We take a look at some of the video game world's most famous swords, from the seemingly quaint, to the outright ridiculous.
Many games employ the use of a trusty blade, some as their protagonist’s signature weapon, or weapons, that they’ll wield through the entire game. Some are found by exploring the world in an RPG, and some are the ultimate weapon that you must trudge through an entire adventure to obtain. One thing many of these over-sized steak knives have in common is that if they were real, no actual person could pick them up, let alone brandish them in battle. But that’s the great thing about video games – no limits to ridiculous weapons.
Below we’ve listed a selection of gaming’s greatest and most iconic blades, in no particular order, all of which are significant in some way – either because they have a cool ability, interesting backstory, they just look awesome, or all of the above.
Buster Sword – Final Fantasy VII
This is a big sword, of all the swords we’re going to look at it’s probably one of the most cumbersome-looking. Wielded by Cloud Strife in Final Fantasy VII, it appears with him in most of the games and movies he is present in. So iconic in its appearance, the Buster Sword also appears in later Final Fantasy games, minus Cloud, such as FFIX, FFX, and in FFXIV: A Realm Reborn as a limit break.
Cloud Strife wielding the Buster Sword
The Master Sword – The Legend of Zelda series
Also known as The Blade of Evil’s Bane, the Master Sword can only be wielded by those who have overcome great tests of bravery to prove their courage and be worthy of using it. Whilst it’s not the most stand-out sword in its appearance, it’s probably the blade that would be easiest to use in real life. The sword has appeared in almost every Zelda game created, and it’s synonymous with being brandished by Link, the series’ main hero. The Master Sword is the weapon which can defeat Ganon, the main antagonist in the games.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Sword artwork
Keyblade – Kingdom Hearts
The main weapon in the Kingdom Hearts series of games, the Keyblade unsurprisingly resembles a key. With the power to open any door or lock, to either an object, person, or world, the Keyblade is quite the powerful weapon. Whilst he’s not going about unlocking doors etc. Sora, the main protagonist from the series, can use it as a powerful weapon in the battle against dark forces. There are also many other Keyblades in the series, and they can channel magic abilities to their users.
The first Keyblade seen in the Kingdom Hearts series, the Kingdom Key
Lightsaber – most Star Wars games
Iconic not just because of the movies, but in the Jedi Knight series of games they cemented the Lightsaber as a weapon that could be wielded effectively in a first person game. The weapon has appeared in practically every Star Wars game out there, and continues to be amongst the most fun weapons to use. There’s not much to say about the weapon that you wouldn’t already know… it’s a blade of light that cuts through enemies like butter, can deflect blaster fire, comes in practically any colour you want, and looks amazing. Cue Lightsaber humming sound.
Soul Edge – Soulcalibur
A demonic weapon in the Soulcalibur fighting games, Soul Edge is quite the nasty sword. A cursed blade, it takes over whomever wields it, if they’re weak of mind. It’s also a pretty ugly-looking slicer, with flesh and an eye being integral parts of its design. In-game the weapon is incredibly powerful, but drains the user’s health over time – the trade-off of this is that when landing attacks the user will regain health proportionate to the damage they’ve dealt.
Soul Edge from Soulcalibur V
Masamune – Final Fantasy VII
Yes, it’s another FFVII sword, but it’s not my fault the game had more than one awesome blade. Masamune is carried around by the game’s main antagonist, Sephiroth. Whilst still a big sword, unlike the Buster Sword, it’s modelled on an ‘odachi’ blade used by Samurai in feudal Japan, except it’s insanely long.
Sephiroth holding Masamune
Frostmourne – Warcraft III and World of Warcraft
There’s at least a few million people that know what this blade signifies. One of the most iconic weapons in Warcraft lore, Frostmourne is the blade which cursed Prince Arthas when he vowed to wield it in order to save his homeland. The blade drains the soul of its victims and allows Arthas to command an undead army. Arthas eventually became the new Lich King and was the major bad dude in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion pack for WoW.
Frostmourne in the hands of Arthas
Blades of Chaos – God of War series
Forged by the God of War, Ares, these twin blades are used by the servant of the god and are burnt into the forearms of the wielder. Not only do these swords look deadly in Kratos’ hands, but he can spin them, fling them, and generally match an Olympic twirling champion with the moves he can pull off, as the blades are attached to chains. The Blades of Chaos are the first chained blades Kratos has, but he eventually ends up with the Blades of Athena, and the Blades of Exile in later games, which use the same chain-sword design.
Blades of Chaos seared into Kratos' arms
And that's our list - a few amazing weapons from some equally-amazing games. So after all that, what did we learn from this list? We’ve learnt that Final Fantasy games have a wealth of iconic blades, which I had to narrow down to just two, otherwise it would just be a list of those games’ swords. And we learnt that size doesn’t matter, the bigger, more outrageous the blade, generally the better. There are plenty of other swords out there in the world of video games, so please let us know which are your favourites and why.