"He's swinging that two-handed sword around with only one arm. I don't even want to get near him."Using a melee weapon which is obviously meant to be swung using both hands with only one hand. Say a character has a large sword. It may be anything from a regular two-handed sword, or it may be something utterly ludicrous in size. Clearly this thing requires both hands for any normal person to swing it. So anyone who swings around something so huge using only one hand is obviously not normal, and not someone to be trifled with. Often they'll be able to wield this huge weapon as effectively as a 'regular' single handed weapon. In fact, it will often seem as if the enormous slab of metal weighs next to nothing, allowing the character to pull off ridiculous(-ly awesome) feats that make even expert swordsmen look like amateurs. And if a guy is swinging a sword the size of a Buick around one-handed, what would happen if he used both hands? The character is typically The Big Guy, The Brute, or The Berserker. Quite often they're the protagonist. Anyone doing this usually possesses some degree of Super Strength or Charles Atlas Superpower. Very common in video games and manga/anime. Does not have to involve a BFS (though it often does), or even be a sword. Any normally two-handed melee weapon qualifies, though swords are by far the most common usage of this trope. Obviously, trying to wield a large sword using one hand in reality is a good way to pull major muscle groups, or give yourself a hernia. The trope naming German Zweihänder for example, is sometimes cited as being over seven feet long, and named for the requirement that it be wielded with "two hands." Trying to swing something that large around with just one hand would be impossible to do with any degree of skill. It is worth noting that real swords are in fact much lighter than one would think (a Zweihänder averaged 4 to 6 pounds, for example, and even the oversized ceremonial "Paratschwert" (parade sword) version was 10 pounds), and it may be quite possible to swing even a large sword using one hand, albeit with greatly reduced balance and with too low a speed to make it useful in a fight. The issue is less with force and weight as leverage and length—the only distance one hand has for applying torque is the hand's width, whereas two hands each have half the distance between each other. In fictionland, however, swords tend to be much larger and heavier than would be feasible in reality, so the audience reaction is "There is no way he could use that thing one-handed." It is not this trope if the sword or other weapon could be reasonably used one handed by a normal person. Of course, some of the weapons used by practitioners of this trope are so huge that not even using both hands would do them any good, even if the weapon was made lighter by using an aluminum alloy instead of solid steel. Often comes with Implausible Fencing Powers. Sometimes taken to ridiculous levels when Dual Wielding is involved. For the Gun Counterpart, see Firing One-Handed. Related to BFS. Subtrope of Improbable Use of a Weapon.
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Anime and Manga
- Kirito from Sword Art Online wields a huge black iron sword with one hand in ALO. The reasoning for this is that he is used to heavy swords from SAO.
- Guts from Berserk is quite capable of wielding his freakishly large BFS, the Dragon Slayer, using just one hand. He needs to be, because—although he focuses on two-handed use—he uses one-handed swings as well. His non-dominant left hand is actually an iron prosthetic, since he lost the original one during the Eclipse; it has a powerful magnet inside of it so that he can assist his right hand with a two-handed grip, but he still can only one-hand it with his right. Even before he got the Dragonslayer, his weapons of choice were oversized great swords that he would often practice with one-handed to build his strength. The reason being that he started training with an adult-sized long sword when he was five years old, and got used to wielding way-too-big swords, so he just kept upgrading the size as he grew older and stronger.
- In Bleach, Kenpachi Zaraki wields a very large sword, similar in design to a nodachi, in one hand, and uses a very reckless fighting style to boot. In the Hueco Mundo Arc, he encounters an enemy so powerful that he resorts to holding his sword properly, which has a marked effect on his power. Amusingly, he had to actually be taught that this works better when the head captain forced him to take formal swordsmanship lessons. He normally refuses to use the techniques he was taught, because he doesn't want his battles to be too easy. The true form of Kenpachi's zanpakuto, which he only recently unlocked upon learning his sword's name, is a gigantic axe-like blade that's bigger than he is...and he's a very big man (202cm tall). He still wields it one-handed.
- And, again from Bleach, Nnoitra Gilga (the very guy who Kenpachi had to resort to holding his sword properly for) uses several big-ass scythes in his One-Winged Angel form, all of them with one hand (he has six of them).
