History Main / DeathRay

22nd Feb '17 2:02:52 AM Vir
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The DeathRay is an old SpeculativeFiction staple, probably [[{{Zeerust}} cliché]] or a DiscreditedTrope by now, but the little kid in all of us would [[IncrediblyLamePun kill]] for a Death Ray. In function it's a RayGun that causes [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin death]] (It doesn't actually [[BeeBeeGun shoot out]] ''[[TheGrimReaper Death]]'', awesome as that would be); whatever the ray hits, dies -- instantly and [[DeaderThanDead without question]]. It can do this via [[DisintegratorRay disintegration]], somehow [[LiquidAssets draining the target's life force]], [[KillItWithFire rapid calcination]] or some other method. When scaled up, it becomes a WaveMotionGun.

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The DeathRay Death Ray is an old SpeculativeFiction staple, probably [[{{Zeerust}} cliché]] or a DiscreditedTrope by now, but the little kid in all of us would [[IncrediblyLamePun kill]] for a Death Ray. In function it's a RayGun that causes [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin death]] (It doesn't actually [[BeeBeeGun shoot out]] ''[[TheGrimReaper Death]]'', awesome as that would be); whatever the ray hits, dies -- instantly and [[DeaderThanDead without question]]. It can do this via [[DisintegratorRay disintegration]], somehow [[LiquidAssets draining the target's life force]], [[KillItWithFire rapid calcination]] or some other method. When scaled up, it becomes a WaveMotionGun.



Sci-Fi villains are not the only ones who can use a DeathRay -- many an EvilSorcerer or other {{Fantasy}} villain will have a spell, artifact, or other piece of magical phlebotinum that basically amounts to one of these.

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Sci-Fi villains are not the only ones who can use a DeathRay Death Ray -- many an EvilSorcerer or other {{Fantasy}} villain will have a spell, artifact, or other piece of magical phlebotinum that basically amounts to one of these.



* ''Film/ItCameFromOuterSpace'' (1953). The protagonist is uncertain whether he should believe the aliens' claims that they're simply trying to repair their spaceship so they can leave Earth. After a deadly confrontation with an alien guard who tries to slice him in half with a handheld DisintegratorRay, he enters a chamber and is shocked to find the aliens assembling what appears to be a classic giant DeathRay, but actually turns out a device for powering their ship.
* In ''Film/ThePinkPantherStrikesAgain'', Inspector Dreyfus uses a DeathRay to hold the world for ransom. It [[DisintegratorRay disintegrates]] too cleanly for Dreyfus's tastes: "I want a crater! I want wreckage, twisted metal. Something the world will not forget!"

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* ''Film/ItCameFromOuterSpace'' (1953). The protagonist is uncertain whether he should believe the aliens' claims that they're simply trying to repair their spaceship so they can leave Earth. After a deadly confrontation with an alien guard who tries to slice him in half with a handheld DisintegratorRay, he enters a chamber and is shocked to find the aliens assembling what appears to be a classic giant DeathRay, Death Ray, but actually turns out a device for powering their ship.
* In ''Film/ThePinkPantherStrikesAgain'', Inspector Dreyfus uses a DeathRay Death Ray to hold the world for ransom. It [[DisintegratorRay disintegrates]] too cleanly for Dreyfus's tastes: "I want a crater! I want wreckage, twisted metal. Something the world will not forget!"



* The Killing Curse, ''Avada Kedavra'' from ''Literature/HarryPotter'' is a proper DeathRay, which kills a living being without even leaving a burn scar, but breaks statues. Note that side effects such as this seem to be pretty common in the Potter 'verse, at least in the movie versions -- every single aggressive spell throws its target through the air, no matter its actual use. Harry is known as the "Boy Who Lived" because he is the only person in the wizarding world to survive this spell.
* The ''Literature/{{Dragonback}}'' novels, by TimothyZahn, feature a DeathRay, appropriately named "the Death," which ignores any defense and leaves anything unliving unharmed, but leaves anything hit by it dead, but not visibly hurt.

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* The Killing Curse, ''Avada Kedavra'' from ''Literature/HarryPotter'' is a proper DeathRay, Death Ray, which kills a living being without even leaving a burn scar, but breaks statues. Note that side effects such as this seem to be pretty common in the Potter 'verse, at least in the movie versions -- every single aggressive spell throws its target through the air, no matter its actual use. Harry is known as the "Boy Who Lived" because he is the only person in the wizarding world to survive this spell.
* The ''Literature/{{Dragonback}}'' novels, by TimothyZahn, feature a DeathRay, Death Ray, appropriately named "the Death," which ignores any defense and leaves anything unliving unharmed, but leaves anything hit by it dead, but not visibly hurt.



*** There's been mention that the Daleks' weapon ''could'' kill instantly and painlessly, but they deliberately dial down the power of their weapons depending on the species encountered so it takes ''longer'' for said being to die. Yes, the Daleks ''so freakin' evil'' they have a DeathRay and AgonyBeam in one convenient package!

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*** There's been mention that the Daleks' weapon ''could'' kill instantly and painlessly, but they deliberately dial down the power of their weapons depending on the species encountered so it takes ''longer'' for said being to die. Yes, the Daleks ''so freakin' evil'' they have a DeathRay Death Ray and AgonyBeam in one convenient package!



** And a small note: even though they don't usually use it as such, the normal hand phaser in ''Franchise/StarTrek'' does have a disintegration setting, which would make it a DeathRay as well.

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** And a small note: even though they don't usually use it as such, the normal hand phaser in ''Franchise/StarTrek'' does have a disintegration setting, which would make it a DeathRay Death Ray as well.



** The Klingon version of the disruptor is ''definitely'' a DeathRay; the disintegration special effect is pretty horrific, as ''Franchise/StarTrek'' goes. (No, it's ''not'' the aforementioned Varon-T.)

