108 Gems (FF Tactics): Moogle Fan writes: "108 Gems comes from the fact that traditional Buddhist prayer beads contain 108 gems each."
Abraxas (FF10): From Moogle Fan: "Abraxas was a named adopted by Egyptian Gnostic Baslides used to represent some Greek letters in the following way a(lpha) b(eta) r(ho) a(alpha) x(i) a(lpha) s(igma). In numerals, these amounted to the numner 365, and the name abraxas was used to signify the supreme deity as the ruler of the 365 heavens. Abraxas is also a word meaning, "a mystical word used as a charm and engraved on gems"."
Acadia Hat (FFTA): iwsfutcmd says: "Acadia is a region of Canada inhabited by French speakers. I haven't a clue what it has to do with a hat, I'm afraid."
Adamant: From Damian Maxwell: Adamant is a stone that was once believed to be of "impenetrable hardness". Its meaning in modern English is "unyielding or inflexible".
Aegis Shield: The Aegis was the breastplate of Zeus, and, later, Athena. The word "aegis" means "protection" (in English). Trevor Powell adds: "According to Greek myth, after Perseus slew Medusa, he gave the head of the Gorgon to Athena. Athena attached the head to the front of the Aegis in order to give it Medusa's powers. This is possibly the reason why that in several of the FF's, the Aegis gives added protection against petrification."
Arc Arcana (FF10): From Moogle Fan: "Yuna's weapon Arc Arcana comes from Ars Arcanum (which is used in Kingdom Hearts). Ars Arcanum is the name of a book written about alchemy, and various magic-related things. Also, an arcanum is a deep secret or mystery, or a remedy, or elixir, of which the plural is arcana."
Argonaut (FF10): From Moogle Fan: "In Greek mythology, an argonaut was someone who sailed with Jason on the vessel Argo in search of the Golden Fleece (a widely known Greek mythological item)."
Artemis Bow: Artemis is a goddess from Greek myths. She carried a bow and arrow and was also the goddess of fertility. She was the sister of Apollo, and is the subject of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Alexander Megius-Keyho says that Artemis is actually the goddess of the forest. However, Lynni Van Deelen sent in a correction indicating that Artemis is a moon goddess (identical to Luna and Diana), protector of virgins and the goddess of the hunt.
Asura: From the Final Fantasy Usenet FAQ: The Asura is from Indian (Hindu) mythology, and literally means "those who were denied ambrosia". The legend says that the father god, Brahma, married the goddess Shatarupa and created two races of people, the Daityas and Adityas. Both races working together extracted the essence of immortality from the seas, but the Adityas kept the essence to themselves. The Daityas then became the gods' enemies, and became known as Asuras. According to the story, the Asuras' conflicts with the gods then became the origin of all conflict. See also: Ashura.
Atlas (FF10): Atlas was a Titan who held the sky on his shoulders, in Greek mythology. Michael Northington notes that another, more popular version of the legend has Atlas holding the world on his shoulders (as seen on statues of him).
Atma Weapon(FF6) Though it is come to an understanding that Atma is a mistranslation of Ultima, kphelps has brought an interesting point. In the Hindu epic, the Bhagavad-Gita, the word "atma" or "atman" refers to soul or one's spirit. Quite interesting in the fact a townsperson in the game mentions that the Atma Weapon changes depending on its controller's spirit.
Atmos Blade (FFTA): Lord Kyrn claims the name probably is from "atmospheric" (which makes sense because it's an air-(well, okay, lightning, but that's close enough...) elemental sword, and teaches "Air Render").
Bacchus' Wine (aka Gods' Wine): Bacchus is the Greek god of wine. Rather obvious name, then. Brian O'Neil adds why it causes Berserk: "The Roman God Bacchus had a cult of women followers called the Bacchae or Bacchantes. Part of his worshipping ritual is to get extremely drunk, and then work themselves into a wild frenzy. They would then run into the woods and tear apart the first animal they find and devour the flesh in a ritualistic way. This was called sparagmos. In Greece, the woman were called the Maenads."
Balmung (FF10): Moogle Fan writes: "Kimahri's weapon Balmung was a magical sword used by Odin in Norse mythology. Odin stuck it in a sacred oak tree, and Odin said that the one who could pull the sword out was destined to win in battle."
Barong (FFTA): Lord Kyrn sends in this quote from www.brainydictionary.com: "Barong (n.) A kind of cutting weapon with a thick back and thin razorlike edge, used by the Moros of the Philippine Islands."
Baroque Sword (FF10): Moogle Fan writes: "Baroque Sword comes from the word Baroque, a highly refined European art form, or a musical style of the same name. The word baroque means 'bizzare'."
Bastard Sword (FF6): This was changed to Epee in the American version (probably for censorship reasons). Cactuberry notes that bastard swords are a type of swords where you can use either one or both hands to fight with. It's also the sword that appeared on the American versions of the FF boxes. rasara has helped realize that Cloud's Buster Sword may also be a censoring of the Bastard Sword.
Belladonna Wand (FF10): From Moogle Fan: "Belladonna is a poisonous herb also known as deadly nightshade. In Italian, the word belladonna means "beautiful lady". Also, the name of a type of machine gun."
