Beam Spam

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Taste the rainbow.

"Your weapon temporarily absorbs attacks and then fires it back at the enemy, [...] Would you be able to do it if I fire 1,000 shots at once?"

Primera Espada, Bleach

What's better than having a laser? How about 50 bazillion of them?

Beam spam embodies the idea that quantity has a quality all its own. Rather than impressing the audience with a demonstration of just how powerful the Wave Motion Gun is, you instead break their brains with an insane amount of energy rays spewing out of the same source. The key word here is beam SPAM. Roboteching is a frequent way of getting more lasers to fit on screen by allowing them to come out from more places than just the front of the vessel.

This is common in ship-to-ship space combat, but you'll also frequently find this trope in shows with Hermetic Magic or Humongous Mecha. When Beam Spam is magical in origin, you'll almost always see the barrage emanating from the sides and back of the character before Roboteching towards the target(s). A subtrope of Spam Attack. Compare More Dakka (bullets), Bullet Hell (bullets to avoid), and Macross Missile Massacre (missiles). Contrast Wave Motion Gun, Kamehame Hadoken and Blasting Time.

Examples of Beam Spam include:

Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • In Shakugan no Shana this is basically Hecate's primary form of attack... and her lasers bend and partially home in on the target! She can also spam smaller fireballs.
  • Gainax's Gunbuster: HOMING LASER!!!!
  • The Queen Of Moths uses this as her take on the Dynamic Entry on the battle field of Beijing.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima - Aside from Roboteching, Magic Missiles also have the tendency to suddenly shoot in straight lines when locked on.
  • Attenborough of Gurren Lagann, the gunner of the many Cool Ships throughout the series, lives for this kind of stuff. So much so that his Fan Nickname became Beamspam McMuppet.
    • This turns into a Crowning Moment of Awesome when during the battle against the Anti-Spirals, he makes the Super Galaxy Dai-Gurren fire beams at every point in SPACE AND TIME across the ENTIRE UNIVERSE. That's right, he achieved enuff dakka.
    • In the final battle, he emptied the Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann's supply of Probability Fluctuation Missiles in a single salvo. The Anti-Spiral counters by using beam-weapons that create explosions the size of fucking galaxies, and those beam-weapons have a faster rate-of-fire than a modern-day machinegun. And it has hundreds, if not thousands, of them. At that point, the show almost manages to achieve Too Much Dakka.
      • The second movie adaption of the series succeeded. When the Giga Drill Breaker attacks from both the Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and Super Granzeboma collide, an ENTIRE UNIVERSE COLLAPSES. Now it's Too Much Dakka!
  • In Heroic Age, ships don't neccessarily fire that many lasers, but with the sheer amount of ships, space battles turn into disco light shows.
  • Entire battles in Legend of the Galactic Heroes consist of tactics-infused beamspam. Interestingly, Alliance ships are most prone to beamspam, and one of their most notable commanders is named Attenborough.
  • Nearly every Gundam series has at least one example:
    • The Qubeley Mass-Production Type, Quin Mantha, and Geymalk of Gundam ZZ each have 30 funnels. The Quin Mantha also mounts 9 beam cannons on its body, while the Geymalk mounts 22 (though the gigantic Quin Mantha's cannons are bigger).
      • The Khsatriya from Gundam Unicorn as well, but not to the same extreme. Using all 24 funnels simultaneously lets it deliver Death in All Directions quite easily, with another 12 mega particle cannons mounted across its body. In fact, its pilot's preferred method of dealing with anyone irritatingly difficult to fight is to just surround the annoying fly with funnels and blast away. It works quite well until the Unicorn Gundam deploys.
    • Gundam Wing had this in the form of entire walls of beam cannon-equipped armies firing all at once, and the entire space station Libra did this when it wasn't showing off its Wave Motion Gun.
      • Wing Zero shoots its buster rifle a forwards... then it shoots downwards... then it shoots while spinning around... Needless to say, its two beam sabers don't get much screen-time.
    • In After War Gundam X the Harmonica Shield is this to the Gundam X Divider, the shield houses Thirteen beam cannons that when fired retains much of its destructive power even under water.
    • The Freedom Gundam in Gundam SEED and its upgrade, the Strike Freedom, in Gundam SEED Destiny, especially when equipped with the METEOR pack. Combine near-limitless energy with a state-of-the-art targeting system (two luxuries that most mobile suits in the SEED universe don't have) with a SEED Mode user who refuses to kill and you get someone who can show up in the middle of battle and proceed to completely disarm both sides in less than a minute. Seriously, Kira Yamato's Fan Nickname could just as easily be Aimbot McBeamSpam. In addition, the Providence and Legend Gundams are capable of remotely-controlled Beam Spam thanks to their DRAGOONs, which the Strike Freedom is also equipped with.
    • Gundam Zabanya from Gundam 00: A wakening of the Trailblazer has 14 Rifle Bits (two of which are hand-carried) and 14 Holster Bits. Combined with Guns Akimbo'd Gun Kata and a reactor core and targeting system that puts even the above-mentioned Freedom suits to shame, we get a display of beam spamming action that rapes everything on the screen.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has the combat cyborg Otto and her aptly named Inherent Skill, Ray Storm, which sends powerful beams flying in every direction. Nanoha herself also has a few examples of this, not least is her Blaster System, which functions much like the DRAGOONs mentioned above. And Fate has her Phalanx Shift attack that is a Beam Spam version of her basic beam attack.
    • The episode that introduced Fate gave us Bardiche's first spoken words in the franchise. "Photon Lancer. Full Autofire." Beam Spam ensued.
    • A's Portable: The Battle of Aces makes this the basic ranged attack of both Hayate and her Evil Twin Material-D. Sure, you could fire only one of the little energy balls, but where's the fun in that?
    • In the 3rd season, Nanoha even Beam Spams her Wave Motion Gun attack.
  • Dragon Ball. Uncountable times. It rarely works; a single huge beam is almost always depicted more effective.
    • One of Vegeta's signature attacks, especially early on.
    • Krillin used it on Nappa, having no effect.
    • Buu spammed an entire planet with lasers, using his aptly-named Human Genocide Attack to wipe out the planet's entire supply of Muggles. Tien and Chiaotzu actually outlasted the rest of the Z team because they were down on Earth at the time rather than at Kami's lookout, and therefore only had to survive the beam spam rather than the "Chocolate Lasers" he used on the foes right in front of him.
  • Seen in various forms on Eureka Seven. You have your ship-mounted type, seen in the aerial battle between the Gekko and the Izumo, as well as the Nirvash typeTheEND's personal homing laser array. The latter puts out nearly enough beams to turn the whole screen red and white.
  • The main weapon of Lelouch's Shinkirō Knightmare in Code Geass produces an attack of this sort, via the power of refraction. Later on in the series Suzaku (who is now dangerously close to stealing Kira Yamato's coveted executive beam spammer club trophy) gets a spiffy new upgrade to the Lancelot. It's new energy wings double as a weapon allowing it to deluge targets in energy. You almost have to feel sorry for them...
  • Two instances in the series Vandread. Once, in the first series and never used again, when Vandread Dita bounces a whole lotta energy beams off the other Dreads to wipe out a fast-moving enemy attack in one shot. And, in Vandread: The Second Stage, when Bart unlocks the Nirvana's Main Gun in his Crowning Moment of Awesome moment. This attack is used in the remainder of the series, and consists of the Nirvana firing hundreds of beams all at once, that not only seek using Roboteching, they seek their targets while dodging friendlies
  • The Neuroi in Strike Witches attack like this.
  • She may not have a big gun, but one of Minako/Venus's light and energy based attacks is basically this and its name is Crescent Beam Shower.
  • Bleach example: The bow Uryuu got after regaining his power has the consecutive rate of fire (whatever that means) of 1200.
    • That's how many bolts he can let off before taking a break, if they're going with standard usage. If that's per minute, the boy has a higher rate of fire (and this being Bleach, more destructive power per projectile and better accuracy) than your average anti-infantry heavy machine gun.
      • It's per second - neither standard military use. The boy is frightening, and fires 12 times faster than a helicopter minigun. An anti - tank helicopter minigun. Makes sense, as he usually sweeps thousands of hollow out of the sky at once.
      • Actually, it's even worse than that. It's 1200 shots at once. As in, it's like firing 1200 bows at the exact same time.
    • At little more recently, Starrk's release gives him the ability to rapid-fire multiple ceros at once, fitting with his release's gunslinger motif
      • Worth noting that the answer to Starrk's question in the page quote is apparently 'yes'. He's just too fast to be hit by the redirected beam, but we don't actually see him overpower Ukitake's shikai.
    • Also the kidou spell Hyapporankan or "Hundred-Step Rail Parch." Hisagi uses it against Findor Calius and Hitsugaya in a movie.
  • Super Dimension Fortress Macross and its follow-on series use this trope (in the forms of turret-spam and ships-with-WMG-spam) almost as much as they do the Macross Missile Massacre - and when you have 100+ ships on each side each with 100+ turrets ...
  • In the Super Robot Wars: Original Generation Divine Wars (Yes, that's the title,) the Cosmo Nova special attack is depicted as a roboteched Beam Spam.
  • Kiddy Grade: The Deucalion gets to do this to a variety of targets.
  • Bokurano has some ridiculous beam-spam in the closing chapters, though it does help that the Humongous Mecha Zearth can fire beams from any point of its body (remember that thing that Buu from Dragonball did mentioned earlier in this article? It's kinda like that).
  • Satchii, the anti-hacker device in Dennou Coil, uses this as its ultimate attack modus. It only works virtually, but since all of the protagonists spend most of their time in virtual reality it's still very terrifying to them.
  • Kuki's Dolem from RahXephon has this as it's power, making it a nigh unstoppable engine of destruction. In one memorable scene a Macross Missile Massacre was launched against it only to shot to pieces before the missiles could even get halfway.
  • The original Gall Force used this a lot, with their bendy laser beams.
  • In the .hack movie G.U. Trilogy, Ovan and Haseo face off against one another. After they gain their Avatar powers, Ovan unleashes a massive wave of red beams, countered by a massive blue beam from Haseo. They collide making a massive purple explosion.
  • The Nadesico's big sister, the Cosmos, beamspams Wave Motion Guns.
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni:
    • "The ballista shots that numbered a little over a thousand were all fired at once, drawing a beautiful geometric curtain of death.
    • In the same fight, Beato also shot 18900 bolts of lightning at the predecessor Beatrice. Both this attempt and the one above miss.
  • Admiral Kizaru of One Piece has his Yasakani no Magatama technique, which can rain down a ridiculous amount of light beams over a wide area.


Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • The first time Kyon is shown using Altair and Vega's Gungnir mode in Kyon: Big Damn Hero, it shot to one thousand three hundred and thirty-seven different targets.
  • In the Tamers Forever Series, Gallantmon's new "Takato's Star Storm" technique works by firing a barrage of plasma bolts from the small triangles rimming his shield.


Film -- Live-Action[edit | hide]

  • The Death Blossom mode in The Last Starfighter. (Kira Yamato, eat your heart out.)
  • Godzilla's Arch Enemy King Ghidorah often does this with its "gravity light", often firing blasts in random directions with its unoccupied heads while the third is busy grappling with an adjacent enemy.
    • Mechgodzilla in all of its incarnations is practically king of this trope. Each version is armed to the teeth (probably including the teeth themselves) and carries a massive of buttload of firepower that it can unleash from its entire body. This is particularly glaring with the Showa version, which had guns and lasers on practically every part of itself. Godzilla's battles with Showa Mechagodzilla probably contained a higher explosion-per-second ratio than your average Michael Bay flick.
  • While the Death Stars are most famous for their Wave Motion Gun, Rebellion pilots will tell you that the thousands millions of turbolaser turrets and emplacements dotting their surface is the much greater challenge if you want to actually destroy one.
  • In most Star Trek works ships fire phasers one or two beams at a time (usually because they're only in combat with one other ship), but in the 2009 film they're capable of firing about a dozen at once while still maintaining precise accuracy as evident when the Enterprise gives cover fire to the Alternate Universe Vulcan vessel Spock is using and destroys Nero's Macross Missile Massacre. And at the beginning of the film as the USS Kelvin is covering the escape of Kirk's mother aboard a shuttle.
    • When the Enterprise is trying to find the cloaked Scimitar in Star Trek: Nemesis, they fire a full spread from all phaser strips in the hope of hitting something... and then run out of ammo. Oops.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Anyone who's read David Drake's Hammer's Slammers series is quite familiar with Beam Spam. One of the staple weapons in the novels is the vehicle-mounted tribarrel, a weapon with three rotating barrels that shoots energy blasts (called "bolts") so fast that the bolts leaving the weapon appear to be a solid line - not individual bolts. The weapons scale up, too - his tanks in the series have both a tribarrel and a 20 cm "main gun" that can literally cook mountainsides with one shot. Too bad the weapons, being energy, have no penetrative qualities...
    • Not true. Very little can stand up to the 200MM main guns on the tanks, and even 50MM tank killer guns can punch holes in iridium tank armor.
    • The tribarrel is based on a cross between the real-life MG 42 machine gun and the Gatling gun, both of which have beam-spam-class rates of fire.
  • The Wheel of Time. Arrows of fire. Book 11. (Or: How to fully kill a Fade before nightfall)
    • Rand showed the ability to beamspam in book 11. He essentially generates one thousand beams with his bare hands.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe makes it quite clear that if they want to, the bigger Star Destroyers are quite capable of this even without using all their weaponry. The Executor-class (the ones like Vader's ship) is specifically noted as seem to throw up "sheets" or "walls" of energy. This is often used for melting the face off a planet.
  • The Honor Harrington universe has an interesting mix. Material advances have made bomb-pumped lasers more effective at breaching the shielding. So a Macross Missile Massacre becomes a beam spam of nuclear bomb-pumped lasers. One battle has ~65,000 of these missiles in a single salvo, with several more salvoes of the same size. Each of them had, on average, from 6 to 8 lasing rods.
  • In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000 Gaunt's Ghosts novel Necropolis, at one point, the Chaos forces have so many lasguns firing at the same time, that nobody can hear the individual shots being fired. Instead, they think that weird sound in the background is the wind blowing. )
    • In Blood Pact, when the Chaos witch bursts into the room to attack Mabbon, Maggs kills her by simply unloading his lasgun at her, firing over two hundred shots at her and overwhelming her warp-shields. It even freaks him out.
  • The 'gigawatt lasers' of Joe Haldeman's The Forever War count as about one each, given that even the early models are capable of hitting at least 20 targets a second. 300 years later that was up to about 1000 targets a second.
  • In the Dale Brown novel Flight of the Old Dog the Ice Fortress anti-ballistic missile system is supposedly able to use X-ray laser spam to destroy dozens to hundreds of missiles or warheads per munition.
  • In the Empire From the Ashes series by David Weber, there is a class of planetoid armed ONLY with heavy energy guns (essentially directed black holes). 4,000 km diameter planetoid battleship with pretty much the entire surface covered with them? Just add targets. They have 16 of these things and STILL nearly get overrun. They have to resort to supernova-ing the system. Good thing it wasn't Earth, eh?


Live Action Television[edit | hide]

  • In Babylon 5 the space station is shown to be armed with a number of laser-autocannons stretched along the spine of the station, capable of putting out impressive volumes of fire. In Season 2 this weapons grid is upgraded and in the Season 2 finale is shown to now have several Gatling-laser positions and several massive energy turrets added to it, quite capable of destroying a flagship battlecruiser belonging to a substantially more advanced alien race in a few bursts of concerted fire (aided by fighters strafing it as well).
    • Similarly, the sturdy Starfury, with two powerful but slow-firing energy cannons, is superseded by the Thunderbolt, which sacrifices power in favor of just having a laser minigun strapped to the front of it.
    • In the Battle of the Line, humanity brings every ship capable of fighting into Earth orbit, which provides ample cannon fodder for the Minbari beams:

Sinclair: ...and the sky was full of stars, and every star was an exploding ship - one of ours.

