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  • Daggers: Usable by Zelda, can only attack the tile directly in front of you.
  • Short swords: Usable by Link, can only attack the tile directly in front of you.

Aside from who is able to use them, what are the differences between these two weapon types? It just seems odd to me that there would be two weapon types with the same functionality.

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There is no difference in the current version. However, the original Crypt of the Necrodancer allowed you to throw your dagger. Perhaps that feature was originally intended but left out in the end. Both weapons have different pools, though: a life-stealing short sword won't get you a life-stealing dagger automatically.

By the way, Cadence can also use daggers but not short swords.

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