Created By: MorningStar1337 on April 17, 2013 Last Edited By: MorningStar1337 on May 2, 2013
Troped

Human Weapon

A person that is treated like a living weapon (TRS of Person Of Mass Destruction)

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Trope Repair Shop: This entry is made because of misuse of Person of Mass Destruction. Please move entries that fit the below here.

Alt. Names: Human Bioweapon, Human As Weapon.

---

A Human Weapon is someone who has been converted by military forces into A weapon for the purpose of warfare. The methods can range anywhere from Genetic Engineering to Exposure to nuclear or atomic energy, but the key result is that this person is now capable of mass destruction.

Most of the time the people who made the Human into a Human Weapon will not give them much sympathy, treating "it" as an object rather than a person. This is often due to shame of having to turn their own against their enemies, Fantastic Racism, or because they now see it as nothing more than a weapon, a tool for murder. Expect All Ofthe Other Reindeer or Bullying a Dragon to happen. These types of People are easy to make into Woobies as a result.

Compare Tyke Bomb where the Human Weapon is designed and bred from the start to be this and Person of Mass Destruction where someone has the power to destroy the world without direct military help also see I Am Not a Gun for when they decide themselves to not be a weapon. Compare/Contrast Super Soldier where the Human Weapon is treated as a human being(Though there is some overlap if said Soldier works for an unethical army). Also see Living Weapon. Not to be confused with Grievous Harm with a Body or Equippable Ally.

Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]

  • The Contractors from Darker Than Black are coldly logical sociopaths with super powers. While not all their powers are directly destructive, and most can't kill more than a handful of people at once, their unique outlook make them perfectly suited to being controlled by the government and other organizations. Evening Primrose is a group of Contractors who are fighting back, due to finding out that the humans are planning to erase all Contractors from existence.
  • The otome from Mai-Otome are a direct WMD analogy, and therefore fit perfectly with Person of Mass Destruction as well. Not only can they not unleash their full powers without a master's approval, but if the otome dies, so does their master, which does help bring life-and-death decisions a bit closer to home.
  • A variety of people in the A Certain Magical Index verse.
    • The level 5 espers get this to varying degrees. Accelerator, Kakine, and Mugino are the big ones. Kakine and Mugino are the leaders of powerful black ops groups, where they serve in the "blaster" role. Accelerator is in many ways literally treated as a weapon, especially once he needs a special device to use his powers, which his superiors can turn off remotely if they don't like what he's doing.
    • The Sisters project started as an attempt to clone a level 5 (Mikoto Misaka) for this purpose. When that didn't work, it was recycled into the Radio Noise project, which created a Hive Mind of 20,000 espers for use as a military. That was scrapped as well, and the project turned into Level Grinding fodder for Accelerator, so that he could become a more effective weapon.
  • Eve in Black Cat was meant to be this until our heroes saved her.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]

  • Dr. Manhattan is treated as the ultimate nuclear deterrent and anti-nuclear weapon by the US government of Watchmen. He decides to go play god in another galaxy before things go that far.
  • In the first issue of Ultimates 2, after Captain America single-handedly frees hostages in the Middle East; the world is worried that the US government might start using the Ultimates in politically-motivated conflicts. Gee, ya think?
  • The Dark Knight Returns has Superman being nothing but an icon who reports directly to the President, who gives him orders that include waging a one-man war in a Banana Republic, stopping the nuclear strike that follows (he fails), and assassinating Batman, all of which he does without question. This is otherwise Averted with Superman though.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]

  • The Asha'man in The Wheel of Time are trained this way, to use their channeling for hugely destructive purposes, because of a dire need to get powerful soldiers in time for the Last Battle, but also because the price of their power drastically shortens their lifespan. Rand's instruction to the man placed in charge of the Black Tower is, "Make them weapons." He later changes his mind, sending in a messenger to tell them, "We're not weapons. We're men." This has its part in causing them to rally around him.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]

  • In Dark Angel, Max and the other X-5s were treated as though they were biological warbots rather than people.
  • River Tam in Firefly was engineered to kill people on order. Subverted because the crew of the Serenity seem to treat her rather well.
    • Played Straight in Serenity. The Operative activated her programming and she started a massacre so that he can find her.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]

