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Spike Shooter

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Spikes of Doom are always painful, especially if mobile. If one were able to use those spikes as weapons, they would be extremely deadly.

This is the Spike Shooter, someone capable of having spikes come out of his body, and sometimes able to fire them. The character also needs to have some Required Secondary Powers, one of them being the spikes not tearing his skin in the process. Or a Healing Factor to fix up the damage, alternately.

An Ice Person or someone who is Dishing Out Dirt can mimic this ability, with icicles or stalagmites.

This includes other small body parts that can be fired at opponents to do damage, such as spines, quills, needles, stingers, thorns and so on.

If the spikes in question are nails, that's Nail 'Em. Feather Flechettes and Flechette Storm are closely related tropes. Not to be confused with the Pile Bunker, in which the spike is shot out but as a piston instead of a projectile.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Zampano, a porcupine-human Chimera in Fullmetal Alchemist, had this ability.
  • Kimimaro from Naruto can fire the bone tips of his fingers as bullets as well as projecting spikes or using his spine as a sword since he can instantly regrow any bone in his body.
  • Dauf from Claymore can shoot huge spikes from his mouth and fingers.
    • They're not spikes, but huge metallic rods. They still impale characters just as easily, though.
    • The Destroyer (Raphaela/Luciela merged being) shoots spikes in all directions that turn into mindless monsters, which shoot even more spikes to infect anyone they hit and turn them into monsters as well.
  • Fish people can shoot spines in Slayers, or at least Noonsa does it.
  • Many Digimon have this ability, Togemon being the most notable.
  • While not technically spikes, Kaguro from Kekkaishi can shoot blades out of his body. He usually just wields them as normal swords, but once impaled another character by grabbing hold of them and shooting blades out of his chest.

    Comic Books 
  • Marrow and Quill from X-Men
    • The Spike from the version of X-Force that would become X-Statix
  • The Carnage symbiote can fire projectiles made up of its biomass.
  • Minor Marvel Comics villain the Porcupine wore a battlesuit with fake, launchable quills.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes:
    • Porcupine Pete from the Legion of Substitute Superheroes. The flaw that caused the Legion proper to turn him away? He launches all of his spikes every time, making him equally dangerous to friend and foe.
    • Dartalg from the Wanderers, a hero team the Legion occasionally teams up with but normally doesn't get along with, is a fur covered extraterrestrial who can shoot out quickly regrowing "darts".
  • Thorn, a member of the Fantastic Four villain team the Salem Seven, was able to do this, with the added benefit that his spines were Made of Explodium.
  • Perrin Crocker from the Heroes graphic novels has this ability.
  • The Sclufoniuns in the universe of Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire are capable of launching venomous "needle teeth" from their bodies.

    Fan Works 
  • Maesterus from Star Wars: Paranormalities is a Force User that can fire bone-like spikes from his palms in addition to just stabbing people with them. He's actually a human mutated by a Forceless symbiote).

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Animorphs: One of Visser Three's morphs could do this.
  • In Ghost Story, one of the defenses set up by Evil Bob to defend Corpsetaker's lair from the Nevernever are huge spine-covered creatures that can fire spikes from their body surface. The spikes are also anchored to them by long tendrils, allowing them to whip them around at enemies that aren't impaled in the initial attack.
  • One of the many, many, many deceptively-deadly creatures on Mid-World, from the Humanx Commonwealth series, are some tiny lemur-like animals that can fire darts from their snouts. They'd be as harmless as they look if the darts didn't carry a poison which renders its target, first euphoric, then unconscious, and finally dissolved alive.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Apple". While an Enterprise landing party is exploring the planet Gamma Trianguli VI, they encounter a plant that can fire thorns covered with a deadly poison.
    • In Star Trek: Voyager, there's a species of sentient technology-dependent hadrosaur descendants that shoot sedative-laced barbs from their fingers.
    • In Star Trek: Discovery, after their ganglia fall off during vahar'ai, Kelpiens grow spike shooting organs that come out of the same slits where the ganglia were located. They appear like a crown and fire deadly spikes directly forward. Apparently, this is the natural state for a fully-mature Kelpien, which is why the Ba'ul have been culling them before they ever reached that point.
  • In Doctor Who, when the Doctor takes Blon for her last meal, she reveals that Raxacoricofallapatorians can shoot a poisonous barb from their fingers when their life is being threatened. The Doctor, being aware of the trick, simply catches it without even looking up for the menu he was reading.

