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The outcome was never really in doubt.
— The Spy on reverse-engineering
The Red-Tape Recorder is a Sapper for the Spy. It appears as a reel-to-reel tape recorder with three Chinese symbols on the front.
Instead of damaging buildings, the Red-Tape Recorder forces them to go through a reversal of 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 weapon pickup. Destroying the Recorder will allow the building to reconstruct but not restore any lost levels.
The Recorder has five different sounds for when it is sapping a building.
This item was awarded in Genuine quality to players who pre-purchased Sleeping Dogs on Steam before August 14, 2012.
August 2, 2012 Patch
- The Red-Tape Recorder was added to the game.
- When sapping a Mini-Sentry with the Red-Tape Recorder, the toolbox at the end of the animation will be much smaller than a normal toolbox.
- A downgraded building will not have its health reduced to the lower level, and if upgraded afterwards will take on an additional health increase. For example, when downgrading a level 3 Sentry to level 1, it will keep the 216 HP from the level 3 state and will keep gaining max HP when upgrading it again.
- Attaching a regular Sapper on a Sentry Gun affected by this glitch will result in a server crash.
- The Homewrecker can't destroy the Red-Tape Recorder in one hit.
- The Red-Tape Recorder does not glow when crit boosted.
- When a building is destroyed, it doesn't always appear in the killfeed. A destroyed building will also not fire the OnDestroyed output (which normally fires when it is destroyed), which can affect map logic.
- When sapping a teleporter in between upgrade levels when the the animations and effects stop for a second, then the Sapper is removed, the arrows on the teleporter are removed.
- Occasionally when removing the Red-Tape Recorder from a mini sentry, the mini sentry will revert to a buggy level 2 mini sentry.
- This weapon's name references the term "red tape", which refers to bureaucracy that hinders or prevents action or decision-making.
- The Chinese characters on the Red-Tape Recorder, "反炮塔", can be directly translated as "Anti-Cannon Tower". However, it can be more closely translated as "Anti-Turret (Device)" or "Anti-Sentry (Device)".