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Weaponized Offspring

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Boomstick: What is it with creatures from the Mario universe usin' their babies as weapons? Is it that effective? I'm gonna have to test this out, maybe some sort of baby-launcher...
Wiz: Boomstick! That is a terrible idea! Anytime you wanted to reload, you'd have to wait nine months!

A creature, very often seen in video game boss battles, which creates smaller versions of itself or gives birth to attack its enemies. Sometimes there is an explanation, such as it being the queen of a race of Bee People or is the Mother of a Thousand Young, sometimes there isn't. Sometimes a monster will just spawn smaller copies and send them after the enemy with no other indication that it is actually female (sometimes it will be explicitly stated as male, on top of things).

This, in video games, tends to happen just to make the boss fight more difficult and/or annoying. Usually these characters have a seemingly endless supply of offspring to launch at potential attackers. It's probably worth noting that eggs don't need to be fertilised.

Natural selection favors those who pass on their genes, which requires at least some of their offspring to survive long enough to reproduce. However, in the case of eusocial insects such as bees, ants, and termites, all but the queens and drones are sterile, so it doesn't matter if they die as long as it helps their mother survive long enough to produce fertile offspring that can pass on their genes.


A sister trope to Tyke Bomb, and subtrope of Mook Maker and Abnormal Ammo. Daughter of Monster Is a Mommy. Related to Flunky Boss and Asteroids Monster. Also a subtrope of Living Weapon and Natural Weapon (since the ability to produce offspring is pretty inherent). Compare Doppelgänger Attack, Proj-egg-tile. Contrast Spawn Broodling: this trope is about attacking or creating allies by giving birth; Spawn Broodling is about attacking or creating allies by making the enemy give birth. See also Drone Deployer.

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Video Game examples:

    Action Adventure  
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes has the Chykka, guardian of Dark Torvus, who spawns Chykklings during the fight against her. This generally makes the fight easier, since Chykklings are easily destroyed and usually drop profuse amounts of health and ammo.
    • Another creature in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, the Fargul Hatcher, which is not a boss but appears in only one spot on the planet Bryyo, also uses this form of attack by spawning a wave of Fargul Wasps at Samus.
    • Metroid Fusion has enemies in the water zone that launch rotating eggs (maybe they're eggs...?) from their abdomens.
  • Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum from American McGee's Alice can open up and spawn smaller, weaker copies of themselves.
  • In inFAMOUS 2, the Hive Lord enemy will create pods that sprout from that ground. The pods hatch Spikers if the player doesn't destroy them fast enough.
  • Mother Smiles in killer7 lay eggs that roll towards the player. They hatch if they get close to the player, or if they're shot, turning into a vanilla Action Bomb Heaven Smile.
  • The seahorse in some Ecco the Dolphin levels does this, spitting out baby seahorses from his pouch.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • The Gigginox from tri will periodically lay a cluster of eggs on the ground, from which Giggi will emerge, sucking the health off of any Hunters they latch on to. In G Rank, it'll start laying the eggs on its back, for the sake of making it more difficult to destroy them. The eggs, however, are far preferable to the alternative of dangerous poison bombs.
    • The Rakna-Kadaki from Rise can throw its Rachnoid offspring at Hunters and coordinate attacks with them.
  • Shantae:
    • One of the Squid Baron's attacks in Risky's Revenge involves calling down his baby warp squids to attack Shantae. This gets a Lampshade Hanging in his introductory trailer for Shantae and the Pirate's Curse
      Squid Baron: The way I teleported around, dropping from the ceiling. I put you in such danger.
      Shantae: Not completely! What about the little squids you spawned from time to time? Attacking them let me get my hearts back. That counts for something, right?
      Squid Baron: (Suddenly panicking) I forgot all about the children!
    • The Empress Spider in Shantae and the Pirate's Curse will lay eggs in one of her moves. They will then hatch to release baby spiders that will attack Shantae.

     Action RPG  
  • The Ravagers in Mass Effect 3 release tiny Swarmers when wounded, which crawl towards the attacker and try to push them into the Ravager's line of fire.
  • One of the Divine Beasts in Solatorobo lays eggs in midair that hatch into small birds that attack you.

