Created By: TBeholder on June 1, 2011 Last Edited By: TBeholder on June 30, 2012
Nuked

Laser Bullet

noisy glowy bolts, inexplicably called lasers

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Trope
Proposed as a split from Frickin' Laser Beams, since these aren't beams at all.

It's a variety of the generic Ray Gun. These devices usually look in action much like soaker guns: they spit slow, glowy bright-colored bolts or Energy Balls, make "futuristic" zap noises -- and yet for some reason are called "lasers".

Mainly the Video Games and Animation trope.
  • Lasers in Touhou are rather slow, consist of particles (a la bullets), and you can actually take out a part of one.
  • Gradius lasers, which just are long, piercing, fast projectiles.
  • Prevalent among the robots in the Sonic the Hedgehog games.
  • The first two Fallout games play this straight. 3 and New Vegas avert it, on the other hand.
  • G.I. Joe used them all the time.
  • In Nexuiz, Laser and Heavy Laser Assault Cannon fire red bolts.
  • Painkiller (by Judas Priest) is "faster than a laser bullet" (and louder than an atom bomb).

Community Feedback Replies: 37
  • June 2, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Whether or not they are technically lasers is hardly ever brought up. It's mostly so they can be an analogue for real guns.

    Energy Blaster?

    • Star Wars firearms are simply known as "blasters", although there are various types, moreso in its videogames.
    • Babylon 5 firearms (human firearms, anyway) are known as PPGs. Not only do they fire distinctive little plasma-fireball bullets that leave a trail of visual warp behind them, they also make a distinctive sound when they are initially charged up for use (analogous to the cocking sound of a pump-action shotgun).
  • June 2, 2011
    c0ry
    There are some works which may have this type of gun, but somewhere in canon is a buried reference to "plasma" instead of lasers. Would that make them ineligible for this trope because they are not known as lasers, or are we just cataloguing all pseudo-laser weapons?
  • June 2, 2011
    troacctid
    ^ I would say it's still the same trope. These weapons tend to have a pretty consistent set of properties.

  • June 3, 2011
    OneMore
    Related?
  • June 4, 2011
    Arivne
    .
  • June 4, 2011
    Octagon8
    • Gradius lasers, which just are long, piercing, fast projectiles.
  • June 6, 2011
    Arivne
    .
  • June 7, 2011
    TBeholder
    "blasters" and other glowy bolts fall under Ray Gun in general or sometimes Painfully Slow Projectile. This one is about sticking "laser" on them.

  • June 7, 2011
    featherwings
    Is this related to Family Friendly Firearms ?

    Or is it really just a naming convention? Do, say, the Dragoons from Starcraft count, because they fire the same distinctive bright-colored bolts even though they are "antimatter shrouded by psychic force"?
  • June 14, 2011
    TBeholder
    These are "Lasers". Those are generic Ray Gun things.
  • June 24, 2011
    Arivne
    .
  • June 24, 2011
    TBTabby
    GI Joe used them all the time.

    @featherwings: Partially. These can be Family Friendly Firearms, but they can still be lethal depending on the work.
  • June 24, 2011
    Deboss
    Suggest Plasma Bolt as a redirect. They tend to get used that way.

    AFAIK, pretty much all energy weapons in Star Wars work this way. The exception being the Death Stars main weapon and the little turrets from the Republic Gunships.

    The Protoss cannons in Star Craft fire Energy Balls.

