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Multi-Melee Master

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"Humanity has invented a thousand ways to kill one another over the centuries — why limit yourself to just one?"

A character who carries more than one type of melee weapon. Frequently, they carry a short-ranged weapon and a long-reach weapon. That, or a weapon that is good for offence and defence. They tend to have trouble changing between them, though, as it means he has to draw the new weapon and dispose of the old one somehow.

This can be rather tricky to do in real life, as different types of melee weapon can require radically different styles. This is most evident when it comes to weapons with hugely divergent physical properties. A swordsman can use an axe or spear with relative ease, but a flail's physical attributes are different enough for it to require entirely separate training and methods. Even among swords, remember that the idea that All Swords Are the Same is false; one uses a katana differently from a rapier or a broadsword.

On the other hand, this is also very much Truth in Television, as professional warriors were expected to be fully trained across multiple weapon types. For example, Liechtenauer stated that one should be adept in hand to hand, the use of the dagger, polearm (generally a halberd or polehammer), sword and shield, and most importantly, the longsword (which was the foundation of Liechtenauer's entire system, and a longsword at half-sword was wielded virtually identically to a polearm). Added to that, there are cases of professional warriors that used different weapons that did share some common way of handling: look no farther than this Greek hoplite with his long thrusting lance and his shorter-ranged slashing spear - in the context of a phalanx, both were handled with basically the same downward arm movement through the gaps between shields.

Note that this is carrying two different styles of melee weapon. A person who carries two one-handed swords in case one breaks is not this trope, that's just someone who carries an Emergency Weapon. A person who carries, say, a short sword and a shield, and a two-handed sword, in case they need more offence or defence, is this trope. Note also that this is not Dual Wielding. This is when characters switch between two different melee weapons depending on the situation. If they wield both weapons at the same time, that is Dual Wielding, not Multi-Melee Master.

Fairly common in fiction in general; characters who are competent with their weapons will usually be shown either (a) always using a weapon of choice that they rarely lose for long or otherwise ever trade in for anything else or (b) as being reasonably omnicompetent with almost any weapon they get their hands on. It's then a fairly small step from the latter case to this trope. A Morph Weapon can be employed to mimic the effects of having multiple weapons without actually having those extra weapons as encumberance, at the extra risk of being disarmed of their sole weapon.

Subtrope of Choice of Two Weapons. May also be a Walking Armory, if he doesn't use a Swiss-Army Weapon instead. For the ranged weapon version, see Multi-Ranged Master.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Many of the characters in Bleach are this when you consider that their sealed and released Zanpaktos may differ wildly. Most notable is Ikkaku, who is equally proficient at Dual Wielding sword and sheath in its unreleased form, using the three part spear in its released form, and... whatever the heck you call his Bankai.
  • Daimos has shown the titular robot to be capable of equal proficiency with the Foot Cutter, Five Shooter, Snake Lock, Cross Boomerang, Souryuu Ken, Sanryuu Kon, Daimos Shaft, and Battle Break.
  • Namari of Delicious in Dungeon, is knowledgeable and capable with melee weapons. Makes sense as her father was a weapons merchant.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Erza Scarlet in her first fight used a spear, axe, then she uses two short swords before she decided to use her true power. Her whole magic, in general, includes summoning various types of weapons from Hammerspace. Usually swords and spears.
    • Gray has this as well. All of his weapons are made of magic ice but when your basic move set contains Hammers, Bows and Arrows and Death Scythes without breaking flow, you qualify for this trope, not to mention Bow and Sword in Accord.
  • Fate/Zero: Due to his Eternal Arms Mastery skill, Berserker becomes an instant master of anything he can conceptualize as a weapon, wielding it with the same proficiency as if he'd trained with it for decades. This includes standard things like swords, but also includes things he should reasonably not know how to use like sniper rifles or fighter jets, and absurd things like a street lamp.
  • Gundam has several examples:
    • Amuro's RX-78-2 Gundam has beam sabers, beam javelins, and the Gundam Hammer.
    • Exia from Gundam 00 has seven swords of varying length and design; its successor the 00 Gundam does likewise, even gaining one more sword for the final battle.
    • Gundam SEED Destiny's Destiny Gundam has its BFS as well as beam boomerangs which it occasionally uses as regular sabers, not to mention its palm beam cannons which it uses in Shining Finger fashion. Infinite Justice from the same series has beam sabers (which can combine into a double-ender), leg beam blades, a beam boomerang, a grappling hook, and on at least one occasion used its beam shield as a bashing weapon.
    • The Crossbone Gundams may take the cake for this; by default, each one has two beam sabers, four heat daggers (two stored in the calves, two that pop out the soles of their feet), and two scissor anchors. Kincaid's X-1 has a beam zanber (a Laser Blade cutlass) and the screw whip, Zabine's X-2 has its own zanber plus a shotlancer, and Tobia's X-3 has the Muramasa Blaster.
  • The Demon Slayers in Inuyasha: Sango carries a huge boomerang as a weapon of choice, a short sword, a chain and a retractable blade in her sleeve.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple has Shigure, The Prodigy of Sword and Mistress of all Weaponry.
  • Ogami Itto of Lone Wolf and Cub switches between a sword and a naginata.
  • Fate Testarossa-Harlaown of Lyrical Nanoha, who could fight with a bardiche, a scythe, a two-handed BFS, a pair of one-handed energy sabers, and as of Force, a double-ended energy saber. The Swiss-Army Weapon nature of her Device lets her get around the usual problem of switching between them.
  • Jujutsu Kaisen has Maki Zen'in who is an specalist in multiple weapons that she uses to exorcise curses.
  • Due the high number of Combat Pragmatists, Ranma ½ has many examples:
    • Contrary to Fanon, Ranma has shown proficiency with a good number of weapons, most notably in Kodachi's introduction arc (where he had to fight using only weapons). Considering he comes from the Anything Goes School of Indiscriminate Grappling, it was to be expected;
    • Generally speaking, all practitioners of the Anything Goes qualify: Genma (who taught Ranma) usually fights bare-handed but has a penchant for using improvised weapons and the signs of his cursed form; Akane, who too prefers fighting bare-handed, has fought with all sort of weapons (usually samurai-style weapons) and has been revealed to carry bow and arrows on her person; Happōsai has used his bare hands, his pipe, random objects and bombs; and Sōun Tendō will fight unarmed only if caught by surprise, otherwise he'll come out decked in full samurai armor and carrying a large number of swords, polearms and other samurai weapons.
    • Ryōga, early on, would use his weighted umbrella, razor bandana, and his belt. He has also shown proficiency with Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics, a style that requires to use only rhythmic gymnastics tools as weapons.
    • Shampoo usually fights bare-handed or with her maces, but has been seen wielding swords and polearms.
    • Ukyō uses small okonomiyaki spatulas as both melee and ranged weapons and a giant one as a melee weapon alongside cooking implements.
    • Mousse carries an insane amount of blunt, slashing and piercing weapons in his sleeves (alongside many other non-combat things, some of which he'll still use to fight), and can both throw them and use them in a melee.
    • Kodachi Kunō is a master-level practitioner of Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics. As said above, her style requires to use (mostly) rhythmic gymnastics tools as weapons, and she's proficient enough she can easily hit her enemies with hoops, grab and throw people with her ribbon, masquerade a very hard stick as her ribbon, club an opponent in melee by using a dozen clubs at once, and so on. Then she gets dirty even for her style and this series, whipping out clubs with retractable spikes, razor hoops, gas bombs, plain bombs...
  • While most Sailor Moon characters rely on their magic powers, a few qualify for this trope:
    • In both anime and manga, Sailor Uranus has been seen relying on both her Space Sword and her bare hands.
    • Sailor Venus. While in the original anime she tends to rely on her magic, the live action shows her using both her chain and a dagger in combat alongside Waif-Fu, and in the manga she's a formidable hand-to-hand combatant (or rather feet-to-hand) who, depending on the situation, has skillfully used a katana, a broadsword (remember, they need different skills), her chain, and suitably harmful blunt objects she picked up on the site.
  • In Saint Seiya battles are usually fought bare-handed, but whenever the circumstances require it Athena's Saints show surprising skills in the use of weapons because, as pointed out in "Gigantomachia", they're still trained into their use so they know how to face weapons the rare times it happens. Justified because they fight for the Goddess of Warfare, and as such are required to be Combat Pragmatists (that and they're so powerful that normal weapons are less than useless against them or the opponents they usually fight).
  • Black*Star from Soul Eater is one, as his weapon partner Tsubaki can assume many forms including ninja sword, chain scythe, and a katana. That's just counting close-range melee forms.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Comics' Ares, as the God of War, has fittingly been shown using everything from swords, axes, spears, and staffs to flintlocks and machine guns in battle. His preferred weapon tends to be some form of giant ax.
  • The Hawk family is seen using just about every kind of medieval weapon there is, usually with a preference for maces. The Golden Age Hawkman was a museum curator and so had access to many medieval weapons.
  • Taskmaster, also from Marvel Comics, can master any skill that he sees someone else using. Hence, he may show up with any conventional melee (or missile) weapon, though he tends to favor sword and shield.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Diana herself is proficient with a wide array of weapons as while the Amazons are a peaceful society they understand the need for defense and really like archery and fighting competitions for fun. When the need arises she'll usually compliment her lasso with a sword, spear and bow.
    • Her archenemy Ares can use any weapon that's been used in battle and prefers his giant battleaxe but has been seen using rifles, swords, and spears among other weapons.
    • Artemis is named after the famed archer goddess of the hunt and her go-to weapon is a bow when she has one, but she's usually carrying a broadsword and giant battle axe as well. She's very good at wielding them which gives her Super-Strength a multiplier in a fight.
  • The Marvel Comics villain Zaran, originally a Shang-Chi antagonist who later tangled with other heroes, has multiple-weapon mastery as his schtick in stories where fighters tend to specialize in single weapons or in unarmed combat.

