On Joke Weapons (Day 16)

Following on from yesterday’s post, today I’m talking about “joke weapons”. To clarify, these aren’t weapons that are especially bad (necessarily), but are weapons that are hard to find and are patently ridiculous or ill-fitting with the themes of the game.

Joke weapons tend to go in one of two directions – they’re absolutely worthless, or insanely brutal. Occasionally a game will balance them, but that tends to be the exception rather than the norm.

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Joke weapons are universally difficult to acquire, and as such are often a point of pride even when they’re not especially useful.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of them, in general. I have fond memories of discovering joke weapons and having my friends not believe me – something the Internet has largely ruined, for better or worse. Still, I enjoy the novelty of them. They’re the quintessential secret – something so well-hidden and bizarre that even when you see it, it’s hard to believe that it exists in the game.

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I’m not a huge fan when the weapons are the best in the game, though. They’re funny and often clever, but the novelty wears off quickly. When I’m spending a lot of time using them – because they’re the best – the joke wears off pretty quickly, and you’re stuck swinging a daschund at orcs, or whatever. It sounds funny now, but in another 15 hours you’ll probably miss your sword.

I’m an especially big fan of their inclusion in horror games, however. I love that joke weapons feel like something from another game, and the idea of goofy or stupid weapons in grim dark horror titles appeals to me greatly because of that strange, almost unbelievable dichotomy.

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Cutting it short here because it’s so hot that my MYKI card has begun to melt, so I need to find some shade. How do you feel about joke weapons? Do you have any favourites? Let me know in the comments!

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