A Voluntary Shapeshifter
is never without a weapon, because they are
a weapon. When nothing else is within reach, they can form their body or Artificial Limbs
... their arsenal is limited only by their imagination
! (And possibly the story's internal logic
.) Others who are "limited" to only one alternate shape will use a Partial Transformation
to unsheathe their claws (or tentacles!
) while still in human form.
Some Shapeshifters use this as their primary Weapon of Choice
, while others favor conventional weapons and only reveal this power after being otherwise disarmed
Part of what makes the Shape Shifter Showdown
so spectacular. Compare with the Morph Weapon
, which has similar powers but isn't part of the wielder's body, and Retractable Weapon
. Not to be confused with the Transmogrifier gun
. See Equippable Ally
for when they still need a little help from an ally to take advantage of this.
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Anime & Manga
- Naru Taru had a weird arms-out-the-back mons that kept growing gatling guns.
- Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist frequently uses his abilities to turn his prosthetic arm into a sword.
- Greed can make his skin hard as diamond and uses this for defense and offense in battle.
- Lust possess the Ultimate Spear, meaning she can make her fingers long and pointy...like spears.
- Father once formed his hand into a gun◊... A handgun, so to speak
- Envy can turn into literally anything. During a fight with Ling Yao, he turns his limbs into a sword and a snake.
- In the 2003 anime version, Envy turns his arm into a black spike near the end. At another time, he copies Ed's arm and the sword trick.
- Wrath in the 2003 animé had the ability to transmute his own body.
- Naraku of InuYasha spontaneusly sprouts Combat Tentacles whenever he needs them, or morphs his hands into those to impale his enemies.
- Elder Toguro of YuYu Hakusho loves turning his body parts into pointy things to stab people with.
- Eve from Black Cat turns her limbs and hair into weapons, usually blades. Same for her Expy Yami-chan from To Love-Ru.
- Chachamaru in Mahou Sensei Negima! can transform her forearms into blades or even guns. Judging from his ability to mimic other people exactly, Albireo can likely use his pactio item on his larynx. Evangeline also enjoys a good shape-shift here and there (claws are her favorite).
- A subtrope is when someone bleeds themselves, and then morphs the blood into weapons. Seen in Flame of Recca and Black Cat. See Bloody Murder.
- There was an episode of Pokémon involving a Ditto that eventually turned into a cannon for a Fastball Special. Now if it could only turn into an actual cannon in the games...
- The Mariages from Striker S Sound Stage X of the Lyrical Nanoha franchise do battle by converting their arms into weapons such as swords, lances, or artillery.
- Soul Eater has a few shapeshifters able to transform parts of their bodies, but most have to change completely to be much use. Death Scythes can alter their weapon forms, which lets them make several of the same weapon part sprout from their body at once, making it a lot easier for them to fight solo this way.
- Crona has the ability to use Ragnarok the Demon Sword. Although Ragnarok has its own soul and own personality, he was melted down and fused with Crona's blood, effectively meaning that it is a part of Crona.
- Nube's Oni Hand in Hell Teacher Nube. He has to be careful when doing this, though, lest the hand overpower him and consume his entire body.
- On Blood+, Solomon often uses his chevalier powers to turn his right hand into a sword blade.
- Eve Neuschwanstein from NEEDLESS is a shapeshifter and likes to change costumes along with her arms into weapons.
- Arashi Kishuu, from X1999, can draw a sword out of her hand whenever she needs it. There's also Yuzariha's dog/daemon Innuki, who can transform into a sword at will—and that's not even getting into the women who give birth to the holy swords... this series likes its swords.
- The titular characters of Karakuridouji Ultimo.
- Alissa Southerncross from Keroro Gunsou fights aliens with the help of her shape-shifting "daddy", Nebula.
- The titular Parasytes - human cuisinarts who can strike faster than the eye can see.
- Kanade from Angel Beats! had the abilities to change her arm into four different types of weapons.
- Gajeel from Fairy Tail can change his limbs into a club, a spear or a sword. And a chainsaw.
- Gavrill from Franken Fran can shapeshift her body partly or entirely into, among other things, deadly weapons. She mostly uses it to off people who are much weaker than her. When faced with either a lot of opponents or just one large one, she prefers to transform into a huge wolf-like creature and let out a real bloodbath.
- Most monstrels in Rosario + Vampire experience this, including second-in-command Kirya Yoshi. Others get to Hulk Out.
- Baby 5 from One Piece has a devil fruit which allows her to transform parts of, or the entirety, of her body into any weapon she wants.
- On a similar note there is the previous Mr. 1, Daz Bones, whose body is essentially made of steel, and can turn whatever part of it he wants into a blade. His partner from Baroque Works, Miss Doublefinger/Paula, can turn her body into spikes.
- The Marvel Universe has several:
- X-Men villain Apocalypse can make anything from Battering Rams and saw blades to Energy Weapons from his arms.
- The X-Men's own Random can also turn his arms into guns. Like, really huge ones. It's pretty weird-looking when he does it.
- Also in X-Men, Cessily Kincaid, Mercury III, forms blades, maces, and hammers among other things. At least once, she's also done a variant where she's acted as armor for another character.
