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Black Swords Are Better

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"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 that 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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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ayato Amagiri from The Asterisk War wields the purple-black blade, Ser Veresta which was previously owned by his elder half-sister Haruka Amagiri. He has an astounding 97% compatibility rate with it. Though this is a case of Adaptation Dye-Job for the anime: in the original Light Novel, the sword's blade was pure white.
  • Guts of Berserk fame wouldn't be the Black Swordsman without that huge sheet of black blade that he calls the Dragonslayer.
  • Black Clover: Asta's swords are black and through them, he can use Anti-Magic to cut through spells and dispel magic. It's later revealed that, when wielded by their original owner Licht, the swords were an almost white color, but turn black and rusted-looking when covered in Anti-Magic. The same thing happens when he infuses Yami's katana with anti-magic.
  • Black★Rock Shooter wields the black blade (the ★rock shooter part of her name is for her gun).
  • Bleach:
    • Tensa Zangetsu, Bankai form of Ichigo's Zanpakutou is an entirely black tachi with a manji-shaped hilt. His true Shikai becomes two jet black swords.
    • The fourth movie set in Hell has the Togabito weapons, Kokuto's sword (the previous trope image) and Muragumo's glaive, which are pitch black. Fittingly enough, Kokuto's name literally means "black sword".
    • Zanka no Tachi, the Bankai form of Yamamoto-Genryūsai's Zanpakutou is a worn-out and scorched black sword. All its fire is concentrated in this blade, making it the most dangerous Bankai.
  • Saizo from Brave10 has one. He calls it the Mari Blade.
  • Subverted In-Universe in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Demon Slayers' swords take their color depending on the slayer who owns them. Tanjiro's black blade seems to be an oddity, and an ill omen of sorts — no slayer with a black blade ever became a Hashira. However, it's later revealed that Yoriichi Tsugikuni, who was an incredibly powerful Demon Slayer who created the Sun Breathing, the first and strongest Breathing Style, had a black blade like Tanjiro does. But unlike all normal demon slayers who permanently enhance the color of their blades due to their Breathing affinity when they touch it for the first time, Yoriichi could make his black blade turn red at will when he engaged in battle, showcasing his proficiency in Sun Breathing.
  • In Fairy Tail, Erza uses a black sword in her Purgatory Armor, the one which supposedly has the biggest attack strength.
  • Jōjū Senjin!! Mushibugyō: when the leader of the Bugmen Sanada Yukimura decides to test his sword skill against his opponent's newly-powered up vibrating giant sword, he condenses his black butterfly scales into a single pitch-black katana he calls "Masamune". In a single slash, he cuts the giant sword in half and severely wounds Mugai, the wielder.
  • 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 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 transforms 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.
  • Norris Packard's Gouf Custom wields one as opposed to the glowing red Hot Blade carried by the mass production version in Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team. According to some of the games its actually coated in a powerful acid rather than using heat to weaken enemy armor.
  • 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: Kokutou 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 formerly 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 willpower), any weapon can be made black and greatly stronger. The story implies and later confirms during the Wano Arc that swords imbued with Haki can become Kokutou permanently.
  • In Mashima's previous work Rave Master, the Evil Counterpart sword Decalogue is mostly black in all his forms. Then there's the Ten Commandments' ninth form, Sacrifar, a pitch-black jagged scimitar that bestows a great power to the user, but also merges with his arm and turns him into a psychotic, restless berserker. Last but not least, Doryuu's swords are both darkness-related and mostly black.
  • In Rurouni Kenshin: Hokkaido Arc, five years after the events of the Kyoto Arc, the Mugenjin now sports a charred, blackened appearance after surviving the fires of Shishio and his headquarters burning to the ground.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Soul Eater:
    • Masamune is one and after Tsubaki defeats him she gains this ability as well. Slightly subverted when Tsubaki, during her and Black★Star's battle against Masamune, claims that the blade is now black and it 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.
  • 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.

