"We live. We serve you. We fight. We die. This is what we are, sire, and what we will always be."
The Minions are a malevolent and warlike race of cave-dwelling barbarians and bloodthirsty killers, delighting in committing evil for its own sake as well as for pleasing their master. The term "Minions" is a common collective description used by many civilised races of the World to allude to their state of voluntary servitude to the Overlords. Minions are goblinoid creatures divided up between four distinct sub-species that are fairly unique in their culture and physiology and that cover different roles within their overly-cruel society.
For instance, the Brown Minions are the most numerous sub-grouping of the Minion race, as well as the most violent, warlike and physically tough. The demonic Red minions are a sub-species of fire-casting lava-loving pyromaniacs specialized in ranged combat but extremely weak in close quarters combat. The reptilian Green Minions are a sneaky and chameleonic sub-species of minions specialized in the deadly arts of stealth, murder, poison and assassination. Finally, the amphibian Blue Minions are the healers, shamans and magic-casters of Minion society, as well as the only minion sub-species capable to swim.
The Minions are generally dim-witted but extremely loyal to the Overlord, to the point that they would die for him without a second thought (and more than once if resurrected), since Gnarl mentions that they have tiny brains and they are very 'honest'. They have a magical connection to the Overlord's gauntlet, which is used to command them. They like to jump on sheep while hitting them on the head. Their true origin is unknown, although it is rumoured that they originally came from the Netherworld.
Depending on their race, the Minions can vary greatly in strength and habits, but all of them are universally small, scrawny, nimble, and evil-minded. They are generally half the height of an adult human, but physically strong and tough. Their body posture is often hunched, a trait that was developed from the cramped conditions of their subterranean homes. The skin of a Minion is thick, naturally thicker than a normal human, and its scaly surface is often littered with a variety of scars and scabs. They also possess crooked shark-like teeth, yellow glowing eyes, overgrown claws, bat-like ears and, in the case of the Reds, Greens and Blues, a short tail whose shape varies according to the sub-species.
Minions are born from Lifeforce (which comes from any killed living thing).
The Minion race is split up into four types called Tribes.
- "Browns are toughest of all the Minions. They're never ones to shy away from a fight. In fact, it's quite difficult to get them to stop! Such is their dedication to the fight that Browns can also use many different objects as weapons."
- — Gnarl.
Browns are the basic minions that you start out with and are subsequently the most versatile of all the minions. Brown minions are born fighters and will gather Minion Equipment that will help them in battle (such as swords and armour) as well as things that have no relevance in battle (like pumpkins to wear as hats or Melvin Underbelly's crown.) They can sustain the most damage and can hold their own in a fight. They can not go through water, fire, or toxic gas however, so whilst it is important to always have some with you, it is generally a good idea to have some of the other minion tribes with you as well. Also they, unlike the other minion tribes, do not have tails.
In Overlord 1 they were able to, just like the Greens, jump on enemies if they attack them from behind. This renders them immune to attacks from that enemy, until they were shaken off or called back. However, in Overlord II they seem to have lost this ability.
As of Overlord 2, they wear a piece of fur around the shoulders and exchanged their pants with fur loincloths held by a studded belt. Possibly because they spent a long time searching for the Fourth Overlord making them wear fur to stay warm.
- "Reds aren't particularly hardy, so you mustn't let enemies get too close to them, Sire. But use them in a horde, and that's a different story — a story full of flames and burning and screaming! Ahhh, it's good to have them back, maybe I can get a hot meal now!"
- — Gnarl.
Reds are weaker and less equipable (they still do take equipment for themselves though) than their brown cousins. They have a ranged attack that can be very effective if used correctly. While this minion clan does not boast a large health pool, they possess the invaluable ability to be immune to fire and absorb flames. If paired with stronger minions, like browns, the reds will provide fire support to their fellow minions. They are best used on humans, halflings, Ruborian Raiders and any other creature that fears fire. If enough reds target an enemy, the enemy can catch on fire and take periodic fire damage that lasts until the flames wear out or the target dies.
Note: The Reds grow longer horns and tails when they collect equipment and will gain spikes on their tails.
Reds can be upgraded by Velvet for 5000 gold. In Overlord II, Reds acquire salamanders as mounts. Described as walking flame throwers, they are also able to roll into a ball when being swept. They call the salamanders "Good Flamey."
