As gamers, all of us know that feeling of grinding for hours just to get that one more weapon upgrade, or the thrill of felling a brutally tough foe with over-the-top firepower. Whether it’s running 10-man heroic instances in Warcraft, hoping for a certain drop from the instance boss, or playing hundreds of matches of Blitzball in FFX to get Wakka’s World Champion celestial weapon. We always want bigger, better, anything more powerful to help stomp our enemies into the ground.
Sometimes, what makes the biggest impression on us is not the ultimate weapon to be found in a game; it could just be a particularly unique, if slightly less useful, weapon, like Ratchet and Clank’s Sheepinator. Or maybe a weapon took on a special significance because it was important to the game for reasons beyond causing battle damage. And sometimes we like stuff because it just plain rocks.
Let’s not forget: our adversaries in games also come armed to the teeth. There’s none among us who hasn’t been taught a healthy dose of respect by Sephiroth’s impossibly long Masamune katana in Final Fantasy VII, or been blasted into oblivion more times than we care to admit by Shadow Man’s giant Shadow Blade shuriken in Mega Man 3.
This month, we ask the question: what are your five favorite videogame weapons, be they used on the side of good or evil?
Chad Morelock – PS3/PC/Retro Writer
5. Collector Particle Cannon (Mass Effect 2)
4. The Ion Cannon (Command & Conquer)
3. UV-9 Pulsar/ Flay spell (Crusader: No Remorse/ Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen)
2. The Vampire Killer (Castlevania series)
1. Masamune (Chrono Trigger)
First off, I’m naming the heavy weapon I used for the better part of Mass Effect 2. Why? It fires a continuous beam that melts armor, barriers, shields – you name it, this baby will melt it. It’s one of the most useful heavy weapons in the game. Lots of ammo, easy to aim, doesn’t take time to charge up…you can almost afford to use this one all the time.
Continuing with the energy weapons, the GDI Ion Cannon is one of the coolest and most memorable weapons in an RTS. Used correctly, it can turn the tide of a battle; used incorrectly…it’s still pretty cool. Ask anyone who grew up with the original C&C, hearing EVA say “Ion Cannon Ready” is one of the sweetest sounds ever.
The Pulsar and the Flay are combined because they have the same (hilariously over-the-top brutal) effect. They make your enemies’ flesh explode from their bodies, leaving a skeleton. The first time you see it, you’re like, “Did that just happen?” The mid-’90s were a great time for ludicrous fatalities.
If you grew up with Castlevania, chances are you know the Vampire Killer. The ancestral weapon passed down since at least Sonia Belmont’s time (let’s not get into canon here), this is the necessary weapon to send Dracula packing. While it starts out as a typical bullwhip, it can also magically upgrade to a flail, which has greater range and damage. Different Belmonts use it different ways – some use it to swing on things, some can shoot fireballs with it, and Richter just spins it really fast. Yeah, he isn’t the brightest cookie in the jar.
Finally, I had to choose a sword as my number one. I thought of many – the Black Sword from Ultima VII, the Chaos Breaker from Shining Force, and, of course, the Master Sword from Zelda. But no, I chose the Masamune from Chrono Trigger. While there are many swords called Masamune (particularly in Final Fantasy games) as it shares its name with a legendary Japanese swordsmith, I chose the version from Chrono Trigger for several reasons. First off, Chrono Trigger itself is a game that pulled massive talent from Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy to create what may be the best JRPG ever. In addition, the weapon is used by my favorite character, Frog, the medieval knight-errant trapped in a frog’s body who has one of the best theme songs ever. Unlike Sephiroth’s massive nodachi Masamune, Frog’s is an unassuming broadsword. An unassuming broadsword he cuts A MOUNTAIN IN HALF WITH! In the SNES original, it’s cool. In the PS version, it becomes so awesome your head may explode from this animated cutscene:
Declan Burrowes – Managing Editor, 360/PC Writer
5. Tesla Coil (Command & Conquer: Red Alert)
4. Ripper (Dead Space)
3. Cerebral Bore (Turok)
2. Lancer (Gears of War)
1. Flak Cannon (Unreal Tournament)
Ah, the Tesla Coil, Command and Conquer: Red Alert’s giant, electric Christmas tree. A giant, electric Christmas tree with a bloodlust. Once the coil charged itself up with a very satisfying noise that I can’t really translate into words here lest I be accused of having a seizure on the keyboard, a large whip of electricity lashed out at whatever was in its proximity, searing passing vehicles and incinerating any hapless footsoldier unlucky enough to walk past. Crispy.
As an engineer of the future, Dead Space’s Isaac Clarke got a whole array of fancy power-tool weaponry, but nothing beat the Ripper. What’s better than a circular saw? A remote-controlled circular saw, that’s what! Taking home DIY to a whole new level, slicing off the limbs of oncoming Necromorphs was made even more vile by the sickening grinding noise an impacting saw blade made on bone and flesh.
