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Dead Counter sword cross

Corvo and his opponent fight with swords.

Swords are the only melee weapons available in Dishonored, and are part of the standard equipment for most combatants, including the City Watch, Overseers, Whalers, Daud and Corvo Attano.

Variants

City Watch Sword

City Watch Sword

The City Watch Sword is a standardized sword made from industrial steel, reliable and utilitarian. It is the first weapon that Corvo finds, during his escape from Coldridge Prison, and it can be used until he acquires his personal sword from a stash in the Dunwall Sewers.

Officer's Sword

Officer Sword

The Officer's Sword is Corvo's sword in the prologue and can be wielded again if he doesn't pick up a City Watch Sword in Coldridge Prison. He can get it from one of the Officers that spawn after the bomb goes off. It can also be found in the Flooded District if Corvo hasn't picked up another sword by the time he encounters City Watch Officers. It is the only sword without an image and a description in the inventory.

In Dishonored 2, Emily Kaldwin uses an Officer's Sword in the tutorial.

Corvo's Folding Blade

Corvo's Folding Blade
Corvo's Folding Blade is the primary right-hand weapon for most of Dishonored. Its mechanism is resilient and efficient for both stealthy assassinations and open melee combat. This utility combined with its dense metal makes it perfect for defensive maneuvers. It can be upgraded by Piero Joplin for 600 coins, to be more effective at "locking blades" and pushing away enemies.

Overseer's Sabre

Overseer Blade
The Overseer's Sabre is found at the start of The Flooded District. It can be completely bypassed if Corvo wishes. The blade, standard issue for all Overseers, is made from fine Tyvian ores, carved with religious symbols to protect its user against any influences of the Void, and designed to function similarly to the City Watch Sword. If Daud purchases a certain favor, he can use this sword during A Stay of Execution for Lizzy.

Assassin's Blade

Assassin's Blade
The Assassin's Blade is found nearby the Overseer's Sabre in the Flooded District. It is simple with knurling near the hilt and is perfect for the fast, deadly moves performed by Assassins. This is the weapon Daud uses during his time as a Whaler.

Gang Cleaver

Gang Cleaver
If Corvo leaves Daud's stronghold without retrieving his gear or picking up a sword, he can find a Gang Cleaver, a rough cleaver used by street bandits. This weapon hacks more than it slashes. Near the Rudshore Gate, Corvo can obtain the cleaver by killing or knocking out the two looters on the balcony that overlooks the patrolling tallboys.

Combat

Damage

All swords share the same damage output. Under normal difficulty, common City Watch Guards will die after three to four hits, although they will most likely be killed by a counterattack before that.

Attack

Corvo normally slashes with his blade when he does not perform a counter or assassination maneuver. There are four slash animations when Corvo is standing, but only one reverse grip attack while he is crouching.

Block

Block only works on sword strikes, and it may be bypassed if enemies crouch and then attack. However, if Corvo manages to perform a well-timed block, enemies will be thrown off-balance, allowing him to deliver a fatal counterattack. Despite this, not all enemies can be instantly killed in this way.

Dismemberment

It is possible to dismember enemies during combat. Often, an enemy can be dismembered no matter how many times he is hit.  However, if Corvo slashes them continuously, even while aiming at a particular limb, Corvo will only kill the enemy with the same animation as a counterattack.  In order to dismember an enemy, follow these steps:

  1. Stun or parry the enemy.
  2. Once the enemy is off guard, target a limb. To successfully dismember the limb, Corvo must step away from the target and slash the body part.  If Corvo stands too close, the enemy will be killed.
  3. The limbs of the various enemies are jointed, so they need to be hit in the correct spot, as follows: for arms, aim below the elbow; for legs, aim below the knee, or slash the foot; for heads, slashing any part of the head will cause it to fall off; for torsos, aim below the waist, slicing the enemy in half.

Dismembering an enemy does not work every time. Furthermore, it is unwise to attempt this when fighting large groups of enemies, unless Blood Thirsty has been fully upgraded.

The resulting limb can be used as a distraction similarly to bottles or other objects in the environment. Enemies react to the sound normally, but also react as if a dead body was found.

Only one of the instant-kill animations dismembers an enemy every single time. 

Locking Blades

When Corvo and his opponents strike at the same time, they will lock blades. If Corvo can overpower his opponent by continuously attacking, he can throw them off-balance, similar to using a well-timed block. Corvo can also be thrown off-balance, though he is not as vulnerable as his enemies in this case.

