Enhanced Archaic Weapon
Supertrope for weapons which have been enhanced beyond what they traditionally were capable of
This trope covers archaic weapons that have been upgraded in some way to make them more effective. To qualify as this trope a weapon must have been invented before gunpowder weapons became dominantnote and enhanced in a way that they were not at the time (although they can still appear before that point) through magic or technology. "Why bother with them?", you ask? Let's not mince words; older weapons are cool and can say a lot more about characters (especially since they tended to be unique to some degree). It's a lot more exciting to have characters fighting up close and personal than it is for them to fling metal and fire at one another from half a mile away. Similarly, traditional projectile weapons (bows, slings, etc) give the impression that the user needs skill to use them. Making these weapons more powerful (or just look that way to the audience) not only makes it even more exciting, but can give a plausible reason why they're using them (instead of the aforementioned metal and fire flinging devices).
- Automatic Crossbow - Solve your quarrel with more quarrels.
- Boom Stick - Turn a Simple Staff into a long ranged weapon.
- Chainsaw Good - Often combined with bladed weapons to create "Chainswords" and similar devices.
- Energy Bow - Energy arrows optional.
- Evolving Weapon - When they can enhance themselves as needed.
- Flaming Sword - When cold steel just won't do.
- Flying Weapon - Have it serve as a downplayed Attack Drone/Attack Animal
- Laser Blade - Why bother with a boring old metal blade when it can be made of Pure Energy?
- Precision-Guided Boomerang - If it's explicitly a special ability of said boomerang and not how all boomerangs are expected to work, anyway.
- Retractable Weapon - Take advantage of modern materials to make concealing and carrying them easier.
- Rocket-Powered Weapon - Make a heavy weapon a little easier to swing.
- Sharpened to a Single Atom - Make a bladed weapon into an Absurdly Sharp Blade
- Static Stun Gun - Weapons modified to shock.
- Talking Weapon - If they can give advice, etc.
- Telescoping Staff - Take advantage of modern materials to make a Simple Staff easier to carry.
- Trick Arrow - Upgrade bows by giving their ammunition special effects. See Abnormal Ammo for other weapons.
- Vibro Weapon - Bladed weapons which vibrate to enhance cutting power.
Examples (examples which fit into an existing subtrope belong on that page):Live Action Television
- CSI: New York featured the "Wasp Knife", which injects air into the target to cause them to burst, as a murder weapon.
- Law & Order: SVU featured a similar weapon to the CSI example, which worked by injecting the victim with air.
- Eclipse Phase has monofilament swords and garrottes, diamond-edged axes, vibroswords, swords made of memory polymer that becomes stiff or hard with an electric charge and wasp knives among others.
- In addition to Chainsaw Good and Sharpened to a Single Atom examples being commonplace, Warhammer 40K also has much rarer "Power Weapons". These are enhanced by a hazy blue "power field" (produced by a generator on what would otherwise be a normal melee weapon) which weakens the molecular bonds of whatever they strike.
- Mass Effect 3 multiplayer features the futuristic versions of shields, warhammers, and even longbows deployed in a 23rd century Robot War.
- Several examples have arisen in Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura following the continent's industrial revolution. Compound bows that can be ugraded to fire either poisoned or burning arrows, knives and hammers fitted with clockwork mechanisms, axes and swords that inflict electric shocks, pyrotechnic damage or are permanently envenomed, and tesla-staffs that fire bolts of electricity at the enemy are all available to technologically-savvy characters.
- Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch has clockwork axes and swords that shred enemies with spinning gears, and hammers fitted with steam-powered boosters.
- Snake's melee weapon of choice in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is a shock-knife that can be used for both lethal stabs and non-lethal stuns.
- In Real Life many examples of more traditional weapons exist for one reason or another;
- Compound Bows use a series of pullies and cams to make them easier to draw and hold in place (as well as increase the overall power of the bow). They were developed for hunting (as well as for disabled archers to use in target shooting).
- The Wasp knife, as mentioned in the CSI example above. It was developed for divers to use to fight off sharks by injecting them with air, so they float to the surface (and don't bleed as much, which might drive other sharks into a frenzy).
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