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Red Mage: [The Green Arrow] can shoot several arrows at once with the utmost precision.
Black Mage: Even in the context of this conversation, that's patently absur—
Ranger's arrows: *FWIT! FWIT! FWIT! FWIT!*
Black Mage: Oh.

How do you show a Master Archer to have Improbable Aiming Skills? Have him loose multiple arrows at once from the same bow! Who needs Automatic Crossbows when your archer can kill five people at the same time?

While technically possible in Real Life, it is very difficult to aim and loosing two arrows at once would cut the force behind each arrow in half, ruining the range and impact. Shooting more than one arrow only appears in fiction, as loosing n arrows means a force of 1/n, quickly putting you in Annoying Arrows territory.

Subtrope of Bows and Errors. Compare with the Automatic Crossbow. One of the variants of the Spread Shot.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Irvine from Berserk, a masterful demonic archer, does this whenever he shows up.
  • An interesting case with Uryuu Ishida in Bleach. His bow doesn't actually shoot regular arrows, but projectiles made of spiritual particles that he produces himself. As a result, he can liberate an absurd amount of arrows in a matter of seconds. During the Hueco Mundo arc he was able loose 1,200 arrows at a time, and after the Time Skip he can probably do even more.
  • Holy Corpse Rising: While hunting, Amala casually kills two rabbits who were running away by firing two arrows at the same time.
  • Tigre, the main character of Lord Marksman and Vanadis, can do this when trying to kill multiple enemies and without losing much force behind each arrow.
  • Nagasarete Airantou: With Michiru's half snow fairy powers she can control her arrows' flight. So she sometimes sends notices to the village multiple arrows at a time. And one time in battle with a youkai, her arrows kept getting blocked. So while Ayane distracts it, she prepares about a hundred arrows in one shot.
  • Usopp of One Piece, although not an archer, does this from time to time with his slingshot. The move that comes to mind is his Triple Gunpowder Star, which, considering their explosive capabilities, is well-worth the loss in accuracy.
  • When she is a magical girl, Puella Magi Madoka Magica's titular character is capable of doing this with her Energy Bow.
  • Basara from Samurai Deeper Kyo has the power to shoot a whole storm of arrows in the air with such timing they land on whoever tries to attack him right when need'em, so it's no surprise he can shoot as many arrows as necessary against his opponents. In the anime, shooting a stream of organic arrows from his very arm is the power granted to him by the One-Winged Angel form he obtained.
  • One character from Vampire Hunter D does this; loading half a quiver into his forearm-mounted crossbow at a time. Usually results in a Rain of Arrows, although on rare occasions, he loads one.
  • In Digimon Adventure: (2020), DarkKnightmon does one of these with an Energy Bow to nail WereGarurumon to a pillar in what might be the most brutal moment of the series up to that point despite the Heroic Second Wind that follows.

    Comic Books 
  • ElfQuest: Strongbow does this a couple of times after acquiring Improbable Aiming Skills from proximity to the Palace.
  • Green Arrow: This shows up regularly, and it's often done by Green Arrow's apprentice, Speedy, as well as other associated characters.
  • Grimm Fairy Tales: In Grimm Fairy Tales: Genesis, Robyn Hood battles a swordswoman who keeps cutting her arrows out of the air. As she has two swords, she is able to cut down two arrows at once. Robyn finally defeats her by loosing three arrows at her at the same time.
  • Hawkeye: This is also a favorite trick of both Hawkeyes, Clint Barton and Kate Bishop.
  • Thorgal: The titular character can do this. The most triumphant example is when he's up against a crossbowman and looses two arrows simultaneously: one to deflect the crossbow bolt'' and the other to mortally wound the man who shot it.
  • Wonder Woman Vol. 2: Io teaches Lyta how to loose two arrows at a time, while running.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Battal Gazi: The titular protagonist have this ability which he displays constantly in his movies, such as firing four arrows into 4 apples, hitting all at once (keep in mind they are spaced roughly two meters apart from each) and taking down half a dozen enemy soldiers with a bow loaded with half a dozen arrows. In the second movie, he uses this technique to skewer the villainous archer Oba to a tree with four arrows launched at the same time.
  • During the robbery of the tax wagon in Beyond Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood shoots two arrows at once to simultaneously knock the crossbows out of the hands of two guards.
  • Legolas is sometimes seen shooting two or three arrows at once in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings. At very short range, though. Hard to miss a mûmak head from 3 feet away...
  • Robin Hood does this in Robin Hood: Men in Tights. With his Improbable Aiming Skills, he uses the arrows to pin a soldier to a tree without injuring him. This is the image on the posters and DVD. (And this page).
  • The Robin Hood: Men in Tights example parodies (of course) Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, where Kevin Costner's American Robin Hood shoots two at once in one scene near the end. However, the film makes a small nod to the trope. Right before nocking, Robin bites one of the arrow's feathers off to, supposedly, improve their shared accuracy.
  • The Legend: Fong Sai-yuk (Jet Li) fires a dozen arrows from an extremely long bow, all at once... and neatly takes down a row of enemy rifleman standing in a straight line. It's even on the film's poster.
  • In Wonder Woman, Antiope takes out three German soldiers by jumping over them and releasing three arrows simultaneously.
  • In Kaamelott: Premier Volet, Alzagar the Bounty Hunter has a crossbow that can shoot three bolts at once.

