Sinister Scimitar

Yup, That can't be good...

"Have you seen those warriors from Hammerfell? They have curved swords. Curved. Swords."
Random Guards, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Whenever an army of evil creatures like Orcs and such is introduced, be sure that most of the time they will be armed with scimitars, falchions, sabers and other curved weapons. Alternatively, a particular evil character or warrior is armed with such a weapon to underline his bad guy status. Seen more often if the "good guys" or the "good army" wields straight swords. In many cases, expect the scimitar to be far broader towards the tip than at its base and have a scalloped back edge near its tip.

Probably born from the European view of the Crusades, where the righteous Christians were fighting the scimitar-wielding Arabs and Turks (even though Arabs preferred the spear and straight sword as weapons). Another possible influence could be cutlass-wielding pirates.

In Chinese wuxia novels and movies, straight double edged swords (jian, usually the taiji type which is thinner) are also preferred over large single edged swords (daidao), probably because it looks way cooler to beat someone with a bigger sword. Also, adding to the realism, they don't use designer weapons they make up, but Real Life weapons that are roughly the correct size. Some older novels prefer heroes use pole weapons, though.

Of course, this trope has one primary exception: if the hero comes from a place where scimitars and sabers are used as a "default," though in these cases it's more likely because everyone uses them. See also Weapon of Choice and Good Weapon, Evil Weapon. Expect to see it often in Qurac-like settings.

Compare and Contrast Katanas Are Just Better, which is the Eastern equivalent to this trope.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Vampire Hunter D's crescent sword.
  • Many high-level enemies in Yaiba are armed with large scimitars, namely the Mushroom Soldier, Gold and Gozuma.
  • Tao Pai Pai and Dabura from Dragon Ball. Also Yamcha during his bandit career. This was carried over in the live action adaptation Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins.
  • In Ranma ½ during her first appearence Shampoo wielded a large Da Dao sword.
  • In Bleach we have Lilynette Gingerback, armed with a far too curved blade. Also, a rare heroic exception in Kyouraku Shunsui, whose zanpakutou becomes a pair of scimitars in Shikai release.
  • The pirate Porchemy in One Piece carries a huge scimitar around, and has a penchant for scalping his victims alive.
    • Cutlasses are often found for Mooks on both Pirates and Marines, although higher-ranking marines usually tend to go for Katanas, with the exception of a General Ripper by the name of Onigumo who wields eight of them when using his powers.
  • Jakotsu from InuYasha. His blade is also a Whip Sword to boot.
  • The Apostle Nosferatu Zodd from Berserk has a wicked-looking falchion sword. And in an even better example, Griffith wielded a curved saber, contrasting Guts' humongous straigth sword.
  • Not exactly a sword, but Kabuto's kunai in Naruto is curved, unlike those of other ninjas. And unlike other ninjas, he's evil.
  • In Rave Master the Sacrifar sword is the second most powerful form of Ten Commandments but is also the darkest and most dangerous to both wielder and enemy. Fittingly enough. Lucia Raregrove use Sacrifar in combat against Haru and later reforges his Decalogue (previously straght-bladed) into a single-edged falchion-like sword. Also his Dark Blue Crinsom manifests as a couple of scimitars, opposed to Haru's one, which are longswords.
  • An Elite Mook from Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple wields one.
  • Some scimitars pop out as outstanding weapons in Gamaran: in one case (a very long sword with a massive, curved tip) is noted that the heavy tip can deliver massive damage. The other one (a more arabian-like shamshir or an indian Tulwar) is only saw but not elaborated upon much as the wielder is killed by Muraku..

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 

    Live Action TV 
  • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger use curved swords as their close combat weapon, of course they are not really heroes as other sentai teams are. Only Pink and Silver lack any evil intentions.
  • Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger did this with the very first Sixth Ranger, Burai the Dragon Ranger. He wasn't an agent of Bandora from the start, but hated his brother Geki for an obvious reason. Apparently, Bandora made him a Sword of Demons to put him under her control, but the sword was destroyed by his tears when he was defeted by his brother.

    Pinball 
  • This is the protagonist's weapon of choice in Sinbad.

