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Spikes of Doom

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There's getting your point across, and then...
"It's a spike pit! And if you're even slightly off side... FATALITY"

The funny thing about spikes is that they're surprisingly plentiful. But where do you expect to find them?

On the floor. On the walls. On the walls that are closing in on you. On the Descending Ceiling. On the Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom. All sharp enough to impale you and leave you a bloody, shish-kabob'd hero (or at least take off a Hit Point or two...).

Appearing in more games than the barrel and the crate combined, the classic deadly spikes might just be the most widely-used videogame object ever. (It should also be noted that, while crates and barrels are everyday items that most people see throughout their day, you'd have to search really hard to see a real-life death trap made of spikes.)

Commonly used as an alternative to the Bottomless Pit, a floor covered with spikes spells certain doom for the platform-jumping hero — that is, unless you've got an Invincibility Power-Up or are allowed Mercy Invincibility. They can be used in other places besides floors — as videogame design throughout the ages has shown, you can put spikes anywhere to spell the simple message "touch me and die!"

Spikes often take on more natural appearances, such as sharpened crystals, stalagmites and stalactites in an Underground Level, icicles in Slippy-Slidey Ice World, thorny vines in The Lost Woods or Jungle Japes, or teeth in a Womb Level.

Spikes, for some reason, are typically deadly from both above and from the side. That's right, you can kill yourself by walking into the side of a triangle. Sometimes even the tips of the spikes aren't very sharp but still hurt or kill the player. A few Platform Games make it harmless to walk through spikes, although falling on or jumping onto them remains entirely lethal.

Spikes have a strange tendency to repeatedly retract into the ground and then come back out again, forming a sort of Temporary Platform. Sometimes they just move slightly inwards and outwards for show.

Spikes also have a strange tendency to become disconnected from the wall or ceiling and come try to kill you. Enemies with spikes on their bodies can often throw them at you and regenerate them at will.

Most video game enemies are completely immune to the pointy tips on the spikes. If they walk into them, they'll just turn around and go the other direction. If they step onto a floor of spikes, just keep walking as if nothing's wrong. Many times, the hero will even need to jump on their head and ride them across the floor in order to survive. This isn't universal, however, and in some games luring enemies into walking, charging or jumping into spike pits and to their deaths is an entirely viable tactic.

A classic, staple Death Trap and obligatory part of every Death Course. Obviously, they aren't just limited to videogames, but that's where they're most known.

Spikes of Doom are very frequently found affixed to an Advancing Wall of Doom.

While most common in video games, spikes can sometimes be found in other media as well. The first instance of spikes in video games is not well known but Castlevania and Mega Man games seemed to have popularized it, starting from 1986 and 1987 respectively.

See also Impaled with Extreme Prejudice and Inertial Impalement. Also see Spike Balls of Doom for a spherical version, and Studded Shell when used as a Natural Weapon. Not to be confused with Spikes of Villainy.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Delicious in Dungeon: Many of the dungeon's traps involve spike pits or spikes shooting from the floor.
  • Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Battle Tendency sees Joseph Joestar battling Esidisi on a large field of spikes. Joseph can walk on them through use of Hamon energy, while Esidisi has an immense Healing Factor and doesn't much care about his feet getting impaled.
  • One Piece features these on level one of Impel Down. In an unusual variant it's a type of grass, whose, well, blades are almost too literaly, as well as being filled with trees with leaves as sharp as swords. The only area where there aren't spikes is a giant hole leading to the next level. In 3D2Y special final fight takes place in the room with walls covered in steel spikes.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
    • The Gurren-Lagann creates dozens of cone-shaped drills all over its frame in episode 8. In Episode 11, it uses some of those drills to impale an enemy flight-Gunmen and turn it into a jet-pack. It's Giga Drill Maximum takes Spikes of Doom to the next level, as it encases itself in a prison of Giga Drills.
    • Guame's Gunmen also has these, at least in its humanoid form. Whoever wants to place spikes on the inner side of the arms, however, is not clear. It only uses these for nearly defeating a member of the Dai-Gurren Brigade. It is defeated by a certain star-shaped Gunmen known as King Kittan, using Kittan Stinger, followed by Hell's Helmsplitter (more Spikes of Doom. Apparently, the show has lots.
    • Chouginga Gurren-Lagann takes Gurren-Lagann's Spikes of Doom to the next level, by creating several drills on its frame and in the rift on each drill, it creates more drills... and once more. Each of the smallest drills it creates are the size of Gurren-Lagann's Giga Drill Breaker, which dwarfs Gurren-Lagann.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: Spiked Pit Trap depicts an adventurer running afoul of a pit trap lined with long, sharp spikes. The remains of previous victims are in display, including a pair of skulls neatly impaled on two of the spikes.

    Comic Books 
  • The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck: In "Treasure of the Ten Avatars", the Duck family encounter this sort of trap twice when they're investigating an ancient Indian city for treasure, one of them a Descending Ceiling and the other a Fake Platform.
  • Tragg and the Sky Gods: In Issue #6, Lorn and Keera fight a Duel to the Death that must end with the victor casting the loser into a pit whose bottom is lined with sacred spears.
  • Wonder Woman Vol. 1: The fourth of the "Four Dooms" Inventa and Torcha force Wonder Woman to face is a "field of dragon teeth", which looks like a grassy field strewn with many sharp spikes about 6" long, and which turn out to each be an explosive device that is triggered by touch.

  • In Tunnels Of Fear: If you mistakenly return when trying to winch yourself up a shaft, the cage you are in hurtles downwards towards a bed of spikes which have suddenly appeared. Just before you land on them, the spikes disappear, and you hear the demented cackle of Murgle the sorcerer.

    Film — Animation 
  • The Steam Engines of Oz: The munchkin village is surrounded by a huge ditch (essentially an empty moat) which is lined with sharp spikes at the bottom. The only way to cross is via a single invisible bridge.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In many a Wuxia film, or other kung-fu style movie, people fighting while standing on poles with tons of bamboo spikes ready to impale a fallen fighter underneath is a very, very common motif.
  • Army of Darkness: Deployed on the king's order, when Ash fights some decomposing deadites in a pit. Similar to many video game versions in that, when Ash throws one of his foes against the incoming wall of spikes, it just yanks itself free because its undead body can only be stopped by dismemberment, not impalement.
  • Cube also had a room where sound-activated spikes move out of the walls in every which direction.
  • D.E.B.S.. A feature of the Descending Ceiling trap in the bank vault.
  • Event Horizon: The titular ship's gravity drive apparently requires copious amounts of spikes to function properly. The doors have spikes on the edges which close into a tiny square, the hallway into the engine room is best described as a walkway through a giant mulcher... the people who made this ship must have been baked out of their skulls. And none of this has any purpose, even for the sake of gory deaths. In fact, when someone DOES die in there, they land on a walkway over the coolant pool, tearing apart their entire body.
  • First Blood: Rambo constructs traps intended to impale enemy soldiers.
  • The Goonies: Data almost gets impaled by huge spikes when falling down a Trap Door.
  • Hidalgo: The titular horse falls into a spiked pit at one point in the story.
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Dol Guldur has serious No OSHA Compliance, as it's covered in outward-facing spikes with no apparent purpose other than to make the Necromancer's lair look sinister.
  • House of Traps: The titular house's first floor is booby-trapped by spikes which suddenly protrudes from the floor, which can severely maim anyone daring enough to infiltrate. The victim can try making their escape on the stairs, but the stairs turns out to be rigged as well, in the form of the steps giving away and dropping anyone standing on it so they land on the spikes.
  • J-Men Forever. J-Man Spike gets caught in a Death Trap between a spiked door and an Advancing Wall of Doom.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark: The spikes that impale people if they move into the light.
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: The Descending Ceiling trap.
  • Krull had a room in the Black Fortress that had spikes intermittently moving out of the walls in every which direction. Didn't end well for one of the bandits.
  • Mortal Kombat: The Movie: The final fight between Liu Kang and Shang Tsung has the two fighting on a high platform above a field of spikes shaped into the dragon from the franchise's logo. The loser takes a long drop and is impaled upon them.
  • The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor: The Emperor causes a snowy courtyard to sprout hundreds of upward-pointing icicles.
  • The Running Man had a wall of spikes in a wrestling cage-the villains used a stand-in to make it appear Arnold Schwartzenegger's character died on the spikes.
  • Star Trek (2009). Our introduction to the Big Bad's huge spacecraft has it emerging from a temporal wormhole, appearing to consist mostly of long spikes that curve menacingly towards the tiny (in comparison) USS Kelvin.
  • Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen: The Autobot hangar at Diego Garcia is covered in soundproofing spikes, which makes sense considering the top secret nature of the base.

