A common trope to both video games and anime, a BFS is an unrealistically large sword most often owned by The Hero, The Chosen One, or whatever type the lead happens to be. The BFS is often nearly as long as its owner is tall, and may or may not have other special abilities besides being humongous. If a BFS does possess other strange qualities, one of them almost assuredly prevents it from being used by other people, whether that be weight, a magical barrier, a direct link to its owner, or other means.
Usually, no other character in a game or series is the possessor of a sword that is anywhere close to as huge as the BFS. Sometimes, even when unusual swords and weapons are an everyday occurrence, characters are still surprised by the size of the lead's BFS, as it is a physical manifestation of its owner's potential power.
The Rival or a villain will sometimes own a BFS, representing a significant hurdle and challenge for the protagonist to overcome. It is rarer for a secondary character, such as The Lancer or The Big Guy, to own a BFS, but if the lead character does not possess one, one of the others in their party likely will.
One dubiously historical example of a BFS is the zanbato, an Anti-Cavalry sword big enough to kill a rider and his horse in one shot (bringing new meaning to a certain phrase that ends, "... and the horse you rode in on!"). Such may have been made more as a test of swordsmithing than for actual combat. The zanbato itself is based on a shorter Chinese sword, the zhanmadao, roughly the length of a Scottish claymore, also designed to cut through rider and horse at the same time. Likewise, the Germans employed a type of sword called the Zweihänder (literally, "two-hander"), which could be up to six feet in length, and were said to allow the wielder to decapitate multiple foes with a single blow, though this only become possible once steel was available to make large but light weapons, and even then, might have been an exaggeration on the part of boastful warriors. The documented rationale for the unusual length of the zweihänder was to cut off speartips from a safe distance.
This trope includes any type of improbably large ("anime-sized") melee weapon. After the aforementioned big-ass sword, gigantic lances tend to be the most common. However, humongous hammers and titanic axes also appear from time to time, most commonly in the hands of The Big Guy (or, just for the absurdity of it all, a little girl).
An ancient trope. Oversized, unrealistic swords aren't unheard of in medieval or earlier fiction, poetry, and artwork. To make matters more confusing, most societies employing swords also made huge ceremonial swords for display, which laymen of later periods may mistake for actual war tools. Swords employed in combat or dueling were lighter than even the typical, non-BFS fantasy sword — which makes a lot of sense, if you remember it's about swinging one hundreds of times and quick enough — while the only purpose of a ceremonial or executioner's sword is to be carried along or make one strong cut respectively, there's not a lot of swinging around. Even the really big swords that were used for "fencing" with (batting aside or cutting) polearms or punching through thick armor were far lighter than we are led to believe by various sources.
Compare Big Bulky Bomb and BFG. May well be a Bigger Stick. May involve Hammerspace physics for storage, or some sort of strange magnetism. Almost always held casually resting on the hero's shoulder.
If it's being wielded with just one hand, it's a One-Handed Zweihänder. Compare Dual Wielding, Heroes Prefer Swords, and Infinity+1 Sword. May be used to create a Sinister Scraping Sound. Obligatory links to Freud Was Right and Compensating for Something are here for your convenience.
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From Kill la Kill, Ryuko Matoi has half a scissor. That can transform to the size of a sword. Which can triple in length.
Being that Ranma ½ is more a comedy than anything, it doesn't allow many blades of any size to get in. Shampoo still manages to get away with swinging around a massive sabre in her first appearance, even if she does trade it for Carry a Big Stick afterwards. How big is it? The blade alone is roughly the same length as the distance between the bottom of Shampoo's pelvis and the top of her head. And she swings it around in one hand. While carrying a chui (a long-handled mace with a basketball sized solid steel head) in the other.
When Fuu's Escudo sword evolves, it just gets bigger, to the point where it becomes longer than she is tall. It also weighs a ton if anyone other than her tries to use it, although that has more to do with its made-just-for-her nature than its mass. (In contrast, the other girls' swords gain more elaborate designs on the hilt.)
Susanoomon from Digimon Frontier has what is, proportionally, the biggest effing blade ever with his "Zero ARMS: Orochi" weapon. He creates what looks like a BFG that's bigger than he is (which is made even bigger by the fact that he's probably more than 20 feet tall; there may be no "proportionally" about it) that creates a Laser Bladebig enough to bisect the entireDigital World whenever it is swung.
All Soul Reapers would possess swords the size of skyscrapers if they didn't seal their power when not using it. When transformed, some Soul Reapers gain tremendously huge weapons as a result, especially in Bankai. Tite Kubo has stated that Soul Reapers don't feel the weight of their zanpakutō because it is part of their soul.
Ichigo's sword is huge even in its most basic form because he cannot properly seal his power. As a result, the sword's baseline size generates surprise among Soul Reapers who first see it. When he releases his power, his Zanpakutou unusually shrinks in size as he gains greater control. As his power develops, his base sword shrinks in size, but still remains unusually large.
Renji's Zanpakutou can transform into a large extendable serrated whip-blade. In Bankai it becomes an incredibly large version that can demolish entire sections of Seireitei with a single swing.
Komamura's Bankai transforms into a giant samurai wielding an equally giant sword.
Ikkaku's Bankai transforms into a giant weapon with three chain-linked blades that seem like huge, modified monk's spades and guandaos.
Several Vizards have oversized weapons in the form of an unnaturally large spear for Lisa, a giant club for Love and a giant serrated saw blade for Hiyori.
Gin's Zanpakutou looks like a short knife in it's sealed form, extends to the length "of a hundred swords" in the first release and grows to a whooping thirteen kilometers in Bankai. However, it remains slim thorough all the extensions.
Zaraki's sword is almost as long as a tall man in base form because he's the only Soul Reaper apart from Ichigo who cannot properly seal his sword. When the sword does transform, it becomes a giant backwards-facing blade.
Arrancar, being hollows that also possess Zanpakutou, can also end up with huge weapons when they transform into their true forms.
Baraggan Louisenbairrn has a Big Effing Axe. When he releases his power, the axe grows even larger.
Harribel's sword is a giant blade in the shape of a shark's tooth.
Nnoitra wields a giant half-moon axe-scythe hybrid. When his power releases, his weapon transforms into six large scythes that he wields one-handed (one in each of his six hands).
Ginjou's cross pendant transforms into a giant long sword that's almost as tall as he is. He's very tall himself.
Kazuki from Busou Renkin has an alternate weapon type — a BFL (Big Fraggin' Lance).
Guts and his Dragon Slayer from Berserk are a classic example. Though the giant swords he wields are relatively realistic in terms of being metallurgically problematic, with the Dragon Slayer stated to be forged from solid iron rather than carbon steel, and the art goes to great lengths to portray the weapon realistically with a lot of momentum and almost no real cutting edge. Many other characters have large versions of non-sword weapons as well, such as an atlatl-style spear thrower that generates cannon-like force or, in a Downplaying an Indian-style flexible sword that is of normal length but far more blades than normal (based on a real Indian weapon known as an urumi). Ironically, despite a painstaking attempt at verisimilitude for the weapon's effects, Berserk's creator, Kentaro Miura, has admitted in interviews that he only hit upon the idea of the huge sword as a gimmick to attract readers.
Many of the Apostles wield massive weapons, though this is becuase they are demons that just look human most of the time.
This extends to the Dreamcast video game based on the series, as it's nigh-impossible to swing the Dragon Slayer in tight corridors without it bouncing off the wall to little effect. In the PS2 version, set in the Millennium Falcon arc, this simply isn't an issue — most of the action takes place outdoors, while the few indoor or underground areas that Guts goes into are spacious enough to allow him to use the Dragon Slayer to full asskicking effect.
Earth from Zatch Bell! is the king of this trope. All of his spells revolve around his sword, which isn't too big for demon standards. However, some of his spells increase the size of it. Jian Ji Sorudo causes a huge sword to form at the tip of his, which he can use accordingly. Varusere Ozu Maru Sorudon is one of his last resorts, in which he just makes it rainBFSs. It is shown that if he had stayed in the fight longer, he would've awoken Shin Varusere Ozu Maaru Sorudon that just causes him to summon more, larger, stronger raining BFS's.
InuYasha's sword Tessaiga is a normal-sized and rather dull-bladed katana in its unempowered state, but transforms into a BFS for use in battle whenever he has the desire/resolve to protect a human. Bankotsu's Banryuu, though technically a halberd, makes an even bigger BFS than Tessaiga.
On the other hand, the three swords wielded by Master Swordsman Sesshoumaru are all of normal size.
Zabuza, an ex-Seven Swordsman of the Mist and the first major villain that Team 7 faces in Naruto, has a rather nasty BFS named Kubikiribouchou ("Decapitating Carving Knife") that can repair itself with the iron from the blood of its victims. Kisame (also a former member of the Seven) has another BFS named Samehada ("sharkskin") that only he can use, and which is more or less a sword-shaped bundle of hooks as opposed to an actual blade. Its main strength is its ability to absorb the chakra of others in order to aid its master, and Kisame can also fuse with it if need be. It also happens to be alive, to the point where it's capable of abandoning its master if it finds someone else it likes better.
Expanding on Zabuza, Kishimoto said Zabuza's early character designs had his sword about the size of a skycraper, or at least a small building.
Outside of that group, the Raikage's bodyguard Darui has a sword that is a giant cleaver/ax with no point. It seems to be able to fold along a pivot sideways to be stored easier.
Gamabunta's tanto (which for him is regular-sized) was temporarily used by Tsunade as an insanely giant sword.
Yet another one of the Seven Swordsmen, Chojuro also has a pretty big sword, but when he really lets loose his "Hiramekarei" will reach BFS status due to the powered up chakra.
Sagara Sanosuke starts out with a BFS (a zanbatō, in fact) and a rotten attitude. It was his weapon of choice, hence his nickname (Zanza). Kenshin destorys it during their last fight. He says it is impractical and proceeds to easily outmaneuver the sword, which is bound by the laws of physics (especially momentum) to be a clumsy weapon. None of this stops Sano from breaking it out one more time in the Jinchuu arc and showing it can be used for other things like playing baseball with cannon shells.
Fuji of the Juppongatana also wields a tremendously gigantic sword. Fuji is gigantic in his own right, but the sword is big even relative to his size.
Explored in CLAMP's debut manga, RG Veda, in which a major character carries one, and remarks that it wouldn't ever be able to cut anything, had the sword not been magical.
Asuna's Paper Fan of Doom can upgrade into a BFS. How this works depends on whether it's in the manga or the Alternate Continuity anime series Negima?! In any case, the fan is mainly for comedy (or sparring), while the sword is the business version.
Meanwhile, Jack Rakan, a comrade of Negi's father, is known as "Rakan of the Thousand Swords". Apparently, it seems, including one the size of a skyscraper.
Asuna's classmate Kaede is a semi-closeted Ninja whose signature weapon is a four-pointed Big Fuuma Shurikennote lit. Wind Demon Shuriken which is considerably wider from tip to tip than she is tallnote And she's almost six feet tall. Also, she sometimes seems to pull it out of nowherenote Word of God is that it splits into four sections, which she stacks and carries on her back.
Setsuna. That nodachi of hers is taller than she is (necessary for the demon-slaying work of her sword school).
In weapon-to-wielder ratio, the sword that Evangeline's puppet Chachazero uses, mostly in Negima?!, also counts. It's not an unrealistically large sword, but not one that would be easy to wield one-handed. Chachazero does it just fine, though. She's less than a foot tall, making the sword seem absolutely gigantic.
Yue has started wielding a sword that's longer than she is tall. She even manages to kill a powerful demon with it.
Quartum can summon a pillar-sized sword with a spell. And it's on fire.
After breaking four ordinary swords in a fight, KaruraKarula from Utawarerumono upgrades to a BFS that only she is able to lift; however, because she demanded it be unbendable, unbreakable, and never need sharpening, the edge is not as sharp as a regular sword, so people she hits with it tend to splatter. She tests it out by splitting a giant boulder. Several strong men had difficulty even carrying it.
And then she breaks that one too, which is never mentioned again because it's back for her next fight.
The Ten Commandments sword, used by Haru Glory in Rave Master, is nearly as large as its wielder. Luckily, this only applies to its base form, Eisonmeteor; its other 9 forms are much more reasonably sized, with the exception of Gravity Core, which is even larger.
All BFS wielders in the series (and probably all BFS wielders in history) bow before the might of Uta the Eternal, who wields a sword 100 feet long and over 10 feet wide, even though he's only human sized (at least initially). It's seriously insane.
Aya and Maya from Tenjou Tenge share a long, long katana that could not be wielded by either of them, y'know, in the real world.
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has Fate Testarossa and her intelligent device, Bardiche. Not only does its Zanber Form start out larger than she is, but it can grow to such immense length that Fate could cleave through Humongous Mechaat a distance. Slightly justified in that Bardiche only transforms into its hilt; its blade is made of magical energy, which means that Fate can extend the blade further so long as she has the mana to spare.
While not quite as oversized as Fate's, Signum's Levantine/Laevatein/Laevateinn is still (depending on artist and camera angle) longer than she is. Her recently revealed new sword in the FORCE manga is even bigger.
Cypha has two. Vita's Graf Eisen can upsize to the point that she's invisible when showing its full size. And Deville's axe. Goodness.
D's Masamune from the two Vampire Hunter D movies definitely fits this trope — if it wasn't for the curve of the blade, it would drag the ground whenever he wields it. As it is, it's a miracle he can unsheath it, let alone wield it with the superhuman speed he does. Well, he is a dhampir after all.
