Follow TV Tropes


Slice-and-Dice Swordsmanship

Go To

Put a sword in the hands of an RPG hero, and it will be used for hacking and slashing, even if it's a thrusting weapon. This is not limited to swords either. Daggers, stilettos, etc. will be used to slash at opponents even though these weapons were specifically designed to thrust, with some types even lacking a cutting edge.

The reasons for this are largely the same as for Flynning. Cutting motions tend to be showier and easier for the audience to follow than thrusts. There is also much more danger of accidents in live-action choreography when thrusting is involved, because the actors are almost always doing it without the kinds of protection for the face, throat, hands, and groin that are mandatory in fencing practice. Even the tips of dull or foiled blades can puncture such delicate, unprotected body parts with relatively little force, and since even stage sword blades are rarely able to flex as dramatically as those of Olympic fencing foils, a properly-lined-up point will inflict Inertial Impalement upon a lunging attacker even if the defender stays in place. Striking an unprotected body part with a dull edge can also injure, but the blunt force is spread over a larger area, while the blade and wrist have more freedom to give way to the oncoming body. Furthermore, it's easier to redirect the force and targeting of your cut so that it can be safely parried while still looking like a serious strike to the audience, while you can't really make a "fake" thrust look convincing without introducing some real danger. Since an exchange of cuts and parries can be made to look quite energetic to the audience while actually carrying little risk of real injury, choreographers consider it both safer and more entertaining than trying to simulate the way these weapons were used historically.

Animation - whether traditional or for video games - often produces the same effect for entirely different reasons. After consuming media with this trope in effect, the audience may expect it, and so a fight scene with realistic techniques may not look right. Second, in video games, if multiple weapons must be animated being used in different ways, this can drive up the cost in terms of memory and budget for animation. This is less of a factor in current-gen games, but examples from earlier eras of gaming may have fallen prey to this. Additionally, just like in live action, sweeping cuts are easier for a viewer to follow. In general, the player has to believe they can counterplay an attack, or the move will feel cheap. Since thrusts can be subtle in their movements, animating a big swing can make it easier to both follow the action and react to it. Furthermore, an attack has to visually describe its own hitbox, and a wide slash with some nice Sword Lines allows an equally wide, noticeable hitbox. In games where slashing and thrusting do coexist, it's often the difference between having a narrower or wider hitbox that really matters from a player's perspective. Finally, the choice can be stylistic. Realism is rarely a priority in animation.

Cutting occasionally with a thrusting weapon does not necessarily fall under this trope: for example, rapiers had sharp edges and fencers were taught to cut in response to certain tactical situations, despite the thrust remaining the primary means of attack. Spears could also be used for swinging attacks, especially when outside of formation fighting. This trope kicks in when a character seems to prefer cutting over thrusting despite the weapon design encouraging the opposite, and especially when the weapon is shown to be more effective at cutting than it would be in real life.

It can be justified if the wielder is untrained and defaults to swinging, either because swinging and flailing come more naturally to an unskilled, panicked person, or because they're trying to imitate what they saw in a movie. It can also be justified if a fighter who's trained in cut fencing but not in thrusting play can't help trying to use the unfamiliar weapon to perform their familiar moves, or if two characters are Flynning in-universe and not actually trying to hurt each other. Furthermore, as detailed in the Real Life section, sometimes this trope is not only Truth in Television, but actually a major part of several styles of swordsmanship.

A subtrope of Improbable Use of a Weapon. Can be inverted if a character defaults to stabbing with a cutting weapon.


    open/close all folders 
    Fan Fiction 
  • In Child of the Storm, Harry's swordsmanship has a flavour of this in the sequel, owing to the nature of his sword (a sabre, resembling a shashka, the cavalry sabre of the Russian Cossacks) and the fact that he's often a Fragile Speedster compared to those he's fighting, necessitating a more agile and elegant style that maximises damage while limiting exposure via quick hit-and-run attacks. However, given the chance, he will skewer his opponent to try and end the battle quickly.
  • In Discworld fics, Assassins' Guild School teacher Emmanuelle-Marie Lapoignard les Deux-Epées frequently makes this point to her students in sword-craft, bladed weapons and stabbing technique. The type of sword you use dictates the way you use it. Typical examples of her teaching would be in the fics Fresh Pair of Eyes and La Nuit du Pere Porcher.

