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The Soul series features a wide diversity of characters and fighting styles

A comprehensive list of characters from the Soul series of fighting games produced by Namco.

Contents

Overview and character development

The Soul series is a weapon-based fighting game franchise developed by Namco Bandai's Project Soul division and consists of seven games: Soul Edge, Soulcalibur, Soulcalibur II, Soulcalibur III, Soulcalibur Legends, Soulcalibur IV, and Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny. Set in the 16th century,[1] the plot of the games revolve around Soul Edge, a cursed sword able to possess its wielder and devour souls, and Soul Calibur, a holy sword and Soul Edge's antithesis.

With each character, their weapon was decided upon before other aspects were. The design was then built to revolve around it, starting with gender, then physical measurements, and lastly background details. Once established, appearance and movement were fleshed out by the team's concept artist[2] and rendered as a 3D model by a design team that worked solely on the character.[3] The completed model was then animated by a motion capture artist working directly with the team. During this phase the team additionally worked with the story creators, refining the character's own role in the plot as needed throughout development.[4] In the course of the series, two characters have been an exception to the process: Johan Druer, a berserker exclusive to the Soulcalibur Japanese player's guide, and Necrid, a character co-produced with Todd McFarlane that appears in Soulcalibur II.

Starting with Soulcalibur II, guest characters from other franchises or companies were introduced for different home ports of the game, with The Legend of Zelda's Link appearing for the GameCube version, comic book character Spawn for the Xbox, and Tekken's Heihachi Mishima for the PlayStation 2. Despite rumors of Devil May Cry's Dante's inclusion in Soulcalibur III, developers confirmed no plans for the inclusion of guest characters for the title,[5] with series producer Hiroaki Yotoriyama stating "It’s my policy to never do the same thing twice."[6] However, under new producer Katsutoshi Sasaki the concept was revisited in later titles in the series, with Tales of Symphonia's Lloyd Irving appearing in Soulcalibur Legends,[7] Star Wars characters The Apprentice, Yoda and Darth Vader appearing in Soulcalibur IV, with the latter two exclusively to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions respectively until later released as downloadable content,[8][9] and God of War's Kratos for Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny.[10]

In addition, with Soulcalibur IV several manga and anime character designers were invited to contribute additional, non-canon characters to the game: Angol Fear, a female alien designed by Mine Yoshizaki and cousin of his existing character Angol Mois; Ashlotte, a mechanical doll developed by Oh! great sent to destroy series character Astaroth; Kamikirimusi, a young female oni designed by Hirokazu Hisayuki searching for kindred spirits; Scheherazade, an elven storyteller designed by Yutaka Izubuchi and based on the the Persian queen of the same name; and Shura, a possessed female warrior designed by Hiroya Oku. Rather than having a unique fighting style, each was modeled after an existing character: Seong Mi-na, Astaroth, Nightmare, Amy, and Cervantes, respectively.[11]

Introduced in Soul Edge

Cervantes

Cervantes de Leon (セルバンテス・デ・レオン Serubantesu de Reon?)'s father, Phillip, was a privateer sent on a special mission from Spanish King Philip II to loot ships, but was killed and his ship destroyed by an English warship. As a result Cervantes forsook his allegiance to Spain and became a pirate. Receiving a request from Voldo's master to find Soul Edge, he pursued and found the sword only to be possessed by it. He killed his crew and led a reign of terror for twenty years until defeated by Taki, who pursued the sword for her own reasons. However he was resurrected accidentally by Nightmare due to the fragments of the sword lodged in his body, initially with amnesia. As his memories slowly returned he desired the sword again, which had been by now shattered. Recovering fragments of the blade, they melded together to form a new weapon for him, and he pursued more pieces to strengthen it, attacking any ships that came close to his at sea. When Soul Edge summoned all pieces of itself back to it, Cervantes followed the trail, devouring the soul of his illegitimate daughter, Ivy along the way.

Hwang

Hwang Seong-gyeong (ファン・ソンギョン Fan Songyon?), a man with a strong sense of justice, joined Korea's coast guard and was sent to find the "Sword of Salvation", really the cursed sword Soul Edge, in order to protect his country. However he returned after learning of an impending Japanese invasion of his homeland, bringing his friend's daughter, Seong Mi-na, back with him. After she set out after her again, he learned that the true nature of the sword, and informed his superiors of it. They dismissed him as a result, but upon learning that the Japanese were also after the sword he was instead sent to stop them. Heading westward, he plans to join forces with Mi-na to destroy the blade.

During development several weapons were considered, including a zhanmadao like Seong Mi-na's and a bladed nunchaku like Li Long's. Several different outfit components were also considered at this time, such as the inclusion of head and/or arm guards and an arm bandana[12] With Hwang's appearance in Soulcalibur his attire was changed. Chinese style costumes were considered, including an outfit with an open jacket and a bandaged design with a Chinese martial artist's attire. The developers based his look around the concept of a traveler, implementing subtle hints such as his torn pant legs.[13]

Inferno

Inferno (インフェルノ Inferuno?) is the physical manifestation of the cursed sword Soul Edge's own soul. It fights using the attack style of other fighters from its memories of past battles, and will switch to a random one at the start of each round. Though it exists in its own dimension, Chaos, it has used duplicity such as in the case of tricking Siegfried into expanding its will, and in more extreme cases utilized Cervantes' flaming corpse and later the remnants of Nightmare's armor to create an avatar for itself. Its will and power has directly and indirectly affected several other characters in the series, such as the Evil Seed event that caused many to turn somewhat evil or insane. It has also caused the creation of several life forms or modification of them, such as Ivy's sword, Charade, Necrid and Abyss. As Soul Edge, it appeared in Namco × Capcom, shown to have the abilities to create Charades at will, as well as teleport its evil body.

