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Sinister Scimitar

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Yup, that can't be good...

"Have you seen those warriors from Hammerfell? They have curved swords. Curved. Swords."
Random Guards, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
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Whenever an army of evil creatures like Orcs and such is introduced, be sure that most of the time they will be armed with scimitars, falchions, sabers and other curved weapons. Alternatively, a particular evil character or warrior is armed with such a weapon to underline his bad guy status. Seen more often if the "good guys" or the "good army" wields straight swords. In many cases, expect the scimitar to be far broader towards the tip than at its base and have a scalloped back edge near its tip.

Probably born from the European view of the Crusades, where the Christians were fighting the scimitar-wielding Muslims (even though Arabs preferred the spear and straight sword as weapons). Another possible influence could be cutlass-wielding pirates.

In Chinese wuxia novels and movies, straight double edged swords (jian, usually the taiji type which is thinner) are also preferred over large single edged swords (daidao), probably because it looks way cooler to beat someone with a bigger sword. Also, adding to the realism, they don't use designer weapons they make up, but Real Life weapons that are roughly the correct size. Some older novels prefer heroes wielding a Simple Staff or a Blade on a Stick.

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Of course, this trope has one primary exception: if the hero comes from a place where scimitars and sabers are used as a "default," though in these cases it's more likely because everyone uses them. See also Weapon of Choice and Good Weapon, Evil Weapon. Expect to see it often in Qurac-like settings.

Compare and Contrast Katanas Are Just Better, which is the Eastern equivalent to this trope.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Vampire Hunter D's crescent sword.
  • Many high-level enemies in Yaiba are armed with large scimitars, namely the Mushroom Soldier, Gold and Gozuma.
  • Dragon Ball:
  • In Ranma ½ during her first appearence Shampoo wielded a large Da Dao sword.
  • In Bleach we have Lilynette Gingerback, armed with a far too curved blade. Also, a rare heroic exception in Kyouraku Shunsui, whose zanpakutou becomes a pair of scimitars in Shikai release.
  • One Piece:
    • The pirate Porchemy carries a huge scimitar around, and has a penchant for scalping his victims alive.
    • Cutlasses are often found for Mooks on both Pirates and Marines, although higher-ranking marines usually tend to go for Katanas, with the exception of a General Ripper by the name of Onigumo who wields eight of them when using his powers.
  • Jakotsu from Inuyasha. His blade is also a Whip Sword to boot, composed of several crescent blades connected tip to tip.
  • The Apostle Nosferatu Zodd from Berserk never holds on a specific Weapon of Choice, but everytime he shows up with a new sword, chances are he'll be using a curved, cleaver-like sword (and at least once, a Ram-dhao). And in an even better example, Griffith wielded a curved saber, contrasting Guts' humongous straight sword.
  • Not exactly a sword, but Kabuto's kunai in Naruto is curved, unlike those of other ninjas. And unlike other ninjas, he's evil.
    • Its also the preferred weapon of Zabuza Mamochi when he doesn't have his Kubikiribocho.
  • In Rave Master the Sacrifar sword is the second most powerful form of Ten Commandments but is also the darkest and most dangerous to both wielder and enemy. Fittingly enough. Lucia Raregrove use Sacrifar in combat against Haru and later reforges his Decalogue (previously straght-bladed) into a single-edged falchion-like sword. Also his Dark Blue Crinsom manifests as a couple of scimitars, opposed to Haru's one, which are longswords.
  • An Elite Mook from Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple wields one.
  • Some scimitars pop out as outstanding weapons in Gamaran: in one case (a very long sword with a massive, curved tip) is noted that the heavy tip can deliver massive damage. The other one (a more Arabian-like shamshir or an indian Tulwar) is only saw but not elaborated upon much as the wielder is killed by Muraku..
  • Hero Tales: before getting his hands on the Kenkaranbu, the Big Bad Keirou's weapon of choice is a massive, single-egded blade. Then there's Shimei, who's always seen with a curved sword around. Said sword, named Bansho Shimei, is actually the real Shimei, the man holding it was merely a corpse animated by his magic.
  • In Mobile Fighter G Gundam, the Minaret Gundam has the Minaret Scimitar as its chief weapon. For an added bonus, its Dub Name Change is "Scimitar Gundam".
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    Comic Books 
  • There is an obscure Immortal Iron Fist villain called Scimitar. He's The Dragon to Master Kahn, an evil sorceror. Guess what his weapon is.

