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Shoulder Cannon

A Sub-Trope of Unusual Weapon Mounting, basically it's a weapon (such as a Gatling Gun or rocket launcher) mounted on the shoulder(s). Usually involves Powered Armor. The issues of recoil and the attendant potential for spinal injury, not to mention the difficulty of reloading a magazine that's way back there, are almost never addressed. Though the aforementioned link to power armour can address most of the problems so simply it's hardly worth mentioning.

Compare Backpack Cannon, which may be mistaken for this as they usually extend over the shoulder.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Several military labors and most notably the Saturn model in Patlabor.
  • Most Gundam shows have one of these (and/or a Backpack Cannon), the original being the Guncannon.
    • The Gelgoog Cannon was derived from the discontinued Zaku Cannon concept, which was topheavy and unstable due to its backpack-mounted 180mm cannon. The Gelgoog Cannon used a beam cannon instead of physical shells, eliminating recoil. However, too few were ready by the end of the One Year War to help the Zeon forces (but then, the same was true of every Gelgoog variant, including the basic model).
      • Along similar lines was the Federation's GM Cannon. In trying to adapt the twin shoulder cannon concept of the Guncannon onto a standard GM frame, they found it couldn't support the twin cannons. So they took away one cannon, and made the legs heavier to lower the center of gravity, so that the cannon could be fired while standing or running. The later (and heavier) GM Cannon II would have beam cannons, and would also mount them on the backpack.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 has a few also:
      • Viture & Seravee's GN cannons. The former is also a Swiss Army Weapon when detached as Nadleeh can dual-wield them Gangsta Style.
      • Gundam Throne Eins' GN Mega Launcher which is normally stored folded up and requires another Gundam to power and aim it like a mounted weapon.
    • The beam cannons on 0 Raiser become this for the 00 Raiser.
  • Heavy Metal L Gaim: Nei Mo Han's heavy metal had these. You thought her mecha just had oversized shoulders... until she aimed them at you and fired.
  • Scourge in Transformers: Robots in Disguise had shoulder-mounted rocket launchers.
    • Demolishor, from Transformers Armada, is a more literal example, with large missile launchers forming his shoulders.
  • Mazinger Z: Several Mechanical Beasts were equipped with them. One example were the ninja siblings Blazas S1 and S2, or Winder A2. Their shoulders were fitted with missile launchers.
  • Panzer World Galient: This series gave us Assault Galient's beam gun and Monocot's flash arrow pod.
  • Some Knightmare Frames from Code Geass, particularly the Gawain, which keeps a pair of Hadron Cannons in nacelles mounted on its shoulders.
  • In Macross: Do You Remember Love, the VF-1 Strike Valkyrie configuration has a dual beam cannon mounted on its right back. When transformed into Batroid mode, the beam cannon folds over the shoulder to aim straight ahead.
    • The Macross Cannon itself. While it was able to fire perfectly fine while in gunship configuration in the first episode (and indeed, it was its intended purpose) the... disappearance of the Fold Engines left a gap between the cannon and the power generators, requiring the Macross' Humongous Mecha configuration to bring them back together. The Macross Cannon then ended up stretched upwards on its shoulders, the Shoulder Cannon to end all Shoulder Cannons.
  • A mecha in the first season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha had a pair of giant shoulder cannons. It got blown up before it could finish charging it.
  • Tekkaman Blade has the Voltekka shoulder cannons used by the titular character and the other Tekkaman (other Tekkamen mounted theirs in the chest).
  • Shoulder-mounted weapon batteries are a staple of Real Robot mecha.
  • Deconstructed/parodied in Keroro Gunsou, when Fuyuki is equipped with a pair of these in episode 10 - it causes serious ear damage when they go off.
  • The Zoanoid Vamore in Guyver.
  • One Piece: Franky has them. Using them actually dislocates his shoulders, though.
    • After the timeskip, he replaces it with a rocket launcher.
  • Issei in High School D×D gains the Illegal Triana move that has three forms. One of the forms is the Bishop form where he gains two shoulder mounted cannons and fires a huge blast of energy from it.
  • Halo Legends: The Prototype has a mechanised suit which includes this, along with various other weapons.