  • The Force Awakens: Inverted. Rey has a staff, and uses it correctly. The problem is when she ends up with a standard lightsaber. Since she has no training or experience outside the staff, she keeps trying to use the saber in the same way, resulting in a lot of weird stabbing motions when normal slashes would be more effective.
  • In Musa The Warrior, a spear-wielding Korean warrior is frequently seen swinging his long-bladed spear in wide arcs, especially while facing multiple opponents, and hacks off more than a few limbs and heads in the process.
  • Pumpkinhead features the inversion, where one of the youths tries to kill the monster by using a machete in an icepick grip stab. This is a pretty weird thing to do with a tool designed for chopping and slashing. The monster stops his hand before it connects, but that rounded point doesn’t look like it would have gone in easily.

  • In Christopher Paolini's The Inheritance Cycle, Eragon at one point is offered a sword called Támerlein to replace Zar'roc, which was taken from him. He opts not to take it, noting that where Brom and Oromis taught him a thrust-heavy and more agile and elegant style, Támerlein was crafted for someone whose style relied heavily on cutting and slashing.
  • Safehold: "Old-school" swordsmanship on Safehold as of Off Armageddon Reach is all about hack'n'slash, to the point that it's specifically noted that Crown Prince Cayleb's weaponry instructor believed "swords had points for a reason" and taught him thrusting as well as cutting.
  • The page quote comes from A Song of Ice and Fire. Syrio Forel, the First Sword of Braavos, looks down on the Westerosi style of combat, which is very rigid and hack'n'slash-heavy, in favor of a more agile and elegant style known as the Braavosi Water Dance.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Highlander: The Series:
    • One episode featured Duncan lopping off a head while using a spear. It was, however, a heavy-bladed spear with a leaf-shaped blade, and the decapitation required a full 360-degree spin for momentum, with the spear being held near the base of the shaft.
    • Another had him do the decapitation with a rapier, with almost no room to build up momentum, just a quick shift of the blade, which couldn't have moved it more than six inches. One gets the impression that not only is the neck an Immortal's only truly vulnerable spot, but that their necks are also Made of Plasticine.
  • Kamen Rider Gaim's Kaito (aka Kamen Rider Baron) has a certain level of infamy for never wielding his weapons right. His usual weapon is a lance that he's always swinging around like a large, blunt sword. He only ever uses thrust attacks when using his Mango Arms... which replaces the lance with a mace. Later he acquires the Lemon Energy Arms and its bladed Energy Bow... which he then proceeded to wield backwards, even when firing the damn thing.
  • Averted in Rome where professional soldiers Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo use the gladius exactly as it was designed. In one scene, Professional Killer Timon is sent to assassinate Glabius, who grabs a sword off his slave and takes a big swing at Timon, only to fall to a single stab to the chest.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Inverted by professional wrestler Triple H. His signature weapon is a sledgehammer, but he thrusts it at his opponent/beatdown target, since swinging it is too dangerous. Any time you see him swing his sledgehammer rather than thrust with it, you know his opponent will dodge long before it actually makes contact.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has been averting this trope its earliest days. Monster descriptions included resistances to particular weapon types and optional rules altered the effectiveness of armor based on the type of weapon used. For example, mail was less effective against bashing and more effective against cutting weapons. Specifically in 3.5, weapons were classed as piercing, slashing or bludgeoning. This came into effect when you faced an enemy that had Damage Reduction against a certain type of attack. Ever tried to stab a skeleton? 4th Edition, however, removed this particular mechanic, mainly as part of its campaign to make things simpler.
  • GURPS actually distinguishes between swinging and thrusting damage for a given strength in melee, and any given weapon may be suitable for use in one way, the other, or both. Thrusting damage tends to be lower, but more primarily thrusting weapons will do "impaling" damage, which is more effective at both penetrating certain kinds of armor and inflicting actual injury to the body underneath; in addition, some weapons (such as polearms) recover faster from a thrust than from a swing.
  • Averted in Role Master (and, to a smaller extent, Middle-Earth RPG, which is based on a simplified version of the RM rules), where not only does every single weapon type have its own damage table, but the tables are cross-referenced with the target's armour (20 types, from naked skin to full gothic plate). Critical hits also varied from weapon to weapon AND armour to armour. E.g. an axe striking naked flesh would likely do Slashing crits, but use it on a very heavy hauberk and it becomes a crushing weapon - unless you strike really, really hard.

