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Edgar: Ah, but the poor beasts have no thumbs, so I ask you... how are they holding their cards?

Razputin: S-s-sticky paws?

In most platformers, the hero can carry a readied weapon of any given size without taking any penalty to his ability to run, jump, climb, dangle by one hand or perform any other acrobatic feats. Equally, he never loses his grip on the weapon when unexpectedly flung through the air or forced to catch a ledge to avoid falling to his doom. You get the impression that the weapon is magnetically attached to his hand, and that his fingers don't have to actually hold it in order to maintain a grip.

What is actually happening is that the weapon is simply being rendered relative to the character's hand. Perfectly reasonable when doing normal things with a weapon. As with any program, so long as it is told to do something, it will continue to do it, even if it violates reality. So if the character needs to grab a ledge, the game will obediently keep drawing the weapon relative to the hand just like it was told.

Ultimately, this is an Acceptable Break From Reality. After all, you wouldn't want to miss catching that ledge because you forgot to put your weapon away. The only obvious alternatives would be for the game to temporarily stop rendering the weapon or automatically put the weapon away.

This is generally a 3-D trope, though it can equally occur in 2-D games. In 2-D cases, the weapon's sprite may simply vanish until the character climbs back up.

Of course, having Magnet Hands does not prevent the hero from losing the weapon during a cutscene. For some reason, the magnets only work on the hero's assigned weapon; he or she will typically either drop carried items (such as barrels, crates, levers, or burning sticks) or will be unable to jump, climb, or catch edges while carrying them.

See also Do Not Run with a Gun, Sticks to the Back.