Li Long

Li Long (リ・ロン Ri Ron?) is an assassin sent by the Emperor of China to kill a pirate lord, but failed. Badly injured, he was rescued by a woman named Chie and eventually fell in love with her. While out one day, a fight broke out at the inn and Chie was believed to be dead. Told falsely the swordsman Heishirō Mitsurugi was responsible, he set out after Soul Edge knowing Mitsurugi was also after the blade.[14] Along the way he takes the weapons of other fighters he defeats, repurposing some for his own use.[15][16] Upon finding and defeating him, he realized Mitsurugi had no part in the attack upon Chie, and continued his goal of searching for Soul Edge.[17] He located its wielder, Cervantes, but was beaten severely. Revealed to have survived in Soulcalibur III but having lost an eye, he found himself on the run from assassins sent by his former employer. Traveling by night under a false name, he was taken in by a girl that reminded him of Chie. When the assassins eventually found him, Li Long stood his ground and defeated them. Remembering the feel of fighting for something other than revenge, he set out to find himself, not knowing that Chie was actually alive and, after giving birth to their son, had set out to find him.[18]

Mitsurugi

Heishirō Mitsurugi (御剣 平四郎 Mitsurugi Heishirō?) is the son of a farmer, who after suffering years of witnessing his homeland being ravaged by bandits and war decided to take up swordsmanship, becoming a samurai and eventually hired mercenary. Learning of a new weapon, the rifle, and its ability to devastate the current Japanese armies, sought Soul Edge to counter it and encountered Taki during this time.[19] Unable to find the sword, he challenged a man armed with a rifle in frustration, and was shot in his right shoulder. He gradually improved his fighting style to the point riflemen were no longer a threat, and after learning of Nightmare set out after him in order to find what he considered a worthy challenge.

He has also appeared in a cross-over game Namco × Capcom as a playable character.

Rock

Rock Adams (ロック・アダムズ Rokku Adamuzu?). Rock first appeared in Soul Edge as a playable character and returned for Soulcalibur, Soulcalibur III, and again in Soulcalibur IV.

Initially during development, the character was called "Beast Warrior", and his design changed little over the course of creating the character. His appearance is intended to reflect the atmosphere of a wild warrior, while his facial expressions were drawn in a positive manner, intended to show him enjoying the fight.[20] When developing his appearance for Soulcalibur, a clothed design and a bald appearance were both rejected, as the team felt they gave the impression of an urban or "bad guy" character, respectively.[21]

Seong Mi-na

Seong Mi-na (ソン・ミナ Son Mina?, Hanja: 成美那 Hangul: 성미나 Seong Mina) is a Korean woman, excelling at weapon usage but regarded as simply a girl by her peers. Barred from joining the coast guard due to her gender, she sought out the rumored "Sword of Salvation", which in actuality was Soul Edge, to prove herself. Hwang eventually caught up with her and dragged her back home, but she set out again after her father's efforts to marry her to him became unbearable. Encountering another female warrior named Ivy, she challenged her but was quickly defeated, and learned from Ivy that not only was she still inexperienced but that the sword she sought was inherently evil. She later challenged an alcoholic armed with a bo staff who also quickly defeated her. She requested training from him, and he taught her all his skills, revealing in a farewell letter his name as "Kong Xiuqiang", the long-lost father of Xianghua. However, before she set out she was dragged home once more by Hwang.

She later encountered Hong Yun-seong, a student of her father angry after being disregarded by Hwang when he challenged him to a duel. Feeling sorry for him, she handed him her family heirloom, the dao 'White Storm', and later that night he set out himself after Soul Edge. Mi-na set out to retrieve the dao from him, this time with her father's blessing.

Siegfried

Siegfried Schtauffen (ジークフリート・シュタウフェン Jīkufurīto Shutaufen?) the protagonist of the series, was born to Sir Frederick Schtauffen, a brave knight who was considered a champion among the oppressed peasants of his German home, and a woman named Margaret who met Frederick while he was on campaign, during the late sixteenth century. He was given the name 'Siegfried' after the famous hero, and was taught swordsmanship by his father.

Frederick embarked on a foreign crusade and, due to lack of guidance in life, Siegfried unintentionally killed his returning father while rampaging as the leader of a teenage band of thieves calling themselves "Schwarzwind" (German translation for "black wind"). Siegfried grew in despair and eventually convinced himself that anyone but he was to blame for his father's death. Siegfried had heard rumours of the invincible Soul Edge, and came to believe his father's killer could only be killed with that weapon.

After taking the life of a noble he worked for during a siege on his castle in Ostrheinsburg (he did so in an effort to claim - what he thought was - Soul Edge), he finally managed to come across the legendary weapon Soul Edge, lying beside the corpse of the defeated Cervantes de Leon which transformed into Inferno. Siegfried defeated Inferno, earning the right to wield Soul Edge himself. However, Soul Edge telepathically spoke to Siegfried, arranging a deal between the two; Siegfried would help the blade to restore itself gathering souls, and Soul Edge would resurrect his father Frederick. But Siegfried finally succumbed to the sword's power - transforming into the Azure Knight, Nightmare.

