Of all the weapons in Armored Core, none share the consistency that the Parrying Blades have ever since they were introduced. Consistent, that is, at being utterly useless. While all parrying blades can and will hurt you real bad if they ever connect, there lies the problem: IF they ever connect.
They can’t track like left-hand blades, they only have a limited number of shots, and their startup animation is a dead giveaway for anybody unfortunate enough to get close.
The only way you’d hit anybody was either through sheer luck, or if you paid them to stand perfectly still for a good two seconds – that’s about how much time it takes for the blade to start up. Calling them parrying blades is not even accurate – nobody uses them to parry attacks, and they’re not blades.
Parrying Blades received something of a revival in Armored Core Nexus, when it was discovered that a certain button combination would cause the parrying blade’s spike to remain stuck, enabling you to obliterate anything that touched your AC. That just goes to show you how full of fail it is: You had to go intentionally glitch the game just to give your mech a passing semblance of the touch of death.
But while the Parrying Blade is AC’s embodiment of fail, back in WWII, a similar weapon was helping the allies win against the Nazi regime. Enter the Sedgley OSS .38 Pistol Glove.
Made by Sedgley in Philadelphia (hence the name), this remarkable little gadget was intended to be used as an assassination tool in instances where even concealed weapons such as small pistol were too conspicuous to carry around.
The mechanism behind the Sedgely was simple: The user would load a .38 Special slug, wear the glove, walk up close to their target, and punch them. A plunger mechanism would then fire the round as the user’s fist made contact, sending a bullet up their gut, side, temple, or wherever else the user decides to hit them.
Most of you guys will remember seeing the Sedgely in action in Inglorious Basterds, when the Bear Jew and his buddy dress up as waiters to off two soldiers guarding Hitler’s balcony at the theater.
Sadly, there isn’t much else data regarding the Sedgely, save for a couple of history books accounting some of the other tools the OSS developed during the war. Still, what we do know about the Sedgely does explain to a degree why AC’s parrying blades are so full of fail.
The glove pistol was an assassination weapon –the user’s aim was to be undetected right up to the moment they made their kill. The parrying blade (and AC’s game mechanics for that matter) doesn’t really offer much in the way of stealth; you’re basically waving around an ice pick at a dude armed with a rifle, several hundred yards away.
On a parting note, here’s a word of advice for the devs: Screw subtlety – the parrying blade would have made an awesome weapon if you gave it the tracking ability you gave blades in Armored Core 4, the ability to stun, and beefed up its attack power.
…Hold that thought. Just give us some freakin’ hands of doom instead, and we’ll call it even.
Thanks J.E. for the pic and the glitch video.