     Eastern RPG  
  • Pokémon:
    • Vespiquen has three exclusive moves where she unleashes a swarm of drones to attack, defend or heal herself respectively. She's also based on a queen bee, naturally (see Real Life section below.)
    • Dragapult is a motherly Pokémon that carries several Dreepy within the holes on its head. It also shoots the Dreepy like bullets. The Dreepy actually look forward to this, for some reason.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, the Grangalan outside Costa del Sol can spawn smaller versions of itself known Grangalan Jr. for the second generation and Grangalan Jr. Jr. for the third and smallest generation.

     First-Person Shooter  
  • The Gonarch from Half-Life creates Headcrabs (who are essentially smaller versions of it) during the fight against it.
  • Shial from Blood has spawning of regular spiders as its only attack.
  • The 1996 release of Duke Nukem 3D had Duke face the alien queen as the Final Boss. The queen routinely birthed drones that could fire shrink rays at Duke, making him very squishable.

     Fighting Game  

     Hack and Slash  
  • Cerberi in the first God of War game spit out puppylike Cerberus Seeds that, if given enough time, will grow into full grown Cerberi.
  • Echidna from Devil May Cry 4 uses her Chimera Seeds as weapons, both as projectiles and as a Mook Maker. She then has the nerve to act outraged when you blow said seeds out of the sky or smash them with your Devil Bringer.

     Platform Game  
  • Yellow Paragoombas in Super Mario Bros. 3 attack by releasing Microgoombas from the air; oddly enough, the microgoombas are not actually its offspring. Straighter examples can be seen with Blooper Nannies, which send their Blooper Babies in a spiral to swarm Mario, and Big Bertha, who attacks Mario by spitting her kid at him and then retrieving it.
  • In Super Ghouls and Ghosts, the boss of the first stage is a giant bird which spits eggs out of its mouth which hatch into smaller, groundbound bird monsters which attack you.
  • Skylanders has Sonic Boom, a griffin whose children are cursed to constantly be reborn as eggs. Because of this, she decides to train her children to fight as soon as they hatch, so that they can be able to defend themselves at any time. It can be upgraded in various ways, including the ability for the eggs to inflict damage before the babies hatch from them. They also manage to inherit her sonic abilities. Also Double Trouble, a witchdoctor, sends miniature clones of himself to attack.
  • In Mega Man X1, Storm Eagle can fire eggs which will hatch into robotic birds that will attack you.
  • In Mega Man Zero 4, Popla Cocapetri (a chicken) can lay an egg with 2 legs that will run about, harrassing you. The egg is hard to kill, too.
  • Donkey Kong 64: The spider mini-boss will send groups of smaller spiders (possibly its children) after Tiny Kong.
  • Umihara Kawase features a giant tadpole which lays eggs that hatch into frogs that will stun Umihara if they touch her.

     Real-Time Strategy  
  • In the original StarCraft I the Zerg's Queen units could spawn broodlings, in StarCraft II the Brood Lord does that as does Kerrigan.
    • The Heart of the Swarm expansion to Starcraft II introduces the Swarm Host unit that spawns short-lived locusts. The Primal Zerg Pack Leader Slivan the Eternal Mother resembles a massive Swarm Host. In another mission the Brood Mother Niadra spawns several zerglings without the use of a hatchery.
      • Heart of the Swarm also had this as an upgrade option for Banelings: When it explodes it becomes two smaller Banelings.
  • Warcraft III:
    • Nerubians and Hydras from spawn two smaller Nerubians / Hydras on death. In the Nerubian's case it's explained as their carrying their young into battle.
    • Crypt Fiends and Nerubians attack with what seems to be tiny, floating spiderlings. You can also notice that said spiders will float back to the user after being cast. Furthermore, the description of the Nerubian unit implies this.
  • The Empress Bulbax of Pikmin 2 lays Bulborb larvae to attack you when you face it, except in the first encounter.

  • In NetHack it's possible for a character polymorphed into a female monster (regardless of what gender they were beforehand) to lay eggs. Cockatrice eggs can be thrown in order to stone an enemy. Throwing eggs you laid results in a luck penalty though. Alternatively a character that finds an egg can carry it with them, and it may become a tame monster upon hatching.
  • The Binding of Isaac has some monsters that do this. The Mulligans are an unwilling example, as they are living insect hives, but there's also the gray spiders that attack by ocassionaly spawning an egg sac that periodically shoots smaller spiders, Chub, who among her boss battle tactics is to spawn Chublings and, of course, there's It Lives, who is Isaac himself, as a fetus, fighting inside his mother's womb.