He claimed refuge in Ostrheinsburg Castle. During the following three years, he gathered together a group of followers: the golem Astaroth, Lizardman (Aeon Calcos), and Ivy. Each of them aided him in Soul Edge's quest to devour souls for a rejuvenation ceremony to be performed in his chosen stronghold, Ostrheinsburg Castle. But as the ceremony was about to take place, the clan was quickly laid to waste. Both Aeon Calcos and Astaroth were defeated; and Ivy left the clan after learning the shocking truth of her past from the Fu-Ma ninja, Taki. Two young warriors confronted Nightmare: Kilik, owner of both the sacred staff Kali-Yuga and sacred mirror Dvapara-Yuga; and Xianghua, owner of Krita-Yuga, which revealed itself as Soul Calibur.

Nightmare and Soul Edge were defeated, initiating a new resolve in the now-conscious Siegfried, albeit temporary - shards of the weakened Soul Edge were still present within his body. He eventually assumed the azure armor for a second time, becoming Nightmare all over again, desperately pursuing fragments of the Soul Edge so that he might fully restore it.

Raphael Sorel appeared in search of Soul Edge and Nightmare stood victorious after a fierce battle. As he stepped forward to finish Raphael, he muttered something incoherently. Following this, an internal struggle began between Siegfried and Inferno (spirit of the evil sword) vying for control over their physical body. With this show of "hesitation", Raphael unleashed a desperate final blow upon his enemy, piercing the center of Soul Edge. Nightmare let out an inhuman cry, and Siegfried finally regained control of his own body. Siegfried remembered his actions previous, before using the newly-revealed holy sword, Soul Calibur, to drive into the evil eye that was the core of Soul Edge, where the weapon had been trapped - however, this effort to destroy the evil sword would prove insufficient.

In the preceding event of Soulcalibur III, Siegfried now has control of his own body, picking up both swords and leaving Ostrheinsburg on a mission to seal away Soul Edge for all eternity, as he swore to atone for his sins, not knowing that Nightmare had gained a separate body of his own. Eventually, he fell victim to Zasalamel's plot to reunite Soul Edge and Soul Calibur at the Lost Cathedral. Siegfried took up Soul Calibur and fought a ferocious battle against the now-independent Nightmare, who in turn regained Soul Edge. Though victorious for the time being, the combination of the energy released from Soul Edge and Soul Calibur as well as his injuries from the battle mortally wounded Siegfried.

The events of Soulcalibur IV see Siegfried having been revived by the Soul Calibur, which has gained some sentience from the Soul Edge and the release of its creator, Algol. Now dependent on the armor in which the Soul Calibur had encased him for survival, Siegfried rejects all human contact and devotes himself to destroying both swords once and for all. In his ending, he finally defeats Nightmare decisively and releases the power of the Soul Calibur, permanently sealing away the Soul Edge and Soul Calibur, and turning himself into crystal in the process (much like what had happened to Algol). In Hilde's ending, he is instead forgiven for his crimes as the Azure Knight and given a royal pardon.

Sophitia

Sophitia Alexandra (ソフィーティア・アレクサンドル Sofītia Arekusandoru?)'s life as a warrior began when she met the Olympian god of fire and forge, Hephaestus. Hephaestus told her of the evil blade Soul Edge: that the existence of such a powerful blade would put shame to his name, as he had not created it, and that if anyone were to discover it, it would bring much pain to the world. Hephaestus ordered her to come to the Eurydice Shrine and receive a holy weapon, the Omega Sword, so that she could destroy the Soul Edge. Sophitia eventually found the Soul Edge in a port in Valencia, Spain; and she fought its possessor, the dread pirate Cervantes de Leon, destroying one of the twin blades. However, shards of the evil sword flew with great force from her powerful blow wounding her too greatly to finish the fight. Just as Cervantes was about to deliver a finishing blow to the endangered Sophitia, Taki arrived to save her and proceeded to kill the Cervantes. After the battle had finished, Taki carried Sophitia back to Athens, where her sister, Cassandra, had been waiting for her. Cassandra was the only member of her family or group of friends to believe her story at the time. While recovering from her wounds, she was also taken care of by a local blacksmith named Rothion. The two eventually fell in love.

Sophitia later had a vision of Nightmare and the true Soul Edge; she received a second oracle from Hephaestus to destroy the remains of Soul Edge. Hephaestus then supplied her with holy metal, which Rothion used to forge a new Omega Sword and shield; she set out on a second journey to destroy the cursed sword. Sophitia destroyed Soul Edge once again and returned home, where she married Rothion and gave birth to both a son and a daughter. However, four years later, Rothion received a shard of Soul Edge from a mysterious customer, and his and Sophitia's children began fighting over the shard. The evil aura the fragment emanated caused Sophitia's old wounds to ache, as they had been undoubtedly infected with the evil energy of the Soul Edge seven years previous, explaining her children's predilection for the bizarre aura. Cassandra, desperate to save her sister, proceeded to grab the shard from her grasp and run out the door, running away from home soon afterwards. A couple of weeks later, Sophitia decided that if she was to free her children from the evil sword's curse and ensure her sister's safety, she had to embark on a third journey. Because Cassandra had stolen Sophitia's previous weapons, which she had stored at Eurydice Shrine, Rothion forged her a new set to destroy the cursed Soul Edge once and for all.

Her journey took her to Ostrheinsburg Castle, where she encountered Tira. Tira told Sophitia that Soul Edge was not in the castle and later kidnapped Sophitia's children in order to set them up as sacrifices for Soul Edge. Sophitia therefore resolved to destroy Soul Edge for the sake of her children until she found out about Tira's kidnapping; thanks to the event, Sophitia's daughter could not survive without the energy of the evil sword nearby. She was therefore forced to defend the cursed sword alongside other "villain" characters such as Astaroth. Prior to the other storylines of Taki, Cervantes, Yun-seong & Created characters, Sophitia only defends the castle.

