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Horned Reapers are amongst the strongest and most powerful creatures in Dungeon Keeper. They are also by far the most bellicose, murderous, and unstable: born to kill, they get very tetchy very quickly if left idle. As such, they are nigh impossible to keep happy. If they are unhappy for more than a few moments, they go on a non-stop killing rage, brutally murdering anyone and everyone they come across, friend or foe. It takes a masterful Keeper to keep them anything remotely resembling happy for any length of time. They are not for the tight-fisted either, for they demand a hefy wage.

General Information (Dungeon Keeper)[]

Horned Reaper portrait Dungeon Keeper no border

Horned Reaper portrait

Dungeon Keeper Horned Reaper movement animation

Ingame animation of a Horned Reaper

"Behold, you have summoned a Horned Reaper. Try not to make it angry. You'll fail, because everything makes a Horned Reaper angry but at least try to make sure that everything near it is an enemy creature when it finally goes ballistic."
— Mission tip, Moonbrush Wood
"The biggest and the most destructive of all the creatures that cannot be attracted to your Dungeon via the normal methods. He does not group, either with other Horned Reapers or with any other creature. These are known for being sadistic, psychotic fighters. The Horned Reaper is usually referred to by Dungeon-dwellers as Horny, although never to its face."
Dungeon Keeper Manual

The Horned Reaper is essentially a miniboss creature that can be obtained by sacrificing three useful minions: a Troll, a Mistress, and a Bile Demon.

Fast, deadly, and durable, the Horned Reaper is a melee combat specialist: the creature uses its scythe to deliver enormous physical damage with high accuracy; it can cover dungeon terrain quickly (including lava), and in the thick of battle it is able to sustain heavy punishment with its excellent health and Defence scores.

The catch, however, is that the Horned Reaper requires a strong financial situation and lots of attention.

Anger Management[]

Horned Reapers are very easily angered. With the exception of standing over the corpses of allies, all ordinary sources of annoyance will outrage a Horned Reaper. In addition, the creature builds up anger while dangling in the Hand, idling in its lair, and eating chickens. To counter its idling annoyance, the Reaper needs a task. Worshiping in the Temple is a recommended free, indefinite idling job that can also undo the anger they build up from eating or idling.

Like all other creatures, anger is also frozen while in a Prison or answering a Call to Arms, though without healing, a Horned Reaper will eventually starve to death in these tasks.

The Must Obey spell can be used to prevent the Horned Reaper from running amok, and force him to continue his task. However, it must be turned off after combat to allow injured creatures a chance to recover health in their Lair. Sprinkling money on the Horned Reaper erases all of its anger instantly. However, this no longer works in recent versions of KeeperFX, for it only erases anger caused by not being paid, making it even more difficult to keep a Horned Reaper content.

Going Psycho[]

If its anger level is maxed-out for more than a couple of seconds, it begins a distinct AI job, ANGER_JOB_MAD_PSYCHO, which is exactly what it sounds like: a psychopathic rage in which the creature will attack anyone and everyone in its path, friend or foe. This job is permanent; it is impossible to placate it at this point, even when its happiness level is high again. Your only recourse at this point is to keep him well away from all your other creatures, if you do not want to sack him.


Combat Statistics
Query Speed icon Dungeon Keeper Speed: 96
Heal Icon Small Base Health: 2000
Strength Base Strength: 150
Defence Defence: 70
Skill Base Skill: 70
Dexterity Base Dexterity: 160
Luck Luck: 30
Tasks & Management
Horned-reaper-icon Primary Job Fight
Library Icon Small Base Research Skill 1
Workshop Icon Small Base Manufacturing Skill none
Training Room Icon Small Training Skill 1
Wage Training Cost /64t 150
ScavengerRoom Icon Small Base Scavenging Skill 4
Wage Scavenging Cost /64t 30
Temple Icon Small Praying Anger -25
Lair Icon Small Sleeping Anger 2
Heal Icon Small Sleep Recovery 8
Hatchery Icon Small Hunger 4Chicken icon tiny / 3505t
Wage Base Wage 950
Sacrifice Recipes
Things to sacrifice in the temple
Creature Creature Creature Result
1 Dark-mistress-icon Dark Mistress 1 Bile-demon-icon Bile Demon 1 Troll-icon Troll Horned-reaper-icon Horned Reaper
1 Dragon-icon Dragon 1 Hound-icon Hound 1 Orc-icon Orc Horned-reaper-icon Horned Reaper FX
Things not to sacrifice in the temple
Creature Creature Creature Result
1 Horned-reaper-icon Horned Reaper -- -- All your monsters become angry[Note 2]
1 Spider-icon Spider 1 Bile-demon-icon Bile Demon 1 Dark-mistress-icon Dark Mistress Creates a good Horned-reaper-icon Horned Reaper FX


Sacrifice Table
Bile-demon-icon + Troll-icon + Dark-mistress-icon
Sum Levels
3 2
6 3
9 4
12 5
15 6
18 7
21 8
24 9
27+ 10

Remember to consider the usefulness of Bile Demons, Trolls, and Mistresses, as each are experts in routine dungeon labor and their own fighting styles, before making the decision to go for a Horned Reaper. It is possible to command more than one Horned Reaper given the right assets on a map. A small group of them pulls the weight of dozens of lesser minions in a fight, but they are very expensive and slow to train and collect a hefty paycheck. Generally, a gem seam is needed to maintain such a force.

