Archive for April, 2007

30
Apr
07

Snake Eyes… No Dice…

Today, we go back into the annals of Saturday morning cartoon history. I read that G.I. Joe was a big thing for kids of the 80’s. I wouldn’t know anything about that : P.

But I do know that one of the primary heroes of this old school animated series was none other than… a Ninja. Snake Eyes could possibly have been Americas very first animated Ninja hero. But what makes this particular ninja important to us dark-bladers is that he had a pretty sweet black sword.

Snake Eyes Ninja Sword.

Snake Eyes Ninja Sword
[view full size]

Now that, my friends, is what I call a sinister looking sliver of black steel. But from a practical perspective there is one design feature that I think would weaken the overall strength of the blade. The narrow blade section above the handle.

The section that has been removed from the spine would certainly lighten the sword considerably, and while transferring the center of mass forward, but at the same time it would introduce a structural weakness into the blade, especially at the ingress point just above the serrated spine section if the blade.

I suppose if you were an Uber Commando Ninja like Snake Eyes, this would be of little consequence, as his enemies would have been forcibly separated from life before ever being aware that he was there, much less that his sword possesses a weakness of any sort. But forgive my idle speculation.

In spite of the mechanical shortcomings of the design, there is so much I love about this sword. The sword incorporates a beautiful combination of sweeping curves and abrupt lines, combined in a very complementary way.

The short saw toothed section on the back edge adds to the utilitarian effect of the sword. Even the narrow section removed from the spine, adds to the no-nonsense aesthetics of the blade, as does the simple guard, and the elegantly carved curving handle.

It is as beautiful to me as it is sinister. Which, in my twisted little mind, are in fact the same thing.

No, I don’t need therapy. I can separate the two whenever I want. Really.

No, really…

Snake Eyes Ninja Sword – [Medieval Weapon Art]

29
Apr
07

Dungeons & Dragons & Swords, Oh My…

More movie sword mayhem, this time featuring a very interesting blade from the movie Eragon. Now in truth, this sword is of questionable darkness. However it is still interesting because it is of a rather rare color for swords. So I’m gonna go out on a limb here and present to you:

Zar’roc – The Sword Of Eragon.

Zar'roc - The sword of Eragon
[view full size]

Now obviously this beautiful sword caught my eye because of the deep red/black hue of the blade. This is a rarity. However this complement comes with the negative comment that the handle and pommel look a little toy like. Not particularly sinister. Not even close. It only barely made it into this Blog because of that killer blade… The other dark swords may yet vote it out of the realm. I just thought I’d give it a fair shake…

The Jury’s still out…

Zar’roc – The Sword Of Eragon – [Medieval Weapon Art]

28
Apr
07

The Longest Sword

Now we’ve talked about massive swords, combat worthy swords, transformer swords, even ghost busting swords. Now we get to talk about the longest freakin’ sword in the history of swords. at least in the history of fictitious swords. Until they began manufacturing them. At which point they became real swords. Based on a fictitious sword, from the (you guessed it!) Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children movie. which means that it doesn’t count. Which doesn’t matter because it’s still not “Da longenesest sword evah.” Confused yet? Good. Cause I’m messin’ wit you.

To my knowledge, the longest real sword ever made, at almost 76in overall, is the Japanese Ôdachi called the Kashiwa Tachi. AKA The Yamagane Tsukuri Kokushitsu Hirumaki Ôdachi. AKA “Da Longenest Japanese Sword in da Werlds. Evar.” Ok so it’s really not called that. But it should be:

Kashiwa Tachi
[clicky]

Yep. Now that’s a sword. And, fittingly, it’s name is equally long. What is it with the long names for long swords? I don’t get it. Anyway, a sword like this would probably be useless for anything but ceremony or decorating a wall, but there it is.

But that isn’t why we are here today. Were here to see a fictitious sword brought to life. Even though with real swords like the Kashiwa Tachi Ôdachi in existence, it’s almost a let down. Almost.

Welcome to the almost interminable expanse of steel that is

Sephiroths Masamune Sword

Sephiroths Masamune

[Click image to view full size]

Now this sword is not as large as the Kashiwa Tachi, but at 68in long, with a 50in blade, it’s no slouch either. This will definitely reach out and touch someone. And not in a nice way either. You could probably cut down a small tree with this. With a single cut. If you could actually wield it. Not likely for mere mortals such as you and I…

Sephiroths Masamune Ôdachi – [True Swords]

27
Apr
07

Ghost Bustin’… With an Elven Sword?

