The Top Ten Most Awkward Keyblades

The Keyblade is a weapon that is unique to the Kingdom Hearts series of games. The Keyblade has a wide array of abilities, one of which is to grow in strength with its user. Throughout the series, Keyblade bearers have augmented their Keyblades with Keychains, powerful talismans that change the properties and appearance of the Keyblade. In some cases, these appearances are dynamic and strong, while in other cases the weapon produced can look downright ridiculous.

Different Keyblades represent different aspects of the Kingdom Hearts series, from the worlds that the player visits to the characters you meet along the way. Some Keyblades simply don’t have strong designs, others have the right elements but they clash, and the worst offenders don’t look like weapons–or keys–at all. The following list looks at Keyblades from a purely aesthetic point of view and ranks the ugliest, most awkward looking of the bunch.

#10 – Lionheart

First Appearance: Kingdom Hearts
Rating: Lazy!

The first Kingdom Hearts featured two Keyblades designed for the guest Final Fantasy characters, Cloud and Leon (aka Squall). Metal Chocobo, the Keyblade that represents Cloud, is a perfect recreation of Cloud’s Buster Sword as a Keyblade, so naturally you would think that Leon’s Lionheart Keyblade would be a representation of his signature Gunblade. Well, you’d be wrong. The Lionheart is just Leon’s stupid little lion necklace haphazardly stuck on the end of a fairly basic piece of metal. The same symbol reappears on the keychain as well, making this a lazy design overall. I’m not sure if Lionheart was a last minute addition, but it sure looks like it was thrown together at the last minute.

#9 – Jungle Key

First Appearance: Kingdom Hearts
Rating: Rancid!

I can appreciate and admire behind the concept of the Jungle Key– it’s a Keyblade that looks like Tarzan himself might have made it from whatever he could find in the jungle. It’s just unfortunate that the only thing he could find was a bunch of nasty bones. The teeth of the Keyblade remind me of the ending to The Flintstones theme song opening where Fred orders that giant slab of ribs that ends up tipping over the car. Meanwhile, the butterfly keychain, while thematically appropriate to the Tarzan level, is aesthetically jarring. You’ve got a rotting pile of meat at the front and this precious blue butterfly at the back. It doesn’t work.

#8 – Crabclaw

First Appearance: Kingdom Hearts
Rating: Fishy!

This looks more like the kind of decoration you would find in a Red Lobster than a serious weapon. The bright blue and purple color scheme is very reminiscent of The Little Mermaid– and also a little girl’s bedroom from the 90′s. The crab that represents the teeth is a creative idea, but it falls flat because there’s not much to tie it to the rest of the key. It’s a bright orange eyesore that clashes with the rest of the blade. The Crabclaw Keyblade also suffers from poor timing. You receive it immediately before your first visit to Halloween Town, and this only serves to kill the creepy dark mood of that level completely when Sora is dressed up like a ghoul and he’s carrying a colorful bath toy for a weapon.

#7 – Destiny’s Embrace

First Appearance: Kingdom Hearts II
Rating: Tacky!

In Kingdom Hearts II, Kairi is finally given her chance to shine when she’s allowed to “borrow” a Keyblade to help Riku in battle. However, the Keyblade she receives is the sickeningly sweet Destiny’s Embrace. As with the Jungle Key, I understand the concept– it’s supposed to be a Keyblade to represent Destiny Islands, and the lower half of the Keyblade drives that point home, with the water crest around the hilt and the Paopu Fruit keychain. However, the wildflowers for the teeth of the key is way too busy and almost insultingly girly. Sora and Riku run around with these amazing looking weapons, and Kairi is stuck with a bunch of pretty flowers on a stick because she’s “the girl.”

#6 – Sweet Memories

First Appearance: Kingdom Hearts II
Rating: Oh Bother!

First of all, I have an issue with getting any weapon from Winnie the Pooh– period. So, with that said, I definitely don’t want a weapon that is a constant reminder of kind, gentle Winnie the Pooh. When you can hang the Keyblade in a nursery and it doesn’t look out of place, that should be a red flag that something is wrong with the design. This Keyblade does not look like a key, not even if I squint my eyes really hard. The beehive and bees barely pass as key teeth– instead the entire thing looks like a diorama meant to describe the details of the Hundred Acre Woods level instead of being an actual, functional weapon. Sweet Memories is one of the first Keyblades to go for the diorama look and it sets a bad precedent that is carried on by other offenders on this list.

