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7 Obscure Berserk Sword Facts You Haven’t Heard Before

Written By: Allia Luzong
Published On: July 14, 2022
Edited by: Juliana Cummings

Berserk fans are more than familiar with the swords featured in both the anime and manga, but even the most dedicated fans can miss obscure details about their favorite fictional weapons. That’s usually because these obscure facts about Berserk swords are hidden in the minor parts of anime adaptations and unrelated video games that were inspired by the manga. 

Most facts about Berserk’s swords are really about Guts’ sword, a massive greatsword named “Dragon Slayer”. The sword is made of pure iron and blood absorbed from the foes that it’s killed, giving it a rusted and beaten up appearance, making it a font of inspiration for many anime, manga, and video game creators. 

1. You Can Find a Berserk Sword in Elden Ring 

The 2022 hit game Elden Ring had a hidden easter egg for fans of Berserk in the form of a massive sword named “Greatsword”. The Greatsword bears such a striking resemblance to Guts’ sword that players who’ve read Berserk have taken to calling it Dragonslayer. 

Like the sword from the Berserk manga, the Greatsword is an oversized blade with an unpolished flat side whose impractical size makes it more of a blunt weapon than a proper sword. The Greatsword is specifically described as a “coarse iron lump” that can only be wielded by someone with superhuman strength  — exactly as Dragonslayer and Guts are described in the manga.

This reference likely exists in the game due to Hidetaka Miyazaki’s involvement in the Elden Ring as he was the director of Elden Ring and a vocal fan of Kentaro Miura, the manga artist behind Berserk.

2. The Dragon Slayer Sword Was Part of a Berserk Video Game Mechanic 

It’s no secret that the Dragonslayer sword is so massive that Live Action Role Play (LARP) and cosplay enthusiasts have no choice but to use foam replicas of it. The sword’s legendary weight was translated into Sword of the Berserk: Guts’ Rage, a game for the Sega Dreamcast as a burden mechanic. 

For those unfamiliar with TTRPGs and RPGs, burden mechanics slow down your player character whenever they carry objects past a certain weight limit. This is typically calculated against their strength.

This meant that players equipping the Berserk Guts’ Dragon Slayer sword would be drastically slowed down while moving through the in-game map. 

3. The Berserk Anime Used Frying Pan Clangs for Its Sword Sound Effects

One of the weirder facts about Berserk swords is that the anime used frying pan sounds as sound effects for Guts’ Dragonslayer. To be clear, it wasn’t the 1997 adaptation, but the remake streamed by Crunchyroll in 2016 that had the frying pan sounds. Instead of hearing Dragonslayer slash and crush enemies, fans were enraged to hear that Guts’ sword clanged like a frying pan with each hit.

The new adaptation was also criticized for its subpar voice acting, relative to the original adaptation that made the frying pan sound effect a clear sign of sloppy sound production.

4. Guts’ Dragon Slayer Sword Has Supernatural Properties and Deep Symbolism

It may seem like the Dragonslayer sword is only powerful because of Guts’ natural strength, but this is only true for the earlier parts of the manga. The sword has been used to kill Guts’ countless enemies.

The sword was initially seen as a failure given that there were no dragons to kill and the sword was too heavy to be of practical use. Its creator, Godo, had resigned the sword to a fate of collecting dust in his home until Guts came along and used it for his quest for vengeance. Guts’ negative emotions and the hatred of his slain enemies are implied to have imbued the sword with a strange, yet subtle power.

Frankly, there’s not a lot known about the sword’s supernatural aspects, but the narrative is clear about its symbolic meaning. Dragon Slayer reflects Guts’ inner self, a tool used to satisfy his hatred, but he also later learns to maintain it with care. His maintenance of the sword becomes a meditative practice that tells the reader Guts is learning to process his own emotions.

The sword’s burdensome size also makes it a good metaphor for emotional baggage that Guts has about his past, whether it be guilt, resentment, or grief. When it is later reforged by Godo, the sword becomes a foreshadowing of a new life for Guts. 