Taki

Taki (タキ Taki?, also written as 多喜) is a ninja, who after a battle with a demon in a haunted temple felt her magical ninjatō Rekkimaru begin to weaken, and believing Soul Edge to be the cause sought the blade to destroy it. Along the way she recovers a second weapon, Mekkimaru, from an innkeeper and her daughter she had been sent to kill, and in order to protect them informs her masters that the daughter's lover Li Long had instead taken the blade, though is found out and becomes a fugitive herself. Eventually finding and defeating Soul Edge's host, Cervantes de Leon, she merges a fragment with Mekkimaru, but finds the resultant sword gives off an evil aura. Unable to destroy it, she instead decides to try and tame its evil herself, and eventually comes into direct conflict with her former master, Toki. Realizing that Soul Edge had reformed itself, she chased after the blade to destroy it for good.

In 2005 Taki appeared in the crossover game Namco × Capcom. Taki, alongside Mitsurugi, appears as a playable character. She is eventually paired with Waya Hime, an enemy from the videogame Bravoman, and teamed up with fighting game protagonists Jin Kazama (from Tekken) and Ryu (of Street Fighter fame).

Voldo

Voldo (ヴォルド Vorudo?) was the right-hand man of Italian weapons merchant Vercci, also known as the Merchant of Death. Vercci desired Soul Edge to form part of his collection of rare weapons, and Voldo stood as the head of the expeditions in his search, even contracting the services of the feared Spanish Captain Cervantes de Leon, and later accompanied Vercci when he decided to take the search personally. When word came that the Italian Wars broke on Italy and that Vercci's possessions were the first targets, Vercci became angry and moved his fleet, his only remaining possession, to an uninhabited island off the coast of Sicily. After construction of Vercci's vault was completed Voldo was instructed to slay the sailors that helped in the construction to avoid the location of Vercci's Money Pit being revealed. Voldo would remain sealed underground, turning himself into the guardian of the tomb and slaying those who ventured to steal, making rumours of the island, its treasures and its "ghost guardian" spread around the globe. Years later, Voldo would hear his master's voice commanding him to search for Soul Edge once again, making him leave the tomb.

In the sequel Soulcalibur, Voldo's search for Soul Edge ended in failure, and he returned to find the Money Pit flooded by a storm. After saving what he could, Voldo remained in the vault, later to reemerge from the pit following a woman with the essence of Soul Edge, Ivy, who tried to find leads on the sword for herself.

In Soulcalibur II Voldo returns to the Money Pit after taking Yoshimitsu's katana, mistaking it for Soul Edge due to its evil aura. Voldo realized it was not Soul Edge and set outside on a new search, collecting its fragments along the way.

His profile in Soul Calibur III reveals that during one of his periodic visits to the Pit, Voldo found the tomb ransacked and the sword he mistook for Soul Edge stolen alongside the fragments he collected in his travels. Since the thieves were apparently interested in Soul Edge, he decided to track them down and force them to reveal any information they may possess regarding the sword. He also came to realize he was eventually going to die and leave the pit unprotected, so he began to search for a worthy successor as well.

During the events leading up to Soul Calibur IV, Voldo managed to locate Soul Edge at Ostrheinsburg, resting in the hands of the Azure Knight. After finally claiming Soul Edge for his master, a familiar voice spoke to him, instructing him to protect Soul Edge. However, the voice belonged not to Vercci, but Soul Edge, which assumed his form in Voldo's mind.

Introduced in Soulcalibur

Astaroth

Astaroth (アスタロス Asutarosu?) is a golem created by a cult of Ares to retrieve the cursed sword known as Soul Edge.[22] Upon finding the blade, Astaroth realizes that it is damaged and allies himself with its wielder Nightmare to harvest living souls necessary to restore the blade, planning to steal the blade once completed. However, before he can complete this task, he is confronted by a survivor of his attacks, Maxi, and is slain.[23] Revived by Ares in Soulcalibur II, Astaroth continues after the sword. However, the cult that created him regards this as a betrayal, and places a curse on the golem to dominate him. Astaroth resists and counterattacks the cult, learning in the process his design is not original but instead modeled after a human being, Rock.[24] To assert himself as unique, Astaroth finds and nearly kills Rock at the conclusion of Soulcalibur III, breaking free of Ares' control and transforming in the aftermath. Now hungering for power, he is offered it in return for servitude to Nightmare during the events of Soulcalibur IV, an offer he accepts with the secret goal of devouring Soul Edge itself.[25]

Edge Master

Edge Master (エッジマスター?) has a mysterious past; a renowned for his skill with various weapons, his past and real name are known only to himself. He served as advisor and teacher at the Ling-Sheng Su Temple, before it was destroyed by the "Evil Seed" event. Taking in the only survivor of the event, Kilik, he taught him to suppress the evil within himself and sent him to destroy Soul Edge, before departing on a quest of his own.