#5 – Treasure Trove

First Appearance: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
Rating: Busy!

The Treasure Trove Keyblade really wants you to remember the Dwarves Woodland level, so much that it has become a portable version of the level itself. The problem with some of the later Keyblade designs is that they stop looking like weapons and start looking like actual scenes from the movie. It you took this Keyblade, stood it upright and asked someone unfamiliar with Kingdom Hearts what it could be I doubt many of them would know it was supposed to be a weapon, and especially not a key-themed weapon. The problem here isn’t a lack of creativity, it’s the overly-busy execution that kills the design. The jewels around the hilt and the pick-axe are smart choices, but the inclusion of an entire mine cart and tracks makes it too much for one weapon. How would anyone be able to wield this bulky thing?

#4 – Rumbling Rose

First Appearance: Kingdom Hearts II
Rating: Beastly!

In an effort to create a Keyblade that represents the “Beast” half of Beauty and the Beast the game designers apparently severed the arm of a Muppet and stuck it on a tacky hilt. Everything about this Keyblade just rubs me the wrong way. The color scheme clashes, with the dark blue contrasting the almost neon green thorns and the bright pink handle. To make matters even worse, the rose design incorporated into the Keyblade is not actually a rose upon further inspection–it’s a red geometric pattern made from staggered diamonds. I have a feeling that even Sora hates this Keyblade, considering there are thorns inside the hilt where he puts his hand.

#3 – Gull Wing

First Appearance: Kingdom Hearts II
Rating: Fowl!

If it wasn’t weird enough that Yuna, Rikku and Payne from Final Fantasy X-2 have been turned into tiny fairies for the Kingdom Hearts series, the Keyblade they give Sora is a hot mess. I like the idea of using a bird wing for the teeth of the key, but the giant bug-eyed seagull has to go. The Gull Wing Keyblade attempts to invoke elements from each character in the trio, but throws them together in the worse way possible. The hideous yellow bows looked a lot better on Rikku than as the blade of the weapon. On the other hand, Yuna’s ugly rat-tail accessory looks better as a keychain than a hairstyle choice, however I can’t help but thinking it might actually be made from her hair. There aren’t many elements of Payne’s costume in the design of the Keyblade, but considering how much of a mess it already is, that might be for the best.

#2 – Victory Line

First Appearance: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
Rating: Car Wreck!

Did you like the Rumble Racing minigame? Well, good news! Completing it gives you this souvenir called Victory Line. No, that not a child’s toy, that’s an actual Keyblade–even though it doesn’t look a thing like a key or a blade. Of all the Keyblades that could be mistaken for a diorama, this is the worst offender. While other Keyblades opt for designs that merely remind you of the world they came from, Victory Line’s design hits you over the head by having a body made up of an entire building from that world. The gear key stuck to the top of the clock tower is a paltry excuse for key teeth, which prevents the thing from ever really looking like a proper Keyblade.

#1 – Sweetstack

First Appearance: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
Rating: Saccharine!

The design of the Sweetstack Keyblade is so bad, it makes me question the logic behind the very idea of a Keyblade. This is supposed to be one of the most powerful weapons in existence, correct? Then why would it ever look like a big messy pile of assorted ice cream? How can you ever take someone holding this thing seriously? I question the stability of a pile of ice cream to begin with, but the haphazard way they are stacked makes it look utterly clumsy. The three orange slices on top for the teeth are kind of a weird inclusion for a bowl of ice cream and they don’t do a good job of representing teeth. It would be bad enough if this was just a joke Keyblade, but the Sweetstack has the ability to perform a critical hit EVERY TIME you use it. The most ridiculous looking Keyblade in all of existence is also one of the most powerful.

With so many Keyblades over the years, there have been plenty of hits and misses and your opinion may vary from my own. However the Kingdom Hearts series reminds us that you can’t judge a book by its cover, or a Keyblade by its design. No matter how ridiculous a Keyblade might look, it is still something to behold when properly utilized in combat. Next week, we’ll take a look at the Keyblade designs that get it right and count down the top ten best-looking Keyblades.