  • The Grace Year: Tierney digs a spiked pit to trap and kill the poacher trying to kill her. She ends up killing Hans, the guard obsessed with her.
  • The Saga of Darren Shan: A recurring motif in the series:
    • The vampires' method of execution involved putting the victim in a cage and dropping them face down onto a pit of these. In-universe, this is cited as the origin of the "kill a vampire with a wooden stake" legend.
    • Later, the main villain of the second half, Steve Leopard, is fond of setting up places that look like this, to have the heroes meet him in for a duel. The fact that it looks like the aforementioned execution grounds adds emotional punch. Someone does die on them in his setups, though. With fire.
  • The Witch of Knightcharm: The protagonist Emily notes how her evil Wizarding School uses 'spike wards', which are essentially sigils that blast up spiked patterns of magic to stab into anything which brushes against or touches them. The spikes are able to cut through magic as well as bodies, which actually helps Emily when a villain wraps her head in enchanted water and Emily is able to use a spike to pierce through and destroy the enchantment (thus allowing the water to drain away) before she dies of suffocation.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 100: In "Earth Skills", Clarke falls into a pit of these while trying to rescue Jasper. Bellamy manages to grab her hand before she spears herself, and the rest of the group are successfully able to pull her out.
  • Breaking the Magician's Code: Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed: Many illusions involve escaping from being impaled by spikes, often with reference to becoming "a human shishkebab". One such illusion is mentioned as dating all the way back to the nineteenth century, originally called "the death of Cora".
  • Doctor Who: The Curse of Fatal Death: The Master has the Doctor and his assistant bound to a wall. He proclaims "Say 'Hello' to the Spikes of Doom", and the wall promptly revolves only to spin back around again with the Doctor and assistant sitting on a sofa. "Say 'Hello' to the Sofa of Reasonable Comfort"
  • The Prisoner (1967): "The Girl Who Was Death" has Number 6 (as Mister X) in a gauntlet that includes a trap door over a rising floor of spikes. That are electrified.
  • Rose Red: In a flashback scene, the psychic girl throws a tantrum and causes water to spray out of the kitchen sink, then instantly freeze into a forest of lethal-looking ice spikes. Just short of her mother's eyes.
  • The Wild Wild West: In "The Night of the Tottering Tontine", a second-season episode, James West escaped two such predicaments. First, he was trapped in a room with a spiked wall that was closing in on him. He got out by taking out his derringer, loading it with an explosive cartridge, and blasting a hole through the ceiling, escaping by climbing up the spikes. Then, at the climax, the villain trapped him in another room where the spikes were attached to a ceiling fan-like device that descended to ground level. West took off his jacket and jammed it against the device to temporarily stop it, escaped from the room, and knocked the villain into his own trap, which conveniently reactivated at that time.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Boss Monster: Sharp spikes are used in several of the various traps and hazards that your boss monster can set in their dungeon. It just wouldn't be a proper evil lair without them.
  • Dungeons & Dragons features spike pits as a standard dungeon trap, with a wide variety of variations (poisoned, containing an Blob Monster that eats you while you're dis-impaling yourself, on the ceiling with a Reverse Gravity spell, etc.).
    • The spike stone spell turns an area of ordinary stone and dirt into Spikes of Doom. Unless you can see magic you don't even know it's there until you walk into it.
    • Tomb of Horrors: Spikes traps, spike pits and spike fields are found throughout the titular tomb. Also, they're all poisoned. And some of them fire up at you.