- Protagonist Ichigo remarkably averts this: his Zangetsu in any pre-Bankai form is definitely a BFS (it's generally about as long as his wingspan — and he's both tall (174cm-181cm) and somewhat long in the arm — and quite broad, its primary form resembling a giant khyber knife for most of the series) but he typically wields it two-handed. Though it's shown a couple of times that he can one-hand it.
- Played straight in the final story arc, when Zangetsu has to be reforged and the resulting weapon is two swords, one of which is similar to the original "giant chopping knife" and the second being the size of short sword or very large knife. Naturally, Ichigo dual wields them.
- Justified: It's stated that a zanpakuto is part of the soul of the shinigami or the arrancar wielding it. Therefore, to that person, even the most massive and absurd-looking weapon as light as a feather.
- The eponymous half-demon swordswomen of Claymore do this, often being able to Spam Attack with their huge swords. It's lampshaded in the first chapter and explained as a specific effect of their being made part-Yoma. The thin handles of the claymore swords also are a hint that the swords are made of Thunderbolt Iron. Which is why they can survive being used against Awakened Ones and do not break even when subjected to or used for Implausible Fencing Powers.
- Mahou Sensei Negima! gives us
- Jack Rakan, a man able to throw swords as tall as he is one-handed, or swing a sword the size of a building. Given that he can break the laws of magic and physics by thinking about it, this isn't too impressive for him.
- Asuna's Pactio artifact, both of Setsuna's swords — her regular nodachi and her second Pactio artifact (which can grow to enormous size), Yue's Ariadne sword, and (briefly) Fate's stone sword, all of which are positively BFSes and are usually wielded one-handed.
- Perhaps exaggerated in the Kyoto Arc of Rurouni Kenshin when Shishio's assault on Kyoto brings the heroes face-to-face with Fuji; not only is Fuji (as in Mt. Fuji) a veritable giant of a man, but his cleaver-shaped sword is almost as long as he is tall, able to carve through houses and entire city districts like a hot knife cutting through butter. And all of this is with one hand; his special technique is simply using both hands to swing the whole damn thing. Unfortunately for Fuji, the good guys get a Big Damn Heroes moment in the form of Hiko Seijuro, Kenshin's master and the strongest swordsman in the series (in fact, Nobuhiro Watsuki states that the fight was devised as the only way to work around Hiko's status as being "just too powerful" without him coming directly between Kenshin's duel with Shishio himself, thus easily solving Kenshin's problems). On a positive note, Hiko is the first person to see Fuji as something other than a monster and spares his life upon defeat.
- In Ranma One Half, Ryoga's umbrella turns out to be so incredibly heavy that Akane (who, remember, is a highly trained martial artist and in excellent shape) can barely lift it. Yet, as she observes, Ryoga wields it in one hand like a normal person with a normal umbrella, tipping her off to his monstrous natural strength.
- Ranma can do the same.
- In Naruto, Zabuza Momochi and Kisame Hoshigaki both wield their massive swords (Decapitating Carving Knife and Samehada, respectively) one-handed; both are very heavily built. At later points in the series, Suigetsu and Kakashi both use Zabuza's sword; Suigetsu alternates between both arms and one (sometimes using ninjutsu to make it larger and stronger) but Kakashi has only been shown using it one-handed.
- Bui from YuYu Hakusho wields an axe so large and heavy that it causes his footsteps to crack solid stone floors, and with a single hand he can swing it faster than most humans can percieve. The axe is by far his weakest form of attack.
- In Gamaran the most (and perhaps only) blatant example can be found in Kibe Ryuho, the Silver Demon: his gargantuan iron club "Black Claw Comb" is made to be used with both hands. However, thanks to the ludicrous Super Strength obtained with the Juugan drug he eventually manages to swing the whole damned thing with a single hand.
- To put in perspective how completely ludicrous this is, even for manga, picture a 100 pound crackhead swinging a 90 pound tetsubo around one-handed.
- Ikaruga in Senran Kagura is able to handle her nodachi with only one hand.
- In episode 8 of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Bell steals a minotaur's sword and proceeds to utterly wreck the beast while using it in tandem with the Hestia Knife.
- Hishigi from Samurai Deeper Kyo has a BFS named Hakuya. The length of the hilt and size of the blade (it's about as tall as he is, and he's canonically 180cm) suggest it's a two-hander, but Hishigi's left hand never touches it. He can swing it so fast it creates shockwaves capable of one-shotting the main character, and it was made for him because his strength shattered normal swords — naturally, Hakuya is too heavy and powerful for anyone else to handle.