    Fan Works 
  • Just like in the source material, Bloodborne, a hunter from The Night Unfurls typically carries more than one melee weapon with them in a hunt, using them with equal proficiency.
  • Downplayed in Rabbit of the Moon. Bell takes up numerous weapons during his time in Yharnam, including a Saw Cleaver, a Saw Spear, a Hunter Axe, and the Kirkhammer. But he admits that he's nowhere near mastery with any of them, and can only wield them as well as he does through trial and error against the hordes of Yharnam and the experiences contained within Blood Echoes.
  • Vow of the King:
    • Ichigo's zanpakuto forces him to be proficient in using two different kinds of two-handed swords, Knightly Sword and Shield, and a spear.
    • Besides the katana of her sealed zanpakuto, Isane has shown the ability to use a naginata, a kanabo, and armored gauntlets. Unlike Ichigo, her zanpakuto is explicitly a Morph Weapon, so she doesn't have to change forms to change weapons.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 300 gives us the Spartans, who used the classic combo of spears and shields for the start of combat backed up by swords for when things got up close and personal.
  • Several of Braveheart's heroes qualify. In addition to his iconic claymore, William Wallace is seen to be proficient with a huge mallet, a thresher, a flail, a dagger, a longspear, a bow, a deer's antler, and rocks of various shapes and sizes.
  • Seen in the duel between Shu Lien and Jen Yu in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, where Shu Lien goes through swords, spears, clubs, hooks, and other Stock Wushu Weapons with equal proficiency as Jen's sword destroys each one. Humorously subverted when she tries to use an oversized club in the middle and can barely lift it.
  • Duel of the Ironfist: Chiang the Rambler is an elite assassin and fighter who is proficient in using all kinds of weapons, including throwing knives, axes, a chain, a garotte wire, bamboo poles, and even Mausers. He collected a kill-tally of around 90 people using these assorted weapons throughout the entire film.
  • Hsiao Lu-er from The Jade Faced Assassin can fight with swords, spears, flails, pikes, and her own fists, and is skilled in ten different martial arts skills. Which is fitting, because as a child she is raised by Ten Rogue kung-fu masters called the "Ten Villains", each of them having knowledge in a certain kung-fu skill, and decide to pass all their skills into Lu-er to make her their "best killer".
  • In The Matrix Reloaded, Neo uses multiple weapons, such as a metal bar, a longsword, a pair of sai, as well as a tetsubo.
  • In Sin City, Miho uses a katana in concert with a wakizashi when she isn't going for long distance attacks using shuriken or arrows. The comic version has even more melee weapons in some stories.
  • In the climactic duel between Hector and Achilles in Troy, both men start the battle with spears and move on to swords as the spears are broken.