  • In Final Fantasy VI, Kefka controls Terra with a Slave Crown so that he can exploit her rare magical abilities for destructive power.
  • Metal Gear has this as the main theme. The plots of the games usually revolve around the protagonist and their direct opposition being manipulated by politicians, conspiracies, and other forces, and being treated as expendable tools with no goal or aspirations of their own.
    • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots takes this trope to its logical conclusion with the SOP system, where the economy has become utterly dependent on constant war, and nanomachines ensure that the soldiers used are utterly under control. Wars aren't fought for ideology, resources, or nationalism, but out of routine, and soldiers find themselves trapped fighting in conflicts they don't understand, for causes they don't believe in.
    • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance plays with this recurring theme by having the main characters be as close to literal human weapons as possible (they are cyborgs), but having the protagonist go completely Off the Rails and acting as a One-Man Army Vigilante Man Spanner in the Works. It is, however, identical to the other installments in the series, in that the final boss's plan usually revolves around imposing an aversion of this trope, but hypocritically/paradoxically/tragically necessitates playing it straight as a means to get to that stage.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]

[[/folder]]
Community Feedback Replies: 66
  • April 17, 2013
    zarpaulus
    What's the difference from Super Soldier?
  • April 17, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^The Fact that this draft came as a result of misuse of Personof Mass Destruction but I think the difference is the use of the trope to symbolize WM Ds for the purpose of stating An Aesop about them.
  • April 17, 2013
    Ekuran
    (Super) Soldiers aren't weapons, or at least they're not supposed to be treated as such by more ethical organizations. A Humanoid Weapon also likely had little choice in the matter of being/becoming one, unlike the implication of being a Super Soldier (again, at least for the more ethical organizations that employ them).

    I'd remove the connection to Person Of Mass Destruction. A Humanoid Weapon can certainly be one, but it isn't necessary. An inhumanly skilled super-assassin who was made that way probably doesn't have nuke powers, for example.
  • April 17, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ I added a blurb about that first point at the end. And The reason I made this YKTTW because there was a discussion that Person Of Mass Destruction was misused. And a superhuman assassin would still be more likely to be treated as a human than a weapon.
  • April 17, 2013
    Ekuran
    That was mostly just an example of how a Humanoid Weapon doesn't necessarily have to be a Person Of Mass Destruction. The fact that a superhuman assassin could be thought of/is used as a weapon is why I think this trope isn't really a Sub Trope of Person Of Mass Destruction, although they admittedly overlap a lot of the time.
  • April 17, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    Alright then I'll change it now.
  • April 17, 2013
    Discar
    I added these examples. For reference:

    [[folder:Anime and Manga]]

    • The Contractors from Darker Than Black are coldly logical sociopaths with super powers. While not all their powers are directly destructive, and most can't kill more than a handful of people at once, their unique outlook make them perfectly suited to being controlled by the government and other organizations. Evening Primrose is a group of Contractors who are fighting back, due to finding out that the humans are planning to erase all Contractors from existence.
    • The otome from Mai Otome are a direct WMD analogy, and therefore fit perfectly with Person Of Mass Destruction as well. Not only can they not unleash their full powers without a master's approval, but if the otome dies, so does their master, which does help bring life-and-death decisions a bit closer to home.

    [[/folder]]
  • April 17, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    [[folder:Comic Books]]

    • Dr. Manhattan and Superman are both treated as the ultimate nuclear deterrent and anti-nuclear weapon by the US governments of Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns, respectively. Superman's involvement causes the Cold War to go hot; Dr. Manhattan decides to go play god in another galaxy before things go that far.

    [[/folder]]
  • April 17, 2013
    DunDun
    So how Fi from Skyward Sword is a humanoid weapon? Or does this trope only apply to weapons that are humans who have been made a weapon of mass destruction? The connections with the military just make me think Militarized Person.
  • April 17, 2013
    KZN02
    Not to be confused with Grievous Harm With A Body.
  • April 17, 2013
    Discar
    ^^ Fi is a Living Weapon. This trope is about people treated as a weapon. They're aimed and fired, like a gun. Fi is more a weapon treated as a person. Bad-guy-who's-name-I-can't-remember is closer (since he's treated as a weapon), but he doesn't count either.
  • April 17, 2013
    JonnyB
    Would Leeloo count in The Fifth Element?

    In the Doctor Who episode, "Victory of the Daleks", there was a human scientist who it turned out was actually a robot and a living bomb constructed by the Daleks.
  • April 18, 2013
    DunDun
    Merriam-Webster's dictionary says "humanoid" means "having human form or characteristics" and not "is a human". So can we go with one of the listed alt names?
  • April 18, 2013
    Discar
    It's meant to be humanoid in the fantasy term; ie, "Human or human-like species." I think just Human Weapon would make that more clear, though.
  • April 18, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    I prefer Human Weapon as well.
  • April 18, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^^^^ Those don't count unless ether Leeloo or the scientist were actually treated like weapons.