    Video Games 
  • 7 Days a Skeptic: Amazingly, instantly lethal spikes manage to appear on board the futuristic space ship featured in 7 Days a Skeptic as part of the ship's communications apparatus.
  • 1001 Spikes: Blood-covered spikes, as the title suggests, are the main obstacle in this game. Spikes are found on the floor, walls and ceilings. Many also emerge only when the player gets near them.
  • A Boy and His Blob, known for Everything Is Trying to Kill You, has a scene where the boy feeds the blob a cola jellybean to turn the blob into a bubble in order to go underwater. If you touch a stalactite or stalagmite, the bubble bursts.
  • Achievement Unlocked: It's required to get impaled by all of them in both games to complete every achievement.
  • Action 52: Spikes appear in some of the games like in ""Bubblegum Rosy". In one of the games called "Underground", spikes? (spears?, mushrooms?) work in a weird way. They don't damage you if you fall on top of them but will kill the character if you try to walk past them.
  • The Adventures of Lomax:
    • Patches of spikes found on the ground/ceiling will hurt Lomax no matter what direction he touches them from.
    • Long spikes that periodically poke out of the ground start appearing from the Wild West stage onwards. They only hurt Lomax if the sharp end pokes him. If he touches the sides, he'll be unharmed, although they do block his movement.
  • The Adventures of Rad Gravity's final planet, appropriately named Telos (Greek for "end"), is full of these; on the floor, on the ceiling, on the Advancing Wall of Doom, under the Conveyor Belt o' Doom, a long stretch that has to be crossed with a Cast From HP item, you name it.
  • Aero The Acrobat: Spikes are a one-hit kill. Too bad they are apparently standard fixtures in circuses and funparks.
  • A Hint of a Tint: These are barriers that can appear in the Rogue Mode. They typically require finding a vase elsewhere on the level that'll accept a reasonably valuable sacrifice, like a ring or a potion, in order to retract them back into the ground.
  • Aladdin (Capcom) and Aladdin (Virgin Games) both have spike pits in certain stages, but fortunately not instantly deadly ones.
  • Alfred Chicken wants you to walk across them using invulnerability in order to reach a secret item.
  • All of Our Friends Are Dead often has the spike pits that'll leave the protagonist Impaled with Extreme Prejudice.
  • Android Hunter A: This game contains plenty of spikes that will Insta-Kill A if he touches them.
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures, in addition to standard retracting spikes, has One-Hit Kill "death blocks", some of which periodically appear and disappear.
  • Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles has parts that involve spike traps that constantly retract and stick out. Touching them results in instant death.
  • Asterix on the NES: Spikes appear commonly as a damaging hazard throughout the game.
  • Atlantis no Nazo: Subverted. Several zones have dangerous-looking spikes in the background that do nothing.
  • Ayo the Clown: The game has spikes that Ayo needs to avoid touching.
  • Batman Chaos In Gotham has three types of sharp things. The first type is a platform that looks like it has sharp pieces but which are really background material. The second type are slightly damaging spikes that you have to jump over. The third is a large icicle that instantly kills Batman if he tries climbing it.
  • Battletoads: The platforming stages are rather packed with One-Hit Kill spikes, including Spikeballs Of Doom. One section of one level took it so far as to cover every stable surface with spikes; to survive, you had to use giant snakes as temporary platforms.
  • BeTrapped!: One of the booby traps is a large, curved spike that pops out of the floor.
  • The Binding of Isaac:
    • The spike beds usually appeared in the Cave/Catacomb levels and remained a constant from then on. They weren't actually insta-kill, but they did remove one full heart, which was as good as an insta-kill for Glass Cannon characters Samson and Judas. Necropolis levels occasionally had a room with a dozen or so of them, and a similar number of Boom Flies and/or spiders. Have fun!
    • The Wrath of the Lamb expansion adds the Sacrifice Rooms, where you receive a chest after walking over a field of spikes a random amount of times. Those are almost always not worth it, unless you've become very good at dodging and/or you finish the level and there are leftover hearts you don't need.
  • Bionic Commando Rearmed: Unlike the original, spiked floors always cause instant death.
  • Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa has protruding pencil points of pain in its later levels.
  • The walls you place around your base can be potentially upgraded with spikes, so that they'll damage the units trying to break through them in melee. Either that, or you can install mini-generators inside them to produce more power, or simply make them more durable instead.
  • Blood Breed: In the chase sequence, there's an obstacle in the form of retractable spikes that'll kill the Player Character if she touches them.
  • The Blue Contestant: These are used purely as barriers, which the Engineer class can remove through operating switches.
  • Brain Dead 13: Lance can fall into a spike trap hidden by leaves on the ground and get impaled in one death scene if you take the wrong way in The Maze.
  • Bug is pretty light on this compared to many other games, as most spikes in the game tend to retract and allow safe passage. Even if you do touch them, they only take away one of Bug's five hit points.
  • Captain Claw: The 1st, 3rd, 5th, 10th and 11th levels. Also non-fatal ones on 3rd, 4th, 12th, 13th and 14th, which still removes 10% of your total hp. 9th, 10th and 13th has random arrows shooting out of the walls as well. 12th has stalactites falling from the ceiling.
  • Castle in the Darkness has spikes that kill you instantly upon contact.
  • Castle Of Pixel Skulls: Spikes of doom abound in this game. Touch them, and it's over for the skeleton. Oh, and there's even MOVING spikes of doom.
  • Castlequest has floor spikes, ceiling spikes and wall spikes. And the player is a One Hitpoint Wonder.
  • Castlevania
    • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has entire corridors lined top and bottom with these. It also has the Spike Breaker armor, which causes them to shatter harmlessly when you walk over them. They make you navigate a spike-filled, pitch-black corridor with only your little bat-sonar-peep for guidance to get at the stuff, too. Or you can do a little Sequence Breaking and navigate it blindly as invulnerable Mist instead.
    • Before Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, even touching a spike will kill you instantly, with the exception of some spiked platforms in Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse that simply took off a lot of your health.
    • One stage in Castlevania III had whole ceilings of spikes, which left ducking as your only option when dodging enemies.
    • Super Castlevania IV upped the ante by making you deal with a ROTATING ROOM full of spikes only avoidable by the Tarzan-swing-with-whip trick. As an added incentive for Simon to hang the hell on, there's an example of the cost of failure in the skeleton of a former, less savvy hunter lying in one corner... In that same room, if you choose to hang on to the platform instead of the Swing Ring, a new set of spikes appears on the floor you're trying to land on. Lose-lose situation there.
  • The Cave: Out of all the characters, poor Adventurer will have to contend with the largest number of those.
  • Caveman Warriors: The stalagmites in Death Mountain will deal damage to the Player Characters if they touch them.
  • The Caverns of Hammerfest: Spikes are wooden, which doesn't make them any less of an instant kill.
  • Cave Story has two types of spikes. One type is found on floors, walls and ceilings throughout the game, and damages you a good bit if you run into it. Another type, found in floor pits, are bright red and resemble crocoite crystals; landing on them is instant death.note  The Bonus Level of Hell contains extreme amounts of both spike types. Rather hilariously, the first instant-death-spikes you encounter are inside an NPC's house, accompanied by a sign that warns, "Watch out! Deathtrap to your left. One touch means instant death!"
  • Celeste: The road ahead will be frequently complicated by either straight-up spikes or sharp crystal formations.
  • Chasm: These can be present on the walls to complicate your platforming. The exact amount depends on how the Procedural Generation at the start of the game goes.
  • Children of Mana: The dungeon-specific traps for the Mana Tower are these. Somehow, they are hidden in pots. They also show up in other dungeons, but not in pots.
  • Chuck Rock has thorn bushes as well as more conventional spike pits.
  • Commander Keen Episode 1: Marooned on Mars has green spikes that move up and down. Later episodes, such as Keen Must Die! and Secrets of the Oracle, only have stationary spikes, but they all kill you in one hit, just like everything else dangerous in the series as Commander Keen is a One-Hit-Point Wonder.
  • Copy Kitty plays around with this trope. Spikes aren't lethal, but they cause a ton of damage (to the extent of being one of the most dangerous things in the game). They do, however break apart on contact with the player (though there are certain things the player can do to destroy spikes without getting hurt.) Meanwhile, enemies that land in the spikes do die in one hit, with rare exceptions. Additionally, it's perfectly fine to walk through the spikes, it's landing on top of them that hurts.
  • Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure: Some of the spikes are stationary, while others continually retract into the walls and then come out again. Most of the spikes can be removed with bombs.
  • Cramped Rooms Of Death: Spike tiles in this game periodically jut out their spikes. The frequency of this happening is indicated by the amount of spikes present in the tile.
  • Crossbow Crusade: There are plenty of retracting, bloody spikes in the game. Touch them, and you die instantly.
  • Cyber Shadow: One of the more common hazards encountered in the game are spikes, often taking a form to fit the context of the environment.
  • Dark Messiah features spike walls that enemies can be kicked onto.
  • Death's Gambit: Spikes that extend and retract out of the ground appear from the Obsidian Vale onwards. However, they are not an instant-kill, and instead deal 200 damage; substantial at first, but a mere nuisance to a levelled-up endgame character.
  • Deception: These are a common death trap at your disposal throughout the series, and from the second game on, they're occasionally built into the architecture of your castle, not just a purchasable trap.
  • Default Dan: Inverted, as the spikes bounce Dan upward.
  • Depict1: The Voice with an Internet Connection warns you the first time you see spikes that touching them is instant death. They do no damage, and you can pick them up and use them as throwing weapons.
  • Distorted Travesty offers plenty of painful spikes. The sequel even manages to force you to ascend a verticle shaft lined with said spikes using wall clinging. And descend through a maze with every platform protruding said spikes. But starting about halfway through the first game the player is introduced to INSTANT DEATH SPIKES. Before long you find yourself facing huge pendulums and other traps made of said instant-death spikes. As may be obvious the game is Nintendo Hard. And the third installment doesn't cut the player any breaks either. Go ahead an count the number spikes and electrified surfaces you can find just in space of this one teaser.
  • Dofus: It is said that, long ago, an army of Shushu invaded Inkarnam, the Floating Continent standing between the human world and the divine domain of Inglorium, causing mayhem and chaos until the Goddess Sacrier heard the pleas of help and reacted by covering the entire demon-infested surface of Inkarnam with spikes of all size, routing the entire army and forcing them back into the Shukrute. Some of those stone spikes till adorn the borders of the land.
  • Double Dragon: The Warriors' Hideout in the arcade version has gargoyle statues with stabbing spears that take off half your HP. There's also spikes on the floor below, although that is treated as a Bottomless Pit.
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • Doofus Drop: Spikes and forks are a common hazard. If Doofus gets impaled on one, he will be unable to move unless he uses beans.
  • Door Door has tiny green spikes that are deadly to the player but harmless to enemies.
  • Double Pug Switch has plenty of these. If Otis touches one, then that's all she wrote.
  • Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project used these in the 5th episode, Fearsome Factory. What's strange about these is that the game is fully 3D rendered, despite being a side-scroller, so there are often instances where you can clearly see a way Duke could walk around obstacles if only he weren't forced to conform to the path. As you might expect, even lightly stubbing your toe on these spikes is enough to make Duke explode into a pile of gibs.
  • Dustforce: The conventional spikes appear in the mansion and virtual areas. In other areas the same function is fulfilled by live wires, brambles, or even traffic cones.
  • Dwarf Fortress:
    • The game features the Menacing Spike, key component in the Upright Spike Trap. If linked to a pressure plate, these will shoot up, kill any hapless dope standing on it, and if the panel is pressed again will retract and leave the impaled goblin to collapse into a bleeding heap. Having these spikes at the bottom of a fifteen floor falling trap will result in lots of goblin torsos stuck on the spikes, while their limbs are scattered about, having been shorn off on impact. Dwarves are just fond of menacing spikes in general; they put them on everything. Dwarves will even stud training weapons with menacing spikes, which do nothing to alter the weapon's effectiveness (or deliberate lack thereof).
    • Subverted in DF2010, where one of the best ways to train your dwarfs for combat is to turn the barracks into a danger room filled with spike traps loaded with blunt training spears.
  • Ecco the Dolphin has sharp spikes protruding from the underwater walls. Guess what happens if you swim too close to them? *cue loud BOKKKK injury sound*
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Spike traps are nearly everywhere. You can't swing a dead skeever without hitting a spike trap in some dungeons, unless you're paying full attention to your surroundings.
  • Eldritch (2013): You can find these on the floor, the walls, and sometimes under collapsing ground tiles. The Mountains of Madness also has icicles falling from the ceiling. None of them kill instantly, but they will remove two hearts from you, and deal comparable damage to the enemies.
  • El Viento: Spikes are a common hazard in the levels. They can be found on floors, walls and ceilings.
  • Environmental Station Alpha: There are red spikes that only damage the player and orange spikes that One-Hit Kill you, though the later are far less frequent.
  • Escape From The Planet Of The Robot Monsters: Spikes moving in and out of walls impale players for a One-Hit Kill.
  • EVE Online: In Incursion, the Space-Zombies {AKA Sansha's Nation} has these all over their ships and structures. Well, technically, they're just spikes, but if you see a Sansha Fleet, you're screwed, unless you brought reinforcements. On the upside, though, that's only when they really begin their Incursions. Mission-Running against Sansha is no more dangerous than against the Angel Cartel, Blood Raiders, Serpentis or Guristas... Well, until they start using ECM, Stasis Webifiers AND Warp Scramblers... Which they do a lot. Simultaneously. (Thank CPP for F.O.F. Missiles)
  • Eversion: As you everse, the flowers turn wilted, then into weeds, then into lethal thorns.
  • Everybody Edits: Blocks of spikes can and will be placed down, and will make the smilies explode into sparkles upon contact.
  • Fallen London: The Prickfinger Wastes will do a lot more than just prick your fingers if you venture down there. Something about the geology's sharpened every single stalagmite to the point cutting yourself with one doesn't even hurt too much, sometimes not at all. Most people that venture down here either come back looking like they fell into a blender, or bleed out before they can ever get back.
  • Flea (2020): There are plenty of spikes in the game, which will kill Henry the instant that he touches them.
  • Fin and the Ancient Mystery: This game has spikes that deal damage to Fin when he touches them.
  • Final Fantasy VII has an area where, if you run instead of walking, you will slide into a wall of spikes that will take off a significant amount of your party's HP.
  • The Floor is Jelly has dark red blobs with spikes jutting out floating around in some levels.
  • :the game: (2008): These are represented by unicorn horns, since the first level where you encounter them is full of rainbows.
  • Garfield's Nightmare: The castle levels in World 1 have platforms where spikes protract and retract periodically, requiring timing to be dodged.
  • Geometry Dash: Spikes are the main obstacle in the game and show up almost everywhere.
  • Gimmick! (1992) has six stages, and spikes are only absent from the second one, and from the secret seventh stage.
  • Ginger Beyond The Crystal: These appear in the mine world as spikes retracting into, and sticking out of, the ground. Ginger will take damage if he touches them.
  • Glover: Damaging spikes are rather common hazard.
  • Goblin Sword has these. You encounter spikes made of wood in the first level, for example.
  • Golden Axe Warrior: Some labyrinth rooms have spikes thrusting out of murder holes at regular intervals. The holes are clearly marked, and in the earlier labyrinths they're easy to walk around.
  • Gravity Circuit: Spikes act as a common level hazard.
  • Gruntz has these, although they're usually only a mild annoyance, unless you must walk through a lot of them with no protection.
  • Gyossait: You are a One Hitpoint Wonder, and so you'll end up Impaled with Extreme Prejudice if you ever touch these spikes, just like the various other victims already there.
