Talking Weapon

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As a weapon, Lilarcor has its uses, but many a warrior has eventually given it away. Banter such as "Ouch, that musta hurt", "Oh yeah! Got 'im good", and "Beware my bite for it might...might...might really hurt or something" is a constant barrage on a warrior's psyche.
In-game description of Lilarcor, Baldur's Gate 2

A weapon—usually a Cool Sword--that talks. Some combination of Empathic Weapon, Evil Weapon, and Exposition Fairy may apply.

It might get annoying, though. If the weapon won't shut up, the wielder may feel Blessed with Suck.

Examples of Talking Weapon include:


Anime & Manga

  • The staffs in Shigofumi.
  • The various Intelligent and Armed Devices in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha not only speak, they speak in surprisingly well-pronounced English and German.
  • Yuri has a talking sword (or at least one that constantly moans) in Kyo Kara Maoh.
  • Derflinger from Zero no Tsukaima.
  • Babbo in MAR is a talking flail... or maybe cup-and-ball game.
  • Every weapon character in Soul Eater could count as this, seeing as they are humans who have taken a weapon form. However, the other weapons aren't nearly as... talkative... or annoying... as Excalibur is. Seriously.
    • When Ragnarok is in its sword form, it fits nicely into this trope. Not only can Ragnarok speak, it has a mean scream attack.
    • Excalibur is also a talking sword, though more of the Cloudcuckoolander type, and he's usually only in sword form when being used or store in the stone. Excalibur talks. And talks. And talksandtalksandtalksand—argh SHUT UP DAMNIT!
  • The Swordians, in a couple episodes of Space Adventure Cobra, are a whole species of talking swords with telekinetic powers.
  • In Last Fantasy, a character wields a sword with an eye that screams for souls which appears to be a Captain Ersatz of Soul Edge... but turns out to be an overpriced novelty item he bought in the last town.
  • Haganemaru in Kurogane is capable of speech, which is useful, as its wielder isn't.
  • Sou'unga in the third Inuyasha movie, Swords of an Honorable Ruler, is an evil youkai sword that talks—often in the form of Hannibal Lectures.
  • The more powerful Demon Swords from The Sacred Blacksmith are this trope taken to the eleven. Not only they speak, they have personality and ponder about the meaning of their existence and their relationship to humans. Oh, and they can take human form too (i.e. beautiful women, bet you didn't see that one coming huh?).
  • In Durarara!!, the cursed blade Saika speaks only in its owner's mind, but continually. About love. Which it assimilates to slashing people. Have we mentioned it's said to be cursed because it makes its owners crazy?
  • Bleach: The only one we see in detail is Zangetsu when communicating with Ichigo in Ichigo's inner world. However, it's considered standard that shinigami must learn how to communicate with their zanpakutou and that zanpakutou have thoughts and feelings of their own that they do communicate with their shinigami. Even though the manga doesn't detail the conversations that occur (only suggesting them and hinting at them), the process of communication is called Jinzen. We also see Zabimaru manifest and talk to Renji at one point and Zangetsu once asks if Ichigo can hear Kenpachi's zanpakutou screaming in pain because of how Kenpachi ignores it (Ichigo can). When Lilinette transforms into Stark's weapon, she continues to talk to him, making her an example of this trope as well, at least for a while.
  • Maken Arabuki in Sengoku Youko.


Comics

  • Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire has the Loquacious Lasers, Smith and Wesson, who are the minds behind the Pistol Packin' Polaris Packrat's exploits. Also, presumably Buck's Junior (but he doesn't talk to them anymore).
  • The Singing Sword (Sister Blade of Excalibur of Prince Valiant) is this trope taken seriously; it sung (probably along the lines of a Cherubic Choir) whenever wielded by Only the Pure of Heart. After this, the concept was never taken seriously, ever again.
  • Smax from Top Ten has a singing sword that he usually hides under a cloth (both because it's annoying and because he doesn't like to talk about his homeland). When he goes into battle in his self-titled mini-series, the sword starts singing ABBA.
  • In The Order, Athena archetype Avona's talking sword is technologically crafted and named "Bluetooth".
  • The Helm features a slight twist on this - as you can imagine, it's the hero's helmet that talks. And only he can hear it. There's some question as to whether or not he's simply insane, but he reasons that if this were some delusional fantasy his magic talking helmet wouldn't be so mean to him.
  • Carvin' Marvin and Tremble from Knights of the Dinner Table.


