Cosplay is a crazy craft; cosplayers all begin somewhere and the question is where? How does someone start cosplaying comfortably? Who can cosplay? What are the etiquettes behind cosplay and what does a cosplayer need to know? Can someone with an unsteady hand become a cosplayer? Can someone who has never sewn-up a hole create stunning works of art? What do you need to get started? In a series of mini-guides, I hope to quell some of these questions and more.
Everybody’s second favourite weapon, but we already did swords. If you’re looking for a top-heavy blade that can really give you an edge, nothing beats an axe for helping you get into the swing of things. Whilst this side-splitting introduction is enough to give you a splintered headache, the axe is one of those often forgotten about weapons. It’s strange too, considering how many awesome ones there are out there.
Let’s cut to it, of all the many ways and means we’ve created to kill each other there’s not one that carries with it so much myth and legend and so many famous examples. Name a few axes for me, or more than one hammer? Oh but there are more named swords in this world than you could shake a spear at. It’s a symbol, a stick of pointy metal with a handle on one end, and so much more.
There’ll be no sitting on the fence, listed here are ten swords that we claim to be the very coolest, most legendary, most awesome, and we’re prepared to back that opinion to the hilt! Welcome to the Top 10 Swords.
10) Katanas – Kill Bill
So why do these make the list? These are just some very typical Katanas aren’t they? I mean what on Earth could make these specific Katanas so important? Oh I don’t know, perhaps because they were wielded by Uma Thurman in one of the most typical and easy to understand action films ever made? Perhaps because they were so good at conveying the entire plot of the film with the right weapon.
Think about it, it’s a film about a bride who is on a mission to exact her revenge against some assassins. She literally only wants to kill Bill. Only coming in at number 10 because yes, they are ordinary Katana’s, but this is possibly one of the most stylish action films you could ever watch – and it is thoroughly entertaining as well. If you’ve somehow not seen it, go do so now.
9) Greatknife – Silent Hill
Welcome back Pyramid Head, the most iconic monster of the Silent Hill franchise. While the game offers up Pyramid Heads equipped with spears, providence has left the beast with a far more iconic weapon, the ragged blade it drags along the ground, a sound that instills fear in the players who have grown familiar with what’s coming.
In the film the modified “Red Pyramid” uses the blade to rather terrifying effect, piercing a thick steel door like butter and waving it around like it’s nothing, despite the fact that one heavy swing smashes masonry. How Sunderland can lift it and use it in game seems mind-boggling.
8) Oblivious – Goblins
Oblivious begins life as a blade that mimics the last material it touches (under certain rules of course, no air-blades) so it turns to stone if touched against stone, wood if touched to wood, and “+2 to strength metal” if touched against a ring that grants a +2 strength bonus.
In the dungeon where it is found a Psion is attempting to bring about an end to all things, and in a semi-successful attempt opens up multiple holes in reality. If something falls in, it never existed, with only slight corrections made to adjust for paradoxes.
As it turns out if you poke a sword that clones material into pure oblivion, the sword mimics the properties of oblivion. It is no longer affected by things like gravity, force, time, space, and reason, and therefore if it is dropped, it does not exist until picked up again. Two minutes with an indestructible weapon and Minmax the Unstoppable breaks it.
7) Ragnarok – Soul Eater
So first things first, let’s establish how Soul Eater works to those of you who don’t know about it. In Soul Eater, your weapon harvests souls (no big surprise here). It eats them and boom, it makes them bigger and better. But more importantly, the students are doing this to teach the demon weapons that they possess to not cause any carnage, as well as a way to help balance world order. Are you with me? Good…
So then when Ragnarok is revealed, it’s a little bit screwy. Ragnarok is a demon weapon which is in the possession of Crona, the sort of semi-antagonist. Crona is a very interesting character who has had quite a rich background regarding his/her past and their mother, the Gorgon Medusa. With this in mind, it’s no surprise then that Cronas demon weapon, Ragnarok, is certainly heavily influenced by Medusa. Of coruse, so is Crona, so the two of them set out to become the Kishin… But enough about that – That might be going too far into the stories plot. Heavily involved from the get go, Ragnarok is no ordinary blade.
6) Finn’s Collection – Adventure Time
Mighty hero renowned throughout the land of Ooo, a world of adventure awaits, as does crazy loot. Let’s take a quick peruse through the main list here:
The Golden Sword of Battle (Scarlet) – Jake’s first major sword, sadly made four-dimensional and accidentally creates a black hole that destroys it.
