"If possible, find the military [machetes] usually sold at Army surplus stores. Its steel tends to be of a higher quality, and its blackened blade helps concealment at night."A Fantasy trope, but can show up in other genres as well. Want to show that some kind of sword is cool, powerful, deadly, etc? Make this sword black. It can be simply blued, but sometimes it is made of some fantasy metal which is naturally black. Meteoric iron is often misrepresented as a naturally black metal. (It actually doesn't look all that different from terrestrial iron, once forged and worked.) This trope often overlaps with Evil Weapon and Artifact of Death, because the color black has connotations for being "dark" as well as "cool." Many examples of black swords are not only superior to boring gray swords, but also more dangerous for the user. If the sword's owner likes to Dual Wield, their other sword will often be white. Compare Thunderbolt Iron, Technicolor Blade, and Flaming Sword. Also note that black katanas are even better, wooden black katanas are absolutely better, and flaming wooden black katanas are downright awesome.
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- The Bankai form of Ichigo's Zanpakutou is an entirely black tachi with a manji-shaped hilt. His true Zanpakutou is completely white in Asauchi form but in Shikai becomes two jet black swords.
- The fourth movie set in Hell has the Togabito weapons, Kokuto's sword (pictured) and Muragumo's glaive, which are pitch black.
- Naruto has a variation; unremarkable black kunai knives are very commonly used by ninjas due to their versatility, ease of use, and disposable nature.
- One Piece has two black swords so far: Kokuto Yoru, the strongest sword in the world, owned by the strongest Master Swordsman Mihawk. The other one is Shusui, a long katana with an elaborate black blade currently owned by Zoro. Is listed as one of the strongest swords in the world, and Zoro even stated that it wouldn't bend even if a dinosaur stepped on it. Mihawk also demonstrates to Zoro that, by using Haki (spiritual power), any weapon can be made black and greatly stronger.
- Guts of Berserk fame wouldn't be the Black Swordsman without that huge sheet of black blade that he calls the Dragonslayer.
- Samurai Deeper Kyo has the Shibien, one of the four swords crafted by Muramasa. It apparently absorbed too much blood and turned black as a result.
- Saizo from Brave10 has one. He calls it the Mari Blade.
- Soul Eater
- Masamune is one and after Tsubaki defeats him she gains this ability as well. Slightly subverted when Tsubaki, during hers and Black★Star's battle against Masamune, claims that now that's black the blade has lost some of its original beauty.
- Also Ragnarok, being entirely made of "black blood". Since he's the Demon Sword, he's one of the most powerful weapons in the series.
- Black★Rock Shooter wields the black blade (the ★rock shooter part of her name is for her gun).
- In Yaiba, the Devil King Sword is black colored with white edges. During the final battle on the back of Yamata no Orochi it becomes a black Laser Blade.
- In Fairy Tail, Erza uses a black sword in her Purgatory Armor.
- In Mashima's previous work Rave Master, the Evil Counterpart sword Decalogus is mostly black in all his forms. Then there's the TMC's ninth form, Sacrifar, a pitch black jagged scimitar that bestows a great power to the user, but also merge with his arm and turn him into a psychotic, restless berserker. Last but not least, Doryuu's swords are both darkness-related and mostly black.
- In Sword Art Online, Elucidator, one of Kirito's two swords, is pitch black. In ALO, his sword is also black. In GGO, his sword is still black (though his Laser Blade is purple). And go on, guess what color his sword in Underworld is going to be. There's a reason he's called the Black Swordsman in that series.
- Worth mentioning that, as mentioned in the Dual Wielding example, in SAO his second sword is white...though only in the original light novel.
- And in Mother's Rosario Zekkennote , the only person to defeat him, has a black sword. Kirito also says that Zekken would have gotten the Dual Wieldingnote sword skill were he in SAO.
- In Magi – Labyrinth of Magic, Sharrkan's sword is pictured as this, and so is his brother's scimitar. Alibaba's dagger turns into one when he transform it into the Sword of Amon, which can cut through anything. Finally, the Black Binding Mist Sword used by Cassim is the most powerful of the Mist Swords appeared and allows him to go One-Winged Angel.
