Caliburn (カリバーン Karibān?) is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. He is a sapient, talking weapon and the legendary sacred sword who protects England in the world of Camelot from danger. He is also the one who decides who gets to be crowned the monarch of England.
After playing a part in King Arthur's rise to kingship, only for Arthur to later become the tyrannical Black Knight, Caliburn became Sonic the Hedgehog's partner to stop to Arthur's reign of terror. Though their relationship came off to a rocky start, Caliburn taught Sonic what it meant to be a real knight, and together they stopped Arthur, followed by Merlina the Wizard.
- 1 Concept and creation
- 2 Appearance
- 3 History
- 4 Other game appearances
- 5 Personality
- 6 Powers and abilities
- 7 Relationships
- 8 Quotes
- 9 Trivia
- 10 References
Concept and creation
Shiro Maekawa originally wrote Caliburn to be a female. However, fellow workers were confused by his writing and had believed the character to be male. Following this, Maekawa later found out the gender of Caliburn was changed.
Caliburn is a long sword with a double-edged silvery blade and a lighter edge. His guard is a gold circle with two small gold protuberances or "wings" on the sides of a pulled back gold spiked cross-guard with a red semi-circle at the curved bottom as a gold ornate ornamentation (Which can move downwards to reveal his mouth and two, stern, sea foam-green eyes). The ornamentation itself is under the red semi-circle part of the cross-guard while the grip itself on Caliburn is white and thin, with a golden decorated top and a pointy sword pommel.
Long ago, Caliburn was placed in a stone by Merlin, who claimed that only the true king of England would be able to pull Caliburn out. None were able to pull Caliburn free of the stone, until a young Arthur came and accomplished this miraculous feat. This act made him the King of all England.
As Excalibur, Caliburn and his scabbard were handed over to Arthur by Nimue when Arthur came to her lake in Deep Woods seeking a replacement for his broken sword. With Excalibur, Arthur was able to save England countless times. However, after Arthur got bewitched by the power of immortality that the scabbard of Excalibur gave him, Arthur's evil would transform Excalibur, turning him into Deathcalibur. As such, Excalibur seemingly split into Caliburn and the other sacred swords while Deathcalibur remained in existence. Regardless of the circumstances, Caliburn himself ended up in Misty Lake, embedded in a stone.
Sonic and the Black Knight
In Sonic and the Black Knight, Caliburn was found by Sonic the Hedgehog upon Merlina the Wizard's request to stop King Arthur. After being pulled out from the stone by Sonic, Caliburn surprised Sonic with his sapience and ability to talk. Though surprised by how inept Sonic, the chosen one, appeared, Caliburn vowed to train him until he was worthy. However, Caliburn's opinion did not sit well with Sonic, causing a lot of dagreements between the two. Caliburn was soon after put to the test by Sonic when Arthur appeared to slay him. Although Sonic defeated Arthur with Caliburn's guidance, Arthur kept recovering thanks to the scabbard of Excalibur. As Arthur left, believing that Sonic was no threat to him, Caliburn and Sonic argued over whose was at fault for their failure until Caliburn and Merlina told Sonic to seek out the original owner of the scabbard of Excalibur to find a way to defeat Arthur. As they headed out, Caliburn dubbed Sonic "Knave the Hedgehog" in response to Sonic's frustrations over Caliburn's opinion of him. On the way however, Caliburn insisted that they went to Camelot Castle to give him a tune-up for their meeting with Nimue, as his blade had grown blunt after being stuck at Misty Lake for so long. Parting ways with Merlina, Caliburn and Sonic went to town where the Blacksmith got Caliburn sharpen. After that, the pair went to Deep Woods where they got challenged to a duel by Sir Lancelot, which Caliburn accepted on behalf of Sonic.
