Use them wisely...
When you walk into battle in a video game, being properly armed is vital. The first time you meet an enemy, you need to be confident you have the tools to succeed, and by the the time you meet the final boss, anything less than the sharpest sword or biggest gun just won't cut it. I mean, imagine showing up to slay the dragon with a spatula, or shooting spitballs at a stealth bomber. Not exactly a great idea. Unless, that is, the wrong tools just happen to be the perfect ones for the job at hand.
Plenty of games trade the standard arsenal of weapons for a more... unconventional one. You'd be shocked by the number of protagonists that are very proficient at destroying bad guys with normal, everyday household items, providing players with a dose of ESRB-friendly violence. The following items may serve a practical purpose in real life, but in the hands of video game characters, they become weapons of mass destruction.
Yo-Yo (The Goonies II)
What a weird sight The Goonies II must have been to NES owners in the late 1980s. Because the original Goonies game only released on Famicom in Japan, most kids had to assume the narrative was continuing the adventures started on the silver screen in 1985. Sure, the characters were there, but little else stayed true to the movie. For instance: Mikey's main yo-yo weapon, which...didn't appear in the movies at all.
All of a sudden, he's brandishing a kid's toy like a whip and saving a mermaid we've never met before. Didn't Data give him any cool gadgets he could use instead? Why is there a superhero named Konami Man helping the Goonies? Uh... did Spielberg approve any of these changes?
A cane is usually a sign of weakness rather than a tool of strength. If you've got a bad leg, you'll need one to help you walk. If you're elderly, you'll futilely shake one at young whippersnappers. However, in the world of Duckburg (where it's been established that life is like a hurricane), the deadliest weapon in existence is a cane wielded by an elderly mallard. While Scrooge McDuck can't shake his cane at enemies in DuckTales, he can put it to use in far more devastating ways. He can line up an object next to his cane and knock it into a nearby enemy, walk up and smack the baddie with extreme blunt force, or use it like a pogo stick to pierce the craniums of unfortunate foes.
How is the cane so deadly in the hands of Scrooge? It's likely due to his penny-pinching nature. Sure, he could have saved himself the exertion and picked up a semi-automatic, but he's determined to get the maximum value out of the cane. Heck, he probably only got the walking aide as a non-refundable gift, since the surprisingly spry old fowl never needs it for its advertised purpose.
Of course Disney managed to create the cutest firearm ever. Staying true to the McDuck bloodline, Donald Duck's treasure-hunting adventure is also aided by a non-lethal weapon. In Quackshot, the Don is equipped with a gun that shoots plungers, popcorn, and gum, all of which are harmless items in the real world, even when shot out of a revolver at great velocity.
The plunger is perhaps Quackshot's most notable item thanks to its many uses. Shooting toilet uncloggers at enemies will temporarily stun them (though being struck with any toiletry-turned-projectile would shock anyone), while attaching plungers to walls creates makeshift platforms. Sure Lara Croft and Nathan Drake may have pickaxes or rope arrows to aid them in climbing and killing, but neither of those can pull triple duty in a bathroom emergency.
Of all of the burger seasonings in the world, pepper seems the most dangerous. While onions can make you tear up, pepper makes you sneeze and is a key ingredient in pepper spray. Pepper alone, however, doesn't seem like it could permanently disable an enemy, but things are much different in the (hot) dog-eat-dog world of Burgertime.
While the primary way to fend off murderous frankfurters, pickles, and eggs is to cause them to fall from great heights, Peter Pepper's last line of defense is his eponymous spice. If the adventurous chef is about to be caught by one of those sentient savory fiends, he can temporarily stun them with a dash of pepper, giving him enough time to beat a hasty retreat to the closest meat patty.
Eggs (Yoshi's Island)
Even after more than two decades, it's tough to discern exactly how hard one of Yoshi's eggs is. Nintendo's famous dinosaur never seems to strain while freeing himself of the things, and he's never been amongst the top half of any Smash Bros. tier list, suggesting they must not be very strong. On the other hand, the eggs straight up murder living creatures in Yoshi's Island when used as projectiles. The question remains: How powerful are Yoshi's eggs, really?
