The Staff of Destruction is a weapon that appears in Zero no Tsukaima. In reality, it is not a magic staff, but a M-72 LAW rocket launcher.
The weapon consists of a rocket packed inside of a launcher made up of two tubes, one inside the other. While closed, the outer assembly acts as a watertight container for the rocket and the percussion cap-type firing mechanism that activates the rocket. The outer tube contains the trigger, the arming handle, front and rear sights, and the rear cover. The inner tube contains the channel assembly, which houses the firing pin assembly, including the detent lever. When extended, the inner tube telescopes outward toward the rear, guided by the channel assembly, which rides in an alignment slot in the outer tube's trigger housing assembly. This causes the detent lever to move under the trigger assembly in the outer tube, both locking the inner tube in the extended position and cocking the weapon. Once armed, the weapon is no longer watertight, even if the launcher is collapsed into its original configuration.
When fired, the striker in the rear tube impacts a primer, which ignites a small amount of powder that "flashes" down a tube to the rear of the rocket igniting the propellant in the rocket motor. The rocket motor burns completely before leaving the mouth of the launcher, producing gases around 1,400 °F (760 °C). The rocket propels the 66 mm warhead forward without significant recoil. As the warhead emerges from the launcher, six fins spring out from the base of the rocket tube, stabilizing the warhead's flight. The early LAW warhead, developed from the M31 HEAT rifle grenade warhead, uses a simple, but extremely safe and reliable, piezoelectric fuze system. On impact with the target, the front of the nose section is crushed causing a micro-second electric current to be generated, which detonates the warhead. The fuse then detonates a booster charge located in the base of the warhead, which sets off the main warhead charge. The force of the main charge forces the copper liner into a directional particle jet that, in relation to the size of the warhead, is capable of a massive amount of penetration.
A unique mechanical set-back safety on the base of the detonator grounds the circuit until the missile has accelerated out of the tube. The acceleration causes the three disks in the safety mechanism to rotate 90 degrees in succession, ungrounding the circuit; the circuit from the nose to the base of the detonator is then completed when the piezo-electric crystal is crushed on impact.
The M72A2 LAW was issued as a prepackaged round of ammunition. Improvements to the launcher and differences in the ammunition were differentiated by a single designation. The most common M72A2 LAWs came prepacked with a rocket containing a 66 mm HEAT warhead, which is attached to the inside of the launcher by the igniter. The standard M72A2 anti-armor HEAT warhead has an official stated penetration in 1977 of up to 20 cm/8 inches of Steal plate, 600mm (2 feet) of reinforced concrete], or 1.8 meters (6 feet) of soil.
Thirty years ago, Old Osmond was attacked by a dragon. Before getting eaten, an American soldier from the Vietnam War appeared out of nowhere and used the rocket launcher to kill the dragon.
The soldier who saved Old Osmond was critically wounded and soon died despite Old Osmond's attempts to treat him. The soldier carried two rocket launchers with him at the time, however not knowing about such technology, the people believed them to be magical weapons and called them the "Staffs of Destruction"; one was buried along with the soldier, and the other was presented to the Royal Court and was kept in storage at the Tristain Academy of Magic.
During Zero no Tsukaima
During the yearly familiar exhibition, Fouquet the Crumbling Dirt, an infamous thief who utilized magic in his thefts, infiltrated the Academy to steal the Staff of Destruction. Incidentally, Louise and Saito, who were by the area, witnessed Fouquet's attempt of robbery. Attempting to stop the thief, Louise accidentally blew the storage room's walls up with a missed failed spell, freely allowing Fouquet to steal the Staff of Destruction and escape.
The next day, Louise, Saito, Kirche, and Tabitha volunteered to find and capture Fouquet and recover the stolen Staff, and were accompanied by Miss Longueville, Old Osmond's secretary. The team investigated an area suspected as Fouquet's last known whereabouts, where Tabitha quickly finds the Staff of Destruction in an abandoned house, much to everyone's surprise except for Miss Longueville who separated from the others to do her own investigations. Not soon after their discovery, the students are greeted with an attack by the golem from yesterday.
Despite their combined efforts, the students could not deal any substantial damage to their opponent, and were soon overwhelmed. After much struggling, Louise decided to help Saito using the Staff, but her efforts were fruitless as she waved the Staff around to no avail. Saito, who recognized the appearance of the Staff, quickly got hold of the weapon, activating his Gandálfr powers and granting him complete proficiency. He fired a rocket at the golem, which quickly obliterated it to dust.
The team had no time to celebrate their victory, however, as Miss Longueville reappeared, taking the Staff from the students and revealed herself to be the true identity of Fouquet. Now knowledgeable of how the weapon worked, she took aim at the students and attempted to shoot them, but nothing happened. Saito then explained to the confused Fouquet that the weapon was good only for a single shot, and then proceeded to rush at the thief with lightning speed with a handle strike using Derflinger, knocking Fouquet unconscious.
The group then returned to the Academy victorious, where the students were given titles. As a reward for Saito, Old Osmond answered the familiar's questions of the weapon's history in his attempts to find a way home. Unfortunately for him, the clues led to a dead end, with the bringer of the Staff having been long dead.
- The M72 LAW's backblast, like that of all rocket launchers, is dangerous to anyone standing behind the launcher. This also makes it dangerous to fire a rocket launcher in a confined space such as a building.
- This is the first real-life item from Saito's world that viewers see in Zero no Tsukaima. The second item from the real world to appear in the series' time, the first being the Summoning Book, which is actually a 1970's porno magazine used to get Siesta back. Another item was an A6M Zero used against King Joseph's flying ships. There was the Phantom Jet underwater in Elf desert territory. He used a SIG Sauer P226 against King Joseph, and a Flak 88 against the golem. He brought back a Mitsubishi F-2A to be used against the Ancient Dragon.
- When Fouquet attempts to fire the empty M72 LAW, she holds it in such a manner that, had the weapon been loaded, her index finger would have been severed or burned away by the rocket blast upon firing.