7 iconic weapons in video games
Video games are all about weapons, or at least most are, giving the player a way to take down enemies and feel good about it. Sometimes with the added benefit of looking cool while doing it. Most games have either melee weapons for close combat or ranged weapons for long-distance attacks, or more often than not, both.
Yet, some weapons in video games have become renowned for appearing in a particular series. Such weapons become so important to the game's experience that they are then included in future installments.
These iconic weapons are numerous, and various games have their own staples. Here are seven such iconic weapons from different video games.
Note: This article reflects the writer's opinion.
Seven of the most memorable weapons in video games
1) Portal Gun - Portal
The primary feature of the Portal games, the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device (or portal gun), is the only tool available to protagonist Chell in both entries by Valve. Chell first comes across this item in the initial test chambers during the beginning of the first game.
As the name suggests, the gun can create portals, a blue portal, and an orange portal. If players go through a blue portal, they will always emerge out of an orange one, and vice versa.
The player can intuitively employ this mechanic to solve various puzzles throughout the two games. The game thus forces them to think outside the box and come up with their own solutions.
This mechanic in the game has earned it quite the critical acclaim and many accolades since. As one of the most ingenious video game-level design examples, the portal gun has thus become an iconic symbol for the series.
2) Hidden Blade - Assassin’s Creed
Assassin's Creed first launched in 2007, spawning a video game series of global recognition along with introducing one of the coolest weapons for a stealthy killer that anyone could have ever come up with. Said weapon in question is, of course, the Hidden Blade.
Used in the first game by Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, this weapon is a long blade hidden in the underside of the wrist of all members of the Assassin Creed. Used in close quarters to deliver a lethal but inconspicuous blow to a target without drawing attention to the attacker. Since the series has evolved over the years, the blade has since been upgraded to be used in combat as well.
A mainstay of the series, it has appeared in every video game of the franchise, usable in some form or the other by the playable character, with the only exception being Assassin's Creed Odyssey.
Even in that game, the blade was featured by none other than the first Assassin in history, which comes in contact with the protagonist. Over the years, it has become a classic part of some Assassin's Creed cosplays, if not possibly dangerous.
3) Buster Sword - Final Fantasy VII
Cloud, the protagonist from the Final Fantasy VII video game, is identifiable immediately through his recognizable huge chunk of a sword. Known as the buster sword, it is his primary weapon in the original video game and also makes a return in the remake released in 2020.
It is a single-edged enormous broadsword with a large hilt, easily wielded by the protagonist. Cloud has used this sword since his mercenary days. However, it has a long history of changing hands.
Its original owner, Angeal Hewley, generally avoided using the sword, as he considered himself dishonorable and passed it down to the student, Zack Fair.
Fair, later on, bestows the weapon to a mentally unstable Cloud so that it may grant him the strength to carry on their mission. This ultimately leads to Cloud creating the persona players can play as in the original game and its remake. This sword remains a legacy in the series since, making cameos in other video games.
4) Energy Sword - Halo
Appearing for the first time in Halo: Combat Evolved, this was a traditional weapon of Stealth and Zealot level Sangheili (Elites). Despite its cool design and possible implications in melee combat, the player as Master Chief could not wield the weapon due to game mechanics.
However, it made a return in Halo 2, now becoming a battery-powered melee optional weapon that Chief, as well as The Arbiter, could use at the player’s discretion. Due to the popularity of the Arbiter’s character and the general aesthetic appeal of the energy sword, this weapon became a fan favorite among Halo players.
Like most weapons on this list, the energy sword has appeared in all Halo video games so far. Its latest outing was in Halo: Infinite, both in the main campaign as well as the multiplayer.
Two sword variations can be found in the main campaign, one known as the Duelist Energy Sword, which has a longer lunge attack area and faster attack and movement speed. The other is the Elite’s Bloodblade which has a high damage and disintegration effect. The latter is probably the coolest weapon in the game.
5) Blades of Chaos - God of War
Kratos from the God of War series of video games is not complete with his distinct weapons, the twin blades attached to chains. However, while he has used many different forms of this weapon throughout the games, the originals seem to hold a special place.
The Blades of Chaos were forged by Ares himself and given to Kratos as a gift/reminder of his servitude. When Ares laters kills his family, though, Kratos kills the god under Athen’s guidance and takes his place. Once this is done, he discards the blades and vows never to use them.
Years later, during the events of the 2016 game, after having destroyed the entire Greek pantheon of gods, Kratos has hidden the blades away, upholding his vow as he has started a new life in the north, taking up a magical axe as his new weapon.
But circumstances render his axe useless, and he has to resort to using the blades again to save his son. However, in a character-defining cutscene, we see Kratos coming to terms with his past as he wields the blades for the first time of his own free will.
6) Keyblade - Kingdom Hearts
Disney’s Kingdom Heart series deals with a lot of Disney properties, which are generally light-hearted and meant for kids. However, in a series centered around intense combat, they had to make some changes to fit into their tone, specifically with the weapons used by the protagonists.
And thus, the keyblade was created. It is an amalgamation of a normal sword, ending with a large part of a key. This weapon is used primarily by Sora, the protagonist of the series, and certain other important characters, as the main weapon to fight with,
While it is used as a melee weapon, a Keyblade’s true power lies in unlocking and locking the Keyholes of different worlds (of Disney).
Once unlocked, these worlds can be accessed by Sora and his friends, whereas locking a world’s Keyhole prevents the heartless from gaining access to the heart of that world. These weapons have become synonymous with the Kingdom Hearts franchise, featured in nearly every Kingdom Hearts video game.
7) Master Sword - Legend of Zelda
When one thinks of Link’s weapon from the Legend of Zelda series, only one weapon will come to mind, and that is Master Sword. This legendary weapon has appeared in nearly all of the Zelda video games and almost always as the most potent armament.
In Zelda lore, this weapon was created by the goddess Hylia to combat the forces of Ganon, the primary antagonist of the series. It was featured in the video game Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WIld, with a slight caveat to its previous iterations.
Here the sword is influenced by the durability mechanic of the game, as after several uses, it loses its charge and becomes unusable for a short period.
In different video games, the sword is imbued with other abilities, notably in Ocarina of Time, where Link can use the sword to travel through time. What makes this sword so precious and sought after is that it is said that only a hero with the purest of hearts can wield it, giving it legendary status in the Zelda series.