Fictional weapons are inverse lethal: The more effective they should be, the less they are. That's why a henchman holding a machine gun is just telling Daredevil where to punch, but Jackie Chan holding a priceless Ming vase is functionally immortal. And when a weapon gets powerful enough to threaten the entire planet, it reverses the polarity of even having a weapon by killing its own evil genius instead.
But like most laws, both physical and legal, this gets ignored when a good guy meets a monster, which is why good guys have gotten away with using weapons more suicidal than a noose made of razor wire. Here are eight fictional weapons that would work only against life insurance claim investigators, because they make your suicide too stupid and confusing to prove.
The Lancer is the Ashley J. Williams of automatic weapons: a gun, a chainsaw, and all the ass-kicking you could ever need. The justification for building a chainsaw into a gun was obviously someone having the idea at a game design meeting, followed by high-fives so intense that they were felt on the International Space Station. The first time I got a chainsaw "kill," I felt like I'd just discovered and lost a new kind of virginity.
In the real world I still have armpit virginity, and I am entirely OK with that.
It comes from Sera, an insane fictional world of violence where owning an assault rifle isn't already crazy enough. That might be because the average Seranian looks like a linebacker played at the wrong monitor resolution. Their belt sizes are measured in giant redwoods. It takes slightly longer to shoot one to death than to teach them the theory of relativity.
Gears of War gunfights can take longer than postal chess.
The monsters on Sera are Locusts, and their hides are so thick that bayonets get stuck in them. So Gears of War replaced the bayonet with a series of smaller blades and fitted them to a motor. The first time you try to chainsaw a Locust, the small blades will dig into its flesh and the motor will fling the Lancer out of your hands and over its shoulder, giving the attacking monster's backup a free Lancer. Your only hope is that they spend so long desperately trying to get a chainsaw kill that you can blast them with the shotgun, just like everyone else on multiplayer.
The first Dragonlance trilogy was My First Fantasy Novel for millions of fans (and also the authors). It reads like fan fiction of a Dungeon & Dragons party because that's exactly what it was. The books contain more elementary fantasy stereotypes than the first D&D players manual. And I loved them. Read them twice. Raistlin could kick the shit out of Gandalf with both hands behind his back and a squeegee mop instead of a staff.
Clyde Caldwell, TSR Inc
Raistlin: more magic than a flashlight and a bird call. Unlike some wizards.
In Dragonlance, the world is under attack by ancient master-magician dragons that breathe lightning and poison and can bite through an elephant. The only way mortals can stand against them (and you know you've got problems when "mortal" is the adjective you're bringing to the fight) is with the Dragonlance. A pointy bit of metal. You're going up against near-gods and your best idea is to joust at them. When your battle plan is based on approximating the murderous incarnation of mythical evil as a balloon, you're in trouble.
"OK, men, get as close to the impossible death beast as possible, then start poking it."
You also need a good dragon to carry you up there. This means going up to a good dragon, the most ancient and powerful creature in existence, and explaining that you're going to ride it like a horsey while murdering its kind. Good luck with that.
Krull achieves the double-impossible by:
a) having a flying Force-powered magical buzzsaw
b) making it boring
But that's because Krull happens when someone tries to create an epic fantasy hero, puts on a pair of tight leather pants, and has run out of ideas. The magical weapon was a glaive designed by someone who didn't understand the words "glaive," "weapon," or "amputation is bad."
"Call for a healer, it's just slashed my wrist."
The blades flick out of each arm. The only enemy this could work against is a kleptomaniac Hecatonchires. Throwing it would actually work, because flinging your own fingers at someone usually freaks them out too much to punch you. Or if you're under attack by yakuza, you've just profusely apologized. This has to be a plot by the movie's bad guy. If I was spreading rumors about a magic weapon that was the only thing that could kill me, this is what I'd choose, too.
"No, seriously, that's my only weakness. Don't try bullets."
