Created By: RodrigoVega on March 18, 2011 Last Edited By: RodrigoVega on January 7, 2015

Set Weapon Mode To Kick

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Up for Grabs, Seen It a Million Times, Do We Have This One?? Needs a Better Title? what about "Kick, Don't Stab" "Deadly Weapons Not Meant To Kill" Just Launch It Already? Comment if you think this needs some kind of editing and or edit youself.

Set Swords to Stun is about the weapons being used and not being lethal. This is the inverse: The weapons are still lethal, but they don't get used for convenient finishing blows. After all, Isn't it kinda silly to Set Swords to Stun, right? armed battles are cool. Everybody knows that. But weapons do have the undesired side effect to kill or at least wound people, and you don't want to show your hero mercilesly slicing through those helpless mooks, nor have him or the villian dying in the first 16 seconds of their final battle.

Then, how can you have a long lasting battle built up without any of this happening? besides filling with gratuitious Flynning of course. Set Weapon Mode To Kick. You can give the impression that there are folks getting hit left and right in a battle without logically killing that many people on screen if you make your characters kick a lot while they are fighting with swords or whatnot on their hands. This doesn't make a whole lot of sense in Real Life, since you are already holding a deady weapon on your hand and you certainly would rather kill your enemy, you are going to use the kind of attack that is more likely to do it and less likely to get you mutilated. In fictionland however, the opposite applies. When a character wielding a sword (or any other kind of weapon for the mater) kicking someone it's guaranteed to work nearly every time and send the enemy straight to the ground or a nearby pitfall, never to rise up again. They never miss, or are endured by the enemy, nor parried like 90% of every blow dealt with a deadly weapon (probably because parrying a leg with a sword would end the battle). Also it helps get the idea through that a character is a skilled maritial artist.. in some way.

Compare to Set Swords to Stun. This is for works in which weapons really are shown to kill and maim every so often, but in order to prolong or soften the battles they are not used instead. Also it's saves a fortune on fake blood. Needs More Examples I know there are millions.


Edged Weapons:

  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie adaptation has Captain Nemo doing this a lot.
  • Star Wars The Phantom Menace has both the jedis and Darth Maul doing this a lot.
  • Tatsumaru from Tenchu 2 makes a living joke out of this. He has the legendary master sword of a very bloody game, but has only 2 or 3 obscure attacks with it, using instead a convination of punches and kicks as main method of attack.
  • Many of the TV shows by Sam Raimi's Renaissance Pictures used this trope, to keep their PG rating despite the use of swords. Everyone carried swords, no one ever used them. These (and later shows inspired by them) would use this trope, with a condition of "If you fall down you are dead." So if the kick/punch caused the person to fall on the ground, that person would not get back up (as if they had been stabbed by that sword everyone is carrying). Swords were otherwise solely used for parrying other swords. Never to slash or stab someone. Renaissance shows doing this (or shows inspired by them) include:

  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
  • Xena: Warrior Princess
  • Jack-of-All-Trades
  • The Adventures of Sinbad (Not from Renaissance, but based of the style of the above series) was special: Only the mute black guy's throwing daggers would ever hit anyone. All swordfights were otherwise won by punching or kicking.
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are notorious for this especially Raphael and Leonardo. This was actually averted in the kid friend 87 turtles because most enemies were robots, but in the Darker and Edgier series they usually only used bladed weapons to parry and then attacked with kicks.
  • A variation: in The Legend Of Zelda cartoon series Link had a sword, but he only ever fought using the Sword Beams.
  • GI Joe: Snake Eyes and Stormshadow ever only kick their enemies down. Never stab them.
  • The Mystic Knights Of Tir Na Nog had this. They would never stab or slash anyone. Instead the sword/axe/trident/flail for just used for firing magic at monsters. Everything else is kicks and punches,
  • In China O'Brien, two martial artist chefs wielding cleavers assault two goons--but never actually hit them with their knives, and finish them off with a kick to the face.


Firearms:

  • In Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist, the main character is supposed to be a famous gunfighter, but there's only one scene where (it's implied) you actually shoot someone. Other times you shoot a chandelier rope to knock out the bad guy, shoot a can of laughing gas to drug a band of rampaging outlaws, and shoot the gun out of another gunfighter's hand. Mind you, that last one might be an aversion since his shot wounds you.
  • Jecht in Dissidia: Final Fantasy carries around a reverse-gripped BFS but never actually uses it outside of his Super Mode; instead, he opts for a torrent of kicks and punches.
  • In the old Lone Ranger TV series, the LR used his Silver Bullets mostly for shooting the gun out of the hand of the baddie, relying on Good Old Fisticuffs for actual takedowns.
Community Feedback Replies: 46
  • March 18, 2011
    Ghilz
    • Many of the TV shows by Sam Raimi's Renaissance Pictures used this trope, to keep their PG rating despite the use of swords. Everyone carried swords, no one ever used them. These (and later shows inspired by them) would use this trope, with a condition of "If you fall down you are dead." So if the kick/punch caused the person to fall on the ground, that person would not get back up (as if they had been stabbed by that sword everyone is carrying). Swords were otherwise solely used for parrying other swords. Never to slash or stab someone. Renaissance shows doing this (or shows inspired by them) include:
  • March 18, 2011
    DragonQuestZ
    I don't think this is that unrealistic. If you can't get an opening with one weapon, at least using your feet another way would help. See Combat Pragmatist.
  • March 18, 2011
    RodrigoVega
    Thanks Ghilz for the valuable examples.
  • March 18, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Just about every time you make a "not to be confused with [similar title]", you've got as Bad Snowclone on your hands and need to think up a better title.

