NAMCO MALE AGE RULE?! (part 2)
*NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED*
*THESE ARE PURELY MY OPINIONS/TAKES ON WORKS OF NAMCO*
This is the second part about the “NAMCO MALE AGE RULE.” We’ve already seen the Tekken guys go strong and become more badass as they age and for now, we’ll see the men of the Soul series. Again, I provided a timeline below so there will be no confusion about the year gaps between each installments.
The iconic blonde swordsman of the Soul Series, Siegfried has been the main protagonist of the franchise ever since his introduction in Soul Blade and has never been dropped from any installment. Introduced as the fully armored knight seeking redemption after accidentally murdering his father, Siegfried has become the central character of the series’ theme of good versus evil. After finally destroying Soul Edge in Soul Calibur IV, Siegfried returns to Soul Calibur V, now aged 40. Despite becoming a supporting character upon his return, Siegfried’s fighting style remains one of the most used and studied among the Soul series fans. With an overwhelming advantage on reach and power, Siegfried is definitely a character to watch out for in the future.
The resident Samurai of the Soul Series, Mitsurugi is another seasoned veteran and one of the few characters to have never been dropped from the roster. Mitsurugi’s plot revolves around being a warrior whose ultimate goal was to become the most powerful. He believes that by destroying Soul Edge, he will attain his goal. By Soul Calibur IV, he was finally able to meet his match in Algol, the Hero King. However, their duel was cut short and was not concluded. By Soul Calibur V, Mitsurugi is now 46 and has become a farmer. Upon hearing of Algol’s return, he is determined to finish off his rival once and for all. Despite his cliché story, Mitsurugi is one of the high tier characters due to the ease of his move list, speed and power.
CERVANTES DE LEON
The ever immortal pirate, Cervantes has been the recurring antagonist throughout the Soul Series. With an undead pirate theme and an absolutely evil persona, Cervantes is best known as the previous wielder of Soul Edge and was the original boss character of Soul Blade, the first installment. Armed with a long sword and a pistol sword, Cervantes’ fighting style boasts a lot of various attacks, whether they are short-ranged, long-ranged, multiple strikes or single blows. With regards to his plot, Cervantes desires the power of Soul Edge until he was defeated by his own daughter, Ivy, during Soul Calibur IV. In Soul Calibur V, Cervantes is chronologically 72 years old and has obtained a middle-aged body after being released from Soul Edge’s power.
In every videogame, there’s the “Odd one” in every roster. In the Soul Series, Voldo was the recipient of this theme but it was taken to the extreme by Namco. Voldo’s suggestive bondage and sadomasochistic theme has been consistent in the succeeding installments while his fighting style is the most infamous and unpredictable of all styles. Utilizing short-ranged dual Katars, Voldo also relies on tricky moves, surprise attacks and he is the only character having the ability to block while facing away from the opponent. As a total, Voldo is absolutely one of the most unique and weirdest characters in Video Game history. That uniqueness also makes him a top tier character, especially for players who infuse “mind games” in their game play. Voldo’s story reveals that is the devoted servant of a dead merchant, defending his master’s grave and treasure. However, due to his involvement with the cursed sword, Soul Edge, Voldo who is 67 years old by Soul Calibur V, has become a servant of Soul Edge instead. In Soul Calibur V, we learn that individuals influenced by Soul Edge have stopped/slowed their aging rate. Hence, Voldo’s appearance remained unchanged.
Despite not being the original pole user in the Soul series, Kilik instantly gained a lot of fans during his introduction in Soul Calibur. His easy move list and long-ranged attacks contributes a lot to his popularity, not to mention a lot of fan girls love him as well. Introduced as a diligent protégé of Edge Master, Kilik seeks to cleanse his stained soul and to purify the victims of Soul Edge’s power and eventually, destroy the cursed sword itself. He is usually accompanied by Chai Xianghua, whom he became intimate with during Soul Calibur IV ;). However, Kilik chose the path of a warrior, knowing that Soul Edge was rebuilding its power. By Soul Calibur V, Kilik is chronologically 40 years old and has become a master of different fighting styles. Via plot details, Kilik tried to close the gates of astral chaos, the dimension where Soul Edge was being reborn. While in astral chaos, Kilik encountered several souls and was able to learn their fighting styles (in the game, Kilik became a mimic character utilizing the fighting styles of male characters). Kilik’s original fighting style was passed on to his estranged son, Xiba.
What do you get when you combine Elvis Presley and Bruce Lee? You get Maxi, the wandering dandy of the Soul Series. Though he was not the pioneer of the Nunchaku fighting style, Maxi was immediately welcomed as a fan favorite of the Soul Series community for his powerful techniques and Jeet Kun Do-inspired moves. Introduced in Soul Calibur as a pirate from the Ryukyu Kingdom, Maxi’s entire crew was slain by the golem Astaroth. Maxi’s main goal in the series is to avenge his comrades by defeating Astaroth at any cost. Along the way, Maxi was cured using a shard of Soul Edge, which caused him to age at a slow rate. After finally defeating Astaroth in Soul Calibur IV, Maxi makes a comeback in Soul Calibur V and at the age of 45, he has become a mentor to the younger generation of fighters. Maxi, like other “pretty boy” characters had the privilege of retaining their youthful appearance even after many years via plot details… again, to appeal the female fans of the Soul community.
