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This subject appears in Serious Sam: The First Encounter.  This subject appears in Serious Sam: The Second Encounter.  This subject appears in Serious Sam Advance. This subject appears in Serious Sam: Next Encounter.  This subject appears in Serious Sam 2.  This subject appears in Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter.  This subject appears in Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter.  This subject appears in Serious Sam: Double D.  This subject appears in Serious Sam: The Random Encounter.  This subject appears in Serious Sam 3: BFE. This subject appears in Serious Sam: The Greek Encounter.  This subject appears in Serious Sam's Bogus Detour.  This subject appears in Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope.  This subject appears in Serious Sam 4.  This subject appears in Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem.  This subject is from the Mental War era. 

"Woohoo, let's go bowling!"
Sam Stone[src]

The SBC Cannon, sometimes referred to as just the Cannon, is an iconic weapon that appears in the Serious Sam franchise. With the exception of the C-4 Demolition Charge, Mini-Nuke and Serious Bomb, the cannon is the most powerful weapon in the series, and is capable of mowing down many weak opponents in a row, or dealing heavy damage to tougher enemies. Like the XM214-A Minigun, the cannon is one of Serious Sam's trademark weapons.


The cannon is a marvel of modern weaponry that was originally reverse-engineered by professor Gottlieb Kiesel from technomagical ordnance captured from Mental's forces.[1] The original design has since been adapted and improved. Balanced to perfection, the cannon's barrel fires extraordinarily heavy uranium-filled projectiles at high speed, providing excellent penetration and easily smashing through several hostile units in a row. This renders the cannon one of the most powerful weapons available to Earth Defense Force soldiers.[1] Rumors persist that the uranium-filled cannonballs can be hazardous to the operator, but professor Kiesel claims that the effect on the average life expectancy of an EDF soldier should be negligible.[1]

The cannon fires a single cannonball when the player presses the fire key. The charge, power and speed of the cannonball is dependent on how long the fire key is held; the longer the fire key is pressed, the farther the cannonball is launched, and the more powerful it becomes. After holding down the fire key for about two seconds, a fully charged cannonball will be fired from the cannon.

The damage a cannonball deals depends on its charge. An uncharged cannonball is strong enough to mow down multiple weak enemies in a row, but its damage is negligible when fired at a tough opponent with high health points. A fully-charged cannonball, on the other hand, can deal a devastating amount of damage and can destroy rows of weak and medium enemies at once, and is capable of killing some tough opponents in a single shot.

Raahloom, the boss of the Jewel of the Nile DLC, uses a much larger and more modified version of the cannon, although NETRICSA states that it is one of the original, unmodified ones.[2] The cannonballs fired from his cannon are much larger and deal more splash damage in comparison to the cannonballs fired by Sam's cannon. Raahloom's cannon can also fire between three and six balls in succession. These balls additionally are not affected by gravity and will only change direction when colliding with a hard surface or wall, in a similar manner to the Exotech Larva's plasma orbs, albeit with the added ability to lose speed upon impact with a surface as well. A single cannonball is powerful enough to kill the player instantly regardless of the difficulty selected.

In Serious Sam: Double D: XXL, the cannon is a bit weaker than in other games, but it is still effective. A Gunstack combination of the cannon with other strong weapon upgrades can kill even the strongest enemies with ease. The player should note that the cannon is harder to obtain in this game as it is not a regular weapon that the player acquires in the campaign, but instead has to be bought from The Trader as a weapon upgrade.

In Serious Sam 4 and Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem, the cannon behaves just likes its previous incarnations, but can deal a whopping amount of damage if the player fires a cannonball at an enemy's weak spot (in most cases, this is usually their head). If the player is accurate enough, they can bring down a Khnum with a single well aimed shot. Like other weapons, the cannon can be dual wielded, although this requires the respective Sirian Artefacts of Might skill to be unlocked first. With two cannons equipped at once, the player can unleash a devastating amount of firepower at their opponents. The cannon also has had its maximum piercing power increased from 580 to 750, allowing it to instagib a Major Bio-mechanoid at max charge - it is also worth noting that the Major Bio-mechanoid has had its health slightly reduced from 750 to 730 in this installment. However, this increase in maximum piercing power does not apply to Survival maps.


