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Good Weapon, Evil Weapon

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In certain stories, especially epic fantasy, there is a correlation between the weapon style characters or groups use, and how they are portrayed in the work.

Heroes' weapons generally have clean lines, such as longbows, broadswords, katana, a musket, Colt revolver, Winchester, etc. Unarmed combat is also a heroic trait.

The rules change when a Zombie Apocalypse is part of the plot, naturally. In such a desperate situation, any weapon is a good weapon.

Villain armies typically have more oddly-shaped weapons, weapons with spikes, etc. While not a hard-and-fast rule (see the exception for hammers, below) blunt weapons, especially ridged maces, tend to be evil, possibly due to their lethal practicality, as a crushed shoulder, knee, or skull tends to be more complicated to heal than a clean cut.

An easy way to tell which mook is just a mook, is to look at their weapons: light blaster rifle, polearm? Standard Mook. Massive sword or really scary-looking gun? This is at least an Elite Mook, if not a member of the Quirky Miniboss Squad. Weapon that looks suspiciously like the hero's? Uh, oh...

Truth in Television to some extent: The Geneva Convention frowns on the use of certain weapons and certain kinds of melee weapons (such as knives with odd-shaped blades) that do not leave clean wounds.

Other stereotypes:

  • Multiple Swords: Badass but generally evil or Anti-Hero.
    • Hookswords: Run away. Now. Do not, under any circumstances, trust.
      • However, a dual-hooksword-wielding Michelle Yeoh happens to be doubly trustworthy.
    • Flame Patterned Sword (flamberge): Unless sufficiently elegant, run. Stylish enough swords may serve a positive character, but the flamberge simply looks meaner, and for a good reason as it may leave much nastier wounds. Serpentine daggers mark most users as evil.
      • Similarly, stay the hell away from anyone wielding a serrated blade.
    • Single Weapon That Splits Into Multiple: Good. Although that is changing as recent works have seen more badguys using this tactic in their weapons.
    • A transforming weapon: Good. Although some Big Bads and his Dragons may carry them.
  • Katana and Rapiers: Either way, but a favorite weapon of the Wicked Cultured, the Rival, or the Sixth Ranger. They're too cool for most Mooks in any case. If the blade is named Muramasa, run away very fast.
  • Shamshir, Tulwar, Scimitar: Can go either way, If there's a single scimitar-wielder, he's probably a good guy. An entire society that favors scimitars is usually evil. Staple weapon of palace guards in Qurac and Mystical India.
  • Dirk, Longsword, Etc: Sign of a Knight in Shining Armor. Heroic. If used by a villain, it will generally be a BFS.
    • Speaking of the BFS. Massive swords are usually a villainous weapon (used often by evil warlords or by The Brute), but quite a few heroes crop up wielding them as well. A heroic BFS wielder is often a Barbarian Hero, often an Anti-Hero, and just about always a badass. Since they typically look like no normal person could wield them, the use of such a weapon emphasizes a character's raw strength. Either that, or they're the hero in an anime or JRPG.
  • Axes: Evil, unless used by dwarves or heroic barbarians.
    • Tomahawks: Good nowadays, Noble Savage trait from nowadays to a few decades back, and villainous (in Westerns) before that.
  • Hammers: More likely to be good than axes due to not overtly spilling blood, and normally used by The Big Guy or dwarves. Also a popular weapon of choice for The Paladin. Sometimes shows up in the hands of brutish bad guys, though. Regular tool-style hammers being used as a weapon of choice is usually the sign of Ax-Crazy.
  • Club: Either way; bad guys like to add spikes. Generally a sign of brutish, unintelligent characters.
  • Blunt, club-like found objects: Rarely used by good guys, except in a non-lethal manner. Totally reversed if zombies are in play.