  • Lone Wolf: The Magnakai or Grand Master Weaponmastery disciplines give bonus with a wide array of weapons. Even though it isn't mandatory, considering that there are two weapon slots in the inventory it is probable Lone Wolf will have at least two weapons around, not counting the "special item" ones. Even with the Sommerswerd as favored weapon, some places exist where using it is unsafe, forcing you to rely on a secondary weapon.

  • The Asterisk War: Main protagonist Ayato Amagiri uses the Amagiri Shinmei Style, a pre-Bakumatsu fighting style created for the samurai on the battlefield. He mainly uses a longsword/katana Lux or the BFS Ser Veresta, but has demonstrated proficiency with spear, short sword, and grappling as well, mainly in his duel with Kirin Toudou at the end of Volume 2. Kirin, in contrast, uses the Toudou Style, an Edo Period style designed for one-on-one dojo matches, which gives her a slight edge in speed but limits her effectiveness against multiple opponents or non-sword-wielding enemies (she begins to incorporate some Amagiri Shinmei moves as a result of her Senpai/Kōhai friendship with Ayato).
  • In Fate/Zero, Berserker's Noble Phantasm, Knight of Owner, lets him take hold of any weapon and utilize it as his Noble Phantasm as if he'd wielded it his entire life. He has no problems using spears, swords, or any other kind of melee weapon even with his Mad Enhancement, as his Eternal Arms Mastership keeps his skills sharp even as he's driven completely insane.
  • Fengshen Yanyi: pretty much all generals are expert in warfare and can use many weapons, usually wielding a polearm (spears, glaive and halberds) on horseback and a sword, a cudgel or a whip as a side-arm. Even some of the taoists are in this, best seen with Li Nezha, who simultaneously wields a lance, two swords, a golden circlet, a lenght of damask, a magic coverlet and a golden brick.
  • John Carter of Mars: In A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Carter carried a spear, long sword, short sword and dagger, all at the same time. It was a standard Martian combination, in fact, and there was an honor rule that in a formal duel you aren't allowed to use a "longer" weapon than the one the challenged party uses (for example: if the opponent chooses the short sword, you are allowed to use the short sword, dagger or your bare hands, but not the long sword or spear).
  • Journey to Chaos: The use of multiple weapons is standard training in the Dragon's Lair mercenary company. At minimum, apprentices will learn mana bolts, basic martial arts (this is how you punch, kick, etc.) and a handheld weapon like a stave or a sword. If the apprentice joins Squads Two or Three they will also learn White Magic or Black Magic. Squad 5 is skilled with everything. That's the requirement to join.
  • In The Saxon Stories, Uhtred carries a longsword, for single combat, and a shortsword, for fighting up close in the shieldwall.
  • Chase in the Sword of Truth series is known for always having at least six different weapons on his person. And he's extremely proficient in all of them.
  • In the Tortall Universe all knights are given this level of training, as they would in real life. They start off with training in staff, longsword, hand to hand, bow and lance, and later years add axes, warhammers, crossbows, magic if the knight has it (and Mage Killer strategies for those that don't), and polearms. After graduation, most knights simply don't have the time to keep up their training in every weapon they were taught, but they still wind up with a basic education in nearly every weapon they can physically wield.
  • In The Wheel of Time, all Aiel, even non-warriors, are proficient in the spear and the short-bow. They also carry belt knives, and in a pinch can fight with hands and feet.
    • Juilin Sandar, a professional thief-catcher, usually fights with a club/swordbreaker combo since he for both professional and personal reasons prefers to leave his opponents alive. He still carries a sword, and will use it instead of the club when the need to survive becomes more pressing than morality or a paycheck.
  • R.L. Stine's Wizards, Warriors and You has the titular Warrior, who is an incredible weapons master that uses flails (including one with three heads), lances, swords ranging from a cutlass to a claymore, a huge battle-axe, a mace that he uses as much as a throwing weapon as for melee, a dagger and a crossbow that shoots in 3 different direction simultaneously.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Magnus of The Adventure Zone: Balance is shown to be fully proficient in battleaxes, spears, longswords, and his grandpa's pocketknife.

