In a bizarre dichotomy, if video games don't have Breakable Weapons
, they very likely have the exact opposite: Unbreakable Weapons
. No matter how many times you rapidly fire that gun in full-auto mode, it never malfunctions nor does it ever require any sort of maintenance. Swords never break no matter how many times you foolishly use it to strike armored enemies. Unless, of course, the plot calls for it
Of course, there's a very good reason for this
— most video game characters don't need to go to the toilet
, either, but you don't get so many complaints about that. Expect First Person Shooters
which do include mechanisms to reflect weapon degradation/malfunction to fall way down the "realistic" end of the Fackler Scale of FPS Realism
Action Adventure Games
Beat 'em Up
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time had the breakable Giant's Knife as an exception, and wooden shields can be incinerated in all of the 3D games, but this trope applies to almost all the standard items and equipment in the games. A certain enemy throughout the series can often eat your shields, but that's not exactly breaking them. In fact, in later games they'll drop them intact if they're defeated quickly enough.
- Mark of Kri and Rise of the Kasai play this straight. You can bash your sword against armor, other swords, and stone walls—you can block a heavy axe swung by a Mighty Glacier with a pair of knives, but your weapons will never break. Not even the wooden ones.
- Most of the games in the Legacy of Kain series play this straight; in Blood Omen, none of the weapons can be broken. In the Soul Reaver games (I could be wrong on this one) none of the weapons you pick up—many of which are ceremonial or even decorative—will break, though you'll lose them. Defiance also features an unbreakble sword in the form of Kain's Reaver. Blood Omen 2 is the only game to feature breakable weapons, and even then, they're only breakable when you're using them; enemies can block your (superhumanly strong) attacks infinitely without them breaking. However, even this game features an unbreakable weapon in the form of the Soul Reaver itself, which is obtained in the last bossfight or by a cheat code. Being unbreakable is a plot point for the Soul Reaver, however; it's also the only weapon that is broken as part of the plot. Whenever it strikes itself (time travel), one version will break.
- While armor can degrade in Assassin's Creed II, none of Ezio's weapons ever break. It is somewhat justified in the case of the iconic Hidden Blade, whose construction is far ahead of its time.
- The Hidden Blade does break... in a cutscene, two games later.
- The Double Dragon series is notable for being one of the few beat-'em-up franchises to feature unbreakable weapons. Specifically, melee weapons such as the baseball bat and the whip or large objects like oildrums or boulders can be wielded by the player as much as possible, provided the player doesn't lose his weapon by having it fall off-screen out of his reach or into a pitfall. However, the player will drop any weapon his character is wielding after reaching a certain point (normally after completing a stage). In the NES games, weapons will vanish when their original wielders are killed.
- In River City Ransom, anything that can be used as a weapon can be picked up by the player and used indefinitely as long as it's in the player's possession.
Hack and Slash
- In Halo, human weapons don't jam or break, but alien plasma weapons normally overheat from uninterrupted continuous fire (requiring a brief cooldown period), and eventually run out of energy and must be discarded. Functionally, this serves as a balance for the fact that such weapons don't need to be reloaded.
- Guns in Gears of War can jam if you mistime the "quick reload" action. Guns can be reloaded normally without any risk of jamming them, it just takes a bit longer.
- Special honors ought to go to Gordon Freeman's guns in Half-Life. Any weapon that can still happily fire at full auto despite being immersed in water, toxic waste, massively radioactive liquid that damages the HEV suit, fire, and cold intense enough to cause death in less than a minute deserves the unbreakable title.
- For that matter, pick any Half-Life mod or Source based game.
- All weapons in Bioshock are unbreakable, even the ones that are made out of spare parts
- Metro 2033's weapons are completely invincible during gameplay, despite half of the guns being made from random bits of industrial pipes and pumps. However, the Idle Animations frequently show the protagonist breaking his guns, like causing the selector switch on his Bastard carbine to fall off, or accidentally ripping the adjustable stock off of the Duplet shotgun. The trend continues in Metro Last Light, though the guns at least look a little more refined and not about to fall apart.
- E.Ψ.Ǝ.: Divine Cybermancy features completely invulnerable weapons. Interestingly enough, you can actually use the weapons as body shields by holding them up to your chest, which works especially well with the BFGs like the Sulfatum. The guns will happily take several hundred bullets straight to their receiver and barrel(s), then work perfectly fine. The HS010 submachine gun will work perfectly fine after firing a dozen magazines in its triple-fire rate mode, though it sounds like it is ripping itself apart when fired. The swords (including the high-explosive BFS) will all work perfectly fine after slashing through thousands of mooks, and work perfectly fine after the player jumps three stories into the air to slash at an attack helicopter.
