Created By: Fluffymormegil on April 16, 2011 Last Edited By: shistavan on May 19, 2011
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Weapon Of X Slaying

Weapons that hit certain enemies unusually hard.

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Trope
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A weapon which gets extra bonuses (possibly including Armor Piercing or One-Hit Kill) against a specific enemy type, without resorting to Depleted Phlebotinum Shells (e.g. silver vs. werewolves) or Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors (e.g. using fire against an ice monster).

There may be some overlap with Achilles' Heel; in such cases, consider the weapon's effectiveness against things that aren't the Nigh Invulnerable critter.

Unique-named weapons with this kind of property often come with Exactly What It Says on the Tin naming.

Compare The Hunter, who is a person dedicated to slaying a specific enemy type.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Record of Lodoss War took this to an extreme, with a set of magical halberds enchanted to slay one specific dragon. These were effective despite the heroes having to jump off a cliff to hit the dragon's head.
  • One story arc in To Aru Majutsu no Index revolves around a weapon called the Stab Sword, which is able to kill immensely powerful magic users.

Literature
  • The eponymous weapons of the Dragonlance setting were exceptionally effective against dragons.

Tabletop Games
  • The magic item lists in Dungeons & Dragons have a lot of these - "sword +2, giant slayer", "arrow of <insert name of critter> slaying", etc.
    • Third Edition generalized these with the "bane" effect (+2 to hit and +2d6 damage against specified enemy).
  • Inverted in Munchkin by the "sword of slaying everything except squid". It gives a substantial bonus but against squid (there are two in the decks so far - karate squid and Squidzilla) the fight is automatically lost.

Video Games
  • The golem staff in Wizard's Crown, which is just a normal staff unless you attack a golem with it, in which case it ignores armour and has its damage rating tripled.
  • The original Final Fantasy and some of its sequels have various weapons of this kind. They didn't work in the first game, however, due to a bug (which was fixed in the remakes).
  • Angband has a set of Slay X properties (Evil, Orc, Demon, Undead, Troll, Giant, Animal, and Dragon), which can be found in various combinations on ego and artifact weapons.
  • ADOM followed a similar model to Angband; the possible values of X in this case included humanoids (which category included some bosses and most elite mooks).
  • Dungeon Crawl has weapons of orc slaying, which simply give a damage bonus against orcs.
  • Several of the artifact weapons in Nethack fall into this category e.g. Ogresmasher, Werebane (which happens to also invoke Depleted Phlebotinum Shells, since it's a silver saber), and Orcrist.
  • Diablo II gives all blunt weapons this effect against undead monsters, and also has weapons with specific anti-undead or anti-demon enchantments.
  • Weapons with bonuses against the Darkspawn, undead, and/or demons are pretty commonplace in the Dragon Age series, but Dragon Age II also has a greatsword with a large bonus against Qunari. Fittingly, you pick it up shortly before storming a Qunari stronghold.
  • The Valkyrie Profile series has a whole range of <Type>Slayer weapons- they tend to be extremely fragile, making them Too Awesome to Use against anything but bosses, but since the game only rolls to see if a weapon breaks at the end of a round, if you take the enemy down in one hit it will never make the check, allowing them to last ages if used properly.
  • Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic has a "Dragon Slaying" unit ability, given to Knight and available on weapons for Hero Unit.
  • Runescape has several examples, including Silverlight (and its upgraded form, Darklight) for slaying demons; Balmung, the Battleaxe of Dagannoth Slaying; the Ivandis Flail, used for killing Vyrewatch vampyres; and the brackish blade and brine sabre, which are super-effective against crabs for some reason.
  • Shining Force has a variety of specialized weapons that are strong against specific types of enemies -- the Mermanbuster is strong against sea creatures, the Jagged Flash is strong against flying enemies, the Elf Slayer is good against robots, and so on.
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has the Werebane, which is supposed to do more damage against werebeasts. It doesn't. Apparently they didn't program it correctly...