    ^^, ^ I'll consider changing the name, but I'm using "Humanoid" for the possibility of any fiction where a alien/fairy/demon/youkai/Ridiculously Human Robot/ other humanoid creature became a military weapon.
  • April 18, 2013
    Discar
    Sure, of course, but the name doesn't have to be perfectly literal, and "Humanoid" is causing more problems than it solves.
  • April 18, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ Well I changed it. Would you like to help by transferring some of the examples form Person Of Mass Destruction that fit this trope here?

    Also I would like to allow Human As Weapon, and Human Bioweapon to redirect to this trope when it's launched.
  • April 19, 2013
    JonnyB
    ^^^ Leeloo was actually used as a weapon, to stop "Mr. Shadow". The scientist in Dr. Who was also used as a weapon by the Daleks in an attempt to blow up the Earth, but the Doctor managed to deactivate him.
  • April 19, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ I've seen the latter example and that scientist wasn't treated like a weapon to me. There's a huge difference between "used as a weapon" and "treated like a weapon"
  • April 19, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    You know you can help by posting examples of people being treated like weapons from Person Of Mass Destruction.
  • April 19, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    In Dark Angel, Max and the other X-5s were treated as though they were biological warbots rather than people.
  • April 19, 2013
    JonnyB
    ^^^ So you're saying people who are not treated like people but are treated as mere objects? Well then definitely my two examples wouldn't fit.
  • April 19, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ Do you have any examples that would fit?
  • April 20, 2013
    Adbot
    I had some issues with the Folder things on my YKTTW (not linked to here to avoid shameless self-promotion accusations). Try using AC:(category name here) in double square brackets.

    For example:

    Film
    • Serenity reveals that River Tam is one, hence why the Alliance wants her back

  • April 20, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ First off I don;t think the folders will show unless the trope is launched. Second That example would best fit in Macguffin Girl, unless River was actually treated as if she was a weapon/object, if so then the entry belongs.
  • April 21, 2013
    Discar
    Folders don't show up on YKTTW, but it makes life easier when you transplant it to the main wiki.

    And River counts. She might technically be a subversion, since no one has a chance to treat her as a weapon, but that's splitting hairs. She was engineered to kill people on order. Sounds like this trope to me.
  • April 21, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^Alright I added River, but as a Firefly example since I think that she was there in the series. Also would the fact that the crew of the Serenity treated her as a person count in itself as a subversion?
  • April 21, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    ^ Well, in Serenity she actually does end up treated as a weapon - the Operative activates her programming in a public area to get her to cause a massacre (so that he can locate her).
  • April 21, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    Bumping for examples: Please make sure they are of people being treated like weapons.
  • April 21, 2013
    McKathlin
    Video Games
    • In Final Fantasy VI, Kefka controls Terra with a Slave Crown so that he can exploit her rare magical abilities for destructive power.
  • April 21, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    Incidentally, why was Watchmen added as an example and not The Dark Knight Returns?
  • April 21, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ Because normally Superman is treated as a person so I left him Out, Dr. Manhatten on the other hand was treaed by the military as the ultimate nuke and anti-nuke. This is meant to be "people treated like a weapon, mostly by a military".

    ^^ I added that example but I'm not sure if it counts yet (Haven't played the game) So I may remove it at some point unless you have evidence of Terra being treated as a weapon by the military. (I'm prrety sure that Kefka is not part of a military [unless that military is led by The Joker])
  • April 22, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    Bumping again for examples.
  • April 22, 2013
    Discar
    I haven't read The Dark Knight Returns, but if Superman is treated like a weapon during that storyline, he should be added. Just with a note that this is pretty much the only time it's happened.
  • April 23, 2013
    zarpaulus
    Webcomics
  • April 23, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    ^^ He reports directly to the President, who gives him orders that include waging a one-man war in a Banana Republic, stopping the nuclear strike that follows (he fails), and assassinating Batman, all of which he does without question.
  • April 24, 2013
    MorningStar1337
  • April 24, 2013
    IsaacSapphire
    Does this only include people who are *made* into weapons by the military, or those with otherwise acquired special powers who are enslaved by the military in the same way?
  • April 24, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ This trope covers people who awuired powers ans are enslaved by the military. Why do you ask?
  • April 25, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    YKTTW Bump...again.
  • April 26, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    And again I'm bumping the YKTTW. *sigh* sure is lonely 'round this page.
  • April 27, 2013
    Cider
    I would rather not see. "Person who can cause damage without military aid" goes against the entire point of Person Of Mass Destruction. They are supposed to be metaphors for weapons of mass destruction, most commonly the nuke but no matter the death device it is a metaphorical trope for weapon use.

