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Boom Stick

A subtrope of Simple Staff.

The Boom Stick is the high-tech (or magical) variant of the Simple Staff. This is a gun shaped like a staff, that fires projectiles (or more often, energy blasts). If of the magical variety, it could also be a "focus" for the user's magic power, making it easier to fire magic bolts, though the user is still perfectly capable of using just his hands. Often the idea is that they give a certain regal flair to their users, and is handy to use in melee if needed. Of course, such weapons would be unwieldy and hard to aim. What differentiates the Boom Stick from the Magic Wand is that the Boom Stick is not necessarily magical in nature, and even if it is, it has little other use in performing magic than for shooting people. If it is capable of regular spells that instead it's a Magic Staff.

The name of this trope is a play on "This Is My Boomstick", but is otherwise unrelated. May also be a Swiss-Army Weapon.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga  

  • Angel Blade has the villains (all female) pull these out... but it's a Hentai, so...
  • Kazuki's Sunlight Heart from Busou Renkin, which when he's not using it like a normal lance can fire energy blasts.
  • Ifurita in El-Hazard: The Magnificent World uses a staff that fires energy beam. The staff itself is of a technological nature.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha and its sequel series, Raising Heart and company become increasingly gun-like over time, even getting clips, cartridges, and a trigger in The Movie.
    • As the page image shows, this is actually the standard weapon used by Enforcers. However, none of their weapons ever become as gun-like as Raging/Raising Heart.
  • In Outlaw Star, Ron MacDougal has a caster gun shaped like a shakujo note . It shoots magic.
  • Elie, from Rave Master uses a weapon like this. When handed a staff she starts using it as if it's one of these too.
  • Saint Seiya's Poseidon can concentrate his divine Cosmo on his trident and shoot out devastating blasts from the spearhead.

    Film 

  • In Army of Darkness, Ash refers to his gun as a "Boom Stick", which according to this trope's definition, it is not. He is however talking to people from the middle ages, so to them, it would be seen as something magical and possibly... As a boomstick.
  • The weapon of choice for the Slayers in Krull are staffs that fire laser beams. They still seem highly impractical because they appear to only have one shot each.
  • Tim the Enchanter, in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, wields a boomstick.
  • Special mention must go to Inara's staff... thing from Serenity, which unfolds into a crossbow.
  • The Staff Weapons in Stargate. Unlike the later series, these staves are very much lethal, and make a strange sound when used in melee, like if they tazed their targets.
  • In the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough, the Russian mobster Zukovsky carries a cane to help his bad leg. However, when he gets injured his Crowning Moment Of Awesome comes when it turns out that his cane is also a potent (and accurate) firearm.
  • A unique example in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Gambit causes explosions by channeling his power through his staff.

    Literature 

  • Harry Dresden's Blasting Rod is a carved stick that is specially enchanted to aid his fire spells. He also has a staff, but it acts more like a Magic Wand (and a staff).
  • Lando starts carrying a cane in his old age, claiming it makes him look dignified (he doesn't actually need it). In tight situations, though, it has a built-in holdout blaster, and a voice-activated function to shock whoever was holding it (in case he gets his blaster-stick taken away from him), specially modified to prevent Jedi from using their abilities while being shocked. Crazy-Prepared doesn't begin to cover it.
  • In Without Remorse, John "Clark" Kelly uses a Bangstick (see under Real Life) against one drug-dealer by casually walking past (dressed as a bum) then jamming it into his chest.
  • In the Darkness Series, the Fantasy Counterpart Appliance of guns is the 'stick', a sort of mass-produced magic wand or wizard's staff used by infantry that fires energy blasts (but they can be attenuated by heavy rain).