Kamina from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has one of these. The series even subtly lampshades it when he first fights Viral: by the time you think he's finished drawing the sword from its scabbard, he still has that much further to go.
It took him exactly 8,47 seconds to draw that sword.
In the final fight with the Anti-Spiral, the TTGL uses giant versions of Enki's swords. Oh, and did I mention the TTGL is 13 billion lightyears tall? That's a BFS! Actually, two BFS!
Also, in the second TTGL movie Viral pilots a galaxy sized mech with 14 arms. Guess what 11 of those arms are wielding? Granted, they're not as big as the TTGL's BFS, IMO quantity over quality in this case.
Also, in some official art of the Tengen Toppa Gurren, King Kittan, and Agodega, (which never appeared in the manga/anime/movies, you clearly see that the TTG is wielding a katana, like Kamina. The TTG is, you guessed it, galaxy sized. Considering Kamina's normal katana is already a BFS, the TTG's katana is a BFS of a BFS.
After using the Goldion Hammer (not a BFS, so much as a Big Friggen Hammer) during the original series run, GaoGaiGar gets to use the Goldion Crusher — a hammer of light made out of battleships — during the OVA.
And yet, when the main villain of the OVA Pulls out a regal-looking mech-sized blade, GaoGaiGar counters with a green crystal version of Gai's "Will Knife", just scaled up to GaoGaiGar size.
Mihawk's sword in One Piece. Can be mistaken, however, for a grave cross. The first time you see Mihawk's sword, you can easily mistake it for a giant marble cross that he's resting against. Then he draws it. The sword is bigger than he is. It gets progressively more badass afterwards, to the point where he can use it to slice a (frozen) tsunami wave bigger than a fortress in half with it. Horizontally in half.
Smoker's jitte isn't nearly up to Mihawk's standards, but it is still pretty huge.
Whitebeard's halberd is in proportion to his body size, and the guy's 20 feet tall.
Arlong's secret weapon is a huge, saw-shaped sword called Kiribachi (Cutting Plectrum, called the Saw Blade in the anime dub).
Points for originality go to Funkfreed, Spandam's sword. It's a relatively average-sized sword that can transform into an elephant.
In Shakugan no Shana, Sorath has one he calls Blutsauger. Both Tanaka and Satou later make several attempts to lift it, but neither of them succeeds to get it off of the ground completely. In Season 2, Yuji takes a level in badass and wields it with ease, at one point throwing it one-handed as a finishing move.
Silent Möbius features the magical shape-shifting sword Grospoliner, a sentient weapon of ridiculous size in its sword form. However, Katsumi rarely (or never) uses the blade of the sword to cut enemies, instead mainly using the weapon as a magic-focusing tool.
The Galahad Knightmare Frame from Code Geass, personal ride of Knight of One Bismarck Waldstein, possesses a sword so huge that the sheath needs its own propulsion system. Bismarck himself also wields a human-scaled replica, which is still pretty over-sized. But then again, so is Bismarck.
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED introduced anti-ship swords, which are sword-shaped cheese slicers with energy blades, using the extra weight for impact (although non-beam edge variants exist such as the Grand Slam sword and the anti-ship swords carried on the IWSP pack. Both are able to be used by the Strike and its variants, although they were never featured in the anime). Beyond this, the spinoff manga Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray has two more examples: Blue Frame's Tactical Arms, and Red Frame's Gerbera Straight II, a hundred-and-fifty-meter katana that requires special equipment just to use it.
For those who aren't familiar with the franchise: that katana is more than eight times as long as the Red Frame's height (and similar to the length of mothership), and unlike many of the examples on this page, it's not a beam weapon but an actual metal sword. At one point, Lowe impales a battleship with the Gerbera Straight II. The battleship is only 130 meters long.
If you have to ask why Lowe Gear decided to forge a 150-meter katana, you don't know Lowe very well. He just thought it would be awesome to have a katana that large and really, can you disagree?
Also from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED are the METEOR units, which feature a pair of huge beam sabers on each arm. During the final battle, Athrun uses one to cleave an Agamemnon-class carrier in half lengthwise with a single blow. To put this in perspective, an Agamemnon-class carrier is 300-meters long, twice the length of the Gerbera Straight II.
Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory has a more literal example, as the giant mobile armor Orchis wields a gigantic beam saber whose handle is about as big as the (normal-sized) Gundam that controls the Orchis, and produces a blade as long as the Orchis itself.
To a lesser extent, the Gundam Physalis has a larger-than-normal beam saber, which Gato overcharges to be even larger during a duel with Kou.
The title mecha of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 normally wields a pair of average-sized swords, but can get into BFS range when the built-in beam sabers are activated. And then when combined with the 0 Raiser support fighter to form the 00 Raiser, in Trans-Am mode it can form two gaint beam swords that rival even the Shining Finger Sword in size.
The spinoff Gundam 00V supplemental material includes the 00 Gundam Seven Sword variant, with one of the seven swords being a physical blade (the GN Buster Sword II) that's taller than the mecha itself and weighs about 10 tons.
Episode 17 of the second season contained one of the largest examples of this trope in Fiction: the Raiser Sword. 00 Raiser in Trans-Am mode was able to create a truly MASSIVE Beam Sabre capable of reaching up to orbit to slice in half the Memento Mori while the 00 Raiser is at the edge of the Atmosphere. According to the background material the Memento Mori is on an orbital ring 10,000 kilometers above the Earth's surface. The crew of Memento Mori is initially relieved when the "beam cannon" fired at them missed...until they realize it's a sword, which gets lowered down to slice through them.
Note that the sword itself is stated by Word of God to be about 10,000 kilometers long. The Mecha that wields it is 20 meters tall. That means it wields a sword that's 500,000 times longer than the Mecha is tall!
There's also the Double Zeta's Hyper Beam Saber, which is one of Double Zeta's beam cannons that can be converted into a beam saber. The more recent appearances in Super Robot Wars really ramp up how big the sword gets.
The V2 Gundam pulled this as well in its final battle, though the saber didn't grow in width, just in length. It also has the "Wings of Light", a pair of beam wings whose primary role is propulsion but can also function as kilometers-long beam sabers.
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing has Epyon, the Evil Counterpart to the main character's Wing Zero. While Zero wields a BFG, Epyon has a beam sword that's powered by a direct connection to its nuclear fusion reactor, meaning it can grow to incredible lengths. This can be seen in one episode where Epyon's pilot extends the sword to incredible size and uses it to slice through the massive space fortress Barge.
Ideon from Space Runaway Ideon. One of its weapons, the Ideon Sword, a beam of pure light emitted from each of Ideon's hands. While the beam's destructive power is immense (even cleaving a planet in half at one point), its most peculiar quality is its length. While adjustable, the maximum length of the sword is depicted as being quite possibly infinite.
Balgus from Vision of Escaflowne gets one in the second episode, when facing off against the Zaibach cloaked Melefs. Considering these things managed to incapacitate with ease several other melefs (for reference, melef=15 foot tall mecha), the fact that Balgus proved harder to kill when on foot and armed only with his 8-foot long sword makes him even more awesome.
Eat-Man has a few of these, though The Boer Sword deserves a special mention. Despite the fact that it's only ever used in one hand the thing's easily twice the size of anyone who uses it, dangles a mass of apparently self-motivating cables, and commands the allegiance of an army of monsters.
At one point, couple of mooks in Hokuto No Ken team up swing a giant sword. Being Hokuto No Ken mooks, the mookiest mooks in mookdom, they die bloodily a panel later.
Allen Walker and the Earl of Millennium from D.Gray-Man have matching (yin-yang) swords that resemble giant cricket bats. Lavi's weapon is a hammer that can become huge.
Kuroki, one of the operatives in Blazer Drive wields a sword that looks suspiciously like Allan's.
Jio Freed in 666 Satan (O-Parts Hunter) eventually carries a Big Effin' Boomerang/Ninja Star whose size and amount of damage it can inflict is proportional to the fear and hate a person has. Thus to a fearful mook the thing fills the entire sky while to a pure-hearted angel it's a useless ring of metal (unfortunately the angel works for the bad guys).
The Medicine Seller from Mononoke has a weapon that is less of a sword and more of a blazing energy blade attached to a sword handle. It can be just as long as it needs to be, including building-length.
One of the combatants in the Tournament Arc of Battle Angel Alita: Last Order wields a "sword" that's big enough to need its own propulsion system and features its own energy weapon, making this a Big Fuckin' Gunsword. The combatant himself also counts — his legs have been replaced with blades and he attacks by launching himself like a shruiken. It's justified when he mentions his preferred opponents are warships.
Father Remington from Chrono Crusade carries a crucifix-laser-broadsword that is taller than him. he gets over maneuverability issues by simply letting the sword tip slice through the ground during a sword swing.
One of Tsubaki's forms in Soul Eater is a katana called the Fey Blade. For some reason, after Black* Star's last fight with Mifune in the anime, it increases in length to up to twice, if not three times, the original length.
A scythe example, Soul's Witch/Demon Hunter form is also massive. One of Ragnarok's equivalent modes makes him considerably larger than usual.
Some of the Humongous Mecha/Samurai in Samurai 7 use swords so large that they are actually independently pilotable vehicles. In the last few episodes the titular heroes use one as transportation. And Kikuchiyo (who has a cybernetic body himself, but merely the size of a large human rather than a mecha) actually wields one during his Heroic Sacrifice scene.
Shidou "Sid" Misako from Hayate X Blade has a sword that is notably bigger than most of the other girls'.
The Shining Trapezohedron of Demonbane looks unweildy but it has the ability to cut through dimensions and seal away powerful gods.
Gretel in Otogi Juushi Akazukin has the Missing Grave, a giant Sword with flowers growing on it. It can only be used because she wears a pair of Oven Mitts that give her strength like an Ogre. The sword is taller than most of the cast.
Housen in Gintama fights with an umbrella, like all Yato. Since Housen is also The Night King, it's a freakin' huge umbrella.
Tessai in Ninja Scroll has one, and it plays a big part in his own death.
Surprisingly enough, its a Super Robot known as Ganbarugar that had one of these and played it pretty realistically in its use. The sword is huge, but because of that its really hard to accurately swing it at a moving opponent, so the mecha has to paralyse the enemy first.
Mewtwo from Pokémon Special has a Big Friggin' Spoon, formed from his energy. No matter how stupid it may sound, it serves as an extremely effective close-range melee weapon, and it can stretch, curve, and turn into a fork to spear things with. And he once used it to deliever a Diagonal Cut on the Trainer Tower, slicing the building in two.
Lapis from Kaze no Stigma carries a BFS which can nullify jutsu/magic.
While it's not particularly huge, Trom Bone from The Violinist Of Hameln wields his father's sword, which is a bit large for a boy his size. Hamel, on the other hand, wields a BFV?a Big Fraggin Violin.
Alice L. Malvin from Pumpkin Scissors has Mahne, a double-bladed sword meant to be used by cavalrymen. She uses it on foot, and wears a pair of sabatons in conjunction with it for the express purpose of kicking it free when one of the blades inevitably gets lodged in the ground.
A number of monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh!, including Flame Swordsman, Swordstalker, Buster Blader, Amazoness Swordswoman, and Gilford the Lightning. A monster with a sword that is not a BFS is just out of place.
Full Metal Panic! gives us monomolecular cutters for use by 10 meter tall mechas. Swords with a chainsaw-like edge. Mao was shown to even have a holster for one. Although the first season only showed that one instance, The Second Raid had Clouseau owning Savages with a similarly sized scimitar.
Cattleya from Queen's Blade wields a gaint two-handed sword appropriately named "Giant Killer".
Kanzaki has one as well though "Shichiten Shichitou" (Seven Heavens, Seven Swords) is "only" a 2m long katana.
Acqua of the Back wields Ascalon, which is roughly 3.5 meters long and weighs roughly 441 pounds. Deconstructed when Acqua is eventually Brought Down to Normal. He's forced to abandon Ascalon because he can't pick it up without his Super Strength.
The Knight Leader wields Hrunting, the sword Beowulf used, which is roughly 3.9 meters long yet weighs as much as a regular sword. Hrunting shrinks down to 80 cm when not powered up.
A subversion from Cardcaptor Sakura: The sword wielded by Syaoran looks to be more-or-less realistically sized, but because Syaoran is just a little boy, it looks huge in his hands.
Averted in Yaiba, relatively speaking. Despite having a lot of swords and weapons, Aoyama rarely uses this trope. Yet, Kojiro's Laundry Pole has the power to grow really really long.
Also the Devil King Sword (Mao Ken) is quite large compared to Gekko. Gold in the Underworld arc wields a gargantuan scimitar, but is quite justified because it fit its size.
Hanaukyō Maid Tai La Verite episode 11. Captain Konoe Tsurugi's Onee-sama has one almost as tall as she is, which she uses against Konoe during their battle.
Pantherlily's sword, Bustermarm is four times his size (and he's a big guy most of the time).
Gajeel's Karma God: Demon Blade it's powerful enough to cause tremors.
The Musica sword found by Pantherlily can become one at will.
The warriors in Claymore wield, well, claymores, which are really just replicas of the historic Scottish swords that are longer and thicker. They aren't extravagantly large for BFS standards, but they seem to be realistically proportionate for the female warriors who wield them, who are half-demon anyway and are able to wield them single-handed, something that ordinary humans can't do. That, and the blades are indestructible.