Fan Works

  • In With Strings Attached, Blackfire mostly just whines like a mosquito, but when the Hunter tries to throw it over a cliff at the urging of the four, it starts to scream “STAY AWAY, HUMANSSSS!” at the four. And he finds he can't let go of it....


Film

  • The Acme singing sword from the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.
  • Rare non-fantasy example: the Lawgivers in the Judge Dredd film talk to confirm weapon choices and give their status. However, they don't have the sentience of most weapons on this page: Those are just vocal messages.


Gamebooks

  • Excalibur Junior (a.k.a. "E.J.") from the Grail Quest Solo Fantasy books.


Literature

  • In The Colour of Magic (both the book and the miniseries), Rincewind comes across Kring, a talking sword that tries to help him save Twoflower from Wyrmburg. It had very definite ideas about how its wielder should act, threatening to kill Rincewind if he didn't do the suitably heroic thing, by pointing itself at his neck. The sword disappears afterwards and its current whereabouts are unknown, although it may have been dropped overboard from the back of a dragon flying at great height above a very deep sea. Whoops.

"What I'd really like is to be a ploughshare. I don't know what that is, but it sounds like an existence with some point to it."

    • There was also Imp/Buddy's harp, which (as the focal point of The Music) didn't talk, but definitely had a mind of its own.
  • In The Silmarillion, Turin Turambar has a "to be or not to be" moment where he asks his cursed sword, Gurthang, if it would take his life swiftly. The sword answers yes, so Turin kills himself. This is overtly taken from Kullervo's death in The Kalevala (see the Myths folder below).
  • There's also a talking sword in The Prophecy by Hilari Bell.
  • Need, from the Heralds of Valdemar series. But it's not so much the sword as the soul of a woman from the ancient past who encased herself in the sword.
  • In the Forgotten Realms novel Elfsong Danilo Thann owns a singing sword. He taught it a song about a knight who wished for a more impressive lance.
    • Khazid'hea from the Drizzt novels can speak only telepathically to its current wielder, and often chooses not to do that. It desires to be wielded by the strongest warrior, and is capable of changing the shape of its pommel to make itself more appealing to a new wielder. It angsted for a while over its inability to alter the shape of its blade, since its desired wielder Drizzt fought with a scimitar instead.
    • Dzeldazzar, "Defender of the Innocent" from Only a Woman Can Take This Sort of Abuse Spin-a-Yarn story, a sword using his speech ability mostly to show its Knight Templar personality, who "rode" a paladin of Tyr for years. Until it happened to crash the Seven Sisters's party and attack one of them.
  • It's more than just a weapon, but the black ka'kari in The Night Angel Trilogy eventually becomes fairly talkative, and at one point, it refuses a command. Given that it choses its own master and is supposedly highly intelligent, it seems fairly likely that it's the ka'kari which humors its owner rather than the other way around.
  • Craig Shaw Gardner's Wuntvor books have Cuthbert, a talking sword who's a total coward and wails pretty loudly about all this blood and ichor everyone insists on drenching him in.
  • Nightblood in Warbreaker is a sword that not only speaks (telepathically) nearly constantly, but is also something of a Deadpan Snarker. He also reads minds and seems to think any thought he picks up was directed at him.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero in Hell, the Wounding Wand. Caurus thinks he's too tired, because he hears it; Miranda warns him to not listen.
  • Rumo and His Miraculous Adventures. Rumo gets a sword that talks to him, but he ist the only one who can hear it. The problem: The two-bladed "sword" (more the size of a pig-sticker) contains actually two personalities. One is a very talkative and mostly ineffective coward (who talked Rumo in taking the sword), the other one a blood-thirsty, single-minded warrior (who can sulk when denied a fight). Rumo actually threatens to abandon the sword should it not stop talking.
  • In Stephen Hunt's The Court Of The Air, there is a talking sword that is actually wise and generous.