- In Borderlands 2, Marcus Kincaid, Pandora's resident gun runner, is introduced in a cutscene where a resident of Sanctuary asks for a refund for a malfunctioning gun. Marcus analyzes it a little, then shoots the customer's leg. It (possibly unintentionally) lampshades that, both in this game and its predecessor, all the guns on the planet work no matter what: even getting swallowed by animals with bile capable of dissolving bank vault doors won't cause the weapon to so much as misfire even once.
- The Moonraker/Military Laser in Goldeneye 007 for the Nintendo 64. This can prompt people running around holding Z, making a particularly annoying noise.
- Drakengard's weapons are Unbreakable Weapons. Kind of funny in that some of the weapons themselves are broken, but won't break further.
- Devil May Cry deserves special mention, considering some of the downright ridiculous things that Dante does with his sword, such as jamming it into the ground and using it to spin around repeatedly, continuously twisting the sword through a foot of solid concrete. However, since it was said before that Dante fires bullets from guns using his demon energy, and pretty much all of his weapons are demonic in nature, this may not be too much of a stretch for some.
- The original Diablo had a durability exploit in which, through the use of Hidden Shrines, the player can raise the durability of an item to the specific value of 255, which the game recognizes as indestructible.
- The sequel provides intentional examples, such as mods and socketables making an item indestructible.
- Runescape weaponry is unusually resilient, for example an axe will continue to fell trees after breaking a thousand steel platebodies to bits. Barrows Armor, however, is extremely old (thousands of years) and will break and decay after fifteen hours of solid use, until it needs to be repaired for hundreds of thousands of coins.
- Nexus Clash balances this with Breakable Weapons. Actual weapons such as guns and swords break down with use and need to be repaired. Improvised weapons such as crowbars and shovels can be used indefinitely, but are naturally inferior to weapons that were actually meant to be weapons.
- Every Final Fantasy game. Hell, just about every electronic RPG ever made. Swords never break, and guns never jam. The maintenance portion can be handwaved in most games and RPGs by saying they sharpen blades and maintain and oil guns during down time between battles off screen.
- Early games had archery consume arrows, which is a partial aversion.
- Weapons (and armour) in Final Fantasy Tactics can be broken with Knight or Divine Knight skills, Samurai abilities in the same game could break the katana it used, and there was the Ogre Nix in Final Fantasy VI which would randomly break after use, but this can be prevented with the right Support ability.
- Irvine from Final Fantasy VIII actually had limited ammo for his guns... though only in his Limit Break.
- One common exception is items that can be used to invoke some kind of magical property, generally casting a spell for no MP cost. Even when the item could be used to strike enemies forever without a dent, one use of its mystic power is likely to shatter it forever.
- Even this isn't consistently the case, as in the first Final Fantasy, III and IV, spell casting weapons never break after use. As a tradeoff, they are generally limited to casting lower level spells.
- In the original Baldur's Gate any non-magical weapon can break after a random period of use. This is attributed to weakness happening because Mulahey and his kobold mooks poison the ore in the Nashkel mine and not due to a natural property of iron, though. It also stops happening after Mulahey is killed.
- Every World of Mana game. Unlike the previous two examples, there are no exceptions to this. The Mana Sword does seem to rust easily, but it never breaks.
- Valkyrie Profile has both Breakable and Unbreakable Weapons. The breakable variety are said to have been made by humans or are barely able to contain the vast amount of power they hold, while the unbreakable ones are made by the gods and have an "ether coating" rendering them indestructible.
- Silmeria does this unless a specific Sealstone is used, and Covenant is like this regardless... which is confusing, since both are prequels.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Most physical melee weapons are alloyed with a supposedly-rare Unobtainium to keep enemy lightsabers from cutting through them like butter. Firearms of all sorts have infinite amounts of the appropriate ammo. Lightsabers... are about as indestructible as you'd expect. They're still Game Breakers.
- Lampshaded in KOTOR 2, when you meet a Mandalorian who had his spare ammo eaten, his gun's ammo depleted, then broke the gun by using it as a club. He points out that he was careless because, hey, when was the last time YOU ran out of ammo?
