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Weaponized Land Mark

"What's this? Were we lured out? Who did that to the White House? They shouldn't call it the White House; they should call it the Fight House!"
—Jodie, Metal Wolf Chaos

A sister to Landmarking the Hidden Base, this trope takes the view that the only thing cooler than placing a covert headquarters inside a world-famous monument is placing a mountain-cracking Weapon of Mass Destruction inside a world-famous monument. Merely housing personnel, labs, or arms isn't good enough; at a minimum, the superweapon should be hidden inside the landmark, while a sign of true genius is making the landmark the weapon itself. Nerdgasm levels double if the landmark transforms into a mobile battle platform or Humongous Mecha.

The Lincoln Memorial is a popular subject for this trope; apparently, the idea of Giant Stone Abe getting off his ass and kicking someone else's has some appeal...

If the landmark is sufficiently old, this could end up as a Lost Superweapon. If the opposition ever discovers the location (or even existence) of the weapon, Monumental Damage or a Monumental Battle are all but assured.

Note: This trope covers weapons in real-world landmarks. Weaponizing fictional buildings or installations is almost a prerequisite in some works.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Comics 
  • The Marvel G.I. Joe comic book series revealed a secret orbital space laser cannon housed in the top stories of the Chrysler Building; it uses a series of satellite-mounted mirrors to direct the shot towards its intended target.
  • In Captain America #222, "The Monumental Menace!", Cap fights an animated Lincoln Memorial statue.
  • The Umbrella Academy has the Eiffel Tower being weaponized by Robot Zombie Gustav Eiffel!
    • Later, they also defeat an animated Lincoln Memorial. The Rumor defeats it by materializing an equally large stone John Wilkes Booth, who promptly assassinates Lincoln.
  • Mt. Rushmore was turned into a four-headed golem in Superman #209, as seen on this poster.
    • The idea was reused by writer Brian Azzarello in the Doctor 13: Architecture and Morality mini-series. "How do you hurt a mountain?!" "Strip mining."
  • A literal instance occurred in Psi-Force, when the title hero-entity clobbers a Russian paranormal with the Washington Monument.
  • A 1971 Incredible Hulk story had the Sphinx being left behind by aliens as a weapon.
  • Parodied in a Spy Kids comic from an issue of Disney Adventures. The evil organization. F.A.N.G. steals Mount Rushmore and places the heads aboard an enormous robot body, only to realize they have no plan for WHAT the robot is supposed to do afterward.

    Fan Fic 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • In the very first episode of the new series, "Rose", the London Eye is used by the Nestene Consciousness to broadcast controlling signals during the (brief) Auton invasion.
    • In "The Angels Take Manhattan", the Statue of Liberty is transformed into a Weeping Angel. Granted, it doesn't do anything besides sit in the background with the signature Weeping Angel face.
  • In Madan Senki Ryukendo, Akebono Tower (an Expy of Tokyo Tower) is transformed into a Monster of the Week.
  • Stonehenge is a Lost Superweapon that detonates Pyramids all over the world for.. some reason, in Stonehenge Apocalypse.
  • The Prisoner episode "The Girl Who Was Death" was a tall story with Number Six after an archvillain and his rocket poised to destroy London, which was disguised as the Beachy Head lighthouse.

    Pinball 

    Tabletop Games 
  • There are gods and Scions who think that The Statue Of Liberty, Christ the Redeemer and pretty much any other similar sized statue could be a giant war automaton that only needs the right key to activate. There's a statue of Vulcan in Alabama that's confirmed to be one, but nobody knows how to turn it on yet.
    • Additionally, a Demigod or God with high enough Epic Strength can use landmarks as improvised melee weapons.
  • The board game Easter Island is entirely based on the idea of the Moai being built as beam weapons by powerful wizards.
  • In Exalted's second edition, the sun is a massive battlestation capable of firing death-beams and turning into a giant robot.
  • Warhammer 40,000 introduces the Fortress-Monastery. A giant and sacred church complex that serves as the home of a Space Marine Chapter and is dotted with enough firepower to discourage any would-be invaders.
    • Ramilles Class Star-forts can service Cruiser-sized Imperial ships and destroy anything smaller than a battleship.
    • The former flagship of the Word Bearers legion had a to-scale replica of the holy book written by their Primarch across the top of their hull. It was roughly a quarter-kilometer in height. It opened up, to reveal an incredibly huge plasma lance.

