Sword Drag

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A character who carries a sword will, at some point, drag the tip of the blade across a floor or wall. This is usually done to intimidate or to catch the attention of another character, or simply to invoke the coolness factor, but rarely does it have any practical application. It can also be associated with an Ax Crazy character or a Villainous Breakdown, because if someone holding a sword goes into a Primal Stance or becomes Limp and Livid, they tend to forget they're holding it and just let it drag. Or it might just be that they can't actually lift the sword for any length of time, either because they're tired or the sword is too big.

It generally causes Swirling Dust and Sword Sparks, but with the floor, not another sword. Might also be the source of a Sinister Scraping Sound.

Naturally, this would be a terrible maneuver to use in real life as it would wear down any good sword, slow down the wielder, and telegraph the coming attack obviously. Thankfully in fiction, we have the Rule of Cool to make up for that.

Examples of Sword Drag include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Justified with Shishio in Rurouni Kenshin who does it to ignite the oil covering his sword and set the sword on fire. His sword also sharpens when worn down instead of dulling.
  • Justified with Mikoto in My-HiME; her BFS is just about as big as she is, and it's how she powers up her attack.
  • Variation: Combusken's Sky Uppercut in the Pokémon anime, starts with him dragging the tips of his claws along the floor, making some sparks and then doing the Uppercut. That only happened during a couple of instances in the Kanto Grand Festival. The attack isn't normally executed like that.
    • Another variant: when Ash was battling to capture the Taillow that has been menacing the group, the Taillow drops to the river and dips its wings against the water while charging towards Pikachu.
  • Justified in Claymore, in which a secondary character use this to boost the power of her attack (and use an unbreakable sword). Her opponent do note that it's a very predictable move that you can't pull twice.
  • Found aplenty in Bleach, often with character's swords ripping clean through walls without breaking stride.
  • Mugen of Samurai Champloo does this once or twice. However, like much of the chambara expressed the series, it is portrayed more realistically, with Mugen sliding the side of his sword rather than carving into the floor with the tip.
  • Acrobat Cabaji of One Piece deliberately does this to kick up a blinding dust cloud. He calls it Circus Trick: Murder at the Steam Bath.
  • In the Hellsing anime series, during his duel with Alucard, Father Anderson drags his bayonets along the floor and ceiling (one in each hand) of the subway car he is in. When he brings them together to strike Alucard, it causes the car to split in half.
  • Guts' sword in Berserk frequently drags his BFS across walls and floors—often leaving smashed cobblestones behind him. It's also common for his sword to end up buried in the ground after a blow.
  • Saya of Blood Plus, and also her sister Diva in their final confrontation.
  • Crona with Ragnarok in Soul Eater in Limp and Livid moments when they're particularly unstable. Switches abruptly into—slightly—more reasonable movements when Medusa reminds Crona what they need to do. Can look as though Crona is being dragged by the Equippable Ally rather than vice-versa.
  • Sasuke uses a variant with his Chidori in prior to the Time Skip in Naruto. Whether he had any practical reason to do so, such as concerns over slicing off his limbs, is unknown, but what is known is that the owner of the hotel whose wall he gouged in half probably wasn't happy.
  • Louis XV, before he kills Anna, in Le Chevalier d'Eon.


Comics -- Books[edit | hide]

  • Wolverine does it too, running hunched with his claws carving the floor or walls. At least in his case he has the excuse that it's not like doing so is going to blunt them any. Most notably, he's depicted doing so on the iconic cover of Ultimate X-Men #1.


Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • In Ryan vs. Dorkman 2, Ryan drags his lightsaber through a puddle of water. At another point in the film, Ryan swings his blade into the floor, throwing a shower of sparks into his opponent's face.
  • In You Awaken in Razor Hill, a World of Warcraft Fanfic involving an Orc Hunter, Pyramid Hogger's presence is announced by the sound of his BFS scraping along the floor. Scrape.


