Demonic Spiders/Roguelike

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The Demonic Spiders in Roguelike games are what other games' Demonic Spiders have nightmares about.


  • Diablo II is the quintessential example of this trope. If the game did not pre-date TV Tropes by several years, one could be tempted to believe its programmers used the article as a checklist for creating annoying enemies. To make the game more difficult, nearly every method of unfair fighting is used, including sudden charges forward, death explosions, attacks from off-screen, and worst of all, hitting the player with lightning every time the player hits a certain foe.
    • The infamous "Scarab Demon" enemy type, which shoots lightning in all directions every time you hit them. Also known as "that fucking bug that shoots fucking lightning in all directions every fucking time you hit one." The same thing also go for when an enemy is "Lightning Enchanted." A further refinement yet is the dreaded "Multiple Shot Lightning-Enchanted," (MSLE) which multiplies the number of lightning bolts released on hits to such a degree that one wad can kill most avatars; also, the engine's limits sometimes fail to display all the clustered bolts, leading to possible surprise death, even at a distance.
    • A note on MSLE: MSLE increases the number of sparks generated on every hit, but also causes those sparks to home in on you. A standard LE boss can easily be cheesed by standing about half a unit away in any of the four cardinal directions (Directly east/west or north/south) and whacking away at it in melee. With an MSLE mob that just ain't gonna happen. Zap.
      • Thankfully, MSLE bosses have been fixed as of 1.10. They still emit lightning and still use multiples of their normal projectiles, but the two enchantments no longer work together.
    • King of the Demonic Spiders would have to be the gloams/souls (Gloams, Burning Souls, Black Souls) that show up in acts 3, 4, and 5. (So hated that they were listed here in three separate places...) They shoot lightning, at range sufficient to hit you a screen and a half away, which deals insane damage. And they're invisible most of the time. Very often your first warning of a pack of gloams is when a volley of lightning bolts from something you can't even see hits you in the face and wipes out three-quarters of your hit points.
      • And that's even when you have max lightning resistances sometimes!
      • They are also unleechable. Have you been relying on leeching mana from monsters to power your attack skills? Whoops! Gloams won't give you any mana! Leeching life to keep from dying? Can't get that either! Sucks to be you.
    • The Tomb Vipers as a guest monster in Act V. Their ranged poison attack leaves behind an invisible trail that, if you try to run through them, will inflict half physical half poison damage PER FRAME (the game runs on 25FPS), often instantly killing the strongest characters unless you load up on integer physical damage reduction. This has frequently been requested as a bug fix but blizzard insists that it is "working as intended". Thankfully they are only found in one place. (Tip: if you see those things and don't want to save/exit/reenter for whatever reason, STAND STILL. Also don't count on any of your minions as they're likely to run through the clouds and get killed instantly unless they're dual poison/physical immune revives or Druid's spirit summons in Nightmare.)
    • The Claw Vipers don't seem that fast, but if they get within a few feet of you, they can cover the remaining distance at roughly twice the remaining speed, hitting you and stunning you with their charge attack. It's almost impossible for a non-melee class to get the amulet from the second level of the temple alone.
      • They not only stun you, they knock you backwards. Running into a large group of them can make you feel like a pinball.
    • The highest ranking variants of the Reanimated Horde are naturally Extra Fast-er than the rest, and their deadlier and more frequent charge attacks give the Claw Vipers a run for their money. Since their type can self-revive, players back tracking through an area previously riddled with this sort of undead may be in for a painful surprise.
    • Archer groups with cold enchantment. One hit freezes you, so that you can't get to them quickly, and they're shooting at you the whole time. One of these groups spawns in act 1, every time without fail. They will wreck your low-level characters and absolutely ruin your day.
      • Archer bosspacks in general can do quite a lot of damage from range in Hell, especially if they're loaded up with nasty mods. If you encounter them with melee classes to tank for them, you should probably retreat so you can take out any distractions first.
