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Field of Blades

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A desolate land. A graveyard of swords, devoid of life.

The swords stand like trees in a forest. It's not just ten or twenty. Not a hundred or two hundred. No matter how many there are, if it is impossible for them to be counted, they might as well be infinite.

The tools are rusting without anybody to use them. A ruin of infinite swords. [...] It is like a graveyard.

The field of blades seems to be the representation of Endless Struggle and Utter War. It's a desert with swords sticking in the ground by their blades. The battle seems eternal for whoever walks it.

It's most likely a graveyard for warriors with swords standing in for proper headstones. If the swords are supposed to have fallen there, it'll generally be a case of The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In. This can also be the end result of someone causing a Storm of Blades.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Berserk, Rickert creates one of these as a memorial for the Band of the Hawk, personally forging a sword for each of the fallen. Ironically, it is on this hill that Guts encounters Griffith, the bastard who sacrificed and betrayed the Hawks, reincarnated as a human again for the first time since the Eclipse.
  • We see Ichigo sitting in the field of blades in the Opening Sequence during the Soul Society Arc of Bleach. Small wonder; he has an endless battle ahead of him, having decided to take on the entire afterlife for the soul of a friend. We also see the field during his inner struggle to awaken his powers and those of his sword.
    • During his less-inner struggle to awaken his Super Mode, Ichigo's mentor forces him to search for his real sword in a literal field of fake ones. While being assaulted by the very sword's spirit.
  • The anime adaptation of Campione! gives Godou the ability to do this.
  • In Claymore, there's a minor one after the timeskip. There's only seventeen blades, but the first scene it shows up in certainly qualifies.
  • In High School D×D, Issei used his newfound power "Boosted Gear Gift" onto Kiba's "Sword Birth" to combine this trope with Flechette Storm during the Rating Game with Raiser Phenex, taking out 5 of the 6 combatants in the area.
  • In Katanagatari, this is how Meisai uses her Tsurugi, attaching each of the thousand swords to a tree. Then it's averted when Shichika just runs out of the forest.
  • Sequence 1-8 of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Movie 1st The Comics uses this imagery for its title page, with Fate standing on a rock amongst a field of spears. The next chapter's title uses this imagery again, with Nanoha standing on a cliff while surrounded by a field of staves.
  • Variation: In the 1st ending of the second season of Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Setsuna F. Seiei is seen standing in the middle of a field of guns standing barrel down in the ground, all of which are covered with roses.
  • Variation: The third intro of Naruto suggests the trope with a field of kunai.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Mami Tomoe uses a musket as weapon, one of her attacks in nicknamed Unlimited Musket Works by the fans, guess what it does?
    • Sayaka can also spawn small fields of swords so she can quickly pick them up and throw them, butHomura one ups them both. Is it any surprise that part of the development team worked on Fate/Zero?
  • Rave Master had a battlefield made into a memorial by turning it into a field of blades.
  • The Rurouni Kenshin manga spoofs this trope a bit. When a government official is targeted for assassination, he hires various swordsmen to protect him — but at the same time, he insults and belittles their skill and brags about how he stood against "the field of blades and the storm of arrows" during the Meiji Revolution. Just then, Kenshin walks in, politely remarking that he has not seen the official since Kenshin CARRIED him through "the field of blades and the storm of arrows," as the official was too busy cowering in fear at the time to lend a hand. This promptly shuts the official up.
    • Played in a more serious manner whenever Kenshin's history as Battousai shows up: in the beginning of the manga, in the end of the Tsuiokuhen OVA, and in the upcoming live-action film, katanas are planted amidst the bodies of the fallen combatants.
  • In Samurai 7, during the first battle with the bandits, the experienced leader sticks numerous swords into the ground in case someone's happened to break, as he wants them to fight to the fullest.
  • Part of the opening sequence of Samurai Champloo..
  • A variation in Smile PreCure!. Reika/Cure Beauty is capable of freezing an entire area into ice, and some sharp ice blocks exist. These sharp ice blocks serve as her blades which she can pick up anytime and in case one breaks, she'll just pick up another.
  • In Soul Eater, Mifune's sword-style Mugen Ittoryu relies on him throwing all of his swords up into the air, so that they fall to earth and pierce the ground in this manner.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, in the burial place of Kamina his sword is sticking out of the ground by the blade, his cape tied to its handle. In the Distant Finale, after the death in space of most of the Dai Gurren Brigade, several other swords stand alongside that one, as well as a sword needle standing for Nia.
    • Reduced to two and Nia's sword needle at the end of Lagann-hen since most of the cast killed in the series were spared.
  • Kuromaru's Artifact in UQ Holder! directly references Ashikaga Yoshiteru (see Real Life section below), taking the form of dozens of Mikazuchi Munechika replicas embedded in the ground (though they're all clearly in sheaths to make it easier for him to pull them out).
  • In the manga adaptation of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, Yusei has a card called 'Warrior's Pride', which depicts one of these in its artwork, with Shield Warrior (a card he uses in the anime adaptation) leaping out of the ground at the field's centre.