     Shoot 'em Up  
  • This is the attack of the final boss of Apidya, a giant hornet that keeps releasing bees at you.

     Simulation Game  
  • Thanks to the detailed simulation and Wide Open Sandbox nature of Dwarf Fortress, it's completely possible, even with a vanilla version, to use quickly reproducing non-pasture animals such as turkeys or peafowl as an infinite source of ammunition to blast off lava cannons onto enemy hordes. The trick is to set the ammo on fire prior to launch. And of course, you probably have some dwarven kids running around as well, contributing nothing and learning nothing while depleting your booze stock for nine years. For a specific DF example, there's Boatmurdered: "A few more war dogs ran out and attacked. I have to say I'm slightly terrified by them. One of the bitches actually gave birth while she was attacking, and her puppies joined in on the carnage." Militia dwarves tend to go into battle carrying their infants, which can lead to the poor kid being used as a club. Or a shield.

     Survival Horror  
  • In Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, Alexia's penultimate boss form turns her into a Queen Ant like creature that constantly births small poisonous insectoid enemies that run interference while Chris tries to fight her.

     Turn-Based Strategy  
  • Breeders and Mother Breeders in Might and Magic: Heroes VI are demons whose bodies constantly generate imps, which they then command to fly kamikaze-style at the enemy.

     Western RPG  
  • The giant grubs in Diablo II lay eggs while a player is nearby, which quickly spawn into aggressive larvae. The appropriately named Flesh Spawners spawn offspring to attack you as well.
  • Wasps from Diablo III will shoot small, slow-moving, explosive versions of themselves at you.
  • The Daedra Spiders in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion send little mini-versions of themselves to attack and paralyze you.
  • Matilda in Angry Birds, who has an egg bomb as her schtick.

     Wide-Open Sandbox  
  • Terraria:
    • The Eye of Cthulhu shoots out mini-eyes to attack the player as a sort of ranged attack.
    • The Brain of Cthulhu shoots out flying eyeballs that serve as its life bar.
    • The Queen Bee rapidly fires out bees to chase you down and damage you. After killing it, you can get a weapon that allows you to do the same thing.
    • The Wall of Flesh shoots out burrowing worms that attack the player as well as the feeders that extend on cords to attack the player.
    • Plantera sprouts vine attached attack mouths like the wall of flesh has in its second stage.

  • Happens too many times to count in World of Warcraft. Perhaps the most infamous example was Onyxia and whelps which she spawned occasionally. The same whelps would also spawn when a player came too close to piles of eggs in the room, and Onyxia happened to have a fearing attack which caused characters to run uncontrollably, often leading to MANY WHELPS! NOW, HANDLE IT!

Non video game examples:

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Green Lantern: The villain Evil Star cane make Starlings, dwarf copies of himself.
  • X-Men: The minor villain Tusk can create smaller copies of himself.
  • Savage Dragon: The villain Mother Mayhem is an alien harbinger for a cosmic being. She resembles an old hag with three goblin-like babies on umbilical cords attached to her. She can fly on these children or send them to attack foes.

    Card Games 
  • Evo: The "Tough Babies" card allows newborn dinosaurs to attack enemy dinosaurs, which they normally cannot. Amusingly, the card depicts a baby dino poking a machine gun out of its eggshell...
  • Magic: The Gathering: A lot of cards can produce token creatures. Sometimes it's a captain calling troops into battle, or a monster tamer calling on some pets, but a few creatures do use their own offspring as troops, usually Hive Queens. Case in point: Sliver Queen, Ant Queen, Hornet Queen...

