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Final Fantasy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Final Fantasy Wiki

The following article is based on a subject that has not been officially named in any official Square Enix material; the current title is merely a placeholder.
The six Fusion Swords disassembled

The Fusion Swords is the six-piece sword wielded by Cloud Strife. The base sword and the others in its set are used by Cloud as his preferred weapon in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, the sequel film to Final Fantasy VII, as well as in a handful of spin-off titles. As a set of six swords, the fusion swords come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are thus suited to a variety of combat situations, and can combine to form a single large sword similar in size and function to Cloud's famous Buster Sword. This variety of uses and blades give the swords a wide array of uses by combining and separating different blades to suit the fighter's needs. The First Ken (ファースト剣), or First Tsurugi, is the blade that forms the base of the six-piece sword.

The film's creative designer Takayuki Takaya has stated the individual swords have no names, and no other names for them have been put forth by the creators other than "fusion swords" which was used during development. Due to a misunderstanding of a transcription of Tetsuya Nomura's words in the DVD commentary, the fully assembled form came to be called First Tsurugi; this was actually in reference to the main blade, and was originally called "ken", not "tsurugi".

Contents

The Swords

The six blades of the weapon stored in the Fenrir motorcycle.

The Fusion swords are composed of six separate swords that assemble into one large sword. The fusion swords in their various states of combination serve as Cloud's primary weapon in the film. Barring the First Sword, the individual swords are not named in the movie, but they otherwise can be distinguished by their distinctive appearances and functions. The fusion sword consists of one main blade, the First Sword, one hollow blade that serves as the front edge, two identical (but asymmetrically opposite) blades that form the back, and two identical (also asymmetrically opposite) smaller blades that attach to the sides.

The swords in their disassembled state are usually stored in racks inside the special compartments (three racks per compartment) on both sides of Cloud's motorcycle, the Fenrir. In addition, Cloud wears a harness on his back which he carries the swords in. Though this harness is never shown fully occupied, it appears to have enough slots that it is possible for all six swords to be in it at once.

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Main Blade

Main Blade in Dissidia Final Fantasy.

The main blade, given the nickname of First Sword by Nomura in the DVD commentary, resembles an exaggerated two-handed sword in its shape and appearance, though Cloud usually wields it with only one hand, invariably his right one, despite its apparent size and weight. It consists of a long hilt wrapped in a red material, a distinctively large handguard which the other swords are locked into, a wide length of blade, and an equally long but thinner length ending in a point. The main blade is the only sword among the six that is double-sided.

The main blade has two forms. In the first, the appearance is as described above, with the blade of the sword appearing to be one solid length of metal except for the transition between the wide and thin halves. In the second, the blade is pulled in two lengthwise; the edges are locked apart and a complex inner portion of the sword is visible, giving the blade an appearance not identical to but reminiscent of Cloud's Apocalypse sword.

The main blade, by itself and as other swords are attached, is Cloud's main weapon, although he uses the other blades sans main blade as well. In addition, Cloud is shown to be able to use his Blade Beam Limit Break using only the main blade.

Hollow Blade

The hollow blade does not have an inner core as expected for a sword. Rather, it is essentially (though not exactly) a thick sheet of metal folded in a V-shape when looked from above, the edge of the sword being the bottom point of the V, with its lower one-third of its length wrapping around a red double-hilt. The hollow blade is locked onto the front edge of the main blade, where it snugly covers that entire edge of the main blade, and its own edge serves as the striking point for the assembled sword. It is this addition that turns the completed construct from a symmetric shape to the distinctive Buster Sword appearance.

The hollow blade, while not Cloud's primary weapon, was perfectly capable of serving as such when Cloud was deprived of the main blade in the battle at the Forgotten Capital against Yazoo and Loz. Despite its lack of an inner core, it is strong and sturdy enough to deflect and block bullets from Yazoo's Velvet Nightmare handgun and Loz's physical attacks. After regaining the main blade, Cloud uses the hollow blade as an off-hand weapon. He also ejects the hollow blade from the completed blade as an off-hand weapon during the fight with Sephiroth, where it again demonstrates its strength by fending off Sephiroth's Masamune as well as slicing up falling debris.

