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| 190px |
Tira from Soulcalibur III.
|First game||Soulcalibur III|
|Designed by||Aya Takemura, Takuji Kawano|
|Voiced by (English)||Jennifer Hale|
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Masumi Asano|
Tira (ティラ Tira ) is a fictional character in the Soul series of video games. Created by Namco's Project Soul division, she was a character in Soulcalibur III and its subsequent sequel. In addition, Tira's likeness has been used on various merchandise related to the series. She is voiced in Japanese by Masumi Asano and in English by Jennifer Hale.
Creation and conception
As a character introduced in Soulcalibur III, Tira's weapon was created before her own concept, a "ring blade" designed to be unique amongst the game's pre-existing weaponry. Her design and concept were built to revolve around it, starting with gender, then physical measurements, and lastly background details. Her appearance and movement were fleshed out by the team's concept artist Aya Takemura, who designed her with the intention of having the character appeal to European audiences. Afterwards, her character was rendered as a 3D model by a design team that worked solely on her, and then animated by a motion designer using motion capture and working directly with the team, utilizing acrobatics and a hula hoop to keep the animation unique and uniform while simultaneously fluid and feminine. During this phase the team additionally worked with the Soulcalibur story creators, refining the character's own story as needed throughout development.
Her appearance is based on her emotional instability and madness, representing her mood through her trashed clothing and makeup. The instability is also represented in the game, such as sulking when she loses a match only to cheer up suddenly afterwards. In addition, emphasis was placed on her movements and attacks to give her the appearance of dancing while fighting.
In Soulcalibur IV, her attire was changed from green to red to emphasize her now dual-personality and the fact she was slightly more evil. In addition, her other features appear to have been redesigned completely for this purpose as well; she now has long black hair in lopsided pigtails, her eyes are now purplish-red, and she wears black eye makeup and red lipstick rather than all-green makeup.
In video games
Tira first appeared in Soulcalibur III. Raised as a child as part of a powerful assassin organization known as the "Bird of Passage," she set out on her own after the group's leader went insane. Though she attempted a peaceful life in a quiet city, she found her urge to kill eventually uncontrollable and wandered until she learned of Soul Edge, a living sword using Nightmare's discarded armor as a body. Feeling it was a kindred spirit, she pledged her loyalty to the sword, and with a flock of ravens worked to locate a new body for Soul Edge and destroy its antithesis, the sword Soul Calibur.
Through her and Zasalamel's machinations, Siegfried came to them and battled Soul Edge, but when it contacted Soul Calibur a burst of energy was released; Siegfried was wounded and Soul Edge cast into a warped dimension. Due to her proximity Tira's personality split into two extremes, Jolly and Gloomy. When Soul Edge returned in Soulcalibur IV she resumed her service to him, manipulating Astaroth, Sophitia and others into helping.
Tira's fighting style was developed for intermediate-level players in contrast to the other new characters introduced in Soulcalibur III. In the game's storyline, her fighting style was explained as a "Dance of Death", intended to mesmerize an opponent before killing them.
In Soulcalibur IV, Tira's fighting style was heavily modified, now consisting of two modes: "Jolly" and "Gloomy", indicated by her fighting stance and tone of voice. Though certain attacks could trigger a switch from one to the other, the switch could also occur randomly when hit or when performing certain attacks. Of the two, her Gloomy mode results in stronger and more offensive attacks, but many of these attacks will damage her as well upon usage regardless of whether or not they strike the opponent. Due to the nature of the switch between modes, several attacks can be chained together from their Jolly version to a Gloomy counterpart of another attack and vice versa. As a result, several attacks such as Ptarmigan Polka can be chained into defensive attacks, reducing the effectiveness of a counterattack by the opponent.
Promotion and merchandising
Tira was one of the two playable characters in Namco's E3 2005 public demonstration of Soulcalibur III alongside Mitsurugi; at the event a life-size promotional model of the character was also featured. Through the English website for the game, a promotional electronic "trading card" was available, showing in-fight gameplay and background information for her. In 2006, Namco released a Tira figurine as part of a Soulcalibur III set based upon her promotional artwork for the game. While not posable, the PVC figure came with three interchangeable ring blades for it to hold; an alternate color version was later released in a secondary set. Yujin released a four inch tall immobile figurine of Tira after the release of Soulcalibur III, based upon her artwork for the title as part of their "Namco Girls Series #6" line of gashapon figurines.
Tira's behavior in Soulcalibur III led to the suspicion of her having multiple personalities, as her mood and voice would shift suddenly and dramatically. IGN editor Jeremy Dunham described her gameplay as having "plenty of bizarre and powerful moves mixed with a smattering of chained 'perma-moves'" GameSpot's staff described her as different than the female character stereotype of fast but weak, and a more deliberate fighting style and a "change of pace." At the 2005 Tokyo Game Show presentation of Soulcalibur III, the character was not received well by players, cited as difficult to control and light on damage. GameSpy added that "the jury is out" regarding her attack style, describing her as difficulty to control. Impress Watch on the other hand praised her gameplay, stating her movements and fighting style made her quite unique in the series. Her English voice acting has been a source of criticism for the character, cited in Soulcalibur IV as "grating" and annoying. Criticism has also been made towards her mood-driven gameplay in Soulcalibur IV, due to the random and sometimes inconvenient nature of the shifts.