Kris Moore is a professional writer from Detroit, Michigan and a longtime Kingdom Hearts fan. When he’s not playing video games, Kris can be found writing comics for the ongoing comic series “Science Girl.” You can read more of his work at ScienceGirlComics.com.

57 Responses to “The Top Ten Most Awkward Keyblades”

  1. Snoggle Media Says:

    Gullwing had a terrible shape. not too great stats. but I love those cute lil things!

  2. arwenchan Says:

    I liked the Destiny’s Embrace keyblade and im not one for overly girly things

  3. Tyler W Says:

    I agree with this article a lot. Many of the newer keyblades start to want to BECOME the world they are from rather than representing a theme. However, I did like Gullwing for whatever reason, and I hated Bond of Flames

  4. RedAndBlack Says:

    Woah, seriously! Why is EVERY article on this page a critique against the game’s quality? I mean, I agree with a few points of criticism… nobody likes everything, but this is too much. “Why is this Keyblade akward”, “Why is this villain not dark and evil enough”, “Why is BBS Vol. 2 another worse Spin-Off”, “Why is 3D just another worse spin-off”, “Why is this character useless or just some clishé”… and it’s going on and on and on and on…

    I think, everyone’s having a head themself. Why is it so important to show the opinion of one random guy? To bring us all to the same opinion? Isn’t it rather an anti-KH propaganda or something?

    I can’t agree with the fan-culture these days. Everyone is damn their own “favourite”-franchise and/or hating the producers of it. I remember a time, where the fans held to their fandom.

    I say it again: I have nothing against a bit of critique. But I am new to this side and if I wouldn’t know it’s a fan page… I would think it’s a hater page – seriously.

    And I like the Lionheart-Keyblade and Jungle-Key, too. -.-

  5. Vtrev Says:

    The Oathkeeper should be on here. That thing is UGLLY. I like the Jungle Key though.

  6. Bluewolf319 Says:

    Maan U hate’n!
    I love sweetstacks!  It /is/ a joke keyblade. The fact that it is so strong only makes the joke better. the game is extremely dark for a kingdom hearts. Take the tiny bit of comic relief and get over yourself.

  7. Soularachan Says:

    Kairi’s keyblade is awesome.

  8. Jishdefish Says:

    I like both the Gull Wing and Destiny’s Embrace, but I respect your viewpoint.

    I do agree about the bows, they look out of place on the keyblade and I remember thinking so after equipping it for the first time.

    As for the Destiny Island keyblade, it has never struck me as over-the-top girly (maybe it’s the mostly red and tan color scheme that kept me from seeing it), but what did strike me as such was Kairi’s poor attempt to swing the thing.

  9. Snackless Says:

    Sweetstack and Rumbling Rose are badass, idk what u b bliznatchin about :P

  10. Jecht66 Says:

    Huh? Oathkeeper’s one of the coolest keyblades out there. It looks like a keyblade of pure light, which is pretty much what it is.

  11. Darksoldier85 Says:

    I agree with most of these, but one thing about the Jungle Key. I’m pretty sure that’s leather wrapped around the bones, not rotting meat. The rest though, pretty accurate.

  12. KHisawesome Says:

    Umm I Remember rumbling rose being a pretty strong keyblade, Look didn’t matter

  13. KHisawesome Says:

    Umm I Remember rumbling rose being a pretty strong keyblade, Look didn’t matter

  14. RedAndBlack Says:

    That’s absolutely what I’m talking about!

  15. SeiyaHoshigami Says:

    I agree with Jungle’s Key and disagree with Destiny’s Embrace (really beautiful) and Sweetstack (I genuinely think it looks awesome, with all those soft volors). Neutral to everything else. Now, how come you left Bond of Flame out? Or Photon Debugger? Or that Keyblade from KHII Atlantica whose name I can’t remember? Now THOSE are off-putting.

  16. Aster151 Says:

    dude stfu… he has an opinion, let him write it. You act like the game is PERFECT in every way. EVERY game has it’s flaws, yes even when design is involved.

  17. Sky Says:

    I actually liked rumbling rose :P I think the purple and lime green look pretty epic together. I HATED destiny’s embrace.

  18. RedAndBlack Says:

    I don’t act like the game is perfect. Read my comment again and more thorough, please.

