|Based on||Pepper grinder|
|Series||Alice: Madness Returns|
|Image gallery (9)|
|“|| A fast-firing weapon capable of inflicting vicious sneezing.
The Pepper Grinder is one of Alice Liddell's weapons and the first long-range, gun-like weapon she gained. It fires pepper corns at speed and works in a similar fashion to a rapid-fire machine gun. It is an important weapon as it is the only weapon that can be used on Pig Snouts. The grinder's pepper makes the snouts sneeze and disappear, revealing the hidden paths or a Duchess basket.
American McGee's Alice
To get the Mock Turtle's shell back from the Duchess, Alice had to face her in combat. During the fight, the Duchess used a pepper grinder to shoot black pepper at Alice. However, in the end the pepper was the Duchess' downfall, as it made her sneeze so hard, her head exploded.
Alice: Madness Returns
After traversing the Vale of Tears, Alice arrived in an open area where the Duchess was cooking her meal. The area turned out to be the Duchess' house, and her meal included Pig Snouts. She permitted Alice to approach her but Alice was cautious enough to remember that the Duchess previously wanted to eat her. The noblewoman then stated she "lost [her] taste for mad women" and was strictly on a "porcine diet" as she favored the taste of bacon.
Afterwards, she requested Alice to pepper the Pig Snouts in her backyard and gestured to the Pepper Grinder on the table. When Alice initially declined, the Duchess stated that pigs were filthy creatures and that she absolutely had no time to run around after them in fear that it will harm her "alabaster" skin. After Alice finished her task, the Duchess thanked her and made her leave.
In battle, the Pepper Grinder can take out enemies from a long range, and from different levels, making Alice safer from damage at a distance. It can also reach enemies that fly from the ground, unlike the other weapons. However, with extensive use, the grinder can overheat, like the Teapot Cannon, and become temporarily unusable for a short period of time until it cools down. Although, it was not a problem during Hysteria as it does not overheat. Most enemies can block its projectiles, sending the pepper corns flying back, and Alice cannot defend herself while attacking, which was a real problem when using it at close range.
The DLC version of the grinder, the Octo-grinder, handles the same as the original weapon, but with an increased overheat limit and provides double the ammo.
The Pepper Grinder was similar to a manual burr grinder, with a crank handle at the top and pig-like features carved into the body; the bottom of the grinder, where the pepper corn shot out, was the pig's snout.
The Pepper Grinder can be upgraded four times, each changing the rate of fire, cool-down time, attack power and appearance:
- Level 1: A classic tanned wooden grinder with metal detailing and animated facial-features of a pig lightly carved into the wood, including round eyes, ears, and an open mouth with blunt teeth.
- Level 2 (requires 475 Teeth): Made from dark wood with black metal detailing. The pig's face now has deeper engravings and an angry expression, including furrowed eyebrows and sharper teeth.
- Level 3 (requires 575 Teeth): Made from red and gold metal, the body of the grinder looks more like the shape of a pig, with ears and a pair of feet sticking out. The barrel is larger in proportion to the "head" of the pig, which has adopted an even more vicious appearance than before.
- Level 4 (requires 800 Teeth): A fatter, warthog-like appearance made from black and silver metal. The body of grinder is now a full-bodied pig, gaining four legs and the crank becoming the tail. The eyes and mouth glow like red fire, and long, pointy tusks are present in the lower jaw. The nose has a silver ring piece through the "nostrils."
In Hysteria mode, the Pepper Grinder is bloody and bandaged. Like her other weapons, the Pepper Grinder is also twice as strong.
The Octo-grinder is not based on a form of a pig, but a fleshy-pink ammonoid with black eyes, sticking its head and tentacles out of an orange and white spiral shell. Unlike the Pepper Grinder, it uses octopus ink instead of pepper. The handle is made from black metal, with an anchor-shape on the end. It also gives a bonus of increased maximum ammo, allowing Alice to fire longer without having the weapon overheat.
- The Jupiter symbol (♃) appears when the pepper corns hit solid structures.
- The Pepper Grinder could have been inspired by Alice's first encounter with the Duchess in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, whose kitchen was full of pepper, making everyone, apart from the Cheshire Cat, foul-tempered and sneeze uncontrollably.
- The Duchess' cook was putting excessive amounts of pepper into her cooking, and everywhere she went people would start to sneeze. In the original illustrations of the book, the Cook can be seen holding something that looks like a pepper grinder, meaning that it could have been hers to begin with.
- It is possible that the Pepper Grinder Alice procured in Alice: Madness Returns was the very same Pepper Grinder used by the Duchess against Alice during their battle with one another in American McGee's Alice. In both games, the Pepper Grinder is first encountered in the Vale of Tears.
- The weapon's resemblance of a pig may be because of its purpose of collecting pig noses, and being linked to the Duchess.