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Sometimes, archers in fantasy settings come across these peculiar weapons: Energy Bows. These peculiar weapons literally are bows and crossbows without the pesky need of arrows. They will invariably still need to be shot like a mundane bow, nocking and all, although they may lack strings. It may or may not be a BFG equivalent, and may or may not have Bottomless Magazines (in the context that they can fire continiously without no reloading whatsoever) or powered by some sort of external force (Applied Phlebotinum, Power of Love, etc.).

An Energy Bow comes in two main flavors:

One, it is a solid bow that does not fire mundane arrows, but fire some sort of energy-based beam or projectile instead. These kind of energy bows are more common, and may or may not double as melee weapons.

Two, the bow itself is made of energy, Hard Light usually but there are also cases of bow made of fire and other usually-formless materials. They may or may not shoot arrows made from the materials they are made of.

Sometimes Energy Bows pop up in Super Sentai shows as the weapon of The Chick or Lady of War in the Five-Man Band.

May overlap with Abnormal Ammo.

Examples of Energy Bow include:


Anime and Manga

  • Apollon, from Sora no Otoshimono.
  • Angewomon from Digimon.
  • Gan Deeva, from Earth Maiden Arjuna.
  • Sailor Moon: Sailor Mars's Flame Sniper shoots some sort of red/orange energy. In the anime the bow itself appears during the casting of the spell and is made of fire; in the manga it is an actual bow.
  • One briefly appears in G Gundam, used by the Rising Gundam along with, curiously, a solid-bladed naginata.
  • Siestas from Umineko no Naku Koro ni had bows, that fired golden threads, that pierce and destroy everything with unimaginable precision.
  • Uryuu Ishida in Bleach, along with his dad. Comes with being a Quincy, as the page image shows. In fact they only have one edged weapon (a sword which vibrates like a chainsaw and absorbes their opponents' energy) and even that is intended to be fired from their bows when it's been sufficently "charged" with spirit particles.
  • Signum's most powerful attack in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series is Sturm Falke, an energy projectile launched from her Device Laevatein when it assumes its rare bow form. That attack is a Shout-Out to SRW's Phantom Phoenix, just like Signum herself is an Expy of Lamia Loveless.
  • RahXephon: The titular mecha has this technique. The bow itself is made of white energy while the arrow is blood red and capable of firing into orbit. The first time it's used this way, it's a visual Shout-Out to Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • Reideen, which is probably the Trope Codifier.
  • In Slayers TRY, one of the Dark Star weapons was a bow, compared to the other four which are magical Laser Blades of some kind. The bow is also the most powerful of the five.
  • In Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, this is Madoka's weapon if she becomes a Magical Girl - and in every previous timeline where she did. In the "final" timeline, Homura trades in her guns for a bow of her own.
  • Belldandy's angel, Holy Bell, in Ah! My Goddess, makes hers from Wind energy.
  • Suzaku from Yu Yu Hakusho, and his Prism Storm of Torment/Dark Lightning Shockwave technique, which shoots seven arrows composed of lightning. A single arrow causes the entire body to course with electricity, making it fatal to normal humans.
  • Yue from Cardcaptor Sakura has one of these. Unfortunately, it only appears once.


Comic Books

  • Minor superheroine Maya in The DCU wields a Type 2.


Literature

  • The book Echoes of the Great Song by David Gemmell has Zhi-Bows.


Live Action Television


Movies

  • Chewbacca's preferred gun in Star Wars is a laser crossbow. EU and other sources call the weapon "Wookie bowcasters". According to the manual, the energy blasts have a solid metal core to increase kinetic energy, and enable ricochet, scattershot, and poison ammo, while still having the energy damage of a blaster.
  • In Immortals, the Epirus Bow is this. It creates infinite magical arrows anytime the string is pulled back, and can decimate both men and rocky walls. Both the hero and the villain for some reason only use the bow a few times each, despite its obvious potential for destruction.


Tabletop Games

  • Dungeons and Dragons has a lot of these:
    • Brilliant Energy weapon improvement from Dungeons and Dragons 3.5, which can be applied for arrows and other munitions.
    • Deities and Demigods Cyclopedia:
      • Native American Mythology (Hastsezini the fire god has a bow that shoots a shaft of fire; Heng the thunder spirit has a bow that shoots lightning bolts for 30 miles)
      • Hindu Mythology (Indra has Vajra, a bow made of rainbows that shoots lightning bolts)
    • Gods, Demi-gods and Heroes
    • Legends and Lore
      • Hindu Mythology (Brihaspati's bow fires arrows of brilliant light that blind the target)
    • The Horde Campaign Set has the Iron Bow of Gesen, which can fire a lightning bolt three times per day.
    • Dragon magazine #127 has the Phantom Bow, which can fire "shimmering arrows" that vanish if they miss.
    • On article on the Wot C Dungeons and Dragons site presented weapons from the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon including Hank's energy bow "Heatseeker".
    • The "Force" enhancement from Magic Item Compendium causes any ranged weapon requiring ammo to deal force damage rather than the normal physical damage done by the weapon.
    • Finally, the Soulknife class has a Prestige Class that changes its psionic knife to a psionic bow, in accordance to the second version of this trope. Like everything else about the Soulknife, it sounds a lot cooler than it actually is, given its stats on paper.


Toys

  • Bionicle: Kongu Inika's Laser Crossbow.


Video Games

  • Super Robot Wars has, among others, Phantom Phoenix (Angelg's strongest attack) and one of Bellzelute's attacks. Some other robots (original or not) has them as well.
  • Pit's bow in Super Smash Bros Brawl.
  • Nightwolf from Mortal Kombat can use his magic to conjure up an ephemeral bow that fires spiritual arrows.
  • The Light Arrows in most versions The Legend of Zelda--the bow is still real, but the arrows are either made of pure light or have some super special holy magic cast on them.
  • Some of the attacks of Emilio in the game Psychic Force have him fire arrows of light.
  • Several of the summons in Golden Sun attack enemies with these.
  • The Short Bow of Gesen in Baldur's Gate II shoots small lightning bolts and doesn't need any ammo.
  • The Crystal bow in Runescape, made out of elven crystal, has well over two thousand inherent charges, each of which creates one glowing green energy arrow. It's not a truly popular weapon, though, as it grows weaker the less charges are remaining, and each one is one-use, as opposed to conventional ammunition. This, and the bow turns into a small piece of crystal once the charges are depleted, and the recharge itself is highly expensive (almost a million ingame coins at first, the cost comes down to a fifth of the original as the bow attunes itself to you, though).
  • Rising Sun Archer Maidens in Uprising, the expansion to Command and Conquer Red Alert 3, seem to use energy bows of some sort. They're physical bows, but they glow at the ends and the arrows they shoot glow too and are effective against tanks.
  • The attack, Shining Shot, from Dragon Quest VIII and Dragon Quest IX is a powerful bow technique that fires a burst of light arrows at enemies.
  • The Ethereal Crossbow from Heretic fires crossbow bolts of green magical energy in a burst, being the equivalent of Doom's shotgun in that game.
  • Lenneth's bow attacks in Valkyrie Profile are composed of some kind of energy, setting her apart from the other archers in the game. Likewise when she appears in Radiata Stories.
  • The Amazon's Magic Arrow skill in Diablo II fires a bolt of mana that replaces the need for arrow quivers and does extra damage. A few unique bows have the special property "Fires level X Magic Arrow", meaning they shoot Magic Arrows as the basic attack and can be used with Strafe or Multishot.


Webcomics


Western Animation

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