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Shapeshifter Weapon

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A Voluntary Shapeshifter is never without a weapon, because they are a weapon. When nothing else is within reach, they can form their body or Artificial Limbs into claws, blades, guns, hammers... their arsenal is limited only by their imagination! (And possibly the story's internal logic.) Others who are "limited" to only one alternate shape will use a Partial Transformation to unsheathe their claws (or tentacles!) while still in human form.

Some Shapeshifters use this as their primary weapon, while others favor conventional weapons and only reveal this power after being otherwise disarmed.

Could be a Lovecraftian Superpower if it is squicky enough.

Part of what makes the Shapeshifter Showdown so spectacular. Compare with the Morph Weapon, which has similar powers but isn't part of the wielder's body, and Retractable Weapon. Not to be confused with the Transmogrifier gun. See Equippable Ally for when they still need a little help from an ally to take advantage of this.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Shadow Star had a weird arms-out-the-back mons that kept growing gatling guns.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Edward Elric frequently uses his abilities to turn his prosthetic arm into a sword.
    • Greed can make his skin hard as diamond and uses this for defense and offense in battle.
    • Lust possess the Ultimate Spear, meaning she can make her fingers long and spears.
    • Father once formed his hand into a gun... A handgun, so to speak
    • Envy can turn into literally anything. During a fight with Ling Yao, he turns his limbs into a sword and a snake.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist (2003):
    • Envy turns his arm into a black spike near the end. At another time, he copies Ed's arm and the sword trick.
    • Wrath had the ability to transmute his own body.
  • Naraku from Inuyasha spontaneously sprouts Combat Tentacles whenever he needs them or morphs his hands into them to impale his enemies.
  • Elder Toguro of YuYu Hakusho loves turning his body parts into pointy things to stab people with.
  • Eve from Black Cat turns her limbs and hair into weapons, usually blades. Same for her Expy Yami-chan from To Love Ru.
  • Chachamaru in Negima! Magister Negi Magi can transform her forearms into blades or even guns. Judging from his ability to mimic other people exactly, Albireo can likely use his pactio item on his larynx. Evangeline also enjoys a good shape-shift here and there (claws are her favorite).
  • A subtrope is when someone bleeds themselves, and then morphs the blood into weapons. Seen in Flame of Recca and Black Cat. See Bloody Murder.
  • There was an episode of Pokémon: The Series involving a Ditto that eventually turned into a cannon for a Fastball Special. Now if it could only turn into an actual cannon in the games...
  • The Mariages from Striker S Sound Stage X of the Lyrical Nanoha franchise do battle by converting their arms into weapons such as swords, lances, or artillery.
  • Soul Eater has a few shapeshifters able to transform parts of their bodies, but most have to change completely to be much use. Death Scythes can alter their weapon forms, which lets them make several of the same weapon part sprout from their body at once, making it a lot easier for them to fight solo this way.
    • Crona has the ability to use Ragnarok the Demon Sword. Although Ragnarok has its own soul and own personality, he was melted down and fused with Crona's blood, effectively meaning that it is a part of Crona.
  • Nube's Oni Hand in Hell Teacher Nube. He has to be careful when doing this, though, lest the hand overpower him and consume his entire body.
  • On Blood+, Solomon often uses his chevalier powers to turn his right hand into a sword blade.
  • Eve Neuschwanstein from NEEDLESS is a shapeshifter and likes to change costumes along with her arms into weapons.
  • Arashi Kishuu, from X/1999, can draw a sword out of her hand whenever she needs it. There's also Yuzariha's dog/daemon Innuki, who can transform into a sword at will — and that's not even getting into the women who give birth to the holy swords... this series likes its swords.
  • The titular characters of Karakuridouji Ultimo.
  • Alissa Southerncross from Sgt. Frog fights aliens with the help of her shape-shifting "daddy", Nebula.
  • The titular Parasytes - human cuisinarts who can strike faster than the eye can see.
  • Kanade from Angel Beats! had the abilities to change her arm into four different types of weapons.
  • Gajeel from Fairy Tail can change his limbs into a club, a spear or a sword. And a chainsaw.
  • Gavrill from Franken Fran can shapeshift her body partly or entirely into, among other things, deadly weapons. She mostly uses it to off people who are much weaker than her. When faced with either a lot of opponents or just one large one, she prefers to transform into a huge wolf-like creature and let out a real bloodbath.
  • Most monstrels in Rosario + Vampire experience this, including second-in-command Kirya Yoshi. Others get to Hulk Out.
  • Baby 5 from One Piece has a devil fruit which allows her to transform parts of, or the entirety, of her body into any weapon she wants.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, the titular creatures possess the ability to generate a kagune, a predatory limb or limbs made from liquid muscle stronger than steel. Most ghouls have a default shape for their kagune, and each RC Type possesses inherent cellular characteristics, but skilled ghouls are capable of manipulating the shape to adapt to their needs. The most skilled characters can do things like generate armored plating, sword-like blades, realistic humanoid limbs, and tentacles capable of speech.
  • Isley from Claymore is known for making swords, lances or bows and arrows out of his body to attack his enemies. However, this ability is only a refinement because many, or even all, the Awakened Beings can make weapons out of their bodies. However, these are usually little more than battle tentacles.
  • In Digimon Adventure: (2020), Abbadomon Core can morph its right hand into a lance and its left hand a toothy maw with a cannon in it.