    Films — Animation 
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • Aladdin: The guards chasing the title hero wield scimitars. Jafar also conjures up a wall of them to hold off Aladdin for a moment during the final battle, one of which Aladdin himself grabs and uses to attack Jafar, even stabbing him with it after Jafar turns into a giant cobra.
    • Fantasia 2000: The wicked Jack-In-the-Box wields a scimitar against the Tin Soldier. Ironically, because of the curved blade itself he ends up slipping and falling into a hot stove head-first.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 

    Live Action TV 
  • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger use curved swords as their close combat weapon, of course they are not really heroes as other sentai teams are. Only Pink and Silver lack any evil intentions.
  • Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger did this with the very first Sixth Ranger, Burai the Dragon Ranger. He wasn't an agent of Bandora from the start, but hated his brother Geki for an obvious reason. Apparently, Bandora made him a Sword of Demons to put him under her control, but the sword was destroyed by his tears when he was defeated by his brother.
    • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers kept this with Burai's American counterpart, Tommy Oliver, the Green Ranger. The blade was created to make sure his Brainwashed and Crazy status remained and was only freed when Jason separated him from the blade and destroyed it with his Power Blaster.

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

    Tabletop Games 
  • Orcs and Goblins in Warhammer Fantasy (and by extension in the spin-off board game HeroQuest) indulge in scimitars. Also the Tomb Kings armies, which at least have a Egyptian-like setting. Dark Elves also favour these weapons.
  • In the role-playing, tabletop adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, the standard orc is armed with a scimitar, though the game also mention and include stats for the orcish longsword and knife. Notably, scimitars are less effective (damage-wise) than longswords.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Orcs are proficient with falchions, even if they're a class that wouldn't normally be (along with great big axes). They have a reputation for leading to unexpected player deaths at low levels when they get lucky with the weapon's wide crit range.
    • Worshipers of the Mother of Monsters Lamashtu use both curve-bladed falchions and kukris.

    Toys 
  • Transformers: Generation 2 did this with their Laser Rods: While the Autobots had straight and slender blades, the Decepticons used wide, curved blades.