    Comic Books 
  • War Machine, typically in the form of a Gatling gun on one shoulder and a missile launcher on the other.
    • Logically, Iron Man as well, though Tony prefers the hand blasters, and his are usually far less pronounced.

    Film 
  • The infamous shoulder-mounted, servo-turret "Plasmacaster" used by the Predator. It is aimed using a targeting laser in the Predator's mask, which means it can accurately aim and fire while keeping its hands free.
  • Godzilla:
  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. The Giant Robot that guarded the underwater entrance to Dr. Totenkopf's island had a shoulder mounted missile launcher.
  • Like his comic book counterpart, War Machine has a Gatling Gun on his shoulder in Iron Man 2.
    • Tony himself had multi-shot dart launchers in his shoulders in the first movie.
      • In the second, too. But they don't work as well against armored targets.
    • War Machine actually has his gun mounted on a moving arm on a rail along his back, enabling the gun to move from shoulder to shoulder as well as point in every direction. It can even fire directly behind and up (as seen in the trailer).
  • RoboCop 2. Cain's mechanical body has a shoulder mounted cannon. Watch it in action here, starting at 2:25.
  • Worf's Isomagnetic Disintegrator from Star Trek: Insurrection.
  • Short Circuit: Johnny Five and his brothers all had shoulder-mounted lasers.
    Johnny Five: Hey, laser-lips! Your momma was a snowblower!
  • Coyote Tango from Pacific Rim has two, thanks to taking visual inspiration from Mobile Suit Gundam's Guncannon.

    Literature 
  • In Dale Brown books, CID units can mount various weapons on a backpack that goes over the shoulder, such as Grenade Launchers or 20mm autocannon. Tin Men starting from Warrior Class have Lightning Gun electrodes on their shoulders.
  • An extreme version from the Bounty Hunter Wars trilogy in the Star Wars Expanded Universe is D'harhan, an old partner of Boba Fett who has undergone extreme cybernetic augmentation to replace his head with a laser cannon powerful enough to blow holes in small starships.

    Live Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Battletech's Humongous Mecha can have shoulder mounted weapons easily enough; the iconic example is probably the Hunchback line of 'Mechs. Usually this is just fluff for weapons actually mounted in the side torso during construction, but advanced rules allow for the presence of actual 'shoulder turrets' with wider-than-normal firing arcs.
    • Very much more obvious in the Hollander series, which takes 'shoulder cannon' to its most literal and bizarre extreme.
    • A standby for the series' numerous Power Armor models as as well, starting with the missile racks on the Elemental battlesuit and working all the way up to 'Mech grade lasers mounted in the shoulders of some suits, as opposed to an Arm Cannon or something similar.
  • Most the mecha in MechQuest have slots for shoulder mounted weaponry.
  • Tau Battlesuit Railguns (and there's two of them!). The Tau commander (in Dawn of War at least) has shoulder mounted missile launchers.
    • Tau Battlesuits in general can mount their weapons on either their hands or shoulders (Broadsides have both)
    • Another one from Warhammer 40,000, the Space Marine Terminators can have racks of missiles on their backs, and they fire automatically too. Similarly, Reaver and larger Titans can have these, but at a much larger scale, and loaded with Nukes.
    • Eldar Wraithlords and War Walkers (and probably their Titans) can have these too, but the spirit/pilot has to aim them himself.
    • One item from Inquisitor, the Mind Impulse Unit (MIU), permitted the wearer to fire a gun without using his hands. This led to Shoulder Psycannons, much to the distaste of anyone within weapons range.
  • GURPS
    • The Ultra-Tech supplement has a shoulder mount for any large weapon. Naturally it's difficult to aim.
    • Wild Cards. The Modular Man can have two of these, one on each shoulder.
  • Shadowrun
    • Cybernetic mounts capable of holding heavy weapons can be installed on the shoulder or upper back. Their targeting is controlled by the user, and can be tied in with other cyberware.
  • Battlelords Of The23rd Century
    • Various armour options allow for shoulder-mounted weaponry, all computer-controlled which can be normal weapons or missile-defense types. The more expensive models can include automated independent targeting systems.
  • The Khadoran "Behemoth" heavy warjack would like to introduce his two shoulder-mounted bombards . Say "hi" !
  • The original design of Mutant Chronicles Capitol hero Big Bob Watts has two cannons strapped to his shoulder pads. The new design has them slung under his forearms.