Black Quena (FFTA): iwsfutcmd says this is an Andean flute.
Caladbolg (FF10): From WTG3: Tidus' ultimate weapon takes its name from Celtic myth; it's the Irish equivalent of the Excalibur (or, depending on who you ask, the inspiration for the Excalibur). Caladbolg means 'hard belly' and is capable of consuming everything. Moogle Fan expands: "The name of King Arthur's sword was first called Caladfwlch, a Welsh word derived from Calad-Bolg meaning "Hard Lightning". Later it became the Caliburn and finally the French-influenced Excalibur."
Calcite Staff (FF10): Moogle Fan writes: "Calcite is a common form of natural calcium carbonate, in crystallized form."
Caligula (FFTA): shadescythe says thats Caligula is a term meaning 'little boot' in Flavius Josephus' book, "The Jewish War". From emperor_tomato: Caligula was the nickname of a Roman emperor who wore a small pair of boots as a child.
Cat's Claw: Arcanus Dominus writes: "This may not be meaningful, but in Fritz Leiber's "Lankhmar" stories, the thief/mage Gray Mouser's dagger was named Cat's Claw." Matt Tourgee says that this was a tool used by ninja, primarily as part of climbing equipment, but could also be used as a weapon.
Chantage (Tactics) is French for 'blackmail.'
Cherche (Tactics) is French for 'search for'. It's also part of a famous saying, "Cherche la femme", used in murder mysteries, especially Agatha Christie's books: It means "search for the women", and means that if you're looking for a motive, find the romantic connection somewhere. Since Cherche can only be equipped on femmes, it's quite apropos. 8-)
Cherub Down (FF6): A cherub is a winged celestial being in the second order of angels. Cherub Down, which makes you float, would be feathers from a cherub's wings. Cherubim are often seen together with seraphim, like the Esper.
Cinqueda (FFTA): It's technically a dagger, but is also similar to a sword. The name is apparently Italian, meaning "five fingers" (referring to its length). They originated in Italy in the late 15th century, and went out of style in the early 16th century. David Brohman notes that the "five fingers" actually refers to its width at the base, not the length.
Claymore (FFTA): From Cactuberry: "A Scottish double-edge sword."
Coin Toss (FF6): Lets you throw coins, obviously. But originally it was named "Heiji no Jitte" (Heiji's Cross) in FF6j. Heiji was a fictional character who threw coins at his enemies, like Setzer. Maou says: A Jitte, actually, is not a normal cross so much as a "sword catcher," a tool used by Japanese police officers to catch and deflect swords of enemies. They may look somewhat like half of a sai. Street Fighters will notice that Sodom use the hilariously unsuitable Jitte for fighting.
Colichemarde (FFTA): A small 18th century French sword made specifically for dueling that became today's epee. Also, it's one of the types of swords Duncan had in "Highlander" (Lord Kyrn).
Cornucopia (FF7): Brian O'Neil mentions that this means "horn of plenty" in Latin, hence being a cure for something small. It's referenced in Greek myths and used to be filled with food that was never exhausted.
Dance Macabre (FF10): From Regann: Literally "dance of death," it refers to a popular early renaissance art theme of skeltons dancing and playing musical instruments as a symbol of the brevity of human life. It was the medevial/renaissance equivalent of the grim reaper.
Dark Matter: The following was sent in by Sinistral, quoted from Scientific American: "Based on 50 years of accumulated observations of the motions of galaxies and the expansion of the universe, most astronomers believe that as much as 90 percent of the stuff constituting the universe may be objects or particles that cannot be seen. In other words, most of the universe's matter does not radiate--it provides no glow that we can detect in the electromagnetic spectrum. First posited some 60 years ago by astronomer Fritz Zwicky, this so-called missing matter was believed to reside within clusters of galaxies. Nowadays we prefer to call the missing mass "dark matter," for it is the light, not the matter, that is missing."
Deus Ex Machina (FF10): From Another Gamer: "Rikku's Deus Ex Machina has quite an interesting meaning. According to Webster's dictonary, it has the following 2 meanings:
"1: a god introduced by means of a crane in ancient Greek and Roman drama to decide the final outcome
2 : a person or thing (as in fiction or drama) that appears or is introduced suddenly and unexpectedly and provides a contrived solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty"
Another Gamer mentions that the second one makes sense given that the weapon has all elemental strike abilities, it takes advantage of all possible enemy weaknesses. Although in reality if the enemy also has an immunity to a particular element, the Deus Ex Machina is useless. 8p
Wayne adds: "Literally, it simply means 'Ghost in/of the machine'. Given the Al Bhed's connections to machina (machines), this is painfully obvious. If we were to use 'Anima ex machina', we'd get 'Spirit/god of the machine'. Spirit and ghost are two very different things in Japanese. Spirit is a persistent thing, ghost is a gone but remembered thing."
Djinn Flyssa (FFTA): iwsfutcmd says: "'Djinn' comes from the Arabic جن (Jinn) or Genie. 'Flyssa' is a traditional Moroccan sword."