Back Blades

The back blades are identical long swords, mirror images of each other, with one straight edge and one saw toothed edge, with a long black hilt for each. These two swords are attached to the back of the main blade, on both sides of the main blades back edge, with the saw-tooths pointed forward toward the hollow blade. The addition of these two swords completes the trapezoidal silhouette of the fusion swords.

The two blades were used by Cloud in the fight against the summoned Bahamut. One was an off-hand weapon to complement the connected main and hollow blades; the blade's saw-tooth edge is the striking edge, and Cloud wielded it until he attached it to the main blade in preparation for the Braver limit break. The other blade was carried on his back harness, until it was attached in the same battle in preparation for the Climhazzard Limit Break.

Side Blades

The side blades are identical, mirror image dagger-like swords, though they are still quite long. They are singled edged, with a gear-like mechanism between the hilt and the blade that allow them to fold up like a switchblade. It is in this folded form that the two sides blades are locked onto the two sides of the assembled sword, with their edges turned forward toward the main blade at the front of the sword. In addition, one of the two blades can be quickly ejected from the assembly if needed, providing Cloud with a needed off-hand weapon as was the case in the highway battle and his battle with Kadaj.

As part of the assembled fusion sword, the side blades do not appear to have any vital function like the rest of the swords, possibly only adding extra mass, and therefore force, to strikes, and providing a decorative appearance. The side blades may also possess some sort of locking mechanism designed to hold the other blades in place, or be meant to cover the hilts of the other blades to the same effect. It is also entirely possible the blades are merely for convenience so as to provide an efficient secondary weapon without compromising the strength of the assembled construct, a use they are put to during the film. It is also possible that they may be there to add more strikes to Cloud's new Limit Break.

Completed fusion swords

As mentioned before, with the locking of the five auxiliary blades into the main blade as detailed in the diagram, the assimilated fusion swords take on the distinctive appearance of Cloud's iconic Buster Sword. Unlike the Buster Sword, which contains two round slots, the completed assembly bears no such slots as the individual swords fit into a holster on Cloud's back.

The assembled form of the fusion swords, much like the Buster Sword, is a heavy sword, most suited to crushing, and is not necessarily intended to serve the role of a slicing weapon as a nodachi such as Sephiroth's Masamune would be. It is capable of being used for slicing, however, as Cloud is perfectly capable of cleanly slicing through rebar reinforced concrete with it. Although its appearance is as stout and sturdy as the Buster Sword, Cloud does not demonstrate any more difficulty carrying and wielding it with one hand than he does using only the necessarily lighter main blade by itself.

In addition, the completed assembly does not appear any more or less durable than Kadaj's Souba (a tasseled double-katana) or Sephiroth's Masamune, neither damaging nor being damaged by repeated full-strength edge-to-edge blows between either, which would certainly damage a real sword's edge if not outright break one of or both of the swords. However, the completed assembly is capable of cutting through Yazoo's Velvet Nightmare gunblade and Loz's Dual Hound pile bunker, which the main blade alone was not.

Limit Breaks

Cloud is able to perform most of his original Limit Breaks with combinations the various swords. He uses Blade Beam using the main blade alone during the battle at the Forgotten Capital, and performs Climhazzard and Braver with the main blade with various other swords attached while fighting Bahamut SIN. To defeat Kadaj, Cloud uses Finishing Touch with all six swords combined. Against Sephiroth in Advent Children Complete, Cloud also performs Omnislash with the completed assembly. However, as in Final Fantasy VII, where any Limit Break could be performed regardless of the character's weapon, there is no link between the number of swords combined and the ability to use certain Limit Breaks. It may simply be that the number of swords affects the strength of the Limit Breaks, but this has not been decisively shown.

