If it’s not a boulder falling on your head, it’s a spray of some noxious gas. Traps are an integral element of dungeon construction. They provide a sense of uncertainty and danger: every step could be your last. They add a little extra suspense to each encounter and are yet another obstacle to overcome in the dangerous task that is exploration. Most importantly, they provide one more way for you to die.
We’ve already discussed our spin on the bear trap in the Technospinner’s webs, but today I want to introduce a different sort of trap we’ve got cooked up. It’s called the Trapple.
Every Trapple still functions as a normal apple. When you eat it, you grow a segment. However, each Trapple comes with its own side effect. Some effects are fairly innocuous, others devastating. Here are a few of the varieties you might encounter.
You feel green in the tail
Not to be confused with its psychedelic cousin, the Poison Apple often spells doom for snake and fairy tale princess alike. Once ingested, it causes a sickly green segment to sprout at the end of your tail, which, if left unattended, will spread its poison up your body not unlike the malady received from a punglette’s sting.
Whoa, you can really, like, feel your tail
Eating this apple will give you a greater appreciation for what it means to have a tail. For a short while the camera will focus on your tail instead of your head. While this effect is hardly noticeable when short, when long it may mean navigating blind. Then again, they say love is blind.
You feel a lump in your throat
The Prapple is one of the more subtle members of the Trapple family. Instead of a segment growing at the end of your tail, it grows a segment just behind your head, pushing all other segments back one. While this may seem harmless, it can have a long-term effect on a more developed snake, pushing the more heavily armored segments down and leaving your neck prone to severance.
You feel a tic in your tail
The Bomb Apple, on the other hand, demands your attention. When swallowed, a segment equipped with a time bomb emerges from your posterior. Unless disarmed, this bomb’s counter will tick down every turn until it explodes, showering the surrounding tiles with a fiery spray of shrapnel.
When you encounter one of these Trapples in the wild, its identity will be concealed, its sprite randomized from one playthrough to the next. Once eaten, any other Trapples of that type will be marked with an identifying symbol.
In classic roguelike fashion, we want to make it possible to discern a Trapple’s identity without having to take that first bite. One way could be by noting its source; if a Punglette dropped it, it’s sure to be a Poison Apple. Monsters may also have an affinity for a certain type of Trapple; the Oracle, for example, can’t resist cozying up to a Boison Apple. From reactions to spells to environmental clues, the experienced Trapple gourmet will have plenty of tools to aid in classification. Trapples are, after all, an acquired taste.