  19. Erhama Says:

    Hey, Kris. Build a bridge and get over it. Because none of those Keyblades are terrible-looking.

  20. Harpsichord_hime Says:

    Gotta share my opinion. I love Destiny’s Embrace. I don’t really think it or Lionheart should have been on this list. I definitely think that Decisive Pumpkin should have been on this list, as well as -shivers- Fenrir. I HATE Fenrir and I was shocked to see it make the top ten best.

  21. Harpsichord_hime Says:

    Ugh, look at this thing. Should have been on the list. http://i704.photobucket.com/albums/ww49/TerraAquaVenXehanort/Kingdom%20Hearts/DecisivePumpkin.png

  22. Anonymous Says:

    You may be right-they’re not terrible-looking. They’re abysmally terrible-looking.

  23. canvas prints Says:

    Wise words RedAndBlack – why not have a feature on the 10 best keyblades??

    Regardless, this is just one person’s opinion and it was a good read.

  24. Musicsoundchic Says:

    I think most of the articles are pointing out the bad in the game either because we alread know all the good and don’t usually look at the bad, or as they say no one really ever notices when you do something good because it’s expected, but when you do something bad you should be corrected or punished.  Or something like that, I don’t remember the actual quote, but it’s something along those lines.

    I think it’s rather that we can share our opinions and talk about them like the KH nerds we are, like how I’m doing :)

    I love the Lionheart and Jungle-Key too, they’re two of my favorite weapons!  I feel bad having them up here, but that’s this persons opinion. :P

  25. Coolly Wajd Alhusban Says:

    how can i enter this game

  26. Gchase Says:

    I personally liked Rumbling Rose because its ability, combined with equipping both Explosion and Guard Break, make it one of the best weapons in the game, especially with equipping Finishing Plus on yourself.

  27. Kendraxissac Says:

    See, you’re looking at the Rumbling Rose the wrong way. I personally like the Rumbling Rose, even with it’s tacky, awkward design. It is created to resemble the Beast AND the Beauty. The head of the key used a dark resemblance of the Beast’s arm to show the brutish manner of the Keyblade and the hilt shows the majestical beauty of the Keyblade. It was meant to show both Beauty and Beastliness. I hope after reading this you will see the Rumbling Rose as more than a mere Key but much more.

  28. Vee Says:

    Agreed it was one of the most powerful keyblades in KH2 and it was downright hideous.

  29. Anonymous Says:

    Good point. The tackiness and awkwardness makes a good metaphor to Beast.

  30. :) Says:

    LOL, i don’t give a shit about the design as long its powerful im good :)

  31. Kai Says:

    I don’t mind these articles. It’s interesting to see different point of views regarding a game we all like (Come on, if we’re here reading this, it means we’re fans of the game).
    As fans, it’s easy to be biased and think that there’s nothing wrong with the game. So when someone says as much as “Riku looks girly”, a war is unleashed. Sure, this article only looks at the lame keyblades when it could have also listed the best keyblades.

    I don’t know. While it would be nice to see more of those articles, there’s the risk of sounding either too geeky or too biased. For example, I can imagine an article saying “Axel is the best character” and then a bunch of comments complaining about how that’s a lie.
    As fans, we already know what’s good about the series. We talk about it everyday and we boast about the game’s awesomeness (It’s a word!). But articles like this bring up a debate and invite people to comment on whether they agree or not.
    So instead of saying something like “OMG U HATERZ!”, the point is to perhaps say how you thought such keyblade was okay and how this other keyblade was better.
    In case people missed the point, the keyblades that aren’t listed here are alright. So that can also be a point of debate: do you agree? Do you disagree?

    But above all, it’s just someone’s opinion! It’s not a cold, hard fact! Hell, I loved Lionheart because it had a nice range and it was one of the most powerful keyblades. Thus, I love FFVIII. But I have to admit it does look lazy.

    Anywho, back to topic, I actually don’t like all the Disney related keyblades, that is, about 80% of the keyblades you can get in the games. I like Oblivion, Oathkeeper and all those other that you get by default. Yeah, I even liked Kairi’s keyblade despite the girly design; I think it’s very chauvinistic but hey, it looks pretty. But any other keyblade sucks in my opinion. It just doesn’t work for me: you get a weapon and you try to make it themed after a character/setting/story. Sorry but it’s not working, Disney. I like you, Disney, and you’re awesome. But stop trying to make everythying so pretty and family friendly. A keyblade is a weapon. Keep that in mind at all times.

