The Zantetsuken (斬鉄剣, Zantetsuken?, lit. Slashing Iron Sword) in Final Fantasy XIII is an incarnation of the recurring weapon that appears in several games in the Final Fantasy series. While the Zantetsuken is traditionally Odin's signature weapon, its Final Fantasy XIII incarnation is more closely associated with Lightning. The weapon is not equippable in Final Fantasy XIII and thus is not named in-game, but the Japanese Play Arts Kai set calls the weapon Zantetsuken. The weapon is called Gagnrad (ガグンラーズ, Gagunrāzu?) in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.
The Zantetsuken is a pair of large curved swords that each form a hook shape. The swords are identical in design with no known differences between them. The hilt is formed from a golden horse's head and front hooves with the blue handle and lower section of the handguard coming from the head and hooves and joining at a golden pommel, which is where the blades connect. From the bottom of the horse head's neck extends a white plumage of feather-like spikes along a central green core decorated with lightning-like jagged yellow lines. The inside of the blades' hook shape bears writing in Etro script, which reads "Odin." The Lightning Returns model features a different handle, with the pommels being larger and the blue handles and handguards being smaller and differently shaped.
The Zantetsuken can be wielded as either two individual swords or a single double-bladed sword. The swords face opposite directions when connected, forming an "S" shape.
The Zantetsuken is wielded by Odin in battle, both as a boss and as an ally. When Odin transforms in Gestalt Mode, Lightning rides atop him wielding the Zantetsuken in its individual forms, but combines them for some attacks, and performs the finishing move Zantetsuken the weapons are named after with them. When the party crashes the Eden grand prix Lightning rides Odin in Gestalt Mode and thus wields the Zantetsuken outside of battle for the cut scene.
Lightning wields the Zantetsuken in the prologue sequence while riding Odin. Twilight Odin wields his own version of the swords, predominately colored green.
Lightning obtains this weapon from Odin himself as a symbol of his continuing support upon completion of the sidequest "To Live in Chaos" in the Wildlands. The weapon's name is not Zantetsuken, but Gagnrad, which is another name for Odin. It increases Strength by 500, Magic by 500, ATB Speed by 25, decreases maximum HP by 5% and Stagger Power by 90%. It also has two passive abilities, Strength -50%. It is classified as a dual-blade, and attacks twice per turn when attacking. The Angel of Valhalla has a tattoo in the shape of Zantetsuken above his left eye.
Zantetsuken appears as Odin's weapon during the event Lightning Strikes.
Lightning uses the Zantetsuken to execute her HP attacks, automatically swapping the Blazefire Saber for the swords when an HP attack is performed. She wields the Zantetsuken in both combined and separated states, depending on the attack. The Zantetsuken is used in her EX Burst.
Lightning's level 100 exclusive weapon is also named Zantetsuken. It provides +68 attack, +10% defense, and a Riposte effect, and can be traded for in the shop for an Omega Weapon, Survival Knife, Flash's Hope x5, and 182,800 gil. As a likely reference to Zantetsuken existing as two swords, Lightning has a second Level 100 exclusive weapon named the Odin Blade (グングニルブレード, Gunguniru Burēdo?, lit. Gungnir Blade). The Odin Blade also has 68 attack, but instead provides the abilities Back to the Wall and Free Air Dash Boost. The trade materials and cost are the same, with the exception of needing the Barrage Blade to trade instead of the Omega Weapon.
Lightning uses the Zantetsuken when executing her HP attacks.
Lightning wields and attacks with the Zantetsuken when performing Lightning Strike against the enemy during battle.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearancesEdit
Odin appears with the signature Final Fantasy XIII Zantetsuken in the card game Guardian Cross.
The Zantetsuken is featured with Lightning in her Trading Arts Kai Mini figure, which depicts her riding Odin in Gestalt Mode wielding the two individual swords. The Odin Play Arts Kai Action Figure comes with the Zantetsuken, which can be held in either separated or combined forms. The figure is compatible with the Play Arts Kai Lightning figure, and comes with a set of hands for her that allow it to hold the Zantetsuken.
T-shirts with Final Fantasy XIII Eidolon designs have been on sale in the Japanese Square Enix store. The shirts cost ¥3,900, with Odin wielding Zantetsuken. The Eidolons from Final Fantasy XIII have also been made into action figures in the Final Fantasy Creatures Kai Vol. 3 series.
Zantetsuken (斬鉄剣?) is Japanese for "iron-cutting/slashing iron sword". It normally refers to a blade formed out of exotic materials rumored to be able to cut through steel and/or iron. The term was often associated with blades created by the feudal swordsmith known as Kobayashi Yasuhiro. This usually refers to swords made out of unique materials other than steel that are rumored to cut through iron more effectively than normal swords.