  • HAAK: There are plenty of spikes in the game that will damage Haak if he touches them. Sometimes, if he has to cross a pit of spikes, and he touches them, he goes back to the start.
  • Holdover: These are one of the most frequent obstacles. While not usually insta-kill, they'll still inflict severe damage upon your health or armor.
  • Hollow Knight features plenty of spikes on floors, walls and ceilings, often covering nearly all visible surfaces. Their appearance varies a good bit — the Abandoned Crossroads uses simple spikes, the Greenpath and Queen's Gardens have tangles of thorny vines, the Crystal Peak has fields of jagged crystals, Deepnest has pits full of spiky, twisting creatures... — but all varieties are equally harmful (although they do also kill enemies, which is useful when dealing with the less spatially aware kinds or ones with unstoppable charging attacks). However, you are also allowed to bounce off "metal" spikes (but not thorns) by attacking while jumping.note  One type of Temporary Platform flips over to expose the spikes on the underside after you jump on its safe surface. There is even one enemy, the Crystal Hunter, whose projectile attack covers whatever surface it hits in a temporary growth of crystal spikes.
  • Holy Umbrella: The Side View stages contain typical spiked pits. However, late in the game, you can find the Walking Brooch, which allows you to land on and walk through spiked pits without taking damage.
  • Ivy the Kiwi?: Spikes are the main cause of death, but can be protected against by stretching vines above them (or below, if they're hanging from the ceiling and you need to pull Ivy upward for some reason).
  • Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom: The Licensed Game has periodically retracting floor spikes in the cave levels.
  • Inexistence Rebirth: There are spikes in the game that will hurt Hald if he touches them.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy is full of spikes, which in some rooms almost entirely cover the floors and ceilings. The kid can die even by touching the side of a spike. At one point, a spike pit gets up and chases after you for several screens! (This one has cost many an LPer their sanity.) Seriously. These spikes also have a tendency to detach themselves and shoot toward you, though they don't always fire in the direction they point so the game can kill you when you least expect it.
  • Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu: Spikes appear as a common hazard in the first stage.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit: Damaging spikes start to make their appearance from Medivo levels onward.
  • Jumper has spikes as just one of the ways in which you can die. Naturally for the type of game it is, there are lots of them.
  • Jetpack has both ordinary spikes that can occur in any orientation, and hidden spears that pop out of floors. Both are deadly to the player and harmless to all enemies.
  • Joe Danger has stationery spike traps that send him flying if he lands on one, causing you to start over from the last checkpoint (or at the beginning of the race if there are no checkpoints).
  • Joumee The Hedgehog has spikes in it that will cost Joumee a heart if she comes in contact with them.
  • Karoshi: As the game is about a suicidal protagonist, spikes are sometimes necessary to "advance", but it's not going to be that easy. One of the spikes will actually sprout legs and run away from you.
  • Keep Out has these in the form of nails (and other possible sharp things) that can kill Mr. M in one hit.
  • Keith Courage in Alpha Zones: Touching spikes is instant death (same as a Bottomless Pit) for the player, and since Keith only has one life, it's back to the beginning of the level (or game) if he dies. They do nothing to hurt enemies that fall on them. Particularly aggravating when jumping on platforms, or dodging Goddamned Bats such as the flying skulls in the underworld.
  • Kick Master: Wearing Magic Boots would protect you if you needed to walk over spiked floors.
  • Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters: The game is liberally scattered with harmful thorns and briars.
  • Kirby: From the Float Islands of the first game, Spikes have been a common obstacle in Kirby series. They usually hurt as much as enemies though.
  • Knytt has crystal-like spikes in the eastmost area of the game.
  • La-Mulana:
    • There are lots of spikes, including whole floors of spikes in some areas. However, as you progress through the game and collect Life Jewels, you'll build up so much health that spikes end up serving as a nuisance rather than a mortal threat. At times touching spikes can even be useful to exploit Mercy Invincibility and/or to Damage Boost in the right direction. The remake changes this by having spikes take off a fixed percentage of your maximum health, and by making it possible to walk sideways through spikes. Some puzzles require making jumps and dodging spikes on the way down; the Hell Temple has a chamber two rooms tall where the player must navigate spike-filled shafts with careful Wall Jumps; touching a spike or enemy will cause the player to fall down and restart the entire thing. There's also an early puzzle where the player must jump into a pit of fake spikes which do nothing. Much less common are long white spikes which can suddenly emerge from platforms, usually from triggering a trap.
    • There are some spikes in the remake (like in the hidden passage in the Inferno Cavern) that come in angles, and will damage you regardless of whether you approach them from the side, or if you're standing in them.
  • La-Mulana 2: Spikes can be approached from the side, but also ignore and give very little Mercy Invincibility, allowing you to get comboed by a monster hitting you into spikes, then the spikes knocking you back into the monster. There's also a lot more of them than in the game's predecessor.
  • Landflix Odyssey has its share of spikes in the shows Larry needs to traverse.
  • Landstalker: Spikes are often present in the dungeons, but are usually survivable.
  • Legacy of the Wizard: The vast subterranean dungeon has plenty spiked floors and walls. Subverted since spikes will only drain 1HP of life at a time. You can even hold up to avoid taking any damage while walking on them.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past: Spikes usually aren't a problem, being at worst a nuisance during dungeon navigation. However, the boss of the Skull Woods from the Dark World would have been pretty easy to defeat were it not for the caveat that the room not only has spikes everywhere, but the spikes move around a lot, and then the floor moves occasionally as it's a large conveyor belt whose direction varies as well. The boss (a giant moth, Mothula) doesn't even feel the need to really attack Link as a result—it just chills in the air for the most part, watching him get impaled by spikes over and over again.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Spikes are relatively rare, being at their most frequent in the Shadow Temple. There's a room where you have to use a large block as a shield to prevent the moving ceiling from crushing Link. Another room requires Link to think fast and use Din's Fire to burn the spiked walls that attempt to reduce him to gibs (luckily, this spell will also get rid of the present ReDeads in the process).
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: The game features spiked borders in certain boss battle arenas. In the Earth Temple, the boss is a giant, intangible ghost, and is met in a room whose walls are covered in spikes. The ghost can blow Link, our trusty hero, into the walls and kill him thusly, but if Link can render the ghost tangible, he can then throw him into the wall, at the spikes, where he breaks apart into smaller, stab-able ghosts. No such luck in the fight against Helmaroc King: It will occasionally flap its wings to push Link towards the spiky border of the battlefield, and there's no way to use it in your favor.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:
      • Tangles of vines with spikes as long as Link's arms are found across the overworld, typically blocking the path to something Link need — Korok Seed spots and treasure chests are common, and some Shrines and Towers are also overgrown with this stuff. They can't be broken with bombs or weapons and will harm Link on contact, but are also withered and dry and can be easily burned away if Link has access to fire.
      • There are spiky setpieces in many of the Shrines, requiring Link to tackle them with care, typically by finding a moveable object that can be used as a bridge. In particular, the DLC features a Shrine that is filled with them, and at that point Link has to overcome them without being hit due to him being a One-Hit-Point Wonder as long as he has the Obliterator in his hands.
  • Lemmings has retractable wall spikes in the "Lend a Helping Hand" level.
  • Lep's World: This game has spikes that will cause the Player Character to lose one shamrock of health on contact.
  • Limbo has some amounts of them and they look very sharp.
  • LittleBigPlanet has the kind that kill you from the side, too. In the second game, placing enough non-danger tweakers on them removes the lethality.
  • Little Nemo: The Dream Master: Spikes mean instant death. Naturally, it's a Capcom game.
  • Little Samson has lots of spike-covered surfaces, but Gamm can walk over them without taking damage.
  • Lords of Exile: In some levels, there are spikes as hazard. At one point, a spiky wall even chases the player.
  • The Lost Vikings have large amounts of spikes in some levels.
  • The Lucky Dime Caper: These only show up in the final level, but, by then, you'll encounter several rooms that are full of them.
  • MadWorld: The rose bushes, although they're a tool for the player to violently impale mooks and present no threat to the player.
  • Magical Cat Adventure: Spikes are usually found in shallow pits, though they may also be found on patches of level ground or covering ceilings.
  • Maldita Castilla: You may have hitpoints, but spikes will kill you instantly regardless.
  • MapleStory has spikes here and there. Two areas in particular, Warning Street: Road to the Dungeon and Warning Street: Henesys Dungeon Entrance, are loaded with thorns among other things.
  • Meat Boy and Super Meat Boy are filled with Meat Boy-shredding buzzsaws and other such hazards, causing him to explode in a bloody mess on contact. The Dark Stages in Super Meat Boy are insane about this, as are the I Wanna Be the Guy-themed bonus levels (naturally).
  • Mega Man has spikes-a-plenty throughout the franchise, and in many, many cases, touching them is instant death:
    • Mega Man: Mercy Invincibility does not protect you against spikes (this glitch was fixed in Wily Wars). Later games allow damage from enemies to protect you from spike damage later.
    • In Mega Man & Bass and 9, it is possible to buy a Spike Guard (up to three at a time in 9) that would make spikes damage you instead of outright kill you. However, the spike guard is used up the moment you touch spikes while you have one, so if you don't get off the spikes while temporarily invulnerable, you'll die from them. Furthermore (as a slight subversion), a Wily boss in 9 has an underbelly of spikes that only damage you on contact.
    • Mega Man 9 also features the Spike Pushers, a Wolf Pack Boss that slowly pushes a series of spiked balls towards the Mega Man to kill him in one hit. In a rare inversion of this trope, however, Mega Man can push these spike balls back with his projectiles until they hit one of the bosses and kill them in one hit.
    • Mega Man 10: This gets weaponized by Mega Man himself in the form of the Chill Spike. Shooting the ground or a wall with this weapon causes a set of spikes to freeze up at the impact site. This is the weapon of choice against Nitro Man, who takes the most damage from it when it's used as a tire hazard.
    • Mega Man Zero: All four games have a power-up that permanently turns off the spikes of doom. Mega Man X5 and X6 also have armors that you can acquire that let you walk on spikes without harm.
    • Mega Man ZX Advent: Ouroboros has regenerating spiked blocks just to add to the madness. And yes, you do need to break some to get to the end. Happy nightmares... This is made a bit worse by the fact that Model H is the only armor with an aerial dash enabled. This would make these traps easier, except that same armor has only sabre weapons, making it harder to specifically destroy the regenerating blocks you want out of your way and not the ones you need to use as platforms to move on. You could use a more balanced armor like Model ZX, but then you lose your mobility. QueenBee, Vulturon and Model H do help due to their flight, ability to hover & stick to walls and block-breaking tornado charge respectively.
    • Mega Man X8 has Gravity Antonion's level by mostly this. Including enemies that can walk on said spikes. Though the enemy in question can be copied by Axl, who is then able to use that form with the similar effect. X8 also features the Prickle Barrier, a one-time use item that allows you to survive contact with spikes once, albeit with one HP.
    • Mega Man Battle Network:
    • Street Fighter X Mega Man goes very light on this one, to the point where the number of spikes is less than the number of spikes in any other Mega Man game.
    • Project X Zone 2: Parodied, where Mega Man X and Zero end up in a stage filled with spikes...
      Zero: Watch out everybody! Spikes! Get back!!
      X: What vision of hell have you brought upon us, Valkyrie?!
    • The fangame Mega Man Rock Force features plenty of these (especially in Death Man's stage), but by default, the spikes only do half the normal amount of damage (i.e. half of Mega Man's total life bar). The difficulty settings can reduce spike damage to as low as quarter damage, or can be increased to the standard amount of damage (instantly lethal but taking Mercy Invincibility into account) or even as high as Mega Man 1 level of lethality (ignoring Mercy Invincibility and just killing you outright).
  • Mercenary Kings has them appear often in its levels.
  • Metaloid Origin: The Predators will take damage if they hit any spikes.
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid II: Return of Samus and Metroid: Samus Returns: Spiky crystals are common in SR388, serving to get in the way of particularly intrepid explorers. In the original game, some of these are destructible but most can only be avoided. In the remake, they're so sharp and harmful that they also knock Samus back in a way such that, if both the floor and the ceiling are filled with them, it becomes impossible to get past them by brute force. You are supposed to cling to a wall with the Spider Ball and launch yourself through the spike passageway harmlessly with the help of a Power Bomb. And no, the game never teaches you this.
    • Super Metroid:
      • The game has spikes in a few places, including under lava and acid! Luckily, some spikes are fake and won't hurt you if you touch them, and the fake spikes can be destroyed. Without the X-Ray Scope, you're playing with mines trying to see which set of spikes are fake and which real. In one specific region, one can freely walk upon the spikes without harm, as every single spike (even in the bottom of a damn cave) are motorized, and without a local power supply, the spikes are harmless.
      • There is a chamber called "A Bridge Too Far" (or, more colloquially, the Noob Bridge) amongst fans. If you try walking across the bridge, it crumbles underneath Samus, and if you try to jump across and only shortly land every now and then on the bridge, you will hit the spikes in the ceiling just above the bridge. What you're supposed to do is hold the run button (something unique to that game); this gets you across without falling through.
  • Mind Your Manors: The final level of the game features a present (a white orb) and an insidious, double path forward filled with massive spikes that will sap your willpower really fast if you glide through them. The last Purple Orb is found on the path with more spikes.
  • Minecraft: Dripstone Caves are filled with fields of stalactites and stalagmites. The stalagmites act like sharpened spikes, doubling Falling Damage for anybody who lands on them, although when approached from the side they're harmless beyond getting in the way of movement. Stalactites, if struck by something, will dislodge and fall down, impaling whatever ends up in their way.
  • is a top-down multiplayer game, so the spikes here can only be placed down by the other players, and are round, wooden, and omnidirectional. Their initial, Age 1 version only 20 damage per contact, though it is still enough to kill a player in 5 hits. Many players will try to hem each other in by rapidly dropping spikes left and right. Each spike is technically breakable with weapons, and spear wielders in particular can do so from a safe distance. Even though, it'll still slow a player down, and getting surrounded by spikes may still make it impossible to break one without getting hit by its neighbour. This is often known as the "Circle of Death" strategy. Moreover, these common Spikes can be upgraded to Greater Spikes, which are more durable and deal 35 damage, and then to either Poison Spikes with their damage over time, or Spinning Spikes, which deal a whole 45 damage and will push the target back, potentially into another Spinning Spike.
  • Monster Hunter (PC) has various levels containing spike traps which kills the player in a single touch.
  • Moon Raider: There are vines covered in spikes in this game. Ava takes damage if she touches them.
  • Mortal Kombat loves using spikes in its death trap levels. Spikes on the floor, spikes on the ceiling, spikes several floors below you, spikes on SPINNING RAZOR WHEELS OF DOOM! In later versions there are even spikes that have blades at the bases, so you can fall and instantly become paraplegic fighter shish-kabob.
  • Mr. Bree: Spikes are one of the main obstacles in the series.
  • Mutant Football League: Some teams' home fields have spikes that extrude from holes in the ground at fixed intervals, dealing significant damage to any player/s they hit. They come in a variety of arrangements and placements, such as a strip of spikes running across the entire 50 yard line, or a square pattern by the sidelines near the endzones. The Motor City Maniacs' stadium, Gored Field, is littered with spikes; since the field is a blacktop with yellow markings, they seem to represent police spike strips.
