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Tribute to Greatswords: Looking at one of our favorite weapons in video games

Image courtesy of Capcom
The greatsword, or 2-handed sword, is universally considered a powerful weapon. It's been used dating back centuries, in Europe, in the forms of the Claymore and the Zweihander. Greatswords in video games are also a powerful weapon no matter which game you play. With that said, we'll look at seven examples of powerful greatswords that some of you might recall from your favorite games.

Image courtesy of Nintendo
For starters, Ragnell comes from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. While you don't use this weapon until the last arc in the game, it remains a major plot point for the main character, Ike. While becoming a powerful fighter in his own right, this 2-handed sword became crucial in defeating Ike's nemesis, and murderer of his father, the Black Knight. 

In battle, Ragnell not only boasts a tremendous attack advantage over other weapons, but can attack from two spaces away. In other words, Ike can not only initiate attacks at a distance, but can retaliate against ranged units as well. Coupled with his Aether skill, and he can deal more damage as well as self-heal. Ike would later go onto use this weapon once more in the sequel, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.

The Super Smash Bros. series gives Ike Ragnell as his weapon. Ike is thus known for building incredible damage and launching enemies at early percents at the expense of being slower than other swordsmen. While Brawl and Smash 4 didn't balance him to be any more than a low-tier character, Smash Bros. Ultimate has seen Ike gain tremendous results thanks to his fantastic buffs.

Image courtesy of Bandai Namco
Soul Calibur and Soul Edge
From Bandai Namco's Soul series, these two powerful weapons have set the stage of history for decades starting with the release of Soul Edge, also known as Soul Blade in America. The cursed Sword that drives men mad would always clash with the holy sword that opposed it. Soul Edge and Soul Calibur take a different form based on their wielder. However, when wielded by Siegfried or Nightmare, it took on the form of their Greatsword weapon.

Nightmare was particularly terrifying in SoulCalibur II thanks to his speed accompanying his wide, powerful swings. Even throughout the rest of the SoulCalibur series, Siegfried and Nightmare both became fan-favorites, wielding their respective weapons with tremendous power, range, poise, and technique. Both characters still battle on today with the release of 2018's SoulCalibur VI.

Image courtesy of Square Enix
Buster Sword
The recent release of the Final Fantasy VII Remake surely keeps Cloud's fighting style fresh in the minds of the internet right now. Cloud's massive hunk of iron deals heavy offensive damage, yet he wields it like it's a lightweight weapon. While Cloud is the only swordsman in Final Fantasy VII, he can upgrade the sword he's wielding, which offer various designs to his powerful weapon. This weapon was passed down from his best friend, Zack Fair, who received it from his mentor, in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Angeal Hewley.

In Dissidia: Final Fantasy, Cloud is known for his slow, but powerful techniques. In Super Smash Bros., Cloud is known for his fearsome speed as well as range. In Smash 4, particularly, Cloud was known as an uncontested top tier character. While he received nerfs in Smash Ultimate, his subsequent buffs may have allowed him to reclaim his status as a threat in the meta.

Image courtesy of Nintendo
Biggoron's Sword
Through the Legend of Zelda series, Link wielded one-handed weapons including the fabled Master Sword. However, a trade side-quest in Ocarina of Time allowed Link to obtain the Biggoron's Sword. Unlike the game's Giant's Knife, this weapon would never break and dealt tremendous damage to enemies. While you could not equip a shield, a quick equip change allowed you to cancel right into using your shield if ever needed.

The Biggoron's Sword set the foundation for two of Link's weapons in Majora's Mask: the Great Fairy's Sword and the Fierce Deity's Sword. While the former could be obtained by saving fairies, the latter came from the game's final mask. Transforming into Fierce Deity gave you perhaps the single most powerful abilities in the Zelda series history as the blades that fired from Link's sword felled bosses in a matter of seconds. 

In SoulCalibur II, both the Biggoron's Sword and Great Fairy's Sword appeared as Link's special weapons. He could equip them for more range than his default weapon, In particular, the Great Fairy's Sword also regenerated his health. Meanwhile, the Fierce Deity's Sword appeared as one of Young Link's weapons in Hyrule Warriors Legends.

After a decade-long hiatus, greatswords returned in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. While these weapons could break, they once again dealt ferocious damage. By using amiibos, the player could also unlock Biggoron's Sword as well as the Fierce Deity's Sword. 

                                      Image courtesy of Konami

Claimh Solais
While the Castlevania series introduced the Belmont clan's Vampire Killer whip, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night's main character, Alucard, preferred to use swords instead. While these swords varied in special functions, they all used a horizontal or thrusting attack. In Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, protagonist Soma Cruz can equip a number of swords, some of which have more variance to their animation. One of these includes the holy blade, Claimh Solais, which you discover through a hidden passage in Dracula's Castle

In both Aria of Sorrow and its sequel, Dawn of Sorrow, this powerful weapon marks the pinnacle of the game's Greatswords. Not only can you cancel hits from a jump or a back-dash, but you can even cancel it into a special, powerful attack. The holy weapon was a perfect choice against the demon castle's dark-elemental creatures. Plus it reappeared in the multiplayer online spin-off Harmony of Despair, once again functioning as one of the game's most sought-after and powerful weapons.

Image courtesy of Team Ninja
Ninja Gaiden protagonist, Ryu Hayabusa, favors his Dragon Sword katana above any other weapon. However, Ninja Gaiden also teaches the player that each situation calls for the right weapon. While the Dragon Sword can generally cleave its way through any mess, one weapon, in particular, caused destruction like no other.

The Dabilahro, a 2-handed weapon, allowed Ryu to unleash powerful, stunning strikes on his enemies. Using the soul charge, he could also unleash his blade beam projectiles dealing horrendous damage to even the most powerful foes. Among the Master Ninja's assortment of weapons, this stood out for being particularly strong. While the Dabilahro would not appear in Ninja Gaiden II, the re-release, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, introduced the similar Enma's Fang weapon.

Imgae courtesy of Capcom
Rebellion and Force Edge
Dante's trademark sword from the Devil May Cry series was inherited from his father; the legendary demon, the Dark Knight Sparta. While Dante wielded the Force Edge and Alastor in the original Devil May Cry, Rebellion would become synonymous with the demon slayer from DMC3 onwards. While Rebellion served as Dante's standard weapon, Force Edge, with its true power drawn-out, transformed into a powerful greatsword used to destroy the Demon Emperor, Mundus.

What makes Rebellion special isn't just the fact that Dante can wield the weapon lightly and with ease. The Swordmaster style in the series allows Dante to use a number of creative techniques leading into powerful combos. Dante was a powerful character in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, known for boasting exceptional range thanks once again to his father's legendary blade.

Image courtesy of Square Enix
Greatsword Appreciation
I could write a book on some of the best greatswords in games. I want to give an honorable mention to the Blade of Olympus in God of War, Auron's Katana in Final Fantasy X, the Metal Chocobo and Ultima Weapon in Kingdom Hearts, and various weapons from anime adaptations. Ichigo's Zangetsu in Bleach and Jump titles and Guts' Dragonslayer in Berserk games come to mind. Hell, I could even talk about Pyramid Head's trademark Great Knife which you can even use in Silent Hill 2. Do you have a favorite Greatsword? Let us know in the replies below. Be sure to follow TheGeekGetaway on social media. 

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