    Asian Animation 
  • In Happy Heroes, Kalo can morph his arms into the shape of a sword and often uses the swords as his weapon of choice when fighting enemies.

    Comic Books 
  • The Marvel Universe has several:
    • The Skrulls have been known to do this on occasion. They favor battering-rams.
    • The Fury from Captain Britain: A Crooked World is an adaptive robot who can turn his arms into weapons. He was so effective that, in his home universe, he killed everyone on Earth, including all the superheroes.
    • The Daredevil villain Bushwhacker can turn his right arm into a gun. He has to swallow bullets to load it, though. It's pretty weird, too.
    • Mr. Fantastic from Fantastic Four.
    • In Ghost Rider 2099, Ghost Rider's left hand is a "morphable nanomer alloy" with "monomolecular" edges, capable of shredding pretty much anything it comes into contact with when he shifts it into battle mode.
    • Cessily Kincaid/Mercury III from New X-Men: Academy X forms blades, maces, and hammers among other things. At least once, she's also done a variant of acting as armor for another character.
    • Spider-Man:
      • The Sandman is particularly fond of sand-hammers.
      • Carnage (and the other symbiotes, to a lesser degree) is a perfect example, as he's famous for morphing his body into weapons, especially axes and other blades.
      • While Carnage and his ilk are seen most often using symbiote-weapons, Venom has been using one since it first bonded to Spider-Man: the web-shooting. This ability is mostly limited by imagination; What If? and crossovers have shown other options, such as The Punisher getting the Venom symbiote and making guns with bullets of symbiote-stuff. Of course, he also has a tremendous appetite, since the ammo has to come from somewhere...
    • Random from X-Factor can also turn his arms into guns. Like, really huge ones. It's pretty weird-looking when he does it.
    • Garrison Kane of X-Force is essentially a cross between Apocalypse and Random here, as he uses the same space-age technomorphing tech as Apocalypse... to make mostly guns like Random. Hey, he is a '90s Anti-Hero, endless guns are practically in the job description.
    • X-Men:
      • Apocalypse can make anything from Battering Rams and saw blades to Energy Weapons from his arms. He uses his Master of Your Domain mutant ability to create them, but they get that techno-organic look thanks to his highly advanced Celestial Powered Armor.
      • Mystique can do this with some effort, but usually doesn't because she still has organs and needs to remember where they are. Instead, for example, she'll shift most of the muscles of her upper body into her right arm just as she delivers a punch, thereby increasing its power. She's also been known to hide guns inside herself. At one point in her own comic, she even gives herself two heads and four arms to fight on two fronts at once.
  • The DCU has a few as well:
    • Green Lantern's Guy Gardner, when he was Warrior. A bit of a step down from a Green Lantern Ring (especially since he had the yellow ring before).
    • The Engineer from The Authority.
    • Warblade of Wild C.A.T.s (WildStorm).
    • Batman villain Clayface. When he's not suffering degradation, he can make axes that chop through sturdy metal.
    • Plastic Man uses his stretching power for shapeshifting more often than not, though he only rarely turns his limbs into weapons or anything like that. He's too creative. When Plas does make weapons, they're usually unconventional. In his famous battle against Fernus, he made his body into several hilarious weapons like sharks and cymbal monkeys. The kicker is that he transformed into these things all at the same time.
    • Martian Manhunter occasionally does this, as do his White Martian rivals. In fact, Manhunter is most likely to do this when fighting White Martians.
    • Metamorpho does this as well.
    • In The Killers of Krypton, villain Splyce is a shape-shifter alien who turns her arms into spiked clubs as fighting Supergirl.
    • Jaime Reyes, the third Blue Beetle.