Today we get to look at a very special elven sword. I’m sure many of you have seen the movie Ghostbusters. And I’m sure that you are all aware of one of the biggest problems that battling with ghosts presents. They are not solid. Guns, swords, axes, bazookas, not even pepper spray works against ghosts. According to Ghost Busters, the only way to fight ghosts is with a portable nuclear particle accelerator. Or something. Yeah. Right.

Well we don’ need no stinking nucleoid whachamaclerator. We got People. Elves to be exact. Magical freakin’ sword smith elves that know how to make the coolest ghost cuttin’ blades. Like this one. Folks, I’d like you to meet:

Anduril – Sword of King Aragorn

Anduril - The Sword of Aragorn
[view full size]

Now this is a beautiful sword. It is one of those simply but elegantly designed swords, that are just awe inspiring. The sleek, rune engraved blade is a work of art. And the simple cross guard only adds to sophistication of the blade. These elves really know their stuff!!

And then there is the all-important spectre battling ability. In the movie, this sword was used to “persuade” an army of ghosts to fight beside Aragorn in the last installment of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Ignoring for a moment the paradox created by the fact that these ghosts actually *wanted* to be released from their ghostly purgatory, I suppose if I were a ghost who suddenly found myself in the unusual position of having a ghost-killing sword, of all things, at my throat, with the very real possibility that it might *ahem* “kill” me, I would have joined up too.

Then again I might just have joined to see if Aragorn could get one of his elven friends to make me one…

Anduril – The Ghost Bustin’ Sword of King Aragorn – [TolkeinTown]

25
Apr
07

A Killer Moon…

In keeping with the theme of close-in fighting implements, I thought I’d blog about an interesting variation on some traditional Asian weapons. Basically a modernized variation of traditional Chinese hand weapons, such as the sun and moon ring, or deer horn knife, they feature a crescent blade in either side of the handle, and a central standoff in the middle of each knife. This weapon is called:

Black Ronin Ninja Ring.

Black Ronin Ninja Knives
[view full size]

The Black Ronin Ninja Ring is an interesting design, in that, in addition to having excellent slashing characteristics, it also incorporates the thrusting abilities of a straight blade, an ability that was notably absent in the last set of knives I blogged about.

Now one point I found quite interesting is how this knife is referred to as a “ninja” weapon. Personally I think it’s a little misleading, for many reasons. First, to my admittedly non-comprehensive knowledge, pretty much every weapon this knife could possibly be based on is of Chinese origin, while ninjas are of Japanese origin. Also Ninja, by nature, like to travel light, and would be more likely to carry a somewhat more compact close-in combat weapon, like Kama. So it seems to me unlikely that they would carry a weapon like this. This would be more suited for Chinese Kung-Fu than Ninjutsu.

But regardless of the idiosyncratic name, these weapons represent an interesting mix of old and new, combining several old weapon designs into a unique new contemporary design. Very cool.

Black Ronin Ninja Ring – [Medieval Weapon Art]

24
Apr
07

Double Elven Sword Trouble…

In keeping with my current theme of blogging fictional swords, I decided to blog about not one, but two swords, this time. Anyone who is is familiar with the works of writer R. A. Salvatore will no doubt also be familiar with a drow called Drizzt Do’Urden.

Now your stereotypical Drow is not known for eliciting particularly warm and fuzzy feelings. In fact your average drow is an evil black elf who would just as soon cut your heart out with a used rusty spoon than look at you. Probably what Galadriel might have become, had she failed the test of the ring, and taken the ring from Frodo in the Lord of the Rings. But, as usual, I digress.

Drizzt Do’Urden was a unique drow. Unique primarily because he set aside the evil ways of the drow, but more importantly for our purposes, because of a pair of special swords he carried, called Icingdeath and Twinkle. I recently found that numerous places had manufactured replicas Icingdeath and Twinkle swords based on the book. In all honesty the idea was great, and the quality of most of these replicas aren’t bad. I find, however, that I have a few problems with the way in which Icingdeath and Twinkle have been represented.

