Soulcalibur is the second installment in the "Soul" series with the first being Soul Edge/Soul Blade which featured originally in arcades and would later be ported to Sony's Playstation 1 console. The game was developed and produced by Namco who felt that the newer Sega Dreamcast system would better suit a sequel as it offered better graphical power and it very quickly became one of the most popular and best selling Dreamcast games ever. Soulcalibur on the Dreamcast was also the first time the series found fame with fans as the original installment in the series is generally seen as an underground hit rather then a huge success. Seen by many of its fans as one of the greatest fighting games of all time, it is clear to see why this game has found a fond place in fans hearts and continues to be loved today with newer installments of the series. The name of the game itself comes from the weapon created to help defeat the evil Soul Edge Blade which caused so much pain in the first installment. The game itself is also apparently set around the date 1587, except specific timelines have often been taken with a pinch of salt by the fans. Soulcalibur threw the Soul series into the same leagues as competitors such as Street Fighter, Tekken and Dead or Alive.
Strangely enough, when Soulcalibur first saw light in arcades it wasn't greatly recieved and wasn't as popular as Namco had first hoped. This is interesting considering how strong the Soulcalibur fanbase is now and could have seen the beat em up classic not appearing on the Dreamcast at all. The game itself was set 3 years after the original Soul Blade/Edge game and continued a story that would later go on to be a surprisingly deep feature for fans of the series as all of the SC Characters featured to date have somewhat deep back stories. Of course Soulcalibur in itself brought a revolution to the Fighter/Beat em Up genre in the form of the now common eight-way run system which allowed the player to use rolls and sidesteps compared to the fixed and limited third axis system which only allowed the player to move from side to side. It was a huge addition in a genre that as rarely seen great advancements in gameplay with many developers sticking to a classic style of fighter that will always please its fan base. It's a feature that would be key to the success of future installments and is still today seen as one of the biggest additions to the fighting/beat em up genre.
Pirate Cervantes de Leon of Spain obtained the mythical Sword of Legends also known as the ' Soul Edge'. The sword devoured his soul and turned him insane, slaying his entire crew. For a good 20 years the Dread Pirate stayed silent in the Sea Port Town of Valencia where he would take the souls of those who reached him during their search for the legendary sword. Soon began a reign of terror, violence and pain, yet the joint efforts of the divine warrior Sophitia and the underground Ninja Taki were enough to stop the violent Cervantes in his tracks and in the process breaking one of the twin Soul Blades in half. Another warrior happened upon the remains of Soul Edge, the young knight, Siegfried. Upon approaching the blades, Cervantes rose, bathed in hellfire, wielding the broken blades. He had become Inferno, the condensed will of the evil sword. Siegfried swiftly dealt with the weakened monster. After the battle, he picked up the Famous blade. Soul Edge took control of his mind, much as it did Cervantes, using the memory of Siegfried's dead father as a tool, to get the boy to harvest souls for the evil sword. With the evil seed infecting him, Siegfried had turned into a Nightmare, clad in Azure armor.
Three Years later, the Azure Nightmare and it's crazed minions have gathered enough souls to start a ritual to return Soul Edge to it's formal power. Unknown to Nightmare and his followers, a group of young warriors meet on their journeys to stop Soul Edge and with them three sacred weapons are joined once again.
Soulcalibur has many familiar features that currently exist in the fighting genre. Modes such as Arcade Mode, which consists of choosing one of the sixteen characters found within the game and fighting through 8 rounds with the 7th round opponent being based around the character your playing and the story they tell. The game also feature other classic modes such as Vs Mode, Time Attack, Team Battle, Survival and also Training Mode which allows you to practice with your favorite fighters.
The Game also featured a Mission Mode, which allowed the player to move through various levels where fighting and fulfilling tasks earned you special points which could be spent on new costumes, artwork, CG Portraits, fanart and sketches. Another interesting feature not seen in any other fighter was the 'Exhibition Videos' or 'Katas' as they were also known. These videos allowed the player to see various characters performing Katas with the weapon of choice.
Strangely, Soulcalibur is the only Soulcalibur game to be without the extra weapons feature. A feature that existed in Soul Blade/Edge, Soulcalibur II and Soulcalibur III.
5 of the 19 characters available will given an extra 3rd costume to unlock using the Mission Mode. These characters were Maxi, Voldo, Siegfried, Sophitia and Xianghua. Also each character counted with an extra 'transparent' version of their costume in the arcade Version and in the Dreamcast Version counted with a 'Liquid Metal' version of the characters costume.
Soulcalibur was first released in Japan on the 5th of August 1999 and would be a launch title in North America on the 9th of September 1999. When released it was highly praised and became a fine example of a port being better then its original with much improved graphics, game modes, gameplay changes and new costumes, not to mention the inclusion of a new extra character in Cervantes De Leon. At the time of release, the Dreamcast version was cited as being one of the best looking games of all time. It was also a version which saw new modes such as Team Battle, Survival and Training Mode. An 'Artwork' section was also added which included character based artwork, FanArt and general high-res art. A 'Liquid Metal' version of characters costumes was also added along with a Battle Theater which allowed the player to watch battles between two characters played by the A.I. Another interesting note is that in the North American release of Soulcalibur, one of Voldo's suggestive codpieces which featured a bull was removed, while both the Japanese and European Versions kept it in the game.