     Fan Works 
  • Minor (if powerful) bad guy Bashaban from The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, with his morphable liquid metal arms. (He's an Expy of the Titanium Titan from El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera.)
  • Maximilian in The Parselmouth of Gryffindor offers variations, such as turning into a pillow to serve as a very literal human shield for his friends.
  • Izuku in Raindancer is able to freely turn into, manipulate, and produce water. During the U.A. Entrance Exam, he cuts loose against the robots by shaping his arms into razor-sharp ice swords that easily slice them to pieces.

  • The liquid-metal T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day could turn its arms into blades — handy for killing people when it was imitating someone who wouldn't be carrying a firearm.
    T-800: Guns and explosives have chemicals, moving parts. It doesn't work that way. But it can form solid metal shapes.
    John: Like what?
    T-800: Knives and stabbing weapons.
    • Rev-9 in Terminator: Dark Fate sprouts spikes during his fight with the DHS agents, as shown in the trailer.
  • John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) could spontaneously grow teeth, claws, arms, mouths, etc. anywhere on its body.
  • In the climactic battle on Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Judge Doom, who is a toon in disguise, turns his hand first into an anvil and then a buzzsaw to attack Eddie Valiant.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • Mystique did this in X-Men with Wolverine's claws (which failed miserably against the real ones).
    • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, the Future Sentinel’s arms can become blades to impale their targets. Wolverine Claws are also shown in one instance, and the first ones shown are able to turn into drills to penetrate a bunker.
  • Transformers (2007): Pretty much every weapon used by the titular species is formed from their limbs (except, for some reason, Optimus's gun). Other exceptions include Brawlvastator's over-shoulder missile launchers (his tank kibble) and Blackout's Chest Blaster.
  • The Harvesters in The Deaths of Ian Stone use a Blade Below the Shoulder version of this with both arms. Antagonists go full-on One-Winged Angel, but our hero shifts noticeably less than them, and eventually gains the ability to take advantage of this trope while remaining otherwise normal.
  • Limb removed? The "engineers" in Tokyo Gore Police grow a chainsaw or some other weapon out of there.
  • The demonic Magma Man Kumasogami from Yamato Takeru can turn his arms into weapons, both a sword and a bow with (flaming) arrows.

  • Animorphs features at least one instance of this: When Crayak enhanced Rachel's powers beyond her wildest dreams in The Return, her morphing powers certainly extend this far. She only has this level of power for a few minutes, and she's shown to be capable of growing Wolverine-like claws and turning into a Blob Monster of deadly acid.
  • In Quantum Gravity, Lila Black is implied to be capable of this from book four onwards. In fact, book five heavily implies that she could turn her body parts into anything.
  • In the last book of The Immortals the final battle between Ozorne and Daine has the latter shifting various parts of her body into different animals to fight as effectively as possible.
  • The daa'mures from the German SF series Maddrax also have this ability because their shapeshifting powers are limited to shifting the shape of their hard dander, or letting them take on a different color.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Stargate SG-1: RepliCarter has the same bladed arm as the T-1000 as a homage to Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
  • Odo from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: his shapeshifting powers are his main tool in keeping the peace.
  • Auton Mickey, in the Doctor Who episode "Rose", morphs his hands into, well, crude clubs. The other Autons get more prep time and create much more effective weapons.
  • All the Final Form Rides in Kamen Rider Decade are Shapeshifter Weapons, with the exception of Den-O Momotaros and Double. The list includes independent creatures (Kuuga Gouram, Ryuki Dragreder, Hibiki Akanetaka, Zecter Kabuto) vehicles (Agito Tornader), and weapons (Faiz Blaster, Blade Blade, Kiva Arrow).
  • In the climatic battle of Season 4, Buffy the Vampire Slayer has an Oh, Crap! moment when demonic cyborg Adam morphs his hand into a gatling gun and grenade launcher.
    Adam: I've been upgrading.
  • Weaver, the liquid metal Terminator in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, follows her Terminator 2 predecessor by liking to turn her arm into a sword/spear.
  • This is the signature ability of Ultraman Leo's most iconic foes, the Magma. These feline aliens can transform their hands into different weapons depending on which hand they use; the right hand becomes a lance-like sword, while the left hand becomes a hook attached to a grappling chain.
  • Nick Bluetooth, the protagonist of Galidor possesses an ability called "glinching" that allows him to transform his arms and legs into objects he has previously seen, such as the body parts of other creatures or into tools and weapons. Other creatures from the outer dimension also can glinch but are limited to only using it for exchanging body parts with a partner.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Obliterators in Warhammer 40,000. These are genetically-engineered supermen who've caught a daemonic contagion that fuses them to their armour and gives them the ability to form a wide variety of guns from their bodies — up to and including giant laser and plasma cannons. Iron Warriors are particularly prone to catching this Obliterator Virus, even those who are not armoured Space Marines.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • The "Body Weaponry" psionic power introduced back from Eldritch Wizardy.
    • 3.5 ed. has a Prestige Class, the Warshaper, basically devoted to this, allowing a character to use his extant shapechanging ability (gained from another class or racial feature) to give himself natural weapons and Super-Strength, along with a few other perks.
    • Forgotten Realms has Malaugrim — extraplanar villains trying to return to their old world, whose weapons of choice are spiky tentacles and suchlike. They also use these for surprise attacks after infiltrating in more innocent forms and growing a weapon when no-one looks.
    • The Keepers, creepy Men in Black with malleable bodies, such that they can reshape their hands into clubs or knives.
  • There have long been numerous spells for wizards and druids that allow them to turn their hands into talons or other weapons for melee combat (though druids tend to prefer using their Wildshape ability).
  • Pathfinder has the Mezlan, an expy of the T-1000, with the same ability to form their limbs into weapons.
  • GURPS: Magic has a whole set of spells called Partial Shapeshifting that allow the caster to transform body parts into enhanced versions of animal ones.
  • Exalted has several of these, but the two primary examples would be the Lunars and Alchemicals. The former does it spiritually and organically, while the latter does it technologically; the former is more flexible, but the latter can grow actual weapons up to and including magi-tech artillery pieces.
  • Cybergeneration allowed a character class with their bodies so infused with nanomachines they could make their limbs form various tools, and melee weapons; should they advance sufficiently, forming a gun around a handful of ammunition was not really improbable.

