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Lets say that you, aspiring writer, are creating a weapon for your character. You want it to be cool and all, don't you? How about a katana? An enhanced version used only by the elite, Forged by the Gods Infinity+1 Sword. Passed within its owner's family for generations. Unbreakable and incredibly sharp, Sharpened to a Single Atom, you might say. And maybe also empathic, and best for slaying the greatest threats in the setting. And it gives protection from all weaknesses your hero has. And one that shines when enemies are close. And it has a dark name, like Sorrow or Pain or Sorrowpain. Oh, and you're describing it with great detail, right?
Congratulations, you just created a Mary Sue.
What are you saying? But you didn't even create a character? Well, take a look at your weapon.
While not as often as character Sues, Sues in the form of weapons or other items are also very common, especially in Fan Fictions and on websites providing fan-made material for Role Playing Games. It's a weapon or other item so very broken, that whoever holds it gets turned into an Invincible Hero or outright God Mode Sue, because nothing in the setting can defeat him. At least as long as he holds it (and Rule of Drama indicates that he will lose it at least once).
Some of the best indicators of possible God Mode Item are:
- An item is described with Purple Prose while other, similar items are described with Beige Prose.
- An item has significantly more impact on the story than all other items of its kind and gets a lot more focus.
- An item is significantly more powerful than all other items of its kind.
- Bonus Points if it gets more of a description, has a bigger impact on the story, gets more focus, and is more powerful than many characters.
God Mode Items can take a form of MacGuffin if it's driving the plot because of its Sue-ish traits, but once its plot gets resolved, it won't be used again. Most of those times, the reason will be that it is too dangerous and must be destroyed or sealed away. However, being a MacGuffin can also save an item from being a Mary Sue in a form of object, if the focus is on characters obtaining it and not the item itself. A good example may be the Ark from Raiders of the Lost Ark, that is said to be able to destroy mountains and make any army invincible, yet it's inactive and off-screen for the most of the movie.
A Kryptonite-Proof Suit that removes all of a character's weaknesses might be this, as long as the suit itself is sufficiently hard to destroy/separate from the character. For characters as weapons in a literal sense, see Equippable Ally. Compare with Infinity+1 Sword, which functions as this for video gamers, usually more so than the video games themselves.
Not every powerful weapon has to be a God Mode Item. A good writer should be able to put any weapon, no matter how powerful, in a good and interesting way, so please think twice before adding an example. We don't want this page to turn into "Complaining About Items You Don't Like."
Anime and Manga:
- In Bleach Aizen's zanpakuto might qualify--when you think about it, its power to cast perfect and unbreakable illusions on anyone who has ever seen it is in large part responsible for his Memetic Badass and Villain Sue status.
- There is also a sacred weapon that has the power of thousand zanpakutos and can be wielded by anyone, which could be this, but its use is restricted only to executions and all its impact on the story is that Hinamori got convinced Hitsuyaga wants to steal it and killed Aizen because he found out, which is a Red Herring.
- The Key Of The Twilight from .hack//Sign is known for being this within the confines of The World. It allows the user to contradict the rules of the system and basically do whatever the hell they feel like doing.
- The Infinity Gauntlet grants its owner absolute control over past, present and future, allows one to bend reality to one's own will, to exist in any location and to move any object, to steal and control souls of both living and dead, grants the most powerful Telepathy in the Universe and allows access to every source of power that ever existed or will exist. Once Thanos achieves it, there is nothing that can defeat him, neither Marvel's greatest superheroes, Death, Mephisto or all-powerful cosmic gods, including The Eternity, who is the Anthropomorphic Personification of the Universe itself.
- The Mighty Thor's Mjolnir: Can only be used by the "worthy", was forged in the heart of a dying star, imbues the user with the powers of a god, is nigh-indestructible, always returns to the wielder when thrown (at one point, going through an entire planet to do so), amongst many, many other abilities.
- Spikard Rings from The Book of Amber - incredibly powerful rings of ancient and mysterious origins, connected to multiple sources of magic powers located around The Multiverse, that allow their users to create any magical spells they need at instant. Merlin theorizes that at full power a person armed with one can even damage manifestations of Pattern and Lorgus. However they seems to be addictive and can be themselves targeted by any magic - Dara and Mandor enhances a spikard, set for Merlin to pick, with mind-controlling spells and it would work, if Bleys hadn't replaced it with another spikard.
- In Harry Potter, Voldemort believes the Elder Wand to be this - and to be fair, it's one of the three Deathly Hallows, making it the Wizarding equivalent of the Holy Grail or the Spear of Destiny (though he's ignorant of this history, having been raised a Muggle). In practice, however, the Elder Wand is a Doom Magnet: those who wield the Elder Wand tend to end up murdered for it, and in the end, it dooms Voldemort himself when he fails to realize that Harry is its true master. When it finally passes into Harry's hands, he chooses to break its curse by never wielding it - and in the movie, he seals the decision by snapping it in two.
- The Apprentice Adept series has two: The Book of Magic and the Platinum Flute. The Book lets anyone who possesses it to cast magic spells at an Adept's power level (It let a troll with no inherent magic become the new Red Adept). The Flute enhances the innate magic of anyone who holds it (allowing Stile, the Blue Adept, to use his magic withing the Anti-Magic influence of a unicorn circle). Anyone who can actually play the damn thing gains Adept-level magic. A master musician? Becomes stronger than all the other Adepts put together.
- The One Ring from The Lord of the Rings is this, at least to Sauron; it would make him powerful enough to wipe out all the other races easily, and would make him nearly unkillable, able to spy on everything happening everywhere all at once, etc. Naturally, he doesn't have it, and the heroes can't use it because it's too full of soul-consuming evil or...something. The Ring also happens to be indestructible when not inside Sauron's personal volcano, and it can't be hidden (throw it in the ocean and it'll mind-control a fish to eat it and carry it back to the surface; put it anywhere else and the Wraiths will find it). So, pretty much the entire plot happens.
- A common feature of debug items in video games is to give god like stats that break the game cleanly in half. When these are not removed from the final version, they are typically accessible only by console commands, and generally share a model with a "normal" item.
- Soul Edge. Even more so than its "good" counterpart, Soul Calibur. The Soul Edge turns you into a nigh-unstoppable badass at the cost of your soul. Furthermore, the sword eventually became so powerful and absorbed so many souls that it formed its own body and became sentient. Later games state that the Soul Calibur is basically the same way, except that its power is automatically equal to that of the Soul Edge--however strong the Edge gets, the Calibur grows stronger to match it. When both are at the peak of their power, they become sentient. Soul Calibur IV reveals that both weapons are evil in different ways--the battle between them is closer to Order Versus Chaos mixed with Evil Versus Evil.
- Frostmourne in Warcraft III is said to be this. Near the end of the Human campaign, Arthas and Muradin believe their only hope of defeating the undead is to recover the blade, as it is said to be a sword capable of defying death. When they finally find it, however, Muradin reads the description on the dais and realizes that the blade is cursed. Arthas then proceeds to take the sword anyway, saying it is needed in "the defense of his brethren". When Muradin objects, Arthas stabs and kills him (supposedly). A couple levels later, you find out Arthas has become a death knight.
- The Sword of Omens from Thundercats became this as the series wore on.
- The magic orb from one of The Swan Princess movies that has power of granting perfect mastery of all three disciplines of mystic arts - Creation, Change and Destruction.