    Comic Books 
  • The Black Knight (Marvel Comics)'s Ebony Blade. Another example of Thunderbolt Iron. It can cut through or deflect anything, including magical and technological field and rays, but due to being tainted by its use to shed blood in various wars over the centuries, it can fill its wielder with an uncontrollable bloodlust if he or she sheds blood while using it (the effect is less pronounced if it involves defense of self or others, and extreme if the victim is innocent).
  • 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.
  • 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 other than the one born to wield it would have uncontrollable bloodlust.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Boy Behind The Mask, Hiccup was able to concoct a black metal stronger and lighter than even "Gronkle Iron" called "Nightshade Steel," forging weapons for himself and his friends with it.
  • Shadows over Meridian: Jade provides Phobos' troops with dark-colored Shadowkhan weapons that prove to be strong enough to shatter the regular steel weapons used by Elyon's forces.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The magical sword from The Northman is black as Hel and symbolic of its role as an instrument of his dark hatred. With it, he is able to kill a camp of soldiers single-handedly and mutilate men beyond all recognition.


  • 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.
  • Cthrek Goru, the Sword of Shadows, wielded by 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.
  • 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.
  • The title weapons of the Black Blade series, which absorb magic.
  • In Campione!, Ena Seishuin's legendary sword Ame no Murakumo no Tsurugi is black.
  • In Chivalry of a Failed Knight, Ikki Kurogane's Device takes the form of a black katana called Intetsu.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Several examples exist in Brandon Sanderson's The Cosmere:
    • In Mistborn: The Original Trilogy, Mistborn, hazekillers and Steel Inquisitors don't use metal knives because of their enemies' Magnetism Manipulation powers. Instead, they favour knives of obsidian. Steel Inquisitors in particular favour obsidian axes.
    • Nightblood of Warbreaker is a black sentient telepathic sword that is just the deadliest thing around. The only thing that keeps people safe around it is its aluminum sheath. When it is fully drawn, it bleeds black smoke, screams inside the head of its wielder to "DESTROY!", sucks in any magic in the surrounding area (then when that has run out, the wielders lifeforce). Due its magical nature, Nightblood exists in all realms (Physical, Cognitive, and Spiritual), making it a Soul-Cutting Blade; anything it so much as scratches puffs into smoke. Its soulcutting ability extents to the souls of objects; when Vasher, it's current wielder and co-creator needs to move through a building in a hurry, he simply stabs walls and floors to make large holes. Also, anyone who picks it up who might think of using it for 'evil' purposes (as defined by Nightblood) is driven to kill their companions and then themselves; its most common use is being thrown into groups of enemies who end up killing each other off. The only exemptions to this are people who the sword thinks are 'pure of heart' - those people just feel nauseous. The second most common use is to club people with it while it is still safely sheathed. Despite its status as The Corrupter, it was Awakened with the Command 'Destroy evil'. Only thing is, being a sentient length of metal, it doesn't actually know what evil is. Word of Brandon is Nightblood might define evil as "someone who would try to take the sword and use it for evil purposes, selling it, manipulating, and extorting others, that sort of thing".
  • The title weapon of The Darksword Trilogy, which consumes magic.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Dragonrealm series features two, both crafted by Azran Bedlam. The first is the Horned Blade and the second is the Nameless (successor to the Horned Blade after Azran lost it). Both blades have the power to annihilate entire armies of men and dragons. They're also both examples of a Living Weapon, as well as an Evil Weapon.
