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Tales of Souls & Swords (unofficial Soul Calibur fan site)

The Soul Series

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Although the Soul Calibur games are the most well known, they were not the first in the series. This is were I will explain the series for all you n00bs out there.

Soul Edge
sytems: Dreamcast (Japan only), arcade
release date: 1995
 

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Soul Edge was the first installment in the Soul series of fighting games from Namco. It revolves entirely around the blade Soul Edge, because Soul Calibur didn't exist yet. This version only had ten characters. It had
Li Long
Seong Mi-na
Mitsurugi
Siegfried
Taki
Voldo
Sophitia
Cervantes (had to be unlocked)
Hwang (had to be unlocked)
This game had a very good fighting engine. It gave you the vertical, horizontal, and kick attacks, as well as grab and "charged" attacks. The game focused around Cervantes, who had possession of Soul Edge at this time. He eventually is killed by Sophitia. However, when Siegfried found his corpse, it came to life as the incarnation of Soul Edge. He managed to defeat it. (he didn't take Soul Edge at this time, though) This game had really good graphics for a Dreamcast game. However, it was originally only available in Japan.

Soul Edge 2 (Soul Blade)
sytems: arcade, Dreamcast
release date: 1997

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Soul Edge II isn't actually the second game, but is more like a special edition version of Soul Edge. It received the name Soul Blade when it hit the market in Europe and the US. It featured the entire cast from the first Soul Edge. The only difference was that you started off with Cervantes and Hwang. The only unlockable characters were:
Seong Han-myeong (new)
Soul Edge
Other than the new character Seong Han-myeong, the game follows the same storyline as Soul Edge.
 

Soul Calibur
systems: arcade, Dreamcast, Playstation
released: 1999

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Soul Calibur was the official second game in the Soul series. It was also the first game in the series to hit another system when it was released on the original Sony Playstation. It wasn't as big a hit on the arcade version, but became a smash hit on Sega Dreamcast. New starting characters were:
Astaroth
Ivy
Kilik
Maxi
Xianghua
and of course, Nightmare!
new unlockable characters were:
Lizardman (Aeon Calcos
Edge Master
Yoshimitsu
Inferno (although he's really Soul Edge)
The only characters from Soul Edge that didn't appear in this game were Li Long and Seong Han-myeong. Also the new characters were mostly vamped-up versions of older characters. Kilik borrows his style largely from Seong Mi-na; Xianghua gets hers from Hwang; Maxi got his from Li Long; Nightmare uses almost the exact same moves as Siegfried; Astaroth uses a style like Rock's; and Lizardman was inspired by Sophitia's style. Even Yoshimitsu, who has his own unique style, borrows a few moves from Mitsurugi. (Tekken bastard) Edge Master does the same thing as Inferno and Soul Edge, use other people's weapons. Only Ivy, with her snake sword, has a unique fighting style. The game follows Siegfried, who made a pact with Soul Edge to try and ressurect his father. He ends up being possessed by Soul Edge and becomes Nightmare the Azure Knight. He goes on massacring innocents for three years. At the same time, the spirit sword, Soul Calibur, appears and seemingly defeats Soul Edge. However, some of Soul Edge's evil rubs off onto Soul Calibur, tainting it.

Soul Calibur II
systems: arcade, PS2, Xbox, GameCube
released: 2003

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Soul Calibur II easily became the best-selling game in the series. (this changed when SC3 came out) It had new features including the new "step" system which allows you to evade vertical attack easier, the three-step Soul Charge to unleash more powerful attacks, walls around entire stages, and new combos that can only be pulled off on the wall. New characters on the arcade and home versions were:
Cassandra (Sophitia's sister)
Charade
Raphael
Talim
Yun-seong
Only Raphael and Talim, with Raph's rapier and Talim's elbow blades, had new styles. Cassandra was based off her sister, while Yun-seong was influenced by Hwang. Charade does the Inferno thing. On the home versions, the new characters were:
Necrid (specially created by Todd McFarlane)
Link (Gamecube only)
Heihachi (PS2 only)
Spawn (Xbox only)
Necrid, Heihachi, and Spawn have entirely unique styles. Necrid uses pure energy, Heihachi his bare fists, and Spawn his cape (it forms into a one-handed axe). Although Link, with his longsword and large shield, is different than the other characters, he does seem to have been only slightly influenced by Sophitia. Also, available as loosely playable characters (they only get one weapon and two costumes in different colors) were these three:
Lizardman (not the same as the one from Soul Calibur, he was created by the man who made Astaroth)
Beserker
Assassin
Lizardman uses a style similar to Sophitia's, Beserker uses Rock's style, and Assassin Hwang's. The characters not in this game were:
Hwang
Rock
Lizardman (Aeon Calcos)
Edge Master
Technically, Siegfried wasn't in it, but this is only because he was at this point Nightmare. Inferno appeared as an unplayable final boss.
The most unique thing about SC2, however, is it's "Weapons Master" mode. In this mode, you go through a unique storyline that goes across the SC world. You can use any character, and can switch to another character at any time, without having to restart. You will get gold to buy weapons and bonus items, and also will gain experience and become stronger. This game was so popular that it gained the highest honors on each system: PS2's "Greatest Hits", Xbox's "Platinum Hits", and GC's "Player's Edition". (if you haven't noticed this already, the GC version has Soul Calibur on the front, the PS2 has the evil Soul Calibur, and the Xbox has Soul Edge. I think this is suggesting that Gamecube is good because of it's E-rated games, PS2 is neutral because of it's T-rated games, and Xbox is evil because of it's M-and A-rated games.)