Post-time skip Raki has also entered the ring, as he wields a humongous sword of his own.
While Mazinkaiser wields three swords named Kaiser Blade, the main one is the technical BFS. It is ejected from its chest, requires both hands to wield and is powerful enough to cleave Hell King Gorgon in quarters. It's no wonder that Super Robot Wars games that use the Mazinkaiser OVA storyline refer to this weapon as "Kaiser Blade Full Power".
In the first Tenchi Muyo! movie, Achika ends up turning Tenchi's sword, usually a lightsaber-ish weapon, into a massive energy blade, capable of cleaving Big Bad KAIN in half.
In Tenchi in Tokyo, when the seven jewels Tenchi and the girls hold are united, they form into a massive crystal sword. Which Tenchi doesn't really use because he's such a Nice Guy
In the manga Rikon Choutei, the protagonist has a really big sword, so big that he is cutting the Earth to the core with his sword. It's actually part of a divorce process. See here.
When Kirito shops for equipment in ALO, he choses one of those claiming regular sword being "too light"
Being a shonen centered on fighting, Gamaran has a modest number of BFS users, usually with a proper justification, and tend to be focused on One-Hit Kill tactics. These include:
The Ichinose clan (including Zenmaru and Kai) wields the Sadanaga blades, referred to as "Kaitou" (Beast Sword/Mystery Sword), which are large, heavy nodachi with no crossguards designed for an aggressive battle style. Both Zenmaru and Kai are shown to be rather proficient only because they both trained with it since childhood.
Shingo Mido of the Four Divine Spears wields the "Onidachi" (Demon Splitter), a 4 meters long x 48 pounds spear. He trained so much that he can be very efficient with that.
Ryuho Kibe the Silver Ogre wields a weapon which he calls "Colossal Steel Sword", but is actually a very large kanabo. Thanks to the Juugan battle drug he can wield the whole beast with one hand.
Minor character Ginji Tatehara carries around a "Mystery Sword" called Kasumi Shirosada, which is a nodachi with a thinner-than-usual blade, which makes it faster.
Inverted with Arimaru: her sword is normal sized, but her shield (which is vital to her fighting style) is enormous.
Brioche Dalkian of the Biscotti Republic Omitsu Squad is shown to have one in the second season of Dog Days. It's difficult to estimate the size of it as we never see all of it on screen at once. The best estimate of it size come from Lupine God Void Fang standing tall behind a line of hills, about a mile over said hills. Then she attacks with it.
Steve Jackson's card game Munchkin (illustrated by John Kovalic) features characters wielding weapons (including swords) of improbably immense size.
Elemental Hero Wildheart, who wields a sword that would measure from the top of his head to his shins, were it held vertically. By fusing him with Elemental Hero Bladedge, however, you get Elemental Hero Wildedge. Just the visible part of his sword looks to be almost as tall as he is, but it's cut off by the card frame. It looks to be quite a bit longer, though. The kicker? The hilt is clearly too small for him to wield it with two hands.
Seismic Crasher carries two of these, one green and one purple, representing his power to sacrifice a Spell or Trap card up to twice per turn to deal damage.
In fact, Bladedge himself IS a BFS. That, or his costume is one - depends on whether he's a guy in a costume, or a robot.
It is however inverted with Defender, the Magical Knight and his, well, it would be generous to call that thing a "knife".
The Neopets card game parodies this with the card "Big, Heavy Sword" which depicts an Usul (unsuccessfully) trying to wield it.
Zenmaru in Gamaran has a gigantic katana named "Kutaragi Sadanaga". Partially subverted, as everyone points out how such a large weapon would be slow and impractical to use, but then played straight when Zenmaru take advantage of the blade's length and speed combined with his own strength to bisects all his opponents in one swing.
In Marvel's Thor, the concept is taken to its logical extreme with the Odinsword◊, which is many times the size of anybody, human or Asgardian. Thor has successfully thrown it, but he could never wield it. Not least because drawing it from its sheath causes the end of the universe.
Unfortunately it was badly depowered in Roy Thomas' Celestial/Ring Cycle storyline, in which we learn its origin and that drawing it, rather than destroying the universe, will merely(?) bring on the day of Ragnarok. We also find out why it's that big: it's meant to be wielded by a giant-size Destroyer, powered by Odin and all the other Asgardians except Thor, when he defends Earth from the even larger Celestials.
Shinryuken in Gold Digger whose Colossal Blade, Size-mitar, is one big reference to Sanger Zonvolt, listed above.
In The Immortal Game, most unicorn blades have about nine pieces to them. Sir Unimpressive, who trained for ten years, has an impressive thirteen. Rarity and her father General Esteem (considered to be the most powerful mortal warrior on the planet) has fourteen. AstorCoruscare, the most powerful Unicorn at her time, is implied to have at least twenty pieces. Twilight Sparkle's blade Equinox? Twenty Seven.
William Wallace wields one of these in Braveheart, and does the usual things of chopping horses' legs off and then the heads of their riders with it. The William Wallace Sword, traditionally thought to belong to Wallace, is quite enormous.
The Kurgan in the original Highlander carries a large broadsword. It's large enough that the Kurgan can't get away with pulling the sword from the Hammerspace in his trenchcoat like other immortals. Instead, he assembles it from pieces stored in a briefcase, with each piece clicking into place like a Snap-Tite model.
The main character of Machete is quite fond of big frickin machetes.
The title sword in The Sword and the Sorcerer wasn't just big lengthwise, but sported three ginormous parallel blades, and these two side blades could be shot as missiles, so it was both a BFS and a BFG combined.
Optimus Prime, Megatron, and Sideswipe all have retractable wrist-blades in the live-action Transformersfilm series. Prime and Sideswipe have two on each arm. Sentinel Prime also wields a huge double sided broadsword, though his resembles a straight razor.
The killer's ridiculously oversized meat cleaver in Violent Shit.
The In Name Only version of Deadpool from X-Men Origins: Wolverine has swords that extend from each of his wrists in a slit between his knuckles like Wolverine's claws. Taking logic into account, the swords are so big that he would be unable to bend his elbows with them fully concealed.
The Silver Samurai from The Wolverine wields an enormous katana and wakizashi, both made out of pure adamantium. Holding these swords with both hands triggers the blades to become superheated and be able to cut through adamantium.
Ironclad gives us Marshall's Templar Longsword. From tip to hilt it's as tall as he is, and he uses it to vertically cleave a Danish soldier in half through the axe he used to block the strike.
Rita Vrataski uses one to great effect in Edge of Tomorrow; it appears to be a broken-off propeller blade ripped from a downed dropship. This is a change from the original light novel, All You Need Is Kill, where she uses an axe instead.
Jenny: Not nice to call someone names when they have a big fucking sword on them!
Ado Edem from Kinoko Nasu's Angel Notes wields a weapon called Slash Emperor that is essentially a "sword." By consuming portions of the planet to form itself, Slash Emperor can span incredible lengths to match the size of its opponent, as demonstrated when it destroyed the massive, hostile being called The Black Aristoteles which was several tens of kilometers in size.
In The Catastrophe of the Emerald Queen Mordalayn, the Emerald Queen's bodyguard, fights with a 3 bladed sword so large he wears it on his back. It’s also booby trapped and takes off the hand of an enemy who tries to pull it out the scabbard. It's also capable of becoming a Weapon of Mass Destruction where the two outer blades detach and form a magical force field.
In Codex Alera, Knights Terra usually carry enormous swords, mauls, or waraxes that would be nearly impossible for ordinary soldiers to use, but thatthey have no trouble wielding due to the Super Strength that comes from being an earthcrafter. They are usually organized into groups that a particular Legion uses as a battering ram or stopgap. Even Canim elites and Vord warriors have to give way under that kind of assault. And they become real terrors if they're metalcrafters to boot.
Literary example, and a western one at that: Belgarion, the main character of David Eddings' The Belgariad, inherits a BFS halfway through the story. A basic gigantic greatsword forged from meteoric iron, it's got a MacGuffin (the Orb of Aldur) attached to the hilt, effectively turning it into an Empathic Weapon that will kill (almost) anyone else that touches it (putting it into the "only he can use it" category). Among other things, the Orb reduces the weight of the sword to enable Belgarion to easily wield it; in an amusing scene early in the sequel series, The Malloreon, Belgarion removes the Orb from the hilt with the sword still strapped across his back—and promptly hits his knees under the immense weight of the weapon. He barely manages to struggle out from underneath it, and throughout the rest of the series, he takes the sword off before removing the Orb.
The sword was actually forged to be fairly normal-sized by its original wielder, Riva Iron-Grip. Only problem was he was about two or three feet taller than most people.
Even though it's normal-sized for the seven-foot-plus Riva Iron-Grip, it's still much, much more heavy than steel would be. When it was newly made, Belgarath—who helped with the forging by supplying the tools, heat, and water—told Riva to not remove the Orb when he was holding the sword in one hand if the occasion came up, as the sudden return of the weight would probably break his wrist.
Not to be outdone, Belgariad Big Bad Torak also had a BFS of his own: Cthrek Goru, a sword about as big as Belgarion's sword. Then again, Torak normally appears somewhat taller than humans, so the sword fits his hands more naturally than Belgarion's.
Thanks to Garion blessing it with magic, Emperor 'Zakath is also able to use one of these in the sequel.
Fredric in The Castle of Otranto comes into possession of a sword so large a hundred men grow close to fainting under its immense weight.
One of the oldest examples in Fantasy literature (popular in the 1970s and 1980s, although Stealer of Souls was published in 1961): bad-ass Anti-HeroElric of Melnibone his evil sentient soulsucking black rune-sword Stormbringer, one of two demonic runeblades (the other being Mournblade). Although Stormbringer was not as ridiculously big as many anime swords, it was still on the large side, and could only be touched safely by Elric or occasionally by his sidekick. Elric himself, being of a sickly constitution, could only lift the sword when he was filled by the blade's stolen soul energies; powered-up he could swing it with ease for hours, slaughtering whole armies, but without the stolen strength, he would collapse and be unable to even lift the heavy blade, let alone fight with it.
Aliera e'Kieron wields her ancestor Kieron's greatsword for several books. It's taller than she is. But then, she's an elf by any other name, and her mother is a goddess, so at least there's a reason she can lift it.
This trope is also lampshaded by Vlad on seeing Telnan with Nightslayer. He wonders if some Dzur strap hilts on with no sword underneath.
In Journey to the West, Sun Wukong takes an impressively large BFS from an enemy and ends up demanding a better weapon from a dragon. He inspects and rejects a series of larger and larger weapons until he notices Ruyi Jingu Bang, an 8-tons pillar originally used as a measuring stick to test the water's depth during the worst flood of Chinese history. It changes size at will, so it's only as ridiculously large as the Monkey King wants it to be. Due to its weight, the novel describes it as gibbing some of the people it hits.
Discworld seems surprisingly lacking in these, but the Klatchian enforcer 71-Hours Ahmed in Jingo has a very large scimitar.
Vimes: He's practically a concealed owner!
Quantum Gravity had the weapon of intent, more accurately a shapeshifter weapon, that Lila Black brought back in the third book, and used all through the fourth. It does however, fit the trope perfectly, as the only two forms it took more than once were a pen (for concealment and easy carrying, but still usable as a weapon by simply writing threats?!) and a huge Zweihander. It is mentioned that even with Lila's Steel-Rending cyborg strength it would be too large and heavy for her to use effectively, except that it somehow balanced itself in an impossible way around her hand.
Dragonlance: The character Kaz wields a BF Axe in Kaz, The Minotaur. It's said in the text that it was forged by a Dwarf for a human knight and that it took two hands to wield the massive weapon (I remember it being implied that it was never wielded very well) but Kaz wields it easily with one hand performing manoeuvres which should have removed his arm from his shoulder with ease. Granted, the axe was mildly enchanted (its mirror finish would only show the reflection of people with honor) but it didn't alter the weight in any way. It's not quite as huge as many of the blades mentioned here but it's always stuck with me.
In Keys to the Kingdom, Sir Thursday wielded a massive, dual-handed longsword with one hand. Justified in that he's a nearly immortal, demi-god-like being. This is later subverted when the blade transforms into a slender rapier for Arthur. Don't think that made it any less badass: the blade's signature power was that it killed any living creature with even the slightest touch.
In Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun series, torturer Severian is given a huge and ancient executioner's sword by his guild-master when he is exiled, named Terminus Est. The quillons are terminated by male and female heads, designating one edge for executing men and the other for women; the sword is blunt-tipped and only a cutting weapon, and sharp enough for Severian to shave with it. A channel down the blade is hollow, and contains mercury; it runs toward the hilt when the sword is held up, and flows toward the tip when swung, increasing the force of the blow.
Inheritance Cycle: Eragon, in the first edition, had a five-foot-long sword. It was retconned to three-and-a-half in its later edition.
And then reappeared when someone came up with a way to put it on a switch, so it would be a regular lightsaber until the user needed a blade that could cut a small spaceship in half. Luke Skywalker said "Dual-phase lightsabers seem to have been a fad among Jedi at certain points."
In Sienkiewicz's Trilogy Longinus's hereditary sword made a Running Gag: most people he acquaints starts with asking him why he carries an "executioner's sword" and then are shocked when he shows he can fence with it. Their family legend — backed up by coat of arms — says one of his forebears beheaded 3 enemies with one swing and Longinus woved to repeat this feat. Also, see below (claymore).
