According to Vetron's Guide to Weapons and Armour, a two-handed sword has an "11" effectiveness rating, thus being the most destructive, non-magical melee weapon available.
The "great sword" first appeared in Ultima I. Around the time of Ultima III, it was rechristened the two-handed sword, and has been in the series ever since, although it was strangely missing from Ultima IV.
Several special two-handed swords did exist throughout history:
- The Black Sword - Made from blackrock and loaded with a daemon, it is the ultimate destructive weapon.
- Blade of Striking - A magical two-handed sword from Pagan.
- Lightning Sword - Instead of a blade, this sword has an arc of electricity, with the logical, destructive results.
Swords continue to be the most popular weapon. There are long and short swords, and two-handed swords.
Despite their name, short swords are formidable weapons -- a good thing, for only the strongest adventurers can wield the hefty two-handed swords. Always examine a sword closely before buying it, paying particular attention to its weight and the force with which it will deliver a blow.
Among those who fight for a living, the two-handed sword is a totem of honor. Yet, legion are the rash innspeople who have raised this weapon with neither strength nor training to do so. Heavy as the day is long, the two-handed sword demands a graceful rhythm from its wielder, as blows must be timed and shaped so as not to overly expose the flanks. A purchase of such a weapon should include focused training with a master.