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Top 10 BFGs in Fiction

Updated on March 31, 2015
A BFG for real.
A BFG for real. | Source

Like them or hate them, guns are a part of our culture. For many people in the United States, guns are seen as a source of empowerment. And as I’m sure a lot of people would see it, the bigger the gun, the more empowered one might feel. Naturally, pop culture has coined a term for those ridiculously huge guns people enjoy seeing: BFGs or Big Effin’ Guns (“Effin’” standing in for a more colorful word). Naturally it is in popular fiction where you tend to see these overtly excessive firearms and the big boys who wield them. Which is why today, I am counting down my personal favorite top ten BFGs in fiction.

Blain's Minigun
Blain's Minigun | Source
The Terminator with a Minigun
The Terminator with a Minigun | Source

10. M134 Minigun (Predator/Terminator 2)

Let’s start off with a big gun that exists in real life. The M134 Minigun is a Gatling type machine gun developed during the 1960s. It weighs anywhere in between 24 kg (53 lbs.) to 30 kg (66 lbs.) and is usually about 801 mm (31.5 in.) long with a barrel that is 559 mm (22 in.) long. It can hold three belt lengths of 1500, 3000, or 4000 round containers and can fire at a fixed rate of either 3000 or 4000 rounds per minute—which of course means that it will use up all of its rounds in either 30 seconds or a minute of continuous fire. Though the Minigun has been featured in many films, it is especially noteworthy for its appearance in two movies. In the first Predator (1987), the Minigun is the weapon of choice of Jesse Ventura’s character Blain. After Blain is killed, Mac (Bill Duke) uses it to fire upon the Predator, tearing down half the forest with it. The other film is another Arnold film, 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day. In a scene where Sarah Connor takes John Connor and the Terminator to a weapons cache, the Terminator finds the Minigun and smirks whereupon John declares, “It’s definitely you.” He later uses the Minigun to take out an entire group of police cars.

"Heavy Weapons Guy"
"Heavy Weapons Guy" | Source

9. “Sasha” (Team Fortress 2)

Next we’ve got another Minigun. In Team Fortress 2, the Minigun is the default weapon of the Heavy, which he has affectionately given the nickname “Sasha”. It is an enormous Gatling-style machine gun with a large rotating barrel along with a white underslung ammunition case and two handles. The Heavy claims that the gun weighs 150 kg (330.75 lbs.) and that it fires $200 custom-tooled cartridges at 10,000 rounds per minute, which means that it would cost $400,000 to fire the gun for 12 seconds. Sure, you just might be able to outsmart the Heavy, but you most certainly will not be outsmarting his bullets.

The Special Weapons Dalek
The Special Weapons Dalek | Source

8. Special Weapons Dalek (Doctor Who)

From big guns that are wielded we go to an alien that is itself a BFG. In Doctor Who, the Daleks are an alien race, the Doctor’s oldest and most continuously recurring enemy. Daleks are a race characterized by their overwhelming violent hatred of anything that is not Dalek. Originally an alien race called ‘Kaleds’ hailing from the planet Skaro, the Daleks were created when the Kaled scientist Davros took the mutated forms of his race and placed them within highly weaponized, robotic containers, with all emotions of pity, compassion and remorse removed. This entry, the Special Weapons Dalek is seen in the classic 1988 episode Remembrance of the Daleks, which features two factions of Daleks fighting a civil war over a Time Lord device called the Hand of Omega. While fighting the Renegade Daleks, the Imperial Daleks unleash their secret weapon, the Special Weapons Dalek which removes its manipulator arm and instead has a larger energy cannon as well as a variant of the dome. It has firepower far beyond that of an average Dalek, able to blow up two renegades with just one shot, leaving only scorch marks.

Nanoha with Raising Heart Excelion Cannon mode
Nanoha with Raising Heart Excelion Cannon mode | Source

7. Raising Heart Excelion (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha)

In most magical girl animes the various heroines tend to wield small, magical wands. However, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha is anything but a typical magical girl anime. When Takamachi Nanoha first receives her “intelligent device” Raising Heart, it starts out as a common magical wand. This doesn’t last long however as Nanoha begins to further develop her capabilities, Raising Heart reveals itself as being capable of taking on increasingly larger and more stylized magical cannon forms, capable of blasting giant waves of offensive magical energy. This becomes especially true when it gets upgraded to “Raising Heart Excelion” in the second series, A’s. By the time of the third series Strikers, Nanoha is capable of taking out entire fleets of flying drones with a single blast, and that’s essentially Raising Heart at its weakest setting. For the record, if I ever write a list for top 10 Big Effin’ Swords, you can bet that Fate’s Bardiche Assault Zanber Form will be on it.

Vash's Angel Arm
Vash's Angel Arm | Source

6. Angel Arm (Trigun)

Trigun is a space western starring Vash the Stampede, a humanoid plant with a $$60 billion bounty on his head. The title of the manga/anime comes from the three guns Vash wields. The first is his ".45 Long Colt AGL Arms Factory", essentially a custom made .45 caliber silver-plated revolver. The second is a hidden gun fitted in his cybernetic left arm. At first it is a semiautomatic pistol but then is upgraded into a fully automatic machinegun. And finally, there is the “Angel Arm”, Vash’s ultimate weapon. Activated by the revolver, the Angel Arm is Vash’s right arm transformed into giant cannon capable of destroying entire cities with a single blast. Vash fears the power of the Angel Arm and has limited knowledge on how to use it. In the manga, the Angel Arm is a natural part of plant people although using it too much would ultimately kill the wielder.

Megatron's Fusion Cannon
Megatron's Fusion Cannon | Source

5. Fusion Cannon (Transformers)

There are many large guns in the Transformers meta-verse but none are more iconic than Megatron’s signature weapon. In Generation One, the Fusion Cannon is attached Megatron’s right arm and is noted for its highly destructive capabilities. Its counterpart is Optimus Prime’s Ion Blaster, itself a decently large gun. The Fusion Cannon is capable of converting small amounts of matter into large quantities of explosive nuclear energy. It can fire a blast up to twelve miles away and is capable of easily obliterating a small town. Megatron is capable of connecting his internal circuitry to the Fusion Cannon drawing from its power source, a black hole. This can weaken him however so he rarely uses it. According to IDW’s Megatron Origin, the Fusion Cannon was a gift from Starscream, which is ironic given how often Megatron uses it to blast him.

Angled Proton Cannon
Angled Proton Cannon | Source

4. Proton Cannon (Marvel vs. Capcom series)

In the Marvel vs. Capcom series, the Proton Cannon is one of Iron Man’s and War Machine’s Hyper Combos. It is essentially a gigantic repulsor cannon which Iron Man mounts on his shoulder whereupon he fires an enormous beam ahead of him. War Machine’s version, in addition to the repulsor beam can fire a barrage of missiles (Golden War Machine Mode) while Iron Man can also fire the cannon at a 45 ° angle into the air (Angled Proton Cannon). So tell me this Marvel, why hasn’t this weapon become official canon in neither the comics nor the marvel Cinematic Universe yet? Get on it, Marvel!

Photon Burst!
Photon Burst! | Source

3. Photon Torpedo Launcher (Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force)

I had to include this. There was no way I could not include this in this list. For those of you not in the know, photon torpedoes are tactical weapons used by Federation starships in Star Trek. They are self-propelled missiles that contain a little bit of matter and antimatter bound together by a magnetic bottle and they are launched at warp speed. Basically, miniature antimatter warheads designed specifically for ship-to-ship combat within the vacuum of space. So now that that basic explanation is out of the way, do you understand how utterly absurd and implausible it is for such a weapon to be wielded portably and by hand? And yet in the video game Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force, they are featured as your strongest weapon in the arsenal! This is so ridiculously absurd yet so ridiculously awesome that it had to make the list.

Final Stage
Final Stage | Source

2. Final Stage (The Big O)

The Big O, is a unique anime—a stylized blend of noir and mecha sci-fi. The titular Big O is a “megadeus”, piloted by Paradigm City’s negotiator Roger Smith. Unlike most mecha which have a streamlined design emphasizing speed, the Big O is designed with bulk, with power being the emphasis. Roger Smith summons the Big O with his watch declaring that it is “Showtime”. Big O in turn accepts Roger as its “dominus” with the words, “Cast in the name of God, Ye not guilty”. Though the Big O is loaded with a myriad of weaponry, its ultimate weapon, the entry for this list is the Final Stage, seen in the final episode “The Show Must Go On”. When this weapon activates, it transforms the Big O’s insides and outsides into a massive cannon that emerges from the chest, also deploying its “Mobydick Anchors” to brace for the recoil and “Plasma Gimmick” shields to protect it while charging. Final Stage can only be activated by Roger’s gynoid assistant R Dorothy Wainwright by plugging herself directly into the megadeus. Final Stage’s power I enough to destroy an entire Paradigm City dome in one shot and vaporizes half of the Big Fau with a single blast.

BFG9000 | Source

1. BFG9000 (DOOM)

Simply put this gun gets the number one spot for the sole reason of being the trope namer—the BFG. The BFG9000 is the single most powerful weapon in the DOOM video game. It fires enormous blasts of plasma, leaving trace rays across a wide radius. This means that the gun also has a wide radius of splash damage meaning no one is escaping. This is the gun that obliterates everything in its path, no questions asked. It can even be charged for greater damage and blast radius though charging it too much can end up killing the player. This is the mother of all guns that inspired countless BFGs that have followed since then.

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And there you have it, ten of the most glorious big effin’ guns in fiction. Like the list? Did I miss any of your favorite BFGs? Let me know.


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