Castlevania has traditionally been about a Belmont and their whip. This has helped distinguish the series from many other properties. Symphony of the Night was the first game to contain a sword-wielding playable character and swords have been wielded by protagonists in every game since.
Game specific information
Although Alucard is able to wield a large variety of weapons, he is most comfortable with his family heirloom, the Alucard Sword. He is able to perform a special warp-attack with this sword. He is equipped with this powerful sword at the beginning of the game until Death steals it. After this, he finds a multitude of swords. On his quest to find his stolen sword, he will first encounter the Alucart Sword, which resembles the family heirloom, but is pathetically weak and does not have its special attack. Equipping this sword along with the rest of the Alucart equipment though will give him a sizable increase in Luck though. He will eventually reclaim his true sword from Death in the Reverse Mine.
The first basic one-handed sword he is likely to find is the Short Sword, which will likely be his only sword for a while until he earns the slightly longer and more powerful Gladius after defeating the Doppleganger. This weapon may then be replaced by increasingly strong identical historical swords such as the Scimitar, Cutlass, Saber, Falchion, Broadsword, Bekatowa, Damascus Sword, Bastard Sword, and Talwar. These in turn can be replaced with even stronger similar fictional swords that have flash swing effects (but no special abilities), including the Sword of Hador, Luminus, Harper, and Gram. There are other similar swords to these that also affect your other stats, including the Hunter Sword (reduces defense slightly), Dark Blade (increases defense slightly).
By the time he reaches the Long Library, he may have stumbled across a Rapier, which is a bit different than the standard swords. He makes a quicker "stabbing" motion and is also able to make this stabbing motion extremely rapidly in a single motion without consuming any magic, which can quickly wears down a foe's defenses. The Were Bane which he can take from a Hunting Girl is similar, more powerful, and also does extra damage to werebeasts (Werewolves and Were-Panthers).
Another small class of one-handed swords swing extremely rapidly in a diagonal arcing motion. These swings can performed many times in a second and can be swung while walking. The Vorpal Blade (dropped by an Archer) is the first one that can be found. The ultimate Crissaegrim (dropped by Schmoo) is even faster and stronger. The smaller Holbein Dagger is a similar weapon, though not technically a sword.
Alucard can also wield powerful one-handed elemental swords, including the Firebrand (and its more powerful cousin, the Marsil), Icebrand, Thunderbrand, Mormegil (Black Sword), Holy Sword, Tyrfing (Cursed Sword, reduces your attack strength), Stone Sword (can turn enemies to stone), and the Terminus Est (can poison enemies). Most of these swords do elemental damage and have a special elemental attack. The Firebrand, Icebrand, and Thunderbrand can be bought from the Master Librarian and are well worth saving up for. There are no wind or earth elemental swords in this game though.
Some of the one-handed swords Alucard obtains can be thrown and return. The slow-swinging Shotel can be swung or thrown. The Heaven Sword is always thrown and has a couple special moves. The Rune Sword is the most powerful throwing sword, is thrown in a wide arc, and its path spells out "Verboten", the German word for "Forbidden".
Alucard has a number of one-handed swords with unique moves, abilities, and properties. The Gurthang gets stronger when bloodied. The Mourneblade steals the souls of those it attacks, healing Alucard in the process. The Muramasa increases in strength the more blood it absorbs. The Mablung Sword can be used in place of a Shield Rod and combined with different shields for special affects. The Badelaire gets stronger the more time has passed. The slow Jewel Sword causes enemies to drop jewels frequently and you can cause coins to materialize with a special swing.
Unlike in other games, Alucard can equip different weapons in either of his hands. Two-handed swords will require both of these hands though. The terrible Red Rust, which fails to swing properly every now and then, is the first such sword encountered. While there are a few more worthless two-handed swords (Namakura (worse than Red Rust) and Takemitsu), most of the other ones are nice and have a special ability to compensate for the use of the extra hand. The Sword of Dawn has the ability to summon an undead army with a variety of weapons to fight by your side (none that carry their own swords though). The most powerful two-handed sword would probably be the Masamune.
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- Main article: Sword Familiar
Alucard can also control a Sword Familiar. It hovers around and slices enemies every now and then. After it levels up enough, it trusts Alucard enough to allow him to wield him with his own hands.
Reinhart utilizes a Short Sword to beat back at enemies that have gotten a little too close for their primary weapons to deal with.
Although no playable character wields a sword in this game, Alucard appears and is equipped with his trusty Alucard Sword and tests Sonia Belmont's skills with it.
Nathan Graves is primarily a whip-wielder. However, the Mars card does enable him to transform his whip into other weapons, including various elemental swords. This includes a Fire Sword, Ice Sword, Rose Sword, Wind elemental sword, and a Holy Sword.
Although not a playable character, Nathan's rival/friend Hugh Baldwin's primary weapon is a very long sword.
