One of the most obvious ways to mark an individual as noteworthy, badass, or just apart from the crowd in fiction, especially in video games and action stories, is to give them an extraordinary weapon. Assassins and blademasters often are given truly bizarre melee weapons, notable protagonists in settings with firearms are equipped with unusual and rare guns. The logic behind this is simple but faulty — if a weapon is harder to acquire or more difficult to learn to use, it goes, it must be worth the extra time and effort to acquire one and train with it.
The problem with this is simple: while a sufficiently trained individual can turn almost any weapon into a lethal tool of destruction, standard-issue weapons are standard-issue because they work, and work well, with a minimum of training, and are thus more worth the time than the bizarre and the extraordinary. Furthermore, while exotic weapons might give inexperienced opponents difficulty because of their unfamiliarity with the mechanics of the weapon, the difference is more than made up at higher skill levels, where the limitations of a weapon become much more significant. Such weapons are often rare because they aren't practical for mass production or usage. Even if they are an effective weapon, don't expect to see them used properly. But of course, Rule of Cool prevails.
Occasionally justified in systems where everybody is using the wrong weapons, or the right weapons in the wrong way. Also sometimes justified in a system where everybody is already using exotic weapons.
Using a weapon designed for the situation at hand would both give the user a potentially massive advantage, and seem like an exotic weapon.
Contrast Heroes Prefer Swords.
Related tropes include: <!—index—>
- Bare-Fisted Monk, in settings when using weapons is the norm.
- Battle Boomerang
- Blade Below the Shoulder
- Chain Pain
- Chainsaw Good
- Double Weapon
- Epic Flail
- Guns Akimbo
- Impossibly Cool Weapon, for the Logical Extreme
- Katanas Are Just Better
- Kukris Are Kool
- Sinister Scythe
- Swiss-Army Weapon
- Whip Sword
- Wolverine Claws
- Wooden Katanas Are Even Better