Draupnir (FF10): Moogle Fan says: "Lulu's armor Draupnir comes from Norse mythology. The Draupnir was a golden ring in possession of Odin. The ring was said to be a source of endless wealth. Every ninth night, 8 more rings form from it. It's name means 'the dropper' in English."
Durandal (FF10): From Moogle Fan: "The Durandal was a carrier aircraft weapon 2.5 meters in length." Chris Westerman adds that both the FF10 weapon and the aircraft carrier were probably named after "the sword of Roland in the Middle Ages epic poem Song of Roland. It was forged by faeries (elves) and was able to cut men in half easily. It was also unbreakable."
Edincoat (FF7): Moogle Fan again: Japanese for "coat" is "edin".
Ehrgeiz (FF10): Jeff Chrismer tells me it's German for "ambition".
El Cid (FFTA): See Characters.
El Dorado (FF10): Moogle Fan declaims: "El Dorado(one of Yuna's weapons) was a city or country of fabulous riches held by 16th century explorers to exist in South America. It is also the name of any place of fabulous wealth or opportunity."
Épée (FF6): French for "sword" (thanks to Damian Maxwell. It's also one of the three major fencing styles (the other two being foil and sabre).
Estoc (FFTA): From Cactuberry: "A German thrust sword for penetration."
Ether: From VoxNihili8584: in the middle ages, ether was thought to be the element that made up all space and planets beyond the sphere of the moon, and was later thought to be the medium in space through which electromagnetic waves travelled. the name today is a highly volatile chemical usually used as an anestheic.
Excalibur: of British legend. Excalibur was the sword that King Arthur pulled from the stone to prove his worthiness as king. The ideas of knighthood and chivalry date back to Arthur's time. Kallahan reminds me to mention that some legends have Arthur being given Excalibur by the Lady of the Lake; more complicated legends have her as Galahad's and Launcelot's mother, but most just make mention of her without saying who she actually was. And Arcanus Dominus says that "the name comes from the Latin 'Ex Caliburn' which means (more or less) 'Above or beyond steel'".
Exeter (FF8): From Dominic Jesse: A reference to Exeter of England, with was tied up with the Arthurian myths, including one involving Excaliber. See also Irvine's Guns.
Femme Fetale (FFTA): French for "fatal female", it's entered the English vernacular as a woman you definitely want to keep away from.
Fey Bow (FFTA): Fey means "fairy-like" (Lord Kyrn).
Flamberge (FFTA): From Cactuberry: "A thin 2-bladed sword with a wavy blade. Very popular in Germany during the 15th to 17th century." Also puns on "flame". People who've played the Tales Of Series should recognize this along with the Vorpal Blade.
Gae Bolg (FF10, FFTA): Moogle Fan sent me a site which lists this as a spear from Celtic legend, furnished with barbs running in opposite directions and manipulated under water with the toes. It was used by Cúchullain. Also known as the Gae Bulga. iwsfutcmd says its proper name is Gáe Bulg.
Galatyn(FFCC):From onikuwagata: Galatyn is the name of the sword of Sir Gawain in Arthurian legend.
Genji Equipment The Genji clan was famous for its battles with the Heike, another samurai clan. In 1185, the Genji won a decisive battle with the Heike and almost eradicated them completely. Chris Westerman mentions that the specific member of the Genji clan indicated here is probably Minamoto Genji, the first of the Genji line, and the subject of a book called "The Tale of Genji" by Murasaki Shibiku. "Minamoto was a commoner given the name Genji by the emperor of the time (around 925 A.D.) for his prowess in combat. He was rumored to have been raised by tengu, or have tengu blood (tengu are japanese birdmen said to inhabit Mt. Fuji, they are master swordsmen)."
Giyaman Bell: Hroþgar writes that "Giyaman" is old Japanese for "glass", although he's unsure of the significance. There's probably a legend about it somewhere, but off the top of my head, I think a glass bell would a) sound very clear, but b) be completely useless. 8p
Gokuu Rod (Tactics): Named for Son Gokuu, the hero of an ancient Chinese tale. I don't know the plot of this story, but Son Gokuu is also the name of one of the main characters in the popular manga and anime series 'Dragon Ball' by Akira Toriyama. Jack writes that Gokuu's main weapon in the story was a sacred rod. Hao Dang adds that the name of this Chinese tale is "Journey to the West" and that the rod also has the powers to change its length at will.
Gorgon Gaze (FF10): See Monsters (Stheno).
Graedus/Gladius (FF6/9): The Latin "gladius" means "sword". Incidentally, 'gladius' is the root word in 'gladiator'.
Gungnir: This was the name of Odin's spear in Norse mythology. The Gungnir was supposed to have always pointed at the strongest member of an enemy party. Wayne says it's also supposed to have never missed its target.
Guns (FF12): All guns in the game are the names of stars. Almost all of them are part of the 20 brightest stars in the sky: Altair (13), Capella (6), Vega (5), Sirius (1), Betelgeuse (10), Aldebaran (13), Spica (15), Antares (14), Arcturus (3), and Fomalhaut (17). Ras Algethi (also known as Alpha Herculis) is the exception to the rule: while not particularly bright, it is a red supergiant. Thanks to MooglePeru.
