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Video Game / Trog

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It's survival of the fastest in the prehistoric land of Og. That crazy, one-eyed caveman, the Trog, is hungry... and dinos Spike and Bloop know what that means: RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!
—NES box

Trog is a 1990 video game developed by Bally/Midway originally for the arcades and later ported to both the NES and DOS. Set in a time where cavemen lived alongside dinosaurs, up to four players can play one of four dinos: Rex, Spike, Bloop, and Gwen. The ports reduce you to just two of the dinos, Spike and Bloop.

Like Pac-Man, your mission is to clear the screen. You must collect all the colored eggs you can while avoiding the "Trogs", vicious one-eyed cavemen that would love to eat fresh dinosaur for lunch. (The name is derived from "troglodyte", an older word for caveman and the scientific name for chimpanzees.) Once you collect all the eggs, you have to make it to the exit, labelled "Home", in order to advance to the next screen. In a multiplayer game, the first player to make it off the screen gets bonus points and a brief victory animation.


Unlike Pac-Man, your dinos are not completely helpless without a power-up.note  You can punch the Trogs at any time (it takes three hits to knock a Trog off the screen). As for power-up items, you can collect horseshoes that give you temporary invulnerability; red flowers that raise your speed; ice cubes that freeze all on-screen Trogs and enable you to punch them off the screen with a single punch; pineapples, which turn the character into a full-grown T-Rex that can temporarily eat his enemies (like Pac-Man's Power pellets), and a chili pepper which gives you temporary fire breathing power. Mushrooms should be avoided as they will decrease your speed.

The Trogs aren't your only worry. Hazards can kill you such as wheels, fire, pits, and tar; however these hazards can also affect the Trogs. If you're not careful, you can also walk off the edge of the play area and die. Later levels contain teleporters and catapults, which you can use to get around the playing area...and the Trogs can use them too.


This game contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adapted Out: Rex and Gwen are absent from the NES version, while Spike and Gwen are absent from the DOS version.
  • All Cavemen Were Neanderthals: Averted; the Trogs are depicted as being stylized Cyclops creatures.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Rex is red, Bloop is blue, Spike is yellow and Gwen is purple.
  • Antagonist Title: The game is named after the chief enemy race of the game.
  • Bonus Stage: Three that pop up throughout the game. One has you eat as many Trogs as you can, another has you burn as many Trogs as possible with fire breath, and the last has you collect as many gems as possible.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Or having a good attempt at doing so. Whenever a spring-powered Trog lands on a trampoline, he gets splatted against the monitor screen.
  • Breath Weapon: The chili peppers grant whichever player eats them fireballs to roast the Trogs.
  • Camera Abuse: If one of the green Trogs wearing spring shoes lands on a bounce pad, the combined bouncing power launches them into the screen.
  • Continuing is Painful: The less continues you use, the bigger the "Special Bonus" you get at the end of the game. Should one complete every level and never run out of lives, the Special Bonus is a whopping 25 million points.
  • Cute Bruiser: The dinos.
  • Cutscene: Happens every 8 levels in both the arcade and NES ports where the Trogs are shown plotting some new way of killing you.
  • Cyclops: The Trogs.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: After Island 41, The Trogs invent the wheel... which they already used much earlier in the game from Island 11 onwards.note 
  • Easter Egg: The hidden warp system. At the start of any level except 1 and 48, a particular egg (one for each dino in the game, in the corner opposite that dino's start position) will very briefly sparkle. If a player clears all their eggs without dying, and clears the sparkly egg last, a pit with flashing squares in it will open somewhere. If any dino (not just the victorious one) falls down that pit, all dinos will warp 2 or 3 levels ahead and will get a bonus.
  • Elite Mook: The red Trogs spawn with clubs their yellow brethren don't use.
  • Exotic Entree: Your fate if a Trog knocks you out cold; they get shown feasting on your unconscious body, complete with silverware, until you're skeletonized. In co-op multiplayer, however, your buddy can defy this trope by rescuing you if you get knocked out by bare-handed Trogs or Trogs with clubs; if your buddy kills these Trogs the moment they're about to eat you, you recover without a loss of life.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: The flaming red chili peppers give the dinos a fiery Breath Weapon in the form of a fireball.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Trogs can off themselves the same way they'll try to off you. The blue Trogs can bowl over themselves and other Trogs with their boulder-wheels, and the yellow and red Trogs can burn themselves in their own fire traps later in the game.
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: When a dino turns into a T-rex from the pineapples, they can chase and eat the Trogs. Eat enough on one pineapple and the game will go "WOW!" at the lucky player.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: Two different kinds: horseshoes and pineapples. One simply gives a temporary shield- the other is also temporary but allows the players to give the Trogs a taste of their own medicine.
  • Megaton Punch: Your primary weapon against Trogs; your third punch will hurl them off the screen.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The dinosaur characters have the bodies of a tyrannosaurus with the heads of a styracosaurus. They ditch the tyrannosaurus elements when they power up.
  • Monowheel Mayhem: Blue-colored Trogs roll wheels at you on later levels.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: The final island is a Zerg Rush of Trogs that the dinos must overcome to reach the ending.
  • Oh, Crap!: Trogs react with a surprised expression when a player, transformed into a Tyrannosaurus rex, lunges for and eats them.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: While the players punch fast but need three punches to defeat a Trog, the Trogs' punches are slower but knock you out if they connect, followed by their feasting on you with silverware, which is an insta-kill.note  All other hazards are similarly lethal, including Bottomless Pits, tar pits, the water surrounding the islands, Blue Trogs' stone wheels which flatten the dinos and Red Trogs' fire traps.
  • Playing with Fire: Chili Pepper powerups bestow the ability to breathe fireballs in place of punching, and the Trogs eventually invent starting fires to get in your way.
  • Power-Up Food: Pineapples and chili peppers.
  • Punny Name: Rex, obviously. Also Bloop (he's blue).
  • Ring Out: You can fall off the edge of the play area and so can the Trogs. Luring a Trog off the level in this fashion leads to bonus points.
  • Schmuck Bait: If two or more dinos have collected all their eggs, sometimes each has a different (color-coded) exit. If a dino should go into the wrong exit (or a Trog into any exit), it will turn into a pit and swallow them.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Any dino who falls off the edge of the island or gets launched by a bounce pad.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Gwen. Not that she looks or sounds different from her male companions though.
  • Spring Coil: Island 15 introduces green-clad Trogs with improvised spring shoes that bounce around from tile to tile.
  • Squashed Flat:
    • Blue and green Trogs can kill the dinos with rolling stone wheels or a good 'ol Goomba Stomp. Though the former method usually ends with them getting flattened instead.
    • When powered up, T-Rexes can leap on and crush the other, un-transformed dinos. It provides only 1,000 points and (thankfully) doesn't subtract a life from the flattened dino.
  • Stop Motion: This video game uses claymation, or "PLAYmation" to be exact. Partly as an Incredibly Lame Pun and partly to work around the trademark.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: In multiplayer, the last egg for one of the dinos sometimes fails to spawn, in which case that dino cannot win the round.