    Comic Books 
  • In Lucifer, the entrance to the home of Lilith is marked by a Rain of Swords, which is symbolic of what she perceives as her struggle against the God who exiled her from the Garden of Eden and his Angels who exploited and waged war on her children.
  • In Planetary, the Big Bads have this trope in the form of an Alternate Universe. It's a featureless plane of floating weapons, but upon closer inspection the floor is made of the bones of the world's former inhabitants. (They killed an entire world just so they'd have somewhere to keep their swords).

    Fan Works 
  • Jessie's Cubone in Ashes of the Past has a Field of Bones, as it is based on Archer from Fate/stay night.
  • In chapter 4 of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic The Ballad of Twilight Sparkle, Rarity uses her illusion magic to conjure one of these while trying to pass off the weapons she confiscated from the Cutie Mark Crusaders (who were assaulting Spike in a poorly thought-out attempt to get dragon-slaying cutie marks) as a new fashion statement, "Shield-Maiden Chic".
  • This Nightmare Fuel-tastic Fan Vid featuring Ghost-type Pokémon depicts Doublade in one of these. The arm of a human skeleton is directly beneath it too.

  • 13 Assassins features Hirayama fighting in a courtyard with dozens of swords planted there in advance. He still manages to run out.
  • The film The Prophecy has a fairly bizarre variation, wherein the endless field of blades is in fact an endless field of wooden stakes, on which fallen angels are impaled.
  • Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, where Kikuchiyo explains that he needs a lot of swords to kill a lot of people. Also, the four graves of the dead samurai have swords sticking out of them.

  • The third book in Conn Iggulden's Emperor series is called The Field of Swords.
  • Lucy Ellingson in Pale sees a world of watercolors and bloody blades wherever she looks with her True Sight. Using Glamour she finds she can pick up these blades and make them real, so she never goes unarmed.
  • This also happens in Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings when we flashback to the Radiants abandoning humanity and leaving their Shardblades in the ground. It takes all of twenty seconds before bystanders start picking them up.

    Live Action TV  
  • The promotional video for season 2 of Heroes released at the end of August 2007 shows Hiro amidst a field of katanas.
  • Morgana has a vision of this as her and Arthur's final end in Merlin
  • One of these surrounds the tower where Nathaniel has been brooding, each one belonging to someone who failed to kill him. This being Into The Badlands, they of course get incorporated into a fight.
  • The final battle of Kamen Rider Zero-One starts in a field with every weapon used throughout this season.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, Thuldanin, the second layer of the plane of Acheron, combines this trope with Landfill Beyond the Stars. Its cube-shaped landmasses are covered in a veritable carpet of abandoned war material from countless worlds and eons of conflict - swords, spears, armor, shields, catapults, cannons, steam-powered siege engines, even flying machines, tanks and stranger things. Thuldanin has a "preservative" trait that eventually petrifies such equipment (and long-term visitors), but scavengers still brave the layer and sift through the heaps of weapons in search of intact items of incredible power they can either use or draw inspiration from.
  • As of the Dawn Solution, Solars in Exalted have an Unlimited Blade Works-style Charm: Thousand Arms Prana. This upgrade to Summoning the Loyal Steel allows the Solar to store as many weapons Elsewhere as he pleases, at a cost of one committed mote per (Essencex 2) weapons. Decommitting this cost causes all of the weapons to embed themselves in the scenery around the Exalt, intangible to anyone but him until he picks them up and starts using them. The full text of the Charm (as well as a link to the Ink Monkey article it originated from) can be found here.
    • Third Edition will be introducing a Martial Arts style that a player could style like this trope called Thousand Blades Style. So far only one character in the lore has been said to use this style - the Lunar Elder known as Sublime Danger. Whether she has taught this style to others, or even if she is the progenitor of this style or not, has yet to be revealed.
  • In the Spheres of Power supplement for Pathfinder, creating a field of weapons called the Armory Arena is the gimmick of the Lingchi Warrior archetype of the Armorist. Anyone can use the weapons in the field, not just the Lingchi Warrior who created it, but everyone but the caster also takes damage from the weapons falling from the sky. As the Lingchi Warrior gains levels, they can create this field and draw weapons more and more quickly.

  • BIONICLE has the Forest of Blades on Bara Magna, where the remains of warriors still holding their swords and weapons are fused to the trees themselves, by the powers of the Element Lord of Jungle they were fighting.