    Toys 
  • Common in BIONICLE, including Krekka, Nuparu Inika, Maxilos, Krika, Pohatu Nuva in his Adaptive Armor Sky Form, and Malum.

    Video Games 
  • Elite Pirates in Metroid Prime have shoulder-mounted plasma cannons. The Omega Pirate has two of em.
    • Some of the Ingsmashers in the second game also have shoulder cannons.
  • A couple of weapons in the Power Armor framework in Champions Online
  • Supreme Commander has a few.
  • Napalm Man from Mega Man 5 (NES), and his Expy Mars from V (Game Boy).
  • Vile/Vava in Mega Man X.
  • The MechWarrior games, as they are set in the Battletech universe, have the same shoulder mountings available.
  • Back Weapons and Extensions in the Armored Core series are mounted on the shoulders. The weapon types range from grenade launchers, to chain guns, to laser cannon.
  • Not actually present in game, but this is apparently how Elcor in Mass Effect use weapons. Since Elcor resemble a cross between an elephant and a gorilla, come from a high gravity world and are quadrupeds, it's pretty much required. Their strength and naturally tough hide turn them into a sort of living weapons platform.
  • Super Robot Wars loves this trope.
    • Shin Super Robot Wars: The R-2 Powered has 2 5-barreled energy guns, one per shoulder, which later turn into the SRX's arms and hands.
    • The Schutzwald has a pair of energy cannons, essentially a Gespenst modified for an artillery role.
    • The Shadow Mirror's R-Eins also has a pair of energy cannons, and is a flying Elite Mook.
    • Let's not forget about the Shadow Mirror's Landgriez and Laz Angriff, who have a lot of shoulder-mounted internal weaponry.
    • Super Robot Wars Compact 2: Finally, there's the Alteisen's Square Claymores, which are titanium ball-bearing launchers.
  • Transformers: War for Cybertron: Soundwave and Trypticon
  • As with Comic Books above, Iron Man and War Machine, in the Marvel vs. Capcom fighting game series.
  • Revenants from Doom.
  • Justice from Guilty Gear has these.
  • Blastoise in Pokémon gains two of these upon evolving. Its further Mega-Evolution Mega Blastoise loses the two smaller shoulder cannons and gains an enormous Backpack Cannon instead.
  • The Death Knight from Spear of Destiny is essentially a walking gun. Two miniguns, and two shoulder-mounted homing rocket launchers. Some of the Wolfen Doo M mods by Laz Rojas also feature Grosse guards with similar shoulder cannons.
  • The Lonesome Road DLC of Fallout: New Vegas features shoulder-mounted miniguns as one of the new weapons.
  • Hunters in Marathon, possibly inspired by the aforementioned Predator.
  • In Alien Vs Predator Capcom, both Predators wield shoulder-mounted plasma cannons.
  • Front Mission offers the occasional shoulder mounted gun of some variety alongside missile racks. Most commonly, the shoulder gun is a Gatling gun of some description.
  • Heavy Gear 2 allows Gears to carry shoulder mounted weapons. While rocket packs or missile weapons are most common, the game also allows weapons ranging from small anti-infantry machine guns up to rotary Anti-Air cannons to be installed on a shoulder mount, up between the collar and the shoulder joint proper.
  • Given sufficient space, any Mobile Suit can be modified to carry one or more in MS Saga: A New Dawn. The various shoulder weapons are rendered separately from the body parts of a Mobile Suit and so suits that never carried shoulder weapons in the original fiction may have them here. The most impressive example in the game is the 680mm artillery cannon taken from a fallen enemy, and is so large and powerful that it cannot be installed on any but the most advanced ranged combat units.

    Webcomic 
  • In Schlock Mercenary, the Powered Armor developed by Tailor for the Toughs have the option of mounting a cannon on each shoulder. What's more, they can detach and function as autonomous drones. Tailor dubs them, in this autonomous function, "Paul-Drones".

    Web Original 
  • Gaia Online has the items Preda-Armor and Nano-C, which have Shoulder Cannons.
  • Common enough in the Whateley Universe that they're being made and sold at the Whateley Weapons Fair. Along with mounting equipment.

    Western Animation 

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