Even the weapon is so embarrassed that, despite being covered in penknives, it flies by itself and vaporizes anyone it kills. It doesn't even want forensic archaeologists working out how stupid it must have been. With a self-guided everything eliminator, the fantasy world's first drone, you might wonder why the good guy doesn't just throw it and stand back. Prince Colwyn wonders that for a full five minutes in the big fight against The Beast*. Where most fantasy movies climax with a desperate struggle, all exciting strikes and counter-thrusts, Krull's climax has the hero looking like he can't reach his heart medication.
*Told you the writer had run out of ideas.
"MUST ... GET ... OUT OF TERRIBLE MOVIE!"
That indistinct smear behind the ruins is the closest the monster gets for the entire fight.
Even if you can work the stupid thing, you'll die of boredom. And boredom combined with too many knives is how we ended up with emo.
ROCKET SLEDGEHAMMER! Bollocks to words, behold this glory.
A regular sledgehammer is how you tell people committing assault with blunt objects that you think they're a bit fancy. The Rocket Sledgehammer is how you apply for the position of Thor and remove an entire dimension from anyone who objects. It's what happens when Mjolnir is cast down to Earth and hits a Saturn V that was on the way up: the most awesome explosion in history, then both science and myth wipe the blood off their lips, gaze at each other with newfound respect, and proceed to passionate lovemaking, giving birth to the ultimate in badass weaponry.
A weapon that would make Grabthar piss himself.
This weapon makes the Lancer look like manicure equipment. You're putting the law of conservation of momentum in an armbar and hitting people with it. It doesn't matter what monster you're fighting: it's doomed, and that's all the CSI team will be able to tell about it afterward.
But the more awesome the weapon, the more unusable it is, and the Rocket Sledgehammer is more overkill than throwing a Big Bang grenade to clear an enemy trench. Activate the rocket and it'll rip your entire arm out of its socket, then blast off to make sure it can't be found in time to be reattached. Firing this will extremely literally disarm you.
People mock Cloud's Buster Sword from Final Fantasy VII for being unwieldy and having a ridiculously high center of gravity. Because that's why taking up a sword against tanks is a bad idea.
He uses his hair to sharpen the sword, and vice versa.
If you're going to attack giant robotic Ultima-beam-blasting dragon-centaurs with a pointy bit of metal, it needs to at least ignore physics. Anything realistic can't touch an enemy like that. The real stupidest sword belonged to Auron in Final Fantasy X. That was a game about dreams of family dancing to let the souls of loved ones rest in peace, and Auron is how they prevented the discs from spontaneously turning into lace doilies. He was so tough that he died but refused to fade away until he had killed the immortal wizard who was responsible, and the fact that the wizard was already dead didn't stop him. He's more badass than a sumo bathroom after all-you-can-eat chili night.
The only man to make "the Napoleon" look intimidating. Including Napoleon.
He starts the game with what looks like a fruit knife, albeit a fruit knife in a world where bears have been misclassified as fruit. His unlockable Celestial Weapon is the Masamune.
You know Final Fantasy has gotten ridiculous about hairstyles when even the swords have split ends. That's not a sword -- those are the tongs they'll forge when they work out that the materia rocks constantly glowing and shooting flame and lightning are radioactive. That looks better for removing an Orc's wisdom teeth than its head. The only enemies that would inconvenience are the ones who can't commute to the battle because you're holding their train's transmission linkage.
It was also in Final Fantasy X-2, because everything terrible about Final Fantasy was in X-2.
The world has a thousand different styles of sword, and the only thing they all agree on is that it has to be a big piece of metal and you don't split it down the middle. The end of the Masamune is cored out and bent and has sharp angles. They couldn't make a sword break faster if they used it to stab Bruce Banner.
Robotic arms are the ultimate extension of weightlifting, turning human beings directly into forklifts and expecting people to be impressed. They're often used when they want to make a character a cyborg but leave him mostly human and relatable. Which is pointless, because RoboCop scientifically proved that the only thing you need to make everyone in the world love you is a chin.
He's not the happiest looking man in the world ...
... but everyone thinks he's pleased to see them.
But RoboCop is perfect. The problems start when you only convert a single limb. The first problem with a bionic arm is that you'll look like a wanker despite that now being a dangerous extreme sport for you.