  • The Manticore is often described as having a tail that ends in a cluster of spines it is able to fire at prey with deadly accuracy. Curiously, ancient texts claimed that only elephants were immune to said attack.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Monster Manual (1977)
      • The manticore can fire tail spikes at opponents.
      • The giant porcupine can attack other creatures by throwing its quills at them.
    • Monster Manual II (1983). The Land Urchin can defend itself by firing its spines at opponents.
    • Fiend Folio (1981).
      • The needleman, a human-shaped plant creature, can fire small needles from its body.
      • The urchin (giant sea urchin) can fire their spines in order to do damage.
    • Basic D&D. The archer bush slings its thorns at creatures that approach too close.
    • Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium Appendix: Terrors of the Desert.
      • The flowers of the blossomkiller plant can fire quills tipped with paralysis poison.
      • The Spider Cactus can fire barbed needles at its victims. The needles are attached to the cactus by a strand, which the cactus uses to drag the victim close to it.
    • Spelljammer Monstrous Compendium Appendix II. The zurchin is a sea urchin that lives in space. It can fire its poison-filled spines at opponents using internal gas pressure.
    • Bladelings from Planescape are a player character race who's bodies are covered in spikes. Once per day they can fire a spray of spikes off at enemies.
  • Various creatures in Magic: The Gathering are shown or implied to have this ability.
  • Shadowrun. The Volleying Porcupine can fire its quills at opponents.
  • The Norvegi bloodline from Vampire: The Requiem don't have fangs as their big flaw. To make up for this, they get the Bloodworking Discipline, which allows them to turn their bones into weapons and use them to feed from those they stab. At its highest level, the Discipline turns them into an exploding pincushion.
  • Arduin RPG, The Compleat Arduin Book 2: Resources
    • The Spinthaak is a giant land version of the sea urchin. It can fire 1-20 of its spines at a time, and has a total of 120 spines available.
    • The Teleport Rose can fire 1-20 of its thorns up to 20 feet away, doing 1-7 Hit Points of damage per hit.
  • Chaosium's supplement All the Worlds' Monsters Volume III. The Harpooner is a carnivorous plant that grows up to 12 feet tall. It can fire a dart from the center of its flowers that does 1-6 Hit Points of impact damage and injects a poison that does 1-4 Hit Points of damage and forces the target to make as saving throw vs. poison or be paralyzed.
  • Gamma World. The mutations "Quills or Spines" and "Thorn Thrower" allow creatures to throw quills, spines or thorns at opponents and damage them.

