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
Unique-named weapons with this kind of property often come with Exactly What It Says on the Tin
Compare The Hunter
, who is a person
dedicated to slaying a specific enemy type.
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.
- The eponymous weapons of the Dragonlance setting were exceptionally effective against dragons.
- 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.
- 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...