The sword called Gram is also known as Balmung. In Norse lore, Gram was the name of the sword that Sigurd (Siegfried) used to kill the dragon Fafnir. It was forged by Weyland The Smith and originally belonged to his father, Sigmund, who received it in the hall of the Volsung after pulling it out of a log into which Odin had stuck it—nobody else could pull it out. The sword was destroyed and reforged at least once. After it was reforged, it clove an anvil in half. See Sigurd for more details on the story of Siegfried and Fafnir.
In the Nibelungenlied, Siegfried's sword is called Balmung; in Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle, it is called Nothung.
Balmung/Gram in Castlevania
Seigfried's sword appears frequently in Castlevania under the name Gram or Balmung. When it is called Gram, it plays pretty much like a standard horizontal slashing sword. When it is called Balmung, it appears as an absolutely massive sword. In Aria of Sorrow, there is a sword called Gram and a sword called Balmung. While this may be redundant, one can consider one of them to represent the sword from Norse mythology, while the other is from the Nibelungenlied.
Appearance in Symphony of the Night (Gram)
The sword called Gram is the strongest "standard" sword in the game. It is probably strong enough to slay a dragon. It is slightly stronger than the sword called Harper and has no special abilities. It can be found in a room on the highest floor of the Reverse Colosseum in between the two save points (somewhat closer to the left save point).
Appearance in Aria of Sorrow (Gram)
This is a standard horizontal slashing sword. It is the strongest and most expensive sword that can be purchased at Hammer's Shop with the exception of Ascalon, which costs three times as much. It takes Hammer a while to find this sword and is not available in the earlier parts of the game. It is only available at Hammer's shop.
It is slightly stronger and otherwise identical to the Mystletain. As in Symphony of the Night, it is the most powerful horizontal slashing sword that doesn't have any special capabilities. The next strongest horizontal slashing sword is the Burtgang, which is a little bit smaller but a good degree stronger and also gives a small defense and constitution boost.
Appearance in Aria of Sorrow (Balmung)
The Balmung can be considered a "supersized" version of Gram. It is the largest sword in the game by far (larger than Soma). It is not swung so much as "summonned" directly in front of Soma. It has an attack of an even +100. It is by no means the most powerfull sword in the game though, as their are several "overhead" swords that are more powerfull than it, the next most powerfull being the Final Sword. It is also not quite as powerfull as the other main dragon-slaying sword Ascalon, though it is much larger.
This sword is one of the rewards found in The Arena. It is at the end of the "middle" hallway by the elevator shaft. This nasty hallway consists of spikes and conveyor belts and is infested with Medusa Heads, Erinys, and Arc Demons. Once you reach the end of the room, you have to jump over a slamming spiked trap to claim your prize, then re-enter the hallway and attempt to survive it again and rush to the nearest save point. This sword may come in very handy in the battle with the giant Balore though.
Appearance in Dawn of Sorrow (Balmung)
The Balmung in Dawn of Sorrow is quite a bit different from the one in Aria of Sorrow. It is a standard Great Sword and can be created by evolving an Ascalon by sacrifing a Gergoth soul. This may be a painfull sacrifice, since the Gergoth's soul can only be gained once in a game and its continuous energy beam can be very usefull. But since the Gergoth Soul only has one level, it only makes sense to create a Balmung once you've acquired a second one in Hard Mode. This will allow several even more powerfull great swords to be created in Hard Mode. Adding a Final Guard soul will evolve it into a Final Sword, which can later be evolved into the king great sword, Claimh Solais. The evolution chain for creating a Balmung is Claymore -> Falchion -> Great Sword -> Durandal -> Dainself -> Ascalon -> Balmung. Creating one from scratch involves purchasing a Claymore at Hammer's Shop, and adding a Warg, Great Armor, Valkyrie, Lilith, Draghignazzo, and a Gergoth soul. It's special move is a standard dash attack.
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