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Projectile Pocketing

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There must be better ways to pick up flowers.

A Video Game trope that refers to the phenomenon of collecting items by throwing or shooting something at it. Spotted a floating item out of your reach, hovering over a wide expanse and over a Bottomless Pit? Throw a rock at it and the item mysteriously comes into your possession! It makes perfect sense!

As nonsensical as this trope seems, its implementation in various games is more for the player's convenience if anything. It also lends itself to the potential of some puzzles, forcing you to rely on it as an Outside-the-Box Tactic.

Keep in mind that devices that actually retrieve the item by bringing it to the player do not fall under this trope. For example, throwing a boomerang at the item and actually seeing it take the item to the player doesn't count as it's entirely justified (as justified as standard video game physics would allow, anyway). No, this refers to the projectile itself collecting the item upon contact. As if the projectile was an extension of the player themself.

A common trope in Platform Games and an integral one in Rail Shooters, where shooting is usually your only option. So feel free to open fire on those Health Kits when you need them. Since this trope is often the exception rather than the rule, aversions are too common to list, unless the aversion itself is surprising within the game.

Compare Power-Up Magnet. Contrast Destroyable Items.

See also Hitbox Dissonance.


  • In Crash Team Racing, using weapons like the Bowling Bomb or Missiles to break crates from a distance would give you the power up/Wumpa fruit within.
    • Averted for the CTR Tokens and, in the remake, the Beenox Crates: you still have to physically touch them to collect them as part of the challenge.
  • As mentioned above, most Rail Shooters utilize this, since you can't move on your own and shooting's usually the only thing you can do. Therefore, common sense dictates if you do see a helpful item, shoot it.
  • The original Legend of Zelda had the boomerang itself collect items for you. In later games, the boomerang and other similar items actively brought the item back to you.
  • Super Mario Land had the Superball Power-Up. The ball would collect every coin you threw them at. This feature returned along with the Superball itself in Super Mario Maker 2.
  • Every installment of the New Super Mario Bros. series allowed you to collect coins with anything you could throw at them, whether they be Koopa shells or Bob-ombs. This was actually essential to know when collecting some precariously-placed Star Coins.
  • Super Mario 3D World allows for this with boomerangs and cannonballs.
  • Yoshi's Island: Yoshi can collect coins and flowers by throwing eggs at them.
  • In Mega Man & Bass, the Magic Card weapon can be used to snatch a life/weapon energy from afar, or even through a wall.
  • Battleblock Theater utilizes this with the boomerang. Unlike most depictions of the weapon, the boomerang itself collects items for you, such as gems and yarn.
  • Wild ARMs XF is an SRPG where you can open treasure boxes on the field by attacking them. Naturally the best way to do this is with a gun from the other side of the screen.
  • One of the first secrets of Serious Sam 3: BFE involves Sam throwing an eye ripped out of a monster onto a bunch of debris and then getting a Shotgun as a reward.
  • Splatoon features collectable Power Eggs in their single-player campaigns, which can be collected automatically by shooting them with ink. However, other collectables like Body Armor or canned special weapons must be touched by the player to be collected.
  • In Ratchet & Clank, the Omniwrench, since the bolts are attracted to it rather than Ratchet. If some bolts have landed in an inconvenient place (like floating in low gravity), throwing the wrench at them is a perfectly viable option. Gets even better when you get the Bolt Magnet!