Created By: ScanVisor on April 24, 2012 Last Edited By: ScanVisor on May 9, 2012
Troped

PunchPackingPistol

The Handgun that breaks the game.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
This gun is everything. Cleanly polished, bright silver. It never jams, it has a large magazine so it barely ever needs to be reloaded. It has the stopping power of a shotgun, the fire rate of an SMG, and it can do headshots for instant kills from a mile away, and it has a scope and a laser sight to boot.

It is . . . a 9mm/.45 caliber pistol?

There is a strange tendency in video games to make the starting pistol so ultimately powerful that you may never have to use anything else, since ammo is so plentiful and the gun is so practical. These are those guns.

In Video Games, Sniper Pistol is a subtrope, in Real Life, a scope can be a worthwhile addition, but that doesn't make the gun overpowered.

Examples

Video Games
  • Deus Ex
    • The first game is infamous for it's pistol which almost perfectly fits the trope description.
    • Deus Ex: Human Revolution continues the tradition by making a silenced pistol with a laser scope one of the best weapons in the game.
  • Half-Life:
    • For some reason the same 9mm cartridges do more damage when fired from the Glock then when fired from the MP 5. Also the Glock is given the miraculous ability to be fired underwater.
    • The Python does far more damage than the .357 it's supposed to be; they should have said it was a .44 Magnum or even something bigger like the .454 Casull.
  • Halo
  • Left 4 Dead: The pistol is quite an effective weapon, particularly when it's upgraded to Guns Akimbo (while the weapon's technically being upgraded, it remains the Emergency Weapon). The original even has an achievement for completing an entire campaign with one.
  • Mass Effect: Pistols tend to have decent range and are often the best weapons to use against armored opponents. Not to mention that all classes have proficiency in them. But they have less ammo than anything but sniper rifles and some shotguns, except for the pistol in the final bit of Mass Effect 3, which has unlimited ammo
  • Metal Gear
  • Resident Evil 4 gives you a 9mm handgun at the start that you can make very powerful through upgrades. Then, a second gun comes around with better starting stats that can be made even better. Infuriating, right? Nah, the upgrades on your old handgun make it astoundingly valuable, so you can buy the new gun and get started on upgrades. That's an Overpowered Pistol that breaks two parts of the gameplay system.
  • Resonance of Fate: Breaking your pistols is actually one of the main game mechanics. It doesn't show on the models, but in the inventory screen you can see your pistol decked out with ridiculous stuff like a drum magazine for absurd amounts of ammo before having to reload (really good, since you unload one cartridge with every attack), scopes stacked on top of each other, and multiple handles for decreased recoil.
  • Splinter Cell also features one of these. Even better, it's silenced from the start and never stops being that way.
  • For Vampire Bloodlines characters who don't specialize in combat, the late-game Colt Anaconda offers the best combo of accuracy and firepower. Even combat-based characters may find themselves using it primarily, despite the availability of automatic rifles and shotguns.

Community Feedback Replies: 27
  • April 24, 2012
    Koveras
    Silenced guns are in general the best lethal weapons in stealth-based games. It holds true for Splinter Cell and No One Lives Forever series.

    • For Vampire Bloodlines characters who don't specialize in combat, the late-game Colt Anaconda offers the best combo of accuracy and firepower. Even combat-based characters may find themselves using it primarily, despite the availability of automatic rifles and shotguns.
  • April 24, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Entry number two in your Standard FPS Guns already describes how the basic pistol is often one of the most accurate weapons, to compensate for its relatively low firepower and unlimited ammo.
  • April 24, 2012
    ScanVisor
    ^ True, but the pistols are OP in far more games than just first-persons. Stealth games especially. (I got the idea after replaying Metal Gear Solid 2 and just absolutely destroying the entire game once I got the SOCOM Suppressor.)

    Perhaps Standard FPS Guns can be supertrope to this? Or we could trope repair to make it standard gaming guns?
  • April 24, 2012
    Treblain
    One form of this is Sniper Pistol.
  • April 24, 2012
    TwoGunAngel
    I'm pretty sure that many examples of this were attempts to make the pistol competitive with the rest of your growing arsenal -- in many early FPS games (such as DOOM), once you had better weapons like chainguns and rocket launchers, the humble pistol that you started the game off with more often than not fell by the wayside due to being the weakest damned gun in the game.
  • April 25, 2012
    Arivne
    Scan Visor/OP: A couple of times you used the word "cartridge" to mean something holding ammunition.

