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Overview

Soulcalibur II is a 3D historical-fantasy weapon-based fighting game developed and released by Namco for arcades (running the PS2-based Namco System 246 hardware) on July 30, 2002.

The third installment of the Soul series of fighting games, Soulcalibur II introduced numerous new characters and locales while tweaking the series's gameplay system.

It was later ported to the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube in 2003 (March 27 in Japan, August 27 in North America, and September 26 in Europe), each version known for their own special guest character (with the PS2 version getting Heihachi from the Tekken series, the Xbox version getting Spawn from the comic book series of the same name, and the GC version getting Link from The Legend of Zelda series).

The game was later enhanced and digitally re-released (as Soulcalibur II HD Online) for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on November 20, 2013. This version includes online multiplayer, enhanced graphics, and the inclusion of both Heihachi and Spawn.

Gameplay

 Soul Calibur II makes tweaks and improvements to the Soul Calibur fighting system.
Soul Calibur II makes tweaks and improvements to the Soul Calibur fighting system.

Like its predecessors, Soulcalibur II is a one-on-one weapon-based fighting game that allows for free movement around 3D space. Characters have vertical and horizontal attacks as well as special moves that can be performed using specific button and directional input combinations. Among these special attacks, each character also has an unblockable attack that deal a devastating amount of damage at the cost of a slow wind-up and being easy to avoid.

Rounds end when one fighter knocks out the other by depleting the opposing fighter's health to zero. Depending on the arena in which the fight is set, rounds may also end by ring out, in which a fighter is knocked outside of the arena's boundary, whereupon they are instantly defeated.

Game Modes

Soulcalibur II offers a number of modes and features that are commonplace in the fighting game genre:

  • Arcade Mode: A standard single-player mode in which the player selects a fighter and progresses through a series of fights until ultimately facing the boss, Inferno. The seventh battle in Arcade Mode and the last before the battle with Inferno is a story-based match referred to as a 'Destined Battle'. The opponent fought in this match is dependent on the fighter the player has selected and is always the same for that character.
  • Versus: A mode in which two players may fight against each other using selected characters.
  • Team Battle Mode: Similar to Arcade Mode, the player creates a team of fighters and progresses through a series of matches
  • Time Attack: The goal of this mode is to defeat all of the opponents in as little time as possible in order to set new records.
  • Survival: A mode in which the player must defeat as many enemies as possible with only one life bar.
  • Training Mode: A practice mode in which the player may freely practice a fighter's moves and techniques.
  • Museum: A special mode that offers a variety of extra features. The player may view concept art, listen to character voices, view details on various weapons, or watch versus matches between two CPU-controlled opponents. There are also weapon demonstration videos in which the characters perform katas.

Characters

New Additions

Returning Characters

Guest Characters

Extra Weapons

Like Soul Blade, the original game in the series, Soulcalibur II features the inclusion of extra weapons. However, instead of Soul Blade's weapon statistics system, the abilities of the weapons in Soulcalibur II are merely based on Power and Defensive percentages. Weapons also have abilities that grant them special effects such as the ability to drain energy from enemies or ignore the opponent's defense.

Each character has twelve different weapons of choice, including the standard first and second-player variants of the characters' signature weapons and a variety of more powerful weapons with varying abilities and effects, as well as an 'ultimate' weapon akin to the Soul Calibur. All characters also have access to a "completed" Soul Edge version of their respective weapons that, while powerful, also inflicts a draining effect on the wielder's health.

Finally, all characters each have a single joke weapon. The stats and abilities of these weapons are poor, but their appearances and abilities are deliberately silly, for humorous effect. All weapons in the game have back stories that can be read in the Weapon Gallery section of the Museum.

Conquest and Weapon Master Modes

Conquest Mode

The arcade version of Soulcalibur II features an exclusive Conquest Mode which allows the player to create a profile and character, and then choose one of three armies to represent. The player then fights against the CPU-controlled characters of the players representing the other armies. The more the player fights, the more experience points and levels are earned by the character, allowing them to become more powerful and more difficult to defeat when controlled by the computer.

By winning fights, the faction represented by the winner will gradually grow in strength while the loser will weaken until there is only one faction remaining. When a winner is declared, the mode is reset and the process begins anew.

Weapon Master Mode

In place of the arcade version's Conquest Mode, the home console versions of Soulcalibur II feature Weapon Master Mode; a mode similar in nature to the Edge Master Mode found in Soul Blade and the original Soulcalibur's Mission Mode.

In Weapon Master Mode, the player advances through a series of challenges split into a series of chapters through which a basic narrative plays out. Over the course of the mode, the player fights enemies to gain experience and raise the rank of his or her selected fighter. Money earned in this mode can also be spent in the shop to obtain new weapons, costumes and other bonuses.