Hades Bow (FFTA): See Summons.
Hamelin (FF9): The flute from the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, who captured rats by playing a flute.
Hermes' Shoes (FF5): Hermes comes from Greek mythology and wore magical winged sandals which allowed him to fly. Hermes was also the god of thieves and gamblers and could teleport and make himself invisible as well as fly. Called "Winged Shoes" in the PSX version.
Hyperion: This is Seifer's blade in FF8. Pheonix Moone mentions that "it's possibly named after the Hyperion Bank, owned by Thaddeus Rains, a train tycoon. He really screwed with Jesse James and his friends and family." Regann clarifies: "Hyperion is the greek Titan of light, brother of Cronos and uncle of Zeus. He fought against his nephew in the wars between the Titans and the Olympians and was eventually locked in Tartarus with the rest of them
when they lost. With his sister, Thea, he was the father of Helios, the god of the sun, and Selene, goddess of the moon, as well as Eos, greek goddess of the dawn."
Masonvygr, however, has a far more plausible meaning: "Hyperion is a very rare type of sword that was used in the dark ages. The Hyperion are a double eged sword. If you look at Seifer's sword you will notice that both sides of the blade are sharpened."
Holy Lance: See Longinus.
Hrunting: From Brad Aman: This is a reference to the old English epic poem, Beowulf. Hrunting is the sword given to Beowulf by Unferth (a man who previously scoffed at Beowulf in envy) as Beowulf is preparing to seek out and kill Grendel's mother in her underwater lair.
Ichimonji (FF10): Moogle Fan notes that there's a school called the Ichimonji School in Japan that is well-known for its blades. The word literally means "one" or "the first" in Chinese. Also, the entire word means "straight line" or "beeline".
Iga and Kouga Knives (Tactics): These are the names of two ninja clans from Japan.
Irvine's Guns (FF8): Peter Sahui writes that these are all named after warships from World War II; all except Bismarck are taken from the Royal Navy. To whit:
Jambiya (FFTA): A 19th-century Arab dagger, usually long and curved, and meant to be carried in a belt (Lord Kyrn).
Joyeuse (FFTA) is the name of Sir Lancelot's sword (Lord Kyrn). kokushishin corrects: "Joyeuse was Charlemagne's sword. Depending on the legend it was forged with a part of Longinus or together with Durandal and Cortana. Joyeuse itself means joyful or joyous. Lancelot's sword was Arondight."
Kaiser Knuckle: Kaiser is the name for an emperor in the Germanic languages (e.g. Kaiser Wilhelm). It's probably a smudging of "Cesar" (Rome overran the Gauls, who lived around Germany, back in the early A.D.'s). I've even seen in the Talmud (dating back to the same period) that Roman kings are referred to as "keisar" in Aramaic. Thanks to Moogle Fan for reminding me.
Kard (FFTA): iwsfutcmd describes this as a Hungarian sword.
Khukuri (FFTA): From Moogle Fan: "A 'khukuri' is a type of sword originating from Nepal." iwsfutcmd adds that it is known as the symbol of the Gurkhas.
Kikuijimonji: Dead_Duck has the following to say: "Kiku" means chrysanthemum. "ichimonji" can refer to the Japanese kanji for "one", but I think that in this case, it refers to the "Ichimonji", a group of swordsmiths who aided the Emperor Gotoba in developing swords. Apparently, Emperor Gotoba was an avid swordsmith. With the help of the Ichimonji, he commissioned many swords (and supposedly made a few). However, the Emperor was not permitted to sign his name on the sword, so he used a chrysanthemum with 16 or 24 petals. Hence, the name "kikuichimonji". Please refer to here and here for evidence on this last point."
Kiyomori (FF Tactics): Moogle Fan says there was a Japanese shogun of this name.
Kotetsu: A Japanese sword that is shorter than a Katana but is longer than a Wakizashi. Its shorter length gives it more defensive abilities than the Katana. It is sometimes called Naga-Wakizashi, which means "long Wakizashi". Dead_Duck says: "This description seems to fit the Kodachi, a weapon used by Ninjas in FF5 and Shadow in FF3/FF6j. "Kotetsu" refers to swords made by Nagasone Kotetsu (Nagasone probably refers to the place where he came from.) Okita Souji adds that Kotetsu started out making armor but ended up making swords, and that Kotetsu means "iron tiger". The swords were normal katana length, not kodachi-length.
Kris (FFCC): From onikuwagata: A kris is an Indonesian ritual dagger that often has a curved, serpentine blade.
Kunai: Dead_Duck again: "Multi-purpose tools "used to help climb trees and walls", and also "for probing, digging, and chiseling". Or at least, that's what this site claims." Maou mentions that since it's a ninja weapon, that'd make sense for the climbing abilities.
Kwigon Blade (FFTA): Another Gamer says that the name should have been Qigong Blade. "Qigong is a self-healing art that combines movement and meditation. Visualizations are employed to enhance the mind/body connection and assist healing." I've also gotten several e-mails saying that it's a reference to Qi-Gon Jin from Star Wars: Episode I, but lacking any other similarities than the name, I'm inclined to disbelieve that.