XBOX LIVE MARKETPLACE
April 2008 saw Namco Bandai announce that a port of the classic fighter would be released on Microsoft's Xbox Live Marketplace. It was made available for download on July 2nd 2008, and featured improved HD graphics and LIVE leaderboards. To the dismay of Soulcalibur fans Namco Bandai confirmed that no online mode would be added to the game, this, added to the fact that the Mission Mode found in the original Dreamcast Version is missing, meant that the port got less than impressive reviews from both the gaming media and fans. The game did feature most of the modes available from the original and also saw everything unlocked from the beginning which allowed a player to use characters that were originally locked in the Dreamcast version from the start.
This version features the following playable characters:
- Seung Mina
- Edge Master
Soulcalibur went on to be a huge hit on Sega's Dreamcast system, selling over 1 Million copies in 1999 alone. For the first time the series got its just deserve and was seen as one of the best fighting games out there, for both newbies and experienced players. It is to this day still seen as one of the greatest Beat em up's ever made and is a fine example of the genre done right. At the time of release, it got glowing reviews from all around the world and began what would become a famous series of fighting games still going strong to this day.
|1.||"Light & Darkness"||光と闇の闘い（オープニング）||2:01|
|2.||"The Stage of History"||歴史の舞台へ（キャラクターセレクト）||1:07|
|3.||"The New Legend"||新たなる伝説 剣聖の石庭（キリク＆エッジマスター）||2:37|
|4.||"Bloom and Harvest"||花の盛りと実りの時 神宗帝の庭園（シャンファ）||2:33|
|5.||"Sail Over the Storm"||荒海を越えて インドの港街（マキシ）||2:46|
|7.||"The Cursed Soul"||呪われし心臓 方広寺～地下大仏殿（タキ）||2:52|
|9.||"Wings of Faith"||信念の翼 エイリュディケ神殿～神々の回廊（ソフィーティア）||2:37|
|10.||"In Father's Name"||父の名の元に オストラインスブルク攻城戦跡（ナイトメア）||2:27|
|11.||"Born From Chaos"||狭間より沸き出でし者 バルギア大神殿（アスタロス）～クンペクトー&||2:40|
|12.||"Unblessed Soul"||祝福されざる者 ヴァレンタイン邸（アイヴィー）||2:34|
|13.||"Beyond the Horizon"||地平線の果てに シルクロードの遺跡（黄星京）||2:32|
|14.||"Chasing Downstream"||激流の彼方 霊峰富士～地下水脈（吉光）||2:44|
|15.||"Worth Dying For"||死に値するもの ヴェネツィアの水路（ジークフリート）||2:29|
|16.||"Gathering: Destiny Beckons"||戦士たちの集い：宿命の引力 古代闘技場跡||2:51|
|17.||"Eye to Eye, Blade to Blade"||火花散る魂の激闘 トルコの地下迷宮～死者の間（成美那）||1:31|
|18.||"Leaving the World Behind"||全てを捨てて エイドリアン号と海岸砦（セルバンデス）||2:51|
|19.||"Immortal Flame"||不死の焔 カオス～心象世界（インフェルノ）||2:44|
|21.||"Going to Where the Wind Blows"||風に吹かれるまま（スライドショー）||1:50|
|23.||"Going to Where the Wind Blows: Reprise"||風に吹かれるがまま：回想（アートギャラリー）||2:29|
|24.||"The Seal Was Broken"||解かれし封印（カードゲットジングル）||0:09|
|25.||"Prepare to Unleash Yourself"||白刃の煌めき（乱入ジングル１）||0:08|
|26.||"Prepare to Defend Yourself"||黒金の咆哮（乱入ジングル２）||0:07|
|30.||"Into the Sunlight"||今，光の中へ（エンディング４）||0:44|
|31.||"No Remorse, No Pain"||鋼の意志（エンディング５）||0:42|
|32.||"The Legend Will Never Die"||伝説は死なず（ネームエントリー）||1:41|
|33.||"Recollection: A Tribute to Those Who Shed Red"||魂の記憶：赤き血を流せし者達へ（エンドクレジット）||2:10|
|1.||"Under the Star of Destiny (Arcade Version)"||宿命の星のもと（AC版アトラクト）||0:49|
|2.||"Recollection: A Tribute to Those Who Shed Red (Arcade Version)"||AC版エンドクレジット||1:57|
|3.||"Light & Darkness (Soul Mix)"||光と闇の闘い（SOUL MIX）||4:55|
|4.||"Going to Where the Wind Blows (Piano Mix)"||風に吹かれるがまま（PIANO MIX)||3:14|