- "Greens can do a great deal of damage if you attach them to an enemy's back. They aren't terribly hygienic I'm afraid. But they are good at sneaking up on things. Use them to guard an area, and they're practically invisible. As long as the enemies don't notice the smell!"
- — Gnarl.
Greens are slightly stronger than reds and are valued for their stealthiness, being invisible if still, their ability to pass through poison gas and absorb poison clouds, and their immunity to poison attacks, but they have poor hygiene as they have a foul smell of rotting flesh. They turn invisible to your enemies if posted at a guard marker, causing enemies to walk by without noticing them, until given the order to attack or when the enemy comes too close, which then the Greens attack automatically by jumping onto their backs if possible. Greens can do more damage than browns but only if you can attach them to your opponents back (works best on large enemies) in Ovelord 2 they have lost their automatic backstab attach (unless posted at a guard marker), requiring you to manually target the back of said enemy. They are also very quick as Gnarl commented on the fact the greens got distracted in the Minion Exodus, "We blinked and they were gone."
By gathering equipment, greens grow longer fangs and tail spikes.
Greens can be upgraded by Velvet for 5000 gold. In Overlord II, Greens acquire spiders ( they call them "Good Spidey") as mounts that are able to climb webbed walls and attach to the enemy's back, as normal greens can, but doing extra damage.
- "The Blue Minions' minds appear to be on a different plane of existence half the time. When they do decide to join us on this one, their healing and magical-damage skills can be most useful. They can resurrect fallen Minions during battle, but Blues are quite fragile, so position them carefully."
- — Gnarl.
These are the weakest of the Overlord's minions. However, they are the only Tribe that is able to swim where all other minions would drown ("in rather amusing ways", according to Gnarl). They can also revive dead minions (as long as they are in one piece). These are the only minions that will not attack an enemy without your order, but they also have the advantage of magic attacks allowing them to attack ethereal enemies, like wisps and ghosts. They can "auto-resurrect" if placed on a guard marker near the place of their fellow minion's death. However, they are unable to truly attack enemies with a large health pool such as Empire Soldiers and Gargantuans.
By gathering equipment, blues grow additional fins on their heads.
Blues can be upgraded by Rose for 5000 gold. Blues do not gain access to mounts in Overlord II, but they gain the ability to 'blink', which allows them to be swept past and even through enemies unharmed. They are also the only minions that can get through the magical ooze that is found throughout the Wasteland, or that has been produced from The Devourer. Their new ability most likely stems from the fact that they had been affected slightly by the cataclysm as a whole, while lingering around still in the towerlands because "they felt lost without an overlord" and then they were captured by the glorious empire for torture entertainment this could've given them immunity to magic poisoning and overall more magical properties.
Your horde is the group of minions that are currently with you. Your maximum horde size may be small and meagre when you start off, but it will increase in size with the acquisition of certain objects (or minion-imbued helmets).
Minions in Overlord will readily sacrifice themselves for their Overlord, such as in Mana Pits or Blood Pits to recover Health\Mana, or imbuing your weapons by forging to get weapons more powerful. When they sacrifice themselves, they do so in order of reverse-power, the ones with less equipment (the weaker ones), sacrifice themselves first.
There are several ways to control the behaviour of your minions.
- Send (left mouse button/R2/RT) — They will run in that direction and try to guess what you might have wanted them to do. E.g. pick up something or attack a creature.
- Recall (right mouse button/O button/B button) — Minions sent out on a task need to be recalled to prevent them from getting hurt, e.g. from a powerful enemy or some mischievous ambush. Call back one or hold the button to recall all minions(note: if you want to call back minions on a specific marker target the marker then hold the recall button until the first horn is heard but not the second).
- Sweep (left+right mouse button/ Right stick) — Actively control the movement of the horde, or the selected Tribe, useful to quickly overwhelm an enemy.
- Guard Marker (Q-key/Triangle button/Y button) — Lets you group the currently active minions, locking them to a certain position. Reds go into fireball attack mode on a Guard Marker, Greens cloak, Blues auto-resurrect, and Browns just sit there until an enemy reaches them. The Guard Marker allows for quite interesting tactical options, e.g. place Reds higher up (death from above), use Greens to attack any enemies walking nearby, keep the browns close to the frontal attacking and blues to resurrect fallen minions.
