I have no idea what the statistics are, but I feel most video games out there have in some way, used a weapon of some kind. From the earliest games of Joust to the modern deluge of cover-based shooting games, it seems weaponry has been at the forefront of the hours we spend in virtual worlds. It is the most common way to defeat an enemy, or overcome an obstacle. Most of the games out there that sell well, at least well enough to see sequels often feature weapon combat at some core aspect of the gameplay. I was sitting at work today, trying to keep myself mentally busy, lest I stab myself in the eye socket with my pen, and I got to thinking about this, weapons in video games.
I have played many video games in my time, shot, cut, eviscerated and dismembered a lot of enemies all in the pursuit of…something. Over the years though, certain weapons have stuck with me. These weapons to me are special, for differing reasons. Some appear in many games, some are the exemplar of a series, and some are just fucking cool. I spent the day jotting down some ideas, and some reminders for the weapons that meant a lot to me in video games. Let’s go over some of those. As always, no particular order, as I am too lazy to actually think of an order to things, postulate the actual worth the weapons have to me in order. Really, that’s way too much work.
Mega Buster (Mega Man 4-8): The Mega Buster came about in a weird way, at least to me. Mega Man 2 and 3 both have added small additions to the core gameplay that were really tiny, but game changing. The additions really never needed much in the way of explanation, instantly able to be used to their fullest extent and allowed Capcom to make more compelling games each time. Really though those older changes were never anything that got you to the killing faster. Mega Man 4 changed that. Dr. Cossak needed some quick killing, or at least the first boss and the large majority of the normal baddies I always blew up anyway.
Enter: the Mega Buster. Mega Man 4 introduced a charge shot that essentially mixed the three shots that Mega Man could always fire in rapid succession. This actually ended up being a boon, as for many enemies, and always the bosses would have a set of invincibility frames after being hit by the first shot, making that whole rapid shot Mega Man could do typically useless. So instead of firing off at the boss a few times, you simply held down the shot button and let loose with a powered Buster shot that honestly, always looked cool. Every game had a different look for the shot, and Mega Man would glow with a differing color pattern in each title. I am not entirely sure why they got rid of the Mega Buster for Mega Man 9 and 10, I guess going for that really old school feel. It’s a shame though, I feel it really became a part of Mega Man very fast and was always a great weapon in the absence of Metal Blade.
The Double-Barreled Shotgun (DOOM2): This weapon is all about two things. First of all, it punches a fucking hole through demons. And aliens. Alien demons. It tears through ammo like nothing else, using two shells per shot, but damn it gets the job done. Really more than the damage this device can wreak though is the animation of the gun. This weapon always stuck with me because of the meticulous animation that went into reloading the thing. It just looks like you’re getting ready to resume murdering everything in your path. Check it out.
Star Dragon Sword (Suikoden 1 and 2): This weapon I will always remember. In part because it’s a snarky bastard. Many games have had sentient weapons, but most are either outright evil, or amazingly helpful. The Star Dragon Sword wielded by Viktor in both Suikoden 1 and 2 is just a dick. The name kind of sucks, and I actually believe it is called something different in Japan (Zodiac Sword maybe?).
Regardless of needlessly dumb names, the sword is always awesome due to how much it powers up the already badass character Viktor. On top of this, the sword is tied to the vampire Neclord, being used both times to get rid of him. These fights were always some of the best in any PS1 RPG, and featured great music. So really, not only was this weapon great on its own, but it always featured a full side-story of its own with a great conflict.
Brotherhood (Final Fantasy X): This; for people who do not remember what this sword is, is the sword Tidus is holding on the boxart of FFX. This weapon, as opposed to the great story woven into the last weapon, is remembered by me purely for an aesthetic reason. The sword has a story, related to Wakka and his dumb brother, but it really doesn’t matter. The sword creates bubbles from the blade in combat, that is what really matters.
Brotherhood always seemed like a little bit of Square showing off what it could do with the PlayStation 2 technology, as it was also a highly reflective sheen of blue. It had a great ocean vibe to it, which thematically always worked well with Tidus, who routinely kicked a ball into the face of his fellow man under water. Unfortunately this pretty death dealer got replaced quickly and often, so it while it was something that represented the character well, you didn’t get to stick with it for very long. But if I remember right, you could mod some weapons to look like this one once again.
The Calamity Cannon (Bastion): Rounding out the first five weapons I decided to talk about is the Calamity Cannon from what was my favorite game of 2011, Bastion. The game as a whole had some fantastic fucking weapons, all of which are unique and work totally differently. However the final weapon you get is a death-launcher bazooka thing. It deals a crap load of damage from the outset, before any upgrades. But then you do upgrade it and things get silly. You get awesome choices, things like larger explosion radii, pools of black death that stay after a hit lands, or my favorite, homing missiles. Granted, you end up hurting yourself if you try using it at close range, but it is typically so worth it for the insta-kills it delivers.
However, one of my favorite parts of the weapon is the story behind it. Super Giant took care to give Rucks a reason to talk about anything and everything, and the Calamity Cannon is no exception. Engineered as a miniature version of the man-made catastrophe that causes the state of affairs in the first place, the weapon is able to deliver pain. Also Rucks says to you he was making this, just like he helped engineer the weapon that caused the Calamity. It’s the care a game by no means has to have in order to be amazing, but is made all the more amazing when it is present.
Alright, well that was the first five weapons I wanted to talk about, at least in this first segment talking about video game weapons. I have more that list I made while at work, and I am sure I will think of more as I go on. Really talking about these weapons has been fun, and I am looking forward to round two.