    • Undead flayers. They're tiny little skeletons that run around with giant cleavers as big as they are. They run up to you at super-speed, stab you in the face for a bunch of damage, and zip away. They're so small and fast-moving that it's very tough to click on them. Missed... aagh... missed again... HA! Gotcha, you little motherf-- KABOOM! (Oh, did I mention they explode when they die? And the explosion damage is enough to kill many characters outright?) Luckily their explosions don't work on mercs and minions for some reason, so you should let yours do the dirty work for you.
    • Until recently, oblivion knights were the absolute bane of melee characters. They're undead casters in the last bit of Act 4 and sometimes Act 5, who throw random curses at you. Every so often they'd throw Iron Maiden, which causes you to damage yourself every time you make a melee attack. If, God forbid, you're in the middle of a high-damaging, long-animation attack such as Zeal or Whirlwind, it's an insta-kill. In fact, damage scales faster than HP in D2, so on higher difficulties Iron Maiden is an insta-kill if you land any melee attack. The 1.13 patch removed Iron Maiden from their list of curses, and they've since been retired from Demonic Spiders status. They can still make you die quicker though, if they cast Lower Resist while being next to the aforementioned Gloams.
    • The original had the undead mages at the end of the game. They came in swarms, had lightning attacks which could shred your HP down to critical in a few seconds, and teleported away from you before you could do any significant damage. The bane of warriors. Its not unknown to run out of money to spend on healing potions before you run out of enemies to kill.
      • And if they weren't bad enough, they'd often be accompanied by Soul Burners. These winged demonic harlots would NEVER be encountered on their own, and while they weren't able to teleport around like the aforementioned mages, approaching even an average-sized cluster of them with melee combat in mind still borders on suicide for anyone not tooled-up to the eyeballs with special items and healing consumables.
    • Similar to Oblivion Knights, Unique Fallen Shamans were absolute nightmares before later patches toned them down. See, the main shtick of Fallen Shamans is that they can resurrect the Fallen of their "tribe". Now, Unique Shamans also had the ability to resurrect other Shamans, and they had minions that could do the same, making any encounter with them a mad dash to kill them quickly and pray to god they don't spam their resurrections. Mercifully, later patches eventually both removed their ability to resurrect other Shamans, as well as giving them standard Fallen as minions.
      • In Act 5 Nightmare and Hell, the Cold variants get Glacial Spike. Sucks for mercenaries that get too close.
      • Fetish Shamans. They pace about faster than Fallen Shamans, and instead of a puny fire ball type attack they use the most damaging fire attack encountered so far in regular monsters possibly until Act 4: Inferno. With all of a shaman-type monster's benefits. Oh, and they also have their own fetish to attack you after they're killed. AND they take on the class of the shaman in question ie. Unique shaman, unique leftover fetish with the same mods.
    • Act 5 Wendigoes. Beefed up fundamentally, now also with the ability to stun. Champion packs of these exemplify this trope.
      • The Yetis sort of look tamer once you run into Minotaur packs. Especially a unique pack with nasty mods(Fanaticism AND Extra Strong AND Extra Fast on top of their Frenzy, anyone?) that spawned on top of you because you clicked on that evil urn hoping to get an easy-to-handle succubus pack to score on EXP and loot.
    • In the original, and also in the sequel's expansion: Monsters that attack using Blood Star. Due to the game's dearth in providing substantial defense towards the generic "MAGIC"-type damage(ie Bone Spear, Berserk, Blessed Hammer etc) for players, a frequently-encountered stream of blood stars will cause immense grief to characters that don't explicitly load up on hit points and the mod "Magic Damage reduced by [integer]".
    • Hell Bovines are these to casual players. If a 1280x1024 or higher playing resolution was available, once you step through the portal you'd find yourself almost totally surrounded by bovine packs.
    • You know this game RUBS this trope in with those suicide minions in Act 5.
  • The soldier ant in Nethack has no special/magical abilities—and yet is the most common cause of deaths in the game, thanks to their speed and numbers. It's not the only monster with a reputation, but fights for the spot of worst creature with floating eyes, leprechauns, nymphs, gremlins, eels, krakens, mind flayers, master mind flayers, green slimes, cockatrices, chickatrices, black dragons, liches, arch-liches, rust monsters, disenchanters, iron golems, air elementals, the Gnomes With The Wand Of Death, and minotaurs to an extent. By this point, the astute reader has picked up that Nethack isn't a "game" as much as an extremely prolonged form of masochism. Ask any serious player.
