West and Japan, usually ends up being the most common separation when we talk about the origins of a video game. Apart from the various genres that may be born from it, gamers can usually easily distinguish which games are born from western developers (which are usually locked for developers from the Americas and Europe) and which are born from Japan. Coupled with culture and history which are often adapted into other creative media such as anime and films, there are so many “romanticizations” similar to fictional video game products that simply borrow one or two popular elements from it. One of them? Katana.
Being a weapon that is often mistakenly referred to as “Samurai”, the katana which can simply be defined as a Japanese sword forged using certain techniques, is indeed a weapon that is widely used by characters in video games, especially those born from the hands of Japanese developers. The katana has always had an identity as a super sharp melee weapon that can be used not only to split human bodies, but various super hard objects that in the real world, would not be easily cut easily. The categorization also depends on size and length, which makes Sephiroth’s Masamune weapon from FF VII for example, more suitable to be categorized as a Nodachi than a katana.
So, of all the characters who use the katana as a weapon, which ones do we categorize as the coolest from the coolest? Here’s a list of our versions:
With the modification and equipment system that he carries, “locking” Katana said with the figure of William – the main protagonist of the first Nioh series does seem a little forced. However, if you look at its existence in the second Nioh and several cut-scenes that have surfaced, it seems safe to say that the katana is a weapon that is canonically used by Williams. Seeing a Caucasian character mastering attack techniques using this deadly sword is always a sight that deserves thumbs up. Moreover, he used it with a stance that never failed, looking handsome.
Subject Zero (Katana Zero)
The enjoyment of seeing the main character armed with a katana is not only limited to AAA games that use realistic visuals as a base. Every gamer who has seen Subject Zero’s super-fast action in Katana Zero seems ready to agree with what we are talking about. The pixel-art visualization that he carries does not hinder his appreciation of the motion of the attack animation and the effects produced by the katana he carries. One of the effects that strengthens the coolness of the katana action he carries does not only appear from the various time-based moves he can execute, but also the effect he produces from the splash of enemy blood that “decorates” the stage wall like a beautiful red paint.
Ryu Hayabusha (Ninja Gaiden)
Being a ninja, rationally, should put you in the role of a stealth-based assassin who plays more in the dark than the light. However, this identity no longer wraps up and prevents game developers from exploring the ninja concept in a different direction. One of them comes from the modern approach of Ninja Gaiden, which is famous for its sword action and various moves that a Ryu Hayabusha can execute. As can be predicted, the head and the rest of the body are merely victims of delayed mutilation.
Thanatos (Persona 3)
Most of the characters we present here actually end in human characters using the katana as their main weapon. Therefore, Thanatos status from Persona 3 is considered special. We are talking about a super cool “monster” design that has an important part in the story and the gameplay is coincidental, like the character who triggered it, choosing this Japanese sword as the “spearhead” to finish off any monsters that dare to get in the way, and in the end, end up saving the world. . A little unique and inspiring to see a beautiful monster that doesn’t seem difficult to destroy the world if he wants, choosing the katana as the weapon in hand.
A little touch of technology and ending with a slightly flavored katana which in the end, is able to execute a dragon attack at the end if you are lucky enough, the combination of the character design of a Genji and the katana he carries is admittedly complementary. Her standing pose with a katana that has a hint of green in her hands emphasizes her ninja cyborg design, making her look even more deadly. Apart from the various other cosmetic weapons that you can use, the default skin that he is carrying must be admitted, is the best representative for the character Genji should be.
Samanosuke Akechi (Onimusha 3)
Using solid samurai armor, starring one of the most popular super popular models of his time, and ending up using the katana to not only kill humans but also kill various monsters, this Onimusha character does have a special position in the game industry. That’s right, we are talking about the figure of Samanosuke Akechi who looks so cool, apart from the attack animation which must be admitted, starting to get stiff when referring to today’s modern game industry. But in the era of its release, seeing how this katana not only slices the enemy’s body, but also drops various orbs as a resource that you have to “suck” as soon as possible always leaves an intense experience. The fantasy element he carries makes Akechi’s katana look even more deadly.
Gray Fox (Metal Gear Solid)
Who would dare bring a katana into a gun battle, especially if your enemy even carries an assault rifle? Almost any rational character will end up raising their hand and giving up. But not with Gray Fox aka Cyborg Ninja from Metal Gear Solid. With a body nearly destroyed that could no longer support itself, the exoskeleton used by Gray Fox allowed him to do things that ordinary humans could not. One of them? Of course making him able to cry bullet attacks, no matter how much. Gray Fox is one of the few characters who manages to make the katana look even more deadly and dangerous than the hundreds of bullets fired from a machine gun.
Jin Sakai (Ghost of Tsushima)
Present as a fantasy story that happens to be based on a historical event that occurred in the past, Ghost of Tsushima is perhaps a bit of a game out there that positions the katana as an honorable weapon as well as the life of a Samurai. That he symbolizes the honor of not only his status as a knight, but also the honor of his ancestors and the banner of the family that he must wear. Then through it, the super sharp katana which is also not difficult to mutilate this enemy’s body part seems to have historical value as well as representing something more important than just a killing tool.
Sekiro (Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice)
Imagine that you are living in a world so terrible that the nightmare itself is so beautiful. That it is inhabited not only by samurai and ronin who don’t mind cutting your body into various pieces, but also gigantic monsters from white snakes to immortal apes that even make your fighting morale drop before you plan to do anything. In this world, the only way you can protect yourself and carry out your impossible task is just a katana named Kusabimaru. With this little katana, you end up fighting and fighting the world. Everything is wrapped up in a dramatic plot about honor and the need to protect your master.
So among all the characters who make the katana their main weapon, above are some characters that, in our opinion, deserve to be categorized as the coolest among the coolest. Their cool level is certainly not only determined by how the visuals enhance the character design or animation they offer, but also how they play an important role in the story, or the implications of the threat and sense of danger they can generate, even when securely embedded in the sarong. This article has certainly grown into a dream and hope, that in the future, we will see even more dangerous and deadly katana weapons used by video game characters in the future.
How about you? Of all the video game characters who make the katana their main weapon, which one do you think deserves the title of the coolest among the coolest? Feel free to comment and expand the list!