Due to the sword's incredible size and weight, the Dragon Slayer functions more like a sort of bladed club than an actual sword, though Guts is more than capable of using it to cut things apart. The sheer momentum of Guts swinging it can tear anyone caught in the attack impact into pieces with one swing, and this often is applied to more than one enemy at once, cleaving through multiple foes with the sheer force of one swing. Even apostles can barely stand up to the blade, and often have their bones or internal organs heavily damaged by an attack from the weapon.
It is assumed that Guts can wield the bulky Dragon Slayer since he is shown using a regular sword as early as age six to train with Gambino (having refused to use a short sword). At nine years old, he wields a bastard sword during his first castle siege accompanied by his mercenary group. In later years, Guts graduates to a longsword and kills a general; he then moves on to a greatsword, followed by a two-handed greatsword. At fifteen, he uses an over-sized two-hander to kill Bazuso.
Ever since then, Guts has been using a sword bigger than his previous one. He has fought, carried, and practiced with oversized swords almost all his life, granting him a physique strong enough to wield the Dragon Slayer. He also has a magnetic clamp in his prosthetic arm to assist him in holding it.
Due to the slaying of countless apostles, pseudo-apostles and even the impalement of a member of the God Hand with the Dragon Slayer, the blade has been soaked on an almost daily basis in the blood of supernatural entities. As a result, the blade has gradually become stronger and more effective against monsters and evil spirits, even being able to affect astral forms.
Appearance EditSometimes noted to be more akin to "a heap of raw iron" than a sword, the Dragon Slayer is a massive weapon that is larger than Guts and is wide enough to be used as a shield against projectiles.
Owing to the sheer size of the blade, the Dragon Slayer has no crossguard; the blade itself, being both wider and thicker than the grip, functions as an improvised one instead. The long handle is wrapped in bandages with the loose ends dangling from the pommel.
A single bolt holds the blade and hilt together, and at the end of the bolt is a single chain link, which functions as the sword's sheath; by slinging a hook over his shoulder, Guts can simply loop the hook into the chain to allow the sword to hang off his back.
As a young man, the blacksmith Godot lived in a castle town far from the hut he would one day call home. When the castle town's sovereign, a king, sends out a proclamation to all of his vassals to forge a sword that would be capable of killing a dragon, Godot's liege lord entrusts him with the task of doing so. Tired of crafting ornate weapons for nobles who seek elegance in their armaments, Godot takes the task seriously, creating the huge, but unusable, Dragon Slayer. Angry at how crude and impractical the Dragon Slayer is, Godot's liege lord threatens the blacksmith's life, forcing Godot to flee the castle town and settle down at his mine.
The Dragon Slayer was kept in storage for years until it is discovered by Guts during a fight against an apostle, where the Black Swordsman wields it with ease, shocking Godot, who thought the sword's weight made it unusable as a weapon. Since then, Guts has made effective use of the Dragon Slayer against evil spirits, possessed monsters and apostles. Upon his return during the Conviction Arc, Godot sees the wear and tear that Guts has put the Dragon Slayer through over his two years as the Black Swordsman and reforges it at the cost of much of his remaining life.
It was later revealed by that due to the large number of apostles and evil spirits Guts has slain throughout his journey, the blade has absorbed their tainted life force, becoming a cursed weapon which could even harm and potentially kill members of the God Hand.
- The Dragon Slayer is the only weapon showed to be able to damage a member of the God Hand, as Guts impaled Slan's makeshift troll guts body with it. However, it can be surmised that Skull Knight's Sword of Actuation can do the same.
- A common misconception is that the Dragon Slayer was once used actually to kill a dragon. This is due to online mistranslations, though the manga does feature an image of a bisected dragon's head when Godot initially describes the weapon.
- Kentarou Miura has admitted in interviews that he hit upon the idea of the massive sword as a gimmick to attract readers.
- The Dragon Slayer has never been wielded by any other human besides Guts; it took two of the Holy Iron Chain Knights just to pick it up after Guts was captured and Isidro was pinned beneath it when he tried to lift the weapon.
- In the Dreamcast video game based on the series, Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage, it is nigh-impossible to swing the Dragon Slayer in tight corridors without it bouncing off the wall to little effect. In the PS2 game, Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Sho, this simply isn't an issue — most of the action takes place outdoors, while the few indoor or underground areas that Guts goes into are spacious enough to allow him to use the Dragon Slayer to full effect.
- Many different media pay homage to this weapon - most notably, the Souls series.
- Demon's Souls features a weapon called the "Dragon Bone Smasher", a giant sword that looks very similar to the Dragon Slayer and has a similar description in-game; it states that it can "scarcely be called a sword", much like how the Dragon Slayer is described.
- Dark Souls II features a weapon simply titled the "Greatsword" which looks similar to the Dragon Slayer in length and handle, while the "Crypt Blacksword" from the same game has a similar design to that of the Dragon Slayer's blade.
- Dark Souls III also features a sword titled "Greatsword" which looks similar to the Dragon Slayer and is almost identical to the one found in Dark Souls II; however, its blade's width lessens the further it is from the handle, unlike the previous sword. A more similar sword is the Cathedral knight greatsword, bearing great resemblance to the Dragon Slayer, with the exception of its damage type.
- Diablo III has the legendary weapon "Blackguard", a two-handed sword which is similar in design to the Dragon Slayer, and which can be wielded by Barbarians and Crusaders, the latter being able to use the weapon with one hand with the proper talent. In addition to its melee power, the Blackguard also reduces the duration of control-impairing effects.
- Nier (video game) and its sequel Nier: Automata feature a large sword titled "Iron Will". The sword not only looks similarly to the Dragon Slayer, but also has a hinting description: "The blade is dull - Its power comes from mass alone."