Origin of the term "glass canon"

Did a bit of googling, and nobody seems to have an actual root of where this originated.

I'm surprised I didn't hear a mention of the Fire Emblem series, where they had powerful Glass weapons that broke after 3 hits. Its low durability made it good for just that... A hit or two (including a counter), then its done with.

Surely it couldve come from that, since many gaming terms find their origins in cult classic old-school RPGs, and the fire emblem series is definitely a classic.

Any thoughts on this?

(Its not much of a stretch to imagine someone trying to describe a character as a 'glass CANON' using fire emblem glass weapons as reference. The canon being much more deadly than a simple sword)

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    I think it's an ambiguity of glass ceiling of some sort. If that makes any sense.
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  • Rolf
    1032 posts Member
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    Surprised to say I've never heard of that one. What era, genre, and game system are we talking for Fire Emblem?
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  • Qeltar
    4326 posts Member
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    The term goes back a long way, probably to early D&D days in the 1970s.
    I remember the old Ultima series in the 1980s had an item called a "glass sword" that could be used exactly once and would one-shot anything in the game (including important NPCs that were not supposed to be killable, creating much hilarity).
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    Qeltar wrote: »
    The term goes back a long way, probably to early D&D days in the 1970s.
    I remember the old Ultima series in the 1980s had an item called a "glass sword" that could be used exactly once and would one-shot anything in the game (including important NPCs that were not supposed to be killable, creating much hilarity).

    Aha! Should've known. When in doubt, go with D&D as the source of everything gaming. ^_^

    Technically I was right, goes back to a cult classic RPG. =P
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