    Supreme Commander 2: The Cybran Nation (cyborgs, can't remember the proper trope) fire Laser Bullets, as opposed to the Illuminates plasma balls and the UEC Gauss weapons
  • June 30, 2011
    TBeholder
    • Nexuiz Laser, as well as Heavy Laser Assault Cannon, fires red sparkle-bullets.
  • June 30, 2011
    fulttimeD
    John Crichton: "No one move, or I'll fill you full of little yellow bolts of light!" I know it's technically not an example of this trope but the quote fits the description.
  • June 30, 2011
    RocketDude
    I say the name should be Energy Bullets. Also, should we restrict examples to purely Star Wars-like weaponry? Anyways:

    • The Combine Overwatch Pulse Rifle from Half Life 2 fires high-velocity Dark Energy bullets.
  • June 30, 2011
    elwoz
    I'm not clear on how this is different from Ray Gun. Is it a specific common type of Ray Gun that

    • is often called a "laser" (or compound noun containing "laser") in the setting
    • fires either Energy Balls, or short line segments (much shorter than the distance to the target; unlike, for instance, Star Trek phasers)
    • either way, the shots move much slower than the speed of light
    • is likely to be a Death Ray or Disintegrator Ray when applied to human/human-sized targets

    ?
  • August 18, 2011
    Arivne
    .
  • August 18, 2011
    Reflextion
    The first two Fallout games play this straight. 3 and New Vegas avert it, on the other hand.
  • August 18, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    Hollywood Laser may prove a less ambiguous title, especially since this is halfway to being a universal trope.
  • August 19, 2011
    Arutema
    The Babylon 5 example is not a good one because the PPG (Phased Plasma Gun) is never stated to be laser based. It fires burst of superheated gas.
  • December 27, 2011
    TBeholder
    • Painkiller (by Judas Priest) is "faster than a laser bullet".
  • January 10, 2012
    ChunkyDaddy
    • In Halo, the Covenants carry plasma or energy based weapons that fire slow moving brightly colored bullets
  • January 10, 2012
    Gatchaman432
    • An inversion in Bulletstorm: The weapons that the game provides not only allows the player to fire actual bullets (and drills, and sniper rifles, and grenades tied together by a chain), but a second option allows the player to fire a superheated, or "Charged", version of the bullet that moves at speeds so fast, that it practically looks like the weapons are firing lasers.
  • February 5, 2012
    Octagon8
    bump
  • March 25, 2012
    TBeholder
    ^^ it's not always or typically used this way. Especially in Fallout and Nexuiz. Though as a variant of Ray Gun, of course, ends up there too.
  • June 5, 2012
    TBeholder
  • June 6, 2012
    JonnyB
    In The Mercury Men, their guns are called "Lumieres" and resemble a modified six-shot revolver. They fire glowing bullets of "hard light" which look like your typical "laser bolt." (Not however called lasers in the series.)
  • June 6, 2012
    tryourbreast
    And it should but put inside You Keep Using That Word.
  • June 6, 2012
    electronshock
    not sure whether they explicitly call them lasers, but in Dirty Pair, some weapons fire sparky bullets.
  • June 6, 2012
    Poprocks311
    Actually subverted in Touhou, all the bullets are called bullets. Even the things that DO look like lasers (long glowing beams) are still called bullets.
  • June 6, 2012
    tryourbreast
    ^ No, lasers are called lasers. Even curve lasers are called lasers.
  • June 6, 2012
    Stratadrake
    ^ ^^ Pretty much anything in a Bullet Hell game can validly be called a 'bullet'.

    @T Beholder: Small correction for that Descent example - the Gauss cannon is not actually hitscan, it just has a very high projectile velocity (second only to the short-range Omega Cannon) and the engine is game smart enough to track when it hits something.
  • June 6, 2012
    Beed28
    • Happens a few times in the Mega Man franchise:
      • In Mega Man 3, Gemini Man's weapon is a slow moving laser that bounces off of walls.
      • At the end of the first Mega Man Zero game, one of One Winged Angel Copy X's attacks has him shooting out several laser bullets out of both of his hands, in a fan like pattern.
  • June 6, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Methinks the Gemini Laser is sufficiently beam-like to qualify as Frickin Laser Beams.
  • June 6, 2012
    elwoz
    I'm still not clear on how this is different from Ray Gun.
  • June 30, 2012
    TropeEater
    ^^^ Isn't Mega Man's buster an example as well?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=sbxy4ioiy12bnnkw3j7mp8au&trope=DiscardedYKTTW