    Video Games 
  • Subverted, inverted and played stright in Arx Fatalis, where type of melee attack depends upon your movement at the moment you start charging the attack (if you are backpedaling, you will prepare to a thrust, if strafing - a side swing, and if running forward - an overhead slam; if standing still, you make a hacking move). This, however, doesn't save you neither from slashing with the rapier-like sword nor from much more interesting things like stabbing a full-plated foe with a hammer. Or with HUGE one-handed machete thing with long side-pointed spike on its already blunt tip.
  • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag has elements of this. Edward Kenway mainly fights with twin blades, most of which are cutlasses and other backswords. However, he can also equip pairs of narrow rapiers and smallswords, historically intended for thrusting and sometimes shallow cutting, yet share the brutal hack and slash animations of the bulky cutlasses. Repeatedly bashing a blade into an enemy's shoulder until it cuts deep into the torso looks a bit awkward with a skinny court sword.
  • In Avalon Code a rapier is one of your weapons. You use it to slash enemies, just like any other sword.
  • Because of sprite limits in the Baldur's Gate series, all characters have one stabbing motion and two-three slashing motions for one-handed weapons and an equal amount for two-handed weapons. They mix these attack animations freely without regards to weapon type, leading to such gems like doing overhead swings with spears and stilettos and stabbing motions with greatswords and quarterstaffs. Certain Game Mods correct this.
  • In Betrayal at Krondor, all swords can be used to slash or stab — normally, a stab is accurate, while a slash sacrifices accuracy for more power (and tires you out). However, one of the swords is a rapier, where the slash is appropriately less accurate and less damaging.
  • Soma in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow averts this. Rapiers thrust, short swords slash, etc and both are considered different kind of damage (others including bludgeon and light).
  • Chivalry: Medieval Warfare assigns specific damage values and attack speeds to each weapon type. Swords are generally great for slashing and stabbing, spears are best for stabbing, polearms are best for overhead slashes, et cetera. Specialized weapons like the saber deal pathetic damage outside of slashes, whereas others like the thrusting dagger are great for shanking players. However, the game allows you to attack in almost any fashion, so someone wielding a spear can swing it in a slashing motion to swipe away an obnoxious man-at-arms, though some weapons (like javelins and flails) cannot perform certain attacks.
  • City of Heroes' sword sets (Katana, Broadsword, Dual Blades) let the player customize what kind of weapon(s) their character uses. The animation stays the same no matter what weapon is chosen (katana, rapier, sai...).
  • Averted with Demon's Souls. While the normal short sword-type weapons can both slash and thrust (and indeed, the unique Awesome, but Impractical Penetrator Sword has bonus damage on thrusting and has a very wide slash range due to its long blade), slash weapons like Falchion, Kilij and Uchigatana can only slash while straight swords like Rapier and Estoc can only thrust. Same goes with thrust-only spears, while weapons like Halberd primarily slash. The thrusting weapons are very efficient against armor (as it pierces) and can be used while blocking; slash weapons inflict Bleeding status effect, which is basically a weapon-induced Poison effect, with reduced healing capability thrown in.
    • Also averted with its Spiritual Successor Dark Souls. The Balder Side Sword, for example, averts this trope due to the fact that the weapon it is based on, the side sword/arming sword, is sharpened along its edges, allowing for slashing attacks as well as a piercing attack (like the in-game strong attack portrays).
    • The Dark Souls Estoc, unlike its Demon's Souls counterpart, has a slashing strong attack in addition to its normal thrust, effectively making it the opposite of the Side Sword. Its in-game item description mentions that the blade has been sharpened to allow for slicing.
  • Averted in Dwarf Fortress, where stabbing and slashing are separated by a different contact area and penetration power which both vary by the weapon. You cannot slash with a spear or pike, or thrust with a ax, you can only do a shaft bash and a flat slap respectively. Played semi-straight by the AI, however: If a weapon has two attacks tagged [SHARP] and [BLUNT] in the code, a warrior will nearly always choose to use the attack tagged as [SHARP]. This is usually a sensible default but can be problematic versus undead enemies, because they're immune to bleeding or critical hits from stabbing weapons and cutting their limbs off creates more problems than it solves, and are therefore most efficiently disposed of by "pulping" with blunt-force trauma.
