Puppet Gun

A sufficiently large gun (larger BFG to Wave Motion Gun) robs its user of being able to look cool by actually wielding it. Solution: Provide a device for aiming and firing the thing by remote control that actually looks like a human-scale gun itself.

Truth in Television: laser designator systems for aerial bombs and missiles often fit this. The laser emitter is carried by a person or mounted on a vehicle and is used to guide the actual missile (which is usually launched from a ship or plane) to its target. Related to Helmet-Mounted Sight and Laser Sight. Both are real life uses of a similar principle. See a photo of an actual military grade laser designator which is not quite so "gun-like" as some fictional depictions.

Often fills the "special" slot of Standard FPS Guns, and may or may not be equipped with a Laser Sight to aid the user.

Not to be confused with a gun that fires puppets.

Compare Mo Cap Mecha for a similar phenomenon of guiding a big thing using a miniature. A Flare Gun may be used as his.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • In The Punisher arc "Countdown", rogue SHIELD agent Stone Cold uses one to aim and launch a series of missiles at his target.

  • In Clear and Present Danger, commandoes on the ground frame a Colombian drug lord for a terrorist attack by targeting his pickup so the bomb falls into it before exploding. Taken from the book of the same name, where John Clark personally lases the pickup truck.
  • In Vantage Point, the terrorists use a rifle on a remote-controlled mount to assassinate the president's body double.

    Live Action TV 

    Video Games 
  • The Ion Painter and Target Painter in Unreal Tournament 2004 act as spotting devices for an orbital satellite and an airborne bombing run, respectively.
  • The Hammer of Dawn from Gears of War falls into this category. It's a Kill Sat that's controlled by a more pistol-like object.
  • The Satellite Laser from Shadow the Hedgehog is similar.
  • In Gunbound, the A-Sate shoots small tracer- lasers that mark the spot where its minuature Kill Sats are going to fire. Other vehicles can do similar things with lighting and Thor, the resident Kill Sat, which all the other vehicles can ocassionally use but only one is specialized in it.
  • By the same token, the Harbinger/Supernova designator of Ratchet: Deadlocked.
  • In StarCraft, Ghosts send laser-guided nuclear strikes.
  • Armed Assault II checked its facts first.
  • While it's not entirely gun-like, Team Fortress 2 has the Engineer's Wrangler. It is basically an Atari joystick duct-taped to a gun, and lets you aim your Sentry at wherever you are looking.
  • The Apollo Lens in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, which must be aimed using a giant statue that amplifies your Psyenergy. A miniaturized version of the controls is located inside said statue.
  • Halo: Reach and Halo 4 features a fairly realistic laser designator for artillery strikes in some missions.
  • Euclid's C-Finder in Fallout: New Vegas looks like a cartoony ray-gun, but it's linked to a solar-powered Kill Sat called ARCHIMEDES II. It's in the possession of a young child when the game starts. Thankfully, ARCHIMEDES II is unpowered by that time, considering the young child thinks Euclid's C-Finder is what it looks like (a toy) and so has pulled the trigger while playing with his friends. The player can also come into possession of it before knowing what it is, and it will seem entirely useless until the satellite is brought online.
  • Resident Evil 5 gives the player a pointlessly huge laser designator to use against its largest boss. It's about the size of a rocket launcher. Chris then reuses it in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as one of his Hyper Combos.
  • Combine gunships and striders in Half-Life 2 are decidedly not Point Defenseless and can use their chin-mounted machine gun to shoot down rockets fired directly at them. The solution La Résistance came up with is a laser-guided missile launcher with which they can steer the missile past the target, then turn it to hit from behind or above.
  • In Saints Row: The Third, you eventually obtain a "gun" that paints a laser designator to rain down missiles from the sky. That being said, the "gun" looks more like a modified police speed radar than anything else...
  • Mass Effect 3 features a boss battle where Shepard, on foot, uses a designator to call down the firepower of an entire battle fleet on a Reaper Destroyer.
  • In The Last Remnant, David's Remnant, Gae Bolg functions like this with David using the similar, scaled down version, Ex Machina as a targeting device. Ex Machina itself doubles as a Hand Cannon.
  • The Network Tap from James Bond Everything or Nothing. In practice, it's more of an Eleventh Hour Superpower: Q has to very hurriedly send it into the field (read: Moscow) and you only get to use it in two out of the last four levels.
  • A variation without a gun: Goldeneye's EM Hack in Goldeneye Rogue Agent, which turns enemy turrets and other armaments over to your side.


    Real Life 
  • A related concept is the spotting rifle, a special rifle or machine gun that is usually directly attached to a cannon or rocket launcher and calibrated so that if you hit your target with the little gun, you'll hit it with the big one. Sometimes pulls double duty as a coaxial anti-infantry weapon.
  • Before the advent of laser-guided weapons, the usual method of marking targets for friendly aircraft and sometimes artillery was with coloured smoke, preferably with shells from a mortar but often thrown by hand.
  • The British Army Air Corps issues its Apache helicopter crews carbines with magazines of 100% red tracer for this purpose; if they're brought down, their wingmates will concentrate their fire on whatever that stream of tracers is aimed at. The same tactic is occasionally used by regular infantry with a machine gun, but only if they've lost radio contact.
  • The US military considered applying this trope to sniper bullets to increase the efficiency of... well, their snipers. Though the prohibitive cost of the laser-recognising bullets, and advances in actual laser weapons, eventually rendered this moot.