The books Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn have the sword Thorn, a blade about two meters/six and a half feet long, forged from Thunderbolt Iron, that weighs so much it can't be lifted. (To everyone except its chosen user. For whom it's still so heavy it takes insane strength to use.) Did I mention it's black? Not just regular black, but black that seems to suck in light. If not for the silver wrapping on the grip, it would be impossible to see at night (or hidden deep in a frozen cave, where the hero found it). There are only two men known to be able to lift it: Simon Snowlock, the Dragon Slayer; and SirCamaris, the one who is strong enough to use it in battle.
In The Riftwar Cycle, Prince Arutha gets some visitors from the Empire of Great Kesh. One of them carries a flasher, which is apparently to a scimitar what a greatsword is to a broadsword.
Michael, the Knight of the Cross of The Dresden Files fame, wields a sword- Amorrachius — five feet long.
In Malazan Book of the Fallen, pretty much any famous sword is a BFS. Of special note is the two-handed flint sword made for the enormous Karsa Orlong, the former which is implied to be about 9 feet long.
In Mistborn, the Koloss wield BFSs which are proportionate to their immense bodies. It becomes relevant here when Vin a (small) human takes one and starts fighting with it. Especially awesome when Vin comes screaming down out of the sky with one to cut Straff Venture and his horse in half.
In the John Silke novel Prisoner of the Horned Helmet, the main character uses a large axe named the elephant killer, which is described as being heavier than an average breastplate. later, 2 giant mooks appear. one of them uses a scimitar whih is almost as long as th other man, while the other uses an axe which is described as being "big enough to be his brother"
Shardblades in The Stormlight Archive normally fit; the ones described in detail are about 6 feet long. They are also effectively weightless, which probably has something to do with the fact that used to be wielded by Gravity Masters (and are currently usually wielded by people in MagitekPowered Armor). These things will kill you with even the smallest hit to the body, so these days the BF Sness is mostly for show, although the increased reach probably helps too. The oversized blades were much more practical when they were originally created, since they were made primarily to fight monsters the size of small buildings.
Brandon Sanderson has confirmed that he was deliberately invoking (and justifying) this trope. BFSs being a staple of the fantasy literature he grew up with, he decided to make a world where such weapons were actually practical- and then answer the question of what sort of enemy was so terrible it needed weapons like this to fight...
In Arabian Nights a gigantic cannibal appears in the story of Codadad. His scimitar is said to be so large that only a gigantic man like him could use it.
In Simon Green's "Blue Moon Rising" there are some big-ass magic swords referred to as Infernal Devices, which make their wielders almost impossible to kill and capable of slaughtering whole armies. The characters spend a lot of time arguing about using them against the invading demon army, because anybody who does will more than likely be taken over by the swords and keep killing until they run out of people to kill. Anywhere. Later we see that this is an entirely justified fear.
In Rogue Sorcerer, Ayre uses magic to create a massive stone sword which he uses in battle.
A Mage's Power: Culmus carries around a metal sword that's as tall as he is, and just as wide. It was designed to kill orcs, who have infamously tough skin and thick muscles. He also insists that carrying it is weight training and that its great length allows him to add more magic enchancement runes than a smaller sword would allow.
Live Action TV
Zeronos from Kamen Rider Den-O has one of these, the ZeroGasher, that also becomes a crossbow.
There's also Den-O's DenKamen Sword.
Most title Riders end up getting a BFS near the end of the series. Other examples include Kiva's Zanbat Sword, Kabuto's Perfect Zecter and Blade's King Rouzer.
Kamen Rider Decade gives us the Blade Blade, a sword that's incredibly massive in size, because it's made from Kamen Rider Blade himself.
A notable example is the Hundred Beast Sword from Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger (called the "Jungle Sword" in Power Rangers Wild Force): Rather than the standard BFG combination, all five of the Rangers' weapons combine into a sword so big that it takes the entire Ranger team to wield it.
The sword used by Go-on/RPM Red was the biggest personal sword a Ranger had ever had at the time, once even being used as a (flying!) surfboard. Sadly, he's outdone in the very next series by:
ShinkenRed/Red Samurai Ranger's sword, the Rekka Daizanto / Fire Smasher, from Samurai Sentai Shinkenger/Power Rangers Samurai. Its Cannon Mode is also the team's finisher — yes, a sword that's used as a BFG, holding several disks and channeling their energy. The sword's size shows it. If the scale of the S.H. Figuarts action figure is correct, the Rekka Daizanto is eight feet long. Reportedly, the only person on staff who could lift it properly was Hirofumi Fukuzawa, the stuntman who played the suited-up ShinkenRed. Although, he's apparently taught someone else, because in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, Marvelous and Ahim morph into Shinkenred and Lady Shinkenred and wield two of them simultaneously.
This trope isn't just limited to the characters, but it stands to reason that giant robots will be armed with giant swords. And it doesn't seem to matter how technologically-advanced your culture or civilisation is, because the primary weapon for your Giant Robot of Doom will always be a BFS. Even if a Megazord has a cannon or flaming fists or something, you can rest assured that another robot will show up, at some point, armed with a BFS.
If it's the machines, it's gotta be the Super Zeo Megazord/OhBlocker. Its swords are small (compared to their wielder; each is about half the length of usual robot-wielded sword in the series) at first, but its finisher involves combining them into a blade SO massively massive the Zord actually can't lift it. It's combined above the head of the Monster of the Week and allowed to fall through it. The monster is often quite some distance from the Megazord when this happens.
In Garo, the title hero wields a reasonably-sized sword. With one of his later powerups, it can grow to grotesque proportions, allowing him to throw it, then jump on and ride it like a surfboard.
Lu Xiao from Infinity Game creates a sword out of magic that is at least twenty feet tall. She weilds it one-handed.
Mythology and Religion
Older Than Dirt: In The Epic of Gilgamesh "They cast great daggers/ Their blades were 120 pounds each/ The cross guards of their handles thirty pounds each/ They carried daggers worked with thirty pounds of gold/ Gilgamesh and Enkidu bore ten times sixty pounds each."
Former adversary and later vassal of King Arthur, Osla Big Knife, carried Bronllavyn Short Broad, a sword whose dimensions are never completely specified. However, it is stated that it was large enough to be used as a bridge and that Osla himself died when the sword fell out of its sheath, allowing the sheath to fill up with so much water that he was dragged under and drowned. Osla appears twice in the Welsh Mabinogion, with the earliest text he appears in dating back to 1160 or thereabouts. This constitutes one the trope's few non-Asian and non-Asian-influenced appearances.
Beowulf wielded a giant sword when he fought Grendel's mom. Justified in that it was in fact made by giants.
In The Bible, after killing the giant Goliath, David cuts off his head with the giant's own sword. Considering that Goliath was about 9.5 ft tall, his sword must have been rather large compared to David.
Later, when David was on the run from Saul, he is without a sword and is given the sword of Goliath from a temple. Some images have him continue to wield this BFS for his entire reign. A BFS in this time period would be the size of a normal swordby our standards, as the iron age had just started around this time.
In Deuteronomy 28, and Ezekiel 14, one of the punishments of the wicked is to be by the sword. In chapter 21 of Ezekiel, God wields that sword, and the description of it makes it seem rather huge, deadly, and quite awesome, if not terrifying. That same huge sword is in St. John's Revelation, used by the rider of the red horse. Such a sword is said to be symbolic of war and violence.
While Thor was known for his hammer, his wife, Sif, carried a BFS, being every bit a badass as he was.
Muslim esoterica has Zulfiqar, the story of which is rather odd. The historical Zulfiqar was a sword, and a very large one at that, possibly with two points. It was captured in a raid in which both the prophet Muhammad and his younger cousin/foster brother/son-in-law Ali participated; when time came to divide up the booty, Muhammad gave the sword to Ali, and it became an heirloom of Ali's line. This would all be some minor trivia if it weren't for the fact that some Muslims decided that Ali and his line were the rightful successors of Muhammad in his role as political and spiritual leader of the Muslim Ummah (nation); this group became the Shia branch of the faith, and they represent 15-20% of all Muslims today. As a result, the sword has been mythologized substantially among the Shia: rather than being simply two-pointed, Shia legend would have Zulfiqar be more extensively or completely bifurcated, and be so great and imbued with divine power that when used, it requires an angel be around to catch it, for if it fell, it would cleave the Earth in two. Non-Shia Muslims—and a fair number of Shia ulema (clerics/jurists)—think this story is nonsense, but it remains pervasive, and as a result Zulfiqar (and variants) remains a common name among some groups of Shia (particularly the Ismailis of Pakistan, who produced the Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto).
Among more grounded analyses of the sword, there are many who suggest that the sword being two pointed would have been useful for "catching" an opponent's sword and twist it in a bid to disarm the opponnent, though the exact practical mechanics for this work are not always agreed on.
The Irish Ulster Cycle has Fergus mac Roiche's greatsword, Caladbolg ("hard sheath"). That thing could dispatch an army with a single stroke. Not that it gets to do so against Conall Cernach's forces, since a peace agreement had been arranged (even if he tore up a lot of his soldiers with Caladbolg at less than full force). Nonetheless, to show that his side won't be taking intrigues lying down, Fergus uses Caladbolg to cut the tops away from three hills, with one stroke each.
Because of close cognates in Welsh legends, some scholars believe that the stories of Caladbolg were the template for Excalibur. Maybe that's why Arthur's reign persisted for so long in the stories.
One of the big feature of Exalted are BFS called Daiklaves. Weapons can be made from one of the five magical metals of the setting (Orichalcum, Moonsilver, Starmetal, Jade and Soulsteel) and then attuned to by the right sort of person. In general the weapon is called an artifact. When the weapon is a sword, it's called a Daiklave.
Noted to be impossible to wield by normal people. Exalts who can 'attune' to the weapon can carry and wield it as if it were lighter than a conventional sword.
Then there are Grand Daiklaves, which are BFS versions of regular Daiklaves. Yes, BFS versions of a BFS.
And the Chainklave, which fuses BFS with Chainsaw Good For Massive Awesome.
Some Priests and the Sisters Repentia (sic) in the Witch Hunters Codex carry Eviscerators, huge versions of the setting's ubiquitous chainsword. They are said to be able to cut through tank plating—indeed, in game terms they're slightly more effective than meltabombs, which can pulverize tanks as a general rule.
The Emperor's Champion, a special character who is part of the Black Templar Chapter, wields a sword that, from the pommel of the handle to the tip of the blade, is two feet longer than the Marine carrying it is tall. That's about ten or eleven feet. It is allegedly capable of carving straight through the armour of a Land Raider.
The average Commissar walks around with a chainsword almost as tall as he is.
The Nemesis Dreadnight used by the Grey Knights can wield an immense sword longer than some buildings are tall.
There are a lot of weapons in Warhammer Fantasy that fit into this trope as well. The Empire, for example, have an infantry unit called Greatswords. Ogre Ironguts have a Blade on a Stick large enough that a normal human could conceivably ram it up a Giant's nose while lying down, and the Kroxigor's weapons were described on the Warhammer page as being "trees with blades on the end."
Some fans believe that Japanese adoration of big swords stems from Japanese fantasy fans seeing western D&D miniatures. The miniatures had out-of-scale swords, which weren't a specific statement so much as a way to make the swords easier to see on the models as well as easier to paint. Reportedly, this was interpreted to mean that such a weapon was standard in western-style fantasies.
On the other hand, edition after edition of Dungeons & Dragons featured the Hammer of Thunderbolts, a warhammer so large that you needed two separate magic items to even have the strength to wield it. Once you did have said items and knew the hammer was the said Hammer of Thunderbolts, much asskicking against giants followed.
The hammer was based on the myths of Thor's hammer, Mjollnir, which was so heavy (even though its handle was too short) that he needed both magic gloves and magic belt to increase his strength enough to wield it. (The Giants were the enemies of the Aesir in Norse mythology.)
Later editions added the fullblade, a BFS which was larger and more powerful than the regular greatsword, but required an exotic/superior weapon feat to use. Similar big fragging weapons were also included in other categories, such as the Mordenkrad/Greathammer, a gigantic hammer favored by a race called goliaths.
Goliaths, half-giants and users of the Monkey Grip feat can wield weapons made for creatures a size category larger than they are. This might lead to a character wielding a nine-foot bastard sword, one handed. There are also magic items that let you do the same thing. Thank Heaven they don't stack. Too bad they aren't very good.
Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 also features bloodlines, one of which is named "Titan Bloodline". By literal reading, it eventually grants anyone with major bloodline the ability to wield a Gargantuan Warhammer (Gargantuan creatures are a category larger than the largest Giants — vertical reach about 64'). This leads to hilarity with a 3' tall Halfling wielding a Warhammer around 10 times his size without penalties.
A Dungeons & Dragons variant, Iron Heroes, allows you to select "Mighty Build" as one of your two Traits for a starting character. This allows you to wield weapons that are one size category larger than you, meaning that your character can wield his or her very own BFS (or whatever other weapon he or she specializes in).
Another Dungeons & Dragons variant, Pathfinder, has an iconic barbarian as an NPC called Amiri. She wields a giant-sized bastard sword which was taken off a dead frost giant. In something of a subversion, she has a bit of trouble wielding the thing normally because it's so big, and can only fully wield it when she is in the throes of her blood rage.