    Video Games 
  • Orcs in Battle for Wesnoth have a predilection for curved swords and knife, to reflect their brutal and primitive culture, as well as the usually evil Naga. While the Elves are usually good and most of their soldiers use curved knives or blades, but they can be hostile and cruel in some campaigns.
  • Gehrman in Bloodborne combines this with Sinister Scythe, his signature weapon is the Burial Blade, which can transform between a scimitar and a scythe.
  • Onimusha series:
  • Count Borghen in Final Fantasy II is a cowardly piece of work and a braggart, and his weapon of choice appears to be a cavalry saber.
  • In The Legend of Dragoon when Zieg takes back the Dragoon Spirit from Dart, his sword becomes a sort of flaming scimitar.
  • The Darkspawn in Dragon Age II after their redesign (though the Darkspawn Longsword in the original game did look a lot like a Ram Dao).
  • In the Drakensang series, wicked scimitar users include Dark Amazons, certain types of skeletons and orcs. Also Tharkath and the other High Elves he turned against you during the final act of the Expansion.
  • In the Dark Souls series, these come in two categories: the Curved Sword class weapons that are your standard fare like the "Scimitar" and the "Falchion", and the Curved Greatsword class weapons that have a little more swing speed than regular Greatswords. Both are known for having a higher chance of causing the "Bleed" status than most weapons and are often seen in the hands of Skeletons of both normal and giant size.
    • Knight Lautrec of Carim is known to Dual Wield a pair of shotels, which have become a regular staple in the series. He's also quite the morally reprehensible guy.
  • Played straight with God of War's Kratos who's still an Anti-Hero/Villain Protagonist and uses the curved (and multi-jagged) Blade of Chaos/Athena/Exile and, in the first game, Artemis' Sword. It's even shown in the comics that he used one when before meeting Ares. Also the Persian King and tons of scimitar-swinging mooks.
  • Skeleton Mooks in Warcraft III are automatically armed with scimitars, no matter what. Also the Anti-Hero Illidan Stormrage dual wields a contorted case of double scimitar.
  • In Dynasty Warriors there are several scimitar users, both heroic and villainous. In the (debatably) latter case, there would be Xiahou Dun pictured above and the much less debatable Dong Zhuo who combined this with Serrated Blade of Pain before his weapon was changed. Inverted early on for the "main villain" Cao Cao, who has never used weapons beside his trusted straight Sword of Heaven.
  • In Metal Slug 2 and 4 there are Arab-looking enemies, berserkers, and pirates all armed with scimitars. They can even toss it at you.
  • The "Bandit" type Heartless found in Agrabah in Kingdom Hearts I. Though, given that Guest-Star Party Member Aladdin also uses a Scimitar, it's likely simply the default sword for that world.
    • Riku's Soul Eater resembles a falchion. As expected by the trope, he spends the first game in the darkness. He continues to wield it in Chain of Memories, but as he is skirting the road to the dawn, the weapon feels less sinister. By Kingdom Hearts II, it's become a Cool Keyblade called Way to the Dawn; while it IS inspired by the Soul Eater, it has a straighter blade and bears more light-based elements.
  • Wan Fu from the first Samurai Shodown game. Averted of course if you play as him.
  • In Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance 2 the monsters haunting the Hammer Hall dungeons combine this with Flaming Sword.
  • The fearsome Devil King of The Sixth Heaven Oda Nobunaga in Sengoku Basara combines this one with Sword and Gun, thought is more like a Falchion. In later installment, Matsunaga Hisahide has a black powder-enhaced scimitar as one of his weapons.
  • Throughout most of the Final Fantasy series, Odin's instant-kill swords are often curved blades, often wicked into a rough lightning-like shape.
  • In Dead Rising 2 one of the magicians, Roger, dual wields scimitars.
  • The Necromancer from Castle Crashers wields an elegant, curved sword.
  • Clive Barker's Undying has the Trsanti militants attacking you with very large scimitars.
  • Kemsyt from Age of Mythology holds a comically large broad-tipped scimitar to go with his arabian looks. Don't expect to see it in action though.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the Alik'r all wield scimitars, though they aren't evil, just somewhat suspicious in the eyes of the more close-minded Nords of Skyrim. Nazir, who's a member of the Dark Brotherhood fits this to a tee however.
  • In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, there's an enemy croc named Kutlass. Three guesses for what he wields.
  • Gauntlet Legends features mountain grunts carrying twin scimitars.
  • Miitopia has a boss that is a big sentient scimitar (though the game refers it as the "Sword"), which bears a stolen Mii face. It is fought with a sentient shield. Later in the game, smaller versions of it named Doom Swords and Spirit Swords appear.
  • Played straight in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 with Malos' Aegis Sword.
  • In Resident Evil 6, the J'Avo B.O.W. met in China are often armed with large Dao sabers and are Ax-Crazy goons.

    Web Comics 
  • In Looking for Group the enemy soldiers attacking Kethenecia in the past are armed with scimitars.
  • In The Order of the Stick we have Zz'dtri who, being a clone of Drizzt, wields two scimitars and the Death Knight assaulting Azure City wields one and also the Beetle-men bandits. Crystal's sword/dagger may count too.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Puss in Boots features an evil Scimitar that corrupts its wielder and thirsts for blood.
  • Looney Tunes: Hassan, the huge Arab guard who appears in some shorts and wields a massive scimitar.
    "Hassan CHOP!!!"
  • The Pirates of Dark Water: most of the pirates of the show seems to prefer curved, impractical-looking cutlasses and scimitars, such as Bloth the Pirate Lord. On the other hand, Ioz, the least morally-oriented of the main heroes, owns a jagged scimitar, but by contrast, The Hero Ren wields the broken longsword once belonging to his father.
  • Talon's weapon of choice from Batman vs. Robin is one he carries on his back.
  • In Gargoyles, during the "City of Stone" arc, Duncan duels Mac Beth with a slightly curved falchion, which is quite noticeable, since so far in the flashback everyone used straight broadswords.