No one wants their head exploded. No one. Thankfully, we don’t live in the world of the Cerebral Bore, Turok’s cranium-devouring thing. Fired innocently enough, the Cerebral Bore hovered in the air momentarily before it careened towards its target, and with a disturbing screech, buried itself into said target’s head, causing a migraine of explosive proportions.
Remote-controlled saw blades and brain drills are both fair enough, but how about an assault rifle with a chainsaw attached to it? Meet the Lancer from Gears of War. While the gun itself was passable, sprinting towards a Locust grub, revving your motor and slicing cleanly through muscle and bone with a weapon-mounted power-tool was what made the game’s grizzly combat disgustingly excellent.
And now, the piece de resistance: Unreal Tournament’s Flak Cannon. Markedly simple in comparison to the other weapons listed above, the Flak Cannon took the dismembering fun of close combat and turned it into an art-form. Shards of metal accelerated explosively from gun barrel + someone’s face = stains that will take more than a few washes to get rid of; plus, no face. Beautiful.
Armand Kossayan – PC Writer
5. Railway Rifle (Fallout 3)
4. Your fists (Zeno Clash)
3. M60 (Magicka)
2. Portal Gun (Portal 1 &2)
1. BFG-9000 (Doom)
The railway rifle from Fallout 3 isn’t the most powerful weapon in the game by any means, but it certainly provides a very satisfying punch when you see your opponent’s limbs get torn off and pinned to the walls and furniture. Why it’s not readily available in New Vegas, I’ll never understand.
In Zeno Clash, you will occasionally pick up weapons, but the game’s fisticuffs is so thoroughly satisfying that they seem unnecessary. I just love punching people in that game!
In the base Magicka game, nothing feels more satisfying than picking up a massive, fully automatic machine gun in a frenzied challenge map and letting loose. It’s by no means a very powerful gun, but man is it fun to use. Something about high-powered machine guns in a medieval setting, I guess.
The Portal Gun needs mentioning not only for being one of the most innovative weapons in gaming, but because it also isn’t used to hurt anything. It’s a gun for puzzling, I mean, how crazy is that?
Finally, the BFG-9000, because no awesome gaming weapons list is complete without it. If you don’t know about the BFG-9000, then we likely can’t be friends. I’m sorry.
Pascal Tekaia – Managing Editor, 360/Retro Writer
5. Your Axes (Brütal Legend)
4. Lawnmower (Dead Rising)
3. Plastic Bag (Manhunt)
2. Scythe (Darksiders/Ninja Gaiden/Dante’s Inferno)
1. Masamune (Chrono Trigger)
In Brütal Legend, ultra-roadie Eddie Riggs uses two axes, both very different from each other, both with an identical purpose: to rock, conquer, and leave ’em dead. While one axe slashes and generally does cutty things, it’s the musical axe that literally lets Eddie ignite his foes or melt their faces off with ear-shredding solos. Devil horns!
Dead Rising is all about inflicting maximum carnage, and who is more deserving of being savagely dismembered and torn to shreds than the hordes of the undead? The lawnmower is perhaps the most over-the-top weapon you can find in the game. With it, you’ll be cuttin’ braineaters left and right by the dozens!
Manhunt is a similar story. This time, you’re a death row inmate who’s received an unexpected last-minute pardon…kind of. Your life will be spared, but only if you participate in committing the most brutal executions possible, all for the enjoyment of a deranged film director wants to make you his newest star. Though most weapons in this game let you to commit some of the most heinous, gruesome acts seen in a game, the plastic bag seems one of the worst ways to go. Your victim struggles fruitlessly while you slowly smother him, until his body stops moving. Even more outrageous is the fact that you then somehow separate his head from his body, and continue to walk around with a plastic-wrapped head!
Scythes seem to be quite popular in games lately; many heroes (or anti-heroes) are wielding them, like Ryu Hayabusa and Dante, but Darksiders’ War takes the cake. The sound effects and elaborate metal-infused weapons and armor in that game make combat damn satisfying, and when War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, starts swinging a scythe two or three times his size, bad guys tend to take some notice!
Finally, I also chose the legendary Masamune as my number one game weapon – the Masamune Frog sets out to reclaim in Chrono Trigger; the Masamune that gives him back his purpose and his identity when he finally wins it back; the Masamune that you first have to earn in battle, against a monster also named Masamune; and yes, the same Masamune that Frog then cleaves a mountain in half with (I prefer the original game’s sprite-based version, thank you).
On a side note, I came damn close to including a few chainsaws on my list, but there’ve just been so many of those (Edgar in FFVI, Dead Space’s Ripper, Gears of War’s Lancer) – I just couldn’t choose.
And finally, one weapon that just sucks all the cool out of the room: the Camera Obscura from the Fatal Frame franchise; extremely terrifying games, one douchy “weapon”.