After Sonic defeated Lancelot and took his Arondight, Caliburn debriefed Sonic on Lancelot and insisted that he won their duel thanks to mere luck. Regardless, Caliburn and Sonic soon after found Nimue, whom Caliburn had Sonic show proper respect to after he mistook her for Amy Rose. Inside Nimue's pavilion, Nimue told the duo that she would tell them how to blunt the power of the scabbard of Excalibur if Sonic could prove himself a true knight by passing three tests within three days: freeing the innocent from Arthur's dungeons, offering compassion to those in need, and defeating the Knights of the Underworld. Though Caliburn warned Sonic that this would not be easy, Sonic remained confident. While working on Nimue's tasks however, Caliburn and Sonic came across a young townsperson, whose family and fellow villagers had been kidnapped by a dragon and taken to Crystal Cave. Despite Caliburn protesting that helping the child would cost them the time needed to complete Nimue's tasks, Sonic decided to help out the townsperson anyway. On the way to Crystal Cave however, Caliburn and Sonic were attacked by Sir Gawain. Regardless, the duo defeated Gawain and confiscated his Galatine. Afterward, Caliburn and Sonic managed to save the kidnapped villagers from the dragon's lair, though at the cost of failing to meet Nimue's deadline. Upon returning to the young townsperson however, she was revealed to be Nimue in disguise, who approved of Sonic's actions and deemed him a true knight. Returning to Deep Woods, Nimue told Caliburn and Sonic that they could dispel the scabbard's power with the kingdom's four sacred swords. Having already three of them, Caliburn and Sonic only needed to get Laevatein from Sir Percival. Though Caliburn warned Sonic that it would not be easy, he was taken back by Sonic's acceptance and confidence in him. Finding Percival in Molten Mine, Sonic and Caliburn fought and defeated her. When Percival accidentally fell towards a lava pool though, Sonic jumped in and grabbed her before breaking their fall with Caliburn. Seeing Sonic's mastery of chivalry with this act, Caliburn finally acknowledged him and knighted him "Sir Sonic, Knight of the Wind".
Having obtained Laevatein, Caliburn and Sonic met up Merlina, who told them that they could find Arthur on Avalon. Traveling there, Caliburn and Sonic found and defeated Arthur. When Arthur then tried to use his scabbard, Sonic nullified its power with the sacred swords and, using this opening, struck down Arthur with Caliburn. Upon Arthur's defeat however, the king disappeared in a puff of smoke. Caliburn and Sonic then met up with Merlina at Castle Camelot, where the Knights of the Round Table had her surrounded. As Merlina revealed that Arthur never really existed, she took the scabbard of Excalibur from Sonic, intending to use its power to make their kingdom eternal in spite of the damage it would cause. As Merlina's magic tore the castle apart, Caliburn, Sonic, and the Knights of the Round Table evacuated to the outskirts. As the forces of the Underworld began consuming the kingdom, Sonic convinced the Knights of the Round Table to continue the fight for their kingdom. Caliburn, Sonic, and the Knights of the Round Table then followed Nimue's plan to contain Merlina's influence by heading out to barrier stones around the kingdom and activate them with the sacred swords, which would form a barrier around Merlina's position. After having activated their barrier stone, Caliburn and Sonic found a chance to enter the Dark Hollow and confront Merlina, now the Dark Queen. There, Merlina revealed to them the grim fate that awaited the kingdom and that she sought to prevent it by making a perfect kingdom that will never end with the scabbard's power. Sonic, however, turned a deaf ear to Merlina's words, inisting there was no good in a world like that, and tried to attack her, only to get beaten back by her. However, when Merlina moved in for another strike, Caliburn protected Sonic, only to get his blade cut in half and seemingly die. However, Caliburn was reborn when Sonic's undying will awoke the long-lost light of the sacred sword, allowing him and Sonic to transform into Excalibur and Excalibur Sonic when the Knights of the Round Table sent them their sacred swords. Together, Excalibur and Excalibur Sonic defeated Merlina.
In the aftermath, following Merlina's redemption, the Knights of the Round Table thought about disbanding without a king to serve. However, Caliburn told them that it was foolish and revealed that he was the one who decided who was worthy to rule England, which made the Knights of the Round Table realize that Sonic was the true King Arthur.
Other game appearances
In Sonic Runners, Caliburn appears as a S Rare Buddy. When equipped to the playable character, he allows the player's character to perform a limited number of slash attacks in boss fights from a distance, thereby allowing the player to attack the boss without endangering their character.
Caliburn is a proud gentleman with appropriately courtly manners. Notably, he believes that sharpness is a gentleman's etiquette and that his wielder should treat him with the respect befitting a sacred sword. This is a strong contrast to Sonic the Hedgehog's easy-going attitude, which causes a lot of bickering between those two. As such, he always maintains a respectful demeanor. He also very strict, both as a gentleman and a teacher, and is soft on compliments. However, when a person treats Caliburn with respect or earns his, he will treat them with respect in return. However, he prefers to keep himself from getting too close to his allies.
