Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gunblade: What it is and What People Don't Get

Aura... Limit Break... Lion heart.

Okay dokey ladies and gentlemen. Today I go a little Weeabo and discuss my first next gen video game that I've ever played. I say "next-gen" because when I was a boy I had me a little console called the Sega Genesis (Awwwww yeah), and on top of that my dad let me have a game called "Lethal Enforcers". Yes, I'm barely 5 years old and my Asian father is already teaching me how to wield .44 Magnum. Ah, gotta love America.

It was years later (way after the Playstation 1 came out) when my parents finally thought I deserved a better video game console. This is possibly the best present you could get at 10 years old, am I right? I got a great assortment of presents that year, including the new Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, the original Gran Turismo (Yeah, not the Greatest Hits), and the mother of all of them... Final Fantasy VIII. Now, here's the thing. I didn't pick it out. Yes, my mom and dad (more specifically my dad), showed me a Target ad with the game's cover art on it and goes, "Hey son. Doesn't this look cool to you? Huh... huh?" I didn't know what it was, and I sure as hell didn't know what to think back then. So, my dad did what any loving father would... smacked me across the head for being ignorant and proceeded to buy the game for me for Christmas. I cannot thank my father enough for buying me that game. It was like love for... let's see now... I still listen to the entire album first to last, no skips... like a religion. That makes.... more than a decade. But that's beside the point.

I was not a Weeabo back then (hell, I'm not now, I just enjoy what life has to offer, like Pika-chick!)

Anyways, I write today because I want to talk about the weapon that the protagonist and one of the antagonists carry... the mighty Gunblade. Apparently, it's so awesome, you need to be a master in order to wield one in generic combat. Moreover, if you're a master, you can just summon your weapon from behind your back no problem (don't worry guys. it's an lol joke for those who know the game). I'll start off with a bit of fantastic history, and then talk about the weapons development over the years.

The Gunblade is an original concept provided by Sqaresoft (now Sqaure Enix) in their Final Fantasy series, starting with the eighth variation. The weapon is literally a mix of a gun and a sword meshed together. As seen in several of the original pictures, the gun portion is shaped to be similar to a large Magnum, with a large chamber for six supposed shots to kept in. The handle is extended greatly for ease of use with two hands or one. The blade itself is a full Tanto blade. I say this because the metal is fully flushed together with the gun, so if you somehow break the blade, you also break the gun portion as well. The antagonist's gunblade features a different concept, coming up with a lighter blade and in place of the magnum an M9 or 1911 variation is fused with the blade (in other words, a semi-automatic pistol instead of a hammer-blow).

The Gunblade is used again and again in the Final Fantasy series, some references, others an enemy tool. Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII had the tougher Genesis clones carry a large barreled gun with blades covering the oversized extension. In Advent Children and AC: Complete, the antagonists Yazoo and Loz use ornate Gunblade varieties that were called Velvet Nightmare. Though mostly a gun, there are small insertions of blades protruding from the top and bottom of the weapon. In Dirge of Cerberus there were Gunblade Katana hybrids that the enemies used. Final Fantasy XII featured a Revolver Gunblade in the collection of legendary weapons. And finally, Final Fantasy XIII renewed the concept by providing a sword that distinctly features a "gun mode" and a "blade mode".

With that all said, here's the question I get all the frickin' time...


Yeah, fuck you. Fuck you people who can't pay the slightest attention to detail.
I mean, honestly, there are so many arguments as to what Square Enix was trying to achieve by creating such a weapon. The original concept was designed so that the "gun" function actually vibrated the sword, thus when you cut something there's a larger mass that's cut out of the victim. Now, the latest variation of it allows for either a sword or a gun, an idea that, though strayed from the original concept, seems to be a better design and easier to wield.

Of course, I know there are other examples out there. I mean, on the totally badass side there's that one sword with a frickin' engine on it. What's that one called again? Yeah, I'm to lazy to look it up.

So, the next time someone tries to talk to you about hybrid weapons, make sure you've got a nailed- baseball bat with you. In that way, they'll feel obligated to talk about the right terminologies when it comes to these things. Yeah, I just wrote all that to build up one point. And I added pictures!

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