Soul Calibur 3
systems: arcade, PS2, Xbox 360
released: 2005

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Soul Calibur is the third installment in the Soul  Calibur series, and is the fourth in the Soul series. It features better graphics, more combos, and more levels. It has all of the SC2 characters except for the home console-only characters. It's new characters are
Zasalamel
Tira
Setsuka
Olcadan
Abyss
Night Terror
Zasalamel, Tira, and Setsuka have unique styles. Zas. uses a massive scythe, Tira a ring blade, and Setsuka has a small sword hidden in a parasol. Abyss (the normal final boss) is Zasalamel after absorbing both Soul Calibur and Soul Edge, so he uses his technique. Night Terror is (you guessed it) Nightmare after doing the same thing, so he uses Nightmare's technique. (Night Terror is the true final boss) And Olcadan, like Edge Master, Inferno, and Charade before him, uses everyone's technique. Also in addition to these characters, there are the special characters:
Amy
Hwang
Li Long
Girardot
Aurelia
Abelia
Hualin
Valeria
Lynette
Luna
Revenant
Greed
Arthur
Miser
Chester
Demuth
Strife
Li Long and Hwang are returning from Soul Calibur. All of the other special characters appear in other modes. Also returning are Rock and Lizardman. Characters not appearing in this game are Seong Han-Myeong, Edge Master, Necrid, and the console-specific characters from SC2. (Link, Heihachi, and Spawn). Charade appears as a non-playable special character. Also, although you will normally face Abyss at the end of each "Tales of Souls" mode, Night Terror is the true final boss. See "Tales of Souls" for details.
There are four features that stand out in SC3. The first is "Tales of Souls". In this mode, you choose one of the standard characters and go through their storyline. The storylines are interactive, as you can choose where to go. And some of the cutscenes are interactive, in which you press a button or a set of buttons to dodge or block something.
The second is "World Competition". In this mode, you choose a standard or special character and try to win 12 consecutive championships in a row. It is pretty difficult, and requires skill. You can either do tournament or league. In tournament, once you lose a match, you're out, where as in league, you can lose a match or two and still get the gold. As it needs raw skill, special weapon abilities and custom characters are not allowed.
The third, and perhaps best, new feature is "Character Creation". There are two parts to it. The first, which is "Custom Character Creation", lets you make your own character to fight with. You choose their face, clothing, skin color, armor, and many other features. You must choose their sex, job, and weapon before making them. You start off with six jobs, with one discipline each, but you can unlock other jobs and disciplines as you go through the game. Some characters can even use standard character weapons. The other creation mode is "Standard Color Edit", in which you can change the color of a person's outfit.
The final new mode is "Chronicles of the Sword", in which you create a character specifically for this mode and use them through an involving storyline. You can level your character up, and they will gain different stats depending on their job. It isn't just fighting, though. There is some strategy involved in this mode. With all these new features, it's easy to see why Soul Calibur III easily compliments the Soul series.

Soul Calibur III Arcade Edition
released: not out yet
sytems: PS2, Xbox 360

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"Soul Calibur III: Arcade Edition is a re-tuned, re-vamped, and most importantly, fixed version of Soul Calibur III. Naturally, all glitches found in the console version have been fixed. In addition to that, we've re-tuned the overall balance of many moves and re-vamped Amy, Hwang and Li Long as official characters. All three have been revised into more unique move sets and help to expand the already expansive Soul Calibur III line-up." - WCMaxi (Namco Producer)
Soul Calibur III Arcade Edition will have all of the modes from SC3, as well as a few new modes. There is a "Standard Mode", which is the equivelant of "Arcade Mode". There is also a "Training Mode". The final of the new modes is "Legends Mode", which is like "Weapons Master Mode" from SC2. In this mode, the player gets to choose a character, who then fights eight battles to level up. The character does not permanently level up but the "representative" character (a computer player that cannot be controlled, but is able to fight others when challenged) will. Ex: You play the games 8 fights and gain about 98 levels, then you choose to upgrade the representative character, and if you do you get to up grade certain stats and such. You usually are able to upgrade about 1-5 stat points.
All of the characters from SC3 will be in it, with the exception of Abyss, who won't be a playable character anymore. Also coming to the game as standard characters are Amy, Li Long and Hwang, who will have their own moveset. I'll update this once the game is released.

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