Appropriately, Caliburn possesses sharp wit, along with a smart, but mannerly, mouth. This allows him to perfectly trade insults with others, like calling Sonic "knave" and "fool" in response to Sonic's smart mouthed remarks, lack of manners, and disapproval of Caliburn's replies. Regardless, he never behaves with outright disrespectfulness and when dealing with people like Sonic that show a lack of respect and manners, he has no qualms about remonstrating them and telling them how to act appropriately.
As a teacher in knighthood, Caliburn strongly follows the code of chivalry. As such, he is noble, dutiful and honorable. However, he tends to stick so closely to the rules of chivalry that he forgets about general acts of kindness. For example, he considered mercifulness in a duel between knights to be an insult to a knight's honor, and he prioritized his and Sonic's own goals over the lives of several townspeople when trying to complete some tasks set by Nimue. However, he would be reminded of the kindness a knight must possess thanks to Sonic, which led to him accepting Sonic as a true knight.
Being a sapient weapon and with strict guidelines for what deems someone a worthy knight, Caliburn selects his wielder. That said, he is willing to take even an amateur under his tutorlage and train them until they are worthy of him if they have proven themselves the chosen one.
Powers and abilities
As a sacred sword, Caliburn possess magical properties. He can dispel the immortality granted by the scabbard of Excalibur when combined with the other sacred swords and can activate the barrier stones. He is also capable of levitation, allowing him to move around on his own.
Caliburn possesses extensive knowledge in the art of swordsmanship. He is also skilled at teaching swordsmanship, as he was able to teach Sonic enough skills to go head-to-head with the Knights of the Round Table, who are all masters of swordplay, in a manner of days.
Excalibur is a transformation of Caliburn and is, according to Caliburn, his true power. However, this form and its power were locked away following King Arthur's descend. He seemingly regained this form and its powers thanks to Sonic's willpower during their battle with the Dark Queen. In this state, Calburn can cut through anything, repel magical attacks, and form an all-piercing energy meteor with Excalibur Sonic.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog was Caliburn's partner and student in knighthood during their adventure to save England from the tyranny of King Arthur and later the threat posed by Merlina the Wizard's ambitions. Described as an amazing duo, they make a cutting and quick team, able to handle the toughest of Arthur's henchmen while offering their foes a smirk and a joke. However, their relationship did not start out on the best of terms. When Sonic first met Caliburn, he thought he was "kinda sorry looking", something which Caliburn did not take kindly to. Furthermore, Caliburn thought that despite Sonic being the "chosen one", he was far from impressive and deemed him little else that a squire.
Early on, the two of them did not get along at all and would reject the fault of being impostors. Furthermore, Sonic's easy-going nature would often clash with Caliburn's gentlemanly demeanor. Caliburn in particular did not approve of Sonic due to his inexperience in wielding a sword and the code of chivalry. He even went so far as to rename him "Knave the Hedgehog," or calling him a fool whenever Sonic made any mistake whatsoever while Sonic called him "dull blade". Regardless, despite the issues he had with Sonic, Caliburn had no intention of giving up on him, as he had promised to train Sonic until he was a worthy knight. To this end, he would force Sonic into confrontations he did not seek out to teach him lessons, such as when he accepted a challenge from Sir Lancelot on behalf of Sonic. Despite being Sonic's teacher though, Sonic would surprise him with his acts of kindness towards his enemies. At first, Caliburn thought that such behavior was inappropriate for a knight-in-training, but over time Sonic made him understand that kindness was worth all the codes of chivalry. Furthermore, as they traveled together, a bond of respect slowly, but surely blossomed between them, although it was seemingly not apparent to Caliburn, as he would be taken by surprise by Sonic's growing respect for him. Also, despite their improving relationship, Caliburn was not fond of the idea of Sonic getting attached to him.
After defeating and saving the life of Sir Percival, Caliburn, though surprised by Sonic's remarks that he was jealous of his kindness, accepted that Sonic had mastered the code of chivalry. Deeming him a true knight, he titled him "Sir Sonic, Knight of the Wind". From then on, Caliburn would treat Sonic with a much more gallant attitude, although it still would not stop him from telling Sonic off when he made mistakes. Coming to care evidently for Sonic's well-being, Caliburn went as fat as to take a deadly blow from the Dark Queen in order to protect Sonic when the hedgehog fought her. Later, Caliburn had been so impressed by Sonic's character that he deemed him worthy of being the king of England.