- In Campione!, Ena Seishuin's legendary sword Ame no Murakumo no Tsurugi is black.
- Fate/Zero has Arondight, Berserker's personal weapon. It's black, spiky, with crisscrossing chains on the hilt, and generally looks pretty evil. In fact, it's said to be as powerful a demonic sword as Excalibur is a holy one. Not only that, but using it gives Berserker a rank up in all his stats, raising him from 'fearsome' to 'borderline broken'. Black swords aren't just better, they make you better too!
- In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT, Lord Dearche can summon a storm of black blades with her Legion of Doom Bringer spell. When she first uses it to destroy every target in the game she's participating in one fell swoop, Arisa wonders if what she's using is still legal.
- In Chivalry of a Failed Knight, Ikki Kurogane's Device takes the form of a black katana called Intetsu.
- Ayato Amagiri from Gakusen Toshi Asterisk wields the purple-black blade, Ser Veresta which was previously owned by his elder half-sister Haruka Amagiri. He has an astounding 97% compatability rate with it.
- In Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero, Akatsuki Ousawa wields the giant sword Laevateinn which is colored black. It requires seven AD's to generate, unlike just one for everyone else. By putting on eight AD's, the sword becomes bigger, sharper, and gains a massive axe-like blade head on top of it.
- In Bladedance of Elementalers, Kamito Kazehaya's previous contracted spirit, Restia transforms into a jet-black demon sword known as Vorpal Sword in her elemental waffe form.
- Lux Arcadia from Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle has the Black Divine Drag-Ride Bahamut which is color black when in sword form. It was originally owned by his elder half-brother Fugil.
- Kanata Age in Sky Wizards Academy was formerly known as the Black Master Swordsman. He wields the black magic cannon sword Gladius as his main weapon of choice. It can shoot powerful laser beams by consuming his magic power.
- The Black Knight's Ebony Blade from Marvel Comics. Another example of Thunderbolt Iron. It can cut through anything and fire energy beams, but if it's used "in an unworthy manner," it fills the wielder with an uncontrollable bloodlust.
- Inverted in Cerebus the Aardvark. Part of the layers of Elric parody in the character Elrod of Melvinbone is that his sword Seersucker is black because of rust. When Elrod tries to attack Cerebus with it, it shatters against Cerebus' sword.
- All-Black the Necroblade, wielded by The Mighty Thor villain Gorr the God Butcher. Finding the sword is what allowed a poor starving mortal to butcher gods. The sword grants power over darkness and turns its wielder into a Physical God.
- The first Muramasa sword in Wolverine comics. Like the Ebony Blade, anyone else than the one born to wield it would have uncontrollable bloodlust.
- Black Moon Chronicles: When Wismerhill becomes the commander-in-chief of the armies of the Black Moon and one of the Lords of Negation, his master Haazheel Thorn gifts him with a black sword forged out of steel from the land of the dead.
- The two swords, Anguirel and Anglachel (later renamed as Gurthang), made by Eöl the Dark Elf, in The Silmarillion. These swords were made of meteoric iron, which is not naturally black, and The Silmarillion predates the popular concept of "meteoric iron is naturally black", so they must be blued. Confirmed by an early version of Gurthang in The Book of Lost Tales—it is black on the flat, with shiny edges. This, however, may be the origin of the black meteoric iron misconception.
- In Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné series of novels, the two demonic runeblades, Mournblade and Stormbringer, the latter of which becomes Elric's iconic weapon, are black. This one is so iconic that it inspired three heavy rock songs - Blue Öyster Cult's "Black Blade", Deep Purple's "Stormbringer" and Hawkwind's "Chronicles of the Black Sword."note If it were merely grey, would it have got this attention?
- Though Stormbringer is most famous, in Moorcock's mythology of the Eternal Champion, it is but an incarnation of a multiversal entity that is used and uses the Eternal Champion in many incarnations, an entity that is outright called the Black Sword. The Black Sword also manifests in its purest form when the Champion incarnates as Urlik Skarsol.