Edge Master was created by illustrator Yasushi Nirasawa, who had designed him as a background character and weapon shop owner for Soul Edge Official Guidebook - Densetsu Buki Tankyū no Sho.[26] Out of appreciation, Namco later introduced him a playable character in Soulcalibur and a recurring series element. His age is intended to reflect his experience and strength.[27]

Ivy

Isabella Valentine (イザベラ・バレンタイン Izabera Barentain?), commonly called Ivy (アイヴィー Aivī?), was raised by the Valentines, a noble family in London, England. Ivy's father became obsessed with the cursed sword Soul Edge, and worked himself to death. Her mother died shortly afterward, and revealed to Ivy that she was not their biological daughter. Becoming an alchemist, Ivy learned of her father's obsession and decided to destroy Soul Edge. She created an animated, segmented sword, bringing it to life by unknowingly summoning Soul Edge's current host, Nightmare, and was convinced to become one of his servants. After learning the truth, and that her real father was the sword's previous host Cervantes, with her intended to be its next, she departed. Continuing her quest to destroy the sword in later games, Ivy was attacked by Cervantes and her soul consumed in Soulcalibur IV. Using an artificial soul to keep herself alive,[28] her body began to crystallize once depleted. However, her sword sacrifices itself to save her, and deciding to live, she heads towards an uncertain future.[29]

Kilik

Kilik (キリク Kiriku?) as an infant was left on the steps of a temple in China, where as he matured he studied martial arts and eventually inherited the holy staff Kali-Yuga. However, when the "Evil Seed" event occurred, himself and his fellow monks turned on one another, with Kilik the sole survivor. Sane once more, he came under the tutelage of Edge Master, and joined forces with Xianghua and Maxi to destroy Soul Edge and purge the evil within himself.

During Kilik's initial design creation, while the weapon selected remained constant several ages and related appearances were considered. In particular amongst these was suggested a young boy whose design was based upon the Chinese mythical character Sun Wukong, the Monkey King. Other designs such as a feral appearance were considered, but unused due to them feeling "pretty wild" and too different from the initial concept.[30]

Lizardman

Aeon Calcos (アイオーン・カルコス Aiōn Karukosu?), like Sophitia Alexandra, was one of the twenty-four warriors to receive an oracle from the god Hephaestus to destroy Soul Edge. A group of desert travelers rescued a dehydrated Aeon and brought him to their village. About to repay them by teaching them swordplay, the "Evil Seed" event occurred and turned him into a crazed killer that massacred everyone the village. Astaroth's creator Kunpaetku heard stories of Aeon and captured him for experiments, transforming him into a Lizardman (リザードマン Rizādoman?). Ordered to bring Rock's adopted son to Europe, he was defeated while pursuing Soul Edge, which was destroyed moments later. Freed from his brainwashed state, he tried to restore his human form but was unable to and thus blamed Hephaestus for abandoning him. His state deteriorated further, gradually losing his humanity and memories. Taken in by a group of lizardmen like himself, he realized he lost his soul to Soul Edge, and sought to reclaim it.

Lizardman went through few changes through his initial development, with several drafts remaining consistent in their design. However at once point it was proposed to have the characters be exactly "half human, half reptile", and as a result in terrible pain.[31]

Maxi

Maxi (マキシ Makishi?, also written as 真喜志) was a wandering pirate from Shuri in the Ryūkyū Kingdom (present-day Okinawa). He fights using nunchaku after learning techniques from "Zhang Wu", an alias for the assassin Li Long.[32][33] He pursues the golem Astaroth, who attacked his ship and slaughtered his crewmates, joining forces with Kilik and Xianghua. Maxi defeats Astaroth but is critically wounded as a result. He is later found by some villagers who help nurse him back to health using fragments of Soul Edge. He eventually pursues Soul Edge in order to use it to kill Astaroth once and for all, planning to himself die shortly afterward.

After initially considering having Li Long return for Soulcalibur, the development team instead focused on creating a new, younger nunchaku wielder for the title. After considering several ideas for his hairstyle, including several gag designs, the developers initially chose to give him dreadlocks before changing to the current appearance. Additionally, they opted to give him an outfit that would make him attractive, but also served as a partial nod to another fictional character, Takakazu Abe.[34]

Nightmare

Soulcalibur Legends, which takes place between Soul Edge and Soulcalibur, presents Nightmare as a boss fight. When Siegfried attempts to reject Soul Edge's power, Inferno emerges and takes on Nightmare's shape to stop him. After the credits, there is a short sequence showing the true Nightmare (or at least his foot) and Soul Edge Male.

Allying himself with Astaroth, Ivy, and Lizardman in the city of Ostrheinsburg, Nightmare attempted to completely restore Soul Edge. However, when his allies came under attack and either defeated or abandoned him, and he himself was beaten by Xianghua who wielded Soul Edge's antithesis "Soul Calibur". As a result, Soul Edge's control was broken, and he realized it was he who killed his father, as well as all the sins he had committed for the sword. Knowing the sword should never fall into human's hands again, Siegfried hid himself and Soul Edge, attempting to keep it far away from civilization.

By Soulcalibur II, the balance between the restored Soul Edge and Siegfried was broken, and Soul Edge was able to take over Siegfried's mind. At first it was for short periods of time during his sleep, but eventually he took Siegfried's body completely and used him to cause destruction once more. Raphael Sorel, a French former-nobleman pursuing the blade for his own scheme, challenged Nightmare and was completely defeated, but managed to pierce Soul Edge's eye with his rapier in one final attack. The sword now in agony lost control over Siegfried, and allowed him to defeat Inferno and break free once again. Nightmare then discovered Soul Calibur, released from Inferno's body after its defeat, and impaled Soul Edge's eye with it. Both swords sealed, Siegfried abandoned his old armor and left with them.

In Soulcalibur III, Zasalamel revived "Nightmare" in essence. Created as an avatar for a disembodied Inferno using the original armor as a shell, he pursued and eventually recovered his true body, Soul Edge. Nightmare also met Tira, who became his servant and manipulated others into protecting Soul Edge and sacrificing souls for Nightmare, to eventually become sacrifices themselves. Meanwhile Zasalamel manipulated Siegfried, leading him to Nightmare, and wielding Soul Calibur, he clashed against Soul Edge. At the moment the swords struck a burst of energy was released; Siegfried was mortally wounded, while Soul Edge and its body were pulled into a warped dimension, eventually returning to Ostrheinsburg.