Spycraft 2.0 has a sword weighing 30 lb that ostensibly represents a zweihänder, which in reality weighed less than a quarter of that — an actual sword this heavy would resemble Cloud's Buster Sword more than any real weapon and be completely impractical in any setting pretending to be at all realistic.
One sample Mekton Mecha Manual robot was designed to absorb enemy energy weapons fire, to power an upgrade from its normal Laser Blade to a humongous one known as the Atomsplitter Sword. It makes a kickass Finishing Move.
Anima: Beyond Fantasy has several (just look at the artwork or the miniatures). Some examples are the Angelus used by Abel, the Lawgivers he gave to his followers, or Kronen's one.
The three brothers in Princess Ida carry incredibly large swords in many productions.
Interestingly, the Player can obtain the sheriff sword through a cheat code, and when this is done, the sword is wielded like a standard size Katana. Good thing for Vampiric super-strength, huh?
Princess Waltz seems to want to go for awesome because when Princess Iris uses her Eldhi Arc's ultimate sword evolution, the damn thing grows large enough to smite A CASTLE SIZED MAGIC GOLEM! To be fair, said golem was wielding a massive BFS of its own.
Angela has a Big Fraggin Spear and Liesel a Big Fraggin Hammer.
Final Fantasy VI's Ultima Weapon was a big fraggin' sword a that drew its power from its wielder's HP. The higher the wielder's HP, the longer its blade. If the wielder is fairly low-level or has lost a lot of HP, it's only the size of a dagger. But in the hands of a high-level character with full HP, the blade is several times longer than the character is tall and forms afterimages as it's swung.
The most well-known video game example is Cloud's Buster Sword from Final Fantasy VII(which is also the picture at the top of this trope, wouldn't ya know it?), and the Masamune used by Arch-Enemy and Big Bad Sephiroth. The Buster Sword is simply a really big sword, while the Masamune is a six-foot katana that aside from length has normal proportions.
By Advent Children, Cloud has ditched the Buster Sword and left it on Zack's grave. He replaces it with the equally huge Fusion Swords, a set of six individual swords that combine into one. Each of the individual swords is also a BFS, the proportionally smaller "side blades" being normal-sized.
Masamune has gone through multiple size changes between games/movies. ex. In Dissidia: Final Fantasy the sword is 12 feet long. Interestly, at least one Real Life nodachi was actually that long (see below), though it was never actually used as a weapon.
Though it's likely due to graphical limitations, Cloud and Sephiroth are hardly the original examples, though there are the Trope Codifiers for the series. A◊ few◊ samples◊ from◊, earlier◊ games◊.
Squall's Gunblade in Final Fantasy VIII is pretty reasonable in it's default form, but some of the upgraded forms are humongous, especially Punishment and Lion Heart, which combines this with BFG as its handle is an Assault Rifle.
Squall takes this trope Up to Eleven with his Blasting Zone Limit Break... by sending energy through the blade to extend it so much it reaches all the way into space!
Steiner in Final Fantasy IX has several of these, though some are more realistically proportioned. Some of Zidane's weapons get pretty big too, but it's a bit harder to judge their actual size since Zidane is pretty short.
Tidus and Auron's swords in Final Fantasy X range from relatively normal to huge. They're put to shame by Braska's Final Aeon who wields an enormous anchor-shaped sword that could double as a surfboard. In fact, after he rips it out of his chest during his One-Winged Angel transformation, the sword itself becomes the platform on which the Final Battle takes place. (To be fair though, the Final Aeon is far from human-sized.)
Most of the Greatsword type swords in Final Fantasy XI are only mildy exagerated compared to real world Claymores and Zweihanders, then there's the Jingang Greatsword and Dervish Sword which look like they're trying to compete with the Buster Sword. Also of note is Nightfall, the sword of the Shadow Lord in the past. The player has to use it two handed, the Shadow Lord? Not so much.
Final Fantasy XII once again has swords of varying sizes, and many Greatswords tend to be huge. Gabranth wields two very large swords that can combine into one, and the swords wielded by Behemoth-type monsters are friggin' huge. Gilgamesh wields the BFSs of previous protagonist. The game also has two huge swords used as plot advancement. Because the swords were not designed for battle, they are quite weak when used in a fight despite their size or the user's strength.
Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning's gunblades are all pretty reasonable in size but when she is in Gestalt Mode she gets her hands on Odin's newest version of the Zantetsuken which is a monstrous double sided sword which she splits into two swords which are still at least as large as she is. Justified slightly that she can only really use the thing when mounted on Sleipnair. The sequel features the greatsword wielded by Caius Ballad which looks like a giant, ratty, metal feather. The third game has Lightning trading in her gunblade for huge swords, and while the game has a Greatsword category, which includes the Buster Sword (Which is the smallest Greatsword) and Caius's Sword, some of the regular swords are nearly as large as the Buster Sword.
Final Fantasy XIV's official artwork of the Paladin job shows a Roegadyn Paladin with a sword, the Curtana, that's nearly as tall as he is. In game the Curtana, though a bit oversized, isn't really that big. It also scales to the wielder. Proper two handed Greatswords will be the weapon of choice of Dark Knights in the first expansion.
Garland in Dissidia: Final Fantasy brandishes a BFS bigger than entire characters, and it's so heavy he has to drag it around behind him when he walks. However, The end-all BFSes are the blades found in the Edge of Madness stage. Each one is easily three stories tall at least. And for Chaos's ultimate attack, he gets big enough to use them.
Extra boss Flandre Scarlet in the Touhou game Embodiment of Scarlet Devil has a spell which summons an energy sword called Laevatein. Given that this is a 2D shoot 'em up, that doesn't sound too dangerous, until you realize that it's 10 times her height — nearly as long as the screen.
In Ninja Blade, one of the three weapons available to you is a huge sword that's about as long as the protagonist is tall. The game actually seems to acknowledge that a weapon so large, regardless of whether or not it actually has sharp edges, will probably do more crushing than cutting anyhow, since a few of its upgraded versions lack sharp edges entirely, making them more like clubs. As such, it's the only weapon that's any good at breaking armor.
Disgaea has many many examples but the Yoshitsuna tops them all. The sprite for the sword is so big in proportion to the characters that it will go partly into the ground when held pointing down from neck height.
It's not purely aesthetic, either. Most swords only have an attack range of one square (though the specials can hit at considerable distance). The Yoshitsuna can attack an enemy up to five squares away.
The giant Magichange swords in Disgaea 4 manage to top even the Yoshitsuna, being almost twice as long.
Elsword, a not-so well-known Korean online game developed by KOG, has recently released its sixth character, Chung. He uses a Cannon that is just as large as he is tall, sure, he's like 12. But he's used that same cannon since he was a baby.
Both Siegfried and Nightmare from the Soul Series use a BFS. Further, in Soul Calibur 3, there is a style based off of the BFS. The German sword style it was based on actually existed, but both characters use it in ways that a normal human could never accomplish with a two-handed sword of that size.
Soul Calibur takes whatever form the user wants, so its likely that it has the required secondary power of changing its mass.
Same applies to Soul Edge, though its trademark form seems to be the one it takes when Nightmare uses it. Soul Calibur, for the most part, has the trademark appearence of realistically sized sword (probably since its "default" form is a Chinese sword as used by Xiangua).
Nightmare is Siegfried, possessed by Soul Edge up through Soul Calibur 2. The creature that results in later games just keeps using that style.
By Soul Calibur 4, both swords are of the BFS variety, and are portrayed that way in every character's ending. In the three Custom Character endings, lifts and wields one of the swords with one hand. If you faced Algol as the final boss, you dual wield Soul Calibur and Soul Edge, in BFS form. You also levitate.
Emelius in Grandia III carries a massive, jagged sword.
The Granasaber in Grandia II, which turns out to be a sword-shaped spaceship. Which is implied to be based off the actual sword the Light god used.
The browser-based MMORPGKingdom of Loathing spoofs this with the "Ridiculously Huge Sword", which is a three-handed weapon and drops from an enemy called "Protagonist" in the "Penultimate Fantasy Airship" who bears a passing resemblance to Cloud.
In Chrono Trigger, Frog wields the legendary Masamune, which is a pretty big sword for anyone to wield. However, because Frog is effectively 3 feet high, the resulting effect is this trope.
Kliff in Guilty Gear carries a sword that's larger than he is tall — but then, Kliff's a Miniature Senior Citizen. But then again, some of his special moves de-age him, and the sword's still as large as he is tall.
Guilty Gear's May, the smallest female character in the cast, combines this with Improbable Weapon User by wielding a functional anchor, minus most of the chain.
Dr Baldhead/Faust wields a scalpel as big as he is (which makes it some 8 or 9 feet long).
A.B.A.'s giant axe Paracelsus is so huge that she can't even lift it - she wields it by swinging it around on a chain.
You didn't expect Guilty Gear'sSpiritual SuccessorBlazBlue to hold back, did you? Jin's Katana and Hakumen's Nodachi are almost realistically sized. Ragna wields a huge, complicated sword, that is described in-game as "a massive slab of metal" that unfolds into a Sinister Scythe for his Astral Finish, and Bang somehow manages to lug around a gigantic 55-inch nail. The award for most improbably large sword, however, goes to Robot GirlNu-13 who fuses with her sword Combining Mecha style and summons a sword the size of a goddamn tower for her Astral Finish.
Mu-12 was obviously feeling left out, and decided to join the party with her new Astral Finish in Chronophantasma, where she turns her eight blades into '''eight individual BFSs''' which all explode around the enemy at once. The result is Mu-12 turning the battlefield into a nuclear wasteland.
One of the new characters introduced in CP, Izayoi, also has this as an Astral Heat, where she manifests a BFLS (Big Freakin' Laser Sword) with wings and launches it like a missile at the opponent. Well, considering the Izayoi is the prototype of the Murakumo Units, this was inevitable. Good job Tsubaki.
Sanger Zonvolt of the Super Robot Wars metaseries is the king of this trope. He pilots one of the biggest Humongous Mecha in the game, and his BFS Zankatou, roughly "Ship-cutting sword"/Colossal Blade is usually even longer than that! They don't call him "the Sword that Cleaves Evil" for nothing.
And in the 3DS crossover Project X Zone, he has a new Zankantou which he wields on foot to smite evils.
Later models of Grungust, such as Irm's, had their own big-ass bladed weaponry. "CALAMITY SWORD - DARKNESS SLASH!"
Nanbu Kaguya of Mugen no Frontier has a katana not quite as relatively large, but fitted with curved crescent blades in the reverse edge which she can release and command to slice up the enemy. During her Limit Break, she goes so far as to steal some of Sanger's lines: Waga zankantou ni tatenu mono wa nashi arimasen!/Waga na wa Nanbu Kaguya! Aku wo tatsu tsurugi ni naru desu!
In SRW J, if you use the right rub pilots enough, Granteed Dracodeus and Laftcranz can use this in the form of a massive green crystal blade. While Granteed's is about on par with what Zengar brings to the field, Laftcranz's is the same size, but it is a medium sized mech, rather than an large, things just got crazy up'n here.
The Riot B's Proton Saber (Maximum Output) and the Odyssea's sword during the End of Rebirth attack in Super Robot Wars UX.
Deconstructed in Silent Hill 2 with Pyramid Head. Yes, he has a fragging huge sword/knife/thing, but he is also shown to be nearly physically incapable of lifting it (and when he does, it takes a lot of strength - for example, he can use it to perform an overhead smash which is an instant One-Hit Kill if it connects), instead dragging it everywhere he goes, illustrating his tortured mentality. And when James has the chance to wield it, he also must drag it around, and swinging it takes him several seconds as well. The film version, however, has him swinging it around all willy nilly, probably because he gets a role transplant from a manifestation of guilt to a manifestation of protection and vengeance. If he swings it with ease in the film, he still has some trouble carrying it around. Whether this is a result of him being a representation of Alessa's pain and equal vengeance or simply the directors not caring is still a mystery.
Ninja Gaiden's Xbox remake features a sword known as the Dabilahro, which starts as a golden version of Cloud's Buster Sword. Upgrading it cuts holes out of its girth but doesn't reduce its length. It is explicitly stated in the menu's description to be 100 pounds in weight. Then there are the Fiend Nightmares, which wield Shikai Zangetsu-esque cleavers. And as also stated in One-Winged Angel's page, Spirit Doku wields a nodachi Sephiroth would be proud of.
In Ōkami, Amaterasu can equip swords called "glaives" as her primary weapon. Swords longer than she is, for the most part. Also, the second brush god, Tachigami, is a rat who pulls a BFS out of a scabbard much too small to contain it.
In the sequel, Ōkamiden, Kuninushi's sword is bigger than he is. He is just a small child, so the size is relative, here.
Nagi used a BFS named Tsukuyomi, which was used to slay and seal Orochi. His descendant, Susano, uses a BFWS which he calls Tohenboku, and is every bit as powerful as Tsukuyomi.
From the very beginning, the original Monster Hunter had a class of weapons called Great Swords. These weapons were often as big if not bigger than the user, and though extremely damaging were slow and often clumsy. In Monster Hunter 2 another variation of BFS, the long yet thin Tachi or Long Sword, was added. While unable to block, the tachi was a compensated with speed and the ability to raise the user's fighting spirit (essentially a conditional built-in attack buff)
The series is positively addicted to super-sized weapons. Good thing they actually shrink when sheathed (with some having a different 'folded' or 'retracted' model), otherwise most of them would be clipping into the ground 24/7.