    PS: I never played BBS but it seems Sweetstack does deserve that position. If I ever played BBS, I know I’ll probably be using some other weapon instead of that one. I don’t care if that one’s more powerful. At least it will be a challenge and it won’t look as dumb.
    While we’re at it, gods, I hope I don’t unleash another series of comments. Like I said, this is just an opinion: my opinion.

  32. Rechiru Says:

    I loved it when kairi got the Destiny’s Embrace keyblade! and is one of my favourites of the keyblades and also what is so wrong about it? ok, I agree that its an girls keyblade but if you think about it, would any girl be happy with a keyblade that looks like a plain giant key? and also what is with this article? its like your trying to show the bad things about kingdom hearts, well you have failed! and also who says that these keyblades are the worst of all time? whats your next article going to be I wonder?

  33. suspiciouscookie Says:

    ” However, the wildflowers for the teeth of the key is way too busy and almost insultingly girly.”

    You know what’s misogynist? Thinking that masculinity is better than femininity. It follows that thinking that a ‘girly’ keyblade is a BAD THING is about as misogynist as you can get.

    It’s not like Kairi was incompetent with her keyblade. She killed a whole bunch of heartless with it, which is especially notable as it was the first time she was shown holding a weapon. The game did a great job of showing that a ‘girly’ keyblade is awesome and Kairi can be awesome and a girly-girl at the same time. And guess what? Aqua got to use this keyblade too, and it’s one of the stronger ones, yet she gets no backlash for it.

  34. Draconic Says:

    WHY DO YOU HAVE DESTINY’S EMBRACE HERE? It’s awesome! The flowers are gorgeous the heart-shaped hilt is just really elegant. And the colors flow together so well too. Frankly, it should be in the top ten coolest Keyblades. It’s beautiful on an overall level.

  35. Draconic Says:

    I wish that my Destiny’s Embrace response was as effectively written as this one. A Winner Is You suspiciouscookie!

  36. Draconic Says:

     Well, I know why Bond of Flame was let out: It looks wicked! But the others I guess you’re right about.

  37. Antietz Says:

    i don’t like guardian soul’s design 

  38. Isharne Says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself :)

  39. Copylefter Says:

    Thanks for using this images without permission.  It really shows your site’s professional valour.

  40. Avatarwes Says:

    You think the artists were sexist when they made Kairi’s Keyblade

  41. Asdf Says:

    rofl i like your article. if it was meant to hate keyblade designers, this sure did it~ Lol it was a funny read but I don’t think many people will take this lightly as I have~ Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, it’s nice to see a fan of the game who isn’t blindly in love with every single facet of it. 

    “The most ridiculous looking Keyblade in all of existence is also one of the most powerful.” I have a sweet-tooth, so I quite adore it although it feels really odd to wield x3

  42. Katherine Morales Says:

    Most akward keyblades? Ahaha you make me laugh. You should of made the title “Most Horrible Keyblade Designs IMO”. Akward is one thing. Bashing is another.

  43. people search Says:

    i agree with you

  44. reverse phone lookup Says:

    I have read some good stuff here. 

  45. Craddyren Says:

    Agreed. I don’t give a shit either. Doesn’t matter about design or anything. Just use it and kick Heartless ass. And don’t say I’m not allowing you guys to put your own opinion coz’ everyone has their own opinions and follow them.

  46. Craddyrem Says:

    I also don’t like people who criticize my opinions. So, chillax people, don’t take it too seriously.

  47. Mjspritzer Says:

    Sweet memories is a good one, because it helps you collect better items at the end of the game. But the rest are pretty useless. 

  48. Roxas Says:

    Hey man how about you try to design a keyblade and see how it comes out yeah I`m not a great artist but at least I Don`t dis my favorite game.

  49. Lumine Says:

    Only one I can agree with is The Lion Heart….Most powerful weapon in the world…yeah and I love how it looks. If I had any of these in rl I would love it…only thing in kh that I didnt like was that there was no way to keep keys in the next game. That’s the only thing that I dislike “in game” wise. Now the main thing that upsets me about kh is there is no ONE system it is on. I would love it al to be for one system so that I may keep all my stuff and move it to a new save file.

