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Annotated diagram of the Atalskes phaser IV

The Atalskes phaser IV was a model of directed energy phaser weapon, a hand-held type-2 phaser pistol used by Starfleet in the 23rd century from the early 2270s. (TOS reference: Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise; TOS movie: The Motion Picture)


Orthographic projections of the Atalskes phaser IV with labeled functions

These Atalskes Phaser Corporation phasers were a dual-fire type-2 phaser, with a hand phaser, the Atalskes phaser III, that could be separated from the pistol power-pack grip. (TOS reference: Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise)

A keypad for the unit's internal computer was located in the joint coupling the two components. Buttons on the left of the keypad allowed a user to set the weapon to stun, disrupt or dematerialize, while the right side programmed in wide or narrow-beam settings. The middle of the pad included a trigger, in addition to the one built into the hand grip on the power-pac. To the rear of the top of the weapon a white knob housed the weapon's dilithium crystal and could also be used to adjust the beam-width. (TOS reference: Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise; Star Trek Fact Files Issue 60-2E: "Pistol Phaser: 2271")

Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise and the Star Trek Fact Files contradict on the exact details of the keypad on the weapon; while the Fact Files are for the most part ambiguous about the precise function of each button it does directly contradiction Mr. Scott's Guide in the claim the central button is a power output display, rather than a second trigger - Mr. Scott's Guide claims the power setting are instead display on the elongated panel to the lower right of the pad. The two sources also give a potential contradiction in the use of the knob at the rear of the phaser, although it's possible it could carry out both functions described.


The Atalskes IV was introduced to Starfleet on reference stardate 2/12, and slowly began replacing the older Sestra phaser II units. This was not the sole design used by Starfleet, as the Sestra phaser IIB was later in use concurrently. (TOS reference: Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise)

Kirk had an Atalskes phaser IV with him while stranded in the past of Gribbin II. He used it to defend himself against a pack of attacking bear-like animals. (TOS comic: "The Alone, Part Two")

Phasers of this type were in use by security aboard the USS Enterprise after its refit in the early 2270s. (TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: The Motion Picture)

A zombie taking fire from a phaser IV

On stardate 7493.5 the stun setting on this type of phaser proved ineffective against zombie virus infected colonists on Calibus VII. Despite repeated hits from several phasers at once the colonists just kept coming. Captain Kirk was unwilling to let his landing party use a more powerful setting on the phasers; fearful of killing a colonist unnecessarily, should they find a cure. (TOS comic: "Infestation, Issue 1")

Around stardate 7523.5 Marcella DiFalco used this type of phaser to fire on a Kamahr, a type of animal native to Agena IV. However, due to the Kamahr's telekinetic force field ability the phaser beam simply bounced off. A short time later Captain James T. Kirk discovered the weapons were also ineffective when fired on the Agenan Machs; though once informed of the Machs' weakness on their dorsal side found the phasers were effective in neutralizing them. (TOS comic: "The Expansionist Syndrome")

A security guard crushed by his own giant phaser IV

On stardate 7935.3 the Enterprise collected Carl Wentworth and Andrea Manning from the Andronicus to relocate them. Unwittingly using Andronican mind-direction techniques taught to her by Wentworth which allowed her to make solid beings out of energy, Manning's hatred for Montgomery Scott (her former lover) was manifest in the form of creatures from scottish folklore; in the form of the witch Black Annis this hatred was able to able to reflect and intensify phaser power from a guard using a Atalskes phaser IV until it dematerialised the guard. Another guard was killed by the witch when she made his phaser grow so large it crushed him. (TOS comic: "... Like a Woman Scorned!")

Terrell's phaser.

Clark Terrell, maddened by a Ceti eel, used an Atalskes phaser IV to vaporize a Genesis Project researcher and then turned the weapon on himself, committing suicide. Terrell's first officer, Pavel Chekov, also used a phaser of this type to hold others at bay during his affliction by Khan Noonien Singh's eels. When the Ceti eel left Chekov's body, James T. Kirk used a phaser of this type to destroy the animal. (TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: The Wrath of Khan)

Around stardate 8151.7 a squad of Enterprise security personnel found that even fire from multiple phaser IV's was totally ineffective against an Excalbian which had boarded the ship. (TOS comic: "Deadly Allies!")

General Dector fires his weapon of the gods, a phaser IV

Around stardate 8163.5 General Dector, a native of Beta Epsilon VI, stole a phaser IV from Elizabeth Sherwood, as part of a plot by himself and his usual adversary, Commander Ballor, to create a backlash against their people's recently installed "god", Starfleet Captain Philip Hodges. Using the phaser to grant him the power of the gods Dector led an uprising, but was shot himself by Saavik when he threatened Enterprise personnel on the planet. (TOS comic: "Mortal Gods")

By 2285 this sort of phaser had also been put into service by the Terran Empire's Imperial Starfleet in the mirror universe. ISS Enterprise personnel were armed with phaser IVs when they invaded the prime reality in that year. Members of an anti-Empire resistance had also acquired phasers of this type; David Marcus was armed with a phaser IV when he first encountered the prime-James T. Kirk. (TOS comics: "Double Image", "Masquerade!")

Atalskes phaser IVs were among the collection of weapons obtained by the warlord Karnas on planet Mordan IV. Many of Karnas's advanced weapons were obtained through a deal with Commander Mark Jameson in the early 24th century. (TNG episode: "Too Short a Season")

The Atalskes IV was in use aboard the USS Enterprise-C in 2344. (TNG episode: "Yesterday's Enterprise")



This phaser was created for the unrealized 1970s Star Trek: Phase II television series (TOS reference: Star Trek: Phase II), and ended up being used on the USS Enterprise in the movies Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The prop was replaced by different phasers in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, but it was brought out of retirement for an appearance aboard the Enterprise-C in "Yesterday's Enterprise", indicating that the model of phaser continued into the 24th century. This design of phaser was used instead of the new design in the DC Comics adaptation of The Search for Spock, and continued to be used in stories set after the movie throughout DC's first series of TOS comics.

The authors of the Star Trek Fact Files were apparently unaware that the design included a detachable type-1 phaser; on this phaser's page in the Files it is repeatedly noted how this design is a significant departure from the earlier phasers in that it no longer has the two-in-one feature. Curiously the schematics of the phaser on the same page clearly show the lines of separation where the type-1 phaser would detach.


Federation Starfleet hand-held weapons
Directed energy weapons type-1 phaser/hand phaser Sestra phaser IAtalskes phaser IIISestra phaser IBmark V personal phaser Seal of the Federation Starfleet
type-2 phaser/phaser pistol Sestra phaser IIAtalskes phaser IVSestra phaser IIBmark VI battle phaserphaser (Kelvin timeline)
type-3 phaser/phaser rifle phaser rifle (23rd century)mark VII phaser rifletype III phaser riflecompression phaser rifleenhanced compression riflephaser rifle (Kelvin timeline)
miscellaneous assault rifleinfinity modulatorisomagnetic disintegratorlaser pistollaser rifleneural disruptorphase pistolsniper rifle
Projectile weapons compound grenade launcherphoton burstquantum burstTR-116TR-120

Appearances and references

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