The sacrificial creatures are much faster and cheaper to train than a single Horned Reaper. It is suggested that these creatures should be trained before being dropped into the pool, rather than train the Reaper. In the end, you will have a higher level Reaper ready to wreak havoc. See Training Room for further training cost analysis.

When there are multiple Horned Reapers in the dungeon, it can be useful to torture one during the payday, halving all the others' wages, or even full-time, to get the others to move and fight faster. If gold is dropped immediately onto the torture victim after he is set free, he will not go berserk.

Horned Reapers are good at scavenging. If one goes berserk, then throwing it into a Portal, sacrificing it in a Temple, or letting it die in combat sends a Horned Reaper instance to the Creature Pool, where it can be scavenged back as a content level 1.


Horned Reaper in Theme Hospital intro

The Horned Reaper's appearance in Theme Hospital

  • The Horned Reaper makes a cameo appearance in Theme Hospital's intro as a patient.
  • The Horned Reaper is based on an ex-girlfriend of Dungeon Keeper's lead artist Mark Healey.[2]
Horned Reaper Black & White concept art

The Horned Reaper in Black & White's concept art representing a creature

  • There is contradiction as to the Horned Reaper's gender: the manual treats it as male,[5] as does lead artist Healey (who designed the character),[2] but the official strategy guide refers to the Horned Reaper as a female.[6]
  • Many fans, especially in fanfiction, have given the Horned Reaper a full name: Horniculus D. Reaper. Horniculus is a play on Horned or Horny, and Reaper is his last name. As for the D., nobody is sure, but it's probably short for Death.[Citation needed]
  • The Horned Reaper is the most iconic creature in the series; it or its head is often used as a symbol representing the game: it is seen on cover arts, it is used as the game's icon, it is used as the main menu's cursor, and it is seen on the loading screen and elsewhere.
  • The Horned Reaper ranked number 38 on a 2021 PC Gamer list of the 50 most iconic PC game characters.[7]
  • In an early version of Dungeon Keeper's intro, you can hear the roar the Horned Reaper makes after beheading the Knight.
  • It's very difficult to notice, but Horned Reapers have 360° vision, meaning they can see creatures behind them as well as in front. Other creatures have normal 180° vision, meaning they can only see creatures in front of them.


Media depictions[]

The official render bears little difference to the creature as seen in-game, and, unlike the concept art, lacks the connexion between his shoulders and his horns. The Ghostism rendition is fan art. It was created in 2022, and is faithful to the official rendition and creature's appearance in-game.

Character development[]

The creature appears to have changed little, though the early head is slightly different in style to the versions that appear on box art.

Dungeon Keeper Online[]

Ambox important orange
'Your Library is too small!' - The Mentor (DK1)
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.
Horned Reaper player face Dungeon Keeper Online

Player face of a Horned Reaper

Dungeon Keeper Online's version of the Horned Reaper was also a high-tier creature with special requirements for summoning.[1]

Horned Reaper promotional image Dungeon Keeper Online

Promotional image, featuring the Horned Reaper


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 镰刀魔 地下城守护者地下城生物之魔族生物大全 (Chinese). dk.178.com (31 March 2012). Retrieved on 19 April 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Bullfrog Productions: A History Of The Legendary UK Developer. NowGamer (22 February 2012). Archived from the original on 6 July 2017. Retrieved on 14 August 2019.
  3. Peter Molyneux (13 June 2001). Postmortem: Lionhead Studios' Black & White. Retrieved on 19 December 2018.
  4. James Leach; Christian Bravery. (2001). The Making of Black & White. p. 16. Prima Games. ISBN 978-0-7615-3625-3.
  5. Dungeon Keeper Gold Manual, p. 61.
  6. Prima's Official Guide To Dungeon Keeper Gold Edition. pp. 58,98. Prima Publishing. (1998). ISBN 978-0-7615-1581-4.
  7. Rick Lane (12 November 2021). The 50 most iconic characters in PC gaming. PC Gamer. Retrieved on 17 November 2021.


  1. The Temple attracts Horned Reapers, but none of the stock levels are scripted to allow Horned Reapers to enter via the Portal.
  2. Does not work in Dungeon Keeper due to a coding error, but is fixed in Dungeon Keeper FX.