The character Arngrim from Valkyrie Profile wields one of the largest swords ever seen in a console RPG. It is about twice as long as Arngrim is tall, and as wide as a regular Claymore. Considering Arngrim's size, this makes it roughly 12 feet long from point to pommel, with a 9-foot long blade. There is little significance to the fact that he wields such a ghastly-sized weapon, except as a hallmark to the ridiculous one-up-manship that tends to pervade RPG weaponry. And that he's an Expy of Guts.
Kashell also has a BFS. It may only be half the size of Arngrim's, but it's still longer than the character is tall.
Neither character's sprite is consistent with his artwork in this regard. The art depicts their swords as being closer to historical Zweihänders in size.
Considering Arngrim is an Expy of Guts to begin with, his choice of weaponry is hardly surprising.
Also, Gnomes. Gnome Melee Classes (such as the Warrior and Death Knight) can wield two-handed swords. Often these swords are longer than the character is tall, causing them to clip through the ground when carried on the character's back. Especially ludicrous in the case of Death Knights, where the starter swords are more than one-third of the width of the character's back! Gnome Fury Warrior with Titan's Grip. A tiny little gnome dual wielding weapons bigger than themselves. It doesn't get much more ridiculous than that.
Armageddon is so big that NO character is tall enough for it to not reach INTO THE GROUND. It's really the only weapon in the game that rivals Thunderfury. Now that thing isn't "unique", so it can even be DUAL-WIELDED by warriors.
The most well-known BFS in World of Warcraft is probably the legendary Ashbringer◊.
An instance of Gameplay and Story Segregation in Drakengard. The sword that Caim wields in the cutscenes is larger by far than the sword he carries around in-game. This is taken up a notch in the sequel, when Caim's Sword is ridiculously huge when the protagonist of that game acquires it. There's also a literal BFS in Hymir's Finger, a sword that is said to weigh 50 kg (roughly 100 lbs.) and is long enough to qualify as a jousting lance. Also in Drakengard 2? A sword that's been broken in half — and is still SO huge (due to so many repeated forgings to add everything from a giant's leg-bone to the SOUL OF A CHILD, which is what finally snapped the blade) that it can only be wielded as an immense, overly-huge, ridiculously heavy AXE.
If you look closely, it even appears that said axe is part of Hymir's Finger, which makes sense since the blade was forged from the scrap of everything the guy who forged it ever killed.
The Zelda series has had many examples over the years:
The Biggoron Sword from Ocarina of Time, acquired after completing the Trading Sequence. Only wieldable as an adult, the sword is twice as big as Link is tall.
The Double Helix Blade from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, wielded by Fierce Deity Link after acquiring all the masks. Fierce Deity Link is the tallest non-enemy character in the game, standing at over 8 feet tall, and the sword is still longer than he is tall!
Though not as big as the Double Helix Sword, the Great Fairy Sword — obtained by finding all the fairies in the Stone Tower Temple — is still twice as long as the child Link.
The Darknut Swords from the The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. They are so huge that they are only good for throwing and for breaking pillars, serving as demolition weapons.
The golden execution sword Ganondorf wields in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Ganondorf is one of the biggest human characters in the game, standing at over 7 feet tall, and the sword itself is still about as long as he is tall.
Later in the game, Ghirahim uses one in the third phase of the third fight against him. It also turns out that Ghirahim is a BFS, namely, the one that belongs to Demise.
The iconic Master Sword itself. Although its blade is not that thick as compared to the other examples, its length is almost as big as Link himself in some of the games.
The last fight in Rogue Galaxy is the main character Jaster vs. a giant monster ship-sized evil thing. Lucky for you, Jaster just got a blade the size of a school bus!
It starts off the size of a school bus, but is extended to ridiculous proportions during said fight. We're talking 10x Sephy's Masamune.
In the 7th Fire Emblem game, Durandal can only be wielded by Eliwood when he's riding a horse, and appears to be longer than the horse he's riding. Somehow the horse can jump while carrying both Eliwood and the sword. On the other hand, Eliwood's battle speed is dramatically slowed due to its weight in contrast to Eliwood's constitution, making it much more feasible to use lighter weapons instead.
The same game also featured the Sol Katti, which was a giant katana/rapier hybrid that only Lyn could use, as well as Armads, a Big F-ing Axe that only Hector can use (which also appears in the sequel).
Ike in Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn wields Ragnell, a massive claymore, with one hand! However, it's quite shrimpy compared most of the other swords on this page. Naturally, he's the most powerful swordsman in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
The Exaccus / Eckesachs from Sword of Seals is not only huge, but can also transform into a trident.
The eighth game also featured Zanbato swords, which were called Longswords in the previous game.
The version of the Yamato Nodachi wielded by Nero's Devil Trigger spirit in Devil May Cry 4 is long. For reference, one of Nero's Action Commands involves leaping inside a frog demon boss by the mouth and attacking it from within. The spirit, which stays outside, attacks with slashes the size of the monster.
Dante's zweihänder-long, Claymore-wide Rebellion which he swings faster than a rapier.
And Vergil/Nelo Angelo's BFS, and Dante's Sparda sword in the first game.
The standard Broadsword and Katana models in City of Heroes is already pretty big, but the unlockable Rularuu models are often bigger than the player character wielding it.
The Rikti Sword models are also pretty huge (and not exactly conventional).
Also, the new Tian Weapons set is 'built' on this trope.
The entire point of the Flash game Ginormo Sword. If you can't hit the entire screen with your sword, you haven't done enough Level Grinding.
Nyx Avatar, last boss of Persona 3, stands about 18 feet tall and wields a massive zweihänder roughly twice that size. In one hand. It's large enough that you're never quite able to see the sword in its entirety during the fight. Then again, if anyone deserves to wield a BFS, it would be the Anthropomorphic Personification of Death.
Junpei can wield some, too.
If a Shadow ends with either Sword or Giant, then you'll be seeing broadswords wider than Minato and company and at least 8 feet long.
The Main Character of Persona 4. Chie's ultimate Persona, Suzuka Gongen, wields a double-bladed lightsaber taller than she is. And Suzuka stands at around 7 feet tall.
Several characters in Dynasty Warriors, Samurai Warriors, their crossover Warriors Orochi, or the me-too series Sengoku Basara, have ridiculously large weapon wielders alongside characters with normal weapons. Examples include a jolly fat man with a mace whose head is the size of his entire body, two vanilla BFS wielders, a few BF spears, BF gauntlets-shaped-like-animal-heads.
Lu Bu up to DW5 used a halberd in one hand. In DW 6 he uses a two double ended halberds crossed in one hand! The latter weapon was later given to his daughter, Lu Lingqi, in DW8]: Xtreme Legends.
** Guan Yu's weapon Blue Dragon is so big in [=DW6 that it takes two people to present it too him in his final cutscene.
Meng Huo in DW6 uses a PILLAR and a GIANT MUSHROOM!
Sun Wukong from Warriors Orochi 2 uses a staff that extends up to 30 feet
Guan Ping's sword... is a weird case. Most of his attacks require swinging it with both hands, but there a few where he only uses one (including his C3, which doesn't seem like it should work anyways). And he carries it around with one hand too when he's not swinging the thing.
In SW4 new character Uesugi Kagekatsu one-ups everyone by Dual Wielding BSFs!
A couple of borderline BFSes appear in Dead Rising, but they are explicitly decorative items (the game takes place in a mall). There is a secret unlockable laser sword that grows in length if you do the spinning lariat while holding it, though.
In Kingdom Hearts the Keyblade usually stays a reasonably realistic size for a sword, but some endgame Keyblades fall into the low end of BFK territory. Terra in particular has a keyblade as long as he is tall. There also exists an ability, usually called Bladecharge, that turns the Keyblade into a BFS made of energy. Saix wields a "claymore" that doesn't much look like a claymore at all.
The aptly-named Huge Sword from Golden Sun: The Lost Age and its unleash, "Heavy Divide". Also, Felix and Isaac's Ragnarok/Odyssey Psyenergy. And the multi-elemental summon Catastrophe. And the Excalibur's "Legend" unleash, as well as the Gaia Blade's Titan Blade and the Darksword's Acheron's Grief.
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn continues the tradition but a special note goes to Isaac and Garet when they appear as a Guest Star Party Member in the start of the game. They wield swords larger than any of the ones your own party will ever find! This combined with the fact that they saved the world 30 years earlier just adds to their badassery.
There's also Blados' giant katana. While it's not especially thick, it's longer than he is tall.
There are a few of these in Castlevania: Curse of Darkness. One of the standouts is the Dragon Killer, which is almost as thick as Hector's body and in name seems to be a Shout-Out to Guts' big slab of iron from Berserk. It isn't as slow as one might first think, though.
Then there's Castlevania: Symphony of the Night's Crissaegrim. Aside from being a Game Breaker, two can be wielded (one on each hand) at the same time, give more actual protection than a normal shield, and it cuts several feet in front of Alucard.
Fiona Mayfield from Arcana Heart is a cute little eleven-year-old (sorta) in a wholesomely frilly maid's outfit, complete with gauntlets, steel boots, and a Zweihänder at least as large as she is.
Sarevok, the Big Bad in the first Baldur's Gate game, wields a massive sword suitable for his own great size. Even without his unholy power strengthening it, in the sequel it's one of the best big weapons in the early game. And if the Ascension mod is installed, it becomes more powerful in Throne of Baalif you return it to Sarevok.
The Moiety daggers in the Myst series may count. Although they're never wielded by anyone, these giant metal kunai-like knives appear in several places in Riven, and show up occasionally as a Shout-Out in later games. The knives here are merely symbolic, being scaled-up versions of normal-sized knives used by the Moiety.
In La Tale, some of the two-handed swords are larger than the characters wielding them. This is especially incongruous when the wielder is wearing a delicate dress.
Kratos from God of War is a regular BFS magnet. Weapons handled include Artemis Blade, Spear of Destiny, the humongous Barbarian Hammer, Zeus' Fist and the theoretically most powerful so far, the Blade of Olympus. Unfortunately most of the Olympian power is Cutscene Power to the Max.
Dark Forces Saga: Desann the Fallen Jedi wields a lightsaber which is bigger than usual. In the previous game, the Dark Jedi Gorc wielded a "lightclub", a.k.a. 12 feet long lightsaber.
While they are not anywhere near as big as some of the other examples on the page. In The Witcher, Geralt has two large swords (one is silver designed for taking out monsters). NPCs will often comment on this, such as one random NPC suggesting one could double as an oar, and a prostitute asking if he is compensating for anything. Geralt is a Witcher however, meaning he is inhumanly strong, making such a weapon more practical, and swords not made for Witchers are small enough to be hung on the waist.
It's not his strength that's superhuman, it's his reflexes. He doesn't have any problem wielding a huge sword because being made of meteorite iron it's lighter than any regular blade.
The swords wielded by the Great Brothers most certainly qualify for this trope every bit as much as any blade on this page.
The ultimate example is probably The Valeria Heart from The Last Remnant, which is the size of a tower and leaves a hole in the ground about 15 feet across, it's not actually wielded by anyone in that state. The game also has greatswords which are long but narrow bladed(except the Yama swords, but the Yama are around ten feet tall).
Daniel: And what's with that ridiculous sword anyway? It's like a huge slab of iron! Sick: He's compensating.
Shadow of the Colossus: Even accounting for size of Colossi, the Third Colossus wields a sword that is very nearly as long as he is tall. Compared to the protagonist, said sword is as big as a highway, and so thick and heavy it acts more as a bludgeon than a blade.
The Queen's Sword in Ico is almost as large as a grown man, and when Ico wields it, he has trouble standing upright or even bringing it to bear.
Exor in Super Mario RPG is a gigantic, living sword longer than Bowser's Castle is tall. The plot of the game begins when it crashes through the Star Road, shattering it, and stabs right into the castle to become a portal for Smithy's invading forces.
Subverted in that Exor is stationary, and you'd have to be stronger than twelve thousand Supermen in order to be able to actually lift him.
The Holy Daedalus Blade, the Dark Cloud, the Chronicle Sword, and the Island King in Dark Chronicle. The latter, in particular, is actually a surfboard-sized Tiki-mask with a pinwheel on one end and a hilt on the other.
Sigma uses one in Mega Man X 8, made out of scrap metal (not making this up); Sigma himself is nothing more than scrap held together by The Virus, in what is believed to be his final appearance. Oh, and Zero can use it as his own on a New Game+, effectively an Infinity+1 Sword.
Mega Man 8 had Swordman◊, a Robot Master specifically built to wield a BFS Wily ripped off. But the sword was so heavy, Swordman is composed of two halves, the upper of which tilts to counterbalance the blade. Oh, and he can channelfire through it.
All of Karol's swords are longer than he is tall. That's not saying much(he's 12 years old) but his first sword is so big that after Yuri cuts it in half he can use the base as a hammer. (Karol is the tank in the game and all his weapons are way too big for him)
In Symphonia, there are a couple of bosses that wield these, either in or out of battle. The Eternal Sword is used only in cutscenes until Lloyd gets it, anyway, but when you fight Yuan, he has a swallow blade that's about as long as he is tall.
In the game Rune, the character progresses to larger and larger swords (and blunt weapons and axes). There are five levels of these, with the third being the largest you might find realistically (e.g. the level 3 sword is a conventional two-handed sword). Levels 4 and 5 are these gigantic, freakazoid swords that defy all the rules of how to make a good sword — but they are the fastest and do the most damage.
Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption give us Urai Fen, who uses two gigantic swords. That can destroy a light vehicle in one hit.
