In the late 90s, there were already quite a few fighting games on the video game market, but unfortunately most of them did not offer any revolutionary approaches to the gameplay. Everywhere you have the same hands and feet, take and hit the enemy with them. The most popular of these were Mortal Kombat, Samurai Shodown and Street Fighter, and then Soul Edge entered the market and evolved the popular game today called Soul Calibur, which was released for the Sega Dreamcast on September 8, 1999.
The original Soul Edge, also known as Soul Blade, grew into a large fanbase of arcade players in the process, but after the release of Soulcalibur on arcade machines, the success didn’t live up to the expectations of publisher and developer Namco. But fortunately for the franchise and its army of fans, who are eagerly awaiting the release of the next part of Soulcalibur, they decide to transfer the game to the new and very promising Sega Dreamcast system, where it later became a popular game without even looking back. The Soulcalibur project is still one of the best games of all time according to Metacritic and has three awards – #1 Best Dreamcast Game of 1999, #1 Most Discussed Dreamcast Game of 1999 and #1 Most Shared Dreamcast Game of 1999.
Soulcalibur was arguably a revolutionary 3D fighting game for the Sega Dreamcast, offering players a movement system for the first time that allowed them to move along a third axis – this gave a sense of freedom and opened up a lot of potential for combat. But in fairness, Tekken and Virtua Fighter also offered players to indent along the third axis, but these were small attacks to the left or right of the player in depth, while in Soulcalibur the hero could run along the third axis if you held the analog controller up or down.
In addition, the developers have made the combat system more friendly for a beginner player, adding buffering of techniques, this is when you can carry out combinations without observing strict timing as in other representatives of the genre. This innovation made it possible to focus on the game process itself, and not on memorising combinations and getting into timings.
However, you can also notice that these two series are from the same publisher and developers share their opinions and experience in development. In particular for the latest Soulcalibur 6, the Tekken 7 team gave up their slow motion system.
The plot of the game continues the story from Soul Edge, its events took place three years later, after the heavenly warrior Sophitia and the ninja Taki managed to save the world from a potential 25 years of terror under the leadership of the terrible pirate Cervantes, who got the “Blade of Souls”, and the knight Siegfried became a random a vessel for the cursed sword. Indeed, in the process of rescue, the girls broke one of the twin swords. And the force that escaped took possession of the knight and turned him into a creature known as Nightmare, Chaos and Death, trying to feed the raging and insatiable blade. As a result, a group of young warriors, including three holders of sacred weapons, will have to stop the chaos by protecting the world.
Already at that time, Soulcalibur bore the title of more than just a fighting game created for e-sports tournaments and, in addition to the standard game modes, offered players a task mode. In this mode, we could earn points for which later we could buy costumes for heroes and other collectibles. The series focused on a combat system with the use of melee weapons, which resulted in the creation of special videos called “katami”, in which the characters demonstrate the basics of their fighting style. The word Kata comes from Japan and means the quintessence of a particular martial art technique. It looks like a group of students repeats the movement synchronously behind their teacher – which is called Kata.
The version of the game that came out for the SEGA Dreamcast was superior to the original for arcade machines. This port of the arcade fighting game is considered the best reference port for home gaming systems. The developers tried to work out improved gameplay and graphics, create new modes, costumes, and a new character was added – Cervantes, which was absent in the original version. Another addition was the addition of an art section, where the works of artists and fans of the franchise were collected, and all the characters had a unique costume in the form of “Liquid Metal”.
In 2008, Namco re-released Soulcalibur for the Xbox 360 via the Xbox Live Arcade service, but it came out with a cutback. The developers were forced to remove the cool mission mode to meet the maximum game size of 150 megabytes that Microsoft demanded. At that time, larger games could not be released on the XBLA. As a result, all bonus materials were available from the first minutes – costumes and illustrations. The last re-release of the game was in 2012, when the game appeared on ios in Japan, and the port itself was based on the version for the Xbox Live Arcade and also lacked the mission mode.
In Soulcalibur, the player is given 20 characters, 10 of which at the beginning of the game and the remaining 10 you can open during the storyline of the game.
Kilik (キリク, Kiriku) – one of the main protagonists of the Soul series. He is by nature a gentle and shy guy with strong willpower. With a noble heart, but has a quick temper in his hands, he also likes to joke when there is time for it. Pure and strong-willed, Kilik has a strong sense of justice and a desire to fight, train hard and do what needs to be done.
Maxi (マキシ, Makishi, also written as 真喜志) – was a pirate traveller from Shuri in the Ryukyu Kingdom. His father was a confident merchant of the kingdom, but he was not allowed to trade abroad and therefore he was forced to trade only with his own country. Maxi spent most of his first voyages sailing between the local harbours. During this period, he learned to wield nunchucks for self-defence, and as a result, he became a strong youth.
Cervantes de León (セルバンテス・デ・レオン, Serubantesu de Reon) – he first appears in the Soul Edge series as the series’ main antagonist, known as the Immortal Pirate. The fighting style of the character is designed for medium and close range, he knocks down the opponent with his hands and delivers a fatal series of blows with two swords.
Hwang Seong-gyeong (ファン・ソンギョン, Fan Songyon, Hanja: 黄星京, Hangul: 황성경) – is a Korean swordsman who first appeared in Soul Edge and then in Soulcalibur 3. And in Soulcalibur VI (6) he returns as a bonus character with a completely new combat system and appearance.
Heishiro Mitsurugi (御剣 平四郎, Mitsurugi Heishirō) – is a key character in the Soul series, physically a well-built Japanese man with long hair. He sets himself a single goal to find the most powerful warrior in order to fight him for the title of best. He is considered a neutral character with fairly pronounced moral principles. The main weapon is the Katana.
