An extra +10 against anything that starts with the letter J. Don't ask why. Don't ask what Vorpal means, either.A weapon which gets extra bonuses against a specific enemy type, without resorting to Depleted Phlebotinum Shells (e.g. silver vs. werewolves) or Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors (e.g. using fire against an ice monster).These bonuses can include Anti-Armor and One-Hit Kill. It is a subtrope of Situational Sword, and a form of Situational Damage Attack. There may be some overlap with Achilles' Heel; in such cases, consider the weapon's effectiveness against things that aren't the Nigh Invulnerable critter. Unique-named weapons with this kind of property often come with Exactly What It Says on the Tin naming. Compare The Hunter, who is a person dedicated to slaying a specific enemy type.
— Vorpal Sword, Munchkin
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Anime & Manga
- Record of Lodoss War has a set of magical halberds enchanted to slay one specific dragon. These were effective despite the heroes having to jump off a cliff to hit the dragon's head.
- One story arc in A Certain Magical Index revolves around a weapon called the Stab Sword, which is able to kill immensely powerful magic users.
- Bleach: Technically the Zanpakuto swords are used to release dead souls and cut down Hollows. This doesn't make them any better or worse at actually fighting Hollows specifically.
- Digimon Adventure: Wargreymon's spiked gauntlets are called "Dramon Destroyers"; they give him a particular advantage against MetalSeadramon and Machinedramon.
- The Dragonslayer from Berserk didn't start out as one of thesenote , but after years of Guts using it against demons, it eventually gains the ability to kill even demons that are ethereal and impervious to normal weapons. It is speculated that it can even wound the Godhand themselves.
- In the Nasuverse Noble Phantasms can obtain this type of property due to their feat's associated legends. Arondight and Balmung have a bonus against any being associated with dragons due to their wielders being known to have slain one.
- Inverted in Munchkin by the "sword of slaying everything except squid". It gives a substantial bonus but against squid (there are two in the decks — karate squid and Squidzilla) the fight is automatically lost.
Films — Live-Action
- Lone Wolf:
- The Sommerswerd, devastating against undead, and deadly even for the Darklords. It is stated late in the series that it could be lethal even against Naar. To be honest, it's quite good at killing anything anyway — none of the extremely powerful entities encountered in the series, including the Chaos-master or the Deathlord of Ixia, show any immunity toward it.
- The various evil weapons favored by the Darklords have one thing in common: they give combat bonus against other Darklords, and are among the very few things able to kill them permanently. Those guys truly have their priorities in order.
- The jewelled mace from book 5 gives a bonus against illusory creatures.
- The enchanted bullwhip from book 10 can hit (and gives a bonus against) immaterial specters.
- The Dessi Stone is a magic gem that, when merged into the hilt of any ordinary weapon, can turn it into an undead slayer.
- Several of the weapons forged by Lone Wolf with Kai Weaponcraft in the New Order series have a CS bonus when used against specific creatures, like reptiles, undead, stone beings, magic-users, flying monsters or fire-breathers, respectively.
- The eponymous weapons of the Dragonlance setting are exceptionally effective against dragons.
- In the Gotrek & Felix novels, Felix's Situational Sword is especially effective against dragons.
- In Lord Demon, many of the demons have weapons that are attuned to kill them specifically. Kai Wren shows up to one duel wielding the sword made to kill his opponent, and the wounds he sustains don't heal properly. Kai Wren also has an Oh, Crap! moment when he realizes just who has the weapon made to kill him.
- The Prism Pentad: The Scourge of Rkard is amazingly effective against the Dragon and the various Sorcerer Kings.
- In Nick Perumov's Keeper of the Swords series, Fess the necromancer occasionally uses a dwarven falchion of undead slaying to pacify those unruly zombies.
- Journey to Chaos: Annala created a bow that makes the arrows nocked to it capable of doing great harm to reapers. She calls it a "Deathkiller bow". While it can "kill them" in terms of destroying their physical body, it cannot (as of Mana Mutation Menace) truly destroy them.
- Dragonslicer from Book of Swords.
- Three examples in Stargate SG-1.