    Video Games 
  • Afterimage: In Goliathfall, the boss arena where you fight Reaping Scythe, the Crimson Hollow is a desert with dozens of weapons impaled in the background and the foreground.
  • Bonus art for BlazBlue depicts Hakumen standing in one. Probably as a Shout-Out to Fate/stay night.
  • The grave of the Abysswalker Knight Artorias in Dark Souls. It's an open field of grass and flowers, the middle of which holds his very large greatsword, which is surrounded by many other swords and gravestones. It doesn't look guarded... at first.
  • The Infinite Graves attack from Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice is also likely a Fate/stay night reference. It warps the user and the target to a field of blades, where the former proceeds to take them one by one and slash the target at lightning speed.
  • The Edge of Madness stage invented for Dissidia Final Fantasy. The small stage you fight on is in the middle of a seemingly infinite blasted, war-torn plain filled with swords. Only these swords are easily several stories tall. And the Final Boss has a move where he gets big enough to wield them.
  • One appears in Dragon Age: Origins as the main menu art.
    • The two swords that stand out the most, Yusaris the Dragon Slayer and Asala Sten's missing sword can actually be found in the game.
  • Several Dynasty Warriors 5 character endings make use of the image, sometimes with bodies.
  • Elden Ring: Small-scale versions can be found scattered across the world. These consist of a few dozen swords of various sizes surrounding one extremely large sword, which is inscribed with a few lines of text, usually to commemorate a battle fought on that spot.
  • Fire Emblem:
  • One of the first pieces of promotional art released for Final Fantasy X (and the first thing you see in the story) was of the characters' weapons piled up on the ground near the Zanarkand Ruins. Unusually for the trope, they don't signify any past battle, but are merely laid aside as the characters rest for a while.
  • The stage selection screen in Heavenly Sword features a variation of this: while there might not be nearly as many as your standard field of blades, each particular one is really big.
  • The aptly-named Keyblade Graveyard, the site of the Keyblade War, appearing in Kingdom Hearts II's Stinger, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, and the Dark Seeker Saga finale Kingdom Hearts III. It is a barren landscape littered with Keyblades of all the Keyblade wielders who fought in the Keyblade War which took place long before the events of Kingdom Hearts.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has some areas with a lot of swords and spears lying around, signifying the destruction Hyrule endured many years ago.
  • In Ninja Blade, the final boss-fight takes place in a field of blades. However it stays still during the fighting, the swords get thrown around during cutscenes.
  • In Ninja Gaiden II's trailer, Ryu Hayabusa is found holding both one of the Falcon's Talons claw weapons and the Eclipse Scythe while walking through a field of blades. You actually get to fight in this field of blades, though no serious battles occur. After killing Genshin, the rival ninja gives Ryu his cursed sword: The Blade of the Archfiend. After the credits roll, Ryu is seen praying for Genshin's soul in front of this very blade, stuck into the ground alongside the other blades. He then turns and leaves it there, a memorial for his defeated rival.
  • In Path of Exile, the site of Marceus Lioneye's last stand against the Karui hordes features his tattered standard blowing in the wind amidst a textbook example of this trope.
  • The Blade Drifts of Zopheir from Tales of Vesperia.
  • Tangentially related, a trap in Tomb Raider (original and remake). One of the puzzles, concerning the Sword of Damocles, has Lara making her way through a room where any step could bring a deadly sword down on her head.
  • Warhammer Online has an area in the Chaos Wastes that is a battlefield covered as far as the eye (or graphics card) can see with weapons, armour (usually staked into the ground on spears) and... this being Warhammer, after all, frozen corpses buried up to their waist.
  • Way of the Samurai lets the player create one of these in the third installment. Taking a mission to stop a feud or clear your name by killing off a hundred enemies eventually causes a mass of weapons plunged into the ground blade-first by fallen enemies.
  • In Yggdra Union, units not killed in the initial charge drop their weapons when defeated, firmly planting them in the ground. Close battles can end up with two leaders duking it out on a field of blades made of the weapons their respective units used, which ends up moderately amusing when witches fight on a Field of Brooms.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Fate/stay night:
    • Saber died atop a "hill of swords" after the battle of Camlann. The first route, Fate, focuses on her inability to leave that hill, both metaphorically and literally.
    • Archer is depicted in the openings as walking through a field of blades, accompanied by massive gears in the sky and a faint heat haze, representing his struggle with his ideals and endless conflicts. The second route, Unlimited Blade Works, reveals this in The Centerpiece Spectacular to be his Reality Marble (the world of his soul), an eternal smithy containing every weapon he has encountered. The opening line of his Badass Creed, "I am the bone of my sword",note  allows him to summon weapons from it into reality. When he recites the full version the entire field replaces his surroundings, giving him full control of all the swords and the ability to rain them down as a Storm of Blades. In one manga adaptation of the story, he admits that they are gravestones.
    • A second version of the field appears in The Climax of the same route, which serves as the current page image. It's unlocked by Shirou after he accepts that Archer, a man who's spent the whole route hating his guts, is a Future Badass version of himself. The Magical Incantation used to invoke it is slightly different from Archer's and its sky remains clear (in addition to the field sometimes being shown as a hill in contrast to Archer's valley), showing Shirou's optimism and self-sacrifice compared to Archer's cynicism. As revealed in the Fate route, Shirou's affinity for "holding the swords of others" is an unexpected side effect of his father saving his life by placing Excalibur's sheath inside his soul at a time when he was an Empty Shell; it's strongly implied that this connection with Saber and empathy for her ideals led him to subconsciously model UBW after her "hill of swords" above, while the fires of its forge echo the great blaze from which he has Survivor Guilt.
    • The third and final route, Heaven's Feel, has a horrifying version. A mortally wounded Archer has his arm grafted onto Shirou in an attempt to grant him the power of Unlimited Blade Works. However, this Shirou has completely rejected the ideals behind the Reality Marble, and combined with the healing properties of Excalibur's sheath (which the cast are unaware of in this route) it becomes a Deadly Upgrade which eats away at his body and mind (portrayed as something like a cross between cancer and dementia). By the Post-Final Boss Shirou is a walking corpse whose body is more swords than flesh, and can barely remember his own name. This is foreshadowed as early as the Fate route, when Rin treats Shirou's wounds and discovers metallic shrapnel inside them with no clear source.
    • In the Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA Spin-Off, the alternate Shirou also has his own version of Unlimited Blade Works. His incantation is more similar to Archer's, but represents his determination to rescue his sister even if he needs to burn down the world to do it. Unlike the previous versions of Unlimited Blade Works that we've seen, his swordscape is covered in snow and has a night sky with a moon but no stars.