  • 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 Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, Hestia gets down on her hands and knees to beg Hephaestus for a weapon to give Bell to keep up with his inflated growth rate. The result is the Hestia Knife, a black knife that responds to Bell's Falna and is thus only valuable when wielded by him. Its strength will constantly grow along with his, making it even sharper and more powerful the higher his stats go. Once he reaches the pinnacle of adventurers, the Hestia Knife will reach the pinnacle of weapons. As a weapon personally designed and forged by Hephaestus herself and infused with the blood and hair of Hestia, it's a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
  • The sword Dragnipur in The Malazan Book of the Fallen.
  • 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.
  • Michael Moorcock:
    • The Elric Saga: In the 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.
  • 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 Riftwar Cycle: 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.
  • 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.
  • The Silmarillion: The two swords, Anguirel and Anglachel were made by Eöl the Dark Elf. These swords were made of meteoric iron, which is not naturally black in real life. While Anguirel was wielded by Eöl, and later his son Maeglin, Anglachel was gifted to Thingol as payment for his home in Nan Elmoth, who in turn gave it to Beleg. Melian, wife of Thingol, could sense malice in Anglachel, and it was known for its blood-thirsty habit of drinking the blood of its victims. Whenever Beleg unsheathed it, it sang with gladness and possessed some level of sentience. Anglachel was later renamed Gurthang, and its blackness was reaffirmed in The Book of Lost Tales, when it was wielded by Turin Turambar. It eventually revealed that it could talk, just before Turin used it to commit suicide.
  • 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.
  • Son of the Black Sword: Ashok wields Angruvadal, a black sword with magical powers.
  • 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.
  • Sword Art Online:
    • Elucidator, one of Kirito's two swords, is pitch black. In ALO, his sword is also black. In GGO, his sword hilt is still black, but it's a 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, and it's not just that he favors wearing a black coat.
    • Worth mentioning that, as mentioned in the Dual Wielding example, in SAO his second sword is white...though only in the original light novel. In the anime adaptation, his second sword is instead blue.
    • And in Mother's Rosario Zekken,note  the only person to defeat him, has a black sword. Kirito also says that Zekken would have gotten the Dual Wieldingnote  sword skill were she in SAO.
  • 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, who can still access Bahamut's power due to the special armament of his true Drag-Ride, Ouroboros.
  • The Wheel of Time: As powerful agents of the Dark One, the Myrddraal wield black swords that spread a deadly corruption with the slightest scratch. They're forged in [[Mordor Shayol Ghul]] at the foot of the Dark One's prison and are tempered with human sacrifice.
  • 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Kamen Rider Dragon Knight, Wing Knight is the only Kamen Rider besides Eubulon to carry a black sword and both... kick... a lot of ass.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Darksaber makes its live-action debut in The Mandalorian, though despite its unique look, it's stated by Moff Gideon to be more or less a typical lightsaber in terms of its abilities. However, the myth and legends associated with the Darksaber, and its association with the Visla/Vizla lineage, make it a symbol of Mandalorian rulership. Din Djarin (the titular Mandalorian) becomes the new owner of the Darksaber after defeating Gideon in a one-on-one battle, making him technically the new ruler of Mandalore, a position he neither wants nor can abdicate as Mandalorian tradition holds that the Darksaber can only be claimed through violence.
    • Din Djarin continues to use the Darksaber when he appears in The Book of Boba Fett, although it shows that it has quite a few differences from a standard lightsaber. Namely that its hilt is made from beskar (so trying to destroy it with a lightsaber strike is off the books) and its Empathic Weapon nature makes it actively resist Din wielding it, somehow becoming heavier and heavier the more he swings it. The Armorer explains that it can't be wielded with physical strength alone; he will only get better if he learns to work with the blade. The burly Paz Visla/Vizla even has trouble lifting the damn thing properly in his duel against Din, showing that he arguably has the same problem but in a worse degree.
  • During the Season 2.5 finale of Nikita, Alex buys a combat knife with a black blade. Quite justified: see Real Life, below.

