- “This sword is a symbol of my dreams... and my honor. No... it's more than that...”
- —Zack Fair
The Buster Sword (バスターソード, Basutāsōdo?) is a weapon that first appeared in Final Fantasy VII and has since appeared in several other games in the series. It is Cloud Strife's trademark weapon, and was wielded before him by Zack Fair and Angeal Hewley. The Buster Sword serves as an iconic image for Cloud and Final Fantasy VII due to its massive size and is wielded by Cloud in most of his appearances.
The Buster Sword is classified as an enormous broadsword. From tip to handle, it is approximately five to six feet long, with a single-edged large blade approximately one foot wide. In Cloud's Final Fantasy VII artwork, the blade is a lighter color on the bladed edge while the rest of the blade is dark grey, and the handguard appears to be bolted or riveted into place. There are two holes near the handguard, variably said to be Materia slots or to be where Cloud clips the sword onto his back. This design of the Buster Sword is used in most spin-off appearances. In the Kingdom Hearts series, Cloud wields a Buster Sword of this design wrapped in bandages.
In Compilation of Final Fantasy VII releases, namely Advent Children and Crisis Core, the Buster Sword is given a more detailed design. The handguard is colored gold and has swirl designs on it, the part of the blade bearing the two holes is raised slightly and sectioned off from the rest of the blade, and there are etchings engraved on the blade near the handguard. In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, this design is used with additional gold colorings along the raised section around the slots.
The Buster Sword is Cloud's default weapon. The weapon is unique in that it cannot be sold or thrown, due to Cloud using it in cutscenes and minigames. The Buster Sword has a base power of 18 and a base accuracy of 96%. It has two Materia slots linked together.
In the title screen for Final Fantasy VII, the Buster Sword appears suspended over the ground surrounded by a black background. Buster Sword also represents the Weapon is Broken handicap on the Battle Square handicap reels.
Sometime after Final Fantasy VII, Cloud places the Buster Sword on the cliff where Zack died as a memorial to him. In the two years between the game and film, the sword has rusted and is covered in dust. In place of the Buster Sword Cloud wields the Fusion Swords, which take on the silhouette of the Buster Sword when connected.
When the Player Turk is infiltrating Icicle base with Zack Fair, he wields the Buster Sword.
- “Use brings about wear, tear, and rust--and that's a real waste.”
- —Angeal Hewley
The Buster Sword's origins are revealed for the first time in this game. Angeal Hewley is the sword's original owner, whose father had the blade forged for Angeal when he joined SOLDIER. His parents borrowed a large amount of money for the sword and Angeal's father worked as much as he could to pay back the debt, eventually falling ill and passing away. Angeal decided to take care of the sword in his father's memory, and uses it as little as possible to avoid it being damaged, instead fighting with a standard SOLDIER sword.
When Zack is forced to destroy Angeal when he transforms into Angeal Penance, Angeal entrusts the Buster Sword to him as a symbol of his honor and dreams. Zack uses the blade more frequently than Angeal, but swings to hit it with the blunt edge to avoid damage to the edge. When Zack is gunned down outside Midgar, he passes on the Buster Sword to Cloud, telling Cloud he is his living legacy, proof of his life.
The Buster Sword is a dummied out weapon for Tidus. It exists in the game's internal data, but can only be obtained by hacking. Behaving in a similar manner to Angeal and Zack, Tidus attacks with the sword's blunt edge.
Gilgamesh uses a fake Buster Sword, along with many other iconic swords from other Final Fantasy games. The kanji character on the sword means "replica", or "fake", and has four slots instead of two.
The fake Buster Sword can be used by player characters via hacking methods.
- “A sword far heavier than any sword has rights to be, yet a true 1st Class will wield it with ease.”
- “Sword made for felling monsters.”
- —In-game description
The Buster Sword is a sword-class weapon wielded by the Soldier, Warrior, and Dragoon classes. It has 35 power, 5 defense, and teaches the ability Mindbreak to Soldiers and Warriors, and Wyrmtamer to Dragoons.
- “If you're in the business of monster slaying, you need look no further than this sword.”
The Buster Sword re-appears as a weapon for the Soldier, Warrior, and Dragoon jobs, as well as the new Spellblade job. It no longer teaches Wyrmtamer to Dragoons, but teaches Blood Price to the Spellblade.
The Buster Sword is also an equippable weapon usable by Cloud obtained in Destiny Odyssey VII-1. It is a Level 1 Greatsword that gives +4 ATK.
The Buster Sword is once again used by Cloud in both his default and "Steady Light" outfits. It also appears in Cloud's downloadable costume, his Kingdom Hearts look, where it takes on the loosely wrapped appearance it has in Kingdom Hearts. Bartz still wields the blade again in his mimicked moveset, but due to changes in his moveset he only uses it in one move as opposed to the original two. As in Dissidia, it is also an exclusive weapon for Cloud, and can found in his chapter of the 013 story. However, its stats have been increased to Attack +22 and Defense -2.
Buster Sword appears in Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as a Weapon, requiring three Thunder CP to use, and one Thunder and one Shine CP to remove it from the equipped character and return it to the hand. When a Forward equipped with the Buster Sword is moved to the Break Zone from the field, Buster Sword allows the player to select a Forward on the field with a lower cost than the original Forward equipped with the Buster Sword, and equip the Buster Sword to the new Forward.