  • Mutant Mudds by Renegade Kid features plenty of those.
  • Mute Crimson: You'll only encounter proper spikes in World 4 (the Lab) However, tentacles protruding from the walls, ceilings, and floors are ubiquitous throughout the game, and they equally deadly. They'll even wriggle energetically as you get closer to them!
  • Need for Speed: Cops attempt to use spike strips on your car. If your tire hits one, it'll deflate, leaving you on the rim and seriously fucking up your car's handling and acceleration. It's only in the later games that your tires can be reinflated mid-chase - Reinflating Tires (Most Wanted 2012), automatically after a few seconds (Rivals), or Repair Shops (both). or can be repaired with Repair Shops. Hot Pursuit 2010 just shows a short cutscene of you spinning to a stop before returning to gameplay. Of course, in HP2010 and Rivals, you get to use Spike Strips yourself.
  • NetHack:
    • Non-bottomless pit traps often have spikes at the bottom, which merely cause more damage than a normal pit trap rather than causing a One-Hit Kill. However, the spikes are often coated with poison, which have a chance of causing a One-Hit Kill if the victim isn't immune to poison. Luckily, other creatures can fall into these traps too, unless they actually saw you fall there yourself. Many of them can also get poisoned and die. Unluckily, this can include your own pets, especially if you are not careful while moving them on a leash. You can try to pull them out of the pit...but if you fail, they'll fall back on those spikes again. This can easily end up with your pet getting killed (which your god will blame you for, making prayer far more difficult), and even if it survives, it'll have a much harder time trusting you, and that's if it stays tame at all.
    • On a practical level, any creature that falls into a pit and dies there obscures the presence of the pit on the overhead map with its own corpse. Hence attempting to loot and/or eat it can end up with you back in that pit again. Even if you remember to leave it alone the first time, the body will eventually rot away, but the items will be left behind, and you are unlikely to remember how they got there, unless you actually write a message nearby. Oh, and just because the pit wasn't poisoned the first time you fell into it, it doesn't mean it'll stay the same way again.
    • On the flip side, successfully pulling aggressive creatures out of the pits makes them grateful enough to stop attacking you for good, and gives Lawful characters good karma. However, this is obviously best done with the non-spiked pits.
  • Neutopia: Stepping on certain traps causes floor tiles to flip over, revealing these.
  • The NewZealand Story: There are many sections where you have to navigate between rows of these using one of the vehicles, and there's one level where you navigate a maze filled with spikes. Also, if you float into a ceiling with some vehicles, you can get hit by the spikes along the floor above. As a touch of realism, enemies are harmed by them as well.
  • Nightshade (1992) has one instance where the titular protagonist is thrown by the villain Sutekh inside a hydraulic press lined with these. They'll need to use a candle to burn the ropes binding them and escape in time.
  • Nimbus: Spikes mazes are a frequent obstacle.
  • Ninja Five O: Spikes appear throughout the game, let it be inside a warehouse, an airport, or caves. Some even hang down from moving platforms.
  • Ninja Senki features many spikes in the cave sections 5 and 6, not only on the floors and ceilings but also several horizontal spikes on the ledges. These are instant kill, even though being stomped by the stone statue that serves as the level's boss only takes away one health orb.
  • Ninja Spirit, in keeping with its Jidaigeki theme, has deadly spikes made of bamboo.
  • No Time to Explain: Spikes are frequent, which is bad news to your One Hitpoint Wonder protagonist. However, they can survive a hit if they become fat through eating a Cake first, though it obviously reduces your agility and makes it more likely you'll end up hitting them in the first place.
  • Odallus: The Dark Call: These are a regular obstacle, and become far more dangerous to Haggis on the Veteran mode.
  • Onimusha: Warlords features a trick puzzle floor with very long spikes beneath. Fail to properly traverse the room, and your partner falls to an instant death (netting *you* an instant game over).
  • Ori and the Blind Forest has both damaging and instantly lethal spikes, with little visual distinction between the two.
  • Panic Restaurant, rather than ordinary spiked pits, has carving-knife pits.
  • The Pedestrian (2020): Some levels contain buzzsaws that kill the player character in one shot.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: In case 3, the victim was killed by being accidentally knocked onto a fence spike.
  • Pizza Vs. Skeletons:
    • The "rescue the puppies" levels tend to have patches of massive spikes that the pizza needs to avoid, or else he will take damage from them.
    • The "balance" levels require the pizza to stay on top of a large rolling skull as it moves over a floor covered in spikes.
  • Plants vs. Zombies: You actually get to deploy these in the form of Spikeweeds/Spikerocks. While these do not kill off normal zombies instantly (rather, it drains their health as they walk on the spikes) or the giant zombies AT ALL (they simply smash the spikes with their weapons and walk across the square as though there never was a spike there to begin with), it is played straight against vehicle enemies.
  • Pokémon:
    • The moves Spikes and Toxic Spikes (and to a similar extent, Stealth Rock). When used, spikes get laid around the opposing team, and any Pokémon that switches in that can't fly/Levitate over them (or is immune to Poison in the latter case) gets hurt (directly with Spikes, or get poisoned with Toxic Spikes). Using the moves again increases the damage done (in the case of Toxic Spikes, a second layer badly poisons Pokémon that switch in so they lose health faster).
    • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire: In Drake's room, there is a hole in the floor with spikes at the bottom. Luckily for the player, you can't fall into it.
    • Pokémon Black and White: Ferroseed and Ferrothorn have the ability "Iron Barbs". Guess what happens if you attack them with a physical contact move?
  • Portal: In a case of Trailers Always Lie, the trailer shows a crushing ceiling with spikes lowering when the player crosses the entrance to one of the areas. However, while the crushing ceiling is in this section in the actual game, the spikes are not. There is, however, more than one third-party map for Portal that does have a spiked crushing ceiling, such as "Hetzchase Nailway".
  • Portal 2 has them, and they are realistically deadly, only because they are on Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom which would certainly crush you anyway. This mostly serves to highlight one character's tendency to be spitefully impractical and not as creative as he would like to think he is.
    Wheatley: And I thought, yeah, it's deadly, but what's missing? What's missing? Lots of sharp bits welded onto the flat bits.
  • Prince of Persia is absolutely full of spike traps, though different games have used different types:
    • Prince of Persia used instant-trigger floor spikes, especially at the bottoms of pits. Anyone who falls onto them gets Impaled with Extreme Prejudice. The Prince could either inch through the spikes or clear them with a well-timed jump.
    • Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame lost the spiked pits, but had spikes coming out of walls instead — left walls only, to make it obvious, as right walls don't face the player.
    • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time has retracting spikes in the floor. In lieu of serving as a temporary platform, they impale any poor fool who so much as makes a sound over them. To add insult to injury, if they manage to do this once, they'll likely do it again as you struggle to free yourself, forcing you to waste a sand tank to escape. Like the original game, however, you can avoid them, either by a well-timed wall run or tiptoeing over them, but you have to do it at the absolute slowest movement speed possible. Enemies also never go near them until the second game, where you can get some righteous revenge by triggering the traps with enemies on them.
  • Prison City: Spikes appear as icicles in Cold Storage level and return in final levels.
  • Project Black Sun: Sharp brown stalagmites line the floor in mines area. Secret Garden area has small wooden stakes instead. The Forbidden Facility has the conventional metal spikes in place of any other security measures.
  • [PROTOTYPE]: Alex Mercer can use these, as one of the special moves for his claw powers. Giant spikes burst up from the ground, skewering a target. You're immobile while charging the groundspikes up, but early on, it's one of the few attacks that does appreciable damage to hunters and tanks. Then there's the Groundspike Graveyard, a move which skewers anything within a thirty-foot radius with spikes (it works best on armor, but lower-level mooks also die).
  • Psychosomnium has tiny little triangular spikes. One part of the game involves flying through a curving corridor with spikes on every wall.
  • Purple has three varieties of spikes. Short ones that take away 1HP (like nearly everything else), long ones that kill instantly and short ones that continually retract.
  • Quackshot: Dracula's Castle has a section that features plenty of spikes, other traps, and is also underwater.
  • Quake: All over the place: spike shooters, spike traps that come out of the walls, and spikes on an Advancing Wall of Doom are common level design element.
  • The Quest of Ki has spiked floors and ceilings in many levels. As with almost everything else in the game, Ki will die if she touches them.
  • Quickly, Quackley! has many walls, floors and ceilings covered with rainbow-colored spikes. Spikes are the most common obstacle the player faces.
  • Rabi-Ribi has spikes present in many areas, that always do at least 200 HP of damage in a game where grabbing all of the HP upgrades will still only leave you with about 1200 HP. The last of the post-game areas is loaded with spikes to the point where they're far more of a hazard than the few enemies you'll encounter. Additionally, the game keeps track of how much damage you've sustained throughout the game, with a separate tally for spike damage, and if you clear the entire game with zero spike damage you'll unlock an achievement.
  • Red Goddess: Inner World: Like any Platform Game, this has its share. Some of the first encountered are retractable bright blue spikes. Touching them costs Divine 30 HP.
  • Resident Evil 4: One Press X to Not Die prompt has Leon impaled in a spike pit if you miss it. Another trap has a spiked Descending Ceiling, where you must shoot out the sensors to stop it.
  • Ristar: They are present in many areas, but are especially frequent on Sonata and Automaton. They also show up a lot in the bonus areas, but as you're invincible there the only thing they do is cause you to recoil as if you've taken damage, which wastes time.
  • River City Girls: Hibari's has a spike pit surrounding its non-functional conveyer belt.
  • Rogue Legacy: Many floors feature retractable spikes that will detect and try to stab you if you walk on them. Characters with no foot pulse (i.e. those wearing Hermes' Shoes) will not be detected. In addition, many surfaces in the castle are covered in permanent spikes. Unlike most examples, these can damage some enemies as well. Certain Fairy chests require you to make it across spike-laden rooms without jumping. To get across, you need the rune that allows flight when you hold the jump button after falling or the rune that allows you to dash.
  • Rolo to the Rescue has pits full of spinning spearheads.
  • Rusty: Hazardous spikes are present on some stages.
  • Sailor Moon S (Game Gear): These are present mostly in the first level and very dangerous. Touching them is an instant-kill for your character.
  • Samurai Revenge: Spikes are one of the many hazards in the game that can kill Kabuto in a single hit.
  • San Francisco Rush: Cheat codes in the console ports turn the traffic cones into spiky mines. Depending on which of the two cheats you enter, they'll either blow you up upon contact, which renders coned-off shortcuts practically unusable, or turn your car into a mine that will blow up one other car on contact before reverting back to normal form.
  • Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves inverts their usual relationship to the player, since you are the one setting them (amongst a range of other traps) by day, in order to hopefully see plenty of werewolves impaled on them during the night.
  • In Save the Light, the Strawberry Battlefield and Pyramid Temple have spiked areas that hurt anyone who steps on them. The latter even has them in the battlefield, hurting anyone who runs over them as they move to attack.
  • Serious Sam:
    • Serious Sam: The Second Encounter features a long corridor with spikes on the walls to each side. The twist is that there is a strong air current trying to blow you sideways into them as you travel the corridor that you have to fight, and it continually changes strength and direction. The secondary twist is that you don't need to maneouver at all—the air current just happens to blow in such a way that if you keep simply going forward without fighting against it, you'll end up narrowly avoiding all the spikes.
    • Serious Sam II: Upon entering into one of the rooms full of spikes, you'll get "I hate spikes"!
  • Shadow of the Wool Ball, 2016's Lighter and Softer total conversion Game Mod for the original Doom, includes both spikes rising out of the floor, and spiked walls which kill you instantly should a ventilation fan push you into one.
  • Shantae:
    • Touching spikes will usually send you back to the beginning of the room minus some of your health.
    • Shantae: Risky's Revenge has them first appear in Squid Baron's locale, and at least in the Definitive Edition, they just cause invincibility frames and walking on the spikes, not returning to the room entrance.
    • In the first game, though, they kill the half-genie girl instantly if she ever touches them.
  • Shift: The online games play with this; the hero survives these spikes because they were created by shoddy Actionscript.
  • Shrek the Third: The second-to-last level is set in a sewer temporarily converted to prison. Amongst other things, there is a field of bent, curved hair-like spikes going up and down in a pattern and you have to time it right to get through it. There are also two guards nearby who are alternately urging you to stay away for your own sake or encouraging you to go through and get impaled. Luckily, once you do make it, you get to kick their ass.
  • Sinjid: Spike pits can be found within the Dai'jin Mines, and they're a threat to both Sinjid and his enemies; the former will take massive damage if he falls into them while the latter will be immediately killed by them.
  • Skautfold: Usurper: Spikes are one of the traps found within the eldritch Citadel.
  • Skeletal Avenger: There are plenty of spots in the game full of holes. Stepping on them will cause spikes to shoot up from them to damage whoever steps on them, be it the Player Character, or an enemy.
  • Slap City story mode has spikes in a few locations, that violently repel the player in addition to dealing damage. It also has, in select places, "safety spikes" that repel without dealing damage.
  • Smashroom: There are spikes in the game that will damage Smashroom if he touches them.
  • Socket has either regular spikes or drills.
  • Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos. Some floors are covered with spikes. There are also larger spikes on some of the blocks.
  • So Many Me: There are plenty of spikes in the game. Touch them once, and that's it for Filo.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: They appear all too often. Unlike most other spikes though, only the sharp edges are typically damaging.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog: Curiously, the spikes bypass Mercy Invincibility — and contrary to what you might think, it was actually totally intentional. This was removed in future games, as well as the Sonic Mega Collection version.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Mystic Cave Zone is home to the infamous inescapable spike pit. At one point, you need to grab a rope to lower a bridge to cross a pit. If you fall into the pit, you are speared repeatedly by a row of spikes at the bottom. It might as well be a Bottomless Pit, given that the shaft is so deep that it can't be escaped (except by Knuckles). Even worse if you're Super Sonic and therefore can't take damage until you've run out of rings (which happens incredibly slowly)...
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 3: The Marble Garden Zone has an enemy that subverted this: it looks exactly like a set of spike, until you got close to it, at which point it rises from the ground slightly and fires glowing projectiles at you. The spikes on top of this enemy don't actually hurt you, instead acting like a springboard, but this being an enemy, touching the sides of the spikes will.
  • SpeedRunners: Played straight and then downplayed. Initially, touching a spike resulted in instant death, but later the game was patched so that spikes only cause knockback.
  • Spelunky has spikes that kill you if you fall on them, but not if you walk past them, or gently lower yourself on top of them. It is also possible to throw enemies onto spikes to kill them instantly (and messily). And if any enemy lands on the spikes, they die. Even giant spiders and shopkeepers.
  • Spiral Knights:
    • There are spikes and the equivalent brambles, which can be poisonous as well. While they aren't insta-kill, they do more damage in later levels and the enemies aren't harmed by them, and will often even use them as cover. For extra fun, spikes can be hidden under certain blocks. Not only can you easily step on them right as you destroy the blocks they were hidden under, you just removed an obstacle for the monsters nearby.
    • Jelly cubes were eventually updated to be covered in spikes (in order to justify a gelatinous cube dealing piercing damage, presumably), and can summon spikes from the ground.