- The first is the energy weapon for killing Anubis' Kull warriors, which is of indeterminate use against anything else but will kill Kull in a couple shots by negating the Ancient phlebotinum that brought them to life in the first place.
- The second is the Replicator disruptor and the anti-Replicator gun later adapted from it, weapons built using Ancient knowledge that disrupts the ability of individual Replicator blocks to communicate with each other.
- Finally, the weapon Merlin designed to destroy ascended beings, which is finally used to wipe out the Ori in season 10.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- The magic item lists in have a lot of these — "sword +2, giant slayer", "''arrow of slaying'", etc.
- Third Edition generalized these with the "bane" effect (+2 to hit and +2d6 damage against specified enemy). The "slaying" effect does the same thing but also adds a chance for a One-Hit Kill.
- Holy, unholy, axiomatic, and anarchic weapons deal 2d6 extra damage against enemies of a opposing Character Alignment (e.g. a holy sword against evil enemies).
- The hammer of thunderbolts, if hurled by a dwarf aware of its power, can One-Hit Kill giants.
- The sun blade is a classic magic item dating back from 1st edition; its bonus increase against evil creatures, and it does double damage against undead.
- The 1E mace of disruption also does double damage to undead and forces them to save against being turned by the equivalent of a 12th level cleric or be destroyed. In game terms, any undead of wraith strength or less is automatically pulverized/dissipated/snuffed out when struck, and even a lich has a 20% chance of suffering a One-Hit Kill. note
- Arkham Horror has a cross that counts as a magical weapon, except it only provides a combat bonus against undead enemies.
- The golem staff in Wizard's Crown, which is just a normal staff unless you attack a golem with it, in which case it ignores armour and has its damage rating tripled.
- Fire Emblem:
- A lance called Horseslayer which is highly effective against cavalry.
- The Armorslayer is a sword which inflicts extra damage on armored enemies like Knights and Generals. It also exists in Lance (Heavy Spear) and Axe (Hammer) varieties.
- There are also the Axereaver, Swordreaver and Lancereaver weapons, which reverse the weapon triangle by being effective against the weapon referred to in their name.
- In most games, the main character gets a Royal Rapier that causes extra damage against both armored and horse-mounted units. Some characters get a special weapon that has the same effect.
- In Blazing Sword, Lyn gets the Mani Katti, while Hector gets the Wolf Beil.
- In The Sacred Stones, Ephraim has the Reginlief.
- In Path of Radiance, Ike gets the Regal Sword instead of the traditional rapier, since he is not nobility.
- In Radiant Dawn, Micaiah gets the character-exclusive Thani, light magic of Heavily Armored Mook slaying.
- Final Fantasy:
- Final Fantasy I and some of its sequels have various weapons of this kind. They didn't work in the first game, however, due to a bug (which was fixed in the remakes). The Excalibur took the cake by applying the slayer effect to every enemy.
- Final Fantasy IV has the Ogrekiller axe. Guess what it deals extra damage to?
- Final Fantasy VI includes a dirk that deals double damage to humans.
- Final Fantasy IX allows characters to equip various "killer" abilities (e.g. Demonkiller, Birdkiller) that cause whatever weapon they have to deal bonus damage.
- Angband has a set of Slay X properties (Evil, Orc, Demon, Undead, Troll, Giant, Animal, and Dragon), which can be found in various combinations on ego and artifact weapons.
- ADOM followed a similar model to Angband; the possible values of X in this case included humanoids (which category included some bosses and most elite mooks).
- Dungeon Crawl has weapons of orc slaying, which simply give a damage bonus against orcs.
- Several of the artifact weapons in NetHack fall into this category e.g. Ogresmasher, Werebane (which happens to also invoke Depleted Phlebotinum Shells, since it's a silver saber), and Orcrist. Additionally Vorpal Blade, which can One-Hit Kill anything with a head 5% of the time, does so 100% of the time against jabberwocks.
- Diablo had a couple unlisted bonuses: 'mace' weapons do +50% damage to Undead monsters but only half damage to Animals, while swords do the opposite.
- Diablo II kept the 'blunt hurt undead' theme (but made it visible), and added some anti-undead or anti-demon weapon enchantments.