- You are the chosen one!? You are but a squire!
- We must ask the scabbard's former owner how to hinder its power.
- You shall see for yourself. Onward, my young Knave.
- Very well then, I shall call you Knave the Hedgehog.
- Hmmm... I suppose something must be done about this.
- My edge has grown blunt. Being in that rock for so long has taken its toll.
- He is no knight. At least not yet.
- Fool! A knight never flees his foe!
- He is Knave the Hedgehog, and he accepts your challenge!
- Such sympathy is an insult to a knight.
- That is Arondight one of the sacred swords of this land. Take good care of it.
- Please try not to make a mess!
- Never underestimate your opponent. Especially when it's a dragon.
- A worthy adversary.
- Well done.
- Hm. Actually... Sonic the Hedgehog... You have mastered the code of chivalry. From this day forth, you shall be Sir Sonic, Knight of the Wind.
- Onward Sonic, Knight of the Wind!
- (Defending Sonic from one of Merlina's attacks) You fool! A knight must always be on his guard.
- Have you forgotten who I am? I am the Sacred Sword, Caliburn. I am the one who decides who's worthy of the crown.
- Caliburn is what the real Excalibur was called before the name was altered by European authors, which is referenced as the missing Excalibur turns out to be Caliburn.
- Sonic's finding of Caliburn references the way Arthur became King, which is probably because Sonic is technically King Arthur.
- Caliburn is the only character in Sonic and the Black Knight whose mouth moves when speaking in non-3D cutscenes.
- Caliburn is the only inorganic, non-mechanical character to have a transformation.
- Outside the Sonic series, Caliburn appears as the weapon for the Sonic skin used by the Felynes in Capcom's Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.
- Caliburn makes a minor cameo in the alternate opening scene of the Sonic the Hedgehog film, alongside the training sword from Sonic and the Black Knight, where they are briefly seen on the wall during the echidnas' attack.
- SONIC RUNNERS[SEGA]. Sega. Archived from the original on 26 February 2025.
- Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. Gallery. Vault 2. [Sacred Sword Caliburn] "The legendary sword Caliburn, protects the kingdom from danger. Amazingly, it also talks."
- Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. Gallery. Vault 5. [Caliburn] "The sacred sword is Sonic's partner. He is soft on compliments. He teaches Sonic what it means to be a real Knight! Caliburn is actually the sword that King Arthur drew from the stone. That miraculous action made him the King of all England!"
- The Supreme Topic of 'Other' Knowledge. Windii. Sonic Retro (23 June 2018). Retrieved on 23 June 2018.
- Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. Gallery. Vault 5. [Legendary Sword] "Merlin placed the sword in the stone claiming that none but the true King could pull it out. None were able to pull the sword free except Arthur. That act made him the King of all England."
- Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. Gallery. Vault 5. [Excalibur] "When Arthur broke his sword, Merlin guided him to the lake where he found a sword held aloft by fairy magic. Arthur went out in a small boat and claimed the sword. That sword was the legendary Excalibur, which Arthur used to save the kingdom countless times."
- "The legendary king and ruler of Camelot, King Arthur has been corrupted by mysterious forces and now rules as a tyrant over the tainted land. His enchanted sword has been transformed by this evil, becoming Deathcalibur. With his army of minions, he appears unstoppable until a certain blue hedgehog arrives." - King Arthur's profile on the official Sonic and the Black Knight United States webpage.
- Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. Gallery. Vault 8. [Caliburn]. "Voiceover 1: I am Caliburn, the sacred sword of legend. My true power lies locked away, due to the incompetence of the one who wields me. I have a bad feeling about this."
- Sonic and the Black Knight (Wii) European instruction booklet, pg. 4.
- "Sonic is already the fastest hedgehog there is, but now that he's entered the legendary world of Camelot, he wields a sacred sword, Caliburn. Caliburn and Sonic make a cutting and quick team, able to handle the toughest henchman of the Black Knight while offering their foes a smirk and a joke. Even though he stays cool in even the most intense battles, Sonic always follows his heart while helping his friends and the people of Camelot." - Sonic the Hedgehog's profile on the official Sonic and the Black Knight United States webpage.