Created By: Larkmarn on August 2, 2013 Last Edited By: Larkmarn on March 11, 2015

Signature Game Weapon

The weapon in a video game that moves away from StandardFPSGuns and is most well remembered.

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Trope
This trope will be YMMV

Weapons in shooting games tend to be a fairly predictable affair. However, some games wind up having one particular weapon that winds up sticking in the collective memories of players. Usually it's a weapon that moves away from the Standard FPS Guns and is an Impossibly Cool Weapon, but sometimes it's one of them that happens to simply be incredibly useful or cool looking that it sticks in the mind of players. It's often the gun that gets used in official art of the game.

Please note that in order to qualify, a game has to have multiple potential weapons. A game's most remembered weapon being its only weapon wouldn't count. Compare Iconic Item, which is about an signature item closely tied to a character. This trope is about one weapon that is iconic to a work, even though there are many other weapons within the work.

If the game is featured in a Crossover, it's very likely this is the weapon that the character will be using.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Shooters 

  • Halo: Combat Evolved has, of all things, the lowly pistol. It's particularly memorable due to its Gamebreaker status, as well as the fact that it is the standard weapon held by characters in Red vs. Blue.
  • Half-Life has the starting weapon, a crowbar. Thanks to Memetic Mutation, this has become as iconic to the series as Gordan Freeman himself.
  • Half-Life 2 has the gravity gun, which really wowed gamers with its impressive use of the game's physics engine and the fact that it's Awesome Yet Practical.
  • Doom has the original BFG
  • Turok has the Cerebral Bore, a gun that fires a drill that targets your opponent's brain.
  • Gears of War has the Lancer. The chainsaw bayonetted rifle is probably the most iconic image of the series.
  • Goldeneye1997: The best remembered weapon in the game is the Klobb. Ironically, it's so well remembered because it's one of the worst FPS guns of all time, being considerably worse than the starting pistol.
  • Shadows of the Damned only has one weapon, an Equippable Ally who can turn into different guns. The pistol mode (known as the Boner) is pretty iconic due to its name, but the cake goes to the sniper rifle, The Big Boner (which is attained by having your gun call a phone sex hotline, thus growing several feet).
  • Metal Slug has two contenders: The first being the Heavy Machine Gun, which while it's mundane, the game is so Nintendo Hard that its fondly remembered for being common enough that you can get it when you need a little extra damage. The second is the Rocket Launcher, which fires homing rockets. However, its fame comes more from the announcer's iconic mispronunciation of it, sounding more like "Rocket Lawn-chair."
  • BioShock and its immediate sequel have the Swarm Plasmid, an Awesome But Practical Bee Bee Gun ability. The sequel, where you play as one of the series' iconic Big Daddies also has a drill weapon.
  • After the second game in the series was accused of stagnating, BioShock Infinite introduced the Sky Hook, which is a Quick Melee weapon and used for the much lauded Sky Rail movement/combat system. It's gotten a replica release, and is in fact the game's loading icon.
  • The Cartoon Bomb-firing Cannon from the Serious Sam series is an epitome of the silly but awesome gameplay of the games.
  • Dead Space: The Plasma Cutter, while one of the first weapons you can get in the game it is also the more memorable. It's also the weapon that comes with the figure of Isaac Clark, and also has a replica released.
  • Painkiller has the Electrodriver, a gun that shoots shurikens and lightning, which was popularized by the Zero Punctuation review.
  • Like the Blue Bomber, Metroid's protagonist Samus Aran also has a sizeable list of weapons, her standard Power Beam and Missile Launcher will always be her best known weapons.
  • Fallout has the .223 pistol, modeled after Rick Deckard's gun from Blade Runner and being a powerful pistol in the first two games. New Vegas included it under the name "That Gun", Word of God saying it was named so because players of the first two games tended to refer to the .223 pistol as "that gun from Fallout".