  • Clamavi de Profundis: Negankerdak, the treasured weapon of dwarven kings in Erna, is a sword made of indestructible black diamond that was created by the earth goddess herself.
  • 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 
  • Sound Horizon: In "Moira", Elefseus uses two triangular black swords. Other characters, such as Sword Boy, also use a black sword. In almost all cases, the sword(s) seems to carry some sort of significance, linking the characters.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • 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.
    • From the old Advanced Dungeons & 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. It's an extremely powerful sword that eats the souls of those it slays and gives power to its wielder when it does so.
  • The Dark Eye has the magical metal Endurium and it's alloys which have a natural black colour. Weapons made from either are more durable and deal more damage than their steel counterparts as well as counting as magical weapons and therefore ignoring any resistances to mundane weapons that some creatures like demons have.
  • 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.
    • The Horseman of War, one of the leaders of the daemons, bears a signature greatsword called Lamentation of the Faithless. Not only is it a +5 Speed and Unholy artifact, it heals the horseman with each hit and can drive its enemies into despair just by presenting it to them.
  • Exalted has soulsteel — a pitch-black metal made from the tortured, still-aware, souls of humans that can drain a person's 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 Rock, the Dark Angels' Fortress-Monestary.
    • 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.

    Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn gives us Blackrazor, a +3 longsword that grants +3 to hit, regeneration, immunity to charm and fear magic, and a 15% chance to drain 4 levels from an enemy and provide additional healing and strength to its wielder, and its description refers to it as being a powerful black blade forged of the darkest iron. Sounds amazing, right? Problem is, it falls in the category of Awesome, but Impractical due to the fact that it comes at the very end of the game during the five trials of Bhaal, during the Greed Trial, and keeping it is considered the evil path. Not important if you a) have the DLC installed and/or b) your character is some form of Evil alignment anyway, but otherwise most players won't really get a chance to use it at all.
  • The Infinity +1 Sword in Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance is jet black.
  • In Bravely Default, the Infinity -1 Sword of the Swords category, the Night Emperor, is black with white trim.
  • 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 Plus 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.
  • Devil May Cry 5: Dante's iconic sword Rebellion is destroyed by the Big Bad Urizen. After finally realizing the true nature of his sword, Dante stabs himself with its remains unlocking the most powerful stage of his Devil Trigger, a.k.a. Sin Devil Trigger, and gaining a new sword made of a substance resembling hardened lava called Devil Sword Dante.
  • When sufficiently upgraded, Corvo's balisong sword in Dishonored becomes black.
  • In Don't Starve, the Dark Sword is the most durable and powerful weapon in the game. It's made primarily of Nightmare Fuel, a powerful resource in a game that practically runs on Your Mind Makes It Real.
  • In Dread Templar, demon lord Beelsebur II wields a glowing dark sword made of demonic energy, and he's the powerful Final Boss. His Sword Beam can notably cover half the arena.
  • The Elder Scrolls
  • In Fable, obsidian weapons are better than iron or steel ones, and second only to 'master' (grey metal with gold trim) among non-legendary weapons.
  • 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 Tesla Armor and later the Elite Hellfire Armor in Broken Steel.
  • 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. In Lonesome Road, there's 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.
  • 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.
    • In Final Fantasy X, the summon Yojimbo has, among other weapons, the black sword Zanmato, which, if he uses it, will instantly kill whatever it hits with no exceptions. Not even bosses are immune to this, though, in the case of bosses with multiple phases, it will just move them to the next phase. However, you have to pay him a ton of Gil to make him use it against anything more powerful than a basic enemy unless his affection level for you is insanely high.
  • Halo 5: Guardians has the ONI line of UNSC vehicles, which have stronger, black-colored armor and much more deadly weapons.
  • 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 (steel), yellow (gold), green (jade), blue (sapphire), red (fire), black (onyx).
  • 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.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • 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.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the Royal Guard weapons are blacked-out Palette Swaps of the gilded Royal weapons, and have the highest raw damage stats in the game. However, they break easily, and they tend to only be found in Hyrule Castle.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: The Gloom Sword, like the other "Gloom" weapons, has a black blade. It's also one of the strongest one-handed weapons in the game — but it will also cause Gloom damage the longer you use it. And it's one of the weapons Ganondorf uses in the final battle.
  • In Mary Skelter: Nightmares and its sequel, both Alice and Otsuu have black and pink swords, on top of Alice's being freaking gigantic. Then again, the weapons of the other Blood Maidens also have the same color scheme, so in this case, it's Any Black Weapons Are Better, not just swords.
  • 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 Minecraft, Netherite, a super-rare black alloy that the player can forge, creates the most powerful and durable tools, weapons, and armor that the player can make use of when superimposed on a diamond item. So, not only are black swords better, black armor, black axes, black pickaxes, black shovels, and black hoes are better as well.
  • 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 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.
  • Pokémon X and Y: The shiny coloration for the possessed sword Aegislash is black and red.
  • RuneScape
    • 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.
  • Naotora Ii wields one in Sengoku Basara 4.
  • 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.
  • Subverted in Shining Force. The Sword Of Darkness is indeed a powerful sword, with slightly better attack power than the Sword Of Light. However, it has two major drawbacks: It's cursed and its spell effect is a Useless Useful Spell. It's also not even the best sword in the game, though it is one of the two requirements to obtain the Chaos Breaker.
  • Soul Nomad & the World Eaters has the Onyx Blade, which only the main character, Revya, is able to wield. It contains the soul of Master of Death, Gig.... and it once belonged to Median the Conqueror.
  • In Ultima Underworld 1 and 2, the best type of sword is a black sword. Likely a callback to The Black Sword from Ultima VII.
  • 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.