Examples of Magnet Hands include:
  • Averted with Kingdom Hearts. The Keyblade disappears in a flash of light whenever Sora needs a free hand. He can still run and jump like normal if he has the Keyblade out, and some of the stuff he does in battle with them is ridiculous. Of course, he is apparently dexterous enough to be able to swing the blade from his fingers to cause damage, as well as outright levitate them, so it's sort of unlikely he'd be dropping the Keyblade in normal circumstances. And even if Sora did drop the Keyblade, he can teleport it back to his hand at will. In fact, in the first game, he has an attack that takes advantage of this. The command "Strike Raid" will make him throw the Keyblade at an enemy, then teleport it back to his hand and do it again several times, followed by a more powerful throw called "Judgement". He also repeatedly vanishes and summons the Keyblade in cutscenes, so it's not just game mechanics, it's part of the story that he can never lose it.
  • Halo Zero and even the main Halo games have the amazing ability to NEVER have you drop your weapon. Justified in the same way as it does Sticks to the Back; the MJOLNIR armour is electro-magnetic so you quite literally have magnetic hands.
  • All 3-D Zelda games.
    • Subverted early in The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker, when being shot out of a cannon into the outer wall of a fortress causes a dazed Link to drop his sword.
    • Very noticable when you cling to the edge of a cliff with one hand, which happens to be holding your sword.
  • Ico is particularly Egregious: The hero cannot drop his weapon or put it away, but the climb animation causes his weapon to pass through his other arm.
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Averted in Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. While you can jump and land successfuly without sheathing a sword, the prince will put away his weapon if forced to grab a ledge. On the other hand, this isn't much more realistic.
    • Full aversion: In the original Prince of Persia game, the prince drew his sword only when an enemy was present, and he could not perform acrobatics while sword fighting. This rule remained for the player in the sequel, but the Mooks flagrantly broke it by running and jumping into battle with swords in their hands.
  • The cutscenes from the first Sonic Adventure game show this. Rather than actually holding the Chaos Emeralds, characters just hold their hands out and the Emeralds just sort of float right next to their hands.
    • Also, one can't help but wonder how Vector the Crocodile's headphones stay on. There's nothing really holding them on his head, but even when he's doing a spin-jump or spindash they somehow manage to stay on.
    • A similar case is Charmy Bee's flight helmet - he can do a backflip while wearing it and it doesn't go flying off.
  • A 2-d example would be the Samurai Shodown series. Characters can drop their weapons, although they are just stuck in the ground and can be picked up quickly. however the fast paced, high-damage nature of the game means that if this happens, only a skilled player will be able to escape painful .
  • In Team Fortress 2, every class has a "taunt" move for most of their weapons (the Medic uses his bonesaw as a pretend violin, the Demoman takes a drink from his bottle, etc.) but if the change weapon button is pressed immediately after the taunt button, the weapon the character is holding for their taunt changes, resulting in some strange moves (The Demoman takes a drink from his handheld cannon, the Spy pulls a cigarette out of the barrel of his pistol). Sadly, this was inadvertently fixed in a recent update, though rumor has it that it may be deliberately readded.
    • The Heavy takes a bite of his minigun. "That was delicious!"
  • Chell, the protagonist of Portal, never lets go of the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device from when she picks it up in the second level, unless she dies.
    • This includes if you get catapulted 100 feet into the air upside down; she must have the balance of a highly evolved cat person.
    • Sorta justified with the release of Portal 2's "Long Fall Boots", which makes the wearer always land on his/her feet. Also absorbs all the shock from landing too! It also helps that Chell's hand seems to be inside the Device, Arm Cannon style.
      • However, the boots were only added as a cosmetic upgrade to the "Advanced Knee Replacements" in Portal 1, which don't make the wearer land on his/her feet.
    • And even then, if GLaDOS's robotic claw catches you, you still lose the portal device. This actually is supposed to build up to getting a device that can shoot both portals in Portal 2.
  • The Legacy of Kain series has this, and if you try and pick up a weapon on a run you'll actually see it float up into the character's hand; it's explained as the characters' latent telekinesis pulling the weapon to their hands. This troper thought it was a strictly gameplay thing until it was actually done identically in a cutscene.
  • This is the case with Drakengard. It becomes rather hilarious when you're wielding the BFS which weighs close to 100 lbs and you can still jump as high as if you were wielding some of the daggers.
  • In the 2D Mega Man X games Zero would quick-draw his saber at the start of a combo, and sheathe it at the end. The 3D games give him a bad case of magnet hands. Especially annoying in X8 where he gets a huge hammer and a naginata apparently glued to his hand.
    • In the same game, Axl is actually drawn holding his larger guns with both hands. This also means that he's drawn clinging to walls by his feet. However, barring these and Zero's dual harisen, the characters will only cling to walls with their free hand.
    • An actual powerup item for Mega Man's Rocket Punch-like Mega Arm in the 5th Gameboy game is called the MH Item (MH being Magnet Hand, of course). It allowed Mega Man to grab distant powerups with his charged Mega Arm attacks.
    • Special mention goes to Mega Man Volnutt of the Mega Man Legends series. Due to how the weapon equiping system in those games works, he'll often climb ladders and cling to edges with two guns instead of hands.
  • While variations on this are par for the course in FPSs (the most popular seems to be the ability to climb ladders while blasting away with two-handed weapons), Halo 3 gets special mention for the fact that the Player Character literally holds onto his weapons with magnets!
  • If you drop your lightsaber in the Jedi Knight series, a quick force pull will bring it zipping back into your hand. If you completely lose it (e.g., off a cliff or behind a wall), you grow a new one.
  • Averted in Fallout 1 and 2, where any sort of interaction animation (opening a door, searching a body) results in the gun being holstered in hammerspace before the action and being wielded again after. Weapons do vanish during dodge animations, though.
    • Except melee weapons.
    • Barring having your gun shot out of your hand, it is impossible to unwillingly lose your weapon in Fallout 3 or Fallout: New Vegas. However, it will negatively impact your running speed if you don't holster it.
      • However, a few rendering errors can wind up in big weapons like the minigun sticking to the player's and NPCs' hands in improbable ways. For instance, when Jericho smokes, ignoring the 40 pounds of steel death strapped to his arm.
