The Red-Tape Recorder is a Sapper replacement for the Spy. It is a reel-to-reel tape recorder with three Chinese characters ("反炮塔", fǎnpàotǎ) on the front printed on a frayed, white label. Translated into English, these characters can be closely translated as "Anti-Turret (Device)" or "Anti-Sentry (Device)".
Instead of damaging an enemy's buildings, the Red-Tape Recorder reverses the building process; any applicable upgrade animations are played in reverse, followed by the building packing itself up into a toolbox. As a result, this destroys the building and leaves the toolbox behind as a large ammo pickup. Destroying the Recorder will allow the building to reconstruct but not restore any lost levels, unless the building is in the middle of an upgrade animation, which will allow it to continue upgrading to the next level.
The Recorder breaks into four metal fragments upon removal. The fragments can then be picked up, each piece giving 3 metal.
The Recorder has five different sounds for when it is sapping a building.
Fixed a bug where Dispensers sapped by a Red-Tape Recorder would continue to heal players.
Fixed buildings destroyed by the Red-Tape Recorder not always displaying a death notice.
[Undocumented] The Red-Tape Recorder no longer clears metal from Dispensers upon downgrade.
Sometimes, the Red-Tape Recorder does not downgrade sapped buildings.
Occasionally when removing the Red-Tape Recorder from a Mini-Sentry, the Mini-Sentry will revert to a buggy level 2 Mini-Sentry.
If a sapped building does not start with full health or is damaged during the deconstruction process, it will reach 0 health before the deconstruction animation completes, which will interrupt the animation and "snap" it into the toolbox state.
If a Teleporter is sapped by the Recorder, and the Recorder is removed in-between upgrade animations, the arrows pointing to the other end of the Teleporter will be removed.
If the Red-Tape Recorder is placed on and removed from a building that is still under construction, it will deal some damage to the building.
The Red-Tape Recorder does not glow when crit boosted.
This weapon's name references the term "red tape", which refers to bureaucracy that hinders or prevents action or decision-making.
A vaguely audible message can be heard when placing the Red-Tape Recorder onto a building. When slowed down 70% to 80%, spy_tape_03.wav appears to say: "Let's make some noise..." with a laugh, followed by the tape's normal noise.