    Tabletop Games 

  • Dungeons & Dragons: every character is proficient with multiple weapons right out of the box, and warrior classes are often proficient in all but the most unusual ones, but Fighters have a different way of standing above the rest in each edition. 2nd lets them specialize in weapon skills beyond what others can, 3rd gives them enough bonus combat feats to master more than one fighting style, and 4th has bonus effects for different weapon types built right into their attacks, which fighter-exclusive feats can take even further.
    • This can also be quite essential as some monsters (like skeletons) are practically or entirely immune to certain weapon types.
    • Expanding on the above, D&D fighters are the most likely to be this because they're strongest in melee combat and have few other ways of adapting to changing circumstances — a cleric can alternate spellcasting and laying into enemies with their mace Magic Knight-style, but a fighter whose current weapon doesn't work so well on a given enemy is often best advised to switch to another and hope that improves matters. (At higher levels this can mean switching between different magical weapons to find the right one for the job.)
  • Earthdawn: Every Adept with the melee weapon talent is this, justified by the fact that they use magic to learn how to use all melee weapons instead of training with one or the other. Regular folk have to learn a skill for each type of weapon separately.
  • Exalted
    • Dots in the Melee skill in are applicable to any sort of melee weapon your character might pick up. You can purchase specialty dots to gain additional skill with specific weapon types — among other uses — though.
    • Martial Arts is even more versatile, encompassing not just refined unarmed combat but also Martial-arts specific weaponry like tiger claws and hookswords, and even the standard melee weapons depending on one's preferred or mastered fighting styles. 2nd Edition likewise ups the ante even further by folding in improvised and brawling weapons into the Ability's purview.
    • The Dawn Solution for second edition encouraged Dawn Castes to turn up with as many killing tools as they wanted, leading to a build known as the "battle hydra".
  • Rocket Age's vortex system rules mean that any training is applicable to any area in that field, making all fighters equally comfortable with almost any weapon, although many still specialize.
  • Nerfed in Warhammer 40,000, but now fits this trope! Fighters only gain one of the effects from multiple complex combat weapons, but still gain the Dual Wielding bonus attack.
  • Warhammer: Up until 8th edition, this occured a great deal due to how models are equipped. All non-monstrous models have a basic hand weapon (swords, axes etc.) and can be given different additional weapons like spears, two-handed weapons, bows, flintlock handguns and the like, but once locked in combat they must choose one of the weapons to use for the entirety of that combat. 8th edition removed this by making most weapon options an either/or deal (for example, the option of spears OR two-handed weapons), and preventing the use of hand weapons as long as the unit has a non-hand weapon available to use.
    • Black Orcs are exempt to this rule, coming with a pair of one-handed weapons, a two-handed weapon and a hand weapon/shield combo, and can switch between them whenever they like.
    • Dwarf Slayers have a similar rule that lets them switch between Dual Wielding hand weapons and using a two-handed weapon whenever they like. Their nature as Death Seekers prevent the use of shields however.
    • Crom the Conqueror is armed with nothing more than a simple, non-magical broadsword, axe and tower shield, he is able to dominate opponents so utterly through his Confusion Fu they cannot use the magical properties of the weapons they carry.
    • During 5th and 6th edition, Wood Elf Wardancers had rules that gave them unique attack styles for wielding different combinations of weaponry. As of 8th edition this was replaced with a choice of two hand weapons or an asrai spear, with the addition of special rules for their war dances instead.
      • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: The Judicial Champion advanced class has possession of and proficiency with at least six different high-quality melee weapons as a prerequisite. This is justified by their role — judicial champions are the court's representative in Trial by Combat and need to be able to use whatever weapon the defendant picks.