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** The Klingon version of the disruptor is ''definitely'' a DeathRay; Death Ray; the disintegration special effect is pretty horrific, as ''Franchise/StarTrek'' goes. (No, it's ''not'' the aforementioned Varon-T.)



* The "Is There In Roof No Beauty?" story arc in ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' involved SpacePirates trying to obtain some {{Unobtainium}} called ''borfomite'' to power their unstoppable DeathRay. They hit a small delay when they finally got the borfomite but realized it needed to be combined with ''caramel,'' which they didn't have.

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* The "Is There In Roof No Beauty?" story arc in ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' involved SpacePirates trying to obtain some {{Unobtainium}} called ''borfomite'' to power their unstoppable DeathRay.Death Ray. They hit a small delay when they finally got the borfomite but realized it needed to be combined with ''caramel,'' which they didn't have.



-->'''Commander Nebula:''' What's the difference between that and a normal death ray?
-->'''LGM:''' More death.
-->We can't get there in time to stop it! What're we gonna do?
--> Hyper die?

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-->'''Commander Nebula:''' What's the difference between that and a normal death ray?
-->'''LGM:'''
ray?\\
'''LGM:'''
More death.
-->We
death.\\
We
can't get there in time to stop it! What're we gonna do?
-->
do?\\
Hyper die?



* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' have a lot of these but in the episode "The Lepidopterists" we find Jonas Jr has inherited a very nice one. Brock and the OSI guys are all very impressed. "If that [death ray] was a woman, I'd marry her" "And I'd jeopardize our friendship by nailing your wife"

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* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' have a lot of these these, but in the episode "The Lepidopterists" we find Jonas Jr Jr. has inherited a very nice one. Brock and the OSI guys are all very impressed. "If that [death ray] was a woman, I'd marry her" her." "And I'd jeopardize our friendship by nailing your wife"wife."



* One of the unproduced episodes of WesternAnimation/InvaderZim had Zim instruct GIR to activate a Death Ray (or a [[DoomyDoomsOfDoom Doom Ray]], to proceed with his latest plan. It works, and GIR takes over the Earth while Zim is having his existence evaluated.

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* One of the unproduced episodes of WesternAnimation/InvaderZim ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' had Zim instruct GIR to activate a Death Ray (or a [[DoomyDoomsOfDoom Doom Ray]], to proceed with his latest plan. It works, and GIR takes over the Earth while Zim is having his existence evaluated.


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* On ''WesternAnimation/RockosModernLife'', [[CrankyNeighbor Ed]] is shown to have a lab under his house where he's developing a death ray specifically to destroy Rocko.
13th Feb '17 5:52:17 PM ILikeRobots
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* In ''VideoGame/EarthBound'', Jeff (one of the heroes) gets a Death Ray as a weapon.

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* ''Videogame/{{MOTHER}}:''
**
In ''VideoGame/EarthBound'', Jeff (one of the heroes) gets a Death Ray as a weapon.
10th Feb '17 11:35:47 AM dvorak
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** Sparks seem to compare death rays as a courtship ritual; the zappier their zap guns, the more attractive they're considered. "He has a magnificent death ray" is ''not'' an amusing euphamism.
27th Jan '17 4:58:15 PM ILikeRobots
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** PK Beam γ in ''Videogame/EarthBoundBeginnings'' functions as this, being a guaranteed OneHitKill unless the target is wearing a Franklin Badge. It's a favorite weapon of the [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien Starman]] enemies, and the player can eventually give them a taste of their own medicine once Ana is [[LevelGrinding a high enough level]] to learn it.
26th Jan '17 2:21:48 AM dvorak
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* The Anti-Bio Beam from ''VideoGameFTLFasterThanLight'' causes crew to die without harming the ship, leading to a higher amount of goodies salvaged.

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* The Anti-Bio Beam from ''VideoGameFTLFasterThanLight'' ''VideoGame/FTLFasterThanLight'' causes crew to die without harming the ship, leading to a higher amount of goodies salvaged.
24th Jan '17 11:42:20 PM dvorak
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* The Anti-Bio Beam from ''VideoGameFTLFasterThanLight'' causes crew to die without harming the ship, leading to a higher amount of goodies salvaged.


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* The Neutron Daisy Cutter weapon from ''Webcomic/{{Drive}}'' requires the crew that fires it to be on a specially shielded deck (Up until the Empire stared using drones instead). It instantly desintegrates the Vinn PuppeteerParasite while leaving the host alive.
25th Nov '16 8:56:28 AM LondonKdS
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* In 2015, a right-wing extremist was convicted of plotting to murder UsefulNotes/BarackObama using a home-made X-ray weapon.
4th Nov '16 4:15:30 AM SuperSonicHeroes
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* ''WebAnimation/RWBYChibi'' has Neo own a comedically large Death Ray that is more than twice her size. It first appears in episode 20 where Neo and Roman plan to use it on team RWBY but are interrupted by Zwei. It returns next episode with Neo [[FunnyBackgroundEvent aiming it at Sun and Neptune in the background]] with Mercury egging her on and Emerald trying to stop her.
16th Oct '16 1:16:02 PM nombretomado
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* ''BuzzLightyearOfStarCommand'' does this trope one better with the ''HYPER DEATH RAY!!!''

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* ''BuzzLightyearOfStarCommand'' ''WesternAnimation/BuzzLightyearOfStarCommand'' does this trope one better with the ''HYPER DEATH RAY!!!''
26th Sep '16 8:56:09 PM Serac
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** Not to mention Disintegrate :)

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** Not to mention Disintegrate :)Disintegrate, a ray spell that deals a truly ridiculous amount of damage for its level.
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