Created By: MattStriker on October 27, 2012 Last Edited By: MattStriker on October 29, 2012

Slice-And-Dice Lasers

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Needs some help with the description, quite possibly a better name...and more examples.

One common trait of really powerful Energy Weapons in sci-fi is that they don't just hit the target. They don't just melt, pierce, vaporise or explode it...they cut. The beam is 'walked' across its intended target, which then tends to fall apart for a moment or two...and explode spectacularly. Sometimes the weapon in question is a Wave Motion Gun, sometimes it's used frequently enough to qualify as Beam Spam. It's frequently used for the starship equivalent of a Diagonal Cut.

Examples:

Film
  • In Iron Man 2, Tony has a pair of these mounted to the wrists of the Mark VI suit, which he eventually uses to great effect against a mob of Hammer drones. When Rhodes asks him why he didn't use them earlier, Tony explains that they're something of a Wave Motion Gun: if they don't work the first time, he doesn't get a second shot.
Live-Action TV
  • A Borg cube in Star Trek: The Next Generation uses a powerful beam weapon to cut a 'sample' out of the Enterprise D.
  • The Shadow beam in Babylon 5 is a prime example, but the beam cannons of the younger races qualify as well to a lesser extent.
Video Games
  • Capital beam cannons in the FreeSpace games sometimes show this behavior.
  • Beam Weapons in FTL: Faster Than Light work this way. They are largely useless against shields, but once the shields are down they can be 'walked' across multiple compartments of an enemy ship, doing terrible damage along the way.

Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • October 27, 2012
    m8e
    Two(?) Resident evil movies have that laser corridor/room. Haven't played any of the games but it must be in at least one of them.
  • October 27, 2012
    StarSword
    Film
    • In Iron Man 2, Tony has a pair of these mounted to the wrists of the Mark VI suit, which he eventually uses to great effect against a mob of Hammer drones. When Rhodes asks him why he didn't use them earlier, Tony explains that they're something of a Wave Motion Gun: if they don't work the first time, he doesn't get a second shot.
  • October 27, 2012
    IndirectActiveTransport
    Laser Cutter was just launched. I think that covers this already, and it is not just for weapons either.
  • October 28, 2012
    MattStriker
    I checked that, actually, and it's clearly not the same thing.
  • October 28, 2012
    aurora369
    Beam lasers in the Elite series, as opposed to pulse lasers, emit a continous beam, and the tactics for using them is "sawing" enemy ships with them, quickly, before they overheat.
  • October 28, 2012
    IndirectActiveTransport
    Okay, looking at the examples provided on the page and the proposed page, I am not seeing the distinction. The only difference I see is in the descriptions. One is just about lasers being used as tools for cutting and the other is about powerful laser weapons that cut. This just seems like a more narrow version, why would any of the examples be out of place on Laser Cutter if they are lasers that cut?
  • October 28, 2012
    Chernoskill
    Apparently most of the examples specifically deal with cutting lasers as weapons, while Laser Cutter deals with... All Lasers that cut ;-) So I agree, this trope adds nothing new.
  • October 28, 2012
    MattStriker
    What I'm going for is giving a name to the trope usually described as 'beam weaponry that works the way it does in Babylon 5'. Tell that to anybody familiar with the series and they'll know what you're talking about, and that style of weaponry is common enough in other works to count as a trope. The name probably needs some work to get that difference across but I can't think of anything that works, but it is its own thing and not a part of Laser Cutter.
  • October 29, 2012
    Stratadrake
  • October 29, 2012
    NimmerStill
    • There's a tool like this, a blade one atom in width that can cut through anything, in X Change.
  • October 29, 2012
    StarSword

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=3z13kc6m73brhbl9qe6gmftc