I love video games. I enjoy making top ten lists. Finally—despite my loathing for real-life violence—I like weapons.
This blog post was inevitable.
This top ten list, which includes weapons only from games I’ve played, defines a weapon as an object used to inflict damage on someone or something in a video game. Power-ups, vehicles and powered armor suits don’t count. (Sorry, Samus.) Weapons that originated in media apart from video games, such as lightsabers from Star Wars or the golden gun from James Bond films, will not be included.
Duck for cover, ladies and gentlemen, as TMTF presents…
The TMTF List of Top Ten Weapons in Video Games!
10. Barrel Cannon (Donkey Kong series)
What’s more devastating than heavy artillery? Why, heavy artillery that fires gorillas, of course! The barrel cannon can be used not only as a form of transportation for Donkey Kong, but also as a way to turn the ape into a high-speed projectile. If only it fired sharks…
9. Masamune (Chrono Trigger)
This legendary sword, the blade of a brave knight who, er, also happens to be a frog, is a powerful and storied weapon despite its plain appearance. It carries tremendous sentimental value for its amphibious owner. Finding and repairing the Masamune is a major feat, requiring the game’s heroes to travel through time from prehistory to the modern age. Later in the game, a sidequest unlocks the sword’s full potential and transforms it into an extremely powerful weapon.
8. Satellite Gun (Shadow the Hedgehog)
Shadow the Hedgehog is a terrible game. Apart from its bad level design, lousy writing and atrocious acting, the game is a poor attempt to make the bright, whimsical Sonic series seem dark and gritty. There is at least one good thing about this game, however: the Satellite Gun. This weapon, which looks a bit like a television remote, uses a targeting system to lock onto enemies and signals an orbiting satellite to annihilate them with a freaking laser beam from outer space. That’s cool.
7. Poltergust 3000 (Luigi’s Mansion)
This is a vacuum cleaner that sucks up ghosts, used by Luigi to rescue his brother Mario from a mansion teeming with spooks. (The image above is actually an advanced Poltergust from another game, but I’ve used it for this list because it’s much cooler than the original model.) Besides trapping phantoms, the Poltergust 3000 is capable of collecting cash from hard-to-reach nooks and blasting foes with fire, water or ice. All this begs the question: Who you gonna call?
6. Enchanted Arrows (Legend of Zelda series)
Bows and arrows are pretty neat, but the Legend of Zelda series offers several variations thereupon that are nothing short of awesome. Players can use the three standard varieties of magical projectiles—fire, ice and light arrows—not only to damage enemies, but also to solve puzzles and navigate environments. Fire arrows burn away obstacles. Ice arrows freeze water, creating solid platforms for a player to cross. Light arrows activate switches to flip one particular dungeon entirely upside down, turning ceilings into floors and sky into an endless abyss. Bomb arrows (which are, yes, arrows with bombs attached) are cool, but enchanted arrows are nothing short of amazing.
5. Portal Gun (Portal series)
The Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, also called the portal gun, is capable of creating interdimensional portals on flat surfaces. Enter into one portal and you instantly exit the other. (Here’s a thirty-second video to demonstrate how it works.) Used correctly, the portal gun can harness physical laws like momentum and gravity to destroy enemy targets. Used incorrectly, the portal gun can use those physical laws to destroy the player. Look before you leap!
4. Keyblade (Kingdom Hearts series)
I’ve already shared my thoughts on this one, so I haven’t much to add. This creative, unorthodox weapon plays a huge role in the story of the Kingdom Hearts games. The Keyblade is transfigured into a new weapon by each token (keychain?) attached to its handle, and it can channel all kinds of magical abilities. Most importantly, the Keyblade is useful for smashing things.
3. Machine Gun (Cave Story)
Indie classic Cave Story transforms a generic firearm, one that is practically a video game cliché, into one of the most empowering weapons I’ve ever used in a game. The machine gun’s rapid rate of fire is handy for mowing down enemies, but the weapon’s greatest value lies in its navigational uses. Fully upgraded, the machine gun functions as a jet pack when fired toward the ground, giving the player the power of flight. Awesome.
2. Buster Sword (Final Fantasy VII)
Look at this sword. Look at it. Tetsuya Nomura, the artist who designed this weapon, referred to it as “the giant kitchen knife.” Its blade is freaking huge. The Buster Sword has no special attributes besides two circular slots for Materia (crystallized magic) that enable its wielder to cast spells. No, the weapon’s true worth is in its sentimental value. For Cloud Strife, to whom it belongs, it symbolizes the self-sacrifice of its former owner. For players everywhere, it represents a glorious, bygone era of role-playing games.
1. Master Sword (Legend of Zelda series)
This is it. The Master Sword. The Blade of Evil’s Bane. This is the iconic weapon that has become synonymous with the Legend of Zelda series, itself a legendary success of the video game industry. I can think of no other video game weapon with such a wealth of lore or backstory. Depending on which game you play, the Master Sword harbors a beneficent spirit, alters the flow of time or seals away the corrupting influence of evil. No matter which game you play, the Master Sword is one heck of a weapon.
O people of the Internet, what great video game weapons would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments!