Laser Gun

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Concept image

Fired like a standard gun, this weapon emits a thin but powerful beam of light that can quickly cut through the terrain and all but vapourise worms that come into contact with it. The victims do not die, however. The animated piles of ash that they become spring back into their not-so-healthy former selves after the weapon has finished firing. The energy they have lost is a fixed value, unaffected by the length of time they are exposed to the laser. But the value is determined, however, by the power setting of the laser.

This weapon has five power settings from 1-5, toggled with the number keys. A low-power laser beam will be considerably weaker and deal less damage to its victims, but it will last a good five seconds, allowing the player to change aim or cut through a large portion of the terrain with it. In contrast, a high-power laser delivers just a short one-second burst but inflicts a high damage value.

When aimed at terrain the laser cuts through swiftly; leaving a thin hole in its path. The depth which it can reach is not determined by the power setting but by the length of time that it is aimed at that particular spot of terrain. At maximum time of about five seconds, it can reach a depth of around two girder-lengths. When travelling through open air, of course, the laser is instant and unhindered by worms in its path.

It's a cross between a gun and a blowtorch, this one. Can it really be so hard to program? The game will (simply) need to determine whether a worm is in line of sight of the weapon and whether the weapon is being pointed at that worm (during firing), and if both those criteria are met, the game will have to activate a certain animation and take a value of health off in accordance with the power setting of the weapon. As for cutting through the terrain, that might be slightly harder, but if it can be done with the blowtorch, then it can be done with the laser. Probably.

Guns like the Uzi and Minigun can punch through a thin wall when they want to, but often by the time you get through you only have a couple of bullets left to spare. With the laser it's different, you can burn all the way through still knowing that the damage it will do will remain untampered with.

The laser makes a good anti-darkside weapon, allowing you to drill straight through even the thickest defences to reach them. It's also useful for that perilous time when an evil player has blocked you into a tight spot with a girder; the resulting hole might not be wide enough for you to squeeze out but by burning through the terrain you can get revenge, providing they sit nearby.

What's more, the thin tunnel left in the terrain can be used for sending animals through, useful for situations where you want to use a super sheep from a deep bunker or send cows to the other side of a hill without going over.

It sounds a lot like the Gamma Gun in principle but its limitations prevent it from becoming too powerful a weapon. The ability of this weapon to drill through the terrain like a miniture kamikaze could offer a lot to Worms in terms of gameplay, more so than many other ideas. And the animation of a worm being burnt to a pile of ashes - with blinking eyes - by the laser will surely make for some comical eye-candy.

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