    "He can cause damage" is a stupefying simplification. Yes, a Person Of Mass Destruction can have mass destructive super powers, but they do not need to. It is more about how they are treated than any inherent qualities. An Omnicidal Maniac might have impressive superpowers too but they do not need them, what they want to do with their superpowers is what is important. The Multiversal Conqueror may have impressive superpowers but they do not need to have them either.

    If tropers are really so intent to blab about 'powerful' characters they should do so on Super Weight or super power lottery or something else. We should not waste a perfectly good trope page just to satisfy their urges. We should just Cleanup Person Of Mass Destruction, not change it.
  • April 27, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    Alright then how about "person that is treated like a weapon then"?
  • April 27, 2013
    Discar
    No one is trying to make any trope "He can cause damage." Person Of Mass Destruction was always supposed to be "person treated as a weapon," but it was used as "WMD-level powers." So we're splitting the difference.
  • April 27, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    Bumping for examples and hats.
  • April 28, 2013
    MorningStar1337
  • April 28, 2013
    TheHandle
    Metal Gear has this as as main theme.
  • April 28, 2013
    Discar
    ^ A bit more context, please.

    And here's another example:

    • A variety of people in the A Certain Magical Index verse.
      • The level 5 espers get this to varying degrees. Accelerator, Kakine, and Mugino are the big ones. Kakine and Mugino are the leaders of powerful black ops groups, where they serve in the "blaster" role. Accelerator is in many ways literally treated as a weapon, especially once he needs a special device to use his powers, which his superiors can turn off remotely if they don't like what he's doing.
      • The Sisters project started as an attempt to clone a level 5 (Mikoto Misaka) for this purpose. When that didn't work, it was recycled into the Radio Noise project, which created a Hive Mind of 20,000 espers for use as a military. That was scrapped as well, and the project turned into Level Grinding fodder for Accelerator, so that he could become a more effective weapon.
  • April 28, 2013
    surgoshan
  • April 28, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ Unless he was being treated as if he was a gun/blaster/nuke, no.
  • April 28, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^^^ Can you list specific examples?
  • April 29, 2013
    TheHandle
    To elaborate on the Metal Gear example, the plots of the games usually revolve around the protagonist and their direct opposition being manipulated by politicians, conspiracies, and other forces, and being treated as expendable tools with no goal or aspirations of their own. Metal Gear Solid 4 takes this trope to its logical conclusion with the SOP system, where the economy has become utterly dependent on constant war, and nanomachines ensure that the soldiers used are utterly under control. Wars aren't fought for ideology, resources, or nationalism, but out of routine, and soldiers find themselves trapped fighting in conflicts they don't understand, for causes they don't believe in. Metal Gear Rising plays with this recurring theme by having the main characters be as close to literal human weapons as possible (they are cyborgs), but having the protagonist go completely Off The Rails and acting as a One Man Army Vigilante Man Spanner In The Works. It is, however, identical to the other installments in the series, in that the final boss's plan usually revolves around imposing an aversion of this trope, but hypocritically/paradoxically/tragically necessitates playing it straight as a means to get to that stage.
  • April 29, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ Thanks for specifing. and for giving two examples.
  • April 29, 2013
    MorningStar1337
  • April 29, 2013
    Generality
    The Asha'man in The Wheel Of Time are trained this way, to use their channeling for hugely destructive purposes, because of a dire need to get powerful soldiers in time for the Last Battle, but also because the price of their power drastically shortens their lifespan. Rand's instruction to the man placed in charge of the Black Tower is, "Make them weapons." He later changes his mind, sending in a messenger to tell them, "We're not weapons. We're men." This has its part in causing them to rally around him.
  • April 29, 2013
    jean55
    Eve in Black Cat was meant to be this until our heroes saved her.
  • April 30, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ I think that goes in Tyke Bomb instead but alright.
  • April 30, 2013
    MorningStar1337
  • May 1, 2013
    CardsOfWar
    How about the androids from Dragon Ball Z
  • May 1, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ can you elaborate?
  • May 1, 2013
    MorningStar1337
  • May 1, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    YKTTW Bump... again.
  • May 2, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    YKTTW Bump...yet again.
  • May 2, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    You know I'm sure there are more examples of this trope then listed.
  • May 2, 2013
    Discar
    Five hats and plenty of examples. Launch it, then ask for help on the Person Of Mass Destruction TRS cleaning up the misuse of that trope and moving them to here.
  • May 2, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^Okay Thanks.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=zg42b8zo7w5t32cx54rl5kx8&trope=HumanWeapon