Originating as Soul Edge on the PlayStation, the Soul Calibur series created a unique style for itself by having its characters fighting styles be focused on weapons and having its characters battling it out on a 3D plane. By combining its weapon-based combat with the 3D fighting style, Soul Calibur was able to separate itself from all the fighting games that came out before it. The series captured fans with its creative gameplay, interesting story, and most importantly it's characters.
Through its six main series titles and multiple spin-offs, Soul Calibur has created an interesting and diverse cast. With the upcoming release of Soul Calibur VI, there's no better time to look back at some of the characters that made the series great. Today we will be talking about the top 10 characters in Soul Calibur. We will be taking into account the characters design, playability, popularity, and their overall impact in the Soul Calibur universe.
Yoshimitsu, the name passed down to whomever in the Manji clan was the strongest and wielded the Yoshimitsu sword. The current Yoshimitsu of the Manji clan was invited by Oda Nobunaga to Azuchi castle in hopes of gaining the power of the Manji clan. Yoshimitsu declined the offer and returned to find his home destroyed by Nobunaga's army. Angered by Nobunaga's actions, Yoshimitsu challenged him to a fight and ended up losing his left arm in the process. In hopes of getting revenge, Yoshimitsu set out to find Soul Edge so he would have the power to defeat Nobunaga. While on his journey, Yoshimitsu saw all the damage Soul Edge had caused and started to rethink his plans of getting revenge. Yoshimitsu eventually gives up the idea of revenge and instead decided to destroy Soul Edge and defeat the corrupted dup of Voldo and Cervantes.
Yoshimitsu is one of the more interesting characters in the Soul series with his introduction to the series being in Soul Calibur, but he originally came from the Tekken series. Yoshimitsu fits right in with the cast, carrying over many of his moves from the Tekken series, including the moves that do damage to himself, to give him a playstyle that was difficult to learn, but also highly rewarding. Yoshimitsu stands out amongst the cast of characters due to being one of the more creative designs that really leave an impact on the player. While his story isn't anything special when compared to rest of the cast, it gives a lot of information on the background of the Yoshimitsu character and Manji clan which affects not only the Soul series but the Tekken series as well.
Kilik's story beings at his temple where evil seeds drove the monks to kill each other, Xianglian gave the Dvapara-Yuga mirror to Kilik in hopes of saving him at the cost of her own sanity and her life. Kilik was saved by Edge Master and he trained under him for three years allowing Kilik to improve his combat skills and learn to control the evil within himself. On his journey, Kilik would meet Maxi and Xianghua, together the three would bond together and agree to help each other on their journeys to avenge their fallen allies. Kilik and Xianghua would come to battle Nightmare and Inferno and thought to have destroyed Soul Edge. The next 21 years of Killik’s life would be spent battling the darkness inside of himself; each attempt of his to stop Soul Edge during its reawakenings ended in the darkness taking control of him. After realizing the darkness will eventually consume him, Kilik decides to leave a pregnant Xianghua behind as he decides to fight alone and protect the world by guarding the astral gate and attempting to close it once and for all.
Kilik first appeared in Soul Calibur and would have his biggest impact to the story in this game, despite appearing in every subsequent release. Although Kilik seems to be forgotten in the narrative of the later games, he is still one of the most important characters in the overall narrative of the Soul Calibur. His character shifts from being focused on getting revenge and destroying Soul Edge with his own hands, to fighting in the background and stopping Soul Edge from ever reappearing giving Kilik a much more interesting development than some of the characters who continuously chase Soul Edge and Soul Calibur. Kilik's staff and fighting style are great for people who want to be able to poke from far away while still being able to get close and engage.
Growing up as an orphan, Taki was trained by the ninja Toki in a secluded village in Japan. At the behest of Toki, Taki would set off to find and eliminate to rogue ninjas. Despite believing Toki's orders were unjust, Taki would go a journey that would lead her to encounter the pirate Cervantes and Soul Edge. With the defeat of Cervantes and Soul Edge, Taki had hoped Toki would return to normal, but when she arrived home Toki was still corrupted by evil. Taki decided to try to save Toki by breaking the sword Mekki-Maru by using Soul Edge. Toki eventually succumbed to the evil and turned into a demon and disappeared without a trace. Over the next 17 years, Taki would never stop looking for Toki and still hopes to be able to save him one day.
Taki first appeared in Soul Edge, the first game in the series, and she would appear in every game after it until Soul Calibur V where she would be replaced by her student Natsu. Despite being in almost every game, Taki has very few encounters with Soul Edge and Soul Calibur, staying mainy inside of her side plot to find and help Toki. Despite this, Taki is still one of the mainstays of the series with a character design and fighting style that impress people more than her role in the story. Gameplay wise, Toki is a good character for beginners; she is fast and her hits pack a punch with combos that aren't too difficult to learn.