    Set Swords To Stun is about the weapons being used and not being lethal. This is the inverse: The weapons are still lethal, but they don't get used outside of finishing blows.
  • March 18, 2011
    DragonQuestZ
    Not to mention my response was based on misunderstanding the trope based on the title and the thickness of the description. So the description should be trimmed, and it needs a better title.
  • March 18, 2011
    RodrigoVega
    Ok... Suggestions? I thought this wasn't a bad snowclone the nonesensical twist does light up the nonesense of the trope, and Set Swords To Stun doesn't have an army of similarly named tropes in which people might get lost and it helps with the association of a similar theme with the key words "swords" and "kick" included. But I'll include your frasing at the beiginning because it's pretty good.
  • March 18, 2011
    acrobox
    The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are notorious for this especially Raphael and Leonardo. This was actually averted in the kid friend 87 turtles because most enemies were robots, but in the 03 series they usually only used bladed weapons to parry and then attacked with kicks.
  • March 18, 2011
    RodrigoVega
    Interesting. I think we might have a good trope here :)
  • March 18, 2011
    Stratadrake
    To be fair, Everythings Worse With Snowclones can be interpreted as a broader guideline regarding when a trope's title should (and should not) superficially resemble that of another trope.

    While I don't mind seeing suggestions copy-pasted into the draft text, at this moment the lead paragraph looks ... kinda choppy as a result.
  • March 18, 2011
    Kayube
    A variation: in The Legend Of Zelda cartoon series Link had a sword, but he only ever fought using the Sword Beams.
  • March 19, 2011
    Ghilz
    • GI Joe: Snake Eyes and Stormshadow ever only kick their enemies down. Never stab them.
    • The Mystic Knights Of Tir Na Nog had this. They would never stab or slash anyone. Instead the sword/axe/trident/flail for just used for firing magic at monsters. Everything else is kicks and punches,
  • March 19, 2011
    DragonQuestZ
  • March 19, 2011
    Speedball
    Oooh, just saw this one on a review of Obscurus Lupa: In the Cynthia Rothrock film, China O'Brien, two martial artist chefs wielding cleavers assault two goons--but never actually hit them with their knives, and finish them off with a kick to the face.
  • March 19, 2011
    Ghilz
    ^^ Many of the examples don't even use them for finishing blows.

    Almost Unarmed Combat?
  • March 19, 2011
    Speedball
    I got it. Call it Don't Actually Stab Them. Also I seem to recall Shortpacked specifically making fun of the fact that in TMNT, "swords are for deflecting laser beams. Kick the opponent!"
  • March 20, 2011
    Deboss
    Isn't this Flinning or something?
  • March 20, 2011
    Arivne
    ^ @Deboss: We have Flynning, which is "Fancy Hollywood swordfighting that would definitely get one killed in real swordfighting."

    This YKTTW appears to be "Finishing off opponents using martial arts attacks instead of your sword."
  • March 20, 2011
    yamoryu
    Could call it "Swords Are Shields". Maybe add an "Only" on there.
  • March 20, 2011
    Ghilz
    ^^ More like "Swords are just accessories, all the fighting is done by punching and kicking" IMHO

    That being said the description could use a little fixing. I'll post a suggestion for it later, busy today
  • March 20, 2011
    Goldfritha
    In CS Lewis's The Silver Chair, Caspian and Eustace are told that they should use the flat of their blades, not the edge.
  • March 20, 2011
    SpaceJawa
  • March 20, 2011
    randomsurfer
    ^^IIRC that's specifically when they go back to Earth and open a can of whup-ass on Eustace's & Jill's Jerk Ass Boarding School Of Horrors classmates though. They don't want to kill or maim, they just want to spank & put the Fear of Aslan into them.
  • March 20, 2011
    RodrigoVega
    Swords Only for Defence?
  • March 20, 2011
    Topazan
    It may be a good idea to use a title that doesn't rule out other weapons. I can't think of where, but I'm sure I've seen at least one gunfight where no shots were fired at other people, just at chandelier ropes and the guns themselves.
  • March 22, 2011
    RodrigoVega
    Hmn.. yea, It's a possibility too.
  • March 22, 2011
    Rolf
    Set Weapon Mode To Kick?
  • March 23, 2011
    Topazan
    How about Safety Fighting or some variation thereof?

