It’s Debate Day! This week we’re debating the best video game weapon ever. Aaron, predictably, has gone off the deep end again with an argument that doesn’t make a lick of sense, which you can view here: The Lancer: The Best Weapon in a Video Game. For the awesome and right opinion, read on!
I’m a non-violent person in real life, but when it comes to video games I can’t demolish enemies fast enough or hard enough, and the best way to do that is with a good weapon. The question of “best ever,” however, is a tricky one. It can’t just be “most powerful,” because then some giant space laser or energy bomb is going to win, and those are kinda boring. It has to be something that’s fun and satisfying to wield while also possessing enormous killing potential. It also helps if you unlock the weapon later, giving you a stark contrast between the Chosen Weapon and the puny peashooters that came before it. With that in mind, I went with one of my favorite weapons from one of my favorite games: Biggoron’s Sword from Ocarina of Time.
Let’s start with what I’m not picking: The Master Sword. I considered it, but the Master Sword is actually kind of boring. When it first showed up in A Link to the Past it was a neat quest item and an awesome weapon. In Ocarina of Time, it serves a similar purpose by opening up the second half of the quest. At its second appearance, the Sword of Evil’s Bane had already become a rote MacGuffin: the holy sword the hero must inevitably obtain after completing the first set of three dungeons. This is a pattern that’s held true in Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword.
As cool as the Master Sword is from a mythology perspective, it gets tired for me when it’s the best sword in every game, and it simply gets upgraded to be stronger rather than having secret ultimate swords. Biggoron’s Sword is a step out of the ordinary. Instead of a predictable quest to power up or obtain the Master Sword, you get a bigger, awesomer sword instead.
For sheer destructive potential, you can’t do much better than Biggoron’s Sword. No matter what goulish nightmare creatures confront Link on his quest, be they ghosts, lizardmen, skellingtons, or zombies, all fall before Biggoron’s Sword. It has twice the power of the Master Sword, letting it drop late-game bosses like Bongo Bongo and Ganon in no time flat. It also has a much longer reach so you can tag enemies from further away.
The only real drawback is that the sword has to be wielded with both hands, so you can’t use your shield. Honestly though? I don’t see this as a drawback. How mighty are you for charging into battle with only a giant-ass sword in your hands? Who needs defense when you can slay anything dangerous in no time flat?
Adding to the coolness factor is the secret nature of the sword. You don’t need it to complete the game, and there are no NPCs shouting at you to be on the lookout for a secret sword quest. In fact, there’s a fake-out sword called the Giant’s Knife that looks exactly like Biggoron’s Sword, which many an unsuspecting young gamer fell for. Medigoron, the swindler who made the piece of junk, charges you 200 rupees for it, touting it as “something real cool.” You won’t feel very cool when it breaks after eight hits.
The genuine article is much harder to acquire. Just finding Biggoron atop Death Mountain isn’t enough. Link has to go through an elaborate, and obtuse, trading sequence to first obtain a broken sword for Biggoron to repair (because he can’t be bothered to make two swords). Then Link has to track down Biggoron’s eyedrops to soothe his ash-irritated eyes. Cause, you know, he lives atop an active volcano. All this running around and exploring makes the sword feel truly earned, and much more precious than most weapons.
I do need to mention the Great Fairy’s Sword from Majora’s Mask, because I thought real hard about it as well. Like Biggoron’s Sword, it outclasses your normal strongest sword in both reach and power, and must be wielded with two hands. The downside is that by the time you get it you’ll have done just about everything in the game it might be useful for. It also has to be equipped as a c-item, thus wasting a valuable slot. The Great Fairy Sword ultimately just doesn’t measure up to Biggoron’s Sword.
Aaron is usually full of stark-raving nonsense, but I do have to give him some credit this week: the Lancer from Gears of War is pretty cool. But it ends up being just your basic weapon. The coolness factor is dulled by the fact that Marcus and co. (almost) always have the Lancer, and it doesn’t get upgraded or outclassed for the entire duration of the game. It’s your go-to shootgun from start to finish, and for me that knocks against the wow factor.
Biggoron’s Sword stands out in my book not just for being a badass weapon, but because of the effort it takes to acquire it. It isn’t part of a normal upgrade path, and the game doesn’t give you many clues for how to obtain it. Link has to bust his ass to earn it, and can subsequently use it to crush the entire second half of Ocarina of Time. That’s what makes Biggoron’s Sword the best video game weapon ever.
So who got it right this week, me or Aaron? Let us know in the poll!