  • In A Clash of Kings, Melisandre gives birth to a living shadow which slays Ser Cortnay Penrose.
  • In Ender's Game (and sequels) the Formic queen gives birth to all her soldiers, since the Formics are an insect race.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Community while playing the in-universe video game "Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne" Abed reprograms his NPC wife to birth babies (which look like tiny versions of Abed) and uses them to fight the final boss.
  • The X-Files: Flukeman would bite people and inject its parasitic larvae into them.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: The "Bluegill" neural parasites were controlled by "mother-creatures" — large parasites — that appeared to produce the smaller mind-controlling bug-like parasites.
  • The Visitors in V, having the characteristics of Bee People in this regard, used this trope: Anna (the Queen) spawned a huge number of eggs to raise an army of warriors.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: When attacked, great old masters — the neogi reproductive stage — can release clutches of aggressive, vicious spawn as a defense mechanism.
  • GURPS: In GURPS: Infinite Worlds, in Roma Universalis (detailed in Pyramid magazine) the Martians are masters of biotechnology, and their standard weapon is the bug-bow or bug-spitter, an insect that fires its offspring as ammo.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Tyranid Tervigon is a walking incubator that spawns swarms of Termagants.
    • The special character organism "The Parasite of Mortrex" has a similar deal with Ripper Swarms.
    • On a smaller scale, a lot of Tyranid guns work on this principle, as their ammunition consists of their grubs propelled at high speed with muscle spasms.


    Western Animation 
  • In the Family Guy Y2K parody episode "Da Boom", the nuclear holocaust mutates Stewie into a half-human-half-octopus creature, who then lays a huge pile of eggs. Next scene, an army of human-octopi march through the town chanting "victory is ours", and attack the people by jumping at them and grabbing their faces with their tentacles.
  • In Samurai Jack, the leader of the Daughters of Aku cult gets pregnant with the essence of Aku and gives birth to 7 daughters which she raises to kill Jack, the leader and only survivor is Ashi whom now learns that everything the cult taught her are lies and is now Jack's lover, she then turns against her parents and manage to kill her mother and help Jack go back to the past and kill Aku, but because Jack killed Aku before she was born, she was erased from the timeline However this is retconned in the new video-game Battle Through Time.
  • In the Steven Universe, all gems are created to serve a purpose assigned by the gem empire and the diamonds, pearls are the diamonds' servants, quartzes, jaspers, amethiysts and rubies are foot soldiers, sapphires are prophets, lapizes are terraformers, bizmuths are weapon blacksmiths, etc. The main purpose of their existance is to expand the gem empire by invading, colonizing and consuming planets to rise their population, even if that requieres genocide on alien civilizations, extermination of imperfect gems,execution of expendible and rebel gems and morally questionable practices in their culture and methods. All that changed after Steven convinced White diamond that perfection is overrated and freedom is much better
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The changelings at first were a race of pony parasite insects that fed on love leaving their victims as empty husks, their queen Chrysalis is the mother of all the drones, then a drone named Thorax convinced the other drones to evolve from being parasites and they became beautiful beetle ponies and Thorax became their king, Chrysalis sworn revenge on those who ruined her hive.
    • In a later episode, all the changelings adapted to a more free and balanced lifestyle, except Pharynx, Thorax's hatch brother whom stayed as a parasite and hates that everyone else become peaceful. At the same time, as the changelings don't have an army anymore, they are vulnerable to a giant mole to attack them, Trixie and Starlight attracted one to convince Pharynx to be part of the hive and defend it, but he left as he's not welcome there. Pharynx's tenacity inspire the other drones to form an army and defend themselves from the mole, then Pharynx evolve too.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012):
    • There is a space crime lord named Dregg that breeds lots of drones that he uses as minions, and he uses the drone eggs as projectiles for his ship.
    • In a further episode, Stockman fly has been making alot of mutation experiments with insects which he was able to create a mutant ant that can instantly give birth to clones of itself from its back.
  • In Glitch Techs, there is a fish-like glitch call spawner that vomits clones of itself

    Real Life 
  • This tends to be the case with social insects; all of them except for queens are infertile and only exist to fight off threats or gather food. (And the males who exist only to mate with the queens.) Special mention goes to bees, whose reproductive organs are converted into stings (which kill them when they're used) and termites, which can explode to drive off intruders.
  • When a female aphid starts a new colony, she first gives birth to a cluster of non-breeding clone daughters that surround her. Predators pick off these cannon-fodder offspring while their mom remains sheltered by her young, able to produce a new generation of disperser/breeders.
  • This is the entire point of the highly controversial Quiverfull movement. Based on a verse from a Psalm that compares having many children to a quiver full of arrows, the idea is for Christians to have as many children as possible to combat perceived threats to their faith. Metaphorically, each child is an arrow in a quiver, ready to be fired at an enemy, which bears an Unfortunate Implications that children are disposable, just like arrows.
  • Some mushrooms and plants, such as peat, reproduce by shooting their own seeds and spores so that they embed themselves in a carrier and can be spread further.


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