    Video Games 
  • Darkstalkers: Huitzil has the rather unexplained ability to transform his arms and legs into various weapons and tools in combat. Also Morrigan(and by extension Lilith), Anakaris, Rikuo, Lord Raptor, and Q-Bee can all also do this to varying degrees, for reasons equally unexplained. Tron Bonne in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 has the same ability/technology. Victor has a downplayed version where the body part he hits you with temporarily swells in size. This includes a head-butt and a butt-butt.
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga: Chuckolator, a monster made of living soda, can freely turn its arms into a gun or a sword when attacking, and these serve as its primary weapons in its battle.
  • Warhammer Online features a Chaos class called the Marauder, who can turn his arms into giant blades, maces, and claws.
  • Xeno meta-series:
    • Xenogears: Emeralda's attacks include turning her legs into a drill, turning her arms into boomerangs, turning her body into a hammer, and splitting herself into several thin discs to slice her opponent with. And most unusual of all, transforming herself into an energy beam.
    • Xenosaga: KOS-MOS can morph her arms into swords, guns, drills, hammers and… a thing called "dragon", which is something in between a grabber toy and a missile.
  • Mortal Kombat features Jax, who has a fatality that involves changing his cybernetic arms to blades and chopping up his foe.
  • Alex Mercer, protagonist of [PROTOTYPE], is a good example. Whips, blades, claws, spikes that shoot up from the ground, tentacles, all this and more! Plus, he can fly and eat people! The same goes for James Heller.
  • Algol, the final boss of Soulcalibur IV fights merged with Soul Edge and Soul Calibur, and can manifest blades or shields (or Arm Cannons) from both at will.
  • While Axl of Mega Man X doesn't literally change his limbs to turn into weapons, the same process and visual effects he uses to shapeshift is also used to create his arsenal of firearms, including his default Axl Bullets, which have the same color scheme as he does.
    • The visual effects also suggest that he can use his own mass to create weapons like Red's deathscythe.
  • The King of Fighters: K9999 is able to morph his arm into several weapons, such as a drill and a gun. Same goes for his Good Counterpart Nameless in 2002: Unlimited Match, and his Paper-Thin Disguise Krohnen in XV.
  • Vectorman's whole "orbot" schtick involved transforming his whole body into jets and drills and such.
  • Haudrale of Final Fantasy XI doesn't quite achieve transformation per se, but extruding a sword from the palm of his hand and then probably killing your entire party with it probably counts.
  • Twelve of Street Fighter III fights primarily using this tactic.
  • Transmuters in Dungeon Crawl have at least two spells that do this. Beastly Appendage makes any thing from Combat Tentacles to hooves for feats. Blade hands gives you blades for hands.
  • In Battletoads, all three of the main characters can morph their bodies in various ways, with unique weapons, for special strikes and finishing moves. Common versions include inflating an arm or a foot to deliver a super-strong punch/kick and sprouting giant ram horns when delivering a headbutt.
  • Evolva: All of the weapons you can get. The genohunters' limbs (sometimes the neck or the back) transform each time you select a weapon, as you shoot at the enemies using the transformed limb.
  • Super Smash Bros.: Corrin's Dragon Fang powers let them turn their limbs into spears for some attacks.
  • PuP from Atlas Reactor is a miniature Robot Dog capable of morphing his heads and limbs into giant staple removers, cranes, rockets and battering rams to bite, batter and belay his opponents.
  • Arc the Lad has Chongara's summon monster Odon, who can transform into copies of monsters. Depending on the monster, he also gains access to spells in their repetoire.
  • In Bloodborne, the "Visceral Attack" mechanic that allows you to do extra melee damage to stunned enemies involves shapeshifting the hands into werewolf claws and scratching their insides.
    • The Beast Claws weapon's trick form allows this transformation at-will.
  • Marco & the Galaxy Dragon has El Skeleton, who—in the animated segments, at least—can extrude Cartoon Bombs from his muscles and shoot bullets from his nipples. There’s also Arco, the titular Galaxy Dragon, who can morph her hands into gauntlet-like claws while in her human form. Marco inherits this ability from her following a Badass Transplant.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: The Polymorph skill line unlocks several transformations that deal damage and/or status ailments, including single-use Combat Tentacles, bull horns for a Dash Attack, web-slinging spider legs, and Medusa's petrifying snake-hair.
  • Rengoku: ADAM units can morph their arms, head, torso, and legs into swords, guns, hammers, crossbows etc.