- Diablo III has weapons and other equipment that give damage bonuses against elite monsters, which are particularly prized in high-level play.
- Weapons with bonuses against the Darkspawn, undead, and/or demons are pretty commonplace in the Dragon Age series, but Dragon Age II also has a greatsword with a large bonus against Qunari. Fittingly, you pick it up shortly before storming a Qunari stronghold. In the following act, a Qunari gives you a sword specialized against humans (probably as a stealth comeback). Curiously enough in Dragon Age: Origins, weapons that do extra damage against Darkspawn and Dragons do no extra damage against the Archdemon, implying that despite its appearance it is something else entirely.
- Valkyrie Profile:
- The series has a whole range of Slayer weapons — they tend to be breakable, making them Too Awesome to Use against anything but bosses. The game only rolls to see if a weapon breaks at the start of your enemy's turn, however, so if you finish the battle in one round, it will never make the check, allowing them to last you through the whole game. As the weapons are uniformly a one-hit kill, the only real danger of losing them comes when you're facing more than one such enemy, which happens rarely, and only after you've had the opportunity to pick up multiple weapons of the type.
- In addition to the Slayer weapons, there are also weapons that have a Death effect based on a given element. With these, the weapon will instantly kill anything that has that elemental weakness, regardless of total HP or defenses. This includes the penultimate boss on the way to the Golden Ending, who can be killed in one round by a sword you picked up around the midpoint of the game.
- Covenant of the Plume doesn't have the One-Hit Kill weapons, but it still has weapons with bonuses against specific monster types.
- Age of Wonders has a "Dragon Slaying" unit ability available to heroes and given to Knights in the expansion.
- Age of Wonders 3 has quite a number of units and items with "X Slayer" where X can be anything from a specific race, to dragons to summoned units. It gives +3 damage, which works out to roughly a 25% bonus most of the time so its quite a powerful ability.
- RuneScape has several examples, including Silverlight (and its upgraded form, Darklight) for slaying demons; Balmung, the Battleaxe of Dagannoth Slaying; the Ivandis Flail, used for killing Vyrewatch vampyres; and the brackish blade and brine sabre, which are super-effective against crabs for some reason.
- Shining Force has a variety of specialized weapons that are strong against specific types of enemies — the Mermanbuster is strong against sea creatures, the Jagged Flash is strong against flying enemies, the Elf Slayer is good against robots, and so on.
- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has the Werebane, which is supposed to do more damage against werebeasts. It doesn't. Apparently they didn't program it correctly...
- The Legend of Dragoon has two ancient weapons forged to defeat Dragons and Dragoons: one of them was the Dragon Buster sword, capable of piercing the Dragoon armor. Unlike most video game examples, it's your enemy that wields it, handicapping you during your battles against him. If you activate your Dragoon Soul while in battle against him he will One-Hit KO you. However, there is an item that makes you immune to One-Hit KO attacks... Que the enemy uselessly attacking you for the entire Dragoon Soul duration.
- In Legend of Mana, weapon upgrades can bestow or remove this effect.
- EverQuest has a "Bane" effect which increases damage towards a particular species of monsters.
- Wizardry has weapons dealing double damage to specific types. 7-th has weapons against Dragon, Robot, Undead and, due to a silly bug, Fighter; in 8-th against Android, Beast, Demon, Dragon, Plant and Undead.
- Crossfire adventure game has slaying weapons, and when a deity blesses someone's weapon, it usually acquires the slaying property vs. the kind of creatures this deity doesn't like.
- Most games in the Dragon Quest franchise have an assortment of these, doing higher damage against the designated enemy (e.g. weapons with "metal" at the start of the name usually do extra damage when they hit a Metal Slime, while the dragonsbane does extra damage to dragons).
- In Drakensang, dwarves have the Wyrmslayer Ax (a small hatchet with a very big blade) and also the Dragonslayer Axe, the Dragon-Crushing hammer, the Dragon-Piercer crossbow and the Dragon Spear (as in a trident made for skewering dragons). Yes, before you ask, dwarves hate dragons, and even have something like seven different words to define the death of a dragon.
- Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories played this straight and averted it, by giving various cards elements, using fire type against water-type gives an extra attack boost. However using the same element heals them.