Due to the weapon's extremely high firepower, the cannon is perhaps the rarest weapon in the series. The weapon is not usually acquired until the later stages of its in-game appearances. It does, however, sometimes appear in secrets, which can allow the player to obtain it earlier than usual and give them a huge advantage during boss fights or otherwise tough combat encounters.

Serious Sam: The First Encounter[]

The cannon is first obtained in Alley of the Sphinxes, but can be found earlier in Metropolis as a secret.

Serious Sam: The Second Encounter[]

In The Second Encounter, the cannon appears in The City of the Gods (3 times - 2 as secrets), Courtyards of Gilgamesh, Tower of Babel, and The Grand Cathedral. It also appears as a secret in The Elephant Atrium and Land of the Damned, as well as Ziggurat in the HD version of the game if playing on co-op (on solo, a Serious Bomb appears instead).

Serious Sam Classics: Revolution[]

In the Revolution-exclusive Bright Island campaign, the cannon is obtained normally in either Tropical Bluffs or The Steps of Despair, although it can be obtained as a secret much earlier in Crystal Cove.

Serious Sam 2[]

The cannon appears in Chaolin Temple, Boneyard, Command Center, Shield Generator, and Mental Institution. It also appears as a secret in Ursul Gardens' and Area 5100.

Serious Sam: Double D: XXL[]

Since the cannon does not appear as a regular weapon, it can only be obtained by upgrading the 12 Gauge Shotgun. The upgrade can be purchased from The Trader after completing the game.

Serious Sam 3: BFE[]

In Serious Sam 3 and the VR remake, the cannon is normally acquired much later in the game compared to previous games, first appearing in The Power of the Underworld, though it can be found much earlier as a secret in Under the Iron Cloud.

The cannon later appears for the final time in The Guardian of Time, along with plenty of cannonballs, although it can be found earlier as a secret in The Lost Temples of Nubia. In Jewel of the Nile, it can be found only as a secret in Together Forever and Born Again.

Jewel of the Nile[]

Like the minigun, the cannon appears exclusively as a secret weapon. It can be acquired two times; once in Together Forever inside a house (accessed via a ladder in a cave) and in Born Again on top of a hill which can only be accessed with the jetpack.

Serious Sam 4[]

Like in the previous game, the cannon appears much later in the game compared to other weapons. It is first obtained in Anathema Unto God, but can be found earlier in In Carcassonne as a secret. It appears again afterwards in From Earth With Love.

Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem[]

The cannon appears in Crime And Punishment normally, but can be found earlier as a secret in Siberiade. The player can continue using the cannon in New Game+ on any level. Ammunition for it, however, is very scarce, though there are a few Ammo Packs scattered throughout the levels that can provide the player with ammo. The player can also carry more ammo for the cannon as playing in New Game+ allows the player to carry more ammo for their weapons than they are normally allowed to.

Completing the campaign on at least Normal difficulty unlocks the Tsar Cannon skin. This skin can be selected in the game settings.



  • An uncharged shot will instantly kill almost any of the weaker enemies and so is particularly effective against hordes of enemies such as Kleer Skeletons or Sirian Werebulls.
  • A fully-charged shot will virtually kill any enemy in one shot, except for any enemy that has more than 775 HP (such as Highlander Aludran Reptiloids, Khnums, or larger Lava Golems), including bosses, and is useful in disposing off highly threatening enemies like Major Bio-mechanoids.
  • The cannon is a very effective last-resort weapon if the player is being completely overrun by large swarms of enemies.
  • Its piercing abilities make it a fantastic choice when dealing with excessive amounts of Sirian Werebulls, as they commonly line up behind each other.
  • When aiming at stronger enemies, it is useful to make sure that a few weaker enemies also get in the cannonball's path. This reduces weapon switching and saves ammunition.
  • It may be a good idea to prematurely damage groups of tougher enemies with weaker weapons so the player can more easily kill or even pierce them with fully charged cannonballs, as the lower an enemy's health is, the more likely they are to be pierced. This assumes that the enemies in question are not already enemies that force piercing projectiles to explode upon impact, such as the Fiendian Reptiloid Demon.

