Dungeon Keeper Wiki
For the creature spell, see Time Bomb (Creature Spell).
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  • Screencasts of the reintroduced KeeperFX spell in action.

Time Bomb is a Keeper spell cut from Dungeon Keeper that turned Imps into suicide bombers. The spell was reintroduced in KeeperFX.

Dungeon Keeper[]

It still exists in the game's code, and can be added to maps or researched if files are edited to do so, and a spellbook is created as normal, labelled Time Bomb, but has the graphic for Conceal Monster. It cannot be used ingame, as there is no slot for it due to all 16 slots being used for the standard spells already.

It was unknown for a long time what Time Bomb could've done, but in this interview with Simon Carter, the lead programmer of the game, he says:

""Until about 30 seconds ago I thought Timebomb was in the shipping game. Since it isn't, I'll tell you - you could turn imps into suicide bombers. Great fun!""

How this would've worked ingame is unknown; it is not even known whether this statement meant that the spell could only be applied to Imps, or it could be applied to any creature, but Carter only remembered it being used on Imps. Reasons why it was cut could include:

  • It being seen as offensive (disappointingly enough, it would have fit perfectly with the game's twisted humour and atmosphere).
  • Making the game unbalanced by making Imps more powerful.
  • Implementation difficulties. There is conflicting evidence for this: one one hand, Carter's statement strongly suggests that it was implemented to a usable degree at some point; on the other hand, the spell's tooltip having no actual description of the spell and the lack of an icon and incantation suggests that it did not get very far.
  • Time constraints (though the fact that Carter, the lead programmer, was unaware of it being cut until he was told 16 years later makes this unlikely).
  • It might not have been useful compared to other offensive spells, such as Lightning Strike.

Time Bomb as it shows up on the map.

This is all speculation, however, and there is no hard evidence for or against any of these hypotheses.


Time Bomb casting animation Dungeon Keeper FX

Time Bomb casting animation

The spell was reintroduced in KeeperFX 1.1.0, and functions according to Carter's description: it can be applied to an Imp, who will then charge towards the nearest enemy he can find. The bomb detonates on contact with said enemy, or when the timer expires (the higher the spell's charge, the longer the countdown). The heavier the Imp, the bigger the blast and the more destruction caused. If he cannot find an enemy, he will run around in a panic until the bomb detonates. The bomb will not detonate if the creature dies before the bomb would have detonated, so if that happens, that's both the creature lost and the money wasted. A creature targeted by a Time Bombed Imp will flee, unless (s)he has a ranged weapon; however, as Imps are notoriously easy to kill, Time Bomb is tricky to use effectively if there are more enemies in the vicinity of the targeted creature.

Research Panel second page Dungeon Keeper FX

A second page was added to the Research Panel on the Control Panel so that the spell can be used.

Most of the coding was done by Adam Plenty,[2] and the icons and cursors were made by Spatulade.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 According to the Dungeon Keeper FX magic.cfg
  2. New Keeper Power: Time Bomb. GitHub (22 November 2023). Retrieved on 18 May 2024.
  3. Added extra sizes for creature and keeper spell symbols. GitHub (06 March 2023). Retrieved on 20 May 2024.