     Live Action TV  

  • Jaffa like Teal'c, as well as the Ori foot soldiers in the Stargate Verse have this as their weapon of choice. The inherent difficulty in aiming such weapons (which are designed more to terrify civilians than to be truly effective weapons of war, as is lampshaded at least once) explains how the heroes can survive despite almost always being massively outnumbered by Jaffa mooks. Some highly experienced Jaffa such as Teal'c and Master Bra'tac, however, are so proficient that they can reliably hit their targets without needing to aim (or in some cases, without even being able to see the enemy). There's also a pretty badass-looking martial art that uses the staff weapon as a...well, staff.
    • They do demonstrate that the weapon is very good for mass fire techniques. Take about a dozen Jaffa and overlap their fire, and everything in their path dies. Unless the "everything" is a Kull Warrior, in which case Hilarity Ensues.
    • The Sodan are a clan of more practical Jaffa warriors who frequently use personal cloaking devices in order to ambush their opponents (something the majority of the Honor Before Reason Jaffa don't do). Also, since their tactics often involve hit-and-run attacks, doing so with enormous and heavy staff isn't very practical. So, they carry a severely-shortened version that can't be used in melee combat anymore but is much easier to aim and carry (they actually have straps for them). To compensate for not being able to use their weapons in melee fights, they have developed an even more badass form of hand-to-hand combat. Cam Mitchell only learns the basics of it but is later able to fight another Sodan warrior (who ambushed him) to a standstill (he also happens to be a Colonel Badass).
  • The High Guard's Force Lance in Andromeda. It can, however, shrink when used in gun mode, making it less awkward to aim (not that you'd need it, its projectiles are homing, unless they are used to fire on someone whose name appears in the main credits, who usually have ECM generators).
  • Merlin has a magical sidhe staff, that fires a blast of magical energy that can even kill a sidhe. Despite it being a cool and effective weapon, he's only used it in three episodes (The Gates of Avalon, To Kill The King and The Changeling).

     Tabletop Games  

  • Warhammer 40,000
    • The eldar have fire-pikes, long staffs that shoot superheated... something, but they're crazy effective against tanks because of the heat.
    • There are also a couple of examples like the Guardian Spears of the Adeptus Custodes (polearms with inbuilt Frickin' Laser Beams) and the Warscythes of Necron Pariahs (with inbuilt Gauss weapons).
    • The Kroot Rifle is a borderline example: it's more rifle-shaped than other examples, but it's still designed to allow the user to wield it as a staff in close combat (also includes blades at both ends to further enhance its effectiveness in melee).
  • Warhammer Fantasy has a few bound spell magic items (items that allow any character to have a single auto-use spell every turn in addition to other spells) that take the form of staffs - the Lizardmen have two that contain offensive spells.
  • A number of pen-and-paper RPGs, have staffs with a "pre-programmed" blast that even a non-mage can fire off.
    • Staves in Dungeons & Dragons third edition (and 3.5) are like this. In the fourth edition, Staves act like magic wands as they are used to empower spells cast by wizards.
  • In GURPS: High-Tech there is a baton like weapon that can fire a single shotgun shell, based on the real life Bangstick.
    • In Ultra-tech stun wands are available as a police weapon.
  • Boomsticks appear in Magi-Nation, as seen here.