  • Mace (metal club, often with ridges): Evil. Typically used by the Big Bad or The Dragon as maces were traditionally symbols of power and authority, only to be used by royalty or those in command. However, if the wielder is a priest, it has a much higher chance of being good (but can still be evil).
    • In settings with lots of undead, much more likely to veer towards good.
  • Flail: Evil. Always (except in Gundam). Nunchaku can go either way.
  • Guns in general: If only one side has it, it's likely to be evil. If everyone is packing heat, see also Good Guns, Bad Guns.
  • Handguns: If guns are a mainstay, good. If not, dishonorable and evil with exception to dwarves.
  • Revolver: Often the weapon of a heroic gunslinger. On the other hand, it might be the weapon of a sadist who torments his victims with Russian Roulette.
  • Assault Rifles: Evil if it's a Communist AK-47, good if it's an American M-16. Either way, usually not a main character. Unless it is an Ace Custom Assault Rifle, which have laser sights and an underslung launcher.
  • Hand Cannons: Anti-Hero. Common in Film Noir, detective stories, and cyberpunk.
  • Submachine Guns: Mainly used by mooks, antiheroes or villains.
  • Sawed Off Shotguns: Evil, or at least Anti Heroic, except when facing zombies.
  • Sniper Rifles: Sign of a villainous Professional Killer, Villain Protagonist, or Psycho for Hire. Hero characters using one of these are usually in the role of the Friendly Sniper, the guy whose role is to shut down bad guys trying to ambush another hero.
  • Machine Guns: Evil.
    • Exception made for soldiers in war movies who sometimes use them, although they are generally not the hero.
  • Gatling Guns: Badass (again, Arnold or his friend)
  • Dagger: Sign of the thief or traitor; generally evil, usually a Combat Pragmatist Anti-Hero at best. Often the necessary utensil for Black Magic rituals involving Human Sacrifice.
    • Hooked/Curved Dagger: Usually the above, but sometimes treated the same as the scimitar.
    • Knife: Unless the hero is trying a last ditch effort to fight off a villain, wielding a knife is very, very evil.
      • Knives with a wavy blade are almost always evil, due to their association with ritual human sacrifice. Frequently wielded by evil cultists.
    • Sinister Switchblade: Almost exclusively evil.
  • Any Poisoned Weapons: Always evil, save for some tranquilizer darts.
    • Early editions of Dungeons & Dragons made their use an evil act. While this was probably a game balance issue (since poison in 1st edition was almost always fatal), it was strange that hacking or bashing an enemy to death over the course of several rounds of combat was considered less evil than a quick death.
      • Well, it can be considered very dishonorable in that it doesn't give the opponent a fair fight. (You know... the opponent who's casting petrification and disintegration spells at you!)
  • Chainsaws: Almost always criminally insane, except when fighting zombies or Deadites.
    • Goes either way if you are in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, though that's not saying much.
    • Chainswords are increasingly becoming another badass weapon in works heavy on Rule of Cool, but pure chainsaws are still evil since they're supposed to be tools.
  • If the weapons glow or are painted different colors, Color-Coded for Your Convenience comes into play.
    • Similarly, the decorations on a weapon can tell you all you need to know about the wielder's personality. If you come across someone whose sword is engraved with skulls and bones, you should probably start running.
  • Whip: Generally evil, with rare exceptions. Often associated with domination, control, sadism, and oppression. The exceptions tend to be Adventurer Archaeologists, masked swashbucklers or vampire hunters. In Forgotten Realms it's also the signature weapon of the (good) goddess of love and the Rashemi Hathran sect. Whips are not known for being lethal, so most wielders tend to be people who refuse to kill (on the heroic side), while on the villainous side it tends to be used by slavedrivers as well as dominatrixes and other types who love to savor the pain of the enemy.