Let's see if I can figure this out. The toughest egg on Earth is laid by the eucypris virens, whose eggs can withstand radiation exposure, oxygen deprivation, and being flooded with saltwater and insecticide. However, these eggs are far too small to be the kind Yoshi wields as he tries to protect Baby Mario. The only modern eggs comparable in size to Yoshi's belong to ostriches, but even those will only drench foes with yolk (or a half-formed ostrich fetus) if tossed from afar. Combine all of that super-scientific research with what we all learned in Jurassic Park--that dino eggs can be cracked by an elderly Richard Attenborough--and it's more likely that the enemies in Yoshi's Island are complete pushovers than the eggs having any real hitting power.
Jump rope (The Simpsons Arcade Game)
Poor Lisa Simpson, she always gets the short end of the stick. As the middle child of our favorite cartoon family, her accomplishments are often overshadowed by Bart's mischievous antics. This continues in The Simpsons Arcade Game, where her weapon is a piece of rope. Much like how audiences may overlook the snarkiest Simpson, the developer apprently forgot that she could have brought her sax into battle to bludgeon foes.
Sure, Bart's skateboard is a bit unconventional, but you can picture a thick piece of wood with solid metal trucks doing serious damage to Mr. Burns' cronies. Marge's vacuum cleaner seems unwieldy, but an early-90s Hoover has a lot of weight behind it and could crush a man's skull. But how much harm could a child really do with a mere jump rope? Lisa wields it like a whip, but it's not really long enough for a satisfying crack. Maybe she could use it to strangle someone to death, but that doesn't exactly jive with her goodie two-shoes nature. Mystery unsolved.
Basketballs (Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City)
If you haven't had the misfortune of taking a basketball to the face during gym class, know this: it fucking hurts. And if anyone can turn an unassuming sports ball into a weapon of mass destruction, it's the greatest NBA player of all time, Michael Jordan. Still, there are probably better weapons MJ could use to save the day in Chaos in the Windy City than the roundball. For example; he could, for the first time in his life, do some damage with a baseball bat, avenging the lost months he spent as a mediocre minor-league baseball player.
Yes, the primary weapon Jordan brings to the court to save his teammates in this ill-conceived platforming adventure is a standard issue basketball. Even though he can eventually pick up elementally-infused balls that freeze enemies or blow them up into tiny chunks, counting on the universe to turn basketballs into magic projectiles is a bit of a risky venture.
Apples (Aladdin, SNES)
While the debate about which 16-bit version of Aladdin is better will rage on for eons, we can all agree on one thing: the Genesis version's scimitar is a far better weapon than the piddly produce Aladdin throws on the SNES. While swinging into and hopping on foes is the best way to kill enemies up close, Al needs to dip into a seemingly endless supply of apples to neutralize enemies from afar. Why apples? They're not even the toughest fruit. Imagine how much more damage it'd do if you pelted an enemy with a coconut or pineapple...
Even more disappointing than realizing Aladdin's only weapon is available at your local supermarket is the wastefulness of it all. Why would a kid born and raised on the tough streets of Agrabah toss perfectly edible fruit at enemies, particularly when he and his cute little monkey friend are teetering on the precipice of starvation? Can't he just use rocks instead? That, or he could have ask the genie for, say, a submachine gun.
Given how many kid-friendly games slip in slapstick violence using otherwise innocent objects, it's likely I missed a few other memorable weapons. Is there one that you remember fondly? Rather than attempting to bludgeon me with a cardboard tube, tell me about it in the comments below!
While these might not qualify as weapons, we've got a few additional features that might surprise you with their power. Check out the 9 awesome video game guns that don't kill, the top 7 silliest weapons in totally serious games, and the 100 best weapons in video games.