  • Subverted in Spiritfarer: The spikes in the alternate dimension that Stella enters whenever she plays Daria's song at designated spots may look dangerous to the touch, but they don't hurt Stella.
  • Spoiler Alert: Because the game runs backwards in time, the falling spikes also happen to fall upwards.
  • Starbound: There are several variants. Notably, it is the wooden spikes that are a One-Hit Kill on anyone who touches them, while the others are still damaging, but usually survivable. One of the in-game races, Florans, enjoy crafting furniture out of the bones of their prey, giving it a very spiky appearance.
  • This is the only trap that can be laid down by the players. The damage from coming into contact with them ranges from 10 for the Wooden Spikes, to 50 for the Amethyst ones. Wooden spikes can be broken by any weapon, but the others require hammers, or the amethyst swords/spears.
  • Stitchy In Tooki Trouble: There are plenty of spikes in the game from which Stitchy will take damage if he touches them.
  • Sundered has thorny plants growing out of the walls, floor, and ceiling in many areas, which will damage Eshe if she touches them. They don't cause instant death, but they can still strip away Eshe’s shield and hit points very quickly thanks to the game's lack of Mercy Invincibility.
  • Super Dungeon Bros: There are traps in the game where spikes will regularly rise out of the ground.
  • Super Mario Bros. is famous for these, though in most cases spikes are not instant-death hazards:
    • Super Mario Bros. 2: Certain levels in the game, such as the castles, have spiky floors and, while they just take off a single heart plus some Mercy Invincibility, trying to walk across them by brute force is still far from ideal. But there's a way to tackle them: Enemies are unharmed by walking over them, and which Mario can stand onto to pass through the spiky areas without harm (in fact, it's necessary to do this in the second and third levels of World 4).
    • Super Mario Bros. 3: The game introduces spiked ceilings and platforms that rise and lower in fortresses. The only way Mario can avoid demise is by ducking in narrow spots where the spikes don't reach, and wait until the ceiling rises again. Spiky floors are less dangerous (if you have a power-up you'll just revert to Small Mario like if you hit an enemy).
    • Super Mario World: Spikes here are yellow-colored and thicker, and some of those from the ceilings may fall (you'll know which ones do this because their color is darker). Yoshi can walk on spikes or Munchers without harm in the game (as can Mega Moles, being even more helpful for Mario and Luigi by way of Cranium Ride).
    • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island: Spikes are very deadly in this game and its direct sequels, because they instantly kill Yoshi instead of letting him walk over them like in other games (and Mario cannot continue without him, because he's still a baby). In particular, Yoshi's Island DS went Nintendo Hard in the secret levels because of these, with entire levels having nearly all the level either instant death spikes or instant death lava, especially the bonus Yoshi's Island Easter Eggs. The good news is that the dog Poochy is fully immune to them (it's to be expected after seeing him walk over lava without any problem).
    • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins: Spikes appear prominently in the levels of Mario Zone and some ceilings in the final level. Depending on the case, Mario can rely on either defeating a Bear and maneuvering its circus ball, using a cog on rails, or ducking while standing on a conveyor belt to cross the spiky floors or ceilings.
    • Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3: Spikes are not only very frequent, they're far more dangerous than usual, as they can kill Wario instantly (Pouncers, being spiked on their sides and bottom, are deadly for this same reason).
    • New Super Mario Bros.: Spikes are common in the sub-series, which also introduce some platforms whose adjacent sides are spiked. Since these platforms move periodically, Mario and the other available playable characters have to move quickly through the current level before these things wreck them.
    • Super Mario Sunshine marks the introduction of floors with spikes that periodically protract and retract, thus requiring Mario to time the jumps carefully. These floors return in Super Mario 3D Land and Super Mario 3D World, with the latter having a level in one of the Special Worlds where all nearby spike floors will activate if the character(s) are spotted by searchlights, which greatly increases the difficulty.
    • Super Mario Maker: Though spikes by themselves aren't present, spiky round blocks play this role. They're sharp enough to bring (literal) pain to the Clown Cars, which becomes a huge problem in levels where you have to pilot one while navigating through a narrow spiky corridor. They turn into Jelectros in the Super Mario Bros. 3 Underwater style, and into Sea Urchins (of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening fame) in the Super Mario World Underwater one.
    • Super Mario Maker 2: It's possible to make some platforms retract their spikes, and others protract them, when you hit an ON/OFF switch; other platforms do this periodically on their own (they're colored yellow instead of red or blue). However, those platforms are exclusive to the 3D World style.
    • Mario Party 7: There are a few minigames with spiky hazards, but the most explicit instance is Spinner Cell. A player is controlling both a spiked spinner and a bumping one, while the other three players have to dodge them. The solo player can use the bumping spinner to stun a rival and make them more vulnerable against the spiked one, as contact with it will eliminate them. If the solo player manages to pinch all three rivals then they win; but if at least one rival survives during 30 seconds, then the trio wins.
    • Super Princess Peach has plentiful spikes in some of the worlds. You don't even have to land on top of them to take damage; just touching the damn things hurt.
    • Kaizo Mario World: This game and nearly every ROM hack inspired by it has used these in massive amounts. and every hack based off the concept has often used entire levels made of killer spikes.
    • Something:
      • Night of Spikes. The only enemy around is the Tick and most of the obstacles are spikes.
      • Hell Ship in the Sky has a Spikitu toss Homing Pidgit Bills. Another one joins in the madness and makes things worse for Mario.
      • Spikitu Castles 1+2 in Something Else. Spikitus are the major enemy in both levels. They are immune to Luigi's arsenal of tricks.
  • Super Meat Boy: While the majority of levels avoid spikes as a hazard, in retro-themed warp zone levels, spikes are a common hazard.
  • Sutte Hakkun: Since the game is a Puzzle Platformer, the only things that can kill the titular protagonist are Bottomless Pits and these.
  • The Swindle has the immobile spike traps and the mobile bladed centipede robots. Both of these are bad news for your One-Hit-Point Wonder character.
  • Sydney Hunter and the Sacred Tribe has these in the form of spears, which point upwards from pits, and downwards from ceilings.
  • Sydney Hunter and the Curse of the Mayan: There are plenty of these strewn throughout the temple ruins. One touch from them will end Sydney Hunter.
  • Syobon Action: A frequent trap. The game being what it is, they'll often suddenly appear during the worst moment, or else they may equally suddenly fly off or do something else you wouldn't expect at first glance.
  • Tails' Nightmare uses these in both games, in varying shapes and sizes. They were the only main obstacles in the first game. Although the sequel had much more variety, they were still prevalent.
  • Tallowmere: Present on the randomly generated levels. In particular, they force players to be more careful with the otherwise awesome rocket launcher, since its recoil may well knock them backwards and into a set of those.
  • Tcheco in the Castle of Lucio: These are present, and you have 8 HP but only a single life to spare.
  • Terra Battle: Spike tiles appear in some quests. A character that stays on a spike tile will sustain damage for every turn they stay on it, and will also take damage each time they pass over one. Later chapters introduce spike traps with taller spikes that do more damage. There are other kinds of damage tiles (such as lava, poison(ous mud) and ice tiles), but spike tiles are by far the most common. However, the damage can be nullified through the Levitation status.
  • Theta vs Pi 7: These appear on some levels. Some much larger ones show up when fighting Ghost Pi (fatal to you but he can pass right through them).
  • They Bleed Pixels: Prevalent, although only the really long ones are an instant kill. The heroine can punch and kick her enemies into the spikes repeatedly to build up her combo meter.
  • Thy Dungeonman 3 has walls of spikes that'll smash the character after 12 turns. You have to jam the mechanism with a bone on the floor.
  • Thumper: Starting from Level 2 that introduces jumping. They are red, chaotic and very sharp.
  • Time Fcuk features wobbly sawblades which function in the same manner.
  • Tiny Barbarian: Spikes are the most common hazard in the game. Also the first obstacle encountered.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: In the Gangplank Galleon level, there are blue-colored spikes in parts of the floor as well as parts of the ceiling. Some from the latter can fall down as soon as your character approaches it, so beware.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure has these throughout the game. There are two variations; short, round ones that take away a single heart from your health bar, and thin, tall ones that instantly kill you. Perhaps the most notable examples of the latter are in the Ice Mountain levels, particularly because you have to jump on disappearing platforms at the right time to avoid falling in them.
  • Tobari and the Night of the Curious Moon: Red spikes in the bonus World?? are the most prominent examples, due to their sheer frequency there.
  • Toki has both normal spikes and mounds of spiky balls that explode all over the place when destroyed.
  • Tomb Raider is far more full of spike pits than any actual tomb, although Lara was mysteriously unhurt if she just walked through spikes instead of blindly running through them.
    • Tomb Raider I: One secret area requires jumping into a spike pit in just the right place that you don't get impaled.
    • Tomb Raider III: This makes a part late in the first level a Guide Dang It!. Progressing in a certain area DOES require walking through an area full of spikes and then jumping up and pulling yourself onto a ledge while standing on the spikes. Better hope Lara grabs the ledge the first time if you don't want to be sent all the way back to your last save... Worse, saving while standing in spikes causes Lara to immediately get shishkabobbed on reload, making that save unwinnable.
    • Modern areas swap out spikes with more appropriate traps like broken glass (second game) and barb wire (third game). They still function exactly like spikes, including the "unharmed if walked through" trick.
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater: Even skateboarders aren't safe. Several games have "Punji Pits" in the editor.
  • Toss the Turtle uses these to stop the turtle in his tracks. You can get an achievement for hitting enough of them, too.
  • Tower of Heaven: Spike traps are a regular fixture, and they are always lethal.
  • Trapper Knight, Sharpshooter Princess: Gritz, the protagonist, can place down spike traps, though they'll only damage the troops walking over them, and not even stop them.
  • Trash Quest: There are plenty of spikes in the game. One touch costs the raccoon one circle of health.
  • Trophy 2021: This game being inspired by the Mega Man (Classic)'' games, there are spikes that will insta-kill Trophy if he touches them.
  • Turbo Pug 3D: Spike patches on the ground are one of the hazard your pug/cat/penguin encounters in the game.
  • Twin Robots: There are spikes in this game that will one-hit kill the robots should they touch them.
  • Tux Racer: The "doom" part is subverted since Tux is Made of Iron, but the courses Path of Daggers, In Search of Vodka, I Like Spike, and I Like Spike 2 all feature spikes prominently.
  • Ultima IX Ascension: The spikes are clearly meant to be a trap, but are so weak that you can stand being impaled by them for a good five minutes and only take negligible damage.
  • Underhero: You play as a former underling of an evil overlord who starts to subvert him after the death of the designated hero. Now, what kind of Overlord would your master be if he didn't place a bunch of these around the place? Everyone knows the minions who get pinioned on those weren't good enough anyway.
  • An Untitled Story: You'll sometimes need to form a bridge out of your enemies to travel across those.
  • Unworthy: These appear from The Undercity onwards. They can be placed on the ceiling when you travel on Floating Platforms, or on the walls, to make you think twice about rolling around carelessly. If they are placed on the ground, there's usually a chandelier hanging above that you can drop on them, and walk safely over it.
  • Vaporum: You're playing as a person inside a Dieselpunk exo-suit, but that doesn't make spiked pits any less deadly.
  • Venture Kid: Some levels of the game are peppered with spikes that will take Andy out in a single hit if he touches them, which is an element from the games that inspired him. Gaining the spike boots power-up prevents that from happening... so long as there's energy in the power-up's tank.
  • Vessel: You can fall onto stalagmites while in the mines.
  • Vietcong has both the bamboo spikes and the punji sticks in the tunnels.
  • Vinyl Goddess from Mars featured both spike pits and spike traps that shoot out from the ground.
  • Void Memory: Spikes pop out of the clearly visible holes in the floor of the Cursed Prince's palace, which the player must jump over or dash through.
  • VVVVVV has a whopping 7612 of them. Even the title tells quite a lot about the most common hazard in that game.
  • Wallachia: Reign of Dracula has its share of spike pits that will damage Elcin is she touches them.
  • Wasteland Angel: Inverted. The Spike Strip sub-weapon drops a line of square, spike-studded pads. Not only do they immobilize enemies, you are completely immune to their effects.
  • Waxworks (1992): You can suffer a nasty death via a spike pit in the Pyramid.
  • Some Arena maps feature spike beds on the floor, which are insta-kill if they get triggered. There's a whole set of rules about which actions will trigger them, and which won't. I.e. simply walking onto the spike bed won't activate them, but rolling or sprinting over them will, as will trying to jump or spear vault over them. Then, it's possible to attack from the spikes, but charged melee attacks will trigger them, while both normal and charged ranged attacks are safe. Lastly, getting hit while on the spike bed triggers them, so it's ultimately never a good place to be.
  • Windforge: Spikes are present in the ruined Temples, from the tutorial onwards. Temple of Stillness in particular is mostly covered in them, while the earlier Temple of Vision will keep on creating them for the entire time you'll spend in there.
  • The Witch's House: The puzzle with the mouths on the wall will kill the player with these if they pick the wrong entrance. There are also spikes near one of the doors, but the player essentially has to voluntarily walk into them. If they do, they'll still be bloody even after you reload and approach that place again.
  • Within a Deep Forest: Spikes are a fairly common hazard. Some of the more advanced balls are unharmed by them, but you need to get the right materials first, and that won't help you in the parts of the game where you can't use them.
  • World of Goo: The many spikes are rather less... triangular than most two-dimensional examples, being more like very long thorns. Goo burst on contact with them, threatening the entire structure.
  • Xargon, one of the earliest games created by Epic Games, has them, but the protagonist Malvineous Havershim can take a whole five hits before going down.
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine has both stationary and retractable varieties. The retractable ones are usually timed to have a rolling effect. Given that you're playing Wolverine, your Healing Factor means that the penalty for a mistime isn't much at all. The stationary ones are great fun for impaling your foes on.
  • Zadette has very tiny, yet nonetheless extremely lethal, spikes.
  • Zeliard: Early levels feature these in the form of rocks, brambles, or ice. The latter levels replace these with pits of blue goo, lava, or fire.
  • Zettai Hero Project: Spikes are a hidden trap type. However, if you're wearing tank treads, you won't get injured by them.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • 8-Bit Theater: One strip parodies the ubiquitousness of Spikes of Doom through a gag showing a spike-filled-pit factory. "They Gotta Come From Somewhere".
  • Brawl in the Family: Parodied in this strip, where Mega Man is killed by touching Sonic's hair spikes.
  • Champions of Far'aus: The House of insanity has spikes on the floor of the final room Skye and Karla go through.
  • Chopping Block: In one strip, Butch attempts to learn what permits are needed to build a spiked pit in his yard. He finds that the Public Works Department apparently doesn't know how to field that one.
  • Girl Genius: One of the castle's Pit Traps is full of spikes — even the ceiling, which appears to be set up to be lowered onto those who've made their way inside of it.
  • Kid Radd: Referenced in an early part. "Next level: Sharp Painful Object Land."
  • The Order of the Stick: These two strips, the villains entertain themselves by dropping the captured Paladin O-Chul into a giant jar lined with sharp spikes... and filled with acid... and inhabited by an acid-breathing shark. The trap is taken directly from the D&D source book Dungeonscape, complete with the shark. Only the glass containment was added.
  • In the world of Star Impact where every boxer's gloves have a special power, Urchin's gloves sport lots of retractible spines. They increase both the damage and range of his punches while letting them stagger an opponent with even a glancing blow, but they're nonlethal, as Puck notes that they can't break skin.