    • Whip Sword: Variable, it's hard to pin due to its rare usage, but most characters tend to be some variant of The Vamp, who may or may not be evil. note 
  • Bows: Good for main characters, evil for Mooks.
    • Crossbows: Either way unless the user is a dwarf. Generally evil is differentiated by poison here.
    • Longbows: Generally good and usually wielded by elves or The Stoic but when evil in the hands of a Cold Sniper. Often seen in The Good Kingdom's armies.
  • Staves: Usually good, unless topped by a skull or jewel from which magical/laser beams are shot. Unless Nanoha.
  • Spears: Good if used by named characters, evil if used by mooks. Non-named non-evil characters with spears will usually be Red Shirts, unless it's Orthodox Christian art, in which spears are depicted as wielded by good angels, both named and unnamed.
  • Polearms: You don't see many of these outside of mooks, though more sophisticated warriors such as the Lady of War might use them.
    • Naginata, in particular, are a typical weapon for women and tend to be used more by heroes, since the women in question are trained in its use to protect their family and home while their husbands are unavailable. This is part of why a Yamato Nadeshiko is expected to hide steel under her silk.
    • Another exemption is any Chinese action film set in the Three Kingdoms period, as at least one of the main Generals favors a polearm.
  • Wrist blades / claws: Definitely well into dark badass or antihero territory, if not outright Ax-Crazy evil.
    • If they resemble animal claws more than artificial weapons, you're probably dealing with some sort of shaman or druid.
  • Torches: Mainly the preserve of antagonistic mobs, and villains. May also be used opportunistically by good guys in a pinch.
  • Flamethrowers: Usually in the hands of a villain who loves burning things a little too much. Again, more heroic if used against zombies. Or Nazis or Imperial Japanese in old war movies.
  • Scythes: Either villains or an Anti-Hero. Depends on how intimidating the scythe looks. Always scary.
  • Shields: Either supporting characters or Mooks, either way they're usually useless (because they are defense-oriented and as such, quite frankly not cool).
    • On the occasion a shield is used by a major character, it is generally a sign of the Knight in Shining Armor.
    • Because shields are very convenient for displaying a symbol, design is key here - a black shield with a skull painted on it is firmly villain material, while a golden or silver shield with a sun emblem is a good sign of some kind of paladin.
  • Laser Blade: Always badass, specific alignment usually determined by blade color.
    • Attack of the Clones subverts this, as there are enough Jedi in the field at once for the lesser among them to count as Redshirts.
  • Martial Arts: Flowing styles and high acrobatics tend to be the domain of good guys and monks; Pressure point poking, open-palmed jabbing, and other "quick and to the point" styles are used by the Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy or Evil Overlord, but can be used by heroes with a no kill code (in which case it's pragmatic) or the Old Master (either so that his students will learn to react quickly, or because he lacks the strength or stamina to use more "heroic" techniques effectively). Unless Kenshiro. Styles like Russian "Systema", as used by the Spetsnaz, are for badasses, typically used by Combat Pragmatists or morally questionable, possibly evil, characters (Systema, for example, is almost all about attacking the joints of the enemy to intentionally cripple them, which thus requires excellent knowledge but also ruthlessness to execute). Good Old Fisticuffs are either way, unless the bad guy knows a style of any type, then it becomes the domain of the "everyman" good guy. She-Fu is neutral, as it lends to catfighting between two parties.
  • Katars: Almost always Anti-Hero at best, usually the province of assassin or rogue characters, unless the assassin or rogue is Chaotic Good. Almost always subject to Dual Wielding, at least for rogues in World of Warcraft and Assassins and Assassin Crosses in Ragnarok Online.
  • Unlikely Weapons: Good, if eccentric.

