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Video Game / Deathtrap Dungeon

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Deathtrap Dungeon (or Ian Livingstone's Deathtrap Dungeon) is an action-adventure game released in 1998 for the PlayStation and Microsoft Windows. It is based on the adventure gamebook Deathtrap Dungeon (the sixth in the Fighting Fantasy series) written by Ian Livingstone, and published by Puffin Books in 1984.

The game is a third-person adventure, with the player taking the role of an adventurer (either the pirate "Red Lotus" or the pit-fighter "Chaindog"), who have answered the challenge of Baron Sukumvit to try and defeat his deadly dungeon of traps and monsters, with the prize for the winner being untold riches and the freedom for the town of Fang.

This Video Game contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Short Level: The first stage is a straight, short corridor leading to an exit, with three fireball-shooting obstacles between. You complete it in under ten seconds and start facing orcs and skeletons the following stage.
  • Action Bomb: This game contains exploding pigs, one in the opening FMV which took down a previous Dungeon contestant.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The overall theme of the original gamebook stays, altough the backstory changes a bit, several villains are added as boss characters, and Baron Sukumvit himself receives a bit of an Adaptational Villainy.
  • Adaptational Villainy: While not exactly a saint in the original gamebook, the Baron Sukumvit present in the game is a tyrannical overlord who opresses the city of Fang and part of the prize of making it through the dungeon is that he will relinquish his grip on the city.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Hive, a race of giant insect beings that lived in the caves before Sukumvit constructed the dungeon. Consists of the Insect Warriors, the Flying Insect Warriors and the gargantuan Insect Queen. There's also the Scorpion Automaton created by the Alchemists, as well as the Giant Scorpions and Giant Spider enemies.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Strongly averted. At low health, the heroes' faces can appear absolutely shredded, with nasty gashes and exposed bone. If Red Lotus is attacked by fire-breathing enemies then her skin takes on the colour and texture of leathery, burnt bacon and worse, it appears her leather spandex has started melting into her skin.
  • Big Red Devil: Agrash the Necromantic Demon, one of the main villains of the game, appears in the recognizable form of a red devil.
  • Cult: One of the main villain factions, The Cult Of the Necrodemon, a group of demon worshippers loyal to Agrash.
  • Breath Weapon: Used by several enemies. The dragons, obviously, can breathe fire, the Minor Automatons are essentially flamethrowers on legs, and the Giant Spiders can spit venom.
  • Breakable Weapons: ALL the magic weapons, even the ones that don't use ammo. This puts you in a precarious situation in the Quarry, where you simply don't have enough hits on the Magic Warhammer to take out all the Rockmen you encounter.
  • Captain Ersatz: Red Lotus is Red Sonja wearing a leather leotard, leather long gloves and tight high boots while Chaindog is Conan wearing an armor.
  • Circus of Fear: The Circus Of the Damned, a legion of hellish clowns and performers that serve Agrash and the other demon lords of Hell.
  • Dem Bones: Skeletons are a reoccurring enemy in the depths of the dungeon.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Bloodbeast, a massive, hideous creature with a face covered in eyeballs, one of which is its weakspot, that lives in a large pit full of its own slime. Along with the Pit Fiend, its one of the few carryovers from the original gamebook.
  • Evil Weapon: The Black Spirit Sword is a powerful weapon that does damage to the user as well as the target.
  • Giant Mook:
    • The Orc Sergeants and Rat Ogres, which are larger, stronger versions of their lower ranked cousins.
    • Juggernauts are plus-sized mechas that dwarf the players.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: If you aren't aware of the games connection to the original gamebook, The Pit Fiend and The Bloodbeast comes off as this, as they don't really fit in with any of the other villain groups, and kinda come out of left field.
  • Giant Spider: Large spiders are a reoccurring enemy in the dungeon.
  • Golem: The Rockmen, a race of golems created by an overambitious mage centuries ago. They're invulnerable to all weapons except the Magic Warhammer. Their leader, Carborundum, isn't even vulnerable to that.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Several. There's the Snake Girls, half breeds between human men and the Medusa, as well as the High Priestesses Of Agrash, the daughters of human female cult members and the demon lord Agrash.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: The Silver Sword is a weapon specifically created to combat the undead.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The High Priestesses and Demonwitches of Agrash's cult. The High Priestesses, being half human, half demon hybrids, look disturbing enough, gangly alien-like women with green skin and pointy ears., but the Demonwitches are four armed monsters with hideous, snake like heads, and are the results of demonic spirits inhabiting the bodies of sacrificed cult members.
