Created By: WanderFrost on February 4, 2012 Last Edited By: troacctid on February 12, 2012

Thwomp-like enemy

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Page Type:
Trope
A type of Video Game Character, enemies who are thwomps-in-all-but-name are common in gaming, particularly 2d platformers. Typically thwomp-like enemies wait near the top of the ceiling until you get close, then drop down to crush you, followed by returning back up to the ceiling. Because of their predictable movement pattern these enemies are often easy to avoid. Normally thwomp-like enemies are invincible and act more like a part of the dungeon itself rather than as an enemy. A subtrope of Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom.


Examples:

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  • Cave Story has large block-like enemies called "Press", which are slightly unusual in that they remain stationary after dropping; however, if they hit the player, it's always instant death. Near the end of the game there are also some which are placed sideways (to act as a Broken Bridge to the Very Definitely Final Dungeon). Some varieties of Critter also show similar behaviour; in a variation, they fly around rather than remaining stationary.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracles of Ages features actual Thwomps (continuing a tradition of the gameboy Zelda games featuring cameos from Super Mario enemies) and a King Thwomp as a boss.
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Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • February 4, 2012
    Bisected8
  • February 4, 2012
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    A word of caution: readers not familiar with the term "thwomp" (which is not a common english word) may have no idea what you are talking about. I'd reccommend either reconsidering the name or first explaining what a thwomp is and why it's called that.
  • February 4, 2012
    WanderFrost
    Thanks, I suppose also the spelling of 'thwomp' might throw off some people who wouldn't think it would be spelled that way. I think a picture of a thwomp or even better an animated gif with a caption would work best to explain what a thwomp is to people unfamiliar with them.
  • February 4, 2012
    NESBoy
    WanderFrost: "or even better an animated gif"

    There's a slight problem with that -- if you read the text on the Image Uploader page, it says, "No animated images, please."
  • February 4, 2012
    Stratadrake
    You don't need an animation, just motion lines. This is a start: [1]

    BTW, definitely related to the Wall Master, in the sense that they generally don't do anything (and in some cases may even be hidden) until you approach.
  • February 5, 2012
    Octagon8
    Currently Smashing Hallway Traps Of Doom seems to cover these.
  • February 6, 2012
    Eric119
  • February 6, 2012
    Chabal2
    • Urban Legend: Drop bears in Australia.
    • Real Life: apparently wolverines can kill caribou by waiting in a tree and jumping when the caribou is right under, breaking its back.
  • February 6, 2012
    Stratadrake
  • February 6, 2012
    Bisected8
    No Real Life Examples isn't a blanket ban, Stratadrake. It only applies to tropes that need it (as the very first sentence of the page in question says).

    Unless you meant that this should be a NRLE trope, and I can't really see why...
  • February 6, 2012
    Nin3DS
    Wario Land 1 features Pouncers, which are Thwomp like creatures that look much like Thwomps bar not having spikes on their head. They can also be used as moving platforms in some levels.
  • February 6, 2012
    Bisected8
    Also, for a name what about Stalactite Mook (or maybe Stalac Mook if you want to be punny about it) or Trap Mook?

    • Cave Story has large block-like enemies called "Press" which are slightly different in that they remain stationary after dropping, however if they hit the player it's always instant death, near the end of the game there are also some which are placed sideways (to act as a Broken Bridge to the Very Definitely Final Dungeon). Some varieties of Critter also show similar behaviour, however they fly around rather than remain stationary.
  • February 7, 2012
    Octagon8
    • An Untitled Story has Crushers, which behave almost exactly like thwomps. There are some different versions dealing varying amounts of damage, and a special type that, unlike the other types, cannot be Goomba Stomped.
    I second Stalactite Mook, though stalactites only behave like this in video games.

    Before it's launched, someone should check Smashing Hallway Traps Of Doom for examples of this subtrope.
  • February 12, 2012
    TBeholder
    Am i only one here who wants to ask what the thwomp is a thwomp?
  • February 12, 2012
    spudwalt
    ^ Thwomps are enemies from the Mario games. They're the large, blocky things that drop from the ceiling as you walk by them.

    So, yeah, we should probably get a new name for this.
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