(As written in the N in-game help)
- These fast moving guards have a deadly electric touch. Some even have upgraded nav software, which lets them run chasing algorithms!
The zap drone is the basic moving enemy of N, taking the form of a floating, blue octagon which can deliver a lethal shock on contact.
There are two variants of the zap drone: the normal zap drone, and the seeker drone (which features an added antenna).
- Normal zap drone
- Seeker drone
Functionally, the normal zap drone has a preprogrammed route that it follows regardless of player action, while the seeker drone will move towards the player at twice its roaming speed if the player enters its line of sight. It is possible to run through a seeker drone's line of sight without being seen, which is due to the seeker drone being directly between two tile spaces and therefore unable to change direction. It is beneficial to learn how to activate them when needed, and how to slip past without activating them.
Both kinds of zap drones are double-edged swords. Normal zap drones are generally easy to avoid in large, open levels, where they probably won't cause much trouble (for example, the lone zap drone in 01-0: Cavern). However, in a level with enclosed spaces, they can be exceptionally difficult to avoid without a strategy, such as in 96-4: Back and Forth. Seeker drones are threatening in numbers and difficult terrain, and totally frustrating in unit-width areas (check out 36-3: Planding makes Perfect), but their tracking ability can be taken advantage of to lure them out of bottlenecks.
- 36-3: Planding makes Perfect
There is one known glitch for seeker drones. If a normal door or trap door is activated while the drone is in 'chase' mode, it will ignore the properties of the door and keep rushing towards the player.
Additionally, if a normal door is opened with a zap drone next to the player, it will ignore the properties of the door and go right through it, as well.