Monday, May 11, 2009

General RPG Lists: Greatest Swords

So, as a breather after a few rants of actual significance, I thought I'd do a rather pointless list rant today to answer the age-old question that everyone* has wondered at one point or another: of the many, many swords found in RPGs, which ones are the very most awesome? It's actually not an easy question answer, for, quite frankly, magical, super-powerful swords are a dime-a-dozen in the RPG genre. If we are to determine which unparalleled blade is better than all its unparalleled peers, we'll have to look at them as a whole and find the ones that stand out even when considering magical super-swords. Let's see, shall we?

UPDATE 12/14/16: Aeterno Blade added; Elsydeon has been bumped off.

5. Master Sword (The Legend of Zelda Series)

The Master Sword isn't really all that incredibly powerful, by RPG magical sword standards (hell, it's been outclassed a few times by swords in its own game series). What makes the Master Sword really awesome isn't how powerful it is, but its singular ability to utterly repel evil. It just knocks back dark power like a ball pitched underhanded to Hank Aaron by a 10-year-old and cuts through barriers of evil magic like a battle axe through a birthday cake. The Master Sword may not be able to cleave mountains apart, but there's no better blade for bringing down a true, evil villain.

4. Excalibur (General RPGs)

Good old Excalibur. The greatest sword of legend on this planet shows up in quite a few RPGs, and is just consistently one of, if not the, best weapons in any game it's in. Add to that the fact that it often shows up in RPGs with intrinsic positive qualities (holy elemental, for example, and let's not forget how it had an intrinsic Haste effect in Final Fantasy Tactics, making whoever used it insanely strong AND fast), and the fact that, c'mon, it's freaking EXCALIBUR, and you've got something pretty cool.

3. Lightsaber (Knights of the Old Republic Series)

Yeah, yeah, okay, not exactly a sword, but...close enough, I say. Forget these other swords. This is what power is. The Lightsaber is just pure destructive potential. It just lazily goes through anything it encounters like it was nothing. There have been many other energy swords of various kinds in games and animes and so on, but none of them are so steadily unstoppable as this one. Graceful, simple, elegant, the Lightsaber is a little piece of killing technology that puts all those magical bullshit swords in other RPGs to utter shame. The Masamune, Ultima Weapon, Mana Sword, Eternal Sword, Glance Reviver, and so on...a Lightsaber would melt'em all on contact.

2. Dual Blade (Lufia Series)

(Note: The version of this sword from the beyond shitty Curse of the Sinistrals remake does NOT count).

Not only is the Dual Blade crazily powerful. Not only does it have a spiritual energy like that of a god's. Not only is it so powerful that you could theoretically suggest that it can distort the fabric of time and space around it over time (best explanation I've got for how jumbled and buggy-looking the area around it is in Lufia 2, besides it actually being bugged--but there's something about the area and the fact that it happens again at the bottom of the Ancient Cave where the ultimate monster is found that tells me that the Dual Blade's resting place was intentionally left looking like the universe's coding exploded). But the Dual Blade also resonates its spiritual power with and against your own, enhancing your strength with its power and using your determination to become deadlier itself. Its wielder can also use it in battle to completely recover their health and greatly increase their strength and ability. You practically become a deity just from wielding it--assuming that you're worthy enough for it to choose you. Now that's a legendary sword worth noting.

1. Aeterno Blade (AternoBlade)

This sword provides such raw, inconceivable power that it's hard to fathom. The Aeterno Blade gives its wielder the ability to rewind the entirety of time around herself, while she can move freely, and every attack she scores on an enemy unknowingly going back in its own timeline will remain, leaving that enemy to, from its perspective, suddenly sprout dozens of fatal wounds from nowhere. How unimaginably overpowered is that? What foes could possibly counter such an ability? This is more than a time stop, such as a few of the most impressive spells in RPG history are capable of performing (such as Feena's power in Grandia 1, or Sailor Pluto's in Sailor Moon: Another Story, both of which are insanely overpowered). This sword's power gives all the benefits of a time freeze spell, but also the added bonus that since the foe is retreating backward in time, the Aeterno Blade's wielder knows exactly what actions the enemy is about to take when she chooses to end the time rewind. Time stopping AND effective precognition! And if that weren't enough, the blade also allows its user to frequently make tiny hops through time-space in which she is invulnerable (think Tracer's blinking ability in Overwatch), and (also like Tracer, only better) to rewind her own time line several seconds (or even close to a minute) to heal herself from fatal injuries she might have sustained, and allowing her to recall this averted fatal future so that she can avoid the same mistake. The sword even allows its holder to do this for a few seconds after death, it seems, since in the game it'll give you a bit of time after Freyja's HP has hit 0 to go back and fix things. And there are also certain relics one can equip that resonate with the sword, conferring even more insane power from it, such as the ability to heal oneself while rewinding the rest of the world instead of just oneself. Whoever wields the Aeterno Blade is effectively immortal and unstoppable.

Honorable Mention: Star Dragon Sword (Suikoden Series)

While not enormously powerful (although its ability to kill immortal assholes is a nice plus), I'm rather partial to the Star Dragon Sword because it talks. And through talking you find that it is grumpy, vain, and just a jerk in general. If I were a sword, I'd be like this one.

...HA! Finally, a short list rant! It CAN be done!

* "Everyone" may need to be read as "me, and me alone."


  1. Your number 1 and mention of the bugged (looking) areas in Lufia 2 got me thinking: I played through the Anciant Cave on my PAL cartridge not too long ago, and the last floor didn't look bugged at all, I also don't remember the Dual Blade place looking buggy, so is that a NTSC thing only or even just an emulator problem or was I just lucky?

    1. As far as I'm aware, this was a phenomenon beyond just emulation, so I guess it must be an NTSC thing?

      I guess I have to just accept that it's actually a glitch, but it totally would have been awesome if it was an intentional thing of the sword just being that insanely powerful. Like how Lavos's mere presence just warps space and time.

    2. The DS version has time travelling capabilities (that's how the second ending where Maxim and Selan survive came about0, but that version sucks. It also seems to have a mind of its own since it stabs Erim/Lufia at the end of Lufia 1 and how it chooses its wielder (a bit like Kingdom Hearts' Keyblade) but you already covered that.