Root Sword – A prize from a train filled with crazy magical items, used as a fallback when better blades break.
Demon Blood Sword – A demon forged this sword of his own blood in order to escape a prison forged by Finn’s adoptive father. A suitable facsimile is made of blessed grape juice.
Grass Sword – A blade that not only binds itself to Finn’s arm, but also replaces it when it’s severed. Unnervingly sharp for a cursed plant.
Other Finn Sword – Caused by a time-travel-dream-paradox, one copy of Finn turns into a sword for the maybe original to carry, which doubles all of his capabilities.
Yup, I think they’re awesome enough.
5) Gunblade – Squall Leonheart
The Gunblade is a really simple design and I don’t know why people hadn’t made one before. It’s simple a large sword, which can be used typically to slash at opponents and inflict some serious damage. But the flipside to this blade, as well as the reason as to why we have it in this list in the first place, is what else it is: A freakin’ gun!
Yeah, this blade can be used like a gun as well. In fact, Squall might be the only character I at least can remember from the Final Fantasy series that allowed you to hit a bumper button for some extra damage output, as it fires a bullet into the enemies that you’re slashing up. It’s an outrageous design, but it’s so simple that I reckon someone could actually pull it off. Nice design, Square Enix!
4) Tetsusaiga – Inuyasha
Whilst there’s common debate about the actual correct spelling of this sword’s name, there’s no debating that this is a seriously kick ass sword. When wielded by the dog demon Inuyasha, this humble looking blade has the ability to kick it up a notch by turning into an absolutely massive blade! Honestly, who the heck could seriously use a thing like that, if not a demon who has a lot of pent up rage after being pinned to a tree and sealed there.
Still, all joking aside, the Tetsusaiga is Inuyashas most versatile weapon, even if it sometimes seems like it should be a hinderance. It just goes to show, that some people certainly do carry around growers, rather than showers. Hah, that was a human anatomy joke. The sword is actually a fang from Inuyasha and primary antagonist Sesshomaru’s father. Whilst Inuyasha got Tessaiga, the sword of destruction, Sesshomaru got the sword of life, the Tensaiga. So we’re here to root for the… Destructive one and not the preservative one..? Well, okay then Inuyasha, whatever you say. The Tetsusaiga is not only capable of transforming into the massive blade seen above, but it’s also good at guiding Inuyasha too, almost as if his dad is still looking out for him. Bless.
3) Zangetsu – Bleach
Ok, I won’t lie, there are plenty of better anime, and Bleach is a guilty pleasure of mine because of all of the yelling and some pretty awesome music. But Zangetsu is one hell of a sword. Every shinigami conjures a sword from their soul, a Zanpakuto, and Ichigo’s is ridiculously oversized because of his raw power and his inability to control it.
Zanpakutos have three forms, released by getting to know the spirit within the blade, and Ichigo and Zangetsu have one hell of a relationship. His first form is impossibly large and loses its guard, being a shameless representation of Ichigo’s power, and never reverts to its original form because it simply can’t be contained. The final “Bankai” form is a plain, black katana, normal sized, where everyone else has insanely large and mystical powers.
Old man Zangetsu and Ichigo cooperate so well, that they wield each other as a weapon, and the small weapon belies the impossible speed, skill and strength that Ichigo suddenly possesses. Cliche? Overly dramatic? Maybe! I don’t care, it’s awesome.
Of course, the guy who put the sword in the stone, that’s your king right there.
Alright fair enough, Excalibur must be the name most people think of when the topic of “famous swords” is raised. Best known for appointing a young Arthur as King of England when he plucked it from the stone that had held it fast for years against boorish fools who thought the job all too easy, but the name has been used so often there must be hundreds of pretenders to the throne.
A Canadian TV series, a Crusader class battleship in Babylon 5, a ridiculous top-hatted character in Soul Eater, two Marvel Teams (X-Calibur for mutants, eXcalibur for British supers) and an ichthyosaur. The name gets around a bit, it’s a myth, it’s a legend, and it pretty much ticks all the boxes and cuts those boxes to unrighteous ribbons.
So what could claim the number 1 slot? Ah, who am I kidding you can see from here.
1) Vorpal Sword – Jabberwocky
A legend born of nonsense. Is there anything quite so glorious?