    Web Videos 
  • Pirates SMP: The Kishi quest traps any and all travellers who take on it inside its catacombs; in order to escape, a quester must kill their companion by throwing them into a pit of stalagmites. Since it's a pair of brothers who end up taking on this quest, this doesn't end well.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • There are various man-made booby traps used through out the world that really use spikes in a variety of interesting and horrible ways. One of the most well known is the Punji Pit, which the Viet Cong used to trap allied soldiers. Oddly enough, the goal was not immediate death by impalement, but death by infection. They would often rub the tips of the spikes with human feces. It's just one of the examples of how the Viet Cong's traps were designed to be somewhat less than lethal, so that the enemy would have to evacuate wounded and treat them at a hospital, which they believed to be more damaging to the war effort than simply killing them. There's truth to that: it would tie up more soldiers and resources to try to keep a wounded soldier alive than to simply deal with a dead body. Alternatively, the Viet Cong would attack while the other soldiers tried to help the trap's victim.
  • In 2008 several spike pit traps were discovered in the forests around the Dutch community of "Helden". The traps contained large concrete blocks with metal spikes and were covered in a way that made them nearly undetectable. Two people sustained minor injuries and the suspected culprit was arrested and sentenced a few months later. His motives were never made clear.
  • Caltrops are four spikes arranged so that however you drop one, it will land with one spike pointing up (kinda like the jacks in a game of Pick Up Jacks). The idea is to drop them in the road or in a field somewhere to prevent vehicles or cavalry from operating freely without fear of injury or damage. They were used in the Korean War by the Air Force to cut off roads used by Communist supply lines, so they could come back and bomb the disabled supply vehicles.
  • Tank traps or "Czech hedgehogs" made out of steel beams have a similar appearance and function to caltrops, designed to hinder armoured vehicles instead. While not an immediate threat to infantry, Czech hedgehogs are difficult to remove: they are resistant to crushing and their design ensures that they will remain upright if dislodged by an explosion. They can be rolled out of the way or cut apart, but this takes time and is a particularly hazardous task when under fire, as the enemy will unload machine guns and artillery on the unlucky sods tasked with their clearance.
  • Improvised mini-"caltrops" can be made from a pair of staples twisted together. This was created by some extremely bored students to serve as a booby trap or a wicked prank, often scattered on the seat of an unsuspecting schmuck who would soon get a sharp reminder why their neighboring classmate was not fun to be around.
  • This is being tossed around as an idea to ward future Earthlings away from highly radioactive places. Played with, since the spikes would be too massive to be really dangerous (just foreboding) but the radiation is certainly lethal enough. The idea behind it is that most types of radiation that we generate these days has a half-life a lot longer than any language we've ever spoken. A "Warning, Radiation" sign would go unheeded if no one can speak English or even read. A giant wall of spikes, however, would certainly act as a deterrent.
  • Anechoic RF Chambers certainly look that way. Good thing the spikes are actually foam rubber. That said, you don't want to be locked in an unilluminated one; the complete lack of sound and light acts as sensory deprivation, driving you literally insane after less than an hour.
  • Cypress and mangrove trees have spiky "knee roots" that could potentially impale an unwary explorer. Same with thorns and plant spines in general. In a subversion, the reason mangrove trees have these spikes is not for defense, it's to allow their roots to take in oxygen while submerged by high tides.
  • Leap Castle in County Offaly, Ireland had one of these in its oubliette chamber. Prisoners were thrown in, and the "lucky" ones landed on the spike. The not-so-lucky ones simply wasted away from dehydration, starvation, infection, and exposure. Three large cartloads of human bones were removed from the then-abandoned castle in the 1930s. (Along with a gold watch dated to the 1840s, even though the castle was abandoned at that time.)
  • The Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park in Madagascar is an entire landscape made of limestone spikes. They protrude at all angles, and are exceedingly sharp. As a result, this area is mostly unexplored. One biologist exploring the area stumbled a little, and took a spike to the knee, which prematurely ended his expedition.
  • Certain areas where cars can come and go for parking or whatnot may have speed bumps rigged as one way spike traps. Usually, entering the area by going over the spike trap does no damage to the person's car because the spikes are bend to be pointy in only one direction and said pointy end are usually facing towards the parking lot. If someone tries to go the opposite way through the spike trap, their tires get punctured and the car gets disabled. This is done to prevent people that try to leave the wrong way or quickly flee if they committed some sort of crime. Spike strips are also used by the police if they have to quickly stop a fleeing criminal that is driving dangerously and is putting other people in harm's way. Unlike the spike trap in the above example, the strips used by the cops are two way so no matter which way the criminal is driving, the spikes will pop the tires. Some police departments have also tried out retractable spike strips so the pursuing police vehicles don't also get their tires slashed.

