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"Ahh, this Greatbow? I shan't need it, with no dragons to hunt. I know not if a human could even operate it, but here, thy need outweighs mine."
Hawkeye Gough, Dark Souls
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Whoever wields them is a great person too.

When you take Bigger Is Better for bows, you get the Great Bow, a type of bows so large that it almost towers the wielder. It often requires the wielder to anchor the bow onto the ground to be used and is capable of firing abnormally huge projectiles designed for shooting down large beasts or opening a hole on a wall.

Generally speaking, these type of bows can fire more powerful projectiles than ordinary bows, and using them against humanoid targets is often comparable to firing a ballista bolt toward a person, whoever gets hit by the huge arrows would get knocked down to a far distance or become a pile of mincemeat, if not getting killed in one hit.

Due to their immense size, sometimes they can be used as melee weapons.

Compare BFG for big guns and BFS for big swords. Not to confuse with bows that merely look great.

In order to be qualified as this trope, the bow has to be as tall as the wielder, and it has to be a portable weapon.

Stationary ballistae not carried by anyone don't count as this trope, that belongs to Siege Engines. However, if a character wields a ballista as a handheld weapon, it still counts as this trope.

Examples of Great Bow include:


Anime & Manga

  • The Dainsleif Rod from Mobile Suit Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans is an illegal weapon fired from a bow-like launcher that is taller than a Mobile Suit, firing ranged projectiles capable of penetrating Nanolaminate Armor. It is commonly attached onto a Graze variant, costing the left arm slot to equip the bows.
  • From Yureka, Olios uses a ballista-like bow to launch spear-like arrows with extreme strength and precision.
  • In Toaru Ossan no VRMMO Katsudouki, The main character, Earth, uses a bow as his weapon of choice. Later on, he upgrades and makes different bows, which leads to his strongest coming in the form of a great bow.
  • Sankt Bogen, from Bleach, is Yhwach's Spirit Weapon comes in the form of a giant bow that can fire arrows with enough force to propel him hundreds of stories.

Video Game

  • The Trope Namer is the Dragonslayer Greatbow from Dark Souls, a bow so large that it towers the wielder, to the point it requires the wielder to anchor the bow onto the ground to be used. Naturally, due to its immense size, it can fire lance-sized projectiles made for hunting dragons. And the Silver Knights are more than happy to knock you down from the roof of Anor Londo with their bows and arrows. Hawkeye Gough, the predecessors of the Silver Knights, has his own homemade bow that is heavier, bigger, and he uses it to shoot down Black Dragon Kalameet despite being blind himself.
    • Dark Souls II has the Alonne Greatbow, a type of Greatbow brought by the Alonne Knights from the Far East to entertain the Old Iron King. Another one is the Possessed Armor Greatbow, carried by the Possessed Armors, who wield a bow and a sword at the same time.
    • Dark Souls III has the Millwood Knight Greatbow, which comes with a Weapon Skill that creates a shockwave when the arrows land onto the surface, knocking down anyone nearby. There's also a giant living at Undead Settlement, who shoots anyone next to the white branches all over the world. He's actually trying to help you, should you have the Young White Branch given by him in your inventory, he helps you to shoot down your enemies from a far distance.
  • Almost every bow in Monster Hunter is taller than the hunters carrying it. Granted, the bows are made for slaying monsters as large as a house. Despite their size, they are treated as fast weapons.
  • Bows in the Toukiden series are Yumi-like bows that Slayers use as a long-range weapon to kill Oni. A Slayer can fire multiple arrows with this weapon and use different techniques with their Mitama.
  • Eleonora Yumizuru, from Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, uses a Yumi as the primary weapon in her Carnage Form in the Idolosphere.
  • Longbows are recurring weapons in the Fire Emblem series that have a long-range but lack accuracy and power.

Real Life

  • The Yumi is a type of Japanese traditional asymmetrical bow, the bow length towers most of the European bows, and the grip is located at about two thirds of the distance from the upper tip. While it can't fire lance-sized projectiles, its range is still impressive due to the bow's length. There's also the Daikyu (literally Great Bow), with an even longer bow length than the Yumi.


P.S. Copyright Statement:

While this trope was imported from TV Tropes, I was the original author of this trope (as launched on Nov 27th 2017 at 8:38:51 PM) and only my own edits are included. All the edits made by the other Tropers in the other wiki have been removed due to the site's copyright policy.

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