, and OOT is the poster child for Money for Nothing.
  • In the Final Fantasy games, the Mover enemies usually give absolutely ridiculous amounts of both money and experience, being a rare and powerful monster usually stalking the final dungeon, so that the player can have quick and fairly easy access to power and resources at or after the endgame.
    • Depending on the game, though, Movers can be very difficult (Crisis Core is the worst with this). Cactuars sometimes fit the trope, though, since they often give a ton of cash and ability points, and can usually be dispatched fairly easily as long as you have the right skills.
    • Mimics in the Bonus Dungeon of Final Fantasy X are worth the danger (you can't escape from a battle with one) because they drop 50,000 Gil - or twice that with the right weapon ability equipped.
  • The Paper Mario series has the Amayzee Dayzees, who are shiny gold and rarely appear instead of the regular white Crayzee Dayzees. Killing them either gets you a lot of coins and a lot of Star Points, and they tend to run from battle almost immediately.
    • They are deadly when encountered early, however. Normal Dayzees hit you for 2 points of damage, 7 HP themselves and have a chance of putting you to sleep; while Amayzee Dayzees hit your for 20 HP, have 20 HP themselves (as well as 1 defense, reducing your damage output), and can still put you to sleep. Two or three hits and you will be dead. The good news is, they're much more likely to just run away from you immediately, but when they don't...
    • You can just use Power Bounce, combined with attack power amplifier badges to heavily nerf their health, and let your ally finish it off.
      • Except, of course, that you can encounter them while you have no partners. If you're not good at powerbouncing, or don't have enough attack, and the Dayzee decides to attack and put you to sleep...well, you're just dead, unless it flees.
  • The rare Ring Box enemy from zOMG! drops several rings when defeated. You just need to catch it's attention first.
    • Duneslam may also count as this, since people farm him intensively for orbs and rings.
  • To some extent, the Countess in Diablo II may qualify for this. The first time you kill her, her spirit (in gaseous form) floats into a chest in the middle of the room, which pops open and dumps out several dozen piles of gold.
    • With the most recent patch, even in subsequent battles, on higher difficulties she has a better chance of dropping runes than most enemies, and probably the best chance proportional to the amount of effort needed to find and kill her. In addition to being useful in their own right, runes have also become the standard trade commodity of the community.
  • Despite being more powerful than the average enemy, the Dragon in the Temple of Earth from Tales of Symphonia qualifies because it's still relatively easy to defeat (maybe not on your initial trip, but definitely gets to that point long before the end of the game) and has an insane payoff, made even more insane when you get an item that effectively doubles the monetary output from battles. And there's a sidequest that requires the donation of copious amounts of money. Guess which enemy you'll be facing repeatedly?
  • Luigi's Mansion had specific blue pallette swaps of the standard ghost who only appears in set places once, never to return whether caught or not. Of course these dispense mucho moolah.
    • There are also Golden Mice, which appear only in certain areas and give off tons of money, as well as being instantly vacuumed up with one suction.
  • Not money perse, but the Nutkins in Final Fantasy V, are easy creatures to fight, being found in the woods just outside the first temple (second dungeon). What makes them valuable is if you fight three of them at once, they dispense 2 ABP instead of the 1 that most fights in the first half of the game grant. Given their extreme ease to defeat and high appearance rate (nearly 50% of encounters in these woods will be against 3 Nutkin) it's pretty much the best place to power up your classes for a long time.
    • The best place to train in Final Fantasy V, however, is undoubtedly the Ship Graveyard. Go back after you've cleared Lv.14 or so, and you can basically OHKO all enemies. The battles give 1-3 ABP each. REALLY easy place to level up jobs.
  • Fobbies in Earthbound. They're extremely weak, their attacks almost always backfire, and they're worth a buttload of experience points. You can even use PSI Magnet Omega to get a lot of PP from them.
    • Fobbies are good but the Criminal Caterpillar in the Dusty Dunes Desert and the Mastermind Criminal Worm in Scaraba give out ridiculous amounts of EXP. They're a pain if you actually have to fight them but late game they run from you and if you sneak up behind them, you may not even have to fight them at all to get the EXP.
  • Beefy bodyguard bats in the early game of Kingdom of Loathing. Normally you only get to kill a few before you run into the Boss Bat and close that area, but there are ways around this...
  • The original Mega Man X has a cameo from a classic series enemy...which is pretty much an instant one-up. And it respawns the moment you walk off the screen!
  • Secret of Mana has Embermen. They appear only in the Palace of Darkness and a very select few other screens, but they give in the thousands of experience per kill...and, oh yeah, they're Mook Makers. You take it from there.
  • There's also the Pig Noise from The World Ends With You. These Noise provide treasure every single time you kill them, but they will run unless you use the right Pin to kill them. This is made much easier because, for some reason, they have no magic resistence to your partner's attacks.
  • The Golden GUN units in Sonic Adventure 2 teleport in at specific locations if you get close, and then teleport away if you don't kill them in time. They are worth 1,000 points, so you might want to consider memorizing their locations if you want to get those A ranks.
