The Fusion Swords are a six-piece sword assembly wielded by Cloud Strife. The base sword and the others in its set are used by Cloud as his preferred weapon in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, the sequel film to Final Fantasy VII, as well as in a handful of spin-off titles. As a set of six swords, the fusion swords come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are thus suited to a variety of combat situations, and can combine to a single large sword similar in size and function to Cloud's famous Buster Sword. This variety of uses and blades give the swords an array of uses by combining and separating different blades to suit the fighter's needs. The First Ken (ファースト剣?), or First Tsurugi, is the blade that forms the base of the six-piece sword.
The film's creative designer, Takayuki Takaya, has stated the individual swords have no names, and no other names for them have been put forth by the creators other than "fusion swords" which was used during development. Due to a misunderstanding of a transcription of Tetsuya Nomura's words in the DVD commentary the fully assembled form came to be called First Tsurugi; this was actually in reference to the main blade, and was originally called "ken", not "tsurugi".
The fusion swords are composed of six separate swords that assemble into a single large sword. The fusion swords in their various states of combination serve as Cloud's primary weapon in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Barring the First Sword the individual swords are not named, but they otherwise can be distinguished by their distinctive appearances and functions. The fusion sword consists of one main blade, the First Sword, one hollow blade that serves as the front edge, two identical (but asymmetrically opposite) blades that form the back, and two identical (also asymmetrically opposite) smaller blades that attach to the sides.
The swords in their disassembled state are usually stored in racks inside the special compartments (three racks per compartment) on both sides of Cloud's motorcycle, the Fenrir. Cloud wears a harness on his back where he carries the swords. Though the harness is never shown fully occupied it is made up of four sleeves or holsters, which seems strange considering there are six swords. It could, however, imply that Cloud would never be in a situation where all six blades need separate carrying, as Cloud is only ever shown with a maximum of three at any given time (e.g. one blade holstered, another blade in one hand and the main blade, possibly fused with some of the other blades, in the other hand) and leaves the rest in the Fenrir. It is also possible that, given the need to carry all six blades, the two back blades and the two crest blades (which mirror one another in each given pair) might fit into the same sleeves; as there are only four different blades in that case, this would solve the six blades/four slots problem.
The main blade, given the nickname of First Sword by Nomura in the DVD commentary, resembles an exaggerated two-handed sword in its shape and appearance, though Cloud usually wields it with one hand, invariably his right one, despite its apparent size and weight. It consists of a long hilt wrapped in a red material, a distinctively large handguard which the other swords are locked into, a wide length of blade, and an equally long but thinner length ending in a point. The main blade is the only sword among the six that is double-sided.
The main blade has two forms. In the first, the appearance is as described above, with the blade one solid length of metal except for the transition between the wide and thin halves. In the second, the blade is pulled in two lengthwise; the edges are locked apart and the sword's complex inner portion is visible, giving the blade an appearance not identical to, but reminiscent of, Cloud's Apocalypse sword from Final Fantasy VII.
The main blade, by itself and as other swords are attached, is Cloud's main weapon, although he uses the other blades sans main blade as well. Cloud can use his Blade Beam Limit Break using only the main blade.
The hollow blade does not have an inner core as expected for a sword. Rather, it is essentially (though not exactly) a thick sheet of metal folded in a V-shape when looked from above, the sword's edge being the bottom point of the "V", with its lower one-third of its length wrapping around a red double-hilt. The hollow blade is locked onto the main blade's front edge, where it snugly covers the entire edge of the main blade, and its own edge serves as the striking point for the assembled sword. It is this addition that turns the completed construct from a symmetric shape to the distinctive Buster Sword appearance.
The hollow blade, while not Cloud's primary weapon, was capable of serving as such when Cloud was deprived of the main blade in the battle at the Forgotten Capital against Yazoo and Loz. Despite its lack of an inner core it is strong and sturdy enough to deflect and block bullets from Yazoo's Velvet Nightmare handgun and Loz's physical attacks. After regaining the main blade, Cloud uses the hollow blade as an off-hand weapon. He ejects the hollow blade from the completed blade as an off-hand weapon during the fight with Sephiroth, where it again demonstrates its strength by fending off Sephiroth's Masamune as well as slicing up falling debris.