5. Even Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy Reference Berserk’s Swords

Legend of Zelda’s Master Sword is a cultural giant in its own right, but the video game franchise also pays homage to Berserk swords. The most recent installment of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, contains a club-like weapon named “Lynel Crusher” which has an attack of 36 and is described in its flavor text as “more accurate to call it a lump of metal than a weapon”.

While this seems relatively minor, it’s no big leap of logic to assume that BOTW’s creators are familiar with Berserk, especially since the game franchise comes from Japan and “lump of metal” is a common descriptor for Guts’ Dragonslayer that other weapon references have used to pay their respects to the manga. 

A more obvious reference is Cloud Strife’s Buster sword from the Final Fantasy series. The shape and size of the Buster sword makes it a visual twin to Guts’ Dragonslayer. 

6. Dark Souls’ Artorias Copies Both Guts’ Armor and Sword 

A lot of games made by Fromsoft as well as other smaller developers have been labeled as “Souls-like” because they draw very unsubtle inspiration from Dark Souls, but Dark Souls itself is best described as a Berserk-like video game for its obvious equivocation of Artorias and Guts.

Dark Souls features Artorias in a kneeling position in its cover art where he wears a suit of armor and holds his sword over his back in the exact same way that Guts does in the Berserk video game. 

Fans have also pointed out that Dark Souls’ Artorias borrows fighting movesets and overall visual language from Guts and his Dragonslayer sword

Dark Souls has also copied the Red Eye Orb, an item used to initiate PvP mode with other players from Berserk’s Behelit, red orbs with facial features that allow their users to access supernatural powers in exchange for a sacrifice. 

7. Shounen Anime and Manga Aren’t Shy About Their Berserk Sword Copies

While big swords are a common trope in anime alongside katana swords, they all trace their origins to the Berserk manga and go as far as to make their wielders similar to Guts himself. Creators of popular shounen manga such as Demon Slayer and Attack on Titan have all credited Berserk for introducing fantasy anime to the mainstream and showed their appreciation in the form of massive swords.

For example, Bleach’s Ichigo Kurosawa carries a massive version of the Zangetsu sword in some parts of the manga and anime. Meanwhile, Black Clover’s Asta borrows the name and size of the sword with its Demon Slayer Sword, an oversized greatsword with a rusted flat side. 

You Can Have Your Own Berserk Sword

While you’re not likely to get a massive fantasy sword made of iron any time soon, there are existing replicas of Berserk swords for use as cosplay props and as collectors items. Due to the size of Guts’ Dragonslayer, all swords made to imitate it are made of either wood, plastic, or foam.

Wood

Wood is the most common material used for replica swords after stainless steel. Swords made of wood are able to bend during the creation process and keep their shape afterwards, making them ideal for replica samurai swords as well as real practice swords for kendo, a Japanese martial art that uses bamboo swords.

Most sword makers offer options for either a stainless steel or wooden sword, but swords with uncommon shapes and sizes are likely to be made only from wood.

Plastic

Plastic is another prominent sword making material that is used for children’s toy swords. The reflective surface of plastic gives swords a shinier appearance compared to wood and metal, making it unsuitable for collectors.

Cosplayers are able to make better use of plastic replica swords since they’re lightweight and low maintenance, however the chunkier look that some plastic swords have made them the least preferred option among detail oriented cosplayers. 

Foam

Foam is the lightest of all replica sword materials. Because foam is very easy to bend and break, it is not recommended for collectors unless there are no other options. In the case of Berserk swords, there really is no better alternative unless you’re able to find a custom sword maker and have the budget for the amount of raw material it would take to make Dragonslayer.

Conclusion

A lot of cool facts about Berserk’s swords are hard to pin down unless you’re familiar with anime, manga, and video games as a whole. That said, the cultural reach that Berserk has had in these forms of media means that we all get to enjoy supersized swords no matter what we watch, read, or play. The best part is that you can own a piece of pop culture history with a Berserk sword replica. 

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