Laevatein (FF10): From Moogle Fan: "Yuna's weapon Laevatein was taken from a magic wand in Norse mythology of the same name, forged by god Loki. The name Laevatein means, "Lie Stick" or "Wand of Destruction"."
Largamente (FF10): From Moogle Fan: "Largamente probably comes from a Spanish word, 'largamente', which means, 'at length; generously or liberally'".
Lohengrin (FFTA): This is a play by Richard Wagner (the guy who brought us the famous "Ride of the Valkyries," among other things) (Lord Kyrn).
Longinus was changed to 'Spirit Lance' in the American version, although this is its name in FF7 and 10. It was the weapon that pierced Christ's side after they took him down from the cross, and also the name of the Roman centurion who used it. Supposedly, the holder of this weapon would be granted immortality, and it has also been said that Hitler was looking for this during World War II. It's also the name of a Greek philosopher, but that's probably a coincidence. (It's in Bahamut Lagoon as well).
Last Letter (FFTA): From Lord Kyrn: "This is most likely a reference to Zorro:
-The L.L. is a rapier (The kind of sword Zorro used).
-The last letter in the alphabet is "Z".
-Zorro would score a "Z" WITH the tip of said rapier as a means of leaving his mark.
-This origin is backed up by the fact that Square has used a similar name, "Final Letter," as an Epee tech in Romancing SaGa 3.
Lohengrin (FFTA): iwsfutcmd says: "This is a knight from German Arthurian legends."
Luck Mallet: Lord Kyrn tells me of a Japanese folk tale about a boy named "issun-boshi" or "Inch Boy", sort of like Tom Thumb. At the end of the tale, Inch Boy defeats a giant ogre with a needle; the ogre drops a magic mallet, which turns Inch Boy into a full-sized child.
Madu (FFTA): iwsfutcmd says: "An Indian weapon made of two Antelope horns fastened around a shield. It was used as a defensive weapon."
Manganese (FFTA): element #25 on the Periodic Table, and is used in making stainless steel, among other things (Lord Kyrn).
Minerva Armor: The Roman name for Athena, the Greek goddess of war and wisdom.
Mithril Equipment: A metal of legendary strength. The name
comes from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy; it means "true-silver" in his Elvish language. There's also the
Roman soldiers' god "Mithras"; a name which was believed to be divine by
the Gnostics. In Greek numerology, the word has the value of 365... a
value shared by 'Agion Onoma' (Holy Name); thus its significance. 365 is also the number of negative commandments in the Jewish Bible, as well as the number of days in a solar year.
From Joeseph Lenhard: Mithra was one of the angels in Zoroasterianism, who judged the dead to either Heaven and Hell when they died. Mithra was later worshipped as a Savior-God exactly like Jesus of Nazareth (thus the rarely said saying "Mithraism is the Christianity before Christianity).
Main Gauche: This is French for "left hand". It's a knife with some defense ability. From WTG3@aol.com: They're daggers, not swords, with big curvey hand-guards. You would have a rapier in your right hand which you wold fight with, and you would use the big hand-guard on the main-gauche to block any blows from an opponent, assuming he was fighting with a rapier (if he had a big heavy sword then a main-gauche wouldn't do a fat lot of good.)
Marduk Bow (FFTA): Marduk was an ancient Babylonian god. See Mythincal-Folk for more (Lord Kyrn).
The Japanese sword Masamune: One explanation is that there was
a feudal lord named "Masamune Date" (Date (da-te) is the family name)
who ruled Rikuzen (area near Sendai) around the early 1600's. He lost
one of his eyes due to sickness in childhood, and he was nicknamed
"Dokuganryuu Masamune" (Masamune, the one eyed dragon). Another story
says that there was a blacksmith named "Masamune", and his sword was so
sharp that you could drive it into the ground in a lake, and leaves that
floated by would float around the Masamune due to its holy power.
Nate writes that Masamune is actually the name of a Japanese swordsmith from the 11th-12th centuries; the weapons are in display in museums. It's quite possible that the swordsmith's name is based on the legends. Dead_Duck confirms that "Masamune" refers to swords crafted by Goro Nyudo Masamune (around 1265-1358), one of the most famous Japanese swordsmiths.
Yet another piece of info, from Jordan Gruchy: "According to Japanese legend, the Masamune blade was the most powerful sword in all the world. When piercing the flesh, it would shed no blood, as the Masamune was not "bloodthirsty", which explains why no blood was shed when Sephiroth killed Aeris in FF7."
Medusa Arrows (FF4): Named for the woman of Greek legend who could turn people to stone by looking at them. She had snakes for hair.
Murasame: The characters are "town" (mura) and "rain" (ame).
Murasame is used to define a rain that rains in small area. (Sometimes
quick rain) Thus, it could mean Murasame can cause "quick blood rain".
