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Vorpal Blade
Vorpal Blade
Location * Dementia [AMA]
Based on Vorpal Sword
DLC Vorpal Cleaver [AMR]
Assigned key 1 [AMA]
Series * American McGee's Alice
  • Alice: Madness Returns
  • Alice: Otherlands
Selection icon and weapon poster
Vorpal Blade poster
The Vorpal Blade is swift and keen, and always ready for service.
Cheshire Cat to Alice Liddell about the Vorpal Blade[1]

The Vorpal Blade is Alice Liddell's primary and most iconic weapon in her journey to her Wonderland and Jules Verne's Otherland.


Through the Looking-Glass[]

The Vorpal Blade came 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 told the story of an unnamed boy who slayed the monstrous Jabberwock and became a hero in his town. The weapon the boy used was called the "Vorpal Sword" or the "Vorpal Blade."

American McGee's Alice[]

Alice found the Vorpal Blade before she passed by Mayor Elder's house. After obtaining the weapon, she utilized it against a club-type Card Guard and went on her way.[2]

Alice: Madness Returns[]

Vorpal Blade in Vale of Tears

The Vorpal Blade found in the Vale of Tears.

After Alice ventured on in the Vale of Tears, she arrived to a place where the river was red and the earth was stained with blood. Following the trail, she discovered the Vorpal Blade lodged into the skeleton of the Jabberwock.

Cheshire Cat manifested beside her and re-introduced her to the weapon. The Blade dislodged itself from the skeletal remains and went into Alice's hand. She observed its intricate design stating that she did not come back to look for a fight while testing the Blade itself.[1]

Alice: Otherlands[]

Alice cutting the balloon ropes

Alice about to slice the ropes.

Alice always had her Vorpal Blade with her as she guided Jules Verne throughout his Otherland. She initially used her weapon to cut the ropes of the Cheshire hot air balloon that she and Verne were on causing them to plummet to the ocean below. She used her weapon again when she saw one of the Leviathan's tentacles shift into the image of the deceased Angus Bumby. She almost drew her weapon out, making the tentacle change its focus to the weapon for a short while before returning to its normal appearance and disappearing from the viewing window of the Nautilus.[3]


American McGee's Alice[]

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. The Vorpal Blade has weak attacks but it does not use any willpower at all. As such it is often a necessity as the only ranged weapon which can be used in the absence of willpower.

On the easier levels, the Vorpal Blade can be quite potent, with a single throw required to kill an enemy Card Guard. At higher difficulty, it is best used in tandem with other weapons, throwing the blade and using other weapons while waiting for it to return. The Vorpal Blade must also be used for a couple of the puzzles later on.

It is the only weapon which can be used while submerged underwater, and the only means of defense against Snarks by either slashing or throwing(ranged is recommended on higher difficulties).

Alice: Madness Returns[]

The blade can be used by pressing X (Xbox layout on 360 and PC), Square (PlayStation layout), or left-click (mouse layout on 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.


The Vorpal Blade is similar in appearance to a common household kitchen knife and nothing like a sword as it is called in "Jabberwocky". It has a long silver blade and a short brown wooden handle.

American McGee's Alice[]

The Vorpal Blade has a slight inward curve to the sharp edge of the blade and no additional detailing apart from blood trailing down from the end of the blade.

Alice: Madness Returns[]

Alice examines blade

Alice examines the blade.

The Vorpal Blade has sharp edge curves outward with blood all away along it, and both the blade and handle are engraved with floral patterns. The word "VORPAL", including its original manufacturing date, is engraved on the upper rim of the handle where its it joined together with the blade.

The Saturn symbol (♄) appears every time Alice makes a successful hit on an enemy.

Unlike the other weapons, its appearance does not change when upgraded. However, the trail of light left when swinging it changes, the blade's floral engravings will constantly glow blue form Level 2 and up, and the speed and number of slashes increase:

  • Level 1: Completely blue, with three slashes
  • Level 2 (requires 175 Teeth): Yellow with blue edge, with four slashes
  • Level 3 (requires 675 Teeth): Blue with red edge, with four slashes
  • Level 4 (requires 800 Teeth): Red with black edge, with five slashes

Alice: Otherlands[]

The Vorpal Blade retains its sharp edge curves and blood stain, as well as its floral engravings in both the blade and handle and text engravings on the handle. Each of Alice's dresses during her journey in Verne's Otherland have different sheaths for the weapon and its design is commonly based on the dress she is currently wearing.

Vorpal Cleaver[]

Vorpal Cleaver

The Vorpal Cleaver.

The Vorpal Cleaver, as the name suggests, looks like a butcher's cleaver with a big, rectangular 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 does not need to use the Vorpal Cleaver for its effect to be active.


Jabberwock illustration

The Vorpal Sword as depicted in the original "Jabberwocky", illustrated by John Tenniel.

  • Like many words in the "Jabberwocky" poem, "vorpal" is one that Carroll created himself, without intended explicit meaning. Although most of the nonsense words were explained either later in Through the Looking-Glass by Humpty Dumpty or by Carroll himself, Carroll said he could not explain this word.
  • In both games it is designed to resemble a kitchen knife as opposed to a sword, as in the original "Jabberwocky" poem. Its etched floral design in Madness Returns, however, is inspired by John Tenniel's accompanying illustration.
  • In American McGee's Alice, it is never called "the Vorpal Blade", and is only referred as "the knife".
  • In American McGee's Alice, if Alice is left idle long enough while holding the Vorpal Blade, one of several random animations will occur. She may practice swing the blade, twirl the Blade's tip on her finger then toss it up and catch it, run her hand along the Blade, examine the Blade, etc.
  • The introductory advertisement poster for the blade when obtaining it in Madness Returns, when describing its properties, includes "(as seen in a previous poem)", referencing the original "Jabberwocky" poem.
  • It is loosely implied that the blade may have a will of its own, as the Cheshire Cat says it is "swift and 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.
    • This could possibly explain why Alice is so swift at fighting although having no real experience in blade fighting.
  • 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.
  • Text on the top of the blade's hilt reads "VORPAL" on one side and "EST. 1865" on the other, referencing the year Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was published.
    • The inclusion and usage of "VORPAL" in this way emulates a marketed product, suggesting that it is the name of the blade's manufacturing company.
    • Ironically, the Vorpal Blade was only mentioned in Through the Looking-Glass, which was published in 1871.
  • Jack Splatter used the Vorpal Cleaver to kill Long Tim.[4]
  • The Vorpal Cleaver is the only DLC weapon to appear in Alice's real world.
  • The Vorpal Blade did not appear in "A Night at the Opera", unlike in "Leviathan".


  1. 1.0 1.1 Spicy Horse (2011-06-14). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: The Vale of Tears. Level: Chapter 1: Hatter's Domain.
  2. Rogue Entertainment (2000-10-06). American McGee's Alice. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Dementia. Level: Village of the Doomed.
  3. Edward Goin. (October 31, 2015). "Leviathan". Spicy Horse. Alice: Otherlands.
  4. Spicy Horse (2011-06-14). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Billingsgate. Level: Chapter 2: Deluded Depths.