Since the Buster Sword is Cloud's default sword, Cloud uses it as his weapon in almost all of his spin-off appearances, including Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring, the Itadaki Street series, and Chocobo Racing. In Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call, Cloud and Zack both wield the Buster Sword, Cloud's based on its Final Fantasy VII design and Zack's on its Compilation design.
Non-Final Fantasy AppearancesEdit
Kingdom Hearts seriesEdit
When donned in his traditional Kingdom Hearts gear in the series, Cloud wields a Buster Sword wrapped in bandages. The only game he does not wield it in is Kingdom Hearts II, where he is based on his Advent Children appearance and so wields the Fusion Swords.
The Keyblade Metal Chocobo vaguely resembles the Buster Sword, as it is a long, heavy, metal weapon based upon long reach and powerful attacks with two holes in the blade near the hilt. It is won by defeating Cloud in the Olympus Coliseum, and appears in Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories, and Kingdom Hearts Re:coded.
In the Epilogue, when Fighter and Black Mage realize they are lost, the Buster Sword is seen along with the Revolver in "Akbar's Not Useless Tools" shop.
A weapon called the Buster Sword appears in the "Monster Hunter" game series. While it more greatly resembles a cleaver, it bears the same overall design.
The Buster Sword appears in the online game called Fallen Sword.
Both Cloud and Zack can wield the Buster Sword during Arcade Mode, and it is obtainable as equipment for the character Koji Masuda during Quest Mode, appearing as a monster drop from Floors 10-12 of the Forsaken Dungeon.
There is a sword that appears in the sandbox game "Terraria" called the Breaker Blade that resembles the Buster Sword and its name serves as wordplay of that of the Buster Sword.
The Buster Sword can be unlocked and subsequently eaten in the mobile game Hungry Oni. The item description "A spiky haired guy carried something similar", reflects the reference in Final Fantasy IX.
In the earliest concept sketches (see gallery) Cloud's sword was smaller and thinner and had only one slot used to attach the weapon to a stud on Cloud's back. The handle also had a chain hanging from it, similar to Squall's Revolver in Final Fantasy VIII. A magnet on the suspender on Cloud's back was used to hold the sword in place. In The Reunion Files for Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Tetsuya Nomura stated his original vision of the Buster Sword was unrefined steel, and he referred to it as "the Giant Kitchen Knife".
In an early version of Cloud's official poster (the finalized version of this image was used as the cover art for Final Fantasy VII in North America) that was used in Square's (now deleted) original Final Fantasy VII website, and also used as a promo shot for early magazine articles on Final Fantasy VII, a "beta" version of the Buster Sword can be seen. Here the Buster Sword has only one slot instead of two, the proportions are different and the slot takes up a larger percentage of the sword's width, the sword's sharp edge is held to the opposite side and in proportion to Cloud the early Buster Sword looks longer.
In early footage of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, before the Fusion Swords were designed, Cloud fights Kadaj wielding the Buster Sword, shown with the swirl design on the handguard but not the blade etchings. The fight is identical to a portion of their battle in the completed film, albeit slowed down considerably.
The Buster Sword has appeared as Cloud's weapon in numerous merchandise of him. In 1997 the first Final Fantasy VII action figures manufactured by Bandai were released, and Cloud's figure comes with two weapons, Buster Sword and Hardedge. The Buster Sword in this set is uniformly grey, without the lighter colored edge as seen in the game. Cloud also wields the Buster Sword in all cold cast resin statues crafted by Kotobukiya.
Buster Sword has also appeared in Final Fantasy Trading Arts figures with both Cloud and Zack. Cloud has the plain version of the sword, while Zack's Buster Sword has cracks on the surface. Zack figurine was released before Advent Children: Final Fantasy VII and Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- were released, so the Buster Sword is still the original version without the more ornamental base. Cloud's Dissidia Final Fantasy Trading Arts figure also has the original Buster Sword, because that's the one he wields in the game.
Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- Limited Edition PSPEdit
A limited edition PSP Slim was released along with Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- in Japan; The console bundled with the game, as well as a Buster Sword wrist strap. Only 77,777 units were available and all of them sold in one day. A similar bundle was also released in Europe, but lacked the Buster Sword wrist strap.
In 2007 Square Enix released Final Fantasy VII Play Arts figures. Cloud's figure comes with the Buster Sword; its design is that from the original artwork, rather than the updated design from the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. The deluxe set that comes with Cloud and the Hardy-Daytona also includes the Buster Sword.
In 2009 Square Enix released Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- Play Arts figures, Zack's figure including the Buster Sword. Unlike the Buster Sword in the Final Fantasy VII Play Arts figures released two years earlier, the Buster Sword Zack carries is the updated design from the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.
Also in 2009 Square Enix released Cloud and Sephiroth as Kingdom Hearts Play Arts figures, Cloud's including a bandaged version of the Buster Sword.
The word "buster" means a person who breaks up something, e.g. crime busters, or something big or unusual for its kind. It derives from the verb "bust".
- A full-scale model of the Buster Sword was built to celebrate at the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete press screening party in the Sony Building in Tokyo.
- When Zack has the Buster Sword on his back the blade's edge is facing down, while Cloud has the sword's blade facing out possibly for quicker use of the blade itself.
- The chocolate parfait sold in Square Enix's Artnia cafe comes with a miniature replica of the Buster Sword.
- In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, it is possible to battle Minerva before having obtained the Buster Sword in the story, especially in New Game+. The Minerva battle starts off with a cutscene showing Zack with the Buster Sword even though it hasn't been obtained yet, and because the cutscene transfers directly into the battle, the Buster Sword remains on Zack for the battle.