Created By: CrystalGamma on January 31, 2013

Magnetic Spine

In video games, the character's weapon is floating behind their back or next to their hip

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In Real Life, many weapons are usually stored in some kind of holster or sheath. However, many video games like to ignore this: the weapons float in the air, usually where the holsters would normally be, next to the hip or behind the back (hence the trope name). This also applies to other equipment such as shields.

A possible explanation for this trope is that it allows easier identification of the weapon by the player.

This can sometimes be handwaved in the setting: in a science fiction game, the weapons are kept afloat by force fields or gravity fields, or in a fantasy work, if the character is a mage, they could hold it in the air with their telekinetic abilities.

Role play games
  • Dragon Age: Origins has the party's equipment fly behind their backs.
  • In the Mass Effect series, the weapons are fixed to the suit without a visible holster or suspension, however, the squad loadout screen in Mass Effect 3 prominently shows 'ports' at the suits where weapons can be equipped.
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