  • Star Trek may do it in the movies more often, but the shows employ it on rare occasions, too:
    • In Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Enterprise was able to fire multiple rounds when needed—most notably in "Conundrum" and "The Survivor".
      • "Best of Both Worlds" proves that it was a good idea to stick some phaser strips everywhere they could find room - even on the nacelles.
      • In the Interactive Technical Manual it's stated that (supposedly) the arrangement of the phaser strips ensures that every point around the ship can be hit by two independent banks.
    • In an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, Tuvok quells a riot by firing his hand phaser in a spread that blankets the bridge. Though beam-spreading like that isn't a new concept, it was never portrayed quite so effectively before.
    • Notable Deep Space Nine occurrences include the Defiant itself in every appearance, and the refit Excelsior class they encounter near Earth in one episode (subverted in that it and the Defiant are both duking it out with beam spam trying not to destroy each other and resultingly barely even hitting each other at point blank range).
      • Also regularly occurs when a battle involves the station itself. When the Klingons attack the station in one episode looking for members of the Cardassian government, Sisko warns them how many photon torpedoes he has waiting for them, then demonstrates with a few rounds of high-tech More Dakka. When that doesn't back them off, his next order is "fire at will". Insert several minutes of mutual beam-spamming before the Klingons deploy boarding parties and the fight moves inside.
  • The first season of Power Rangers had the Ultrazord, whose only attack was, you guessed it, a beam spam.
    • This turns up in Power Rangers now and again. Usually, the basic finisher is a Diagonal Cut, but as more and more mecha are added, they have to get snazzier. The third or fourth finisher to be introduced in a series is usually many weapons from all over the components' bodies being fired at once, for some very pretty death rays. Also, many Rangers-weapons-combined finishers are this, including the first.
    • Shogun Megafalconzord.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • In Dungeons & Dragons a Wizard or Sorcerer can learn the Magic Missile spell, which grants more and more magic missiles as they gain levels. At the highest level, it becomes the embodiment of this trope.
    • And by that, we mean that at its highest power, you get a grand total of five missiles. Seriously, Minute Meteors is a better beam spam.
      • 1st Edition has no limits on the number of missiles, so magic missile spamming is possible at high levels. Just one of the reasons why they turned it down to five, tops, too much bang for a first level spell.
      • The Wizard's Compendium describes the Improved Magic Missile spell, which is a 3rd level spell that ups the limit to 10, but is otherwise identical. Considering that MM never misses and is effective against ghosts and other pesky incorporeal creatures, it has its uses.
    • That's nothing compared to a Quickened Maximized Energy Admixtured Twinned Split Scorching Ray from an Artificer.
      • Use the right magic items and feats and it might be possible to fire off six of those at once. That's 72 shots for 48 points of damage each... at a minimum of 27,225 gold pieces cost just for the wand charges.
      • You forgot Empowered. That's a total of 5184 points of damage - 72x72. Also, the combination of Force Missile Mage (if you DM will allow it), Argent Savant, Incantatrix, and Spellwarp Sniper can be absolutely terrifying for a Magic Missile. Incantatrix to get free metamagics applied, Spellwarp Sniper to turn it into a ray so you can put stuff like Split and Twinned, Argent Savant for further damage, and Force Missile Mage for more damage and more missiles.
    • Though Magic Missile isn't that hot, it's older brother Chain Missile moves the upper limit to ten missiles. Combine that with several castings of Delay Spell (which delays the activation of a spell until a later turn), and you can spend several rounds before firing off sixty or seventy never-miss missiles who then proceed to chase after secondary targets. It's a complete waste of time and higher level spell slots, but damn if it doesn't look cool.
    • Baldur's Gate offers a variant: Combine the Spell Timestop with Improved Alacrity (removes delay between spells)and the "Robe of Vecna (lower casting time). You can then cast ALL your magic missiles, Acid Arrows, Flame Arrows plus a host of other spells (all the way to tenth level Infinity Plus One spells like Dragon's Breath or Comet), and they will all be fired at the target at the same time once the Timestop ends. There Is No Kill Like Overkill.
      • In the first Baldur's Gate, when you see Gorion battling Sarevok, Gorion unleashes a huge barrage of magic missiles at a time that, due to experience caps, you are unable to in the game. However, in the sequel, you are limited to 5 no matter what level you are. But that still can't stop you from getting a party of 6 rested mages to cast alacrity, then time stop at the same time so that at the end, they simultaneously (one after another with a nanosecond in between) unleash a red wave of doom upon the target. Give each one a spell sequencer (carrying three magic missile spells each) and a spell contingency (also three magic missile spells and set to "attacked"), then during their time stop turn have them each take a corner of a hexagon around the desired enemy and unleash the sequencers and as many memorized magic missiles as possible. Even if you only fire off 10 spells per mage, the target will be obliterated by [(1sequencer+1contingency)(3spells)+(10memorized)](5missiles)(6mages) = 480 missiles!
  • The Imperial Guard in Warhammer 40,000. Each infantryman is armed with a laser weapon, and they tend to field a lot of them. For kicks, their vehicles come with "multilasers". Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts series, there is one point where the Chaos forces have so many lasguns firing at the same time, that nobody can hear the individual shots being fired. Instead, they think that weird sound in the background is the wind blowing.
    • The Tau fall along the same lines, though their numbers are fewer. Possibly the worst thing you can do against them (besides using transports) is to put a squad less than a foot away from a Fire Warrior group. The words "Rapid Fire" usually follow.
      • Unless someone in the squad survives the barrage long enough to get into melee.
    • The Eldar, while mostly famous for their monomolecular shuriken launchers and other exotic toys deserve at least a honorary mention for their laser weaponry, and can probably rival the Imperial Guard if they try. Their scatter lasers tend to have higher rate of fire than most Imperial weaponry (including the above multilasers), and their light walkers can come with two of them per piece at a reasonable point price. Oh, and there is also the Sunrifle, arguably the quickest-firing weapon carried by hand, and the Fire Prism, which, well, pretty much embodies this trope. It uses a refraction prism to create enough laser beams to either hit anything in a large radius, or project a "concentrated" beam with enough force to stand a chance of going through the thickest armors in the setting... over a somewhat smaller radius. Yep, Beam Spam indeed.
  • GURPS Ultra-Tech gives us the "Gatling Laser", a tripod-mounted weapon consisting of four "Dinosaur Lasers" (shoulder-fired BFGs "powerful enough to blow away a dinosaur"), each firing multiple times per second. Higher Tech Level versions include gamma-ray and x-ray models.
  • BattleTech has several mechs built for laser spamming, however spamming lasers has the possibility to overload your reactor due to the heat from firing so many lasers at once, then there is the Pulse Laser and the Nova Cat. The pulse laser fires more laser blasts at your foe but it gives off even more heat, the Nova cat on the other hand fires several PPC at your general direction.
    • Novacat? That thing only has 3 lasers. The Blackhawk (aka Nova) has 12, and, its big brother the Supernova only has half as many, but they are bigger.
  • This (along with More Dakka and Macross Missile Massacre) is why they let you link weapons in Mekton Zeta. If you don't mind the expense, you could set up a humanoid mecha, middleweight frame, which simply consists of a cockpit, primary sensors, and 44 individual light beam guns (assuming you haven't installed a pod, which at middleweight would add space for another dozen), all firing at once. If your GM is lenient and has given you a high CP allowance, you could crosslink all of these, so you fire 44 shots directly at your target's face. That's gotta hurt.
  • In Exalted, a Solar can start with a combo containing Blazing Solar Bolt and Peony Blossom Attack. With sufficient creativity the end result resembles Kamehame Hadoken Beam Spam.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The Battlecruiser in Star Craft 2 outputs a constant stream of laser bolts. Attacking with a dozen takes the beam spam to a whole new level.
    • Not to mention the Protoss in general. A late-game Protoss "death-ball" will consist of zealots, stalkers, sentries, colossi and void rays. Of these, the zealot is the only one that doesn't shoot lasers.
  • The Vanu Sovereignty in PlanetSide use lasers for everything. The Vanu infantry are basically walking laser raves.
  • The Light Gun arcade shooter Razing Storm has ALL of its Mecha-Mooks use this on the player, be they Mini-Mecha, Humongous Mecha or the Cool Airship Final Boss.
  • In regular Super Robot Wars, The Rein Weissritter can use Flash Step to Beam Spam all by itself with only one gun.
  • Every shmup ever.
    • The entire cast of the Touhou series has some form of Beam Spam at their disposal, with a notable example being Shou Toramaru. Curving lasers. That briefly pause. She also loves lasers that turn into bullets, as does Nue's Danmaku Chimera attack.
      • Sariel's opening attack from the first game certainly qualifies.
      • THIS. Just... watch it. Shame such artillery gets used on a frigging soccer ball.
      • Special mention goes to Hinanawi Tenshi, who has about half of her attacks based off of either ridiculously huge or a ridiculous amount of lasers.
    • Anything with 'Diffusion' in the name in an R-Type game.
    • Ikaruga's charge attack.
    • Bangai-O can switch between this and a Macross Missile Massacre for its special attack.
    • Glue a massive amount of Laser L parts onto any Fraxy boss and you're done!
    • The Type-5 Weapon in Gun Nac, which when fully upgraded, fires six beams with each attack.
    • Crimzon Clover puts this at the player's disposal, in the form of rapid-fire homing lasers.
  • Does moonfire spam count? Moonfire does look like a Kill Sat...
  • Aozaki Aoko of Tsukihime uses both martial arts and Beam Spams when fighting, as seen in Melty Blood. This ranges from needle-thin shots to beams launched off her fists and her leg when in midair (which sweeps the entire screen with blue fire).
  • The homing version of these are Jehuty's main method of clearing swarms of Mecha-Mooks in Zone of the Enders. Many other Orbital Frames in the series can pull it off as well.
    • It seems that pretty much any orbital frame designed to actually carry a pilot has one of these, and all of them have that homing principle. Those that the game's main antagonist, Anubis, fires though, take the "homing" part to a whole new level of silly - they move by zigzagging here and there gradually in an angular pattern.
  • One of the Cosmic Break Japan clan tournaments was composed of nothing but robots with Lasers and Short Boost, an "upgrade" that lets your robots jump rather than dash.
  • During one segment of the Final Exam Boss Battle in Kingdom Hearts II, Sora and Riku are situated in the middle of a Death in All Directions magic missile globe. They spend the next few minutes deflecting the attack.
    • And gamers spend the subsequent hour with thumb atrophy. Damn you, Xemnas, you magnum douche! (Actually, it becomes much easier if you just turn the controller sideways and mash triangle and X with one thumb on each)
  • Approached in Unreal Tournament 2003, where the prequel's Plasma Gun is retooled as the Link Gun, with plenty of Beam Spam potential. Using alt-fire, the entire team can link-fire their guns at each other, granting the end user with ridiculous power. Unreal Tournament 2004 adds Link Turrets to the mix. Though they cannot target each other, they play nicely with Link Gun users.
    • Even with all the possibilities that the Link Gun adds, it just isn't quite like having two full teams of 16 players armed with the Instagib on a small map. It adds a whole new meaning to "Beam Spam" in video games.
  • Crab Spider Soldiers villain archetype in City of Heroes have a power similar to Beam Spam, although the number of blasts might not reach the level of spam regularly seen elsewhere.
    • Masterminds in City of Heroes, if they choose the Robotics powerset, can have dozens of beams spraying all over the screen from their various minions- each of the three lowest-level drones has an attack that fills the screen with laser fire, and if all of them go off at once, well...
  • Although it's supposedly not her preferred M.O., Samus Aran's Arm Cannon can certainly qualify as Beam Spam, considering the unlimited ammo (the Power Beam in the Prime games can literally fire as fast as you can press A). Combined with the Wave Beam, the Spazer, or the Plasma Beam (especially true in Super Metroid) and... hoo boy.
    • The Hyper Mode's charge beam in Metroid Prime 3 is literally a Beam Spam, firing so fast the blast forms a near-constant stream.
    • Not to mention many player's reactions to the Metroids. "* skree!* " "KILLITKILLITKILLIT!!!"
    • The manga also had an example in the form of Kreatz.
  • X's Charged Attack in Mega Man X Command Mission certainly qualifies.
    • His Hyper Mode charge shot qualifies even more especially since you can now unload everything on one target or simply pick who you want to blow up.
      • If that is all you have then forget it, you haven't seen Ultimate X armor. The minute that comes on, you can not only unload all your ammunition's worth on your opponent but you can also change targets when you are certain you killed your opponent Deader Than Dead.
  • In the shooting battle mode of Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, 20 rings will give you one of these to unleash on your opponent.
    • The Egg Wyvern and Solaris both do this in |the 2006 game. And in Sonic Colors, the Egg Nega Wisp fires laser beams one at a time, but eventually going so fast you barely have time to react inbetween!
  • Tales of Symphonia has the Judgment and Ray spells, which function like this.
  • In Tales of Vesperia, Dhaos has this as his Limit Break.
  • In Tales of the Abyss Guy has Mystic arte of the Slash variant: Brilliant Overload
  • A laser monsoon was seen in the game Knights of the Old Republic when the Sith fleet bombarded Taris.
  • The Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy IX versions of Alexander shoot off dozens (upon dozens, in the second case) of beams of Holy magic. Alexander VIII shoots them from deployable cannon batteries mounted on its shoulders, whereas Alexander IX releases them from its city-spanning wings. In the latter case, they're also of the homing variety.
    • Alexander makes a return in Final Fantasy XIII, using similar Beam Spam tactics. It's also a favored form of attack for Barthandelus.
      • In Final Fantasy XIII, the boss named Proudclad, which is a giant two-form Humongous Mecha, has a habit of turning the tides in any battle against it... By first using "Limiters Removal", which heals itself to pretty much full HP, and then spamming its Attack Drone attack against the leader. As long as you have Snow a Sentinel in your active party, things should work out just fine, though.
    • In Final Fantasy X, the Aeon Valefor's second Overdrive, Energy Blast, is very much this.
      • Tidus's Energy Rain Overdrive also counts.
  • Tetsuya Nomura's bizzare love of lasers gives us several examples in Kingdom Hearts II, first with Xigbar warping his blasts around you repeatedly, and the second in the final battle with Xemnas, who uses so many you have to team up with your ally to block them all.
  • The Homeworld series loves this trope. The first game has the Kadeshi Multibeam frigates, tiny little ships that have four titanic ion cannons squeezed in. When firing, they "sweep" space in front of them, making them almost more of a danger to fighter squadrons than capital ships. The sequel has its own version of the Multibeam Frigate, which takes eight beam emitters and plants them all over the ship's hull, making it an unholy terror when diving into fighter swarms (it's named the 'Dervish' for a reason). And Homeworld 2 has Pulsar Gunship squadrons, which are capable of outright swarming enemy ships with tiny little ion beams.
    • And this isn't even getting into Ion Cannon Frigates or the Progenitor Dreadnought, which edge closer to Wave Motion Guns (though the Dreadnought also has anti-fighter beam turrets all over its hull) except for the fact that you can have dozens of the frigates all firing at a single target.
      • Best option: 1) Go into "versus" match. 2) Put unit limit to "maximum". Build pulsar gunships, ion frigattes and battlecruisers until your unit cap is full. 3) Enjoy your beam spam. Or even better, make a versus match with 5 friends, and tell them all to do the same thing.
  • In Xenosaga, KOS-MOS's most popular weapon, the X-Buster, is a spread-beam laser cannon fired from her stomach. A perfect example of this Trope.
    • As is the Durandal's main cannon.
  • The super move of Sarara from Magical Battle Arena, where she attacks a target by firing thirteen beams at the same time from her Attack Drones and mechanical bow.
  • The Advent in Sins of a Solar Empire have a serious love of beam weapons. The Halcyon Carrier capital ship carries up to 7 squadrons of bombers (which are armed with beam weapons) in addition to the 8 heavier beam cannons mounted on the ship itself.
    • And of course you can mass bombers with the Advent. With the researches and the new pacts system in Diplomacy it's not unreasonable to arrive at an advent planet which has no ships defending it and be set upon by no less than 30 bomber squadrons...each of which has 7-10 bombers beam spamming your ships. Can make for a rather quick death for smaller ships when focused.
  • However strange it may seem, the final form of the final boss from Wario Land The Shake Dimension, aka the Shake King has multiple attacks involving an absolutely gigantic laser beam being fired at Wario, as well as multiple fireballs being sent everywhere at the same time. And another attack involving about five columns of lightning bolts being fired down from the top of the screen.
  • The Multilock move from Devil May Cry 3 has Dante fire multiple shots at a single target with the Artemis demonic energy weapon, if admittedly quite lacking compared to most of the other examples here.
  • In the first two Doom games, the BFG9000 is implemented internally as a beam spam weapon. The visual effects do not reflect this.
    • Technically, when the BFG9000's shot detonates, the game fires forty 2D rays from the player's viewpoint spaced out horizontally across the screen. Anything that one of these hits takes 15d8 damage and has the visual effect show up on it.
      • The BFG was supposed to act more like this in the beta, where instead of the massive green bolt of plasma it fires now, it fired out dozens of green and red balls that bounced off walls. This was Dummied Out because the tons of plasma orbs on the screen caused severe framerate drops, and because it "looked like Christmas."
    • Doom 64 features a weapon called the "Unmaker" (referred to in-game as, "What the $%#@$ is this?!") that, upon finding three artifacts scattered throughout the game, fires three beams in a single shot. Combined with its rapid firing rate, a fully powered Unmaker can quickly take down even the final boss.
  • The Blaster and Hyperblaster from Quake II normally fired little solid blocks of energy. A very simple mod could change this into a hitscan laser. Even without the mod, the Hyperblaster was basically a gatling energy weapon. If two people were dueling with them...
    • Also, the Quake II version of the BFG (BFG10k) fulfills the trope: It fires a green ball that fires lasers on all targets in the vicinity of its trajectory. When it hits a solid object, it explodes in a similar way to the original Doom BFG: The game checks if a line-of-sight can be drawn from the target to the ball's location of detonation and from the detonation site to the player who fired the weapon in the first place. If both lines of sight are met, the target is going to take a heap of damage and this is applied to all possible targets. Reportedly, it is a good tactic to fire the BFG into the ceiling in a room with a bunch of other players in a deathmatch game.
  • The Gatling Laser weapon from the Fallout series probably qualifies (especially the weapon in the third game). It's Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • Similarly, Command & Conquer Renegade has a laser minigun, which is just a teeny bit overkill when you consider the normal laser rifle already has a high rate of fire.
  • Similar to the D&D Time Stop combination mentioned above under Tabletop gaming, Ultima Underworld for the PC had a Time Stop spell as well. At the upper levels, this allowed you to fling vast quantities of items, fire arrows, and blast spells at the opponent, limited only by the fact that if they collided with one another before the opponent, most of them would be harmlessly destroyed. More amusingly, running into your own arrows in mid-flight could kill you even before the spell expired.
  • Jak and Daxter. The Beam Reflexor. "It's an upgrade to the sniper weapon", you say. "It doesn't have that high a rate of fire", you say. Then you see what happens when a) you're mashing the trigger and b) the blasts are rebounding in all directions. Spammy!
    • Let's not forget the upgrade that comes after: an Attack Drone that fires fifty shots in all directions. Sadly, they don't rebound.
      • The last upgrade is a nice 'fire and forget' weapon. But nothing cleans out a room like the Reflexor. How, you wonder? Like this: jump+Spin Attack+triggermashing= a LOT of bouncing lasers
  • Ratchet and Clank has the RYNO IV. Beam Spam with HOMING LASERS
  • In Iji, the final boss makes extensive use of this as well a couple other types of projectile spam. There's also the Alpha Strike, which is basically a bunch of alien ships getting together and beamspamming an entire planet to death.
    • And Asha. Specifically, his supermoves Plasma Rage and Plasma Vortex.
  • The Amarr in EVE Online are very fond of their infidel-purifying lasers, but the Abaddon-class battleship is in particular known for it's picturesque beam spam broadsides. Sansha loves beam spam even more.
  • After a certain plot event in The World Ends With You Joshua can use Beam Spam attacks; a certain combo finisher has more in common with a Wave Motion Gun instead.
    • Not to mention the final boss, that beamspams fireballs. Thank God for Neku's dodge ability.
  • The Star Wars RTS Empire at War has, for the Empire, an anti-fighter corvette ship called the Tartan. The Tartan has the special ability to fire pretty much every gun at once. Max space unit per side in battle is 20 for the Empire in Galactic Conquest mode. Tartan's are 2 population each. 10 Tartans + special = LASER CANNON DAKKA.
    • This counts for any massed unit that uses lasers, really. Tartan's are just the most beam spam/dakka-ish. Even ground units can count if one uses a mod to remove the in-battle population cap, if you can manage to land all of them before the AI rushes your reinforcement point.
  • The second and third Master of Orion games allowed you to make rapid-fire versions of some beam weapons, with further research after developing the weapons. Load up the larger ships with such weapons, and it's pretty much "game over" for the other guy if you're anywhere near at parity with their tech levels.
  • In Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, Maria (the game's only gunslinger) has an ability that's basically More Dakka with lasers. Souping up this ability is a common tactic with Freya. You can see it in action in this video, where it probably hits 20 times for 20,000HP each.
  • Tachyon: The Fringe had one particular ship/weapon combo which embodied this - the GalSpan Phoenix heavy bomber, fitted with as many Deimos Heavy Lasers as it could muster. Five of those firing in unison, especially in linked fire, could fry any shield in one shot and breach the hull in three. And you still had your pick of missiles, chatter cannon, railgun etc for the other hardpoints.
  • Caster in Fate/stay night is such a master of this trope that she beamspams beamspams. In essence, she takes spells that ought to take at least thirty seconds to cast for a very good magus speed casting and does them instantly. Over and over and over, effortlessly. This is only possible on her home turf though, so normally she fights in a much more subtle manner.
    • Also, according to outside sources, Beserker's nine lives noble phantasm is essentially "an anti-phantasm beast, dragon-type 9-shot simultaneous homing laser volley." That's right, he can shoot out nine homing dragon lasers with a bow. Too bad that being summoned as a beserker prevents him from using it.
  • In Higurashi Daybreak, when Rika is using a mop as her weapon, she can Beam Spam cannons of water.
  • The Panzer Dragoon series' playable dragons' Berserk attacks, along with Atolm Dragon's "Ne-rai" move in Saga.