- C'threk Goru, the sword of the Dark God Torak in the Belgariad, is explicitly black, of unnamed material, and is the counterpart to Garion's Sword of the Rivan King, which is made of Thunderbolt Iron. In the sequel series the Malloreon, the sword is wielded again by a demon lord in the final confrontation.
- Chronicles of the Emerged World: Nihal's black sword is actually made from a mithril-like substance called "Black Crystal", which is a ludicrously hard crystal.
- Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain. The black sword Dyrnwyn is extremely powerful. It was used to kill not only all of the Cauldron Born but the Big Bad Arawn himself. It was originally a beautiful shiny sword until its wielder slew an innocent shepherd with it. The shepherd's blood stained the blade, turning it black.
- Nightblood of Warbreaker is a black sentient telepathic sword that suggests killing just about everybody. Also it can compel just about anybody to kill their companions and themselves; its most common use is being thrown into groups of enemies who end up killing each other off. Ironically it was actually created to destroy evil, but a sword doesn't know what evil is so it tries to get its owner to kill people just in case... Eventually, it is removed to Roshar and is given to the hands of Szeth-son-son-Vallano.
- This behavior is actually intended to both find and remove evil in the absence of proper knowledge about evil - anyone who picks up the sword and thinks of using it for "evil" purposes (ranging from using it to stab people to selling it to the highest bidder) will quickly fall prey to the homicidal effects as described above. Anyone else just gets nauseous.
- One of the three magical swords of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn is black (Thorn). Another is silver and the third a dull, somewhat mottled grey.
- The Morganti weapons in Dragaera are black blades that eat the souls of their victims. Foremost among them are the seventeen Great Weapons, which are self-aware, have unique properties, and are powerful enough to kill the Gods. Merely unsheathing the Great Weapon Blackwand can make a battalion break and flee: the sword is even more of a Blood Knight than its wielder.
- Kring from the first Discworld novel The Colour of Magic is probably a parody of Stormbringer. In concept, a jet black, magically sentient blade that can talk and grant the wielder combat prowess (even when they're not looking) is very cool. In practice, Kring's habit of droning on in a tinny metallic monotone that sounds like metal grinding over stone, not to mention constantly critiquing its owner, means that most warriors tire of it quickly.
- The title weapon of The Darksword Trilogy, which consumes magic.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, Valyrian steel is described as having a dark, swirling, smokey appearance. Weapons made from it are sharper, stronger and lighter than traditionally-made steel. Since it's of such high quality and nobody knows how to make it anymore, weapons made from it are extraordinarily valuable and typically owned only by wealthy nobles.
- Inverted, however, with Dawn, the ancestral sword of house Dayne forged from Thunderbolt Iron. It's described as milky white in color, and yet is at least as good as a Valyrian steel sword.
- Nico from Percy Jackson and the Olympians has a sword made from black Stygian Iron from The Underworld. Unlike the other magical metals, Stygian allegedly absorbs the essence of monsters it kills, preventing them from resurrecting and is subsequently greatly feared by them all.
- The sword Dragnipur in The Malazan Book of the Fallen.
- The Sword of Leah from Terry Brooks' Shannara series. Once an ordinary sword, it was dipped in the waters of the Hadeshorn by the Druid Allanon, and then infused with a measure of the Druid's own magic. The result is an ink black blade with a liquid sheen, and pools of green swirling through it that devours any magic directed at the user.
- A Wizard in Rhyme: Matthew Mantrell wields a black diamond sword, at least for the first two books. Not much mention is made of it later in the series.
- The Rain Master's Flamberge, a.k.a. the Sword of Humanity and part of the same set as the titular artifacts in Diamond Sword, Wooden Sword is both very powerful and cursed. Its other name is the Black Sword.
- Draken-Korin, Big Bad of the original Riftwar quartet carries a black sword to go with his orange-and-black striped armour. Since his title is Lord of Tigers, this makes sense.
- In Mistborn: The Original Trilogy, Mistborn don't use metal knives because of their enemies' Selective Magnetism powers. Instead, they favor knives of obsidian.
- The titular weapons of the Black Blade series, which absorb magic.
- In Sound Horizon's "Moira", Elefseus uses two triangular black swords. Other characters, such as Sword Boy, also use a black sword. In almost all the cases the sword(s) seems to carry some sort of significance, linking the characters.
- Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné inspired three heavy rock songs — Blue Öyster Cult's "Black Blade", Deep Purple's "Stormbringer" and Hawkwind's "Chronicles of the Black Sword".note
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- There's also the ninth-level Arcane spell, Black Blade of Disaster. It bypasses magic barriers, attacks on its own, and disintegrates anything it crits. Forgotten Realms only, sorry.
- And from the old Advanced Dungeons and Dragons S-series tournament modules (which includes the infamous Tomb of Horrors), White Plume Mountain had Blackrazor, described as a piece of the night sky, filled with stars.
- The magus base class from Pathfinder has an optional archetype where they forge a bond with a sentient magical black sword. It is very Elric-y.
- Exalted has soulsteel - a pitch black metal made from the tortured, still-aware, souls of humans that can drain a persons essence and willpower away when used as a weapon. While not necessarily better than the other magic materials, it's still better than normal metals. Characters could also acquire weapons made from 'Black Jade', which gave good bonuses to defensive stats. One such weapon was a dagger called Black Depths Foretold, which was fated to kill a powerful God...despite various attempts to throw it away.
- Warhammer 40,000's Space Marines have two prominent examples:
- Three of the Dark Angels' most prized relics are the Sword of Secrets, the Sword of Silence and the Raven Sword, collectively known as the Heavenfall Blades. These master-crafted power swords are said to have been forged from a single block of jet-black obsidian, originating from a meteorite that had struck the Dark Angel’s Fortress-Monetary of the Rock.
- The traditional weapon of the Emperor's Champions of the Black Templars is a massive two-handed power sword called, simply, "The Black Sword". Paired with the Armour of Faith and blessed by the chapter's Chaplains, it's perfectly balanced to allow it to be used either with a one-handed or two-handed grip, allowing the Emperor's Champion to deliver flurries of fast slashes and stabs or slower but much more damaging hacking blows to his opponents. The Black Templars possess only ten of these sacred weapons in their entire armoury.
- In Ultima Underworld 2, the best type of sword is a black sword. Likely a callback to The Black Sword from Ultima VII.
- When you finally assemble the Nobitsura Kage in Shadow Warrior, the weapon looks like the blade was forged from obsidian with lava-cracks running through it. It's the most powerful weapon you get (though you only get to play around with it at the very end of the game) and fires off Sword Beams that cut through the crowds of enemies running at you, and has a high rate of fire. It's also the only thing that will kill an Ancient, since the Ancients are otherwise immortal.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, the Big Bad, Ghirahim, has a black rapier (and later, two) in the second phase of each fight against him. Turns out that Ghirahim himself is a sword, belonging to Demise, which resembles a black and bulkier version of the Master Sword.
- The Elder Scrolls
- Throughout the series, Ebony and Daedric are typically the top two tiers of crafting material, making for the best non-magical/non-artifact weapons. Ebony is a very dark grayish/purplish mineral that is worth more than gold when used as bullion and is theorized to be the petrified blood of the "dead" creator god, Lorkhan. Daedric items are made by fusing Ebony with the souls of lesser Daedra and are black/gray with veins of red.
- Umbra is a legendary Empathic Weapon, forged by a witch and commissioned by Clavicus Vile, the Daedric Prince of Bargains and Wishes. In most appearances, it takes the form of an Ebony claymore or longsword, and is typically one of the most powerful bladed weapons in the game in which it appears. It also steals the souls of its victims, and its personality eventually takes over the mind of its wielder, turning them into a Blood Knight who refers to themself as "Umbra". (Thankfully, this never happens to the Player Character.) It has so far appeared in Morrowind and Oblivion.
- The Ebony Blade is an artifact weapon of Mephala, a Daedric Prince whose sphere is "obscured to mortals" but who is associated with manipulation, lies, sex, and secrets. It typically takes the form of a black katana-like sword and is among the very best in the games in which it appears. In Skyrim especially, it has the ability to drain and absorb the health of your enemies, and grows more powerful for each allied character you kill with it.
- Black swords are a weapon category, above steel and below mithril, uncraftable.
