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Namco's Soul series is a weapon based fighting game series of arcade games. Each installment has its own version on a home console. The series revolves around a sword that, after years of bloodshed and hatred, gained a soul of its own, the Soul Edge, and the sword forged to counter it, the Soulcalibur. The popular series has spawned four games so far, with two more underway and an animated film is currently in production as well.

Gameplay

File:1196691455 Soul-calibur.jpg

All the games in the Soul series retain some specific features while introducing or removing others from game to game. The basic button layout for the Soul series is two weapon attacks (horizontally and vertically aligned strikes), a kick button and a guard button for blocking. Two features that have been kept in the series since its inception are the Guard Impact defense system and the Ring Out condition of victory. In the first game (Soul Edge/Blade), the Guard Impact system is a repelling technique that allows the player to "check" an incoming strike and push it back and allowing for a free hit. A Guard Impact requires precise timing (having the player pressing forward plus guard at the instant an opponent strikes) but results in tactical advantage for the defender. The opposing player is also able to counter a Guard Impact with their own and can stalemate their opponent until someone misses the timing on the subsequent Guard Impact. As the series moved forward; the Guard Impact system was made deeper. In Soulcalibur, Namco introduced multiple Guard Impact techniques (the original repelling technique was named "Repelling" while two new techniques, "Parrying" and "Weapon Stripping" were introduced). These different Guard Impact types have been kept for the subsequent installments.

Ring Outs occur when one of the fighters is forcibly removed from the arena (or "ring"), instantly ending the round and resulting in a round point for their opponent. The idea of Ring Outs in 3D fighting games was originally conceived by the Virtua Fighter series of fighting games and adopted by Namco for Soul Edge. Unlike Virtua Fighter, a fighter cannot be knocked out of the ring by their own hand and must be pushed out of the ring by some effort by their opponent (Virtua Fighter allows fighters to simply fall out of the ring voluntarily). Later games introduced new ring designs (Soulcalibur allowed rings to take different shapes instead of a basic square, its sequel introduced stages with walls that blocked off parts of the ring and made Ring Outs possible only in certain parts of the stage or removing that condition altogether and Soulcalibur III introduced low walls that can be destroyed and create a Ring Out opportunity once its gone).

Soul Edge is unique in the series as it is the only game to feature the "Weapon Meter"; a sword-shaped meter under the characters' vitality bars that determined how much damage a weapon could sustain. As a character blocked attacks; the meter would deplete until it emptied which resulted in a weapon break (the player would also have to pay half the Weapon Meter to perform a "Critical Edge" combo). Once the character's weapon was broken, they were forced to fight bare-handed until the end of the round. The Weapon Meter was designed to promote consistent offense and not constant defense (other fighters have adopted similar means to deter over-defending; Street Fighter Alpha 3's Guard Meter is an example of such a device). The Weapon Meter was abandoned following Soul Edge and instead replaced with Soulcalibur's trademark "8-Way Run" system. The 8-Way Run allowed players to walk in any direction at any time instead of using a specific command to sidestep. This kept the fights truly 3D and made it easier to maneuver around attacks or away from ring edges (as well as launch specific 8-Way Run attacks). Each of the sequels to Soulcalibur have used the 8-Way Run movement system.


The Soulcalibur series
Games
Soul Edge | Soul Blade | Soulcalibur | Soulcalibur II | Soulcalibur III | Soulcalibur Legends | Soulcalibur IV | Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny | Soulcalibur V
Characters
Main:Amy | Astaroth | Cassandra Alexandra | Cervantes | Charade | Edge Master | Hwang | Ivy | Kilik | Li Long | Lizardman | Maxi | Mitsurugi | Natsu | Necrid | Nightmare | Olcadan | Raphael | Rock | Seong Han-myeong | Seong Mi-na | Setsuka | Siegfried | Sophitia | Taki | Talim | Tira | Voldo | Xianghua | Yoshimitsu | Yun-seong | Zasalamel | Zwei
Bonus: Arthur | Revenant | Greed | Miser | Valeria | Hualin | Lynette | Abelia | Girardot | Luna | Aurelia | Demuth | Chester | Strife
Bosses:
Abyss | Inferno | Night Terror
Misc
Soul Weapons


External Links



The Soulcalibur series
Games
Soul Edge | Soul Blade | Soulcalibur | Soulcalibur II | Soulcalibur III | Soulcalibur Legends | Soulcalibur IV | Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny | Soulcalibur V
Characters
Main:Amy | Astaroth | Cassandra Alexandra | Cervantes | Charade | Edge Master | Hwang | Ivy | Kilik | Li Long | Lizardman | Maxi | Mitsurugi | Natsu | Necrid | Nightmare | Olcadan | Raphael | Rock | Seong Han-myeong | Seong Mi-na | Setsuka | Siegfried | Sophitia | Taki | Talim | Tira | Voldo | Xianghua | Yoshimitsu | Yun-seong | Zasalamel | Zwei
Bonus: Arthur | Revenant | Greed | Miser | Valeria | Hualin | Lynette | Abelia | Girardot | Luna | Aurelia | Demuth | Chester | Strife
Bosses:
Abyss | Inferno | Night Terror
Misc
Soul Weapons