The back blades are identical long swords, mirror images of each other, with one straight edge and one saw-toothed edge, with a long black hilt for each. The two swords are attached to the main blade's back, on both sides of the main blade's back edge, with the saw-teeth pointed forward toward the hollow blade. The addition of these two swords completes the fusion swords' trapezoidal silhouette.
Cloud used the two blades in the fight against the Bahamut SIN. One was an off-hand weapon to complement the connected main and hollow blades; the blade's saw-tooth edge is the striking edge, and Cloud wielded it until he attached it to the main blade in preparation for the Braver Limit Break. The other blade was carried on his back harness until it was attached in the same battle in preparation for the Climhazzard Limit Break.
The side blades are identical mirror image dagger-like swords, though they are long. They are single-edged, with a gear-like mechanism between the hilt and the blade that allows them to fold up like a switchblade. In the folded form the two side blades lock onto the two sides of the assembled sword, with their edges turned forward toward the main blade at the sword's front. One of the two blades can be quickly ejected from the assembly if needed, providing Cloud with a needed off-hand weapon as was the case in the highway battle and his battle with Kadaj.
As part of the assembled fusion sword the side blades do not appear to have a vital function like the rest of the swords, possibly only adding extra mass, and therefore force, to strikes, and providing a decorative appearance. The side blades may also possess a locking mechanism designed to hold the other blades in place, or be meant to cover the hilts of the other blades to the same effect. It is also possible the blades are merely to add more strikes to Omnislash Version 5, or to provide an efficient secondary weapon without compromising the assembled construct's strength.
Completed Fusion Swords
As mentioned before, with the locking of the five auxiliary blades into the main blade as detailed in the diagram, the assimilated fusion swords take on the distinctive appearance of Cloud's iconic Buster Sword. Unlike the Buster Sword, which contains two round slots, the completed assembly bears no slots as the individual swords fit into a holster on Cloud's back.
The fusion swords' assembled form, much like the Buster Sword, is a heavy sword most suited to crushing, and is not necessarily intended to serve the role of a slicing weapon as a nodachi, such as Sephiroth's Masamune. Cloud does use it, however, to slice through reinforced concrete. Although its appearance is as stout and sturdy as the Buster Sword's, Cloud does not demonstrate any more difficulty carrying and wielding it with one hand than he does using only the lighter main blade by itself.
The completed assembly does not appear any more or less durable than Kadaj's Souba (a tasseled double-katana) or Sephiroth's Masamune, neither damaging nor being damaged by repeated full-strength edge-to-edge blows between either, which would damage a real sword's edge if not outright break one or both. The completed assembly sans side blades can cut through Yazoo's Velvet Nightmare gunblade and Loz's Dual Hound pile bunker, which the main blade alone could not do.
Cloud performs most of his original Limit Breaks with combinations of the various swords. He uses Blade Beam with the main blade alone during the battle at the Forgotten Capital, and performs Climhazzard and Braver with the main blade with various other swords attached while fighting Bahamut SIN. To defeat Kadaj, Cloud uses Finishing Touch with all six swords combined. Against Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete Cloud performs Omnislash with the completed assembly. However, as in Final Fantasy VII where any Limit Break could be performed regardless of the character's weapon, there is no link between the number of swords combined and the ability to use certain Limit Breaks.
Omnislash Version 5
Template loop detected: Template:Video In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Cloud performs the new Limit Break "Omnislash Version 5" (超究武神覇斬 Version 5, Chōkyūbushinhazan Version 5?). The name comes from it being the fifth version of the new Limit Break designed for the movie, the other four being prototypes that were eventually scrapped. The technique is a succession of six slashes using the fusion swords. It is significantly different from the Omnislash in the original game, which used a single sword for a longer sequence of fifteen slashes. Within the film the technique is performed on Sephiroth who is floating in mid-air; it is unknown how the technique would look performed on a grounded target.
Version 5 is performed according to the following steps:
- The completed fusion swords are disassembled in an instant right before Cloud and Sephiroth clash blades, the five auxiliary swords ejected upwards from the main blade in a circle around the target. The main blade flies to float above the target as the other auxiliary swords circle them.
- Cloud, glowing golden, flies forward and grabs one of the five auxiliary swords, dashing towards and slicing the target with it.
- Cloud completes this process four times, slicing the target with each auxiliary sword. Each time Cloud dashes to take hold of another sword, a glowing gold silhouette of him is left in place holding the previous sword.
