Ranged Emergency Weapon YKTTW Discussion

Ranged Emergency Weapon
(permanent link) added: 2010-02-27 08:54:42 sponsor: GameChainsaw (last reply: 2010-02-27 08:54:42)

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Most Emergency Weapons are close-ranged or occasionally small, weak long-ranged weapons used in reserve for a character who normally fights with guns or magic in case they run out of juice for said guns or magic, or perhaps for a character with breakable or disarmable weapons. However, sometimes, rather than simply being a question of weapon availability, a situation occurs where a character who specialises in melee and isn't much good with ranged weapons, nonetheless does have a ranged option open to him. They are not very effective with the ranged weapon, but if they absolutely have to do something at a longer distance than the nasty sharp thing can reach, the ranged weapon will do the job. Often not an actual gun, bombs, throwing knives and other odd bits and pieces can do for these characters.

This is fairly rare, mainly due to the story wanting to focus more on the melee action: if a guy is an awesome swordsman why make him use a gun or bow? Also, there's a tendency for good guys in fiction to be great shots whatever their melee skills. However, a handful of characters graduated from the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy even as they kick ass at melee.



  • Several in the Predator 2 film. There's a disk gun which could cut through multiple sides of beef and still take someone out on the other side, an expandable spear, and a net that could be fired to pin a target to a wall.


  • in the Dragonlance novel Dragons of Winter Night, when Sturm needs to buy time for Laurana to use the Dragon Orb, he decides that he needs to draw the attacking dragons toward him, and fires a bow at them to do so, even though he never otherwise uses a ranged attack.

Video Games

  • The videogame version of Lord of the Rings gives Gimli throwing axes. They're by far the least effective of the characters ranged weapons (with the possible exception of the hobbits knives in the Return of the King) and are slow to throw, but they're useful for dealing with archers or enemies who are a long way away.
  • Darksiders gives War a gun and a boomerang for long-range work, but there's no question that he's a meele-character - neither of them can do much of any damage, but there are a few situations where you're forced to use them on enemies you either can't reach, or don't want to be standing next to.
  • In the Dragonlance video game Heroes of the Lance, Flint Fireforge, similarly to the Gimli example given above, has a single axe he can throw in addition to his melee axe.
  • Throwing Knifes in Mount & Blade require no skill in throwing to use and take up 1 of your 4 weapon slot (opposed to a bow/crossbows 1 another for ammo) but do poor damage. Their primary use is to give a sword/shield/lance user some range.
  • Handaxes/Javelins in Fire Emblem have the attack power of the most basic axes/lances with lower accuracy and much lower durability, but have a range of 1 or 2 tiles, opposed to every other melee weapons 1 (There are stronger versions with the strength of higher grade weapons, but they are rare and typically can not be bought)
  • Possible in Diablo for the warrior. The bow is hardly his most useful weapon but it can be handy if an enemy is behind a grate or if you need to exchange fire with something that won't let you close enough to engage in melee for a meaningful length of time.

Real Life

  • Truth in Television: Many combat knives are weighted so they can be thrown as a last resort. Of course most people who have a reason to have one won't do this because if they miss they'll be left without what was likely their weapon of last resort anyway.
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