Ballistic Bone

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"When are you going to run out and fall apart?"
Egoraptor, commenting on the bone throwing skeletons, Sequelitis - Castlevania 1 vs. Castlevania 2

Bones flung as projectiles. Bone projectiles are extremely commonly thrown by skeletons. In most cases the launchers never run out of bones. This brings up the question whether the creature uses its own bones, the bones of others, or just bone-like things it somehow creates or summons. Usually Stock Femur Bones.

A subtrope of Abnormal Ammo. Compare Bad with the Bone, Throwing Your Sword Always Works.

Examples of Ballistic Bone include:

Anime and Manga

  • Kimimaro from Naruto can use the bones in his body as weapons, including his fingertips as bullet-like projectiles. In his case, he can grow new bones, but this still begs the question of where he's getting the material.

Comic Books

  • In the third X-Men movie, Marrow regrew bone spikes, which she then used as thrown weapons. She typically is more of a Bad with the Bone fighter, but she throws them from time to time as well.
    • A very minor X-Men villain named Spyne also had the power to hurl regenerating bones from his skeleton.
    • * In re X3, there was some fellow who pursued Wolverine through the forest at one point. Some bone spikes were thrown during pursuit, and after that two others were used in melee combat, leaving a pair of holes in Wolverine's shirt.

Tabletop RPG

  • Space Gamer/Fantasy Gamer #7 article "Villains Finish First!". One of the sample villains, Horror, could rip off one of his bony fingers and hurl it like a dart.
  • Dungeons and Dragons has several examples:
    • Early editions had a couple of magical bones usable as ranged weapons.
      • When thrown at an opponent, the Bone of Bruising continuously attacked, doing minor damage and distracting the opponent.
      • If the Bone of Turning was thrown at and hit an undead, it acted as a a turning attempt by a 15th level cleric/priest.
    • Module A4 In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords: The PCs could find a skull which could be thrown at opponents.
    • Archer skeletons from Ravenloft fire bone arrows, which can transform into additional skeletons if they miss their targets.
  • Stormbringer supplement Demon Magic, adventure "Sorcerer's Isle": More than 2,000 wraiths guard the pile of treasure in the cave. If the PCs use one of their hybzee demons to try to steal the treasure, the wraiths will throw bones at the demon to drive it away.
  • Some Abyssal charms in Exalted do pleasant things like hurling slivers of the Abyssal's finger bones at his enemies.

Live-Action Film

Live Action TV

  • On one episode of Bones, Gormogon packed a bomb with his master's teeth.

Video Games

  • Dry Bones from the Mario series do this in some games, most notably Super Mario World.
  • Castlevania skeletons have this ability.
  • The more advanced skeleton enemies of La-Mulana can throw these.
  • Some skull-type enemies of Cave Story shoot them. As well, you fight the True Final Boss of the game on a floor made of bones. In the first two parts of the fight, he frequently performs a Ground Pound which sends out a shock wave of bones capable of hurting you. In the third part of the fight, he drops flaming skulls on you.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Some Stalfos throw bones.
  • Egoboo has Bone Thrower Ulnas.
  • In the Clonk pack 'Metal and Magic', the mystic can launch these using power drawn from an animal skull.
  • Eternal Daughter skeletons.
  • Battle for Wesnoth's advanced skeleton archers shoot arrows made of their victims' bones.
  • Hydra Castle Labyrinth skeletons.
  • Pokémon: Cubone's and Marowak's signature moves Bonemerang, Bone Rush, and Bone Club.
  • Crossbow bolts can be carved out of animal bone in Dwarf Fortress, which is about half-way between this trope and Abnormal Ammo. They're not much use against large wild animals or any humanoid wearing even the most rudimentary armour, barring a lucky hit, but they're a cheap and readily available source of practice ammunition.
  • Some necromancers in World of Warcraft have spells with a projectile that looks like a bone. Several of the more threatening skeletal opponents also have bone projectiles.
  • In Baroque, you can find many items; bones that you can throw is one of them.
  • The roguelike Dungeon Crawl used to have a spell called Bone Shards that turned wielded skeletons into blasts of bone fragments. It's been removed now because the damage wasn't worth the trouble of getting and wielding a skeleton.
  • Gargoyles in Blood throw sharp bones when they aren't raking you with talons.
  • The Diablo 2 Necromancer class can shoot Bone Spears and Teeth.
  • The skeletons in Nitemare 3D, presumably.
  • Shadows of the Damned uses three types of ammo: skulls, teeth, and bones. Bones are used as ammo in a gun that Garcia colloquially calls "The Boner."
  • In The Simpsons: Virtual Bart, the cavewoman version of Marge throws bone hairpieces. A nameless baby also throws bones, until you kill him.
  • It's probably just some sort of energy-field hologram thing, but Mega Man 4 features Skull Man, whose weapon is flying skulls.
  • Clive Barker's Undying has a spell (the game's equivalent of a rocket launcher) that pulls skulls out of the ground, charges them with magic and fires them when you release the button. The ammo is justified by the island having been a battleground for pretty much forever, "Not an inch of this ground where someone hasn't died." Doesn't explain how you can use it up on the roof of the mansion, though...
  • The Flamerus Rex boss in Final Fantasy Mystic Quest has a bone missile attack.

Western Animation

Real life

  • A certain tribe of Pacific Islanders uses arrow points made out of human bones. Preferrably coming from a relative, mind.
  • This is one of the reasons cannonballs were effective. If a cannonball hit somebody dead center in the chest, their torso would pretty much explode, and bits of their ribs and other bones would fly out as shrapnel, killing or injuring nearby soldiers.