We all have already probably seen many times how much damage does a hit from the different weapons found in Dark Forces. However, I think it gives a wrong impression about how strong are these weapons really, because it ignores the firing rate.
Of course, the overall firepower of a weapon is the amount of damage that the weapon can cause in a specified time. To get a right picture about every weapon's firepower, its blast power has to be multiplied with the firing rate. The same principle applies to the Earth Army weapons: the energy of a single UZI bullet is rather small in comparison to the other firearms, but UZI's devastating firepower comes from the high firing rate. I did the same calculations and measurements for the weapons in Dark Forces, and got some interesting results.
The single shot power was measured as a maximum measured shield loss when Kyle gets hit by it, so we can name that unit SD (Shield Damage). Here are those measured values, together with the measured approximated firing rates, for the weapons of interest:
|Single shot damage||Firing rate (/min)|
|Mod. Bryar pistol||10 SD||120|
|Blaster rifle||10 SD||420|
|Imperial repeater (primary fire - 1 bullet)||10 SD||300|
|Imperial repeater (secondary - 3 bullets)||30 SD||117|
|Fusion cutter (primary fire - 1 bolt)||15 SD||250|
|Fusion cutter (secondary - 4 bolts)||60 SD||128|
|Mortar gun||40 SD||92|
|Concussion rifle||30 SD||78|
|Assault cannon||30 SD||252|
Now, if we multiply the single shot damage with the firing rate, we get the amount of shield damage that the specified weapon can cause in a burst of fire of a one minute duration. These amounts are a better, more realistic indicator of a weapon firepower. Here they are sorted:
|Fusion cutter (secondary - 4 bolts)||7680|
|Imperial repeater (secondary - 3 bullets)||3510|
|Imperial repeater (primary fire - 1 bullet)||3000|
|Mod. Bryar pistol||1200|
Of course, it is almost impossible to make
all four bolts of a secondarily fired fusion cutter hit their target. The top rating of
the assault cannon is not a big surprise, but the blaster rifle's bronze is, at least for
me. Although it is sharing the last place with the pistol in the bolt power, thanks to 420
bolts per minute, it got the third place. From this viewpoint, its firepower is superior
to both fusion cutter and imperial repeater!
For the missile, the mortar gun and the concussion rifle, the practical firepower is higher, as they can cause damage to multiple enemies simultaneously. We all know that the first place actually belongs to the concussion rifle which can easily clear a battalion of troopers in one blast (play the first level of "Prophecy" level pack :).
For those who are working on a Dark Forces
FAQ, feel free to take any data from here.