Live-Action TV

  • Tommy's sword Saba spoke in season 2 and 3 of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. He gradually shut up as time passed. ITTRC, he was snarky and British. Definitely snarky, though.
  • GekiRyuKen in Madan Senki Ryukendo, who may possibly be smarter than his partner.
    • Also GoRyuGun and ZanRyuJin, with GoRyuGun being the Snarky Gun That Speaks, and ZanRyuJin being the Hot-Blooded Staff/Bow That Speaks.
  • Teddy from Kamen Rider Den-O in his sword form. Not only does he speak, he has a very large, grinning mouth. Sort of like a Cheshire Cat if it were a sword.
    • Den-O also has the DenKamen Sword, through which the Taros can speak, and the Denebick Buster, which is Deneb turned into a energy machinegun and therefore The Gun That Speaks.
    • Later Den-O movies make this Kotaro (New Den-O)'s gimmick; rather than being possessed by the Taros, they turn into Weapons That Speak for him to wield. Episode Blue shows Urataros and Kintaros turning into a talking fishing rod and axe respectively, and Let's Go Kamen Rider will add the Momotasword to the mix.


Music

  • As described in the Blue Oyster Cult song "Black Blade" (based on the Elric stories, though the sword doesn't talk until after it turns into a demon on the last page of the last story.).


Myth & Legend

It was in this battle Ogma found Orna, the sword of Tethra, a king of the Fomor, and he took it from its sheath and cleaned it. And when the sword was taken out of the sheath, it told all the deeds that had been done by it, for there used to be that power in swords.[1]


Tabletop Games

  • Dungeons & Dragons has rules for intelligent weapons, including how well they can communicate (e.g. starting with simple "empathy" and going all the way to full-blown telepathic powers)... as well as rules for conflicts of wills between weapon and wielder. The stock intelligent weapons described in the manual range all over the power and alignment spectrums... including one sword that is recommended for a deaf swordsman.
    • Intelligent weapons in other media based on D&D (R. A. Salvatore's Forgotten Realms novels, Baldur's Gate) tend to break some of these rules because, quite sensibly, they're more concerned with finding a wielder who'll suit their purposes than one who has the same alignment as the rules demand. Thus, Khazid'hea, though apparently evil and certainly not good, wants to be wielded by the greatest warrior, ie. Drizzt Do'Urden (at first), who's Chaotic Good. Lilarcor, on the other hand, who seems to be Chaotic Neutral, doesn't refuse to be wielded by anyone because it just wants to kill things.
      • The rules in 3d Edition noted that it wasn't alignment per se that triggered conflicts of will between the weapon and the wielder, but rather the purpose of the weapon and the intentions of the wielder coming into conflict. Alignment just tended to be a fair guide to just how much risk there was for those two to diverge.
  • Some Daemon weapons in Warhammer 40,000 fit this trope. You do not want to listen to them. Unless you're evil, in which case listen away—many are full of sound advice.
    • Some particularly powerful Daemon Weapons can exert limited Telekinesis. Abbadon's sword, for instance, once got him wounded by pulling him towards Eldrad—while he was impaled on Eldrad's force weapon.
  • GURPS: Thaumatology has rules for how intelligent weapons communicate, ranging from simple emotional impressions to mind control.
  • A somewhat disturbing example is a soulforged weapon from Wraith: The Oblivion. Most believe the process of soulforging destroys the consciousness of the victim, but that's small comfort when that fancy new battle-axe starts weeping.
  • The Singing and Dancing Sword from Munchkin. Useful since you don't need any hands to wield it so you can add it even if you're carrying other items.


Video Games

  • Caliburn from Sonic and The Black Knight, who also serves as an Exposition Fairy for Sonic.
  • The Swordians from Tales of Destiny, who are revealed to have once been people from the past. Or rather, their memories and personality imprinted onto the swords.
  • As the above quote illustrates, Lilarcor from Baldur's Gate 2. Lilarcor has an Ax Crazy personality. Many players find it to be a most suiting weapon for the mentally less-than-stable Ranger Minsc. So much in fact that a fan-made Game Mod adds extra banter if Minsc is wielding the sword.

Minsc: I have often asked him: "Larry, why are you Minsc's sword?" And he always says...
Lilarcor: Because you've got the grip and I've got the rip! Mwahahahahahahahaha!