  • This trope zigzags in Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors by Koei, depending on character, franchise, and sequel number. Sometimes characters will use their weapons appropriately.
    • For instance, the mystic character Nu Wa from Dynasty Warriors 3 carries a rapier (never you mind the Anachronism Stew involved). Most of her attacks involves precise thrusts. Contrarily, Huang Zhong from 4 carries a kan dao, a kind of squared-off sword with a single edged chopping blade. While he does slash people with it, he also stabs them as part of his moves. Given how the tip is clearly blunted, it's a wonder he can damage enemies that way.
    • Samurai Warriors is somewhat better about this, largely thanks to weapon design and not cloning move sets. Yukimura Sanada will thrust and slash with his spear, but as it has three blades set in a cross shape, this is forgiven. Tadakatsu Honda has a spear with no thrusting attacks, but given how it looks like this that may also be forgiven. More questionable is Nagamasa Azai. While using a lance, he does thrust with it, but many of his moves are wide, sweeping blows with the blunt length of the lance.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • In Daggerfall, thrust (upward mouse movement) is accurate but weak while hacks and chops are more powerful/less accurate the closer they get to down mouse movements. This is the same for all weapons (so you can thrust with a axe).
    • Morrowind averts this, as the game gives different values to weapons for Slashing, Hacking, and Thrusting damage. For example, a spear has high Thrust damage but low Slash and Hack damage but a claymore has high Slash damage, mediocre Hack damage, and low Thrust damage, while an axe has high Hack damage, mediocre Slash damage, and low Thrust damage. The method of attack you use depends on how you are moving when you strike, although you can turn this off in the Settings in order to always use the weapon's most damaging style of attack.
    • Oblivion, plays it straight, only allows hacking and slashing, even with daggers. Stabbing is a power attack only available at higher skill levels, and can be done with all blade weapons regardless of type.
    • Skyrim plays this straight most of the time, but finishing moves often end with impaling someone on a sword. Sneak attacks with a dagger may also end up being back-stabs instead of slashes.
  • The End Times: Vermintide and Vermintide II zig-zag this trope with weapons. First, Sienna's ceremonial dagger and Kerillian's daggers are very rarely used in the thrust. Kruber's and Sienna's one-handed swords never are used to thrust. While spears are sometimes used to swing, Kerillian swings both of hers with surprising frequency (which is justified as as they all have a large, edged heads, making them closer to glaives than spears). Victor Saltzpyre uses slashes with his rapier as his primary light attack, though his primary power attack is a clean thrust. Inverted when hammers and even axes are sometimes used in clumsy thrusts. Finally, while most HEMA today believes the halberd favored the spear head while also using the axe head, Kruber's halberd favors slashes heavily even if he does thrust on about a quarter of his attacks, though the charge attack is a stab and has one of the longest ranges in the game.
    • Krubers usage of a weapon changes on both its make and if it's paired with a shield or not. With a sword he'll rely on swings while a sword and shield will have him incorporate thrusts into his heavy attacks. Brettonian longswords he also tends to swing since they're noticeably thicker and rely on more riposte-focused attacks regardless if it's paired with a shield. For spears he tends to focus on thrusts for quicker attacks and swings for power attacks regardless if it's a heavy two-handed spear or a spear and shield.
    • Warrior Priest Saltzpyre inverts this. Both the two-handed Holy Great Hammer in addition to the Skull-Splitter paired with a Holy Tome have heavy and deliberate thrusts in their movesets despite being hammers.
  • Lampshaded in Epic Battle Fantasy: Matt yells at a sword using enemy using Slice-and-Dice Swordsmanship that he's holding a thrusting weapon. Despite him using both thrusting and slashing motions regardless of his weapon.
  • Justified with Lancer in Fate/stay night. The game goes out of its way to point out that swinging a spear actually is a perfectly valid and effective technique; it covers more area than a thrust and is therefore harder to avoid, and even if the tip of the spear doesn't draw blood the shaft is still swung with enough force to break a rib.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Any sword, in the hands of a character like Roy or Eirika, is wielded like a rapier. However, once Eliwood gains his mount he begins to start slashing, despite his sprite still carrying a thin rapier.
