Hello again, glorious bags of mon—I mean Lusipurr.com readers! Today, I am here to talk about weapons. More specifically, I am going to discuss the sword. The sword is a weapon that has existed in one form or another for thousands of years. Though not as old as the spear and not as easy to wield as a gun or bomb, the sword is still a deadly weapon that holds a prominent place in human history. The sword is as much a part of human culture as language and societal tendencies. It is little wonder that swords appear often in our art, including video games. Swords appear in fighting games, adventure games, roleplaying games, strategy games, and even first person shooting games.
In many adventure, strategy, roleplaying and fighting games, swords are not out of place. These games are often set in a time and place where it makes perfect sense for characters to be wielding swords. Settings such as feudal Japan or Europe, make-believe lands with medieval technology, and post-apocalyptic worlds without advanced projectile weapons are ripe with simple one and two handed bladed weaponry. However, in first person shooters, swords really seem rather odd. Guns are far more deadly than blades. Bullets can pierce armor, guns can be fired across long distances, and in some games provide automatic fire or spray fire that makes it nearly impossible for the player to miss anything in front of them. What possible use could a sword be in these games? Some might say that swords have an advantage over guns because they do not ever run out of ammunition. They would argue that they could easily kill an unlimited number of enemies without having to stop to reload their weapons. This is patently absurd. When you charge with a sword at a gun-toting maniac, you will not succeed. You will be a smoldering heap of swiss cheese, crumpled on the ground as your soul is dragged to the depths of Hell, if for no other reason than to rid the world of your stupidity.
Swords even exist in futuristic games. The Halo series has a melee weapon called the energy sword. It is a ridiculous-looking ‘blade’ in the loosest sense of the word possible. Instead of a metallic weapon it is made of a projector, which projects a magnetic field to contain superheated plasma. Ignoring the blatant redundancy of the phrase ‘superheated plasma’, the fact that this melee weapon can pierce shields is almost irrelevant compared to the other weaponry available in the series. The series contains grenades that can be tossed or rockets that can be fired to devastate infantry and vehicles alike. The series even includes a variety of plasma, laser, and traditional projectile weaponry. Why would someone risk their neck to try to cut someone else’s when they could simply fire off a few explosives or laser blasts and remain comfortably among the living? Unfortunately, the Halo series is not the only series to include swords where they do not belong, nor is it the worst.
The next and more obvious offender on the list is the Star Wars series. Originally a movie series, it has branched into almost all types of media, including video games. I say that the series is an obvious offender because of its most prominent weapon: the lightsaber. The lightsaber, like the Halo series’ energy sword, is a weapon that projects a magnetic field to contain plasma, an unbelievably hot and deadly form of matter that, in the series, can cut through almost anything. Lightsabers are often used in the series to block laser blasts, which is certainly less than believable. However, fans of the series and Lucas himself will attempt to explain this away by saying that the laser blasts are actually plasma bolts, and the magnetic field that contains the lightsaber’s plasma also repels the bolts. The lightsaber, though, is not the real problem in the Star Wars series when it comes to swords. No, the real problem is the vibroblade. A vibroblade in the Star Wars universe is a normal bladed weapon, such as a sword or dagger, that has a device concealed in the hilt that causes the blade to vibrate at an ultrasonic frequency. One might wonder how one could even hold a weapon that was vibrating at an ultrasonic frequency, let alone wield it. But even a vibrating sword is not the most absurd thing that Lucas and his associates could come up with. You see, readers, the vibroblade is often made of a substance that exists only within the Star Wars universe called ‘cortosis’. This substance has the extraordinary property of being completely invulnerable to plasma. This effectively allows the average Star Wars writer to produce a normal being who can easily fight a Jedi and win. The person need only block the lightsaber with a cortosis vibroblade when he needs to. Effectively, even the vaguely all-powerful monks that wield an insane weapon hyped to be the greatest in the galaxy can be defeated by somebody with a hunk of metal in their hands. But brace yourselves, readers, for I have saved the worst offender for last.
The Final Fantasy series is known for odd characters and even odder weapons. The reason that I mention it in this post about swords and why they do not belong is the existence of the Gunblade. Squall Leonhart, the protagonist of Final Fantasy VIII and the antagonist of all who played that game, wields a sword that contains a revolver. I cannot stress how ridiculous this is. Yes, swords have existed in real life that have contained pistols. However, the idea of using a melee weapon which has a projectile weapon as a secondary function in a world where projectile weapons are considered the norm and people are able to fling spells around is preposterous and impractical. Squall should not last five minutes in a battle in that world as he is cut down by someone smart enough not to bring a sword to a gunfight.
In all, I would say that swords should be kept out of games that they do not belong in. They should be allowed only in games that are set far in the past or in a post-apocalyptic future, and they most certainly should not exist alongside modern projectile weapons in video games, where they should logically be useless. Would you not agree, readers?