- Fallout 3 has pulse grenades and pulse mines dedicated to fighting robots. There is also a stick that makes mole rats heads explode.
- Fallout: New Vegas expands on this by adding armour piercing and hollow point rounds for some standard guns to make them more effective against armoured or soft targets respectively. Pulse slugs are added for shotguns to make them viable weapons against robots.
- Fallout 4:
- some of the legendary weapon prefixes add +50% damage when a weapon is used against a particular enemy type. These prefixes include Assassin's (effective against humans), Exterminator's (Insects and Mirelurks), Hunter's (animals), Ghoul slayer's (Ghouls), Mutant slayer's (Super mutants) and Troubleshooter's (robots).
- Radiation damage weapons such as the gamma gun and radium rifle are particularly effective against humans, but of limited use against everything else.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has a few here and there:
- Silver swords, dropped by the werewolf-hunting Silver Hands, do more damage to undead, werebears, and werewolves.
- There's a woodcutting axe that does extra damage to animals (which can then be disenchanted and applied to other weapons); and the artifact axe Wuuthrad does more damage to Elves ("Wuuthrad" even means "Elf-Grinder").
- There also exists a weapon that does more damage to Nords in the game's code, but it's sadly Dummied Out.
- The Daedric artefact Dawnbreaker, which not only sets regular foes on fire but does extra damage to undead, the latter of which can trigger an explosive shockwave that either delivers a One-Hit Kill to any remaining undead or makes them run for the hills.
- Dragonbane, a one-handed sword you obtain in Sky Haven Temple, does extra damage against dragons and shock damage against everything else. It's impractical against the latter though, since its charge is low and unlike other shock weapons it doesn't drain magicka.
- Dawnguard give us a series of weapons than do extra damage against vampires and the bow of a god that does extra damage against undead.
- Minecraft has two sword enchantments in this category: "Smite" gives a damage bonus against undead enemies, while "Bane of Arthropods" gives this bonus against spiders and silverfish.
- Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals has a set of weapons that are extra effective against giant spiders, another that is the same for lizard (including dragons). Another set, much later, effects only dragons but has a higher base damage than the anti-lizard set.
- Earthbound has spray bottles filled with Rust Promoter (which damages robots) and Insecticide (guess).
- A quest in The Sims Medieval requires you to make a dragon-slaying sword called Wyrmslayer. Another one requires you to make Goblinsbane, to use against goblins. After the quest, your Sim can continue to use Wyrmslayer or Goblinsbane for a slight advantage over the standard longsword and a significant boost in coolness.
- In PlanetSide 2, the NS-AM7 "Archer" rifle hits like a wet noodle against vehicles and infantry - in fact, it's the only bolt action rifle that can't kill with one headshot - but has a massive damage multiplier against MAX Power Armor and is able to kill them with three body shots or two headshots.
- Moebius from the Legacy of Kain series carries a magical scepter that has the power to induce weakness in vampires.
- Magicka has an equal number of dragons and dragon-slaying weapons. One of each.
- Roommates makes the Orcrist this against Goblins, and even more against anybody currently holding the Goblin King title.
- The Finger of Hell, a knife custom-designed by Dellyn (a Fantastic Racist Torture Technician) to inflict excruciating pain if used against a goblin; it's implied each of his tools has been custom-made to be particularly effective if used to torture members of a particular race.
- Minmax finds a "Racist Axe" that gains an accuracy and damage bonus if the wielder is the same race as their target. He gives it to his comrade Forgath when they're attacked by Kore, since both Kore and Forgath are dwarves.
- In The Order of the Stick, when Roy's Ancestral Greatsword is reforged with starmetal, one of the properties it gains is to sometimes emit a deadly green energy which is particularly harmful to the undead. The blacksmith offers to suppress this power, but Roy declines, since his quest involves the destruction of a particularly powerful lich.
- In Erfworld, the Arkenpliers allow an unattuned user to instantly turn uncroaked units to dust.
- Things Mr. Welch Is No Longer Allowed to Do in an RPG: Mr. Welch has occasionally been reprimanded for forging weapons of party member slaying.