    • Averted in Monshou No Nazo (FE3: Mystery of the Emblem): Marth will stab enemies when wielding his rapier, but will slash normally if given any other sword. Same with his trademark Falchion.
  • The earliest Final Fantasy games show all melee weapons as making over-the-shoulder slashes, rather like axes. This gets somewhat comical when Kain does it in the fourth game with spears that were clearly designed to pierce rather than cut. By the sixth game, however, spears get a special thrusting animation, and later games give each weapon and/or character a different attack animation (though they all do the same damage.)
    • In Final Fantasy XII, the characters attack with spears with a variety of stab and slash movements.
    • Averted in Final Fantasy Tactics. Rapiers (which are a different class than swords) have a unique animation, as do spears. There's no 'damage type' though.
    • Kimahri in Final Fantasy X only ever uses his spear to stab when using a jump overderive. The rest of the time he swings it pointy end first. Then again, many of Kimahri's "spears" are actually halberds or other pole arms designed for slashing as well as stabbing, so it makes a certain amount of sense.
    • Freya of Final Fantasy IX plays this trope straight. With the exception of maybe one of her spears it is very obvious by design that they are meant for thrusting or stabbing but her attack animation involves swinging her spear except for when she uses her Jump attack.
    • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII manages to play this several ways. Rapiers proper avert it by Lightning showing proper fencing form, while spears play it straight by dint of Lightning swinging them around more than she thrusts. Most ordinary swords have Lightning showcase the same mix of thrusts and slashes as she used in Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2, which inverts the trope when she uses various weapons with flat tips or sharp curves.
    • Averted in Final Fantasy XIV. Although Gladiators do practice hacking and slashing, they do not wield any rapiers; those are the province of Red Mages, who practice more Zorro-appropriate swordsmanship. In fact, like Lightning, Gladiators occasionally invert the trope by thrusting with a sharply-curved blade.
    • In FE5 Thracia 776, sword users will eagerly slash opponents with rapiers. Even Leaf.
    • In Radiant Dawn, Halberdiers will wield their lances much like myrmidons wield swords, which makes for some strange looking critical hits. In addition, horse-mounted lance users will deliver a "whack" of their spear if doubling an opponent.
  • Grim Dawn, all melee weapons (two-handed and not) use the same animation, which means that you can swing around an arming sword as if it was an hatchet and wield a halberd by holding on the bottom end and swinging the head at the enemy like a club.
  • Homard the air pirate from La Pucelle: Tactics fights with two rapiers. These are primarily thrusting weapons, but more often than not he uses them to slash.
  • This happens with the Rapiers in The Last Remnant, even if they appear to be useless as a slashing weapon.
  • In The Legend of Zelda game Hyrule Warriors, thrusting weapons like Zelda's Rapier and Volga's Dragon Spear are mostly just used for slash attacks. Justified in Lana's case, as despite the English name "Spear", the weapon is treated more like a Martial Arts Staff/Magic Staff that happens to have a point on one end (the original Japanese name was Grand Tree).
  • Lies of P downplays the trope when it comes to the weapon mixing mechanic. By default, a weapon will be used how it's meant to be used, but since a weapon's fighting style is based on its handle, it's perfectly possible to make things like a rapier with a slashing moveset or a wrench with a stabbing moveset. However, the game plays this realistically by giving each blade "Slash" and "Stab" multipliers, with most blades having one neutral modifier and one negative modifier. If a "Slash" blade is put on a "Stab" handle or vise versa, the weapon receives a damage penalty.
  • Averted in Mitsumete Knight, the resident rapier user, Salishuan the Spy of Valpha-Valaharian's Eight Generals, battles with thrusting animations only.
    • Most other Nippon Ichi games like to play this one straight. Makai Kingdom subverts this somewhat by having swords and rapiers as separate weapon classes. Swords and katanas are used for slashing, while rapiers stick primarily with thrusting attacks. Though in Disgaea, ridiculous special attacks aside, weapons were actually used properly.
  • Monster Hunter: The Sword-and-Shield and Dual Blades use a variety of slashing and thrusting attacks(mostly slashing) regardless of whether the individual weapon design for that set is suited for either. This can lead to a lot of slashing with rapiers or even stabbing with what is effectively a club.
