Pile Bunker

A common weapon in the Real Robot Genre and other works, but not necessarily used by the Humongous Mecha themselves, as there are sometimes hand-held variants. They work much like Real Life pile drivers, but rather than operating continuously (for example, hydraulically), they typically work with a one-shot chemical charge that drives the metal stake or penetrating spike of sorts, complete with Spent Shells Shower and a revolver mechanism.

Pile bunkers are sometimes built into a special gauntlet or arm for mecha or humans. Often, like This Is a Drill, it is justified by the need to penetrate heavy armor or barriers.

The spike usually returns to its original position after each "shot" (though the manner is not always apparent). Also, the pile bunker's firing mechanism must be made from incredibly strong materials, or it will explode every time the spike strikes the target, similar to gun with a jammed barrel. Alternatively, it won't be able to penetrate a tough enough target.

Guns that fire the spike away should go into the nailgun category.


Anime and Manga
  • Cyan Pile uses one in Accel World.
  • Featured prominently in Armored Trooper VOTOMS and its spinoff, Armor Hunter Mellowlink. The hero of the latter especially likes to finish off his oponents with the pile bunker attachment on his AT-rifle. Armored Troopers, on the other hand, work on the principles of this trope via punching with the arm, as they spend rounds to quick-fire a punch, even without a stake or spike present.
  • Dai-Guard's Knot Buster and Knot Punisher. Justified, since they have to be very precise, easy to use and very powerful to accurately destroy Fractal Knots.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam F91 introduced a weapon called the Shot Lancer which effectively combines the Pile Bunker with the classic medieval lance; its main goal is to let pilots disable enemy mobile suits without triggering a catastrophic reactor explosion (which is extra bad when you're in a space colony). The Shot Lancer also turns up in the sequels Crossbone Gundam and V Gundam
  • The third generation of Gundam AGE features the AGE-2 Dark Hound, wielding a DODS Lancer. It's essentially the aforementioned Shot Lancer with a pair of DODS beam rifles in place of the Shot Lancer's machine guns.
  • Charlotte Dunois' Rafale Revive Custom II from Infinite Stratos can carry a pile bunker weapon module hidden in its left shield.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Sachiel, the very first Angel encountered, has one in its palms (when retracted, the spikes extend from the Angel's elbows). It pierces right through the protagonist's mecha's eye, in a very painful-looking way.
  • Zoids:
    • CP-08 Pile Bunker, used by Rev Rapter and Iguan.
    • By Zoids: Genesis many different Zoids carry small pile bunkers used for pivoting.
  • In Bleach, Gin primarily uses his Zanpakuto (an extending sword) like a pile bunker.
  • In Gamaran, Banri Omiya wields a special "kuda yari" (tube spear) and, thanks to the above-mentioned tube, can use it to stab, withdraw and stab again at a very fast speed, like a pile driver indeed.
  • The Big O has these as one of its signature weapons. Each of its massive arms contains a piston which is used to amplify its punches.
  • Ginkotsu from the Band of Seven is shown to have one built in his chest, but is destroyed before he can use it on Inu Yasha.
  • Hibiki Tachibana uses a pair of pile bunkers as her Armed Gear. Amplifying her punches for even more devastating power than she already has.
  • Crusadermon has one of these built into his/her arm, though it shoots magical blasts instead of stakes.

Light Novel
  • In Hiroshi Sakurazaka's All You Need Is Kill, the Jackets used by the Japanese troops carry one of these with a clip of twenty charges. They're only marginally effective, but still one of the best options they have.
    When they first told me its magazine only held twenty rounds, I didn't think anyone could live long enough to use even that many. I was wrong. Mine had four rounds left. I had missed fifteen times—maybe sixteen.

  • In No Country for Old Men, both the book and the film, Anton Chigurh wields a captive-bolt pistol which is a Real Life version of this used for dispatching cattle humanely.

Video Games

Visual Novels
  • Tsukihime: Ciel's and Riesbyfe Stridberg's conceptual weapons, Seventh Holy Scripture and True Apocrypha respectively, are magical examples. Notable in that Ciel's weapon, Seven or Nanako (Literally means Seven Girl), is sapient, and can transform into a girl.

Western Animation

Real Life
  • Captive-bolt humane killers, used by abattoir workers or vets in areas as an alternative to the bolt-gun type, operate on much the same principle.

Alternative Title(s):

Weaponized Jackhammer