Joachim Armster is able to control five Symbiotic Swords at the same time that revolve around him. He has two different styles of attack. He can send the swords to successively slash the targeted enemies or to pierce them. He can also charge his sword strikes. With sufficient magic, he can release a powerful beam from his swords or send them all out slashing everything depending on his stance.
Soma Cruz can use a large variety of weapons like Alucard could. The swords vary in shape, size, and speed much more than those in Symphony of the Night so that they are almost all distinguishable from each other. Some of the swords do have special attributes, but none of them have special attacks that they can perform as in Symphony. All weapons in this game (including swords, axes, spears etc) deal out Sword-type damage, as opposed to being divided into CUT and HIT damage as in Symphony of the Night.
Many of Soma's swords are swung horizontally in front of him like most of Alucard's one-handed swords. Unfortunately, these swords cannot be swung diagonally downwards as they could in Symphony of the Night.
Since Soma does not wield two-handed as Alucard could, Two Handed Swords distinguish themselves by how they move, not by how many hands they take up in the inventory screen. These swords require a lot of strength to swing and are swung overhead in a similar way to Nathan Graves used his swords. This is a very different swing from anything found in Symphony of the Night. None of these swords play similarly to the way they did in Symphony.
There are several more fencing-style swords in this game than there were in Symphony of the Night. These swords perform a stabbing motion into the enemy and are essentially knives with a longer reach.
A new type of sword is introduced in this game, a Whip Sword. This sword swings like a sword, but then chains extend the sword's reach to that similar to a Belmont's whip. Since it is swung horizontally instead of whipped forward, it is somewhat slower than Julius's whip. This game only contains one Whip Sword, but Dawn of Sorrow later expands on the class.
The Valmanway is very similar to the Vorpal Blade and Crissaegrim from Symphony of the Night. Pressing it launches a vortex-like flurry of swings. It can also be used while running like the earlier swords could.
Many of Soma's weapons from Aria of Sorrow reappear in Dawn of Sorrow. To make up for the lack of special moves from the previous game, every weapon in this game is given a special Mind Power consuming attack. Yoko Belnades is also able to fuse Soma's swords with Souls to make them more powerful.
As in earlier games, basic swords swing their blades in a horizontal motion damaging whatever they can hit that is front of Soma. In this game, they are simply classified as "Swords". The special move for most of these swords involves Soma dashing forwards while attacking with them.
Great Swords are massive two handed swords that are swung from behind Soma's back to in front of him similar to an axe-swing. They are basically like the Overhead Swords found in Aria of Sorrow, except they tend to be slower and the animation shows the struggle required to swing these weapons much better. The special move for most of these swords involves Soma dashing forwards while attacking with them.
Fencing style swords can also be found in this game, much like in earlier games. They can be evolved into Whip Swords. These swords move in more of a thrusting motion rather than a swinging motion found in Aria of Sorrow. The special move for most of these swords involves Soma dashing forwards while attacking with them.
Swords of Japanese origin were separated from the Overhead Sword class of Aria of Sorrow into a new class of weapons. These Katanas are rapidly swung straight out of their holsters at Soma's side towards a point in front of and above his head. The special move for most of these swords involves Soma seemingly strike above his head and directly in front of him simultaneously. The named Katanas in particular, can hit twice in a row on the ending blow when the attack button is held down, but this can only be done in Aria of Sorrow.
Two guardian souls involve swords and familiars. The Alastor soul allows you to use Alastor like a Sword Familiar. The Great Armor soul has the Great Armor shadowing you. It attacks with its sword whenever you attack.
Alucard makes an appearance in Dawn of Sorrow and is equipped with his trusty Alucard Sword. He is able to use its special warp attack and diagonally swing it downwards just like he could in Symphony of the Night.
Hector is another character who can wield just about anything other than a whip. He builds his owns swords. Each type of sword have different combo sequences associated with them. Classes of swords include standard swords, large swords, and fencing swords.
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Jonathan Morris is the first character introduced who is equally comfortable with a sword as he is with a whip. He can pretty much use any weapon. In previews of the game, he can be seen wielding what looks like a standard Short Sword, as well as a fast longer horizontal sword. A Claymore is the first sword he can have and can be used in a full swing hacking motion much like that of Dawn of Sorrow. It is nearly twice as strong as the Steel Whip he starts out with. A variety of Claymore-like weapons of various colors, speeds, and lengths can also be seen in the previews. He is also able to wield a Damascus Sword, among many others.
Although Charlotte doesn't wield swords in her hands, she can summon them from spellbooks, reminiscent of the weapon books floating around in the Long Library of Symphony of the Night. The weapon book she starts out with, Encyclopedia, does not contain a sword, though. In another book, a Long Sword comes straight out of her book along with two weaker axes diagonally upward and downward. In another, a single short Broadsword comes out.
Instead of a large inventory of swords of various sizes and shapes at her disposal, Shanoa uses a few basic sword type glyphs in Order of Ecclesia. Confodere is a basic rapier glyph, while Secare is a basic one handed swinging sword glyph.