Video games are weird.
Allow me to clarify: Video games seem to have an even greater capacity for weirdness than any other kind of media. They laugh in the face of logic, reason, and physics regularly. Thanks to the beloved tradition of putting in Easter Eggs, even the most vanilla games can have bizarre non-sequiturs. One of the most common places to find strange stuff is our in-game arsenal of weapons.
If you think about it, we’ve long used strange things to attack our enemies in video games. We think nothing of knocking a turtle shell at a rival car on a race-track, or launching wild animals out of tiny containers, or using chainsaws at weapons (seriously, they’re pretty much useless for anything other than wood-cutting here in the real world). But some items are even weirder than others.
This list won’t just consist of weapons that are weird by the standards of the real world, because MakeUseOf only has so much server space. First, these are weapons that are unusual even by video game standards. For example, the gunblades in Final Fantasy are utterly absurd when you think of it, but they are hardly the strangest items you can find in that series.
Some of these weapons make the list for being weird even by the standards of the game franchises they are set in. A warhammer the size of an elephant might be ludicrously out of place in Dark Souls but fit perfectly in Monster Hunter‘s arsenal. So to make this list, the weapons have to be wild, unexpected, and by rights shouldn’t even work as weapons. These are the strangest weapons I’ve seen in video games:
Bayonetta is hardly the first woman to use her lovely locks in battle: Midna in Twilight Princess, Millia in Guilty Gear, Sindel in Mortal Kombat. But Platinum Game’s angel-slaying witch probably takes the trope of prehensile hair the furthest it’s possible to take it. Bayonetta’s primary attacks consist of using her hair to give form to the demons she summons to help her. Usually these consist of arms and legs (a.k.a. her “Wicked Weaves”), but occasionally she calls in larger demons. Also, her clothes are made of her own magically-reinforced hair, which flies off when she’s summoning. Don’t question that part too much.
Dubstep (Saint’s Row 4)
We all know about the Power of Rock, and its capacity to melt faces. Guitars have been weapons in multiple games, including Brütal Legend, Devil May Cry, and Dead Rising 2. But while rock is the classic devastation music, Saint’s Row 4 proved that the raw, unsophisticated wubs of dubstep can be just as destructive (and quite a bit funnier to watch). There is actually an in-game explanation for the existence of the dubstep gun that I won’t spoil. Suffice to say, the gun allows you to shoot waves of pulsating dubstep on unsuspecting citizens, causing them to break into dance before they explode along with the environment around them.
Tears (Binding of Isaac)
If anyone ever had reason to cry, it’s poor Isaac. His mother has begun hearing the voice of God, and He’s commanding her to kill her son. Isaac escapes into the basement with nothing but his skin, but he’s not safe there either. His nightmares are waiting for him in the dark. So what does Isaac do? Cry at them just as hard as he can. And it works. The tears act like bullets in this roguelike hybrid game, shooting directly out of Isaac’s face at his enemies. Later, as he is upgraded by the player, his “ammo” consists of blood, vomit, chocolate milk, and other delightful substances.
Typewriters (Typing of the Dead)
Gamers have been coming up with creative ways to kill zombies for as long as games have allowed us to do so. But killing them by typing accurately at them with a keyboard strapped to your chest is probably the most bizarre method I’ve yet seen. Typing is an edutainment reskin of House of the Dead 2, a light gun game, but there’s no explanation for how these typewriters work in the same way a firearm does. There’s no indication that they work through magic, unless the typists are calling upon the angelic power of Mavis Beacon. The game does have two sequels, though, so apparently the threat of zombies is a great way to learn how to type.
A Pepper Grinder (Alice: Madness Returns)
Alice in Wonderland is everyone’s go-to reference for weird stuff, so it’s no surprise that American McGee’s gory, disturbing game based on it has strange weapons. It was used by the Duchess to attack Alice in the first game, and Alice gets it for herself in Madness Returns. The Pepper Grinder functions like a machine gun, and Alice is able to shoot peppercorns like bullets out of it by turning the handle. Some of the other weapons in Alice’s arsenal include a steam-powered teapot cannon and a hobby horse the size of Mjolnir, but at least those seem like they should work. The Pepper Grinder seems bizarre even by Alice standards.
A Scarf (Street Fighter Alpha)
I would never accuse any of the characters from the Street Fighter series of being underdressed (because they could all hurt me), but Rose surely makes them all look that way. She shows up to the fisticuffs in Alpha and all subsequent appearances clad in classy evening dresses and high heels, and always has a yellow scarf wrapped around her shoulders. Not only does this rather impractical get-up not slow her down, it actually helps her. She uses her scarf in much the same way as a less fashionable combatant might use a whip. It can also be used to deflect projectiles and as a conduit for her Soul Power.
Rubber Ducky (Crackdown 2)
Of all the things you could throw at an enemy in order to harm them, a bath toy like a little yellow ducky is probably pretty far down on the list. But the Quacker in Crackdown 2 should not be underestimated. It is obtained by claiming Funland in-game. While the rubber duck was present in the original Crackdown, it was an Easter egg and a one-hit-one-kill projectile. Crackdown 2 upgraded it to an explosive and powerful grenade. You can throw it into a group of enemies and remotely detonate it with a “quack.”
Foam (Dead Space 2)
When you think of a Hand Cannon in a video game, you probably think of a heavy revolver or some similar bulky-yet-damaging sidearm. Dead Space 2‘s weapon of the same name is a little more lightweight. It’s a red foam hand with pointer finger outstretched. Isaac Clarke can point it at an enemy and shoot them with the finger. Assuming you can hit them despite the lack of a targeting reticle; it will make all of their limbs pop off. It can only be obtained by beating the game on Hardcore Mode, so it’s more of a reward to be earned than a viable weapon in its own right. It’s still funny, though.
My Little Pony (Red Faction: Armageddon)
I jest, of course. Mr. Toots, the weapon you get in Armageddon is not, to the best of my knowledge, a resident of Equestria. But he might as well be. About the size of a dog and carried on protagonist Darius’ arm, Toots shoots a rainbow laser out from under his tail that would make Nyan Cat jealous. Previously in the series, players were able to use an “ostrich hammer,” but that was just a skin for the sledgehammer. Mr. Toots is actually a viable weapon in his own right, especially if you upgrade him for infinite ammo. Just try not to concentrate on the pained face he makes when you “shoot” him.
Like I said, I only have so much room and can’t possibly cover all the weird and wonderful weapons in video games. Which video game weapons did you find to be particularly strange? Let me know in the comments section below!