Ten of the Most Devastating Weapons from NES Games

Boomerang – Castlevania

The boomerang is a powerful, cross-shaped projectile that crushes anything in its path and then conveniently returns to Simon Belmont, where it’s once again ready to be chucked at you undead foes.  Best of all, if you manage to find a triple shot (you know, that wonderful little block with a “III” on it), Simon becomes virtually unstoppable.  Even the Grim Reaper can be slayed easily if you’re tossing around a trio of boomerangs.

The Dirk – Batman

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Was Sunsoft’s Batman a great game or what?  It had superb graphics for an 8-bit game and was challenging as hell.  Naturally, Batman has numerous weapons and gadgets at his disposal, but in this game, none were more effective than the Dirk.  The Dirk, once shot, would split into three projectiles, inflicting massive damage on any poor soul unfortunate enough to stand in their way.  The Dirk was also great for boss fights, as Batman could stay on a ledge and out of harm’s way while the Dirk did all the work for him.

The Remote Control Missile – Metal Gear

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Even back in his 8-bit days, Solid Snake was a bad ass with an arsenal that would make the militaries of some countries jealous.  In the original Metal Gear for the NES, the remote control missle – while not as strong as the rocket launcher – could be guided toward its target even after it was fired.  This was perfect for taking out hard-to-reach control panels, but also a fun method for ramming missles up your enemies’ collective asses.

Daggers/Knives – Ghosts N’ Goblins

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Faster than the standard lance, daggers (or knives?) could also be thrown two at a time by Arthur.  In this freaking impossible game, your choice of weapon made all the difference.  Some well-thrown daggers could get you past those otherwise insanely annoying red devils without too much trouble.  If you managed to get stuck with the flame, though, you might as well have reset the game and started over.  Daggers were where it was at.

Helicopter – Ikari Warriors

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Sure, the helicopter was powerful and could mow down countless enemies, but its real value was its speed.  Even with the “ABBA” code, the stages in Ikari Warriors were tedious and took forever to complete.  Getting lucky enough to pilot a helicopter meant cruising through substantial parts of the level quickly, saving yourself the trouble of plodding through at a snail’s pace.

So, did I miss any weapons?  I was considering the Art of the Fire Wheel in Ninja Gaiden, but wasn’t the Jump & Slash just as effective?  Of course, there’s also Super Mario Bros.’ Fire Flower, but I think the ten weapons in this article trump that, as well.  Hit me up and let me know what I missed (with name-calling, of course).

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37 Comments

  1. The spinning slash in Ninja Gaiden I think would be a good addition for this list. Not only does it turn you into a crazy ball of spinning doom that makes it much easier to perform platform jumps without the knockback dropping you down a pit, but placed right it can kill most bosses in about a second.

  2. Triple holy water in Castelvania 1 made most bosses not even get a single attack off, including Dracula’s demon form. Only the Grim Reaper and Dracula’s first form could move at all. Plus 3x holy water made the Grim Reaper stage a breeze. Also, the boss-bats at the beginning of Dracula stage would burn easily if they get caught in the fire, but the clock was more useful here.

    Also, FIRE BIRD FORM in legendary wings! Man, that had to be the best weapon-state ever for a NES game, one was nearly invincible with FIRE BIRD on legendary wings.

    Also, the triple-kick and Texas boots in River City Ransom.

    Also, the elec-beam in Mega Man 1. (Especially with the pause trick). The elec beam in Mega Man 1 had to be one of the coolest special weapons on NES ever.

    Also, FULL GUN in the overhead view in Blaster Master. That gun was ridiculously powerful and went through walls.

  3. You lose like 10,000 credibility points for not including the nefarious “Jump and Slash” from Ninja Gaiden. You could kill any boss, even the final boss, with one hit. Doesn’t get more devastating than that.

  4. you mentioned SuperMario, but the wrong item, you should be thinking SuperMario 3, the GUMBA BOOT! =D that thing was amazing!! I would replay the one level it was used over and over to smash the hell out of anything that got in my way =]

  5. i think the clones from ninja gaiden 3? might have been 2… should be on this list, you could get like 2 or 3 copys of ryu all slashing away at enemies and even surrond bosses and such.. it was always my favorite pick up

  6. i yes i forgot the name calling.. you worthless piece of shit, how could you forget something that causes as much ass kickery as hayabusa clones? you should be nudered and then shot

  7. Speaking of Mario Bros, how you forget the deadliest weapon of them all? The fuckin star son. It makes you invincible. You just run through cats like they don’t even exist.

  8. @AndrewWK

    The clones were good, as was the jump and slash, but what about the Fire Wheel? You could take out Jacqio (or however it’s spelled) in a matter of seconds.

    Thanks for reading, and learn how to spell “neutered.”

  9. I think something has been left out… probably the best weapon in all of NES history, literally unstoppable and capable of defeating even the best of players. that weapon is of course Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl! hahaha BEST WEAPON EVER

  10. I would suggest that you add the fully assembled heavy Barrel from Heavy Barrel. It’s easily more powerful than any of the previously mentioned weapons.

  11. Oooooh, yeah, the Metal Blade from Mega Man 2. Not only did it completely surpass the normal Mega Buster for use in the levels, it was also good against several bosses, instead of just the typical one. And you got a bajillion of those things for each bar of energy, too.

  12. I know it’s the autistic stepchild of the Zelda series, but after getting the Downward Thrust in Zelda II: Adventure of Link, I REALLY started to enjoy that game. You could run, jump, and bounce of the heads of your enemies…suddenly you weren’t afraid so much of jumping across lava! I always made the Downward Thrust my #1 priority

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