- There's also Darklight, which was created when the sword Silverlight was coated in ichor while destroying the demon Agrith-Naar. It is stronger than the original Silverlight and is extra effective at killing demons.
- And then there is the Dominion sword.
- In Fable I, obsidian weapons are better than iron or steel ones, and second only to 'master' (grey metal with gold trim) among non-legendary weapons.
- The Infinity +1 Sword in Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance is jet black.
- Halo 5: Guardians has the ONI line of UNSC vehicles, which have stronger, black-colored armor and much more deadly weapons.
- In Jade Empire, the weapon of choice for Prince Sun Kin is a large black sword called the Demon Sword, which is also available to the Spirit Monk in the PC version. Death's Hand dual-wields a black sword in his main hand and a black dagger in his off-hand, as well. Considering that Death's Hand is really Prince Kin's soul bound to Sun Li's old armour, this is not a coincidence.
- Black Knight weaponry from Dark Souls, unlike other bladed weapons, is colored jet black. There is a reason for this though, as the lore says Black Knights were charred by a highly powerful magical flame such that they were burnt to ashes and their armor and their weapons went black from the heat. As for their power, the weapons (large sword, great sword, great axe, and great halberd) were not even originally meant to kill man, but gigantic Demons. Saying that they are powerful is an underestimation at best.
- The Cursed Greatsword of Artorias is a decent greatsword that is one of the few weapons that can permanently kill ghosts.
- Black Knight weapons return in Dark Souls II, though they seem to be a bit rusted due to age. Despite that, they are still very powerful weapons. The Crypt Blacksword, crafted from the Soul of the Old Dead One dropped by The Rotten on New Game+ which is heavily implied to be the soul of Gravelord Nito, is a jet-black BFS that is potentially one of the most powerful weapons in the game.
- In I-Ninja, the player regularly receives upgraded swords whose colors correspond to karate kyu and dan. In order of increasing superiority, the swords are colored white, yellow, green, blue, red, black.
- Fallout: New Vegas has an unusual example in that it's black ARMOR that's better. The Veteran Ranger Combat Armor, 200 year old riot gear that serves as the main armor for the NCR Veteran Rangers and also called the black armor, is the game's iconic armor, appearing in nearly all promotional materials. The fact that it has the highest defense of nearly every armor short of Powered Armor reinforces this. This is taken Up to Eleven in Lonesome Road, which has the Advanced and Elite Riot Gears that provide special effects alongside the high defense.
- In the same theme, the strongest Powered Armor is the black colored Enclave Armor.
- In Fallout and Fallout 2, various Envclave R&D projects had created stronger Power Armor for their troops such as the Advanced Power Armor Mk. I & II note , and Frank Horrigan's Power Armor. Fallout 3 has the the Tesla Armor and later the Elite Hellfire Armor in Broken Steel.
- Pokémon X and Y: The shiny coloration for the possessed sword Aegislash is black and red.
- The Final Fantasy series has seen the Dark Knight class in various entries, which can arm Dark Swords. In Final Fantasy III, the Dark Sword is the only weapon that can permanently kill otherwise regenerating enemies.
- Final Fantasy IV gives Cecil a black sword called the Deathbringer for his final weapon as a Dark Knight. Not only is it black, it has a chance to cause instant death on whatever it hits.
- Might and Magic VIII has Glomenthal, the Blade of Dark, which has a blackish brown blade. It's one of the best artefact blades in the game. It's also completely bereft of any restrictions on the morality of the user.
- In Bravely Default, the Infinity –1 Sword of the Swords category, the Night Emperor, is black with white trim.
- When sufficiently upgraded, Corvo's balisong sword in Dishonored becomes black.
- In Odin Sphere, Oswald the Shadowknight's Belderiver is a jet-black sword that is considered the most fearsome Psypher ever forged. Oswald's own foster father Melvin sold Oswald's soul to Queen Odette of the Netherworld to empower it, though this is offset by the sword being powerful enough to fight off Odette's agents the Halja, meaning they can't actually collect on the deal until Oswald drops the Belderiver in a bout of despair. In gameplay, the sword's power grants Oswald his Shadow form.