    "...it has a large cartridge so it never needs to be reloaded."
    "...a drum magazine for absurd amounts of ammo per cartridge..."

    A cartridge is a single round of ammunition. I think you meant "clip" or "magazine". So:

    "...it has a large magazine so it never needs to be reloaded."
    "...a drum magazine for absurd amounts of ammo..."
  • April 25, 2012
    aurora369
    In Half Life, the mid-game Sniper Pistol Colt Python (replaced by Desert Eagle in the Opposing Force addon) has also great damage. The ammo isn't plentiful, though, stopping you from using it all the time.
  • April 25, 2012
    JobanGrayskull
  • April 25, 2012
    Stratadrake
    ^ Speak in full sentences, please.
  • April 25, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    Half Life examples:
    • for some reason the same 9mm cartridges do more damage when fired from the Glock then when fired from the MP 5. Also the Glock is given the miraculous ability to be fired underwater.
    • The Python does far more damage than the .357 it's supposed to be; they should have said it was a .44 Magnum or even something bigger like the .454 Casull.
  • April 28, 2012
    ScanVisor
    @Arivne: Thanks, that's actually pretty important.
  • April 28, 2012
    ScanVisor
    @Joban Grayskull: Hand Cannon description already calls those guns "impractical", though in some cases, like Resident Evil and it's magnum, that might be able to fit. However, this trope is more oriented towards the standard, middle-of-the-road pistols that end up being absurdly good as the game goes on for whatever reason.
  • May 2, 2012
    ScanVisor
    Bump.
  • May 2, 2012
    Bisected8
    • In Left 4 Dead, the pistol is quite an effective weapon, particularly when it's upgraded to Guns Akimbo (while the weapon's technically being upgraded, it remains the Emergency Weapon). The original even has an achievement for completing an entire campaign with one.
  • May 6, 2012
    ScanVisor
    Bump. There's enough examples, I'd just like more hats.
  • May 6, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Not with that name, no. And make sure the description is better than the laconic. This is basically a handgun being the game's Infinity Minus One Sword?
  • May 6, 2012
    TheEvenPrime

    Also: Name the trope Handy Handgun.
  • May 6, 2012
    ScanVisor
  • May 6, 2012
    JustaUsername
    Sorry, but I have to object to the Handy Handgun name as it doesn't explain the trope, all it sounds like is a handgun that was handy in a situation.
  • May 6, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Agree. I want to propose Pistol Power, but it misses the mark too.
  • May 6, 2012
    zarpaulus
    • Pistols in the Mass Effect series tend to have decent range and are often the best weapons to use against armored opponents. Not to mention that all classes have proficiency in them. But they have less ammo than anything but sniper rifles and some shotguns, except for the pistol in the final bit of Mass Effect 3, which has unlimited ammo
  • May 6, 2012
    ScanVisor
    How about the new title? Anyone?
  • May 6, 2012
    electronshock
    A lesser known one in Halo: the plasma pistol. It has the second highest ammo capacity in the game (battery 100, 5 shots per point, so 500 shots maximum, second only to the assault rifle's 660), it can be fired arbitrarily fast (one pull of the trigger equals one shot unleashed, with no maximum rate at all), it does reasonable damage, and its shots fire dead straight, only the sniper rifle is more accurate because the plasma pistol's shots drop over time slightly. Oh, and you can overcharge it to fire a homing blast that destroys any energy shield in a single hit. They are also ubiquitous, as many enemies carry them.
  • May 7, 2012
    ScanVisor
    @Tropers/electronshock, Speaking from my own personal experience, even in the original that gun's not really powerful enough per shot to qualify.
  • May 8, 2012
    ScanVisor
    Bump.
  • May 8, 2012
    ScanVisor
    Last bump. If there are no more examples, I'm going to launch it tommorow, and connect it to Standard FPS Guns.
  • May 9, 2012
    LordMelchior
    • Every pistol in Fable3
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