  • Colorado's Royal Gorge is a famous place for whitewater rafting. One of its swifter runs, The Narrows, is lined with exposed rebar (from a worn-away old road) on the left side of the river. These Spikes of Doom are three or four feet long and are just waiting to turn hapless rafts and rafters into finely grated chum.
  • There is a theory that the Jupiter-moon Europa might be covered in meter-high spikes of ice.
  • Some walls have long and sharp metal bars (or spikes made from shattered glass) sticking out of the top to deter thieves from climbing them. Nowadays, they are complemented by electric fences due to concerns of some sly thieves outsmarting those spiky structures.
  • One method of home defense is to push some nails through a rug or a piece of shingle and lay it spiky side up underneath suspected entry points such as windows for burglars. Some people even go far enough as to file barbs into the nails so the thief can't pull the nails back out, making them easier for the cops or home owners to catch. Setting traps for would-be burglars can get the homeowner in serious trouble. As a general rule, the exceptions which allow you to kill or injure a burglar have to do with personal protection, not simply the protection of property (you are going to have to prove that you believed you were in physical danger). If you are not home, then you are not in personal danger from the burglar and "pre-emptive" traps would be illegal. At least in the U.S., if you are so concerned about burglars that you are considering setting traps for them, you would be better off getting a dog or installing an alarm system and/or cameras.
  • Needle strips are often placed on business signs to prevent birds from sitting on them.
  • Hostile design or hostile architecture is the creation of areas designed to prevent unwanted activities. Many cities are using these principles to place spikes or other uncomfortable things up in public places as a means to prevent giving the homeless a safe or comfortable place to rest. By placing spikes, benches with holes that become freezing cold in winter, benches with angled seats or needless rails, and similar designs, cities attempt to dissuade transients and the homeless from settling down where other citizens can see them. Critics find it dehumanizing, while proponents believe it enforces social order.
  • England is using Spikes of Doom to keep the homeless away from underpasses. China is getting in on this as well, by putting them outside stores and buildings in cities. One can't help but wonder if we live in a world with the worst traits of [[{{Literature/1984}}]] and Brave New World when Spikes of Doom are used to oppress the disenfranchised.
  • Pay & Sit: the private bench is a conceptual bench by Fabian Brunsing, that comes equipped with spikes jutting out of the seat. In order to take a comfortable seat, you have to insert coins. A warning beep goes off when the spikes are about to pop back up, to give you time to gather your belongings and leave before your backside gets impaled. The purpose of this contraption is to deter anyone with no money and place to live/go from simply sleeping on the bench.
  • Many natural crystal formations are so sharp they will do severe harm when touched. For example, crocoite, as featured in Cave Story above, is rare but real. Others are more common and may be found in giant geode caves, which require extreme precautions just to enter.
  • Between staghorn corals, sea urchins, and assorted spine-backed fishes hiding in nooks and crannies, coral reefs can be natural Spikes of Doom for divers tossed against them by currents.
  • Ever wondered why spiked collars for pets exist? Well a wolf would have a very hard time attacking the neck of a herding dog wearing one such collar. Although the practical ones have much thinner and longer spikes than the purely aesthetic ones you can find in your average pet store; a truer modernization is the anti-coyote spiked vest. For very small dogs in bird-of-prey territory, vests adorned with slender outthrust needles can avert a Vertical Kidnapping.
  • The walls of a leatherback sea turtle's throat appear to resemble this - but the spikes are soft and flexible, intended to trap food while the turtle expels water.

Alternative Title(s): Spikes Of Death


Sea Tower spikes

The Earth section of Sea Tower has spikes that can injure Mario.

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Main / SpikesOfDoom

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