- Finally, Cloud flies above the target, takes hold of the main blade and descends for a final attack. A shockwave is unleashed as the strike connects, dispersing the silhouettes holding the auxiliary blades. Cloud lands on the ground surrounded by the five auxiliary blades and the main blade falls into his hand a moment later.
Omnislash Version 6
Template loop detected: Template:Video In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete, Cloud defeats Sephiroth using a different version of Omnislash Version 5. No official name has been used for this new attack, but fans have dubbed it "Omnislash Version 6" in-line with the naming of the original. Compared to the original Version 5, this version is a longer sequence of thirteen slashes. Cloud attacks using the auxiliary blades eight times, and four of the energy silhouettes attack as he dives down for the final slash. Cloud glows blue as he does when performing his other Limit Breaks, rather than glowing gold as he did when using Version 5 in Advent Children.
Like the original Omnislash Version 5, Cloud must have all pieces of his fusion sword intact to use it. Version 6 is done by the following steps:
- The completed sword is charged with energy as Cloud does one slash with it.
- The sword disassembles, the five auxiliary circling the opponent, while the base sword flies up in the air as the center.
- Cloud glows blue as he retrieves the first sword to attack. This continues for the first five slashes.
- Cloud performs three extra slashes.
- Cloud gets the base sword as he dives down.
- Before the final strike connects, four on his energy silhouettes attack an extra time.
- The final strike hits and Cloud lands along with his silhouettes holding the auxiliary swords. They disappear when Cloud's base sword returns.
In the Reunion Files book for Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Tetsuya Nomura joked about choosing to give Cloud six swords due to the comments that had been made over the Buster Sword's size; "people joked that since Cloud went with size last time, he should go with sheer numbers this time". The original idea was for Cloud to have six individual swords he would carry on his back, and the concept was modified for six interlocking swords.
At the time the concept was originally put forth it was thought impossible for the idea to actually be executed, but proved to be an interesting twist to the story and its fight scenes and so was put into place. Prior to the sword being designed, Cloud's scenes were made with him still utilizing the Buster Sword, as seen in various shots of the movie's early footage.
While wearing his alternate outfit from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Cloud wields the main blade as his weapon, and wields the completed assembly as his weapon in EX Mode. In his alternate outfit, the fusion swords glow blue when Cloud uses an HP attack similar to the way they glow in Advent Children, as opposed to Cloud's normal outfit where the Buster Sword glows orange.
Cloud performs a variation of Omnislash Version 5 in any outfit. For gameplay purposes (as Cloud does not usually have access to all of the fusion swords), the attack involves Cloud dashing past a mid-air opponent five times, then leaping up and diving down for the final strike, using the same weapon for all six strikes.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances
Cloud's weapon in Kingdom Hearts II is the completed assembly, although it is wrapped in bandages like the Buster Sword in the first Kingdom Hearts game. Cloud never fragments it into its individual swords, although he presumably could. He uses it in all his battles throughout the game.
The Fenrir Keyblade is based on Cloud's fusion swords and takes inspiration from Cloud's Fenrir motorcycle, being the only Keyblade in the series thus far to be based on a modern pin tumbler lock key, as would be used for motorcycles. The Keyblade is given by Tifa after Sora defeats Sephiroth and witnesses his battle with Cloud.
The completed fusion swords appears as an "Avatar Part" in Kingdom Hearts Mobile, as well as its port to Kingdom Hearts Re:coded.
Super Smash Bros.
The Fusion Sword is Cloud's weapon if his alternate, Advent Children-themed costume is worn. He wields it as he does the Buster Sword in his primary attire.
As Cloud's signature weapon in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, the fusion swords are included in several models and action figures of Cloud's appearance in the film, almost always as an assembled construct and not as the individual blades. Among other figures the sword is included with Cloud's "Play Arts" figure both by itself and including the motorcycle Fenrir. One such figure erroneously names the fusion swords as the Buster Sword, but most others do not give the swords a name. The Cloud Play Arts Kai action figure releasing at April 2015 includes the disassembled swords, which cannot be assembled, alongside a fully assembled one.
For a brief time there was an unofficial replica sword manufactured, composed of four separate swords instead of six (only one back blade, with the hollow blade and the main blade joined as one). Only 44 inches long and seven inches wide, it was not to full scale. Now hard to find, this replica is still sought by collectors.