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"Buster?"

Posted: 21st February 2017 06:01

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"Bust" is kind of a ...hm. It's like...it's something that young English speakers tend to say, where someone more ...eh...I don't know. More eloquent or mature, I guess six of one half dozen of the other, they'd use something like "Break," or "Shatter."

There's lots of ways the word "bust" can be used...I wonder why it is chosen to refer to swords so often in Final Fantasy/Secret of Mana (Remember the Dragon Buster? Also the name of a classic arcade game, I thought), etc.?

...I never thought of what happens to anything when I divide it with a blade as "busting" it. Where I come from, when we say something is "busted," we simply mean that it is incapable of performing the function it was designed for. "Hey, can we make some toast?" "No, the toaster's busted, we have to get a new one/get it fixed/etc."

...How did we end up with the Buster Sword, I guess is what this thread is all abouts.

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Posted: 21st February 2017 15:04

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Well, it seems like "Buster" is probably the most generally accepted Romanization of the original Japanese, from a brief Google search. So it would appear that the name was intentional, or at the very least has not been re-Romanized over the years. How they landed on that name is anyone's guess, but we're talking about a pretty big, mean sword here. "Busting" things could well be within its purview. smile.gif

Like you say, "bust" can be used for a lot of things as a verb. It could be "break," like the breakage of something solid like a stone or a bone; could be "split," specifically in the sense of something fleshy like a fruit or something else living, like a person or animal. In any event, it's certainly a more unique descriptor than less evocative language like "break" or "shatter," even though it serves a similar purpose, so it works!

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Posted: 21st February 2017 15:07

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I've always been a big fan of these etymological questions, especially in FF games.

It's a fair question, and I think the short and sweet answer is "nobody knows for certain." There are however a few ideas floating around:

1. It is what it is - a buster, something that busts skulls open and bashes heads in! If this is the only origin, then there's not much reason for it over 'breaker' or 'shatterer'. Although, I think "buster sword" has a nicer ring to it - partly because of the repeated 's' sound.

2. It's a corrupted translation and should have said "bastard sword". A bastard sword is another name for a large sword - its meaning has varied over time, but it can often mean a "hand-and-a-half" sword, i.e. not quite a two handed sword, but a big one. If this is the origin, you could argue whether the corruption was bad translation, or a deliberate stylistic change.

3.Tetsuya Nomura has purportedly said that he wanted Cloud's imagery to reflect legendary samurai Musashi Miyamoto - who famously won a duel using a bokken (practice sword) carved out of a wooden boat oar - i.e. a pretty massive, wedge like sword - like the buster sword. Another name for a bokken or practice sword is a 'waster sword' - so waster + bokken = buster.

I'll try and find links to support the above when I get home later. Personally, I think the true answer is a combination taking inspiration from of all of the above.

[EDIT] - here's the best link I have regarding Nomura - the quotes you want are about half way down the article. http://shmuplations.com/ff7/

This post has been edited by Stiltzkin on 21st February 2017 20:29

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Posted: 21st February 2017 15:12

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2. It's a corrupted translation and should have said "bastard sword". A bastard sword is another name for a large sword - its meaning has varied over time, but it can often mean a "hand-and-a-half" sword, i.e. not quite a two handed sword, but a big one. If this is the origin, you could argue whether the corruption was bad translation, or a deliberate stylistic change.


A bastard sword is a sword that has slightly smaller than a two-handed blade and a pommel grip handle. It can be used one handed (it is technically light enough), or you can grip the handle and the "pommel" (bally thing on the bottom of the handle) and swing it two-handed for extra force to your swing. I wonder if there will ever be "Bastard Baseball Bats." Hm...

Quote
3.Tetsuya Nomura has purportedly said that he wanted Cloud's imagery to reflect legendary samurai Musashi Miyamoto - who famously won a duel using a bokken (practice sword) carved out of a wooden boat oar - i.e. a pretty massive, wedge like sword - like the buster sword. Another name for a bokken or practice sword is a 'waste sword' - so waster + bokken = buster.


How fascinating. So it's kind of a portmantau word smashed together, in that way of looking at it...I've read about Musashi Miyamoto too, in a historical style manga.

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Posted: 21st February 2017 15:22

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Quote (Stiltzkin @ 21st February 2017 09:07)
2. It's a corrupted translation and should have said "bastard sword". A bastard sword is another name for a large sword - its meaning has varied over time, but it can often mean a "hand-and-a-half" sword, i.e. not quite a two handed sword, but a big one. If this is the origin, you could argue whether the corruption was bad translation, or a deliberate stylistic change.

I saw some notes about this when Googling around as well, and it makes sense, but I (maybe just by preference) don't buy into it fully. It seems too easy for something that was designed to be far more fanciful than a bastard sword. But it does make sense as an explanation, to be sure!

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Posted: 21st February 2017 20:46

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Quote (Rangers51 @ 21st February 2017 16:22)
Quote (Stiltzkin @ 21st February 2017 09:07)
2. It's a corrupted translation and should have said "bastard sword". A bastard sword is another name for a large sword - its meaning has varied over time, but it can often mean a "hand-and-a-half" sword, i.e. not quite a two handed sword, but a big one. If this is the origin, you could argue whether the corruption was bad translation, or a deliberate stylistic change.

I saw some notes about this when Googling around as well, and it makes sense, but I (maybe just by preference) don't buy into it fully. It seems too easy for something that was designed to be far more fanciful than a bastard sword. But it does make sense as an explanation, to be sure!

Agreed, it seems too convenient. Then again, we all know how many mistranslations have crept into FF games over the years, VII being no exception.

However, one thing I have discovered when delving deeper due to this thread is that the original design of the Buster Sword was much smaller and thinner than the final version we know so well - so, in effect, it would have been much, much, closer in size to an actual bastard sword, which Spoony describes in more detail in his post above. Throws the cat amongst the pigeons...


And, on a slightly more bizarre twist, it would appear (though I wholeheartedly admit I am relying on the Interwebz here because I know absolutely ZERO Japanese) that the romanised version of the original kanji is "basuta". Basuta is supposedly translated to "baster" (I have no idea how, because that seems utter cack. Baster? As in what, a turkey baster!?), and, hence, "buster" - I think this leads into R51's post above. But...."basuta" is also used several times as the romanisation of kanji for "bus station" and "bus terminal". So, does Cloud really wield the Bus Sword?

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Posted: 21st February 2017 20:49

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Is it supposed to be Italian?

The "Basta" Sword... (lit. "stop," lol)

But then, that's Shadow's final weapon from VI

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