Converging-Stream Weapon

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Fire at will, Commander!

This is a heavy weapon which contains multiple smaller devices that send out a stream, beam, blast, etc.. Those all converge into a single stream, beam, blast, etc., that is more powerful than the sum of its parts.

Usually, the resulting stream goes in the logical direction—that is, in the direction produced by taking the average of the directions of the intersecting beams (although more advanced versions are able to swivel in any direction).

Besides Rule of Cool, this kind of weapon has loose grounding in reality. If multiple lasers are fired at the same point so that they converge on the target, all can be brought to bear.

The inversion of this trope, where one attack splits into many, is Recursive Ammo or Spread Shot.

Compare All Your Powers Combined, Roboteching, Wave Motion Gun. Not to be confused with Crossing The Streams.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • The "Dark Star Weapons" in Slayers Try function in this manner. At the end of the season, all five weapons are combined with a Yin-Yang Bomb into a Wave Motion Gun.
  • The "Precure Marble Screw" attack from Futari wa Pretty Cure is like this.
  • The Halo Legends short Origins depicts Forerunner weapons as this; a small fleet of ships in formation form a web of energy lines which the central ship fires at a fleet of Flood ships, and Forerunner infantry are also seen with Laser Blade /Ray Gun weapons which when fired simultaneously combine into highly-destructive Sword Beams. However, the Halo games and novels depict Forerunner weapons as firing either Hard Light or more "conventional" energy beams.
  • Used in Rebuild of Evangelion as Unit 1 fires the Positron Rifle at Ramiel.
  • The Transformers Energon incarnation of Optimus Prime can normally fire Roboteching Beam Spam. When combined with Wing Saber he can perform a Combination Attack with the Attack Drones which would normally form the limbs of his Super Mode - "Meteor Attack Mode" consists of him firing a Chest Blaster at the same time as the normal beams, which absorbs them to create a massive stream of plasma.
  • Although it was only used twice, in Legend of Galactic Heroes the ships of a fleet can fire all their lasers in a "pinpoint attack" that spawns a super-beam that can decimate bunched-together ships. There's also the Thor Hammer.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Death Star in Star Wars may be the Trope Codifier, if not the Trope Maker.
    • Parodied here.
    • The clones' helicopter gunship analogues were later shown with a turret-mounted weapon that worked similarly.
    • This is inverted for Serial Escalation with the Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens. The beam emitted from the weaponized planet splits into many beams, each of them as powerful as the Death Star's combined laser.
  • Ghostbusters: "Do not cross the streams." But they end up doing just that. And they don't cross, they, well, converge, hence why they're here.
  • The City Destroyers' primary weapon in Independence Day. Also true of the reverse-engineered energy cannons used by humanity in the sequel, as well as the larger guns on the new mothership.
  • Not a weapon example per se, but in Battleship, the three Deep Space Communication dishes used by the aliens to send a distress message send a beam that converge into one, before being enhanced by a satellite.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5:
    • Vorlon ships had several booms on the front of the ship that each emitted a lightning bolt-like beam. They met in the middle to create a Wave-Motion Tuning Fork effect.
    • The Interstellar Alliance's Victory-class destroyers (which were based in part on stolen Vorlon technology) used beams sent from the three wingtips to the front to convert the entire ship into a massive Wave Motion Gun.
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Federation developed a 'collimator beam' made of dozens of small phaser banks spread along the rim of a ship, the energy can be seen flowing along the surface of the Enterprise until it meets at one point, and then fires off from the point on the phaser bank row closest to the target.
  • On Star Trek: Voyager, Species 8472 has a weapon consisting of several ships that acted like the Death Star when firing simultaneously.
  • The basic enemy fighter ship in Kara no Messeji: Ginga Taisen (also known as San Ku Kaï or Sankuokai) have six forward-facing arms that open when they take flight (making them look a bit like spiders). Lightning-like beams are emitted from each tip and converge in the middle in a single ray. When seen from the cockpit, it looks like the beams are converging exactly on the target.
  • Several Power Rangers weapons work by this, the first being the original Rangers' Power Cannon from season two (one barrel fires five energy balls... that turn into one much more Badass one.)
  • Doctor Who:
    • The weapon Torchwood uses against the fleeing Sycorax ship in the episode "The Christmas Invasion".
    • In "The Poison Sky", a similar weapon is used by the Airborne Aircraft Carrier the Valiant to fight off the Sontarans.
  • The Eye of Ra (the Wave Motion Gun Anubis uses against Abydos) in Stargate SG-1 is one of these. This makes sense, since the entire episode ("Full Circle") is a huge Shout-Out to/Affectionate Parody of Star Wars (particularly A New Hope), with Lampshade Hanging aplenty.

