THE GA-HQ SoulEdge Art Tribute – Be Welcome On The Stage Of History For 20 Years!
Transcending history, and the world, a tale of souls and swords, eternally retold
I still remember seeing the epic intro movie of SoulEdge (named SoulBlade outside Japan) that started with these words above to continue with one of the probably best music tracks written for a fighting game. The music continued to be great in the game itself, but the more important parts to make a fighting game great are the gameplay, a good roster, a creative setting and last but not least even a good story.
SoulEdge delivered all of that with its fighting engine based on vertical and horizontal weapon based moves instead of the more usual kicks and punches system seen in the most other fighting games before.
SoulEdge had only around 10 playable characters but each of them was as different from each other as the Street Fighter II characters that everyone knows today.
All initially playable SoulEdge characters drawn by Fredrik “fedde” Mattsson
And not only that, they were boosting with charisma, they were scary, evil or good and just likeable.
Instead of another martial arts tournament we saw these characters like Siegfried, Sophitia, Taki and Voldo fighting for an evil Sword named Soul Edge that was in the hands of an undead pirate by the name Cervantes de Leon. Each of the characters tried to either destroy this sword or to use it. Today we want to celebrate this great game that turned into the SoulCalibur series with illustrations of all the characters in their classic designs from 1996.
We are a group of big fans of the game and want to thank all the developers of SoulEdge for the fun we had with it.
Your Legend will never die 😉
Soul Edge, the main antagonist of the game and the most of its sequels drawn by Steven “CrescentDebris” Barton
The most fighting games in the nineties had main antagonists like M.Bison, Geese Howard or Shao Kahn. Guys that organized martial art tournaments to decide who is the best fighter around. In SoulEdge the main antagonist however is a demonic sword that was bathed in blood and hatred and gained a wicked soul that can possess the person that holds it. In SoulEdge it shapeshifts into a form of pure energy after Cervantes de Leon is defeated.
This form of Soul Edge was later called Inferno in SoulCalibur I-II where it was again the final opponent.
Siegfried Schtauffen, one of the most central characters in the SoulCalibur series drawn by Francjo Gutierrez
Siegfried became a protagonist in the later SoulCalibur games but during the events of SoulEdge he is completely insane. This guy has one of the darkest background stories of a fighting game character I believe. He killed his own father who came back from a war during a night, when he was part of a group of thieves when he held the severed head in the moonlight.
This broke his mind and he started to search for the “real” murderer and believed only the Soul Edge sword could kill him. He obtains the demonic sword eventually and becomes a real Nightmare for the citizens of Ostrheinsburg….
The battle for Soul Edge. The insane Siegfried versus Inferno drawn by Carlos “Nightshide” Roman
Sophitia Alexandra in her stage the Eurydice Shrine drawn by Eric “SuperEdco” DeSantis who also created the Logo for this Project
Sophitia Alexandra is one of the main protagonists in SoulEdge and the majority of the later SoulCalibur games. Hephaestus one of the Greek gods appears to her to send her on the mission to destroy the evil sword. She eventually finds Cervantes de Leon and was able to destroy one half of SoulEdge but was wounded in the battle and almost killed by Cervantes when the mysterious Ninja Taki helped her and was able to kill the undead pirate.
Sophitia’s sister Cassandra debuted in SoulCalibur II, in SoulCalibur V her children Patroklos and Pyrrah are the central characters of the story while she became Elysium.
Sophitia and Seung Mina drawn by Karn Kirk Ratanasin aka DigiFlohw
Seung Mina drawn by Gino ” Dreamgate-Gad” Descalzi
Seung Mina, later renamed to Seong Mi-na is one of the two Korean characters in SoulEdge. She was learning to use the Naginata as a child already and goes on a quest by her own to find SoulEdge for her home country unknown that Hwang was already sent out officially to find the demonic weapon.
Seung Mina returned in all sequels up to SoulCalibur IV as an unlockable character. In SoulCalibur her moveset was very similar to Killik’s (who got a good couple of her moves) but her fighting style changed a lot since SoulCalibur IIII.
Voldo drawn by Luis “Chacrawarrior” Miguel
Voldo was the “Yoshimitsu of SoulEdge” before Namco actually added Yoshimitsu from Tekken to SoulCalibur. This oddball character can’t see, he can’t talk, he can’t even hear his opponents you would think. And Voldo fights in some of the weirdest costumes ever designed for a fighting game character and sometimes sounds like Darth Vader.
But just like the Dark Force, Voldo should never be underestimated. This guy fights with big dual Katar weapons, a dagger similar weapon type from India. These are often replaced by even more dangerous looking weapons though. Voldo can somehow feel the presence of his opponents and uses his body for very unusual moves. From all characters in SoulEdge he has the biggest amount of moves nobody could pull off in a real fight.
