|“|| The Vorpal Blade is swift and keen, and always ready for service.
The Vorpal Blade is Alice's primary and most iconic weapon in American McGee's Alice and Alice: Madness Returns. It is also the first weapon Alice gains possession of in both games, and the only weapon to appear in both titles. It acts as Alice's "signature weapon", as she is almost always seen holding it in artwork or screenshots promoting the games. In both games, its appearance is based on that of a kitchen knife.
In Madness Returns, there is a special version of this weapon that can be downloaded as DLC called the Vorpal Cleaver.
The Vorpal Blade comes from Lewis Carroll's poem, Jabberwocky which was first published in 1872 as part of his novel, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. The poem tells the story of an unnamed boy who slays the monstrous Jabberwock and becomes a hero in his town. The weapon the boy used was called the "Vorpal Sword" or the "Vorpal Blade."
Like many words in the poem, "vorpal" is one that Carroll created himself, without intended explicit meaning. Although most of the nonsense words were explained, either later in the book and by Carroll himself, the writer said he could not explain this word. However, it has been noted that it can be formed by taking letters alternately from "verbal," which mean "Of, or relating to words", and "gospel," which is the name of The first section of the Christian New Testament scripture, a message expected to have positive reception, and a style of music.
American McGee's Alice Edit
|“||Cheshire Cat: Your knife is necessary, but not sufficient. Always collect what's useful. Reject only your ignorance and you may survive.||”|
In American McGee's Alice, the Vorpal Blade is found by Alice along her path in the Village of the Doomed.
The blade has two uses: a close-range melee weapon which lets Alice hack and slash at opponents, or as a throwing weapon where she can aim it at someone or something, and after a little time it returns to her hand. Like most first weapons in games, the Vorpal Blade has weak attacks (as the Cheshire Cat tells her) but it doesn't use any willpower at all. On the easier levels, the Vorpal Blade can be quite potent, with a single throw required to kill an enemy card guard. It must be used for a couple of the puzzles later on in the game. As it is the first weapon Alice obtains, it is assigned the "1" key on the players keyboard and is also the default weapon.
Alice: Madness Returns Edit
The Vorpal Blade returns as Alice's primary weapon in Madness Returns, where she finds it in the Vale of Tears, its blade in the corpse of the Jabberwock. It is loosely implied that the blade may have a will of its own, as the Cat says it is "keen and always ready for service," personifying it and suggesting it has a want to have Alice wield it and/or be used in combat once again. It is also seen flying into Alice's hands when she first discovers it, meaning that it can act on its own accord. However, it is unknown if the blade can move on its own, or if another force was giving it to Alice.
The blade can be used by pressing X (360), Square (PS3), or Left Click (PC). Again it has short-range and is slightly weaker then other weapons, but it is fast and can be used in conjunction with the Hobby Horse to deal devastating short-range combos.
The DLC version of the Vorpal Blade, called the Vorpal Cleaver, handles just the same as the original blade, but while holding it, enemies can only give 50% of the damage they normally deal.
In both games, the Vorpal Blade looks like a common household kitchen knife, and nothing like a sword as its called in Jabberwocky. It has a long silver blade and a short blown wooden handle, but there are some little differences to its look between the two games.
In Alice, the Vorpal Blade has a slight inward curve to the sharp edge of the blade and has no additional detailing apart from blood trailing down from the end of the blade. In Madness Returns, the sharp edge curves outward with blood all away along it, and both the blade and handle are engraved with floral patterns. Unlike the other weapons in this game, its appearance does not change when upgraded. However, the trail of light left when swinging it changes, as well as increasing the speed and number of strikes:
- Level 1: completely blue, with three strikes
- Level 2: yellow with blue edge, with four strikes
- Level 3: blue with red edge, with four strikes
- Level 4: red with black edge, with five strikes
Vorpal Cleaver Edit
The Vorpal Cleaver, as the name suggests, looks like a butcher's cleaver with a big, square blade with a hole in the top right corner of the blade which is used to hang it up. Like the Vorpal Blade, the cleaver has the same coloring, engravings in the handle and blade, and has blood along the sharp edge. When the Vorpal Cleaver successfully slashes an enemy, a large slash appears with the alchemical symbol for Lead where the slash hits the target.
The Vorpal Cleaver also gives a bonus of -50% damage taken from enemies to Alice when it is equipped. (Alice doesn't need to use the weapon for the effect to be active.)
- A replica of the Vorpal Blade has been made for purchase by Epic Weapons. They sell several versions which include a replica from American McGee's Alice, a replica from Madness Returns and a mini edition. They also sell a stand which can hold either blade.
- Jack Splatter's weapon of choice is, in fact, The Vorpal Cleaver.