(And in some stories, Murasame is cursed. Though the leaves floating
down the river will avoid the Masamune, they float right into the
Murasame and get split in two.) Hiro2k elaborates: "Murasame was a swordsmith like Masamune long ago in Japan. His swords were famed for the 'bloodlust' they supposedly created in those who wielded them. One day, Murasame challenged Masamune to a competition, to prove who was the better swordsmith. He placed his finest blade into a slow-moving stream; soon after, a leaf floated slowly into the edge of the blade, and was sliced, quietly and easily, into two pieces. Afterwards, Masamune placed his blade into the same stream. He soon proved that he was the better swordsmith, as leaves seemed to avoid his blade; a proof of its holy power."
However, Aelfwine writes: "There are stories of a swordsmith named Senzo Muramasa who was supposedly an insane, but brilliant, student of Masamune, and that his swords would cause unnecessary bloodshed (Ratti, Oscar and Adele Westbrook, Secrets of the Samurai. Castle books, 1999). However, I find no mention of anyone by the name of Murasame." Okita Souji adds that the "curse" of the sword was that it had brought misfortune to the ruling Tokugawa family. Also, "some people who had the swords would erase part of the name of the swordsmith the Mura or the Masa and felt at ease at doing so to avoid any misfortune."
The saga continues, though: Starzander writes: "Although I did check it out a bit and what I know is that there was no swordsmith named Murasame, it was only an imagined sword in the novel Nanso Satomi Hakkenden which was written in the 19th century by Takizawa Bakin (Kyokutei Bakin). It was a story about eight warriors that were named dogs... or something like that... check this webpage, or others."
N'Kai Armlet (FF9): According to lord_exdeath2001: In Cthulu mythos, N'Kai is the ancient subterranean city in which resides the toad god Tsathoggua.
Nimbus Rod (FF10): From Moogle Fan: "Nimbus is Latin for cloud. It's also a word used today to mean a halo, or cloud-like radiance, or an aura. It is also a term used to describe a rain cloud, usually gray in color."
Ninja Tabi (FFTA): From Moogle Fan: "'Tabi' is the word for Japanese socks."
Nirvana (FF10, FFTA): From Moogle Fan: "Nirvana (Yuna's ultimate weapon) is thought to be the final beatitude that transcends suffering, karma, and samsara and is sought especially in Buddhism through the extinction of desire and individual consciousness. Also, a place or state of oblivion to care, pain, or external reality. A goal hoped for but apparently unattainable." Terra Raver has a slightly different definition: "union with the universe and escape from the cycle of death and rebirth". This fits very nicely with Yuna's role in FFX.
Wayne expands further: "Buddhism makes it extremely clear that only deities can escape the cycle of reincarnation. This is how Buddhism defines a deity - Some variants of Buddhism claim this is absolutely impossible and no deities can exist. This can be taken two ways. One way is that no mortal may ever reach Nirvana. The second is that Nirvana is not forever and that the soul will be reborn once it leaves Nirvana."
Nosada (FFTA): From Moogle Fan: "Comes from the 'Izumi no Kami Kanaseda', also called Nosada, the sword of Hijikata Toshizou, who founded a dojo of Kendo ('the way of the sword')."
Obelisk (FF9): Moogle Fan mentions that this is a type of short dagger. From endrspkr: An obeliskis a four-sided tapering structure with a pyramidal top often used in Egyptian architecture. The most familiar example is the Washington Monument.
Oblige (FFTA): Lord Kyrn: Well, it says it's a "sword of the nobles"... From the phrase "noblesse oblige," perhaps?
Ogun Blade (FFTA): iwsfutcmd says: "This is named for Ogou (or Ogoun, or Ogun), who is a Yoruba and Vodou (Voodoo) god of fire, iron, and war. His symbol is a sabre or machete (as a matter of fact, I just returned from Haiti bearing an Ogun Blade myself!)"
Orichalcon: Could be related to "orichalcum", the legendary alloy of Atlantis which was said to have special properties. Arcanus Dominus writes: "Almost certainly refers to the "fire-metal" of Atlantis, "orichalcum," as I've seen that substance spelled both ways in translations of Plato."
Osafune: Short for Bizen Osafune, also called Osafune in FFT. From Cactuberry: Osafune was the largest and most prestigous sword-smithing schools in ancient Japan. Formed by Mitsutada during the Kamakura period.
Peacemaker (FF7, FFTA): Cactuberry mentions that this is the name of a popular gun used in the old west.
The Perseus Bow (Tactics) is named for the archer in Greek mythology. He's the one who killed Medusa (see Aegis Shield above).
Peytral (FFTA): iwsfutcmd says: "This is a part of Barding (horse armor), specifically the chest part."
Phoenix Down: Simon Ammundsen writes: "Down" is the fluffy stuff that comes before feathers (usually on a duck, hence the joke "You don't get down from a horse, you get down from a duck"), and keeps the duck warm. They also line nests with it to help incubate the eggs. Since it's a small part of the bird, and not very prominent, it makes sense to me that down of Phoenix would bring a dead person back to life with minimal wound recovery.
Quicksilver (FF7): Cactuberry mentions this is the name of a real brand of guns. S. Dinkel notes that quicksilver is another name for mercury (probably the origin of the gun as well).