  • Older Than Feudalism: In the Ramayana, Rama does this all the time. So do some of the rakshasas he fights. During one early battle, Rama and Maricha are both shooting a thousand arrows in a single draw, and reloading so fast that there is no space between the shafts. At the beginning of the story, he launches a shield of arrows to repel a rain of stones that a demon throws at him. Seriously. That's the point where the MST3K Mantra comes in handy.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrow. In "Unfinished Business", Oliver Queen has been drugged by the Villain of the Week, who taunts him by saying he can't aim a single arrow. So Oliver fires three arrows at once. Only one hits the target, but it's enough. The shot was also taken from barely 10 feet away from the target, sidestepping the "reduced power" issue.
  • Upon acquiring his Rising forms, Kamen Rider Kuuga gains the ability to shoot three arrows from his bow-gun.
  • My Country: The New Age: Hwi shoots two men at once.
  • In Princess Agents Yan Xun kills two wolves by firing two arrows at once.
  • Like Robin Hood: Men in Tights (and also from Mel Brooks), Robin in When Things Were Rotten asks for all the arrows and shoots what looks like a round brace of arrows that somehow do exactly what he wants.
  • Xena does this with a harp.
  • In The Untamed, Wei Wuxian cuts an archery competition short by firing five arrows from his bow at once and hitting all five bullseyes while blindfolded, instantly upstaging the sole competitor who shot before him. Knowing there was no way anyone else was going to beat that display, the organizers quickly shuffle everyone to the main event so they don't have to dwell on that moment.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The Manyshot feat from 3rd edition lets an archer do just this, though the -4 penalty for loosing two arrows at once and an additional -2 per extra arrow makes the feat's usefulness debatable. Especially since additional precision damage (like from a sneak attack, only works with the first arrow.
    • Several powers in the fourth edition allow the Seeker and Ranger to do this. Like the aptly titled "Hail of Arrows".
    • Pathfinder also has the Manyshot feat, but with no downside other than being limited to two arrows once per round.
  • This is how archers use the Both Guns Blazing gun schtick from Feng Shui, since one cannot very well use two bows at once (since bows require both hands to use).
  • Multishot from GURPS: Imbuments does this pseudo-mystically: You can attempt to loose any number of arrows at once, but it is very hard to go above five.