Serious Sam: The First Encounter/Serious Sam: The Second Encounter[]

  • A fully charged shot is capable of killing any non-bos enemy in one shot (except for Highlander Aludran Reptiloids and Highlander's Bride). This is useful in quickly disposing of highly threatening enemies such as Fiendian Reptiloid Demons or Major Bio-mechanoids from a great range.
  • The cannon can be used to dispose of Highlander Aludran Reptiloids with high speed and low risk as it takes only four shots (a few more to kill a Highlander's Bride however). With Serious Damage active though, the player can take down a Highlander's Bride with only three or four cannonballs.
  • In the classic version of The Second Encounter, Highlanders have a very high resistance to cannonballs, so it is only recommended to use the cannon on them if serious damage is active.
  • A cannonball loses some of its speed and damage when hitting the ground in the classic releases. Due to this, it is recommended to aim slightly upwards.
  • The cannon is extremely effective against medium to large groups of Cucurbitos, Kleer Skeletons, Zumb'uls and Sirian Werebulls when they are lined up together.

Serious Sam 2[]

  • The cannon is an effective weapon against The General, including the large and monster variants, as fully charged shots are needed to inflict major damage towards them. Enemies such as the Albino Cyclops and T-Mech can be eliminated as well.
  • It is the most effective weapon against the big Spider Mechanoid.
  • The cannon in Serious Sam 2 is more powerful than other renditions of the weapon, doing up to a maximum of 800 damage (700 direct damage + 100 splash damage). With Serious Damage active, the cannon can easily destroy both tough enemies and bosses alike.
    • Due to the increased splash damage, though, the player must take great care to not walk into their own cannonballs as they will take a lot of damage in the process.

Serious Sam 3: BFE[]

  • The cannon can be used to kill a Witch-Bride of Achriman in one shot, though this may be considered a waste of cannonballs for several Witch-Brides, considering the rarity of cannonballs throughout the campaign. In The Guardian of Time, however, cannonball ammo is rather plentiful.
  • Its piercing abilities make it a fantastic choice when dealing with excessive amounts of Juvenile Antaresian Spiders, Kleers, or Werebulls, as well as large numbers of Beheaded Rocketeers and Cloned Soldiers.
  • When aiming at stronger enemies, it is useful to make sure that a few weaker enemies also get in the cannonball's path to save ammo, as cannonballs are fairly rare in the game except for in the final level.

Serious Sam 4/Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem[]

  • Just like with previous installments, the cannon is an excellent weapon for mowing down hordes of weak enemies, like Gnaars (especially the females), Kleers, Octanian Zealots and Legionnaires, Sirian Werebulls and Zubenhakrabian Spider Nymphs and for destroying groups of Adult Arachnoids, Reptiloids, Draconian Burners, and Scrapjacks.
  • The cannon does not work as effectively on the Khnum compared to the Serious Sam 3 version due to it having received an increase in health. If the player fires at its head though, this deals triple the damage compared to firing at its body. This way, the player can easily defeat a Khnum and even take out groups of them if the player has dual-wielded cannons.
    • Alternatively, the player can fire a fully charged cannonball at a Khnum's head and then ride it to attack other enemies if the Rodeo skill is active.
  • Dual-wielded cannons are extremely effective for taking down pursuing Technopolyps and Saggitarian Sidewinders in the later stages of the game, as well as Octanian Sentry Towers once their cores are exposed. They are also useful for damaging Howard Brand during his boss fight at the end of the game, as well as the Cryomorph Gnaar Pair in their optional boss fight.

Behind the scenes[]

  • Back in the early Alpha phase of Serious Sam 1, Sam was supposed to light the cannon's fuse with a torch, then the cannon would charge and shoot out a really powerful cannonball. Files of the early cannon exist in the leaked Serious Sam Evaluation Publisher build, even though the cannon wasn't usable in the build because it wasn't yet finished, although the player can pick it up as well as its ammo but they can't select it.
  • During Serious Sam 1's development, there was an alternate ammo for the cannon called the 'nukeball'. According to its code, it would essentially be a more powerful version of the regular cannonball fired by the cannon. Since the regular cannonball is already ridiculously powerful when charged up, it was probably removed for redundancy.
    • The nukeball's texture is in The First Encounter's files and is an alternate skin for the regular cannonball model. Although in Test 1 it was supposed to be the regular cannon ammo and the cannon's ammo icon was supposed to be like the model (not 1 cannonball), there were supposed to be 3 cannonballs on the ammo HUD icon.

