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In a dramedy science-fantasy children's (for 8 to 15 years old) videogame I want to create, Salade de Fruits (which naturally means Fruit Salad) (my first language is French), there is a villainous antagonist who has a gun charged with pears. The technological level is a modern cannon, as a potato cannon but with pears.

Why would he have that? Because in my world, there is a protocol that makes standard projectiles illegal. Why would they be illegal? That is because normal bullets are too polluting.

So, how could pears be used as ammunition? Should European pears (Pyrus communis) or Asian pears (Pyrus pyrifolia) be preferred?

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    $\begingroup$ you should clarify a lot more what is the technological level, are you trying to shoot them out of cannons, muskets, or something modern. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Dec 22 '21 at 21:11
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    $\begingroup$ It looks like you've just answered your own questions. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Dec 22 '21 at 21:24
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    $\begingroup$ You mean you want your fruits to pack a punch ? $\endgroup$ Dec 23 '21 at 2:15
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    $\begingroup$ Also, is using pears a hard requirement? I can think of fruits more obviously suited to being used as weapons $\endgroup$ Dec 23 '21 at 4:16
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    $\begingroup$ I'm sorry, I'm having a flashback to the actual battles where the neighborhood kids used actual pears as actual ammunition back when I was young. The trick back then was, you just throw them real hard. $\endgroup$ Dec 23 '21 at 20:00
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Frozen Pears.

I remember an anecdote of engineers testing the durability of a bullet train against birds. They used a chicken in the tests and the train did fine. The French on the other hand should have been told beforehand that the chicken needed to be unfrozen... I don't remember where I heard this, but the story holds true even for pears.

Your pear cannon would need the ammunition to be kept in a freezer overnight to be effective. Otherwise the fruits splat like fruits typically do. A frozen pear on the other hand hits HARD. Littéralement se prendre une poire!

The concept is fun. Keep up the good work!

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    $\begingroup$ liquid nitrogen allows extremely rapid freezing, and cutting pears to shape first allows selecting caliber. My science professor once froze a banana in nitrogen, then nailed it through a board. projectiles could be like pykrete! +1 $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Dec 22 '21 at 22:01
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    $\begingroup$ When I heard that story it was aircraft windows, but these old legends take on a life of their own. $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Dec 23 '21 at 12:15
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    $\begingroup$ The chicken cannons are real They are used on aircraft and are proudly Canadian. Though they don't fire frozen birds. $\endgroup$ Dec 23 '21 at 21:48
  • $\begingroup$ I've heard a few variations on the old joke, most often with the Americans on the receiving end and the Germans snarkily noting that they should thaw the bird before firing. $\endgroup$ Dec 24 '21 at 4:42
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Less Lethal Pears:

Shorter ranges and lower speeds can be achieved with the kind of pressure-based weapons you are suggesting.

  • Riot pears: pears, even ones coming apart, can be fired at your onerous rioting civilians, and in the same way. under-ripe pears will be firm and sting, ripe pears soft and messy, creating difficulty for opponents moving (and can be counted against rioter's food rations-after all, you issued them food). Rotting dried out pears sprayed with nasty molds before drying can sicken opponents, disabling them without TECHNICALLY using biological weaponry. Or those same rotten pears can reek and be a substitute for chemical irritants. Dried, re-molded pear can be sharp like shrapnel without leaving a lot of evidence (since it will rapidly soften once moist).

And all of this can be labeled "response in kind" because rioters throw fruit at the riot police,

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    $\begingroup$ counted against rioter's food rations-after all, you issued them food Genius and hilarious! (in a sick kind of way) $\endgroup$
    – Robby1212
    Dec 23 '21 at 15:48
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Frame challenge: Do you need an explanation?

When fruits are consistently the only objects being weaponized in your fictional universe, and the overall tone of the work is wacky enough that the audience knows that it is not to be taken too seriously, then they are going to suspend their disbelieve and just accept that this is how your world works.

