Nintendo typically isn’t a company that focuses on violence within its catalog of mostly family-friendly games. That said, defeating monsters is a natural part of the video game experience, so the mascots of Nintendo have also needed to equip various weapons to dispatch their foes. Whether it’s the storied history of the Master Sword or classic power-ups like the Fire Flower, the heroes of Nintendo’s games have relied upon some choice weaponry over the ages, and these weapons have been consistently reliable tools for both these characters and the gamers. Here are just 10 of the most iconic weapons in Nintendo games.
Many Pokémon fans would consider the adorable and deadly creatures as weapons in and of themselves. However, the Poké Ball is a device that can capture and hold even the largest and most dangerous of Pokémon that exist within their world. Whether it’s the might of a Master Ball or the various quirks of balls like the Quick Ball or Dive Ball, Poké Balls have the ability to instantly summon the world’s most powerful creatures, like Charizard or Mewtwo, from the palm of your hand.
Samus’s Power Suit
Samus has been on a lot of adventures, and Metroid fans know that this just wouldn’t have been possible without her signature Power Suit. Over the years, it’s changed in color and style and had variations like the Gravity Suit or Varia Suit. Yet throughout all of its forms, it remains consistent in its ability to let Samus fight back against the deadliest aliens in the galaxy. That might involve using its power to transform into a Morph Ball and lay down bombs or to shoot freeze and beam attacks, missiles, grappling hooks, and so much more. Samus couldn’t be the legendary hero she is without it.
Dread it, run from it, the Blue Shell arrives all the same, as one of the most fearsome and iconic Nintendo weapons. The Blue Shell is indeed the most powerful weapon that the racers of Mario Kart have at their disposal. It’s a force of nature that barrels towards the driver in first place, knocking any unlucky souls out of its path, and landing with an almost 100% guaranteed chance of suffering for the person on pole position. Precious few items can help to defend against it, and it’s the bane of every Mario Kart player’s existence.
Luigi would have died several times over if it were not for his chance meeting with Professor E. Gadd. The kind and quirky researcher bestowed Luigi with the one-of-kind ghost hunting weapon, the Poltergust 3000. This otherworldly vacuum cleaner has been with Luigi for three spooky adventures now, and through its various forms and upgrades, it’s been the one weapon that has successfully defended him from the paranormal threats he faces. That might mean sucking up ghosts wholesale or using the suction power to toss ghouls around a room as if he were Hulk smashing Loki into the floor.
Children are told not to play with fire, but the same can’t be said for Mario and his friends. Since the very beginning, Mario has been able to rely on the Fire Flower as a one-stop shop for both offense and defense. When equipped, Mario and friends gain the power to hurl endless numbers of fireballs at their unlucky opponents. The flames might help to clear enemies out of the way in a Super Mario stage, make short work of a mighty boss like Bowser, or even take down the kart racers that dare to be in front of you. The Fire Flower is one of the earliest and most iconic Nintendo weapons.
You might think that Kirby is just a cute pink ball of a Nintendo character. However, his ability to inhale foes and copy their powers makes Kirby one of the deadliest weapons in Nintendo history. There’s a reason why Masahiro Sakurai ensures that Kirby is canonically one of the most enduring characters in the Super Smash Bros. series, and it isn’t because he makes for an adorable mascot. With the ability to absorb and take on the powers of anyone he comes across, Kirby is the ultimate weapon, and everyone knows it.
The Arwing can be many things to its pilot, and that flexibility is its true strength. In some situations, it’s the nimble starfighter that we all know and love. In others, it can turn into tanks or other land-based vehicles. These transformations mean that no enemy is truly safe from the attacks of Star Fox and his crew, and its signature weapons like the heat-seeking missiles, bombs, and laser blasters pack a punch that should not be underestimated.
In the wacky and off-kilter world of Splatoon, ink is a means of attack and traversal with near-limitless creativity. Inklings and Octolings can hide within ink to ambush foes, and they can quickly swim through any inked surface to reach their destination. As a projectile, it can be fired from a variety of guns like the Splat Dualies or paint-based tools like the Dynamo Roller, causing opponents to physically slow down and take damage over time. It can be used in sub-weapons like the deadly ink bombs, or it can allow Inklings to ride across speedy Inkrails to traverse the city.
The Super Smash Bros. series houses many weapons from the Nintendo universe, but as you may have learned from anime, nothing is stronger than the power of friendship. When a player gets their hands on an assist trophy, it results in chaos as a randomized character from an almost limitless number of franchises could appear and wipe the floor with your opponents — be that Gray Fox from Metal Gear Solid, Knuckles from the Sonic series, an adorable Nintendog, or even the indie darling himself, Shovel Knight.
The Master Sword has been Link’s most trusted weapon in many Zelda titles, and it’s often his one true way to fight back against Ganon and the forces of evil that plague Hyrule. The iconic imagery of Link pulling the sword from its altar brings to mind tales of King Arthur and Excalibur, and its magic abilities make it Link’s most powerful weapon. Beyond its combat ability, the Blade of Evil’s Bane has an important role to play within the history of Hyrule, and it was important enough to even have an entire game, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, dedicated to telling its origin story.
What are some of your favorite Nintendo weapons?