    • You left out Vrocks. They summon other Vrocks. The summoned Vrocks then go on to summon even more Vrocks. We are sorry that "Vrock" now no longer looks like a word.
    • Then there's the mumak, which is otherwise a regular old enemy but has an attack that does a ridiculous amount of damage (4d12). In older versions of Nethack a lesser enemy, the rothe, shared their appearance in ASCII graphics mode (a gray q); this led to either unnecessary scares, or stupid deaths from mistaking a mumak for a rothe. In later versions rothes became brown.
      • Nethack, at least, includes one way to relieve yourselves of your most hated Demonic Spiders: A scroll of genocide can wipe out an entire species (for example, one type of lich) or an entire class of monsters (for example, all liches), depending on how blessed it is. Unfortunately, this won't work on some enemies.
    • Mimics. Take the large one, for example. It likes to hide in shops and disguise itself as something which you would normally pick up to find out the price. "Wait, that's a large mimic" you are now grabbed, and cannot move. If you are a wizard, there are probably two things you can do to fight back. Attack your current weapon (usually a staff, sometimes a dagger, both weak), or cast a spell. You start out with two spells, and only one is guaranteed to be Force Bolt, the other could be a lot of things, not many of which do damage. So you want to cast force bolt, but if you do, you know you'll destroy the potions behind the large mimic, which you'll have to pay for. And you now owe the shopkeeper NINE FREAKING HUNDRED GOLD! Oh, I'm sorry, you can't pay that? You've sold everything you own but are still stuck? Time to try to take what you can and run—he's standing in front of the door. OK, attack him. You miss. The shopkeeper zaps a wand of death. You die. Would you like your possessions identified?
      • This being Nethack, there are other options. Always.
    • Every monster in this game that aren't Goddamn Bats are Demonic Spiders. Arguably the only monster that doesn't leave you feeling sore if you aren't properly prepared would be the Grid Bugs, tiny little bugs who occasionally hit for a whole point of damage, and Lichens, which, while similar to much more deadly fungi, only has a passive that makes you stick to it and dies in a couple hits (Sometimes dropping vegan food that never rots!).
  • ADOM has summoners, such as werewolf lords, which create other summoners, which in turn summon others, filling the level before you take 4 or 5 steps towards it. Due to a feature of the levelling system which strengthens monsters according to how many you have killed, this quickly becomes tiresome, and later on, lethal. Blink dogs that teleport away to multiply, jackalweres, dark elven wizards which can call spiders that are now as strong as giants... It's no wonder that one of the best pieces of advice for newbies is, "Kill breeders/summoners on sight. If you've killed too many minions, run."
    • Don't forget the Battle Bunnies. A level filled with fast-breeding bunnies with Nasty Sharp Pointy Teeth. What's more fun? Scrolls of Vermin Control, which normally "neuter" every breeding creature on the level, go up in smoke on this level. The player's only chance is to use magic to beeline through the crowd and take down Bugs Bunny, thereby keeping the remainder from breeding.
      • Though Bugs is not actually described as being a rabbit himself.
    • Ghosts can pass through walls and have an aging touch, making them this to any player race with a short lifespan. A "tension room" full of ghosts can easily surround an orc or troll in a corridor and age him to death.
    • Ogre magi are at least as tough and strong as normal ogres, and can cast invisibility on themselves and ice spells at the player.
    • Dark elven priestesses, princesses and wizards (called spider factories) are particularly nasty summoners. Not only they summon hordes of spiders, which fill the area with immobilising webs and use poison, but have themselves nasty attacks such as paralyzation and energy ray spells.
  • TOME has the Nazgul aka the Ringwraiths. If they hit you, you get infected by the Black Breath, which slowly drains your stats and hard-earned experience. If you hit them it destroys your weapon and gives you Black Breath, and it doesn't even hurt them if it isn't a magical weapon. Magical weapons count...but they get damaged, and it's very hard to fix them. This is in addition to the other magical attacks and summons they can do. Oh, and even if you luck out and "kill" them, they'll keep coming Back from the Dead until Sauron is killed. Permanently, as Sauron will keep coming back until the One Ring is either used or destroyed. Not a bad depiction of them, actually.