In Soulcalibur IV, Soul Calibur revived Siegfried , while Inferno restored Soul Edge fully and strengthened his hold over the animated armor that was Nightmare. Inferno then claimed the entire city of Ostrheinsburg as a vessel due to the fact that Nightmare lacked the capacity to contain his consciousness, and as a result, the city became cursed and many of its inhabitants were corrupted. Tira continued serving Nightmare and manipulating Astaroth, Sophitia and others into serving Soul Edge, in order to weaken Soul Calibur and provide Nightmare with the strength necessary to destroy the spirit sword. Nightmare would then clash against Siegfried in a final duel, though his plans were interfered with the appearance of Algol and the Tower of Remembrance.

Xianghua

Chai Xianghua (チャイ・シャンファ Chai Shanfa?) is the daughter of a seasoned female warrior and a monk. Her mother eventually abandoned her father, and taught her her how to fight using a battered tai chi jian, in reality a stolen holy weapon from her father's temple in disguaise. Eventually Xianghua became a member of the Chinese Imperial Guard, and was sent after the "Hero's Sword", which in reality was Soul Edge. Encountering Kilik and Maxi, they joined forces and defeated first Nightmare, then Inferno in its own realm. With her weapon revealing its true form as Soul Calibur, Soul Edge's antithesis, they defeated Inferno and escaped, though at the loss of the sword. Though falling out of favor with the Chinese royalty, she continued along Kilik to hunt down and destroy Soul Edge when it resurfaced.

During Xianghua's early design phase, several concepts were considered for her attire, before settling upon a light and oriental appearance for her. Additionally it was considered to have her appear as a young girl instead, or alternatively for her to fight unarmed using martial arts, an idea later put to effect through Heihachi Mishima and his appearance in Soulcalibur II.[35]

Yoshimitsu

Yoshimitsu (吉光?) is a Japanese warrior that refused an offered alliance with Lord Nobunaga, costing him his right arm in the process. He initially planned to pursue the sword Soul Edge to take his revenge, but he decided against it, realizing it would make him no better than Nobunaga himself. He eventually sets out to destroy all remnants of the sword, in the process forming a Robin Hood-esque band of thieves known as the Manjitou in order to do good and to find the fragments. After the death of one of his servants at the hands of Soul Edge's vassal Tira, he hunts her for revenge.

Introduced in Soulcalibur II

In addition to the characters below, lesser storyline related characters were included in console versions of the title as unlockable characters, appearing as recurring enemies in the game's "Weapon Master Mode". Assassin and Berserker served as counterparts to previous characters Hwang and Rock. Both would later appear as boss enemies in Soulcalibur III, with Assassin's fighting style modified to utilize a kunai and Berserker modified into a smaller, fully armored warrior armed with a lance. Several generic Lizardmen also appear as recurring enemies and an unlockable character, utilizing an axe and shield fighting style that would be used by the original Lizardman in later appearances of the character.

Cassandra

Cassandra Alexandra (カサンドラ・アレクサンドル Kasandora Arekusandoru?) is the sister of series character Sophitia, and in Soulcalibur II set out on her own to destroy the cursed sword Soul Edge, continuing her quest in Soulcalibur III after realizing the sword still existed. She returns in Soulcalibur IV, encountering a man who sensed the fragment of Soul Edge that she carried. After defeating him, he fled, but told her of a "holy stone" with the power to dispel evil. Hearing rumors of a man with a large mass of crystal on his way to Ostrheinsburg, she reasoned he carried the "Holy Stone" and sought to destroy Soul Edge, and followed him. In Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny's Gauntlet storyline, a side story set after the events of Soulcalibur IV, the plot revolves around Cassandra her ally Hilde, who search for ingredients to develop a potion to cure Hilde's father. To this end force the protagonist to assist them, and later recruit another person, Dampierre, after Hilde is briefly kidnapped.[36]

Cassandra was designed in mind to have greater determination than Sophitia, with greater physical abilities and skills. Unlike her sister whose skills originate from her weapons and Hephaestus, Cassandra is not as humble and cannot hear him, relying instead on her own strength.[37] The development team noted Cassandra as an extremely popular character in Soulcalibur II, discussed on fan sites and bulletin boards. Several of Cassandra's animations were done manually by hand and blended with the motion capture-based animations done prior. As a result, the series' production manager noted that it gave some of her movements an uncomfortable appearance, and her proportions seem different than a human being's.[38] In Soulcalibur II, to further emphasize the contrast, concept artists emphasized a dress and tights for her instead of traditional Greek attire. Though the rest of the team was initially skeptical of the tights, they warmly received the finished model and heavily praised the decision.[37]

Charade

Charade (シャレード Sharēdo?) is the name of a creature introduced in Soulcalibur II, formed from Soul Edge's fragments and various reshaped human body parts. It has no intellect, instead acting on instinct and a desire to absorb other pieces of Soul Edge. It mimics fighting styles and weapons by scanning the minds of its opponents, represented in Soulcalibur II by his use of a random fighting style from one of the other game's characters. In the arcade version of Soulcalibur II, Charade served as the final boss,[39] and was a unlocked for players to use after a the game had been operation a certain amount of time.[40] For console ports of the title Charade was replaced by Inferno as the game's final boss, and was made into a regular unlockable character. A Charade appears as a boss in Soulcalibur III in a three round match in which it progressively loses components of itself between each round, eventually reduced to just its eye.