Films -- Animation[edit | hide]

  • Cloud himself does this once at the end of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. But he had just gotten stabbed in nearly every part of his body by Sephiroth, then shot in the back by Yazoo and/or Loz with a glowing magically charged bullet that exits spectacularly out his chest, so we can't really blame him either.
  • Done in the original animation called Dragonboy through a reverse on the common knight saves princess from dragon (twice when the dragon goes to save the princess and then the princess goes to save the dragon). In this animation the knight drags his sword for sinister effect. Can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=lIRMXJOtfMY&feature=endscreen

Films -- Live-Action[edit | hide]

  • Freddy Krueger does this with his claws against walls, but then, literally, his whole schtick is being as frightening as he can...
  • In Hotel Rwanda, the extremist Hutus intimidatingly slide their machetes along roads while marching toward the slaughter of Tutsi refugees.
  • The Hutu extremists also do this in Sometimes In April, another movie about the Rwandan Genocide.
  • Used realistically in Rob Roy to indicate that the character is so exhausted from less than five minutes' fighting that he can barely lift his sword.
  • Star Wars: As with Wolverine above, lightsaber users don't need to worry about dulling or damaging the blade, which removes the main Fridge Logic problem with doing this.
    • Revenge of the Sith features a scene in which General Grievous spins four lightsaber blades like propellers. The blades are shown to be chopping into the floor as he advances on Obi-Wan.
    • In the novelization, Vader drags his lightsaber along the wall in a corridor, just for the fun of it, while slaughtering the Separatists.
  • Blade does this in the opening fight scene of his first film.
  • In Inglourious Basterds the Bear Jew , unseen in a tunnel, smacks the walls with his baseball bat while the German soldiers outside are being interrogated.
  • The Crazies has a pitchfork drag. One of "the crazies" shambles toward a field hospital ward full of people who are strapped helplessly to beds and cannot move. Horror ensues.
  • In Tron: Legacy, during the Lightcycle match, Clu drags his Deadly Disc against the floor while speeding on his Cool Bike, getting a nice trail of color-coded sparks. The Identity Discs appears to be indestructible, though, so it solely damages the floor.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Quite a few people do this with lightsabers in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, starting in The Thrawn Trilogy. When you need to get to the next room, or the floor beneath this one, and you don't have time to find a door or a stairwell, it's just expedient to drag a lightsaber through it, either carving a hole or just weakening it enough to break.


Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • In Garo, Suzumura Rei does this at least once to scare Kaoru.
  • Used in the series Highlander.
  • Terui Ryuu does this with the Engine Blade during episode 18 of Kamen Rider Double prior to his transformation into Kamen Rider Accel. This may count as a subversion though, since it's not to look intimidating, but rather because the blade is to heavy to carry normally while untransformed.
  • In Kamen Rider Dragon Knight, Kamen Rider Wrath will scrape his Absurdly Sharp Blades against each other, creating Sword Sparks. You'd think it'd dull them, but his ability to curb stomp good Riders never suffers.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Roxas does this with his Keyblades during a cutscene fight in Kingdom Hearts 2.
  • Enemies with weapons like lead pipes and heavy flashlights will occasionally do this in BioShock (series).
  • In Final Fantasy VIII, the Seifer vs. Squall fight in cutscene makes use of this extensively.
  • Pyramid Head in Silent Hill. The loud scraping/whining noise of his giant blade becomes a signal of his approach. Justified in that Pyramid Head's weapon, the Great Knife, is a meat-cleaver blade roughly the size of a Buick.
  • Dullahan's entrance in Vagrant Story is heralded by the sound of his sword scraping on the floor. When he enters, he drags it for another moment, and then cuts a mystic circle around himself.
  • The first trailer of Brutal Legend sees Eddie do this with an axe. Hopefully, it'll make it to the final release...
  • Diablo II
    • The Stranger with the huge Broadsword in the intro.
    • The expansion pack features the Reanimated Horde, skeleton warriors with big two-handed swords that drag on ground as they walk.
  • Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation has undead warriors who do this.
  • Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes has the Cyborg Ninja sweep his sword along the ground while fighting Snake for the first time. Possibly justified, since his sword was impossibly strong and sharp, and Snake was lying on the ground at the time.
  • In Dissidia Final Fantasy, Garland does this constantly with his shapeshifting sword. You can hardly blame him—in its default form, it puts Cloud's to shame—being longer, wider, thicker, and just generally larger than the entire heroic cast.
  • One of (Dual-Wielding) Yagyu Jubei's special attacks in Samurai Shodown (the "Nikakurato") has him charging towards the opponent with a shoulder smash while dragging his wakizashi along the ground- leaving sparks behind. After a solid hit or few with the shoulder smash, he then lunges upward with his katana into a soaring slash capable of a Clean Cut if it finishes off the opponent.
  • One of the cutscenes in Halo Wars has the Ax Crazy Arbiter do this, with obvious justification.
  • A magazine ad for Star Wars: Dark Forces III: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast has Kyle doing this with a lightsaber after Zorro Marking the wall with the game's insignia.
  • Slayers in The Suffering will often drag one hand-blade along the ground as they charge. The sound is often the first sign that they're coming. It also often kicks up sparks which are sometimes the first thing you see if they're coming out of the darkness.
  • Although it's not in the actual game, the main character Hawke drags his Blade on a Stick while charging a Dual-Wielding qunari in a cinematic trailer for Dragon Age II.
  • In Assassin's Creed Brotherhood , a Follower of Romulus does this in Cestius' Pyramid. It was not him doing the ass-kicking.
  • The Raincoat Killer from Deadly Premonition does this with his axe.
  • This happens in Fable if you try to wield a heavy weapon without sufficient strength.
  • Occurs twice in Prototype, both with Alex Mercer and Captain Cross. Mercer's example comes when he finally defeats the parasite that's been restricting his powers; in a fairly awesome scene, he develops both the Armor and the Blade powers, dragging the tip of the blade in a circle around him. Cross's example is dragging his shock staff across the ground in anticipation of fighting Infected. Both examples are justified, somewhat: Alex's blade is a shapeshifter weapon, so he can easily repair any potential damage, and Cross's staff doesn't have an edge to ruin.
  • Kojuro in Sengoku Basara does this when he gets particularly pissed off, loses all composure as a swordsman and enters Berserk Mode, apparently to seem more threatening toward his opponents. In the anime season 2 he pulls it off in fine style against Hanbe and his mooks.
  • The League of Legends champion Tryndamere runs around dragging his sword behind him with one hand. But then again, with a sword like that, you have to wonder if he kills stuff by cutting with the blade's edge or just smashing with the weight of it.
  • The Black Knights from Dark Souls tend to do this a bit. Semi-justified, since it's usually the prelude to a big, air-launching upwards sweep attack. A player armed with a Black Knight weapon can do this as well.


Web Comics[edit | hide]


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • In the trailer for the RedLetterMedia review of Revenge of the Sith (yes, they released a trailer for an upcoming movie review), Nadine drags the tip of her machete along an alley wall as she goes to confront Plinkett and seek revenge for what he did to her and her baby during the previous two Star Wars prequel reviews.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • In the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "Sokka's Master", Sokka uses the tip of his sword to throw sand into Piandao's eyes.
  • Huey did this for a moment in a fight with Riley on The Boondocks, ensuring at least some damage to the floor.
  • In the beginning of episode "Dethwater" of Metalocalypse, Nathan Explosion does this with an ax in the music video for "Thunderhorse", just before decapitating Murderface.
  • Code Lyoko
    • William tends to do that; not surprising given the size and weight of his sword. He even draws a full Eye of XANA on the floor the one time he was translated, but there he was just being a show-off.
    • Ulrich is also guilty of this while riding his Overbike. Of course, being in a virtual world their swords won't dull.
  • When Gigabyte has Bob and Dot cornered in the Re Boot episode "Gigabyte", he drags his giant claw across the alley wall in this fashion, apparently for no reason other than to further intimidate the people he'd already cornered.
  • Snake Eyes does this occasionally in G.I. Joe: Renegades.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Street-type knife fighters fight from a low crouch and, if they're on a hard surface like pavement or concrete, will sometimes scrape the tip of the blade along the ground to psyche out an opponent.
  • Some haunted houses and mazes (including Halloween Horror Nights and Howl-O-Scream) have actors drag their prop blades across walls and floors to scare the guests, sometimes while running at them.