    Visual Novels 
  • 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, named Excalibur Morgan in Fate/Grand Order, 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 and Shirou's low mana reserves).
  • 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.

    Web Animation 


    Web Original 

  • SCP Foundation: SCP-076-2 can summon bladed weapons made of a mysterious non-reflective black material.

    Web Videos 
  • Critical Role: Craven Edge, the sword formerly wielded by Sylas Briarwood and given to Grog after his death, is an obsidian blade that absorbs the blood of those it wounds and grants their strength to its wielder. Unfortunately, it is also capable of influencing its wielder's mind, and once it's fully powered, it is capable of absorbing their soul.
  • 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.

    Western Animation 
  • Sokka's sword, also made of meteoric iron, in the third season of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • Sylas Briarwood's sword in The Legend of Vox Machina absorbs the blood of those it wounds to become an even more powerful weapon over the course of a battle. It's eventually picked up by Grog after Sylas's death.
  • In the Samurai Jack episode "Jack and the Ultra-Robots", the last Ultra-Robot uses a black katana. Subverted as Jack is still able to defeat it by praying to the spirits of his ancestors.
  • Star Wars: The Darksaber, a unique black-bladed lightsaber introduced in The Clone Wars and also makes an appearance in Rebels, is actually a subversion, despite providing the page image. It was made by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian Jedi, and while it looks very cool and has a lot of cultural significance, it ultimately works no differently than any other lightsaber.note 
    • Pre Vizsla wields it 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.
    • In Rebels, it comes into the possession of fellow Mandalorian Sabine Wren, who, unlike Vizsla, is a good guy. She gets some training from a Jedi in how to use it, and then actively avoids actually using it in combat as anything but a symbol. In fact, in the situation shown in the page image, Kanan is deliberately letting her win a training bout to make a point about committing to learning how to use the weapon. It later returns to the hands of Bo-Katan, who wields it as the true leader of Mandalore... until The Mandalorian, when Moff Gideon destroys the planet, wipes out its populace, and steals the weapon from her.

    Real Life 
  • 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, which is the point of bluing in the first place.
  • The sharpest manufacturable blades are made of obsidian, which is a black volcanic glass (it has an entry under Absurdly Sharp Blade). Obsidian saw more use as arrowheads and knives than swords, and currently is often used to make surgical scalpels for when an incredibly clean cut is required.
  • 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 as a bonus.
  • At one point, civilizations capable of creating the much darker steel (from which the term blacksmith came) 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.