See Good Guns, Bad Guns for the more detailed gun version. Accompanied with Good Armor, Evil Armor. Contrast Evil Weapon, where the weapon doesn't just look evil, it is evil.


    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Clover: Licht was the kind leader of the elves and original owner of Asta's swords, and they're shining, near-white blades when he uses them. When wielded by Asta, whose Anti-Magic comes from the power of a devil, the swords are black and rusted-looking.
  • Fate/stay night has badass and morally ambiguous Archer dual wielding, Worthy Opponent Assassin with a nodachi which is close enough, heroic Saber with long swords, barbaric Berserker with an axe-sword-club (it's a giant piece of flint, basically), traitorous Caster using a special dagger and Lancer who is, at least, good-natured even if he'll eventually have to stab you to death with his spear.
  • Gundam: Most incarnations have this, with the protagonists' faction using simple, clean-looking weapons like boxy plasma guns and unassuming white cylinders that project a Laser Blade while the antagonists use nastier-looking ones like large, noisy, belt or pan-fed machine guns, whips, curved swords and axes. The biggest exception to this is Mobile Suit Gundam Wing where the protagonists have extremely flashy, mean-looking weapons while the bad guys have scads of simplistic, mass-produced Mecha-Mooks whose weapons wouldn't look out of place in a modern army.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry: Rena has a weapon that has been described by fans intermittently as a billhook, a machete, a hatchet, a cleaver, or all of them at once. That's pretty much unprecedentedly evil, but the non- edged part of the blade is straight, which is significant.
  • Lyrical Nanoha: With all the Heel Face Turns in the series, the good guys end up not really following any rules on weapon alignment besides whatever looks cool. Undeniably evil characters like Precia and Jail however, stick with mainstay villain weapons like whips and claws.
  • Record of Lodoss War: King Fahn and Lord Ashram of the first anime wield swords of good and evil, respectively, that grow stronger the closer they are to each other.

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men: Gambit with a staff? Good. Gambit with a knife? Bad. Warpath, multiple knives? Good. Spiral, multiple swords? Bad. Katana? Evil samurai, unless it's Wolverine in one of his Japanese adventures. Dual-wielded katana? Deadpool.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • All Quiet on the Western Front: The sergeant finds a private who has cut serrations into his bayonet, and explains that the opposition will not like this and do particularly nasty things to him if they catch him. The sergeant then goes on to explain that in hand-to-hand trench warfare, the best thing is to lop the opponent's head off with a short-handled shovel.
  • Flash Gordon (1980): Vultan, King of the Hawkmen, carries an evil-looking mace. However, he is one of the hero's closest allies.
  • Harry Potter: Wands used by the death eaters have more elaborate and menacing designs than those of the good wizards and witches.
  • Kill Bill: The crazy Japanese girl Gogo Yubari wields a meteor hammer.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Elves use light curved blades and Alliance humans prefer medieval broadswords while Orcs sport crude, angular slabs, and Easterlings are armed with polearms. There's also the curved dagger wielded by Evil Chancellor Wormtongue.
  • The Raid: One group of tough mooks is described as the machete gang in the credits. You can probably guess from this that they are not on the side of the angels.
  • Star Wars: The Jedi use lightsabers with blades that are colored blue, green, purple, yellow, and seemingly every color of the rainbow except red, which is the exclusive province of the evil Sith. Along similar lines, the Galactic Empire's weapons are all clean, utilitarian, and mass-produced, whereas the the Rebel Alliance's all appear to be heavily customized and well-used.
  • Tangled: The Frying Pan of Doom is only ever used by heroic characters.
  • Watchmen: Zigzagged.
    • Nite Owl and Silk Spectre 2 are unarmed (good weapon/good guy). Rorsharch is also unarmed (good weapon/anti hero). The NYPD SWAT team uses CAR-15 rifles and the regular beat cops use Smith Wesson Model 10 and Model 15 revolvers (good weapons for good guys), and the criminal exploded by Dr Manhattan uses a sawn-off shotgun (evil weapon/bad guy). The Comedian (little bit of both) uses a Colt 1911 variant (good weapon) and an Ithaca 37 and a flamethrower (evil weapon). In his closet are seen an S&W 686 (good), a CAR-15 (good) a HK91, an HK MP5 (could go either way) and a Franchi SPAS-12 (bad).
    • Mooks often have hero guns. One of the muggers has a Colt Detective Special, and the killer sent after Veidf had an S&W 586 (good weapon/bad guy). The national guard also have M1 Garand rifles, but gun down unarmed protestors with them (good weapon/bad guy). Conversely, Well-Intentioned Extremist Veidt uses a Walther PPK to kill Moloch, which fits his moral ambiguity.