- The villain Bushwhacker can turn his right arm into a gun. He has to swallow bullets to load it, though. It's pretty weird, too.
- The Fury is a Borg-style adaptive robot who can turn his arms into weapons. He was so effective that, in his home universe, he killed everyone on Earth, including all the superheroes.
- The Fantastic Four's Mr. Fantastic.
- Sandman, from Spider-Man's rogues gallery. Particularly fond of sand-hammers. Also Carnage, who is quite fond of axes.
- The Skrulls have been known to do this on occasion. They favor battering-rams.
- Hulkling from the Young Avengers, who is half-Kree and half-Skrull. He often gives himself armor, claws, and wings.
- Ghost Rider 2099's left hand was a "morphable nanomer alloy" with "monomolecular" edges, capable of shredding pretty much anything it came into contact with when he shifted it into battle mode.
- Mystique can do this with some effort, but usually doesn't because she still has organs and needs to remember where they are. Instead, for example, she'll shift most of the muscles of her upper body into her right arm just as she delivers a punch, thereby increasing its power. She's also been known to hide guns inside herself. At one point she even gave herself two heads and four arms to fight on two fronts at once.
- Carnage (and to a lesser degree, the other symbiotes) is a perfect example, as he's famous for morphing his body into weapons, especially axes and other blades.
- While Carnage and his ilk are seen most often using symbiote-weapons, Venom has been using one since it first bonded to Spider-Man: the web shooting. This ability is mostly limited by imagination; What-If and crossovers have shown other options, such as the Punisher getting the Venom symbiote and making guns with bullets of symbiote-stuff. Of course he also had a tremendous appetite, since the ammo had to come from SOMEwhere...
- The DCU has a few as well:
- Guy Gardner, when he was Warrior. A bit of a step down from a Green Lantern Ring (especially since he had the yellow ring before).
- The Engineer from The Authority.
- Warblade of WildCATS.
- Batman villain Clayface.
- Plastic Man uses his stretching power for shapeshifting more often than not, though he only rarely turns his limbs into weapons or anything like that. He's too creative. When Plas does make weapons, they're usually unconventional. In his famous battle against Fernus, he made his body into several hilarious weapons like sharks and cymbal monkeys. The kicker is that he transformed into these things all at the same time.
- Martian Manhunter occasionally does this, as do his White Martian rivals. In fact, Manhunter is most likely to do this when fighting White Martians.
- Metamorpho does this as well.
- The liquid-metal T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day could turn its arms into blades — handy for killing people when it was imitating someone who wouldn't be carrying a firearm.
T-800: Guns and explosives have chemicals, moving parts. It doesn't work that way. But it can form solid metal shapes.
John: Like what?
T-800: Knives and stabbing weapons.
- John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) could spontaneously grow teeth, claws, arms, mouths, etc. anywhere on its body.
- In the climactic battle on Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Judge Doom, who is a toon in disguise, turns his hand first into an anvil and then a buzzsaw to attack Eddie Valiant.
- Mystique did this in X-Men with Wolverine's claws (which failed miserably against the real ones).
- In X-Men: Days of Future Past, the Future Sentinel’s arms can become blades to impale their targets. Wolverine Claws are also shown in one instance, and the first ones shown are able to turn into drills to penetrate a bunker.
- Transformers: Pretty much every weapon used by the titular species is formed from their limbs (except, for some reason, Optimus's gun). Other exceptions include Brawlvastator's over-shoulder missile launchers (his tank kibble) and Blackout's Chest Blaster.
- The Harvesters in The Deaths of Ian Stone use a Blade Below the Shoulder version of this with both arms. Antagonists go full-on One-Winged Angel, but our hero shifts noticeably less than them, and eventually gains the ability to take advantage of this trope while remaining otherwise normal.
- Limb removed? The "engineers" in Tokyo Gore Police grow a chainsaw or some other weapon out of there.
- Visser Three does this in at least one Animorphs book, "The Reaction". His Levtin Javelin Fish morph throws spears at the fleeing Animorphs until someone punches a hole in it.
- When Crayak enhanced Rachel's powers beyond her wildest dreams in The Return, her morphing powers certainly extend this far. She only has this level of power for a few minutes, and she's shown to be capable of growing Wolverine-like claws and turning into a Blob Monster of deadly acid.
- In Quantum Gravity, Lila Black is implied to be capable of this from book four onwards. In fact, book five heavily implies that she could turn her body parts into anything.
- In the last book of The Immortals the final battle between Ozorne and Daine has the latter shifting various parts of her body into different animals to fight as effectively as possible.
- Obliterators in Warhammer 40,000. These are genetically-engineered supermen who've caught a daemonic contagion that fuses them to their armour and gives them the ability to form a wide variety of guns from their bodies — up to and including giant laser and plasma cannons. Iron Warriors are particularly prone to catching this Obliterator Virus, even those who are not armoured Space Marines.
- Dungeons & Dragons
- The "Body Weaponry" psionic power introduced back from Eldritch Wizardy.