    Western Animation 
  • The Dragons' Graveyard, in the Dungeons & Dragons (1983) episode of the same name, is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, an extradimensional dragon graveyard presided over by Tiamat. Apart from being full of creepy dragon skeletons, its most notable feature is being up to its armpits in abandoned magic weapons.
  • In the Steven Universe episode "Serious Steven", the Crystal Gems pass through a strawberry field which Pearl explains was an ancient Gem battleground complete with several weapons stuck into the earth. They revisit it later in "Rose's Scabbard", where it's stated each one is a Weapon Tombstone.
  • In Wakfu this is what Iop heaven looks like.


    Real Life 
  • A historical example, and possibly the Trope Maker: a shogun, Ashikaga Yoshiteru, was known for his skill with the katana. In 1565, when his small force was attacked by a large coalition Miyoshi force, Yoshiteru knew he was more or less screwed but was determined to go down fighting. Bringing out numerous katana (some sources say a dozen, others say around a score), he plunged them into the floorboards of his castle in preparation. He then killed numerous enemy troops, throwing aside priceless swords that broke down as their blades became notched and grabbing new ones from the floor. But with no help arriving in time from supporters, Yoshiteru and his few troops were overrun. This may have inspired Archer's Unlimited Blade Works, as his chant suspiciously sounds like one of Yoshiteru's piece of poetry.
  • Any depiction of the Arlington Cemetery is, in essence, a Field of Blades.
  • There are thousands of pictures from both World Wars and the Korean War (sometimes Vietnam War or Iraq memorials) that depict rows upon rows of rifles jabbed into the ground with the bayonet and a helmet on top. These are called the Battlefield Cross, alternatively referred to as the Fallen Soldier Battlefield Cross, Soldier's Cross, or just Battle Cross.
    • Dog-tags are sometimes hung on the bayonet as well, with the soldier's boots placed at the base of the base of the rifle.
    • The story goes that the WW1 tradition began when advancing infantry embedded their fallen mate's rifle into the ground near their body to mark the spot for the following tanks' commanders, in a bid to avoid the tanks squashing them.
  • Vlad the Impaler uses a different version: a field of impaled bodies on lances. Said to have discouraged an invading army from attacking his territory.
  • Downplayed with Sverd i Fjell; a monument dedicated to the Battle of Hafrsfjord which unified the Kingdom of Norway under Harald Fairhair in 872. It depicts three ten-meter-high bronze swords planted in solid rock, never to be drawn forth again.


Video Example(s):


Unlimited Blade Works

Archer's Reality Marble is a desolate wasteland filled with replicas of every sword he's ever seen.

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