Maxi grew up on the seas as the son of a merchant. While traveling the world, Maxi learned to use the nunchaku. During his travels, Maxi encountered another nunchaku user named Zhang Wu and challenged him to a fight. After losing to Zhang Wu, Maxi realized he wasn't as strong as he had believed and asked Zhang Wu to train him. After the death of his father, Maxi took his father's ship and became a freelance pirate. His life as a pirate would come to an end after the deaths of his crew, Maxi joins Kilik on his journey and vows to get revenge on Astaroth for the death of his crew.
First appearing in Soul Calibur, Maxi cemented his place in the history of the Soul series and would be present in every game after his first appearance. Maxi is as stylish as he is powerful, with a design that makes him stand out especially in the earlier games of the series. Maxi's playstyle is both good and bad for newcomers to the series due to his ability to do a lot of damage with his short range and rapid attacks with little knowledge of how to play the game. Maxi is one of the more important characters introduced in Soul Calibur, along with Kilik and Xianghua their story is one of the major events that happens in the series outside of the hunt for Soul Edge
Voldo was part of a Spanish fleet led by Vercci, an arms dealer who wanted to find Soul Edge to add to his collection. After war broke out in Spain, Vercci ordered a tunnel to be built that would serve as both the storage area for his treasure and a tomb for himself. Voldo would spend his time protecting this area and killing anyone who entered. The years spent in the pit led Voldo to become unstable, causing him to see visions of his former master, telling him to seek out Soul Edge. Voldo's first few trips out of the pit would be failures as he stalked Ivy and stole Yoshimitsu's sword due to their Soul Edge fragments giving off the same evil aura as Soul Edge. Voldo would finally be free of his visions of Vercci after Kilik purifies his mind. Voldo would later leave the pit and work under Graf Dumas who protects him when Patroklos comes to kill him,
Voldo has been in every Soul Calibur game since Soul Edge and his popularity comes more from his crazy style and design than his involvement in the story. While he does have a connection to Nightmare and Soul Edge, he's more known for his very fitting rivalry with Soul Calibur's other unique character Yoshimitsu. Voldo design often draws a comparison to masochism and his movements look inhuman and quite unsettling. With his unique style, many people like to take Voldo for a spin when playing Soul Calibur, but he is quite tricky to get a hang of, putting off many casual Voldo fans. Voldo is one of the more impressive characters in the series, due to the developers managing to create such a deep and interesting character despite him not having any lines of dialogue and only a few major story events throughout the history of the series.
Sophitia grew up in Athens as the daughter on a baker. One day the god Hephaestus appeared before her and ordered her to find and destroy Soul Edge. Her quest to find Soul Edge eventually led her to Spain where she would encounter the pirate Cervantes and Soul Edge. Sophitia challenged Cervantes, but she was defeated after one of the twin swords was shattered, sending shards of Soul Edge into her body. Sophitia would be saved by Taki who finished off Cervantes and returned Sophitia to her family. After returning home, Sophitia fell in love with Rothion and would give birth to two children named Patroklos and Pyrrha. Sophitia's happy family life would soon be challenged when she is forced to set out to try to stop Soul edge after discovering the Soul Edge shards in her body had not only cursed her but her children as well.
Sophitia is one of the most important characters in the entire Soul series. Sophitia has connections to some of the main characters throughout the series, with her sister Cassandra becoming one of the most important characters after Soul Calibur II and her children Patrokols and Pyrrha being the main characters in Soul Calibur V. Sophitia's battle with Cervantes ends up being one of the most important in the series, as it sets the rest of the series in motion. While she isn't a major factor in the battle against Soul Edge after Soul Calibur, her importance to the overall plot makes her by far one of the most important characters.
Isabella Valentine, better known as Ivy, is one of the most popular characters in the series. First appearing in Soul Calibur, Ivy set out to destroy Soul Edge, the sword that corrupted her father Cervantes. As she begins her journey, she meets Nightmare and they help each other on their journeys. Ivy learns that Nightmare was the one who possessed Soul Edge after Nightmare is defeated and learns that her own sword was crafted with the powers of Soul Edge. Ivy decided to find Soul Calibur and destroy her not just Soul Edge, but every shard of Soul Edge she encountered. Her journey eventually led her to have a final clash with her father who was still suffering from the time he wielded Soul Edge causing her to reclaim her soul and release the countless number of souls her father had taken. Despite her many victories, Ivy continues to search for and destroy Soul Edge once and for all.
With connections to both of the major antagonists in the series, Ivy was originally seen as a villain and eventually grew to be an anti-hero, willing to destroy Soul Edge no matter who she had to hurt. With the most recent release in the main series, Ivy has taken one step further, electing to help the heroes, solidifying her place as a hero and completed her transformation from good to evil. Ivy's play style is often thought of as one of the hardest in the game, causing her to be much less accessible to the average player. Ivy is one of the more developed characters in the series, becoming a stronger and smarter character after each game as she learns from her failed attempts at destroying Soul Edge.