In Overlord II, all minions have names, sometimes multiple minions have the same one.
- Main Article: List of Minion Names
All Minions can pick up and equip a large number of items (however only Brown's Equipment will correspond to the equipment the pick-up. All other minions will receive a unique type of equipment for their respective tribes such as 3 mounted blades, skulls, and earrings for greens, a leather gauntlet and various pieces of armour for reds, and bone armour with potions for blues), doing so increases their power. A newly born minion starts off at 100% power, unless the Overlord has upgraded them which gives them a higher percentage from spawn till death.
- Main Article: Minion Equipment
Minions (except blues) will become mutated if they catch the magical plague by walking through magical ooze in The Wastelands in Overlord II. When mutated, they grow in size and aggression and will attack their former Overlord and fellow minions. The only solution is killing them, after which they will drop a single life force of their own colour. Dead mutants will not appear in the Graveyard for resurrection. The Overlord takes damage when he walks through the magical ooze.
There are a group of mutated minions guarding a spell catalyst in some ruins in the Wastelands, presumably, these plagued minions are those who were left behind to guard the Dark Tower and have survived since the Great Cataclysm.
Cutified Minions are one of the many victims of The Golden, turned from evil and demonic creatures into fluffy, overly "cute" beings who want nothing more than to share hugs and love with everyone they see.
Unlike the previous game magical sludge, no Minion is immune to Golden. As soon as they are hit, they are irrevocably transformed and only death can deliver them from their fate. Unlike other minions, Gnarl was able to retain his lucidity when cutified and may finally become himself.
In concept art, the Cutified Minions had unique models for each minion breed. However, in the game there is only one model that is used for all the Minions who get too close to The Golden.
When the Second Overlord returned to retake his place as the Overlord from the Third Overlord. The Second Overlord's minions were different to the Third Overlord's minions, in appearance, fighting style, and voices. The Second Overlord's minions had markings on their bodies, that pertained to the same colour as their breed. They did not need to be next to their master to fight, and were more savage and less organized than the Third Overlord's minions. They also did not have the need for burrow holes to be spawned from, they would instead burrow out of the ground and readily attack whatever was closest. After the Second Overlord's defeat, they returned to their normal, loyal selves. Whether these minions were created by the Second Overlord or were minions changed by him is unknown. Second Overlord´s Blue Minions were not in campaign but they are in Multiplayer.
- "Greens smell! Greens smell! Poooooo!" — Other minions first encounter the Greens again in Evernight Forest.
- "Blues, swim like fishes!" — Other minions commenting on their still missing blue companions.
- "Sheepies...sheepies! Oh, where sheepies?!?" — Minions asking the Mumblers at Heaven's Peak.
- "Bad sheepie!" — Compromising situation for a sheep with the Order of Red Dawn, at Heaven's Peak.
- "Naughty, Naughty! Those are minion's sheepies!"—Confronting a farmer during the attack on Spree.
- "New sheepies!" — Meeting black sheep in Ruborian Desert.
- "Hehehe, bye bye sheepies!" — If you catapult the sheep in the field in the Empire Harbour.
- "Show magic, master!" —Minions demanding magic.
- There are no female minions, however, females are not needed due to them being made from Lifeforce and with the Hives.
- One of the helmet of the Browns, the "Heavy Steel Helmet" who can not be obtained on an enemy, resemble a helm of Goblin of Moria in The Fellowship of the Ring book adaptation by the film director Peter Jackson.
- They are loosely based on the four elements Browns- Earth, Red- Fire, Green- Wind and Blue- Water.
- The fact that minions are from the Netherworld is supported by the fact that if a minion dies, they appear in the graveyard.
- In the Netherworld Tower and conquered towns, there are Brown minion guards that are larger than the average minion. This is possibly because they are needed to guard key areas, so are spawned bigger to defend the areas that the Overlord visits often.
- The design of the green minions might be a reference to the alien hunters called predators from the predator franchise. They both can go invisible and have hand mounted blades.
- The blue minions seem to have been loyal only to the third overlord during the minion civil war, and as such, have no "corrupted" variant in the main story, although they can be seen in certain co-op maps in the original game.
- It was originally planned to give the blue minions dolphins or large fish as mounts, but this idea was scrapped during the development.
- The minions bear a resemblance to the Darklings from The Darkness comics
They are voiced by Marc Silk and Stephen Critchlow.