    Other Video Games 
  • Phantasy Star Online, being an MMORPG has several contenders, but the winner would have to be the Spread Needle, a complete gamebreaker that can be used by more classes than many more mundane weapons.
  • Soul Series has the Soul Edge, the evil one-eyed sword that the plot revolves around. Thanks to its shapeshifting abilities, any character can wield a Soul Edge version of their Weapon of Choice.
  • Saints Row: The Third, while not practical, everyone remembers beating someone to death with a giant jiggling purple dildo
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Master Sword. It's in almost every game, usually in the game's logo or boxart, however it's almost always the Infinity–1 Sword and is rarely used in the end game.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Cloud's Buster Sword. You'll stop using it within an hour of gameplay, but since it's plot relevant and used in all cutscenes, it's an iconic image for the game. The game's prequel even turns it into a character-significant symbol of honor and heroism passed down between characters.
  • Mega Man in any of his incarnations has his Mega Buster. He has a multitude of weapons to take, but the Mega Buster is always trusty.
    • Zero has the Z saber as the memorable weapon in all incarnations. Said saber appears in all crossovers and all the M.U.G.E.N characterizations call said saber more often than the other weapons.
  • Kirby: Along with the usual inhale, the Beam ability. Word of God says that it's his (Sakurai's) favorite ability as well.
  • Dissidia: Final Fantasy turned the Mage Masher into this for Zidane. They were just another weapon among many in his original game, but since Dissidia, his spin-off appearances and fandom depictions use it prominently.
  • Ratchet & Clank, while the actual gun he's shown with varies, Ratchet's most common weapon is his trusty Omniwrench.
  • Dead Rising 2 has the Paddlesaw, a pair of chainsaws duct taped together to form a Double Weapon. It's on the game's cover art and characteristic of the game's over-the-top weapon creation system.

    Non-Video Game Examples 
  • Star Wars has its iconic lightsabers.
  • Rival franchise Star Trek has not only its iconic handheld phasers, but also the Klingon bat'leth, a bizarre melee weapon.
  • Berserk. Guts' Dragonslayer is highly recognizeable, to the point of showing up (under different names) in games like Drakengard and Demon's Souls.
  • Warhammer 40,000 also has chainswords, which, as the name implies, are swords with a chainsaw blade adapted for melee combat.
Community Feedback Replies: 38
  • August 2, 2013
    Larkmarn
    I'm reeeeeeeeeeeeeally open to ideas for a name.
  • August 2, 2013
    Koveras
    • The Cartoon Bomb-firing Cannon from the Serious Sam series is an epitome of the silly but awesome gameplay of the games.
  • August 2, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    Signature Gun might be a start, unless you're willing to add examples such as the Keyblade. the Master Sword or other non-gun weapon that the title implied that the tropes is about.

    A more borderline but non-game related example would be the Mix And Match Weapons from RWBY which incorporates parts and mechanisms of guns onto other weapons, (Scythes, swords, clubs etc.)
  • August 2, 2013
    Larkmarn
    My biggest issue with Signature Gun is it just sounds like a character's signature gun, like Dirty Harry's magnum, or Jayne's Vera.

    I'm totally open to adding the Zelda example, but a part of it is that there has to be different weapons that the player can choose from. I don't know if this is the case for Kingdom H Earts, but I'll add the Zelda example.
  • August 2, 2013
    Chabal2
    I think it might be expanded to other genres than just FPS, or at least a separate section. For example, the boltguns of Warhammer 40 K are handheld, fully-automatic rocket launchers.
  • August 2, 2013
    Larkmarn
    How about I make it three sections: Shooters, Other Video Games, and Other Media?

    For other media examples, I'm not looking for iconic unique weapons (like the Glaive in Krull, or whatever), but rather more mass produced weapons that are engrained in the public consciousness from the work.
  • August 2, 2013
    DAN004
    • For Team Fortress 2, the signature weapon varies between the characters: The Scout has the bat, the Soldier has the bazooka, the Pyro has the flamethrower, the Demoman has the grenade launcher (and sometimes the bottle), the Heavy has the minigun, the Engineer has the wrench and his sentries, the Medic has his medigun, the Sniper has the sniper rifle and the Spy has the knife (plus his tools of espionage).
  • August 2, 2013
    Larkmarn
    ^ But are any of them the signature weapon of the game overall? Personal signature weapons would be more along the lines of Weapon Of Choice, I believe.
  • August 2, 2013
    Chabal2
  • August 2, 2013
    DAN004
  • August 2, 2013
    Mauri
    Well considering the reliance you get on these:
    • Dead Space: The Plasma Cutter (not recalling well the name on this) while the first weapons you can get in the game it is also the more memorable.
    • Megaman: Zero has the Z saber as the memorable weapon in all incarnations. Said saber appears in all crossovers and all the MUGEN characterizations call said saber more often than the other weapons.
  • August 2, 2013
    MrRuano
    • Painkiller has the Electrodriver, a gun that shoots shurikens and lightning, which was popularized by the Zero Punctuation review.
    • Portal's Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, the gun that isn't even a gun and instead becomes your best (and only) way out.
    • Like the Blue Bomber, Metroid's protagonist Samus Aran also has a sizeable list of weapons, her standard Power Beam and Missile Launcher will always be her best known weapons.
  • August 3, 2013
    arbiter099
    I like the idea but how will this keep from becoming Tropers Like These Guns ?
  • August 3, 2013
    Freezer
    I see the merit in this trope, but will needs some tightening to keep from basically being Iconic Item.
  • August 3, 2013
    IAmATropist
    Don't forget Halo's Gravity Hammers and Energy Swords.