    • Averted with the Lance. It has exactly one attack that isn't a thrust, a wide sweep that is amongs its least-damaging and least-flexible moves. However, it covers a broad area and knocks smaller monsters away, meaning it remains useful.
    • Zig-zagged with the Gunlance, which adds a few heavy slams to the moveset. Emphasis is on "heavy", though; Gunlances have enough weight to make these strikes count, and they're used to set up highly-damaging shots.
    • Inverted with the Great Sword. Their sheer size makes for an effective shield, but they're not designed for this and doing so quickly dulls the edge. Likewise, the Charge Blade's shield forms the axe head in greataxe stance and so blocking will cost sharpness, but since it's designed to be used as such it decays slower than a Great Sword block.
  • MORDHAU does similarly; you can both thrust and swing with any weapon, but some are clearly better than others at it. Nothing stops you from smacking someone with a spear or rapier, or poking another with a maul or mace, but the damage is going to be disappointing. It does work to disrupt the enemy still, so using the weapon the wrong way for a quick stun remains valid. And some weapons, like more standardized swords and certain polearms, can do both perfectly well.
  • Averted again by Mount & Blade, where melee weapons can have a thrust or swing attack style. Some weapons are exclusively one or the other. Sabers, for instance, are limited to swings (slashes), and long spears are limited to simply thrusting. Some weapons, such as shorter spears or larger straight swords, may have both thrust and swing options, but these will usually be inferior to a dedicated swing/thrust weapon in damage or range. Notable due to the fact that the game is set in a Low Fantasy world full of factions designed to mirror real medieval powers.
    • In fact, different weapons deal different kinds of damage when they are used for slashing of thrusting: your run-of-the-mill sword will inflict cutting damage when slashed, and piercing damage whe being thrusted. A pick, however, will deal piercing damage when slashing. And a spear deals piercing when thrusting, and blunt damage when used for swinging.
  • Characters in Neverwinter Nights 2 will happily slash away with rapiers. As will they if they use the monkey grip feat to wield a spear one handed.
  • Ryu Hayabusa in the Xbox remake of Ninja Gaiden both stabs and slashes with katanas, broadsword-styled BFSes and a staff-that-gains-pointy-bits.
  • Gwendolyn from Odin Sphere wields a spear, and while she DOES stab on occasion, she's mostly slashing with it.
  • Persona 3 has three physical damage types: slashing, piercing, and strike damage. Mitsuru uses rapiers but the rapiers deal slash damage, not piercing damage. Somewhat subverted, though, in that most of Mitsuru's attack animations are thrusts. However, the nameless protagonist can use her weapons too, and he tends to play the trope straight. The one handed sword class of weapon does include some slashing type swords, but the animations never change. Two handed swords (Dai-katanas) always slash, though.
  • Each game in the Quest for Glory series averts this trope either partially or completely. Most often, daggers are used exclusively as thrusting weapons, while swords are either used to thrust only or a mix of thrusting and slashing.
  • Ragnarok Online Plays this rather straight in a few ways. Rapiers are available as a one-handed sword, yet it carries the same slashing animation that every sword uses in the game. Knights are also able to use an AoE skill called Brandish Spear, which involves swinging a spear to knock away nearby enemies (although the attack animation doesn't change).
  • Can be played straight in Runescape. Each weapon has several attack styles, and for a given weapon most will be either stabbing, slashing, or crushing-type attacks, each of which has a separate defense bonus provided by the target's armour that it has to penetrate. However, most weapons offer an attack style that allows the player to deal a secondary damage type (for example, crushing damage with a battleaxe instead of the usual slashing damage) in order to exploit the weaknesses of the target's defenses, at the cost of the weapon having a lower accuracy bonus with its secondary attack type. However, the trope is usually averted as people often ignore attack styles altogether in favour of simply choosing to use magic attacks against melee armour, melee attacks against ranged armour and ranged (or melee) attacks against magic "armour" for maximum armour bypass.
  • Charlotte from the Samurai Shodown games would often stab with her rapier, but her heavy slashes featured her swinging it..sort of. It's generally shown as slashing in a very distinct triangle pattern which is still a lethal hit if the enemy walks into the bit she drew.