Charades appear in the game Namco × Capcom as minor enemy characters, mimicking Sophitia's fighting style from Soulcalibur II. These Charades are unique in that Soul Edge creates them directly,[41] an ability it lacks in the Soul series. Called Soul Edge's "avatars" by the game's protagonists,[42] they are created by Soul Edge as foot soldiers and as a means to protect itself. When defeated, they will melt and dissolve into nothing.[43]

Yun-seong

Hong Yun-seong (ホン・ユンスン Hon Yunsun?) was introduced in Soulcalibur II as a famous sword fighter that idolized Hwang Seong-gyeong. He seeks the "Sword of Salvation" to protect his people and prove himself worthy to challenge Hwang, with Seong Mi-na following him to make him return home and teaming up with Talim along the way.

Necrid

Necrid (ネクリッド Nekuriddo?) is a warrior who fought and defeated a former wielder of the cursed sword Soul Edge, and was pulled into the dimension that the sword's spirit, Inferno, inhabited. After fleeing from Inferno, he became trapped in the dimension for years. Warped physically and mentally as a result, he escaped during the closing events of Soulcalibur, but quickly found that, without the dimension's energies, he experienced intense pain and would eventually die. Attacking travelers perceived as enemies, he happened upon a fragment of the first Soul Edge and felt his pain dampened.[44] Pursuing other fragments of the sword, he encountered Talim while seeking the second Soul Edge, and helped defeat the resurrected Inferno.[45] After he regained his memories and sanity through the battle, Necrid closed the entrance to the void and trapped himself within.[46]

Raphael

Raphael Sorel (ラファエル・ソレル Rafaeru Soreru?) is a French nobleman, exiled for committing a grievance against them. Hidden by his pursuers by a young girl named Amy, he takes her in as his adopted daughter and seeks Soul Edge to rid himself of the nobles and secure a future for both of them. However, he was utterly defeated, and with both himself and Amy contracting vampirism as a result of the encounter they inhabit a castle in Romania and the populace quickly becomes infected, sparking several raids and wars against the castle. Learning of Soul Edge's counterpart Soul Calibur, he decides to locate it out of a desire to create a "perfect world" for himself and Amy.

Raphael's appearance in Soul Calibur III was changed heavily, designed to represent his evil demeanor and royal image. The chief character designer of the game, Hideo Yoshie, stated that the change made Raphael "more distinctive".[2]

Talim

Talim (タリム Tarimu?) is the granddaughter of her village's elder, and daughter of its shaman.[47] Due to turmoil caused by the influences of Spanish and Portuguese culture, she was reared to be its last priestess (Babaylan). The day that the Evil Seed spread across the world, Talim felt the winds, and an evil aura that devoured everything in its path surged into her body, causing her to lose consciousness for days. Years later, when Talim was fifteen years old, a man from the west brought with him a strange metal fragment, claiming it to be a vitality charm. Talim, however, recognized the evil energy as the same energy she had experienced years before and left on a journey, believing that if she were to return the fragment to its rightful place, peace would eventually be restored, despite the elders' misgivings.

Having collected several of the fragments, she eventually learned that the source of the evil energy was an evil sword called Soul Edge. Sensing another source of evil energy, Talim traveled to a mountain range, eventually locating it in a sick child living at a watermill. A young man named Hong Yun-seong arrived later as Talim settled into the watermill to try to heal the child, also searching for clues regarding Soul Edge, and came to stay with her. Talim ultimately healed the child by releasing the evil energy from within him all at once into the wind. [48]

She then left the watermill with Yun-seong and continued to search for Soul Edge in Soulcalibur IV. They met Seong Mi-na on their travels, and together she and Talim tried to convince Yun-seong of the dangers in attempting to attain Soul Edge's power. However, Yun-seong vanished the next day, leaving both of them worried but hoping he would make the right choice. The two parted ways: Mi-na to look for Yun-seong, while Talim carried on the search for Soul Edge alone.

Introduced in Soulcalibur III

In addition to the characters below, several others appear within the game under the title of "bonus" characters, representing fighting styles exclusive to the game's character creation mode as unlockable characters. These include minor storyline characters such as Amy and Revenant, others from previous installments otherwise absent from the game such as Li Long and Hwang, and characters exclusive to the game's "Chronicles of the Sword" mode. Of these, only Amy and Revenant would be included in later installments, with the former expanded into a full character and the latter appearing as a boss alongside Zasalamel.

Amy

Amy (エイミ Eimi?) was initially introduced as a background character for Raphael, as a young girl who hid him from his pursuers and taken in as his foster daughter in a debt of gratitude.[49] To secure a future for her, he left Amy behind to pursue the cursed sword Soul Edge, with plans to present it to the nobles that pursued him so they would be overtaken by its curse and destroy each other.[50] However he was utterly defeated by its host, and as Amy tended to his wounds both of them were infected with vampirism. They traveled to a castle in Romania, and he left her to ensure the creation of an ideal world for both of them. Amy however felt abandoned, and set out on her own to protect their world herself.[51]

First seen in Soulcalibur II opening sequence, Amy's character model was reused with a modified design in Soulcalibur III as a debug character for the developers to test elements of the game with and against, also appearing in some of the game's epilogue sequences. After completion of most of the game, they decided to implement her as a full character as a result of liking her design.[52] When she was announced as a playable character in the sequel for Soulcalibur IV, game director Daishi Odashima stating the reason behind her inclusion as "I like weaker characters", noting her as one of his three favorite characters in the game.[1]

Olcadan

Olcadan (オルカダン Orukadan?) was introduced in Soulcalibur III as a warrior that mastered all kinds of martial arts and weapon usage, and interested in honing his skills. When he reached adulthood only one of his fights had ended in a draw, so to test himself he hunted down God of War Ares's messenger, a great snow owl, and decapitated it as proof of his victory. He was cursed as a result with an owl's head depending on the position of the stars, and was later imprisoned in a labyrinth where time stood still. When the seal was eventually broken, he learned of Soul Edge's power and, impressed, he sought to defeat it. During this time he also learned of currency, and growing fond of it he served as an instructor to other warriors for payment.