You can easily make up a flimsy concept like "fruit power" which is inherit in all fruits and makes them powerful weapons. Other weapons like firearms or bladed weapons lack "fruit power", making them inherently inferior to fruit-based weaponry and thus an illogical choice of weapon in your world. What is that "fruit power"? Where does it come from? Nobody knows and nobody cares. It's inherent in your world, and that's all that matters.

The "everything needs a scientifically valid explanation" mindset is a common trap new worldbuilders fall into. As long as a world is internally consistent, it doesn't matter that the scenario would not make much sense in our world. The urge to come up with a plausible explanation for everything that's special about your world can be distracting and limiting.

This is even more true in the context of video games, where players will gladly accept the most unrealistic properties of the world as long as they are reflected in the games mechanics.

Should European pears (Pyrus communis) or Asian pears (Pyrus pyrifolia) be preferred?

In the context of a video game, I would prefer European pears for a simple UI reason: Asian pears are too easy to mistake for apples. Making objects distinct by color alone is dangerous due to color blindness. So when it is important for the player to tell apples and pears apart, then you should give them different shapes.

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    $\begingroup$ I agree with every word of this. It's not a scientific paper, it's a tongue-in-cheek video-game. Don't worry about explaining it because your audience isn't going to think about it until you start forcing them to with over-explained "science. $\endgroup$
    – Ruadhan
    Dec 23 '21 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ Voted up, no need for scientific explanations, or throw tomatoes at the idea... Anything funny will do, no need to explain it. $\endgroup$
    – Goodies
    Dec 24 '21 at 2:18
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Clearly your evil villain needs to use Atago pears which are the heaviest. The current Guinness world record for a pear is a 2.9 Kg (over 6 lbs) Atago grown in Japan. For extra destructive power perhaps an unripe Atago might be best because I assume it would be harder. A pear Gatling gun firing a continuous stream of 2.9 Kg pears would be a formidable weapon.

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Pears on their own can be pretty hard depending on the variety. They would make great munition.

Projectiles do not need to be hard to be able to do damage, even just water can do loads of damage if there is enough force behind it. And with a potato cannon you will have plenty of force!

Another fruit that comes to mind is the Pomgranate, it can be used as a fragmentation grenade, or as shotgun munition.

If you want to get a feeling for how much damage a fruit projectile can do, you should watch this video where someone fails to launch a watermelon with a catapult and gets the thing in their own face..

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  • $\begingroup$ I liked your idea of pomegranate frag grenade and wanted to continue it: watermelon big bomb, banana for long range projectile, grapes for wide coverage/burn damage. I think im out of ideas $\endgroup$ Dec 23 '21 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! did you know there is a type of ammunition called grapeshot? It was used in the blackpowder cannons and it was devastating.. I think a banana would make an inaccurate long range projectile because of its shape, maybe it can be used as a melee weapon? Or maybe the shape gives it boomerang properties? Now that i think of it, citrus fruits would make good cluster bombs. Did you know there is even a cucumber relative that builds up pressure as it ripens, and then "explodes" to spread the seeds? If you wanna go exotic, you can use a durian as a big smelly bomb. Oh the possibilities! $\endgroup$ Dec 24 '21 at 8:40
  • $\begingroup$ Funnily enough, in Hebrew the word for "pomegranate" (ri'mon\רימון) is the same as the one for "grenade". That seems to be the case for many Latin languages too $\endgroup$ Dec 24 '21 at 16:24
  • $\begingroup$ @SliceofBread - Please, not durian. Some weapons are just too horrible to use on the battlefield. $\endgroup$ Dec 27 '21 at 13:24
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The Bradford Pear and the Callery Pear have small hard fruit that is almost woody. A tree with larger fruit could be used for ammunition very easily. Munitions that used to spread ball bearings could easily be repurposed to spread these. The tree is also starting to become classified as an invasive species in a number of US states.

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