  • Intelligent Gerbil: The Ratmen, similar to the Skaven from Warhammer, are a species of anthromorphic rat creatures that makes use of primitive steampunk weapons, and classic iron weaponry. They also have a ruling class of mutated Rat Ogres, including their king, Skabulus.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Red Sword is a weapon specifically forged to combat firebased creatures like Melkor or Agrash, as well as the Magic Warhammer, the only weapon that can harm the Rockmen.
  • The Juggernaut: The Knackerer automaton is a mindless machine resembling a medieval steamroller with spikes, is completely unstoppable and invulnerable, but only follows its preset route. There's also Carborundum, the Rockmens leader, who is completely invulnerable, and can only be defeated by luring him into a trap.
  • Mad Scientist: The Alchemists of Chaos, the creators of the Automatons. There's only three of them in the game, all encountered in the Labyrinth, though the manual reveals that they're actually part of a guild, and these three are just representatives.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Automatons are mechanical enemies created by Alchemists, which can blast you with fireballs. There's also the Juggernaut that towers absolutely over you.
  • Medusa: Three Medusas appear in the game as part of the Orc army. The oldest of the three have the Stone Gaze power.
  • Monster Clown: The Hell Clowns, Death Jugglers, and Hell Kings Jesters are evil clowns starring in The Circus of The Damned.
  • Our Minotaurs Are Different: Minotaurs are creations of the Alchemists of Chaos, and fittingly enough, are encountered in the Labyrinth level.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Venom Sword, one of the first magical weapons you will encounter, sounds like it may be a Poisoned Weapon but it is not. Instead, it's actually meant to be effective against poisonous enemies.
  • Race Lift: Baron Sukumvit and the city of Fang overall. In the original book, the setting carries a distinct Pacific Island feel, and the illustration shows both Sukumvit and his subject as asian, while the game cutscenes portray Sukumvit as white, and Fang as a generic Sword and Sorcery township.
  • Rule of Three: Some of the leader villains come in groups of three. There's three Dragons, three Medusa and three Alchemists that lead their respective groups.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Once you're nearing the end of the game, it will tell you in a text log that (paraphrased) : "All you have to do now is defeat a bloodbeast and three dragons. Easy-peasy, ain't it?"
  • Schmuck Bait: Please don't open the chest with three dead skeletons in front of it.
  • Steampunk: The Automata enemies are steampunk automatons created by the Alchemists Of Chaos, as well as some of the obtainable weapons of the game such as the Blunderbuss and the Flame Lance. There's also some of the technology used by the Ratmen.
  • Stock Scream: There are plenty of stock scream sound effects, including the Howie Scream.
  • Third-Person Seductress: Red Lotus wears a one-piece which is so tiny that there isn't any mechanism to keep her breasts covered by it. Of course, it stays on perfectly, but only because it's fantasy. She accessorizes with high boots and long gloves for a dominatrix look, and this is exactly how Eidos chose to market the game, using a wholly different definition of "dungeon" in the process. And they actually wanted red Lotus more naked! Early screenshots show she was conceived as wearing a thong and a "bra" that consists of a chain hanging from her neck to metal pieces on her nipples and then another chain connecting her nipples. It's even more blatantly nonfunctional wear than her final outfit.
  • The Undead: A classic mix of Skeletons, Zombies and Ghosts. There's also the Black Dragon Chapter Knights, undead spirits inhabiting black armor.
  • The Unfought:
    • Carborundum is never actually fought, due to him being invulnerable. Instead, you get past him by collapsing the floor he's standing on, plunging him into the abyss.
    • The Insect Queen can be this, if you fight her the way the game designers intended. You CAN fight her in combat, but due to her Damage Sponge nature, it's very difficult. Instead, you collapse the cave ceiling on top of her, impaling her on a cluster of stalactites.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Ugluk Stormfart, the shaman who leads the orcs, is resistant to nearly all forms of magic. His weakness? Your weapon, the normal sword.
  • A Winner Is You: What do you get for painstakingly fighting your way through Deathtrap Dungeon and defeating Melkor the Red Dragon ? A less-than-a-minute long cutscene, depicting an imp emerging from a hatch in Melkor's corpse (revealing the dragon to be a machine) and creepily laughing at the player. It does not bring any closure and you don't get to see your character getting their reward. Worse, the scene is so oddly framed that many players don't realise that the imp is emerging from inside Melkor, leaving them wondering who the hell that giant goblin is, how he ended up there, and what his purpose is.