  • In Shadow Hearts, Keith merrily wields a rapier, without ever stabbing anyone with it. At least his Infinity +1 Sword is an actual sword, rather than a rapier, thus justifying his attack-type somewhat...
  • Soulbringer averts this. The game uses "piercing, slashing, and bludgeoning" damage types like D&D below, with certain types doing better against certain kinds of armor; bashing works against non-human creatures like skeletons or rock beasts, slashing against unarmored enemies, piercing against humans wearing metal armor. Unlike D&D, some weapons do more than one type, depending on the attack, and attack positioning can overcome type weaknesses. Greatswords, for example, do slashing damage...but attacking the legs or bringing it down hard on the head of a helmeted foe still hurts like hell (your weapon, too).
  • Soul Series:
    • An egregious example is Raphael from Soul Calibur 2 and 3. Whilst his rapier is clearly fully edged, he usually swings his as if the bit on the end weren't quite as important. Raphael also uses his 'rapier' very much like a 'sabre' which is a primarily cutting weapon even though it can also be used for thrusts. They make up for it in Soul Calibur 3, where the generic 'Lance' users are fond of swinging their oversized spears.
    • Amy, Raphael's adoptive daughter, gets a unique move set in Soul Calibur 4 to replace her generic style in the prequel. Many of her attacks actually do focus on thrusting and stabbing, though she too has quite a few "slash attacks". Her swords are fully edged though.
  • Super Smash Bros.: Did you notice Marth's Shield Breaker attack changed from a Slash to a Thrust between Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl? That's because his weapon is primarily a thrusting weapon. His moveset still has plenty of slashes to it, though.
  • The Tales Series has been averting this for years:
    • Tales of Phantasia introduced a system of giving each weapon a separate "slash" and "thrust" statistic. Normally, this applies only to the main lead, even if other characters use similar weapons. Tales of Destiny gave the slash and thrust stats to anyone who could use a sword, which was most of the cast. Tales of Eternia went further, giving main character Rid separate experience for slashing and thrusting as well, which partly determined when he would learn his techs. Farah in the same game had separate stats and experience for her fists and her feet, but no one else in Eternia used swords.
    • Tales of Hearts and Tales of Destiny remake use slashing, piercing, and bludgeoning as "elements", so enemies can be strong or weak against them. Basic attacks naturally have at least one of these attached, as well.
  • Warframe: Averted; melee weapons are divided into different weapon types, each with their own stances, which determine how the weapon is used. There is even one for rapiers. This sometimes goes too far in the other direction; while of course you would use a different stance with a sword and a polearm, you probably don't need an entirely different stance for machetes, but you get one anyway.
  • World of Warcraft: Each race has different stances and attack animations depending on the general type of weapon they're using with melee weapons being divided into two handed, long (staves and polearms), one handed, daggers, and unarmed/fist weapons. As a result, characters will attack exactly the same with a rapier as they will with a club or axe. Knives and daggers get their own stabbing animation but will still be swung even if said dagger is a hot poker.

    Web Comics 

    Real Life 
  • Spanish rapier is a downplayed case because it uses cuts and thrusts about 50/50, unlike the thrust-heavy Italian rapier style which most people are more familiar with.
  • Several Chinese martial arts teach sweeps and overhead slashes for spears. Many of these are carried over from staff routines and the shaft of a spear can bludgeon opponents as well as a staff. Likewise with European spear fighting: though spears are primarily used for thrusting, the European schools of martial arts still included strikes with the shaft and cuts with the edge of the spearhead.
  • While sword bayonets are intended for thrusting, they are extremely suitable for slashing as well, effectively turning the rifle into a halberd. Many bayonet fighting techniques include slashes.
  • Contrary to what most people think, the Gladius is in fact a viable slashing implement. The Romans emphasized thrusting because a thrust was easier to perform while fighting in tight formation, and because a thrust to something vital was more frequently lethal. Cuts, on the other hand, could be used to take advantage of different angles or prove useful in disabling the limbs, such as a wrap-around cut to sever the opponent's hamstring.