    Video Games 
  • The weaponized Moai in the Gradius series—one of the earliest examples in video games, having appeared from the very first game and serving as a series staple after that.
  • Other early examples involve the Aero Fighters series of Shoot Em Ups:
    • Moscow's stage in Aero Fighters involves the Kremlin's spires and domes launching into the air, turning into floating gun platforms or gigantic missiles.
    • Aero Fighters 2 also features pagoda-missiles in the opening Tokyo stage.
    • Aero Fighters 3's opening stage features the Tokyo Tower transforming into a Humongous Mecha.
    • Aero Fighters Assault puts a Weaponized Landmark on your side—in the very first stage. If the boss ("Super-X") gets within firing range of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (which you're supposed to protect), the building will suddenly rise up and transform into a dual Wave Motion Gun that destroys the Super-X in one shot.
  • The Trope Namer is Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, which is loaded with these: Mount Rushmore has gigantic laser cannons mounted inside the Presidents' heads, Griffith Observatory has a giant cannon built into it, Leningrad's Winter Palace transforms into a humongous space center, the Moai Heads are actually weapons turrets... It got to the point where there's a building category named "Weaponized Landmark", because of the sheer ubiquitousness of these things in the game.
    • One mission in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 requires the player to turn the Eiffel Tower into a gigantic Tesla coil capable of destroying all of Paris. The Soviets also mount Tesla coils in the Mayan pyramids, and in the expansion Yuri not only slaps his face on the Moai statues, he turns them into turrets firing lasers out their eyes.
      • Those Mayan Pyramids are actually the basis for the Prism Towers. The Soviets were trying to replicate the technology.
    • On a more realistic note the game allows you to garrison buildings with basic troops. This includes such famous buildings as the Pentagon.
      • The Pentagon, stuffed full of military personnel? Imagine.
      • Normally, they aren't holed up and ready to shoot...
      • Plus, you can garrison the Smithsonian...
  • BattleTanx: Global Assault features a campaign level where the Eiffel Tower is converted into a laser cannon.
  • While not exactly a landmark, the Voyager II in Battlezone II is a space probe on a mission of peaceful exploration, just as it is in real life... except that it is armed to the teeth and is well able to defend itself in case of any, uh, unfortunate encounters. Mostly well, anyways.
  • Wat Pho, aka the reclining Buddha, is a recurring locale in Street Fighter. It's actually camouflage for Shadowloo's base in Street Fighter Alpha III. If you lose, the statue's face crumbles to reveal a mechanical skull; it then fires a laser into the stratosphere, which is reflected by M. Bison's Kill Sat and nukes a major city.
  • In Metal Wolf Chaos, Alcatraz Island houses a gigantic electromagnetic cannon, and the White House is encased in armour and weapons to make it the "Fight House".
  • In the third game in the Sakura Taisen series has the Arc d'Triomphe secretly hiding a massive artillery piece known as the "Revolver Cannon", which as the name implies, resembles a handgun enlarged by a factor of about 200, set in an artillery mount. It is used to launch the heroes in their Powered Armor on a suborbital trajectory — in the fourth game, this cannon is even used to transport four of them from Paris to Tokyo in a matter of minutes.
  • The Sam and Max adventure game "Abe Lincoln Must Die!" reveals that Abe's statue is actually a cybernetically-animated robot that eventually goes on a rampage across the country.
    • And what would possibly destroy him? An ICBM hidden inside the Washington Monument. "Most powerful presidential monument ever" MY FOOT!
  • In Samurai Zombie Nation, the Statue of Liberty is transformed into a Medusa, with snakes replacing her crown. Also, she can use her torch as a flamethrower.

