Player-Guided Missile
A player has direct control of a weapons projectile.
Description Needs Help

(permanent link) added: 2012-09-20 23:25:54 sponsor: Stratadrake (last reply: 2012-11-06 18:34:15)

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Needs a Better Description - too tired to give this some pizazz at the moment.


Ever watch a homing missile suffer yet another Hero Tracking Failure and think to yourself, "hell, I could fly a missile better than that" ? Now you can!

The Player-Guided Missile is any Video Game projectile attack or weapon which the player can manually steer or guide toward their desired target using their player movement controls. These can be more dangerous than ordinary homing missiles (at least in the hands of a skilled player), although they do have a tendency to leave the user susceptible to attacks while the player is busy piloting the missile.

The projectile can take many forms - an actual missile or Precision-Guided Boomerang being two of the most common. 3D games frequently include a Missile Cam so the player can steer the projectile from its own point of view -- which also makes it usable not just for combat, but also for general scouting and recon.

There is some Truth in Television here: wire-guided missiles do exist and trail thin wires connecting them back to the launcher, so the operator can steer the missile in flight; but unlike their Video Game counterparts, they require extensive regular training to use effectively.

Note that this only counts if the player has more or less direct control of the projectile during use -- simply "locking on" to a target and the projectile tracks the target from there doesn't count.


Examples

  • While it is obviously not a flying "missile", the RC Car in Ape Escape is capable of being used as a weapon - it can stun monkeys for capture. There is no separate camera from the RC car's point of view, but the player can still maneuver themselves while using it (it is operated via the second analog stick).
  • One of Batman's upgrades in the Batman Arkham Series is a remote-controlled Batarang, and it's essential for solving certain puzzles.
  • The yellow "Psychic Hat" in Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg allows the player to steer the egg after shooting it.
  • The Guided Missile in the Descent series is slightly slower but more powerful than a normal homing missile. The game's options screen allows the player to select whether the its Missile Cam is shown on the main screen or a smaller popup display.
  • Elemental spells in Legend of Mana with "Control" type aiming allow the player to steer the spell's area of effect to any location on the battlefield before activating the spell's effect.
  • Although magic boomerangs are a recurring item in The Legend of Zelda series, only the version in The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons can be controlled in mid-air. Boomerangs and Bombchus in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks are similar in that the player can sketch out a custom flight path with the stylus, though they have no control over them during flight.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker introduced the ability to control seagulls after feeding them a special fruit. They could then be guided to hit switches and collect rupees and other things. This gameplay mechanic was further expanded upon in...
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has the Beetle, a mechanical flying insect drone which the player can launch to explore various places, retrieve objects or hit switches, pick up and drop bombs on enemies, or even attack some enemies directly.
  • Various weapons in the Mega Man series can be steered mid-flight, generally in a limited manner only:
    • Mega Man 3's Hard Knuckle can be steered up or down while in flight, but only by a small amount.
    • Mega Man 5's Gyro Blade fires horizontally, but the player can make it veer up or down in flight.
    • Mega Man 10's Commando Bomb is similar to the Gyro Blade, but the player can change its direction multiple times in flight (and it produces an explosion on impact).
    • Mega Man X2's Magnet Mine can be steered up or down while in flight.
    • Mega Man X5's F-Laser is fully steerable, at the cost of not being able to move X at all until the missile hits something (or X takes damage).
  • The Metal Gear series has a few segments where the player must use a Nikita missile, usually to solve an electrified-floor puzzle. In the 8-bit games, the missiles travelled and steered at right angles.
    • Snake even sports a Nikita Missile launcher in his Super Smash Bros. appearance; the player can control the missile in flight, though it does travel faster in straight lines.
  • The Missile Launcher in Star Fox Assault's multiplayer matches provide the player with remote-control missiles, though it has less ammunition capacity than the normal Homing missile launcher.
  • The Visibomb gun in Ratchet & Clank is steerable, but its Missile Cam loses reception (and gives out) beyond a certain range.
  • Several characters in the Super Smash Bros. series have steerable projectile attacks:
    • Ness and Lucas both have PK Thunder - a bolt of electricity that can be steered in various directions, courtesy of their Psychic Powers. They also sport PK Flash/Freeze, in which they can steer its area of effect before it detonates.
    • Pit's Light Arrows travel very fast, but can also be steered in various directions after firing.
  • Two characters in Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure can earn this attack as an upgrade:
    • Warnado can learn "Guided Twister", which allows the player to steer their tornado attack using their movement controls.
    • Drobot's Series 2 toy can learn the ability to combine two of his Bladegears into one large, remote-controlled gear -- something that his original ("Series 1") version cannot.
  • The "Doomerang" in all three Ty the Tasmanian Tiger games. In the first it is merely an Eleventh Hour Superpower used exclusively to defeat the Final Boss, but it shows up as a purchasable (if very expensive) shop item in the sequels.
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