    • More annoying to me are RNGs, when you first meet them, in the forest. One is easy to kill. But they breed, so if they are awake you'll be facing more than one. They hit to confuse, meaning you can't aim attacks, or use any escape/healing magic. (And they occur several levels before confusion resist becomes common.) Oh, and they can move through trees, so that forest that's limiting your sightlines and probably hindering your movement? Yeah, the'll come straight through that.
    • TOME 4 has...any mages and ranged attackers. The systems was designed such that those enemies are always deadly. When you get to the second half of the game, add Orc Berserkers and Elite Berserkers. And the horrors.
      • Although the archers' threat are lessened if you're capable of doing ranged attack, they can still be a pain if you fight them in dark dungeons without good light source or spells, since they can see you when you can't see them.
      • Mages can do a lot of damage, and when faced with corruptors and blood mages, they are capable of inflicting you with diseases and even lower your resistance, which means that all following up attacks will deal even more damage.
      • Berserkers have loads of health, can rush you from a few squares away, and deal a crap ton of damage per hit.
      • The horrors wary wildly, some are easy, some has very nasty attacks, but the worst thing is if you face ones in the latter category that is generated with crap load of resistance.
  • ZAngband has The Disembodied Hand That Strangled People. The name says it all.
  • "Q: How do you kill an Ancient Multi-Hued Dragon? A: You don't."
  • The Slimes in Rogue, due to their tendency to replicate themselves and surround you.
  • A large number of enemies are brutal in the Roguelike Spelunky. While common enemies like the bats aren't too difficult to kill, some are just plain evil:
    • The yetis in the Ice Caves from Areas 9 to 12 are immune to your normal whip attack, somewhat durable, and can chain-throw you to death easily. Many deaths often result in these evil creatures tossing your corpse back and forth like a baseball.
      • The Cultists in the final areas of the game are worse, as they are not only capable of said chain-throws, they are also fast and can jump after you.
  • Dungeon Crawl has the orc priests, who come quite early in the game, with an smite attack that doesn't require line of sight. Basically, they can kill you with holy wrath from their god while standing safely behind a couple of regular orcs that shield them from anything you could cast at them.
  • Anything with a projectile-based weapon in Dwarf Fortress. On paper, arrows and bolts deal about as much damage as any other attack (non-players, please note that 'any other attack' is in this case a hit from a spear, and that a particularly fine kitten-bone bolt does as much damage as a basic iron spear). However, they deal 'piercing' damage, which means that any arrow that hits will more than likely deliver fatal damage to your various organs. Not only that, but they seem to completely ignore armor all together, are nearly unblockable, rarely miss or 'glance away', meaning that if that arrow has your name on it and it hits you, you'll probably end up on the ground bleeding to death. Worse yet, archers and such have virtually no attack delay, meaning that they fire off shots like they're holding a machine gun more than a piece of wood with string attached. In Adventure mode, they can also shoot at you from several screens away, meaning that your Legendary Swordmaster, who can effortlessly fight off entire crowds of foes and strike down Demons without taking a single hit, can be killed by a single wooden arrow fired by a novice archer that shouldn't even be able to see you. And then, on Fortress Mode, you can have entire armies of bowmen descend upon you, perforating your champions with dozens upon dozens of missiles the minute the idiots stagger outside to do battle. It's a frustrating experience, but then again, most Roguelikes are.
    • Fortunately, traps are an effective method of dealing with goblin sieges.
      • Editing the text files containing the damage values for bolts and arrows is another option.
    • Elephants used to be the most feared and revered animal in the history of DF, their brutality unmatched. One good example of this was Boatmurdered; packs of elephants would suddenly attack and eat dwarves, their enormous tusks gleaming red with blood. Such was their brutality that they were named the king of all beasts, and a undead elephant was a symbol in itself in dwarven culture and society to mean brutality, terror, death and destruction.
