The Masamune is designed as a Japanese odachi blade. The design and color of the tsuba (guard) and tsuka (hilt) have varied from appearance to appearance, alternating between blue and gold and entirely black. The blade's exact length varies; usually measuring at least as long as Sephiroth is tall or slightly longer, which would make it approximately six-to-eight feet long. The angle of the curve of the blade also varies, but it is never entirely straight.
Said to be the only one capable of effectively using it, Sephiroth wields the Masamune as his personal weapon but its origins are never stated. During the Nibelheim Incident Tifa Lockhart momentarily, and unsuccessfully, wields Sephiroth's Masamune against him.
While initially a physical blade, after his transference into the Lifestream Sephiroth can manifest multiple copies of the blade at will, as he leaves the sword impaled in several victims throughout the game and still has it whenever he is encountered.
During the brief time Sephiroth is in the player's party, the Masamune is shown to possess six Materia slots in three linked pairs, zero Materia growth, a 255 Hit rate and 99 Attack power. It has a 100% critical hit rate.
A replica of the Masamune can be acquired as an item in the Speed Square of the Gold Saucer, but it is a bonus item and cannot be equipped by any member in the party.
In the PC version, using a save editor, it is possible to equip the Masamune to Vincent, since he shares his stats and weapon data with Sephiroth. Even if it is possible to use the Masamune with Vincent it is not as a katana, but as a gun; it is silver, and if struck on an enemy it uses the slash animation used by Sephiroth when he strikes and is more powerful than the Death Penalty, Vincent's ultimate weapon.
Sephiroth manifests the Masamune into his hand upon his transformation from Kadaj. Wielding the blade against Cloud Strife and his new Fusion Swords, Sephiroth demonstrates the blade's power by slicing through several metal structures, pillars and concrete wreckage. Sephiroth is beaten by the new Omnislash Version 5 Limit Break, which utilizes the multiple Fusion Swords in one successive attack.
The movie's revised version, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete, adds an auditory characteristic to the blade; which now hums in a similar manner to crystal when struck by wind.
In addition, a key scene where Sephiroth stabs Cloud in the shoulder during Cloud and Sephiroth's fight is reedited to mimic Cloud's original impalement during the Nibelheim Incident.
Sephiroth, with the Masamune, has brief cameo appearances through Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- where he supports the forces of the Shinra Electric Power Company in their battle against the terrorist group AVALANCHE. The game also features the first revision of the Nibelheim Incident, with the Player Turk witnessing and participating in the events surrounding and during the incident.
Appearing in Sephiroth's hands in all battle encounters, the Masamune is not seen on Sephiroth's person during instances where he is not battling.
Sephiroth matches the speed and deftness of fellow 1st Class SOLDIERs Angeal and Genesis with the Masamune, in spite of the pair wielding shorter weapons and attacking him at the same time. He demonstrates the blade's power by cleaving the Sister Ray's barrel into various segments as he assails Genesis in the Virtual Reality System.
A Sephiroth clone is available to combat in Hojo's Laboratory, Experiment No. 124, which wields a copy of the Masamune.
In the anime OVA covering the Nibelheim Incident, Zack's Final Stand and the events in-between, Sephiroth, with the Masamune, massacre slaughters townspeople during the Nibelheim Incident before making his way to the Mako Reactor. Tifa's brief wielding of the blade after having watched her father die is also shown.
Since the Masamune is Sephiroth's icon weapon, the non-specific appearances of the blade are directly related with Sephiroth's appearances in other games, like Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Special and Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring.
Non-Final Fantasy AppearancesEdit
Kingdom Hearts SeriesEdit
Sephiroth summons the Masamune to battle as he acts as Cloud Strife's personified darkness. While frequently engaging Cloud in battle, Sephiroth also battles Sora first as a trial in the Colosseum and then on his own interest. In both encounters Sephiroth wields the Masamune in his off hand, following the trend of the principle Final Fantasy cast seeming to give Sora various alleviances in their battles.
In Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and its remake, Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, the One-Winged Angel Keyblade is modeled after Sephiroth's Masamune.
Creation and DevelopmentEdit
The Masamune is named after the legendary Japanese blacksmith, Masamune Okazaki. According to legend, Masamune's weapons possess marks of an internally peaceful and calm warrior, while those of his rival, Muramasa, possess the traits of a restless and destructive warrior. Although they were close, Masamune's weapons were always superior to Muramasa's. In reality, they lived in different historical periods, and never met.
The Japanese (odachi, 野太刀:のだち?), on which the appearance of the Masamune is based, is a large two-handed Japanese long-sword which was carried by foot soldiers as a weapon against cavalry soldiers. They were generally used on open battlefields as the weapon's length made their use indoors or close quarters difficult. During times of peace the sword was worn slung across the back as a symbol of status as it required considerably more strength and skill to wield properly than a conventional katana.
- Sephiroth's Play Arts Action Figures each come with a Masamune.
- Man at Arms have created a real life version of the Masamune. Compared to the Buster Sword, the Masamune is supposedly easier to handle if these weapons were to appear in real life.