- In the Star Wars franchise, Lightsabers are usually wielded by Jedi and Sith alike in the two-handed fashion in order to maintain control over their completely weightless blades. Two notable characters do not do this: Count Dooku wields his saber one-handed in a fighting style that specializes in dueling and Darth Vader starts out wielding his in one hand against Luke to demonstrate his superior strength as an intimidation tactic.
- In "The Scarlet Citadel," Conan the Barbarian is described as wielding a 5-foot broadsword one-handed. On horseback, yet.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, the 8-foot-tall and freakishly strong Gregor Clegane can wield a greatsword with one hand as easily as shorter knights use one-handed arming swords (incorrectly called "longswords" in the ASOIAF universe)..
- In With Sword and Fire, Longinus Podbipięta uses a massive bastard sword called Zerwikaptur (Hood-Ripper), often one-handed, while the other characters have difficulty even holding it up.
- In Codex Alera, the superhumanly strong Knights Terra use greatswords and giant mauls in one hand to devastating effect.
- In the Book of Five Rings, Musashi encourage the reader to use the tachi (a long katana) with one hand in order to use Dual Wielding. While it's not an impressive feat, as a katana isn't that heavy, still most swordsmen used it with both hands to deliver faster and stronger hits.
- Actually, katana is a subversion of this trope. This weapon has to be used with two hands precisely because it is so short and light (and thus have so little inertia on its own). Musashi could pull of powerful one-handed strikes because he was REALLY big and strong for Japanese standards of the time
- Belgariad: Garion, Torak, and 'Zakath all do this one occasion. Likely justified, as the swords in question are magic.
- In the case of Garion, the sword in question is powered by a Cosmic Keystone that explicitly makes the sword lighter than it would normally be. When the stone is removed, he can barely lift or carry the sword at all, much less in one hand (he once removed the stone while forgetting the sword is slung in the scabbard at his back. It brought him to his knees). Torak, by contrast, is a god, and would not be expected to have difficulty handling any sword.
- Shardblades in The Stormlight Archive are upwards of six-seven feet in length, yet light enough to wield one-handed. Justified in Words of Radiance by the fact that Shards aren't made of matter as we know it, but are the physical manifestations of the creatures of pure magic known as spren.
- Stated of the length of root that Cord uses as an improvised weapon in Exiles of ColSec. This is meant to emphasize Cord's Charles Atlas Superpower.
- Dungeons & Dragons
- Third edition has a feat called Monkey Grip that allows a character to use two-handed weapons as one-handed weapons with a small penalty to hit. As the system is one of the bigger cases of Shields Are Useless, and there is an inherent damage boost to using weapons two-handed, it's not a very popular feat from a power perspective.
- It is possible to enchant greatswords/claymores to be wielded like shortswords, so even the squishy thief can swing around a blade longer than her arm span.
- In second edition, a magical sword known as the "sun blade" is classed as a bastard sword with regards to appearance, damage dealt, and overall size, but is regarded as a short sword in terms of encumbrance and weight, and can be wielded by people with proficiency in using either a bastard or a short sword.
- Also in second edition, Large sized creatures (ogres, small giants, and the like) could wield weapons intended for two-handed use by Medium sized creatures (humans, elves, etc.) one-handed. In an inversion, Small sized creatures (such as halflings) needed two hands to wield weapons that would be one-handed for Mediums.
- "Pathfinder" has the Barbarian archetype Titan Mauler, which has the class feature of weilding swords meant for two-handed fighting with one hand.
- In Exalted, you can wield a two-handed weapon in only one hand if you have three times the minimum strength to wield it the normal way. This is somewhat uncommon, since it's hard to have a strength score higher than five dots within a human lifetime without artifacts or charms to provide bonuses. As a result, it's best to avoid offending a Solar wielding a grand daiklave in one hand, since he is easily strong enough to pull a fully laden wagon.
- The basic daiklave itself is the size of a mundane two-handed weapon. Anyone who can't attune to the weapon can't even lift it regardless of their strength score, but Exalts and others with the necessary essence pools can wield them one-handed. Solars and Lunars can also learn Charms to allow one-hand wielding of grand daiklaves and other giant weapons which are normally too big for this even for them. Lunars take it a few steps further and can eventually wield weapons meant for warstriders.