Icingdeath & Twinkle

Drizzt Icingdeath & Twinkle Scimitars
[view full size]

First and foremost, these supposed reproductions are NOT Scimitars. The reproductions have more in common with a Ninjato than a scimitar. R. A. Salvatores books clearly describe curved weapons. As with the so-called Uruk-Hai “scimitars”, there is no curve in the spine of the sword at all, just a sweeping point on the blade. The first misrepresentation seems to occur where the misguided book illustrators, who, for reasons unknown, chose to draw straight swords rather than Scimitars! The rest is unfortunate history. Bah Humbug!

I also take issue with one of the names. I’ll Grant you, ICINGDEATH is all that and the iceman cometh to hades on a Monday. But Twinkle? TWINKLE?? What kind of a name is TWINKLE for a sword? How do you go from ICINGDEATH to TWINKLE? Sounds like the kind of sword a little ninja faery would use! How could you show up at a Drow convention with a sword called Twinkle? That would just be too embarrassing.

I take that back. It would be even worse to be a foe that has been defeated by Twinkle. Shoot, if Drizzt had faced Errtu with Twinkle alone, he’d have been a cooked Drow. Just imagine how it would have gone. Big, bad Errtu shows up and Drizzt is like “Say hello to my Twinkly Little friend!!” NOT! Icingdeath is where it’s at.

But, girly names and physical inaccuracies aside, these are a very beautiful pair of swords. I wouldn’t mind owning the pair, just so long as nobody asked me what the one with the blue sapphire was called. I almost glad Drizzt ends up loosing Twinkle, even though he had to fall off a cliff to do so…oops! My bad… LOL…

Drizzt Do’Urdens Icingdeath & Twinkle Scimitars – [Medieval Weapon Art]

23
Apr
07

The Ultimate Gunblade…

OK, I know I just blogged about the wonders of the gunblade, but I still have another one to show you. Now this blade is also a prop from the Final Fantasy franchise, but, in my humble opinion, I think this is *Teh Pwnerer* of all gun blades right here. Yep. The Ultimate Gun Blade. What? Never heard of “Teh Pwnerer” before? *snort* Yeah, I’m a bad, bad, man… That’s right, don’t mess wit’ me or imma have to break out my GUNBLADE up in this mug…

Ya skeerd? Not buying it huh? Oh well. It was worth a try… I’ll bet you’d be skeerd if it you happened to meet Seifer Almasy in a dark ally… ‘Cause this here is his gunblade. I present:

Seifer Almasys Hyperion Gun Blade.

Seifer Almasys Hyperion Gunblade Sword
[view full size]

Now at this juncture, I suppose you’ll be wanting me to actually qualify the opined ultimacy of this here gunblade. I would be extremely happy to oblige.

First, the hyperion blade is, imho, a much cooler design than Squall’s Gunblade. In contrast to the curved lines of Squalls gunblade, The Hyperion Gunblades transitional areas all seem to terminate in corners or wicked points. This gives it a much more sinister appearance. If you have been reading my blogs for any amount of time, you should have figured out that this is a great big plus in my book.

Now if that wasn’t enough, take a look at the type of firearm the blade is attached to. A pistol! Yes, ladies and germs, the Hyperion Gunblade is a giant sword with an automatic pistol attached, as opposed to Squalls gunblade, which is attached to a revolver. Now I have mentioned before that I am a fan of weapons in general, and firearms are no exception, so allow me to provide a little insight as to why I feel that a pistol-based Gunblade is a superior combat weapon. It is true that, from at least a zen perspective, a revolver might appear to be better, since they do not rely on large magazine springs or highly complex mechanisms, are simpler, more robustly designed and therefore generally more reliable.

HOWEVER, a pistol can generally carry more ammo than a revolver, (usually 50%-100+% more), can be designed for full automatic fire, and can be lighter and smaller than a revolver for any given caliber. I think these qualities outweigh the potential pitfalls, and make it a shoe-in for total combat dominance. Hence the “Ultimate” title. What? Don’t believe me? Look it up, buster. Don’t make me bust a cap in yo… Oww… that really hurt! Sheesh! No pinching!

Seifer Almasys Hyperion Gun Blade – [True Swords]




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