    Video Games 
  • Longbowmen in Age of Empires: Castle Siege shoot multiple arrows from their longbows, as it can be seen when there is one survivor of a squad of those. Presumably this is what causes the range of action damage.
  • This is Chiron's special attack in Age of Mythology.
  • Some Ranger skills in Aion are this, notably Arrow Deluge. Arrow Storm combines this trope with Rain of Arrows - several spectral rangers appear next to your own, and they all shoot multiple arrows at once.
  • In Ara Fell, Lita Le Cotta attacks all enemies in the encounter at once through this.
  • Kimura from Arcuz 2 has Scatter Shot I and II, which lets him fire 3 and 5 arrows at one go. He also has Exploding Arrow II, which fires 5 arrows that explode for huge fire damage on hit.
  • In Assassin's Creed Origins, Bayek has a bow that can shoot up to five arrows at once. While the trailer showed him taking out five enemies simultaneously at long distance, in-game it works a bit more realistically as a very short-range bow for when aiming or force is not as necessary as the ability to stick a lot of arrows in someone.
  • Bow-wielding characters in Atlantica Online can do this. However, it's not too special, since their firearm and magic-wielding counterparts have equally-functioning versions of the same attack.
  • The Arcane Archer has this in Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. The arrows fly in a semi-circle. If loosed point-blank, all the arrows will hit the same guy for massive damage.
  • Bounty of One: The "Three is the Magic Number" item shows a crossbow loaded with three bolts. The effect is more of a Spread Shot, however — while it gives crossbow-wielder Serra a triple shot, other characters who don't use bows or crossbows are also capable of getting this.
  • The Archery power set in City of Heroes and City of Villains has two multi-arrow attacks. "Fistful of Arrows" can affect up to 10 targets in a cone radius, and "Rain of Arrows" can up to 16 in a long-ranged circular radius.
  • In Clonk's Keepers scenario, this is a passive skill for the bow-wielding agility path.
  • In Commando 2, one of the weapons you get releases three exploding arrows.
  • This is one of Kaeli's advanced skills in Crystal Story. At higher levels it can one-shot a whole encounter of four enemies.
  • This is literally the name of a skill you can buy from the archer Nymeria in Death's Gambit, after you free her from the Amarogs' cage.
  • Diablo series:
    • The Multishot and Strafe skills for the Amazon in Diablo II achieve this, in addition to her already improbable shooting rate.
    • Diablo III's Demon Hunter has a skill that's actually called Multishot. It shoots a large burst of multiple arrows in a conical spray in front of them, damaging any enemies in it.
    • Diablo IV: The Rogue is able to use Barrage, which launches a volley of Pinball Projectiles from their bow.
  • Splitting Arrow in Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga mimics the effect by having one arrow divide itself into multiple arrows mid-flight.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Strangely enough, Dragon Age: Origins does not have such a skill for archer. However, the top-level Archer ability called Scattershot does something similar: if the arrow hits the target, it then splits into 10 and hits the 10 nearest enemies. That is some vicious splintering.
    • In Dragon Age II the Hail of Arrows ability is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The archer looses a bundle of arrows into the air for an area of effect attack that makes the page images look downright realistic.
  • The Elf of Dragon's Crown has two skills that let her do this. Rapid Fire allows her to loose several arrows in quick succession, while Clone Strike allows her to loose several arrows at once.
  • Comes in a variety of flavors of all bow-wielding classes in Dragon's Dogma. Best exemplified in the Ranger, from Endecad Shot 11 arrows in a wide arc to Tenfold Flurry 10 at a direct target. Even Striders can loose 6 arrows into the sky with Cloudburst Volley in a sort of makeshift artillery strike.
  • The Archer from Dragon Nest loves doing this.
  • Some bow-wielding characters, such as Ina, in the various Warriors games by Koei can use this as attacks, combos, and Musou attacks. The action's so fast though that it's hard to notice. Starting with Dynasty Warriors 4, archer characters Xiahou Yuan and Huang Zhong (and later Sun Shang Xiang) shot a perfect horizontal line of arrows as part of some of their charged attacks, and in Warriors Orochi some of their special attacks border on arrow apam—Xiahou Yuan is notable in particular for releasing a left-to-right fan of five-arrow spreads in rapid succession as his special attack, understandably a spectacular crowd-clearing attack.
  • The Skeleton Knight boss from Eastern Exorcist can fire three to five flaming arrows in a single shot everyt time it attacks.
  • Etrian Odyssey: The Survivalist class has the Double Shot/Multihit ability. Upgraded to its maximum level, this ability lets go of 3 arrows at once, all of which deal noticeably more damage than a regular shot, making rangers better damage dealers than any of the attack specialist classes. The ability got nerfed beyond recognition in the second game, along with a major upgrade for the typical attackers.
  • Fable. Multishot Roboteching arrows, no less.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • The Barrage ability in Guild Wars. The sequel keeps that, and also gives us a few abilities that loose a conical spread of 3-7 ingnited/icy/poisoned arrows, as well as the Warrior's Longbow auto-attack, shooting two arrows at the same target for no real reason.
  • This skill is used by the more powerful skeletal archers in Hammerwatch's Armory area.
  • Heretic: The Tome of Power makes the Ethereal Bow shoot two additional arrows at a time.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn: Aloy can learn skills that let her load two or three arrows into her bow. It's generally better when used with Fire, Freeze, Shock, or Corruption arrows to rapidly inflict a status effect on an unwary machine, but with the Banuk bows it can be used to inflict massive damage to an enemy's weakpoint and potentially destroy it in one attack.