- Warhammer's Elves fight more swiftly and skillfully with double-handed great weapons than humans are capable of with single-handed ones (thanks, in game terms, to all elves having the Always Strikes First rule and a very high Initiative characteristic). The Swordmasters of Hoeth in particular specialise in extreme swordsmanship skills with their seven or eight foot blades. Most elf great weapon wielders tend to use both hands, but many of the champion models are depicted swinging their gigantic swords and axes with one. The White Lion hero Korhil even uses the magical Great Axe Chayal in one hand and a regular hand-axe in the other. Elven great weapons tend to be much lighter and less cumbersome than other races' equivalents however - the power of the strikes coming from sharpness and perfect balance more than brute force and weight.
- Pretty much every sword in Warhammer 40,000 is used one-handed regardless of its size (usually justified via Powered Armor, Super Strength engineering, etc.), but special mention must be made of Abaddon the Despoiler, whose one-hand-wielded sword is an actual Zweihander.
- In the Legend of the Five Rings RPG, and specifically its Fourth Edition, Moto Bushi have the ability to wield ANY two handed weapon in one hand (except for bows). This includes large swords (such as nodachi) as well as other oversized weapons like naginata and tetsubos.
- In the pre-Ivory Edition CCG, Kensai could wield two weapons of any sort. This led to absurd situations where a kensai could somehow wield a set of weapons that made no sense - such as a monk somehow swinging two oversized bisento. In the Ivory Edition core set, this was partially fixed by designating weapons as one- or two-handed, where kensai could only wield two one-handed weapons. That said, it only fixes weapons printed in Ivory Edition core and forward until the errata team can catch up; even in the Ivory-legal sets printed in the Emperor era, unrealistic weapons exist without those designations (and in legacy formats, plenty of other weapons exist that could lead to this trope occurring).
- In GURPS, a two handed weapon can be used one-handed if the user has at least 1,5 times the required strength, but becomes unreadied (basically, the character next turn will be spent "readying" the weapon instead of attacking) after each strike. Users who have twice the required strength (that is, near superhuman strength for most weapons) can swing them with one hand at no penalty.
- The Nerf N-Force foam melee weapons toyline has the Maurader sword, a fairly big foam sword. In this rare case the blade is actually light enough for most people to wield one-handed without being weighted down.
- The image for this trope used to be War, from Darksiders. His BFS, Chaoseater, is at least eight feet long and two feet wide. War swings it around in his right hand like it weighs next to nothing. His other hand is a Power Fist. Even a de-powered Horseman of the Apocalypse gives Cloud a run for his money.
- Used within the League of Legends. Garen, Riven and Tryndamere are examples of this trope... especially Tryndamere, whose joke emote is "My right arm is a lot stronger than my left arm!" Well, there's another reason for that joke too.
- Soulcalibur: Nightmare usually wields Soul Edge, which takes the form of a Zweihander, with one hand. It is notable that he does not normally use the freakishly outsized claw that is his right arm to do so.
- Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children: Cloud is shown capable of wielding the First Tsurugi/First Ken to cleave through falling building sections, with one hand, while riding Fenrir (seen at 3:05-3:24). and can also dual-wield a pair of them at once, as seen during his duel with Sephiroth, when he briefly separates them into a pair of BFSes (7:45-8:21).
- Sephiroth does this as well, and his sword already is a BFS by all standards, having a length of about three meters, which dwarfs Cloud's Buster Sword in length.
- Angeal and Zack, the first and second wielders of the Buster Sword, are also capable of using it one handed; though that's probably due to their SOLDIER enhancements.
- You can learn the ability to do this in the Final Fantasy Tactics games—called "Monkey Grip" in some games—so you can equip a shield on your free hand.
- In the Tactics games as well as some other Final Fantasy games you can invert this by using the opposite ability—Doublehand—to wield one handed weapons with both arms for extra power.
- Auron uses large, Western swords (which are labeled as katanas). Although he can clearly lift and use them with no effort, most of his attacks (Overdrives included) actually have him use both hands. In Kingdom Hearts II, however, he keeps his left hand tucked away under his robes, playing this trope straight.
- Lightning of the Final Fantasy XIII games usually wields light, one-handed gunblades, and her normal battle stance reflects this. However, in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII her swords range in size from small, light rapiers to great swords, a category that includes the Buster Sword and Caius's sword. While she wields the larger weapons with two hands when attacking with them, her battle stance is always the same one-handed one.
