I don’t really like Japanese RPGs. I think they show an amazing stubbornness towards evolution of the genre, with recycled story arcs and male characters that are more androgynous than a Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie.

I thought living in Japan might help me become more tolerant, but the inverse proved true and my disdain has only grown stronger. So, if I can’t stand Japanese RPGs then why did I put Cloud Strife’s sword into the Top 10?

Simply put, the sword is bigger than the little spiky-headed man holding it, and it aided in the firm ass kicking of one of videogame’s most evil characters, Sephiroth.

Mr. Strife must have done a lot of weight lifting back in Nibelheim. Not only does he carry a Buster Sword big enough to slay a rhinoceros with an oversized pituitary gland, but he can also wield it as if it were a fencing rapier forged of aluminum.


I first saw the sword back when the Playstation was still cutting edge hardware. Displayed nicely on the back of our hero on the jewel case, it quickly caught my eye and was the reason for my purchase of Final Fantasy VII. The quest to save Gaia was arguably the best written and fleshed out of the entire series, and the Buster Sword was just as much a character in this manga-like melodrama as Cloud himself.

The weapons in Final Fantasy VII were designed for each character, and although they could be powered up, they could not be interchanged. This led to each gun, sword and javelin to have a personality of its own and reflect that of its user. But it wasn’t just Materia and Limit Breaks that made Cloud’s sword so awe-inspiring – he also got his own movie to build on its riot rousing reputation.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children was released in Japan on September 14, 2005. The CGI swan song for the Final Fantasy VII universe showcased Cloud’s massive single-edged cleaver with a new sense of detail. Being able to split into various independent sections, the sword was now duel- wieldable, perfect for those boss battles in the ruins of Midgar. A big sword is pretty badass, but a big sword with extra functionality reaches a new echelon of malevolence.

So was Cloud compensating for something? Absolutely! Does it matter? Hell no. This weapon inspired me to take a chance and forget my contempt for JRPGs and embrace the “bigger is better” mantra. It lasted just long enough to enjoy a game with a killer story, great characters and excellent plot twists.

Too bad that little monkey thief in Final Fantasy IX sent me running for the exits again. Who’s up for a game of Oblivion?

Top Ten Most Badass Weapons List: 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1


  1. You’re absolutely right Oli. The title of the article is “Cloud’s Sword”, rather than “Cloud’s Buster Sword” for this very reason. Although they are two different weapons, the swords share similarities in shape, size and style. That was the reason for the mention of both of Cloud’s weapons. If the article is a little ambiguous then it was something that was unintended. Thanks for the comment. Please keep them coming.


  2. Gaia? Wasthat FF7? I thought it was FF9… I may be wrong, but you might want to check and recheck your sources…
    FF Fanatic

  3. the new sword completed is pretty much the same thing as the original buster sword. its better because of the fact that he could take it apart an have more than one sword if needed. allthogh the original buster sword is still badass.

  4. a while back when i was playing final fantasy 7 in the game when your about to leave midgar for the first time and that robot boss fights you i had a different buster sword i asked my dad that had a guide and beat the game he said that i was using to much magic can somebody tell me what it is?

  5. Cloud Sword is composed of 6 blades. The 1st is the base. It can switch to normal and battle mode. Second one is the blade which Cloud puts in the front side usually on the left of the base if you are right-handed. 3rd & 4th are the blade which is in the opposite side of the 2nd one. It has 2 pieces which is truly identical to one another, its the one which has a blade like a puzzle piece. 5th & 6th are the blades which he puts on the body of the base on right and left, and is the shortest blades he had. It’s identical too and the handles of these blades can flick to the side of the blade or below the blade base. The Base is invisible when the sword is completed. On the top of my illustration is the 3rd and 4th. The bottom half is the 2nd. In the middle is the 5th and 6th.

    Cloud Blade looks like this
    ____________________________| | |
    \ _____________| | | _
    \ _ _ _ \ |o|o|________| |
    \ |_| |_| |_| \ |-|-|________| |
    \ \__________|o|o| |_|
    \_______________________| | |

    2nd blade looks like below this
    ____________________________ _______
    \ |______| /
    \ |______| /
    \ |______| /

    3rd and 4th look like this

    \ |______
    \ _ _ _ _ _ _ |______|
    \__| |_| |_| |_| |_| |_| |___/