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Elysium is the living will of the magic sword Soul Calibur, just as Nightmare represents its polar opposite, the sword Soul Edge. Elysium had not been seen in the Soul Calibur franchise prior to Soul Calibur V because the will of the sword's wielder was in tune with that of Soul Calibur. However, as hinted at in several characters' endings in Soul Calibur IV, Soul Calibur is not "good" and Soul Edge is not "evil"; they merely represent order and chaos. This has extended to the point where Soul Calibur has become unsatisfied with the brief periods of relative order created in the past through being wielded by a good-aligned hero who strikes down Nightmare, and has now decided that the best way to create peace is to defeat Soul Edge and use its power to turn all living things into crystal, leaving the Earth barren and lifeless, and transforming it into a "utopia of order".
Elysium appears directly for the first time when it makes contact with Patroklos Alexandra, taking on the appearance of his mother, the late Sophitia Alexandra, and giving him advice that would further Soul Calibur's plans, ultimately taking over his mind and leading him to murder his sister Pyrrha, who had been possessed by Soul Edge, at which point Soul Calibur successfully creates its 'utopia'. However, the mysterious Edge Master somehow sends Patroklos' consciousness back in time to his body at a point before he was betrayed by his sword, and Patroklos refuses to become Soul Calibur's slave; at this point, Elysium becomes the final boss of Soul Calibur V's story mode, planning to kill Patroklos from within and take over his body, hiding Sophitia's face with an opaque visor and sprouting wings from her back. Fortunately, despite its incredible power, Elysium is defeated by Patroklos, deeply injuring the spirit sword; and because Soul Edge was in a similar state of weakness, caused by Patroklos non-fatally defeating Pyrrha moments earlier, Patroklos and Pyrrha were able to work together and strike the magic swords together, finally destroying both Soul Calibur and Soul Edge once and for all.
In the story mode, since Elysium is based on Patroklos' memories of his mother, it uses Sophitia's sword-and-shield battle style when Patroklos fights it. After it is unlocked for use by the player, it becomes a 'random weapon character' similar to Edge Master, though Elysium will only take on the fighting styles of female characters.