    Video Games 
  • Some body parts in Spore Hero allows creatures to do this.
  • Needle Man and his many Hari Harry (read: robot porcupines) minions from Mega Man 3. Naturally, Mega Man himself gets in on the act after defeating Needle Man and taking his weapon.
  • Some creatures in Pokémon have the moves Spikes, Toxic Spikes, Spike Cannon and/or Pin Missile. There are also Icicle Spear and Icicle Crash for the Ice-types.
  • Kraid in both Metroid and Super Metroid. Super Metroid also has cactus-like enemies that fire spikes, rather than spines.
  • Kirby has the Needle ability. Recent games have given it the ability to fire the spikes.
  • Starcraft: Drones and Hydralisks spit spines at their enemies.
  • Warcraft III has quillboars, a race of Pig Men who can throw their quills at enemies. The quilbeast, a warthog-like creature summoned by the Beastmaster, does the same.
  • Guild Wars: Giant scorpions with ranger profession shoot spines at players with their tail. The other types of scorpions fight at melee range.
  • Resident Evil 4 gives us Iron Maidens, upgraded versions of Regeneradors that can impale you on their extendable body spikes, hence their name.
  • Cacti and Cattails in Plants vs. Zombies, notably used for popping Balloon Zombies out of the sky.
  • In Amorphous+:
    • The Horror can shoot its "teeth" in a burst. If those hit another gloople, that gloople turns into a Biter (two of which have a slim chance of combining into a Horror). If those hit you, you die unless you have Reactive Armour.
    • The Razor Queen shoots out spikeballs that explode into a burst of spikes.
  • City of Heroes has this with the Spines powerset, where a bunch of sharp pointy things sprout out of your body. You can throw the spines as an attack, or let them passively explode out of you.
  • Cho'gath of League of Legends has the passive "Vorpal Spikes", which augments his basic melee attacks with a large curtain of short-range spikes.
  • The Flood "pure forms" in Halo 3 are capable of anchoring themselves down to a surface and launching sharpened metallic spikes at opponents. These spikes are not generated by the pure form, rather they are metal that they have scavenged from the environment, ground into spikes, and incorporated into their bodies.
    • The Type-25 Carbine, better known as the "Spiker" or the "Spike Rifle," is this, combined with Magnetic Weapons. This is because their rounds are theorized to be spherical in shape, and then extruded and fired out of the barrel as a superheated spike.
  • Pokey, the porcupine-like creature in CreaVures can shoot spines out of his back to frighten off animals, with no ill effect. Strangly, he can also jab individual spines into certain surfaces to make a impromptu ladder of sorts.
  • The enemy porcupines in some levels of the Disney The Jungle Book shoot quills at Mowgli.
  • Cactuars in the Final Fantasy series are covered in needles, and fire them by the thousand as their signature move.
  • Plantella's Thorn Shower attack in Lunar: Eternal Blue.
  • In Elemental Master, the boss of the Earth zone is a giant hedgehog or porcupine that shoots quills in eight directions at once.
  • In the casual adventure game Hallowed Legends: Ship of Bones, Garm the ice dog can launch the many icicles on his back in a burst.
  • Brutus, the cactus enemy from Ittle Dew. Petal Slugs as well.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • The Nargacuga is able to fling spikes from its tail. One of its subspecies takes it even further, as not only can it launch spikes from any of its tail attacks after it unfurls its spikes, but said spikes are also poisonous.
    • The Radobaan is a brute wyvern that can attack by flinging the bony spikes stuck to its body.
    • Nergigante is a powerful elder dragon that can fling spikes from its body as one of its attacks. What's worse, these spikes grow back bigger and harder in mere minutes, boosting its attack and defense, so hunters need to attack Nergigante as aggressively as possible to keep from being overwhelmed.
  • The Glider PRO "SeaCaves" Game Mod replaced the water droplets of the normal game with sea urchins continually releasing their spines.
  • In Diablo II, there are Quill Rats, Spike Fiends, Thorn Beasts, and Razor Spines.
  • In Super Mario Maker, a winged Spiny can do this in four directions at once.

    Web Comics 
  • The Overture has Sophie. A Porcupine Demi who can throw her barbed hair like knives. While not that painful on entry, the quills are absolute agony to pull out.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10: Alien Force has Argit, a porcupine-type alien who can literally shoot his quills. At least until Ben glues them down.
  • Dinotrux features the Segarbasaurs, mechanical Stegosaurus/Garbage truck hybrids that are capable of firing their back plates at enemies. They don't seem to be particular sharp though, and only seem to annoy at best.
  • Godzilla: The Series had an episode about giant bees that could shoot their poison stinger.
  • The Whispering Death possess this as a side weapon in Dragons: Riders of Berk.
  • As shown in the trope page, this is the mutant power of Spyke from the X-Men: Evolution. Eventually, his powers grew to the point that his spikes formed armor around his body and was able to launch explosive fiery spikes.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: When angered, the pukwudgies can launch volleys of their quill-like hairs with enough force to bury them in solid wood.

    Real Life 
  • Cone snails shoot modified radular teeth to inject venom in their prey. Then a cone pulls on the ejected tooth via a ligament to reel in the paralyzed prey.
  • Averted with the porcupine. It was believed that it could project its quills, but is incapable of doing so. It is, however, capable of lashing out with its tail and leaving quills embedded in an enemy's skin, which makes it look like it is doing this at close-range.
  • When threatened, tarantulas rub their hind legs over their abdomen, sending up a cloud of urticating hairs covered in microscopic barbs that irritate predators' skin and respiratory tracts; they regenerate such shed hair (along with any sustained external injuries) the next time they moult. Elderly tarantulas often have bald abdomens because they've used up their hairs in this way, and old age causes their moulting process to be increasingly infrequent.

Alternative Title(s): Needle Attack


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