Aversions

    Anime and Manga 
  • Bleach has Shunsui Kyoraku's Shikai, which takes the form of two large scimitars.
    • Also in the filler episode 287, which has a "Arabian Nights" Days setting features scimitar-looking Zanpakuto for everyone.
  • Agon from Hunter × Hunter. Though he's more neutral than fully evil/good.
  • In Naruto, Izumo and Kotetsu both used curved blades.
  • One of the other forms of Ten Commandments is Million Sun which is definetively positive.
  • In Inuyasha the Tessaiga blade is fang-shaped, hence looking a bit like a massive scimitar. Though in its de-powered state it's a katana.
  • In Sailor Moon, Sailor Uranus uses the Space Sword, which is a curved sword that looks a lot like a jeweled scimitar. In this case, the fact that she has it is proof of her pure heart, since it's one of the three talismans and came out of her pure heart crystal.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist Ling Yao's main weapon is a dadao.
  • In Houshin Engi we have Mokutaku, whose Paope Gokoken takes the form of a couple of scimitars.
  • 3×3 Eyes: the Sword of Madurai used by its owner to seal Benares in the past looks mostly like a scimitar. Later on it's used by Yakumo Fujii.
  • Again in Hero Tales, where Housei can split his bladed bow in a couple of scimitars and use them to finish Shimei off.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves has Azeem, played by Morgan Freeman. He is Robin's righthand man and quite noble. As a Muslim warrior, he has a scimitar as a weapon.
  • "The 13th Warrior " has the protagonist, Ahmad, struggling with the Viking sword. It's too heavy for him as he keeps on stumbling with his swings, unable to cut a wooden stake which one of his Viking companions had easily chopped off. So he grinds the sword to resemble a scimitar, and proceeds to chop the stake effortlessly.
  • Thong in Cave Dwellers is the main character and a scimitar-wielding Barbarian Hero.
  • The Farmer from In the Name of the King defends his farm from the evil Kurgs with a large, machete-like curved blade.
  • Gai Xing from Red Cliff is seen using a dadao in battle, and is one of the good guys. Most of the other characters (both good and bad) use straight swords and pole weapons instead.