    Video Games 
  • Carrying a reserve weapon in Arcanum is common, partly due to Breakable Weapons (which is not this trope), but also partly because weapons have varying effects against different targets.
  • Altaïr from Assassin's Creed can use a one-handed sword, a short blade and the Hidden Blade. His descendant Ezio from 2 takes it further, being able to use bludgeons, longswords, axes and polearms in addition to the above.
  • The Baldur's Gate series has two features that enable this. The first is the AD&D 2nd edition rule of weapon proficiencies, where you get (not too many) points to allocate between proficiencies in different kinds of weapons, with being proficient meaning you don't suffer penalties to attack but get to use your base chance to hit. And warrior classes (fighters, ranger, paladins, barbarians) can also put more than one point in the same class of weapons to get bonuses that depend on the level of specialization. (This is supposed to be simpler than having to add weapon skills to your attack roll.) The other feature are the quick slots for switching weapons, the number of which varies by class and is in truth mostly a function of how many other abilities there are taking up space on the bar at the bottom of the screen. Fighters are as their name implies, so they mostly have weapon slots there, whereas thief/mages get so many different kind of abilities that they only have one quick weapon slot in the first game, making the feature meaningless. The most obvious things to put in the slots if you have only two of them are one melee and one missile weapon, but warriors get so many that they can afford to equip different kinds of melee weapons, too — say, a sword as your usual weapon, a blunt weapon against The Undead, and a small but fast weapon for interrupting spellcasters.
  • Barbarian (Titus): Of the Fighters on the roster of this Power Stone style Platform Fighter, two of them wield two different sets of weapons. One of these is Dagan has a broadsword and an ax which he uses each individual, but also simutaneously for certain special moves. The other is Phade who uses a spear and her own sharpened finger nails as claws.
  • Several units in The Battle For Wesnoth wield multiple melee weapons, usually with different damage types.
    • The human Knight and its upgraded forms, the Grand Knight and Paladin, use both a sword and a lance — the sword allowing for a regular, fairly reliable attack dealing blade damage, or anti-magic "arcane" damage in case of the Paladin, while the lance provides a special "charge" attack during which the unit both deals and takes double damage, and does piercing damage.
    • Dwarvish Fighter and its advancements wield both an axe and a hammer as their primary weapon, giving them reliable blade and impact attacks.
    • The Drake Clasher is another shining example, armed with a long spear and "war talons", and additionally gaining a ramming attack upon leveling up into a Thrasher, to complete the trio of physical damage types — piercing, blade, and impact.
  • Conqueror's Blade features a handful of units that can switch between two types of melee weapons. Shieldmaidens use swords and spears (both in combination with shields); Iron Reapers use [[BFS two-handed swords]] and giant war flails; and Varangian Guards use sword and shield by default and switch to giant two-handed Dane axes while in rage mode.
  • Darksiders II shows that while Death's weapon of choice is a pair of scythes that merge into a larger one, he's also proficient with axes, glaives, hammers, maces, arm-blades, gauntlets, bucklers, claws, and possessed variants of all of the above.
  • In Dark Souls, you have two or three slots to equip something on each hand, with the only thing you have to watch out for being the stat requirements and the weight limit. Want to hold Smough's Hammer on one hand and a Dragonslayer's Spear on the other? Go for it.
    • Dark Souls III PvP gets rather ridiculous with this, as pro players have mastered the technique of parrying, opening up their equip menu and swapping to a weapon optimized for riposte damage, and landing a riposte, all while the opponent is staggered from the parry animation, just to work around weight limit restrictions.
  • DeathSpank can hold as many as eight weapons at once (four for the face buttons, and four more activated by the D-pad), though only two are shown on his in-game model.
  • Demon's Souls allows you to carry all sorts of weapons (including dual wielding shields!). You can also change the weapons in your hands or go 2 handed at any point.
  • Dante in Devil May Cry always winds up with a wide assortment of melee weapons by game's end. At the very least, he typically has a broadsword (Force Edge in 1, Rebellion otherwise) to start with then gets a pair of gauntlets (Ifrit in 1, Beowulf in 3) somewhere along the line as well. 3 tosses in ice nunchakus (Cerberus), dual scimitars (Agni & Rudra), and a bat-summoning electric guitar (Nevan) as well (and with Real-Time Weapon Change you can carry two of these at the same time and switch between them). 4 gives him another set of gauntlets and greaves (Gilgamesh) along with a weird weapon that lets him create explosive swords out of thin air (Lucifer). 5 gives him dual-wield chainsaw motorcycles (Cavaliere). He also gets a new set of gauntlets and greaves (Balrog) that has unique punch and kick modes instead of integrating both into a single moveset and a new version of the "Cerberus" weapon (King Cerberus) that can also shift into an electrical sansetsukon (three-section staff) and a fire rod. Finally he has access to three broadswords this time (Rebellion, his father's sword, and his own Devil Arm, the Devil Sword Dante). Normally you can only select one broadsword at a time, along with the other weapons mentioned, but with a special upgrade only available on a New Game Plus run, you can gain the ability to equip every weapon in a single arsenal (or none, for that matter).
    • Vergil equips a katana (Yamato), a set of gauntlets and greaves (Beowulf), and uses his father's broadsword (Force Edge) in tandem with the katana. Dante gets to use the katana in 4 as part of the Dark Slayer style. Nero typically only uses the Red Queen so he's mostly an aversion but he has an Evil Hand and can sometimes use the Yamato during his Devil Trigger.
    • DmC: Devil May Cry gives Dante the most amount of individual melee weapons to manage simultaneously to date. By default the weapon is a broadsword (Rebellion) but has Angelic and Demonic modes that each possess two weapon configurations of their own and all of these can be swapped freely by virtue of Rebellion being a Morph Weapon. Angelic weapons include a scythe (Osiris) and a pair of bladed throwing discs (Aquila) and Demonic weapons include a heavy axe (Arbiter) and a pair of gauntlets (Eryx).
  • Useful in Diablo due to Breakable Weapons. Also, some enemies are weak against clubs, others against swords, and axes are useful against anything, but you can't block.
  • It's conceivable to build a character like this in Dragon Age: Origins. A character that picks the two handed weapon specialization will equally be able to wield a one-handed weapon. There are actually no restrictions for using weapons (beyond meeting the stat requirements), so you can use any weapon at any time, including hand-axes, bows, swords, daggers, mauls and more. You won't want to, though: spreading your skill points around between various weapon sets means you're less effective overall, whereas specializing allows you to murder with efficiency, and there's enough powerful weapons floating around that staying up-to-date is never a concern. On the other hand, the game's habit of only distinguishing between one- and two-handed melee weapons in its skill system means that a character specialized in two-handed weapons will be equally proficient with claymore swords, mauls, and long battleaxes and able to switch between them at will.
  • Starting from the 7th main entry in the Dynasty Warriors franchise, characters can select any available secondary weapon to take into battle. In the case that both equipped weapons are non-ranged weapons, it becomes this.
    • Dynasty Warriors Strikeforce allows you to pick a secondary weapon.
    • In the Arslan crossover game, all characters can equip more than 1 weapon in battle, and can freely swap between them. Majority of the time, they carry 2 melee weapons, making it this.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • It is possible for the Player Character to be one of these throughout the series, as there are loads and loads of weapons to choose from. How much of a "master" you are depends on how skilled you are with said weapons, however. Unless you plan to invest a lot of time to practice using different weapon types or a lot of money for training your skills in those weapon types, it's recommended that you stick with one melee weapon type and become a master of that. In Oblivion, the skill system was revamped to include only "Blade" and "Blunt" weapon types. This means that you can become a "Blade" master by using a dagger a lot, then switch to a massive Claymore and instantly be a master with that too. After many criticisms, Skyrim moved back away from this system, instead having "One-Handed" and "Two-Handed" weapons classed together, with Perks that give you bonuses for using specific weapon types within those types (blade, axe, blunt, etc.) While you can still level up your One-Handed skill by using a sword, then switch to an axe and still be as effective, the axe will be less powerful if you haven't also taken the axe-related Perks.
    • In Morrowind, there is a NPC class called "Master-at-Arms." This class primarily includes NPC trainers from the various guilds and factions, and they can train you to become more proficient in a number of weapon types. In particular, Eydis Fire-Eye of the Fighters Guild can train you all the way up to a skill level of 72 (Axe and Blunt Weapon) and 67 (Long Blade). She is actually the second most skilled Axe trainer in the game, behind only the Master Trainer for that skill, though she herself is armed with a Blunt Weapon (Dwemer Mace).
    • In-universe, depending on the time period and the location, the Imperial Legion trains in numerous weapon types. Their most popular weapon is the Imperial Sword, though they've also trained their soldiers to use maces, polearms, and bows.
  • In Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, melee weapons are categorized as 'melee' or 'unarmed' category weapons, and greater skill levels conferred bonuses to all weapons of that category. Weapons also had differing effective ranges so far as combat went. Melee focused characters could reasonably be expected to have a large, slow weapon to overcome armor and damage resistance, and use a lighter, faster weapon to have a reasonable chance to hit smaller and more agile targets. The combination of a super sledge and a shishkebab can serve most melee characters' needs and yet only require raising one skill for proficiency.
  • Fate/Extella Link has Charlemagne (called Charlie by his friends). He's able to wield the weapons of his Twelve Paladins at will, whipping out Astolfo's lance, Trap of Argalia, and a mace when he's not showering the battlefield in swords or swinging around Joyuese.
  • Fate/Grand Order:
    • Minamoto no Yorimitsu (better known as Raikou) has the Eternal Arms Mastership skill, preserving her prodigious martial skill even with her EX Rank Mad Enhancement. While using her Noble Phantasm, she's able to use the weapons of the Four Heavenly Kings along with her personal katana, Doujigiri Yasutsuna, together with extreme effectiveness.
    • Rama's Noble Phantasm, Vishnu Bhuja, gives him access to all of the weapons he wielded in life. As a result, he's able to wield his spears, chakrams, clubs, and trident even when summoned as a Saber.
    • Archer Inferno is also able to wield her naginata and katana even while summoned as an Archer. She's also a skilled wrestler and tosses her foes into the air in preparation for her Noble Phantasm.
    • Scáthach is able to turn her Gáe Bolgs into a variety of weapons, include throwing knives, a three-part-staff, and a sword. This is on top of their existing functions as spears for thrust, slashing, and throwing.
  • In most Final Fantasy games, the ability to use a weapon is binary: you either can use a weapon, or you can't. In a few games, characters can use a number of different types of weapon with equal skill. Dragoons, for instance, can sometimes use either spears or swords. In some games, you can use two weapons at once — a flail and a sword, for instance, in FFVI. In FFV, a character without a job can use any weapon. Admittedly, there's rarely a reason to switch in the middle of a fight, but nothing stops you from doing so.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • The series has numerous character classes that can use more than one weapon type. Heroes can use both swords and axes, Warriors can use axes and bows, Cavaliers and Paladins can usually use swords and lances (and sometimes axes as well), Generals can use usually lances and at least one other weapon (which varies wildly with every game), Falcon Knights can use lances and swords, Wyvern Lords can use lances and either swords or axes depending on the game, and Nomad Troopers and Rangers can use swords and bows. The Master Knight class from the fourth game has access to not only every single non-legendary melee weapon, but most magic tomes as well.
    • Great Knights can wield the entire melee weapon triangle in games where they appear. Fire Emblem Fates introduces several new classes that can wield multiple weapons as well, such as Blacksmiths (katanas and clubs) and Masters of Arms (the entire melee triangle).