  • Maple Story has the Leprechaun, whose name alone should be a no brainer. What makes these guys interesting is that they don't attack, they don't move, they drop stuff twice before dying, they're fairly easy to kill at around Lv. 50 or so, and most of the time they spawn so close together that you can kill one while waiting for another to spawn. One could theoretically camp here and make a million mesos in about an hour, except that most of the maps they spawn on also spawn a type of ghost monster that's significantly less impressive (often taking away a Leprechaun's spawn); save for one which can randomly spawn the Headless Horseman.
  • Super Mario Galaxy has invisible enemies, called Starbags, which are full of star bits. you can follow their footprints to find them, and when you stun them they even look like money bags with legs.
  • Pindleskin in Diablo 2 was not intended to be this, if a recent patch is any indication, but before then it could drop the most powerful items in the game.
  • Certain raid bosses in World of Warcraft have been specifically referred to as "loot piñatas" due to the ease of killing them compared to the amount of gold/loot they drop. Onyxia in particular acquired this reputation, as she was possible to solo as early as level 70 and dropped a comparably large amount of gold for the effort. Her reboot as a level 80 boss made this slightly harder. Grobbulus from the original Naxxramas was also widely considered "free loot" after the Beef Gate Patchwerk encounter.
  • Parodied in The Bard's Tale where you kill a common wolf and it spews forth all sorts of goodies followed by a brief dialogue between the bard and the narrator.
  • In Time Crisis, some harmless "bonus enemies" will pop up from time to time. Shooting one will yield a timer bonus. In Time Crisis II, shooting a bonus enemy yields 5,000 points.
    • In Time Crisis III and IV, they give you ammo for your special weapons instead. However, since then they are capable of actually hurting you.
  • Not even Pokémon can evade having one of these. Whenever you see a bush shaking anywhere in Unova, it usually means an Audino got lost and is ripe for the pummeling. They give disproportionately large amounts of EXP compared to the rest of the local fauna - but unlike Chansey, you'll need to hammer on this one for a while unless you're packing a Fighter.
    • Even lampshaded by an NPC near the first area you can encounter them in. They effectively tell you straight up that Audino is an EXP cow. Victini is also another case of this...for those who got the Liberty Pass, anyway.
    • Rich Boys, Ladies, and the like give you tons of cash after beating them. In R/S/E, there's a Rich Boy on the third route of the game that gives you $1400 after beating him, 10 times the amount most trainers at that point are giving out. They're also usually pretty weak trainers overall.
      • A natural extension of this can be found in the post-game in Undella Town, where you fight The Riches, a whole family of comically-weak-to-pretty-hard trainers that you fight gauntlet style, with a new family member showing up every day till there are six. It can be pretty hard later on, but each member of the family gives you over twelve thousand cash each.
  • Numemon is this is Digimon World 3. They take a lot to kill, but are otherwise weak, and pack a ton of experience. The Numemon in the Asuka Jungle Shrine pack as much experience as some of the late Amaterasu Mooks. The ones in the Amaterasu Jungle Shrine pack more experience than any other Mook in the game.
  • The Board Game Arkham Horror has the Mi-go, a fairly weak enemy that gives you a unique item when killed.
  • Golden Sun Dark Dawn has the standard mooks of the last stage, the Tua Soldiers. While they have decent attacks and will heal themselves, they are worth a truckload of experience and they'll always drop the Water of Life, a much-valued reviving item. To further sweeten the deal, they are completely outside the game's Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors system in that they're weak to all the elements. This means that Djinni kills--which give you an additional 50% of the experience if you finish off your enemy with a Djinni of the element that it's weak against--are ridiculously easy to achieve. A standard group of three is worth almost the same amount of experience as some of the weaker bosses if killed in this way, and it's easy to level up your party by five or six levels in thirty minutes.
  • Dark Souls has the Forest Hunters and Darkmoon soldiers, quick sources of souls, and a respawning Titanite demon, which drops the otherwise limited in number Demon Titanite, used to upgrade powerful boss weapons.
  • In X Men Legends 2, you get Limit Break powers called Xtreme once you fill up your Xtreme meter, but you probably have to do a second playthrough to get your secondary ones. Gambit's secondary Xtreme is called Prince of Thieves, and Toad's is called Plunder. These increase the health, energy, and techbits (often Money for Nothing, but they can buy some useful items) left behind by Mook enemies to a great degree, turning all your enemies into this.
  • The flying cats in Keith Courage in Alpha Zones are the best resource for money grinding.
  • Some enemies in Bubble Tanks 2 are like this- they don't attack and drop a lot of bubbles. They usually tend to appear in an adjacent bubble if the player took too much damage (where taking damage meant losing experience points).
  • Drug dealers in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. Each drops around $2000 (and pistol ammo) when killed, generally spawn alone, and after an early mission are extremely common, making them a valuable source of income early in the game.
  • The Zombie Island of Doctor Ned in Borderlands has Corpse Eaters, airborne enemies that are numerous, very easy to kill with minimal threat, and provide an absurd amount of experience for their challenge, making them excellent to level up weapon profiencies on.