Ragnarok: "Ragnarok" refers to the end of the world in Nordic myths. It's like the day of reckoning in which all are judged for their actions. The gods knew that someday they would have to battle their nemeses, the giants. Odin and many of the gods are killed (Odin is eaten by Fenrir) and a new world rises from the old world's ashes. In fact, in one version of the story it's Siegfried and Brunnhilde who repopulate the world.
Here's how to pronounce "Ragnarök" in original Swedish, thanks to Zimeon Lundstrom.
Oh my, difficult. Let me see... Swedish is rather like German I'd
say, but the German sounds are more hard. First of all, the Swedish "r"
might be difficult to pronounce, and I don't think i can describe it
here without the sound itself, so go for the english "r" for the time.
The first "a" is like the "u" in english "hung". The next "g" is an "ng"
sound, as in "hung". The next "na" is just like it's spelled, the "a"
sound is the same as the first "a". The "o" with two dots is a tricky
one. It's a bit like "ea" in "heard", but don't curl your tongue, just
let it lie still. And form your mouth a litte more round. Hmmm... this
is impossible. The last "k" anyway, is just a normal "k". So it would
come out as "rungnareark", to come as close as possible without creating
sounds that don't exist in English... In fact, there should be two dots
on the "o" in Ragnarök.
To keep the conversation going, Joey Martin writes: "A multilingual friend of mine told me it was pronounced "Ronyaroke" with the r's sounding like they do in Japanese--- Kind of a mix between R, L, and a slight hint of G."
Rhomphaia (FFTA): A greek word apparently referring to a type of sword from the Bible; specifically the Book of Revelations (Lord Kyrn). iwsfutcmd says this is a spear used by Thracians.
Rune Blade/Axe/Bell - runes were the letters used by Icelanders and other Nordic people over 1000 years ago. They were believed to have magical properties, and supposedly were invented by Odin himself.
Samson Sword: Samson is a biblical hero from the book of Prophets. One of his feats was to kill hundreds of Philistines with a donkey jawbone. His divinely-granted strength lay in his hair, which (when his conniving wife Delilah, a Philistine, cut it off) was sapped, allowing him to be captured. However, Samson still managed to destroy the Philistine temple he was held in, taking them all with him.
Sapere Aude (FFTA): iwsfutcmd says: "This means 'Have the courage to think for yourself' and was a motto of the Enlightenment." I assume it's in Latin.
Sasuke's Katana (FF5, FFT): Sasuke is a legendary ninja's name, Sarutobi Sasuke. Translated as "Ninja Blade" for the PSX version.
Satyr Flute (FFTA): From Cactuberry: "A Satyr is a half human half goat being in Greek mythology. A Satyr's favorite instrument? The flute." Satyrs are best known for being sex maniacs, which is why the words has crept into English to describe those types of people.
Save the Queen: This is a line from the British national anthem 'God Save the Queen.' Another possibility is that it's another reference to what is surely the producers' favorite band. (see External Crossovers). However, Masonvygr tells me that there actually was a weapon called Save the Queen: it was used by Bodesia, the first British queen to go into battle. It was apparently a lance with a diamond blade. Kim Arntsen elaborates: "I believe he refers to Queen Boudicca, aka Boadicea, who lived around 50AD, and led the Iceni trible in a revolt agains the Romans in the East Anglia region in England. Her trible were allies of the Romans at first, but the Romans later turned on them and killed Boudicca`s husband, which drove her to fight them. She razed sveral towns, including London, before her army was defeated in a major battle, after which she comitted suicide."
Scorpion Tail: Moogle Fan writes: "The Greek Furies used scorpion's tails (refined into whips) as weapons."
Scramasax: Lord Kyrn sends in this description from The Steel Source: "The Scramasax, carried by the Saxons and Vikings between the 4th and 10th centuries, was utilized as both a tool and a weapon. Carried horizontally at the back of the belt, the sax provided the spearman with a close-quarters weapon when needed, and its broad blade could handle many day-to-day chores."
Seraph Comb (FF7): See Summons.
Shamshir (FFTA): according to Lord Kyrn, a mid-16th-century saber, and means "curved like the tiger's nail" (more here).
Shiranui (FF10): Moogle Fan says this means "phosphorescent light" in Japanese.
Striborg (FFTA): Lord Kyrn says "this was the name of an Australian musician who did/does lots of dark-sounding metal; he has changed his name since (kinda like Prince...)."
Shuriken: From Dead_Duck: "Shuriken" actually means something to the effect of "a blade that is hidden in the palm of one's hand", since the kanji for the word are "hand", "palm" (I think), and "blade". The actual shuriken, as you might know, is either a dart or a throwing star.
Solomon's Ring (FF8): Solomon was a Hebrew king (David's son, and the one who built the first Jewish Temple in Jerusalem). He was famed for being the wisest man to ever live. His ring, etched with a secret name of God, supposedly had amazing powers; the most famous thing he did with it was to trap Asmodeus, king of the demons, to find out where to find the Shamir worm. The worm was necessary to build the Temple, since God told him not to use any iron implements to do it. The Shamir worm had the property that if you placed it on stone, the stone would split in two!