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses:
      • The game removes class restrictions for equipping weapons, so anyone can potentially be a multi-melee master. Certain classes do better with certain weapons (such as thieves excelling with swords and bows), but there is nothing to stop you from outfitting an archer with a bow, a sword, an axe, and some gauntlets.
      • Sothis invoked this trope when Byleth was revealed to be the fifth Fighters Pass in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, giving him/her the signature Heroes' Relics of the House Leaders (Areadbhar, a lance, Aymr, an axe and Failnaught, a bow) to use alongside the Sword of the Creator, making it so that Byleth is not just another sword wielder.
  • God of War:
    • In every game Kratos usually wields an assortment of melee weapons with near unmatched power and expertise. In just Ragnarök alone, he has the powerful Lethiathen Axe, the long reaching Blades of Chaos, and finally the Draupnir spear.
    • In the Valhalla DLC of God of War Ragnarök, Tyr demonstrates mastery of not just several weapons but each from cultures different from his own during his boss fights. He uses a Greek spear and shield, an Aztec Macuahuitl, a pair of Egyptian Khopeshes and a Katana.
  • Adept Rogues in .hack//G.U. Games can combine the weapons (and by extension, abilities) of 2-3 other classes. They're even called "Multi-Weapons" in Japanese. Despite this they're not very popular because their average base stats make them unable to compete with a specialist with the same weapon, and the point system locks out the really powerful combinations like Harvest Cleric/Shadow Warlock. That said you play as one with the combination of Twin Blade/Heavy Blade/Flick Reaper, unlocking a new weapon in each game. Near the end of the last game you get a fourth weapon, a pair of handguns that isn't used by any of the actual classes.
  • Halo:
    • It's made possible from Halo 3 onward, though what you'd want a sword and a gravity hammer for... well, except for Rule of Cool. On the other hand, when dealing with lots of Flood... Anyway, the hammer is more powerful but has a slower swing, while the sword is less powerful, at least on its basic swing, but can be used faster. The hammer is also more useful without using its shock powers, as you can hit a foe with the butt of the hammer and still cause decent damage.
    • Grifball (a rugby-esque arena gametype between two teams) codifies this — all players carry a sword and hammer, and usually use the hammer except against the ball carrier, where the sword is often more useful.
  • Journey On: Selena can equip one-handed bladed weapons, axes, lances, bows, shields, and an offhand blade. Most of her skills require specific weapon types to be equipped, encouraging the player to swap weapons depending on the situation.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising: Pit might not be able to carry more than one kind of weapon into a fight at a time, but he's a master of multiple different weapon types, including swords, staffs, claws, clubs, palms, cannons, arms, orbitars, and of course bows that turn into blades.
  • In Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the Universalist has a special ability "Mastery of Arms" that turns him/her into this. The special attacks of every weapon type (except longbows) are available the moment the Universalist Destiny is chosen.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: Characters who are competent in Dual Wielding have the option of wielding a double-sided weapon (like the twin-bladed light-sabre) as well as the standard single-edged twin-swords.
  • The Legend of Zelda
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Link has the master sword, a hand and a half sword, and the Biggoron sword, a two-handed greatsword. Possibly due to his lack of training, he can't block with the second weapon, but it hurts like hell. So use the master sword against enemies you can't dodge but can block, and the Biggoron sword when having to get something between you and the enemy is irrelevant, say, if an enemy is very slow and predictable, or if their attacks are unblockable anyway. He can also wield the Megaton hammer, which makes a very effective, if somewhat slow, melee weapon. Add in some archery, slingshots, and a ton of other weapons throughout the games.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:
      • Link can pick up and use a variety of weapons. Short swords can be used to attack enemies quickly, long swords and other heavy weapons can be used to knock away an enemy's shield or send enemies flying, spears are good for slowly chipping away at enemies from a distance and ideal for fighting on horseback, boomerangs can be tossed or swung as a melee weapon, and bows can be used to snipe enemies from afar.
      • Guardian Scouts can wield up to three weapons at once, or two and a shield. They don't double up on weapons, and thus come equipped with one each of the Guardian swords, spears and/or axes.
  • Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals: While other characters have their weapon of choice, Dekar can equip any weapon (save for the Dual Blade).
  • Mabinogi: Characters each have two equipped weapon sets, and two hand slots for each set. While many more generalised characters choose to go with bow and arrows in one set and melee in the other, more pure-warrior types will opt for such combinations as Dual-Broadswords (high offensive) in one set and Warhammer+Shield (high defensive) in the other. A truly masterful player can even switch between sets in the middle of an attack-chain to devastating effect.
  • Manafinder: Lambda is capable of using a variety of weapons, each of which is effective against specific types of enemies. Her arsenal includes spears, swords, poleaxes, pickaxes, bows, daggers, a vacuum, a sunstone, a magic staff, a large studded club, claws, a scythe, tonfas, a hammer, and an ice-generating artifact.
  • Zero of Mega Man X can wield his trademark saber, a pair of harisen, a glaive, a giant hammer, and knuckle dusters with more or less equal proficiency in X8; this is explicitly stated to be his specialty in the Character Select. In his own series, he can also use a spear, a grappling hook, and bladed tonfas.
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor: Talion carries a sword for direct combat and a dagger (actually the remains of his son's broken sword) for stealth kills. Also, when fighting with the sword, he can pull out the dagger to deliver a coup de grace against a downed enemy.
  • The player character in Mount & Blade will wind up like this. Not only are axes clubs and swords under the same skills (1 handed and 2 handed) but you have 4 inventory slots and diminishing returns for investing skill points into weapons (after about 100 points it is much more practical to raise them via use) encourages spreading them around.
    • Couched lances are ridiculously powerful, but a lance is a slow and unwieldy weapon when you aren't on a horse. It's usually wise to have a backup sword or axe whenever your main weapon is long and slow, in case you need to fight a quick or close enemy.
  • Mousehunt has the Master of the Cheese Fang Mouse.
  • New Legends have your Warrior Prince protagonist being skilled in using everything available in the Stock Wushu Weapons catalogue. Swords, axes, flails, arrows, spears, rope darts, both weapons of the light and heavy variety, and even firearms.
  • Ryu Hayabusa of Ninja Gaiden. In addition to his signature Dragon Sword, his arsenal includes a staff, a pair of claws, a pair of tonfa, a scythe, nunchaku and other types of swords.
  • Ninja: Shadow of Darkness: The titular ninja, Kurosawa, full stop. Playing as him, you can kick ass with a katana, a sai, a battleaxe, a nagayari ("long spear"), a tetsubo, a jagged broadsword, an infinite supply of throwing knives, smoke bombs, and let's not get into the arrays and arrays of power-ups Kurosawa can use against his enemies.
  • Nioh and its sequel contain plenty of melee weapons for William (and Hide) to wield in combat, though they're normally restricted to two at the same time: the first game, expansions included, has Katana, Spears, Axes (which extends to mallets), Kusarigama, Nodachi and Dual Tonfa. The second game adds the Hatchets, the "Switchglaive" (which, alone, consists in basically three weapons in one) and the "Whipstaves" (again, a Bifurcated Weapon), allowing them to master a huge amount of weaponry and fighting styles. Ranged weapons aren't this numberous (bows, muskets and otsutsu guns alongside shuriken if you train in ninjutsu).
  • While Travis Touchdown specialises in Beam Katanas, No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle gives him a variety of different beam swords that suit different situations. (a change from the first game, where each new sword effectively replaces the last)
  • Octopath Traveler: If a job (or combination of jobs) lets a character equip more than one type of weapon, they can switch between them in battle to target different vulnerabilities This is exemplified with the hidden Warmaster job, which gives access to every weapon type at once.
  • In Onimusha games, due to the different kinds of Oni Weapons, Samanosuke, Jubei Yagyu and Jacques are this. The former uses mostly swords of various kinds plus bow and arrow, an axe and a double weapon (As Tenkai in the fourth game, he's become a master of staves and spears). Jubei, technically a swordsman, can also use spears, double halbeards and huge hammers. Jacques's weapons are all whip-like, though they include a whip-sword, a multi-sectioned double spear and a large flail.
  • Persona 3: The protagonist can use one-handed swords, two-handed swords, gloves and knuckles, hammers and axes, and spears in the original and FES. He can use the weapon of any party member, including non-melee bows, except for knives (because Koromaru holds them in his mouth and fights on all fours) and guns ((because Aegis is a Cyborg with weapons built into her arms). In Persona 3 Portable and the Q titles, however, he is limited to one-handed swords and former one-handed sword-user Mitsuru is limited to rapiers, while the new female protagonist uses naginatas.
  • Prayer of the Faithless: Thanks to his experience and skill as a mercenary, Reyson can equip any weapon type and starts out wielding a sword and axe. This gives him a very wide selection of Drives to choose from, making him versatile despite his lack of personal Burst Drives.
  • Rise of the Kasai is made of this trope. Each of the four playable characters carries four weapons; one for close range, one for mid range, one for great sweeping range, and one long range projectile or throwing weapon. Because of the game's unique targeting weapon, each range allows them to target more enemies at once.
  • This is a common strategy in RuneScape when fighting monsters in an isolated area for any length of time. You fight most of the time with your best melee weapon, and when low on health switch to using a spear that completes the set effect of your armour, allowing you to randomly heal yourself for however much damage you do.
  • Hilde in SoulCalibur IV uses a polearm and a sword.
  • Ever since its debut in Super Robot Wars Alpha, the Super Robot KoRyuOh has shown equal skill with the Random Spike, Variable Drill, and Sonic Javelin, wielding all of these weapons sequentially for its supreme attack, the KoOh Rangeki: Tyrant Over Break..
  • In Team Fortress 2 most of the classes use one type of melee weapon (Scouts use bat-type weapons and Heavies use fist-type weapons), but the Demoman has a variety of swords, axes and bottles.
  • Stanley from Time Commando can use any weapon, and since the whole game's shtick is fighting through various historical eras, there are a lot of different weapons to use.
  • In the Total War series if a phalanx were attacked on the flank or otherwise disrupted, the spearman would pull out their swords and start fighting hand to hand. Spartans, with their extra hit point, were even quite good at it.
  • Valheim: Encouraged by damage resistances and weaknesses of monsters. As early as the second biome (Black Forest), you can make use of a spear (good against trolls), a mace or club (good against skeletons), an axe (better DPS overall and required to chop trees), a optionally a sword (best DPS and no multi-target penalty). Carrying a bow is also recommended for surprise opening shots.
  • Viva Caligula features twenty-six weapons, from "Axe" to "Zampogna". Each has their own use, but surprisingly enough it's the ones that do little or no damage that see the most use.
  • The Tenno from Warframe switch effortlessly between BFSes, daggers, Dual Wielded blades, giant hammers, normal-sized swords, Power Fists, scythes... Pretty much every weapon you can think of.
  • Witchers wield two kinds of sword, functionally and physically different enough to require distinct fighting styles. They do not dual wield due to the need to keep one hand free to cast minor magics. Depending on which game in the trilogy one is playing, it's possible for Geralt to wield daggers, axes, blackjacks, or hammers in place of a steel sword.
  • Most characters in World of Warcraft can learn to use lots of different weapon types, but Fury Warriors truly take this cake with their Titan's Grip talent, which allows them to ignore the normal restrictions for dual wielding. Want a sword and an axe? Fine. How about a mace and a fishing pole? Or a dagger and a polearm? Your imagination's the limit!