Speaking of the Star Wars games, Knights of the Old Republic (both I and II) have the Wookiee Warblade. It's both a BFS and a Double Weapon, and the item description mentions that it's designed to be kept in constant motion, presumably because stopping it and swinging it again is just too hard to do. For Wookiees. One has to wonder how the human protagonists managed to use them. It's a Double-Bladed Big Friggin' Sword, after all.
Assassin in has a nodachi with a length of 150cm, or roughly five feet. Not terribly notable except the game specifically points out this is more the length of a lance than a sword and is unrealistically large. The 'actual' Monohoshizao was a more modest 90cm. Only Assassin's obscene skill can wield such a long sword, apparently. And it's still only for dueling, not combat.
Berserker's axe-sword, which is a giant hunk of stone that looks somewhere between, well, an axe and a sword. It looks almost normal sized in relation to Berserker, who's about 8 feet tall. However, when Shirou uses it in Heaven's Feel, it's as big as he is. And to top it off he uses it one-handed.
Saber surprisingly enough uses a fairly normal sized sword that spends much of its time invisible, but is by far the shortest and smallest Servant. However when she fires off Excalibur it takes the form of a giant sword made of light
Flay's sword from Mana Khemia is rather wide, and can also shoot shurikens, something that looks like a laser, and transform into a giant drill. Vayne can wield and transform into a sword six times his size. Anna wields a katana longer than she is tall. One of the bosses is a BFS. Even the generic students get their hands on some of these.
The Blade power from Prototype turns Alex's right forearm into a two-sided Blade around his height.
Big Bad Galcian wields a lance-like BFS himself; it's roughly as tall as he is. Seeing that the Sky Fang mentioned above is only avalible in the remake on the GameCube, it looks strange, considering that the other weapons in the game are reasonably sized.
Kilbert's sword Fragarch in Atelier Annie is positively huge, with the size of the handle alone matching him shoulder-to-shoulder. However, its size makes it almost completely impractical for combat, and he simply keeps it around to intimidate monsters (in combat, this is a battle command that he can use to make weaker enemies flee in terror).
The hero of the Dreamcast Lodoss Wars game, Beld, gets a truckload of these, including a copy of Ashram's soulstealer which is an enlarged obsidian claymore, the mithril sword which is that, shiny and white, and a little longer, and the Hakuring, a sword MADE FOR A GIANT, which is about three times as long, heavy, and wide as the buster sword, and double-bladed. With the proper speed boosting rings you can wave it about like a whiffle bat. The mithril sword has the added bonus of sometimes turning dead enemies into mithril ore based on their level, so you actually don't have incentive to use other swords once you get that one. You get a rune later which adds this affect to all swords, but since this is also the most damaging sword in the game. Ironically all the mystical or artifact swords in the game are closer in size to the moderately lengthy Roman swords like the Gladius or Spatha.
One of the Demoman's unlockable weapons in Team Fortress 2 is the Eyelander, a huge Scottish claymore.
Every sword and knife in Dragon Age: Origins is one of these. The daggers are the size of arming swords, the regular longswords are the length of real-life claymores, and the two-handed swords are on a par with Cloud's blade. Like everything else in the setting, there's just enough exaggeration in the weapons to get across the large-scale, epic nature of the setting and story.
Especially prominent if you play a dwarven or female elven warrior specializing in two-handed weapons. You run around hitting people with a sword or axe around half again as tall as you are.
Though the first game at least played it somewhat realistically, two-handed weapons had ridiculously slow attack speeds as your character follows through with the momentum of your six-foot broadsword and has to pick it up again and wind up for another stroke.
League of Legends has an item that is actually called 'B.F.Sword', which Word of God states stands for "Best Friend Sword". It does do a lot of damage if you acquire it early, but its main use is as an ingredient for much better weapons.
Tryndamere is completely beat by Riven however. Although she normally fights with the broken remains of her mighty runeblade, once she activates Blade of the Exile, it completely reforms into a massive sword that's taller than she is and almost as broad. The amazing parts? She continues using only her right hand the entire time, yet still whips around with it as if it weighed as much as the shattered hilt. Furthermore, according to her lore, she's been using swords as large as she is since she was old enough to walk.
Garen's sword is also as huge as he is bulky. Thing is, in spite all those weight from his body and sword, he can still take his sword for a spin.
The Sword of Aeons wielded by Jack of Blades and the Hero, should you make the choice in Fable I.
If you think that's big, you should see the Bereaver (from the lost chapters).
The Guillotine Axe qualifies, not because it's huge, but because the blade is as big as the rest of the axe. The Guillotine Axe is exactly what it sounds like. It's an axe designed for beheadings. Plus the person who wields it.
The "Meat Cleaver" is as big as your character, and is covered in blood. It's interesting that one of the bosses uses this weapon, and you get it by forging a weapon with this bosses soul.
"Bramd",like no other. It's a gigantic mace, but seriously, LOOK at that thing! Yeah. It shakes the ground.
The "Keel Smasher" doesn't have a blade. How does it cut you? IT'S BECAUSE IT'S SO FREAKING BIG.
There are a ton of other weapons like this in the game, and the weapons held by the bosses.
Dark Souls has similar weapons as well. These are classified as "Ultra Greatswords" and generally require dozens of points in Strength to swing, and dozens more in Endurance to be able to swing it more than once. Notable examples include:
The Black Knight Sword and Greatsword, which are Greatsword and Ultra Greatsword sized when wielded by a (much smaller) human.
The Greatsword of Artorias and the Abyssal Greatsword, wielded by the Great Grey Wolf Sif and Artorias the Abysswalker.
The Dragon Greatsword, which has no blade and is essentially just a massive lump of bone attached to a handle.
The Demon Great Machete, which requires a stunning 40 Strength to wield. The Capra Demons dual wield these.
Most of the enemies wielding BF Ss in Dark Souls are gods, demigods, giants or demons, so there is some form of justification for this.
Dark Souls II has even bigger swords. The Greatsword (which is actually an Ultra Greatsword class weapon) in particular is absolutely massive.
The Godswords in Runescape are BFS weapons that the GODS fought over. They are some of the best weapons in the game damage-wise, and can be bought from other players for about 20-70 millions of GP. They are also really slow.
The Black Key of Almarion, wielded by the Big Bad of Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim.
Fallout: New Vegas has the Bumper Sword, a Final Fantasy 7 Buster Sword made out of a car bumper smashed at one end to be sharp and a pipe. It still has the car's license plate on it.
Marked Men of the Lonesome Road DLC use a special version called Blade of the West
In Brave Fencer Musashi, the eponymous hero wields a huge sword called Lumina and a more reasonably sized sword called Fusion. It's played somewhat realistically; he has no trouble swinging Fusion but can only manage slow and clumsy (Albeit powerful) overhead chops with Lumina.
In Eien no Aselia, despite the premise of super powered cosmic swords all trying to kill each other, most of them aren't that unrealistically huge. But Karma? It's bigger than the guy wielding and that guy is pretty big.
The player ship in ALLTYNEX Second wields swords that are twice its sice, oh and did I mention it dual welds them.
Terraria has a few. The Blade of Grass and Fiery Greatsword are already exceptionally large, but even these are dwarfed by the Breaker Blade (which also serves as a Shout-Out to Cloud.).
Eternal Sonata gives us Jazz, and his trumpet/guitar/organ sword. It's bigger than he is, and he is by far the largest protagonist in the game. You could probably fit the heroine, the hero and hero's little brother on the blade. In game terms, it's twice as slow as every other weapon, but hits twice as hard, and each blow hits twice (making him somewhat overpowered, at least for ending echo chains. He can't build them up well, though.)
Tera Online has the Slayer class, a leather wearing damage dealer that specializes in the the gigantic two-handed sword. The Berserker, a similar class, prefers huge axes.
The Indigo Fang from Otogi: Myth of Demons is wider then Raikoh and just as tall as him if not more so. It's description even says that it is very heavy, because of this heavy attacks with it do extra damage. Theres also the Golden Dragon, which is an ornate gold plated kanabo used by priests to exorcise demons, presumably by crushing there skulls in. The Big Bad Michizane wields the Sword of Seven Stars, which has a very long mirrored blade. And to top it off the Crimson King wields a huge stone kanabo that could be used as a support beam for a house.
Some of the swords wielded by the Fencer/Fencer Elite classes in Valkyria Chronicles II and Valkyria Chronicles III qualify. They're all so heavy that they have to be dragged backhanded across the field of battle (this posture also allows the fencers to carry a shield in front of them), and they're weighty enough that they can kill almost any infantry unit in one swing.
Septerra Core has Gemma's Blade, which Doskias acquires a ways into the game.
Augus from Asura's Wrath absolutely deserves a mention. His sword, Wailing Dark, can extend to absolutely ridiculous lengths, fling Asura off the moon, and pierce straight through THE ENTIRE PLANET EARTH! The Official length the for the blade? 380,000Kilometers! While it might not be as big as Gurren Lagann swords, but in a way, it probably is the biggest one ever made for a wielder close to human size.
The Reaver (in physical form, at least) from the Legacy of Kain series.
In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Kirby can use a Super Ability called Ultra Sword that lets him grow his sword (which can take the form of a classic broadsword, a fencer's cutlass, a butcher's cleaver, a bamboo shinai, a golden fan, or a swordfish) to massive proportions to cleave enemies and terrain. He turns it Up to Eleven when he uses it for a finisher on a few specific bosses.
War, from Darksiders, carries Chaoseater. It's a bit longer then he is tall, and he's easily pushing twelve feet.
Since all of the Knight's weapons in Trigger Knight use the same sprite, even the dagger is as tall as she is.
The Gran Centurio in Yggdra Union and Blaze Union. At five-and-a-half feet long and two wide, it is unusable by anyone not part of the Artwaltz dynasty, as the sword is specially enchanted to be near-weightless to them. Milanor tries picking it up in one of the side materials, and he can't lift it.
Rift features two-handed swords of various types, and like most fantasy games they tend to be things that would be unwieldy in real life. UNLIKE most games, however, they don't actually scale with the height/race of your character, leading both to giant Bahmi that are essentially one-handing two-handed swords, and short-to-middle sized Dwarves that are wielding blades half again as tall as they are!
Neptunia gives the main protagonist Neptune a few BFSes such as the Bastard Sword and Claiomh Solais. Noire has the Elysdeon, and Blanc/White Heart has giant hammers and axes rather than swords. Additionally, Neptune and Noire's weapon becomes a BFS when they activate HDD, no matter what sword they were initially wielding.
As the strongest human in the world in Kid Icarus: Uprising, Magnus fittingly utilizes a BFS in combat. The player can use a copy of this large blade as he/she pleases, though it is listed as a club. The Hewdraw Club is also a sword too big to be listed as a blade.
Oddly enough, averted for the main character of Duel Savior Destiny. Taiga wields a normal sized short sword, though it's still magic. Rather, the two BFS wielders are Mudou, who is huge himself, and Badass Normal Selbium, whose sword seems to be the same size as himself.
Deconstructed in King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow. When an unarmed Alexander finds himself faced with being attacked by a sword-wielding enemy and nowhere to run, he grabs a giant ceremonial sword displayed in the room... which turns out to be way, way too heavy to wield properly. He manages to barely hold his own for a time anyway—albeit by resorting to fisticuffs in places—but only wins because a distraction allows him to defeat his opponent by conking him over the head with the hilt of the sword (as in, about the only real use for a too-heavy sword).
Every single greatsword in Aion. These swords are scaled to be approximately as long as the wielder's height, or even slightly longer.
WildStar's Warriors use Power Swords, nuclear-powered blades with searing hot liquid edges, capable of cutting through pretty much anything. True to form, they are as large as if not larger than the wielder. And with the Granok around, these things can be massive.
Most of the swords in Phantasy Star Online 2 are as long as even the tallest of characters, and appropriately, are the slowest out of all the melee weapons. Swords also have the Over End photon arte, which forms an even huger energy blade around the wielder's already large weapon.
Aegislash from Pokémon X and Y is a 170cm (5 feet 5 inches) ghostly sword. That's almost as tall as a number of grown humans!
In Lego Lord of the Rings one treasure item to be found is an Uruk Sword in Osgiliath. It looks too big for even the human minifigs to wield (despite the fact human and Uruk-hai minifigs are actually the same size) let alone the hobbit you'll probably be playing as when you find it. Additionally, the default weapon of Haldir is an Elven Greatsword. It deserves the name.
Just about every weapon in Xenoblade is oversized, except possibly Melia's staff, but the Monado has the distinction of splitting apart and projecting a Laser Blade to get even bigger.
Video Game/Warframe : Has several large swords. But the one that really takes the cake is the Galatine, which on most Warframes is LONGER THEN THE WARFRAME IS TALL. It's large size means that the frames aren't going to be just dancing around the battlefield, instead, they cut through the enemy with very powerful attacks that, with the right mods atleast note Fire damage and ice damage mods, creating explosive damage, can literally send targets flying. This leads to no end of laughs when your frame swings the sword like a baseball bat, the crit chance falls in your favor, and the hapless target is sent flying. Expect some players in voice chat to be making baseball announcements because of this sword.
The hero of the puzzle game Deadly Rooms of Death, the smitemaster Beethro Budkin, wields an enormous sword that takes up an entire tile on a grid (making it about five feet long). It's called the Really Big Sword, and it's powerful enough to kill almost any monster in one hit.