- 3.5 ed. has a Prestige Class, the Warshaper, basically devoted to this, allowing a character to use his extant shapechanging ability (gained from another class or racial feature) to give himself natural weapons and Super Strength, along with a few other perks.
- Forgotten Realms has Malaugrim — extraplanar villains trying to return to their old world, whose weapons of choice are spiky tentacles and suchlike. They also use these for surprise attacks after infiltrating in more innocent forms and growing a weapon when no-one looks.
- The Keepers, creepy Men in Black with malleable bodies, such that they can reshape their hands into clubs or knives.
- GURPS: Magic has a whole set of spells called Partial Shapeshifting that allow the caster to transform body parts into enhanced versions of animal ones.
- Exalted has several of these, but the two primary examples would be the Lunars and Alchemicals. The former does it spiritually and organically, while the latter does it technologically; the former is more flexible, but the latter can grow actual weapons up to and including magi-tech artillery pieces.
- Huitzil in Darkstalkers has the rather unexplained ability to transform his arms and legs into various weapons and tools in combat. Also Rikuo, Lord Raptor, and Q-Bee, for reasons equally unexplained. Tron Bonne in Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes has the same ability.
- The MMO Warhammer Online features a Chaos class called the Marauder, who can turn his arms into giant blades, maces, and claws. Too bad they removed the female version, which would had have so much Fetish Fuel (let's see: an evil, muscular woman that can turn her arm into stuff)
- The official explaination for male-only marauders is that they wanted them all to be bare-chested. Yes, all of them. But they wanted to avoid an explicit Mature rating; same reason Slaaneshi daemons (notoriously naked) are in short supply and covered up more-than-usual.
- Emeralda of Xenogears. Her attacks include turning her legs into a drill, turning her arms into boomerangs, turning her body into a hammer, and splitting herself into several thin discs to slice her opponent with.
- Mortal Kombat features Jax, who has a fatality that involves changing his cybernetic arms to blades and chopping up his foe.
- Alex Mercer, protagonist of Prototype, is a good example. Whips, blades, claws, spikes that shoot up from the ground, tentacles, all this and more! Plus he can fly and ''eat'' people! The same goes for James Heller.
- Algol, the final boss of Soulcalibur IV fights merged with Soul Edge and Soul Calibur, and can manifest blades or shields (or Arm Cannons) from both at will.
- While Axl of Mega Man X doesn't literally change his limbs to turn into weapons, the same process and visual effects he uses to shapeshift is also used to create his arsenal of firearms, including his default Axl Bullets, which have the same color scheme as he does.
- The visual effects also suggest that he can use his own mass to create weapons like Red's deathscythe.
- Vectorman's whole "orbot" schtick involved transforming his whole body into jets and drills and such.
- Haudrale of Final Fantasy XI doesn't quite achieve transformation per se, but extruding a sword from the palm of his hand and then probably killing your entire party with it probably counts.
- Twelve of Street Fighter III fights primarily using this tactic.
- Traitor, Taiga's weapon in Duel Savior Destiny, has the ability to change its shape to that of numerous other weapons. Taiga's not really sure how it works, but he can turn what is normally a short sword into a longsword, a two handed axe, bombs, a hammer, a three sectioned staff, a trident and a power fist.
- Transmuters in Dungeon Crawl have at least two spells that do this. Beastly Appendage makes any thing from Combat Tentacles to hooves for feats. Blade hands gives you blades for hands.
- In Battletoads, all three of the main characters can morph their bodies in various ways, with unique weapons, for special strikes and finishing moves. Common versions include inflating an arm or a foot to deliver a super-strong punch/kick and sprouting giant ram horns when delivering a headbutt.
- Evolva: All of the weapons you can get. The genohunters' limbs (sometimes the neck or the back) transform each time you select a weapon, as you shoot at the enemies using the transformed limb.
- Diamondhead from Ben 10 can turn his arm into a pointy crystal. The nanomachine blob Upgrade from the original series and the green-slime blob Goop from Ben 10: Alien Force have been seen molding their fists into various weapons as well.
- The animated version of the Teen Titans character Plasmus is basically the poor man's Clayface. He eventually gains the power to spew acid sludge as well.
- Madam Rouge, a member of the Quirky Miniboss Squad in the final season, also uses this- her powers are a combination rubber woman and more general Voluntary Shapeshifting, so doing things like turning her fingers into talons or elongating her whole body like a snake to strangle enemies are well-documented techniques.
- In Static Shock, there is a recurring minor minion named Shiv, who can turn his arms into almost anything he can imagine, almost like a Green Lantern (but without the need for a ring.) As per his name, he prefers sharp things.
- Generator Rex can do this, as he's full of nanomachines.
- Yaksha from Hero 108.
- Jake of Adventure Time has incredible control over the size and density of every part of him, and utilises this to a great extent. At least once he even uses his jowls to beat on an unsuspecting foe (because seriously, who expects jowls to be used as a weapon?).
- In Justice League Unlimited several characters use this, including Martian Manhunter, Clayface, and Metamorpho
- Miss Martian from Young Justice, though she doesn't use them as often as her psychic powers.
- Replicon from Skysurfer Strike Force is more like shapeshifting weapon, using guns, missile launchers and melee weapons from his own body.