Setsuka

Setsuka (雪華 Setsuka?) is a character introduced in Soulcalibur III. Early in her life in Japan, she was shunned due to being Caucasian, and eventually ran away from home. In another city, she was taken in by a man who worked as a bodyguard in the region and named her Setsuka, or "Snow Flower" He taught her his fighting style, as well as showing her affection and treating her with gifts she had before been deprived of. After he was slain by Heishirō Mitsurugi, Setsuka realized she had fallen in love with the man, and despite his dying request not to pursue revenge she chose to do so. She now tracks Nightmare, believing it will lead her to Mitsurugi, who himself pursues Nightmare.

Character developer Hideo Yoshie stated that Setsuka's concept originated from the idea of a flower.[53] Her outfit in Soulcalibur III was inspired by historical Japanese courtesans known as Oiran, who wore cosmetics and clothing similar to Geisha but tied their obi at the front instead of behind, mixed with elements from the Queen of Hearts as part of a "East-meets-West" concept.[54]

Tira

Tira (ティラ Tira?) was raised as a child as part of a powerful assassin organization known as the "Bird of Passage," she set out on her own after the group's leader went insane. Though she attempted a peaceful life in a quiet city, she found her urge to kill eventually uncontrollable and wandered until she learned of Soul Edge, a living sword using Nightmare's discarded armor as a body. Feeling it was a kindred spirit, she pledged her loyalty to the sword, and with a flock of ravens worked to locate a new body for Soul Edge and destroy its antithesis, the sword Soul Calibur. Through her and Zasalamel's machinations, Siegfried came to them and battled Soul Edge, but when it contacted Soul Calibur a burst of energy was released; Siegfried was wounded and Soul Edge cast into a warped dimension. Due to her proximity Tira's personality split into two extremes, Jolly and Gloomy. When Soul Edge returned in Soulcalibur IV she resumed her service to him, manipulating Astaroth, Sophitia and others into helping.

Zasalamel

Zasalamel (ザサラメール Zasaramēru?) hails from an ancient tribe that was tasked with the protection of the holy sword Soul Calibur by Algol. Angered by the tribe's restrictions, he tried to take Soul Calibur but was caught and exiled. Pursuing the sword he gained the ability to reincarnate, though eventually yearned to die for good. Tracking down Soul Edge, he manipulated events so that Soul Calibur would come to him, serving as the main antagonist of Soulcalibur III. Hoping to use the combined energies of the swords to end his existence, he was instead transformed into a monster called Abyss. During these events he had a vision of the future, and desiring to see it firsthand he returned to life, acting in Soulcalibur IV to protect the swords in case their destruction broke his cycle of reincarnation.

Introduced in Soulcalibur IV

Algol

Algol (アルゴル Arugoru?) serves as the Story Mode boss for most characters and as an unlockable character in Soulcalibur IV. Prior to the events of Soul Edge, Algol was known as "The Hero King", able to use the cursed sword Soul Edge without being controlled by it. With it, he spread peace, until his son Arcturus stole the sword and was controlled by it, forcing Algol to destroy it but kill his son as well. He worked to create a purified sword from a shard of Soul Edge to counter the weapon when it reappeared, resulting in the creation of Soul Calibur, but with his body and soul being trapped inside until Soul Edge and Soul Calibur clashed. Constructing himself a new body armed with facsimiles of both swords, he waits for them to come to him so that he can make his revival permanent.

Character designer Hideo Yoshie described Algol as "a character that obviously proves the setting of being the strongest character ever in the [Soulcalibur] series". Algol's costume was designed around the concept of originating from a culture so ancient that it was not recorded in history, which complicated the character's creation. After consider several themes including a lion and a dinosaur, a bird motif was finally settled upon. An option was considered for Algol to cause an "off site brawl" while on a pipe chair, but was unused.[55]

Hilde

Hildegard von Krone (ヒルデガルド・フォン・クローネ Hirudegarudo fon Kurōne?), Hilde (ヒルダ Hiruda?) for short,[56] is the daughter of the king of Wolfkrone, a fictional European kingdom under assault by series antagonist Nightmare's forces. After her father was driven insane, she took up the responsibility of protecting its people, leading her armies in the front lines against Nightmare. As a desperate measure, Hilde seeks the Sword of Resurrection, Soul Calibur, to bring back an ancient king who once restored peace to the world.[57] In her ending, Siegfried stands before her and requests to be executed for his responsibility in causing Nightmare's creation and the events of the series. She instead pardons him, telling him to live for the future instead of the past.[58]

Dampierre

Dampierre (ダンピエール Danpiēru?) is a con artist introduced in Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny and known by a variety of titles, amongst which include "Alchemist of the Ages", "The World's Best Assassin", and "Miraculous Psychic". He eventually became recognized as a thief, and resorted to robbery and kidnapping to continue his rich lifestyle. Desiring to live a noble life instead, he decides to fight against Nightmare and use his skills for good. His weapons consist of two spring mounted daggers strapped to the underside of his wrists.[59] He is voiced by Shigeru Chiba in Japanese, who the developers felt gave the character a distinct voice.[60]

Promotion and reception

References

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