  • Partially subverted in the platformer Yo! Joe!. Certain weapons, when wielded, would render you incapable of grabbing onto a ledge. Since changing weapons required you to stand on an even surface, forgetting to change weapons before a jumping puzzle could net you a fast-trip to the bottom of the level.
    • Or spikes...
  • Averted in Mirror's Edge, where Faith cannot engage in Le Parkour (or even run) while carrying a weapon. The exception is the pistol and machine pistol, justified because she can easily keep a grip on it while climbing a ledge, or stick it into her waistband for more complex maneuvers.
  • Averted in Ty the Tasmanian Tiger. Because of the way the main character holds his boomerangs, he actually uses them to help in climbing ladders and other laddery-like things. Don't think about what that'd do to his hands...
  • Though not a platformer, GURPS parodies this with the perk Guns Akimbo which lets guns function normally no matter what you're holding.
  • Occurs, oddly enough, in Rock Band and its sequel, when checking out guitars from the Rock Shop. Your character places their hands behind their back while playing the guitar - but none of the guitars have straps, resulting in guitars floating in front of you.
    • For that matter, it also occurs in many of the Guitar Hero games, especially Guitar Hero 1 and 2, when activating Star Power, the player does many "magnet hand" things, including twisting the strapless guitar around their waist.
  • Kirby.
  • One letter to Nintendo Power magazine asked how Shy Guy and Boo were able to hold their tennis rackets in the then-recently released Mario Tennis game when neither had fingers. "A complex system of magnets" was the answer they "received" from Shy Guy, while Boo just muttered something about "sticky ectoplasm".
    • At least those characters have limbs. Some games have Goombas playing baseball or tennis. Goombas, by the way, don't have limbs at all, and barely have feet. For the record, their equipment just floats next to them; they don't bother with holding it in their mouth.
      • Actually in Mario Baseball Goomba holds his bat between his legs which probably still counts unless goomba have massive thigh muscles in those tiny legs. Plus hitting a baseball with what looks like your penis looks hilarious
  • This was one of the many FPS-trope aversions attempted by Trespasser: you had to manually move your arm about to pick up (and aim, for weapons) objects in the game world, and you could lose your grip on them. Most players and reviewers derided it as awkward and clunky, though it is possible to achieve reasonable proficiency with practice. Said control awkwardness resulted in Fridge Brilliance once or twice, when Anne realistically dropped her gun upon falling off a wall or had it knocked out of her hand by a charging velociraptor.
  • It may not be a video game but in Berserk Magnet Hands is the actual reason why Guts is able to use his prostethic arm to grasp his sword.
  • Alice in American McGee's Alice can climb, float, jump, swim, and be set on fire while holding any weapon, even the Jabberwock's eyestaff and the blunderbuss, which both look rather heavy. And hey, the knife will actually respawn in her hand when she throws it.
  • The Little Big Adventure games. Yes, apparently, it's perfectly possible to climb ladders while holding a sword or any other weapon.
  • Characters in Resident Evil 4 continue to clutch their weapons even in death. They even do this during death situations that would normally call for the complete loss of motor function or other preoccupation, such as having their heads chainsawed off or throats ripped out by dogs.
  • In Ratchet and Clank, your weapons mysteriously disappear from your hand while hanging onto a ledge, then re-equip once you pull yourself up.
    • Hand Wave|d in the third game by explaining that they're quick-assembled/disassembled from a high-tech wristband Ratchet is wearing.
  • Nathan Drake in Uncharted can be reduced to an inch of his life by a near hit from a grenade or missile, but will only be blown backwards or drop his gun if it kills him. Apparently, he has magnet feet too.
  • World of Warcraft takes the "automatically put the weapon away" route. Any time you have to do something where it would be inappropriate to be holding a weapon (such as casting a spell or saluting), your weapons instantly teleport back to their sheaths on your hip or back.
  • Non-game example: The Powerpuff Girls exhibit this because they lack fingers. This gets a Lampshade in the Freaky Friday episode, where Buttercup-in-Professor Utonium tries to answer the Hotline by pressing "her" hand to the receiver, then pulling away. After a few failed tries, she looks off-screen and shouts "Professor! Your hands don't work!"
  • Because players are expected to know that the mechs in Armored Core grips the arm weapons, the first games does not have the arm weapons' grip rendered. This makes some players a little confused on why their rifles/shotguns/bazookas have a trigger, but not a grip.
  • In Nie R, one-handed swords and spears are large enough on their own, but two-handed swords (and axes) are such massive monstrosities that Nier himself (a towering, heavily-muscled beast of a man) has trouble swinging them and a slash from the heaviest ones can take him up to two or three seconds. But he has no problem leaping with them, or hanging onto them when he's kicked across the room by an enemy. He suffers no penalty even when he sticks them to his back and starts running, climbing, or even double-jumping.
  • Averted in Survivor: The Living Dead, a loosely Romero-based Freeware Game holding items drains your stamina faster, and when your stamina runs out you risk tripping in a most spectacular manner, which sends whatever you're holding tumbling through the air away from you. Not a good thing if you're surrounded by zombies.
  • In Star Wars: Republic Commando, the guns never leave your hand on screen, though occasionally the gun-holding hand will drop off the screen and come back empty. This becomes rather jarring when you take a closer look at the model fro that hand--the index finger (used for both the trigger and using computer consoles) doesn't have "straight" and "bent" positions, it's split and fills both positions at once. That's a very good reason to never show the weapon leaving the hand. Luckily, you have to play around with the camera settings a bit to see the hand from a non-scripted angle and see that.
  • Characters in the Soul Series simply cannot let go of their weapons, no matter how hard you hit them. (Apart from the original Soul Blade, where you could actually be disarmed and had to spend the rest of the round going hand-to-hand.)
  • Inverted in Zeno Clash. Not only can any weapon be knocked out of your hands with a few well placed blow from an enemy, but they can pick it up and start using it on you. Luckily you can do the same.
  • In the Half Life series, Gordon can not only climb ladders while holding a weapon, he can stop halfway up the ladder, face in completely the other direction, and shoot. Now that's skill.
  • Averted in Silent Storm. When the characters climb over fences or through windows, they holster their weapons.
  • Diablo II has cows wielding halberds. With their hooves.
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