- In the Dynasty Warriors franchise, Lu Bu does this with a halberd.
- Pang De and DW7!Zhang Liao dual-wield two large Pole axes.
- The daughter of Lu Bu, Lu Lingqi, takes this to an even more absurd extent, wielding a crossed pike — twin double-headed halberds conjoined at the center — larger than she is, single-handed. This doubles as a call back to DW 6 where this was wielded by Lu Bu himself.
- In Samurai Warriors, Keiji Maeda and Sakon Shima do this with a pike and a humongous falchion/cleaver, respectively.
- Orochi of Warriors Orochi wields his massive scythe with a single hand.
- In the sequel Kiyomori Taira wields an absurdly large set of rosary beads with one hand.
- In Ultima VII, there is a character, Dupre, that comes with a Two-Handed Sword (which is one of the best weapons in the game, magical or not) in just ONE hand, and a shield in the other. It's a bug, since moving the sword to his backpack and then back to his hand makes him to use in both hands, but is awesome nevertheless.
- In some of the One Piece video games, the resident Badass Master Swordsman Mihawk will swing his gigantic sword with one hand. Recently, the New Fishman pirate Dosun is shown using a colossal maul with only one hand.
- Ragna the Bloodedge of BlazBlue does this with a sword described as "a massive slab of metal." He also tends to use it in Reverse Grip, making it even more implausible.
- Also played straight by Kagura Mutsuki, who wields a cricket bat-shaped sword that is even bigger than Ragna's in one hand, and also uses it in Reverse Grip. Averted surprisingly by Hakumen, who wields his Nodachi the correct way, with both hands.
- Bloodedge, the famous hero who sacrificed himself to stop the Black Beast and who Ragna takes his name after, used his giant sword with one arm. Justified because his right arm didn't work at all. Also, because he's Ragna.
- In Mount & Blade, a character on horseback will always wield their weapons one-handed (reasonably enough, as using both hands would be unbalanced and very impractical) and yes, this goes all the way up to six-foot greatswords and longaxes. Any two-handed weapon (except polearms) used this way suffers a 25% damage and skill penalty, though.
- Barbarians in Diablo II can wield two-handed weapons like this, allowing for either a shield or another weapon (even another two-handed weapon) to be used in the other hand, though they take a damage penalty for one-handed use. For barbarians using a Frenzy build, however, nothing tops it.
- Crusaders using the Heavenly Strength passive skill in Diablo III: Reaper of Souls can also wield two-handed weapons — even polearms — in one hand. Unlike the Barbarian from the previous game, however, the Crusader cannot dual-wield, and primarily uses this in tandem with a big heavy shield.
- World of Warcraft: Warriors can do this with the Titan's Grip talent. Not only that, Titan's Grip allows the Warrior to dual-wield normally two-handed weapons.
- The infamous [Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker], which is particularly notable for being a one-handed sword that is, in fact, bigger than some two-handed swords.
- Felguards, the front line troops of the Burning Legion, always wield a axe or zweihander-type sword one-handed.
- A more specific example of the trope would be the Death Knight Thassarian, a recurring character allied at first with the Knights of the Ebon Blade during Wrath of the Lich King and the Alliance in Cataclysm onward. He dual-wields two-handed swords.
- In Guild Wars, your character will always have to wield swords with a shield or an off-hand no matter their size, despite of them being really huge.
- The trope is now completely averted in Guild Wars 2.
- In Sengoku Basara there's Yukimura (twin spears), Tadakatsu (giant drill), Shingen (battleaxe), Keiji (BFS), Motochika (anchor), Motonari (ring blade), Nagamasa (longsword), and Mitsuhide (two giant scythes).
- In Bujingai, one of Lao's swords is large and has a two-handed grip, but he still uses it with one hand.
- The Qunari Arishok in Dragon Age II wields a claymore and a two-handed battle axe in each hand, which is not surprising considering his enormous body height and clearly Super Strength. On a related note, the in-game model of Arishok belongs to the Rogue class (rather than the burly Warrior you'd expect) and his weapons are technically daggers, since the game's engine limits dual-wielding to this class and weapon exclusively.
- In the first game, one-handed swords were a little large for humans but start to look more like two-handed swords for elves and dwarves (a one-handed sword is about as long as this distance between the ground and an elf's chin). Enter the Rogue talent that lets you dual-wield one-handed weapons instead of requiring a dagger in your off-hand... There's also a Warrior power, Killing Blow, that, because it can be used with either one or two-handed weapons, always uses the same attack animation: a one-handed forward thrust. Doesn't matter if you're wielding a dagger or a two-handed hammer with a head that's bigger than your torso.