Lizardman may fit the “Beast” trope in video games but Namco gave him weapons just like any other Soul character. Aeon Calcos was once a Spartan warrior but was transformed into Lizardman after being captured by the sorcerer Kunpaektu, who also created the golem Astaroth, and together, they became servants to Soul Edge. Unfortunately, Lizardman was never able to regain his humanity and instead, he devoured any opponent whom he defeated. By Soul Calibur V, Lizardman would have been 53 years old if he was still human; however, due to devouring various opponents, he was able to infuse new techniques with his own abilities. Lizardman has definitely come a long way since his introduction in Soul Calibur. Despite his absence in Soul Calibur II, his weapons kept on changing (Sword and Shield in Soul Calibur, Axe and Shield in Soul Calibur III and IV, Dual Axes IN Soul Calibur V). Lizardman’s fighting techniques were also upgraded in every installment as his mutation would just make him more badass than before.
Introduced in Soul Calibur, Edge Master is the original “Mimic” Character of the Soul series. Just like in another Namco game, Tekken, Mimic characters are also used to randomly select an existing fighting style. However, in Tekken, Mimic characters are delegated as supporting characters (Mokujin, Combot). But in the case of Soul Calibur, Edge Master was given a very important storyline being the mentor of Kilik and several characters in the plot. With that, he’s storyline follows that he is a wise, old master of all fighting styles and weapons (in game, he can mimic any fighting style). In succeeding installments, Edge Master was replaced by other Mimic characters (Charade in Soul Calibur II, Olcadan in Soul Calibur III). But by Soul Calibur V, Edge Master is back and virtually, his design didn’t change from his previous game appearance. Initially, Edge Master’s return was very much welcomed. However, after the introduction of 2 other Mimic Characters in Soul Calibur V (Kilik and Elysium), there were many outcries from fans due to the “excessive” number of Mimic characters and that other favorites were not included.
The Soul Series’ resident Fencer, Raphael Sorel was Soul’s response to Tekken’s Lee Chaolan. Like Lee, Raphael also sports an upper class personality, a “pretty boy” image (despite being already 32 years old during Soul Calibur II) and a badass fighting style. Debuting at Soul Calibur II, Raphael has been in every installment ever since. Raphael’s storyline revolves around a poor orphan girl named Amy, who helped him escape his pursuers. After adopting Amy as his daughter, Raphael vowed to obtain Soul Edge for the sake of Amy. However, Raphael’s encounter with Soul Edge’s power turned both him and Amy into vampires. Raphael then resolves to spread his evil plague across the world. Having become a vampire, Raphael did not seem to age upon his return in Soul Calibur V (he would have been 49 years old for a normal human).
Without a doubt, Nightmare is the symbol of the Soul Series. Being a top-tier character, Nightmare seems perfect in areas of power, range, easy move list and combo attacks. Being a central antagonist in the series, Nightmare surely has become an icon. Nightmare’s history seems complicated but I’ll summarize it in the best way I can: Inferno is actually the name of the spirit of Soul Edge. When Siegfried Schtauffen was possessed by Inferno, he became known as Nightmare, the Azure Kngiht. After Soul Calibur II, Nightmare was soon defeated and Inferno lost control over Siegfried. Siegfried discarded his former armor and Zasalamel decided to help Inferno. Zasalamel fused Inferno with the armor discarded by Siegfried and hence, the new Nightmare (appears in Soul Calibur III and IV). Being defeated by Siegfried after Soul Calibur IV, the remnants of Soul Edge were scattered around the world. By Soul Calibur V, Soul Edge’s minions were able to restore much of the sword. Nightmare was soon reborn but this time, under the name of Graf Dumas, which is a façade of gaining human allies.
Introduced as the final boss of Soul Calibur IV, Algol is probably the most overpowered character ever introduced in the Soul Series. With moves varying from projectiles to standing attacks with great range, Algol is one badass character. And why wouldn’t he? He has a badass storyline to justify his powers. Being known as the “Hero King,” Algol was able to obtain Soul Edge without being corrupted by its powers. With it, he was able to achieve an era of peace. However, his son, who also desired Soul Edge, took it for himself and got possessed by its evil power. Algol was forced to slay his own son together with Soul Edge and for that, he decided to create Soul Calibur but at the expense of his own life. Algol’s soul, together with his crave of power, was eventually sealed upon Soul Calibur. Centuries later, the clash between Soul Edge and Soul Calibur awakened Algol. Algol was freed and created copies of both swords, wanting to achieve absolute power. By Soul Calibur V, Algol plans on taking over the world by corrupting it with the power of Astral Chaos, the dimension of Soul Edge.
Okay… where do I begin… Dampierre, Dampierre, Dampierre… A.K.A. “Le Bello” he is probably the “Joke” character of the Soul series. Yeah, it’s cool to have joke characters in a series where the character is usually given a very limited set of moves and virtually, a weak shot in winning a battle. But in Dampierre’s case, you’ll get a lot of moves that will easily frustrate your opponents just as Dampierre’s personality will surely annoy everyone 😛 Introduced in Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny (the PSP version of Soul Calibur IV), Dampierre was an infamous Italian fraud artist who got fed up with his unethical lifestyle. He then decided to “save the world” after hearing of the battle taking place between Soul Edge and Soul Calibur. However, that goal didn’t last long as Dampierre was back into being a conman 17 years later. And guess what… HIS APPEARANCE DID NOT CHANGE AFTER 17 YEARS!!! Surely, Namco knows to hit the spot when introducing a character that will surely grate on gamers’ nerves 😀