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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

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 

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

    Tabletop Games 

    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 
  • Bleach has Shunsui Kyoraku's Shikai, which takes the form of two large scimitars.
    • Also in the filler episode 287, which has a Arabian Nights Days setting features scimitar-looking Zanpakuto for everyone.
  • Agon from Hunter × Hunter. Though he's more neutral than fully evil/good.
  • In Naruto, Izumo and Kotetsu both used curved blades.
  • One of the other forms of Ten Commandments is MillionSun which is definetively positive.
  • In InuYasha the Tessaiga blade is fang-shaped, hence looking a bit like a massive scimitar.
  • In Sailor Moon, Sailor Uranus uses the Space Sword, which is a curved sword that looks a lot like a jeweled scimitar. In this case, the fact that she has it is proof of her pure heart, since it's one of the three talismans and came out of her pure heart crystal.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist Ling Yao's main weapon is a dadao.

    Films — Live-Action 

    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 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.


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