    • Appropriately enough, Dwarf Fortress also has the dreaded Giant Cave Spiders, which can immobilise you with webs before you've even seen them, completely paralyse you within a few rounds, and are entirely capable of reducing you to a soggy pile of Dwarf Chunks with their basic melee attacks.
    • The true demonic spiders of dwarf fortress are the demons, appropriately enough. Not because they are individually tough, not because they fly, only partly because they're stealthy and avoid traps, but mostly because some of them set everything nearby on fire AND breathe massive bursts of fire. On the positive side, you'll never get more than a few dozen on any one map, and if you defeat them all you can then amuse yourself by chucking garbage and enemies into Hell.
      • That was written before the 2010 update. The Hidden Fun Stuff is more difficult to conquer now: The number of demons is now either several billion or infinite - nobody seems quite certain so far - and some of them, lacking multiple body parts or vital organs and blood, are functionally immortal. Evidently the developer decided the old version was too easy.
    • Nothing but sheer terror when a lake or stream is nearby due to carp. They attack creatures outside of water as if they were in (a creature half the size of a dwarf mind you). Their default attack is a bite that does 1-6, compared to a dwarven punch of 1-2 damage. Coupled with the fact that dwarves are not known for their swimming habits and can be dragged underwater in the blink of an eye, or even just "dodging" into the lake. It's so bad their nickname amongst the in-crowd has been known as the "Aquatic doombringer." Best suggestion when greeted with carp at the beginning of a game: restart.
      • The horror is unmatched when you encounter carp on a map that can generate undead. As undead carp can leave the water, and drag screaming dwarves out of their beds to their doom in the lake...
        • Dwarf Fortress: we promise nothing but amphibious zombie whales that silently infiltrate your fortress.
      • "I think I made fish too hardcore" -Toady One. "Carp" are said to stand for "Creatures of Awful Ravenous Power."
    • Orcs from some of the mods can veer into this; not only are they bad-tempered, fast-moving and obscenely tough, but they turn up in swarms, right from the first winter, they are immune to automated traps, and they can kick open locked doors. The only reason forts with orcs modded in survive more than an in-game year is that they are still susceptible to the more...elaborate deathtraps from the twisted imaginations of DF players, such as drowning chambers, drop chutes, and atomsmashers.
    • The Crown of All Beasts now rests on the fuzzy ball of anger, hate, and claws known as the badger. A single badger is no threat, but they move in huge pack able to skillfully rip even an armored dwarf to death in seconds. Worse yet, there are also Giant Badgers; no one who has ever seen a Giant Badger has lived to tell the tale. As if one becoming enraged at the slightest provocation and effortlessly ripping a dwarf to bloody ribbons alone wasn't enough, they also come in large packs that can even swarm and kill a full armoured military squad.
      • Not for adventurers--you can run away from giant badgers. The real fear of the adventuring wanderer is the bogeymen, who spawn in mid-sized numbers, are VERY good at dodging, can teleport to you if you run away, and only appear in total darkness. Despite being small, they can sometimes KICK IN YOUR SKULL THROUGH A STEEL HELMET. And they don't need to be great, because they dodge enough that it is almost impossible to hit one! Oh, and some can fly. The only good thing about them is that even a single companion will stop them from spawning, but it is very possible to be attacked and killed while you go to a fortress to get a companion who won't get killed on your first quest, or while going back to civilization after all of your companions died in a quest. Not much fun, but lots of Fun.
    • The 2012 version features "husks", zombie-like monsters with a singular hate for all life. Certain evil biomes feature clouds that turn normal creatures into husks; once they're turned, they're nigh impossible to kill and powerful to the point of being broken. Oh, and they tend to be covered in the dust that caused them to turn, which makes more husks if you touch it. And they keep all the combat skills they had before they got husked. This thread from the forums suggests that not even DEMONS can stand toe-to-toe with a swarm, or even a small band of husks.
    • Giant keas are surprisingly lethal for what are basically overgrown parrots with serious kleptomania. They run on a policy of step one, go into fortress; step two, try to steal stuff; step three, kill every dwarf they come across. While they can be killed, they're still fast-moving, high-damage dwarfrippers.