    I've thought of two gun examples:
    • In The Simpsons a retired western actor goes to stop a bank robbery by Snake and his gang armed only with a lasso. They attempt to shoot it out of his hands, but find that the bullets pass harmlessly through the loop, leading Snake to declare it the "ultimate weapon".
    • In Freddy Pharkas Frontier Pharmacist, the main character is supposed to be a famous gunfighter, but there's only one scene where (it's implied) you actually shoot someone. Other times you shoot a chandelier rope to knock out the bad guy, shoot a can of laughing gas to drug a band of rampaging outlaws, and shoot the gun out of another gunfighter's hand. Mind you, that last one might be an aversion since his shot wounds you.
  • March 23, 2011
    Speedball
    Jecht in DissidiaFinalFantasy carries around a reverse-gripped BFS but never actually uses it outside of his Super Mode; instead, he opts for a torrent of kicks and punches.
  • March 24, 2011
    Rolf
    I'd suggest sub-types like films, webcomics, etc inside weapon types as I foresee this trope examples growing a lot.

    Other than that... Just Launch It Already
  • March 25, 2011
    randomsurfer
    In the old Lone Ranger TV series, the LR used his Silver Bullets mostly for shooting the gun out of the hand of the baddie, relying on Good Old Fisticuffs for actual takedowns.
  • March 25, 2011
    Topazan
    @Rodrigo Vega - are you aware that you can hit the 'edit' button of other people's comments and copy/paste the source code so you don't lose the links?
  • March 25, 2011
    randomsurfer
    And then hit the edit button again rather than "send reply" so you don't overwrite the contributor's name. (Or don't roll updates, just wait for launch and copy-n-paste then, which is what I do.)
  • March 26, 2011
    RodrigoVega
    Ugh.. Never thought of that. Thanks Topazan.
  • March 26, 2011
    RodrigoVega
    So Any last words? I'm about to launch this if there are no objections.
  • March 26, 2011
    Rolf
    See my post above but otherwise no
  • March 27, 2011
    azraelfinalstar
    • In Bionicle Toa rarely use their weapons as weapons.
  • March 27, 2011
    X2X
    Actually, the above Jecht example from Dissidia is somewhat misleading. For all intents and purpose, Jecht is mostly a Bare Fisted Monk. He uses his sword for exactly two attacks: his Jecht Blade HP attack (where he unleashes a string of wild and vicious slashes) and the very end of his EX Burst (where he slashes them a few times and then impales them with it before kicking a meteor on them).
  • April 1, 2011
    Speedball
    Ahh, yes, you're right. Well, he's MOSTLY a non-sword guy, then.
  • January 5, 2015
    DAN004
    This, like Family Friendly Weapon Usage ykttw, is part of of a trope about "family friendly combat".

    Gonna make dat supertrope.
  • January 6, 2015
    KarjamP
    • Asterix usually has a sword on him at all times. He rarely uses it in battle, however, preferring to use his fists powered up by Getafix's magic potion.
  • January 6, 2015
    KarjamP
    • The portrayal of Ganondarf within the Super Smash Bros games has him using a martial art somewhat similar to Captain Falcon that involves powering his blows with dark magic. This trope comes in play when it's revealed in one of his taunts introduced in Brawl that he still has his sword from the games on him. He never uses said sword in battle unless you use a custom special move that involves it in 3DS/Wii U.
  • January 6, 2015
    randomsurfer
    Invoked by Aslan in The Silver Chair: When Aslan sends Eustace & Jill back to school he lets a dead-but-in-the-body-of-his-youth King Caspian go with them, in order to punish the bullies who were chasing them before they got swept into Narnia. Aslan insists that they only use the flats of their swords to slap the bullies rather than poking them full of holes.
  • January 6, 2015
    DAN004
    ...meh, scratch that, Bloodless Carnage covers all I need. This ykttw is even mentioned in that trope.
  • January 7, 2015
    zoop
    I had trouble following the description. Is this a trope describing a case where the hero or villain is carrying a weapon, but doesn't use it? For no in-universe reason? Could you just... say that, please?
  • January 7, 2015
    zoop
    I realize now what confused me. The proposed title is "Set weapon to kick" - but a more accurate description would be "Set weapon to off and set leg to kick". Because you're not using the weapon. I kept imagining people trying to use swords to somehow kick people... it didn't make any sense.
  • January 7, 2015
    acrobox
    The name is clumsy but i think the trope is there otherwise.

    But yeah its, there's no In Universe justification why then never use striking weapons (particularly bladed ones) to strike, and instead only land kicks or other physical non-lethal or non-bloody blows.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=r8qdvfqn2pvigmr63j4uhd4l