Dota 2 has Sven with his giant sword called 'The Outcast Blade'. This sword seriously packs a punch, and when augmented with Sven's incredible strength that can get pumped up enough and even hit multiple enemies in one swing, one normal swing from Sven may be able to kill off several powerful beings at once.
Kenta ("Ken") Daisuke, from the webcomic No Need for Bushido, carries a zanbato which is as wide as he is, and approximately four times his length.
Jillian Zamussels, from Erfworld, carries a BFS. Her listed strengths on the cast page include "Unrealistically Oversized Weaponry" and "Hack-slash-carve-stabbity-chopchop".
Sir Eglamore of Gunnerkrigg Court has two swords, each nearly as tall as him: A normal metal blade, for normal threats like dragons and wolves; and a glowing blade of unknown composition, for fighting Shadow Men.
Roy's Weapon of Choice as leader of The Order of the Stick (and specialist weapon, being a Fighter) is an heirloom greatsword, which while being realistic by standards of this page is still damn big.
The intro comic to the first book parodies the "oddly effeminate male leads" of the Final Fantasy series by showing one of them with a sword larger than he is strapped to his back, rendering him unable to move as with its point stuck in the ground the bearer is suspended several feet in the air with it strapped to his back.
Ragara Karen wields one in Keychain of Creation, which is so huge it folds in half for easier carrying when the fight's over.
Dragon Tailsparodies this trope in the RPG arc with an Expy of Cloud whose sword is so large it requires a cart for him to actually move it. Considering what Bluey did to poor Lady Moona, they probably didn't let him get a chance to use it, either.
Andy Frogman in Ultima-Java: History, has Great Blades as his weapon of choice, between the beginning of UJ: History and the present, he accumilates over 30 of these huge weapons, some for their intrinsic power, some simply because he liked the look of them. By the end of the first chapter he already ahs five.
Homestuck: All of Dave's alchemized swords are taller than he is in the comic's standard art style. In the various Art Shifts they are much more realistically proportioned (as is everything else), though still of considerable size.
These sometimes appear in Survival of the Fittest, where Danya sometimes puts medieval swords on the list of weapons to be assigned. Such swords include a 55-inches-long Claymore, a 6-feet-long Zweihänder, and a Grosse Messer.
Kuar in Tech Infantry is only somewhat huge, but a world with werewolves, vampires, and other supernaturally strong characters facing off against supernaturally-tough enemies who may be Immune to Bullets, big honking swords are commonplace.
MSF High Forum: Sam wields one of these. A large claymore to be specific. So does Mercurius.
During a Champions game, one player claimed that a 40d6 killing attack was not excessive for a photon torpedo because "That's only as much damage as 25 sword hacks." That, combined with a healthy dose of Star Fleet Battles, gave us Buccaneer!, whose sword was so huge it did the equivalent of 25 sword hacks.
The Ask A Ninja Ninja describes something called an "Extremely Extremely Broadsword," which is so big that "it can slice TEXAS in half!" He also notes that there are only a few things in the universe that can even lift it, and since none of them are good guys.
Parodied in the Kim Possible episode "Viru-Ron" (with a wink for those who get it) when Rufus and Wraithmaster keep expanding their swords to ever-more-unliftable size.
William gets one of these in Code Lyoko once virtualized. It is implied that this is a subconscious choice inspired by his love.
The Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures episode "Expedition to Khumbu" both subverts and lampshades this trope. While playing a game in Questworld, Jonny gets attacked by a scorpion-type monster. He immediately asks I.R.I.S., the AI user interface, to equip him with a Gatling gun; the computer, however, gives him a shield and a fairly small sword instead, explaining that it's the only type of weapon permitted in that level. Jonny tells her she'd "better make it a BIG sword!" So I.R.I.S. makes it grow until it's longer than he is tall. Given that this is a computer game, you'd think they'd play the trope straight, but as Questworld was designed to be realistic, the sword is too heavy for him. As he stumbles with it, he goes "give me a break, I.R.I.S.!" and then he falls. The sword breaks in two, Jonny complains, and the computer quips "you requested a break." He still uses the broken sword to fight the scorpion monster, though.
In "Morituri Te Salutamus", Finn says, "I can't kill my best friend [...] without a bigger sword!", and the Fight King promptly gives him his bigass sword.
Late in season 2 of Transformers Prime, Optimus Prime recovers the Star Sabre, a massive sword with considerable power. Megatron counters by forging his own sword out of Dark Energon.
Practitioners of Baguazhang, a Chinese internal martial art, train with oversized swords to build strength and so on. It's relatively easy to find daos almost five feet long and weighing around 5 lbs. The guy in the bottom pic of the Wikipedia page on Baguazhang is training with an oversized dao that looks like it could give the Buster Sword a run for its money!
History tells of a Frisian pirate and rebel by name of "Grutte Pier" ("Big Pier") who rose to prominence during the early sixteenth century. He was reported to be an enormous man, and strong enough to bend coins one-handed with three fingers. Sources estimate his height to have been at least seven-feet tall, based around the length of the two swords reported to be his—both seven feet in length. According to legend, Grutte Pier was strong enough to behead multiple men in a single blow.
A more specialized version of the Nodachi was known as the Zanbato, "horse-killing sword" or "horse-chopping sword". It differed from the Nodachi mainly by having a ricasso approximately 12-18 inches long, allowing it to be used as a short polearm as well as a sword against cavalry; similar to the German Zweihänder. It is believed to be derived from the similar Chinese zhanmadao (also transated as "horse-chopping sword").
This mind-bogglingly enormous nodachi is 377 cm (over 12 feet) long, and is the largest sword of its type known to exist in Japan. However, it was made not for use in battle, but to test a particular forging technique. Other examples, though none of quite that magnitude, can be found on the linked site.
Many (perhaps even most) nodachi were never used in combat. Forging one was proof of a swordsmith's skill, and owning one was a status symbol for a samurai wealthy enough to afford it. The only remotely useful thing that could be done with a sword longer than the height of its wielder was to fight off horsemen while on foot and polearm weapons such as the naginata and the nagamaki were cheaper to build, easier to train people in, and all-around better at that particular job in the hands of a skilled soldier.
When you're trying to arm a giant, sometimes a normal sword just won't do. Peter Francisco was well over 6'6" and joined the patriot cause when the Revolutionary War broke out. Since most weapons were designed at at time when the average man was 5'8" George Washington decided to arm the man with a specially made sword that measured 5' long, longer than some of the soldiers in the army were tall. This sword proved useful. At just the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, he killed 11 British Solders with it. This number does not include the (presumably large) number of men who ran away shrieking like girls at the sight of this man on a charging horse swinging this thing. Big Fucking Guy. Big Fucking Sword. George Washington also later said that the entire American revolution would have been lost without Peter Francisco. Also, by the way, an 18 cent stamp was issued in 1975 depicting him at another of his fine moments, holding up one side of a thousand-pound cannon that had been damaged, so that it could be aimed at the approaching British.
Civil War officer Heros von Borke was another larger-then-usual man who needed a larger-then-usual sword. An immigrant from Prussia, the 6'4" dragoon officer became a Confederate cavalryman. And he bought his 42" German made Solingen sword to play with.
The Scottish claymore is a real-life example; it was designed with the weight and length to take the heads off several unfortunate Englishmen in one swing once you got some momentum behind the swing. Having said that its use died out mostly because it was responsible for too many friendly fire casualties. The claymore was still definitely a BFS, albeit in a different order of magnitude than most of the ridiculously-sized blades in this trope.
Real claymores were typically around 140cm of length and weighed less than 6lbs. There are numerous existing examples in museums. None of these, while impressive, are even theoretically capable of cutting through several people at once, nor were they designed for it.
William Wallace's supposed claymore was five-and-a-half feet long.
The Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh houses a claymore — admittedly ceremonial, but still — that is at least seven feet (a bit more than two metres) long in total. See for yourself.◊
The German "Zweihänder" was up to 6 feet long, weighing up to 7 lb. (3 kg) and used in both hands, allegedly to break up pike formations.
These swords were up to 180 cm long (the blade itself being 150 cm long) and in skilled hands could easily decapitate a horse.
Most of the time, however, they were used more like a short polearm. There is a second grip and smaller quillions (hand guards) further up the blade that allow it to be used like a short spear.
It's correct that you can also use them like a spear, but thats just one additional option this sword has. Its perfectly safe to use them as a sword as well. See for example this video on YouTube
The addition of a second guard as part of the blade, and the protection of the blade by leather up to the second guard, as seen in the YouTube video, was actually a later development. Early swords of this type didnt have these features.
Two-handers are included in the iconic image of the Landsknechts (hired foot soldiers, often not of noble origin). Those who actually used twohanded swords were called "Doppelsöldner" (double mercenary) because they received double payment.
They also used a Flammberg, a 5 kg(!) two-handed sword, whose blades were made in wave pattern (thus making it (sort of) a realFlaming Sword ). The point is a small contact area, so it could cut better, and cut repeatedly, like a giant saw. The usage was the same as by Zweihänder, but also in "foot against horse" situation.
Flamberge, flammberg, flambard, etc., etc., is actually a catch-all name for any western sword with a wavy blade, and they weren't any more effective than regular swords. The only function of the wavy blade was to look fearsome. These blades were also more difficult to construct, which could make them slightly more fragile than regular ones. By the time these swords were coming to use, the use of plate armor was decreasing rapidly anyway, so armor penetration wouldn't have been a big concern.
Function of wavy blade was to try and combine straight blades thrusting and cleaving power with curved blades cutting potential. It may have worked, but with firearms taking main role on the battlefield, whole concept was abandoned.
Mail armor is also effective at blunting any kind of cutting attack, though that shouldn't be interpreted to mean that no wound will be inflicted at all—it'll hurt and likely inflict a rather nasty laceration, but it won't cleanly slash through the armor. The German longsword, though sharpened on both sides, was, in battle between two armored men, used in the "half-sword" fashion, wherein the swordsman shifted his off-hand to grasp the blade at roughly its mid-point, which effectively turned the sword into a (rather short) spear, to be used to thrust at the opponent where he was unarmored or only armored by mail, or to be used as an aid to grappling (a very important part of armored combat). Even after landing a spear or sword thrust, the armored opponent would only be weakened, very rarely mortally injured. Grappling and the use of a long dagger to inflict precise thrusts to the vitals would usually ultimately end the fight.
Mordhau, or inverted grip, was often used with longsword or zweihänder. By gripping the blade of the sword with both hands, with cross-guard up, sword was turned in a two-handed warhammer, which was much more effective in dealing with opponents wearing plate armor.
Thick pieces of plate armor were virtually sword-, arrow-proof and it wasn't until the 19. century before guns had indeed turned so strong that traditional plate armor wasn't able to protect from them anymore. In fact, modern bulletproof vests of military quality are again very much like a platemail, using among other things a titanium layer (instead of steel, because titanium is more lightweight) to distribute the shock of the impact of a bullet. The plate armor simply vanished the nature of war changed. The old nobility lost its function, and ordinary people couldn't afford these extremely expensive kinds of armor.
There's always a vast range of quality (and thus cost) and weight (which is a trade-off): a really thick steel plate is impenetrable for anything short of anti-tank rifle, but you can't make a whole suit of this, while a thin plate of mild steel is good enough light blades, but won't stop an axe or mace. A dense mail of thick spring steel can stop bullets, though cut the "protected" surface, while a soft wire in sparse patterns stops well only knife or saber cuts (stainless steel of butcher gloves is very strong by medieval standards).
Pepin the Short's sword was about 1,83 m (little over 6 feet) long. The most remarkable thing is that Pepin himself was 1,37 m (under 4 feet and half) tall.
And here for another one. Which despite being made of aluminum (with a steel cutting edge inserted) to reduce weight, is still ludicrously heavy.
An analysis of why Cloud's blade, and huge blades in general, are a stupid idea.
Hasbro's Nerf, best known for its toy guns, began selling swords in 2008. The first two, Thunder and Shadow Fury, are approximately 18 inches long, a few pounds heavy; their 2009 sword, the Marauder, is almost enormous by comparison.◊
The Guan Dao was, as legend has it, used by Guan Yu. While it's pretty normal for a polearm lengthwise, it weighed almost 20kg. Even larger ones were made for training/testing, at over 70kg.
Most of the real life BFSs actually are very sleek and light weapons, and well balanced. The pommel acts as a counterpoise to balance the weapon and make it wieldable. Modern testing of the actual Landsknecht Zweihänder have shown they are excellent weapons, and can be wielded without problems, providing the wielder is proficient on footwork. Most BFSs in museums are procession swords - more accurately "sword-like objects" - not intended to be used in combat, but more as ritual decorations.
The Italian Spadone (sometimes called Spadone a due mani, Great Sword in two hands), and its relative, the Iberian Montante (See a training example here) were very large swords, frequently exceeding five feet in length. The montante was usually used against other weapons, while the Spadone was used in the same fashion, but also used in duels. They averaged 5-6lbs, and were quite maneuverable.
John Brown, the famous, and somewhat notorious slavery Abolitionist who conducted the famous raid against the town of Harper's Ferry during the American Civil War, was apparently wanted for a series of previous murders in his home state of Kansas. He apparently hacked several people to death with a broadsword. They say he was fairly psychotic.
The Chinese Dadao isn't especially long (the blade is usually 2-3 feet) but it's very broad and blade-heavy. And in the Second Sino-Japanese War, the dadāo was quite effective against Japanese soldiers.