  • Indivisible's Zebei can launch whole salvos of arrows in a single draw as his Up and Down attacks. The only difference is where he's shooting from.
  • In Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, scattershot is a tier 5 finesse ability which allows you to shoot up to 7 charged arrows at once at the cost of one arrow. Combined with certain passive abilities and wearing critical boosting armor this is ridiculously overpowered.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • This is Melva' special skill in Mount & Blade Warband mod Light & Darkness: Heroes of Calradia. She can teach this to the player character if their relationship is high enough.
  • Henry can do this with his bow in Little Fighter 2. Rudolf has an equivalent attack with his shurikens.
  • This is Robin Hood's weapon skill in Lost Saga.
  • All archer classes in MapleStory love this trope. All archers in the game can (and should) be shooting two arrows minimum from the time they can wield a bow/crossbow/dual bowgun. By the time they hit endgame status, they loose either 8-16 arrows per second or a volley of 8-10.
  • Buckfire (and subsequently, the A-Trans you get) from Mega Man ZX Advent shoots out flaming arrows in a Spread Shot of three.
  • In Might and Magic VI to IX the Master rank of the Bow skill (which also covers crossbows) makes you loose two arrows on every attack. In VI this was the top rank, while in IX the Grandmaster rank makes you loose three arrows on every attack (in VII and VIII the Grandmaster rank made the skill add directly to damage — considerably more powerful, but not as cool-looking).
  • In Minecraft, one of the enchantments a crossbow can have is called Multishot. It allows the wielder to fire a Spread Shot of three shots for the price of one.
  • Ninja Commando has the sole female character of the trio, Rayar, armed with a bow instead of throwing shurikens or projectiles. She fires four arrows per shot by default, and collecting power upgrades allows her to release a dozen arrows at a time (even Arrows on Fire for good measure!) effectively allowing Rayar to perform a Macross Missile Massacre with arrows.
  • Talina in NeoQuest II can do this, with up to four arrows.
  • In Ragnarok Online Archers can use the skill Double Strafe which shoots two arrows for additional damage - each of those two deals almost double damage, resulting in Quad Damage.
    • One of their advanced classes, the Clown/Gypsy can fling tens of arrows using either the strings of their instruments or their whips, easily leading to a One-Hit Kill against average characters.
  • In Realm of the Mad God, most higher-tier bows fire three arrows at a rapid rate. The Annoying Firecracker Katana fires three shots at a similar angle, and the Staff of Extreme Prejudice fires eight.
  • Lina's pre-battle pose in Riviera: The Promised Land holds three arrows at once.
  • Mina Makijina of Samurai Shodown fame does this in a few variations, including her super move, where she lobs practically the entire contents of her quiver into the air and then catches and shoots each arrow as they come down, at a speed that seems more in tune with a machine gun.
  • The Tsunami bow from Terraria allows the player to loose five powerful shots parallel to one another for the cost of one arrow. The Phantasm on the other hand shoots out four arrows for the cost of one, but when any of them hit a target, it follows up with a rapid stream of phantasmal arrows at the target. Needless to say, both are end-game weapons for bow rangers.
  • In Trine, Zoya's basic attack becomes this when upgraded.
  • Some Ultima games have the Triple Crossbow, which releases a spread of three quarrels. Might not be a perfect fit as this is a device designed for the purpose, not a fancy shooting trick.
  • Gaston, Heir of Ambition in Unworthy is a god-tier archer, and one of his mid-battle moves is firing five arrows all at once. Interestingly, he doesn't fire them straight at your character, but at angle well above them, so that they would then boomerang back down, and hit you in the back if you are not careful. Once you kill him, you are also able to fire three arrows at once from his Bow of Deceit.
    • His most preposterous attack, though, is a move where he fires a dozen or two arrows one with a machine-gun-level rate of fire. He technically shoots them one after the other, but the speed is so high, it's difficult to tell what exactly he does. He does collapse on the ground from exhaustion for several seconds after doing this move, though.
  • Warcraft III has the Barrage ability, which allows a siege engine to fire up to three rockets simultaneously at different air units.
    • Hunters in World of Warcraft learn an ability of that name which shoots three projectiles for the cost of one as far as ammunition goes, and works no matter whether you use a gun, a bow or a crossbow. This was changed for the Cataclysm expansion, allowing the ability to loose an arrow at every enemy within a certain range of your target. Releasing a few dozen arrows at once is entirely possible during some encounters.
      • This used to cost mana, implying it involved magic. Now that hunters use "focus" as a resource, it's purely that they're just that good.
  • Warframe lets every bow (and really every non-melee weapon) do this with multishot mods, but two examples stand out by virtue of being able to do this innately. First up, there's the weapon summoned by Ivara's ultimate ability, Artemis Bow, which releases seven arrows at once at max rank; the angle of the spread changes as a shot is charged, starting vertical and ending horizontal. For more traditional weapons, there's the Cernos Prime, which shoots a horizontal spread of three arrows by default. Both can increase the number of arrows per shot even further with multishot mods, although the Artemis Bow needs to inherit them from the player's equipped non-shotgun primary weapon.
    • An update changed Ivara's Artemis Bow to allow it to equip its own mods rather then inheriting them from your primary weapon. You can get up to 150% multishot chance, and since that chance is applied to each arrow separately and can round up you are guaranteed 14 arrows with a chance of up to 21. Its every bit as ridiculous/awesome as it sounds.
  • This is one of Paris' skills in Warriors: Legends of Troy.