- Many classes in Fire Emblem swing around huge weapons one handed. Ike wields all of his swords in Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn (including his iconic Ragnell) in this manner and is explicitly pointed out to be doing so in Super Smash Bros. Brawl by Solid Snake on Snake's level.
- The Black Knight also does this with his Alondite, the twin of Ragnell. Ashnard, the Big Bad of Path of Radiance, also wields his lance-esque sword Gurgant with one hand.
- Even more ridiculously, the legendary hero Altina dual-wielded Ragnell and Alondite, but that was ages ago.
- When the three Lords (Eliwood, Hector, Lyndis) in Blazing Sword promote, they are all granted new weapons. Eliwood gets Durandal (a broadsword larger than his horse), Hector gets Armads (a giant axe), and Lyn gets the Sol Katti (a mammoth, rapier-esque katana). Of the three, Eliwood and Hector play the trope straight (beyond Eliwood's attack speed plummeting 7 points because of its insane weight, preventing him from double attacking final boss even with his speed at the cap and letting almost every other foe in the one chapter it is usable for double HIM). Lyn subverts it; she holds the sword up with one hand in her standing animation, but has to swing the blade with both hands when she lunges at her foe with a jumping slash.
- The Black Knight also does this with his Alondite, the twin of Ragnell. Ashnard, the Big Bad of Path of Radiance, also wields his lance-esque sword Gurgant with one hand.
- Dante of the Devil May Cry series does this with all his BFSes, the most noteworthy being Sparda, which is at least as long as he is tall, and can extend to be even longer. He also likes to Spam Attack with these oversized swords. Of course, he is half-demon. In the first game, Dante encounters (several times, for that matter) Nelo Angelo (his Brainwashed and Crazy Evil Twin Vergil), who copies his moveset with an even larger blade.
- In Fate/stay night, Berserker one-hands a giant sword that is more a seven foot slab of rock, so fast that even his missed attacks cause a Razor Wind.
- On the other hand, Berserker's humongous size makes said sword look small by comparison.
- Played straight when Shirou traces Berserker's sword and fights with it. He can't even wrap his hand around the hilt.
- In Dark Souls, as well as its predecessor Demons Souls, a player with the right stats can carry any weapon in a single hand, whether it be a 6 foot katana, a zweihänder, a battleaxe intended for a giant or a solid-stone dragon tooth larger than the person wielding it. The NPCs Havel the Rock and Black Iron Tarkus go as far as to wield a giant weapon in their right hand and a tower shield on their left. The player is even capable of Dual Wielding two-handed weapons, though doing so grants no practical advantage—until Dark Souls II introduced the ability to attack with both weapons at once, but only if you have 1.5 times the Strength and Dexterity two compatible weapons need to simply be used one hand.
- There's also Artorias of the Abyss, who is based off of Guts (the developers having admitted to being huge Berserk fans) and will destroy you.
- Even more frightening once you think of the size difference between Artorias and the Player. The player's height (male) is assumed to be around 6 feet tall, Dragonslayer Ornstein is around the same height as the Black Knights (appear around 7 to 8 feet tall). Artorias makes both of them look small in comparison. This means Artorias' sword is at the minimum ten feet long or bigger.
- Even more frightening when you realize the reason he's fighting one-handed in the first place is because his left arm (which is also implied to be his stronger arm) is broken and limp. If he puts up that much of a fight in his wrecked state, imagine how powerful he must have been in his prime...
- In Dark Souls II, the mighty King Vendrick or what's left of him wields a huge sword as big as he is with one hand. He's a giant, by the way.
- In the Crown of the Old Iron King DLC, players fight the Fume Knight formerly known as Knight Raime who starts off with this trope by Dual Wielding the tremendously large Fume Ultra Greatsword and a thinner, nondescript sword, though notably only using the Greatsword in huge, slow attacks. Late in the fight, he'll discard the smaller blade and start two handing the Greatsword (for the most part).
- Finally, in the Crown of the Ivory King DLC, the titular king also wields his Ultra Greatsword in one hand. Notably, despite being seven feet long, the sword is pretty slick in design and doesn't at first look as heavy, especially in the king's hand, but it has a special attack that encrusts it in ice, effectively doubling its length and tripling its girth.