    Visual Novels 
  • In Fate/stay night, Archer can become an instant expert with any melee weapon just by looking at it, and can project copies of any melee weapon he's ever seen, magical effects included with few exceptions such as Gilgamesh's Ea, which predates the very concept of a sword and almost any melee weapon. He's also an expert with a bow. The same applies to Shirou, Archer's past self, once he learns how to utilize his abilities.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY has a couple of examples. Pyrrha's weapon Miló can switch forms between a short sword and a spear (as well as a rifle). Sun Wukong's "Ruyi Bang and Jingu Bang" can switch from a staff into a pair of nun-chucks/shotguns. Whether Blake's Gambol Shroud counts when switching between katana and 'chain-scythe' form is up to the viewer. Qrow Branwen's weapon Harbinger is a scythe, but he uses its greatsword form just as often and also has a bladed tonfa form.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: While the Kyoshi Warriors' preferred weapon is a metal war fan, taking after their namesake, Suki also has them all learn and use katanas, and collapsible shields.
  • In Castlevania (2017), Trevor Belmont fights with a short sword and a leather bullwhip, and even uses the two together to give him versatility at different ranges. He upgrades to a longsword and the Morning Star in Season 2, and also uses other weapons on occasion as convenient: he demonstrates proficiency with spears and axes, and seems to be a good knife thrower as well.
  • Samurai Jack usually sticks with his trusty magic katana, but he has also mastered numerous other weapons over the course of his lifetime of training; if it was around in his era, he's good at it. The Guardian he faces in "Jack and the Traveling Creatures" is an even greater example since the Guardian also wields more advanced weapons such as machine guns and rocket launchers. By the fifth season Jack has lost his sword, become The Musketeer, and taken to using technologically advanced weaponry such as guns and explosives.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Adora uses a staff before she finds the Sword of Protection, and the sword itself is able to turn into a variety of weapons such as a whip and a flail.
  • In Steven Universe, most fusions get a weapon combining their components weapon. Alexandrite's weapon is listed as all of them. She is capable of using all of her components weapons and all of their fusions' weapons with equal skill, giving her five different melee weapons she's proficient in. Also helpful is that she doesn't need to carry the weapons, as they can just be summoned, allowing her to rapidly cycle through them at will.
  • Young Justice: Aqualad is a Magic Knight who uses his magic to shape water into any weapon he desires such as swords, whips, flail, and shields.