Tired of seeing his homeland destroyed by war, Heishiro Mitsurugi picked up the sword at age 14 and became a samurai whose name became well known during the Sengoku Jidai, garnering praise from both Uesugi Kenshin and Oda Nobunaga. Fearing the change the rifle would have on war, Misurugi set out to find Soul Edge so he would have the power to never be outdone in battle. Mitsurugi failed to track down Soul Edge and returned home to work as a mercenary. Mitsurugi would set out to find Soul Edge again after a defeat by the tanegashima wielding Teppou Hei, forcing him to leave home in shame and track down Nightmare. Mitsurugi would once again have no luck finding Soul Edge. He returned home and challenged and defeated Teppou Hei thanks to the skills he had obtained on his journey. Mitsurugi gave up in his search of Soul Edge, instead, he focused on battling stronger and stronger opponents trying to quench his thirst for battle.
Mitsurugi is one of the characters that has appeared in every single Soul Calibur game. Despite not being the main character and giving up in his pursuit of Soul Edge by Soul Calibur III, Mitsurugi became one of if not the most popular characters in the series. Being one of the faces of the franchise, Mitsurugi has garnered many fans for everything from his design to his balanced fighting style that is easy for anybody to pick up and play with. Mitsurugi has been on many of the cover arts and when people think of Soul Calibur Mitsurugi is always one of the first characters to come to their minds. Outside of having a bigger impact on the story, you couldn't ask for a better character.
Nightmare is in the incarnation of Soul Edge. Nightmare first appeared after Siegfried obtains Soul Edge, slowly corrupting and taking over Siegfried. Nightmare puts together a group consisting of Astaroth, Ivy and Aeon Calcos in order to collect souls faster and increase his power. Nightmares plans are stopped by Kilik’s group during the battle at Ostrheinsburg Chapel as Nightmare falls into the world Astral Chaos. Nightmare eventually returns to Ostrheinsburg Chapel and is confronted by Raphael who is almost killed by Nightmare, but Siegfried gains temporary control over his body allowing Raphael to strike Nightmare setting Siegfried free and causing Soul Edge to release Soul Calibur. Nightmare would appear once again when Zasalamel helped animate a set of armor left behind by Siegfried, allowing Nightmare to continue his reign of terror. After being defeated in battle by Siegfried, Nightmare would stay dormant for years until he reappeared as Graf Dumas and would be defeated by Z.W.E.I. and Patroklos, who finally sealed Soul Edge and Nightmare away forever.
Nightmare first appeared in Soul Edge, but he wouldn't become a playable character until Soul Calibur. Because Nightmare started out fused with Siegfried, his playstyle is very similar to Siegfried, with only some minor differences between the two. Nightmare is a big character who moves slow but has an impressive range and an array of skills that can annoy the opponent. The evolution of Nightmare’s character is one of the best in the series, with Nightmare only originally wanting to gather souls and cause destruction, but then he grows as a villain to the point where when he goes by Graf Dumas, he has turned into a much more manipulative villain choosing to do much more work behind the scenes by tricking countries to go to war and manipulating Patroklos into doing his dirty work.
Siegfried grew up as a rebellious youth, he came to be in charge of a group of thieves called the Schwarzwind. He led the Schwarzwind into battle against a group of soldiers that resulted in Siegfried accidentally killing his father. Siegfried started to lose control and came to believe his father was killed by the wielder of Soul Edge and decided he would go after it. Siegfried eventually found Soul Edge by the deceased Cervantes and he took the sword for his own. Soul Edge had other plans as it started to take over Siegfried. Siegfried spent eight years under the control of Nightmare, destroying everything that got in his way and killing countless people until Siegfried was finally set free with the help of Raphael. After his release, Siegfried obtained Soul Calibur and used it temporarily defeat Nightmare and Soul Edge.
Siegfried has appeared in every game in the serious either as the antagonist under the control of Soul Edge or as the main protagonist doing everything he can to stop Nightmare. Siegfried has the biggest role in the story out of any character in the game, his time spent as both the antagonist and protagonist helped shape his character into one of the most interesting characters in the game. Many of the characters in the Soul series go through a battle within themselves due to their encounters with the shards of Soul Edge, but Siegfried's journey is much bigger than all of theirs. He comes to accept the sins he committed as Nightmare and spends his life dedicated to stopping Soul Edge. Siegfried's playstyle is similar to Nightmare; his moves are much more straightforward and easier to pull off, making him a more beginner friendly option.
Over the last 22 years, the Soul series has given us both quality games and characters that keep us coming back time and time again. With the decision to reboot the franchise with Soul Calibur VI, it will be interesting to see just how they use their old characters and what kind of new characters they introduce to the series. What are your thoughts on the Soul Calibur series? Which Soul Calibur character is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.