- There's also Artorias of the Abyss, who is based off of Guts (the developers having admitted to being huge Berserk fans) and will destroy you.
- Silent Hill 2 gives us Pyramid Head, who swings and drags his Great Knife in one hand (though his slow movements suggest it isn't easy). While the player can acquire this weapon, James Sunderland wields it with two hands and swings it even slower.
- Baldur's Gate: In the first game, Sarevok wields a big sword one-handed. In Shadows of Amn, you can get this sword as an actual item — and only then will you see it was a two-handed sword, by the rules simply impossible for your characters to wield in one hand. (However, in Throne of Bhaal, this rule applies to Sarevok as well.)
- In Baldurs Gate Dark Alliance 2, Dorn the Barbarian can learn a high-level skill (it costs 15 skill points) that allows him to wield two-handed swords, axes and hammers in one hand, and even dual wield them should he wish.
- RuneScape has an interesting inversion. The Dominion Sword looks for all intents and purposes like a normal, one handed longsword. However, you can only wield it two-handed. (as in, you aren't allowed to equip a shield, even though the sword is obviously small enough for you to do so.)
- Played straight with the Slayer master Vannaka, who wields both a steel two-handed sword and Dragon square shield at the same time although not even players with maxed Strength can wield two-handed swords with a shield.
- In Dwarf Fortress, each weapon has a minimum size to be used at all and a minimum size to be used one-handed without penalty; units above the second size won't even try to wield the weapon with two hands available. Because they were meant to let at least some dwarves wield any weapon one-handed, the size standards for this are rather unrealistically small. Even slightly above average humans are big enough to wield things like pikes, two-handed swords, halberds, mauls, and great axes one-handed without issue. For reference, the in-game weight of an iron maul or great axe (the two largest weapons) is over 10 kilograms.
- In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the Xivilai can come at you wielding two-hander swords with just one hand.
- All the types of spears in Titan Quest are used with one hand, no matter how large or heavy they look.
- In Dungeons, the Zombie King wields a very large sword with one hand.
- In Kingdom Hearts Saïx wields an in name only "Claymore" in one hand with a Reverse Grip. Terra also wields some of the largest Keyblades in the series one-handed.
- In Fable, the Berserk spell allows the player character to do this.
- In Risen, putting 9 out of 10 points in the Sword fighting skill allows the Player Character to do this, allowing the combined use of a shield with a huge sword that can be swung at the speed of common one handed swords which is arguably one of the most powerful weapon combinations in the game and the best option to spend the majority of your early Learning points on if you choose to align yourself with the Don's Men instead of the Inquisition.
- The Damocles in EYE Divine Cybermancy is a huge 15kg katana, with a handle made of generators to create a warp bubble upon contacting flesh, creating a large explosion. Normally it is held with both hands, but with the Sword and Gun combo (with a fully automatic .45ACP pistol), the user can carry it one-handed with the only adverse effect being a slower swing speed. It probably helps that the player is a heavily augmented and clad in Powered Armor. On the other hand, the Arrancadora De Tripas warp hammer cannot be held one-handed at all.
- Alvin from Tales of Xillia does this and wields a pistol in his free hand to boot. While the slowest melee fighter in the party as a result, he gets abilities that allow him to take hits without flinching and break the opponent's guard to compensate.
- J.D. in Granado Espada wields swords, rapiers, blunt weapons, great swords, and even the human-dwarfing crescent one-handed and in the same manner. The way he wields the crescent as if it's made from paper makes its other only wielder, Nar, look like a skinny wimp.
- Neo in The Matrix: Path of Neo can and does wield the longswords and katana's he picks up one-handed, unless he's charging up a killing blow, where he'll sometimes use two hands.
- In Giacomo di Grassi's 1570 fencing manual Ragione di adoprar sicuramente l'Arme, he encourages the use of single-handed thrusts with the spadone or two-handed sword, which are done by releasing the top hand from the grip while the bottom hand holds it at the pommel in order to gain maximum reach. Although this is a risky tactic, it can be reasonably effective if performed correctly.
- This Scholagladiatoria video demonstrates that a lot of the moves done with a two handed sword are at least possible one handed, but also extremely exhausting (and doing them two handed's no mean feat in the first place). It also shows the single handed thrust mentioned in the Giacomo di Grassi manual.