  • Astral Dawn: The high spirits utilize a wide variety of astral weapons created from their centers. Caspian's weapon of choice is a silver-bladed katana sword.
  • The Demon Princes: A partial exception to Poisoned Weapons — the hero uses them and is better than most of the villains.
  • Father Brown: Although we never see the weapon (a curvy Middle-Eastern dagger) in question actually wielded, this trope is invoked in the story "The Wrong Shape":
    "Why, look at it," cried Father Brown, holding out the crooked knife at arm's length, as if it were some glittering snake. "Don't you see it is the wrong shape? Don't you see that it has no hearty and plain purpose? It does not point like a spear. It does not sweep like a scythe. It does not look like a weapon. It looks like an instrument of torture."
  • The Lord of the Rings: Sauron is depicted using a mace, and his lieutenant, the Witch-king, uses one as well. His ancient teacher, Morgoth, fought with a warhammer.
  • Malloreon:
    • A rare exception to "Only villains poison weapons": Sadi, a eunuch on the side of the heroes, uses a poisoned dagger as his primary weapon. Justified in that one of the two defining characteristics of the Nyissans is an extensive knowledge and ... creative ... use of pharmaceuticals. (The other one is a positively astounding ability at being devious and conniving.)
    • While Sadi is a good guy, Nyissans, in general, try to stay out of the fighting and may be seen as amoral.
    • The Ulgo knife, which is generally described as one of the most unpleasant weapons in the world. The Ulgos are good guys. The knife itself is never described in detail — it does, however, possess both a serrated edge and a hook "for pulling things out", and is said to have been designed to "hurt more coming out than going in".
  • Mistborn: The Original Trilogy: Zig-zagged:
    • The supremely evil Steel Inquisitors favor axes as their signature weapon.
    • Contrary to the usual rule on daggers, both good and evil Mistborn, including two of the three main protagonists, use daggers as primary weapons.
    • The orc-like Koloss use an enormous BFS as their signature weapon, to the point where the size of a koloss population can be crudely controlled by increasing or decreasing the number of swords they possess. (If they have too few swords, the koloss will kill each other off in brawls over swords, whereas if they have too many, they make more koloss.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: A partial exception to Poisoned Weapons is Oberyn Martell. While he's not that nice of a guy (it's still ASOIAF), he has sympathetic motives and is mostly a case of Shoo Out the New Guy or A Death in the Limelight anyway. His poisoned weapon at least took out one of the characters who was much, much worse than he was.
  • The Wheel of Time: A topic of discussion:
    • The Aiel are a Proud Warrior Race whose spears are central to their culture. In their view, spears are Good because they can be used to hunt for food, while swords are Evil because they are only used to attack other people. When their predecessors split off from the Actual Pacifist Da'Shain Aiel at the end of the Age of Legends, they chose this compromise to make their collective Batman Grabs a Gun moment more bearable.
    • The Blacksmith Perrin Aybara carries an axe and a hammer, and eventually follows his mentor's advice to throw the axe away when he starts to enjoy using it on people. Subverted in that he has no qualms about caving people's skulls in with the hammer, although later he and an Asha'man forge him a proper warhammer that's especially lethal against Shadowspawn, suiting the trope more closely.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Flash (2014): Evil speedsters, such as Eobard Thawne, can vibrate their hands so quickly that they can be used to cut through solid matter or rip out/crush internal organs. The titular Flash eventually learns how to perform a variation of this technique for blunt, nonlethal blows. The Season 3 villain Savitar has a Blade Below the Shoulder on each arm.
  • Robin of Sherwood: Anybody who uses a crossbow will be evil, without exception. This is due to the centuries-old history of the longbow as a symbol for English military might and righteousness, with crossbows being for, eeew, French people and so forth.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • The swords of Masamune and Muramasa, two legendary Japanese swordsmiths. In general, Masamune's swords are considered to have qualities of good and peace, while Muramasa's blades are considered bloodthirsty. The legend has it that the two had a contest to see who could craft a better sword. Each one made a sword and sent it floating down a river. Masamune's sword peacefully avoided everything, while Muramasa's sword cut everything in its path. This story actually could not have happened in real life because the two didn't live in the same time period. Another legend says that a Muramasa sword, once unsheathed, will refuse to leave the user's hand until it draws blood.