    Web Original 
  • In Worm, the metallic superhero Weld uses these regularly.
  • Davey Doomzone from Roll to Breathe can change his body shape and grow extra hands, mouths, eyes, and who-knows-what-else at will, which he uses in fights regularly.

    Western Animation 
  • Jake of Adventure Time has incredible control over the size and density of every part of him, and utilises this to a great extent. At least once he even uses his jowls to beat on an unsuspecting foe (because seriously, who expects jowls to be used as a weapon?).
  • Ben 10:
  • Generator Rex:
  • In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2021), Trap Jaw's Signature Move "Mecha-Maw" lets him transform his mechanical right arm into any new weapon he can think of after consuming raw materials with his Maw of Weaponry.
  • Yaksha from Hero: 108.
  • In Justice League, several characters use this, including Martian Manhunter, Clayface, and Metamorpho.
  • Being shapeshifters by nature, Hordak, Modulok, and Imp all exhibit this power in She-Ra: Princess of Power. Hordak is particularly fond of becoming a full-sized tank to fight as.
  • Replicon from Skysurfer Strike Force is more like shapeshifting weapon, using guns, missile launchers and melee weapons from his own body.
  • In Static Shock, there is a recurring minor minion named Shiv, who can turn his arms into almost anything he can imagine, almost like a Green Lantern (but without the need for a ring.) As per his name, he prefers sharp things.
  • Technically, all gem weapons in Steven Universe are an extension of the Hard Light that makes up the gem's physical form, but a few of them look like they're part of their bodies:
    • Bismuth can change her hands into diverse tools including hammers and blades to fight with. Since Bismuths were originally designed as construction workers, this would likely have served as a Mundane Utility on Homeworld.
    • The Pebbles can change their hands much like Bismuth, but haven't used them to fight (which would be hard to do given they're only a few inches tall).
    • Lapis Lazuli once showed she can turn her wings made of water into giant fists, though she turned up too late to fight with them.
  • Teen Titans (2003):
    • Plasmus is basically the poor man's Clayface. He eventually gains the power to spew acid sludge as well.
    • Madam Rouge, a member of the Quirky Miniboss Squad in the final season, also uses this- her powers are a combination rubber woman and more general Voluntary Shapeshifting, so doing things like turning her fingers into talons or elongating her whole body like a snake to strangle enemies are well-documented techniques.
  • Transformers has delved into this on the small screen as well as the big screen. While the original cartoon and other series only gave this ability to some characters, Transformers: Prime made it almost mandatory for the robot cast; almost every Cybertronian in the series has a weapon of some form transform from their arms, with the only exceptions being the Decepticon twins Skyquake and Dreadwing, who exclusively used handheld weapons. For most others, the robot cast either had permanent weapon arms, exclusively used handheld weapons, or their arsenal was mounted on other parts of their bodies.
  • Miss Martian from Young Justice (2010), though she doesn't use them as often as her psychic powers.


Video Example(s):


Rex Salazar

Rex has the power to generate weapons out of the nanites in his body.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / ShapeshifterWeapon

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