Mark IV Laser Rapier
Laser Rapier
Weapon Data
First Found on Engineering Deck
Requirements Agility: 3
Energy Weapons: 4
Researchable No
Attack Types Normal
Overhand [with Smasher]
Damage 11 (Normal)
15 (Overhand) [with Smasher]
Summon Code electro shock

That's right, just like the one the Hacker used on Citadel Station! We're the only one in town who's got 'em! Only 40 Nanites!
~ Street vendor selling Rapier replicas in New Detroit.

The Mark IV Laser Rapier is a weapon featured in System Shock 2 and the upgraded version of the TS-04 Laser Rapier which appeared in System Shock.

This weapon works by projecting a porous field of reflective material in a shaft shaped region around its base. When it strikes the target, the material bends and the intense refracted light inside is released locally, causing intense burns to the target.

Being a melee weapon, it requires no ammunition, cannot decay, and cannot be modified.

While it is an Energy Weapon, it does not require any power to function.


The Laser Rapier requires Energy Weapons skill level 4 and Agility level 3 to use. No Research is required.

Damage Table

Annelid Half-Annelid Mech Half-Mech Final Boss
Energy x0.5 x1 x2 x1 x0.5


General Melee Strategies

  • Strength increases the final bonus added to the melee damage and thus should be a high priority.
  • Both Lethal Weapon and Smasher O/S Upgrades (acquired preferably in that order) substantially increase the damage output of a melee weapon, and should come in handy throughout the whole game.
  • Contrary to popular belief, O.S.A. Agent is arguably the best class to specialize in any melee weapon, as one can unlock the following Psionic Powers at the (very) beginning:
  • Observe the attack patterns of enemies and always try to evade when they are about to strike. Agility can make the job easier for obvious reasons. This is especially important in case of Pipe Hybrids and Cyborg Midwives.
  • Shotgun Hybrids are one of the tougher opponents on early stages, as they have hitscan weapons. It is hard to defeat them without taking any damage being already in their range. However, the player can hide, attack them from behind and circle-strafe, buying enough time to finish them before they turn and start shooting.
  • Protocol Droids are very hard (close to impossible, actually) to defeat with melee weapons safely, therefore keeping a ranged weapon in one's inventory is advised.
    • The other approach is to run away to avoid the explosion at just the right moment when they go into self-destruct. Going around corners is very useful. Lots of practice and high Agility are recommended.
  • Enemies with no melee attack at all, including all types of big Robots, always prioritize getting some distance before attacking. That means as long as one stays very close to the enemy, it will keep walking back instead of attacking the player, giving enough time to defeat the foe. This strategy stops working efficiently when an enemy does not have enough space to flee.
    • This strategy also applies to all types of Assassins, but they can fall back at a very high speed, easily putting the player in a tough situation.
  • All big Robots have their only weapon mounted on their right side, the other one being harmless. Approach them preferably from their left side using the above strategy to avoid their attacks.
    • If they follow you, make sure to go clockwise. They can shoot at you even if only a part of their weapon protrudes around the corner, so going anticlockwise is discouraged.
  • Turrets are best attacked at close quarters - that is, if they can be reached. Cutting the distance and circle-strafing around them doesn't give them a chance to fire at you. Moving fast in front of their line of sight makes them unable to lock the aim and shoot.
    • With enough skill the player can jump over the Turret to stand on top of it, thus being safe from its attacks.
    • Rickenbacker Turrets cannot hit if the player standing too close to them.
  • Rumblers are essentially fast walking tanks and are to be treated as such - with extreme caution. Learning their movement helps, but not entirely, as they can surprise the player with an almost instant attack.
  • Grubs, both types of Monkeys and Infant (to some extent also both types of the bigger) Arachnids are most effectively attacked when crouching. It is best to retreat when attacking Grubs and Arachnids. On the contrary, it is recommended to charge while dealing with the Monkeys.
  • Attacking the Eggs can be tricky because of their contents. Depending on their type, a different strategy has to be chosen:
    • Black Eggs can be called sitting ducks, as they trigger no effects... yet.
    • Grub Eggs are the least harmless. After the Grub hatches, the player should fall back to attack it.
    • Swarm Eggs have a simple strategy: trigger and run. Afterwards they don't cause any problems.
    • Toxic Egg are the toughest to deal with. While the flying spores can be easily dodged when crouching, the gas cloud will affect the player most of the time. Sometimes it can be avoided by approaching from above or from around a corner, but generally it is not possible to evade it. Melee-only players have to either stack Anti-Toxin Hypos, use Psi Toxin Shield, or be prepared for frequent visits at Resurrection Stations.
  • Standing below Security Cameras (if possible) eliminates their threat entirely.
  • Moving (ideally circle-strafing) directly below Psi Reavers makes them unable to aim and shoot at the player.
  • Swarms cannot be harmed using any melee weapon.

Laser Rapier Specific

  • It is the only melee weapon that deals bonus damage to fully mechanical targets, which is also its major advantage over the Crystal Shard. This does not apply to half-mechanical opponents.
  • Along with Cerebro-Energetic Extension it is the only melee weapon which can damage final boss.
  • The greatest drawback of this weapon is that it inflicts half damage to pure Annelid creatures. Considering how dangerous some of these are in close range, Rapier is one of the least practical weapons to fight against them.
    • Wrench can deal more damage to pure Annelids than the Laser Rapier, but has a much shorter hitting range. Whether keeping a Wrench is essential depends on one's habit.
    • Despite pure Annelid damage penalty, the Laser Rapier is capable of killing even the strongest pure Annelids in one hit (except the Greater Psi Reaver). This is achievable by maxing out STR (8), Energy Weapons (6), PSI (8), taking the Lethal Weapon upgrade, researching corresponding organs for 25% damage boost, and finally, activating the Adrenaline Overproduction Psi Power.
  • On lower difficulties, upgrades are inexpensive and a melee specialist may consider obtaining both a Laser Rapier and a Crystal Shard.


  • Contrary to what the in-game description states, Mark IV is way less effective than TS-04, its prototype predecessor. However, it is indeed more reliable, as it does not use up any energy.


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