Omnislash Version 5:

In the film, Cloud also performs the new Limit Break "Omnislash Version 5 ("Choukyuu Bushin Hakazan Version 5"). The technique is a succession of six slashes using the fusion swords. It is significantly different from the Omnislash in the original game, which only used one single sword for a longer sequence of fifteen slashes. Within the film, the technique is only performed on Sephiroth, who is floating in mid-air; it is unknown how the technique would look performed on a grounded target. Version 5 is performed according to the following steps:

  1. The completed fusion swords are fully disassembled in an instant, the five auxiliary swords ejected upwards from the main blade in a circle around the target. The main blade itself flies to float above the target as the other auxiliary swords circle them.
  2. The performer flies forward and grabs one of the five auxiliary swords, dashing towards and slicing the target with it.
  3. The performer repeats this process four times, slicing the target with each auxiliary sword. Each time the performer takes hold of another sword, a glowing copy of themselves is left in their place holding the previous sword.
  4. Finally, the performer flies above the target, takes hold of the main blade and descends for a final attack. They unleash a shockwave as their strike connects, dispersing the glowing copies holding the auxiliary blades. The performer lands on the ground surrounded by the five auxiliary blades, and the main blade falls into their hand a moment after.

In Advent Children Complete, Cloud defeats Sephiroth using "Omnislash Version 6". Compared to the original Version 5, Version 6 is a much longer sequence of fourteen slashes, though the final blow remains the same. Cloud also glows blue as he does when performing his other Limit Breaks, rather than glowing gold as he did when using Version 5 in Advent Children. Like Omnislash Version 5, Cloud must have all pieces of his fusion sword intact to use Omnislash Version 6.

Concept

Cloud fights with the Buster Sword in Advent Children.

In the Reunion Files for Advent Children, Nomura made a joke about choosing to give Cloud six swords due to the jokes that had been made over the Buster Sword's size; "people joked that since Cloud went with size last time, he should go with sheer numbers this time". The original idea was for Cloud to have six individual swords which he would carry on his back, and the concept eventually was modified for six interlocking swords. At the time the concept was originally put forth, it was thought impossible for the idea to actually be executed, but proved to be an interesting twist to the story and its fight scenes and so was put into place. Prior to the sword being designed, Cloud's scenes were made with him still utilizing the Buster Sword, as seen in various shots of the movie's early footage.

Other appearances

Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-

Cloud wields the main blade during the assault on Midgar, and uses it to battle Rosso the Crimson.

Dissidia Final Fantasy

The completed assembly in Dissidia Final Fantasy

Whilst wearing his alternate outfit from Advent Children, Cloud wields the main blade as his weapon, and wields the completed assembly as his weapon in EX Mode. He is also able to perform a variation of Omnislash Version 5 in any outfit. For purposes of gameplay (as Cloud does not usually have access to all of the fusion swords), the attack involves Cloud dashing past a mid-air opponent five times, then leaping up and diving down for the final strike, using the same weapon for all six strikes.

Kingdom Hearts II

Cloud's weapon in Kingdom Hearts II is the completed assembly, although it is wrapped in bandages like the Buster Sword in the first Kingdom Hearts game. Cloud never fragments it into its individual swords, although he presumably could. He uses it in all his battles throughout the game.

Merchandise

Fusion Swords replica

As Cloud's signature weapon in Advent Children, the fusion swords are included in several models and action figures of Cloud's appearance in the film, almost always as an assembled construct and not as the individual blades. Among other figures, the sword is included with Cloud's "Play Arts" figure both by itself and including the motorcycle Fenrir. One such figure erroneously names the fusion swords as the Buster Sword, but most others do not give the swords a true name.

For a brief time, there was a replica sword manufactured, composed of four separate swords instead of six (only one back blade, with the hollow blade and the main blade joined as one). Only 44 inches long and seven inches wide, it was not to full scale. Now very hard to find, this is still sought by collectors.

Trivia

  • The individual blades have become known by some in the fan community as the Vigilante, Vendetta, Merciless, Avenger, Ascalon, and Sidewinder.

Etymology

"Ken", which is alternately read as "Tsurugi", is a Japanese word for swords of all types, and is mostly used for broadswords, Chinese swords, and in the west to refer to a type of Japanese straight-bladed double-edged sword no longer in use. The mythical Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi was one such type of sword.


This article uses material from the "Fusion Swords" article on the Final Fantasy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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