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Video Game / Triachnid

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"Poor spider."
— Comment on the game's Newgrounds page

An early game by Edmund McMillen and Florian Himsl (the team behind The Binding of Isaac), Triachnid is about guiding a three-legged spider-like creature on a journey to recover its lost eggsack and larvae, after its mate is eaten by a large (from the triachnid's perspective) monster.

This is more difficult than it sounds, because the triachnid can only be moved by dragging its feet individually in a "hand-over-hand" motion. Did we mention you'll also need to carry objects and manipulate webbing using this system?

The pace is deliberately slow and methodical as a result, and the game is more about experimenting with narrative and characterization through mechanics than about being fun. The goal was to make players sympathize with the triachnid through the gameplay. It succeeded.

Can be found in its original form here. Was also included as part of The Basement Collection in 2012, along with several other games designed by McMillen. Triachnid also appears as a boss in The Binding of Isaac.

This game provides examples of:

  • All Webbed Up: You'll never completely wrap something in web, but trapping things on a single strand is one of your main puzzle-solving techniques in the second half of the game.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Presumably not actually that big, but we're never given a size reference, so the triachnid appears pretty large.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Dropping the eggsack in acid or off a cliff will net you one of these.
  • Some Dexterity Required: The entire challenge of the game is maneuvering the triachnid's legs in such a way that it will walk and interact with objects.
  • Wall Crawl: As a spider, you have the ability to climb walls.
  • Womb Level: The last two levels take place inside the monster that ate your mate.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Only collecting the eggsack is mandatory; the larvae are not. Doesn't mean you won't feel terrible about missing one.
    • The triachnid will take damage if you pull its legs too far too quickly. Most players take their steps carefully after they realize this.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: It's possible to eat the tadpole creatures.