  • In Orthodox Christian religious Art, good angels are depicted with swords — occasionally an example of a Flaming Sword, — spears, or occasionally bows (generally, if an angel is pictured alone, he wields a sword, while depictions of angels vanquishing demons, e.g. the scene of the Last Judgment, show angels wielding spears or bows). Demons have tridents or whips.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 1001 Science Fiction Weapons for D20, has a few weapons that are usually used by evil, such as certain of the rays in the pulp weapons chapter, the Rod of the Lawgiver, and most of the radioactive weapons (well if not evil, then certainly bat guano crazy, given that you're holding a piece of radioactive material in your hands to hit someone with). Most of the weapons, however, are meant to be accessible, dependent on the situation, to the PCs. Scythes is one particular example; in that there are many scythes which one can understand a farmer owning, because their technological enhancements may actually improve their ability to reap wheat (although, why are you reaping wheat by hand when you can economically create force field and superchilled blades?). However, the superheated scythe sets wheat on fire, so it cannot be used for harvest; it is stated that if you see one of these on the wall then the person is probably a villain.
  • BattleTech: How can you tell that the psychotic Word of Blake are unquestionably the bad guys (as if the war crimes, genocide, brainwashing, suicide bombings, planetary bombardments, nukings, chemical weapons, and pandemic plagues weren't clue enough)? Their Celestial-series OmniMechs all feature Spikes of Villainy, retractable curved arm blades, and sharp clawed hands, in contrast to the more utilitarian designs of the overwhelming majority of Inner Sphere and Clan 'Mechs.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Good-aligned Clerics traditionally wield maces or other blunt weapons. Evil clerics and fighters often carry flails or other spiky things. The game claimed this dated back to the Middle Ages where the Clergy were allowed to join in battle, but because they were forbidden to "spill blood" they were restricted to using blunt weapons. Because you can totally bash somebody's head in with a mace and not get blood everywhere. Though the idea that warrior priests used maces to not shed blood may have been a misunderstanding of the actual events, and were more likely symbols of authority.
    • This trope most likely came from Bishop Odo of Bayeux, a kinsman of William the Conqueror, who was trying the game the system (at that time, clergy was not allowed to participate in combat — to this day, for obvious reasons, the Catholic Church frowns VERY HEAVILY on it, and "warrior monk" orders like the Templars, Hospitallers, and Teutonic Knights no longer function as military religious orders)by wading into combat during the Battle of Hastings in 1066 with a weapon that was less likely to shed blood on the rationalization that made it OK.
    • Greyhawk: Heironeous god of Chivalry and Justice, carries a battleaxe or longsword, as do his followers. His brother Hextor, god of Tyranny and War, is associated with the spiked flail.
    • D&D has made exceptions for various gods with favored weapons (as with Heironeous and the battleaxe pre-3rd edition), but as of 3rd Edition opened up the range of favored weapons for clerics pretty widely — especially for gods of war and combat. Most fit this trope fairly well even so. In Eberron, for example, most of the good gods still favor traditionally "good" weapons or those that are derived from tools with a functional purpose (the goddess of feasts and abundance likes sickles, which are a farming tool), while the evil gods still favor "evil" weapons (the god of death likes the Sinister Scythe, whose evil connotations overcome its own use as a farming tool).
  • Space 1889: The spear-polearm, fork and scythe-resembling weapons the High Martians carry in their prehensile feet sure look nasty.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Space Marines typically wield weapons that look similar to their Loyalist counterparts with the addition of lots of spikes and studs and skulls. Their Terminators also use maces and axes in addition to the standard Power Fist (which they add spikes to anyway.) While both groups have melee-centric squads that favor chain weapons, note how the squads for Chaos Space Marines tend to use Chain Axes, while the squads for Loyalist Marines tend to use Chain Swords.
  • Warhammer Fantasy: Priests of Sigmar tend to fight with two-handed battle hammers, and lead armies from the front. Since Sigmar is a god of war and his symbol is a hammer, this is all justified. Priests of Sigmar tend to be a bit overbearing and have Knight Templar tendencies, but are generally good guys.