Oh any old knife can slay a dragon or cut down a thousand men, you can slap a name on your pigsticker and call it unique but I can guarantee your blacksmith round the corner has got a dozen he made this morning. What other blade, which tongue of steel and hatred can claim the blood of the Jabberwock?
These days if you’ve played a few fantasy RPGs this public domain property will have popped up in your inventory, often as a unique weapon or some super-sharp blade. It’s a classic of Alice’s armoury from American McGee’s franchise, and even found its way into the Disney film so Alice could take down the monster on the Frabjous day. As it’s from a nonsense fantasy ballad the designs vary wildly, but the name remains.
See also Vorpal Bunny…
What the hell Final Fantasy?
Ah yes, we do have the sharpest of wits, as well as the most versatile of blades at our arsenal. Never fear though, we do have two more blades for you to consider, two more easily recognisable swords that should we should cut through.
Lightsaber – Star Wars
Lightsabers are not exactly unheard of, now are they? They don’t quite make it into our list, because they do feel a little bit like a “Mary Sue” of the sword world. I mean they are lasers and they are also swords… Which is pretty cool, but at the same time, when they’re so damn powerful that they can go through walls, you know you’re talking some major nonsense. Still, they look awesome.
They come in a few varieties, such as a normal blue lightsaber, a normal red lightsaber, a two-ended lightsaber, some other variation of a — The point is, they all look pretty similar, although there are minor cosmetic changes here and there. Usually looking cooler for the bad guys than the good guys, there’s one more reason to give in to the dark side. Other than all the cookies they have!
Farfetch’d Leek – Pokemon
To the untrained eye, Farfetch’d may be holding onto a very common leek, the kind you would find growing in your garden. Yes, indeed, this strange little bird appears to be holding a vegetable of some kind, how painful could this really be? How could such a tiny, harmless looking bird cause so much carnage with greens, which people always say are really healthy for you?
Well of course that’s because you’re untrained. You haven’t realised that this isn’t just any old leek, it’s literally a weapon of destruction! It’s a leek, yes, but it’s a powerful leek that can be used to slice through trees in the original Pokemon games. It’s a powerful leek that can be used to not only slice through things, but to slap someone upside the head with. You wanna mess with Farfetch’d, bring it on… But bring your A-Game, as this duck is really going to come at you.
We’re done cutting down our opposition with the best blades man can buy and no, we’re not on about Gillette. It’s true that a pen is much mightier than a sword – Ah who are we trying to fool here? Anyone with a brain can see that a sword could easily slice apart any old pen, no matter how mighty it may claim to be! As always though, take your pick for our next Top 10 list.
Hilt yourself fools, we’ve had enough slashing away at the air now. It’s time to remember what really matters in life: Really big swords (or sometimes really little ones). We’re done and it’s all thanks to you that we wrote this list, but that’s it for this Top 10. As always please remember to leave your comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.
Oops, we’re running out of puns… Quick, find something nearby and fire it off at our readers. Um, umm… Baloney Fudge and Mustard! There, now that I’ve got that off my chest, it’s time for us to look forward to this weeks’ list, as chosen by you, our dear Top 10 readers. Right now, both Joel and Timlah are at AmeCon, enjoying the convention – But we couldn’t forget to do our Top 10 for this week now could we?
You demanded it, so you’ve got it, this is our Top 10 Improvised Weapons list, but let’s get some ground rules going here. If it’s just there and it happens to be usable, then sure, it’s an improvised weapon. Also, if it’s something that people just wouldn’t generally use, then it’s also an improvised weapon. The room for scope on this one is massive, so read on for our list!
10) Shoe – Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
“That really hurt! Who throws a shoe, honestly?”
Who said that everything was groovy to Austin Powers? The international man of mystery (though it’s dubious as to how he even got that title) is known to be susceptible to the occasional hit. It doesn’t matter that he’s a spy, he’s certainly not the best out there, even though Basil would probably try to get you to believe otherwise. Occasionally thought, Austin has been known to get hit by flying projectiles.
Such as shoes! In this scene in the first Austin Powers film, an assassin comes in and instead of throwing a knife into his throat, or poisoning Austin or anything logical, he throws his shoe at Austins head. This obviously hurts, so Austin shows his frustration by telling the assassin that it really hurt… And he’s right! Who would throw a shoe, honestly?!
9) Paint Cans – Home Alone
Of all of the many clever traps we could have picked, this one’s a favourite of Kevin McAllister’s when defending stairs. Tie off paint cans so that they swing and collide with the intruder firmly in the face, sending them flying backwards and severely wounding in the process. He liked it so much that he brought it back for the second film with a major upgrade, but I’d like to raise a few issues here.
