Living Weapon


(permanent link) added: 2009-10-04 09:41:36 sponsor: Bisected8 (last reply: 2009-10-04 09:41:36)

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This is the use of a living creature as a weapon. This can boil down to a few subtypes;

  1. Trained Creatures: A creature which has been trained specifically to act as a weapon by fighting alongside it's handler. A real world example of this would be an attack or hunting dog. To qualify the creature in question must specifically follow the orders of it's handler (it's not enough to throw someone into a cageful of lions, you have to be able to make the lions fight along side you) and have combat as it's primary purpose (so a mount that happens to be rode into battle doesn't count). It must otherwise act independantly. The Weapon of Choice for The Beastmaster.
    1. When this happens to a human (or another sapient being), this tends to overlap with Super Soldier or Person of Mass Destruction.
  2. One Man Quatermaster: Similarly to the above, this is an ally who can serve as a weapon. An improvised version of this (i.e. picking up an ally and using them to strike an enemy) could overlap with Grievous Harm with a Body if a habit is made of it. Sometimes more fantastical solutions present themselves of course...
  3. Bioweapon: This is simply a subtrope of Organic Technology; an otherwise normal, user controlled weapon which happens to be a living thing. To qualify, it must be alive when it is used (so a slingshot made from a springy Y shaped branch doesn't count, but if it was still attached to a living tree it would) and it must be separate from the user (so claws don't count, since they're part of the creature that uses them, removing the claws from a creature and strapping them to your hand doesn't count since they're no longer a living thing but a creature that happens to resemble a claw shaped glove that could be worn by another creature would).

Compare; Empathic Weapon where the weapon has some sort of mind of it's own but isn't necessarily "alive", Mon where most of the combat is based around type 1's, Shapeshifter Weapon which overlaps with type 2 and Evolving Weapon which can be justified by this.
Examples of Type 1
  • Pick a Mons series. Any mons series.
  • Fina from Skies of Arcadia uses her pet (a creature called Cupil) as a weapon.
  • The majority of monsters in the Resident Evil were created to be these. Although the ones that could follow orders had an alarming tendancy to become...less controlled.
  • Warhammer 40K's Tyranids (and by extension, the Zerg) are Type 1, being entire species evolved to serve as weaponry, controlled by more advanced creatures. Said weapons are either natural (shooting spines, claws...) or rather contrived (bio-plasma, symbiote (Mutalisk attacks are Type 2)).
    • Also from Warhammer 40,000 are the Orks. They are believed to be created by a group of beings called Brain Boyz as a weapon against the Necrons. They are quite effective weapons against them, unfortunately the same is true of everyone else. Of course technically the Brain Boyz were themselves created to be their controllers by the Old Ones.
  • The entire Zerg race.
  • It is implied in some sources that the Xenomorphs from Aliens are this.
  • In several short stories (including one Twilight Zone episode), humans were genetically engineered supersoldiers of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens.
  • Similarly the the Resident Evil example, The Virus in Prototype, but this is more of a subversion, as the scientists of Blackwatch tried this and got majorly screwed twice.
  • Besides dogs, many Real Life warhorses were like this, trained to bite, kick, or stomp at their rider's command.
  • War Elephants
    • In India, this was taken a step further by amputating the tusk tips and replacing them with huge knives.
  • Tolkein liked this trope. Lord of the Rings contains trolls, mûmakil, wargs, fell beasts, etc. Apparently Morgoth originally bred Smaug's ancestors for use as living weapons as well.

Examples of Type 2
  • In Soul Eater the ability to turn into a weapon is essentially an ability some people happen to have. While they can do damage on their own, they're more effective when someone else wields them (explicitly acting as an amplifier for their wielder's own Ki Attacks).
  • Disgaea 3 introduced a mechanic to the series called "Magi-change". This allowed any monster type unit to fuse with a humanoid unit by turning into a weapon for them to wield for a few turns.
  • In Transformers G1 Megatron had a gun as his alt mode (which ironically meant he relied on Starscream to wield him).
  • The zanpakuto in Bleach are this in reverse; they start off as empathetic weapons and eventually begin to manifest a corperal form to attack alongside their wielder.
  • The video game Whiplash, as seen here.

Examples of Type 3
  • Half-Life has a "hornet gun", basically a living alien be hive which shoots a constantly replenishing supply of bee-like aliens.
  • Geneforge has several type 3 weapons, most notably the "batons," gun stand-ins that eat and mate. (Also, creations are type 1, but they're Mons, so no matter.)
  • Every weapon of the Yuuzhan Vong
  • "Ophitech" in the Tabletop Games setting "The Day After Ragnarok" falls under Type 3.
  • Most or all of the weapons in Prey, in keeping with the Living Ship.

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