Fatal Attack

If Corvo's target does not detect his approach, he will be able to assassinate them, causing instant death. Only humanoid enemies suffer a special death animation, with wolfhounds simply dying as Corvo swings his sword. It is impossible to deliver such an attack to a river krust, as they will not open their shells until they are aware of a threat.

Corvo can perform drop assassinations (if he is above an enemy) by leaping from above and landing on his target, which lets Corvo drive his sword through them. A successful drop assassination also prevents Corvo from suffering any fall damage. Agility facilitates the process, and with the power Corvo can perform drop assassinations even while on the same ground as the enemy, by jumping twice.

After Corvo successfully throws an enemy off-balance, he can rush forward and deliver a fatal attack. This can be done by blocking their attacks, winning a blade-locking, or through violent and continuous attacking.

The Royal Interrogator is immune to this type of fatal attack, though he is still susceptible to assassination and drop-assassination.

City Watch Officers have a brief period of vulnerability before firing their pistols. They will still often block or dodge Corvo's strikes if he attempts to attack them during their aiming. If they dodge Corvo's strikes twice, they will kick him away from them, so it is wise to stop attacking them if they dodge the first strike.

Death Animations

These animations will only occur if Corvo or Daud is standing up and facing the enemy. The player is invincible during these sequences, while the enemy can be killed beforehand by outside sources.

  • Corvo stabs the enemy in the throat, causing the enemy to try and grab and stop the bleeding before falling over
  • Corvo will pull the enemy forward and stab them in the chest before pushing them off
  • Corvo slashes outwards and lodges the length of his sword into the enemy's abdomen, then pulling it out, causing the enemy to fall forward.
  • Corvo grabs the enemy's right arm and pulls them forward until their upper back is exposed, then stabbing the enemy in the back of the neck.
  • Corvo brings his sword down on the enemy's left shoulder with enough force to push them downwards. He then lifts the sword off and the enemy falls backwards.
  • Corvo brings their sword on the enemy's right shoulder, causing the enemy to fall backwards, however they are not pushed down.
  • Corvo brings down his sword with two hands, lodging it in the enemy, pulling it out half a second later.
  • Corvo lifts his sword up, causing the enemy to look upwards at his sword before he smashes the blade on top of the enemy's skull
  • Corvo cleanly swings his sword and decapitates the enemy, before spinning the blade around in his hand.
  • Corvo grabs the enemy's head and stabs them in the neck, turning the blade and ripping off the enemy's head.

Stealth Kill Animations

If the target is unaware of Corvo or Daud or is stunned, one of these animations will play out, depending on which direction the target is facing:

Front
  • Corvo pulls the enemy forward and slits their throat (Forward grip).
  • Corvo grabs the enemy's head and stabs them in the base of the head (Reverse grip).
  • Corvo jumps on the enemy and stabs the length of the blade edge into the enemy's throat (Drop assassination).
  • Daud stabs the enemy in the chest with his sword in reverse grip. He then pulls the enemy over and points his sword down, sliding the enemy off to Daud's left (DLC only).
Left
  • Corvo stands up and stabs the enemy in the side of the neck (Forward grip)
  • Corvo stabs the enemy in the side of the neck, but pushes the blade and the enemy downwards slightly. This is also used for a left side drop assassination, but the enemy is knocked over by Corvo jumping on him (Reverse grip).
  • Daud flips his sword and stabs the enemy in the chest with a reverse grip (DLC only).
Right
  • Corvo pushes the enemy's head downwards onto his sword and then lifts them back up, showing the sword in their throat (Forward grip).
  • Corvo stabs the enemy in the back of the neck. This is also used for his right side drop assassination (Reverse grip).
  • The enemy will turn around and raise their hand to try and stop the blade. Daud stabs through their hand into the enemy's head (DLC only).
Back
  • Corvo slits the enemy's throat (Forward grip).
  • Corvo will pull the enemy's head to the side and stab him in the side of the neck (Reverse grip).
  • Corvo drops on the enemy's back and stabs them in the shoulder (Drop assassination)
  • Daud pulls the enemy backwards and shoots his wristbow at point blank range into the left side of the enemy's throat. It does not consume bolts (DLC only).

Target Specific Animations

Each assassination target has a unique death animation when approached and killed from the front.