    Web Original 
  • The French sentai homage France Five revolves around the idea that the Eiffel Tower is a shamanic totem holding the evil galactic empire at bay. The tower was destroyed in episode 4, but episode 6 shows that it was rebuilt following a long and hard battle resulting in the defeat of said empire.
  • Pigeon: Impossible has the Washington Monument acting as a housing for a Titan II ballistic missile.
  • This image.

    Western Animation 
  • South Park has an episode where an animated Lincoln memorial comes to life; the Super Best Friends defeat him with a giant stone John Wilkes Booth.
  • An episode of The Real Ghostbusters revealed that the Eiffel Tower was actually a Steam Punk ecto-containment grid. (Apparently, Gustave Eiffel was, well, a Ghostbuster.)
    • Revisited in the Ghostbusters comic book series Ghostbusters: Displaced Aggression
  • In the Transformers Beast Wars cartoon, Stonehenge (or an Expy thereof) is an alien signaling probe and containment device.
    • And while it's technically not a monument per se, the second moon is actually a planet-heating Ray Gun.
  • Averted in Jackie Chan Adventures, where Stonehenge isn't the weapon of mass destruction the cultists in London claim it to be.
    • It was a UFO landing site, however.
  • One episode of Dexter's Laboratory had Mandark turn the George Washington portion of Mount Rushmore into a giant golem/mecha; Dexter responds by animating Abraham Lincoln. The "golems" stop fighting when they realize they're Not So Different and walk off arms-over-shoulders to have a friendly conversation.
  • The animated short Pigeon: Impossible has an ICBM hidden in the Washington Monument.
  • In X-Men: Evolution, it turns out the Sphinx and three pyramids around the world are actually part of Apocalypse's mutation-inducing machine (similar to the one in the X-Men film but worldwide).
  • In The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror VIII, France launches a neutron bomb from the Eiffel Tower at Springfield.
  • Dr. Wily animated the Statue of Liberty via magic in the Ruby-Spears Mega Man cartoon. As Lady Liberty broke off one of her crown's spikes to attack, she was restored to normal at the end.
  • A minor landmark, but on The Penguins of Madagascar, the Red Squirrel hides a missile inside Cleopatra's Needle at Central Park.
  • Futurama has a variation with 20th Century Fox's iconic searchlight logo, which is an actual building in Hollywood. The tour guide explains that the searchlights are designed to blind pilots and film the resulting crashes.
  • On Inhumanoids, one of the animated-statue guardians of Metlar's lair appears to be the Colossus of Rhodes. In a later episode, Metlar animates the Statue of Liberty. Subverted, as he marries her rather than uses her as a weapon.
  • An Elseworld episode of G.I. Joe, "Worlds Without End", featured an alternate reality where the Joes were defeated years ago and COBRA now rules the United States. That reality's Destro concealed a weapon called the Parasite Matrix that captures and crushes hostile aircraft in a web of energy in the top of the Washington Monument.
  • Animaniacs weaponized the Warner Bros. water tower in "Super Strong Warner Siblings." This is also an actual building, though it has a greater role in the cartoon.
  • In the Codename: Kids Next Door Series Finale, Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S., Sector V uses a weapon against the Delightful Children called the R.E.B.R.I.D.G.E.R.A.T.E.R. (Revered English Bridge Really Is Doubly Great Enemy Roadblock And Totally Ends Rundowns). Subverted in that it is only a replica of London Bridge. (Well, maybe it could have been the real one... Stranger things have happened in this cartoon...)

    Real Life 
  • Joe Davis, renowned artist and Mad Scientist, is, according to a Cracked.com article, planning to build a 10-story tower as a monument to hurricane victims that harnesses excess nitrogen in the air during a lightning storm... and fires it back into the sky in the form of a giant laser.
  • Battery parks, inverted in that they started as bunches of really powerful weapons, then the ground that they were on/in later became landmarked parks.
  • The original Alcatraz began life as a coastal defense fort/military base, complete with artillery. It is no longer such, however.
    • The same is the case for the US Military Academy at West Point, which once defended a strategically important bend in the Hudson River.
  • The Rock of Gibraltar is armed with gun batteries.

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alternative title(s): Weaponised Landmark
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