Web Original
Community Feedback Replies: 33
  • April 16, 2011
    TheChainMan
    • The original Final Fantasy (And some of the sequels) had various weapons of this kind. Hilariously, a Game Breaking Bug on the first game made the effect not work, though even then it wouldn't have accomplished much (It's a small bonus).
    • Fire Emblem has weapons that deal double or triple damage (Depends on the game) against armored units or horse riders. The Hero often starts with a weapon effective against both types. In addition, all bows deal double damage to flying units.
  • April 16, 2011
    Stratadrake
    ^ FF 1 is not, strictly speaking, example of a Game Breaking Bug. You said it yourself: The overall effect (as seen in the remakes) was relatively minor anyway.
  • April 16, 2011
    Discar
    Dungeons And Dragons 3.0/3.5/3.75 has "bane" weapons, which receive a +2 bonus to their enhancement and a +2d6 damage to the specific creature type.
  • April 16, 2011
    dalek955
  • April 17, 2011
    TheChainMan
    @Stratadake: It's not a Good Bad Bug either. Guess it should have no pothole then.
  • April 17, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Yeah. We don't have a trope about software bugs in general because unless it has positive side effects or is truly game-breaking, it's not particularly interesting to talk about.
  • April 17, 2011
    Mozgwsloiku
    The Munchkin card game has a "sword of slaying everything except squid". It gives a substantial bonus but against squid (there are two in the decks so far - karate squid and Squidzilla ) the fight is automatically lost.
  • April 17, 2011
    Mozgwsloiku
    Chronicles Of Loddoss War include a set of magic halberds, all enchented to slay one specific dragon. They did their job despite being tiny compared to the target - the heroes had to jump off a cliff to hit the dragon's head.
  • April 17, 2011
    morenohijazo
    In Diablo 2, maces, scepters, wandsand any other blunt weapon deal bonus damage against enemies of the undead type. Besides, some magical atributes on magical weapons give several attack bonus versus undead or versus demons, depending on the atribute.
  • April 17, 2011
    KZN02
  • April 17, 2011
    Fluffymormegil
    Worth a mention.
  • April 17, 2011
    BlackMageJ
    The Valkyrie Profile series has a whole range of <Type>Slayer weapons- they tend to be extremely fragile, making them Too Awesome To Use against anything but bosses, but since the game only rolls to see if a weapon breaks at the end of a round, if you take the enemy down in one hit it will never make the check, allowing them to last ages if used properly.
  • April 18, 2011
    Koveras
    Weapons with bonuses against the Darkspawn, undead, and/or demons are pretty commonplace in the Dragon Age series, but Dragon Age II also has a greatsword with a large bonus against Qunari. Fittingly, you pick it up shortly before storming a Qunari stronghold.
  • April 24, 2011
    Fluffymormegil
    Bump? Mildly surprised at how few examples this has collected.
  • April 27, 2011
    TBeholder
  • April 28, 2011
    MarxMaster
    Net Hack!

    I'mma pull some weapons from the Nethack wiki. There's Demonbane, Dragonbane, Giantslayer, Ogresmasher, Orcrist, Trollsbane, and Werebane.
  • April 28, 2011
    Fluffymormegil
    On the list already :)
  • April 28, 2011
    troacctid
    • Runescape has several examples, including Silverlight (and its upgraded form, Darklight) for slaying demons; Balmung, the Battleaxe of Dagannoth Slaying; the Ivandis Flail, used for killing Vyrewatch vampyres; and the brackish blade and brine sabre, which are super-effective against crabs for some reason.
    • Shining Force has a variety of specialized weapons that are strong against specific types of enemies--the Mermanbuster is strong against sea creatures, the Jagged Flash is strong against flying enemies, the Elf Slayer is good against robots, and so on.
  • May 1, 2011
    peccantis
    • Roguelike Dungeon Crawl has weapons "of orc slaying". They simply give a damage bonus against orcs, nothing fancier.
  • May 2, 2011
    TwoGunAngel
    The fabled Dragonlances of the Dragonlance setting were said to be this against dragons.
  • May 2, 2011
    Sooku
    One story arc in To Aru Majutsu No Index revolves around a weapon called the Stab Sword, which is able to kill immensely powerful magic users.
  • May 3, 2011
    Semicolone
    Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night has the Werebane, which is supposed to do more damage against werebeasts. It doesn't. Apparently they didn't program it correctly...
  • May 4, 2011
    HumanaUox
    Adventure Time: Princess Bubblegum gives Finn the Gauntlet of Billy, the only known weapon that can harm a Lich.
  • May 5, 2011
    Fluffymormegil
    I can't quite decide whether the Adventure Time example fits. It clearly fits Achilles Heel - the only weakness of the Nigh Invulnerable Big Bad - but whether it fits this depends on its effectiveness against liches compared to its effectiveness against, say, trolls, humans, or wolves.
  • May 6, 2011
    Fluffymormegil
    Hm. Does this need a page quote / page picture before launch, or is it OK as it is?
  • May 6, 2011
    hevendor717
    Super-Effective Sword a possible name?
  • May 7, 2011
    Ryuuma
    • The Legend Of Dragoon has two ancient weapons forged to defeat Dragons and Dragoons: one of them was the Dragonslayer sword, capable of piercing the Dragoon armor.
  • May 10, 2011
    shistavan
    Nethack also has the Vorpal Sword which has a much higher chance of slicing a Jabberwock's head clean off than other creatures.
  • May 10, 2011
    Chabal2
    Fire Emblem has a sword called Horseslayer (astoundingly enough, it's highly effective against cavalry). There are also the Axereaver, Swordreaver and Lancereaver weapons, which reverse the weapon triangle by being effective against the weapon.
  • May 11, 2011
    dalek955
  • May 11, 2011
    Damr1990
    • on The Legend of mana you can each time you upgrade you weapons it changes its atributes, some upgrades will make bonus damage to certain type of enemies, however, watch out for the nex time you want to upgrade it, as it probably will lose that atribute
  • May 11, 2011
    Rolf
    • Everquest had "Bane" effect which increases damage towards whatever species its for.
  • May 19, 2011
    Balmung
    Better Fire Emblem examples than the Horseslayer/Armorslayer type weapons since they already fit Anti Cavalry and Armour Piercing, respectively (also, the horseslayer is a lance):

    • Fire Emblem has included weapons such as the Wyrmslayer, a sword that does bonus damage to dragons and wyvern riders and the Swordslayer, an axe that not only reverses the weapon triangle, but also does damage at triple power to sword using classes.
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