  • Thaddeus Campbell: Corvo will cut his arm off, grab his collar, haul him to his feet then stab him in the throat.
  • Morgan Pendleton/Arnold Timsh: Corvo/Daud grabs him by the collar then slits his throat.
  • Custis Pendleton/William Trimble: Corvo/Daud grabs him by the neck, then impales him through the side of his neck.
  • Lady Boyle: Corvo will grab her round the waist, pull her close and stab her through the stomach.
  • Hiram Burrows: Corvo will stab him in the shoulder, spin him round, break his neck, then spin him round once more and yank the blade out.
  • Daud: Corvo grabs Daud, slits his throat, then throws him to the right as he dies.
  • Teague Martin/Leonard Hume: Corvo/Daud will stab him, then spin his blade. Martin/Hume, on his knees, will attempt to get up. Corvo/Daud will then proceed to decapitate him.
  • Farley Havelock/Bundry Rothwild: Corvo/Daud stabs his pistol hand, then bends it toward his head, shooting Havelock/Rothwild with his own pistol.
  • Billie Lurk (high chaos): Daud will grab her by her neck, lift her from the ground and impale her through her abdomen, releasing his grip and dropping her to the floor.
  • Billie Lurk (low chaos): Lurk puts down her mentor's blade, and Daud taps her shoulder, faking respect. Daud then quickly stabs the lieutenant through the chest.
  • Edgar Wakefield: Daud stabs him in the eye and then proceeds to slowly pull the blade out.
  • Delilah Copperspoon: Daud stabs Delilah in the ribs and she grabs the blade, driving it in deeper and swiping at his face until he pulls the blade free. Delilah then lunges at Daud, screaming, before he stabs her through the mouth.
  • Corvo Attano (low chaos): Corvo spins and evades as Daud slashes from right to left, grabbing Daud's arm behind him in the process. He then attempts to stab Daud backhanded, only to be stopped by Daud and stabbed through his chest from behind.
  • Corvo Attano (high chaos): Daud blocks Corvo's blow and forces the sword out of Corvo's hand. He chops Corvo straight down, but his arm was grabbed and broken, sword stolen in the process. Corvo then attempts to stab Daud's throat backhanded as the dream fades.
  • All main targets have the same death animation if approached from behind: Corvo will turn the target around to face him, impale them in the chest, rip out the blade and stab it through the back of their neck.

Related Bone Charms

Dishonored

  • Whirlwind I - Swing speed for swords is slightly faster.
  • Whirlwind II - Swing speed for swords is moderately faster.
  • Fleet Fighter - Drawn weapons do not slow movement speed.

Void Walker's Arsenal

  • Fencer - Advantage in sword vs. sword combat.

The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches

  • Swift Stalker - If Daud's weapons are sheathed, his speed is boosted.
  • Whirlwind - Swing speed for swords is moderately faster.
  • Fleet Fighter - Drawn weapons do not slow movement speed.
  • Power Slash - Daud deals more damage with his sword, but swings it slower. (The Brigmore Witches only)

Dishonored 2

  • Swift Stalker - Movement is slightly faster with weapons sheathed.
  • Fencer - Win locked-sword Contests more easily.
  • Whirlwind - Sword attack speed is slightly faster.
  • Power Slash - The protagonist's sword deals more damage, but they swing it slower.
  • Risky Parry - Sword parries always knock enemies down, but the protagonist loses health doing so.
  • Fleet Fighter - Your movement is not slowed when your weapons are unsheathed.
  • Leech Cuts - You gain Health when inflicting sword damage or assassinating enemies.

Trivia

  • Created by Piero, Corvo's folding blade has a unique design. The handle opens, allowing the blade to telescope in or out.
  • Both Corvo's and Daud's swords become bloodied if any animal (except rats) or human is attacked with it. Reloading a save made prior to the killing will not remove the blood traces, but restarting the game will.
  • The blade of Corvo's sword will take on an appearance indicative of mineral ore in the amalgamation of the blade's metal if the sword-crossing upgrade is purchased.
  • The swords wielded by the Whalers bears a strong resemblane to the Indo-Persian khyber knife.
  • Daud's assassination animation is different when viewed from his perspective. Instead of being thrown to the right, he is thrown backwards. It is also the only assassination animation that can be viewed from the victim's perspective.
  • Treavor Pendleton is the only assassination target without a death animation.
  • Killing a tallboy with only a sword will unlock the Big Boy achievement.

Gallery

NOTE: The diagrams of the mechanisms of Corvo's Sword in the following images are purely theorized. In the mission The Flooded District, when Daud triggers the blade of Corvo's Sword, he does not flip the hilt; the blade simply comes out.

Swords

Death Animations

Videos


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