    • The whip in Castlevania.

    • Scorpion's spear in Mortal Kombat. GET OVER HERE!!!

    • Mario's Fire Flower.

    • Donkey Kong's barrels.

    • The Peashooter in Plants Vs Zombies.

    • In MOTHER and EarthBound (MOTHER 2), the protagonist (first boy) uses a baseball bat, the girl uses a frying pan, the second boy uses guns, and the third boy uses a knife/sword.
      • In MOTHER 3, Lucas (the protagonist) can use weapons called the "Fake Bat" and "Real Bat".

    • Yoshi is known for swallowing enemies after grabbing them with his long tongue.

    • Not a game example, but King Arthur's Excalibur and "sword in the stone".
  • October 25, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Bump.
  • October 26, 2013
    DAN004
    Add the Sunflower for Plants Vs Zombies.
  • October 26, 2013
    DAN004
    The titular Soul Edge and Soul Calibur.
  • October 26, 2013
    Chabal2
    Warhammer 40 K: The iconic gun of the franchise is the Space Marine bolter (or boltgun), a two-handed rapid-fire self-propelled rocket launcher that handles like an assault rifle and requires Power Armor just to absorb the shock from firing it.

  • October 26, 2013
    Bisected8
    I think the categories might need work (WH40K might not be a video game, but it's certainly a game, plus Metroid isn't really a shooter any more than LoZ is a hack and slash).
  • October 26, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ This is just categorized by FPS, non FPS and non video game.
  • October 26, 2013
    DAN004
    This is just me, but I thought Screw Attack is the more iconic one for Metroid. It's even taken as a name for a video game website.
  • October 26, 2013
    DrakeClawfang
    • Final Fantasy VII, Cloud's Buster Sword is his iconic weapon and is used by him in all his spin-offs, the game's prequel even turning it into a character-significant symbol of honor and heroism passed down between characters.
    • Dissidia Final Fantasy turned the Mage Masher into this for Zidane. They were just another weapon among many in his original game, but since Dissidia, his spin-off appearances and fandom depictions use it prominently.
    • Ratchet And Clank, while the actual gun he's shown with varies, Ratchet's most common weapon is his trusty Omniwrench.
    • Fallout has the .223 pistol, modeled after Rick Deckard's gun from Blade Runner and being a powerful pistol in the first two games. New Vegas included it under the name "That Gun", Word Of God saying it was named so because players of the first two games tended to refer to the .223 pistol as "that gun from Fallout".
  • January 13, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    Morning Star 1337
    RWBY doesn't quite count. God Eater Burst has been at it with Mix And Match Weapons before them, and probably Monster Hunter with it's Axe-sword e even before that. also, this trope can easily be made objective. but too busy to elaborate on that now.
  • January 16, 2014
    StarSword
    Game's Signature Weapon?
  • January 16, 2014
    DAN004
    Add examples plz...
  • January 17, 2014
    StarSword
    Fixed spelling of "bat'leth".
  • February 11, 2014
    LadyJuse
    The Kingdom Key for Kingdom Hearts
  • March 12, 2014
    needsanewhobby
    Yeah, I don't know why the title and the laconic stick to guns, but then the description and the examples allow other weapons too.

    Also Worms has a ton of signature weapons, but the Concrete Donkey is maybe the most well known for its utter absurdity.
  • March 12, 2014
    Larkmarn
    Good point, moving it away from Guns.

    Huh, I thought the Super Sheep or the Holy Hand Grenade would've been its signature weapon.
  • March 12, 2014
    Mutations2000
    Similar to the Half-Life series, the player's first (and arguably best) weapon in System Shock 2 is a bloodstained wrench. Among fans, it's considered the game's most iconic weapon. System Shock's spiritual successor, Bioshock, also had a wrench as its first weapon.
  • March 12, 2014
    DAN004
    Ratchet And Clank has the RYNO, the game's strongest weapon in every title.
  • October 4, 2014
    marcoasalazarm
    Looks good, actually.
  • March 10, 2015
    DAN004
    Pmub
  • March 10, 2015
    DragonQuestZ
    Is there a way to determine this other than it being ymmv?
  • March 10, 2015
    DAN004
    ^ What do you mean by "determining" this?
  • March 11, 2015
    DragonQuestZ
    Well stuff like "The best remembered weapon in the game" is not only unproven, it relates to how fans think, which is ymmv. Stuff has to be official (the works themselves, related works, marketing, etc.) to be an actual trope.
  • March 11, 2015
    DAN004
    ^ this ykttw WILL BE YMMV.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=bjw0qmgdbxtrt2c3ct350kwv