Martin Watts – Editor-in-Chief
5. Smart Bomb (Starfox 64)
4. Energy Sword (Halo 2)
3. Callisto NTG (Perfect Dark)
2. Pulse Rifle (Half Life 2)
1. Wooden Spoon (Mystical Ninja 2 Starring Goemon)
The Smart Bomb from Starfox 64 makes an entry into this list not only for its incredible destructive power, but because it is also a thing of beauty. The explosions look like rather expensive fireworks, and anything that gets caught in the middle of one of these is instantly annihilated. The fact that the explosion takes up the majority of the screen is also pretty neat. There’s no barrel rolling out of this one.
The Energy Sword is simply one of the coolest weapons ever found in a videogame. When playing the first Halo, I’m sure everyone at one point thought, “Why the heck can’t I use one of those?” Well, Halo 2 finally gave you the opportunity to use one, and boy was it good. A standard swing is deadly, but what makes this weapon truly awesome is the lunge ability. Line a player up in your crosshairs, get close enough so that it turns red, and POW! Instant Kill. It’s always very satisfying to use in multiplayer.
The Callisto NTG is the stalwart of the Maian army in Perfect Dark, and it’s one of the finest alien machine guns to have ever existed. The gun features two modes. The first is your standard rapid-fire mode, which shoots out green lasers at a ridiculous speed. Hold down the B button for a few moments and the gun switches to high-impact rounds. The gun fires at a slightly slower rate, but the rounds are incredibly forceful. Even without the Nintendo 64’s Rumble Pak in the controller, you can feel these slugs nailing their unfortunate target.
The Pulse Rifle was an instant favourite for me the moment I got my hands on it in Half Life 2. It just redefines the term ownage. Every single time a load of heavy Combine soldiers appeared, this bad boy came out and slowly made the world a better place, kill by kill. The gun has two firing modes. The first is pretty much your standard assault rifle, although this one really is a heavy-hitter. It just tears through soldiers. To make this gun even more godlike, there’s also a Dark Energy Ball launcher, which fires glowing orbs of energy that disrupt space-time and distort light. Enemies don’t die when they get hit by this; it’s as if they get teleported into nothingness, and that their lives are erased from existence. So cool.
And finally, we come to the Wooden Spoon. No, that isn’t a typo. The Wooden Spoon. And it’s capitalised for a reason, it’s that epic! Wielded by the porky, rather unwieldy (and incredibly peculiar) self-appointed Ninja of Justice, Ebisumaru, the Wooden Spoon is just one of the many weird things you’ll come across in a Mystical Ninja game (in fact, it’s one of the more normal aspects). Hitting an enemy with the Spoon of Wooden Proportions sends them flying into either the fore- or background to their imminent deaths. It’s strange, it’s kooky, but when you’ve played Mystical Ninja 2 Starring Goemon as much as I have, you soon realise that this weapon is your life.
Rexly Penaflorida II – PS3 Writer
5. Hidden Blade (Assassin’s Creed series)
4. Rock-It Launcher (Fallout 3)
3. Taser (Syphon Filter)
2. Rail Gun (Metal Gear Solid 4)
1. Experimental MIRV (Fallout 3)
Altair and Ezio are two of the most coolest assassins I know, and they could not perform their duties well without the help of their best friend, the Hidden Blade. They can literally walk around without showing it and strike without warning at their target, all of which is done in such a way that no one knows who did it or how they died. One minute, the target was talking, the next minute, he is down and bleeding.
The Rock-It Launcher is a very funny weapon that deals serious damage. From silverware to teddy bears, the Rock-It Launcher can launch just about anything that is found in the Capital Wasteland. If shooting people with lasers and bullets becomes boring, why not change it up by chopping off the head of a bandit with a Nuka-Cola bottle or breaking the limbs off Yao Guai with a teddy bear? Hilarity ensues.
If there is one taser to rule them all, it’s Gabe Logan’s. That thing can cover distances that would even shock a police officer. The basic idea for killing an enemy with a taser is: “if you see it, tase it”. That, and the fact that once the taser is in contact with the enemy, you can burn him! Roasted enemy, anyone?
The Rail Gun is one of the largest weapons I have seen that has been carried by a man. It works by firing projectiles using electromagnetism. I do not know how that works exactly, but I do know that it takes down Gekko in one shot, and for those who have fought the mini-Metal Gears, those things are a pain to fight without the Rail Gun. Using this weapon against regular troops is just overkill, and that equals fun.
I love the smell of nuclear bombs in the morning! The Experimental MIRV comes out on top as the supreme weapon, and for good reason. This baby fires EIGHT mini-nukes at once! Imagine how many zombies and mutated animals you can take out with just one shot, and apparently, if you aim this weapon at your feet in Fallout 3, it will send your character skyrocketing to the game’s height limit, which is supposed to be the height of Tenpenny Tower. Talk about going out with a bang!
Share Your Thoughts: The BnB staff has shared their favorite implements of war with you, from slingshots and handbuzzers to WMDs. Now it’s your turn: what are some of your favorite ways to bring the pain?