    Tabletop Games 

    Toys 
  • Transformers Generation 2 did this with their Laser Rods: While the Autobots had straight and slender blades, the Decepticons used wide, curved blades.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 
  • In Looking for Group the enemy soldiers attacking Kethenecia in the past are armed with scimitars.
  • In The Order of the Stick we have Zz'dtri who, being a clone of Drizzt, wields two scimitars and the Death Knight assaulting Azure City wields one and also the Beetle-men bandits. Crystal's sword/dagger may count too.

    Western Animation 
  • Looney Tunes: Hassan, the huge arab guard who appears in some shorts and wields a massive scimitar.
    "Hassan CHOP!!!"

Aversions

    Anime and Manga 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves has Azeem, played by Morgan Freeman. He is Robin's righthand man and quite noble. As a Muslim warrior, he has a scimitar as a weapon.
  • "The 13th Warrior " has the protagonist, Ahmad, struggling with the Viking sword. It's too heavy for him as he keeps on stumbling with his swings, unable to cut a wooden stake which one of his Viking companions had easily chopped off. So he grinds the sword to resemble a scimitar, and proceeds to chop the stake effortlessly.

    Literature 
  • Conan the Barbarian has also used several curved swords himself, including scimitars, sabers, and tulwars (which are wrongly described as long knives). He however often stated that he was at his best with a western longsword.
  • Averted and played straight in The Dark Elf Trilogy and the rest of The Legend of Drizzt. Drizzt Do'Urden (a dark elf but one of the most morally upright characters in whole series) wields twin scimitars, but so do some of the other drow. Note however that in contrast to the typical drow, Zaknafein used straight blades.
  • In the Discworld novel Moving Pictures, Victor uses a scimitar in the click Sons of the Dessert. He's not impressed.
    Victor: I thought swords had to be straight.
    Mrs Cosmopolite: Perhaps they start out straight and get bendy with use. A lot of things do.
    • In Jingo, 71-Hour Ahmed has a huge scimitar. Vimes considers it the opposite of a concealed weapon; the wielder is concealed by it. He actually does look like one of the bad guys at first, but he's really an honest cop trying to stop the war, essentially Vimes's Klatchian counterpart. He is still considerably more ruthless than Vimes, as well as an Assassin, but he's not a bad guy.
  • In Belisarius Series both sides are likely to use curved swords. Belisarius himself on one occasion is noted as usesing a "Persian sword" instead of a Roman spatha.

    Film 
  • Thong in Cave Dwellers.
  • The Farmer from In The Name Of The King defends his farm from the evil Kurgs with a large, machete-like curved blade.
  • Gai Xing from Red Cliff is seen using a dadao in battle, and is one of the good guys. Most of the other characters (both good and bad) use straight swords and pole weapons instead.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura has several kinds of scimitars and falchions as free-to-buy weapons (including those which shoot fireballs). Moreover, one of them is a full-blown Infinity+1 Sword and a backup Sword of Plot Advancement.
  • Both Altaïr and Ezio from Assassin's Creed have used curved blades. Also justified in the first game, which is taking place in the Holy Land after all.
    • In Assassin's Creed III Connor has a nice selection of curved swords to choose from. And in ACIV Edward Kenway can dual wield a pair of pirate cutlasses.
  • Kaleh, Kalenz and Li'Sarr from Battle for Wesnoth, along with the good-aligned elves and orcs.
  • One of the first characters you play as in Eternal Darkness is an almost stereotypical Persian warrior, and naturally enough, wields a scimitar, and later a huge Ram Dao.
  • The Prince(s) in the Prince of Persia games tends to favor curved blades. The enemies also use them, but starting with Prince of Persia: Warrior Within are also armed with a wide variety of various weapons, ranging from knives to chakrams to axes and hammers.
  • In Runescape, scimitars are a popular weapon type, especially on free-to-play servers.
  • Sengoku Basara: Some of Keiji Maeda's weapons are scimitaresque, but he's the nicest guy around.
  • Blue Dragon from Swords Of Destiny is a Da Dao sword used by our hero.
  • Now, good scimitar users from Drakensang include good amazons, Tulamnid playable characters, Djinns and Tie'Shianna's palace guards. Nothing stops your playable character (whataver class he choses) to learn how to fight with a scimitar/saber (though larger one are considered as "Two Handed Swords" instead).

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Animated Series: In "His Silicon Soul," when Batman fights Android Batman in the Bat Cave, Batman tries a surprise attack with a straight sword. Android Batman then takes a curved sword out of the weapons cabinet next to him and they clash blades a few times.