     Video Games  

  • Ieyasu Tokugawa from Samurai Warriors has a spear with a cannon attached to it.
  • The basic Cuotl foot soldiers in Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends use staves that fire Frickin' Laser Beams. As they are basically Expies of Stargate's Jaffa, it is only fitting.
  • The awesomest version of this ever is, of course, the Pfhor fighter shock staffs in Marathon. They're swung like a staff even when doing long range.
  • A number of computer-based RPGs have staffs with a "pre-programmed" blast that even a non-mage can fire off.
  • Any staff in the Heretic and Hexen series of games is a Boom Stick, due to the fact that those games are FPS.
  • In Saints Row and its sequel, one of the most powerful weapons is the 'Pimp Cane' which is... well, a stick. With a built-in shotgun, which is obscenely powerful, capable of blowing up a car with two blasts or so. At impressive range, even...
  • The Guardian class had these in Tabula Rasa; it was their class weapon capable of dealing considerable damage in hand to hand combat as well as firing type-specific ranged attacks. Electrical staves fired ball lightning, Incendiary staves fired... well, fireballs, and so on. You get the idea.
  • Sort of inverted in Civilization IV: while archers would draw short swords to fight in melee combat, longbowmen just smacked people around with their longbows, staff-style.
  • Tales of Graces has Pascal, whose stave can actually function as a rifle.
  • Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII has Wutai soldiers using polearms that can flip around to be used as rifles.
  • Dissidia: Final Fantasy has Emperor Mateus use his staff as a conduit to manifest his spells, with his Dynamite attack directly manifesting as an orb of energy charged up on the end of his staff and firing at the enemy.
  • The staff weapons in Dragon Age can fire beams of magic when used by mages.
  • The Guards in Metal Arms: Glitch in the System use these, mounted on halberds. They're quite powerful, shooting a huge spread of laser bolts with a decent range. In close quarters, they do a very wide sweeping attack.
  • The Battle For Wesnoth features Dwarves, who use thundersticks. The sprites show something like flintlock muskets, but the portrait for the Thunderer/Thunderguard has a hand cannon, as described in Real Life below.
  • The MMPORPG Dark Age of Camelot features a wizard staff called "Weno'iak's Boom Stick". Doesn't really do anything that any other wizard staff in the game doesn't do, but it does it with cool graphicy fire effects.
  • Wizards in many roguelikes can't cast magic bolt unless wielding a staff.
  • One of the many functions of Krystal's staff in Star Fox Adventures, though considering you can't move while using it you get the feeling Fox would have preferred his blaster.
  • Staves and wands in Guild Wars often have properties that enhance spellcasting, but on their own, they just fire unguided magic projectiles. Like all other weapons in the game, you don't need training to use them, but they're much less effective if you don't have the proper attributes.
  • The staffs in Kid Icarus: Uprising, which are sniping weapons.
  • The Vizier in the Classic remake of Prince of Persia wields one of these.
  • Dark Souls has the Dragonslayer Spear as a close example of a boom stick, its heavy one handed attack launching lightiningbolts at the cost of the weapons durability.
  • Final Fantasy IX: The Racket-type weapons, for Dagger and Eiko, which allow them to (literally) fling a ball of energy at the enemy. These are quite useful, as they allow the normally weak mage-characters to deal somewhat decent amounts of damage (due to these weapons drawing on their Magic stat, rather than their Strength stat).
  • Fully learning Electricity tech discipline in Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura lets you craft Tesla Rod, a staff that shoots balls of lightning when swung. It's also fairly practical, taking little space in inventory, using cheap batteries, dealing rare electrical damage and having decent speed and highest damage-to-ammo rating in the game.

    Web Original 
  • Linkara recently unveiled his own Gold Zeo Powerstaff, which mainly served the purpose of shooting Mechakara with golden lightning three or four times.

    Western Animation 
  • DuckTales: When Scrooge temporarily takes up the popular billionaire hobby of Part Time Hero vigilantism, one of the gadgets Gyro builds him is a cane that shoots laser beams.
  • The Red Suited Mooks of Kim Possible carry similar energy crackling staffs on occasion, both serve more as intimidation that any functional purpose.
  • Megabyte's Binomes in ReBoot use these.
    • Code Masters have Gibson Coil Pikes who behave like this.
  • In the episode of Samurai Jack "Jack and the Spartans," the Spartans carry what appear to be ordinary spears... which actually carry rocket propelled grenades in the tip.

    Real Life 
  • Real Life gives us Roman candles.
  • Truth in Television, the ancestor of the modern gun was the hand cannon (or hand gonne) which was basically a tiny cannon affixed to the end of a staff. It usually featured a hook that you could use to hook onto whatever you were hiding behind; a necessity, thanks to the recoil.
  • Bangsticks - or Power Heads - are a spear shaft with a short-barreled gun permanently attached to the end. They are designed to be used underwater by divers to hunt or defend against large predators like sharks. The firing mechanism is activated by thrusting the end of the barrel into the shark's skin, forming a seal between the muzzle of the weapon and the target. As contact shot weapons, Bangsticks do most of their damage by discharging hot, burning gunpowder directly into the target. They are typically loaded with waterproofed blanks, but everything from conventional ammunition to novelty hand-loaded cartridges have been used with varying degrees of success.
  • Some have built custom Nerf blasters out of a simple PVC pipe with spring mechanisms inside and a trigger button of some kind (usually a clothespin) on the outside.
  • The cattle prod is essentially a short-range Boom Stick.


Blade on a StickIndex on a StickBroomstick Quarterstaff
Blithe SpiritThis Index Is Not An ExampleBrawn Hilda
Simple StaffWeapons and Wielding TropesTelescoping Staff
Automatic CrossbowsEnhanced Archaic WeaponChainsaw Good
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerSImageSource/Anime & MangaHas Two Mommies

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