  50. random_approach Says:

    what i think he means is that it isn’t suited for a weapon to deal damage if you would look in a more realistic way however Kingdom Hearts is a fantasy game where it doesn’t matter if you are fighting with a flower or a sharp metal blade. and i really don’t think he means that masculinity is better but that he thinks that kairi deserves a more aggresive weapon wich also can be feminine.

  51. Jon Wareham Says:

    Some of these keyblades are so ridiculous! I love it lol.

  52. rockinkeybla Says:

    i bet i would eat the no. 1 :)

  53. Natedog Says:

    Calm your goofy down RedandBlack. Its his choice. you don’t like it don’t read it.

  54. Marble Says:

    Most of these I agree are badly designed, but I mean….the rumbling rose? Really? That keyblade looks awesome to me. Not as great as the Divine Rose, but I still enjoy its design. Also look people some of the spin offs aren’t that great as games I personally don’t like COM, Re:Coded as far as story goes save for COM’s introduction of the organization I enjoy the characters, but not the rehashing of KH1. Now 358/2 I enjoy for it’s story, but hate the gameplay and the lack of life in the worlds. Regardless, even if they hadn’t made these games KH3 wouldn’t have come out any sooner. Nomura works for a company, and that company had him working on other projects. He came up with the spin offs not merely as a cash grab, but to show us they were still thinking about us. If NOTHING had come out people would be complaining that Square Enix hates the KH fans. Not everyone likes them, but they show that Nomura was thinking of ways to let us know he remembered us.

  55. Trek Says:

    You’re using Misogynist where sexist would have been better. He isn’t saying he hates women, he’s saying the keyblade was worst because it was affected by ”women”(as in feminity) I agree that what he said was botched, but misogyny is being thrown around nowadays and it makes no sense.

  56. OccamsTireIron Says:

    And it made sleigh bell noises every time you hit something with it! Let me tell you, it’s really jarring to beat Sephiroth to death with an evil candy cane that makes JINGLE BELL SOUNDS.

  57. bill cypher Says:

    I know I’m five years late to the party but whatever. I understand most of your statements but there are just a few things I want to mention-

    Destinys embrace- I think kairis keyblade is really elegant, I think a few bronies have some things to discuss with you when you use the term ‘girly’. It just has flowers and stuff. Who gives a fuck? It’s an effective weapon and kairi seemed to like it. If I remember right, it’s supposed to symbolize HER not destiny islands. Like the kingdom key symbolizes Sora and the whatever the fuck symbolizes Riku. Not all keyblades have to be badass, just look at the fairy harp. Kairi fought just as well as sora and Riku with this keyblade, it’s not like she was handy capped with it.

    Sweet memories- This keyblade symbolizes 100 acre wood. It’s not supposed to look dangerous. If I remember correctly, it’s not very strong physically but it is magic wise. It increased the drop rate of munny. Again not all keyblade a have to be badass.

    Treasure trove- Your first statement is really odd, you said yourself all keyblades symbolize something, The wishing lamp symbolizes Agraba. The Olympia symbolizes Olympus. The fairy harp symbolizes neverland. So if you have a problem with this one for it you should have a problem with the others. I showed my brothers girlfriend, a picture of the kingdom key and all she saw was a big key. Not a weapon. When I told her it was a weapon and showed sora using it, She was kinda surprised. Who wouldn’t?! It’s a key being used as a weapon! Who would look and think ‘yea that’s totally an effective weapon and not just a comically oversized key’. Also, Bulky? Bulky?! Really?! Just look at KH2s ultima weapon and tell me that’s not bulky! Clouds sword is bulky! Leon’s gunblade is bulky! Yet they still use it just fine! Just try getting hit in the head with this thing and tell me that it doesn’t hurt like a mother fucker. Guff…

    The gull wing- The gull wing is my absolute favorite keyblade of all time. And Lenny is very upset that you called him bug eyed. I agree with the yellow bows thing to an extent, I grew to like it after a while.

    All in all you do make some good points but plenty of questionable ones. But I respect your opinions. Everyone’s got an opinion, that’s what makes the world so lovely and multi colored.

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