Voldo was the right man of a powerful Italian merchant known as Vercci, the Merchant of Death. Vercci send him to find the demonic sword for him. How Voldo became the man he is in SoulEdge can only be speculated. In his ending, Vercci is already dead but Voldo still places the sword on Vercci’s tomb, ready to guard it for eternity.
Voldo drawn by Luke The Ripper
Li Long drawn by Christopher “Mawnbak” Jones and by Steven “CrescentDebris” Barton
Li Long is the only of the SoulEdge characters that did not become a recurring character, instead he was kinda replaced by Maxi in the later games.
He was the first character ever in a 3D fighting game who used a Nunchaku as his weapon which was a difficult task for the developers. Li Long is a Chinese who was sent on a mission by the emperor himself to find the evil sword. Li Long did not care about the sword however and decided to assassinate the leader of the pirates. He was almost killed by Cervantes de Leon when he found him and SoulEdge.
Li Long also had one of the most amazing stages ever seen in a fighting game when SoulEdge was released. The fight against him takes place on a wooden platform surrounded by the floods of the Yangtze river in China. The stage is completely in 3d and looks like the platform is constantly swimming forward on the river. Reason enough to give this stage a spot in our SoulEdge Art Tribute!
The Li Long Stage ” ‘The Narrow Gorge” drawn by Lara Couzens
Mitsurugi Heishirō is a Japanese samurai who returned in all sequels of SoulEdge, his look was very different in the later games though.
He was known as a powerful warrior already when he was at the age of 22 during the events of SoulEdge. Mitsurugi was a mercenary who enjoyed being a part of the wars during feudal Japan but saw the devastating effects of the rifle and believed he would need the demonic sword Soul Edge to have a chance against it.
Taki drawn by Kimlasca
Taki is a female ninja and can be seen as one of the main protagonists of SoulEdge. She is known as a Hunter of the Darkness during the events of the game and tries to destroy the demonic sword that was weakining her own weapon, Rekki-Maru. She confronted the undead pirate Cervantes de Leon just when he was about to give Sophitia the final blow and was able to slow him down and rescue Sophitia.
Taki is the fastest character in SoulEdge and unlike the majority of the other characters in the whole SoulCalibur series she always had a wide array of useful kick combos. Taki returned in all games up to SoulCalibur IV. In SoulCalibur V she was replaced by her student Natsu. Namco confirmed in 2011 that she is not dead. Taki became one of the two playable SoulCalibur characters in Namco X Capcom.
Taki vs. Cervantes de Leon drawn by CloudsDevourer
Rock aka Nathaniel William “Rock” Adams drawn by Grapiqkad aka Romeo J. Gonzales
Rock looks like a Barbarian who could be straight out of a Conan movie in SoulEdge but has a rather interesting background story that makes him one of the more likeable characters in the game I think.
His father was an English curio dealer who got into the possession of SoulEdge by biding on it at a secret auction for rare weapons. He and his family were on their way home at sea when Cervantes de Leon and his pirates were attacking their ship. Rock’s parents were killed, the ship sunk down and Cervantes became the host for Soul Edge.
Rock himself survived and found himself on the shores of the New World (America) where he had to learn to live off the land just like the Native Americans. Rock was a strong child already and just grew stronger with the time. He tried to join one of the tribes living there but people were afraid of him. Only a young boy named Bangoo befriended him. His parents were killed as well.
He returned in the sequels as an unlockable character and his different animal masks became a staple of the series. Before SoulCalibur V was released a lot people thought that Bangoo could be his successor in the game.
Hwang drawn by by Steven “CrescentDebris” Barton
Hwang was originally a replacement character for Mitsurugi in the Korean arcade versions of SoulEdge, but the team later decided to make him an additional character in all later versions of the game. In SoulEdge he was trained by the father of Seung Mina, Seong Han-myong and became so good that he even wanted to adopt Hwang as his own son but before this could happen, Hwang was already sent to a mission to find the demonic sword called SoulEdge.
Hwang returned as an unlockable character in the direct sequel SoulCalibur and is also one of the bonus characters in SoulCalibur III.
Cervantes de Leon
Cervantes de Leon drawn by Genesis “IcedEdge” Vandrake
Cervantes de Leon, the Immortal Pirate is the main antagonist in SoulEdge and was not playable in the first version of the arcade game, like Hwang he became an additional character though when Namco updated the game. Cervantes was around 48 years old when he found Soul Edge and became so insane that he slaughtered his own crew under the evil influence of the sword.
Cervantes used Soul Edge and became immortal and the sword used him to become stronger.
Cervantes de Leon was weakened and almost defeated but the fragments of SoulEdge that were still inside his body revived him. Cervantes returned in all SoulCalibur games.
These are the playable characters in SoulEdge and I really hope we might see a new SoulCalibur game with all of them at some point, including Li Long and Hwang and maybe even in their classic designs as unlockable or..well..DLC costumes.
Thanks everyone for remembering this great game that helped to build up one of the best weapon based fighting game series out there.