His right hand is his wife. No, really. As in "the plot of this game is REALLY stupid."
When robotic superstrength meets human fleshbag, it ends the same way, no matter whose side the robot started on: blood-soaked machinery and a leaking bag. If the Bionic Commando fires his grappling hand at a faraway tree and winches in the cable, that tree is now one arm richer, while the commando formerly known as bionic bleeds out on the ground. If you tell your bionic arm to lift a 10-ton weight, it grips and bends, and the 10-ton weight and your shoulder blade have a very brief tug of war about who's more likely to get ripped out of what. Even if you lift it by some miracle, that's the first miracle ending in paralysis, as every non-bionic part of your body collapses under the weight. To give you a bionic limb working beyond human ability, they'd have to upgrade so much of the rest of your body that it'd be faster for them to just build a brand new robot and give it your driver's license.
If you've ever wanted to win a fight with an Australian, here's how you do it.
That's not a knife, because THIS STABBED YOUR KNIFE-GODS, YOU HAVE ONLY BLUNT METAL NOW.
The '80s action movie Cobra created the most insane knife ever for their insane psycho killer, and in a terrifying crossover with another type of '80s movie plot, this knife escaped into the real world. Seriously. Hollywood designed a lunatic knife for a character called the Night Slasher, real live people said, "I want that," and capitalism worked out the exact exchange rate of cash to innocent lives by selling it to them.
That's a gutting knife with a ripping hook connected to brass knuckles studded with punch-spikes. That's not a product description, that's how you try to get Pinhead hot with dirty talk. That's blades in so many directions, it repels vampires for 10 miles, and the Zerg obey whoever holds it.
This is a custom stabber's weapon. Not stabbing: stabber. It's designed to be utterly unsheathable. Even attempting to put it down is taking the life of your hands into your hands. That's a knife for someone who never, ever needs their right hand for anything but slashing. Fortunately, holding it instantly warns the entire world to keep out of slashing range. If police see you holding one, I think they're allowed to call in an airstrike. If you hold this, you're not hunting monsters, you are the monster, and you have at most 90 minutes before a cop leaps right over the edge to exterminate you.
The light saber is how you swashbuckle on a starship without too many people calling bullshit. It can cut through anything and blocks incoming fire with a combination of Jedi foresight, trained reflexes, and hoping no one discovers shotguns or any other weapon that can fire blasts wider than two centimeters.
"Hope don't run into redneck, do I."
The double-ended light saber is like the double-ended sex toy: both people involved are screwed. Even the most basic move disembowels at least one person. Obi-Wan Kenobi didn't really cut Darth Maul in half, it was just the Force balancing how it should have happened the first time he twirled his double light saber staff. Then Sith Asajj Ventress thought, "Those aren't stupid enough yet."
That looks like a late night infomercial for "Light sabering made easy!"
Her curved handles can be locked together.
LucasArts, Del Rey
The only thing that shape is good for is hand-cranking a car.
The light sabers could only be more difficult and less appealing to grip if Jabba the Hutt swallowed them.
But the paired sabers could be unlocked, linked by a fiber cable, and whipped around as light-saber-chucks. If my father had known about that, he could have skipped the whole birds and bees talk. That phrase would have taken priority.
This is the best picture available, as every other shot ended with half a camera.
If anyone saw a problem with whipping things around controlled only by a cable when their one and only function is "cuts through everything, including cables," they were too busy with a faceful of light saber to say anything. Luckily, the Star Wars universe has the one monster you could safely use these against. Just fall into the Sarlacc pit, remind Boba Fett that he has a jet pack so that he can get out, and twirl away. That way it can safely digest the newly bite-sized idiot chunks to remove all evidence of your stupidity.
Luke loves his insane chainsaw-gun and used it to reveal The Truth Behind Gears of War: Judgment. And he reveals even stupider additions to video games in The Descent of Downloadable Content. Luke also has a Tumblr and responds to every single tweet.
And for actual monsters that need actual slaying, check out 6 Terrifying Creatures That Keep Going After They're Dead and 23 Small Changes That Make Adorable Things Terrifying.
And for more on things that go bump in the night, click here.
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