    Video Games 
  • Command & Conquer:
    • The Ion Cannon from the Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series works in this manner. Unfortunately, this telegraphs the actual attack, enabling your enemy to sell all buildings in the target zone before the main blast occurs.
    • Multiple Beam Cannon units from Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars will sometimes do this.
    • In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, the Athena bombardment vehicle features converging beams on its gun. Unusually, they emerge from the same point on the Athena and "sweep" towards to the target from the left, right, and top. Also, they're the targeting lasers — once they converge, the real weapon shoots down from orbit.
  • Xenosaga Episode I had the Rhine Maiden, a converging wave-motion gun comprising the Dammerung and four smaller vessels in formation.
  • Terraria has the Last Prism, an endgame weapon. It's the highest DPS magic weapon in the game.
  • StarCraft II's Void Ray is a new Protoss ship built by the Dark Templar which serves this purpose. The number of beams that converge actually increases over time, letting it be a much better weapon against targets that take a while to kill (though it's still damn good against infantry). It should be noted that the Void ray uses a focusing crystal to do this.
    • In the original game, the warm-up graphic for the Battlecruiser's Yamato Cannon was this, several orange globs of energy converging into a single blob. The Yamato is supposed to be the result of causing a nuclear explosion inside a magnetic containment field, then giving a single way out.
  • Wing Commander Prophecy was supposed to have the Tiamat dreadnought equipped with a version of the "fleet killer" plasma gun mounted in the Kraken, with the green glowing tips of the Tiamat's arms forming the beam, but technical difficulties prevented it from being implemented.
  • Bang: Gunship Elite has many weapons, one of which fires rapidfire bolts from the meeting point of three continuous beams that emanate from three prongs in front of the ship.
  • This looks to have been averted in FreeSpace 2 with the Sathanas dreadnought, which has four massive frontal arms, each with its own beam cannon. Until the end, when they're brought together to form a sort of wibbly wobbly Swirly Energy Thingy between the arms. Vassago's Dirge, a game mod, shows the titular Ravana destroyer doing this however.
  • Many of the Polaris vessels in Escape Velocity Nova (most notably the Arachnid and Raven) do this with their pink CPL (Capacitor Pulse Laser).
  • Star Trek: Armada 2 has the Species 8472 weapon mentioned above. It's severely Awesome, but Impractical, given that it needs one specialized ship and eight others, plus the necessary research, but it can depopulate a planet or destroy most any ship if you can land a hit.
  • In the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable games, Hayate's Ragnarok is portrayed like this. The three beams that fire from the points of the Belkan Traingle spiral towards one another and converge into one larger beam that strike the target, then Hayate triggers the last part of the spell to make the resulting beam even bigger.
  • Homeworld's largest type of Wave Motion Gun, the Phased Cannon Array (as well as its bigger brother, the Sajuuk Main Gun), possibly works this way: it is seen firing a number of normal-power ion beams from the dozen muzzles in its bow, which quickly combine into a single, insanely powerful blast.
  • The narrative trailer of Battlefleet Gothic: Armada shows what looks like three Blackstone Fortresses combining their attacks for an apparent class X2 Apocalypse in a manner very similar to either the Death Star or Species 8472.

    Western Animation 
  • Though a case of All Your Powers Combined, not this, Captain Planet's summoning looks a lot like doing this with The Power of Friendship.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Princess Celestia using the elements of Harmony on her own to banish Nightmare Moon in "Princess Twilight Sparkle" is presented this way, with the other five Elements channeling their power into the Element of Magic for a massive beam.
    • In "Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2", the Mane Six's new friendship-powered Wave Motion Gun manifests this way, blasting Tirek with six individual beams of light before they combine into one powerful blow that defeats him, takes back the stolen magic, locks him back in Tartarus, and releases Celestia, Luna, and Cadance from Tartarus when their own magic is restored.
  • Star Wars Rebels shows the B-wing's main weapon working like this.
  • In an episode of Johnny Test, Susan and Mary build a trio of robot boys that go berserk and try to kill Gil out of jealousy. To get the job done, they steal Johnny and Dukey's new water guns (which Susan and Mary also built) and modify them to fire this way, making them powerful enough to cut through solid matter.

    Real Life 
  • Lasers sometimes have multiple sources, then focus them all together into one coherent beam on exit (particularly ones that are supposed to be stupidly powerful, but where mobility is not a concern, like in laboratories). This is also the logic behind a phased array, we just can't do it with lasers... yet.
  • An 'implosion bomb' uses multiple smaller explosions to set off the main charge.
  • Some radiotherapy devices used for treatment of highly localized brain tumors operate on this principle. The method is called "gamma knife radiotherapy". Basically, they send several hundred (usually over 200) narrow gamma ray beams into your head. Each beam is fairly weak and doesn't do much damage, but they all intersect where the tumor is located. * Sizzle!*
  • Though not a weapon, this is how inertial confinement fusion reactors are supposed to work - with hundreds of laser beams converging on a tiny spherical pellet of fuel, causing it to implode and ignite a fusion reaction.

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