  • In Devil May Cry 3, Dante gets a pair of talking swords that he soon tells to shut up. Notable in that most of his weapons were former demons, but aren't too talkative; Agni and Rudra, however, started as swords.
    • The remain silent because Dante told them to keep quiet, but their voices can be heard when using one of their more powerful combos, calling out "Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust".
  • In Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten, all of the magichange swords (And every other magichange weapon) are capable of speech, being sentient monsters shapeshifted into the form of a weapon. They're usually the ones doing the talking instead of the wielder during attacks.
  • Exor in Super Mario RPG.
  • The Azure and Crimson Azoths from |Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny both speak.
  • The snarky Star Dragon Sword from the Suikoden series.
  • All the Relic Weapons in Final Fantasy XI speak at least once, although Guttler talks regularly when in the hands of its previous owner... its hobbies include blood, cutting, and dissection. Its prior owner even tells it to shut up on occasion, then turns to you and nervously pretends she didn't say anything.
  • Enserric the Longsword in Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark, who has an insult prepared for almost any type of enemy you encounter. He is also somewhat of a Deadly Upgrade, at least when he insists on rearranging your stats.
  • Xiao's slingshot Steve in Dark Cloud, who provides an Enemy Scan and most of the games humor.
    • Steve the Ridepod from Dark Cloud 2 can get a speech upgrade, but it just uses it to yell PIECE OF CAKE! over and over.
  • Yoriko's staff, Mike in Arcana Heart, who is a very arrogant Demon King that got trapped in this form.
  • Corrupted Ashbringer from World of Warcraft whispers to you when you're close enough to Darion while he's carrying it. It's quite unnerving at times if you don't see it coming.
    • Corrupted Ashbringer once was a useable item, and the ghost of Mograine would whisper to the wielder through it.
    • Frostmourne relays the voice of the Lich King to the wielder's head. Now that the wielder IS the Lich King, it probably does not whisper to him anymore, though.
    • Turns out that the souls of everyone it kills are trapped inside, and can show up to harangue Arthas. This may be one of the reasons he was storing it in an empty room instead of carrying it with him the whole time.
  • The Seventh Scripture in Tsukihime/Kagetsu Tohya carries the spirit of a half-unicorn, half-teenaged girl inside it. So it's capable of talking to those who either get their blood stained on it or have potent magical potential. Or Shiki/Arihiko's sister. Er. Anyway, mostly what she does is complain about Ciel's treatment of her. And no, it's not exactly a sword, but it is an annoying weapon that talks too much. She also loves carrots.
  • Dungeon Crawl has a weapon attribute aptly described as "It makes noises.", which may be applied to any random artifact weapon, meaning you might find talking specimens of pretty much any kind of weapon present in the game. Any such weapon will cause noises at irregular intervals while wielded; most of these noises are recognizable speech. Far from being a harmless annoyance for the player, the noise also tends to alert nearby hostiles to the wielder's presence.
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has an odd example in the Sword Familiar. Once it reaches a certain level, it can be equipped as a normal sword and stays quiet. Its more common form, though, is a floating sword that fights alongside Alucard, and in that form it shouts victoriously and taunts the enemies (and Alucard himself, at lower levels).
  • Depicted above: the Team Fortress 2's Demoman's haunted sword Eyelander will occasionally whisper "Heads..." to the wielder. Fittingly enough, when the Demoman decapitates people with it, he gains a status buff.
  • The Axe from The Bard's Tale (the new version) not only talks but also lets you perform sweet electric guitar riffs when summoning your followers.
  • Mabinogi's spirit weapons, although they only speak when spoken to.
  • Torchlight contains the Sword of Adam as a rare unique drop and a Lethal Joke Weapon. Its stats are a mixture of useful and nonsensical. When swung the sword says random non-sequitors such as "Wizard!" and "Ssssoooo 3-D!" and "Hnnnarrnng!" Most probably an in-joke referring to one of the developers.
  • Nie R has Grimoire Weiss, a talking book that not only serves as Nier's sidekick but is also the one casting his spells.
  • The Onyx Blade in Soul Nomad talks during the opening sequence due to the Sealed Evil in a Can trapped inside it. Said evil quickly leaps to the main character in an attempt at Demonic Possession, leaving the weapon silent again.


Web Comics

  • Torg's magic sword, Chazz, in Sluggy Freelance, activated in the arc That Which Redeems, and used frequently thereafter. Notable in that it must drink the blood of the innocent for it to speak.

"Good morning, Master. Who shall we kill today?"