  • 8-Bit Theater parodies this when Ranger first nocks three arrows on the same bow, then dual-wields his bows, then dual-wields his dual-wield to make it 12 arrows loaded on four bows. He misses, as he is attacking an all powerful Reality Warper wizard. Who takes all those arrows, sticks them in a box, and delivers them to Ranger's wife. While the arrows are still in mid-flight. Cue Ranger's wife opening a box full of Rain of Arrows. But the implication, then, is that his tactics WOULD HAVE WORKED on a weaker target.
  • Magick Chicks: Callista is the captain of Artemis Academy's Archery Club, so naturally, she's the best shot at the school. Which she proves in her first appearance, by releasing three arrows at once (from the rafters) and striking all three of the Hellrunes' belt buckles with prefect precision.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Haley has this feat, but uses it sparingly since it lowers her accuracy. The main time it comes in handy is in "Heavy Metals" against Sabine where, unsure of whether Sabine is a demon (weak to Cold Iron) or a devil (weak to silver), she looses one arrow of each type.
    Haley: Eat obscure alchemical metal, fiend-skank!
    Sabine: YEEEAAAGHHH!
    • It is crucial to a later moment. The arc villain, Tarquin, is hanging on to the side of an airship. One of Haley's arms was broken moments before, so she braces the bow with her foot to shoot two arrow at once, forcing her target to catch both of them, thus letting go of the airship.
    • Earlier in the comic, during a fight with a Bandit Clan, one of the bandits attempted to use the manyshot feat against Roy, but misses both of his shots because of the lowered accuracy. Roy sarcastically congratulates him on managing to be completely ineffective twice in one turn.
    • A minor character did this during the Battle of Azure City, and managed to hit several targets at once.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • While it is incredibly dangerous to do so, it is actually possible to loose more than one arrow from a bow in Real Life. The problem is that with every additional arrow, less and less force is imparted to each projectile, making them fly with less force.note  Also, each arrow beyond the first is placed at a less than ideal location on the string in terms of creating a smooth (and predictable) trajectory and also run the risk of interfering with one another.


Video Example(s):


"Tennessee Kid" Cooper

"Tennessee Kid" Cooper's cane Ol' Blue is a six-shot revolver that, with his Crackshot Technique, he can fire all at once.

How well does it match the trope?

2 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / Multishot

Media sources: