Homing Projectile

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A projectile or attack in interactive media (or a narrative description in non-interactive media) that homes in on its intended target. If you're firing it, it can be an effective means of eliminating targets without putting yourself in harm's way. If an enemy is firing it, you'll need to perform a High-Speed Missile Dodge, whip out a shield, trick its guidance system, Shoot the Bullet, or just outrun it until it loses steam.

A curious trait of most homing attacks is their inability to "lead" a moving target, resulting in them doggedly "trailing" behind if the target can move fast enough. Very few homing attacks will actually plot an intercept course on a moving target.

A fairly common projectile type in Shmups and Tabletop Games.

Subtropes include

Examples of Homing Projectile include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Wolfs Rain: the Noble's have access to laser weapons that home in on their targets, inexplicably.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Darkseid whose omega beams take great pains to hit their target.

Film[edit | hide]

  • Runaway: A gun is introduced that fires projectiles that act like a tiny guided missiles.
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country: While most torpedoes are guided, and therefore should be guided In Space, this movie had a particular torpedo that was explicitly seen to track a cloaked Klingon ship's ion trail.

Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Dungeons & Dragons: Ranged weapons with the "seeking" enchantment.
  • GURPS: Homing weapons can be purchased as equipment, some even with character stats, or with the right imbuement touched.
  • Mutants and Masterminds: An advantage one can buy allows any power an additional opportunity to hit fitting in the "attack" aspect.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The Red and Blue Shells in Mario Kart.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog himself can become this through the Homing Attack. Other characters can do it as well, such as Shadow, Amy, and Espio.
  • The upgraded single missile in Diddy Kong Racing.
  • In Chimera Beast your eater could evolve to have Extra Eyes on its body, which could then be fired out when you did your Charged Attack. They homed in on enemies.
  • Einhander had an awesome version of this- the Wasp missiles homed in on both background AND foreground targets as well!
  • The homing laser beams and balls in Recca.
  • Tyrian has Heavy Guided Bombs and Guided Micro Bombs, the latter of which is dangerously close to a Game Breaker as it was akin to Macross Missile Massacre.
  • The chaser weapon in Gunstar Heroes and Alien Soldier.
  • The homing missiles in Bangai O Spirits.
  • The H weapon in Contra III and subsequent Contra games.
  • 'Homing' is one of your three weapons in Over Horizon, but with Weapon Edit you can give your other weapons minor homing tendencies as well.
  • The high-level missiles in Darius Gaiden and R-Type III home in on targets.
  • In the Hunt had the missiles weapon, which would home in on targets above the water surface.
  • The central mechanic of Ray Force is its lock-on laser beams. Similar beams appear in Ikaruga and Genetos.
  • Two of the weapons in Radiant Silvergun shoot homing projectiles.
  • Anti-Aircraft missiles are one of the more useful subweapons in Tetrastar.
  • Pretty much all of the Touhou games have this as an available shot-type, usually held by Reimu.
  • Bubble Tanks 2 and 3 have seeker missile sub-weapons, which do a good amount of damage.
    • There's also the Doomsday Infector, which infects an enemy with a homing virus. The virus then starts sapping the enemy of health, and when the enemy dies, it releases 1-3 more of the virus to infect more enemies.
  • One of the weapons in the arsenal of Descent is homing missiles.
  • Unreal and Unreal Tournament have a homing missile as an alternate fire for their rocket launcher.
  • In Donkey Kong 64, the Kongs could find limited amounts of Homing Ammo for their guns.
  • The Castlevania series has had multiple projectiles of this type, including the Thunder Orbs used by Sypha in Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse and Yoko in Dawn of Sorrow, the Spirits summoned by Alucard in Symphony of the Night and Charlotte in Portrait of Ruin, and the Homing Daggers used by Nathan in Shooter Mode of Circle of the Moon.
  • The Sharpshooters in Dragon Nest combine this with Beam Spam.
  • Missile type weapons fired by Alex in Prototype will just home in on targets.
  • The Homing Missiles in Heavy Weapon, which only home in on air targets.
  • Sektor of Mortal Kombat fame shoots homing missiles as a special move in Mortal Kombat 3 and Mortal Kombat 9, although in the latter it uses up a third of the Super Meter.
  • Amazons in Diablo II can fire homing arrows. An early bug combined this with the Piercing skill to make the arrows home onto an enemy, hit them, pass through them, then turn around and do it again.
  • Throughout Halo: Needler, Plasma Pistol.
    • Halo 2 Rocket Launcher.
    • Halo 3 Banshee Bomb, Missile Pod.
    • Halo 3: ODST same as Halo 3.
    • Halo: Reach with the advent of armor lock, this is suddenly played for keeps: Rocket Launcher (AA only), Banshee Bomb, Rocket Hog turret, Plasma Launcher.
  • Guns of Icarus includes homing rocket turrets.
  • Ace Combat has a variety of missiles for the player, ranging from the standard generic Missiles that can target anything and come in large numbers to more specialized long-range missiles that may do extra damage or lock on to multiple targets. Enemy pilots, especially ace pilots, can evade shots that aren't lined up properly.
  • The Bullet Bills in various 3D Mario games home in on Mario to varying degrees.
    • As well as the Missile Bills in the 2D games.
    • In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Ludwig Van Koopa can shoot homing fireballs (thankfully much slower than regular fireballs).
  • Donkey Kong Country 3: Barbos's shellfish flunkies home in on Enguarde, and and must be manipulated to knock out his barriers.
  • One of Gruntilda's spells in Banjo-Kazooie can't be avoided without using invincibility.
  • Donkey Kong 64: A big beeping missile with a face (of course) is used by the upgraded Army Dillo.
  • The boss of stage 5 of Mr. Gimmick shoots slow homing missiles that block your attacks.
  • A fairly annoying attack by bosses in Darius games.
  • Many enemies, minibosses and bosses in Mega Man franchise fire homing projectiles.
  • Serious Sam I has reptiloids and final boss of The First Encounter shooting these. In Serious Sam II the enemies shooting homing missiles include witches, helicopters and two types of sci-fi orcs.
  • In the similar Will Rock, two bosses (Hephaestus and Medusa) uses this.
  • The revenants in Doom launch missiles that the player has to get real creative to avoid.
  • Hellfire missiles fired by AI AH-64 helicopters will both lead and home onto Alex in Prototype. But Alex cannot do the same when he's in an AH-64.
  • Heavy Weapon has two kinds of annoying helicopters that fire homing missiles at you. There are also jets with Deflector Shields that do the same, and 13 of the 19 bosses have some kind of homing missile attack.
  • Touhou occasionally has homing projectiles as enemies' attacks—most often in the form of bullets that periodically reorient themselves, but there are also projectiles with true homing, like Seiga's ball lightning.
  • Ace Combat has enemy aircraft and SAMs, which can launch homing missiles similar to the player's basic missiles.
  • Nearly all secondary weapons in Free Space - and some do Lead the Target.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Ben 10: The series and the movie Destroy All Aliens has both homing and non-homing projectiles.