Created By: KZN02 on April 5, 2010
Troped

Harpoon Gun

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Do We Have This One?? Up for Grabs

Sometimes, a bow and a quiver of arrows aren't big enough to finish the job; you'll need spear-sized arrows. Thankfully, there's the Harpoon Gun for that.

Harpoon guns are used by divers. In fact, any firearm designed for underwater use is basically a miniature harpoon gun (normal guns simply won't work). Some can reel in anything the harpoon latches onto.

See also Grappling-Hook Pistol.

Examples:

Film

Literature

Video Games
  • Harpoon Guns are one of your starting weapons in X-COM: Terror of the Deep. They quickly become obsolete.
  • The harpoon gun in the first Devil May Cry. Entering water with it caused an Unexpected Genre Change to FPS since it was the only weapon you could use.
  • Bioshock 2: the Spear Gun, with uses normal spears, rocket spears, and trap spears.
  • In Half-Life 2, picking up a harpoon with the gravity gun automatically orients it in a "impale whatever I launch this at" position, making it into a makeshift harpoon gun (rather than the usual "large heavy objects" gun).
  • More than one quest in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King involves shooting down proto-drakes with a harpoon gun. Most notable is the boss Skadi the Ruthless, who has to be shot down before your party can properly fight him on the ground.

Rolling Updates
Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • April 2, 2010
    cheeseypoofs
    I believe they used these for whaling.
  • April 2, 2010
    Tezcat
    Potential overlap with Crossbows (if there's a crossbow trope). Where are we drawing the line?
  • April 2, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    In Warhammer Fantasy, King Orion wields a ballista-sized bow which fires like a bolt-thrower
  • April 2, 2010
    Bisected8
    Harpoon guns are used by divers. In fact any firearm designed for underwater use is basically a miniature harpoon gun (normal guns simply won't work).

  • April 2, 2010
    Nimbostratus
    In Half Life 2, picking up a harpoon with the gravity gun automatically orients it in a "impale whatever I launch this at" position, making it into a makeshift harpoon gun (rather than the usual "large heavy objects" gun).
  • April 2, 2010
    Servbot
    • Harpoon Guns are one of your starting weapons in X-COM: Terror of the Deep. They quickly become obsolete.
  • April 2, 2010
    Henker
    More than one quest in World Of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King involves shooting down proto-drakes with a harpoon gun. Most notable is the boss Skadi the Ruthless, who has to be shot down before your party can properly fight him on the ground.
  • April 2, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    • Real life: There really were seige engines that fired giant spear-like projectiles, called ballista. A later model was called a scorpio.

    • Video Game: in the computer RTS Seven Kingdoms there were seige engines called ballista that fired giant spears.
  • April 2, 2010
    Chabal2
    Sometimes also known as scorpions.

    • Ballistae are the Alliance's siege weapon in Warcraft 2 (both sides used catapults previously), and the Night Elve's in Warcraft 3, before being replaced by the Glaive Thrower.
    • One character in a Redwall book (a hare with an Overly Long Name) has a massive bow that fires arrows the size of spears.
    • Detritus in Discworld's Night Watch uses a ballista that fires a six-foot long arrow as a crossbow. He later converts it to fire a sheaf of smaller arrows, which catch on fire from the acceleration and go in nearly every direction. It's called the Piecemaker.
  • April 3, 2010
    melloncollie
  • April 4, 2010
    Deboss
    I think Harpoon Gun might be better. Spear Shooter makes me think of Spear Counterpart for some reason.
  • April 4, 2010
    Arivne
    Currently, ballistae are part of Siege Engines. There doesn't appear to be a trope for Harpoon Guns.

    Film

    There are plenty more examples of Harpoon Gun on this wiki here.
  • April 4, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    • Missing from The Hobbit, in which the people of Lake-town have failed to develop any type of anti-dragon weaponry against Smaug-- despite their having lost their city to him 100 years earlier. Nevertheless, they mount a brave defense using the same bows and arrows that had failed their great-grandfathers, when they proved usless against his armor-- which was like "tenfold shields."
    • In How to Train your Dragon, Hiccup uses a rope-throwing device to bring down and capture a dragon that's believed to be invincible.
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