The actual story in Weapon Master Mode sees the player control a warrior journeying in search of Soul Edge. However, the player comes across a rival named Veral who is searching for the sword for his own desires.

Story

At the end of Soulcalibur, the azure armored knight Nightmare and his many followers had collected enough souls and energy to begin to prepare for the restoration ceremony that would bring Soul Edge back to its full unspeakable power level, in the once proud Osthreinsburg Castle. However, just as the ceremony is about to begin, three young warriors assault the castle; Kilik, Maxi, and Chai Xianghua. Nightmare's followers attempted to fight them off, but in the end, only Nightmare stood against them.

After an intense battle, Nightmare was defeated, but the evil soul within Soul Edge sent Kilik, Maxi, and Xianghua into a vortex of destruction. As a reaction to the living sword's evil aura, the sword wielded by Xianghua, the Krita-Yuga, reveals its actual form as Soul Calibur, the true opposite to Soul Edge. With Soul Calibur in hand, Xianghua managed to destroy the hellfire vortex, and strike Soul Edge with such strength that the evil blade shattered into pieces. About half of the pieces immediately merged back together into a sword the same size as the finished Soul Edge, but at a fraction of its former power level. The rest were scattered all over the world, their evil influence causing chaos and bloodshed wherever they landed. Although Soul Edge had been defeated, both the demon blade and its wielder vanished and were transported to a "safe" location.

Siegfried Schtauffen, the young man that had been possessed by Soul Edge and corrupted into the monstrous Nightmare, awakens to find his mind cleared and his body under his own control. Recognizing the sins he had committed, he set out on a journey to atone for his misdeeds. However, Soul Edge still held sway over Siegfried. When he slept at night, the sword would take control of his body and force him to take the lives of those nearby, absorbing their souls to become more powerful, and constantly driving him to seek out the other fragments of Soul Edge.

Four years later, Siegfried's efforts to atone have proven fruitless, and he wanders Europe as the evil Nightmare once again. Around this same time, the shattered remains of Soul Edge have been located and are spreading around Europe and Asia as they pass through numerous hands. Sensing this, the reborn Nightmare sets out to collect as many shards as he can in order to restore Soul Edge to its full power. Upon learning that Soul Edge is not truly destroyed and that Nightmare still lives, various warriors set out on journeys to fulfill their own goals; some hope to destroy the sword, and some hope to claim it for themselves.

Soundtrack

Disc One

1."UNDER THE STAR OF DESTINY"運命の星の下に2:08
2."HISTORY UNFOLDS"新たな歴史の舞台へようこそ1:11
3."UNWAVERING RESOLVE"その決意に一辺の曇りなし4:18
4."GUIDED BY WIND"己を導く風のささやき3:58
5."EVIL REBORN"蘇えりし悪3:38
6."RAISE THY SWORD"己が剣を高く掲げよ3:31
7."BRAVE SWORD, BRAVER SOUL"鋼の信念3:42
8."CHASING DEATH"死に急ぐが如く3:39
9."DESTINY AWAITS NO ONE"運命に追い越されないように3:45
10."NO TURNING BACK"一線を越える決断3:26
11."ETERNAL STRUGGLE"終わり無き戦い3:35
12."HUBRIS"おごれる者は久しからず4:08
13."CONFRONTATION"対決3:56
14."SWORD OF THE PATRIOT"愛国の剣4:12
15."ORDINARY PAIN"安息無き刃3:40
16."IF THERE WERE ANY OTHER WAY"非情なる宿命の絆3:27
17."NOTHING TO LOSE"すべてを賭けて3:30
18."HELLFIRE"地獄の炎4:00
19."THE BATTLE ENDS"戦いの終わり0:38
20."SLAVE OF DESIRE"欲望の虜0:37
21."BURNING SOUL"烈火の如く燃える魂0:35
22."THE JOURNEY CONTINUES"永遠に続く旅路0:36
23."PATH OF DESTINY"自ら切り開く運命 (Arcade Version)3:06

Disc Two

1."TALES OF SOULS AND SWORDS"剣と魂の物語1:48
2."QUEST FOR GLORY"栄光への道3:20
3."WINDSHADOW"闇を落とす嵐を追って2:44
4."MAZE OF THE BLADE"剣王の墓6:49
5."LABYRINTH OF MOONLIGHT"月光の迷宮5:38
6."WHISPERS OF THE SWORD"共鳴する剣と魂1:05
7."PATH OF DESTINY"自ら切り開く運命5:27
8."INTO THE WHIRLWIND"戦いの嵐の中へ2:53
9."HEALING WINDS"戦士を癒す風2:38
10."THE NOBLE BLADE"誇り高き魂の剣0:57
11."HEALING WINDS:REPRISE"戦士を癒す風3:17
12."HUBRIS:REPRISE"おごれる者は久しからず3:21
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