  • Hamlet: Claudius, a villain, is very fond of poison, using it both to murder the title character's father, and on Poisoned Weapons to try to kill Hamlet himself.
  • Othello: The heroic Claudius uses a sword. It's implied that his attempted assassination may have been done with a knife.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Combat has a variant: it has been noted that in almost every game, the protagonist squadron and sometimes his allies usually fly Western fighter aircraft (usually American) while the antagonist ace squadron(s) usually use either high-tier Russian fighters (usually a variant of the Su-27 Flanker). This is however subverted multiple times.
    • Ace Combat 2: The protagonist squadron (presumably, given the cover art) flies the Su-35 Super Flanker, while four of the ZOE aces use American jets (the last uses one of the series' first two fictional fighters). The remake switches this around, where the protagonist is now, as always, associated with the F-22, but ZOE remains free of Russian craft, and only one of the four other important ace squadrons encountered uses non-NATO aircraft.
    • Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere: In the uncut version, the only faction that flies Russian planes (a futuristic MiG and two upgraded Sukhois) is UPEO, which is the starting faction (you can later defect) and is as close as it comes to the Good Guys in this game.
    • Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies plays this straight as can be for the most important pilots on both sides, where the player Mobius One is associated with the F-22 and his rivals throughout the game in Yellow Squadron use the Su-37, but other allied pilots zigzag this, particularly in the missions that have the most impact on the story - there can be a mix of MiGs-29s and Su-35s alongside F-16s and F/A-18s.
    • Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War: One of the enemy ace squadrons you fight flies the F-15 S/MTD; this is in part justified in that they're actually infiltrators of your country's air force, and their counterparts in the enemy fly Su-35s. For the final encounter, both come together to face you in prototype Sukhoi craft, while the player's squad is associated with the F-14A.
    • Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War: Out of the twelve major ace squads you face in the game, only three (Gelb's Su-37s, Gault's Su-47s and Schwarze's MiG-31s) play this trope straight; the rest mostly use American jets (such as Grun's F/A-18s, Silber's F-4 and F-16s, or Wizard's YF-23s and F-16XLs) with the others likewise focusing on other Western nations like France (Espada Two's Rafale) and Sweden (Espada One's Draken, Indigo's Gripens). This game also codified the series' trend where this trope is only played halfway, as the protagonist ends up being associated with an American jet (the F-15 in Cipher's case) while the final boss instead uses a completely fictional fighter (in this case the "ADFX-02").
    • Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception: Some of the ally Redshirts use the Flanker.
    • Ace Combat: Joint Assault: Varcolac uses both Russian and Western planes; fittingly enough, they start as the allied Rigel squadron before defecting early on. The ending cutscene depicts an Su-37 heroically flying, however, which is the closest the game gets to acknowledging any plane as the canonical choice for the protagonists in Antares Squadron.
    • Ace Combat Infinity zigzags this in the campaign, where the initial flight lead for the Bone Arrows, Viper, flies a MiG-21, while Omega and Bronco stick to the Eurofighter and F-16F, but the later addition Zebu flies the MiG-29. The player character Reaper, as usual, can fly whatever they want (with the suggested rental sets varying between American and Russian jets depending on the mission), but as with most other post-X protagonists, rewards from ranking events have associated him with the F-22. Players in online can likewise use whatever they want, frequently leading to combinations of American, Russian, French, Swedish, Japanese, and fictional aircraft.
  • Command & Conquer: Generals: The mod Rise of the Reds completely and utterly flips the stereotype of western nations using "good" and "humane" weapons. The European Union-successor ECA uses all manner of horrifying weapons including lethal microwave weapons, cluster bombs, land mines, nerve gas and even nukes, all out of sheer desperation.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has one so evil that guards can freak out if you approach them with it.
  • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance has Ashnard's Gurgurant, a black flame patterned sword with a more or less flat tip, evil. It's also named after a cannibal king from Arthurian mythology.