The Wet/Sticky Bandits are drastically different heights. How’d he hit them square in the face the first time? They’d have to be on the right side of the stairs, and he’d have to have judged the height perfectly during prep work, along with all of the other crazy stuff he puts together. The pipe from Home Alone 2 was inspired, as it sweeps the whole staircase, hits them simultaneously and when they least expect it, but the cans were perversely well placed, and not to mention genuinely lethal!
Thank slapstick rules those guys lived, otherwise Home Alone 2 would have been a very different film. One without paint cans.
8) Milk From A Cow – Kung Pow: Enter the Fist
Okay, this isn’t a list of Top 10 Cows, that’s already happened hasn’t it? But this is a list of Top 10 Improvised weapons and to be honest, if you’re a kung-fu cow, you have very little in the way of weaponry. You have your hoofs and you have your body weight, which is significantly more than a human, but there’s very little else in your favour when you’re going one on one with a martial arts master.
Except, cows are female and therefore produces milk. In a scene that evokes the purest of reactions including “What am I watching?”, a cow attacks our protagonist by doing a cartwheel of sorts mid-air, whilst firing off stream of milk that it milks out of itself then and there. Aha, I guess the old adage of “Use what you’re given” rang a bit too true to this bovine. Moo-ving on, then.
7) Spoon – Mewtwo
Now, it’s arguable that this isn’t improvised at all, but instead is actually one of Mewtwos weapons. Yes, you’re reading this right, Mewtwo has a spoon in some adaptations of the character. Often seen in the manga with his spoon, Mewtwo is no better than an Alakazam, because y’know, spoons are the most obvious form of intelligent life, right? Whatever, why has this made our list?
Basically, the spoon isn’t really a spoon, but rather something that Mewtwo conjured. This means that Mewtwo had to think of something to produce as his weapon… So why would he choose a spoon? Perhaps it’s simply to mimic Alakazam, perhaps it was Pokemons way of saying “He’s a psychic type!”, but if you ask me, I just think that Mewtwo had a lovely bowl of soup once and wanted to use the spoon he ate it with… But also to make said spoon a lot bigger.
6) Wet Fish – Lots of things
The wet fish is a staple in comedy now. From the Holy Mackerel as we covered in our Top 10 Fish list a few weeks back, to just a wet tuna being slapped in someone’s face, the wet fish is a running gag which can also sometimes be taken to extremes, by making them into incredibly vicious weapons. You can be sure that if you get hit by a wet fish, you’re going to be extremely embarrassed.
I’m not sure where slapping someone with a wet fish first came from, but you can be sure that it’s been thrown around for ages. I’m sure that someone out there will know where this first came from, so if you know, leave us a comment below with your knowledge on slapping people with a wet fish… But hey, at least it accompanies the Scout’s favourite energy drink: Bonk!
5) Chair – Everything
Whilst lacking in originality, the chair is rather a classic, being something easy to lift, suitably heavy, and readily available in most fight situations like bar-brawls, stadium riots and cage fights. As bottles fly faster than harsh language, and people are being politely shown the exit head first, you can guarantee that somewhere in the midst of the carnage will be a chair, quite literally on its last legs.
When it comes to the matter of offering someone a seat, this method may be seen as a little over the top, but when they’re agitated and causing a fuss the best thing to do is get them a chair and make them calm down. Apply to the affected area, and repeat as necessary.
4) Microwave – Gremlins
This was inspired. One of the most fearful monsters in horror-comedy history is small enough to be shoved in a microwave and cooked until paste. For the monstrous spawn of Gizmo the kitchen is a source of food, mischief, and dangerous weapons, ones that they can use, and ones that can be used against them.
Though they are surprisingly strong, agile and deadly for their size, you can easily take a few gremlins down with a steak knife, a blender and flash photography, but one afternoon in a bathtub and they can regroup in terrifying numbers. Still, if you’re in a pinch, a powerful dose of radiation can really take care of things. Interestingly, the gremlin in question was nicknamed Grumpy, and was one of the first of Gizmo’s brood alongside Stripe, unlike Stripe, he does not reappear in the sequel.
