Created By: Lemadman on August 20, 2013 Last Edited By: Arivne on August 22, 2013

Needs a better Name

When bows and arrows are incredibly powerful weapons (sometimes moreso than guns).

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The inverse of Annoying Arrows, where bows and arrows are extremely powerful weapons, such as in movies like Avatar, where the natives are shown to kill heaps of people wearing armor with mere arrows. Does the trope exist?

Further expanding upon the idea, the bows and arrows aren't necessarily opposing guns. This is about arrows being used as equivalents to other weapons, or even technologically advanced bows (laser arrows, anyone?) being used. The concept is different to guns are useless, where guns are just seen as pinpricks, and other weapons (such as the bow) are superior - this is more about the interpretation of bows as uber-weapons.
Community Feedback Replies: 8
  • August 20, 2013
    I think Guns Are Useless and Rock Beats Laser both cover this.
  • August 21, 2013
    ^ It looks like this trope is already covered by the above. But if not, the name could be Epic Bow or Epic Arrow (related to epic levels in adventure style games).
  • August 21, 2013
    Bows and crossbows have been used by insurgents in low-tech wars, as a tactical method of getting at a high-tech opponent with a cheap low-tech weapon. The Vietcong occasionally used these weapons against US forces in the Vietnamese jungle. This was deadly, as the weapons are effectively silent and do not betray the firer's position with a muzzle flash. They were occasionally used against British forces in Northern Ireland by Irish terrorists. This worried the British government enough for it to impose licencing regulations for crossbows on a par with those that regulate private gun ownership.

    One larger-than-life British commando officer took a longbow to war with him in WW 2. His reasoning was that this was a good traditional English weapon that would really terrify the Germans. He may even have scored a few kills this way, before he was captured.
  • August 21, 2013
    Wait. Is this basically "This weapon is better" applied to bows and arrows? If so, I don't think we have that.
  • August 21, 2013
    "Bows and arrows are more powerful than guns" could be a trope (generally in a sense of "slow firing but does more damage per shot");

    • In Half Life 2, the crossbow deals more damage than a lot of the guns (since it's the sniping weapon. Then again, it does fire massive chunks of red hot rebar.
    • In Team Fortress 2, the sniper's bow deals some of the highest damage per shot. Not to mention it's the only weapon in his arsenal with a kill taunt.
    • This has been the case in Real Life for some situations;
      • In the early days of widespread firearm use bows were more effective. A trained bowman had more power, accuracy and could knock and loose arrows much faster than a gun could be loaded. Until they were perfected, the main advantage of guns was they needed less training.
      • Bows are also more effective against certain types of ballistic armour (since their hard points cut through it like armour piercing rounds and their heads deal more damage).
      • Modern armies have been known to use crossbows when a silent weapon is needed.
  • August 21, 2013
    Yeah... I think Dragon Quest has this one right. Rock Beats Laser and Guns Are Useless cover this pretty definitively.
  • August 21, 2013
    I can't actually think of any examples that really fit the description. For one thing, it's often counterbalanced in less realistic settings by Heroes Prefer Swords and in more realistic settings by realism itself. That being said, the possibilities I've got are: Disgaea, in which all bows and guns are treated as roughly equivalent to the swords, spears, axes, etc., with any individual weapon's overall power level being determined mostly by its rank and how much time the player spends grinding to improve its stats Slayers Try, in which only one of the several pandimensional reality-breaking god-killing superweapons is sealed away for fear that it's too powerful, and it's the bow. This is more of a special case because, obviously, there's only one of it in existence and all four (or five, I don't remember) of them are already so much more powerful than anything else in the multiverse that the difference is pretty hard to measure.
  • August 22, 2013
    Should I (the editor) just discard it then? It seems the trope's already been covered.