- In Phantom Brave, Sprout once wielded the Sacred Sword. After his family was killed by Sulphur, he went mad with grief and lived only for revenge. He decided to fight darkness with darkness, and absorbed dark energy from the various monsters he encountered. Eventually, his once beautiful Sacred Sword became a pitch-black blade of darkness, Shiva.
- Naotora Ii wields one in Sengoku Basara 4.
- In Nuclear Throne, by leaving Chicken's starting weapon (the Chicken Sword) in area 1-1 and then looping the game, the aptly named Black Sword will spawn near you. This weapon swings faster than most other melee weapons in the game, and while it doesn't have too much base damage (12 per hit), it has the ability to deal 80 damage per hit... if Chicken is headless.
- In Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, the Tal'mahe'Ra Blade is a black katana forged in a ghost-city of The Underworld by an ancient vampire cult; it deals aggravated damage which, like fire and sunlight, cuts through vampires' defenses and interferes with their Healing Factor.
- In Umineko: When They Cry, both Willard H. Wright and Bernkastel have black blades. Given in Umineko: When They Cry, colour is incredibly important, the colour of these weapons is far more than just cosmetic, giving them powers to attack ideas and metaphysical concepts directly. Oh, and fitting Bernkastel's personality, her black blade takes the form of a Sinister Scythe that can reap miracles.
- Played with in Fate/stay night. In the Heaven's Feel route, Saber turns evil due to The Corruption that's been attacking the Servants, and to match her new "Saber Alter" state her golden sword Excalibur turns black. While the sword itself is not inherently stronger than the original Excalibur, it is far deadlier, if only because Saber Alter is now receiving infinite mana from the corruption, and can thus use her sword's devastating Sword Beam function almost infinitely (beforehand, the Sword Beam used by the good Saber had to be used with restraint due to its high mana consumption).
- In Goblins, Minmax touches a Power Copying sword to a hole in reality, which turns it black and gives it the Power of the Void: it vanishes from reality when he's not using it, is unaffected by any physical force other than him wielding it, and appears to bypass monsters' usual resistance to damage.
- Homestuck features the Regisword, and various other weapons combined with it. It appears to be a ceremonial piece, though most of the characters using it are skilled enough to use it effectively anyways.
- In Dungeons & Dragons, cold iron weapons are especially effective against demons. In The Order of the Stick, they're black; examples include Hinjo's awesome katana.
- In The Red Star, the Grim Reaper uses a black scythe.
- SCP Foundation'': SCP-076-2 can summon bladed weapons made of a mysterious non-reflective black material.
- In Noob, Omega Zell eventually upgrades to weapons that are not only a pair of katanas, but a pair of black katanas. He actually points out the color to another character some time after getting them.
- Sokka's sword, also made of meteoric iron, in the third season of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- In the Samurai Jack episode "Jack and the Ultra-Robots", the last Ultra-Robot uses a black katana.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Pre Vizsla wields a black-bladed lightsaber as his melee Weapon of Choice. Notable as uniquely implausible, even for lightsabers, for being a black laser beam that still has a white outline.
- However, the Darksaber's coolness factor doesn't help him win duels. He loses every fight he's in with it, the last one fatally. Of course, all of those fights were against Force-users.
- It reappears in Star Wars Rebels, coming into the possession of fellow Mandalorian Sabine Wren, who unlike Vizsla is a good guy.
- Many blades designed for modern military use or survival are painted black or blued so they don't give away their owner's position by reflecting light. The bluing also prevents rust.
- The sharpest manufacturable blades are made of obsidian, which is a black glass (they have an entry under Absurdly Sharp Blade).
- A steel cutting tool (such as a knife or machine tool head) with a layer of Titanium Carbonitride deposited upon it will have a glossy, very dark gray finish. It'll also hold its edge longer and much more resistant to corrosion and wear by way of a bonus.
- At one point, civilizations capable of creating the much darker steel (from which the term blacksmith came from) is this trope, especially if their neighbors were using the comparatively inferior bronze weapons.
- Damascus steel, while not black, is much darker than normal steel, and thanks to unique impurities in the metal is also far stronger than any other form of steel humans were capable of making up until the industrial era.