Soma Drop (FF4): Soma is a fictional hallucinatory drug used in Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel, Brave New World. Arcanus Dominus adds: Soma is the beverage of the gods in Hindu and Vedic mythology (which is why Huxley used the name for a drug in "Brave New World"). Marco Bastianello adds that "soma" is ancient Greek for "body" or possibly "corpse", which is where Huxley may have gotten the term. Mark Scrudder notes that there's a modern medicine called Soma, which is primarily used as a muscle relaxant.
Sortilege (Tactics) is French for 'magic'.
Spartan (FF10): One of Rikku's weapons. A Spartan is a citizen of Sparta. In ancient Greek times, Sparta was a city-state which engaged in several wars with Athens. Spartans are considered to have extremely austere (severely simple) tastes, and the word exists in the English dictionary with a similar connotation. Thanks to Moogle Fan for reminding me.
Spirit Lance: See Longinus.
Tao Robe (FF6): Taoism is an Eastern philosophy based on the teachings of Lao-Tzu in the 6th century B.C. In FF6j, it's called "Doushi no Robe". Maou adds: Traditionally, the meaning of Doushi would be a Daoist priest, but Square has used Doushi to mean "Mage," as in Aka Doushi (Red Mage), etc. It could be either.
Taotie: (FFCC): From onikuwagata:Taotie is a mystic Chinese symbol from the Shang Dynasty that symbolizes luck and prosperity and also is supposed to represent a magical creature of legend.
Thanatos Lance (FF10): Moogle Fan writes: "In Greek myth, the god of sleep, Hypnos, and his brother, the god of death, Thanatos, lived in the underworld, Hades, near the River Styx. They sometimes would help people to cross through the underworld."
Thor Hammer: Also known as "Mjolnir", Thor's Hammer could instantly kill any giant (they were the enemies of the gods, with whom they battle at Ragnarok) and never missed. Thor could throw it at the enemies and it would return to him, as it does in FF5. Also I've heard that a lightning bolt is emitted from Mjolnir as it is thrown... this would explain the "LIT2" magic cast by it in FF1.
Tintinabar (FF6): From WTG3: This comes from the word 'tintinnabul' which just means a small, tinkling bell; this also links it to the 'Cat's Bell' relic from FF7.
Trident: A spear for the Dragoon. It's a large three-pronged fork wielded by the sea god Poseidon.
Tyrving (FF3): From Cactuberry: Actually spelled Tyrfing. It's a cursed sword made by dwarves. Once unsheathed, it must kill someone in order to sheathe it back in. In FF3j, the dwarves sell you these swords; also considered a "magic" sword since it can be equipped by the Red Mage.
Ulysses (FF8): From Dominic Jesse: Named after the Greek hero of Homer's Odyssey. See also Irvine's Guns.
Vajra (FFTA): From Cactuberry: This is the thunderbolt of Indra, the Hindu thunder god.
Vitanova (FFTA): From Cactuberry: Latin for "New Life" (?) Rabies adds: "believe the origin of its name could possibly be related to Italian writer Dante’s work, the Vita Nuova. This seems to correspond to previous references by Square Enix to Dante's work. Renewed life is a major theme in the Vita Nuova."
Vorpal Blade (FF1): From Cactuberry: From the poem "Jabberwocky" in the book "Through the Looking Glass and What Alice found There" by Lewis Carroll.
Winchester: Moogle Fan mentions that there's a fairly famous firearm company called this.
Wygar (FFTA): iwsfutcmd says: "This is the name of King Arthur's armored tunic.".
Yagyu Darkrood: From Moogle Fan: "Yagyu means 'buffalo' in Japanese, and Yagyu Munenori was a sword arts instructor in the Tokugawa era of Japan."
Yoichi's Bow:(FF2, FF4, FF5) OK, for this one, let's pass the mike to FF5 grand master Tat Nakao... [Tat: Maybe it was the name of the person who shot the arrow at the battle of Genpei. I think it was in "Ougi no Mato". Mato = Target, and Ougi = fan. The simple story was that Genji was fighting against Heike at Seto Naikai (the Inland Sea), and Heike was on the sea and Genji was on the shore (maybe it was the other way around). Since the sun began to fall, the one on the sea thought to have entertainment. They let one woman with one pole aboard the small boat (and this pole had Ougi (fan) at the tip). She rowed the boat near the shore and asked someone on the shore to shoot the fan. And I think Yoichi was nominated to do so, and he did it. I *THINK* this person was Yoichi, but I'm not sure.... It was 8th grade that I learned this in school. (And I wasn't good at Kokugo)] ahenishott21 adds that at the end of FF2, a Yoichi was seen in the credits possibly suggesting the bow was named in Homage to one of the team and to the legendary Yoichi.
Zantetsuken: Odin's sword in various games. It's Japanese for "Iron Cutting Sword" or (as translated in FF7) "Steel-Bladed Sword". Mush Mordan notes that this may be just a Japanese take on Excalibur, whose name in a debased form of Celtic means "the iron/steel cutting sword".
Zephyr Cape (FF6): Zephyr was the gentle West Wind. The word "zephyr" can also mean a gentle wind or breeze.
Zeus' Rage: Zeus was the king of the Greek gods and known to hurl thunderbolts, hence this item casting thunder magic.