    Real Life 
  • This was more common than you'd think in real life. As early as Greek times, phalangites would use a spear at first, then draw their sword if they dropped (or broke) the spear for some reason. Later, Roman legionnaires would first throw their heavy javelins, then draw the swords when the fighting got close. Vikings carried spears, axes and swords, often at the same time for use at different ranges. In later periods, knights carried lances into battle as their charging weapons, only drawing their signature swords upon entering melee. Pikemen would carry swords as well if they could afford them. Eastwards, Japanese samurai carried two swords, a katana and a shorter wakizashi sword in case things got too close or the samurai dropped the katana. Not to mention samurai who used the Yari spear or the giant No-dachi.
  • Much of the "style" of phalanx fighting was simply "Keep going forward, make sure your buddy is next to you, and keep poking around with pointy things." Teamwork was the important thing, not individual prowess; teamwork meant simply being a collective Mighty Glacier, rather than maneuvering; and apparently, some warriors did not even know whether or not they had killed anyone. Spears were considered expendable (unlike shields which were hung over firesides) and generally tended to break. According to historian and columnist Victor Davis Hanson, the original idea of the phalanx was to have a reasonably efficient tactic that didn't require much taxes or training, and could get the whole mess over with by harvest time, one way or the other. The fact that, as mentioned above, the same training taught the individual soldier how to use his primary (spear) and his secondary (sword) weapons, was quite the bang-for-your-buck bonus.
  • Most koryu budo (a term covering old-school Japanese martial arts like kenjutsu and atemi-waza, as opposed to the modern stuff like judo and kendo) actually specifically trained students to follow the trope. The curricula would cover combat with a variety of melee weapons, since at the time this was what was needed in order for samurai to properly perform in wartime.
  • The famous Book of Five Rings, Miyamoto Musashi's defining work, stressed that the samurai must go beyond this trope and master not only multiple hand weapons, but multiple ranged weapons as well. The specific set he endorsed were: swords, spears, naginata, bows, and muskets. Every weapon had a place in combat; the swords were day-to-day sidearms, naginata and spears were the weapons of choice in pitched battle, bows were superb ranged weapons in the field, and muskets were strong in the field and king in sieges.
  • Medieval and Renaissance European fighting systems were like this. A knight considered themselves unarmed if ALL they had was a sword, as the other weapons were better used against other knights (e.g. a lance was useful for knocking another guy off his horse, a mace was useful for bashing his armor in so he couldn't move). Really, the sword was for use against soft targets.
    • The Liechtenauer tradition of Germany, for instance, held five weapons at its core:
      • The longsword, a light two-handed sword of four feet in total length.
      • The spear and lance, the distinction between which is blurred at times.
      • The messer (or langesmesser, meaning "long knife"), a single-edged sword for use in one hand.
      • The dagger, which is blurred with unarmed combat.
      • One's own bare hands, primarily for grappling, as grappling was equally viable when unarmed or while holding a weapon.


Video Example(s):


Millie & Blitzo do a "Shrek"

As Moxxie's being forced to marry Chaz, Millie storms the wedding in order to free her husband, with some help from Blitzo. What follows is a bloody massacre, as the scorned wife kills everyone in her path to get Moxxie back.

How well does it match the trope?

4.9 (41 votes)

Example of:

Main / WeddingSmashers

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