3) Insults – Monkey Island
Insult Sword Fighting is a staple of the Monkey Island series, which took on many incarnations, including a rather weird turn for Insult Arm Wrestling too. As such, it’s obvious to me that the real weapon in these fights were not the physical activity, but clearly the wit to defeat your opponents in an insult-off. With quips such as “En garde, touche!” “Oh that is so cliche” and “You’re as repulsive as a monkey in a negligee!” “I look that much like your fiancee?”, you can bet that the insults are sharp!
But the curious part about this is the limited knowledge that Guybrush Threepwood possesses (he’s a mighty pirate, you know?) When he starts out, especially in The Curse of Monkey Island, he basically knows nothing about insults. He has to try to make do, but be humbled in defeat and learn from his defeats to progress and to learn to be wittier. Effectively, he’s making it up as he goes along – and that’s the ultimate form of improv.
2) Willing Allies, and Unwitting Enemies
You may have heard this one referred to in less polite terms, but in short this is the practice of bludgeoning someone with another someone. Be it a projectile halfling, a legion of reanimated corpses, or swinging the guy you knocked unconscious around by the ankles until his buddies have joined him, there are many uses for friends and enemies alike.
Whether you’re a fan of the M:tG card Fling or the practice of turning people into weapons like in Soul Eater, there’s no denying that the greatest and most terrifying weapon that’s always readily available is somebody… well some body, doesn’t matter if they’re cooperative or not. Only one rule applies when wielding people as weapons, never toss a dwarf, and if you do, don’t tell anyone.
1) Health bar – Deadpool, Marvel Avengers Alliance
Oh would you look who’s back at the top of the list? It’s our favourite reoccurring character. Well it’s not our fault Deadpool does so many things better than anyone else, and amongst them is improvising in his specialist field: sarcasm! And I guess weapons.
If you’ve ever played Marvel Avengers Alliance you’ll know it to be a surprisingly good “freemium” social media game, interesting stories, interesting mechanics, a surprising amount of engaging gameplay, but after a while, if you’re not winning all of the tournaments or paying real money you’re missing some of the best elements. I am not ashamed I paid money for Deadpool.
Like the badass he is, he’s well aware he’s in a game, and plays up to it, including the absolute best move in his arsenal (if not the most powerful), ripping his health and power bar from the GUI and smashing his opponent over the head with it. Now that’s thinking outside the box.
Some weapons are just not what you’d expect, but it’s not exactly the most improvised. In these next two cases, we show you two weapons that are indeed improvised to a point, but neither of them qualify properly for the list. Still, it’s worth mentioning them as they’re both weapons that are pretty unique to their titles.
Whatever You Can Grab – Dead Rising
It was perhaps the biggest selling point for Dead Rising that weapon creation got… well, creative. Most famous of all must be the double-ended-chainsaw-paddle, but the franchise also includes lightsabers, burning gloves, a pitchfork-shotgun, toy helicopter with blades, a lawnmower helmet, a heavily armed wheelchair, burning bull-skull helmets… you know what? There are lists on the internet, just have a look around, it gets silly.
But when you’re facing down hordes of zombies and you’re options are limited then necessity really is the mother of invention. Even when your shopping malls have guns readily available they can only get you so far, and then you need to get messy. Alright, so I’m not sure how necessary it is for you to strap a bunch of sawblades into a vacuum cleaner, but when inspiration takes you, you’ve really just got to go with it.
Proton Pack – Ghostbusters
On first appearance, the Proton Pack really shouldn’t be included on a list of improvised weapons, because the Ghostbusters went out specifically with these weapons. It isn’t until you actually stop to think about the facts of the Ghostbusters do you realise that this is a very highly specialised kind of improvisation.
The Proton Pack was created based upon a few basic theories which include:
- Ghosts exist
- Ghosts could be stopped
- How ghosts work (In theory)
They put together their weapon and they put their suits on based entirely on conjecture and theories. In my eyes, this makes them amongst the ultimate improvisational characters of all time… But what do you think?
That’s it, I’m going to put down my keyboard and instead throw it between your eyes! You’ve now bared witness to the greatest improvised weapons that have ever existed – at least to us. As always, we’ll be back next week with another list that we put together last minute (Or several days in advance, since you know, writing schedules and all that jazz). In the meantime, you get to sway the vote in your favour:
We’re done for this week, so it’s time to put down that pool cue, stop mincing our words and time for us all to celebrate that it’s all over with… By throwing some farmyard animals around. What do you think of our improvised weapons list? Were they zany and outlandish enough, or do you think we could have done better than this bunch? As always, let us know what you think in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.