  • In Free Space 2 a large battle can have so many beams flying everywhere that it makes the picture at the top of this article look like nothing in comparison. This Battle starts with first showcasing a Macross Missile Massacre and then going full Beam Spam with a dozen capital ships.
  • In Lost Planet, there's a weapon called the Homing Laser. It can shoot out up to four homing beams at once. Typical VS' can mount two of these. Do the math.
  • In Veck SE, the player's ship maxes out at firing 1,575 bullets per second.
  • Most weapons in Outpost 2 are relatively slow firing (about one shot per second if you're lucky) and don't get any substantial upgrades to their rate of fire, so the Tiger heavy tank compensates this by mounting two of whatever weapon it's given. Then however you have the Laser and Microwave, which can get a very noticeable speed increase on top of the fastest rate of fire in the game. So if you put either one of them on a Tiger... Yeah.
  • In Viewtiful Joe, the Omnipotent King Blue uses a Beam Spam as one of his various and obnoxious attacks: he throws out his staff, which lines up with Joe's Humongous Mecha, and then fires off a beam to each side... while even MORE beams rain down from the heavens. You actually have the Hunt the Pixel between the beams to avoid the attack, and the staff can only be avoided by tricking it into attacking during a jump, so that you land lower than it.
  • A viable tactic in Sword of the Stars, as beam weapons are far more accurate than projectile weapons. Fill up a Freighter Q with phasers, wait for the next pirate raid, and Hilarity Ensues.
    • Not to mention the titular class of dreadnought for humans whose primary weapons are a dozen heavy laser cannons, all forward-facing. Makes short work of most enemies. The drawback is it can only fire those at a single enemy. The awesomeness of this ship was unrivaled until the addition of railcannons, which are not only more powerful but also have a much longer range, as well as causing the target to fly away and spin uncontrollably.
  • All over the place in Super Smash Bros Brawl: Subspace Emissary, but the most notable one is during the attack on the ship carrying the Subspace Cannon. The heroes have to dodge ridiculous amounts of beam-spam—with lasers bigger than the ships they're flying in, no less—while Kirby closes in on his Dragoon. Definite Crowning Moment of Awesome all over the place.
  • Lavos' main attack in Chrono Trigger is a technique called "Destruction Rains from the Heavens". In the Day of Lavos he rises from the underground and use it to destroy the world and leave it in a nuclear winter so he can spawn new lavoid forms in the surface of the planet and dispatch them to repeat the process in new worlds.
  • The Type-5 Weapon in Gun Nac, which when fully upgraded, fires six beams with each attack.
  • The Mechwarrior games have the alpha strike, a special emergency action that fires all the guns, regardless of type, guidance or intended range. This can mean More Dakka, Macross Missile Massacre, Beam Spam or any combination of the three according to what weapons the given Mech is mounting.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 2
  • In Vega Strike some stations got lots of turrets, and some capships have a handful of these plus their own mounts, so... That's why the Aera are formidable enemy. If someone shoots at your ship when you're landing at a Starfortress and misses, frantic zapping may ensue (all those beams are dual-mounted, by the way). And that's how a close battle between half a dozen capships (sometimes happens at jump points) looks like.
  • Gratuitous Space Battles loves this trope, although it's best used with some support.
  • Beam weapons are cheap and small in the Space Empires games, and are suitable for deploying en masse.
  • Star Wars Battlefront brings us the Chaingun and the Repeating Blasters. DAKKADAKKADAKKADAKKADAKKA
  • In Bloons Tower Defense 4, the Sun God monkeys and the Mega-Sun-God-Temple-Thing ARE this trope, especially in later levels when the game starts lagging.
  • Cursed Treasure. Got a whole line of regular, Burning, and/or Hellfire temples on each side of the pat? The enemies had better prepare to get PWNED!
  • In a rare Puzzle Game example, the level "Trigger Happy" in Sub Terra (plus its "extra snappy" variant in an expansion pack, which is worse).
  • Both the player and (eventually) the enemy in Warning Forever. The montrous foe can combine this with Macross Missile Massacre.
  • Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds has the Martians indulging in this whenever they get the Tempest or any large amount of units.
  • Nexus the Jupiter Incident has a race known only as the Ghosts. Their ships are armed with only lasers, which are weapons designed for precision targetting of subsystems in order to disable the enemy and escape. However, the Ghost lasers also do some hull and shield damage, and they have many of those. Several Ghost ships beam-spamming a single target can take it out in short order. The laser flak grids automatically fires at enemy fighters and missiles. It looks like multiple pulsing beams criss-crossing at the target.
  • Solatorobo has Titano-Machinae Lares and Lemures do this to fend off airships (not that one of them ever actually manages to hit Chocolat) and open a rift for Tartaros, then once they are taken over by Elh and Béluga, turn that same attack against Tartaros to open a hole in its shields for Red.
  • Dungeon Siege has a race of Not-Beholder monsters that spam laser/light beams out of their tentacles/eyestalks in every direction, giving the dark caves they are encountered in something of a 70s disco feel.
  • The Kha'ak of the X-Universe games are fond of Beam Spam, as the only weapon they can mount are lasers. Kha'ak capital ships mount dozens of laser cannons pointing in every direction, leading to Kha'ak sector invasions being a giant laser rave of death. This is a small example of their beam spam.
  • Berserk Asura combines this with Kamehame Hadoken to take out an entire fleet of ships.
  • Design-wise, this is the hat of Polaris and Vell-os ships in EV Nova.
  • While most ships in Star Trek Online follow a pattern of using beams to drain shields before finishing a target with slower to recharge torpedoes, cruisers can't due to their low turn speed and tiny firing arc for torpedoes. Instead cruisers mount beams on every hardpoint and fly parallel to the target so they can hit them with both their front and back mounted weapons thanks to the 250 degree firing arc of beam arrays.

