Nintendo has long prided itself on being a family-friendly gaming haven. And they absolutely are, bringing joy and positivity to generations with characters that have grown into icons. The likes of Mario, Link, Zelda, Donkey Kong and Pikachu are now cultural touchstones, all being held together by the magic and power of Nintendo and its creatives. But just because most of its intellectual property is family-friendly doesn't mean its nonviolent, nope. In reality, there are quite a few weapons in the worlds of Nintendo games and plenty of cartoon violence, from the obvious Super Smash Bros. and The Legend of Zelda and even Mario Kart, to the less up-front Pikmin, Donkey Kong and Animal Crossing.
Most of the time it's all in good fun, except for maybe when Pit from Kid Icarus is fighting enemies from the Underworld or Samus is working on eliminating the galaxy's Metroid threats, and even then it's for a good cause, or at least because the gameplay is fun. Just like its actual characters, these weapons have lore and backstory and their own personalities about them. Even Splatoon, which plays like an alternative third-person shooter for Nintendo, is packed with ink-spraying weapons that don't pose any real danger. The dreaded Blue Shell of Mario Kart, the anthropomorphic Bullet Bill and even Kirby's Star Rod all classify as weapons in some category. So then, which of the many weapons of Nintendo worlds is most powerful? Could it be the Fire Flower? Maybe the Deku Nut. Let's find out.
20 SUPER SCOPE/ZAPPER (SNES/NES)
Alright, so we had to get this one out of the way. Sure, in the real world, this is about as powerful as a hunk of plastic, but we could also take into account the fact that both are in Super Smash Bros., whether a main item in the game or part of Duck Hunt's moveset. But no, these IRL plastic weapons aren't all that powerful, even if they might be incredibly cool to use.
Seriously, have any of you ever picked up a Super Scope for the SNES? It is really something special, and its game library may be small, but it's got the power to carry you through at least a full day of classic gaming fun.
19 BANANA PEEL (DONKEY KONG)
Sure, you might think of a banana peel as a not-so-great gag, but in all honesty, these weapons from the world of Donkey Kong are quite deadly. Imagine strolling through a paved forest or some sort of island fortress and you slip on a banana peel. That can't feel great, not to mention you've got banana goop all over your foot or shoe now.
Look, there's a reason why these things were used as gags for so long in television and film. That reason is that it's hilarious, but it's not laughing matter for the enemies of Donkey, Diddy and the rest of the DK crew.
18 FIRE FLOWER (SUPER MARIO)
Fire is no joke. In the Super Mario Universe, the Fire Flower transforms its wielder into some sort of pyrotechnic weapon, complete with the ability to fire burst of flames from their hands and send them tumbling forward into enemies, eliminating them. They even give you a buffer to get mortally wounded, sort of like a reset button.
In the Super Smash Bros. world, the Fire Flower is that much more dangerous, allowing its wielder to continuously spray fire for a limited duration. It's great at repelling enemies, though it sort of locks you in place, leaving its user vulnerable to attack from other angles.
17 RED SHELL (MARIO KART)
From the other corner of the Mario crossover universe is the red shell from Mario Kart and its many entries. The red shell, unlike its green counterpart, acts more like a homing missile than a harmless turtle casing. Red shells are the perfect weapon for knocking out an enemy directly in front of or behind you, and twists and turns make no difference -- it will catch up to you.
Now, luckily there is the defense of having a red shell yourself, or properly timing another item to catch the red shell on its way to you. But without that, you're out of luck, and behind in the race.
16 DEBT (ANIMAL CROSSING)
OK, so this one is a little less tangible, but still incredibly dangerous. In Animal Crossing, debt will sink you, literally. OK, not really literally, since it's not like Tom Nook and his nephews are going to come to your house with a bunch of loaded threats, but that doesn't matter. You don't want to owe anything to a sketchy raccoon real estate mogul.
Unfortunately, the games in the Animal Crossing series don't give you much choice, and more often than not your goal is to make ends meet enough to pay off your debt -- only to then take another loan to purchase a larger house. There aren't enough bells and bugs in the world...
15 HOME-RUN BAT (SUPER SMASH BROS.)
The bravest of men fear the Home-Run Bat. In the world of Super Smash Bros., a well-timed hit from this bat will send you flying with an incredible amount of damage taken, and may just send you flying off into the ether and off of this mortal coil.
Be aware, this is not to be confused with the bat that young Ness from Earthbound wields. That one isn't quite as dangerous, but is still incredibly powerful for being a regular old bat. Kid's got skills, though, what can we say? Now, encounter Ness with the Home Run-Bat and that certainly spells trouble.
14 FIRE EMBLEM (FIRE EMBLEM)
Whether its the Shield of Seals from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon or Fire Emblem: Awakening, or the Sacred Stone of Grato from the aptly-titled Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, the Fire Emblem is always one of the most powerful and important items in its respective games.
The power of each Fire Emblem can make the best of warriors fall to evil or help them rise to bring peace to the Earth. It's a bit harder to contextualize with other Nintendo weaponry, but that doesn't stop the fact that it's incredibly powerful, and most of the Fire Emblem games have the main characters off venturing to find it.
13 INK WEAPONRY (SPLATOON)
Alright, so these weapons might not seem like much -- they shoot ink after all -- but they are nothing to scoff at. From the versatile Splattershot to Splat Duelies, the weapons of the Splatoon universe are quite dangerous in their own right. After all, they wipe inklings and octolings from arenas of war on a regular basis. Now that we're thinking about it, how does respawning work within the lore of Splatoon?
Anyways, between ink's ability to affect eyesight or balance in foes, coupled with the accuracy of some of these ink weapons, there's no denying that these creative inventions are up there on the danger scale.
12 BOB-OMB (SUPER MARIO)
So we all know what an explosive is, right? Well, imagine if that explosive was incredibly unpredictable and was also sentient, we think? Well, that's a Bob-omb, a weaponized enemy type in the Super Mario Universe. In some cases, the Bob-ombs live in peace and harmony, but when disturbed they can cause quite the ruckus, by literally exploding.
Bob-ombs also make appearances in Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros., proving for certain that they are incredibly dangerous, and give off quite the blast radius when detonated, sending racers and karts into the air or brawlers off the sides of the map.
11 DEKU NUT (THE LEGEND OF ZELDA)
The Deku Nut is like the flashbang grenade of The Legend of Zelda games. While Link first uses these weapons to freeze enemies in place to better attack them, he soon learns that they can help to damage even the toughest and most destructive of villains -- including Ganon himself.
The Deku Nut also makes an appearance in Super Smash Bros., where it operates more or less the same, allowing one player to stun a number of others and get a better vantage point to make a potentially match-winning move. Oh, and it also totally explodes, putting it in the same class as other weapons, like Bob-ombs or Gooey Bombs.
10 PIKMIN (PIKMIN)
The adorable little plantlike people of the Pikmin Universe may seem like they are cute and friendly, but when you really break down just what they are capable of, they become some of the most versatile and destructive weapons in the worlds of Nintendo. The general blue, yellow and red Pikmin have varying attributes, but they act a lot like termites or fire ants, working in tandem to take down prey or break down materials.
Then, when you toss the rock Pikmin or flying Pikmin into the mix, you've got an entirely new layer of brute force attacks and damage from above. It's a good thing they're used to fix spaceships and reunite crew members... mostly.
9 BULLET BILL (SUPER MARIO)
Like many of the Super Mario items on this list, Bullet Bill is also an anthropomorphic, seemingly sentient weapon of destruction. Made in various shapes and sizes, the Bullet Bills are often fired out of cannon, with a single trajectory to attack or destroy something on the other side of it. Mario and friends are usually at the defense with these guys, while Bowser and his gang of baddies are usually the ones dictating them.
They also appear in Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. with a similar function, helping the player in question get ahead with a bit of a speed and power boost.
8 ARWING (STAR FOX)
Sure, the members of the Star Fox crew have plenty of weapons at their disposal, from ray guns and reflectors to Landmasters and chicken-like drones, but none are more versatile or as accurate as the Arwing. Fox McCloud himself's transportation of choice, the Arwing is equipped with machine gun laser blasters, heatseeking missiles and full-on bombs that will often wipe every enemy on-screen.
Some Arwings even have the ability to transform into tanks, drones and other land vehicles, making them the go-to for each and every Star Fox mission, even appearing in crossover titles like Super Smash Bros. as Fox, Falco and Wolf's Final Smashes.
7 BLUE SHELL (MARIO KART)
Dread it. Run from it. The Blue Shell still arrives. Made famous by its last-minute effects in the Mario Kart series, the Blue Shell is much stronger than its red or green counterparts. Sporting spikes and a heatseeking mentality to go directly for the leader of the pack, the Blue Shell is a weapon of deadly accuracy and incredible precision.
It's even appeared in Super Smash Bros., still opting to go for the player in the "lead" during a particular match. But nothing will ever be worse than getting hit with a Blue Shell midair or within feet of a finish line.
6 STAR ROD (KIRBY)
Not only is the Star Rod an incredibly powerful weapon and item in Super Smash Bros., but its origins have it tied to the strength and power of the Fountain of Dreams, a key component to the Kirby games. It is a mythical weapon that only Kirby can really get the full effect from, and he has used it to save the universe on multiple occasion.
We were this close to just making this entry on the list "Kirby," what with his pocket dimension abilities, incredible strength and reality-twisting Warp Star, but he himself was not created as a weapon or used as such.
5 MONADO (XENOBLADE CHRONICLES)
The heart and soul of the first Xenoblade Chronicles game resides in the Monado, a legendary weapon that grants its user (should they be able to wield it) incredible abilities. In this case, its wielder is the sly and confident Shulk, who journeys with his friends and ventures to unlock the full power of the mythical sword.
Most fans will recognize it as the keystone of Shulk's moveset in Super Smash Bros., in which Shulk can choose a number of modes for the blade, giving him buffs and enhanced stats on things like speed, strength, Smash attacks and defensive shielding.
4 SACRED BOW (KID ICARUS)
The Sacred Bow, known as Palutena's Bow in Kid Icarus: Uprising, is a weapon of choice for the young angel Pit in his journey to take down the deadliest villains of the Underworld. The game might have a ton of comedy in it, but that shouldn't take away from just how powerful it really is, allowing Pit's arrows to fly further and faster than before, with incredibly accuracy at that.
In a world where Pit's powers are so dependent on Palutena and her guidance, the Sacred Bow allows the angel a little bit of agency in his fight. No, this is not to be confused with the Sacred Bow of The Legend of Zelda fame.
3 POWER SUIT (METROID)
Much like Fox McCloud and his Arwing, Samus Aran has the Power Suit. But rather than it being a method of transportation that Fox is left vulnerable when outside of it, Samus' Power Suit is basically a part of her, making her one of the deadliest and powerful bounty hunters in the entire universe. She has saved countless worlds and defeated some of the most treacherous enemies out there using her Power Suits and numerous enhancements for it.
As far as armor and weaponry go, it doesn't get much better or more powerful than this. We'll just have to wait and see how Metroid Prime 4 upgrades her armor once more.
2 MASTER SWORD (THE LEGEND OF ZELDA)
The sword of legend, wielded by the Hero of Time himself, the Master Sword from The Legend of Zelda is by far one of, if not the most powerful weapon in all of Nintendo's many worlds. In some cases, it fires like an energy weapon, released swordlike apparitions to take down enemies.
In other cases, it is a blade of immaculate design, capable of unlimited power and cutting down Ganon in his many forms, be in as a force of pure evil or as an underwater zealot looking to reclaim what was once his.mIt's at the center of a number of titles in the Zelda series, and we honestly wouldn't have it any other way.
1 POKEMON (POKEMON)
Surprise! There's no way we'd get through this list without some mention of Pokemon, and the incredible creatures' inherent and powerful abilities. Pokemon and their many types cover a wide range of power, from healing and blatant destruction, to godlike influence and reality-warping movesets. If you can think of an element or type or ability and its not covered by a Pokemon, we'd be surprised.
And the games' many story moments and lore support this. Pokemon have been used in wars, be them feudal or modern, or used as weapons by the many evil teams in the Pokemon universe, from Team Rocket to Team Magma and Aqua. This isn't just Pikachu -- it's everyone from Jirachi the wish maker to Arceus and its literal god power.