Related achievements[]

Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter[]

Achievement Cannon Expert
Cannon Expert
Pierce 10 enemies with a single Cannonball.

Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter[]

Achievement Balls of Steel
Balls of Steel
Find all 3 Cannons in Teotihuacan - The City of the Gods.
Achievement Bone Crusher SSHDTSE
Bone Crusher
Kill 300 Kleers with the Cannon.

Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter[]

Achievement I love my Cannon SSVRTFE
I love my Cannon
Kill 100 Enemies with the Cannon.
Achievement Cannon Expert SSVRTFE
Cannon Expert
Pierce at least 10 enemies with a single cannonball.

Serious Sam VR: The Second Encounter[]

Achievement Mine's bigger than yours SSVRTSE
Mine's bigger than yours
Destroy an enemy cannon with your own cannon.
Achievement Crunchy SSVRTSE
Kill 100 Kleers with the Cannon.

Serious Sam Fusion[]

Achievement Cannon Expert SSF
Cannon Expert
Pierce at least 10 enemies with a single cannonball.
Achievement I love my Cannon SSF
I love my Cannon
Kill 100 Enemies with the Cannon.
Achievement Mine's bigger than yours SSF
Mine's bigger than yours
Destroy an enemy cannon with your own cannon.
Achievement Crunchy SSF
Kill 100 Kleers with the Cannon.

Serious Sam 4[]

Achievement Dismemberfest
Dismember 50 enemies with cannonballs.



  • In the top-down bullet hell shooter Enter The Gungeon, there is a weapon called the Serious Cannon, which is a direct reference to this weapon.
  • The weapon's three initials stand for 'Seriously Big Cannon'.
  • As stated in many games, the cannonballs are filled with uranium, a radioactive element that can be hazardous upon exposure. This doesn't seem to have any effect on the player, though. NETRICSA additionally states that the cannonballs have no effect on the user, although the player will still take damage if they touch the cannonballs or, in the case of Serious Sam 1 and Serious Sam 2, gets too close to the cannonballs when they explode.[3]
  • In the first-person shooter ULTRAKILL, a weapon variant of the rocket launcher is called the S.R.S Cannon Variant, which has a secondary fire mode that is similar to this weapon.
  • The cannon is one of four weapons that does not appear in the Legend of the Beast DLC. The others are the MK III Grenade Launcher, XL2 Lasergun and the XM214-A Minigun.
  • If this weapon existed in real life, it would be extremely heavy to carry, but this doesn’t affect Sam or any other character the player chooses to play as.
  • Compared to other weapons in the series, the cannon has a much more simplistic design, consisting of nothing more than a barrel.
    • From Serious Sam 2 onwards, though, the cannon's design receives more details, such as exhaust pipes in Serious Sam 2 and chains in Serious Sam 3.

Serious Sam: The First Encounter/Serious Sam: The Second Encounter[]

  • From the Serious Editor 3 onwards, the player can select "Player's cannon" as a SS1 projectile type for any projectile in its entity parameters file.

Serious Sam 2[]

  • The weapon has a text reading "Paynekiller" on the right side, which are references to both the Painkiller and Max Payne series of video games.

Serious Sam 4/Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem[]

  • The cannonballs fired by the canno erroneously have RocketHit as their material effect type (used by the XPML21 Rocket Launcher's projectiles) instead of CannonExplode like in other games. This does not apply to the Survival mode's variant of the projectile though, which correctly has the CannonExplode material effect type.[4]
  • The cannon's skin in Siberian Mayhem is a reference to the Tsar Cannon, a Russian medieval cannon, and the largest bombard by caliber in the world.



Serious Sam: The First Encounter/Serious Sam: The Second Encounter[]



Serious Sam 2[]



Serious Sam: Next Encounter[]

Serious Sam Advance[]

Serious Sam: The Random Encounter[]

Serious Sam 3: BFE[]

Serious Sam: The Greek Encounter[]

Serious Sam: Double D: XXL[]

Serious Sam's Bogus Detour[]

Serious Sam 4/Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem[]

List of appearances[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Serious Sam 4 NETRICSA description
  2. Raahloom, the Imposing Prototype's NETRICSA description
  3. Serious Sam 1 NETRICSA description
  4. Content/SeriousSam4/Databases/Projectiles/Cannonball.ep