Tira was featured as one of the girls in GameDaily's "Babes of the Week: Soul Calibur Hotties" article, describing her as "One of the more dangerous-looking women introduced in the Soul Calibur series" and "[a]n essential new addition to the series"; Tira was also included in their "Top 50 Hottest Game Babes" article at number nineteen, praised for her "part goth and part carnival performer" design as well as her revealing appearance, later drawing mention also in their "Babe of the Week: Chicks with Baggage" article due to her mental instability. UGO.com ranked Tira number six in their "Top 11 Soulcalibur Fighters" article, noting a liking of her weapon of choice and describing her as "a force to be reckoned with...also quite the hottie in a dangerous, 'forbidden fruit' sort of way." Mania.com named her one of the "Top 10 Hot But Mostly Bothered Video Game Females", placing fifth on the list and described as "unquestionably hot", though noted as frightening due to the character's fascination with death. Magazine publications have also featured her in a context revolving around her attractiveness, such as Play's "Girls of Gaming 5" annual publication.
The Globe and Mail describes Tira as a character "who looks like a refugee from the Cirque du Soleil", while Game Revolution describes her as "a lithe little wench who apparently idolizes Uma Thurman's Poison Ivy", noting she "adds a needed gust of fresh air" to the series. IGN included her in their "Babes of Soulcalibur" article stating "She immediately stands out...Whereas most of the SC women fight on the side of good, Tira is totally, deliciously evil." They also praised her outfits, calling them some of the best in the Soul series. The Escapist online magazine stated "Tira's bi-polar hysterics match her ever-shifting stances and frenetic attacks," and added the aspect of her character brought her fighting style into sharp focus.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Chou, Che (2005-07-24). Feature: Soul Calibur III. 1UP.com. UGO Networks. Retrieved on 2008-07-30.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Staff. Behind the Game: Soul Calibur III. 1UP.com. UGO Networks. Retrieved on 2008-07-30.
- ↑ Staff (2005-05-20). E3 2005 ナムコブースレポート その2 (Japanese). Impress Watch. Retrieved on 2009-09-03.
- ↑ De Marco, Flynn (2007-09-20). Tgs07: Soul Calibur Director Katsutoshi Sasaki on Weapons, Characters and Storyline. Kotaku. Retrieved on 2008-07-30.
- ↑ Soulcalibur III PlayStation 2 Gameplay - New Characters (WMV). IGN. Retrieved on 2008-08-25.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 NewKimagureWatcher vol.2. Project Soul. Namco Bandai. Retrieved on 2008-07-30.
- ↑ Staff (2005-10-10). Soul Calibur III Interview. CVG. Retrieved on 2008-09-05.
- ↑ Mielke, James (2007-09-17). Soul Calibur IV Preview. 1UP.com. UGO Networks. Retrieved on 2008-08-22.
- ↑ Tira background (Japanese). Project Soul. Namco Bandai. Retrieved on 2008-09-29.
- ↑ Deats, Adam; Joe Epstein (2008). Soulcalibur IV. BradyGames. p. 151. ISBN 0-7440-1006-3.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Dunham, Jeremy (2005-05-15). Pre-E3 2005: Soulcalibur III: Hands-On. IGN. Retrieved on 2008-08-01.
- ↑ NewKimagureWatcher vol.4. Namco Bandai. Retrieved on 2008-12-08
- ↑ Sinclair, Brendan (2005-08-26). Soul Calibur III Web site goes live. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2008-08-01
- ↑ 『鉄拳5』＆『ソウルキャリバーIII』の キャラクターたちがコレクションフィギュアに！. Dengeki Online. Retrieved on 2008-07-31
- ↑ Namco Game Character Collection Soul Calibur III Series 1 Set of 6 Figures (2nd Colors). ToyWiz.com. Retrieved on 2008-09-07
- ↑ Soul Calibur 3 - Miniatura da Tira c/ arma Gashapon (in Portuguese). Playstation.com.br. Retrieved on 2008-09-07
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Jara, Chris. Soul Calibur 4 Character Spotlight: Tira. UGO Networks. Retrieved on 2008-09-29.
- ↑ Torres, Ricardo (2005-05-13). Soul Calibur III E3 2005 Preshow Hands-On. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2008-08-01.
- ↑ Alfonso, Andrew (2005-09-16). TGS 2005: Soulcalibur III Update. IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved on 2008-08-01.
- ↑ Lopez, Miguel (2005-10-27). Soulcalibur III review. GameSpy. Retrieved on 2008-08-30.
- ↑ Staff (2005-05-20). ナムコブースレポート その1 (Japanese). Impress Watch. Retrieved on 2009-09-03.
- ↑ Fahey, Mike (2008-08-01). SoulCalibur IV Review: Polishing The Stage Of History. Kotaku. Retrieved on 2008-08-16.
- ↑ Babes of the Week: Soul Calibur Hotties. GameDaily. AOL. Retrieved on 2008-08-04.
- ↑ Babes of the Week: Soul Calibur Hotties. GameDaily. AOL. Retrieved on 2008-08-04.
- ↑ Buffa, Chris. Top 50 Hottest Game Babes. GameDaily. AOL. Retrieved on 2008-08-04.
- ↑ Babe of the Week: Chicks with Baggage. GameDaily. AOL. Retrieved on 2008-08-04.
- ↑ Top 11 SoulCalibur Fighters. UGO.com. UGO Networks. Retrieved on 2008-08-14.
- ↑ Bowie, Soren (2008-05-29). The Top 10 Hot But Mostly Bothered Video Game Females. Mania.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-14.
- ↑ Play Staff. "Girls of Gaming 5". Play: p. 29
- ↑ Phung, Joseph (2006-03-20). Soulcalibur III. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved on 2009-03-16.
- ↑ Gee, Brian (2005-11-14). Soul Calibur III Review. Game Revolution. Retrieved on 2008-08-17.
- ↑ Schedeen, Jesse (2008-08-18). The Babes of Soulcalibur. IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved on 2008-08-20.
- ↑ LaMosca, Adam (2008-08-19). Waypoints: The Soul Just Started Burning. The Escapist. Retrieved on 2008-08-23.