Basically, the more powerful a sword is and the more useful it would be for a PC to be in control of all of the fantastic abilities it can grant, the more Ego the sword has, the less likely it is to acquiesce to demands to use those abilities, and the more likely it is to talk back and be generally annoying at the worst possible moment!
Is that the perfect game mechanic or what? Gary, we are humbled by your boundless game mastering genius.

  • Oruuka from Fiyora Nya due to pretty much being a soul jar.
  • In Schlock Mercenary S.I. (which is euphemism for "AI stupid enough that it's okay to treat it as a disposable device") are used in many heavy munitions and advanced personal weapons. M3 incapacitator is well within this category, because to be useless guaranteed non-lethal, it needs to identify target species on the fly and consider tactical situation, and often also build appropriate munitions then and there. It's capable of arguing with the user. When one of "potato guns" was given an enema of milspec nanoassemblers and slap from high-powered AI to transform it into a miniature superweapon (capable of hacking other M3 into Attack Drones, among the other tricks), it also became smart enough that now it counts as "sapient" and legally cannot be just turned off. It's evidently sapient enough to choose for itself a new form that isn't ugly. And when they say Captain Landon "have taken a shining to it", you don't need to bother with Cargo Shipping - they are already flirty.

Web Original

  • The axe from Unforgotten Realms speaks in a French accent, apparently. It turns out he was originally a lumberjack/wizard who was transmogrified into an axe, then brainwashed so he thought that he'd been an axe all along.
  • Destiny's Wave, from the Whateley Universe. It is the magical weapon of Bladedancer, the Handmaid of the Tao, and is a jade jian that can cut through pretty much anything. It has the soul of a great woman warrior sealed inside it, and seems perfectly willing to talk to Bladedancer's friends too.
  • Journey Quest's Sword of Fighting speaks. Generally in a fashion insulting to it's wielder. The weapon itself may be Ax Crazy, which seems odd for a sword.
  • The RPG Fanatic features a talking sword who frequently harasses the game reviewer.
  • The Intercontinental Union of Disgusting Characters, being a Take That at 1st Edition AD&D, includes several weapons built using the "intelligent weapons" rules. Included are Prometheus, a paladin's Holy Sword that gets off on killing things; and the Sick Sword, which is so powerful it only speaks in ALL CAPS.
  • Bartow Laughingbones and his "Pretty Betty". Invoked in that a wizard hoped it will discourage the guy. But the talking axe not only enjoys "her" work, but turns out to be good company (at least for lonely mountain bandit), so this plan backfired.


Western Animation

  • Lula the sword from Dave the Barbarian. Talking weapons show up often in that show. Owning one is treated as akin to dating or marriage—so Lula is understandably upset when one of her old owners turns up (after having carelessly abandoned her years ago), begs her to come back, then gets bored with her and runs off with another sword.
  • Earthworm Jim did a parody episode about this. Jim gets a talking sword in a sandwich that claims to have been owned by all the great heroes. Eventually it's revealed that it's never actually done anything significant.
  • In the Rick and Morty episode "The ABCs of Beth", one of the "toys" from Beth's childhood is a pink switchblade with a sentient AI and a cutsey voice; it is very glad to see the now-adult Beth, anxious for a chance to kill again (and it does, later in the episode).
  • In Wakfu, Rubilax is a powerful elemental demon (called a "Shushu") trapped inside a sword. He's very much of a Jerkass Deadpan Snarker, regularly belittling his guardian, Sadlygrove, and even sometimes trying to possess him. But this is still a hundred times better than letting the demon out of his prison.
  • The Muppet Babies acted out a fantasy Rags to Riches story where Piggy had to go on a quest to find a "Singing Sword", which never shut up until she shoved a sock in its mouth... and then wouldn't sing until she told it what song to sing.
  • Looney Tunes: In "Knighty Knight Bugs", Bugs is tasked to retrieve a singing sword.
  • In one episode of Mad Jack the Pirate Mad Jack and his crew, which consists entirely of an anthropomorphic rat that is several times more competent than his captain, are tasked with retreiving the Singeing sword in order to slay a monster so they can get something epically ridiculous, only after they retrieve it do they discover it is not a blazing sword, as was advertised on the wall of the temple from which they got the quest, but a singing sword, that is prone to talking as a Deadpan Snarker, but mostly singing. This results in hilarity for the viewers and annoyance for the characters.
  1. Quoted from Lady Augusta Gregory's Complete Irish Mythology.