  • God of War has an interesting example involving the exact same weapon. In the original trilogy, the Anti-Hero Kratos primary weapons are the Blades of Chaos/Athena/Exile, jagged blades with a red lightning pattern on their sides, which look just as imposing and brutish as Kratos himself. But when Kratos is forced to re-use the Blades of Chaos in order to fight through the Norse Underworld to acquire an item needed to save his son during the events of God of War (PS4), the blades (after a fair amount of upgrading) instead bare an elegant, runic design, showing how much Character Development Kratos has undergone since his time in Greece.
  • Halo: This shows up in the two warrior races of the Covenant. The characteristic weapon of the (ultimately) good Elites is the Energy Sword. The signature weapon of the viscous Brutes is a big, well, brutish Gravity Hammer. This applies to the designs of rest of their weapons too; Elites tend to favor organically elegant curves, while Brutes favor making everything spiky.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: There are sometimes weapons or objects (lightsaber crystals for example) that can only be used if one has the proper alignment.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: At the very end of the game, the Master Sword is shown to have an Evil Counterpart wielded by the Demon King Demise, whose spirit and humanoid form is named Ghirahim.
  • Resident Evil 4: Zigzagged. Krauser uses a knife as his weapon of choice, is a mercenary working for the Big Bad, kidnapped the President's Daughter, and if he isn't outright evil, is at least very, very amoral. Leon Kennedy also uses a knife, but Krauser's is still much larger and rather mean-looking. Somewhat justified in that it's stated they worked together in the same military group before the events of the game.
  • Soulcalibur:
    • The series revolves around two swords, Soul Calibur and Soul Edge. Soul Edge, once an ordinary sword, gained a malicious will of its own (which manifests as the firespawn Inferno, a Final Boss in some of the titles) due to tasting an immense amount of blood on the battlefield, and evolved into a corruption-spreading Artifact of Doom. Soul Calibur was created by the Hero King Algol from a purified shard of Soul Edge. They are currently wielded by The Hero Siegfried and the Big Bad Nightmare (himself an incarnation of Inferno), who, at one point, used to be the same person. Soulcalibur IV does subvert this, however, as Soul Calibur is heavily implied to be a Knight Templar in regards to Soul Edge. Soulcalibur V confirms this, showing the two swords aren't so different after all; they don't represent Good vs. Evil as much as Order vs. Chaos, and Soul Calibur's idea of "order" is also very bad for humanity.
    • Ivy wields a sword that separates into multiple parts: good. It does turn into a whip, but that helps it with the Bifurcated Weapon bit. Astaroth wields axes: evil.
  • Warcraft:
    • Warcraft: Orcs and Humans: The human knights used flails despite being good guys. Aside from that, however, the Orcs use more savage-looking weapons than the humans.
    • Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos: Frostmourne makes it amply clear that it's evil. Terrifyingly serrated blade? Horrifying ornaments? Emits a nasty aura of ice and cold? The only way it could get any more Obviously Evil is if it was actually warning potential wielders that it's going to steal their soul... oh wait, it actually does that too! Shame Arthas had gone so far into the deep end at that point that he couldn't care less.

  • Girl Genius: Zeetha has two katars as her weapon of choice. She is described as a "swordmistress", and is also quite unambiguously good.
  • El Goonish Shive: During an attack of abberations at the mall, Mr. Raven and Susan wield a magic sword and hammers. One of the abberations, meanwhile, is packing a gun.
  • Homestuck: The Hero picks up a hammer for Mundane Utility and levels up with it. The Axe-Crazy pure evil psychopath is also the only one who wields a full sword (although another hero uses swords, what he actually wields are swords broken in half). This is later also demonstrated with the good and evil personalities of one character: the good wields a magic wand that can turn into a pistol (a precise weapon that cannot be fired multiple times in succession), while the evil wields a pimp cane that can turn into a fully automatic assault rifle (a highly destructive weapon that will likely cause a ton of collateral damage). The trope is not played consistently though. The girl who uses a lipstick that can transform into a chainsaw is on the side of good, and so is the guy who uses sickles.

    Western Animation