The legendary blade of King Arthur, Excalibur, is one of many weapons with real-world inspirations routinely appearing throughout the Final Fantasy series. Along with the iconic katana Masamune (which takes its name from the legendary Japanese blacksmith) and the spear Gugnir (the mythical weapon of the Norse god Odin), Excalibur is one of the most powerful weapons players can find in nearly every one of the mainline games in the Final Fantasy series and often the penultimate weapon (and occasionally ultimate weapon) for the games’ protagonists. Like the purported real-world blade from which it takes its name, Excalibur in Final Fantasy is a symbol of power and justice.
Of course, while most appearances the sword makes in the game resemble what many would imagine an all-powerful sword to look like, some Final Fantasy titles opt to have Excalibur take a drastically different form. Further, there are two games in the series that feature the weapon not as an equippable item for a character but instead as part of a summon spell. Notably, Final Fantasy IX includes two different versions of Excalibur, with the second one being one of the game’s most difficult-to-obtain super weapons.
The original appearance of Excalibur in the first Final Fantasy marks it as that game’s penultimate weapon and the best sword for the Knight class. The only blade that surpasses it in terms of sheer power is the Masamune, though only in terms of its base stats. Final Fantasy‘s first Excalibur is an excellent weapon, dealing bonus damage to all enemy types and negating all elemental affinities and weaknesses thanks to its alignment with all four elemental types. Later versions of the first Final Fantasy would include more powerful weapons (such as Ragnarok), but in the original Famicom and NES releases of Final Fantasy, Excalibur is the game’s ultimate sword.
Final Fantasy II
The version of Excalibur that appears in Final Fantasy II is interesting in that there are actually two different ways that players can acquire it. As the sacred treasure of the Dragoons, the blade is traditionally passed down within their ranks at Castle Deist. The standard way to acquire the blade is to head back to Castle Desit after defeating the Emperor and sending him to hell at Castle Palamecia. Talking to Elina and asking about the Dragoonsusing the game’s Password system will see her gift Firion with Excalibur. However, if players happen to miss grabbing the blade before entering the Jade Passage and Pandaemonium, it’s possible to acquire Excalibur as a drop from the ultra-powerful Iron Giant secret boss.
Final Fantasy III
Like all of the game’s most powerful weapons and equipment, Final Fantasy III‘s version of Excalibur resides within the halls of the forbidden realm of Eureka, accessible within the game’s final dungeon the Crystal Palace. Players must first defeat the General boss before they can earn the blade, but thankfully he is one of the easier of Final Fantasy III‘s endgame bosses. The sword itself is one of the most powerful weapons in the game, boasting an impressive base attack power of 137 and granting its wielder a +5 bonus to all stats. Using a dual-wielding class and equipping both Excalibur and Ragnarok (also obtainable within Eureka) is an almost unbeatable combo.
Final Fantasy IV
The version of Excalibur that appears in Final Fantasy IV is one of Cecil’s best weapons and is actually the evolution of the sword he receives upon becoming a Paladin. While visiting the Land of Summons/Feymarch within the Underworld, grabbing the Rat Tail will start the sequence of events necessary to obtain the legendary blade. Taking the Rat Tail and exchanging it with the miner in the cave southeast of the town of Mythril (or Silvera, depending on which version of Final Fantasy IV you’re playing) will reward players with the Adamant Ore. Taking this ore and giving it to the blacksmith south of the Dwarven Castle in the Underworld along with the Legend sword will transform it into Excalibur.
Final Fantasy V
Excalibur is one of the 12 legendary sealed weapons residing within the Sealed Castle. Once Exdeath merges the two worlds of Final Fantasy V, players enter the final stretch of the game and need to complete a series of tasks, earning access to 3 sealed weapons with each successful mission. Each of Final Fantasy V’s weapon types has a respective legendary sealed weapon, and Excalibur is the ultimate knight sword in the game (with Masamune being the ultimate katana. Excalibur in this game has a Holy elemental affinity (as it does in many other Final Fantasy games) and grants a bonus to the wielder’s strength stat. Equipping it on a Mystic Knight and pairing it with the Holy spell can deal excellent damage to some of Exdeath’s lieutenant’s players’ faces on the way to the big bad himself.
Final Fantasy VI
Excalibur is one of the final pieces of equipment players will acquire within Kefka’s Tower and one of the most powerful swords available in Final Fantasy VI. Unlike most other mainline games, Final Fantasy VI‘s Excalibur doesn’t reside within a treasure chest or require transforming an old weapon. Instead, this game’s version of the legendary blade is the reward that drops after defeating a member of the god-like Warring Triad — The Goddess. As in previous series games, Final Fantasy VI‘s Excalibur has a Holy-elemental affinity and grants a bonus to several of the wielder’s stats. Later versions of the game would introduce several swords more powerful than Excalibur, but in the Super Famicom/SNES original Excalibur is only surpassed by Illumina and the Atma/Ultima Weapon.
Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII is the first game in the series to not include Excalibur as one of the protagonist’s ultimate weapons. Instead, Excalibur features as the final part of the game’s most powerful summon spell, Knights of the Round. Appropriately, the blade is wielded by its original owner King Arthur as he strikes the final blow of the 13-hit summon spell to deal 9999 damage. Cumulatively, the summon spell can deal a total of 129,987 damage at higher levels between the 12 Knights of the Round Table and the final killing blow from King Arthur.
Final Fantasy VIII
Similarly, Final Fantasy VIII also chooses not to include Excalibur as an equippable weapon. Instead, the blade is one of many legendary armaments that the Gilgamesh Guardian Force brings into battle. After acquiring the Odin Guardian Force in Final Fantasy VIII, players will have the legendary summon appear randomly to execute their Zantetsuken attack. After the final battle with Seifer, Odin transforms into Gilgamesh. Afterward, instead of a random battle where Odin would have normally shown up, Gilgamesh appears to use one of his legendary blades. In addition to Excalibur, Gilgamesh also has the dummy version the Excalipoor, which deals only a paltry amount of damage instead of instantly killing enemies.
Final Fantasy IX
Final Fantasy IX‘s version of the legendary Excalibur is unique in the series for featuring not one, but two different versions of the blade. The standard Excalibur is Steiner’s standard ultimate weapon and is only obtainable after completing a lengthy side quest. As in other mainline Final Fantasy games, the blade has a Holy-elemental affinity and provides a boost to certain stats. Further, it also teaches Steiner the powerful Climhazzard Sword Art ability that he can use to deal massive damage to foes. The other version of Excalibur in Final Fantasy IX, Excalibur II, is the game’s most powerful weapon and also its greatest challenge. To obtain Excalibur II, players must reach the game’s final area in under 12 hours, where the blade waits for Steiner as his true ultimate weapon.
Final Fantasy X
Like Final Fantasy IV‘s Excalibur, the version of the blade in Final Fantasy X comes to fruition after transforming another weapon. Once players can customize weapons and impart auto-abilities onto them, the Break Damage Limit becomes an option for Tidus to assign to a sword. Taking the normal damage cap of 9999 and expanding it to 99,999, Break Damage Limit is one of the best auto-abilities for a weapon but it carries the heavy cost of 60 Dark Matters to synthesize. Accordingly, most players won’t be able to acquire that many of the items until late into the game. Once Tidus adds Break Damage Limit to any of his previous swords, the blade transforms into Excalibur. Interestingly, Excalibur in Final Fantasy X shares its appearance with the Brotherhood weapon that Wakka gifts Tidus at the adventure’s outset.
Final Fantasy XI
Like other weapons in Final Fantasy XI, the player’s ability to equip Excalibur depends on the class that they choose when starting a new character. Final Fantasy XI‘s version of the legendary blade is the Relic weapon for the Red Mage and Paladin classes and becomes equippable after reaching 75 (and completing the prerequisite quest). Like Final Fantasy X, earning the items to craft Excalibur in Final Fantasy XI is an extremely lengthy process and quite difficult. Though it is technically the most powerful sword in the game based on pure base damage numbers, there are other swords that are more beneficial to both the Paladin and Red Mage classes.
Final Fantasy XII
Excalibur exists as one of the most powerful greatswords in Final Fantasy XII and is one of the many treasures players will find within the Great Crystal of Ivalice. Again the blade has a Holy-elemental affinity and an impressive base attack power that players can boost by 50% through equipping the White Robes armor. As is the case with most substantial upgrades in Final Fantasy XII, players must first acquire the Excalibur license before they can equip the weapon. That said, it’s incredibly worthwhile to have one character with the Knight class and Excalibur and White Robes equipped.
Final Fantasy XIV
Final Fantasy XIV‘s version of Excalibur is again the ultimate weapon for a specific class. As in Final Fantasy XI, the Paladin class are the ones capable of wielding Excalibur and the blade is Final Fantasy XIV‘s Zodiac Weapon for these holy knights. Players will acquire the base version of the blade from the His Dark Materia quest and can then further upgrade it to the stronger Excalibur Zeta.
Final Fantasy XVI
Alongside several other iconic series weapons, Excalibur makes a return appearance as one of Clive’s many available swords in Final Fantasy XVI. Players will acquire the blueprints for the blade as a reward for completing the Blacksmith’s Blues II side quest and subsequently be able to have Blackthorne forge the blade. However, before being able to forge the Excalibur, players will need to have first completed the Grimalkin and Bomb King hunts for two of the necessary crafting materials. The legendary blade has an attack power of 268, which is impressive for the time that most players will obtain the blade but is quickly outclassed by the Masamune and Gotterdammerung.