FromSoftware has made games for literal decades, and in the 2010s, it struck a chord in the gaming community with the Dark Souls trilogy. Outside of the trilogy, we got the spiritual predecessor, Demon’s Souls, and the bloodtinged odyssey, Bloodborne. Despite being some of the toughest games in the modern era, they house some of the coolest weapons in all of gaming. Each weapon’s design showcased the love and effort the artists put into them, and animations accompanying them felt just as engaging. Nothing compares to finding a new favorite weapon in the Soulsborne games and using it effectively.
With Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice on the horizon, let’s count down some of my favorite Soulsborne weapons. Most of these aren’t great for high-end PvP, but they served a greater purpose as I crafted my own narrative in these games.
No. 10: Drake Sword
The Drake Sword was the first weapon that blew my mind in Dark Souls. On my first playthrough, I found myself having a hard time with the game. Surely I was missing something? I searched around online, looking for some help, and aside from “git gud,” I heard of this weapon that you can get pretty early in the game. Just shoot that dragon’s tail a couple hundred times and he’ll somehow drop the Drake Sword in your inventory. The experience taught me about the kind of game Dark Souls is. It doesn’t hold your hand, and it rewards exploration in the weirdest ways. Frankly, the sword saved my Soulsborne career. Without it, I’m not sure if Dark Souls would’ve ever clicked with me back in the day.
No. 9: Threaded Cane
I actually started Bloodborne pretty late in my career, years after Dark Souls III dropped. I’ve been told I’d like it a lot, especially since I rarely played Dark Souls with a shield anyway. And I initially had some struggles falling in love with Bloodborne, to the point where I dropped the game. I gave it a clean retry a few weeks later. I picked the Threaded Cane instead of the Saw Cleaver, and everything clicked for me. It’s when I knew Bloodborne was weird, and in a good way. A cane that transforms into a chain whip hooked me into Yharnam. The sheer versatility of the weapon gave me a taste of what the endgame would offer, and I looked forward to it.
No. 8: Greatsword
I’ve never been big on big swords in any RPG. I’ve always played the rogue or the mage, opting for speed, stealth, and strategy over brute force. But this basic Greatsword changed my mind, particularly in Dark Souls III. It looks so much like Guts’s iconic sword, from Berserk. The Souls universe always had some Berserk to it, but seeing a weapon like that really drove it all home. I gave it a shot, purely for my own in-game Guts cosplay. Since then, I’ve never turned my nose to a new greatsword (but spoilers: only one other ultra greatsword from Souls made the list).
No. 7: Pyromancy Flame
The Pyromancer starting class was what you used if you wanted an easy start to the game. Having built-in firebombs from the start trounced a majority of early-game weapons across the board. I didn’t give pyromancy a try until my second or third time through Dark Souls, but when I did, I suddenly understood why magic could be super overpowered in the PvE parts of the game.
No. 6: Sellsword Twinblades
Who would’ve thought that a weapon you could start the game with would be one of the best weapons in Dark Souls III? If you pump dexterity, these twinblades deal some beastly damage, as long as you’re not afraid of getting in close. During my time in Skyrim, I learned that curved swords are magical blades, and Dark Souls delivered on the promise.
No. 5: Ludwig’s Holy Blade
Full disclosure, this is the last Bloodborne weapon on the list. As much as there are other, cooler weapons in the roster, Ludwig’s Holy Blade really sealed the deal for me. After grasping the high-speed, aggressive combat, I couldn’t believe those little merchants in the fountain sold me a greatsword. But they did, and it felt incredibly satisfying to kill monsters with it. Beyond that, it was a greatsword-longsword hybrid. It was the perfect melding of speed and power that represents Dark Souls’s roots in Bloodborne’s new-age combat.
No. 4: Onikiri and Ubadachi
I’ve said before that I rarely use a shield in Dark Souls, and I’d almost always opt for two-handing a single weapon or dual wielding. The Onikiri and Ubadachi (more like Ubad-ass-i) fit into the latter. If I weren’t already a fan of the games when the third one dropped, knowing about this weapon would’ve instantly sold me on it. Now when it comes down to it, it’s not the best of weapons, and you get it fairly late into the adventure. But when I made my character leap forward, arms and swords crossed like an anime ninja, I just had to play around with it. I don’t remember using it much, but I absolutely remember the animations it had because of how different it was from the rest of Dark Souls.
No. 3: Farron Greatsword
So let’s talk more about weapons that stand out from the crowd. The Farron Greatsword stuck out to me more than any other greatsword in Dark Souls III. While there were other huge blades that let you flip around the battlefield like a madman, the contrasting dual-wield design hooked me. Holding the greatsword in one hand and a small hooked dagger in the other felt super cool, especially using the dagger as an anchor as you spin the big sword around.
No. 2: Caestus
Probably no one in their right mind other than me would put this weapon on any list of good Soulsborne weapons. They’re not the best when it comes to damage, and their range leaves a lot to be desired. If anything, the upgraded Dragon Bone Fist gives you a pretty cool shoryuken attack, making it a better choice. Even in Dark Souls III, you could get the Demon’s First, which has a fiery whirlwind attack.
But the simplicity of the Caestus makes playing through Dark Souls more hilarious than anything else. Locking enemies into a stunned animation with a barrage of one-two punches feels just as good as landing a devastating swing of a blade, and it’s funnier. I don’t play Dark Souls to up my gamer street cred. I play it to have fun. And I had fun with the Caestus, so leave me alone.
No. 1: Uchigatana
If the Drake Sword facilitated my “clicking” with Dark Souls, then the Uchigatana maintained my interest in the long run. As satisfying as the game’s combat is, I doubt I would’ve stuck with it for long if I was stuck with the medieval-fantasy knight aesthetic. I’m not a big fan of knights as a concept, but I’ll take a samurai any day of the week. The Uchigatana facilitated that samurai fantasy, albeit in a non-fuedal-Japan atmosphere. I didn’t find out until after beating Dark Souls that the weapon is a bit stigmatized in the community, but frankly, I could care less. PvP isn’t a major concern to me.
All I ever wanted for the past few years now is a FromSoftware game set in Japan. And this Friday, my prayers will finally be answered with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
GameLuster’s Tuesday 10 is a weekly column that highlights memorable, light-hearted facets of video games or the industry at large. The No. 1 is a hill no one should die on, but it’s a hill that should be admired from afar.