Nathaniel William “Rock” Adams (ロック・アダムズ, Rokku Adamuzu) – is a fictional character in the Soulcalibur series that is not available since the beginning of the game. You can open it as you progress through the storyline.
Seong Mi-Na (ソン・ミナ, Son Mina, Hanja: 成美那, Hangul: 성미나) – first encountered in Soul Edge, followed by Soulcalibur. She is a strong-willed girl who strives to be the best in everything. She is very determined but sometimes very confident and often mocks her opponents. Through her complexes of imperfection, she really does not like when someone considers her weak. The first weapon you see her with will be the Scarlet Thunder.
Siegfried Schtauffen (ジークフリート・シュタウフェン, Jīkufurīto Shutaufen) – the central character of the Soul series and the protagonist of most parts, where in fact he is the mainstay of Soulcalibur and the most significant character. By nature, he is a slightly arrogant and arrogant white-haired German in shiny armour, who never stops when achieving his goals. But after being fired in Soul Edge, he ceases to be selfish and in Soulcalibur he tries to correct all the mistakes he made. The main weapon is Requiem.
Sophitia Alexandra (ソフィーティア・アレクサンドル, Sofītia Arekusandoru, Greek: Σοφιτία Αλεξάνδρα) – a key character in the Soulcalibur franchise. She is a friendly, loyal, courageous and strong-willed woman who is devoted to her homeland and will do everything to protect her even at the cost of her life. She loves her children very much and with a great desire decided to join Soul Edge in order to protect her daughter Pyrrha, whose life is at the mercy of Soul Edge. Despite all these qualities, it can be considered very tough due to the adoption of a very difficult decision that very few people could withstand.
Taki (タキ, also written as 多喜) – Since her debut in Soul Edge, she’s very easily recognizable for her tight bodysuit, high hairstyles and costume that protects the demon. In the first part, Taki wears a Japanese demon mask and also has only one Rikki-Maru sword. As a ninja, she puts her mission first. She easily sees deception and uses her best attack to defeat her opponent.
Voldo (ヴォルド, Vorudo) – a character that first appeared in Soul Blade and was subsequently present in all parts of the sequels.
Inferno (インフェルノ Inferuno) – the main antagonist of the series, the last boss and the main villain of the first three games. He first appeared in Soul Blade as SoulEdge and later in Soulcalibur. When he first appeared, he looked like Cervantes, wearing the same bib, jacket and boots, but the rest of his body was covered in violet flames.
Arthur (アーサー Āsā) – was a replacement character for Mitsurugi in some countries where samurai depictions such as Korea were prohibited. It also looks and moves just like the Mitsurugi with some cosmetic differences. The details of his biography are unknown, but it is assumed that he was an orphan and grew up without parents, in the port town of Southampton until the age of eight, and then received an offer from a sailor with whom he became friends to become a sailor. For several years he served as a mascot for the ship, until they reached Japan, where he was adopted by a noble merchant. The merchant considered it nothing more than a good find from the west
Astaroth (アスタロス, Asutarosu) – a golem character from the Soul series, first appeared in Soulcalibur. Ares, the god of destruction, longed for Soul Edge to remove his father Zeus from the throne, so he ordered Kunpaetku, the great priest of the Fygul Cestemus order, to seek him out. The Astaroth Golem was created in the heat of hell under the divine protection of Ares to lead his quest.
Edge Master (エッジマスター Ejji Masutā) – this character has a mysterious past and is famous for his skill in wielding various weapons, and his past and his name are known only to him. He served as an advisor and martial arts teacher for the Ling-Sheng Su Temple (臨 勝 寺) – who descended and the mountains, only to take part in the succession ceremony of sacred artefacts to the temple and teach his heirs before he burned it down after a fatal night Evil seed.
Isabella “Ivy” Valentine (Japanese: イザベラ・バレンタイン – アイヴィー, Izabera Barentain – Aivī) – a sword that had a name of its own accompanied and protected her on her travels to defeat Soul Edge. When she crossed paths with Nightmare, the one who breathed life into her sword, she agreed to help him at Summoning of souls. She did not yet know that this was part of the evil sword’s plans.
Lizardman – is a half-man, half-beast, created as a result of experiments, they do not remember their human life, and as a result, they become servants of priests.
Nightmare (ナイトメア, Naitomea) – the main antagonist of the series. He is the lord and living embodiment of the cursed sword Soul Edge, the target of most of the other characters in the series.
Chai Xianghua (チャイ・シャンファ, Chai Shanfa, Chinese: 柴香華 Pinyin: Chái Xiānghuá) – cheerful young girl. She is cute and sometimes seems to behave like a child, including playfully slapping on the buttocks. She never gives up and is loyal to her friends. She shares a lot with Ling Xiaoyu from Tekken and Lei Fang from Dead or Alive.
Yoshimitsu (吉光) – At first he started out as a vengeful warrior who was single-minded in his desire for vengeance and his quest for Soul Edge in order to bring about retaliation, often describing himself as a demon from hell. But despite his exclamations, he is obliged to do good and cannot tolerate injustice. After Sophitia saves his life, he decides to honour and avenge his clan as a messenger of goodwill rather than bloodshed.
Recommended Sega Dreamcast emulators
If you don’t have the original console and want to play your favourite retro games on a PC or Mobile device as tablet or smartphone with iOS, Android, then the only way out is to use a game console emulator. The most popular and high-quality emulators of them are:
Demul – Sega Dreamcast emulator ( Windows support only. You can find more information about Demul by link ).
Flycast – is suitable for those who need a multi-platform emulator that supports Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS and Android. ( installation on iOS devices is done via iTunes).
Redream – is also a multi-platform emulator with support for Windows, Linux, Linux ARM, MacOS, Android. ( doesn’t have iOS support).