    Literature 
  • Conan the Barbarian has also used several curved swords himself, including scimitars, sabers, and tulwars (which are wrongly described as long knives). He however often stated that he was at his best with a western longsword.
  • Averted and played straight in The Dark Elf Trilogy and the rest of The Legend of Drizzt. Drizzt Do'Urden (a dark elf but one of the most morally upright characters in whole series) wields twin scimitars, but so do some of the other drow. Note however that in contrast to the typical drow, Zaknafein used straight blades.
  • Discworld:
    • In Moving Pictures, Victor uses a scimitar in the click Sons of the Dessert. He's not impressed.
      Victor: I thought swords had to be straight.
      Mrs Cosmopolite: Perhaps they start out straight and get bendy with use. A lot of things do.
    • In Jingo, 71-Hour Ahmed has a huge scimitar. Vimes considers it the opposite of a concealed weapon; the wielder is concealed by it. He actually does look like one of the bad guys at first, but he's really an honest cop trying to stop the war, essentially Vimes's Klatchian counterpart. He is still considerably more ruthless than Vimes, as well as an Assassin, but he's not a bad guy.
    • In Monstrous Regiment the squad were originally intended to be pikemen, but due to a lack of supplies they ended up looting a bunch of sabres from a cavalry group they got the drop on. While Sergeant Jackrum wields a pair of cutlasses that are described as more like giant cleavers than swords.
  • In Belisarius Series both sides are likely to use curved swords. Belisarius himself on one occasion is noted as using a "Persian sword" instead of a Roman spatha.
  • Bloodbones: your starting sword is non-descript, but the Infinity +1 Sword required to end the game successfully is a large cutlass made of bone and enchanted with voodoo magic. Justified by the piratey setting.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura has several kinds of scimitars and falchions as free-to-buy weapons (including those which shoot fireballs). Moreover, one of them is a full-blown Infinity +1 Sword and a backup Sword of Plot Advancement.
  • Both Altaïr and Ezio from Assassin's Creed have used curved blades. Also justified in the first game, which is taking place in the Holy Land after all.
    • In Assassin's Creed III Connor has a nice selection of curved swords to choose from. And in ACIV Edward Kenway can dual wield a pair of pirate cutlasses.
  • Kaleh, Kalenz and Li'Sarr from Battle for Wesnoth, along with the good-aligned elves and orcs.
  • One of the first characters you play as in Eternal Darkness is an almost stereotypical Persian warrior, and naturally enough, wields a scimitar, and later a huge Ram Dao.
  • The Prince(s) in the Prince of Persia games tends to favor curved blades. The enemies also use them, but starting with Prince of Persia: Warrior Within are also armed with a wide variety of various weapons, ranging from knives to chakrams to axes and hammers.
  • In Runescape, scimitars are a popular weapon type, especially on free-to-play servers. Their popularity is attributed to the tradeoff of a faster speed for lower damage. Monkeys also seem to be fairly fond of them.
  • Dynasty Warriors, as mentioned before, has plenty of good aligned warriors armed with Daos, usually of large size, such as Huang Zhong (when he's not playing the Archer Archetype), Zhou Yu before the sixth game, Sun Jian from the sixth game onward and Sima Zhao, who's the friendliest and nicest of the Sima clan.
  • Sengoku Basara: Some of Keiji Maeda's weapons are scimitaresque, but he's the nicest guy around.
  • Blue Dragon from Swords Of Destiny is a Da Dao sword used by our hero.
  • Now, good scimitar users from Drakensang include good amazons, Tulamnid playable characters, Djinns and Tie'Shianna's palace guards. Nothing stops your playable character (whatever class is chosen) to learn how to fight with a scimitar/saber (though larger one are considered as "Two Handed Swords" instead).
  • In Golden Axe III, Sarah Vane uses a scimitar and is one of the heroes.
  • Mount & Blade features scimitars as an available weapon choice, primarily belonging to the Khergit and Sarranid factions—neither of which are any more or less evil than any other kingdom in the setting. The player themselves can elect to carry one, as its speed and cutting power make it well suited to wiping out lightly armored archer units.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
  • In the The Legend of Zelda games, the Gerudo, denizens of the desert (most notably from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Breath of the Wild), are known to carry scimitars as weapons, and, in the latter game, Link can wield them himself, including the Scimitar of the Seven, a weapon wielded by the Gerudo Champion Urbosa. The Gerudo are never evil in and of themselves (Ganondorf notwithstanding, though he was never shown to wield a scimitar himself), though they do initially serve an antagonistic role in Ocarina of Time before Link earns their respect.
  • Contrasting the books, Joe Dever's Lone Wolf features curved one-handed swords for Lone Wolf to use as common weapons aside from the Sommerswerd, and this is even discounting the swords you can obtain from the Giaks, which play this trope straight.
  • Baldur's Gate II has the Spectral Brand, an enchanted scimitar that starts out as a +4 weapon but can be upgraded to a +5 with a Skull of the Lich. While the weapon's description calls it an unholy abomination that should never have been unleashed on the Realms, the good or evil nature of your party (and your gameplay choices) determines whether it's truly sinister or not.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Animated Series: In "His Silicon Soul," when Batman fights Android Batman in the Bat Cave, Batman tries a surprise attack with a straight sword. Android Batman then takes a curved sword out of the weapons cabinet next to him and they clash blades a few times.
  • In Gargoyles, Hudson's signature weapon is a short curved sword, possibly a saex, he employs in combat, but he's the wisest and oldest of the pack.


 
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Sly Cooper's Scimitar

The Thief Costume that Sly can get in this level that originally belonged to Salim comes with a Sinister Scimitar as big as he is that can one-hit K.O. rooftop guards and two-hit kill flashlight guards.

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