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • In the first book of Dimension Heroes, Rob is infamous for using this trope to try to defeat his enemies, and oftentimes failing.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Although we never actually see the effect, in an episode of ReBoot, Matrix enters an unfriendly bar. When threatened by a lot of bad guys, he simply says "Gun, Death Blossom Mode". Gun immediately starts spinning in a stationary globe and every single resident of the bar soon finds a red dot on their chests or head. Presumably the intro to an epically devastating Beam Spam attack; shame we never get to see it.
  • Justice League Unlimited got a rather funky one when Amazo was making a return appearance; most of the space-capable Leaguers were hovering in low orbit, along with most of their Javelins. Amazo approaches, Green Lantern yells "Light 'im up!", and black space abruptly turns all kinds of pretty colours. Naturally, it doesn't work, Amazo being a Physical God at this point. Sure looks cool, though.

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • The Sun is doing this ALL THE TIME.
  • Sunbeam spam [dead link]. Or a reverse beam spam. The tower is actually the target of hundreds of mirrors directing reflected sunlights at a single point.
  • The bomb-pumped laser, a multi-directional bloom of extremely high-powered x-ray lasers powered by a nuclear bomb that never left the design boards and ended up inspiring several science fiction weapons (including the one mentioned in the Honor Harrington entry, above). Obviously a single-shot weapon, it was intended as a defense against a massive Soviet weapons launch as part of the Star Wars system. Conceived of by Edward Teller, who is also known for the H-bomb and proposals to dig a deep-water harbour with multi-megaton nuclear bombs.
    • The multi-beam version was meant to be based on specialized Excalibur satellites. The actual test of the basic concept showed that it probably didn't work even as a single beam.[1]
    • Fusion ignition by laser is, however, an ongoing subject of research.
  • Lasers as a means of destroying Improvised Explosive Devices is currently under research by the United States Department of Defense. Judging from the video, that version can switch on and off with little downtime.
    • Even better: Directed Energy weaponry for the U.S. Navy is being undertaken for ship weaponry.
  • Behold the Dazzler, essentially a mounted flashbang this non-lethal laser beams blinding into a targets face leaving them temporarily disabled for a few minutes. Really useful if not outright scary.
  • Fantasy & Science Fiction once ran an article which, as a thought experiment, calculated how many supermarket pen lasers it would take to build a working anti-missile defense system (and thus explain the technical difficulties behind such a system). The answer was, "Several million."
  1. To be more accurate, in the one test the US Government ran, the entire rig, bottom to top (including the x-ray sensor that was supposed to catch the laser beam) was destroyed in the shot, unavoidably. Teller's crew reported a success (and thereby apparently sank the Reykjavik nuclear accords singlehandedly), but it was later discovered that the result was too inconclusive and may have just been a sensor artifact. The test was never repeated.