- Most of the Ultima games feature this. Exceptions are usually magic weapons that can run out of charges. Ultima Underworld subverts the trope, with only the Infinity+1 Sword being this.
- Golden Sun averts this. Items/weapons that can be used as items, if used in battle, can and frequently do break. You can get them fixed, but not mid-battle. However, broken weapons and items just mean you can no longer use their special effects and they have a lower resale value when broken; you can still equip them for stat changes as normal.
- The Diviner weapons in Riviera: The Promised Land are unbreakable Weapon of Choice for the Grim Angels. The protagonist Ein wields a holy sword named Einherjar while the antagonists use magical lances.
- The Crusader games' weapons are Unbreakable. This is odd, because the RP-22 and RP-32 are explicitly described as "indestructible" due to their construction, but no other weapons are.
- Dead Space and Dead Space 2 had weapons you could beat enemies to death with and they would still be in perfect mechanical condition.
- Fire Emblem usually has one or two unbreakable artifact weapons per game, as an exception to otherwise being a superlative example of Breakable Weapons.
- 1, 3 and 11 (all remakes of each other for the most part) have an item that makes any weapon held by the character wielding it unbreakable.
- Near the end of Radiant Dawn, you get to make any weapon you want unbreakable for the rest of the game, so long as a character sent into the final campaign can use that weapon. This includes long-range tomes that normally have only five uses are so.
- Awakening introduces the skill "Armsthrift", allowing any character that can become a Mercenary to possibly keep a use of their weapon.
Non-Video Game Examples
- Played straight in Dwarf Fortress; you can wallop a Bronze Colossus with a wooden training sword as long as you like without fear of it breaking, not that you'll get in enough hits to really make this trope noticeable before it clobbers you, and simple wooden shields can deflect the fiery breath of a dragon without noticeable damage. This trope's opposite, as well as wear and tear on armour and weapons that has to be mended, is on the to-do list for a future release.
- Captain America's shield is completely unbreakable. The few times it's been broken were either retconned away as weaker copies or the villain had reality-warping powers, and, due to the natures of the stories, the shield was restored in the end.
- In a cinematic GURPS game, guns never jam, swords never dull, knives never break and so on. Interestingly this has no effect on shields, the default assumption is that shields cannot be broken by any force.
- A literary example would be the Redwall series, where Martin The Warrior's Thunderbolt Iron sword has lasted for possibly centuries (including a lengthy sojourn on the roof of Redwall Abbey, exposed to the weather for many seasons) without ever rusting or losing its edge.
- (Although it starts off "broken" by Martin's archenemy, and only gets Indestructible after a Badger Lord re-forges it.)
- Samurai Jack and his buddy/rival Scotsman have magic enhanced/blessed swords that are designed to be freaking tough. That neither of them shatters the other's weapon when they first clash is their first clue that they may both be holy warriors (of a sort).
- The Legendary Weapons in Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger. The Zyurangers sought them after Dora Skeleton sundered their original weapons with no effort whatsoever.
- Something of a real life example would be the AK-47, or at least if one goes by reputation. Many a story has been told where some ungodly abuse has befallen an AK-47 rifle, usually ending with "I cleared the chamber, loaded a magazine and it fired like new". The reality is, while the AK-47 is a durable rifle, it can still jam without proper care. Where it is made also affects quality, since obviously an AK made in a professional factory in Eastern Europe is going to be better than something a tin-pot dictator made with unskilled labor out of pig iron.
- Cut Man's blades in MS Paint Masterpieces which is true to the games' Word of God.
- Japanses Tables. Just ask any Pro Wrestler who nearly broke their backs on those things!
- In the Death Battle between Ryu Hayabusa and Strider Hiryu, Ryu's Dragon Sword is described as being practically indestructible and proved to be the only weapon in his arsenal that could withstand the heat of Hiryu's cypher.
- Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder technically subvert this, as Sundering weapons is a legitimate combat maneuver, and spells such as Shatter can be used to affect equipment as well...however, regular use never damages equipment. You can hack away all day at that dragon's super dense scales, your sword won't get any duller.
- Artifacts on the other hand, fit this trope. Minor artifacts can be broken, but can always be repaired and are generally impossible to destroy outside of specific, usually difficult conditions, like bathing one in the blood of a thousand virgin dragons under a blue moon, or what have you. Major artifacts can't even be broken, and can only be destroyed in their specified manner.